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Monday, 8 October 2018

Europe's ethnic powderkeg

Eighty years ago, on 29th September 1938, Britain's then Prime Minister signed an agreement with the German Leader, Adolf Hitler, that signed away large areas of western Czechoslovakia to the German Reich. The Czechs were not consulted. There was a pretext for the land grab; the areas in question were largely inhabited by Germans, Volksdeutsch, who were suffering from discrimination, harassment and victimisation at the hands of a nationalistic Czech nation. 

In 1945 the Czechs, together with every European nation that suffered under the Third Reich, took their revenge. Up to 14,000,000 ethnic Germans, most of them women and children, were expelled from homes and communities, some of which had been settled since the twelfth century, in the largest such movement in human history. Between 500,000 and 1,500,000 died * - of cold, hunger, mass murder, locked in cattle trucks or confined in the concentration camps that had just been liberated. This ethnic cleansing was carried out under the noses of  and with the full knowledge and consent of the allies. The extent of this shameful post-war inhumanity is little known, even in Germany. For my young German chums it puts into context oral history from older relatives, post-war episodes they had regarded as isolated incidents, as this post-war ethnic cleansing is barely taught in German schools for fear of stoking the embers of German nationalism.  

In our own lifetime's experience we have seen in the Balkans how swiftly Europe can return to savagery and primitivism; friends and neighbours, who had lived together for generations, turned on eachother on ethnic lines. The men shot, the women and children turned out on the road, their homes looted. 

It is not hard to understand why a resurgence of nationalism is so feared in Europe. It's something one can't see from the British Isles - but living here, it's easy to understand why ethnic nationalism, identitarianism and the like are so readily suppressed, so deeply distrusted. Take a look at this extract from a pre-1914 ethnographic map of Europe; 

Before the 20th century, national consciousness was minimal. Communities of ethnic Germans (pink on the map) thrived in eastern Europe, some areas the size of Norfolk, complete with German schools, cultural infrastructure and few problems with their neighbours. Versailles and the drawing of national borders on ethnic lines sowed the seeds of a violent nationalism, not only German but Polish, Czech, Hungarian and so on, that drove the ethnic hatreds of the second war. You may notice one small Volksdeutsch community on the map, to the west of Krakow. A place called Auschwitz.

And although I can understand why many of those who support the EU do so because they believe the EU's open borders, Shengen and freedom of movement can return us to those idyllic halcyon pre-1914 days of no passports and live where you will, too much has changed for that ever to be possible again. The twentieth century and its post-war ethnic cleansing established national identity more strongly than ever before; in the 19th century, Europe was an ethnic and linguistic hotch-potch. At the end of the twentieth a Ruthenian of German origin and a South Tyrolean of German origin could not even talk to one another. 

And now in the twenty-first century we walk a razor edge between proper patriotism and dangerous nationalism, between beneficent internationalism and destructive globalism. Already, the anti-tourist graffiti is going up on walls from Venice to Valencia, and the knuckle-dragging ethnic purity thugs are pulling on their boots. 

The EU changes course more slowly than the largest supertanker. The longer Brussels pursues the notion of a homogeneous Europe, a Europe devoid of national identities, the more they stoke the dangerous fires of nationalism in Europe's nations. Ever closer union - or attempts to force it on the people of Europe -  can have only one outcome that I can see, and that is the conflict that for seventy years we have avoided, through NATO and consumer capitalism. Please God they see their folly before it's too late. 

*Orderly and Humane - The expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War, R.M. Douglas, Yale University Press, 2012


DiscoveredJoys said...

The progression of the collective mind:
1) You can be anything you want
2) You can be anything we allow
3) You will be the one thing we permit

Mr Ecks said...

The sooner the EU is in Hell the better.

If its treacherous supporters stay on board with its evil --it doesn't need genius to see their likely destination also.

The evil draw evil on themselves.

DeeDee99 said...

It won't be many years before various IRA / ETA - style organisations are active in the EU.

If you take away peoples ability to force change through peaceful means (ie democracy) all they have left is violence.

Anonymous said...

History keeps cropping up, and I get a feeling of déjà vu conspiracy nudging away.

Whether it was a one off, or not - I’m reminded of Germany’s choice of the famous railway truck when it dictated its site of Compiègne to sign the 1940 Armistice with France.

