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FTR #918 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 1: German Ostpolitik, Part 1

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [5].

NB: This descrip­tion con­tains mate­r­i­al not includ­ed in the orig­i­nal pro­gram.

IlDuceIlDouche [6]

Intro­duc­tion: Don­ald Trump’s pro­nounce­ments about Rus­si­a’s pol­i­cy vis a vis Ukraine and Crimea, his rel­a­tive­ly benign state­ments about Putin, Putin’s rel­a­tive­ly benign state­ments about Trump, Trump’s com­ments that are crit­i­cal of NATO and the rela­tion­ship between for­mer Trump cam­paign aide Paul Man­afort and Vic­tor Yanukovich (the pro-Russ­ian for­mer pres­i­dent of Ukraine) have led many to view Trump as a “Putin/Kremlin/Russian” “dupe/agent.”

In the next two broad­casts, we ana­lyze Trump’s views and asso­ci­a­tions in this regard in the con­text of tra­di­tion­al Ger­man “Ost­poli­tik,” as man­i­fest­ed by the post­war Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many and the Under­ground Reich in par­tic­u­lar.

It is our con­sid­ered opin­ion that Trump, far from being a “Putin/Kremlin/Russian” “dupe/pawn/agent” is an asso­ciate and oper­a­tive of the Under­ground Reich and his atti­tudes toward Rus­sia, Putin, Crimea and NATO reflect Ger­man “Ost­poli­tik.”

For cen­turies, Ger­man and Pruss­ian lead­ers and strate­gists have sought prac­ti­cal alliances and non-aggres­sion pacts with Rus­sia as a vehi­cle for secur­ing their East­ern fron­tier, enhanc­ing their com­mer­cial trade infra­struc­ture and fur­ther­ing their Euro­pean and glob­al hege­mon­ic goals.

In the Cold War and “New Cold War” eras, this Ost­poli­tik serves as a “good cop/bad cop” dynam­ic, giv­ing Ger­many lever­age with the U.S. and Russia/U.S.S.R. by cre­at­ing ” . . . the heat­ed atmos­phere of an auc­tion room where two eager oppo­nents out­bid each oth­er. . . .”

First, the pro­gram presents a thumb­nail syn­op­sis [7] of this tra­di­tion­al Ger­man “Ost­poli­tik.”

Next, we high­light “An Open Let­ter to Stal­in” pub­lished [7] in the Buerg­er Zeitung, a lead­ing Ger­man-lan­guage paper in the Unit­ed States. Note­wor­thy for our pur­pos­es here is the fact that the paper is the de-fac­to out­let for the Steuben Soci­ety, the top pan-Ger­man orga­ni­za­tion in the Unit­ed States. As will be seen below, the Steuben Soci­ety was part of the Nazi Fifth Col­umn in the U.S. before World War II and part of the Under­ground Reich infra­struc­ture in this coun­try after the war. In the lat­ter capac­i­ty, it advo­cat­ed for the release and reha­bil­i­ta­tion of Nazis, includ­ing war crim­i­nals.

Also of sig­nif­i­cance is the fact that the author, Bruno Fricke, was an asso­ciate of Otto Strass­er. Strass­er, along with his broth­er Gre­gor, was part of Ernst Rohm’s SA. Rohm was liq­ui­dat­ed in the Night of the Long Knives, along with Gre­gor Strass­er. Otto escaped to Czechoslavakia.

We should also under­score that the Buerg­er Zeitung was very anti-Com­mu­nist and strong­ly sup­port­ive of Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunts. Don­ald Trump’s lawyer for years was Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s top aide.

Waffen SS-clad World War II reenactors, in original photo used by Trump [8]

Waf­fen SS-clad World War II reen­ac­tors, in orig­i­nal pho­to used by Trump

Three years after that let­ter was pub­lished in the Buerg­er Zeitung, the Sovi­et Union respond­ed [7] with its Sovi­et Note of 3/10/1952. One of the most impor­tant aspect of the analy­sis of this event is the Ger­man plan to achieve a unit­ed Europe under Ger­man dom­i­na­tion, which has, of course, been achieved. ” . . . In the pro-Ade­nauer press, includ­ing the The Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung, Christ und Welt, The Deutsche Zeitung of Stuttgart, edi­to­ri­als have been writ­ten assur­ing the Rus­sians that Dr. Adenauer’s pol­i­cy aims to cre­ate the secu­ri­ty nec­es­sary for both the Ger­mans and the Rus­sians, and that this can only be brought about after Ger­many had become a third pow­er fac­tor which could employ its influ­ence in such a way as to deter the Unit­ed States “from start­ing a pre­ven­tive war.” [The aggres­sive U.S./NATO stance toward Ukraine and Rus­sia are impress­ing many around the world in a fash­ion that would be famil­iar to those in the ear­ly 1950’s–D.E.] Thus, while, in the short run, the Bonn Gov­ern­ment aims to cre­ate a Unit­ed Europe, it hopes ulti­mate­ly to reach a sol­id under­stand­ing with the Sovi­ets at the expense of the Unit­ed States. . . .”

This “Europa Germanica”–the EU in the event–was, in turn, to become a Third Force. In exchange for mov­ing away from the push for a Third World War and pulling Europe out of NATO, this Third Force would gain con­ces­sions from the Sovi­ets. Also of note is the fact that a major fea­ture of this Unit­ed Europe would be an all-Euro­pean army, also under Ger­man dom­i­na­tion.

” . . . The Ger­man Chancellor’s plan is that the U.S.A. is now so deeply com­mit­ted to her Euro­pean defense pledge that she will read­i­ly sac­ri­fice dozens of bil­lions of dol­lars in the strength­en­ing and the rearm­ing of a Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed Europe. After is this accom­plished, Dr. Adenauer’s grandiose con­cept envi­sions nego­ti­a­tions with Rus­sia with the prospect of get­ting sub­stan­tial ter­ri­to­r­i­al con­ces­sions from the Krem­lin in East­ern Europe for which Ger­many in return will break away, with the whole of West­ern Europe, from the North Atlantic Treaty Orga­ni­za­tion. . . .” Trump’s pro­nounce­ments about NATO are to be seen in this con­text.

As we shall see lat­er, a major push is under­way to estab­lish a “Euro-corps”–precisely the sort of Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed Euro­pean army that was envi­sioned in the ear­ly 1950s.

” . . . . The reac­tion of the Ger­man strate­gists to the Sovi­et Note of March 10, 1952, how­ev­er, expos­es their true designs. Ger­man geo-polit­i­cal jour­nals speak of it as “the high­est trump card in the hands of the Chan­cel­lor” which will enable him to mow down the resis­tance of France against Germany’s con­cept of a unit­ed Europe. The pro-Ade­nauer press inter­pret­ed the Russ­ian Note as a tremen­dous asset in speed­ing up the timetable for the cre­ation of a Euro­pean army under Ger­man dom­i­na­tion. . . .”

What we are see­ing with Trump’s pos­i­tive words about Rus­sia and neg­a­tive stance toward NATO is pre­cise­ly the ide­o­log­i­cal and geopo­lit­i­cal pos­ture advo­cat­ed by Ade­nauer, the pan-Ger­man­ists and the Under­ground Reich in the ear­ly 1950s.

Devel­op­ing analy­sis of the Steuben soci­ety, we note its role as part of the Nazi fifth col­umn [9] in this coun­try pri­or to World War II:

“. . . Aris­to­crat in its class, the Steuben Soci­ety hat­ed the Bund because of its dif­fer­ence in tac­tics, shunned wild Nazi talk and avoid­ed in recent years the pub­lic heil­ing of Hitler, while the Bund con­tin­ued as before. . . . It goes back to his [Steuben Soci­ety Pres­i­dent Theodore H. Hoff­man] trip to Ger­many and his recep­tion by Hitler. Hoff­man told the sto­ry in a by-lined arti­cle in the Decem­ber 20, 1934 issue of the Deutsch­er Beobachter pub­lished in New York: ‘Who­ev­er thinks that Nation­al-Social­ism rules by oppres­sion, is mis­tak­en. . . . My per­son­al impres­sions of Hitler were that he is an ide­al­ist, an unusu­al orga­niz­er and a man of tremen­dous ener­gy. It is my con­vic­tion that he is hon­est and sin­cere in his endeav­ors not only to unite the Ger­man peo­ple, but also in his deter­mi­na­tion to break the chains of slav­ery. . . . He is the one man who filled the life of the Ger­man nation. . . . with new hope of the future. . . .’”

After the war, the Steuben Soci­ety served [10] as part of the ODESSA/Underground Reich milieu.

” . . . Effec­tive schemes had been devel­oped by the Nazis and mil­i­tarists to obstruct law and jus­tice. After they had reached suc­cess, after thou­sands of Nazi crim­i­nals had fled to Spain and Egypt, after oth­er thou­sands had been freed from Allied pris­ons, there appeared accounts in some Right­ist news­pa­pers, con­grat­u­lat­ing a group of Nazi ring­lead­ers on accom­plish­ing an almost impos­si­ble task. The Deutsche Sol­dat­en Zeitung aune 1958) pub­lished a full-page account of a far­reach­ing secret orga­ni­za­tion which had been found­ed in 1948 in vio­la­tion of Allied rules.

The pur­pose of the orga­ni­za­tion was to free the war crim­i­nals in defi­ance of law and jus­tice. The author of this remark­able report, Major Gen­er­al Hans Korte, describes how a kind of Gen­er­al Staff, or “steer­ing com­mit­tee,” was set up in Munich to direct all the anti-war­guilt pro­pa­gan­da in occu­pied Ger­many and through­out the entire world. . . . The com­mon char­ac­ter­is­tic of all these groups was their dual activ­i­ty; first, they solicit­ed finan­cial aid for Nazi pris­on­ers, and sec­ond, they stirred pro­pa­gan­da against the “war­guilt lie,” cli­max­ing it with a demand for speedy release of all war crim­i­nals. Work­ing in coop­er­a­tion with the Chris­t­ian Aid cen­ter in Munich were such noto­ri­ous Nazi orga­ni­za­tions as the SS HIAG, the Soci­ety of Late Home­com­ers, the Stahlhelm, the Fed­er­a­tion of Ger­man Sol­diers, and the var­i­ous expellee groups. Among the orga­ni­za­tions abroad we find the Kam­er­aden Hil­fe in Spain, head­ed by the SS Colonel Otto Sko­rzeny, a sim­i­lar group work­ing in Latin Amer­i­ca under the lead­er­ship of the Luft­waffe ace Colonel Hans Ulrich Rudel,· and var­i­ous Ger­man “relief” and pro­pa­gan­da orga­ni­za­tions in the Unit­ed States under the polit­i­cal guid­ance of the Steuben Soci­ety. . . .”

One of Trump’s top nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­ers is Joseph E. Schmitz [11], the for­mer inspec­tor gen­er­al for the Pen­ta­gon. In addi­tion to cov­er­ing up for appar­ent male­fac­tors while serv­ing in that capac­i­ty for George W. Bush, Schmitz was deeply con­nect­ed to the milieu of the von Steuben fam­i­ly and “fas­ci­nat­ed with all things Ger­man.”

Schmitz may well have been the source for some of Trump’s atti­tudes and state­ments [12] res­onat­ing with Ger­man and Under­ground Reich Ost­poli­tik.

