Recently, a German wrote an essay published in the Daily Telegraph which was, to say it mildly, rather astonishing. It’s not because the author, Thomas Kielinger OBE (Hon.) is a correspondent for the German daily Die Welt, nor even because has recently published a biography of Churchill and thus really ought to know better – it’s because he leaves out a huge part of history, in spite of using quotes from historical politicians to make and underline his astonishing plea for us to stay in the EU.
I’ll concede that, to quote Mr Kielinger fully:
“For Angela Merkel to lose the British on her watch would be a disaster for a country which has so long regarded it as an indispensable part of Europe”
We must therefore utterly reject the whole of Kielinger’s argument and article, because he actually ought to write to Madame Merkel, not address us, his British readers.
But that’s not the worst.
The worst is that he uses quotes by Winston Churchill and Mr Konrad Adenauer, the first German Chancellor after the war, as well as quotes from General Charles de Gaulle, to make his case for how the Germans have been trying oh so very hard to get Britain into the EU which was just being established.
It is irrelevant that Mr Kielinger tries to slather us with compliments about our national character by praising the Royal Navy, Admiral Nelson and Trafalgar, showing the typical European, ahistorical attitude in regard to the cause of that and other battles, namely Napoleon’s wars of aggression. It is of course not surprising that he omits to mention the Peninsular War and Wellington, about which I’ve written here and especially here.
It is however eminently relevant that the huge elephant in the room of that time isn’t even mentioned.
There is not one single word that the formation of this nascent EU – meant to be a trade bloc at the time – was not just due to simple economic interests but was owed to the fact that, in Winston Churchill’s words:
“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.”
Churchill gave that speech in 1946, and we can be confident that both Adenauer and de Gaulle were well aware of this fact.
No mention is made of the fact that during those early years of the EU “The West” was facing up to the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact and that this coloured and influenced politics to a degree which many, especially the younger generations, cannot imagine any longer.
No mention is made that Great Britain, while divesting herself of the colonial empire, built the Commonwealth – something which de Gaulle especially was mistrustful of, never mind that we were forced to divest ourselves of our trade links to a great extent when Heath actually did get us that membership, with lies which are still being used by the EUrophiles.
Thus is History abused by Mr Kielinger in his plea for us to stay in the EU. And isn’t it interesting that he not only keeps de Gaulle’s refusal to our application in the 1960s unmentioned, but that he, who wrote a biography of Churchill, omits this famous quote:
“If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea”.