Lipgens, Walter: The Triumph of the Supranational Principle in the Resistance

Many Resistance pamphlets demanded, following the logic of their case, decentralization within national states, with more power placed in the hands of self-governing local communities of manageable size. By making people accustomed to a free kind of democracy in Europe (such pamphlets argued, using similar language despite their independent origins), by making the democratic principle of self-government from below a reality, ‘effective guarantees would be set up against the creation of an absolutist, centralizing and bureaucratic power of the national sovereign state’.(70) But, living as they did through a period of absolutist state power, the authors of these pamphlets knew that interstate federation could not in itself overcome the totalitarian claims of existing states, but that a supranational authority must be established to safeguard peace, democratization, and human rights.


63.- L. Curtis (ed.), A German of the Resistance. The last letters of Count Helmuth James von Moltke, London (19461) 19482, p.26

64.- The fundamental importance for most Continental European states of the experience of defeat followed by long occupation by foreign troops is something which will often have to be reverted to, cf. esp. pp. 58 and 160. The fact that Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, and Spain were the only countries not to share this experience is essential for an understanding of post-war history.

65.- For the phase of willingness to collaborate in a European spirit as a consequence of the experience of defeat, which should be carefully distinguished from the collaborationism of the later war years, the best authorities are: P. Kluke and L. de Jong in: Das Dritte Reich und Europa, Munich, 1957, pp. 114-22 and 133-52; also S. Hoffmann, Collaborationism in France during World War II, and J. A. Armstrong, ‘Collaborationism in World War II: the Integral Nationalist Variant in Eastern Europe’, in JMH, vol. 40 (1968), pp. 375-95 and 396-410. On the real intentions of Nazi leadership, see P. Kluke, ‘Nationalsozialistische Europaideologie’, in VJZG, 3 (1955), esp. pp. 244-68; L. Gruchmann, Nationalsozialistische Grossraumordnung (Schriftenreihe der VfZG, No. 4), Stuttgart, 1962, esp. pp. 75-121; A. Hillgruber, Hitlers Strategie, Politih und Kriegsführung, 1940-41, Frankfurt, 1965 (concerning the struggle against the USA for world mastery after Hitler had created his Continental empire). For a general view, the sketch ‘Zusammenbruchs-Erlebnis und Hitlers; Europa’ in Lipgens, Föderationspläne (see n. 67), pp. 6-11.

66.- Föderationspläne, No. 73 (E. Janvier, 20 Nov. 1943). There is plenty of other evidence showing how erroneous is the view put forward by Communists and also by some individuals on the Right that the Resistance movement as a whole was in favour of the nation state. On the contrary, the true Resistance saw as the basic obstacle to a European community ‘the false necessity of totalitarianism a necessity which is purely the invention of exacerbated nationalism ’(ibid., No. 78, P. Viannay Jan. 1944).

67.- The volume edited by W. Lipgens, Europa-Föderationspläne der Widerstandsbewegungen 1940-45 (Schriften des Forschungsinstitutes der deutschen Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, vol. 26) Munich, 1968, 547 pages (quotation from Document No. 81, 1 March 1944), offers comprehensive evidence for what in the following pages can only be conveyed in a severely abridged form. In this work are published, mostly for the first time, a large number of the more elaborate ‘foreign policy’ blueprints of as many Resistance groups as possible in as many countries as possible, with an Introduction for each country and a commentary on each passage. An English edition is in preparation: see p. xvi.
This evidence shows that no national differences of any importance can be detected in the programmes as a whole: for each of the passages cited below, in what a very limited selection is necessarily, many parallel passages could be quoted from any of the others, irrespective of the country of origin. The total volume of such evidence must be taken for granted as far as this part of the Introduction is concerned as the most important foundation of the European unification movement after 1945.

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