In this week's New Statesman: The myth of the Fourth Reich

Why Germany has to save Europe | Books of the Year | Jemima Khan on Pakistan | Stuart Maconie on EMI

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In this week's New Statesman cover story, historian Richard J Evans, author of The Third Reich trilogy, describes the "spectre of history" looming over Europe and Germany's role in the eurozone crisis -- but argues that this has less to do with Nazism than with the economic trauma of the 1920s.

Elsewhere, in the annual pre-Christmas Books of the Year, contributors and friends of the NS -- from A S Byatt and Marina Warner to Martha Nussbaum and Melvyn Bragg -- choose their favourite reads of 2011. Pick up a copy to see which Ed - Miliband or Balls - was gripped by the weepy bestseller, One Day.

In her first column as associate editor, Jemima Khan reports on her recent trip to Pakistan where US drone strikes have exacted a horrible civilian death toll. David Blanchflower shares his hunch that "a European bank secretly had to be rescued with the infusion of capital" at the end of August, and the NS Diary comes courtesy of Evgeny Lebedev, who discusses his father's Russian TV punch, free press and the Leveson inquiry, and his newborn son.

All this plus John Burnside's new Nature column, 6 Music DJ Stuart Maconie on the decline and fall of EMI, Rafael Behr on the backbench revolt facing Cameron, Laurie Penny on the tactics of the US pro-life lobby and a new poem by this year's Forward Prize for Best First Collection winner, Rachael Boast.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.

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Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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