"The nations of Europe should be guided towards the superstate without their people knowing what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which eventually and irreversibly lead to federation."
- Jean Monnet.
During the dark days at the beginning of the Second World War in 1940, when it became obvious that the German blitzkrieg was about to overwhelm the French Army, a little known political economist called Jean Monnet proposed that, in order to keep the Allied war effort going, there should be a political union between the United Kingdom and France in a Franco-British Union that would see France become part of the United Kingdom.
This plan was put to Winston Churchill by the newly appointed French Defence Minister in Paul Reynaud’s government, Charles de Gaulle, an equally little known junior general, at a meeting in London on June 16th 1940. Churchill was sceptical (as was de Gaulle) but eventually agreed and de Gaulle rang Reynaud at 4.30PM that afternoon. He agreed to put this proposition to the French cabinet. This he did, but by this time, many elements in the French government and military High Command had become overwhelmed by defeatism, conditioned by several factors, such as anger at the perceived betrayal by the British for leaving the French Army on the beaches of Dunkirk (in fact 100,000 French servicemen had also been rescued) and, it must be said, an anti-Semitic feeling in certain quarters (Philippe Petain and Pierre Laval were two notable examples). A ‘peace’ faction grew up around Petain that perpetrated the myth that France’s military disaster was ‘the work of the Jews’ and that France had been betrayed and abandoned by the British. Petain asserted that Britain was as good as defeated anyway and the proposed joining of the two countries would therefore be ‘fusion with a corpse’. Another cabinet member said ‘Better be a Nazi province. At least we know what that means’. Consequently, the Cabinet rejected the union plan, France’s military position deteriorated rapidly and Reynaud resigned, to be replaced by Petain, who sought an armistice with the Germans.
The idea of the sovereign states of Europe being joined into one country, a United States of Europe was certainly not new. In the Twentieth Century, this idea had first been seriously proposed in Wilhelmine Germany, during the First World War. Germany was to be the centre of a unified European bloc consisting of the defeated nation states of Europe, who would have their economies controlled from Berlin and run to benefit Germany. Political power was to be centralised in Germany. Military defeat in 1918 forestalled this plan, but the concept remained in the minds of certain intellectuals, military men and economists in Germany.
If Hitler had won the Second World War, he would have imposed a version of a Europe united under the military domination of Germany, with the nation states of Europe being reduced to vassals with mere cypher governments that run them for the benefit of Germany. However, as the war progressed and it became completely clear to the German High Command after the German defeat at the tank Battle of Kursk, which took place between 5th July-23rd August 1943, that they were definitely going to lose the war, they began to make preparations for how Germany could rise as a country, and indeed dominate Europe, in the post war world. To this end, the High Command held a series of meetings in 1944, the most important of which was held at the Hotel Maison in Strasbourg on 10th August. We know about these meetings because a French spy had penetrated them and wrote ‘The Red House Report’ on them for Allied Intelligence.
The Strasbourg meetings were attended by an elite group of German industrialists (including representatives from Volkswagen, Krupp and Messerschmitt), as well as certain elements from the military (Army and Navy) and the Ministry of Armaments. These industrialists were to work with the Nazi Party to rebuild Germany's economy by sending money through Switzerland. They would build up a network of front companies around the globe. It was decided that, unlike the Third Reich, the new Germany would control Europe economically rather than militarily. After Germany was defeated in 1945, powerful ex-Nazi bankers, industrialists and civil servants, reborn as democrats, penetrated every sphere of life in the new post war Germany. Some of the leading figures in the Nazi economy became leading builders of the European Union. There they worked for a new cause: European economic and political integration, the creation of a European Union.
Other members of the Nazi elite were also involved in the planning for the post war German financial European hegemony . Otto Ohlendorf, a highly educated, intelligent lawyer and economist, attached to the Ministry of Economics, was one such person. He became interested in the works of another German economist called Ludwig Erhard. Erhard had written a lengthy treatise on the transition to a post-war economy after Germany's defeat. Erhard considered how German industry could expand its reach across the shattered nation states of the European continent. The answer, he thought, was through supranationalism, or the voluntary surrender of national sovereignty to an external central international body. The stage was set for the next 45 years of Germany’s (aided by their old enemy, now ally, France) attempts to build their new informal empire-the European Union.
Germany wasn’t the only European country in which the concept of European Unity was taken up. After 1945, French political economist, Jean Monnet remembered the concept of European unity that his Franco-British Union proposal of 1940 was similar to. After the liberation of France, Monnet headed a government committee to prepare a comprehensive plan for the reconstruction and modernisation of the French economy. On January 11th 1947, the Monnet Plan was adopted by the French government, with Monnet himself appointed as commissioner-general of the National Planning Board. In May 1950, he and the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, proposed the establishment of a common European market for coal and steel by countries willing to delegate their powers over these industries to an external authority. Six countries, France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, signed the treaty in 1951 that set up the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). From 1952 to 1955 Monnet served as the president of the ECSC’s High Authority. The ECSC inspired the creation of the European Economic Community, or Common Market, in 1957.