It’s always seems strange to me that the seemingly conservative German people should encourage the swamping of Europe with obviously incompatible immigrants from countries outside the EU.

Not so much for young Germans, but the scars of guilt that the older German generations have had to bear must have led to a resentment of the supposed superiority of other European countries - especially Britain.

Tin foil hat time - I’ve been nearly convinced that some Germans are trying to replicate an antipathy towards a religious demographic in order to illustrate how easy it is to fall into the Nazi mindset.

Either way, the EU has fed off this fear for long enough.

Stephen J said...

Either I have misread this Raedwald, or you are missing the point?

Note that it is the forcing together of any given group of European tribes against their will that causes and outbreak of friction, war and ultimate savagery. Mostly organised by the leaders and followers of one ism or another.

This same principal goes right back to the Roman empire, which was undermined and then destroyed by the determination of the European tribes.

The pre-1914 days that you mention were in fact not great days, the seeds of the first world war had already been sown, by Bismarck and Napoleon, both under the pretext of unifying the people. They were the last days of freedom for the European tribes.

Our biggest problem is not the kind of patriotism (or nationalism as the lefties like to call it) of the various tribes, it is the militaristic nationalism that is just beginning to flex its muscles in the form of the European Union Border Force... aka german army.

We, that is OUR corrupt and avaricious government should be thinking about this danger and doing everything it can to resist it, rather than seeking a deal, and kow-towing to every single threat from the equally corrupt and anti-democratic bunch of criminals that are being goaded by the bankers into starting a "third world" war.

Nigel Sedgwick said...

The words patriotism and nationalism suffer from equivocation that is often exploited to foment discontent.

Firstly under one meaning, they are synonyms. However, otherwise they are different.

My favoured definitions, that emphasises the differences, is that patriotism is love of the land one lives on - and overall liking or at least familiarity with the culture(s) of the people with whom one shares that living. Nationalism is the belief that one's tribe, neighbours, etc are better than all (or specifically selected) other tribes or peoples.

With my definition of patriotism, one can accept (even strongly endorse) that all peoples are entitled to be patriotic for their own country (or other definition of place; eg Scotland) - it is their right to love, even defend, where they live and their culture. This is different from a belief in the (overall) superiority of one's own people, tribe, etc.

Again in my emphasis of the differences: nationalism is comparative and competitive; patriotism is shared and has no way to define winners, let alone seek them.

Best regards

Raedwald said...

R-W - To a point, Lord Copper...

Yes, Versailles again in 1870 and the proclamation of the German Empire, Garibaldi in Italy, both set the structure of a nationalism - but as AJP Taylor wrote of prewar England, so in prewar Europe; the ordinary bloke had little concept of the State. He knew his village, his Lord and his King - but with little self knowledge of cultural identity.

"kind of patriotism (or nationalism as the lefties like to call it).." there's a huge difference in meaning between those two terms. Love of one's own country doesn't imply hatred of others. Patriotism is good, nationalism is bad.

The 'tribes' as you call them - the Germanic forest dwellers that beat the shit out of the Legions - really didn't exist after the consolidation of the HRE. For around 900 years most Europeans lived under a feudal, then post-feudal, then early modern hierarchy. The area where I live was owned by the Bishop of Bamberg until the 19th C - the people had no notion of a national identity.

It was Versailles in 1919 that set the poison of violent nationalism and made solid those ethnic identities that have so destroyed Europe. made worse after 1945.

jack ketch said...

I like to quip that "I married the last Prussian" because both my parents-in-law are/were full blood Prussians, born in Prussia and so , by the normal rules, my wife, although born in Hessia, is also a Prussian. Father-in-Law still goes misty eyes when he recalls the Königsberg of his youth although I doubt it was really as rosy as he, in the manner of old exiled men everywhere, portrays. I also doubt that his accounts of being on the last train out of Königsberg going west before the Russians marched in, were as much of a laugh as he recounts; of running from the Kettenhunde and Gestapo who would have hanged him and his dad on the spot , of how they rode the links between carriages to avoid the controls and summary executions in temperatures that make a Norfolk winter seem warm. Nor was his column of refugee women and children being strafed by 'Jabos' as much of a wheeze as he likes to maintain. Mother-in-Law , by the time she died,still hadn't really gotten over her baby sister dying in her arms just
as they finally reached the relative safety of the British Zone.