“. . . . Some of the more unusu­al com­plaints regard­ing Schmitz deal with what senior offi­cials called an “obses­sion” with Von Steuben, the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War hero who worked with George Wash­ing­ton to instill dis­ci­pline in the mil­i­tary. Von Steuben report­ed­ly fled Ger­many after learn­ing that he was going to be tried for homo­sex­u­al activities.Shortly after tak­ing office, Schmitz made Von Steuben’s lega­cy a focus. He spent three months per­son­al­ly redesign­ing the inspec­tor general’s seal to include the Von Steuben fam­i­ly mot­to, “Always under the pro­tec­tion of the Almighty.” . . .

. . . . In July 2004, he escort­ed Hen­ning Von Steuben, a Ger­man jour­nal­ist and head of the Von Steuben Fam­i­ly Assn., to a U.S. Marine Corps event. He also fet­ed Von Steuben at an $800 meal alleged­ly paid for by pub­lic funds, accord­ing to Grass­ley, and hired Von Steuben’s son to work as an unpaid intern in the inspec­tor general’s office, a for­mer Defense offi­cial said.

He also called off a $200,000 trip to attend a cer­e­mo­ny at a Von Steuben stat­ue ear­li­er this year in Ger­many after Grass­ley ques­tioned it.

Final­ly, Schmitz’s son, Phillip J. Schmitz, has a busi­ness rela­tion­ship with a group tied to Von Steuben. Schmitz, who runs a tech­nol­o­gy firm, pro­vides web-host­ing ser­vices for the World Secu­ri­ty Net­work, a non­prof­it news ser­vice focused on peace and con­flict issues. Von Steuben serves on the network’s advi­so­ry board.

Huber­tus Hoff­mann, a Ger­man busi­ness­man who found­ed the net­work, said Von Steuben played no role in assign­ing the con­tract to Phillip Schmitz, who is paid a “mod­est sum” for his work. Schmitz said he first made con­tact with Hoff­mann through his father but that he had nev­er met Von Steuben.

The rela­tion­ships trou­bled many at the Pen­ta­gon.

‘He was con­sumed with all things Ger­man and all things Von Steuben,’ said the for­mer Defense offi­cial, who did not want to be iden­ti­fied because of the ongo­ing inquiries. ‘He was obsessed.’ . . . .”

The pro­gram con­cludes with a brief look at con­tem­po­rary Ger­man pol­i­cy that man­i­fests the Ost­poli­tik pur­sued by Ade­nauer:

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1. The pro­gram begins with a thumb­nail syn­op­sis of tra­di­tion­al Ger­man “Ost­poli­tik” from the back cov­er of Ger­many Plots with the Krem­lin [7]:

Ger­many Plots with the Krem­lin by T.H. Tetens; Hen­ry Schu­man [HC]; 1953; Back Cov­er Text. [7]

2a. Next, we high­light “An Open Let­ter to Stal­in” pub­lished in the Buerg­er Zeitung, a lead­ing Ger­man-lan­guage paper in the Unit­ed States. Note­wor­thy for our pur­pos­es here is the fact that the paper is the de-fac­to out­let for the Steuben Soci­ety, the top pan-Ger­man orga­ni­za­tion in the Unit­ed States. As will be seen below, the Steuben Soci­ety was part of the Nazi Fifth Col­umn in the U.S. before World War II and part of the Under­ground Reich infra­struc­ture in this coun­try after the war. In the lat­ter capac­i­ty, it advo­cat­ed for the release and reha­bil­i­ta­tion of Nazis, includ­ing war crim­i­nals.

Also of sig­nif­i­cance is the fact that the author, Bruno Fricke, was an asso­ciate of Otto Strass­er. Strass­er, along with his broth­er Gre­gor, was part of Ernst Rohm’s SA. Rohm was liq­ui­dat­ed in the Night of the Long Knives, along with Gre­gor Strass­er. Otto escaped to Czechoslavakia.

We should also under­score that the Buerg­er Zeitung was very anti-Com­mu­nist and strong­ly sup­port­ive of Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunts. Don­ald Trump’s lawyer for years was Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s top aide.

Three years after that let­ter was pub­lished in the Buerg­er Zeitung, the Sovi­et Union respond­ed with its Sovi­et Note of 3/10/1952. Of note in the pas­sage that fol­lows is the Ger­man plan to achieve a unit­ed Europe under Ger­man dom­i­na­tion, which has, of course, been achieved.

This “Europa Germanica”–the EU in the event–was, in turn, to become a Third Force. In exchange for mov­ing away from the push for a Third World War and pulling Europe out of NATO, this Third Force would gain con­ces­sions from the Sovi­ets. Also of note is the fact that a major fea­ture of this Unit­ed Europe would be an all-Euro­pean army, also under Ger­man dom­i­na­tion.

As we shall see lat­er, a major push is under­way to estab­lish a “Euro-corps”–precisely the sort of Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed Euro­pean army that was envi­sioned in the ear­ly 1950s.

What we are see­ing with Trump’s pos­i­tive words about Rus­sia and neg­a­tive stance toward NATO is pre­cise­ly the ide­o­log­i­cal and geopo­lit­i­cal pos­ture advo­cat­ed by Ade­nauer, the pan-Ger­man­ists and the Under­ground Reich in the ear­ly 1950s.

Ger­many Plots with the Krem­lin by T.H. Tetens; Hen­ry Schu­man [HC]; 1953; pp. 61–64. [7]

. . . . Since 1947, many Ger­man-lan­guage papers in North and South Amer­i­ca have endeav­ored to pres­sure the Unit­ed States with the veiled threat that if Ger­many were not ful­ly restored to her for­mer posi­tion of pow­er, the Ger­man peo­ple would ally them­selves with Rus­sia. In 1949, the Ger­man-lan­guage paper Buerg­er Zeitung of Chica­go pub­lished on its front page under a six-col­umn head­line “An Open Let­ter to Stal­in.” It was a most brazen exam­ple of how ruth­less Ger­man “Realpoli­tik” can be. The author, Herr Bruno Fricke, is a for­mer Nazi and Black Front Leader, and a polit­i­cal col­lab­o­ra­tor of Dr. Otto Strass­er.

The Buerg­er Zeitung is an old and respect­ed Ger­man lan­guage week­ly that car­ries on its mast­head the notice that it is the “Offi­cial Organ of the Ger­man-Amer­i­can Cit­i­zens’ League of Illi­nois.” The paper boasts that it is the mouth­piece for the sen­ti­ments of 500,000 Ger­man-Amer­i­cans in Chica­go. It speaks for the Ger­man-Amer­i­can Cit­i­zens League and for the Ger­man Day Asso­ci­a­tion, which includes 91 Ger­man-Amer­i­can Soci­eties in Chica­go.

The Steuben Soci­ety, the lead­ing pan-Ger­man orga­ni­za­tion in the US for years, uses the Buerg­er Zeitung for its announce­ments. Thus, in a respect­ed Ger­man-Amer­i­can pub­li­ca­tion, which has its place on the extreme right polit­i­cal­ly, and has whole-heart­ed­ly giv­en sup­port to Sen­a­tor McCarthy’s anti-Com­mu­nist cam­paign, the “Open Let­ter to Stal­in” was splashed over the whole front page. And what did the let­ter say? It pro­posed noth­ing less than that Ger­many and Rus­sia should form an alliance and smash the coali­tion of West­ern Pow­ers. Address­ing Stal­in, the author writes:

“Your intel­li­gence ser­vice will tell you who I am. . . . Essen­tial and impor­tant and inter­est­ing for you is only that I am speak­ing here as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a great part of my Volksgenossen and that it would be good for you to know what mil­lions of bat­tle-trained men think today. This sec­tor of the Ger­man peo­ple, name­ly the nation­al sec­tor which not only com­pris­es for­mer Nazis but every­one who feels for the Father­land, is quan­ti­ta­tive­ly quite note­wor­thy and qual­i­ta­tive­ly of deci­sive impor­tance. Its com­po­nents are the front­line-sol­diers of both of world wars and the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of our youth. Thus, its impor­tance from the pure­ly mil­i­tary point of view becomes clear, and this is one of the rea­sons why the opin­ions of these cir­cles must be wor­thy of your con­sid­er­a­tion.

“In view of the immi­nent third world war, as well as in view of prin­ci­ple con­sid­er­a­tions, you are nat­u­ral­ly very much inter­est­ed in us Ger­mans. We may be down mate­ri­al­ly, moral­ly and eth­i­cal­ly, nev­er­the­less, and despite the dis­mem­ber­ment of our Father­land, we remain with eighty million–the strongest peo­ple on the Euro­pean con­ti­nent. What­ev­er one will tell you, we con­sid­er our­selves absolute­ly as a uni­ty and nobody will dri­ve these ideas from our heads–not for gen­er­a­tions to come.”

Stress­ing the impor­tance of Germany’s indus­tri­al capac­i­ty and the intel­lec­tu­al poten­tial­i­ties of the Ger­mans, the writer explains that, after Truman’s announce­ment about a Russ­ian atom­ic explo­sion, “Europe’s deci­sive role in a pend­ing show­down” has become greater than ever before. Hav­ing obvi­ous­ly in mind a Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed Europe, the writer con­tin­ues:

“You, Gen­er­alis­si­mo Stal­in, are prob­a­bly much more con­scious of the fact than the civil­ian gov­ern­ments in Wash­ing­ton, Lon­don and Paris, that the West­ern Union as well as the Atlantic Pact are noth­ing but an orga­ni­za­tion of mil­i­tary zeros around an Anglo-Sax­on one.”

Con­tin­u­ing, the writer comes to the key point of his let­ter by sug­gest­ing that if Stal­in would restore Ger­man sov­er­eign­ty, he could “win back the Ger­man peo­ples” fist:

“We Ger­mans do not want to have any­thing to do with the West, with the Yan­kees, with their cap­i­tal­is­tic exploita­tion and their polit­i­cal arro­gance. We Prus­sians have always been close­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the Rus­sians; we Ger­mans return glad­ly to the tra­di­tions of Bis­mar­ck, Frei­her von Stein and Maria There­sa, and we as a polit­i­cal­ly trained peo­ple have nev­er for­got­ten Lenin’s intel­li­gent words about the desire of coop­er­a­tion between Ger­many and Rus­sia. We are actu­al­ly pre­des­tined for an alliance with Moscow, all the more so since mutu­al coop­er­a­tion with the inte­grat­ed bloc of the Sovi­et states has attract­ed mil­lions of Ger­mans, edu­cat­ed under strict dis­ci­pline. Who could resist us if both our Reichs were unit­ed? What Napoleon did not suc­ceed in doing, Tru­man will not suc­ceed in either: the sub­ju­ga­tion of the earth! Social­ist Ger­many and Com­mu­nist Rus­sia togeth­er are invin­ci­ble and thus our alliance secures the peace of the world.”

This and sub­se­quent arti­cles which prop­a­gat­ed a Ger­man-Rus­so alliance pub­lished in an out­spo­ken anti-Com­mu­nist paper in the U.S. neat­ly illus­trates the essence of Ger­man “Realpoli­tik.”

