• Michael Balfour
  • Julian Frisby


Most Germans who tried during the war to think about what should be done after it was over faced a dilemma. For them to agree on repudiating National Socialism was as easy as it was later to be for the Western Allies and the Russians. Equally the majority of them repudiated Communism, in which indeed they saw similarities to the Third Reich. But they also agreed that Western democratic forms, as tried in Germany between 1919 and 1933, had not worked either. While some certainly found satisfaction in this conclusion, to others it was a matter of regret that the preconditions of tradition and social integration which had enabled democracy to succeed in the West were lacking in Germany. In 1941, when Helmuth started systematic discussions, parliamentary democracy had vanished from the mainland of Europe (except for Switzerland and Sweden) and the assumption was easily made that its day was done. He and his friends were therefore in search of some other political and social forms which might bring to their country — and to Europe — peace, plenty, justice and individual freedom. Instead of examining whether there were any other Western institutions or methods which might prove more effective than the ones used by the Weimar Republic, they nearly all turned to the well-established idea that there was a distinct German, Central European tradition to be followed which was neither Eastern nor Western and that sticking to the indigenous would yield better results than importing the exotic.


Central Government Political Authority Party System European Economic Community Economy Running 


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  1. 8.
    F. R. Barry, Secular and Supernatural (1969), p. 9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael Balfour and Julian Frisby 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Balfour
    • 1
  • Julian Frisby
  1. 1.University of East AngliaUK

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