World War II carnage propelled Germany, France to tread reconciliation path

KARACHI: “The Franco German reconciliation, cooperation and peaceful coexistence are reminiscent of deeply felt need for decent human survival and growth.

European Union in its present form happens to be a landmark achievement in known human history”. These views were expressed by German Consul General, Dr Tilo Klinner in a seminar on, “Learning Lessons from FrancoGerman Peace Process” organised by the Department of International Relations, University of Karachi.

He further said that German nation is, comparatively speaking, of recent origin. Germany was historically a lose group of sovereign states. He compared the turmoil of the then European world to the current disturbances in different parts of the world. He believed that French revolution was of great importance; it eventually led to partial occupation of Germany by the French. In 1871, Germany as a new and sovereign state appeared on the map of the world. After an initial period of empire building, Germany found itself involved in a global war, which had a colossal loss of human lives in both Germany and France.

In Germany, 2.5 million people were killed and 4.3 million people were injured, whereas in France there was a loss of 1.7 million lives and 4.3 million were injured. French Consul General, Mr Christian Ramage said that the first FrancoGerman war took place in 1870 in which France lost two provinces to Germany.

Until First World War in France there was a great urge to avenge for the lost provinces. After WWI Alsace and
Lorraine were regained by the French. The carnage of World War II propelled both Germany and France to tread the path of reconciliation. The first attempt was to create European Coal and Steel Community ESCS in 1951. The Second major development was treaty of Rome, 1957.

The third great improvement in relations was Elysee Treaty in 1963. Dr Ramage said that there are two monumental achievements of EU: The Schengen and The Euro Zone.

Dr Christian Ramage said that in 1940s peace between the two countries was unthinkable and now the war between the two countries in unthinkable. Prof Dr Moonis Ahmar, Department of International Relations, said that it is an effort to learn from the experiences of FrancoGerman history of reconciliation, economic cooperation and integration. He said that regional cooperation depends largely on three essential elements: political will, vision and the role of the youth.

Prof Dr Shaista Tabassum, Chairperson, Department of International Relations, said in her inaugural address that the Department of International Relations happens to be a highly dynamic place of intellectual learning and growth.

It has an ever increasing number of students who want to specialize in the field of international relations. She welcomed the distinguished guests for their participation in the seminar. The presentations by the speakers were followed by a lively session of question and answer.

Muhammad Salman, cooperative lecturer at the department, presented the vote of thanks.