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Page last updated at 09:45 GMT, Monday, 18 June 2012 10:45 UK

What can history teach us about Europe?

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What can history teach us about the dangers of an economic crisis and is European unity is really possible?

Miri Rubin, professor of European history at Queen Mary University of London, says there is "nothing natural about the idea of Europe".

She old the Today programme that Europe is always "the product crafted by thinkers and politicians.".

"History has taught us that there has to be a vision, a narrative, a reason to join and want to be part," she told John Humphrys.

Historian Laurence Rees, points out that in the 1928 election in Germany, the Nazis only got 2.6% of the vote but by 1932 they were the biggest party in Germany. He said this was "pretty much down to an economic crisis and collapse of the banks. The driving force for this was economic catastrophe.".


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