As I sat in a splendid and rather Rococo coffee house in old Weimar – which cannot have seen better days any time lately – I was struck by the range of turmoil that this city has seen over the last 80 years. Someone born in 1937 and who'd never left the district would have seen National Socialist pomp and brutality, and then been rescued by American 80th Infantry and 6th Armoured Divisions, only to be swiftly handed over the the Soviets as a result of the Yalta agreement. Our 80-year old would likely have missed the compulsory viewing of the Buchenwald concentration camp insisted on by the Americans, and also any personal Russian reprisals for her assumed association with Nazism. She'd then have had 40 years in the DDR to ponder her good fortune. In 1989 she got her freedom from tyranny, only to be quickly swallowed whole by the EU and its political grandstanding and ambitions.
All the regimes and ideologies she has been subjected to over 80 years have been offering variants of what Kipling termed, the Fuller Life. Maybe the EU, the first to offer a blend of both the Gods of the copybook headings and the Gods of the marketplace (mediated by the self-serving demigods of the Commission) will serve our 80-year old well in her remaining days.
Maybe ... . Tomorrow there will be reflections of a trip to the German Army's Museum of Military History, with the aid of a bit of Shelley.