Kevin Myers: We now know there's no such thing as Europe. Admit it and be grateful: Deutschland uber alles
Published 28/04/2010 | 05:00
The sun rises on a new dawn, and once again, the begging bowl is passed to Germany to pay for the excesses of others. And Germany will complain, and it will grumble, but most of all, it will pay. Why? Because payment confers power. The EU might fundamentally be just a Franco-German club, a glorified Franconia, but the club president-paymaster still lives in Berlin. For the most intelligent, the most talented, the most resourceful and energetic people in Europe are those whose lands lie between the Oder and the Rhine.
Sixty-five years ago this week, the idea that Germany might one day come to the economic rescue not just of Greece, but to the entire European project, and within the lifetimes of people then living, would have seemed utterly ridiculous. A national Nemesis unique in world history was befalling the Reich. Allied bombing had turned its cities into funeral pyres, within which hundreds of thousands of German civilians had perished. Another 400,000 Germans were killed in ground-fighting in 1945 alone. Perhaps two million ethnic-Germans were murdered or died during their flight from the ancient ethnic homelands in the east. Eight million Germans were roofless refugees. Tens of thousands of German women and girls were being raped by Soviet soldiery, who were to continue their rampage long after the last shot had been fired. Victor's justice followed: Germans were hanged for deeds that were no worse than many done by their conquerors.
The Germans invented the word, Gotterdammerung: it was for the Germans now to discover the full meaning of such righteous wrath.