The authors, Bruno Fricke and Dr. Otto Strass­er, are known as dar­ing polit­i­cal plot­ters. In addi­tion to their reg­u­lar writ­ings for the Chica­go Buerg­er Zeitung, their arti­cles have been pub­lished fre­quent­ly in the Ger­man-lan­guage press in North and South Amer­i­ca.

Some peo­ple say that the views of Dr. Strass­er, Herr Fricke and oth­ers of the same stripes rep­re­sent only the think­ing of a minor­i­ty. The fact is, how­ev­er, that there were no artic­u­late voic­es of protest among the 500,000 Ger­man-Amer­i­cans in Chica­go against this “Open Let­ter to Stal­in.” The Buerg­er Zeitung is read in the edi­to­r­i­al rooms of dozens of oth­er Ger­man-lan­guage papers in the USA, but there is no evi­dence that any oth­er Ger­man-lan­guage news­pa­per, or any of the numer­ous Ger­man-Amer­i­can soci­eties in Chica­go, for whom the Buerg­er Zeitung serves as an offi­cial mouth­piece, protest­ed against this dan­ger­ous and open plot­ting. A sen­sa­tion­al front-page fea­ture like this “Open Let­ter to Stal­in” could not have been over­looked by any­body, not even State Sen­a­tor Charles Weber, the polit­i­cal big­wig among the Ger­man-Amer­i­cans in Illi­nois, who uti­lizes the Buerg­er Zeitung as his polit­i­cal instru­ment.

The fact that the Buerg­er Zeitung could car­ry on a black­mail cam­paign in favor of Ger­many for years and even pro­mote a Rus­so-Ger­man alliance against the West, with­out encoun­ter­ing any crit­i­cism from patri­ot­ic stal­warts, is proof of the extra­or­di­nary strong posi­tion of lead­ing Ger­man-Amer­i­can cir­cles in Amer­i­can polit­i­cal life. It is easy to imag­ine what would have hap­pened if this “Open Let­ter to Stal­in” would have appeared in The Dai­ly Work­er, or in a Hun­gar­i­an, Pol­ish or a French lan­guage paper in the USA. The “Open Let­ter to Stal­in” would have been exposed under scream­ing head­lines. Con­gres­sion­al inves­ti­ga­tion would have been going on for months under klieg lights, and our FBI would have gone into imme­di­ate action. But noth­ing like this hap­pens when Ger­man-Amer­i­can groups are engaged in pro­mot­ing this kind of “Realpoli­tik.” . . . .

3. Three years after that let­ter was pub­lished in the Buerg­er Zeitung, the Sovi­et Union respond­ed with its Sovi­et Note of 3/10/1952. Of note in the pas­sage that fol­lows is the Ger­man plan to achieve a unit­ed Europe under Ger­man dom­i­na­tion, which has, of course, been achieved.

This “Europa Germanica”–the EU in the event–was, in turn, to become a Third Force. In exchange for mov­ing away from the push for a Third World War and pulling Europe out of NATO, this Third Force would gain con­ces­sions from the Sovi­ets. Also of note is the fact that a major fea­ture of this Unit­ed Europe would be an all-Euro­pean army, also under Ger­man dom­i­na­tion.

As we shall see lat­er, a major push is under­way to estab­lish a “Euro-corps”–precisely the sort of Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed Euro­pean army that was envi­sioned in the ear­ly 1950s.

What we are see­ing with Trump’s pos­i­tive words about Rus­sia and neg­a­tive stance toward NATO is pre­cise­ly the ide­o­log­i­cal and geopo­lit­i­cal pos­ture advo­cat­ed by Ade­nauer, the pan-Ger­man­ists and the Under­ground Reich in the ear­ly 1950s.

Ger­many Plots with the Krem­lin by T.H. Tetens; Hen­ry Schu­man [HC]; 1953; pp. 5–8. [7]

. . . . The world caught a glimpse of how the Bonn diplo­ma­cy works on the occa­sion of the Sovi­et Note of March 1952, addressed to the Three West­ern Pow­ers and sug­gest­ing a new solu­tion for the Ger­man prob­lem. The Russians–who, for almost sev­en years, pre­tend­ed to defend the prin­ci­ples of the Pots­dam agreement–made a 180 degree turn­about by offer­ing Ger­man uni­fi­ca­tion on the basis of free elec­tions, a new Ger­man Wehrma­cht, ful­ly rearmed, the decon­trol­ling of Germany’s indus­tri­al war poten­tial, and the return of for­mer Nazis and Wehrma­cht offi­cers to pub­lic life. It is no exag­ger­a­tion to say that the Sovi­et Note had an elec­tri­fy­ing effect on the Ger­man peo­ple regard­less of class or polit­i­cal per­sua­sion. The Sovi­et Note was the Ger­man dream come true. It opened up new per­spec­tives for Germany’s ambi­tions to estab­lish a Fourth Reich, free from the con­trols of the Allies.

At first, Dr. Ade­nauer bushed the Sovi­et Note aside as incon­se­quen­tial, but when he encoun­tered grow­ing oppo­si­tion even among his most faith­ful par­ty fol­low­ers, Dr. Ade­nauer was forced to lift slight­ly the veil that hides the strat­e­gy of Ger­man diplo­ma­cy. Unques­tion­ably, the Chan­cel­lor did not think the time was ripe for can­dor, but the oppo­si­tion had forced his hand. It was his task to “explain” the basic prin­ci­ples of the Bonn Government’s for­eign pol­i­cy with­out mak­ing embar­rass­ing dis­clo­sures.

It should be point­ed out that the “expla­na­tion” of Bonn’s for­eign pol­i­cy came not only from the lips of Ade­nauer, but from inspired sto­ries and leaks which appeared in the pro-Ade­nauer press.

In lead­ing Ger­man news­pa­pers, it was stat­ed that Dr. Adenauer’s pol­i­cy “runs on two tracks.” There is first the Euro­pean concept–a short-term pol­i­cy which aims at the cre­ation of a unit­ed Europe, or to use the expres­sion of one Ger­man edi­to­r­i­al “to ful­fill the goal for which Ger­mans were dream­ing for decades.”

In con­fi­den­tial talks with some mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Par­lia­ment, Dr. Ade­nauer declared that nego­ti­a­tions with the Rus­sians would have to wait until Ger­many had regained a strong and dom­i­nant posi­tion in Euro­pean affairs. He assured his lis­ten­ers that Russia’s con­cil­ia­to­ry atti­tude was most help­ful to Germany’s aspi­ra­tions and that oth­er Russ­ian offers were to be expect­ed in which even greater con­ces­sions would be made to Ger­many, espe­cial­ly on the ter­ri­to­r­i­al ques­tion of the Oder-Neisse Line. The Chan­cel­lor hint­ed in his talks that the Sovi­et Note had cre­at­ed the heat­ed atmos­phere of an auc­tion room where two eager oppo­nents out­bid each oth­er. There­fore he assured his lis­ten­ers that the rejec­tion of the First Sovi­et Note would not pre­vent an agree­ment with the Rus­sians at a more favor­able moment. The essence of Dr. Ade­nauer’s views was out­lined on April 3, 1952, in one of Ger­many’s lead­ing news­pa­pers, the Frank­fur­ther All­ge­meine Zeitung, which is often employed as the mouth­piece of the Bonn for­eign Office. In a front page edi­to­r­i­al this news­pa­per stat­ed:

“The Chan­cel­lor fol­lows a tremen­dous­ly bold plan: First rear­ma­ment, fol­lowed lat­er on by talks with the Rus­sians in order to per­suade them to remove their armies behind the Bug Riv­er. For this goal the Chan­cel­lor has been work­ing tena­cious­ly for some time. And because he sticks to his timetable, he is present­ly opposed to the Russ­ian Note.”

Dr. Adenauer’s “tremen­dous bold plan” was pre­pared by the Ribben­trop diplo­mats as a time-bomb which one day will blast asun­der every­thing U.S. for­eign pol­i­cy has built up since 1945. The Ger­man Chancellor’s plan is that the U.S.A. is now so deeply com­mit­ted to her Euro­pean defense pledge that she will read­i­ly sac­ri­fice dozens of bil­lions of dol­lars in the strength­en­ing and the rearm­ing of a Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed Europe. After is this accom­plished, Dr. Adenauer’s grandiose con­cept envi­sions nego­ti­a­tions with Rus­sia with the prospect of get­ting sub­stan­tial ter­ri­to­r­i­al con­ces­sions from the Krem­lin in East­ern Europe for which  Ger­many in return will break away, with the whole of West­ern Europe, from the North Atlantic Treaty Orga­ni­za­tion.

In the pro-Ade­nauer press, includ­ing the The Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung, Christ und Welt, The Deutsche Zeitung of Stuttgart, edi­to­ri­als have been writ­ten assur­ing the Rus­sians that Dr. Adenauer’s pol­i­cy aims to cre­ate the secu­ri­ty nec­es­sary for both the Ger­mans and the Rus­sians, and that this can only be brought about after Ger­many had become a third pow­er fac­tor which could employ its influ­ence in such a way as to deter the Unit­ed States “from start­ing a pre­ven­tive war.” Thus, while, in the short run, the Bonn Gov­ern­ment aims to cre­ate a Unit­ed Europe, it hopes ulti­mate­ly to reach a sol­id under­stand­ing with the Sovi­ets at the expense of the Unit­ed States.

It is true, of course, that in the per­son of Dr. Ade­nauer, the West has been led to believe that the Bonn Gov­ern­ment is deeply devot­ed to the fur­ther­ance of the com­mon wel­fare of the West. But these esti­mates of Dr. Ade­nauer and his diplo­ma­cy are based on super­fi­cial evi­dence and ignore the fact that Dr. Ade­nauer was in the past a fanat­i­cal believ­er in the pan-Ger­man gospel that the Father­land should rule Europe and the world. It is, there­fore, no acci­dent that the Ribben­trop diplo­mats and the Haushofer geo-politi­cians should be his chief advi­sors. They are pre­pared to cre­ate the Third Pow­er Bloc under Ger­man dom­i­na­tion through the finan­cial help of the Unit­ed States, and then turn around and make their final bar­gain with Moscow.

Trained in the school of Realpoli­tik, Dr. Ade­nauer is not one who acts like a bull in a chi­na shop. Even before he became Chan­cel­lor, he admon­ished his Ger­man com­pa­tri­ots: “We must move very cau­tious­ly. We ought not to give the impres­sion either in Ger­many or in the Unit­ed States that we shall col­lab­o­rate in any way with the Rus­sians.”

The reac­tion of the Ger­man strate­gists to the Sovi­et Note of March 10, 1952, how­ev­er, expos­es their true designs. Ger­man geo-polit­i­cal jour­nals speak of it as “the high­est trump card in the hands of the Chan­cel­lor” which will enable him to mow down the resis­tance of France against Germany’s con­cept of a unit­ed Europe. The pro-Ade­nauer press inter­pret­ed the Russ­ian Note as a tremen­dous asset in speed­ing up the timetable for the cre­ation of a Euro­pean army under Ger­man dom­i­na­tion. . . .

