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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 …

Saxonian Signals: The Future of the FDP and AfD After Saxony’s Election

The state election in Saxony on Sunday made some waves in Germany. While the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) was able to sustain its leadership of the state, despite its worst …

The Death Knells of Centrist German Liberalism-The Rise of the AfD and fall of the FDP

The rapid growth of the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in Germany has certainly been a clear departure from the mood of German politics prior to the most recent Bundeswahl (Federal …

The Cycles of Decline: Addressing the Political Backlash in Europe

Following the European Union elections, the main conclusion seems to be that bashing Brussels is a mobilizing force on both the left and the right and that national governments around …

The EU Elections: The Evolution of an Electorate

After India, the European Union is the second largest democracy in the world, with 400 million people entitled to vote. While India just finished its several-weeks-long election process, many Europeans …

From the AICGS Bookshelf: Out of the Tower: Essays on Culture and Everyday Life

When was the last time you had a bit more than a “muggeseggele Zeit” to think about what really makes up our everyday cultural lives? For those familiar with German …

From the AICGS Bookshelf: The Passage to Europe

The effort to create a European community of nations and peoples is one of the most important experiments in world history. On a continent shaped by war and conflict for …

Germany’s NSA Naivete

Following President Obama’s exclusive interview with ZDF on Friday, Senior Editor of Der Tagesspiegel Malte Lehming noted that the German media largely characterized the president’s remarks as “too vague, too …

From the AICGS Bookshelf: The Myth of America’s Decline

Joe Joffe’s latest book (Liverlight Publishing, 2013) is a modern day version of what Alexis de Tocqueville attempted some one hundred and eighty years ago. Both authors grapple with the …