On May 10th the federal state parliament of Bavaria examined a legislative initiative for the inclusion in the school curriculum of the literary work ‘Mein Kampf’ by Adolf Hitler. In January, ‘Mein Kampf’ was republished in Germany with critical comments on Hitler’s ideas. The book became a bestseller and it was decided in Bavaria that it was possible to introduce schoolchildren to that version. It is believed that studying the work will allow the younger generation to develop a resistance to Nazi views. Moscow expressed a negative reaction to this idea.
Speaking about Russian-German relations, the associate professor of international security of the World Politics department at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Aleksey Fenenko, noted that ‘the German issue’ is extremely interesting. It wasn’t resolved in 1990 after the signing of the Moscow Treaty on the Final Settlement regarding Germany.
"The Moscow Treaty in 1990 – the 2 + 4 – was not a full peace treaty with Germany, and it had legal peace treaty status neither then, nor now. In addition, the contract preserved four limitations on the sovereignty of Germany, as they were introduced by the Bonn agreement in 1952 and they existed formally before the signing of the peace agreement,’’ the expert said.
The first of them was a ban on the arrangement of referendums on military-political issues. "Germany is still not allowed to hold referendums, for example, on the withdrawal of US bases from its territory, as they do not have this right. Germans are forbidden from organizing referendums, for example, on creating a strategic aircraft. They have no such right…’’ Fenenko said.
The second point is the restrictions on the Bundeswehr, which were very clearly determined and confirmed by the unilateral commitments of Germany.
The third point is that Germany is still forbidden from taking foreign policy decisions without consulting with the victorious powers. "When Angela Merkel criticized Russia a year ago, on May 9th, Putin could raise the question of whether it is a violation of the Moscow agreement. Germany has no right to criticize the victorious powers, but we decided not to do this,’’ the expert claims.
The fourth point is that Germany is forbidden from demanding the withdrawal of foreign troops from its territory prior to the signing of a peace treaty. "The Soviet Union withdrew its troops as an act of goodwill. It was our personal goodwill. Up to 1998 Germany had no right to demand information on the movements of the Allied troops on its territory. In March 1998 NATO signed a memorandum that the United States, Britain and France will notify the government of Germany on the movement of its troops on the territory of Germany," Fenenko said.
According to him, the sovereignty restrictions on Germany remain in force to this day, and the US uses them. The German establishment has always had two lines of relations in foreign policy. The first was represented by Kohl and Schröder, who believed that Germany should resume being a world power with the help of dialogue with Russia. The second is represented by Merkel, who believes that the priority of Germany is the development of Eastern European countries: Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States. "This naturally involves Germany in a conflict with Russia. The Americans have realized that Merkel is a great gift for them in this situation and have decided to cooperate with her. In January 2014 the Americans made a number of statements that in future Germany can resume being a major political and military force. As I understand it, we hope that Germany's rebirth as a great power will happen not on an anti-American, but on a European basis that balances US influence. But the Americans are gradually reviving Germany as the main force restraining Russia in Eastern Europe. The Americans would like to add Germany to the group of anti-Russian states like Poland, the Baltic States and Ukraine. Germany, as the natural leader of this group, would be responsible for functions on the deterrence of Russia. This was the essence of US policy regarding Germany in 2013-2014,’’ Fenenko said.
However, in his opinion, such a policy works against Germany itself: "It turns out that a hostile Russia is in the East and the Franco-British treaty of alliance. Moreover, Germany is not involved in it and it removed Germany from security issues in the European Union. It turns out that Germany can cooperate only with Eastern Europe and play the role of a junior partner of the United States, where it was pulled to by the Obama administration."