4. In FTR#476 [16], we viewed the pol­i­tics of Joseph Schmitz, for­mer Inspec­tor Gen­er­al of the Pen­ta­gon and now head of the par­ent com­pa­ny of the Black­wa­ter secu­ri­ty firm. Son of domes­tic fas­cist John G. Schmitz, Joseph was described after his res­ig­na­tion in dis­grace from the Pen­ta­gon, as we have seen. Is it pos­si­ble that he was an admir­er of the Steuben Soci­ety, a branch of the Third Reich Fifth Col­umn in the Unit­ed States? Carl­son describes the Steuben Society–is this what Joseph E. Schmitz thinks today?

Under Cover–My Four Years in the Nazi Under­world in Amer­i­ca by John Roy Carl­son; E.P. Dut­ton & Co. [HC]; Copy­right 1943 by E.P.Dutton & Co.; pp. 118–119. [9]

 . . . Aris­to­crat in its class, the Steuben Soci­ety hat­ed the Bund because of its dif­fer­ence in tac­tics, shunned wild Nazi talk and avoid­ed in recent years the pub­lic heil­ing of Hitler, while the Bund con­tin­ued as before. . . . It goes back to his [Steuben Soci­ety Pres­i­dent Theodore H. Hoff­man] trip to Ger­many and his recep­tion by Hitler. Hoff­man told the sto­ry in a by-lined arti­cle in the Decem­ber 20, 1934 issue of the Deutsch­er Beobachter pub­lished in New York: ‘Who­ev­er thinks that Nation­al-Social­ism rules by oppres­sion, is mis­tak­en. . . . My per­son­al impres­sions of Hitler were that he is an ide­al­ist, an unusu­al orga­niz­er and a man of tremen­dous ener­gy. It is my con­vic­tion that he is hon­est and sin­cere in his endeav­ors not only to unite the Ger­man peo­ple, but also in his deter­mi­na­tion to break the chains of slav­ery. . . . He is the one man who filled the life of the Ger­man nation. . . . with new hope of the future. . . .’

5. After the war, the Steuben Soci­ety worked on behalf of Nazi war crim­i­nals, that done in tan­dem with Ger­man orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als. In effect, it served as a branch of the ODESSA.

The New Ger­many and the Old Nazis by T.H. Tetens; Copy­right 1961 by T.H. Tetens; Ran­dom House [HC]; pp. 201–204. [10]

Effec­tive schemes had been devel­oped by the Nazis and mil­i­tarists to obstruct law and jus­tice. After they had reached suc­cess, after thou­sands of Nazi crim­i­nals had fled to Spain and Egypt, after oth­er thou­sands had been freed from Allied pris­ons, there appeared accounts in some Right­ist news­pa­pers, con­grat­u­lat­ing a group of Nazi ring­lead­ers on accom­plish­ing an almost impos­si­ble task. The Deutsche Sol­dat­en Zeitung aune 1958) pub­lished a full-page account of a far­reach­ing secret orga­ni­za­tion which had been found­ed in 1948 in vio­la­tion of Allied rules.

The pur­pose of the orga­ni­za­tion was to free the war crim­i­nals in defi­ance of law and jus­tice. The author of this remark­able report, Major Gen­er­al Hans Korte, describes how a kind of Gen­er­al Staff, or “steer­ing com­mit­tee,” was set up in Munich to direct all the anti-war­guilt pro­pa­gan­da in occu­pied Ger­many and through­out the entire world. A group of Nazi jurists who had served in Nurem­berg as coun­sels for major war crim­i­nals formed the nucle­us of the direct­ing body. Promi­nent among them were Dr. Rudolf Aschenauer of Munich and Ernst Achen­bach (of the Nau­mann cir­cle) of Essen, the lat­ter hav­ing excel­lent finan­cial con­nec­tions on Rhine and Ruhr.

In order to con­ceal cer­tain activ­i­ties from the occu­py­ing pow­ers, a num­ber of fronts or sub­agen­cies were cre­at­ed to serve as spe­cial task forces. To fur­nish the press with pro­pa­gan­da on the war-guilt ques­tion, an “inde­pen­dent” month­ly newslet­ter, Die Andere Seite (The Oth­er Side), was issued, in which mate­r­i­al about the “so-called war crim­i­nals” was clev­er­ly intro­duced among oth­er news items. This dis­tort­ed and slant­ed news was reprint­ed not only in the provin­cial press but in such lead­ing papers as the Frank­furter All­ge­meine) the Stuttgarter Nachricht­en) and Die Welt. In addi­tion, a cir­cu­lar let­ter was mailed peri­od­i­cal­ly to orga­ni­za­tions and influ­en­tial per­son­al­i­ties in Ger­many and abroad in order to gain their sup­port for the release of all war crim­i­nals. . . .

. . . The orga­ni­za­tion had a mys­te­ri­ous bank account (“Kon­to Gus­tav”), to which more than six­ty unnamed indus­tri­al and finan­cial tycoons reg­u­lar­ly con­tributed large sums. Accord­ing to the report in the Deutsche Sol­dat­en Zeitung this group was close­ly affil­i­at­ed with a pro­pa­gan­da cen­ter in Switzer­land, the Cen­tro Europa, which car­ried on a world-wide cam­paign to bring quick free­dom to Hitler’s pro­fes­sion­al mass mur­der­ers. Two oth­er orga­ni­za­tions were work­ing toward the same goal, but they extend­ed their activ­i­ties into the exclu­sive cir­cles of high soci­ety and among aris­to­crats in Ger­many and abroad. One was the Stille Hil­fe (Silent Help), head­ed by Princess Helene von Isen­burg, and the oth­er was called Helfende Haende (Help­ing Hands), and was direct­ed by Princess Stephany zu Schaum­berg-Lippe.

The com­mon char­ac­ter­is­tic of all these groups was their dual activ­i­ty; first, they solicit­ed finan­cial aid for Nazi pris­on­ers, and sec­ond, they stirred pro­pa­gan­da against the “war­guilt lie,” cli­max­ing it with a demand for speedy release of all war crim­i­nals. Work­ing in coop­er­a­tion with the Chris­t­ian Aid cen­ter in Munich were such noto­ri­ous Nazi orga­ni­za­tions as the SS HIAG, the Soci­ety of Late Home­com­ers, the Stahlhelm, the Fed­er­a­tion of Ger­man Sol­diers, and the var­i­ous expellee groups. Among the orga­ni­za­tions abroad we find the Kam­er­aden Hil­fe in Spain, head­ed by the SS Colonel Otto Sko­rzeny, a sim­i­lar group work­ing in Latin Amer­i­ca under the lead­er­ship of the Luft­waffe ace Colonel Hans Ulrich Rudel,· and var­i­ous Ger­man “relief” and pro­pa­gan­da orga­ni­za­tions in the Unit­ed States under the polit­i­cal guid­ance of the Steuben Soci­ety. . . .

6a. We learned some­thing more about Don­ald Trump’s intend­ed for­eign pol­i­cy goals: he appears to be con­sid­er­ing a US pull out of NATO. We rumi­nate about one of his for­eign pol­i­cy advi­sors, Joseph E. Schmitz,  for­mer inspec­tor gen­er­al of the Depart­ment of Defense [11].

 “Don­ald Trump’s New For­eign Pol­i­cy Advis­ers Are as Rot­ten as His Steaks”  by Shane Har­ris; The Dai­ly Beast [11]; 3/21/2016.

. . . . These are the minds advis­ing Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump on for­eign pol­i­cy and nation­al security.Trump, who has been pressed for months to name his coun­cil of advis­ers, revealed five in a meet­ing [17] with the Wash­ing­ton Post edi­to­r­i­al board on Tues­day: Kei­th Kel­logg, Carter Page, George Papadopou­los, Walid Phares, and Joseph E. Schmitz. . . .

. . . . Trump revealed lit­tle about what spe­cif­ic advice they’d giv­en so far, or how any of them may have shaped Trump’s sur­pris­ing new posi­tion that the U.S. should rethink whether it needs to remain in the sev­en-decades-old NATO alliance with Europe.

Sound­ing more like a CFO than a com­man­der-in-chief, Trump said of the alliance, “We cer­tain­ly can’t afford to do this any­more,” adding, “NATO is cost­ing us a for­tune and yes, we’re pro­tect­ing Europe with NATO, but we’re spend­ing a lot of mon­ey.”

U.S. offi­cials, includ­ing for­mer Defense Sec­re­tary Robert Gates, have said that Euro­pean allies have to shoul­der a big­ger bur­den of NATO’s cost. But call­ing for the pos­si­ble U.S. with­draw­al from the treaty is a rad­i­cal depar­ture for a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date—even a can­di­date who has been endorsed [18] by Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

It also wasn’t clear how Trump’s arguably anti-inter­ven­tion­ist posi­tion on the alliance squared with his choice of advis­ers.

Anoth­er Trump advis­er, Schmitz, has served in gov­ern­ment, as the Defense Depart­ment inspec­tor gen­er­al. Schmitz was brought in dur­ing the first term of Pres­i­dent George W. Bush with a man­date to reform the watch­dog office, but he even­tu­al­ly found him­self the sub­ject of scruti­ny.

“Schmitz slowed or blocked inves­ti­ga­tions of senior Bush admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials, spent tax­pay­er mon­ey on pet projects and accept­ed gifts that may have vio­lat­ed ethics guide­lines,” accord­ing to an inves­ti­ga­tion [12] by the Los Ange­les Times in 2005. Cur­rent and for­mer col­leagues described him as “an intel­li­gent but eas­i­ly dis­tract­ed leader who seemed to obsess over details,” includ­ing the hir­ing of a speech­writer and designs for a bath­room.

Schmitz also raised eye­brows for what the paper’s sources described as his “unusu­al” fas­ci­na­tion with Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, a Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War hero who’s regard­ed as the military’s first inspec­tor gen­er­al. Schmitz report­ed­ly replaced the Defense Depart­ment IG’s seal in its office across the coun­try with a new one bear­ing the Von Steuben fam­i­ly mot­to, Sub Tutela Altissi­mi Sem­per, “under the pro­tec­tion of the Almighty always.”. . . .

6b. It’s also worth not­ing that Joseph’s broth­er, John P. Schmitz, is a lawyer who spe­cial­izes in US/German reg­u­la­to­ry issues who’s clients include Bay­er AG, Ber­tels­mann, Bosch GmbH, Deutsche Welle [15].

Major Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions might well ben­e­fit if the Schmitz’s once again return to influ­en­tial posi­tions in a US admin­is­tra­tion.  Espe­cial­ly of Joseph ends up over­see­ing more inves­ti­ga­tions, since, as this 2005 LA Times arti­cle notes, Joseph didn’t just exhib­it an obses­sion Baron Von Steuben while serv­ing as the Defense Department’s Inspec­tor Gen­er­al. He also had an obses­sion with pre­vent­ing polit­i­cal­ly sen­si­tive inves­ti­ga­tions [12]:

“The Scru­ti­niz­er Finds Him­self Under Scruti­ny” by T. Chris­t­ian Miller; The Los Ange­les Times; 9/25/2005. [12]

. . . . Schmitz slowed or blocked inves­ti­ga­tions of senior Bush admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials, spent tax­pay­er mon­ey on pet projects and accept­ed gifts that may have vio­lat­ed ethics guide­lines, accord­ing to inter­views with cur­rent and for­mer senior offi­cials in the inspec­tor general’s office, con­gres­sion­al inves­ti­ga­tors and a review of inter­nal e‑mail and oth­er doc­u­ments.Schmitz also drew scruti­ny for his unusu­al fas­ci­na­tion with Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, a Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War hero who is con­sid­ered the military’s first true inspec­tor gen­er­al. Schmitz even replaced the offi­cial inspec­tor general’s seal in offices nation­wide with a new one bear­ing the Von Steuben fam­i­ly mot­to, accord­ing to the doc­u­ments and inter­views. . . .

