walter russell mead peter berger lilia shevtsova adam garfinkle andrew a. michta
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Europe 70 Years Ago: Bombs not Bailouts

With today’s news from Europe focusing on crumbling financial markets and one fiscal crisis after another, The Atlantic’s visual retrospective of World War Two reminds us that Europe has survived much worse. September 4th’s photos are from the North African Campaign.

A British Crusader tank passes a burning German tank in the North African desert in 1941 (Wikimedia)

70 years ago Libya was an Italian colony and the English had already been in Egypt for sixty years. Montgomery and Rommel waged war in the desert – and in 1941 defeat loomed large for England at home and abroad.

Europe’s troubles today are of a different kind. There’s bad financial news on every front; just today Germany’s Dax fell more than 5 percent and the Deutsche Bank’s value plummeted 8.6 percent. But 70 years ago it was blitzkrieg not bailout and German special units were fanning out behind their advancing troops in the Soviet Union to begin the systematic murder of Europe’s Jews.

Bad as it is, this is better.

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  • Russell Snow

    But weren’t the bombs of 70 years ago preceded by a financial crisis?

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