Introduction Poland and Germany. Japan and South Korea. Countries that experienced the tragedy of war. Countries that are involved in different kinds of alliances and partnerships. Staying in the international community as equal partners, they represent different patterns of postwar relations and reconciliation. Poland and Germany are states united within international organizations: the European Union …Read More
Panel Discussion at the German Historical Institute. Speakers: Kathleen Canning (University of Michigan), Rüdiger Graf (Center for Contemporary History Potsdam), Donna Harsch (Carnegie Mellon University), and Dirk Schumann (University of Göttingen), and moderated by David Clay Large (University of San Francisco/University of California, Berkeley) This panel will bring together Weimar historians to address the history …Read More
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.
The American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr once stated that the essence of statecraft is locating the point of concurrence between the parochial and the general interest, between the national and international common good. Niebuhr emphasizes that realism implies an obligation to see the world as it actually is, not as we might like it to be. He warned that hubris can blind realism, finding expression in outsized confidence in both the power as well as the values of a country as being universal. Any country is susceptible to such temptations.
On October 27 at a subway station in the Berlin hipster neighborhood of Neukölln, a group of young men walked aggressively past a young woman slowly making her way down the stairs to the platform. One of the men walked up behind her and violently kicked the unsuspecting woman in the back causing her to …Read More
It is said that Mark Twain once commented, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Maybe a more accurate version is that history doesn’t repeat itself, but people often do—for better or for worse. Over the past seventy years, German and American leadership has been defined by shared interests and objectives. Despite any number …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