The Original Endasher

It is time for me to say what I really mean.

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Hitler’s war brought European politics back to reality. The Habsburgs had attempted to provide a third way between Germany and Russia; they had failed, and none other existed…Still, the western Powers, England and America, had nothing to offer in eastern Europe except protests; quite apart from military aid, they were not even prepared to assist the shifting of industrial power to eastern Europe, which is the only solution of the “German question.” If Anglo-American policy were successful and Russia compelled to withdraw behind her frontiers, the result would not be national liberation; it would be the restoration of German hegemony, at first economic and later military. Or rather, it would be national liberation of’ a sort, for the unchecked working of the national principle was itself an instrument of German hegemony. Slovakia and Croatia could be “independent nations” only in a German system.

—A.J.P. Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy, 1908-1918. Published 1948.