I keep writing that Merkel wishes to use the present crisis to politically unite the rest of Europe under the leadership of Germany. It looks like the Europeans are starting to pay attention, though the Italians should remember where the whole fascist movement started before calling out the Germans as the illustration makes clear.
If Germany is anything, it is obsessed. Kaiser Wilhelm succeeded in uniting central and eastern Europe after the capitulation of the czar in 1917. Only the entry of the Americans into the war prevented him from consolidating those gains into a Greater Germany.
Hitler united all of Europe except the Iberian peninsula and Switzerland under his control for a couple of year in the 40’s. After he was defeated, we demilitarized Germany and chopped it up so that it would not be a problem again.
Then, the Iron Curtain fell, and Germany was reunited. It helped found the euro and exported its way to strength on the back of a shared currency thanks to its friends in southern Europe.
Now that Germany is strong again, we see its true colors, and it uses this crisis to force its allies to give up its sovereignty to institutions, like the ECB, which it effectively controls.
Fortunately, Germany is no longer a brutal military autocracy. There will be no genocide or war dead. The only casualty will be democracy.