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Tag: Germany

Forgotten tales of Germany and Ukraine’s past

Ukraine and Germany are linked together by a long and complicated history, one with Poland in the background. Unfortunately, knowledge of this shared heritage is still not well known, particularly in Germany.

No other nation brought as much damage to Ukraine as Germany in the 20th century. During the First World War, and especially the Second World War, millions of people who then lived in Ukraine were murdered by the Germans or died because of famine, disease and exhaustion caused by the German invasions. Ukrainians and Jews were those who primarily perished. However, it is also true that not many other nations had such a positive impact on Ukraine’s civilisational progress as the Germans.

August 26, 2019 - Adam Balcer

Towards an alliance between Kyiv and Berlin?

Counterintuitive deliberations on a possible future partnership between Ukraine and Germany.

August 16, 2019 - Andreas Umland

Krupp in Greifswald

On the perils of forgetting about the Holocaust.

June 18, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Towards a new European Ostpolitik

Instead of encouraging co-operation through the opening of potential windows for partnership, which was the guideline of the previous Ostpolitik, a new European Ostpolitik should take the concerns, direct neighbourhood and historic experiences of the more recently added EU member states seriously by developing and implementing a new strategy of partnership. The goal should not be about developing new dividing lines but establishing new platforms of communication.

Germany’s international relations are already prioritising the development of a new European Ostpolitik well in advance of July 2020, when the country is slated to assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months. European Ostpolitik will likely be translated into more concrete policies during the 18-month-long rotating trio presidency of the Council of the EU that includes successive terms led by Germany, Portugal, and Slovenia, respectively.

May 2, 2019 - Iris Kempe

How to lose friends and alienate people or Germany on Nord Stream 2

Germany’s proceedings around Nord Stream 2 will not only hurt this country, but also European common policy as a whole from a security point of view. Additionally, they are undermining Germany’s already-fragile position as the European mediator and dealmaker.

April 4, 2019 - Wojciech Jakóbik

Kashubian Poles: Struggling with the “fifth column” label

Kashubia was once a culturally independent community in what is now known as the Pomeranian region in Poland. After a history filled with wars, Germanisation, Polonisation, and Sovietisation, where should the boundaries of Kashubian cultural identity be drawn today – and to what extent does it matter?

March 18, 2019 - Balsa Lubarda

Yiddish-German: from Central Europe to the Holocaust and back?

Before the Second World War, German enjoyed the status of a global language on par with English, French and Spanish. It is a little-known fact that the German language’s vast geographic presence was possible only thanks to German-Yiddish speaking Ashkenazi Jews. While the Second World War destroyed German language and culture’s global status, it also meant the near-total 'extermination and stigmatisation of Yiddish language and culture.

January 16, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Germany, the half post-communist country whose legacy we forget

The shadows of that 41-year divide continue to loom over many Germans today. For those in the west of the country, the east might feel like a burden. High levels of spending and investments from the west, despite being the leading cause of a successful reunification, have not brought the east perfectly in line with the rest of Germany.

November 30, 2018 - Levi Bochantin

Nord Stream: The narrative of a new Molotov–Ribbentrop pact?

The debates that took place on the first Nord Stream pipeline exemplify the politically detrimental consequences that can arise from the misuse of the past for political gains. Carefully analysing the context and history of the comparison shows that Polish politicians are not trapped in memories of the past, rather they have developed tools to play on their audience’s sensitivity to its own history.

History appears in various shapes within the public debate. Though not a Polish specificity, the Polish political sphere offers fertile ground for memory studies. History can be the object of public policy, as in the ongoing debate on the 2018 amendments to the 1988 Act on the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN law).

November 5, 2018 - Francis Masson

Why Germany should care about B9?

The B9 is trembling ahead of the July NATO summit in Brussels. While much of the talk is about President Trump, there are some serious questions about Germany - its defence capabilities and spending, as well as commitment to its Eastern European allies.

June 29, 2018 - Saskia Kawczynski

A German riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

The definite re-election of Vladimir Putin in Russia will consolidate his authoritarian model of governance and assertive foreign policy for another six years. In Germany, the formation of a new government is to be expected after an unusually long time of coalition talks. The question will then turn towards the direction of Germany’s Ostpolitik and the future of relations between Russia and the West.

In 1939 Winston Churchill famously remarked that he cannot forecast the actions of Russia: “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” The same could be said of Germany’s Ostpolitik, which has left observers puzzled and perplexed in recent years. Previously and often simplistically explained by the catchwords “energy” and “business”, Germany’s role in the Ukraine conflict has seemingly defied all prior assumptions about Germany’s special relationship with Russia and its purely geo-economic interests.

February 26, 2018 - Liana Fix

New German government will need to engage more deeply in the Western Balkans

Germany is a reluctant leader within the EU, even more so in external affairs. Nevertheless, it has become clear that Balkan leaders look to Berlin, rather than Brussels or other European capitals. With a new coalition government on the horizon, it is important that Germany expends some political capital on bringing the remaining Western Balkan countries further into the EU’s orbit.

February 20, 2018 - Robert Ledger

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