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In this issue:

Anne Applebaum
Michael Burda
Eliot Cohen
Roger Cohen
Frances FitzGerald
Josef Joffe
Susanna Moore
and others
The Berlin Journal
A Magazine from the American Academy in Berlin | Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
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1 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
The Berlin Journal
The Troubled Transatlantic Alliance
4 Roger Cohen is concerned by how the
image of the US has evolved in the
postwar German imagination. A bleak
8 John Kornblum, Jerry Muller, and Paul
Rahe debate Cohens assessment of the
10 Berthold Leibinger, Heinrich v. Pierer,
and Peter Schneider, three eminent
German Atlanticists, offer sharp counter-
points to Cohens perspective.
A Religious Rift
14 Frances FitzGerald investigates how
internal dissonance in evangelical politics
may be weakening the Washington
foothold of the religious right.
The Future of US Foreign Policy
18 Anne Applebaum examines how the USs
mixed signals on democracy complicated
the crises in Hungary in 1956 and Iraq in
2006. The deleterious effects of creating
unfullled expectations.
22 Eliot Cohen returns from Israel with a
sobering perspective on the fragility of
Western liberal democracies.
26 Daniel Byman and Kenneth Pollack warn
that civil strife in Iraq may be the sparking
point that ignites conicts throughout the
Middle East.
31 Josef Joffe argues for a return to realpolitik
in the West Wing.
Academy News
33 Notebook of the Academy: The Academy
announces a new fellowship; broadcasting
from Berlin; the Academy alumni
association; a timeline of Academy events;
and more news and notes from the Hans
Arnhold Center.
38 Life and Letters: A glimpse of the fall 2006
class of fellows and the recent publications
of Academy alumni.
42 On the Waterfront: A selection from the
German press, with articles on former sec
Commissioner Harvey Goldschmid, Nobel
Prize-winning scientist Harold Varmus,
and poetry critic Helen Vendler.
A Syllabus for University Reform
46 Michael Burda diagnoses the stark
deterioration of German higher education
over the last century. Can the system be
saved? An economists view.
Two Germanys
51 Anson Rabinbach argues that Madeira may
have had as much political inuence as
mass rallies under the Third Reich. How
historians have interpreted the strategies
of Nazi culture, from Christological cults to
crossword puzzles.
56 Fritz Stern offers a historians reections
on returning to Germany and reconciling
with a country no longer his own.
Belles Lettres
60 Susanna Moore introduces us to women on
two sides of the American prison system in
an excerpt of original ction.
64 Karl Jaspers honors Hannah Arendt in this
ode to her laughter. A fragment from the
65 Donations to the Academy
Kiki Smith, Hail Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee, 2000 C







2 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
Directors Note
Great Expectations
When Roger Cohen delivered his critical assessment of recent
transatlantic relations at the Academy last spring, there was
vigorous dissent from the Atlanticists present. Underlying
this debate was really a collision of expectations about
American and German behavior. Great hopes and disappoint-
ments have been a theme running through transatlantic
dialogue for the past ve years. And many of the following
articles reect on the same thing expectations, unexamined
and unfullled. Anne Applebaum writes of the expectations
the West created in Hungary in 1956 and draws an analogy to
Iraq today. In his analysis of the breakdown of preparedness
for this summers conict in Lebanon, Eliot Cohen worries
about the capability of liberal societies to withstand the chal-
lenges of increasingly violent Islamist movements. Foreign
policies based upon unjustied optimism can be deadly, and
Josef Joffe, Daniel Bynam, and Kenneth Pollack caution
against wishful thinking in the Middle East.
Expectations must be tempered by historical circum-
stances and reassessed more than ever in times of socio-
political upheaval. In the aftermath of 1989 and 2001, both
Europe and the US are still nding their new roles in the inter-
national order. Their success will determine our expectations
for the transatlantic alliance in the decades to come. Without
a strong alliance based upon realistic assumptions about our
respective roles and capabilities, we will have difculty meet-
ing the many challenges of the post-cold-war epoch.
We will also have to reassess the foundations of power
in this new world. Countries formulate policies based upon
perceptions of power, and hard capabilities are increasingly
constrained by a complex matrix of cultural attitudes, eco-
nomic interests, and diplomatic contrariness. The profusion
of potential global crises facing us be they political, environ-
mental, economic, or health-related seems overwhelming
without a demonstration of coherent transatlantic political
will and principles. The joint US-EU3 Iran diplomacy is an
important model, despite diminishing expectations. We have
been less successful in facing the challenges of environmental
change, immigration, and terrorism, all of which will demand
immense efforts of will and hardheaded realism. We can
always take some hope from Shakespeares reminder that Oft
expectation fails, and most oft there where most it promises;
and oft it hits where hope is coldest and despair most ts.
Gary Smith
The Berlin Journal
A Magazine from the Hans Arnhold Center
published twice a year by the American
Academy in Berlin
Number Thirteen Fall 2006
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he days are truly over when
America and others were to serve
as an example to us, Gerhard
Schrder, the former German
chancellor, declared in 2002. The plun-
dering of little people in the US, who must
now worry about their old-age pensions
while executives carry home millions and
billions after a company bankruptcy, this is
not the German way we want for ourselves.
Schrder, a shrewd tactician, was cam-
paigning successfully for reelection when
he pronounced those words. His winning
anti-American theme was not conned to
Iraq. It took up an age-old topic the United
States as the land of ruthless, robber-baron
capitalism and gave that motif a little twist.
The twist lay in a small, innocuous-seeming
phrase the German way or deutsche Weg
as contrasted with what have become known






The America
Germanys Quest for a
Postwar Identity
by Roger Cohen
The Berlin Journal 5
pejoratively in post-cold-war Germany as
American conditions.
In saying that his people preferred a
deutsche Weg, Schrder knew he would
cause a little frisson. Another Weg, the so-
called Sonderweg or special path whose
end point was the Third Reich, has been the
negative pole of postwar Germany. In this
country suckled on the dangers of national-
ism, it took Schrder and then a successful
World Cup this summer to coax Germany
toward a new and comfortable patriotism.
Before these, Germanys self-expression
had long been muted. At most it comprised
Jrgen Habermass Verfassungspatriotismus,
or constitutional patriotism, an allegiance to
liberal and democratic principles, and per-
haps to the mighty deutschmark, but not to
nation and ag.
Unication and the cold wars whimper-
ing demise put an end to this imperative of
German self-limitation, and many feared a
Germany unbound and restored to heavy-
weight status in Europes midst. Germany,
its security unquestioned and its borders
set, was free to imagine a deutsche Weg;
Schrder did not hesitate to pronounce the
ut what did the former chan-
cellor mean? I think we must take
him at his word. He meant, in part,
that the days are truly over for
America to stand as an example to Germany.
If anything, the US had become a counter-
example: the land of the locusts; the home
of money-grabbing capitalists stripped of
a conscience as they stripped the assets of
enterprises like Enron; the terrain par excel-
lence of a form of inhumanity that leaves
tens of millions of Americans without
health insurance.
But Schrders German way went
further. He dened Germany as a Friedens-
macht, or peace power an oxymoron to
American ears. But peace power is a phrase
that plays to the zeitgeist of a Europe
released from the cold-war threat into
what sometimes seems like an unbear-
able lightness of being. Europe, Schrder
implied, does not do invasions; it does
humani tarian interventions. It does not
transform through power; it transforms
through example and through the nancial
and other lures of EU membership. It does
not use coercion at or over the borderlines
of torture in order to obtain information
that could be essential to national secu-
rity; it does human rights. It does not hunt
down enemies; it holds conferences about
them. It does not exalt sovereign power in
the name of universal ideals of freedom
and democracy; it invokes a universal
moral authority deemed greater than the
exhausted and perilous notion of statehood.
These differences found their most
acute and painful expression over the US
invasion of Iraq. We are not available for
adventures, Schrder said with more than
a hint of smugness. He dismissed an attack
on Iraq as terrible for the common ght
against terrorism. Events have conrmed
his viewpoint to some degree, but the enor-
mity of that German break from the US at
a moment when America was going to war
should not be underestimated.
Such a rupture would have been unthink-
able, of course, during the cold war, when
nearby Soviet tanks limited German
choices. Such a rupture would have been
impossible to imagine even in 1998, when
I rst arrived in Berlin as a New York
Times correspondent and when German
emancipation from US tutelage toward
what Schrder called normality was in
an earlier, less emboldened phase. But, as
Josef Joffe portrays the shift in the relation-
ship with Washington: Old allies like
France and Germany have become ad hoc
adversaries. To the Bush administrations
coalition of the willing a hated phrase
in Berlin Germany has responded with
circumstantial antagonism. This signals a
fundamental change from a gratitude and
solidarity once considered de rigueur to a
whimsical, postmodern ally.
Of course, as Germans never tire of
pointing out, you can be anti-Bush with-
out being anti-American, just as you could
be anti-Sharon without being anti-Israeli,
although I suspect those elucidating these
distinctions often make them less clearly
than they claim.
It is also true that various factors seem to
signal a more pro-American German tide.
In Schrders place has come Angela Merkel,
more a Pole than a German in her out-from-
communism idealism about the US and
the uses of American power. Signicant
German troop presence in Afghanistan
and the Balkans speak of its commitment
to the Alliance. There are also the deep ties
between German and American business
interests, from Daimler and Chrysler to
Bertelsmann and Random House; the con-
certed German efforts to keep Europe and
America speaking with one voice on the
looming threat of Iran, an effort prized in
the White House; the labyrinthine threads
of family and tradition that weave the tap-
estry of what we call the West; the enduring
knowledge, at least in a certain generation,
that this Germany is the house that America
built; shared concerns about radical Islam;
and shared intelligence, even on Iraq.
All of this notwithstanding, I believe the
tide of history now ows in new directions
because of two signicant developments:
a further twist since 1989 in Germanys
evolving, postwar quest to dene an identity
and Americas post-cold-war emergence as
an unrivaled power whose dominance has
no historical parallel. Both have affected
Americas place in the German imagination.
e begin with Stunde Null, or
Zero Hour, the rebirth from the
rubble of 1945. But of course
there are no zero hours. People
live on, even after such trauma, and they
carry baggage. Hannah Arendt, writing
in 1950, was struck by a German ight
from reality. Other writers referred to a
strange numbness. Adenauers initial
priorities were the integration of Germany
into the Western Alliance and the dawning
eco nomic miracle.
Adenauers Germany was, of course, only
part of the German nation. On the other
side of the Iron Curtain another distortion
of memory took place. The glorifying nar-
rative of the East involved antifascist com-
munist heroes facing down Nazism, the
better to obscure the fact that East Germans
were still Germans with their share of
responsibility for Nazi crimes. Relentless
propa ganda portrayed the danger of fascism
lurking within West Germanys American-
inspired capitalism. To varying degrees,
both parts of Germany lived with partial
histories and partial identities.
The US loomed large in the West. It is
important not to romanticize this presence,
but many Germans of a certain generation
recount their rst sighting of a GI as synony-
mous not only with food and cigarettes but
also with hope. The US was the midwife of
the Federal Republic, its guarantor, economic
supporter, defender at moments of crisis like
the 1948 Berlin airlift and the 1961 building
of the Berlin Wall, and ultimately its backer
in securing unication within nato, an
extraordinary concession

wrung from

Europe, Schrder implied,
does not hunt down enemies;
it holds conferences about
6 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
the dying Soviet Union. All of this elicited a
deep gratitude and sense of moral debt from
many Germans. America, and attachment to
it, were a way out of bad history.
America did not always stand on a ped-
estal during the cold-war years, of course.
German identity shifted again with the
generation of 1968, one that included
Schrder, Joschka Fischer, Otto Schily, and
others who would rise to power after the
Berlin Wall fell. Their anger was fueled by
many things, not least by what they saw as
the silences of the postwar years, the cover-
ing over of essential truths, the ight from
a full account of Nazism. They wanted a
more complete Germany, and they wanted
In his new book on the US, berpower:
The Imperial Temptation of America, Joffe
quotes Hans Magnus Enzensberger, writ-
ing in Granta in 2002, who recalled: The
turbulent crowd of 68 lost no time in
denouncing their former objects of desire.
USA SA SS, they shouted. Imperialism
was their rallying call, the cia took the
place of the Devil, and at the end of the day
a few desperadoes on the left went so far as
to throw bombs at the very US bases which
had protected us from the Soviets.
But of course those bombs could not
change a fundamental reality of which
the vast majority of Germans were cogni-
zant. They lived under an existential threat
from which only US tanks secured them.
The American arrival in 1945 had been a
liberation and not a defeat, as President
Richard von Weizscker acknowledged
in a speech of critical importance in 1985.
Anger at America and it was intermit-
tently strong, resurfacing with virulence at
the time of the 1982 deployment of inter-
mediate range American missiles was
circumscribed because Germany could not
afford a break with America.
ll of these realities shifted
again in 1989 and in the 17 years
since, as Germans made their
third major postwar identity shift,
a shift whose effects include a growing
estrangement from the US and a dis-
placement of America in the German
First, Germany was unchained from the
kind of imminent danger that consumes
a nations energy, denes its focus, and
cements alliances. Freer to be normal, to
dream, to set its own path, Germany tilted,
like much of Europe, toward an organiz-
ing principle for the world based not on
American power but on international insti-
tutions, international treaties, peace as an
overriding value, and a ceding of substan-
tial national sovereignty and prerogatives to
one of those institutions, the EU.
Delivered into a kind of post-national
state even as its national pride grew more
overt than at any time since 1945, Germany
found it ever harder to understand an
America consumed particularly under
President George W. Bush and since
September 11, 2001 by what appeared to
them a messianic sense of American sov-
ereignty, American power, and Americas
unique global mission.
Second, Germany began yet another
review of its past, a review that for the
rst time admitted German pain, suffer-
ing, and loss in World War II. The push to
build a Berlin memorial to Germans driven
from their ancestral homes in Poland and
elsewhere at the end of World War II exem-
plies this, as did the new harping on the
Allied bombing of Dresden a terrible
crime to its critics and the reconstruction
of the Frauenkirche.
All of this was a form of complex, psy-
chological liberation that also involved a
measure of self-liberation from the US.
As political theorist Jan-Werner Mller
recently explained, We owed Americans
so much, but there were parts of our past
that we could not talk about. America,
increasingly the custodian of the memory
of the Holocaust, loomed as a sometimes
irritating reminder of the incomplete life
Germans had been obliged to live, unable
to talk about the pain of growing up with-
out their dead or disappeared fathers
because such suffering could not decently
be compared to the suffering of six mil-
lion murdered Jews. As the years passed
this obligation, this self-censorship, this
German biting of the lip, became more
In this
changed world,
is free to
indulge its
toward the
US and bask
in a warm
sea of moral
During the Berlin airlift, US cargo planes
landed at Tempelhof Airport on average every
two minutes for 462 days.
European Recovery Program poster, 1948. The Marshall Plan, or ERP, channeled $13 billion
into postwar Europe over four years. The German government paid back all of their loan except
the last installment, which became a fund to support transatlantic projects.








The Berlin Journal 7
To be free of all of that was bracing.
And it was to this sentiment, in part, that
Schrder played with his German way and
his lapidary but extraordinary statement:
Playing with war and military intervention
will have to be done without us. In the con-
text of postwar German history, this rebuke
to America had to be thrilling to deliver,
even as it was, in my view, devastating in its
Third, Germany incorporated its eastern
part. This brought idealists of American
freedom, like Merkel, into the fold, but it
also brought many Germans raised on a
long staple of anticapitalism. As economic
hope quickly turned to frustration for
many East Germans, America loomed as
the emblem of the evils of globalization.
The success of the Linkspartei (Left Party)
almost 9 percent of the vote in the last
elections reects the signicant swell of
anti-Americanism in mainstream German
life. Even some West Germans, alarmed by
the threat to their welfare state, have sympa-
thized with this current.
These changes formed the backdrop
to the outpouring of hostility to Bush in
the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003. USA
Drittes Reich, Ihr seid so gleich (USA Third
Reich, Both Alike) said one poster. Another
reminded Bush of Nuremberg and prom-
ised death by hanging. The difference
between these vile sentiments and their
forerunners in 1968 is that Germany must
no longer hedge its bets. In this changed
world, it is free to indulge its accumulated
resentments toward the US and bask in a
warm sea of moral superiority toward an
untrammeled great power.
ut US at tention has moved
on. The parting has been mutual.
America now has other foreign
policy priorities: the war on ter-
ror (i.e. Iraq and Iran), China, India, the
Israeli-Palestinian conict, Russia, and, out
of deference and economic interest, the EU.
Germanys indignation has in it a little of
the ire of the jilted lover. But Germany also
has a deep unease before a giant, unfettered
and bestriding its unipolar and increasingly
Americanized world. Bipolarity was, after
all, a German condition, a universe in which
they felt at home. They themselves inhab-
ited its strategic center; the politics of bipo-
larity that is to say containment were as
familiar to Germans as Checkpoint Charlie.
The shredding of this familiar rule book
has not gone over well. Its replacement by
a set of rules that depicts war (in Iraq) as
the transformational catalyst for the entire
Middle East region has been deeply unset-
tling. In its impatience with international
institutions and its scant regard for the
supreme German and European value of
peace, the policy has often appeared a kind
of provocation. It has caused a righteous
Pondering this outrage, it has occurred
to me that there might be some element
of what a Freudian would call displace-
ment. After all, preemptive war at the
core of Americas post-September 11 doc-
trine might have proved very effective in
Germany in 1939; it could have saved many
lives. On the face of it, Germans should have
a lot of time for the concept. Stunde Null, as
I have suggested, is also a familiar condi-
tion to Germans; as Iraqis are discovering
today, Germany ought to know what it is to
try to build a democracy from the ground up
while coping with the legacy of a murderous
But Germans are not looking at Germany
or America through this prism. They have
moved on to a comforting place where, like
Habermas, they consider the US stripped
of its moral capital through an illegal war,
the sadistic scenes at Abu Ghraib, and the
denial of habeas corpus at Guantnamo.
These reckless American errors of hubris
and inattention have made it easier to take
this moral high ground. As the symbol of
all these American shortcomings, Bush has
gured front and center in this contempt.
In the US, Bush has orchestrated and
played with the transformational impulses
of a post-September 11 psyche, driven
both by conviction and by political cal-
culation. He has pushed hard to ensure
that Americans continue to believe that
American power now vested in a trans-
formation of the Middle East as ambitious
as the postwar stabilization of Europe and
Americanization of Asia remains the

Berlin, 1968. The legacy of the airlift made West Berliners especially
sensitive to the anti-American undertone of the student movement
Berlin, 1967. Anti-Vietnam protests became a defining feature of the
German student movement.








