Saturday, March 07, 2009

Herman the ahem federalist

2000 years ago a bunch of Germanic tribes under Arminius famously took out three Roman Legions under Varus. The battle has gone down in history in various forms but is best known as the Battle of Teutoburg, or Varusschlacht ( rather wonderfuly the slaughter of Varus).

The EU as is its wont has decided to hijack the anniversary of the battle with an event uropean Parliament next week hosted by Hans-Gert Peottering and with special guest star Mr Barosso. They will be opening an exhibition of 2000 standards of peace, and proclaiming the Europeanness of the victory. A victory for liberty and so on.

Of course this is a rather problematical. Because to Germans the battle has intense and immense historical importance. Arminius, otherwise known as Herman is to the Germans what King Arthur is to the British, a near legend of resistance against foreign domination.

One only has to understand the power of the concept of a German leader defeating the Romans when in 1808 a play was written in its honour that was baned by Napoleon. The battle is the defining moment of Pan Germanism, the founding myth of the German nation and the historical lodestone of that nations fight for freedom over an overburdening centralised harmonised and integrated European Empire.

It is the myth that sustained the liberal nationalism that created Germany, and the EU is trying to use it to defend the EU!! I suspect that a few Germans might rather take against this collosal act of lesse majestie. Or in the words of the flyer advertising the event,

"27 PEACE SYMBOLS FOR EUROPE reminding of this date in European history are supposed to campaign for inner and outer peace.... Peace is the paramount concept of a large-scale campaign remembering an antique battle.
For peace changes things. Peace is creativity, discussion and cooperation....
27 PEACE SYMBOLS are going to take their place in Strasbourg, ambassadors of European history and joint statement of European present — symbols for peace.
You got that?


Mr Fawlty said...

Don't Mention The War!

it's either banned or compulsory said...

I can't imagine that the Italians will be particularly impressed; blimey, the frogs don't even like us having Waterloo Station !