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German Historian: Like 1914, But with Nuclear Weapons

July 25, 2014 (EIRNS)—Gerd Krumeich, professor at the Düsseldorf University and honorary chairman of the Military History Working Group (Arbeitskreis Militärgeschichte), drew the parallels between the current strategic situation and the events that led to World War I, in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio this morning. It is like 1914 but with nuclear weapons, he said, although he played down the threat by insisting that world leaders have learned the lesson.

"The Steinmeiers of all countries know exactly what is at stake," Krumeich says.

"And, of course, we have also the threat, much more massive than at that time, that any war can become a nuclear war and an extinction war. They knew this a little bit also at that time, but they had no nuclear bombs, and we do have them. This is the qualitiative difference."

Krumeich says he is confident that national leaders have learned the lessons of 1914 and try "to push a policy where the others can save their face. This was not the case at that time." He either blocks the British factor, or he must play by the rules of the institution he is part of.

Prof. Krumeich identifies a key element in the dynamic for war in 1914, which applies today 1:1 to the European Union: the push to become bigger in order to face global competition:

"In Germany, but in other countries as well at that time, they had the view that a large state must become an Empire. You can survive in the competition among the Bigs, only if you are very big. Therefore a Getting-Bigger-Idea is always connected with a Decline-Idea. As they said: World Power or Decline."