The Great-great grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the last ruler of Germany who was forced off the throne in 1918, is to marry on Saturday. Georg Friedrich Ferdinand Prince of Prussia is to wed Sophie Johanna Maria Princess of Isenburg and step out of a church on the grounds of the former royal palace in Potsdam. They are to ride in a carriage drawn by six horses through the city streets as did many of their ancestors for the past one thousand years of Hohenzollern history.

One hundred years ago right now in 1911 no one would have thought anything of it. It would have been business as usual — for three more years. Everything was about to change radically, and no one guessed. Wilhelm was the German ruler who directed Germany’s part in World War I and was forced to surrender, thereby losing his dynasty’s hold on power.

Germany never forgave him. The Treaty of Paris was a disaster as were the reparations that followed. That all led to the rise of Hitler, which is one of the reasons so many Germans resent the monarchy to this day — that and the Prussian military tradition that led to the Wehrmacht in the Second World War. And of course all that led to Potsdam becoming part of East Germany under Communist Russian rule for nearly half a century.

That is one reason why many leftist groups are planning satiric protests about the royal wedding. Germany can’t make peace with Wilhelm II, Hitler, or its twentieth century past.

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The German economy is teetering on the brink of recession. Business confidence has gone down. There’s been an unexpected fall in EU factory orders as the economy loses momentum. There was a slowdown in new orders. Exports have slowed in response to a global slowdown.

The decline is the biggest since just after the collapse of Lehmann Brothes in September of 2008. The economy in Germany is not moving at all. Second quarter growth was only .1% whereas the first quarter growth was 1.3%.

This is why there can be no resolution to the Greek debt crisis right now, nor a resolution to the Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian bond crises either. If Germany’s going to have a crisis all the member countries of the Euro Zone will have to weather it with her. It’s a big enough economy to pull everything else down with it.

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In an attempt to appease countries like Finland that won’t vote for the second Greek bailout unless they have assurance that they will be paid back, there is a plan to have non-cash, Greek government assets handed over to such countries instead.

Merkel has said to members of her Party in Parliament, “It can’t be that one country gets extra collateral.”

It’s been suggested that the Greek government should apportion a piece of government land to be given to each country that loans it money. But the Europeans themselves must realize that this makes no sense in terms of recent history such as World War I and World War II. There is a tradition of distrust on the continent. No foreign country can be allowed to seize land inside another country. That would be a reason for declaring war, especially in a place like Greece which is a powder keg ready to go off.

I can only conclude that such apportionment of land is only symbolic. No one would dare take it literally. In other words, Finland, etc. could not, would not really claim territory in Greece.

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Germany is suffering from slower growth during the second quarter of 2011. With Germany’s slow growth, the prospects of solving the bond crisis in Europe are dimming. The euro is essentially the old D-mark. Everyone who adopted it was privileged to adopt it. But Germans refuse to turn it into a currency with standards looser than the ones they would have if it were just the currency of Germany.

For one thing. The German budget deficit is supposed to shrink to 1.5% of its GDP. It’s tiny compared to deficits in Japan, the United States, and the rest of Europe.

Germans had to endure the hyper-inflation of the early 1920’s during the Weimar Republic. This led to the rise of Hitler and National Socialism. They will never forget that you have to balance your budget.

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Angela Merkel doesn’t want to back the creation of Euro Bonds. Nor does she want to contribute more to the EU bailout fund. Naturally Belgium, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain want Germany to contribute more. Germany wants to spread German financial discipline to the rest of Europe, especially the southern sector — or else. She would insist that every country limit their budget deficits to 3% of GDP and limit their debt load to 60% of GDP. If they don’t they won’t get transfer payments from the cohesion funds. The rest of the countries say this is nonsense. They can’t do without cohesion funds.

Germany doesn’t care if its objections shrink the Euro Zone in size down to only a few like-thinking members such as: Finland, the Netherlands, and Austria. Maybe that would be more truly German.

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Teaching a politician in Greece that you don’t bribe your way out of a fix is like trying to teach a fish to walk. You might as well not waste your time. When Greece heard that Finland was going to block the second Greek bailout, it went to work with a bribe. They would offer Finland “collateral” in return for their vote.

When other countries in the EU heard of this they reacted. Austria says if one country gets collateral, why not everybody?

That’s what Merkel has to work with. What used to be a Greek bailout, is now becoming a free-for-all. The 110 billion bailout deal worked out last month, the second Greek bailout, may come to naught if countries insist on acting like this.

