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MICHAEL WALSH EXCLUSIVE: Most of us now living along Spain’s Mediterranean coast see ourselves as pioneers in the California of Europe. Had one man’s vision not been pushed aside by World War 2 our presence here would have been miniscule by comparison.
Few people have heard of Herman Sörgel. Though hardly the first great thinker to champion a united and prosperous Europe he was certainly the most recent. Born in Regensburg, Germany in 1885, this Great War pacifist endured a continent destroyed by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; conquest, war, famine and death.
War weakened Europe was caught in the economic vice of expansionist Communism to the east and American dollar imperialism to the west. This talented architect was at the epicentre of Europe’s disaster; a nation impoverished under the terms of the Versailles Treaty.
Europe’s desperate plight inspired Sörgel to a visionary concept which led to him devising a single plan that would create a Europe equal in wealth, power and influence to that of the Roman Empire.
The futurist devoted his life to promoting a scheme that would see the building of vast hydroelectric dams spanning the Mediterranean Sea. Their massive turbines, driven by pressure from the Atlantic Ocean, would provide Europe with a surplus of power.
The consequence would be to turn the arid North African landscapes into wetlands, providing unlimited produce. It would become very much as Murcia is today but on a far grander scale.
He was no eccentric; Herman Sörgel attracted the attention and support of many who shared his vision for the independent European self-sufficient super state. At the time there was a real fear of the power wielded by American and pan-Asian economies, not to mention the spread of revolutionary Communism.
Cheap, exploitable and renewable hydroelectric power was the first great green revolution. Sörgel was contemptuous of the comparatively puny power sourced from dammed rivers. His plans in magnitude equalled the exploitation of space but the solution was to him under their noses. It was here on the Mediterranean.
His Project Atlantropa proposed building an eighteen-mile long damn spanning the straits of Gibraltar. A second damn would halt the Bosporus by blocking the Black Sea. Of course many rivers feed the Mediterranean but most of it flows in from the Atlantic Ocean. Water pushing through the turbines would create sufficient power to provide for the needs of both Europe and Africa.
Simultaneously it would lower the level of the Mediterranean by 100 metres; 90,000 square miles of new land would be the result. Today’s beachfront homes, towns and fishing villages would expand seawards.
The seabed between Sicily and Italy would become dry land, and a third dam between Sicily and Tunisia would also serve as a bridge allowing for easier access to African resources.
Sörgel articulated his vision through four books, thousands of publications and countless lectures. From the massive supply of electricity Europe’s nations would become inter-dependent of power from a single-grid thereby reducing tensions.
Sörgel reasoned that it would also curb the lust for war by freeing up living space, allowing the densely packed northern European peoples to expand southwards, bringing prosperity to North Africa. This was a period when colonisation was viewed not only as acceptable but to the benefit of colonised populations.
For all of his popularity the project never moved off the design desks. His Atlantropa Institute survived the Second World War but gradually lost most of its funding.
Sörgel never gave up on his dream. He passionately pushed on with it until Christmas Day 1952. Riding his bicycle along a perfectly straight and clear road near Munich on his way to an important meeting he was mown down by a hit and run motorist, whose identity was never revealed.
The death of the gifted visionary was a carbon copy of the death of T. E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). In 1935, the English adventurer and writer had been killed in a similar ‘accident’. Had Lawrence’s meeting been kept with the leader of the British Union of Fascists, Sir Oswald Mosley, in all likelihood England’s war with Germany would have been avoided.
In 1960 the Atlantropa Institute was dissolved. Today as never before access to energy heightens world tensions. According to Herman Sörgel and his supporters it never had to be that way. Read more Heroes Hang when Traitors Triumph by Mike Walsh.
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MICHAEL WALSH is an Irish British-born journalist. His 64 books include best-selling historical books THE ALL LIES INVASION, WITNESS TO HISTORY, TESTIGO DE LA HISTORIA: HISTORIA SIN CENSURA (SPANISH EDITION), REICH AND WRONG, HEROES OF THE REICH, HEROES HANG WHEN TRAITORS TRIUMPH , THE FUHRER’S PROCLAMATION TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE , ODYSSEY ADOLF HITLER, UNCENSORED ADOLF HITLER, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, MEGACAUST, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH, DEATH OF A CITY, RISE OF THE SUN WEEL, EUROPE ARISE, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, THE BUSINESS BOOSTER , THE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and II, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, IMMORTAL BELOVED, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY ,SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
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