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elbanditoroso's avatar

To what degree is Angela Merkel's role in the Greek crisis a continuation of WW2 Germany's goals of dominating Europe?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28834points) June 30th, 2015

I don’t think that Merkel is as powerful as Hitler, and she certainly doesn’t have the territorial ambitions. The similarity to me is in the influence that the leader of Germany has over the continent.

What I observe is that Merkel’s singlehanded influence on Europe’s economic status, and her intransigence, and her ability to attempt to destroy Greece, is somewhat analogous to what Germany attempted to do during WW2.

Is Germany’s ascent to this role in Europe a new Reich?

Does anyone else see the parallels (and the dangers) of German hegemony?

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8 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Oh totally.
Just you wait, German Tanks will roll again.
They are coming for you.
Be afraid.
Be very afraid.

Now to be a bit less serious.
Q: Is Germany in a dire economic crisis that would prompt the german populace to assemble around a strong charismatic leader?
A: No. As of this point, Germany is still the economic powerhouse of the European continent. Life is still good.
And let us face it: Merkel is neither charismatic, nor strong. Her nickname in Germany is “Mutti” (mummy). The only reason she gets reelected is that she is doing so little herself, and showing barely any presence at all, that the electorate just does not get riled up enough to elect someone else.

Q: Is there an official and widespread demonisation, scapegoating, and persecution of selected minorities?
A: No. While there are of course small scale racist organisations like ‘PEGIDA’ ”(Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West)”, the AFD (“Alternative for Germany”), and the old NPD, there is no officially sanctioned persecution of minorities (safe for the activities against muslims caused by the international islamic terror scare).

Q: Is there a government driven call to strong “national pride”, “patriotism” and national chauvinism?
A: Last time I checked, no. In fact, I feel that it is still frowned upon, fortunately, to show any nationalism outside of the Football Worldcup.

Q: Is there a large and growing investment into military power in preparation for current and future wars of aggression, focusing solely on military superiority of Germany over its direct neighbours?
A: No, there is not. The closest you will get is participation in international procurements and the random “scandal” over supposedly defective service rifles.

Now, ask these same questions for the so called “united states of america”.
Or Russia. Or China.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It is wrong to state the German position as being eager to destroy or dominate Greece. Germany is simply determined to get its money back and quickly. The Germans may appear to loom large and ominous in this affair, but the fact of the matter is that when the Greeks were desperate, it was Germany that had the money.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@stanleybmanly – I don’t think that Germany wants to dominate Greece in particular. I think that they want to economically dominate all of europe and Greece is the first domino to fall.

@ragingloli – who needs armaments and military when you can starve the enemy’s economy? Cleaner. Cheaper.

stanleybmanly's avatar

But Greece and Europe aren’t the enemy. No one benefits from a bankrupt disintegrating Greece. The Germans have been very smart and capable in managing to create a powerful economic engine and yet look successfully to the welfare of its people.

JLeslie's avatar

When the wall came down in Germany people I knew worried one day the Germans would try to start a war again to rule Europe, the world, let’s just go as far as the universe. At the time the idea was not impossible to me that Germans still felt superior enough to one day try to have influence over other nations even to the point of war.

I don’t really worry about that regarding Germany anymore. I think the Germans ideally want Greece to do well and prosper. I don’t think they want to conquer the country.

ragingloli's avatar

@elbanditoroso
who needs armaments and military when you can starve the enemy’s economy? Cleaner. Cheaper.
Pre-Hitler Germany was economically starved.
That is what brought Hitler to power in the first place.
And once on the throne, he “solved” unemployment by enacting large scale public works project (the famous autobahn, for example), forcing certain segments out of the workforce (Jews, women, ...), and massively expanding the military and military R&D.
All of this via a massive scheme of cloaked debt financing. None of all that stuff was actually paid for.
So if you intentionally starve another economy, you risk just that happening, and them eventually coming for you first.
A starved economy will not prevent them from doing all that.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@elbanditoroso The Germans already dominate Europe and did so prior to Greece’s difficulties. The Germans have been complaining about the unsound profligacy of their Southern partners for decades.

longgone's avatar

What @ragingloli said, especially this:

“Q: Is there a government driven call to strong “national pride”, “patriotism” and national chauvinism?”
“A: Last time I checked, no. In fact, I feel that it is silfrowned upon, fortunately, to show any nationalism outside of the Football Worldcup.”

Patriotic ideas get very little support. Unless you’re a politician, you could go about your day without realising it is October 3rd, our July 4th. There are no flags being flown, no fireworks, no hymns.

We don’t see Hitler as a hero, and we don’t long for “a new reich”. Like every other government in the world, ours wants power…but we don’t want a new Hitler. Which is probably why we’ve elected Merkel.

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