8 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
selves, their society, and Europe in order to
overcome the tragedy of the Third Reich.
But now we face a situation in which this
idealistic postwar vision is being battered
upon by reality. The rst reaction of many
in Germany to the crumbling of the post-
war order has been to argue that it is their
dreams that have become the new reality;
those who do not share them are the ones
living in an anachronistic world. Many
Germans tell me, Americans are just living
in the past. Europeans have dened a new
reality based on consensus and multilateral
cooperation. Your American xation with
military threats is in reality a vision from
the past.
Americas reality is based on responsibil-
ity. Europes reality is based on the need to
deal with the trauma of near collapse. Most
important now is to understand that both
Americans and Europeans are acting on the
basis of perceptions from a bygone era. So
who are the realists and who are the idealists?
Roger Cohen Part of the problem is that
Europe and the US are at such different
stages of their historical development. The
US is a young country; it is only a couple
hundred years old. When you are young
you are idealistic, ambitious, vigorous; you
want to do things. You dont want to stand
still. Europe, especially after a terrible rst
half of the twentieth century, is in a fairly
comfortable late middle age. It does not
want to take great risks. It has learned a lot
from terrible experiences and has a sober,
realistic view of the world. President Bush
capitalizes on and manipulates a certain
narrative of American history an America
liberated, the city on the hill. But this nar-
rative is so intrinsic to Americans idea of
themselves and their country that I think it
is hard to escape. Academy Distinguished
Visitor Robert Paxton said, Americans are
always at some new frontier in their minds;
the French havent had a new frontier since
the Middle Ages! France has had the same
hexagonal form since the thirteenth century.
So I would say that the idealists are the
Americans. I dont know if Europeans are
realists because they are to some degree
ignoring some real threats. But I do not see
a great deal of idealism in Europe, especially
since the European Union project, which
has long been one of Europes most ideal-
istic ventures, has come to a conspicuous
Jerry Muller At the Academy we generally
assume that strong ties between Germany
best organizing principle for the world and
the best hope for humanity. His success
with this on the domestic front has been
mixed; his personal popularity is now at
low ebb. Yet most Americans see no viable
or desirable replacement for the organizing
power that is theirs or for the rallying ideas
of freedom and democracy in whose service
that power is supposedly deployed.
America has to ask the hard questions:
what would happen in the Taiwan Strait
between China and Japan or with North
Korea if America ceased to be an Asian mili-
tary power? And how would a Russia ush
with petrodollars and a Central Europe still
uneasy about its vast eastern neighbor react
if America ceased to be a European military
power? And what of an already unstable
Middle East if America did not underwrite
the security of Saudi Arabia or guarantee
the defense and existence of Israel? The
US is forced to ask these questions because
nobody least of all the Europeans will
assume these roles if America withdraws.
And no one will defend America if America
does not defend itself.
I think we have to face a delicate fact. The
soft power of which Germany is now a lead-
ing proponent is commendable. There is no
question that the post-national cuddliness
of the EU has a bloodless, transformational
impact on countries seeking member-
ship. But this soft power is predicated on
Americas hard power. If the latter did not
ensure global security, the former would be
no more than a velleity. Europe would nd
itself back in the existential struggle that it,
and especially Germany, is so happy to have
left behind. We live in a pax Americana, like
it or not.
n alliance that cannot agree
on the nature or dimensions of the
threat it faces is an uneasy alliance.
I see, however, at least three reasons
to believe that the trends I have outlined
may reverse course over time.
First, the EU is at a standstill, its ambi-
tions much diminished. The European iden-
tity Habermas expected to blossom out of
resentment of the Iraq war is stillborn. This
stasis in the European project may well lead
Germany to reconsider its priorities in a
manner favorable to the US.
Second, the fourth postwar shift in
German identity is now looming and will
involve the challenge of integrating a
large, mainly Turkish immigrant popula-
tion. With its anachronistic denition of
Germanism, Germanys self-image will
have to change. In this adjustment, the US
will inevitably offer lessons from which
Germany can benet.
Third, and perhaps most important,
Germans have now shaken off their
America complex. They have come, slowly
and painfully, to a fuller, more avowed,
and more rounded idea of their terrible
twentieth-century past, a process that has
since 1989 involved a de-idealization of
the US. But it could in the future offer the
basis for a franker, bolder, and more bracing
exchange between the countries.

Roger Cohen is the international affairs

columnist of the International Herald
Tribune and the international writer
at large for the New York Times. This
essay was derived from a lecture deliv-
ered in the spring of 2006, when Cohen
was a Bosch Fellow at the Academy.
These remarks followed Roger Cohens lec-
ture at the American Academy in Berlin on
April 27, 2006.
John Kornblum The debate between realism
and idealism has gone on across the Atlantic
since the eighteenth century, continually
shifting back and forth.
The Americans were the nineteenth
centurys great idealists. They believed they
could steer clear of all international involve-
ment, not realizing that they were being pro-
tected by the British navy. Their reality was
in fact naive and unrealistic.
In the postwar period, Americans were
the great realists, primarily because they
carried the burden of maintaining stability
in the world after 1945. As you very rightly
put it, the Europeans and especially the
Germans became the idealists. Germans
had to create an idealized version of them-
Jerry Muller,
and Paul Rahe
The Berlin Journal 9
and the US are important and that the
deterioration of the relationship between
Germany and the US is a cause for alarm.
But is that assumption still to be taken for
granted? Let me play devils advocate and
pose a question in a rhetorically overstated
You said quite quickly and just in pass-
ing that from Washingtons perspective, as
opposed to Berlin or Frankfurts, the EU
in general and Germany in particular are
fairly low on the list of global priorities or
important sources of crises. Say that, as a
Washington policy maker for either party,
you come to believe that Roger Cohens
analysis is basically correct, that contempo-
rary Germans dene themselves over and
against the US. Why should you care? Why
shouldnt you say, This country is in demo-
graphic decline, as are its immediate neigh-
bors. It is getting older, less dynamic, more
risk averse. It is more or less in economic
stasis, as are its major partners in France
and Italy. Given the current political con-
gurations, it does not look like it is going
to break out of those patterns. It is a coun-
try that for at least a decade has not spent
money on military power and essentially
has none. Until recently it had international
inuence by virtue of its economic power,
but EU countries are no longer willing to
supply the funds to exert economic power
abroad. It has a large and growing ethnic
minority that may be very difcult to assim-
ilate. Given all those factors, why should a
I think Americas priorities will be
the war on terror and China. In terms
of American focus, Germany is no lon-
ger in the same league as India. There is
unquestionably much more thought going
into the Indian relationship than into the
German relationship because it is seen
as a relationship of the twenty-rst cen-
tury, whereas the German relationship is
considered one of the last fty years. But
Germany could have made a big differ-
ence in Iraq, and it could make a big dif-
ference in Iran. The German-American
relationship needs attention and thought,
an acceptance of the fact that the terms of
the relationship have changed. Nations
have shifting psychologies. They are hard
to pinpoint, but they exist. Germany is not
Italy. It is not France. They are different.
Why are they different? The German psy-
chology is especially complex because of
the particular trauma of the 12 years of the
Third Reich. The sixty-year process since
has involved America in various ways, and
we are now into a new stage. Simply ascrib-
ing vassal status to Germany, as Rumsfeld
seems to do, is unhelpful.
Paul Rahe I share Jerry Mullers suspicion
that you may be overly optimistic. Let me
suggest the possibility that Europe will get
the America that it wants. I am led to this
thought by having had dinner with a former
American presidential candidate, a retired
senator, who said that American policy

policy maker in Washington care about the
deteriorating state of German-American
Cohen I did not think it was possible to paint
a darker picture than I did. I nd myself
wanting to come to Germanys defense.
Germany has some pretty good enterprises
and businesses the last time I checked,
including in the auto industry. And despite
the New York Timess doubts, the economy
is beginning to look up. Germany is the
worlds largest exporter after the US. An
astonishing fact. The US cannot write
off Germany. Why? To put it bluntly, the
German army, which you just knocked
down, is much better than the Mongolian
army. And the German army is also much
better than the Bulgarian army. And that is
whom we have in our coalition of the willing
in Iraq. So if you think that the German
army is better than the Mongolian army and
the Bulgarian army, you should be thinking
about how you ensure that Americas alli-
ance with Germany remains a strong one
and that the countries do not have funda-
mental disagreements about issues of war
and peace, which is what we saw, tragically,
over Iraq. Iran is another major looming
crisis, one in which Germany could have
a lot of diplomatic inuence. If America
and Germany can work together they can
have much more sway over Tehran where
Germany has considerable economic inter-
ests than they would otherwise.
Martin Luther King Jr.s assassination in Memphis,
Tennessee sparked mass mourning in the streets of Berlin.
Only three years after Ronald Reagan demanded that Mikhail Gorbachev
tear down this wall, the US president could peer through to the other side.




10 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
Roger Cohens lecture should not be
available to a public audience without com-
mentary from Germans who are concerned
about the state of the German-American
Though Cohen presented a brilliant analy-
sis, it also contained many simplications and
generalizations. Naturally, these are unavoid-
able when one tries to examine the sixty-year
transformation of Germanys relationship
with America in a mere thirty minutes.
I witnessed the 1945 American invasion
as a 14 year old. Between then and my Abitur
in 1950, Germans became acquainted with
the American way of life through a variety
of channels. We were observers of the GIs
snack bars and PX stores, excited fans of the
Glenn Miller Band, readers of John Steinbeck
and Ernest Hemingway whose books were
rst printed on newsprint in schools and
breathless theatergoers watching Thornton
Wilders Our Town or The Skin of Our Teeth.
It is only natural that this relationship
of admiration changed upon encountering
reality, and it is common wisdom that we
ourselves have changed over the years.
Early Christo,1962. American art has
been omnipresent in postwar Germany.
Neue Nationalgalerie, built by Mies van der Rohe in 1968. German exiles to the US often
influenced postwar German culture as American architects, artists, and scholars.
should aim for energy independence. I did
not agree and asked, why? He responded,
So that we can leave the Europeans and the
Japanese to their own devices. If anyone is
going to die for oil in the Middle East, let it
be the Europeans.
What he said struck me because there are
a great many people in the US, especially in
his party, who think we should back away
from a larger military role in the world. And
it seems perfectly possible, perhaps not in
the next election but in the election after
that, that we could return to our normal
American policy, which is one of isolation-
ism. I do not think it will work, but I think
we might do it. And if we did, we would do it
in exactly the way Europeans would like. We
would do it under the cover of saying, Let
the United Nations take care of it.
Cohen I nd the thesis of looming American
isolationism hard to accept. America is linked
so inextricably with todays globalized world
that I nd it very hard to see how the US could
withdraw. You were obviously talking more
of a strategic than an economic withdrawal. I
think it would be an absolute disaster.
The world seems to be basically divided
these days into two groups of people. There
are those who think that the US is a force
for good in the world, and there are those
who think that the US is a force for evil in
the world. The latter group has been grow-
ing exponentially. When I travel I hear more
and more Europeans who think that the US
is a force for ill and evil, that everything bad
that happens is in some way tied to the US,
Iraq, and globalization. I believe passion-
ately maybe because I am a newly minted
American that America is a force for good
in the world and that, if America withdrew
from the world in some of the ways I very
briey touched on, we would get one awful
surprise. Europeans would probably get the
worst surprise of all because everything
they take for granted would suddenly dis-
appear. The world would become a much
more unstable place. That is also why I am
passionately opposed to a withdrawal from
Iraq. I think we have to see this through,
and we wont be able to if we try to become
isola tionist. So I certainly hope the US does
not move in that direction. I think that the
world needs to gain to regain a deeper
appreciation of the ways in which the US
secures stability. It is very much taken for
granted these days.

John C. Kornblum, former US

Ambassador to Germany, is a Trustee
of the American Academy in Berlin.
Jerry Muller is a professor of history
at the Catholic University of America.
He was an Ellen Maria Gorrissen
Fellow at the Academy in spring 2006.
Paul Rahe, a professor of history
at the University of Tulsa, was con-
currently a DaimlerChrysler Fellow.








Sixty years after Stunde Null, it is imperti-
nent and unfair for a cunning politician like
Gerhard Schrder to manipulate Germans
still-extant fears, prejudices, and dread of
war and to direct these emotions toward
the terrible Americans. But how can you
measure an entire populations opinion of
its most important international partner
merely by the campaign statements of a
single politician?
Cohen makes a fundamental mistake
in comparing Germanys 1945 Stunde Null
to the situation in Iraq three years ago. The
causes for Hitlers rise in Germany are
manifold, but the reasons that a country
despite its great contributions to Western
culture, despite the brilliant, educated elite
at its disposal, and despite a functioning
legal system rushed into the arms of a
band of criminals as a means of coping with
its many problems following World War I
remains a mystery.
It is clear that the situation in Iraq is of
a completely different nature. One of the
reproaches that Germans (and many others)
make against those in America responsible
for the war is that the US approached the
attempts to build a democracy from the
ground up while coping with the legacy
of a murderous dictatorship (as Cohen
describes it) with great naivety.
Cohens suggestion that Germans should
think about whether a preemptive war
against Hitler in 1939 would have prevented
a great deal of suffering is certainly correct.
One must also remember that the German
resistances attempt (made by Bonhoeffer
and Trott zu Solz, among others) to nd an
attentive ear in either England or America
met with no success. In 1938, before
Munich, an attempt to overthrow Hitler
would have stood a chance with resolute
foreign help.
Addressing what we see as Americas
errors is not a crime. It should be noted that
a segment of the American press does so
much more heatedly than our media. And
so it should be. But no matter how frankly
stated, much German criticism is levied
with full belief in the USs self-corrective
power. We place our trust in Americas abil-
ity to make the necessary corrections.

Berthold Leibinger is Chairman of

the Supervisory Board of Trumpf
GmbH & Co. KG and the generous
sponsor of a new Academy fellowship
to be inaugurated in January 2007.
The rel ationship bet ween
Germans and Americans and between
Germany and the US retains a special
signicance and has thus always
aroused passions on both sides of the
Atlantic. Given Americas unique impact
on Germanys recovery and develop-
ment following World War II, as well
as the key global role that the US plays,
no one could, or would, question why
this is so.
Looking at these relations from a con-
temporary viewpoint, however, is always
a subjective matter and is strongly inu-
enced by personal experience. This is
true for everyone for Roger Cohen
as well as for myself. When it comes to
evaluating the current state of these
relations, it is natural that my own views
will differ from his here and there.

v. Pierer
12 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
I am convinced that there are different
levels to the German-American relationship.
First, there are the fundamental things that
we have in common that are never open
to doubt and that build strong and lasting
bonds between our citizens. There are uni-
versal values shared by everyone on both
sides of the Atlantic, from German immi-
grants to the thousands of American sol-
diers with German spouses.
I am certain Germans will never for-
get what generations of American friends
have done to shape and secure the new
Germany. Images of the Berlin airlift, of
John F. Kennedys stirring words of soli-
darity in Berlin, and of Ronald Reagans
bold challenge at the Brandenburg Gate are
unfor gettable. We recall with deep gratitude
the decisive support that President George
Bush Sr. gave Chancellor Helmut Kohl as
our nation moved toward reunication.
Without that backing we could not have ful-
lled our dream.
In addition to these fundamental ideas,
our current, day-to-day relations inhabit
a second level with many facets of its own.
On the business or corporate level, for
instance, the intensity of our reciprocal
relations is clearly growing. From student
exchange to scientic cooperation, the
cross-fertilization in many elds is both
intense and extremely fruitful. On the
political level and this is the level that
Cohen discusses in detail there have
always been highs and lows. Looking at
the current situation, Cohen is naturally
right to cite divisions over issues like Iraq
and global warming. Even trade policy
has occasionally caused irritation or even
open disputes. Yet the fact remains that
even though such issues are important
and attract media attention, they are mere
moments in a much longer history. I would
certainly caution against allowing them
to permanently shift, much less sever,
German-American relations.
I also see a third level in addition to fun-
damental ideas and current events: general
developments that inuence both our coun-
tries and affect our bilateral relations. In my
view, the primary force here is globalization
and all of its ramications. China, for exam-
ple, is forging ahead, armed with both an
understanding of power and a political sys-
tem completely removed from the traditions
and values we share in Europe and the US.
The intensifying demand for scarce resourc-
es has growing implications for power and
security, not to mention for environmental
Without going into these ideas here
and now, I would like to draw attention to
a different aspect of these issues than that
emphasized by Cohen, namely the com-
mon interests, the emotional bonds, and
the overall values that bind our citizens
and our countries. In the end, perhaps the
most valuable effect of Cohens somewhat
dogmatic contribution to the debate is that
it may stimulate a more comprehensive
discussion of the theme.

