When did you last see Europe standing together against a war?
A short history
Much of Europe was destroyed in the aftermath of World War II in ways that are inconceivable now. The conflict cost the lives of around 36.5 million Europeans, 19 million of whom were civilians. Rationing and refugee camps dominated daily life. Child mortality rates were as severe as one in four in some locations. Numerous orphans wandered the charred ruins of previous metropolises. In Hamburg, Germany, alone, half a million people were homeless.
Moreover, Communists supported by the Soviet Union were posing a risk to legitimate governments across Europe. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia ousted the democratically elected government in that nation in February 1948, with covert support from the Soviet Union. The Soviets then encircled Allied-controlled West Berlin in an attempt to strengthen their control on the German capital in reaction to West Germany’s democratic consolidation. The Berlin Airlift’s heroics provided some comfort to future Allies, but deprivation remained a serious threat to freedom and security.
How did they come together?
Nevertheless, by that era, the US had renounced its long-standing policy of diplomatic isolation. Aid from the US-funded Marshall Plan (also known as the European Recovery Program) and others serve as a source to stabilize the market. However, before European countries could communicate and trade with each other, they needed to be assured in their security. Military cooperation, as well as the security it would provide, would have to develop in parallel with economic and political development.
With this in sight, several Western European democracies joined together to implement a number of military cooperation and mutual defense projects, including the establishment of the Western Union in 1948, which ultimately became the Western European Union in 1954. In the end, just a truly transcontinental security pact might deter Soviet invasion while also preventing the return of European militarism and laying the framework for political integration.
Good governance was progressively restored to Western Europe with the help of aid as well as a security umbrella, and the postwar economic miracle began. The first preliminary moves for the European political union were taken. In 1955, the Soviet Union and its Eastern European vassal states formed the Warsaw Pact in retaliation to West Germany’s NATO membership. Europe was involved in a tense standoff, epitomized by the 1961 building of the Berlin Wall.
European states integration after centuries of conflict
After nearly six years of bloodshed in Europe, victory was declared on May 8th, 1945. Between the beginning of the First World War and the end of the Second World War, only thirty years had gone by. Both wars were sparked by conflicts between European states, and they enveloped the entire globe in conflict. The conflict between Germany and its European allies was at the heart of both World Wars. Regardless of the fact that these were some of the world’s most developed countries, they sought to destroy each other. In 26 years, Germany invaded France twice, each time coming to the aid of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, as well as the United Kingdom and Russia. Both of these wars eventually escalated in size.
World War II was far more terrible and deadly than anyone who lived through the First World War could have imagined. Around 60 million soldiers and civilians died in the Second World War. World War II was the first war in which civilians died in larger numbers than troops, and the Holocaust was the first systematic extermination in modern history. Air strikes and heavy artillery also completely destroyed many cities, towns, and villages across Europe. Thousands of refugees and displaced persons were created as a result of the intentional destruction of houses. The war had an influence on almost everyone in Europe.
Following 1945, the slogan “Never again” grew popular, signifying an universal desire to avoid another world war. Upon seeing their tearing families apart and their homes destroyed, the people of Europe were particularly committed to this idea.
Many historians assumed that nationalism in Europe was to be held responsible for the wars. Even during peacetime, Europe’s great powers, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Russia, competed fiercely for economic and military dominance. Tariffs and other trade barriers were established between the majority of European countries. Many observers, including politicians, intellectuals, and members of resistance movements, reached the same conclusion: Europe needed to be integrated. Instead of competition among European countries, there was a need for a system of cooperation.
Current Russia-Ukraine War Scenario
People from all over Europe took to the streets to protest the war in Ukraine. A significant show of solidarity for all Ukrainians. Also, to the nearly three million Ukrainians who, according to estimates, work in other European countries. They are worried about their loved ones and are doing their best to support their people’s resistance from afar. An observation based on the example of Italy.
Italy is by far the most popular destination for Ukrainians in southern Europe. According to the most recent ISTAT census, there are approximately 236,000 of them in Italy, not counting people without work or residence permits. The number of unreported cases is almost certainly much higher (estimates put the figure at around 600,000). Hundreds of thousands more could be added as a result of the expected influx of refugees. The majority of them are women and children who cross the border into Poland (approximately 280,000), and the number of those who continue on to Italy or other EU countries grows with each passing day of the conflict.
Thousands of people gathered in the cities of the boot over the weekend to protest the war in Ukraine — Florence, Bologna, Modena, Bolzano, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Padua, Verona, Milan, and Rome — from north to south. In Italy, it is primarily Ukrainian women who demonstrate, organize relief efforts, educate, and provide psychological and material support.
#war #europe #russia #ukraine
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