Recently I read two seemingly contradictory ‘letters to the editor’ in a daily paper, I frequent regularly: “We always claimed that the boom of the East is really happening in the West,” a citizen from Wittstock in Brandenburg wrote. A reader from a city in North-Rhine-Westphalia, on the other hand, criticized my party DIE LINKE for a “policy which focuses too strongly on the Eastern Germany.”
The German teacher Friedrich Froebel founded an educational establishment in the East-German Keilhau, Thuringia, about two hundred years ago. His credo at the time: “Children shall not be safeguarded or indoctrinated, but shall happily grow in the sunlight, gain strength and develop.” And 200 years later? Well, today we can hardly ignore the encompassing concern of society for our offspring.
Does the refugee crisis spell doom for Merkel and usher in the end of her chancellorship? Not necessarily. After a decade in the job she shows remarkably little signs of fatigue and there is no reason either to believe she is daunted by the intensity of opposition her controversial migration policy has been incurring. Nor does a growing amount of personal defamation seem to sap her determination.
In a recent interview the associate director of Portugal´s border agency, Luis Gouveia, said that besides bureaucracy the difficulty in the resettlement of refugees is due to the fact that they don´t want to come to Portugal but to the Northern European countries like Germany or Sweden.
Instead of heavy-handed rants about Pegida, we should ask ourselves what makes demonstrators so extreme, since no one is born a racist.
The flat condemnation of Pegida is hysterical. Modern democracy means dialogue.
The claim of the Pegida movement – “We are the people” – isn’t just objectively wrong but also dangerously seductive.
History is written by those who emerge victorious. The legacy of those who don’t is dependent on the good will of the ones left standing – and whatever eulogies they are prepared to deliver.
Our understanding of 1989 as a “reunification” and a “return to the normal course of history” is very much conditioned by our (mis?)understanding of the ruptures of 1914 and 1939.
It’s up to the post-reunification generation to debate which lessons from the Nazi and GDR experiences should be passed down.
How I came to discover East Germany: Musings from a naïve Western German.
For Slovakia, European Union membership seemed like the holy grail. But the country’s ills merely hide behind this shiny new surface.
Ten years after joining the European Union, many Czechs are deeply skeptical of it. But the disenfranchisement was mostly caused by domestic politics.
Slovenia’s entry into the European Union was filled with pomp and ceremony. But things quickly turned sour.
Europe is putting up a brave front after the watershed election, but now it has to face the bitter reality.
In the Netherlands, political engagement has tempered racism and anti-migration sentiments. But it has done so at a cost.
Have pro-Europeans been telling the wrong kind of story, or why are so many Europeans still struggling with their identity?