Context: On November 10, 2013, a Muslim imam was invited to give the Islamic call to prayer inside the Memorial Church of the Reformation in the city of Speyer, Germany—a church dedicated to honoring Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.Several are the important lessons learned from last year’s “Brave German Woman” incident.
This summer will mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, and we should reflect on the “lessons” we have been taught so often on how to avoid another such devastating conflict. Chief among them seems to be the canard that the Versailles Treaty of 1919 that officially ended the war caused a far worse one just 20 years later — usually in the sense of an unnecessary harshness accorded a defeated Imperial Germany.
I’m still in Germany, and keep noticing a predictable, but continually interesting, pattern in talking to Germans of all walks of life — tourists, hoteliers, guides, drivers, casual bystanders, or students. When Greece comes up (or rather is brought up by Americans), there is a noticeable tension. Continue reading “The Limits of German Patience”→
Last week I led a military-history tour on the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. You can learn a lot about Europe’s current economic crises by ignoring the sophisticated barrage of news analysis and instead just watching, listening, and talking to people as you go down river. Continue reading “Culture Still Matters”→
Over the last four years, almost all of the news about the shaky European Union has been financial, with some attention paid to southern Mediterranean tabloid attacks on Germany and the German media counter-stereotyping of irresponsible siesta-loving sunny Mediterraneans. Continue reading “The EU at the Abyss”→