Heinrich v. Pierer is Chairman

of the Supervisory Board of
Siemens AG and a Trustee of the
American Academy in Berlin.
Rereading the sublimely formu-
lated lecture given by my friend Roger
Cohen, I found myself agreeing even
with assertions with which I utterly dis-
agree. True, there is a unique and thriving
anti-Americanism in Germany. Its exis-
tence cannot be dismissed by the popular
excuse that we must allow criticism of
the American government. When the
protesters of 1968 marched in the streets
chanting USA SA SS, it was pure anti-
Americanism but making a very German
point: the liberators had become the cul-
prits. If today every fth German under 35
believes it possible that either the cia or
Mossad steered the airplanes into the World
Trade Center on September 11, it is for the
same reason. As my sons sixteen-year-old
classmate recently explained to me, it is
considered cool to be anti-American.
The problem with Cohens talk is that he
examines German-American relations in
a very rigid framework. He denes them
through the trauma of the past and isolates
them from their transatlantic context. He
characterizes the relationship as if only the
Germans and the German view of America
have changed (and changed for the worse)
since the fall of the Wall. He implies that
the US, by contrast, is still the generous
liberator of 1945, driving nonchalantly into
Europe, left leg casually dangling out of his
jeep, bringing chewing gum and democracy
to Germany. He hardly mentions the new
unilateralism of the White House, the USs
imperious attitude toward its allies, or that,
to the best of my knowledge, Americans
never tortured a single Nazi detainee, either
during World War II or in its aftermath.
I nd it odd that for every example Cohen
presents of Germanys America complex,
I could cite Americans voicing the same
scathing criticisms whether of the Enron
affair or the failed disaster relief following
Hurricane Katrina. Are only Americans
permitted to criticize the US administration,
Israelis their government, and Muslims
the Arab governments and Islam? I admit
that Schrders public distance from the
Bush administration was never without an
element of demagoguery. His biggest mis-
take was to announce a German way, a
phrase that Cohen dwells upon even though
Schrder never repeated the phrase follow-
ing the German and international publics
appalled reaction.
But was Schrders refusal to take part
in the Iraq war really just shing in the pool
of anti-American stereotypes? Since then, a
growing number of American citizens have
also said that the war in Iraq was poorly
planned and even more poorly implemented.
It was based on assumptions rightly dis-
puted by former German Foreign Minister
Joschka Fischer in his unforgettable reply,
Im not convinced, Mr. Rumsfeld. Anti-
Americanism? Ingratitude? Eschewing our
obligations to solidarity? If so, then at least
half of Americans today could be considered
Fixating on German-American disputes
distracts from the real drama: Americas
enormous loss of international prestige.
Presumably German-American relations,
either in spite or because of the German
America complex, will recover more rapidly
than those between the US and the rest of
the world.

Peter Schneider is the George M. Roth

Distinguished Writer in Residence
at Georgetown University.
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14 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
n the spring of 2005
Senate Majority Leader Bill
Frist appeared at a Christian
right gathering to announce
his commitment to saving the
life of a Florida woman, Terri Schiavo, who,
according to neurologists, had been in a veg-
etative state for 15 years. Florida courts had
approved her husbands decision to remove
her feeding tube, but her Catholic parents
objected, claiming she was conscious. The
case had become a cause celebre for the
religious right, and Governor Jeb Bush and
the Florida legislature had unsuccessfully
attempted to alter the verdict. In late March
US Congress convened in an extraordinary
weekend session to pass a bill forcing a fed-
eral review of the case, and President Bush
ew back from his Texas ranch to sign the
bill in the middle of the night. The federal
courts, however, upheld the Florida courts
Americans are a religious people from
a European perspective almost exotically so.
Ninety percent of us say we believe in God,
and a far more impressive 42 percent go to
church once a week or more, compared, for
example, to 18 percent of Spaniards. What
is more, throughout our history our church-
going has increased, rather than decreased
as it has among Europeans. In the frontier
society of the American Revolution only
17 percent of Americans were church mem-
bers. Churches sprang up with the growth
of cities and towns, and church member-
ship increased, reaching 50 percent in
1900. Yet membership continued to rise
throughout the twentieth century, reaching
a historic high of 62 percent in 1980, where
it remains today. Furthermore, most of the
twentieth-century gains were made by the
most theologically conservative churches,
principally the white, evangelical Protestant
churches that clove to a more or less literal
interpretation of the Bible. As their name
suggests, evangelicals have been more
entrepreneurial than others in the quest
to save souls. Starting from a smaller base,
the Mormons have done better still. In
fact, since 1960 membership in the liberal,
or mainline, Protestant churches has fol-
lowed the European pattern of sharp decline,
while evangelical churches have more than
compensated for the losses. Today mainline
Protestants constitute only 16 percent of the
population a historic low while white
evangelicals, most of whom believe that
God created the universe in its present form,
make up about a quarter of the population.
The success of the conservative churches,
combined with an increase in the secular
population, has changed our politics radi-
cally. Religiously based issues, such as prayer
in the schools and abortion, have been the
stuff of political campaigns since the 1980s,
and in the past decade they have reshaped
the political landscape, dividing the two
parties along religious lines. In the last two
presidential elections, how often a person
attended church was a better indicator of
how he or she would vote than any other
demographic characteristic age, income,
region except for race. White voters who
went to church every week or more voted
heavily for George Bush; those who went sel-
dom or never voted heavily for the Democrat,
Al Gore or John Kerry; those who went to
church once a month split right down the
middle, just as voters in general did. Some
of the more observant voters were Catholics,
some mainline Protestants, but most were
evangelicals. The Republicans have, in other
words, become a quasi-religious party, the
Democrats the party of the more or less
secular. Similar divisions have occurred in
European politics in the past, most recently
with the Christian Democratic parties after
World War II, but in American politics this
kind of schism is unprecedented.
Needless to say, this polarization did
not happen entirely of itself. Politicians
and activists on both sides have worked to
create it. In 1979 a group of young, right-
wing political strategists convinced Jerry
Falwell, a fundamentalist televangelist, to
form the Moral Majority, a quasi-political
organization designed to bring evangeli-
cals and other religious traditionalists into
the Republican Party. They also advised
four other nascent religious right groups.
At the time, most white evangelicals voted
Democratic if they voted at all. The majority,
after all, lived in the South, where the histor-
ically segregationist and socially conserva-
tive Democratic Party had reigned supreme
for almost a century. Conservative evangeli-
cal pastors such as Falwell did not, of course,
preach racial injustice, but they avoided
doing anything about it by preaching that
the church should be separated from public
affairs. The success of the civil rights move-
ment ended their self-imposed exile from
politics even while President Johnsons civil
rights legislation drove white Southern vot-
ers from the Democratic Party. Feminism,
gay rights, and the other social upheavals of
the late 1960s and 1970s further alienated
social conservatives from the Democrats.
Still, old habits die hard, and in 1976 most
evangelicals voted for the Democrat, Jimmy
Carter, a born-again Southern Baptist. To
woo such voters, the Republican strategists
advised Falwell to emphasize a few issues
that would resonate not just with funda-
mentalists but with other evangelicals and
with conservative Christians generally. As
the head of the Moral Majority, Falwell took
their advice. Gay rights became one of the
trigger issues, as did abortion, which until
Divine Drift
Culture Wars in the Religious Right
by Frances FitzGerald
The Berlin Journal 15
then had been of much more concern to
Catholics than to evangelicals. In his role
as a preacher, however, Falwell continued
to speak on fundamentalist themes, includ-
ing the approaching end of the world at
the battle of Armageddon and the need
to Christianize America. In practice the
Moral Majority relied on an enthusiastic
cadre of fundamentalist pastors and had
small success outside the fundamentalist
community. But it inspired other televange-
lists to join the political fray and encouraged
the formation of many other religious right
organizations, among them Pat Robertsons
Christian Coalition.
his religious right
movement has come a long
way since 1980. Today it has
a formidable infrastructure
of grass-roots organizations,
Washington-based political action commit-
tees, legal defense funds, think tanks, politi-
cal training institutes, and most impor-
tant tens of thousands of activist pastors
who get out the vote at election time. The
movement has lost its sectarian cast; it now
includes Catholics and Mormons, as well
as conservatives from the great mosaic of
denominations and independent churches
that make up the evangelical community.
Leaders have come and gone. These days,
James Dobson, an evangelical psychologist
who built a media empire, Focus on the
Family, by providing advice on marriage
and child rearing, has the most powerful
voice. But no leader is indispensable. The
movement has become highly decentral-
ized and at the same time well coordinated
through leadership councils and electronic
net working. At the state and local levels
activists have run for ofce and otherwise
integrated themselves into Republican
Party organizations with the help of gop
strategists. A 2002 study showed that the
religious right had a strong inuence in
18 Republican state parties, a moderate
inuence in 26 others.
The achievement is impressive given the
relatively small size of the religious right
base. According to surveys, traditionalist
evangelicals, the major component of that
base, make up only 12 to 15 percent of the
population and about a half of the evangeli-
cal voters. Centrist evangelicals, however,
have also increasingly moved into the
Republican camp, leaving only the small
group of theologically modernist evangeli-
cals with the Democrats. Fifty-six percent
of all evangelicals now identify themselves
as Republicans, and in presidential elec-
tions they vote heavily for Republican can-
didates. In 2000, 68 percent of evangeli-
cals voted for Bush. In 2004, 78 percent
did, and, because they turned out in record
numbers, they made up about 40 percent
of his constituency and by far the largest
voting block in the electorate. Religious
right activists claim credit for bringing
these and other values voters to Bush,
and not without reason. They have worked
very hard at it and, until recently, have
dominated the political discourse. In any
case, Republican strategists give them the
credit. The presidents aides talk regularly
on the phone with a select group of religious
right leaders and pay close attention to their
advice. As Richard Land, a Southern Baptist
Convention ofcial, put it, In the Reagan
administration, they took our calls. Now
they call us.
Indeed, since 2000 President Bush has
rewarded the Christian right in ways far
more substantial than the Terri Schiavo
bill. Among other things, he has given bil-
lions of dollars to faith-based organizations,
appointed activists to many federal agen-
cies, installed abstinence education in aids
prevention programs abroad, signed a bill
banning late-term abortions, supported a
constitutional amendment outlawing gay
marriage, and, most important, nominated
religious right candidates to the federal
courts. This summer he exercised the only
veto of his presidency against a bill, favored
by a majority of Americans (and a plurality
of evangelicals), that would have allowed
American scientists to proceed with stem
cell research.
Bush may feel personally engaged in
the issues of the religious right. He is,
after all, a born-again Christian, and he
sometimes speaks the sectarian language
of conservative evangelicals. But congres-
sional Republicans have done as much, or
more, than Bush for the cause. In 2004 the
House of Representatives passed a bill that
would strip the federal courts of their power
to hear cases dealing with any state or local
governments acknowledgement of God
as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or
government. The same year, 42 out of the
51 Republicans in the US Senate received
100 percent ratings on the voter guides put
out by the Christian Coalition, meaning that
they took the groups position on every issue
of signicance to it. Senator John McCain,
who in his presidential run in 2000 called
the religious right the focus of evil in his
party, chose to give the commencement
address at Jerry Falwells Liberty University
last spring. The Republican Party does
not have the head count does not have the
head count to elect a president without the
support of the religious right, Falwell said
in 2004. McCain, who plans to run for pres-
ident in 2008, has apparently come around
to this view.
Republican politicians, in other words,
have come to believe that the religious right
speaks for the evangelical community as
a whole or, more precisely, that religious
right activists have brought, and will con-
tinue to bring, almost a quarter of the US
population to the polls. They may be correct.
But, given the differences within the evan-
gelical community and the changes taking
place in its leadership, the assumption is not
an entirely safe one.
oliticians do have rea-
son to consider evangelicals
reliable Republicans. Surveys
taken since the 1980s show
that evangelicals are more con-
servative on both economic and social issues
than the population as a whole. Although on
average less afuent than white voters gen-
erally, they are more in favor of large tax cuts
and less government spending than other
white voters and are less supportive of afr-
mative action and poverty programs. Their
views bafe economic determinists, but
evangelicals have historically preached that
society can be reformed only through indi-
vidual salvation, not through social action
or government intervention. In regard to
foreign policy, evangelicals tend to be more
unilateralist than others and much more
inclined to view the US as having a special
role in the world. American exceptionalism
is, after all, a nineteenth-century evangeli-
cal doctrine, and in the US the military
tradition is strongest in that evangelical bas-
tion, the South. Evangelicals tend to back
their Commander in Chief, and, although
their condence in Bushs leadership has
eroded over the past two years, their sup-
port for the war in Iraq remains stronger
than it is among other Americans. Israel
has always been important to them,

and since 2000 their support for Israel over
the Palestinians has increased dramati-
cally far more than it has among other
groups. Fundamentalists have long believed
the return of the Jews to the Holy Land to be
part of the sequence of events prophesied
in the Bible that will lead to the Second
Coming of Christ. In this eschatology, to
stand with Israel against its foes is not just
to do the right thing but to stand behind
Gods plan for the world.
Those polls that distinguish traditional-
ist evangelicals from their less religiously
conservative brethren, however, reveal
considerable ideological differences within
the community. As politicians should note,
the traditionalists, who make up half of the
evangelical population, have far more con-
servative views on all issues than the rest of
the group. In 2004, for example, 40 percent
of the traditionalists called for less govern-
ment spending, compared to 21 percent
of the other evangelicals and 26 percent
of Americans generally. Statistically, the
extreme conservatism of the traditionalists
tends to skew the results for the community
as a whole. In fact, modernist evangeli-
cals have more liberal views on all issues
including abortion and gay rights than
the majority of Americans, but there are
relatively few of them. As for the centrists,
who make up about 40 percent of the com-
munity, they are no more conservative than
Americans generally except on social issues,
such as abortion; but even on these, they are
well to the left of the traditionalists. Thus,
though most evangelicals are Republicans
(at present 70 percent of traditionalists iden-
tify themselves as such, as do 47 percent of
the centrists), half of them do not see eye-to-
eye with the other half. They may become
even more divided in the future because
their leaders have been moving in opposite
Doubtless because of their successes,
religious right leaders have grown even
more ambitious than they were in the 1980s,
and some more radical. In the late 1980s
activists learned to make their arguments in
secular terms and to focus on a few issues
abortion, homosexuality as though these
constituted their entire agenda. These days,
however, it is not unusual to hear pastors
and the lay heads of religious right orga-
nizations speak of the US as a Christian
nation and call for putting God back into
government. According to many, the found-
ing fathers were Bible-believing Christians,
like the Puritans before them, who built the
nation on religious principles. In this view,
the wall of separation between church
and state is a myth created by secular
humanists; therefore, Christians must take
aggressive action to restore the country to
its religious roots. Addressing the public at
large, such activists describe Bible- believing
Christians as a beleaguered minority who
simply want a voice in the public square,
but in their own gatherings they often call
for dominion and claim that the army of
God is taking America back. In the same
triumphalist vein, many religious right
pastors who once saw signs of the approach
of the End Times in Americas declension
into sin and apostasy now downplay these
prophecies, explaining that Armageddon
may not be so close after all. Some, such as
Pat Robertson, have gone so far as to reject
the whole eschatology in favor of its oppo-
site: that Christians will bring in the reign
of Christ by thoroughly reconstructing the
society on a biblical basis.
On the other hand, many centrist evan-
gelical leaders are, for the rst time, reacting
against the Christian right. Half a dozen
prominent evangelicals have published
books this year denouncing the right for its
equation of morality with sexual morality,
its aggressive intolerance, its confusion of
church and state, and its unholy quest for
power. These attacks, two of them by pas-
tors of very large conservative churches, sur-
prised many observers. In the past, a sense
of communal solidarity or a fear of ostracism
had made criticism of the right all but taboo.
These attacks, however, came in tandem
with a number of less strident expressions
of discontent with the right. This June the
Southern Baptist Convention, long domi-
nated by fundamentalists, elected a younger
and potentially more progressive pastor as
its new president. A few of its leading pastors
made speeches reminding the denomina-
tion that Baptists had been responsible for
enshrining the separation of church and
state in the Constitution. Also this year,
86 prominent evangelicals signed a state-
ment voicing concern about man-made
global warming and calling for a mandatory
curb on carbon emissions. The statement,
with its implied criticism of the Bush admin-
istration, free-market economics, and the
religious rights agenda, provoked an angry
response from James Dobson, Richard Land,
and other inuential right-wingers. Other
centrist pastors have avoided confrontation
but have departed more or less radically from
the right-wing agenda by working on issues
of social justice for society at large. Rick
Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life
and the best known of all the evangelical pas-
tors, has, for example, put his weight behind
international efforts to end global poverty
and to stop the spread of aids. Others have
quietly enlisted their congregations in anti-
poverty projects in cooperation with local
governments. In one of the books most criti-
cal of the right, Gerald Boyd, the pastor of a
megachurch in Minnesota, wrote, When
the church wins the culture wars, it inevi-
tably loses. When it conquers the world, it
becomes the world. When you put your trust
in the sword, you lose the cross. Many cen-
trist pastors who have not spoken out against
the right would agree.
The religious right has hardly gone into
retreat because of these defections. Its activ-
ists have a considerable electoral base, large
amounts of money, and an undiminished
zeal for their cause. Still, now that the taboo
against criticism of the right has been bro-
ken, others will nd it easier to register their
objections or to assert their independence.
Statistically speaking, evangelicals have
become more afuent and better educated
in the past few decades. Many do not see
themselves as members of a beleaguered
minority or as a conquering army and do
not like the divisiveness of the right. Among
centrists, fundamentalist doctrines and
prohibitions are slipping away; in the com-
munity as a whole, attitudes about race,
womens rights, and the environment have
changed considerably since the 1960s. The
culture wars will doubtless continue, for
such issues as abortion and gay rights are
important to Americans and much has been
invested in turning them into partisan poli-
tics. Yet there will be more common ground
between the two sides if centrist evangelical
leaders continue to challenge the control
right-wing activists have over the political
agenda and the microphone. Politicians
Democrats as well as Republicans have
never had much of a grasp on internal evan-
gelical politics, but if the centrists persist,
politicians may eventually realize that the
religious right does not in fact speak for all

Journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning

author Frances FitzGerald will be
this years Richard C. Holbrooke
Distinguished Visitor.
18 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
trange though it sounds,
the rst true harbinger of the
Hungarian Revolution was a
soccer riot.
The year was 1954 the year of the
World Cup and the Hungarian team
dominated the sport. The magical
Magyars, as the British press called them,
had won the Olympic gold medal in 1952,
had beaten the then-invincible English
team in London, and had defeated the
ever- powerful Brazilians on the road to
the World Cup nal. Soccer mania had
gripped Hungary, and the Communist
Party took full credit for the teams success.



The Berlin Journal 19
Promoting Democracy
Have We Learned the Lessons of 1956?
by Anne Applebaum
Obviously, the superiority of Hungarian
athletes reected the superiority of the
Hungarian political system.
But the Hungarian team lost the nal
to capitalist West Germany. That night
there were riots in the streets of Budapest.
Angry fans broke shop windows, burned
sports newspapers, and marched to the
house of the Hungarian team captain,
shouting for him to resign. Not a word
about the rampaging mobs ever appeared
in the press. But they were not forgot-
ten. Everybody felt something had hap-
pened, wrote one memoirist of the time,
something that had a certain signicance,
although it was too early to see exactly
what It was an outbreak, an expression of
discontent, a demonstration. It was some-
thing forbidden that tasted good.
In retrospect, it now seems obvious that
there would be a rebellion in Hungary and
strange that so few outside analysts antici-
pated the one that occurred. Between 1948
and 1956, the country had gone through
a period of harsh repression, followed by
liberalization, followed by another wave
of repression. The Communist Party lead-
ership was openly riven by bitter inght-
ing. Living standards were extremely
low, and, thanks to Western radio and
the odd traveler, news of how rapidly the
Hungarian economy had fallen behind
the economies of neighboring Austria and
West Germany was beginning to circulate.
The country also had a tradition of armed
national rebellion dating back to 1848 and
a long history of political sovereignty. The
Russians were so worried by popular dis-
content that they had not once but twice
summoned the Hungarian Communist
Party leadership to Moscow to demand
that they address the problem.
Western governments also had, at least
in theory, an interest in seeing a rebel-
lion take place in Hungary or anywhere
else in the Soviet bloc. Ofcial American
policy appeared to encourage it. In 1953
an internal White House analysis of the
Eastern bloc had concluded that a spirit
of resistance should be promoted in all
the Soviet satellites. The Secretary of State,
John Foster Dulles, spoke frequently of
the need to liberate the captive nations
of Eastern Europe. Radio Free Europe,
whose Hungarian service was run by mi-
grs, broadcast anticommunist programs
day and night. American intelligence
also launched some less well-known but
equally inuential propaganda campaigns.
Among other things, US agents released
balloons carrying anticommunist pam-
phlets over the Hungarian countryside.
The pamphlets carried direct incitements
to rebellion: The regime is weaker than
you think and Hope lies with the people.
Even so, US intelligence failed to see
that such propaganda had any impact. In
June 1956 a cia paper concluded that no
activist opposition was likely in Hungary.
There really is no underground move-
ment, analysts wrote, and there are few
potential underground leaders. Clearly,
nobody in Washington was paying atten-
tion to soccer riots.
Because of the lack of preparation, the
Wests reaction when street ghting broke
out on October 23 was confused and con-
tradictory. In Washington, ofcials dith-
ered about whether the president ought to
call a day of prayer for the Hungarians
or whether the Red Cross ought to send
in medical supplies, ultimately stalling by
tabling a protest at the United Nations. In
London, the British Foreign Ofce advised
strongly against saying anything that
might encourage hotheads in Budapest.
By the fourth day of the rebellion, on
October 27, Dulles despite his own liber-
ation rhetoric had publicly and pointedly
declared that the American government
did not look upon the nations of Eastern
Europe as potential allies. That message
was then repeated by the American
ambassador to Moscow and eventually
by President Eisenhower himself, just to
make sure the Soviet leadership (which
itself was dithering and delaying) got
the point: the West would not try to take
advantage of the situation.
Meanwhile, Radio Free Europe an
institution that was widely believed, in
Hungary and elsewhere, to represent the
views of the US government simulta-
neously went on the offensive, supply-
ing its eager listeners with advice about
partisan warfare, instructions on how
best to make bombs and stop tanks, and
heavy hints about the inevitability of
American intervention. One infamous
radio broadcast, aired in early November,
encouraged Hungarians to keep ghting
because the pressure upon the govern-
ment of the US to send military help to
the freedom ghters will become irre-
sistible. The result was both bloody and
tragic. Some 2,700 Hungarians died, and
20,000 were wounded. Afterward, dozens
of Hungarian refugees told a Radio Free
Europe survey team that they had kept
ghting, even after the Soviet invasion,

20 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
because they expected American interven-
tion at any moment.
Worse, bellicose American rhetoric
allowed the Hungarian Communist Party
to interpret the defeat of the rebellion
as a clear victory over anticommunist
Western policy. As a result, the failed revo-
lution of 1956 actually strengthened the
Hungarian Communist Party. In the short
run, it provided an excuse for the party to
return to the harsh tactics and terror that
it had abandoned following the death of
Stalin; after the street ghting ended, the
Hungarian government arrested some
35,000 people and sentenced more than
three hundred to death. Tens of thousands
were banned from their homes or expelled
from their jobs. In the long run, the
Soviet invasion of Hungary strengthened
the Soviet Unions hold on all of Eastern
Europe well into the following decade.
Until the Prague Spring of 1968 briey
revived hope, the Hungarian Revolution
ended any realistic hope that the Warsaw
Pact bloc might disintegrate of its own
accord. Whatever Radio Free Europe said,
no one believed any longer that the West
would come to the aid of rebellious Soviet
In a broader sense, the increased post-
1956 Soviet presence in Eastern Europe
also, in turn, exacted a huge toll on the
US and Western Europe, if not in blood
then in treasure. For nearly half a century,
the Western powers believing correctly
that the now-strengthened Soviet Union
was formulating plans to invade Western
Europe from its Eastern satellites pre-
pared themselves for nuclear war on the
European continent. Billions were spent
on weaponry, espionage, covert opposition,
and civil defense. The US in particular
paid a high price in the form of the cen-
tralization of the American government
and the expansion of the defense estab-
lishment, both of which came at a high
cost to the American economy.
None of which is meant to suggest, of
course, that the US in particular or the
West in general is to blame for the defeat
of the Hungarian Revolution or for the
damage it left in its wake. Ultimate blame
belongs to the Soviet and Hungarian
Communists who set up the Hungarian
Peoples Republic in the rst place.
Nevertheless, in this sixtieth anniversary
year it is worth looking at the mistakes the
West made in 1956 and asking whether the
events of that year hold any lessons for the
t the very least, 1956 should
have taught two lessons to the
cia and its European counter-
parts. Lesson number one is clear
enough; without question, Western intel-
ligence services were totally unprepared
for the Hungarian rebellion. No one had
thought much about monitoring the public
in a totalitarian country. No one even knew
how to monitor popular opinion in a totali-
tarian country.
It is not hard to understand the origins
of this ignorance. Much of the information
about internal Hungarian affairs theo-
retically came from US diplomats based
in Hungary. But these diplomats had, in
turn, very few interactions with ordinary
people. In June of 1956 the president of the
American Motion Picture Association vis-
ited Budapest and presented the embassy
with a list of Hungarian artists, writers,
actors, and academics to invite to a cocktail
party being given in his honor. He was
rebuffed. We never meet with these people
socially, he was told. When journalists
inside the country began reporting on the
discontent and the desire for change, the
embassy dismissed their accounts as overly
The intelligence community did not do
much better. True, the cia would have had
extensive links with Hungarian migrs
such as those who worked at Radio Free
Europe. But while these Hungarian exiles
may have had excellent insights into their
countrys geopolitical predicament and past
history, most were out of touch with the
experiences of ordinary Hungarians. The
young people who emerged as the student
leaders of the 1956 rebellion would not, for
example, have had any links with opposi-
tion or migr groups or indeed many con-
tacts outside the country at all.
Judging by the more recent history of
US intelligence, this conundrum remains
unsolved. One need look no further than
US intelligence failures in Iraq. After all,
under the Baathist regime of Saddam
Hussein, Iraq was organized in much
the same way as Stalinist Eastern Europe.
(Hussein appears to have taken direct orga-
nizational advice from the Soviet Union
and set up his secret police along Soviet
lines.) Perhaps it is not surprising then that
even leaving aside the pre-war assessment
of weapons of mass destruction the
American administration had a very poor
sense of how the country, and particularly
pro-regime loyalists, would respond to an
American invasion. Nearly sixty years after
the Hungarian rebellion, the main sources
of information in totalitarian Iraq were
Western diplomats and businessmen who
had contacts with a very narrow group of
people, as well as migrs whose experi-
ence was also conned to their own circles.
The mood of the country, the receptiveness
of the populace to an invasion, the plans
of Saddams supporters all of this was
unknown in 2003, just as in 1956.
But there was also a more fundamental
aw in Western policy in 1956 that also per-
sists into the present, and it too represents
a lesson that was never learned. Neither
then nor later were the Western powers
able to resolve the conict between their
laudable and perfectly honest instinct
to promote democracy and their desire to
maintain stability in the communist world.
Although the 1956 Hungarian Revolution
was perhaps the most poignant example
of this conict, it was hardly unique in the
cold-war era.
Indeed, over the subsequent three
decades, Western leaders at times appeared
to confer legitimacy on the Soviet occupa-
tion regimes. The division of Germany
received de facto acceptance from the West
in 1949; so too did
the construction
of the Berlin Wall
and, for that mat-
ter, the invasion
of Czechoslovakia
in 1968. In the 1970s, Western banks lent
several Eastern European countries money
that helped them to buy off their discon-
tented citizenry. Arms negotiators accepted
de facto the presence of Soviet troops in
Eastern Europe. Normal diplomacy was
conducted with the ussr at all levels.
Yet at the same time many Western
leaders and independent Western groups
also appeared to challenge the legiti-
macy of Soviet rule. The organized dis-
sident movements that emerged over
time Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia,
Solidarity in Poland, church-based groups
in Hungary and East Germany attracted
Western funding from foundations as well
as, indirectly, from the American govern-
ment itself. By the early 1980s, that support
had grown stronger; both Jimmy Carter
and Ronald Reagan openly declared their
The president might speak about human
rights, but factions of the State Department
never cease rolling their eyes.
support for human rights in the ussr and
its satellites and for the rst time placed
human rights at the center of American
foreign policy. Yet contradictions per-
sisted even then, as late as the 1980s. The
president might speak about human rights,
Congress might pass resolutions about
emigration from the ussr, but factions of
the State Department never ceased rolling
their eyes at these idealistic antics. In ret-
rospect, this constant, never quite resolved
conict between Western rhetoric and
Western behavior may well have dragged
out the cold war longer than necessary, just
as it dragged out the Hungarian Revolution.
Unfortunately, not much has changed
in this regard since the cold war ended.
Once again, the American president speaks
openly about promoting human rights and
democracy in the Middle East and around
the world. He has the clear support of some
members of Congress, who meet with dem-
ocratic opposition leaders from Egypt and
Iran, and from some of the press, which
editorializes in favor of democratic change
in Egypt, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia,
Venezuela, and elsewhere. Human rights
advocacy has even been institutionalized.
Whole efdoms of the State Department
are now dedicated to promoting democracy,
to providing advice about legal and judi-
cial reform, and to monitoring elections.
Non-government organizations, some-
times with American government fund-
ing, have emerged around the world to do
similar tasks.
Yet at the same time other parts of the
American political establishment openly
support maintaining the stability of some
of these regimes. The reasons are various
and in some cases understandable. In the
case of Egypt or Syria, some fear that the
collapse of their dictatorships would lead
to chaos or to the
further spread of
Islam. In the case
of Saudi Arabia,
many including
many in the same
White House that talks of Middle Eastern
democracy fear that regime change would
be accompanied by a disruption in world oil
supplies. American and European friends
of Russia a country that has invented
managed democracy, a new authoritarian
political system with some largely symbolic
elements of democracy prefer to avoid
criticizing the Russian government on
the grounds that Russian help may still be
necessary to ght the war on terror or that
Russian gas pipelines are too important to
risk losing.
But, however understandable, the
resulting message from the US, now as
in 1956, is a muddled one. Sometimes we
support democratic change. Sometimes,
particularly if our economic interests are
perceived to be at stake, we dont. And, as
in 1956, this mixed message could prove
to be more dangerous than we think. At
the very least, it creates the perception of
hypocrisy, weakening any potential inu-
ence the US might have in authoritarian or
totalitarian societies. When the leaders of
the free world recently agreed to hold their
annual G8 meeting in St. Petersburg, they
essentially said that Russias undemocratic
policies do not bother them. This, in turn,
weakens the inuence of any US diplomat
who complains to his Russian counterparts
about the harassment of Russian opposi-
tion leaders. When American companies
such as Microsoft and Yahoo! defend their
decision to sell software enabling internet
censorship to China, they too are in effect
saying that Chinese authoritarianism is no
concern of ours, making any Western cam-
paign against Chinas concentration camps
weaker. When Iranian or Venezuelan
leaders hear Western leaders contradicting
themselves about democracy in the Middle
East, they conclude that the leaders of the
The potential for another 1956 a popular
rebellion that receives Americas rhetorical
support without its practical support
remains very real.
so-called West merely pay lip service to the
ideals of freedom and democracy; they do
not really believe in them.
At worst, the potential for another 1956
another popular rebellion that receives
Americas rhetorical support without
Americas diplomatic or practical sup-
port also remains very real. It is hard to
imagine a US reaction to a revolution in
Saudi Arabia, for example, which would not
be muddled and contradictory. Some in the
American administration would immedi-
ately support the ousted royal family, some
would hail the new democrats. Money
and attention would ow to both sides. It is
easy to imagine American-backed Arab lan-
guage radio stations, staffed by Saudi exiles,
broadcasting messages of encouragement
to rebels, as in 1956. It is equally easy to
imagine the White House simultaneously
hemming and hawing, and issuing equivo-
cal statements of support for the old regime,
as in 1956.
And just as such equivocation had long-
term effects across the Soviet bloc in 1956,
so too would such a policy in the wake of a
Saudi uprising anger the rest of the Arab
world, make US-Saudi relations impossible
however the rebellion was resolved and
probably damage, in multiple unforesee-
able ways, US interests all over the world.
The internal conict in US policy has
still not been resolved, mitigated, or even
very well articulated. The Hungarian
Revolution took place sixty years ago, but its
lessons have yet to be learned.

