In the months and weeks before the Berlin Wall fell twenty-seven years ago, there were moments of fear and anxiety in the streets of East German cities—and there were moments of courage and hope. Even without knowing how close to the dream of German unification they really were, the triumph of solidarity among millions of …Read More

For most Germans, renting their homes is nothing unusual. The country has developed an affordable, well-functioning rental market and a longstanding reputation as a nation of renters, as the rate of homeownership has remained stubbornly low (43 percent in 2013) when compared with the U.S. (65 percent in 2013).[1] The story often told is that …Read More

The passing of Hans-Dietrich Genscher marks another milestone in the unique history of the leadership of the Federal Republic of Germany. His life and career embody the path of the Republic and its emergence out of its Cold War birth into a unified nation. Genscher was intricately involved in its evolution, serving as foreign minister for …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

Hans-Dietrich Genscher’s impact on politics in Germany did not begin with foreign policy but in domestic politics and that is where I met him first. As Minister of the Interior he was in charge of the environment, then a new field of politics, which the freshly formed coalition of Social Democrats and Liberals had taken …Read More

Former German ambassador to the United States and Head of Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger sums up the legacy of the German unification which brought peace and security to the European neighbourhood and urges that Germany needs to work towards strengthening the European Union in the future.

Congratulations to Dr. William G. Gray of Purdue University, the recipient of the 2015 DAAD Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in German and European Studies, for his outstanding academic work in the field of Politics and International Relations. Dr. Gray is one of the leading American Cold War historians, and profoundly knowledgeable on German politics and …Read More

Guenter Schabowski, a senior East German official whose cryptic announcement that the communist country was opening its fortified border precipitated the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, died Nov. 1 in a Berlin nursing home. He was 86. His widow, Irina Schabowski, confirmed his death to the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur. Mr. Schabowski, …Read More

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