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Information bulletin
(September 1950)

Siebens, Allen C.
Europa union plebiscites,   pp. [15]-18 PDF (2.4 MB)

Page 17

Comimunist roughneck attempts to disrupt meetings and
other attempts by them to hold their own meetings were
notably unsuccessful.
The people's answer to the Communists was that 31,806
out of 34,239 who voted placed their "X" in the "Ja"
circle. Many organizations which helped prepare for the
plebiscite are agreed that the Communists unwittingly
were their best propaganda agents. The story is told of
an elderly lady who, confined to her home some two
miles from the polling place, became so angry when she
heard of Communist tactics that she successfully pleaded
for a car to be sent for her in order that she might go
to contribute her "Ja."
l spicuous communities of Breisach and Castrop-Rauxel
temporarily were catapulted to the headlines in almost
all West German newspapers after the plebiscites.
Another, and final, plebiscite is scheduled for either
Frankfurt or Munich, and a number of other cities in
West Germany now have asked for EUROPA UNION plebis-
cites. What is the movement all about and who is behind
it in Germany?
EUROPA UNION is the German branch of the Union
Europeene des Federalistes (UEF). This is presently among
the strongest of several federalist movements in Europe,
all of which are affiliated with the European Movement,
headed by Winston Churchill of Great Britain, Paul Henri
Spaak of Belgium, Alcide de Gasperi of Italy and, until his
recent death, Leon Blum of France.
The groundwork for plebiscites had been done at Paris
in October 1949, when a congress of the Union Europeene
decided that progress toward the federalization of Europe
was moving too slowly, particularly in view of the fact
that the powerful stimulus given to European co-opera-
lion throughthe Marshall Plan will end in 1952. In the light
of this decision it was resolved that, in order forcibly to
bring to the attention of the governments of western
Europe the desire of their peoples to unite, plebiscites
would be held by the 17 national affiliates of the Union
Europeene. The first affiliate to implement this resolution
was the German EUROPA UNION.
Three months ago, before the plebiscites, EUROPA
UNION counted approximately 25,000 paying members in
Germany. It is financed partly by the dues of these mem-
bers, amounting to six Deutsche marks per year, but more
largely from private donations and in certain states from
established political parties. However, EUROPA UNION
stresses its supra-political character, and accepts gifts
from political parties only with a "no strings attached"
EUROPA UNION counts among its members a substantial
number of prominent German political figures and
through them it can bring influence to bear on the Ger-
man parliment and the German delegation to the Coun-
cil of Europe. Both Heinrich von Brentano, CDU leader
In the Bundestag (federal parliament) and a delegate to the
Council of Europe, and Carlo Schmid, SPD leader in the
B3undestag and a delegate to the Council of Europe, are
members of EUROPA UNION.
Dr. Eugen Kogon, founder and president in Germany of the
Europa-Union, was among speakers who addressed the
eligible voters of Breisach and Castrop-Rauxel on the eve
of the test plebiscites. A noted author and editor, Dr. Kogon
is publisher of the "Frankfurter Hefte," political and cul-
tural monthly. He was an inmate of Buchenwald concen-
tration camp for all of seven years, from 1938 to 1945.
ON JULY 26, the Bundestag passed a resolution re-
questing the conclusion of a European federative
pact calling for the formation of a supra-national Euro-
pean body with legislative, executive and% judiciary
powers. This resolution had been prepared by EUROPA
UNION, submitted to the Bundestag by deputies belonging
to EUROPA UNION, and was adopted exactly as EUROPA
UNION had framed it.
The president of EUROPA UNION is 47-year-old Dr. Eugen
Kogon. Dr. Kogon is a distinguished German public figure
who spent the years 1938 to 1945 in the Buchenwald con-
centration camp. Since liberation in 1945 he has written
a well-known book, "The SS State," and was co-founder
of the publishing house Frankfurter Hefte, which publish-
ed books and brochures on political topics and the
magazine Frankfurter Hefte, a scholarly monthly on
questions of politics and culture.
The dynamo of EUROPA UNION is Otto Blessing, 40, its
executive secretary. A patent attorney by training, he
gives the impression of being a hard-headed tactician.
According to him, Communist opposition at Breisach and
Castrop-Rauxel has given EUROPA UNION the catalyst it
needs for success. He sees the EUROPA UNION as the first
concrete German movement against Communism.
On July 31, the executive committee of EUROPA UNION
approved a five-point program of action which includes
production and distribution 'of education films on poli-
tical questions, the purchase of a newspaper, intensified
publication and dissemination of attractive brochures in
(Continued on page 23)

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