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.

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.[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

On September 13, 2016, Harry & Helen Gray/AICGS Reconciliation Fellows Nina Janz and Ivo Plšek presented their research in a seminar entitled “Reconciliation in Europe and in East Asia: How Countries Face a Past of War.” Nina Janz discussed “Reconciliation over the Graves? A German War Cemetery in Russia,” and Ivo Plšek presented “Reconciliation Politics …Read More

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 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

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