[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ome time ago, our slightly crazy national hero, Lech Walesa, the Solidarity leader from the 1980s, and a man always full of surprises, announced that Poland and Germany should unite into one country, under the name “Europe.” As Freud noted, gaffes can help us discern intentions hidden to us.
Mr. Walesa’s comments about Poland and Germany are a vivid illustration of just how much has changed in the minds of both nations, and of all Europeans. In 2011, Poland’s foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, gave a speech expressing alarm not about an overly strong Germany, but about a Germany (Europe’s “indispensable nation,” he said) too timid and reluctant to take responsibility for the Continent. Who, in previous generations, could have imagined this?
I bring it up to challenge Europeans to expand their imagination again.
Translated by Maria Blackwood from the Polish. Full article in “The New York Times”.