Lessons from two world wars for COVID19 crisis

To react to huge shocks, you need to think big and take advantage of the lessons learned in the past.

After the First World War, Germany was punished, against Keynes's opinion. And this determined a spiral that from Weimar led to Nazism.

Resistance to Nazism had Churchill’s United Kingdom as a beacon. The United States initially remained on the fence. Then they greatly helped the cause, first from an economic and financial point of view, then taking the de facto leadership of the Allied war effort.

After the war, while London, reduced to the extreme, was confident of a cancellation of the war debts, dull bureaucrats of the US Administration asked for their return soon.

The same people, perhaps, who in 1944 set Germany's "ruralization" as the first post-war objective, to raze the industrial base that had fomented war in two world wars.

Fortunately, after a while, foresight prevailed in Washington and in Europe: the Marshall Plan in 1947 and the Schuman Declaration in 1950.

Security and well-being in Europe were guaranteed by those choices and by other related ones.

What about after Covid 19?

After the unfortunate statements of Lagarde and Van der Leyen and the hanseatic myopia, shall we expect any openings? 

Opening which may lay the foundations for a shared European response, up to the challenges that arise?

I hope - and I believe - yes.


About the author: 

Giovanni Brauzzi is an Italian diplomat (now retired) with a long and distringuished career in Italian foreign service including as Ambassador to Jordan 





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