. . . . His father was the ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive Orange Coun­ty con­gress­man John G. Schmitz, who once ran for pres­i­dent but whose polit­i­cal career end­ed after he admit­ted hav­ing an affair with a Ger­man immi­grant sus­pect­ed of child abuse. Schmitz’s sis­ter is Mary Kay Letourneau, the Wash­ing­ton state teacher who served more than sev­en years in prison after a 1997 con­vic­tion for rape after hav­ing sex with a sixth-grade pupil with whom she had two chil­dren. After Letourneau’s release from prison, she and the for­mer pupil, now an adult, mar­ried each oth­er.

Schmitz, who resigned on Sept. 10 to take a job with the par­ent com­pa­ny of defense con­trac­tor Black­wa­ter USA, is now the tar­get of a con­gres­sion­al inquiry and a review by the President’s Coun­cil on Integri­ty and Effi­cien­cy, the over­sight body respon­si­ble for inves­ti­gat­ing inspec­tors gen­er­al, accord­ing to the doc­u­ments and inter­views. . . .

 . . . . Schmitz’s allies said he was being per­se­cut­ed. One senior Pen­ta­gon offi­cial defend­ed Schmitz by say­ing that he was con­cerned about pro­tect­ing the rep­u­ta­tion of senior offi­cials in Wash­ing­ton, where polit­i­cal ene­mies can cause trou­ble with an anony­mous hot­line tip. . . .

. . . . He paid close atten­tion, how­ev­er, to the inves­ti­ga­tions of senior Bush admin­is­tra­tion appointees. At one point, inves­ti­ga­tors even stopped telling Schmitz who was under inves­ti­ga­tion, sub­sti­tut­ing let­ter codes for the names of indi­vid­u­als dur­ing week­ly brief­in­gs for fear that Schmitz would leak the infor­ma­tion to Pen­ta­gon supe­ri­ors, accord­ing to a senior Pen­ta­gon offi­cial. “He became very involved in polit­i­cal inves­ti­ga­tions that he had no busi­ness get­ting involved in,” said anoth­er senior offi­cial in the inspec­tor general’s office. . . .

. . . . Instead, the offi­cial said that Schmitz cre­at­ed a new pol­i­cy that made it more dif­fi­cult to get infor­ma­tion by sub­poe­na by requir­ing addi­tion­al bureau­crat­ic steps. Dur­ing his tenure, Schmitz also made it hard­er to ini­ti­ate an inves­ti­ga­tion of a polit­i­cal appointee, requir­ing high-rank­ing approval before inves­ti­ga­tors could pro­ceed. . . .

. . . . Some of the more unusu­al com­plaints regard­ing Schmitz deal with what senior offi­cials called an “obses­sion” with Von Steuben, the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War hero who worked with George Wash­ing­ton to instill dis­ci­pline in the mil­i­tary. Von Steuben report­ed­ly fled Ger­many after learn­ing that he was going to be tried for homo­sex­u­al activ­i­ties.Short­ly after tak­ing office, Schmitz made Von Steuben’s lega­cy a focus. He spent three months per­son­al­ly redesign­ing the inspec­tor general’s seal to include the Von Steuben fam­i­ly mot­to, “Always under the pro­tec­tion of the Almighty.”

He dic­tat­ed the num­ber of stars, lau­rel leaves and col­ors of the seal. He also asked for a new eagle, say­ing that the one fea­tured on the old seal “looked like a chick­en,” cur­rent and for­mer offi­cials said.

In July 2004, he escort­ed Hen­ning Von Steuben, a Ger­man jour­nal­ist and head of the Von Steuben Fam­i­ly Assn., to a U.S. Marine Corps event. He also fet­ed Von Steuben at an $800 meal alleged­ly paid for by pub­lic funds, accord­ing to Grass­ley, and hired Von Steuben’s son to work as an unpaid intern in the inspec­tor general’s office, a for­mer Defense offi­cial said.

He also called off a $200,000 trip to attend a cer­e­mo­ny at a Von Steuben stat­ue ear­li­er this year in Ger­many after Grass­ley ques­tioned it.

Final­ly, Schmitz’s son, Phillip J. Schmitz, has a busi­ness rela­tion­ship with a group tied to Von Steuben. Schmitz, who runs a tech­nol­o­gy firm, pro­vides web-host­ing ser­vices for the World Secu­ri­ty Net­work, a non­prof­it news ser­vice focused on peace and con­flict issues. Von Steuben serves on the network’s advi­so­ry board.

Huber­tus Hoff­mann, a Ger­man busi­ness­man who found­ed the net­work, said Von Steuben played no role in assign­ing the con­tract to Phillip Schmitz, who is paid a “mod­est sum” for his work. Schmitz said he first made con­tact with Hoff­mann through his father but that he had nev­er met Von Steuben.

The rela­tion­ships trou­bled many at the Pen­ta­gon.

“He was con­sumed with all things Ger­man and all things Von Steuben,” said the for­mer Defense offi­cial, who did not want to be iden­ti­fied because of the ongo­ing inquiries. “He was obsessed.” . . . .

6c. Trump, him­self, is no stranger to the milieu of the Steuben Soci­ety:

“Don­ald Trump;”  wikipedia. [19]

. . . . Trump has said that he is proud of his Ger­man her­itage; he served as grand mar­shal [20] of the 1999 Ger­man-Amer­i­can Steuben Parade [21] in New York City.[12] [22][nb 1] [23]. . . . .

7. It’s also worth not­ing that Joseph’s broth­er, John P. Schmitz, is a lawyer who spe­cial­izes in US/German reg­u­la­to­ry issues who’s clients include Bay­er AG, Ber­tels­mann, Bosch GmbH, Deutsche Welle [15]. As we dis­cussed in FTR #476 [16], Schmitz has worked with Matthias Wiss­man. Wiss­man was the first Ger­man part­ner at Wilmer, Cut­ler & Pick­er­ing, a law firm that took cas­es on behalf of Swiss and Ger­man firms being sued by Holo­caust deniers. This sub­ject will be tak­en up at greater length in the next pro­gram.

“John P. Schmitz; Schmitz Glob­al Part­ners LLP. [15]

John Schmitz rep­re­sents US and Euro­pean com­pa­nies in com­plex inter­na­tion­al trans­ac­tions and reg­u­la­to­ry mat­ters, with a focus on antitrust, media and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, ener­gy and envi­ron­men­tal issues. He has spe­cial empha­sis on US and Ger­man polit­i­cal reg­u­la­to­ry con­cerns, and has expe­ri­ence with numer­ous high-pro­file busi­ness and reg­u­la­to­ry mat­ters involv­ing both Amer­i­can and Ger­man pub­lic pol­i­cy and legal activ­i­ties. John’s clients have includ­ed the US Cham­ber of Com­merce, Gen­er­al Elec­tric, Bay­er AG, Ber­tels­mann, Bosch GmbH, Deutsche Welle, Gillette, Pfiz­er, Microsoft, Ver­i­zon, Eli Lil­ly Co., Ford Motor Co., and Arke­ma., among oth­ers.

In Sep­tem­ber 2009, togeth­er with for­mer Ambas­sador C. Boy­den Gray, John estab­lished Gray & Schmitz LLP in Sep­tem­ber 2009 (renamed Schmitz Glob­al Part­ners LLP in 2011). In 1993, John joined May­er Brown as a part­ner to open its first Ger­man office in Berlin. From 1993 to 2009, John helped lead and devel­op a promi­nent and thriv­ing Ger­man prac­tice at May­er Brown. Before join­ing May­er Brown in 1993, John held a wide range of sig­nif­i­cant pub­lic pol­i­cy posi­tions. Between 1985 and 1993, he served as Deputy Coun­sel to George H. W. Bush in both the White House and the Office of the Vice Pres­i­dent. . . .

. . . . John has also held a num­ber of high-pro­file fel­low­ships. In Ger­many, under a Robert Bosch Foun­da­tion Fel­low­ship, he served at the Office of Bun­destag Mem­ber Matthias Wiss­mann (Bonn), and the Office of Gen­er­al Coun­sel, Robert Bosch, GmbH (Stuttgart). . . .

8. Next, the pro­gram briefly presents mate­r­i­al that will be exam­ined more thor­ough­ly in the next pro­gram in this series. Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions and think tanks are not only lob­by­ing against con­tin­ued sanc­tions against Rus­sia due to lost prof­its and con­tracts with that coun­try, but are dis­cussing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of draw­ing clos­er to the Eurasian Eco­nom­ic Union.

Pop­u­lar sen­ti­ment in Ger­many, though sup­port­ive of the U.S., NATO and Ger­man right-wing poli­cies against Rus­sia over Ukraine, see Rus­sia as a bet­ter long-term part­ner for Ger­many than the U.S.

This is a man­i­fes­ta­tion of the “bid­ding war” Ade­nauer referred to in 1952, in item #3.

“Dis­pute over Sanc­tions on Rus­sia (II);” german-foreign-policy.com; 5/03/2016. [13]

Ger­man busi­ness cir­cles and proxy for­eign pol­i­cy orga­ni­za­tions are cam­paign­ing to have the sanc­tions against Rus­sia lift­ed. More than two-thirds of the peo­ple in Ger­many are in favor of lift­ing sanc­tions, reports Koer­ber Foun­da­tion (Ham­burg) based on a cur­rent opin­ion poll. More than four-fifths want close coop­er­a­tion with Rus­sia, and 95 per­cent con­sid­er a rap­proche­ment in the next few years to either be “impor­tant” or “very impor­tant.” The Koer­ber Foun­da­tion, an influ­en­tial orga­ni­za­tion in the field of for­eign pol­i­cy, has, for years, been engaged in devel­op­ing coop­er­a­tion between Ger­many and Rus­sia. The hope of an ear­ly lift­ing of sanc­tions was also the sub­ject of the 4th East Forum Berlin, an eco­nom­ic forum with top-rank par­tic­i­pants, held in mid-April, at which a state sec­re­tary of the Min­istry of For­eign Affairs spoke in favor of new con­tacts between the EU and the Moscow-ini­ti­at­ed Eurasian Eco­nom­ic Union (EAEU). The objec­tive is the cre­ation of a com­mon “eco­nom­ic space from Lis­bon to Vladi­vos­tok.” The ini­tia­tives tak­en in Ger­many are being met with approval in sev­er­al EU coun­tries, includ­ing Italy and Aus­tria.

