The inability to accept the past by Japanese leaders stands in stark contrast to Germany’s clear acknowledgment of its responsibility for the Holocaust. The deep layers of reconciliation Germany developed with France, Poland, Israel, and the Czech Republic stand in contrast to Japan’s apologies to its neighbors, which have been thin, intermittent, and devoid of follow-up in bilateral policies toward China and South Korea that show a genuine desire to make amends. Germany’s experience—apologize, offer compensation, build other relationship—can serve as a guideline for continuing reconciliation in East Asia.

Seventy Years after World War II, How Should We Remember? Seventy years have passed since the end of World War II, and people in Germany and around the world are still asking how the history of suffering represented by the Holocaust can be kept alive. As an increasing number of the last surviving witnesses passes …Read More

The remains of millions of soldiers still lie in the soil of the former battlefields of World War II in Europe. Since the end of the war, Red Army and Wehrmacht soldiers’ remains have been (and continue to be) recovered by Russian and German teams in Kursk, Smolensk, Volgograd (Stalingrad), and St. Petersburg (Leningrad). The …Read More

Japan has struggled with the legacies of its imperial aggression for decades.[1] Neither domestically nor internationally has the nation been able to find a formula which would put the so-called “history problem” behind it. Germany, in contrast, seems to have been very successful at confronting the problem of the Nazi past. Its neighbors do not …Read More

History sometimes likes to play games of irony, counting on our short memory. One such irony is revealed in the context of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. In March 2014 Russian troops took de-facto control of Crimea, followed by a declaration of independence and a swift (and most likely rigged) referendum, in which about 95 percent …Read More

The eight participants of the Society, Culture & Politics Program group came together for their first virtual meeting on September 30, 2016. The topic of discussion was Civil Society, Conflict Resolution, and Reconciliation The discussion revolved around several focus questions: Is there a distinctive approach to Germany’s global role in promoting conflict resolution and reconciliation? …Read More

In a period of intense global conflicts, attention turns to what comes after war and instability and whether the world should be trying to prepare for peace. Germany is often cited as an example of a country that transformed after World War II and the Holocaust from deep enmity with its victims to profound amity …Read More

Yeon Jeong Gu

Yeon Jeong Gu is a Harry & Helen Gray/AICGS Reconciliation Fellow in August and September 2016. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute for German Language, Literature and Culture at Seoul National University, focusing on German culture and literature in the twentieth century, especially remembrance literature of post-memory generation, urban renewal projects in Germany …Read More

Nina Janz

Nina Janz is a Harry & Helen Gray/AICGS Reconciliation Fellow from August 1 to September 15, 2016. While at AICGS, she will investigate the historical dialogue and the peacemaking process between Germany and Russia seventy years after World War II. Under the slogan “Reconciliation over the Graves” the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge …Read More

Ivo Plsek

Ivo Plšek’s research falls into the field of memory and reconciliation studies. He is interested in how nation-states deal with negative national histories and what factors influence this policy area most. Specifically, he compares Japanese and German political elites and their approach to World War II after 1945. He examines how pre-war experiences and political …Read More

A weekly round-up of news and happenings in German-American relations. Business and Economics Moelis & Co. names Bank of America’s Stefan Mueller to head investment banking in Germany. (Bloomberg) After Brexit, the Dax recovery rally continues. (FAZ) The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said that Britain’s pending exit from the European Union is posing “a …Read More

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