Courtesy Reuters

The Chimera of German Neutrality

THE Atlantic Pact Governments are recommending that the West German Federal Republic be admitted to the Western supra-national community and that West German troops be integrated with the mutual defense organization which they wish to bring into being as rapidly as possible. At the same time Western public opinion, particularly in Western Europe, has frequently voiced doubts as to the expediency of this policy.

The thesis that Germany should be neutralized rather than integrated with the West is based on several arguments. To begin with, there is a belief that a neutral Germany would serve as a buffer zone between the two power blocs of opposed social systems, help relieve the tension between them and diminish the danger of war. Secondly, there is anxiety lest Germany, having risen from being a mere object of policy for the occupying Powers to become once again an active element in her own right, might soon develop into a dangerous factor of power within the Western world. As Le Monde puts it, in what is probably an accurate expression of the present French feeling: "That autocratic and militaristic apparatus which was responsible for two devastating wars and the ruin of Europe would rise again, despite the democratic and peace-loving tendencies which are present in Germany for the first time." In other words, when Germany became aware of her recovered strength she would again develop aggressive inclinations and, driven by the desire to regain her lost territories in the East, draw her future coalition partners into a war. Finally, there is the fear that a rearmed Germany might join forces with the Soviets and turn the very guns which had been purchased with American means against the West, repeating the reversal of fronts which the Prussians executed in the winter of 1812-13 when they signed the Tauroggen Convention with the Russians. Those who oppose Germany's rearmament also point out that her military contribution would be of doubtful value to the West on account of the strong

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