When Mother-in-law died suddenly, unexpectedly, I suddenly became acutely aware that a whole chunk of family history (and some myths) had died with her, so I sat Father-in-Law down and got him talking about the Old Days for hours on end, 'taping' him on my smart phone.

But as Raed says, when I first met the Bestes Frau In The Entire World , I knew nothing about the ethnic cleansing/genocide of the former Eastern Lands. Bought up on 50s war films on Sundays and Battle Action comics as I was. It seemed like half the Germans I met were either refugees or the children of refugees. Apparently in Hessia one in eight is.

Thing is, those expelled, those who fled from the Soviets, were not greeted particularly well by their fellow countrymen in the West (who were having a tough time of it without all those 'foreigners' coming along and wanting food and shelter). That 'rejection' left scars, and explains why modern 'West' Germans are so keen on refugees. Why trains rolling in from the East filled with refugees, where once cattle trucks full of Jews had departed Eastwards so filled West German hearts with pride and got Merkel more popularity ratings.

BTW Raed, I have heard figures of between 1-3 million perished. The German government has always had an interest in the figures being kept 'low' and I believe the Czechs still haven't repealed the "Beneš " laws....

Stephen J said...

Yes Raedwald, I do understand the huge difference between patriotism and nationalism, as Nigel Sedgewick points out. My point there was that lefties are confused and conflate the two isms. As Nigel suggests, the first ism is not related to other folk, it is related to the land, in which one is free to be a group of individuals who share the common bond of being neighbours, but not necessarily flag wavers, or competitors.

The "tribes" as I call them, are still very much in evidence, even the BBC recognises that. I remember a Scottish musician Evelyn Glennie, taking part in a genetic test to see whether she was really a Scot... I cannot remember what her background was, but it transpired that over 70% of the people that live on these islands are Celts. After all those invasions and takeovers, not including the one that is currently under way, our tribe is still extant. As I would imagine is the Gaul, the Saxon, the Hun and yes, even the Visigoth.

jack ketch said...

70% of the people that live on these islands are Celts.-Right Writes

I believe that was previously thought to have been the case but after more recent and more accurate genetic testing, the current theory is that we're all mainly Anglo-Saxon. Infact the entire notion that the AngloSaxon invasion was a 'fire, sword and rape' affair is being discounted and was more akin to the current 'invasion' of these isles.

Dave_G said...

As ever it is the State that creates the atmosphere required to start conflict by their manipulation of matters that don't involve/conern them.

People, on the whole, simply get along - indeed they have to in order to just 'live' but forcing change, however that is efected, will always have consequences and the EU are all about 'forcing' - nothing about the individual.

The EU is the greatest threat to peace that this continent has ever created.

mikebravo said...

The thing that amazes me is where did the 14 (some say 20 million) ethnic Germans disappear to? Why are they not camped in refugee camps on their old borders lobbing German supplied missiles into their previous homes?

Anybody would think that they were just assimilated by their ethnic cousins.

Why did not the UN set up camps for them to live in as perpetual 'victims'?

Mark The Skint Sailor said...

I read somewhere that the EU was envisioned initially as an anti-democratic organisation because that was the only way to get the peoples of Europe together under the European Union. The plan was to introduce more democracy once the EU was established across Europe and it took on more governmental powers.

What seems to have happened is that democracy hasn't been introduced despite the amount of legislative and governmental power the EU has already taken.

It's pretty clear now that the EU power has gone beyond what most people in Europe will tolerate without some form of democratic accountability. The EU parliament is not the democratic solution we require, because it cannot overrule the EU commission's edicts and cannot create legislation itself.

Until the EU starts to embrace democracy, the peoples of the EU will reject it like they would with any dictatorship enforced upon them.

Domo said...

"People, on the whole, simply get along - indeed they have to in order to just 'live'"
Yes and no
Similar people get along in close confines, different people get along at a distance, the greater the difference, the greater the distance.

Stephen J said...

Forgetting, if you will for one minute, the concept of nationalism, from what I can see Jack, the British Isles is still mainly Celtic, the Saxon has reasonably well integrated into the eastern side of Great Britain, but is non existent in Hibernia and the western side of Great Britain.

