Catalonia, The Roman Empire, and a Novel:
I am glad to hear that the effort is doomed to fail. I am glad that the US, EU, UK, France, and Germany all agree that they will not recognize a separate Catalonia. As you know, I have no sympathy for break away provinces, regions of countries, etc.
History shows that is not the way to go. Big and united means prosperous. Think of the Roman Empire. Small and divided means poor. Think of the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages. One of the primary reasons Germany is the head of Europe is that there are no separtist movements afoot. Germany even held together during two world wars which it lost.
Spain’s constitution does say that you are not allowed to secede from Spain. So the Prime Minister of Spain is only upholding the constitutional law when he dissolves the government of Catalonia and calls for new elections. He is not acting like a dictator. He is acting in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln.
The hero of my historical thriller, Caesar’s Lost Legions, Caelius Antonius, has embarked on a mission to map the rest of Greater Germania on an expedition to the Elbe River near modern day Hamburg, Germany. The Romans under the Emperor Augustus want to make this region part of the province of Germania and add it to the greater Roman Empire.
But traitors such as Arminius have other ideas. Arminius has learned Roman ways while being tutored in Rome. He turns them against the Romans and massacres three legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. It turns out to be one of the most decisive battles in all of history.
The Romans get their revenge five years later under Germanicus. But the Roman Empire is forever stopped from adding the territory around the River Elbe to Germania, centered around the Rhine River and Trier. Just think of how different history could have been if Arminius had not existed! The Roman Empire could have been bigger and better. And the “German question” might have been forever solved.
Leave a reply
Brexit Reminiscent of WW2:
Germany and England are always quarreling with each other. The Brexit negotiations are only the latest round. The British should sock it to the Germans.
Maybe the British government reflects the populace — extremely divided. Maybe it wouldn’t be possible to get any kind of unified government right now no matter what party is in control.
Why would May go to Florence to make a speech about Brexit? Why not make it in London at No 10 Downing Street and have it broadcast? US Presidents don’t run off to foreign countries to make speeches about the US. They make speeches about the US relationship with a foreign country when visiting that country such as Trump’s speech in Poland this past summer. Otherwise they make speeches either in the Oval Office or in some special location in the US chosen for that purpose. Before 100 years ago when Wilson attended the Paris Peace Conference it used to be considered improper for US Presidents to leave the country at all during their term of office. Even now US Presidents don’t leave the country for a vacation.
What do you mean that Britain can’t “keep the lights on” or “the food shelves stocked” without remaining in the EU. That is just what the anti-Brexit faction wants you to believe. Somehow Britain managed to keep the lights on and the food shelves stocked during WW2 even when they were fighting the Continent.
This is what May should do: Just say that we are leaving the EU as of March, 2019. Either you accede to our demands that Britain doesn’t have to pay any extra money to the EU and doesn’t have to have the European Court of Human Rights supervising anything or on that day the North Sea Trade with Germany will cease. She should NOT back off from that statement and when the time comes let Merkel do all the fancy dancing around to keep the North Sea Trade with England going. Merkel would come up with something, believe me, even if only to say that it will continue another five years in its present state while “we” continue to work things out. In other words May should not concede anything yet, nothing at all.
Leave a reply
EU Should Reinstitute Border Checks:
One of the dangers is that the EU thinks that it is modeling itself on America. It calls itself the United States of Europe. It is implementing new rules and laws that are dangerously inappropriate. My aunt told me that she was on a train coming from Italy to Munich, Germany that went through the Alps. The train stopped in Innsbruck. I think this was in the very early 1970’s. Everybody had to get off the train in the station. Not only did the “putsfraus” or cleaning ladies go aboard to clean everything, the authorities insisted on looking at everybody’s documentation after crossing a border.
If the authorities had checked papers when the rioters entered Hamburg by train, they might have been stopped before they could riot and loot. Instead they marched freely through the train station where we parked 5 years ago looking for the Best Western St. Raphael Hotel nearby. They were carrying a huge sign in front of them saying something like the “war starts here”. It couldn’t have been more obvious what was going on. They were announcing themselves. They should have been arrested before they set any cars afire or looted any shops and told the shop owners that the needed to pay them protection money.
The EU should reinstitute border checks. That is what I am saying.
Hamburg is the setting for several Edward Ware Thrillers at War novels including Map Plot, Wall Street Swastika, and the Cherusci Plot. Germany itself in one of the main settings and themes of the whole series from Cherusci Plot on to Captive at the Berghof, Unlocking Trinity, and other World War 2 and World War 1 novels such as Dark Horse, Salisbury Plot, Map Plot, and Key to Lawrence Special Edition.
The photo published with this blog is one that the authors took in Hamburg at the train station in 2012. It is the place that the protestors used as a port of entry.
