The attack in Berlin on December 19, 2016 was predictable. German Chancellor Angela Merkel created the conditions that made it possible. She bears an overwhelming responsibility. Geert Wilders, a member of Parliament in the Netherlands and one of Europe's only clear-sighted political leaders, accused her of having blood on her hands. He is right.
When she decided to open the doors of Germany to hundreds of thousands of Muslims from the Middle East and more distant countries, she must have known that jihadists were hidden among the people flooding in. She also must have known that the German police had no way of controlling the mass that entered and would be quickly overwhelmed by the number of people it would have to control. She did it anyway.
When hundreds of rapes and sexual assaults took place in Cologne and other cities in Germany on last year's New Year's Eve, she said that the perpetrators should be punished "regardless of their origin", but she did not change her policy. When attacks took place in Hanover, Essen, Wurzburg, and Munich, she delayed comments, then pronounced sanitized sentences on the "need" to fight crime and terror. But she still did not change policy.
She only changed her position recently, it seems because she wants to be a candidate again in 2017, and saw her popularity declining.
The comments she made immediately after the December 19 attacks were mind-numbing. She said that "if the perpetrator is a refugee", it will be "very difficult to bear" and it will be "particularly repugnant for all Germans who help refugees on a daily basis."
Such remarks could be considered simply naïve if someone were not informed, but Angela Merkel does not have that excuse. She could not ignore warnings from German and U.S. intelligence services saying that Islamic State terrorists hiding among refugees were planning to use trucks in Christmas-related attacks. The situation endured by Germans has been extremely difficult to bear for more than a year. Crime had "skyrocketed"; diseases extinct for decades have been brought in with no vaccines -- long since discontinued -- to treat them; second homes are seized by the government without compensation to shelter migrants, and so on. It did not take long to discover that the main suspect in the Berlin attack was an asylum seeker living in a refugee shelter.
In another country, Merkel might have been shamed into resigning; in Germany, she is running for re-election.
The German population is aged and the birthrate is dangerously low: 1.38 children per woman. The immigrants are replacing the German population, which has been disappearing little by little. The Germans who pass away are the Christians or, more often, non-religious secularists. As everywhere in Europe, Christianity is disappearing; the immigrants replacing the Germans are Muslim.
The German economy is still strong but running out of steam. Returns on invested capital are declining. At a time when human capital is the main source of profits, German human capital is collapsing: people from underdeveloped countries cannot easily replace highly educated Germans. Most do not have marketable skills; newcomers remain long unemployed and dependent. Of the 1.2 million migrants who arrived in Germany in 2014 and 2015, only 34,000 found work. If the unemployment rate is low, it is because there is a growing shortage of labor: today 61% Germans are between 20 and 64 years old. It is expected that by mid-century, the figure will fall to 41%.
Politically correct propaganda speeches that are inexhaustibly broadcast in Germany -- as in the rest of Europe -- never speak of demography. Instead, they refute any evidence that the German economy is not doing well. They also say that Islam and Christianity are equivalent; they are obstinately blind to the fact that Islam is more than a religion: it is a political, economic, and moral system that encompasses all aspects of life, and has never coexisted long or peacefully in a culture different from it. These speeches almost totally ignore the rise of radical Islam and jihadist terrorism; instead, they argue that radical Islam is a marginal cult, and that jihadist terrorism only recruits lone wolves or the mentally ill. Above all, they constantly repeat that any criticism of migration or Islam is ignominious and racist.
The German population is intimidated with fear, both by the antisocial behavior of many migrants and by the speech police of their own governments. Many Germans do not even dare to speak. Those who use public transportation resign themselves to insults. They bend their head and run for refuge to their homes. Attendance in restaurants and theaters is falling sharply. Women have become resigned to wearing "modest" outfits and are careful to not go out alone. Protests organized by Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) have never attracted more than a few thousand people after a photograph of its founder was released in which he was styled as Hitler.
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which calls for a halt to Muslim immigration to Germany and keeps on winning more votes, nevertheless remains a minority party. The law that condemns incitement to hatred (Volksverhetzung), presumably intended to prevent a return to Nazi ideas, is held like a sword over whoever speaks too harshly of the growing Islamization of the country.
On December 20, Angela Merkel went to lay white roses at the scene of the Christmas market attack. Thousands of Germans did the same. Many brought candles and cried. But anger and the will to combat the threat remained largely absent. After a few weeks, the page will be turned -- until next time.
Nothing better describes the present state of Germany than the sad fate of Maria Landenburger, a nineteen-year-old girl, murdered at the beginning of December. Maria Landenburger, a member of a refugee relief organization, was among those who welcomed migrants in 2015. She was raped and murdered by one of the people she was helping. Her family asked anyone who wanted to pay tribute to their daughter to give money to refugee associations, so that more refugees could come to Germany.
The great majority of the Germans do not want to see that Germany is at war, because a merciless enemy has declared war on them. They do not want to see that war has been declared on Western civilization.
They accept defeat and docilely do what jihadists want them to do: they submit.
In analyzing the December 19 attack on the Christmas market, German journalist Josef Joffe, editor of Die Zeit, explained Angela Merkel's decision to welcome refugees as "an act of atonement" and a way to welcome a threatened population, seven decades after the Holocaust. He also explained the passivity of many Germans by a feeling of collective guilt.
If Joffe is right, if Angela Merkel does not see the difference between Jews exterminated by the Nazis, and Muslims threatening to exterminate Christians, Jews and other Muslims, she is even more clueless than it seems.
If many Germans are filled with collective guilt to the point that they want to compensate for what Germany did to the Jews by welcoming hundreds of thousands of Muslims many of whom openly state that they want to replace Germany's Judeo-Christian culture with Islam, and who are replacing its Christian population with a Muslim one -- that will include ruthless killers in its ranks -- it shows that Germans today either detest themselves so much that they desire their own destruction, or that they have simply lost their will to stand up for what they care about -- an act otherwise known as surrender.
Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.