The exception of course, and to be expected, is London, one of the world's greatest cities which is a total melting pot, that I would like to leave, now that I am no longer of use to it.

My tiredness of London is not due to a tiring of life, it is due entirely to the congested nature of the place and the control that the lefties have managed to exert over every aspect of life here.

jack ketch said...

My tiredness of London is not due to a tiring of life, it is due entirely to the congested nature of the place and the control that the lefties have managed to exert over every aspect of life here.

I fell in love with London on day trips as a kid from Norfolk (Age 11 or so I was the only kid in my Secondary Modern class who had ever been to London!). In 2003, by adulterous chance, I finally got to live there for 6 months and agree, and would have agreed, with your comment ...and that was 15 years previous! I hate to think what London is like now, I try and avoid going there if at all possible.

As to whether the British Isles, aside from the outer reaches of Wales and Scotland, is mainly 'Celtic' I would disagree-and not merely because of the genetic evidence but linguistically and culturally.

Budgie said...

According to Stephen Oppenheimer ("The Origins of the British" 2006) the people who became the population of the British Isles arrived from two principal directions: via the Atlantic from the Spanish ice-age refuge; and via the main rivers of central Europe from the ice-age refuges near the Black Sea. That happened whilst Britain was still connected to the continent, and as the ice sheets retreated. The current interglacial started around 12,000 years ago.

After the sea breakthrough the tide of fresh genetic influxes almost ceased. That left the British Isles with a fairly stable gene pool and something of a genetic divide - in the west from the Spanish refuge and in the east from the Black Sea refuge. These people were not "Celts" - the first Celtic inscriptions in the British isles were only about 2500 years ago.

The tendency of all invaders since 10,000BC was to displace the existing establishment, whilst using the indigenous peoples as slaves, serfs and servants. That tended to preserve the gene pool. Oppenheimer indicates that the gene pool is most near the original (ice age) peoples at about 90% similarity in some remote parts of Wales, and least like the original in the south east of England at about 70%.

jack ketch said...

Stephen Oppenheimer ("The Origins of the British" 2006) Budgie

AnonymousOne said...

Must have been in the early 1970s that I was seeing plenty of car stickers in Kernow:
"Eat meat today, grill a Grockle!"
Even then they clearly didn't like the English.

Whichever stone you lift, there's always some sort of nationalist waiting to crawl out.

Just wait until the Scots don't get everything they want from the English and start invoking the Auld Alliance. At that point I think it fair for the English to start asking for their loans back, with interest.

Stephen J said...

Just read your piece again, and I am right, I did misread it.

My apols.

Nick Drew said...

For extended samples of 'the (forcible) movement of peoples' in C20 Europe, read Dark Continent by Mark Mazower; or The Nation Killers by Robert Conquest

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Readwald + commenters

thank you for all the above - this isn't a topic that "our media" would voluntarily cover even if they were aware of it.

I knew a bit - now I know a bit more.

APL said...

"Europe's ethnic powderkeg"

No, there's not enough instability in Europe or the UK already.

Let's import hundreds of thousands from un civilised populations and let them prey unfettered on the daughters of the indigenous populations.

If we had ethnic problems before, we've simply doubled down by importing even more.

One might even think there was a plan or something.

Elby said...

Arendt. "The Origins of Totalitarianism".

Read it if you want to know where we are heading. We're even seeing the massive rise in anti_Semitism that prefaces such episodes.

Elby said...

Blogger jack ketch said...
70% of the people that live on these islands are Celts.-Right Writes

I believe that was previously thought to have been the case but after more recent and more accurate genetic testing, the current theory is that we're all mainly Anglo-Saxon. Infact the entire notion that the AngloSaxon invasion was a 'fire, sword and rape' affair is being discounted and was more akin to the current 'invasion' of these isles.

Folks in Cheddar share DNA with Neanderthal remains found in the caves. We are indeed an ancient nation, and the "nation of immigrants" cant of the Left is just that, cant.

jack ketch said...

Folks in Cheddar share DNA with Neanderthal

I'm in Norfolk...Cro-magnon would be a step up.

Anonymous said...

The supertanker will be a lot more dynamic with the Brits contributing 'access fees' and not stifling progress.