Leave a reply
Merkel Fiddles While Hamburg Burns:
Here is one of my photos of the concert hall in Hafen City in Hamburg in the Harbor Area on the Elbe River surrounded by photos of rioters. This is where Trump and Melania Trump attended Merkel’s concert for the G-20 meeting on July 7. We sailed up and down the river four times in 2012 and 2015 and really liked the place. Hamburg looked very modern with all sorts of very neatly kept buildings and lots of greenery lining the streets. The Elbe River was well populated with swimming beaches and beach hotels and houses. There was also a Lion King hall where they kept on playing Disney’s Lion King in perpetuum. We passed the old Cora Verlag Building that used to house the editor I dealt with when publishing 48 books in the Mystery and Mystery Thriller Lines. We even found a fascinating bookstore that specialized in ships and the North Sea and bought a Hamburg calendar and lots of postcards. I wish I could have purchased one of his North Sea calendars, but alas they were too big to fit in my suitcase! We rented a car here twice and returned here twice to board the Queen Mary 2 in Hafen City. The place seemed prosperous and upbeat.
Now we hear how the ambience of the city of Hamburg has been shattered by violent riots in the streets. Policemen are battling with non capitalists. Ever since we left Europe two years ago there have been nothing but terrorist attacks and now this. Melania Trump was apparently trapped in her hotel room by the extreme violence. So was the Australian Prime Minister. You would think that the Germans of all people would be better at keeping order in the streets. It is really shocking and makes me fear that Europe isn’t safe anymore. Tanks in the streets of Hamburg? The army called in? Military helicopters hovering above the conference site? It’s really too much.
I think part of the problem must be Merkel’s immigration policy and all these Middle Easterners wandering around Europe committing terrorist acts. But these rioters run deeper. They remind me of the groups that Hitler was fighting 100 years ago in the streets of Munich, the German communists. I looked up photos of Hamburg on July 7, 2017, and they remind me of World War 1 and World War 2. Absolutely shocking! It rattles me to the core just to look at people tearing about the city we were driving through only two years ago, driving across the bridge out of town and returning to a hotel on the outskirts, Zur Linda, the water wheel restaurant on the edge of town, the Hors Muhle, and then returning to the harbor area. And all Merkel can do is play classical music? Somehow her reaction seems disconnected and ominous like the legendary image of the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
Hamburg plays a role in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War. Hamburg is where Dora and Edward end up at the end of the novel Map Plot before returning to Britain together. It is the farthest expansion point of the Roman Empire into Germany. The Romans were trying to reach the Elbe River in the Cherusci Plot when the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest stopped them. Among them was one of Edward’s ancestors.
Leave a reply
Prediction For The Future: History Repeats Itself:
My Prediction for the future: The EU was the immediate result of the fallout from World War 1 and World War 2, the main political and military events of the twentieth century. The European countries had had enough by the 1950’s and wanted time to get their economies going again. But as the years went by, the various European countries became more prosperous. The people in Europe start to forget the immediate past and the lessons of the world wars. Nationalism starts to raise its ugly head again, at least ugly if you don’t like this sort of thing and remember what it led to in the past.
Nationalism in its modern sense had its origins in Europe. I think it was the Sun King, Louis XIV, who first brought France together as a nation state. England under the Tudors wasn’t far behind. For instance, Henry VIII breaking with the Church in Rome was exercising his nationalist muscles. Even countries like Germany and Italy fell in line during the 19th century with unification movements.
Two years ago I would have said the EU would last forever. My prediction has since changed with all this Middle Eastern terrorism in Europe and the Syrian refugees pouring in. I think this is helping to ignite nationalist movements all over Europe. Heck, Martin Luther was able to get the German states to function together to eject the Turk, Suleiman, who came knocking on the gates of Vienna. And to do this he had to interrupt principalities at war with each other in the build up to the Thirty Years War. Yes, Europe is remembering its old identities again.
Britain, the most prosperous European country after WW2, has found its old identity first. It wants to eject immigrants and build walls, I guess. Soon other states may follow in the general breakup of the EU. Either that or the solid core of the EU that might remain will be all Germanic. Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland, and the Scandinavian countries are all Germanic in origin. On Roman maps you find reference to a tribe in Greater Gaul called the Belgii, for instance. Parts of France were Gauls. The line at the Rhine River was imposed by the Varusschlacht in 9AD, but still these were all the same sort of tribes. In the future if this part of the EU survives it may be only to assert a new kind of German nationalism. You might find that this sounds like a nightmare for the future. But the more things change, the more they remain the same.
The Varusschlacht is the subject of an upcoming Edward Ware Thrillers at War novel entitled the Cherusci Plot.
Leave a reply
The history of Europe even nowadays has been molded by that long ago Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9AD. As you say the Germans are in charge of the EU and especially its currency. The euro is the devalued mark. Within memory of the failed Nazi empire, Germany is at it again trying to have an empire. But it does not know how. Why? That goes back to 9AD. They kicked the Romans out too soon. True the oldest town in Germany is Trier along the Moselle River. Trier was founded by the Romans. But the power centers and larger cities are to the East in Hamburg, Berlin, and Munich. I bet it would be harder to find Roman coins there, the ones that you can find so easily in Britain. Britain is more the true heir of Rome because it never kicked out the Caesars. But Germany does not have this background. Too bad. You can hear the ghost of Augustus laughing in the distance at the modern EU remembering his lost legions from 9AD.
This view will be reflected in the upcoming Cheops Books LLC publications the Cherusci Plot and Vesuvius Plot, both concerning this pivotal battle.
Leave a reply