GERMANY AND THE EAST- WEST CRISIS by William S. Schlamm

GERMANY AND THE EAST- WEST CRISIS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Austrian born, American by adoption, the journalist Schlamm speaks out of his apprehension over the trends of American policy toward a world drifting towards Communism. He urges- before it is too late- the acceptance on the part of the U.S. of the new Germany as its senior European partner. Without this recognition -- approached first by a formal treaty of peace with the Bonn government as representing all Germany, and next by a bilateral pact of open alliance- Germany will, he feels, sink into stupor,-its moral fiber drained by prosperity, its vigor enervated by defeat, its youth undirected and cynical, its intelligentsia ready to accept neutralism once Adenauer's hand is off the helm. This is what the Soviet Union wants. Not war, not retreat, but apathy. In our pacifistic ""war is unthinkable"" attitude, the general decomposition of the West's military posture, and the growing futility of NATO will write finis. Communism will have won the cold war without a battle. To reverse this process, we must recognize the change in Europe's prejudices, its readiness to accept a revitalized Germany; the issue should be seen not as a defensive but an offensive one. We must be prepared to back up our demands for retreat with a convincing show of force and might, and a psychology of aggression not placation. Germany must be stiffened, for if Germany falls, Europe falls. There must be no recognition of a puppet second Germany. American ""strategy"" today is a continued ""embarrassment of hesitations and fears"". We must never allow ourselves to forget that Communism is a drive-bloodless if possible- to unify the world, a strategic goal rapidly being achieved. Every contributing factor -- from the urge for accepting co-existence on the part of the churches, to the theories of neutralization, or disarmament, and most dangerously of all, of cessation of the armament race and a halt to nuclear developments-all this is discussed. He sees the West's chance of survival contingent only if it employs its strongest technological potential- atomic power; West's undoing is its craving for peace. Perhaps the most revealing part of this book lies not in its fiery crusading for a positive aggressive role, but in the portrait of the new Germany:- the economic miracle- and what is behind it; the personalities; on the fallacies about German ""sweating""; on the basic character changes; on the return of the old money kings; on the remorseful pacifism playing into Soviet hands; on the problem of Adenauer's successor; on the reluctance to come to grips with the problem of Eastern Germany; on the youth of Germany; on the intellectual tradition- and today's disorientation; on the nuclear panic that blinds them. A challenge to America's policy, this is a controversial but persuasive book.

Pub Date: May 29th, 1959
ISBN: 1163698385
Publisher: McKay