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Once Germany is accepted in the Council of Europe and is contributing to a common defense, it will not be an aggressor nation, General Lucius D. Clay told a near-capacity New Lecture Hall audience last night in his final lecture of the Godkin series.
Germany does not endanger world security, the General repeated. It cannot be left undefended because of the Russian threat, he said, and it cannot be associated with Western Europe until it takes part in this defensive alliance without the support of occupation troops.
"War is neither inevitable nor likely," General Clay declared, "If we pursue the foreign policy we have set for ourselves. We must remain strong, conscious that our strength will be used to prevent, not to wage, war. We have learned our lesson in the last five years and we won't bury our heads in the sand of paper agreements again."
After discussing in his first two lectures the efforts to attain peace by agreement and their ultimate failure, Clay last night considered the potentialities of German policy as it is integrated with America's European policy. He cited several risks and problems involved in the integration, emphasizing that a strong Western Europe is the only solution sure to bring a long peace.
There is a slight risk, he said, that Germany will look to the east instead of the west, but this is unlikely because Russia has built up a "legacy of hatred" through its treatment of German prisoners and its oppressive conduct of east German affairs. The standards of west German occupation are respected, General Clay added.
Although there may be an extreme rightist movement, it will not be based on the old Nazi ideology, Clay said. The Nazi leaders have been thoroughly discredited and there is no need to worry about the rebirth of their party.
"The place to defeat the extremists is at the ballot box. Suppression by 'the occupation powers will only help extremists.'
General Clay reported that the German people have learned to place a higher value on their new freedom, that it will not be so easy to deprive them of it in the future.
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