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Despite the chaos in and near-bankruptcy of at least all the so-called ‘PIIGS’ Nations (e.g., Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) who are Members of the European Union (EU), most remarkably – nay, almost insanely in my view – do you know that there another eight (8) Nations which seek to join the EU?

In alphabetical order, these are:

Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Iceland, Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey.

Now, consider EU Member of Parliament Member Daniel Hannan’s article:

You thought the whole ‘EUSSR’ thing was over the top? Have a look at this poster

Take a close look at this promotional poster. Notice anything?

Alongside the symbols of Christianity, Judaism, Jainism and so on is one of the wickedest emblems humanity has conceived: the hammer and sickle.

For three generations, the badge of the Soviet revolution meant poverty, slavery, torture and death.

It adorned the caps of the chekas who came in the night.

It opened and closed the propaganda films which hid the famines.

It advertised the people’s courts where victims of purges and show-trials were condemned.

It fluttered over the re-education camps and the gulags.

For hundreds of millions of Europeans, it was a symbol of foreign occupation. Hungary, Lithuania and Moldova have banned its use, and various  former communist countries want it to be treated in the same ways as Nazi insignia. [Ed. Note: e.g., banned.]

Yet here it sits on a poster in the European Commission, advertising the moral deafness of its author (I hope that’s what it is, rather than lingering nostalgia).

The Bolshevist sigil celebrates the ideology which, in strict numerical terms, must be reckoned the most murderous ever devised by our species.

That it can be passed unremarked day after day in the corridors of Brussels is nauseating.

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Cast your eye back to the top of the page and to those would-be applicant Nations.

Notice any common theme?

Give up?

All but Iceland and Turkey — two nations which could not possibly be more different in every possible measure the mind of man can conjure — all the other prospective EU members were formerly forcibly-united under the Soviet jackboot-heel in a land once called Yugoslavia (or except for Albania, which was arguably even more repressive under Enver Hoxha, a man who sought ties with both Moscow and Beijing).

[Abandoned Yugoslav army watchtower along the old iron curtain. This stands mere meters (yards) from the Slovenian border with Italy, near the village of Lipica, where the famous dancing Lipizzaner horses come from.  The barbed wire fences and gun positions have long since been removed.]

It was only U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s meeting, in 1986 in Iceland, as it

happens, with the Soviet leader at the time, Mr. Gorbachev, which set the Warsaw Pact Nations, as we then knew them, on the road to freedom and out of the nightmare of serfdom.

So, look at that EU poster once again.

Is Brussels entirely tone-deaf, or more actively, or indeed aggressively malign?

Why in Heaven’s name would any organization anywhere seek to use the hammer and sickle ever again?

In my view, it gets still worse.

What is the EU hymn?  In 1785 and in celebration of the brotherhood of man, the German author-poet Friedrich Schiller wrote the poem An die Freude (To Joy).

In later life, Herr Schiller became contemptuous of his popularity for such, and dismissed the poem as typical of the bad taste of the age in which it had been written.

After Schiller’s death, the poem provided the words for the choral movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, otherwise known as the Ode to Joy, which the EU adopted as its official hymn.

If this fails to play, my apologies.  Please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xkj0TeZeZuo

Although the words of the Ode are stirring, uplifting and fine, and the music utterly sublime for any soul (apart, most likely, from any Soviet Kommissar one could name), perhaps Herr Schiller can see himself redeemed by another pungent comment of his which I’ve always liked and which comes from his magnificent Maria Stuart:

The voice of the majority is no proof of justice.”

Those words must be ringing loudly, and indeed worryingly, in the ears of all those in the former Yugoslavia who have made free Nations for themselves.

Will they keep their freedom, or lose it, yet again?

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Hat-Tips to:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100185609/you-thought-the-whole-eussr-thing-was-over-the-top-have-a-look-at-this-poster/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11283616

The Ode to Joy clip comes from the well-produced film Copying Beethoven, a fictionalized portrayal of the last year of Beethoven’s life.  This was brilliantly directed by Polish lady phenom Agnieszka Holland and featured Ed Harris, Diane Kruger and Matthew Goode.  Onscreen one saw the Kecskemet Symphony Orchestra of Hungary, but what one hears is a 1996 Decca recording of Bernard Haitink conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam.

The DVD is available on Amazon USA here:  Amazon USA Copying Beethoven 

For other nations, please scroll to the bottom of the page and click through to check availability in a nation nearest to you.