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Seeds of Hope in Bloom

There are many anniversaries in 2015 tied to the end of World War II, now seven decades ago. The capitulation of Germany and Japan ended a war in which many …

Greece and Sisyphus: When Myths Risk Becoming Reality

Officially, Greece was not even on the agenda at the Spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group last week. But the country’s obstinate flirtation with disaster was very …

Channel Crossings: British Choices Ahead

As Chancellor Angela Merkel tries to hold the European Union together in dealing with the turmoil around Greece, Cyprus, and Hungary flirting with Moscow amid the myriad other centrifugal forces …

A European Army: Who Speaks For Europe?

At a time when the challenge in Europe is holding together a common currency under enormous duress, the idea of creating a common European army might seem—at a minimum—a bit …

Scheitert Europa? Joschka Fischer

It’s been ten years since Joschka Fischer, together with Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, piloted Germany’s foreign policy in the first national Red-Green government. His seven-year tenure was marked by military deployments …

The Miracle of Leipzig

This is a story about the secret of freedom—courage.  Germans in Leipzig courageously faced down a regime that had killed fellow citizens, whose only crime was to seek freedom and …

Freedom Cannot Be Taken for Granted

In the fall of 1989, I studied at the Karl-Marx-University in Leipzig. As a student of theology, I was able to participate in the demonstrations on the street as well …

Post-Unification German Studies: Momentum Gained or Lost?

Carl Bildt, until recently Sweden’s foreign minister, told Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in 2003: “For a generation Americans and Europeans shared the same date: 1945. A whole …

The Day the Berlin Wall Really Fell

Contrary to popular lore, the Berlin Wall did not fall on November 9, 1989. Nor did it fall in Berlin. It fell on October 9 some 120 miles away, in …

2009 and 2014: Reflections

Time flies.  I am struck by how recent the events of the twentieth anniversary of the Mauerfall feel.  A rainy, but magical, memory. At first blush, 2009 seems a more …

After the Wall: Survivors’ Expectations

There were many expectations when the Wall came down. Not least among them that Holocaust survivors living in Eastern Europe would finally receive payments from Germany for their suffering. But …

November 1989

Like December 7, 1941, November 22, 1963, and September 11, 2001, November 9, 1989, is one of those dates remembered in freeze frame.  But it’s the rare exception that most …