Anne Applebaum is a columnist for

the Washington Post. The Pulitzer Prize-
winning author of Gulag: A History, she
is a George H.W. Bush/Axel Springer
Fellow at the Academy this fall.
22 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006 Ann Ginsburgh Hofkin, Israel-01-9 (near the Sea of Galilee), 2001
The Berlin Journal 23
An odd-looking war, this. A group
of defense experts standing on a patio over-
looking the Israel-Lebanon border as night
settles over the valley, turning grays and
greens to blues and purples. Ears pricked
for the warning sirens, and then the crash
of a howitzer ring from the other side of
the hill, perhaps one hundred meters away.
We continue to sip the rough wine of the
Galilee, watch a shell impact in the distance,
and then sit down to dinner with the mayors
of towns emptied of their inhabitants by
the rain of rockets from the other side of
the border. They are burly Jewish peasants,
opposed to the evacuation of the population
of these parts; they would rather risk the
occasional loss than concede a moral victory
to their enemies. It is, in some ways, beside
the point. Many of the inhabitants of Kiryat
Shemona, Metulla, and Kfar Giladi have
moved south for a few weeks, leaving the
towns and settlements deserted. But, reveal-
ingly, these quiet streets are tranquil: no
looters, just the mountain breezes roaming
through the abandoned cafes, groceries, and
apartment blocks.
Nasrallahs War one should call it,
because it was a war largely of his making,
the curiously grinning chief of Hezbollah.
But it is a war with larger implications;
and when, as will likely happen, Hassan
Nasrallah meets his end in the explosion
of a Hellre missile or laser-guided bomb,
the war will not have ended, nor will its
consequences be any less important. He
has admitted, astonishingly, that he did
not anticipate the fury he would unleash by
ordering the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers
in an undisputed area of the Israel-Lebanon
border. Having seen the similar earlier
kidnapping of Israel Defense Forces (idf)
soldier Gilad Shalit, he probably hoped for a
retaliatory strike or two and then a negotia-
tion that would either yield him some politi-
cally useful trophies a few of the Lebanese-
born terrorists in Israeli jails or boost his
prestige in Lebanon and the Arab world
by inicting loss and humiliation on

Nasrallahs War
Observations Upon Returning from Israel
by Eliot Cohen



24 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
the Israelis. His decision to launch this war
may not have initially pleased his Iranian
masters, who train, equip, and support his
forces, because they viewed Hezbollah as
a deterrent that could prevent Israel or the
United States from launching a strike on the
edgling Iranian nuclear program. And one
does not use a deterrent until it is needed.
But Nasrallah, a cocky, intelligent, and auda-
cious man, struck anyway.
The Hezbollah chief leads a movement
that combines social welfare and violence.
It is a Lebanese representative of the long
disadvantaged Shiites and an arm of Iranian
foreign policy. His forces some thousands
of hard-core ghters and a larger array of
supporters have the qualities of an army,
for they are as well armed and equipped as
any Western light infantry force, with night
vision devices, video cameras to monitor
enemy avenues of approach, vast quantities
of the latest-model Russian antitank mis-
siles, rocket propelled grenades, surface-to-
air missiles, and of course roughly 15 thou-
sand surface-to-surface missiles, thousands
of which they rained down on Israeli cities.
They are even organized in recognizable
military formations with sophisticated sys-
tems of command and control. At the same
time they are guerrillas, indistinguishable
from the local population and able to melt
back in; an international terrorist orga-
nization with reach to Europe and Latin
America; participants in government in
Lebanon, with state allies, protectors, and
guides in Syria and Iran and yet account-
able to no head of government. It is a pecu-
liar enemy to have to ght.
And a peculiar place to ght, too. The
word village conjures up an English
high street inhabited by the likes of Miss
Marple or, latterly, Inspector Foyle, with a
few dozen quaint one- or two-story build-
ings. But the villages of Lebanon are differ-
ent towns of twenty or thirty thousand or
more, densely packed multi-story dwellings
on mountainsides clad with vegetation. To
the honeycombed caves and gullies add the
olive groves, the vineyards, and the orchards,
and the result is ground eminently suited
to a close-in ght. Urban and mountainous
terrain both level some of the discrepancy
between more and less sophisticated oppo-
nents, as American forces have discovered
in Afghanistans Shah-i-Kot and Iraqs
Ramadi and Fallujah. Here in Lebanon,
mountains and cities are combined. Six
years of Iranian-nanced construction has
turned the towns of southern Lebanon into
well-fortied ghting positions, deep and
well-hidden, with strongly built bunkers
connected by communication systems,
amply supplied with stocks of food and
weapons, and manned by ghters well
schooled in their use, some having red as
many antitank missiles in training as their
American counterparts.
he Israelis came to this war
unprepared. Psychologically unpre-
pared because their Prime Minister
had spoken of his desire to make his
a country that is fun to live in and because
Warren Buffetts purchase of an Israeli
precision machine rm for $4 billion had
provided tangible evidence that Israel had
made it into the big leagues of the global
economy. Materially unprepared because,
for decades, the desire for social spending
and investment in economic infrastructure
the shining new Ben Gurion Airport, the
superhighways, and the dazzling public
edices had led Israeli governments of left
and right to quietly trim defense spending.
Thrifty nance ministers were responsible
for Israel spending some 6 percent of its
gross domestic product on defense 2 per-
cent more than the US, no doubt, but noth-
ing like the 10 or 15 percent of a worse time.
Tactically unprepared not because Israeli
intelligence underestimated Hezbollahs
arsenal or ghting capability but because
the idf had, for years, been conducting a
war of hit-and-run against the less orga-
nized, less well-equipped, and considerably
less erce Palestinians.
Israeli planners set forth ve objectives:
to restore Israels weakened deterrent repu-
tation, tarnished, in their eyes, by unilateral
withdrawals under re from Lebanon in
2000 and Gaza in 2005 and by incessant
attacks along both borders ever since; to
set back Hezbollah even if it could not be
destroyed; to weaken Irans force of missiles
in Lebanon; to make Lebanon an account-
able state by compelling its weak and frac-
tious government to assert sovereignty over
the southern part of the country; and to set
the conditions for recovering the two cap-
tured soldiers.
Some parts of the war went well for Israel.
The so-called Katyusha rockets varia-
tions of the Russian BM-21, red from a
tripod or a rack on a pickup truck could
not be destroyed reliably from the air. But
these weapons, useful for terror purposes,
were in purely physical terms ineffective.
With ve to seven kilograms of high explo-
sive, wrapped in ball bearings in order to
increase casualties, it nonetheless took over
a hundred of these to kill an Israeli civilian.
They could scar a building and devastate a
room or two, but they were inaccurate. Far
more lethal were the medium range mis-
siles (220 and 302 millimeters in diameter)
with much longer ranges (75 kilometers as
opposed to thirty) and heavier payloads of
up to 150 kilograms. And then there were
the twenty-odd two hundred kilometer
range Zilzal missiles, an Iranian version of
the Russian Luna, with a payload of six hun-
dred kilograms of high explosive, enough
to take down a substantial building. These
medium and long range missiles the Israeli
Air Force destroyed in a campaign that
required exquisite coordination between
intelligence and fast-moving aircraft.
On the ground, the Israelis hesitated to
launch a large assault. Israeli leaders were
reluctant to reenter the Lebanese swamp.
The emotions were similar to those that
American political and military leaders
would have felt in, say, 1982 if they were
contemplating recommitting hundreds of
thousands of soldiers to the conquest of the
southern half of Vietnam. But the need to
score a tangible success nally led Israel to
launch a last-minute blitz that did, as prom-
ised, reach the Litani River twenty kilome-
ters north of the border.
The Israeli high command felt the toll
of this war. The rst and, Israelis sardoni-
cally predict, the last Israeli ghter pilot to
serve as chief of staff, Lieutenant General
Dan Halutz, was thrice carried off to doctors
with acute stomach pains and fevers. The
commander of the northern front, a logisti-
cian, was displaced by the vice chief of staff,
a more experienced infantryman who had
long served in the Galilee. By wars end,
despite the brave face they put on it, one
could not nd a senior Israeli in govern-
ment or out of it, or among the constellation
of retired generals who never really retire
who saw the war as anything other than a
failure, a humiliation similar to, if smaller
than the initial days of the Yom Kippur War,
and a grievous setback on many fronts.
he consequences of any war
take years to unfold, but some things
are certain. The rst is that Israel
will enter a period of lacerating self-
examination and criticism. Every tactical
setback will be analyzed the hitting of a
warship by an Iranian copy of a Chinese
missile, for example. Angry reservists have
denounced the failures of leadership, logis-
tics, and training. Commissions of inquiry
will sit, and heads will roll. Israeli planners
The Berlin Journal 25
will worry about what happens when not
if Palestinians acquire a similar arse-
nal of missiles and, in collaboration with
Hezbollah, shut down Israels southern port
of Ashdod as well as the northern port of
Haifa. The Israelis will increase the idfs
defense budget, weed its senior ofcer corps,
improve its training, and grit their teeth
for the inevitable second, third, and fourth
rounds of this ght. They remember, even
if the rest of the world has forgotten, that
Israels military record going back to the pre-
state period is one not of unbroken success
but of intermittent failures from which
institutions have recovered, and swiftly.
Israels social cohesion remains high. The
unlooted towns of the north evidence this,
as does the absence of refugee tent cities
despite that hundreds of thousands of
Israelis have moved south friends, rela-
tives, and strangers have sheltered their
fellow citizens.
The second is, of course, that Hezbollah
has come away militarily weakened for the
moment but politically more prominent in
the Arab and Muslim world: more condent
and perhaps more prone to miscalcula-
tion. In all of the analysis of Hezbollahs
successes, the reasonable and the grossly
inated alike, one forgets that the war
began with a misjudgment of Israels likely
response. The narrative that Nasrallah has
now constructed of these events, and of
his own abilities, will probably lead him to
make more misjudgments. So too with the
Syrians, who may see in Hezbollahs strat-
egy an option of their own for waging a war
to regain the Golan Heights, and for the
Iranians, who see their stock rising among
some, though not all Arabs. There is now a
far greater likelihood that all these actors,
entranced by their own owery language
and rhetoric of deance, victory, and honor
will decide to throw punches that will elicit
a far different response than they expect.
There are two larger implications, how-
ever. Nasrallahs War poses the question
of how rst-world states which is what
Warren Buffett-enchanted, good-life-loving
Israel really is will deal with an opponent
who has no scruples. The Waffen SS would,
without compunction, brutalize or massacre
civilian populations; but German soldiers
believed that they fought to defend, not to
expose their families. Even they would have
viewed hiding behind German infants as
dishonorable. Hezbollah, like other Islamist
movements, is not this way. For them, there
is nothing wrong with launching rockets
designed only to kill civilians, hiding those
rockets in the bedrooms of farmers, and
manipulating images of the resulting dead
to gain propaganda victories. Truces are
meaningless, borders have no sanctity; in
short, there are, in Hezbollahs rule book,
no rules whatsoever. They conduct what
British General Sir Rupert Smith shrewdly
calls war among the people, and they do
it very well. They understand that the news
coverage on their own television station
or in the reports of journalists escorted by
their minders is absolutely critical to their
The Israelis are, to this moment, even
worse than the US at understanding how
to ght such a war partly from arrogance,
partly from a dismal sense that the odds
are stacked overwhelmingly against them.
Their generals get no media training; they
devote scant resources to capturing and dis-
seminating incriminating videos of their
enemies; they have barely begun embed-
ding journalists in combat units; and they
lack effective spokesmen and credible daily
briengs. Until they and we accept that
in such wars the media campaign demands
such cleverness, able leadership, and even
of material
resources com-
parable to those
committed to
lethal opera-
tions, they will
nd themselves
pilloried for
returning re
in ways accept-
able under
law against
mosques and
hospitals con-
verted into
rocket sanctuaries and sniper positions, or
UN outposts overrun by guerrillas hoping
to re with impunity from the shelter of the
light blue ag.
There is a still larger question, which is
whether liberal democratic societies will
have the fortitude to make the sacrices of
treasure, and more important, of blood, to
preserve themselves from enemies such
as Hezbollah. The West and realize it or
not, it is the West, not just the Israelis lost
this latest campaign against one variant
of Islamist fanaticism. These movements,
with their ideology of hatred that knows
no mercy, their intoxicating rhetoric of
resistance that despises compromise, and
their unappeasable sense of grievance that
absolves them of all responsibility, exercise
an irresistible fascination on young men
jarred by modernity. Just as fascism and
communism tapped the anger of societies
losers, of all who crave utopian solutions
to humanitys problems and nd violence
fascinating, so too with the Islamist move-
ments. This is, simply, war to the death.
Societies like Israel and the US about
Europe one can speak less condently will
probably rise to the challenge, in propor-
tion as they nd it within themselves to
call evil by its name. Free peoples looked
confused, divided, and weak in the 1930s
as well. But the struggles now unfolding
with the Islamist movements, divided and
even bitterly hostile to one another as they
often are, will probably become far more
violent. Funded by the revenues from an
oil economy whose bonds we are unwilling,
not unable to break; aided by the cunning of
states we are reluctant to confront; drawing
on resentments that will yield to neither rea-
son nor kindness, they will lash out against
Christians and Jews, reformist Muslims
and secularists, against societies that value
reason, skepticism, and individ-
ual choice. They will proclaim,
as more than one jihadist has
put it, You love life, but we love
death. That is a great, if limited,
source of strength.
Ultimately, they will lose,
if for no other reason than
because their vision of society
and government is absurd, their
imaginations warped, and their
divisions deep. But before that
happens, they will strive and
succeed in inicting much
greater loss than we have known
thus far. And the chances are
growing that in response they
will elicit violence against themselves and
their societies of a kind that will remind
those historically inclined not of the post-
September 11 wars of this century but of the
devastation produced by those of more than
half a century before.

Eliot Cohen, the Robert E. Osgood

Professor of Strategic Studies at
Johns Hopkins Universitys School of
Advanced International Studies, was
a C.V. Starr Distinguished Visitor at
the Academy in spring 2006. He vis-
ited Israel in early August 2006 under
the auspices of the American Jewish
Committees Project Interchange.
Nasrallahs War poses
the question of how
first-world states
which is what Warren
good-life- loving Israel
really is will deal with
an opponent who has no
26 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
nless the United States
and the new government of Iraq
take dramatic action to reverse
the current trends, the interne-
cine conict in Iraq could easily spiral into
a full-scale civil war, threatening not only
Iraq itself but also, even more vitally, its
neighbors throughout the oil-rich Persian
Gulf. Spillover from an Iraqi civil war could
prove the greatest threat to peace in this stra-
tegically and economically crucial region.
Spillover refers to the tendency of civil wars
to impose burdens, create instability, and
even trigger civil wars in other, usually
neighboring, countries.
This tendency to iname the passions
of neighboring populations is, at the most
basic level, simply a matter of proximity.
It is far easier for people to identify and
empathize with those they live near, even
if they are on the other side of an imagi-
nary boundary. Invariably, the problem is
exacerbated whenever ethnic, religious,
racial, or other groupings spill across
those borders. The members of a group
have a powerful tendency to take the side
of, support, and even ght on behalf of the
members of their group in the neighboring
country. This sense of cross-border afnity,
indeed kinship, is particularly strong in the
Middle East.
Unfortunately, Iraq appears to have
many of the conditions most conducive to
this kind of spillover because of the high
degree of foreign interest in the country.
Ethnic, tribal, and religious groups within
Iraq are prevalent in neighboring countries,
and they share many of the same grievanc-
es. Iraqs history of violence with its neigh-
bors has fostered desires for vengeance and
fomented constant clashes. Its neighbors
also covet Iraqi resources, such as oil and
important religious shrines. Commerce
and communication between Iraq and
its neighbors is high, and its borders are
porous, which suggests that spillover
from an Iraqi civil war would tend toward
the more dangerous end of the spillover
Refugee Flows
Massive refugee ows are a hallmark of the
kind of major civil war that now looks to be
taking shape in Iraq. The inux of hundreds
of thousands (if not millions) of victims of
strife into neighboring countries can have
two effects. First, it often angers their kin
and supporters in the nearby countries,
who may then demand that their govern-
ment take action against the perpetrators
or directly aid refugee militias. Secondly,
emboldened by the presence of thousands
of potential ghters, disgruntled commu-
nities may even believe they can challenge
their own government, as happened when
Palestinian refugees poured into Lebanon
from Jordan in 1970, upsetting the coun-
trys communal balance of power.
The heavy ow of refugees from Iraq is
likely to worsen instability in all of its neigh-
bors. In particular, the potential for mas-
sive refugee ows among Iraqs Shiite and
Sunni Arabs could be devastating to Iran,
Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. Kuwait,
for example, has just over a million citizens,
roughly one-third of whom are Shiite. The
inux of several hundred thousand Iraqi
Shiites across the border could change the
religious balance in the country overnight.
It is possible that these Iraqi refugees and
the Kuwaiti Shiites might turn against the
Sunni-dominated Kuwaiti government if it
were to back Sunni groups in Iraq, as seems
most likely. The inux of ghters from Iraq
could also lead Kuwaiti Shiites to see vio-
lence as a way of ending the centuries of dis-
crimination they have faced at the hands of
Kuwaits Sunnis.
The Contagion Effect of Civil Strife
External unrest can cause civil unrest
and even conict within the neighbor-
ing states if the neighboring population
feels the same or similar grievances as
their compatriots across the border. The
Syrian civil war furnishes an example of
this. Although Sunni Syrians had chafed
under the minority Alawite dictatorship
since the 1960s, members of the Muslim
Brotherhood the leading Sunni Arab oppo-
sition group were inspired to action by
events in Lebanon. There they saw Lebanese
Sunni Arabs ghting to wrest their fair
share of political power from the minority,
Maronite-dominated government in Beirut,
which spurred their organization against
Haz al-Asads minority Alawite regime in
Damascus. Unfortunately for the Muslim
Brotherhood, Asads regime was not as weak
as the Maronite-dominated government
in Lebanon, and at Hama in 1982 he infa-
mously razed the center of the city, a major
Muslim Brotherhood stronghold, killing
25,00050,000 people and snufng out the
Brotherhoods revolt.
Iraqs neighbors are very vulnerable to
this aspect of spillover since Iraqs own divi-
sions are mirrored throughout the region.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain all have
sizable Shiite communities. In Saudi Arabia,
the Shiites make up only about 10 percent
of the population, but they are heavily con-
centrated in the oil-rich Eastern Province.
A majority of Bahrains population is Shiite,
although the regime is Sunni. Likewise,
Turkey, Iran, and Syria all have important
Kurdish minorities, which are geographical-
ly concentrated adjacent to Iraqi Kurdistan.
Populations in a few of the countries
around Iraq are already evincing dangerous
signs of such radicalization. In Bahrain,
organized confrontations between Shiites
and government security forces have become
matters of real concern. In March 2006,
after the Sunni jihadist bombing of the
Shiite Askariya Shrine in Iraq, over 100,000
Bahraini Shiites (along with a few sympa-
thetic Sunnis) took to the streets in anger.
When American forces battled Sunni insur-
gents in Fallujah in 2004, large numbers of
Bahraini Sunnis likewise came out to protest.
Bahrains Shiites are simultaneously angry
over the suffering of their co-religionists in
Iraq and encouraged by the success of the
Iraqi Shiites in gaining poli tical power to
seek the same for themselves in Bahrain.
Similarly, some Kurdish groups have
called on their brothers in Iran to revolt
against the Iranian regime. The unrest in
Iranian Kurdistan has prompted Iran to
deploy troops to the border and even shell
Kurdish positions in Iraq. The Turks too
have deployed additional forces to the Iraqi
border to prevent any movement of Kurdish
forces between the two countries.
Most ominous of all, tensions are ris-
ing between Sunnis and Shiites in the
oil-rich Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
The horrors of sectarian war are only