Germany wants everything to be above board. But it’s dealing with a Europe that doesn’t operate by northern European, or German, standards. And if everybody doesn’t think alike they can’t have one currency.

The euro may be the casualty.

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One of the main reasons Hitler appealed to Germans was because of his emphasis on law and order. After World War I there were attempted street revolutions, not the least being Hitler’s own failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. In addition there was lots of violence in the streets. When Hitler came to power, his policemen were everywhere.

Now we have car torchings in Berlin, the capital city. They seem to be oriented most in the former East Berlin, but they’re moving West. This is the sort of thing to which Hitler would have been very sensitive with his talk of “hordes from the East” and “defeat the Communists”.

What Hitler wouldn’t have understood is this sort of activity, arson, looting, rioting, spreading from Great Britain. In his day Britain was like America is now. They were the top dog. They should know better. And what he really, really wouldn’t have understood is the origin of these riots in Greece and Spain and spreading via the Internet and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. He wouldn’t have liked the new “connectedness” of the European Union — unless he ruled it and set down the values. He valued Germany First and Germany Awake, not Germany as a small part of an interconnected whole without standards laid down from above. He hated democracy and thought it was the reason for Germany’s decline. And he would have used these riots nowadays as fodder for his National Socialism. He would have said, “I told you so.”

Germany, surely you don’t want the ghost of Hitler to snicker at you, do you?

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Hitler made an annual pilgrimage to Bayreuth for the Wagner Festival every year through 1940 when he attended a performance of Gotterdammernug Tuesday, July 23 at 3:00PM. He sat alone in his box for the next four hours.

He didn’t come back in 1941, and after that he never returned again. He made a big deal about Wagner, his operas, and held him up as a model of German culture. In particular, his favorite opera was Der Meistersinger of Nuremberg.

One of Wagner’s descendants is still reacting against Hitler — Miss Wagner and current opera goers, who must reserve tickets years in advance. She responsible for current performances at Bayreauth in the Festspielhaus, designed for perfect performances of Wager’s ten mature operas.

Apparently in a recent performance of Der Meistersinger, when the would-be singer presents himself to the master he gives him a Cubist painting. During the riot, the rioters toss paint from Andy Warhol soup cans. During the entrance of the guilds for the final contest, they carry icons that get swept into the trash. Hans Sachs orders up 2 naked statues of Goethe and Schiller done in the style of Arno Breker, the Nazis’ favorite sculptor, warning opera goers about the “fruits of unthinking reverence”.

This might sound rather strange. But it might show the tortures Germans are enduring trying to figure out what significance Hitler had for them. Perhaps he’s supposed to be one of the rats in the Lohengrin chorus.

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Germany and France floated more extreme measures as a way to save the Euro Zone’s common currency, the euro. Sarkozy and Merkel suggested that they might cut off the “region’s wayward spenders” from EU transfer funds or cohesion funds. They also said they might get tougher about enforcing current rules. Right now the EU requires countries to keep public deficits below 3% of gross domestic product and debt below 60% of GDP. But even France until recently had resisted making sanctions automatic.

Many have suggested that the only way to save the euros to make all member states responsible for all other member nations’ debts and to prop up the bailout fund. But as long as Germany resists, they might not have a union much longer.

Some say that the EU was set up by England and America as a way to solve the “German question”. It is a kind of Lebensraum for German economics. Maybe Germany has a different vision of its future.

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The Wall Street Journal can tolerate a perpetual Greek debt crisis or one confined to the pigs: Ireland, Greece, Portugal, and Spain, even though Spain is the fourth biggest economy in Europe. It got a little concerned when Italy, the third biggest economy started to have trouble selling its bonds. Then the suspcion centered on France. This was the cause for scrutiny. But when Germany’s growth started slowing down in the latest report, the Wall Street Journal in the article, Fresh Plan For Europe Crisis, pulled out all the stops.

It’s not that Germany is having trouble selling its bunds. That would be unthinkable. But in a report just released, its economic growth in the second quarter stalled after growing at an incredible pace in the first quarter, 5.5%. It’ now only .5% — practically dead still. Everyone in the Euro Zone was counting on Germany’s money to fund all those bailout loans. Now Germany won’t be able to afford it.

This lack of growth has occurred at just the wrong moment when all the other economies of the Euro Zone need restructuring and bailouts. The Journal goes so far as to predict, “that ahs pushed the continent’s common currency to the brink of collapse.”

Remember, the euro is the D-mark, and the old D-mark is the euro.

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