In response to Paul T Horgan: A century on, the lessons of ‘Wexit’, Andy Joyce wrote:
The Versailles Treaty (i.e. politicians) undoubtedly contributed to the conditions which triggered WW2 but I think you may not fully understand the German psyche and the role it played. I speak as an Englishman with German family on my mother’s side and having lived in Germany for the last ten years.
Germans inherently believe that their government have the people’s best interest at heart and they really don’t have a history of questioning authority, they’ve never had their Glorious Revolution, civil war or Magna Carta moment. It was this kind of groupthink or Gleichschaltung without which both world wars would not have been possible.
My German grandfather (my ‘Opa’) always maintained that ‘give them a marching band and the German people will follow you anywhere’. This sort of attitude is starting to change, thankfully, certainly amongst ‘Generation Z’, which will certainly have a big impact on Germany‘s dominance over the EU. Indeed, I suspect that once Germans start to seriously question the EU, it’ll be the beginning of the end.
More importantly, I’ll raise a glass to the memory of my great-uncles who both died in WW1, one a British infantryman and the other a German hussar.