Explosive Afnities
Cross-Border Consequences of Civil Strife
by Daniel Byman and Kenneth Pollack
Anselm Kiefer, Rapunzel, 2005











28 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
miles away. As in Bahrain, many Saudi
Shiites saw the success of Iraqs Shiites as an
example to follow and are now demanding
better political and economic treatment
for themselves. Initially, the government
made a number of modest concessions, but
now they are facing a backlash from the
Kingdoms Sunnis, who openly accuse the
Shiites of heresy and of being the puppets
of Iran. Religious leaders on both sides have
begun to warn of a coming tna, a civil war
or schism within Islam.
Local Problems, Regional Conflicts
In part because of the reasons enumerated
above, another critical problem of civil wars
is the tendency of neighboring states to inter-
vene, turning civil war into regional war and
often destabilizing the intervening states.
Foreign governments may intervene to sta-
bilize the country and so shut down the
masses of refugees pouring across their bor-
ders, as the EU did in the various Yugoslav
wars of the 1990s; such interventions may
help to reduce the radicalization of their own
population and stop the ow of dangerous
ideas into their own country.
Neighboring states may also intervene to
eliminate terrorist groups setting up shop in
the midst of the civil war, as Israel did repeat-
edly in Lebanon. Iran intervened in the
Afghan civil war on behalf of co-religionists
and co-ethnicists suffering at the hands of
the rabidly Sunni, rabidly Pashtun Taliban,
just as Syria intervened in Lebanon for
fear that the conict there was radicalizing
its own Sunni population. Governments
afraid of secession movements in their
countries will often intervene to prevent
groups from successfully seceding across
the border. Pakistan repeatedly intervened in
Afghanistan in part to forestall Pashtun irre-
dentism that would claim parts of Pakistans
territory. In virtually every case, these inter-
ventions only brought further grief both
to the interveners and to the parties of the
civil war.
This intervention can take many forms.
Many states attempt only to inuence the
course of the conict by providing money,
weapons, and other support to one side or
another in the civil war. In effect, they use
their intelligence services to create proxies
who can ght the war and secure their aims
on their behalf. Frequently these proxies
prove too weak or too independent to achieve
the backers goals, which creates an incen-
tive for the government to mount a more
overt military intervention. States often rst
opt for covert intervention to try to limit the
potential blowback against them, but this
rarely seems to work.
Foreign intervention at the covert level
is proceeding apace in Iraq. Iran has led
the way and enjoyed the greatest advantage.
American and Iraqi sources report that there
are several thousand Iranian agents of all
kinds already in Iraq. These personnel have
simultaneously funneled money, guns, and
other support to friendly Shiite groups and
established the infrastructure to wage a
large-scale clandestine war should they ever
need to do so. Iran has set up an extensive
network of safe houses, arms caches, com-
munications channels, agents of inuence,
and proxy ghters and will be well posi-
tioned to pursue its interests in a full-blown
civil war. The Sunni powers of Saudi Arabia,
Jordan, Kuwait, and Turkey are all frightened
by Irans growing inuence and presence
inside Iraq and have been scrambling to
catch up. They have begun to create a similar
network, largely among Iraqs Sunni popula-
tion. Turkey may be the most likely country
to intervene overtly. Turkish leaders fear
both the spillover of Turkish secessionism
and the possibility that Iraq is becoming a
haven for the pkk, the Kurdistan Workers
Party, a militant group that aims to set up
an independent Kurdish state. Turkey has
already massed troops on its southern border,
and Turkish ofcials are already threatening
to intervene in Iraq should the situation esca-
late. Thus, it seems highly likely that there
will be a heavy international component in
any Iraqi civil war.
hats more, none of Iraqs
neighbors believe that they can
afford to have the country fall
into the hands of the other side.
Both Iran and the Sunni states would likely
see the other sides victory in an Iraqi civil
war as an enormous boon in terms of oil
wealth and geographic position. An Iranian
victory would put Iranian forces in the
heartland of the Arab world, bordering
Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait for
the rst time. (Interestingly, several of these
states poured tens of billions of dollars into
Saddams military to prevent just such an
occurrence in the 1980s.) Similarly, a Sunni
Arab victory (perhaps backed by the Saudis,
Kuwaitis, and Jordanians at the very least)
would put radical Sunni fundamen talists
on Irans doorstep a nightmare for the
Iranians since many Sala jihadists hate the
Shiites more than they hate Americans. Add
to this each countrys tremendous incen-
tive to prevent any other from capturing all
of Iraqs oil resources, and it argues that if
these states are unable to achieve their goals
through clandestine intervention, they
will have a powerful incentive to launch a
conventional invasion. The potential for an
Iraqi civil war to escalate into a regional war
is therefore high.
Forestalling the Crisis
Yet there are historical cases in which such
a crisis did not occur. Large numbers of
Romanians, Hungarians, and Bulgarians
in the former Yugoslavia were affected
economically and politically by the various
civil wars there. None, however, intervened
in the ghting, in part because their socio-
economic situations were improving consid-
erably ,thanks to aid and assistance from the
EU coupled with the prospect of eventual
EU membership.
This experience suggests that the US
should provide assistance to Iraqs neigh-
bors to reduce the likelihood that their own
deprivation will create sympathy for, or
incite emulation of, the actions of their Iraqi
compatriots. The more content the people
of neighboring states, the less likely they
will be to want to get involved in someone
elses civil war. Aid also provides some
leverage with the government in question,
making them more likely to hesitate before
coun tering US wishes. The US can provide
generous aid packages with the explicit pro-
viso that they will be stopped (and sanctions
possibly applied instead) if the receiving
country intervenes in the Iraqi conict.
Though the outbreak of civil war would by
no means relieve the US of responsibility
in Iraq, much of the foreign aid money cur-
rently provided to Iraq itself may unfortu-
nately need to be redirected to its neighbors
in the event of a full-scale civil war.
Only a combination of big positive
incentives and equally large negative ones
has any chance of succeeding. The positive
incentives should also consist of specic
benets tailored to the needs of individual
countries. For Jordan and Saudi Arabia, it
might be an effort to reinvigorate Israeli-
Palestinian peace negotiations, thereby
addressing another one of their major
concerns. For Turkey, it might be pushing
harder for the countrys acceptance into the
EU. The US might offer Syria and Iran an
easier road to rehabilitation and acceptance
back into the international community.
Economic assistance will likely be impor-
tant to some of these countries, but we
should not assume that it will be sufcient
for any of them.
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Washington and its allies must also level
very serious threats at Iraqs neighbors to
keep them from intervening too brazenly.
Multilateral sanctions packages could be
imposed on any state that openly intervenes.
At the very least, there should be a general
embargo on the purchase of Iraqi oil sold by
any country other than the Iraqi government.
This would be hard to enforce because of the
ease with which Iraqs oil-rich neighbors
could play shell games with stolen Iraqi oil;
however, it might help remove some of the
incentive to seize Iraqs oil elds.
In addition, specic disincentives will
have to be crafted to affect the thinking of
specic states. Jordan could be threatened
with the loss of all Western economic assis-
tance and Turkey with its bid for EU mem-
bership. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait would be
extremely difcult for the US to coerce, and
the best Washington might do is merely try
to convince them that it would be counter-
productive and unnecessary for them to
intervene: unnecessary because the US and
its allies will make a major exertion to keep
Iran from intervening, which will be one of
Riyadhs greatest worries.
Given how much Iran has already in-
truded in Iraqi affairs, as well as its immense
interests in Iraq, some level of Iranian inter-
vention is inevitable. The US and its allies
will likely have to lay down red lines for
Tehran (and probably Damascus) regarding
what is absolutely impermissible: sending
uniformed Iranian military units into Iraq,
claiming Iraqi territory, and inciting Iraqi
groups to secede from the country. The US
and its allies must coordinate how to deal
with Iran if it crosses any of those red lines.
Economic sanctions would be one possible
reaction, but this is only likely to be effective
if the US has the full cooperation of the EU,
if not Russia, China, and India as well. On
its own, the US could employ punitive mili-
tary operations such as limited airstrikes on
Iranian infrastructure or key military units,
either to make Iran pay an unacceptable price
for one-time infractions (and so try to deter
them from additional breaches) or to con-
vince them to halt an ongoing violation of one
or more red lines. The US certainly has the
military power to inict tremendous damage
on Iran for long periods of time; however, the
Iranians will probably keep their intervention
covert to avoid provoking Washington direct-
ly. In addition, all of this will likely take place
in the context of an ongoing crisis over Irans
nuclear program, which could enormously
complicate Americas willingness to use force
against Iran to deter or punish it for inter-
vening in Iraq.
The US and its allies must be very modest
regarding their ability to prevent the kind of
spillover from an Iraqi civil war that could
cause widespread instability in this already
troubled region. The historical evidence sug-
gests that it is very difcult to altogether avoid
such an all-out civil war. How we got to this
point in Iraq is an issue for historians (and
perhaps for voters in 2008); what matters
now is how we move forward and prepare for
the enormous risks an Iraqi civil war poses
for this critical region. In the Middle East,
never assume that the situation cant get
worse. It always can and usually does.

Daniel L. Byman is Director of the

Center for Peace and Security Studies at
Georgetown Universitys School of Foreign
Service and a nonresident senior fellow at
the Saban Center for Middle East Policy
at the Brookings Institution. Kenneth M.
Pollack is Director of Research at the Saban
Center and was a C.V. Starr Distinguished
Visitor at the Academy in fall 2005. This text
is based on the authors Things Fall Apart,
published by the Brookings Institution.
The Berlin Journal 31
emocracy isn t all its cracked
up to be this ought to be one
of the lessons of Americas hap-
less venture into the Middle East.
Hence Immanuel Kant, the inventor of the
democratic peace theory, ought to be ban-
ished immediately from the seventh oor
of the State Department and the West Wing
of the White House, where the National
Security Adviser resides.
But lets continue in German for a
moment. A great power must think real-
politik rst, idealpolitik second. The key
question derives from what the Soviets used
to call the correlation of forces. Who is the
enemy, and what does he have that threat-
ens our and our allies security? Once that
question is answered, we can turn to more
lofty issues: what is a good place on which to
bestow the blessings of democracy?
Had the Bush 43 administration asked
the realpolitik question rst, it would not
have targeted Iraq but Iran. Reagan, sup-
posedly a dolt with a nine-to-ve day in the
White House, had it right when he surrepti-
tiously supported that nastiest of nasties,
Saddam Hussein, in his 19801988 war
against Iran. Always the biggest potential
power in the Middle East, this country was
(and is) run by a regime fundamentally
hostile to the US, its allies, and its values.
Balancing against this Cyclops-in-the-
making was the order of the day.
Bush 41 was right, too, when he took
on Saddam in 1990 not in order to re-
educate but to chasten him. Kuwait was
just a bit too oil-rich and much too close to
Saudi Arabia, the worlds biggest oil export-
er. But Bush 43, blinded by that democratic
gleam in his own eye, went after the wrong
target in 2003. Saddam had no nukes; Iran
was grasping for them with a vengeance.
There was no Baghdad connection in
the terrorist game, but Tehrans ne hand
could be detected everywhere from
Beirut to Berlin, from Hezbollah to Hamas.
Saddam was a worthy successor to Hitler,
Mao, and Pol Pot, but, mercifully, he didnt
have the wherewithal for a serious assault
on the order of the Middle East.
In Tehran, the Muslim equivalent of
champagne corks must have been popping
when the US army marched into Baghdad
in 2003. God is great, they must have
been shouting. First, the indels have laid
low our worst enemy, Saddam Hussein;
the threat to our western border (a prime
reason we want nuclear weapons) is gone,
courtesy of American power.
Second, our oppressed Shiite brethren,
the majority in Mesopotamia, have at last
been liberated from the yoke of Sunni
supremacy. Najaf and Qom will at last
be united in the mighty house of the
Shiites. Thank you as well, oh Great Satan,
for eliminating the Taliban, our worst
enemies in the East.
Finally, thank you Allah for delivering
the crusaders into our hands in Iraq. We
shall tie down their forces and wear them
down by judiciously manipulating the
insurrection. Meanwhile, our nuclear
armament will proceed unhindered
forget those weak-kneed Europeans
because America cannot afford yet another
war on our home turf.
his may read like a B-movie
script, but it has come to pass. With
the wisdom of hindsight, Iraq II may
go down as the worst strategic blun-
der in US history (and this author should
add that his own foresight was not as sharp
as it should have been). And why? Because
idealpolitik overwhelmed realpolitik.
Democracy is a lofty dream, and it is
indeed true that no two democracies have
ever fought one another. (Give or take the
War of 1812, when the US went after Great
Britain, which by then-standards could
have been classied as a parliamentary
monarchy.) But in the Middle East, a
perfect Hobbesian world, security and
power will come rst for a very long time.
Does anybody have a practicable pre-
scription for toppling the Khomeinists in
Tehran? Lets say we could. It would be
worth remembering that Irans nuclear
program began in the mid 1970s under
our good friend, the Shah. Nor was Iranian
expansionism, for instance against Iraq,
an alien concept in the Peacock Throne
Is there a way out? Alas, neither an
elegant nor a fast one. But the US will
have to extricate itself from Iraq because
it has much more dangerous sh to fry
next door. It will have to free its hands
and rebuild its armed forces, for there is
no hegemony on the cheap. This side of
a massive and sustained strike against
Iranian nuclear sites, it is back to deter-
rence and containment.
In its early days, the Soviet regime was
just as messianic as the current Iranian
one. But in the end, the Kennan prescrip-
tion turned out to be right: pressure and
counter-pressure until the breakup or
mellowing of Soviet power. That requires
allies, and we should recall that US cold-
war policy was none too picky in assem-
bling them. Franco, Salazar, and Syngman
Rhee were bastards, but our bastards. In
due time and under the American secu-
rity umbrella, Spain, Portugal, and South
Korea did become democracies. But the
sequence evidently is security, then devel-
opment, then democracy.
So the next American president will
have to return to the traditional ways of
the great powers. Think strategy rst and
transcendence second. The point is not to
make the world safe through democracy,
but to make it safe for democracy. There is
no goodness without security.