Grow­ing Dis­con­tent

Demands to aban­don the sanc­tions pol­i­cy against Moscow have been grow­ing loud­er in var­i­ous EU mem­ber coun­tries, such as Italy, for which Rus­sia is one of its most impor­tant busi­ness part­ners. Already in mid-March, the for­eign min­is­ters of Italy and Hun­gary had opposed an auto­mat­ic pro­lon­ga­tion of the sanc­tions with­out a debate. Fol­low­ing talks in Moscow in ear­ly April, the Pres­i­dent of Aus­tria, Heinz Fis­ch­er, announced he was also work­ing toward halt­ing the puni­tive measures.[1] Last week, France’s Nation­al Assem­bly passed a plea to end the sanctions.[2] Anger is also appar­ent in Greece. More­over, resis­tance is grow­ing with­in Ger­man busi­ness cir­cles, who, if the sanc­tions are soon lift­ed, hope for a new start of their busi­ness with East­ern Europe. Exports to Rus­sia have plum­met­ed from an annu­al vol­ume of 39 bil­lion Euros to less that 22 bil­lion, since 2012 alone. If sanc­tions are lift­ed, Ger­man com­pa­nies are count­ing on being able to redeem at least part of these loss­es.

From Lis­bon to Vladi­vos­tok

Sim­i­lar views were recent­ly expressed at the “East Forum Berlin,” con­vened by the Ger­man Com­mit­tee on East­ern Euro­pean Eco­nom­ic Rela­tions (OA) togeth­er with the Metro Group and Italy’s Uni­Cred­it, for the fourth time in the Ger­man cap­i­tal. More than 400 par­tic­i­pants — includ­ing the recent­ly fired Ukrain­ian Min­is­ter of Finances, Natal­ie Jaresko, and Rus­si­a’s First Deputy Min­is­ter of Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment, Alex­ey Likhachev — dis­cussed the devel­op­ment of an “eco­nom­ic space extend­ing from Lis­bon to Vladi­vos­tok.” In a sur­vey of 180 par­tic­i­pants of this top-rank forum, more than 80 per­cent clear­ly favored nego­ti­a­tions between the EU and the Moscow-led Eurasian Eco­nom­ic Union (EAEU) on the estab­lish­ment of a com­mon “eco­nom­ic space.”[3] They found sym­pa­thet­ic lis­ten­ers. In his “East Forum,” open­ing speech, State Sec­re­tary in Ger­many’s Min­istry of For­eign Affairs, Stephan Stein­lein, con­firmed that the Ger­man gov­ern­ment sup­ports “con­tacts between the EU and the Eurasian Eco­nom­ic Union.” “Tech­ni­cal stan­dards, trade rules, cross-bor­der infra­struc­ture and sim­pli­fied exchange pro­ce­dures” should be discussed.[4] Sanc­tions against Rus­sia was anoth­er impor­tant issue dis­cussed at the East Forum. Thir­ty five per­cent of those sur­veyed pre­dict­ed an end to the sanc­tions in the course of this year, while 27 per­cent pre­dict­ed 2017. Only slight­ly more than a third thought the sanc­tions would last longer than 2017.

A New Start Required

Last week, Ham­burg’s Koer­ber Foun­da­tion, one of Ger­many’s for­eign pol­i­cy orga­ni­za­tions, which has pro­mot­ed clos­er coop­er­a­tion between Ger­many and Rus­sia for years, took a stand. “Dia­logue and under­stand­ing” between the two coun­tries have, “for decades, been an impor­tant ele­ment of our work,” declared the foun­da­tion. Cur­rent­ly, “with its focus on ‘Rus­sia in Europe,’ the Koer­ber Foun­da­tion devotes itself to the reju­ve­na­tion of an open, crit­i­cal, and con­struc­tive dia­logue between Rus­sia and its Euro­pean neighbors.”[5] With­in this frame­work, the orga­ni­za­tion con­vokes a “Ger­man-Russ­ian Inter­na­tion­al Dia­logue” twice annu­al­ly, in which experts and politi­cians of the two coun­tries can dis­cuss “ques­tions of Euro­pean secu­ri­ty and EU-Rus­sia rela­tions in a con­fi­den­tial atmos­phere” in Moscow or Berlin.”[6] The Koer­ber Foun­da­tion reached the con­clu­sion after its most recent meet­ing, which took place Decem­ber 5, 2015 in Moscow, that “the EU-Russ­ian rela­tions require a new start.” In this sense, “future dia­logue should focus on inter­ests and explore against this back­drop the pos­si­bil­i­ties for coop­er­a­tion.” “Eco­nom­ic issues” are “an area of com­mon inter­ests that pro­vide spe­cif­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties for coop­er­a­tion.”

Desired Rap­proche­ment

To under­line its quest, the Koer­ber Foun­da­tion has just recent­ly pub­lished the results of a rep­re­sen­ta­tive sur­vey con­duct­ed on its behalf in both Ger­many and Rus­sia by TNS Infrat­est in late Feb­ru­ary and ear­ly March. The sur­vey shows that two years after esca­la­tion of the Ukrain­ian con­flict, a sig­nif­i­cant estrange­ment between the pop­u­la­tions of the two coun­tries can be noticed. 48% of the Ger­mans per­ceive Rus­sia as a “threat,” only 50% believe — emphat­i­cal­ly — that Rus­sia belongs to “Europe.” More than half of the Ger­man pop­u­la­tion con­sid­ers the EU’s pol­i­cy toward Rus­sia as “appro­pri­ate.” How­ev­er, when asked which coun­try Ger­many should work more close­ly with, 81% of those 1000 Ger­mans, par­tic­i­pat­ing in the sur­vey, opt­ed for Rus­sia — in sec­ond place behind France (89%) and far ahead of the USA (59%). In Rus­sia, 62% of the respon­dents chose Ger­many as their favorite coop­er­a­tion part­ner (ahead of Chi­na and France with 61% each). 69% of the Ger­mans favor lift­ing the sanc­tions on Rus­sia. And last­ly, 95% believe that it is “impor­tant” or “very impor­tant” that Ger­many and Rus­sia devel­op clos­er rela­tions over the next few years.[7]

The Ben­e­fit of Coop­er­a­tion

A first step toward rap­proche­ment was actu­al­ly accom­plished on April 20, with the NATO-Rus­sia Coun­cil’s first meet­ing in two years — pro­mot­ed par­tic­u­lar­ly by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment. After the meet­ing, NATO Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al Jens Stoltenberg spoke of “pro­found and per­sis­tent dis­agree­ments.” But he also con­firmed that the dia­log would be continued.[8] Berlin there­fore suc­ceed­ed in reviv­ing the dia­log between Moscow and the west­ern war alliance. At the same time, the Ger­man chan­cel­lor has announced a de fac­to per­ma­nent deploy­ment of Ger­man sol­diers — as part of a NATO bat­tal­ion — in Lithua­nia. This would be a breach of the NATO-Rus­sia Found­ing Act and would fur­ther esca­late the con­flict between the West and Russia.[9] Russ­ian protests against this deploy­ment would, more than like­ly, be eas­i­er to pla­cate with­in a NATO-Rus­sia Coun­cil than in the absence of an estab­lished frame­work for dia­log — a tac­ti­cal advan­tage for a high­ly prof­itable eco­nom­ic coop­er­a­tion.

For more infor­ma­tion on the sub­ject of sanc­tions against Russ­ian see: Dis­pute over Sanc­tions on Rus­sia (I) [24].

[1] Rus­s­land-Sank­tio­nen: Fis­ch­er “loy­al” zu EU-Lin­ie. diepresse.com 06.04.2016.
[2] L’Assem­blée nationale demande la lev­ée des sanc­tions con­tre la Russie. www.latribune.fr 28.04.2016.
[3] 4. east forum Berlin mit Reko­rd­beteili­gung. www.ost-ausschuss.de 19.04.2016.
[4] Keynote von Staatssekretär Stephan Stein­lein bei der Eröff­nung des 4. east forum Berlin am 18.04.2016.
[5] Annäherung oder Abschot­tung? Ergeb­nisse ein­er repräsen­ta­tiv­en Umfrage von TNS Infrat­est. Ham­burg 2016.
[6] Rus­s­land und die EU: Zusam­me­nar­beit in Zeit­en der Krise. Kör­ber-Stiftung Inter­na­tionale Poli­tik, März 2016.
[7] Annäherung oder Abschot­tung? Ergeb­nisse ein­er repräsen­ta­tiv­en Umfrage von TNS Infrat­est. Ham­burg 2016.
[8] “Tief­greifende und andauernde Dif­feren­zen”. Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung 21.04.2016.
[9] See Dis­pute over Sanc­tions on Rus­sia (I) [24].

9. In anoth­er man­i­fes­ta­tion of the dual­is­tic, good-cop/bad-cop “bid­ding war” Ade­nauer referred to, Ger­many is pro­pelling the EU’s cre­ation of a Euro­pean army. That army will be dom­i­nat­ed by Ger­many. This, too, will be ana­lyzed at greater length in the next broad­cast.

The Euro­pean War Union;” german-foreign-policy.com; 6/28/2016. [14]

Togeth­er with his French coun­ter­part, the Ger­man for­eign min­is­ter has announced the EU’s trans­for­ma­tion to become a “polit­i­cal union” and its res­olute mil­i­ta­riza­tion for glob­al mil­i­tary oper­a­tions. In a joint posi­tion paper, Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier (SPD) and Jean-Marc Ayrault (PS) are call­ing for the EU’s com­pre­hen­sive mil­i­tary buildup, based on a divi­sion of labor, to enable future glob­al mil­i­tary oper­a­tions. Fol­low­ing the Brex­it, the EU should, step-by-step, become an “inde­pen­dent” and “glob­al” actor. All forces must be mobi­lized and all “of the EU’s polit­i­cal instru­ments” must be con­sol­i­dat­ed into an “inte­grat­ed” EU for­eign and mil­i­tary pol­i­cy. Stein­meier and Ayrault are there­fore push­ing for a “Euro­pean Secu­ri­ty Com­pact,” which calls for main­tain­ing “employ­able high-readi­ness forces” and estab­lish­ing “stand­ing mar­itime forces.” The Euro­pean Coun­cil should meet once a year as “Euro­pean Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil.” Before this paper was made pub­lic, Ger­many’s for­eign min­is­ter and chan­cel­lor had made com­ments also pro­mot­ing a Ger­man glob­al pol­i­cy and mas­sive rear­ma­ment, pos­si­bly also with EU-sup­port.

The EU’s Glob­al Mis­sion

In a joint posi­tion paper prop­a­gat­ed by the Ger­man for­eign min­istry yes­ter­day, Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier (SPD) along with his French coun­ter­part, Jean-Marc Ayrault (PS) announced steps toward a polit­i­cal union. They not­ed that Britain’s with­draw­al from the EU has cre­at­ed “a new sit­u­a­tion” with con­se­quences “for the entire EU.”[1] Berlin and Paris “firm­ly believe” that the EU pro­vides “a his­tor­i­cal­ly unique and indis­pens­able frame­work” not only for “the pur­suit of free­dom, pros­per­i­ty, and secu­ri­ty in Europe,” but also “for con­tribut­ing to peace and sta­bil­i­ty in the world.” There­fore, fur­ther steps will be made “towards a polit­i­cal union in Europe” and “oth­er Euro­pean states” are invit­ed “to join us in this endeav­or.” The EU should become “more coher­ent and more assertive on the world stage.” It is not only an actor “in its direct neigh­bor­hood” but also on “a glob­al scale.” In their paper, Stein­meier and Ayrault wrote, “on a more con­test­ed and com­pet­i­tive inter­na­tion­al scene, France and Ger­many will pro­mote the EU as an inde­pen­dent [!] and glob­al [!] actor.”

