At the conclusion of his essay, On the History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany (1835), Heinrich Heine warns the French of the future conflagration that will take place within Germany: “A play will be enacted in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like a harmless idyll.”
He continues, “I advise you French, when that time comes, to keep very still and, on your life, do not applaud. We could easily misunderstand you and, in our impolite manner, ask you somewhat curtly to be quiet…. Take care! I mean well with you and therefore I tell you a bitter truth. You have more to fear from a liberated Germany than from the entire Holy Alliance including all Croats and Cossacks.”
He writes that what little love for the French there is among Germans is held by “the better and more beautiful half of the German people. And even if this half actually loved you, it is the half which does not carry weapons, and whose friendship therefore does you little good.”
In conclusion, he reiterates the warning:
In any case, I advise you to stay on your toes. Let happen in Germany what will… always be prepared, remain calmly at your post, rifle in arm. I mean well with you, and it almost gave me a fright when I heard recently that your ministers intend to disarm France.
Since you are born classicists, despite your present-day romanticism, you know Olympus. Among the naked gods and goddesses who amuse themselves there with nectar and ambrosia, take note of one goddess who, though surrounded by such joy and amusement, always wears a suit of armor, a helmet on her head, and keeps her spear in her hand.
It is the goddess of wisdom.
The later development of “French-German enmity” would include the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and two World Wars.