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.
In the March 2017 negotiations over Greece’s bailout review, Germany persisted in its two-pronged approach of rejecting international debt relief and insisting on domestic austerity. This stringent stance in the IMF and EU in the last few years has come to frame publicly German-Greek relations, accompanied by the Greek public and media demonization of Chancellor …Read More
The seventieth anniversaries in 2015 of the end of World War II and the Holocaust have generated renewed interest in reconciliation and the question of whether the German and European experience holds lessons for Japan and East Asia. Much of the thinking on comparative lessons, developed in the last fifteen years, has focused on an idealized notion of Germany’s successful international reconciliation.
A Collection from This Week’s News on Important Issues for German-American Relations Business and Economics Germany, Italy Grow Less Than Forecast Amid Global Uncertainties (Bloomberg) EU clears German plan for electric vehicle charging network (Reuters) Germany’s Worrying Squeeze (Bloomberg) Germany committed to Greece bailout programme – Merkel spokesman (Reuters) EU-Canada Trade Agreement Wins European Parliament …Read More
The eight participants of the Society, Culture & Politics Program group will come together for their second virtual meeting on February 24, 2017. The purpose of the second virtual meeting is to identify 5-10 policy recommendations that address or solve the issues of concern that have been discussed so far under the topic Civil Society, Conflict Resolution …Read More
On the occasion of the death of Roman Herzog, Germany’s seventh federal president (1994-1999), we are pleased to present this volume of speeches AICGS published in 1997 during a visit of President Herzog to Washington in July of that year. The introduction to this volume was written by Dr. Steven Muller, former President of Johns …Read More
As part of AICGS’ work on reconciliation, we are pleased to present readers with a report on a recent conference convened by our partner organization, the Memory Studies Association. From 3rd to the 5th of December 2016, almost 200 memory scholars, as well as practitioners – such as memorial staff, artists, human rights activists, transitional …Read More
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. 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