Siebens, Allen C.
Europa union plebiscites, pp. -18 PDF (2.4 MB)
Europa Union Plebiscites By ALLEN C. SIEBENS Governmental Affairs Officer, Office of Political Affairs, HICOG DO YOU FAVOR the aboli- tion of the political and economic frontiers in Europe and the unification of all European peoples in a Euro- pean federal state? This propositionwas submitted in July to the residents of two specially selected German com- munities and the answers were an emphatic "Yes." On July 9, in the small Rhine town of Breisach, in the south- west corner of Germany near the French border, a 95.6 percent "'Yes" was rolled up by 87.5 per- cent of the town's eligiblevoters. On July 16, in the Ruhr mining city of Castrop-Rauxel, the same verdict by a margin of 95.7 per- cent was rendered by 73 percent of the electorate. t~ror9-A B S T I M M U N G CASTROP -MUXEL |I 1 . I U L I 1 9 5 0 Sind Sie urn di.e BUseigung de, politischen and sWtscheftljchen Grenzen innerha. b Europns und fiu den Zueammen-chluB atler auropaischen V61ker zu eine- Europiischen Bundewsta.I? o o janei Ballot form in the Europa-Union plebiscite at Castrop- Rauxel, small Rhine river town in South Baden, in the southwest corner of Germany. Asked if they favored abolition of Europe's political and economic frontiers and unification of all European peoples in a single federal state, the answer was an emphatic "Yes" from 95.7 percent of the eligibles who cast their votes. This all happened because EUROPA UNION, a private Ger- man organization which believes that Europe must fcderalize, decided that the time had come to show the rest of the world and particularly German representatives ,it Bonn and Strasbourg how the German people feel about giving up national sovereignty in favor of intra-European co-operation and organization. WHY WAS BREISACH, a small community of some 2,400 persons located in a comparatively sleepy aqricultural section of Germany, chosen for this first grass roots test of international consciousness among Germans? There are a variety of reasons, but basically it is because Brei- sach is a community that epito- mizes the troubles which have plagued the European peoples for centuries. Occupying as it does a strategic position on the left bank of the Rhine, it has been a chronic victim of war. This is the way Paul Neuland, US observer in the French-Zone state of South Baden, describes Breisach after a recent visit there: "I have seen the ruins of Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Munich, Vienna, Stuttgart, Bremen, Hano- ver and other cities throughout Germany, but never have I seen the totality of destruction which bore mute witness to the inten- sity of the attacks through which this poor, long-suffering town has been reduced to a rubbish heap of dust, ashes, rubble and desolation. Looking around at this horrible picture of the futility of war, I knew but only too well that I had no further to search for the answer to my query as to what lay behind Breisach's practically unanimous vote for a federal state of Europe." And further, quoting Mayor Bueb of Breisach, "The history of Breisach is filled with invasions and military occupations... (It) has been part of France and part of Austria at different times ... (and) has been occupied, conquered or passed through by invading battalions about 50 times. Ten times it has been destroyed... (In World Communist propaganda efforts to induce Castrop-Rauxel and Breisach to vote against the European Union plan proved unavailing, the results showed. At left, Breisach's Mayor Bueb looks at poster put up on balloting-place wall by Commu- rist "shock troops." Right, pro-European Union posters urged Rhinelanders, on eve of plebiscite, to remember "Europe is watching Breisach" and "Europe wants peace. ' (Photos by Internationale Presse-Photo-Agentur) I
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