Germany and France were to become the main drivers behind the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the precursor to the European Union. Ostensibly, it created a common market for coal and steel which it regulated. The real motivation behind its creation was to set a vital precedent for the steady erosion of national sovereignty, a process that continues to the present day.
Hermann Abs, post-war Germany's most powerful banker, had prospered in the Third Reich. He joined the board of Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, in 1937. Abs was one of the most important figures in Germany's post-war reconstruction. It was largely thanks to him that, just as the Red House Report sets out , a strong post war Germany was built, one which could go on to form the European Union over which she could dominate. Abs was put in charge of allocating Marshall Aid reconstruction funds to German industry. By 1948 he was effectively managing Germany's economic recovery. Crucially, Abs was also a member of the European League for Economic Co-operation, an elite intellectual pressure group set up in 1946. The league was dedicated to the establishment of a common market, the precursor of the European Union. It’s members included key industrialists and financiers and it developed policies that are strikingly familiar today-on monetary integration (I.E. the Euro) and common transport, energy and welfare systems.
In 1957, the six members of the ECSC signed the Treaty of Rome, which set up the European Economic Community. The treaty further liberalised trade and established increasingly powerful supranational institutions including the European Parliament and European Commission.
The Germans and French, abetted by other European countries that had been drawn into the scheme based on spurious economic cooperation arguments, then continued to build their European superstate that they both wanted in the years that followed the Treaty of Rome, as envisaged by both the Nazi elite and their French counterparts like Monnet. The basic plan they followed echoed that of Monnet’s idea, laid out in the quote at the top of this article. Each step of the process of building the European superstate, controlled centrally in Brussels, with the Germans the real power behind the throne, was presented as merely sensible economic cooperation, not an attempt at political union. In this way, the member states were persuaded to cede their national sovereignty to the putative new superstate in a slow, piecemeal fashion. This plan worked well for four decades following the Treaty of Rome in 1957, with small steps towards political integration taking place at certain intervals leading up the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 when the European Economic Community formally became the European Union.
The United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community in 1973. Our membership was confirmed in a referendum two years later. The Prime Minister of the day, Harold Wilson (we had been taken into the EEC by Ted Heath without consulting either the electorate or Parliament in 1973) presented the case for membership as a simple case of joining an economic bloc that held the prospect of offering us many economic benefits. That was all. The EEC was just a trading bloc and nothing else. Except for the fact that the entire case for joining the EEC was based on a massive deception by the Wilson government. He had deliberately completely misled the public of the UK over the real nature of the bloc.
Before the UK had joined, Heath had been presented with a dossier, FCO 30/1048, on the EEC that explicitly laid out the full implications of membership. This included several ominous and very concerning implications of membership, including the admission that the ultimate aim of the bloc was full political union with the resulting total loss of national sovereignty of the member states, creating a federal country called the United States of Europe with all power centralised in Brussels. With this knowledge in mind, Heath deliberately misled and deceived the public and Parliament and publicly stated that the EEC was purely a trading bloc with no implications for our national sovereignty. Wilson also kept up this deception in 1975. Based on this substantial misrepresentation, the public voted to stay in the bloc in the referendum held to confirm our membership in 1975.
The aim of the European project has always been to create a political union, it was never simply about economic cooperation. It’s origins lie in the murky machinations of the geopolitics of the Twentieth Century and a desire by Germany to create European hegemony for itself. It is not the benign mutual benefit organisation that’s no threat to national sovereignty that it, and its proponents, present it as. Theories about its origins in Wilhelmine and Nazi Germany to one side, the actions of the EU over the last 40 years have made it completely clear that political union is the real aim of the bloc-the Euro, the European Army, several centralised policy areas like farming and fishing all bear witness to this. What’s also clear is that this proto-country, the United States of Europe, is a disaster waiting to happen. The Eurozone is falling apart as its economy fails and its member states become increasingly more fractious. Anti-EU feeling is rising in Italy, France, the Czech Republic and other states are showing signs of discontent with the bloc. Anti-EU parties have either won serious power, or are very popular with the public in Italy and France. Everywhere in Europe there is a growing tide of anger and sense of disenfranchisement being directed at the unelected bureaucrats of Brussels. The electorates of Europe have woken up to the real aims of EU and they don’t like it. We here in the UK have also seen through the false promises of the bloc and want out. Considering what we know about the origins and intentions of the EU, it isn’t at all surprising.
© 2018 Stephen Bailey.