German-French Unity, Basis for European Peace

German-French Unity, Basis for European Peace

German-French Unity, Basis for European Peace

German-French Unity, Basis for European Peace

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is made clear by its title and the dedication. On July 28, 1956, Foreign Minister H. von Brentano declared in the Bundestag that a lasting reconciliation of Germany and France and their partnership are the basis for a European community. Its attainment is primarily a spiritual process guided by a detached reconsideration of historical events which shaped the destiny of France and Germany in the last ninety years. Their unity is indispensable for the security of the West in the face of ever threatening dangers from the East.

In their political commentaries of November 16, and December 1, 1955, Joseph and Stewart Alsop stressed "the grand nightmare of Western diplomacy." They expressly endorsed the well-considered conclusion George F. Kennan had reached, namely, that the Germans may abandon their alliance with the West in order to buy re-unification of their country from the Soviets. Although the vast majority of the Germans are, and will no doubt remain, anti-Communist, it should be borne in mind that German-Russian friendship is a century-old tradition. Moreover, economic and technical cooperation between Germany and the Soviet Union, with its huge undeveloped "hinterland" Asia, offers alluring prospects to both. French statesmen are well aware of this. In July 1956, Premier Guy Mollet declared: "It is necessary to weave between the countries of Western Europe the bonds that will prevent Germany from turning to the East." And in January 1957, Foreign Minister Christian Pineau insisted, in view of the recent events in the Middle East, that it is now "more necessary than ever to realize the unification of Europe," adding, "For France it . . .

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