Little Angela Kasner, daughter of a Lutheran pastor in Russian-dominated East Germany, was barely two years old when an American radio preacher published in his magazine an astonishing statement: "The way is being prepared for a colossal third force in world politics—a European Federation of Nations more powerful than either Russia or the United States!… We have shown years in advance what would happen to Russia's ill-fated Empire in Eastern Europe" (Plain Truth, December 1956, p. 3).
In his Good News magazine, that same pastor—Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong—had written: "Russia may give East Germany back to the Germans and will be forced to relinquish her control over Hungary, Czechoslovakia and parts of Austria to complete the ten nation union. Europe will have a free hand to destroy America and Britain as prophesied" (April 1952, p. 16).
Without this biblical perspective, young Angela saw no reason to doubt that the East German state would endure as part of an ongoing Soviet-led communist expansion around the globe. Even so, many were not content to live under such repressive government. By the time Angela reached age 7, as many as 3.5 million people—20 percent of East Germany's former population—had fled to the West, mostly through the border at Berlin. To stop the ongoing "brain drain" to the West, communist officials in August 1961 decided to close the border and erect a wall separating East and West Berlin.
Although an occasional daring escapee might pass across it, the Berlin Wall was considered basically unassailable. Even U.S. President John F. Kennedy described the Wall as "a fact of international life." The notion that the Berlin Wall might come down was simply not in the minds of top politicians and pundits.
That is the world in which Angela Kasner grew up. She was a bright student, eventually earning a doctorate for her work in quantum chemistry. She married and divorced, and as Angela Merkel came onto the world scene as deputy spokesman for East Germany's short-lived Democratic Awakening Party after the world was shocked by the sudden collapse of the Berlin Wall (and of East Germany soon afterward)—a collapse that few had foreseen, and fewer could fully explain.
Merkel rose quickly through the political ranks in the newly reunified Germany, acquiring the nickname "The Iron Frau" as testimony to her forcefulness. Selected as leader of the Christian Democratic Union in April 2002, she became Chancellor of Germany upon her party's victory in November 2005.
On November 3, 2009, Chancellor Merkel spoke to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, partly to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, but also to share her vision of a world with Germany's interests at the helm. She warned: "If there is one lesson the world has learned from last year's financial crisis, it is that there is no alternative to a global framework for a globalized economy. Without universally binding rules for transparency and supervision there can be no greater freedom, but rather we risk the abuse of freedom and thus instability. In a way this is a second wall that has to fall: A wall standing in the way of a truly global economic order, a wall of regional and exclusively national thinking."
What lesson has Merkel learned, watching the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall? She wants to tear down another wall—this time, the wall of national sovereignty! Merkel went on to say: "I am convinced that, just as we found the strength in the 20th century to tear down a wall made of barbed wire and concrete, today we have the strength to overcome the walls of the 21st century."
Was it indeed human strength that tore down the Berlin Wall? Perhaps, but it was also part of God's foreordained plan for Germany. Scripture reveals that a European power, under German political leadership, will increasingly play the role of world superpower and impose its "global framework" and "universally binding rules" as we approach the end of the age and the United States continues to decline. This is what Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong foretold from Bible prophecy more than 50 years ago, and it is what this Work continues to teach—as Dr. Roderick C. Meredith explains in his article, "America's Last Days?" and as Mr. John Ogwyn wrote in his powerful booklet, The Beast of Revelation. Read our literature online, or request your free copies today!