This evening I gave an after dinner talk to a group of American students from the Strasbourg campus of Syracuse University. As part of their course they visit the European institutions and NATO. Their professor is a Strasbourg-based friend and so I have been combining the pleasure of meeting my friend with the ‘business’ of talking to his students for many years. But now he is about to retire, and so this was probably the last such talk I will give. When I began giving the talk my narrative was the imperative of avoiding war but, as war became an increasingly unthinkable prospect in continental Europe so I felt I should change the narrative to how European integration could serve as an inspiration for other parts of the world. This night, though, of Armistice Day, I returned to the beginning and told the tale of Monnet’s vision and that extraordinary gesture of enlightened and far-sighted self-interest, summed up in the Schuman declaration. To illustrate my point about the industrialisation of war, I prepared some statistics on war casualties. In the 1914-1918 war, French and German military casualties were around 6 and 7 million respectively (stunning figures!). In the 1939-1945 war, though, the respective figures were around 600,000 and between 6.5 and 8 million. When Monnet went to see a wary Adenauer in Bonn in 1950 he was not making a magnanimous nor a condescending offer, though Germany was on its knees. The Monnet/Schuman philosophy was based on the certitude that one day Germany would be great and powerful again – and so she is.