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

A Collection from This Week’s News on Important Issues for German-American Relations Business and Economics Global markets are shaken, then stabilize, after Trump victory (NYT) Volkswagen chairman under investigation in Germany (USA Today) Poultry caged as bird flu spreads through Germany (The Local Germany) Tesla buys Germany’s Grohmann Engineering to help ramp up electric car …Read More

Dr. Simone Heil, Program Director of the Africa and Middle East division of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, sits down with AICGS Society, Culture & Politics Program Director Dr. Lily Gardner Feldman for a discussion on youth exchange between Germany and Israel and its impact on the “special relationship” between the two countries. Dr. Heil …Read More

President Obama noted in an interview with the Asahi Shimbun before his visit to Hiroshima that his presence was an example of reconciliation: “I will point out that Prime Minister Abe and I coming to Hiroshima together shows the world the possibility of reconciliation—that even former adversaries can become the strongest of allies.” Six weeks …Read More

The domestic political disquiet over the refugees since the March 13 state elections in Germany has not subsided. On the contrary, the debate about German identity and the chancellor’s governance has grown more intense. Chancellor Merkel has upset Germany’s European partners. They are wary of her curious mixture of profound ethics paired with determined self-assurance …Read More

June 17, 2016 will mark the 25th anniversary of the German-Polish “Treaty of Good Neighborhood and Friendly Cooperation,”[1] in which both parties expressed the will to close a painful chapter of their history and to contribute to peace in Europe through bilateral reconciliation efforts. In the autumn of 2015, celebrations took place on the both …Read More

The career and success of Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who died at age 89 on March 30, illustrate the strength of continuity in office. Such continuity has long been a feature of German political life:  Konrad Adenauer headed the Federal Republic’s government for fourteen years, Walter Ulbricht the German Democratic Republic’s for seventeen; and Angela Merkel, chancellor …Read More

The resounding response from the press to the death of Hans-Dietrich Genscher reminds us of how much German political equilibrium depends on the existence of central, idealized, larger-than-life figures.  Mr. Genscher’s career typifies German voters’ need for stability through long periods in office.  Germans also seem to have a great need to keep important political …Read More

Hans-Dietrich Genscher was German foreign minister when I first met him.  On 1 October 1982, I was in Bonn to consult with Wolfgang Ischinger, his office director.  Our meeting was suddenly interrupted by the televised report about Genscher, who announced he and his party, the FDP, were leaving the governing coalition with Helmut Schmidt and …Read More

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