Euro­pean Secu­ri­ty Com­pact

To imple­ment the EU poli­cies of glob­al pow­er, Stein­meier and his French coun­ter­part drew up ele­ments for a “Euro­pean Secu­ri­ty Com­pact.” “Exter­nal crises” have become “more numer­ous” and have moved geo­graph­i­cal­ly “clos­er to Europe both east and south of its bor­ders.” There is no men­tion that the EU and its major pow­ers have sig­nif­i­cant­ly con­tributed to the foment­ing war and civ­il war — euphem­ized by Stein­meier and Ayrault as “crises”: In Ukraine, by seek­ing, through the Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment, to ful­ly inte­grate the coun­try into its sphere of hegemony;[2] in Libya, through its aggres­sion, oust­ing the Gaddafi government;[3] or in Syr­ia, through its polit­i­cal and low-inten­si­ty mil­i­tary sup­port of an increas­ing­ly jihadist-con­trolled insurgency.[4] Nev­er­the­less, the Ger­man for­eign min­is­ter and his French coun­ter­part announce that they not only sup­port “the emerg­ing gov­ern­ment of nation­al accord in Libya,” but that they are also “con­vinced that Africa needs a con­tin­u­ous com­mit­ment, being a con­ti­nent of great chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties.”

Max­i­mum of Inse­cu­ri­ty

Accord­ing to Stein­meier and Ayrault, the “Euro­pean Secu­ri­ty Com­pact” will be com­pre­hen­sive and include “all aspects of secu­ri­ty and defense dealt with at the Euro­pean lev­el.” The for­eign min­is­ters write that the EU must “ensure the secu­ri­ty of our cit­i­zens.” How­ev­er, the con­crete demands indi­cate that the “Euro­pean Secu­ri­ty Com­pact” will, of course, not bring greater secu­ri­ty, but rather the con­trary, a max­i­mum of inse­cu­ri­ty — an increase in EU-pro­voked wars and the inevitable effects, they will have on the cen­ters of Euro­pean prosperity.[5]

Every­thing for Poli­cies of Glob­al Pow­er

As a first step, the paper writ­ten by France and Ger­many’s for­eign min­is­ters pro­pos­es that “a com­mon analy­sis of our strate­gic envi­ron­ment” be made. These reviews will be reg­u­lar­ly pre­pared “by an inde­pen­dent sit­u­a­tion assess­ment capa­bil­i­ty, based on the EU intel­li­gence and sit­u­a­tion cen­tre” and sub­mit­ted and dis­cussed at the “For­eign Affairs Coun­cil and at the Euro­pean Coun­cil.” On the basis of this com­mon “under­stand­ing,” the EU should “estab­lish agreed strate­gic pri­or­i­ties for its for­eign and secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy.” It is polit­i­cal expe­ri­ence that reach­ing an “under­stand­ing” in the process of for­eign and mil­i­tary pol­i­cy stan­dard­iza­tion, the stand­point of the strongest mem­ber-state — Ger­many — will be tak­en par­tic­u­lar­ly into con­sid­er­a­tion. The results should then be “more effec­tive­ly” than ever, imple­ment­ed “as real pol­i­cy,” accord­ing to the paper. The objec­tive is an “inte­grat­ed EU for­eign and secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy bring­ing togeth­er all [!] EU pol­i­cy instru­ments.”

Arms, Arms, Arms

Stein­meier and Ayrault write in detail that to “plan and con­duct civ­il and mil­i­tary oper­a­tions more effec­tive­ly,” the EU should insti­tute a “per­ma­nent civ­il-mil­i­tary chain of com­mand.” In addi­tion, it must “be able to rely on employ­able high-readi­ness forces.” In order to “live up to the grow­ing secu­ri­ty chal­lenges,” Euro­peans need “to step up their defense efforts.” For this, the Euro­pean mem­ber states should “reaf­firm and abide by the com­mit­ments made col­lec­tive­ly on defense bud­gets and the por­tion of spend­ing ded­i­cat­ed to the pro­cure­ment of equip­ment and to research and tech­nol­o­gy (R and T).” A few days ago, Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel had already tak­en the first step in this direc­tion, when she declared that Ger­many’s defense bud­get should now begin to con­verge with that of the Unit­ed States, in terms of their respec­tive GDP per­cent­ages — Ger­many spends 1.2 per­cent of its GDP on mil­i­tary, while the US spends 3.4 percent.[6] Next, Stein­meier and Ayrault explain that a “Euro­pean semes­ter” should sup­port the coor­di­na­tion of the indi­vid­ual mem­ber coun­tries’ future mil­i­tary plan­ning. “Syn­er­gism” is the objec­tive. Through­out the EU, an arms buildup must be as coor­di­nat­ed and effi­cient as pos­si­ble. The EU should pro­vide com­mon financ­ing for its oper­a­tions. “Mem­ber states” could estab­lish per­ma­nent struc­tured coop­er­a­tion in the field of defense “or push ahead to launch oper­a­tions.” Par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant is “estab­lish­ing stand­ing mar­itime forces” or acquir­ing “EU-owned capa­bil­i­ties in oth­er key areas.”

More Domes­tic Repres­sion

The Social Demo­c­rat Stein­meier and the Social­ist Ayrault write that to ensure “inter­nal secu­ri­ty,” the “oper­a­tional capac­i­ty” must be enhanced at the EU lev­el. This includes mak­ing the best use of “reten­tion of flight pas­sen­ger data (PNR)” — the “data exchange with­in the EU” must be “improved” — but also “mak­ing the best use of Europol and its coun­tert­er­ror­ism cen­tre.” “In the medi­um term,” there should oth­er­wise be the “cre­ation of a Euro­pean plat­form for intel­li­gence coop­er­a­tion.” Last week­end, SPD Chair, Sig­mar Gabriel and the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, Mar­tin Schulz (SPD) called for the exten­sion of domes­tic repres­sion as well as the cre­ation of a “Euro­pean FBI.”[7]

Seize the Oppor­tu­ni­ty

Just a few days ago, For­eign Min­is­ter Stein­meier declared in the US jour­nal “For­eign Affairs” that Ger­many has become “a major pow­er” and will “try its best” on the world stage “to hold as much ground as possible.”[8] With Britain, which had always adamant­ly opposed an inte­grat­ed EU mil­i­tary pol­i­cy, leav­ing the EU, Berlin sees an oppor­tu­ni­ty for reviv­ing its efforts at restruc­tur­ing the EU’s mil­i­tary and mobi­liz­ing as many mem­ber coun­tries as pos­si­ble for the EU’s future wars.

[1] This and the fol­low­ing quotes are tak­en from “A strong Europe in a World of Uncer­tain­ties” — Joint con­tri­bu­tion by the French For­eign Min­is­ter Jean-Marc Ayrault and Fed­er­al For­eign Min­is­ter Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier. www.auswaertiges-amt.de.
[2] See Expan­sive Ambi­tions [25] and Die Ver­ant­wor­tung Berlins [26].
[3] See Vom West­en befre­it (II) [27].
[4] See Forced to Flee (I) [28].
[5] Zu den Rück­wirkun­gen der von europäis­chen Staat­en geführten Kriege s. etwa Der Krieg kehrt heim [29]Der Krieg kehrt heim (II) [30] and Der Krieg kehrt heim (III) [31].
[6] See Auf Welt­macht­niveau [32].
[7] See Flex­i­ble Union with a Euro­pean FBI [33].
[8] See Auf Welt­macht­niveau [32].

 

10. More about the estab­lish­ment of the “Third Pow­er Bloc” Ade­nauer referred to in line item #3:

“Flex­i­ble Union with a Euro­pean FBI”; german-foreign-policy.com; 6/27/2016. [33]

Berlin is apply­ing intense pres­sure in the after­math of the Brex­it, to reor­ga­nize the EU. Under the slo­gan, “flex­i­ble Union,” ini­tial steps are being tak­en to estab­lish a “core Europe.” This would mean an EU, led by a small, tight-knit core of coun­tries, with the rest of the EU mem­ber coun­tries being sub­or­di­nat­ed to sec­ond-class sta­tus. At the same time, the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and Ger­many’s Min­is­ter of the Econ­o­my (both SPD) are call­ing for the com­mu­ni­ta­riza­tion of the EU’s for­eign pol­i­cy, rein­force­ment of its exter­nal bor­ders, the enhance­ment of domes­tic repres­sion and the cre­ation of a “Euro­pean FBI.” The Ger­man chan­cel­lor has invit­ed France’s pres­i­dent and Italy’s prime min­is­ter to Berlin on Mon­day to stip­u­late in advance, mea­sures to be tak­en at the EU-sum­mit on Tues­day. Ger­man media com­men­ta­tors are speak­ing in terms of the EU’s “new direc­torate” under Berlin’s lead­er­ship. At the same time, Berlin is inten­si­fy­ing pres­sure on Lon­don. The chair of the Bun­destag’s EU Com­mis­sion pre­dicts a new Scot­tish ref­er­en­dum on seces­sion and calls for Scot­land’s rapid inte­gra­tion into the EU. Ger­man politi­cians in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment are exert­ing pres­sure for rapid­ly imple­ment­ing the Brex­it and reor­ga­niz­ing the EU. Chan­cel­lor Merkel has reit­er­at­ed her veiled threat that “rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and peace” in Europe are “any­thing but self-evi­dent,” should Euro­pean coun­tries choose to no longer be inte­grat­ed in the EU.

