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Post Trump-Merkel Tensions? Death of Helmut Kohl
Created by John Eipper on 06/17/17 2:58 AM

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Trump-Merkel Tensions? Death of Helmut Kohl (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 06/17/17 2:58 am)

A conflict has been surfacing in recent days between President Trump and German PM Merkel. It seems that Trump considers Germany almost an enemy, or at least a great profiteer from US "protection and magnanimity."

Presently, Germany has a huge commercial surplus while the US has a huge deficit.  Apparently Trump considers this an insult.

It has been reported that the German-American president would even like to receive a large refund from Germany for stationing American occupation forces (more than 40,000) in that nation. On the contrary, it should be the other way around. The US should pay for renting the bases, at least since 1991, when the NATO became obsolete in Europe.

There are two surprising things about US-German relations.

The European-originated population of the US is largely of German background, but it has shown some kind of hatred towards its old motherland.  See how many Americans have changed their name, starting from the President himself.

At present the Trump government is full of German-Americans, even if for a better understanding we should divide them between those who have a real German culture and those who have a Yiddish culture.

The other surprising thing is how the present average American citizen remembers very well the Marshall Plan and expects gratitude from every European, but he or she completely forgets the Directive JCS 1067 April 1945, which remained in force until July 1947, causing too many deaths.

Directive JCS 1067 was the criminal Morgenthau Plan enthusiastically accepted by FDR: "We have got to be tough with Germany and I mean the German people, not just the Nazis. We either have to castrate the German people or you have got to treat them in such a manner so they can't just go on producing people who want to continue the way they have in the past."

But, honor to them, the Plan was opposed by Secretary of State Hull who resigned while the Secretary of War Henry Stimson called the plan "Semitism gone wild."

JE comments:  German self-hatred could be an interesting topic for further exploration.  This German-American (Eipper) will have to reflect.  Meanwhile, former Chancellor Helmut Kohl died yesterday, June 16th.  He was the longest-serving German leader since Bismarck, and presided over Germany's reunification.  WAISer thoughts on Kohl's legacy?

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  • Helmut Kohl and German Reunification (John Heelan, UK 06/17/17 9:18 AM)

    I was working in Germany when reunification was being planned. It surprised me that many of my younger German colleagues were bitterly opposed to reunification because they regarded the burden of the BRD's rescuing the failed DDR economy would jeopardise their comfortable lifestyles, as well as bringing nothing to the re-unified German economy.

    JE comments:  Who would have thought a generation ago that the next Iron Chancellor would come from the DDR?

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  • Helmut Kohl and German Reunification (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 06/18/17 2:22 AM)
    Commenting on my post of 17 June, our esteemed Moderator asked for WAISer thoughts on Helmut Kohl's legacy.

    Helmut Kohl (1930-2017) has the great merit of having masterfully steered the reunification of Germany through a huge mess of contrasting interests. Not only that, he pushed for the EU and the Euro as collateral to smooth the unification. Some politicians in the world did not like it. For instance, our former PM Giulio Andreotti stated, "I love Germany so much that I prefer to have two."

    However "Unification" is not the right word, as Germany was never legally divided.

    Let's go back to 1918. The government of Germany surrendered but its armies were still holding the fields as victors. Only on the Italian front was the Austo-Hungarian Empire defeated. This led to accusations of inside treason.

    In 1945, the Reich Government did not surrender, only its various armies surrendered on various dates in various places.

    In Italy the surrender was signed at the marvelous Reggia di Caserta on 29 April 1945, effective on 2 May in order to give Tito time to reach Trieste.  (Thanks!)  The negotiations had started in Switzerland on 3 March. The Authorities of the Repubblica Sociale Italiana were not informed, so the Kingdom of Italy betrayed its Allies in 1943 and the Germans betrayed the RSI in 1945. Mussolini knew about this only on 25 April. By such negotiations the Partisans were generally allowing the Germans to move Northward without opposition.

    On the Western front the Germans surrendered on 7 May while on the Eastern front they did so on the night of 8/9 May.

    According to Prof. Max Rheinstein's statement of 1948, Germany never had a single surrender by the government. It also never had a Peace Treaty while the power over the legally still-united Germany had been taken over by the four occupying countries.

    In Moscow on 12 September 1990 with the Treaty 2 Plus 4, the four great powers recognised the continuation and union of the German state. They only tried to reduce its independence. It was agreed that Russia would remove its troops by 1994, but nothing was said about the foreign troops in West Germany. Moscow was envisaging a united Germany completely neutral and demilitarized, but it was deceived. Probably Gorbachev was already thinking about his future (disgusting) commercial spots for Pizza Hut.

    JE comments: The "Stab in the Back" (Dolchstoßlegende) thesis for 1918 has been thoroughly debunked. Germany by this time was starving, and its armies in full-scale retreat.  The argument of course gave one of many excuses for Hitler's persecution of the Jews.

    And what about 1945?  This sounds harsh, but doesn't unconditional surrender mean the victors can dictate any terms they like?

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