September 30, 1938. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signs a secret accord with Germany to allow them control over parts of Czechoslovakia and appease Hitler while most of Britain, including Winston Churchill, oppose this.
September 1, 1939. Hitler invades Poland after the East European country mobilizes its military two days prior. But contrary to the simple belief that ‘poor and weak’ little Poland was invaded without cause by German forces, Poland and Germany had been deadly adversaries for centuries, with Polish teachings to their society espousing a hatred of Germans.
February 21, 2016. A polish magazine publishes a satirical cover with Angela Merkel, Jean Claude-Juncker, and other Eurocrats depicted as Nazis who “want to supervise Poland again.”
September 1939. France bans Communist Party prior to World War II.
February 21, 2016. French President Francois Hollande declares that he will sanction any EU nation that has a right-wing government come to power, and suspend them from the coalition.
Do not these events of today sound eerily familiar to those nearly 75 years ago in Europe?
And yet at the core of this is an ongoing recession similar to that of the 1920’s and 30’s in Europe that led to massive upheavals, desires for isolationism, change in political power, and the preludes to global war.
Unlike the U.S., which welcomed a melting pot of people’s and cultures, Europe will always be nationalist at its core. And while the experiment known as the European Union has been relatively successful in forging a coalition of differing economies, people’s, and national goals, in the end, like the myriad of treaties and promises made at Versailles, and by the weak League of Nations, when environments get difficult, everyone will fall back to protect their own national interests, just as we are seeing right now on the European continent.