Border area to revolutionary France, border area between Bavaria and Prussia... The Western Palatinate was thus often exposed to an eventful history of belonging, but above all of conflict. At the same time, however, it was also more international than many other regions. Dealing with people from other linguistic and cultural backgrounds was part of everyday life.
Who should be surprised that the Western Palatinate was also part of the history of the European unification process? With its experience of what borders practically mean, it is truly destined to do so. You know this story? If not, you share the common destiny of many people inside and outside our region.
After three wars in less than 100 years in which Germans and French fought each other, it became clear after the Second World War that further wars in Europe must be prevented at all costs. Tens of millions of deaths are a reminder of reason. Politics focused on national states has failed.
Especially the youth, if they survived the horrors of the Second World War, is tired of territorial conflicts, of territorial occupation and devastation, as well as of confrontation, of hatred towards their neighbours. The so-called enemy of heredity was called France for decades and centuries, conversely it was the same.
Overcoming mistrust, one day a peaceful, good neighbourly coexistence, is the least that is now on the agenda. But many people, especially large groups of young people, want more. They want a future perspective that gives them courage and optimism.
Many young people wanted a united Europe, a Europe in which borders are places of reunion and no longer of isolation, a Europe of citizens, a Europe that creates a European youth. A youth that understands all differences, accepts each other and builds a common future together. The demonstration, called "storm of students", on the French-German border on the 6th of August 1950 is one of the hardly known but nevertheless groundbreaking events in the early history of the European unification process.
Nowadays, Brussels and Strasbourg are synonyms for Europe, at least as the headquarters of the European institutions, together with Luxembourg. They are considered to be the capitals of Europe. But to all this there is a rather unknown prehistory that revolves around the area of Wissembourg - St. Germanshof, on the French-German border between the Palatinate and Alsace.