“If Barack Obama accomplished one thing in Berlin,” wrote Germany’s Spiegel Online, “it was to make it painfully obvious just how uninspiring German politicians are.”
This sentiment echoed through Germany after the American presidential candidate’s July 24 appearance attracted 200,000 German spectators—a huge crowd that skewed young.
“Make us an Obama” ran the headline of the conservative tabloid Bild the morning of the senator’s appearance. “In his words, we hear a better future. In his aura, we see a glorious, righteous America,” it said. “Welcome, Mr. Hope!”
“I felt that if he is voted into office, the world will change,” one young German told Spiegel. Of this 27-year-old student, Julian Metz, the article said, “He was electrified, infected with a new political bug, and he said that he now intends to become politically involved for the first time in his life. But there is only one problem. ‘Unfortunately,’ said Metz, ‘we have nothing comparable on the horizon in Germany.’”
Yes, where is Germany’s Obama?, Spiegel asked. “Why doesn’t Germany have similarly inspiring politicians?”
That’s a fascinating question. The fact that Germans are asking it is enormously significant.
The last time they were asking this question in earnest was in the dark days following the First World War.
The victors in that great global conflict were bitter at Germany for its repeated and increasingly destructive imperialistic exploits. Determined to make the nation pay, they stripped it of strong rulership, setting up the flimsy democracy of the Weimar Republic.
Winston Churchill later recorded how shortsighted it was to leave such a leadership gap. “Wise policy would have crowned and fortified the Weimar Republic with a constitutional sovereign in the person of an infant grandson of the kaiser, under a council of regency. Instead, a gaping void was opened in the national life of the German people,” Churchill wrote in Memoirs of the Second World War. “The Weimar Republic, with all its liberal trappings and blessings, was regarded as an imposition of the enemy. It could not hold the loyalties or the imagination of the German people.”
What happened next is a matter of history.
“Thereafter mighty forces were adrift, the void was open,” Churchill continued, “and into that void after a pause there strode a maniac of ferocious genius, the repository and expression of the most virulent hatreds that have ever corroded the human breast—Corporal Hitler.”
After Adolf Hitler had roused the nation to follow him into the flames of the Holocaust—and a war that killed an unparalleled 50 million people—the again-defeated nation brooded over what had happened.
Architects of the postwar German republic introduced a political system they hoped would prevent Germany from being lured by such demagoguery in the future. The system emphasized parties rather than individuals, and buried the charisma of politicians under a heavy blanket of bureaucracy.
In the decades that have followed, German politics have been marked by measured, deliberate, unspectacular, even behind-the-scenes and under-the-table steps. Bit by bit, Germany’s leaders have restored their nation’s international standing and increased its economic reach. They have dressed German ambitions in European garments, gradually positioning their nation as the unofficial but unmistakable leader of a Europe striving for “ever greater union.” They have turned Germany into an industrial powerhouse at the heart of the world’s greatest trade entity. And they have carefully dismantled the stigma surrounding the deployment of German armed forces abroad.
The process has been, on the whole, so quiet—so remarkably devoid of the personality and passion that could evoke unpleasant memories—that Germans today, although they stand on the threshold of world power, are still getting impatient with what they perceive as the timidity and mediocrity of their leaders.
“While not unaware of their own history, the generation of 25-year-olds feels far less inhibited by it than its predecessors,” Spiegel wrote. “The younger generation is no longer susceptible to older Germans’ instinctive aversion to passionate politicians. On the contrary, young Germans yearn for someone to inspire them instead of simply telling them what to do” (emphasis mine).
As global conditions become more unstable—as turbulence in the economic system grows more fierce; as Islam’s invasive presence in Europe spreads; as the effectiveness of America’s leadership continues to wane; as the threat to Europe from nations like Iran, Russia and China continues to grow; as destructive weapons proliferate and the dangers of war become more real—the yearning for strong leadership is going to build.
This growing sentiment among Germans is not out of step with a movement within Europe as a whole—certainly within the Eurocracy in Brussels—that is frustrated with how cumbersome the EU’s current government is. Many Europeans are agitating for more robust leadership. The growing popularity of outspoken right-wing political parties testifies of this.
Even the drive behind the Lisbon Treaty—which EU leaders are proving themselves determined to implement no matter who stands in their way—is essentially about carving away bureaucratic bloat and bestowing more potent powers upon the upper-crustiest of Europe’s elite. It seeks to crown, at the very top, a single president, the face of the European Union.
The reason all this stage-setting is so worthy of watching will not be lost on regular Trumpet readers.
It regards a biblical prophecy we have mentioned many times—of the emergence of a charismatic and extraordinarily powerful leader who is destined to seize control of Europe.
Herbert W. Armstrong spoke of this prophecy for decades. In fact, the very first edition of the Plain Truth newsmagazine—which he founded in February 1934 and which grew to enjoy an international circulation of 8.4 million by the 1980s—he headlined this very subject: “Is a World Dictator About to Appear?”
Even after Hitler came and went, and most believed the threat from Germany was buried in history, Mr. Armstrong continued to draw people’s attention to this inerrant biblical pronouncement. “Germany inevitably would emerge as the leader of a united Europe,” he wrote in the November-December 1954 Plain Truth edition—a statement that most people only ridiculed. “All Europe is actually ready—just waiting for the confidence-inspiring leader—an international all-European Hitler, and it is on the way. That man is there somewhere.”
Again in May 1969 he blasted, “The world appears bereft of ‘great men.’ But a world-recognized ‘strong man’ in all probability will now very soon appear. … There will be 10, ruling 10 nations or groups of nations in the area of the once-great Holy Roman Empire. But there will be one super-king over the 10.”
Mr. Armstrong was right. Though conditions weren’t yet ripe for this “strong man” to emerge when Mr. Armstrong was warning about him, today we see the stage being set for his appearance. And he is out there somewhere.
The Trumpet has continued to proclaim the advance news of this coming dictator. Editor in chief Gerald Flurry has stated plainly, “Soon, Germany will be ruled by a man more cunning and deceitful than Adolf Hitler” (Nahum—An End-Time Prophecy for Germany; request a free copy).
This prophecy is one of the most important you could watch for in today’s news. Many Germans are getting impatient. They want a politician who inspires them. Biblical prophecy says that soon they—along with the rest of Europe—will get their wish.
Like their fathers and grandfathers, they too will allow themselves to be seduced by the soaring rhetoric and bold leadership of a passionate politician, a man who promises to lead them to glory. In his words, they will hear a better future. In his aura, they will see a glorious, righteous Germany and Europe.
Welcome, Mr. Hope.
But the Bible is clear: He will only lead them, and the rest of the world, into the flames of another Holocaust. •