Intelligence and law enforcement agencies in western democracies are turning increasingly to electronic surveillance tools in their efforts to identify and combat new terrorist threats. But this does not mean that they are equally equipped to undertake these measures. As the author shows by comparing surveillance activities in three countries—Great Britain, the United States, and Germany—the Federal Republic's more restrictive legal norms and institutions provide its government with much less freedom of maneuver than its allies.
A. James McAdams
A View from Within
The destruction of European Jewry as an intellectual presence and living tradition in the heart of Europe, the virtual absence of Jewish life in eastern Europe in the last half of this century, and the rebuilding of Jewish communities in many countries in east and west, but in particular, in Germany, requires an investigation of the path of European intellectual history and its beginnings in the light of the Jewish legacy of Europe.
In March 2003, Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
announced a series of reforms that his government plans to undertake
in order to deal with Germany’s pressing economic problems.
These reform proposals, known as Agenda 2010, include cutting
unemployment benefits, making it easier to hire and fire workers,
reducing health insurance coverage, and raising the retirement age.
The reforms mark a change in the direction of the German Social
Democratic Party’s (SPD) economic policy. Rather than promoting
traditional social democratic values such as collective responsibility,
workers’ rights, and the expansion of state benefits, Schröder declared
that “We will have to curtail the work of the state, encourage more
individual responsibility, and require greater individual performance
from each person. Every group in the society will have to contribute
its share.”1 Despite opposition to these reforms by labor unions and
leftist members of the party, Agenda 2010 was approved by nearly 90
percent of SPD party delegates at a special party conference in June
2003.2 Several of the reforms, including health care and job protection
reforms, were passed by the legislature at the end of 2003 and
took effect on 1 January 2004.
Jutta A. Helm
For more than a century, Germany has had a well-balanced system
of cities showcasing considerable variety in their social and physical
make-up. It has lacked spectacular global cities like New York,
Tokyo, or London. Instead, western cities include industrial cities
like those in the Rhine-Ruhr Valley and cities shaped by universities
and research (Göttingen or Freiburg), media and publishing (Hamburg),
culture and high-technology sectors (Munich), banking and
finance (Frankfurt/Main), wholesale trade and insurance (Cologne
and Düsseldorf), as well as government and administration (Berlin,
Bonn, and most state capitals). Dramatic social or economic crises
that generate debates about urban decline have not happened.
Thanks in part to effective urban governments, no German city has
come close to the near-collapse of American rustbelt cities during
the early 1980s, or the fiscal meltdown of New York City in the
1970s. Crime has been consistently lower and less violent, and the
American racial divide has no equivalent in German cities. East German
cities, while more unevenly developed, have been no less stable.
East Berlin was the dominant center, linked to the industrial
cities in the North (Rostock) and South (Leipzig, Halle, Dresden) by
a rather creaky infrastructure.
As host of the 2006 soccer World Cup in June and July 2006, Germany was suddenly full of different Germans, waving millions of black-red-gold mini flags and wearing their (and others') national colors with abandon. Was this show of nationalism a new kind of trans/national patriotism? Most certainly, the national enthusiasm exhibited in Germany had nothing whatsoever to do with past demonstrations of patriotism. With the focus on the country as host to world soccer aficionados, the world also learned of a multicultural Germany that has existed for the last fifty years or so. It learned that it is not always successful with its social and economic problems, and that the desire for national unity is sometimes difficult to fulfill. Quite correctly, the national media described Germany as joyous, generous, and open-minded hosts. In the foreign press, too, the old stereotypes were broken down.
On 3 October 1990, the National People's Army (NVA) of the German Democratic Republic, in which about 2.5 million East German citizens served their country, was dissolved. Its personnel either was removed from military service, placed into early retirement, or integrated into the Bundeswehr after a two-year selection and examination process. Since then, the NVA has turned into an object of history with no immediate significance for contemporary German society—despite efforts of former NVA officers to change the official interpretation of 1989-1990. This article examines the processes of remembering and forgetting with regard to East Germany's military heritage since 1990, contrasting the Bundeswehr's politics of memory and “army of unity” ethos not only with the former NVA soldiers' vision of the past, but also with the East German population's general attitude towards their former armed forces.
Without help from the west, the small East German opposition,
such as it was, never would have achieved as much as it did. The
money, moral support, media attention, and protection provided by
western supporters may have made as much of a difference to the
opposition as West German financial support made to the East German
state. Yet this help was often resented and rarely acknowledged
by eastern activists. Between 1988 and 1990, I worked with
Arche, an environmental network created in 1988 by East German
dissidents. During that time, the assistance provided by West Germans,
émigré East Germans, and foreigners met with a level of distrust
that cannot entirely be blamed on secret police intrigue.
Outsiders who tried to help faced a barrage of allegations and criticism
of their work and motives. Dissidents who elected to remain in
East Germany distrusted those who emigrated, and vice versa,
reflecting an unfortunate tendency, even among dissidents, to internalize
elements of East German propaganda. Yet neither the help
and support the East German opposition received from outside nor
the mentalities that stood in its way have been much discussed. This
essay offers a description and analysis of the relationship between
the opposition and its outside supporters, based largely on one person’s
The Foundation of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York
This article focuses on the role German rabbis such as Adolf Kober and Max Gruenewald played within the founding history of the Leo Baeck Institute. I will concentrate on the creation of the institute's branch in America, where the first initiatives for a German-Jewish research enterprise had their origin. The article tries to explain the intentions behind the various projects that eventually led to the foundation of the Leo Baeck Institute in 1955, and asks in what ways the founders meant to preserve and transmit a German-Jewish legacy. Since this process was embedded in the negotiations of German-Jewish émigré groups with Jewish world organizations such as Jewish Cultural Reconstruction and Claims Conference for the necessary funds, I will view the founding history of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York as a history of conflicts. My contention is that the long-lasting struggle for a preservation and transmission of a German-Jewish legacy in America reflected to a considerable extent the deeper conflict between Eastern European and German Jewry, between tradition and modernity, and was ultimately an expression of a German-Jewish identity that the refugee rabbis defended vehemently against their ideological opponents.
Jay Howard Geller
Since 1949, the Federal of Republic of Germany's titular head of state, the Federal President (Bundespräsident), has set the tone for discussion of the Nazi era and remembrance of the Holocaust. This precedent was established by the first Bundespräsident, Theodor Heuss. Through his speeches, writings, and actions after 1949, Heuss consistently worked for German-Jewish reconciliation, including open dialogue with German Jews and reparations to victims of the Holocaust. He was also the German Jewish community's strongest ally within the West German state administration. However, his work on behalf of the Jewish community was more than a matter of moral leadership. Heuss was both predisposed towards the Jewish community and assisted behind-the-scenes in his efforts. Before 1933, Heuss, an academic, journalist, and liberal politician, had strong ties to the German Jewish bourgeoisie. After 1949, he developed a close working relationship with Karl Marx, publisher of the Jewish community's principal newspaper. Marx assisted Heuss in handling the sensitive topic of Holocaust memory; and through Marx, Jewish notables and groups were able to gain unusually easy access to the West German head of state.
Jeffrey Kopstein and Daniel Ziblatt
A core lesson of Germany's federal election of September 2005 is the enduring legacy of the communist past in East Germany, a legacy that substantially shapes politics in unified Germany. Fifteen years after unification, the crucial difference in German politics still lies in the East. The 2005 election demonstrated the enduring east-west divide in German party politics. The result is that Germany today has two coherent party systems, one in the East and one in the West. Combined, however, they produce incoherent outcomes. Any party that hopes to win at the federal level must perform well in the very different circumstances in the East.