Academy Trustee Josef Joffe is pub-

lisher and editor of Die Zeit and an
adjunct professor of political science at
Stanford, where he is also afliated with
the Hoover Institution. His latest book,
berpower: The Imperial Temptation of
America, was published by W.W. Norton
in the US and by Hanser in Germany.
In Tehran, the Muslim equivalent of champagne corks
must have been popping when the US army marched
into Baghdad in 2003.
Kennan 101
A Primer for Democratic Dreamers
by Josef Joffe
The Berlin Journal 33
A Voice of Moral Authority
Academy Fellowship Honors Richard von Weizscker
At first gl ance, Richard von
Weizscker might not seem like
an Atlanticist.
Rather, the former president of
the Federal Republic of Germany
in many ways seems to embody
the country that he once helped to
lead. Chairman of the Academys
Board of Trustees Ambassador
Richard C. Holbrooke notes that
von Weizsckers life reects all
the ups and downs of Germanys
tumultuous century. Born in
Stuttgart, von Weizscker served
in the German army and was
wounded in East Prussia dur-
ing World War II. After studying
law in Gttingen, he became
a member of the Bundestag in
1969. In 1981 he became the
governing mayor of West Berlin,
then the president of West
Germany, and later the president
of a reunited Germany, a role he
lled until 1994. Pronouncing
von Weizscker a voice of moral
authority, historian and Academy
Trustee Fritz Stern says that
the Federal Republic has been
Germanys success story, and
Richard von Weizscker has been
one of the architects of that suc-
cess. His prominent role in the
last half century of German poli-
tics would seem to leave little time
for anything else.
But von Weizscker has been
an architect closely associated
with another success story: that of
the American Academy in Berlin.
He supported the idea of the
Academy from its inception, join-
ing Ambassador Holbrooke and
former Secretary of State Henry
Kissinger in establishing the insti-
tution in 1994. Von Weizscker
has been our Honorary Chairman
from the beginning and a very
active Honorary Chairman
indeed, Holbrooke relates.
This active participation as
well as von Weizsckers rm
commitment to the democratic
principles that have bound the
two countries together is now
being honored with an Academy
fellowship. A short-term fellow-
ship awarded to outstanding
Americans from the worlds of
academia and public service,
the Richard von Weizscker
Distinguished Visitorship will be
granted on an annual basis begin-
ning in the spring of 2007.
Ambassador Holbrooke says
that honoring Richard von
Weizscker is natural, and,
indeed, the plethora of Academy
supporters who helped to create
the fellowship reveal the power-
ful role he plays in the minds
of many. Principle donors for
the distinguished visitorship
include Hans Arnholds grand-
daughter Nina von Maltzahn,
the Robert Bosch Foundation,
the Krber Foundation, and the
Fonds Erinnerung und Zukunft.
Flughafen Berlin-Schnefeld
GmbH, Cerberus Germany, and
Bernd Schultz and his wife Mary
Ellen all played invaluable leader-
ship roles in raising the $500,000
required to secure the long-term
In his speech on the forti-
eth anniversary of Germanys
unconditional surrender, von
Weizscker expressed faith in
redemption, in reunication of
the divided, and in reconcilia-
tion that transcends boundaries.
It is a spirit and sentiment that, by
binding Germany and America
more closely, his American
Academy distinguished visitor-
ship will work to sustain.
d. f. m.
American Academy
A Conversation with Robert
Wilson, Artistic Director,
Watermill Center 8/27 8/27
Current Developments
in the Middle East and
US- German Cooperation
R. Nicholas Burns,
US Under Secretary of State for
Political Affairs
9/08 9/08

Human Wri tes

Performance-Installation by William
Forsythe, Choreographer; and Kendall
Thomas, Nash Professor of Law and
Co-Director of the Center for the Study of
Law & Culture, Columbia Law School
Location: Festspielhaus Hellerau,
Dresden 9/089/15 9/089/15
Guest Appearances
Notes from the Program
From concerts to conversations, from debates to dance,
the Academys fall schedule displays the variety of
programs that annually complement lectures by the
current class of fellows. Here we present a timeline of
events in and around the Hans Arnhold Center.
August September



Academy Roundtable
Transatl antic Issues in
Banking and Commerce
US Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala),
Chairman of the Banking, Housing,
and Urban Affairs Committee
Location: China Club, Berlin
8/16 8/16
34 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
American Academy Screening
An Inconvenient Truth
(usa, 2006)
Introduction by Al Gore, former Vice
President of the United States, and
Chairman, Current TV
Location: Kino International,
Berlin 10/09 10/09
JPMorgan Economic
Policy Brief
Web 2. 0: A Bubble Upgraded?
Barry Diller, Chairman and
Chief Executive Ofcer, Iac/
InterActiveCorp, and Chairman,
Expedia Inc.
10/05 10/05

A Wri ters Life

Gay Talese, Writer and
Journalist, New York City,
and Distinguished Visitor at
the Academy
10/10 10/10
Working wi th Wri ters
in the Ever- Changing
World of Publishing
Nan A. Talese, Publisher and
Editorial Director, Nan A.
Talese/Doubleday Books, and
Distinguished Visitor at the
Academy 10/11 10/11
Al- Qaeda: In Retreat or
on the March?
Bruce Hoffman, Security Studies
Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of
Foreign Service, Georgetown University,
and C.V. Starr Distinguished Visitor at
the Academy
10/12 10/12
New Art Ci t y: Manhat tan
at Mid Century
Jed Perl, Author and Art Critic,
the New Republic
Location: Hamburger Bahnhof,
Berlin 9/29 9/29
Engineering Success
Trustee Profile: Wolfgang Mayrhuber
by Brian Montopoli
It was the spring of 2003,
and the rst-ever Lufthansa ight
from Frankfurt to Portland had
just touched down at Portland
International. Deutsche
Lufthansa AG ceo and American
Academy Trustee Wolfgang
Mayrhuber was on the ight to
mark the occasion, and he was
joined by Academy Executive
Director Gary Smith, whom
Mayrhuber had invited as his
Were going through security,
and who gets pulled off to the side
but Mayrhuber, recalls Smith
with amusement. He took it with
incredible grace. Any other ceo
would have been apoplectic.
But Mayrhuber has never been
one to make much of a fuss over
his position. On one Singapore-
bound ight he got down on his
knees to help a passenger nd a
missing belt buckle. (Mayrhuber
even succeeded in nding the
buckle, which he proffered with
a grin.) Despite having worked at
Lufthansa since 1970, the affable
59-year-old Austrian engineer,
who ascended to the top job three
years ago, is in some ways not a
conventional Lufthansa man. He
may helm a company considered
one of Germanys more hierarchi-
cal, but status doesnt much seem
to concern him.
Mayrhubers attitude toward
the media is also unusual for an
executive of his stature. Though
his predecessor, Jrgen Weber,
who ably steered the company for
more than a decade, embraced
his role as the public face of
Lufthansa, Mayrhuber, who rarely
gives interviews, has preferred
to operate behind-the-scenes and
keep a low prole. He is only six
years younger than Weber, but, for
many at the company, Mayrhuber
represents a different generation,
as one senior Lufthansa executive
told the Financial Times in 2002.
Born in Waizenkirchen,
Austria, in 1947, Mayrhuber stud-
ied mechanical engineering in
Austria and Canada. He came to
Lufthansa in 1970 with dreams
of becoming a pilot; instead he
started at the company as an
engineer. After working his way
up, Mayrhuber was appointed
Executive Vice President and
Chief Operating Ofcer Technical
in 1992. He was also picked that
year to head the group charged
with turning the company around
in the wake of an economic crisis
that had left it nearly bankrupt.
Over the next few years,
Lufthansa cut capacity, cancelled
aircraft orders, spun off many
of its businesses, and privatized.
Mayrhuber, along with Weber, was
credited with helping Lufthansa
get out from under the crisis. From
there his ascension through the
companys ranks was swift, culmi-
nating in his 2003 appointment as
Chairman of the Executive Board
and company ceo.
In the early days, Mayrhubers
refusal to talk about his strategy
for Lufthansa led members of
the press and even some within
his company to accuse him of
not having one. But Mayrhuber
runs Lufthansa like the engineer
and analyst that he is. He tinkers.
He looks to make incremental
changes. He works quietly and
steadily to make the airline as
close to perfect as he thinks it can
be. An airline is like architecture:
if one decisive detail is not right, it
will ruin the whole appearance,
he told Handelsblatt in 2004.
As a fellow board member said
recently, Nothing is too intricate
for his mind. He is a maestro of
This quiet strategy seems to
lend itself to success. The com-
pany had an operating prot of
577 million last year, up from
383 million the year before, and
Mayrhuber said in March that
the company expects to achieve
an annual operating prot of
1 billion by 2008.
The prediction comes despite
the challenging economic
landscape now faced by airlines,
particularly large ones like
Opera and Music
Production in the
US and Europe
Pamela Rosenberg,
Administrative Director,
Berlin Philharmonic
9/19 9/19
Academy Luncheon
The Palestini an Game
Bruce Hoffman and Dan Schueftan,
Senior Research Fellow, National
Security Research Center, University
of Haifa
Location: Akademie der Konrad-
Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin 10/12 10/12


The Berlin Journal 35

Academy Luncheon
Legal Issues in the Fight
against Terrorism
John B. Bellinger III, Legal
Adviser, US Department of State
Location: China Club, Berlin 10/12 10/12
Indi as Rise as a Great
Robert Blackwill, Counselor,
Council on Foreign Relations,
former US Ambassador to India,
and C.V. Starr Distinguished
Visitor at the Academy 10/24 10/24
Kiki Smith, Artist and Stephen
M. Kellen Distinguished Visitor
at the Academy; in conversation
with John Newman, Artist
10/18 10/18 Redefining the Religious Right:
The Culture Wars wi thin the
American Evangelical Communi t y
Frances FitzGerald, Writer and Richard C. Holbrooke
Distinguished Visitor at the Academy
10/25 10/25
Foreign Policy Forum
National Securi t y in the Twent y- First
Century: The Princeton Project on
National Securi t y
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean, Woodrow Wilson
School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton
University; and G. John Ikenberry, Albert G. Milbank
Professor of Politics, Princeton University 10/30 10/30
Lufthansa, which has about
90,000 employees and carried
51.3 million passengers in 2005.
The company has, in recent years,
had to contend with the repercus-
sions of an increased terrorist
threat in the skies, escalating
oil prices, and the prot-eating
practices of upstart low-cost air-
lines like easyJet and Ryanair.
Lufthansa has responded to the
low-cost carriers by offering
cheap economy-class fares and
working to attract more rst-class
passengers. (It saw a 20 percent
increase in rst-class trafc in
2005.) It has also started basing
some planes in Hamburg instead
of Frankfurt, a move that has
reduced maintenance costs by
25 percent. Under Mayrhubers
management, Lufthansa has not
only gained control over Swiss
International and the low-cost
carrier Germanwings, but has
also initiated regular premium
48-seat business jet ights
between the US and Germany.
Mayrhuber, who sports thin
glasses and slightly curly grey hair
that occasionally grows unruly, is
respected for being a good com-
municator, and his unpretentious
charm plays well both within the
company and outside it. Jrgen
Hambrecht, chairman of the
chemical company basf, says,
Wolfgang Mayrhuber displays a
great passion for innovative engi-
neering in the eld of aviation
something with which he inspires
others, including me. I admire his
calm manner, which doesnt hold
him back from talking openly
about uncomfortable truths.
Mayrhuber has even found his
way into the cabin, having earned
a pilots license to y small, single-
engine aircraft. He is an acio-
nado of classical music, down-
hill skiing, and perhaps most
ttingly for the detail-oriented
engineer good architecture. He
and his wife Beate have been pri-
vately generous with social causes,
among them sos Kinderdorf,
which focuses on neglected and
abandoned children and orphans.
Mayrhuber, who was elected
to the Academys board in the
spring of 2001, has been a com-
mitted member, not only through
his generous support of the
fellows transatlantic ights but
also through his participation in
a large variety of Academy efforts,
including the high-level German-
American working group led by
George Schultz in the summer
of 2003. He is a man who can
master the complexities of both
engines and airline industries; we
are grateful that he has turned his
mind to the challenges of trans-
atlantic relations.
Brian Montopoli, who writes
the Public Eye website for
cbs News, spent August and
September 2006 at the New
York Times Berlin bureau as
an International Center for
Journalists Arthur F. Burns
Though Academy alumni
often lament their distance from
the Hans Arnhold Center, their
nostalgia is for more than the
beautiful view of the Wannsee.
They also miss the debates over
long breakfasts and the ideas
exchanged in the library after
lectures, both of which leave last-
ing impressions.
This spring Barbara Balaj, a
2001 Bosch Fellow in Public Policy
and an independent consultant for
the World Bank and other orga-
nizations, approached Academy
Vice Chairman Gahl Hodges
Burt about providing Academy
alumni, now numbering in the
hundreds, with the opportunity
to strengthen these connections
and forge new ones after their
return to the Atlantics other
coast. Together they created the
American Academy in Berlin
Alumni Association, founded with
the specic goal of supporting
the Academys unique mission
from afar and furthering the per-
sonal and intellectual relation-
ships forged at the Hans Arnhold
Our new president Norman
Pearlstine embraced the idea with
enthusiasm, and the entire board
is looking forward to our rst
alumni programs, says Ms. Burt,
who announced the creation of
the Alumni Association at a recep-
tion hosted in her Washington,
DC residence in June. Though
ofcer elections will rst take
place this fall, Ms. Burt and Ms.
Balaj have already set up a space
for the group on the Academys
website, which will soon boast a
forum and database for former
fellows and distinguished visitors.
Alumni response has con-
rmed the founders instincts.
Andrew Bacevich, Professor of
International Relations at Boston
University and George H.W. Bush
Fellow in spring 2004, writes,
This is an excellent initiative to
which I give my enthusiastic sup-
port. The sentiments of Alan
Wolfe, director of Boston Colleges
Boisi Center and the Academys
George H.W. Bush Fellow the fol-
lowing fall, might well sum up
the feeling of many alumni: My
experience on the Wannsee was
one of the great moments in my
life, and I have nothing but the
fondest memories.
Alumni interested in con-
tributing to the organizations
development can contact
Ute Zimmermann in the
Academys New York ofce at
r. m.
A Society of Fellows
The American Academy Alumni Association
Foreign Policy Luncheon
Keeping Fai th wi th American Values:
A Foreign Policy that Works
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean, Woodrow Wilson
School of Public and International Affairs,
Princeton University
10/31 10/31
36 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
Bet ween Ideology and
Necessi t y: On the Possibili t y
of a Global Ethics
Leo J. ODonovan, S.J., President
Emeritus, Georgetown University,
and BMW Distinguished Visitor
at the Academy 11/14 11/14
Two Separate Reali ties?
The Business and Diplomacy of
Transatl antic Rel ations
William Timken Jr., American Ambassador
to Germany; and Wolfgang Ischinger,
German Ambassador to the UK
11/15 11/15
Economic Policy Forum
Is German Economic Decline
Exaggerated or Inevi table?
Richard Fisher, President and Chief
Executive Ofcer, Federal Reserve Bank
of Dallas 11/20 11/20
Booms and Bubbles: Russi a, Oil,
and Long-Term Growth
Clifford G. Gaddy, Senior Fellow, Economic
Studies, Foreign Policy Studies, Global
Economy and Development Center, Brookings
Institution, and C.V. Starr Distinguished
Visitor at the Academy
12/07 12/07

and Cambridge University. He
received his Ph.D. in East Asian
history and oriental languages at
UC Berkeley, where he taught his
entire life and published books
ranging from an early pseud-
onymous novel Seventeen Royal
Palms Drive (1962) to his meticu-
lous investigation of Chiang Kai-
sheks spy and counterespionage
organization in the 1940s, Dai
Li of the Chinese Secret Service
(2003). His magnum opus was
The Great Enterprise: The Manchu
Reconstruction of Imperial Order
in Seventeenth-Century China
(1985), a two-volume narrative
history of the culture of courts
and literati. Fred was also crucial
in estab lishing myriad exchange
programs with Chinese scholars
beginning in the 1970s.
His Academy classmate and
fellow maven of China, the jour-
nalist Jim Mann, wrote to us, Fred
Wakeman was one of the great-
est historians of our time. His
accounts of the way the secret
police of both sides operated dur-
ing Chinas civil war will be read
for centuries, not just in the West
but in China as well. Fred loved
life, China, Lea, people, languages,
culture, politics, food, wine and,
it turned out, Berlin, which he left
last year hoping to return. With
his irrepressible laughter and his
natural inquisitiveness, he made
everyone around him happy. He
responded to adversity with sheer
gusto. He was unforgettable.
g. s.
This spring, when New
York Times Writer at Large
Roger Cohen delivered his omi-
nous assessment of the state of
German-American relations, his
voice resonated not just within
the walls of the Academy. It could
be heard as far as the deserts
of Zimbabwe and the outposts
of Antarctica, thanks to the
Academys partnership with
104.1 FM, Berlins new National
Public Radio station.
The station, which went on
air in April 2006, premiered its
local programming with the May
broadcast of Cohens lecture. The
cooperation has been a vigorous
one ever since. From an analysis
of the Muslim headscarf debate
to a discussion with R. Nicholas
Burns, Academy events have
so far supplied an additional
eight one-hour programs. In
June the Academy library was
transformed into a radio studio
for a conversation on German
patriotism, produced exclusively
for npr and featuring the for-
mer German Foreign Minister
Joschka Fischer, departing New
York Times Berlin bureau chief
Richard Bernstein, Roger Cohen,
and Gary Smith. npr enables
us to transport Academy discus-
sions beyond the institutions
walls, says Academy Press
Coordinator Ingrid Mller. It
brings a worldwide audience into
our lecture room.
When confronted with the
European tendency either to cari-
cature America or be confused
by its variety, it often helps to cite
poet Walt Whitman on himself:
I am of old and young, of the fool-
ish as much as the wise,
Regardless of others, ever regard-
ful of others. . .
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large. I contain multi-
If both npr and the American
Academy seek to convey an unbi-
ased and nuanced understanding
of the US one that contains all
the joyous contradictions and
array of opinions they seem to
be succeeding. Der Tagesspiegel
roundly proclaimed, Our
image of Americans is being
transformed; Germans see
Americans with more realism and
complexity than the stereotypes
would have it. In short, the col-
laboration between the Academy
and npr Berlin shows that
America not only contains multi-
tudes but can reach them as well.
d. f. m.
Voices of America
Broadcasting the Academy on NPR
A Tribute to
Frederic Wakeman
Fred Wakemans fall 2005
residence in Berlin was so inspir-
ing that, even before his depar-
ture, plans were being made for
his return. At the Academy Fred
was a polymath among the eru-
dite, and his conversations and
commentaries sparkled with the
wisdom gathered during his pro-
digious education. There was so
much wisdom, so much benevo-
lence, so much passion for teach-
ing and truth in him, that it is
hard to imagine his sudden pass-
ing away this last September.
Freds eminence originated
from his scholarship on China,
but his biographical path tra-
versed the history and letters of
many countries. He was the son
of a novelist and the product of
schooling in an eclectic travelogue
of cities. After nishing an A.B.
at Harvard in 1959, he completed
masters programs at the Institut
detudes politiques, Paris, the
University of California, Berkeley,



