An email from a Dutch-speaking reader
"I just acquired - for my collection of war memorabilia - a Nazi publication from around 1942: "What is the European worker struggling for?" (Waarvoor strijdt de Europeesche Arbeider?"). Apparently this was for distribution in Belgium and Holland. Most pages are taken up with pictures of the wonderful benefits of the German welfare state - free medical care, free day care, free summer camps - to show the contrast with the brutish Soviet state in the East, and the heartless Anglo-Saxon capitalist system in the West. The reason why the Soviets would like to conquer Europe is obvious enough, the writer says: to acquire the European standard of living (throughout the text, Germany is barely mentioned but can safely be substituted for "Europe"):
"The question of what the English and the American worker is striving and fighting for is also asked often, mostly in the enemy camp. In the meantime, what he MUST fight and work for has become clear: in order to, by means of conquering Europe and its advanced industry, eliminate a competitor and conquer a new market for the American gigantic (industrial) production. Europe must buy ..."
A clear echo of what we are told about the Halliburton factor in Iraq. This recycled Marxism is followed by a great deal of economic gibberish about how bad it is to buy things from other parts of the world, about the European worker's cherished social security and employment benefits, and, toward the end:
"One more thing the European worker knows: if our continent can maintain itself, i.e. if the East can be controlled and the West can be pushed back inside its own borders, then Europe will be able to continue projecting its ancient, illuminating power, and important parts of neighboring peoples will join our continent and elevate themselves to our level of culture."
Jacques Chirac, eat your heart out: Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose."