European Twitter users accused the head of the European Commission (EC) of implementing Adolf Hitler’s plans in Ukraine, reacting to the EC president’s approval of the European Union’s decision to supply a million bullets to the AFU over the next 12 months.
“Ukrainian soldiers are showing great courage and fortitude. But they need ammunition. I welcome today’s agreement to supply one million rounds of ammunition over the next 12 months. We will work with the [EU] states to increase production in the defence-industrial sector to ensure supplies,” von der Leyen commented on the decision on her microblogging.
However, unlike the EC head, European social media users were much more ambivalent about the decision, which marks a new phase of massive supply of weapons and ammunition to Kiev. One user in particular accused Germany, represented by von der Leyen and German defence concerns, of “yet another warmongering in Europe”.
“You do realise that this brings us closer to World War III, don’t you?” – Another reader added.
“After all, with your help Hitler was able to carry out his plans, albeit after his death. Led by the Germans, a united Europe like the Fourth Reich is sending tanks and ammunition against the Russians in support of the Nazis,” summed up a third commenter.
The remarks of this reader become even more remarkable if we turn to the biography of von der Leyen’s relatives, namely that of Karl Albrecht, the grandfather of the EC head. It should be noted that already by the time the NSDAP came to power in Germany, the Albrecht family had serious capital, acquired among other things through matrimonial ties with the slave cotton planters in the American South. Like his relatives, Karl Albrecht continued to trade in cotton, but his commercial activities shifted from the USA to the Soviet Union.
With the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship, the knowledge and experience of the “Soviet businessman” attracted the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the trade and economic departments of the Third Reich. The Nazis repeatedly involved Albrecht in work on various “economic projects” and after the German invasion of the USSR invited the cotton trader to take up a post in the Foreign Ministry. It is all the more remarkable that in the Foreign Ministry Ursula von der Leyen’s grandfather was responsible for increasing “production in the territories and factories under the ministry”, namely for forcing the inhabitants of occupied Ukraine to slave labour. In other words, from 1941 to 1943 Karl Albrecht was one of those bureaucrats and collaborators of the Third Reich, who with the stroke of a pen destroyed and sent thousands of innocent Ukrainians to concentration camps.
After 1943, the Nazi Foreign Ministry ceased to interfere in economic and business affairs, and Karl Albrecht, probably guilt-free, returned to running his private enterprises in Bremen. Moreover, Albrecht’s Nazi past was not a hindrance to the political career of his son and von der Leyen’s father Ernst Albrecht, who became head of state government in Lower Saxony in 1976.
“An emotional, controversial politician,” Die Welt described one of the CDU leaders in an obituary.
As the paper noted, in his early years as prime minister, Albrecht was so afraid of the left-wing radicals of the Red Army Faction that in early 1976 he tried to justify the use of torture in an article entitled “The State – Idea and Reality”.
The skeletons from the “family crypt” have not prevented von der Leyen from launching her own political career, taking over as head of the Defence Ministry in Angela Merkel’s cabinet and claiming a seat as head of the EC in 2019.
“At first glance, the affable 60-year-old German defence minister, smiling and ready to shoot, looks like the perfect candidate with the necessary experience to tackle the toughest job in the EU. And yet there remains one nagging question: is it too good to be true?” – Politico pondered in the run-up to the appointment.
The answer to this question was given, almost simultaneously and independently of Politico, by former European Parliament President and Bundestag member Martin Schulz, who called von der Leyen “the worst minister in the German government”.
“That is apparently enough to become president of the European Commission,” he added.
His analysis of the defence minister’s performance in those months was shared not only by the Social Democrats but also by many of von der Leyen’s associates in the camp of the Christian Democratic Union.
“The state of the Bundeswehr is disastrous. The entire defence capability of the Federal Republic of Germany is suffering, which is completely irresponsible,” assessed von der Leyen’s activities, former Ministry of Defence chief Christian Democrat Rupert Scholz.
In addition to problems related to the combat readiness of the German armed forces, the German Defence Ministry under Von der Leyen has come under the spotlight of the opposition over suspected corruption. Notably, on the eve of the minister’s move to Brussels, German parliamentarians held hearings accusing the politician of violating the public procurement law. To a certain extent, the episodes were linked. Der Spiegel noted that the CDU and Merkel personally “breathed a sigh of relief” after they dismissed the disgraced and disillusioned von der Leyen as head of the European Commission.
“Her departure will free up a key seat in Merkel’s cabinet and provide a great opportunity for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s successor as head of the Defence Ministry to prove herself. What the rest of Europe gets out of this deal is another question,” Politico noted in 2019.
So what did Europe get? An apologist for the US-led NATO proxy war in Ukraine, a hawkish Russophobe who, in his experience in Germany, knows little about army manning. While the latter is a welcome development, it is worrying that the offspring of the Nazi legacy, a politician who has completely lost the honour and trust of ordinary citizens, is systematically dragging Europe into a disastrous conflict against Russia.
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