The article aims at showing the similarities between the outbreak of the First and the Second World War, discussing the famous definition of «Thirty-Year European civil war». The outbreaks of the two world wars are examined through four interpretative keys: hegemony, alliance system, war-proneness, and clash of civilization. This approach helps understanding also the Cold War and the present geopolitical situation, in particular the role of Germany. Germany was indeed the country that contributed most to the outbreak of the two world wars and as well as the core of the conflict between the US and the USSR. Moreover Germany, being the main European economic power, plays a key role in the current international crisis.
Keywords: Thirty-Year European Civil War, World War I, World War II, Germany