Core Europe

Already ear­li­er this year, Berlin had ini­ti­at­ed prepa­ra­tions for trans­form­ing the EU into a “flex­i­ble Union” and cre­at­ing a “core Europe.” On Feb­ru­ary 9, the for­eign min­is­ters of the six found­ing EU coun­tries [1] held an exclu­sive meet­ing in Rome to dis­cuss the EU’s var­i­ous cur­rent crises. This unusu­al meet­ing for­mat was also con­sid­ered to be a coun­ter­point to the Viseg­rád-Group [2], which had been par­tic­u­lar­ly crit­i­cal of Berlin’s refugee pol­i­cy. The dis­cus­sion in Rome was focused not only on the refugee pol­i­cy, but also includ­ed a pos­si­ble Brexit.[3] In their Joint Com­mu­niqué, the six for­eign min­is­ters under­lined the “dif­fer­ent paths of inte­gra­tion,” pro­vid­ed for by the Lis­bon Treaty — a hint at the option of a “flex­i­ble Union.”[4] The for­eign min­is­ters of the six found­ing coun­tries again met on Mai 20, at the Val Duchesse Cas­tle south of Brus­sels, this time explic­it­ly to dis­cuss the EU’s devel­op­ment in case of a Brex­it. They met again last Sat­ur­day to dis­cuss a paper joint­ly pre­sent­ed by the Ger­man and French for­eign min­is­ters, lit­er­al­ly demand­ing a “flex­i­ble Union.”[5] The com­mon dec­la­ra­tion, agreed upon by the six min­is­ters on Sat­ur­day, does not men­tion that polar­iz­ing term, while para­phras­ing their aspired core Europe. There is a need to “rec­og­nize” that among the mem­ber coun­tries there are “dif­fer­ent lev­els of ambi­tion towards Euro­pean integration.”[6]

The Strong Man behind Junck­er

Using this for­mat of the found­ing coun­tries, Berlin is push­ing for a “flex­i­ble Union” that is par­tic­u­lar­ly reject­ed by those mem­ber coun­tries, to be rel­e­gat­ed to sec­ond-class sta­tus. At the same time, Berlin is exert­ing pres­sure at oth­er lev­els. Already on May 23, an ini­tial offi­cial meet­ing with­in the frame­work of the EU Com­mis­sion, was held, to make arrange­ments for a pos­si­ble Brexit.[7] The invi­ta­tion had been extend­ed by the Ger­man jurist, Mar­tin Sel­mayr, Chef de Cab­i­net of Jean-Claude Junck­er, Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. From 2001 to 2004, Sel­mayr man­aged the Ber­tels­man AG office in Brus­sels. He sub­se­quent­ly became spokesper­son and then Chef de Cab­i­net for EU Com­mis­sion­er Viviane Red­ing (Lux­em­bourg). Observers, refer­ring to his influ­ence, not­ed that some con­sid­ered Red­ing to be the “dum­my of the ven­tril­o­quist, Selmayr.”[8] Accord­ing to Ger­man media, Sel­mayr, the strong man behind Juncker,[9] had extend­ed the invi­ta­tion for the May 23 strat­e­gy meet­ing, not only to rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Slo­va­kia and Mal­ta — the two coun­tries to assume EU pres­i­den­cy in July and Jan­u­ary, respec­tive­ly, but also to Uwe Corsepius, Merkel’s Euro­pean pol­i­cy advi­sor. Corsepius is con­sid­ered one of Berlin’s most impor­tant Euro­pean pol­i­cy strategists.[10]

The New Direc­torate

Beyond such long-term agree­ments, Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel has invit­ed France’s Pres­i­dent, François Hol­lande, Italy’s Prime Min­is­ter, Mat­teo Ren­zi and EU Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Don­ald Tusk to Berlin, Mon­day to dis­cuss the EU’s future, after Great Britain’s with­draw­al. The objec­tive is to agree upon impor­tant stip­u­la­tions pri­or to the EU’s Tues­day sum­mit — which is sim­i­lar to the 2010 — 2011 meet­ings she had held with the French pres­i­dent at the time, Nico­las Sarkozy (“Merkozy”), to set the guide­lines for the EU’s han­dling of the Euro cri­sis. Observes point to the fact that Merkel’s invit­ing Ren­zi along with Hol­lande has osten­ta­tious­ly demot­ed France’s sta­tus. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, Ger­man media are speak­ing in terms of the EU’s “new direc­torate.” Of course, there is no doubt that “Ger­many remains the most impor­tant EU nation, both polit­i­cal­ly as well as economically.”[11] In prac­tice, the “direc­torate” serves the func­tion — as in the pre­vi­ous cas­es of Merkel’s Sarkozy meet­ings — pri­mar­i­ly of trans­mis­sion of Ger­man spec­i­fi­ca­tions to the EU’s oth­er mem­ber coun­tries.

The Cen­tral Role

Berlin’s pre­dom­i­nance with­in the EU is being, more or less, offi­cial­ly con­firmed by the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, Jean-Claude Junck­er. Also in the future, Ger­many will “con­tin­ue to play a cen­tral role, if not an even more sig­nif­i­cant role, in the Euro­pean Union,” Junck­er declared.[12]

Supra­na­tion­al Repres­sion

Par­al­lel to prepa­ra­tions for the trans­for­ma­tion of the Euro­pean Union, lead­ing Ger­man Social Democ­rats are call­ing for sup­ple­men­tary steps for the polit­i­cal-eco­nom­ic stream­lin­ing the EU or its core.[13] For exam­ple, in their posi­tion paper enti­tled “Re-Found Europe,” Ger­many’s Min­is­ter of the Econ­o­my, Sig­mar Gabriel, and the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, Mar­tin Schulz, are call­ing for an expan­sion of the EU’s sin­gle mar­ket, under the top­ic an “eco­nom­ic Schen­gen.” In the process, across the board “cen­tral” job mar­ket reforms must be imple­ment­ed. The mass­es in the French pop­u­la­tion are cur­rent­ly up in arms fight­ing the impo­si­tion of these job mar­ket reforms.[14] In addi­tion, Gabriel and Schulz are call­ing on the EU to “more than ever” “act as a uni­fied gov­ern­ing force,” which would sig­ni­fy that the “com­mu­ni­ta­riza­tion” of the EU’s for­eign pol­i­cy. The imple­men­ta­tion of this com­mu­ni­ta­riza­tion, would mean Ger­many’s glob­al inter­ests being pur­sued via insti­tu­tions in Brus­sels due, to a large extent, to Berlin’s pre­dom­i­nance with­in the EU. Final­ly, the Ger­man social democ­rats are call­ing for the sys­tem­at­ic cre­ation and expan­sion of supra-nation­al struc­tures of repres­sion. For exam­ple, insti­tu­tions ward­ing off refugees from the EU must be sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly rein­forced (“effec­tive­ly secur­ing Euro­pean exter­nal bor­ders”) and coop­er­a­tion between domes­tic repres­sive author­i­ties inten­si­fied. The cre­ation, for exam­ple, of a “Euro­pean FBI” should be an objec­tive.

Project Deter­rence

To deter oth­er EU coun­tries from hold­ing ref­er­en­dums, Berlin is mas­sive­ly inten­si­fy­ing pres­sure on Lon­don. To avoid need­less dis­sention, the British gov­ern­ment seeks to con­sci­en­tious­ly pre­pare and car­ry out the nego­ti­a­tions. Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, Mar­tin Schulz, declared in the form of an ulti­ma­tum, that he “expects” the British gov­ern­ment to present its with­draw­al appli­ca­tion at the EU sum­mit on Tues­day. Chair of the EPP par­lia­men­tary cau­cus, Man­fred Weber (CSU) called on Britain to with­draw “with­in the planned two-year delay, and even bet­ter, with­in a year.”[15] Brus­sels has already cre­at­ed a “Brex­it Task Force” and an “Arti­cle 50 Task Force” — the lat­ter named after the respec­tive arti­cle of the Lis­bon Treaty reg­u­lat­ing a mem­ber state’s with­draw­al from the EU. Above all, lead­ing Ger­man politi­cians are fan­ning Scot­tish seces­sion­ist plans. “The EU will con­tin­ue to con­sist of 28 mem­ber coun­tries,” declared Gun­ther Krich­baum (CDU), Chair of the EU Affairs Com­mit­tee in the Ger­man Bun­destag, “because I expect a renewed inde­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum in Scot­land, which will be suc­cess­ful this time.” Krich­baum says, “we should prompt­ly reply to this pro-EU coun­try’s mem­ber­ship application.”[16] The Ger­man media is also ener­get­i­cal­ly fir­ing on Scot­tish sep­a­ratism. Since 1945, the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many has pos­si­bly nev­er engaged in such unabashed encour­age­ment of the dis­in­te­gra­tion of a West Euro­pean coun­try.

War in Europe

In Berlin, this is all being flanked by state­ments that can­not be oth­er­wise inter­pret­ed as oblique war threats. “Although it is dif­fi­cult for us to imag­ine,” one should “nev­er for­get” that “the idea of a unit­ed Europe, had been an idea of peace,” claims the Ger­man Chancellor.[17] The alle­ga­tion cor­re­sponds less to his­tor­i­cal reality,[18] than to the EU’s self-pro­mo­tion. Yet, Merkel declares that in Europe, “rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and peace” are both cur­rent­ly and in the future “any­thing oth­er than self-evi­dent.” The chan­cel­lor has expressed this point of view in var­i­ous EU cri­sis sit­u­a­tions. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[19]) Accord­ing to this view, the poten­tial of Euro­pean coun­tries set­tling their dis­putes mil­i­tar­i­ly remains essen­tial­ly unal­tered and can be unleashed, should they no longer choose inte­gra­tion in a Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed EU.

For more on this theme: The First Exit [34].

[1] Bun­desre­pub­lik Deutsch­land, Frankre­ich, Ital­ien, Bel­gien, Nieder­lande, Lux­em­burg.
[2] Der Viseg­rád-Gruppe gehören Polen, Tschechien, die Slowakei und Ungarn an.
[3] EU-Grün­der­staat­en: “Europäis­che Dreifachkrise” und “Her­aus­fordernde Zeit­en”. de.euronews.com 10.02.2016.
[4] Joint Com­mu­niqué. Chart­ing the way ahead. An EU Found­ing Mem­bers’ ini­tia­tive on strength­en­ing Cohe­sion in the Euro­pean Union. www.esteri.it 09.02.2016.
[5] Berlin und Paris schla­gen “flex­i­ble EU” vor. www.handelsblatt.com 24.06.2016.
[6] Gemein­same Erk­lärung der Außen­min­is­ter Bel­giens, Deutsch­lands, Frankre­ichs, Ital­iens, Lux­em­burgs und der Nieder­lande am 25. Juni 2016.
[7] EU rüstet sich für Brex­it-Ern­st­fall. www.spiegel.de 27.05.2016.
[8] Hen­drick Kaf­sack, Wern­er Mus­sler: Die EU spricht deutsch. www.faz.net 26.06.2014. See Par­tic­u­lar­ly Close to Ger­many [35].
[9] Hen­drick Kaf­sack: Der starke Mann hin­ter Junck­er. www.faz.net 10.09.2014.
[10] See Under the Ger­man Whip (I) [36].
[11] Niko­las Busse: Das neue Direk­to­ri­um. Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung 25.06.2016.
[12] Junck­er sieht starke Rolle für Deutsch­land. www.handelsblatt.com 25.06.2016.
[13] Sig­mar Gabriel, Mar­tin Schulz: Europa neu grün­den. www.spd.de.
[14] See The Price of Dereg­u­la­tion [37].
[15] EU-Par­la­mentspräsi­dent Schulz fordert Aus­trittsantrag der Briten bis Dien­stag. www.sueddeutsche.de 25.06.2016.
[16] Jacques Schus­ter, Daniel Friedrich Sturm: Und zurück bleiben die ver­wirrten Staat­en von Europa. www.welt.de 26.06.2016.
[17] Press­es­tate­ment von Bun­deskan­z­lerin Merkel zum Aus­gang des Ref­er­en­dums über den Verbleib Großbri­tan­niens in der Europäis­chen Union am 24. Juni 2016 in Berlin.
[18] Die “Eini­gung” des europäis­chen Kon­ti­nents unter deutsch­er Dom­i­nanz gehörte bere­its zu den deutschen Kriegszie­len im Ersten Weltkrieg; damals sprach beispiel­sweise Reich­skan­zler Theobald von Beth­mann Holl­weg von der Grün­dung eines “mit­teleu­ropäis­chen Wirtschaftsver­bands”. Auch im NS-Staat wur­den entsprechende “Einigungs”-Strategien vertreten. Mehr dazu: Europas Einiger [38].
[19] See A Ques­tion of Peace or War in Europe [39]Man­age­ment with a Crow­bar [40] and Vom Krieg in Europa. [41]