Germany: Power and the Left

Germany: Power and the Left

The momentous events of 1989 and the unification of Germany recast the long-standing debate about Germany’s role in a changing Europe. Virtually all the English-language newsweeklies ran cover stories on the new “German question,” and academic experts weighed in on the op-ed pages. At the risk of simplification, one can divide these commentaries into two categories: optimists, who viewed unification as a boon to Germany, Europe, and global peace, and pessimists, who were concerned that a strong Germany might repeat past mistakes. The optimists are the majority; but, for understandable reasons, both voices are preoccupied by the legacy of Auschwitz. The optimists have made it their mission to convince their audiences (perhaps even themselves?) that the ingredients that produced Auschwitz have been extirpated by “Modell Deutschland” —West Germany’s exemplary democracy.

...

Lima