How Dangerous Ideas Crumbled France in Six Weeks

Hitler and his men walk through the capital city after the French surrender. (harWood/keystone/getty images)

 

The results of relying on the wisdom of man

The outbreak of World War i was met with cheering crowds in Paris. Frenchmen and eager youth jumped at the opportunity to join what they thought would be a short, victorious war. Propagandists sprang into action.

“I hope,” wrote France’s minister of public instruction as teachers prepared for the 1914 academic year, “that on the day schools reopen, in every town and every class, the teacher’s first words to his students will raise their hearts to the fatherland and that his first lesson will honor the sacred battle in which our armies are engaged.” Continue reading

The Reluctant Giant: Why Germany Shuns Its Global Role

The world admires Germany and would like to see more active engagement from the country. But Germans themselves are reluctant and Chancellor Merkel has steered clear of taking on more global responsibility. Berlin should rethink its role in the world.

When a German reads current travel guides about Germany, written by foreigners clearly enamored of the country, he feels noticeably better afterwards. The travel guides praise Germany as a colorful, high-energy, beautiful country, a European power center in every possible way, a miracle world of culture and technology, inventive and with an entrepreneurial spirit, “truly … a 21st-century country.” Continue reading