American Academy Di alogue
Reflections on the Hungari an
Revolution and Its Repercussions on
National Identi t y in Eastern Europe
Paul Lendvai, Editor in Chief and Co-Publisher,
Europische Rundschau; and Anne Applebaum,
the Washington Post
11/07 11/07
American Academy
Jazz Concert
An Evening with Chris
Bennett, Singer, Pianist,
and Composer 11/01 11/01
The Globalist
New Trustee David Rubenstein
The Berlin Journal 37
much fanfare in San Francisco
and New York in May, cel-
ebrated its German premiere
with a screening at Berlins
Kino International, co-hosted
by the Academy and United
International Pictures. Joining
a long list of Academy-hosted
premieres, including O Brother,
Where Art Thou?, American
Beauty, and Saving Private Ryan,
the October 9 screening of the
lm began with remarks by the
2000 Democratic presidential
candidate. Reservations for the
event were booked months in
advance. We could have lled
the Philharmonic, said Academy
director Gary Smith of the
demand for seats.
A personal perspective lends
An Inconvenient Truth, the fourth
highest-grossing documentary in
history, a true sense of urgency.
The New Yorker recognized in
the work a combination of intel-
lectual force, emotional vibrancy,
and moral urgency that has hardly
been seen in American public life
in recent years. By hosting the
Berlin screening, the Academy is
working to send this same mes-
sage abroad.
After all, though proceeds
from the lm benet the Alliance
for Climate Protection, the proj-
ects most valuable contribution is
to engender awareness at the pub-
lic level. Hindered in the past by
the medias ambivalence and, in
America, by partisan politics, the
ght against global warming is, in
Gores own words, no longer only
a scientic or policital issue; it is a
moral imperative.
r. m.
Global Warning
Academy Screens Gores Inconvenient Truths
Over the bleached bones
and jumbled residues of numer-
ous civilizations are written the
pathetic words, Too late. There is
an invisible book of life that faith-
fully records our vigilance in our
neglect. These foreboding words
of Martin Luther King Jr. articu-
late the challenge now faced by a
new, globalized generation. It is
a challenge that Al Gore is tak-
ing. After nearly two decades of
research, the former US vice pres-
ident has teamed up with director
Davis Guggenheim to bring the
facts of global warming to the big
An Inconvenient Truth, which
debuted at the 2006 Sundance
Film Festival and opened to
In the spring of 2005, when former SPD
chairman Franz Mntefering compared
international hedge funds to locusts,
he set off an international storm.
In answer, the Academy brought
one of the most respected figures in
the financial realm, David Rubenstein,
to talk in Berlin. Mr. Rubenstein is the
cofounder and managing director of
the Carlyle Group, a private equity
firm managing more than $44 billion
from offices in 16 countries around the
world. But he is also a gifted speaker
who added a nuanced view to the
discussion. No one could have spoken
more eloquently and convincingly
about jobs saved, efficiency gained, and
flexibility introduced, says Academy
Vice Chairman Gahl Hodges Burt.
Mr. Rubenstein, who previously served
as Chief Council to the Senate Judiciary
Committees Subcommittee on
Constitutional Amendments, as Deputy
Assistant to the President for Domestic
Policy under the Carter Administration,
and as a partner in the law firm of Shaw,
Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge, will now
be lending this nuanced perspective
more regularly to Berlin as the newest
member of the Academys board.
In his fall 2005 Academy speech,
Mr. Rubenstein argued that the
globalizing example of private equity
could bring to all people the benefits of
global economy and global cooperation.
Though elected to the board only last
May, he has already set the course
toward this kind of cooperation by
bringing his expertise to the Academy.
I have watched David build the Carlyle
Group from an office of four people to
a global conglomerate, says Ms. Burt.
His background in business, finance,
and politics brings a unique skill set not
only to the Carlyle Group but now also
to the American Academy in Berlin.
D. F. M.
Artist and architect Maya Lin, a distinguished visitor at the Academy in
June 2006, at Peter Eisenmans Holocaust memorial in Berlin.








38 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
Arts and
Stephen Hartke
The New York Times contends
that the music of Deutsche Bank
Fellow Stephen Hartke contains
everything from hints of late
Stravinsky, bebop, Balinese
gamelan music, Messiaen, and
lush-textured Minimalism.
Drawing on so many inuences
allows Hartkes work to express
a variety of emotions sometimes
lacking in contemporary clas-
sical music. His pieces can be
witty, provocative, and playful as
much as moving or mysterious.
A professor of composition at the
University of Southern California,
Hartke was recognized in 2004
with the prestigious Charles Ives
Living Award from the American
Academy of Arts and Letters, a
prize designed to free the com-
poser from any employment that
would distract him from the
pursuit of his art. Hartkes previ-
ous body of work, which includes
commissions from the New York
Philharmonic and the National
Symphony Orchestra, attests
to his adventurous approach to
composition. In keeping with his
omnivorous instinct, Hartke, who
arrives at the Academy just after
completing his rst opera, will
spend the semester working on a
concerto grosso to be performed
by the Grammy Award-winning
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as
well as a cantata for chorus, oboe,
and strings. After only a few days
at the Academy, Hartkes attentive
ear had already found new inspi-
ration: the musical noises of the
halyards on the Wannsee, which
should add a rhythmic touch to
his next piece.
Susanna Moore
Like other writers, I have had a
most difcult time convincing
people that my books are not
strictly autobiographical, says
novelist and Citigroup Fellow
Susanna Moore. Indeed, many
of Moores six books irt with
biography by collapsing fact and
ction. Her rst novel My Old
Sweetheart, the recipient of a pen/
Hemingway citation and the Sue
Kaufman Prize, described the
sensuous landscape of her native
Hawaii a place she revisited in
her memoir I Myself Have Seen It.
Her ctional take on British impe-
rialism in India came not only
from her experiences in Calcutta
but also from the diaries of three
real-life British colonial women.
Playing on the propensity for
readers to see truth in her work,
Moore purposefully crafted her
1995 erotic thriller In the Cut to
be particularly susceptible to
this kind of willful presumption.
Moore, who received a Prize for
Literary Achievement from the
American Academy of Arts and
Letters in 1999, will once again
take on this theme during her
time at the Academy. She plans to
work on a novel loosely based on
the life of Englishwoman Diana
Mosley, an unapologetic sup-
porter of the Nazis during World
War II and an acquaintance of
Moores. If Moores ction irts
with fact, however, it is ultimately
in the service of a different kind
of truth than the purely empirical:
that of the imagination. Her tac-
tile prose creates work that is as
vivid as reality and as individual
as its author. Michiko Kakutani
said in the New York Times that
the reader is often left wondering
what [Moore] has made up and
what she has lifted, what is imagi-
native invention, what is ventrilo-
quism. Moores writing, however,
joyously afrms that the differ-
ence is often moot. In the words of
V.S. Naipaul, An auto biography
can distort; the facts can be
realigned. But ction reveals the
writer totally.
Charles Brian Rose
The Academy has hosted everyone
from experts in public policy to
experts in art history and experts
in philosophy. Now, with Berlin
Prize Fellow Charles Brian Rose,
it adds to the list an expert in
understatement. I dig in the
earth, says Rose when introduc-
ing his chosen profession. One
would have to be an archaeolo-
gist of men to unearth from this
modest description that Rose, a
professor at the University of
Pennsylvania, is no kid playing in
the sandbox but rather the incom-
ing president of the Archeological
Institute of America and a prac-
ticed archaeologist who has spent
the last two decades excavating
the ancient city of Troy. Rose
comes to the Academy to synthe-
size these twenty years of research
into a comprehensive picture
of what life was actually like in
the ancient city. His excavations
will be complemented well by
the resources of the city: Berlins
Pergamon Museum houses many
of Troys ancient treasures. But
Troy whose strategic location
between Asia and Europe led it
to play a prominent role in many
ancient military conicts, from
the Bronze Age battles that appear
in Homers Illiad to the Persian
invasion of Greece is by no
means the only focus of Roses
attention. More recently Rose has
also examined the ramications
of contemporary international
wars in the region, instituting
a program to teach US soldiers
stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan
about the fragile ancient sites
that surround them. Though
the impulse to dele such sites
is older than Lord Byron writing
his name on Grecian temples,
Rose hopes to preserve as much
of these classical wonders as he
can in order that his modest dig-
ging in the earth may continue to
produce majestic results.
Sheila Weiss
History, says DaimlerChrysler
Fellow Sheila Weiss, is about
interpretation, not scandal.
Nonetheless, Weiss, a professor
of history at Clarkson University,
will face the tricky task of inter-
preting a more than scandalous
subject during her time in Berlin:
Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer,
a respected geneticist but rabid
eugenicist who, along with his
student Josef Mengele, con-
ducted experiments on the pris-
oners of the Nazi concentration
camps. Weiss will undertake a
biography personal and profes-
sional, political and private of
the controversial gure, drawing
LIFE & LETTERS at the Hans Arnhold Center
The Fall 2006 Fellows
Profiles in Scholarship
The Berlin Journal 39
on accounts of his family and
friends and the copious papers
and lectures now stored in Berlin.
Weiss, who has received two Max
Planck Fellowships, a Fulbright
Senior Research Fellowship, and
two National Science Foundation
Grants, also shows that the
ground where biomedical science
begins to encroach on politics is
perpetually fraught even into
the present, when some crit-
ics argue that issues like stem
cell research and the selection
of healthy embryos haunt the
line that divides the disciplines.
Weisss project, in short, seeks not
only to interpret an unplumbed
history but also to show us a
negative, if all too human, model
that is relevant in this age of
genetic medicine.
Dimitrios Yatromanolakis
Most Greek sculptures those
unsullied white statues in muse-
ums were once painted in opu-
lent color, a facet of the art largely
lost to modern viewers. What
fewer people know is that most
Greek poetry and drama, from
the love songs of Sappho to the
verses of Homer, was originally
set to music. Anna-Maria Kellen
Fellow Dimitrios Yatromanolakis,
Assistant Professor of Classics at
Johns Hopkins University, will
show how much our contempo-
rary experience of these works
takes the texts out of context
and drains the color from the
creation. Looking at Greek musi-
cal competitions of an tiquity,
Yatromanolakis intends to spend
the fall reconstructing both
the sounds and the cultural
signicance of these contests.
Yatromanolakiss work synthe-
sizes ancient history, iconography,
anthropology, ethnomusicology,
and classical archaeology (to
name a few). A former fellow at
the Harvard Society of Fellows
and a recipient of the William F.
Milton Award, Yatromanolakis is
the author of four books on Greek
poetry. Though Yatromanolakiss
project draws on archaic papyrus
fragments and ancient inscrip-
tions, the implications of his work
are by no means as antiquated as
the objects he employs. Because
so much of Western culture
originated in Greek traditions,
Yatromanolakiss project also
reects on more modern dramatic
and musical genres.
Politics and
Lawrence Lessig
Lloyd Cutler Fellow and Stanford
law professor Lawrence Lessig
entitled his 2001 book on intel-
lectual property The Future
of Ideas. This is a future that
Lessig, named one of Scientic
Americans top 50 visionaries, is
himself helping to create and to
promulgate. An expert on copy-
right law and the law of cyber-
space as well as the founder of
Stanfords Center for Internet and
Society, Lessig is the premier US
advocate of free culture, a move-
ment that promotes the open
distribution of creative material
and combats overly restrictive
copyright laws. Dubbed by Wired
magazine the Elvis of cyberlaw,
Lessig has played a visible role in
a variety of legal cases, including
his challenge of the 1998 Sonny
Bono Copyright Term Extension
Act in Eldred v. Ashcroft and his
seminal amicus brief on antitrust
law in the Microsoft case. Lessigs
time at the Academy, however,
will depart slightly from the usual
focus of the legal veteran. He
plans to take on two new book
projects as a part of his year-long
fellowship. One, a work of legal
scholarship with literary lean-
ings, will examine the history
of constitutional interpretation
through the metaphor of trans-
lation. Lessig plans to take a more
personal look at the legal system
in his second project, which
will meditate on the concept of
responsibility both individual
and social for publicly-ignored
Esra zyrek
After the Dutch prime minister
pronounced the European Union
constitution dead, pessimists
began to claim that there are
stark limits to the potential coop-
eration in the EU. In reaction,
many in the EU community are
questioning what makes for a
cohesive alliance in contemporary
politics and thus how the ambi-
tious project can be rescued. This
is a question that Bosch Fellow
Esra zyrek hopes to go a little
way toward answering. zyrek
posits that common feelings of
culture, civilization, and, per-
haps most important, religion
were some of the most funda-
mental criteria in the creation of
post-cold-war partnerships. By
looking at Turkeys quest for EU
membership, however, the assis-
tant professor of anthropology at
the University of California, San
Diego, examines how these iden-
tities can be redened. zyrek,
a sociologist and ethnographer
who has examined secularism in
previous publications, now turns
her gaze to religion, inspecting
the ways in which both Turkey
and Europe incorporate their reli-
gious minorities and thus dis-
covering in miniature how each
denes its relationship with the
religious majority of the countries
with which it seeks to cooperate.
Phillip Phan
The Egyptian plover and the croc-
odile have one of the most unusu-
al relationships in nature. The
strange pair comprises a prime
example of mutual symbiosis
in the animal world. The bird
eats parasites that could harm
Sheila Weiss and Phillip Phan In foreground: Lawrence Lessig and Jonathan Tucker




40 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
the reptile; the reptile, in return,
often allows the bird to live on its
body, providing protection from
predators. This fall, Bosch Fellow
Phillip H. Phan will delve into
the nuances of another, albeit
more troubled, kind of symbio-
sis: that of technology transfer
between businesses. Phan, a
professor at the Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institutes School
of Management, will look at
the cooperation between small,
entrepreneurial rms engaged
in pioneering research and large,
established companies. As a
consultant to the World Bank,
the oecd, and such companies
as HP, ibm, and Ernst & Young,
Phan has plentiful practical
experience in the eld of busi-
ness management. But he is
by no means isolated from the
academic side of the discipline.
As the author of Taking Back the
Boardroom: Better Directing for
the New Millennium and editor
of Technological Entrepreneurship,
he is equally adept at stepping
back to assess the larger picture,
two channels of Phans research
that will themselves be mutu-
ally symbiotic during his time in
Jonathan Tucker
Toxic Terror, Scourge, War of
Nerves: they could be the titles of
the latest blockbuster thrillers.
But the books of Bosch Fellow
Jonathan Tucker deal with much
less phantasmal threats than
those depicted in the overblown
plots of Hollywood. Tucker, a
Senior Fellow at the Monterey
Institute of International Studies
Center for Nonproliferation
Studies, is an expert in chemical
and biological weapons research.
Tuckers career, in fact, reads
like a history lesson in the last
fty years of the use and abuse
of unconventional weapons. He
has served on the US delega-
tion to the Chemical Weapons
Convention in the Hague, as
an analyst on the Presidential
Advisory Committee on Gulf
War Veterans Illnesses, and
as a United Nations biological
weapons inspector in Iraq. Now
Tucker is once again taking on
the most pressing contempo-
rary topic in the eld: dual-use
research. In recent years it has
become startlingly clear that
certain dual-use scientic
discoveries legitimate work
dealing with things like infec-
tious diseases or toxins have
the potential to be misused as
weapons. Tucker will spend his
time at the Academy examining
the conicting policies on dual-
use scientic discoveries in the
US and Germany, will ask what
these differences reveal about
the underlying identities of the
two countries, and, most vitally,
will seek ways to mend these
ruptured viewpoints.
d. f. m.
Writing for the Economist
from Poland between 1988 and
1992, Anne Applebaum covered
the collapse of Communism
with a depth and perspicacity
matched by few Western writers.
Though she later moved to
London and eventually back to
Washington, DC, the columnist
and former editorial board mem-
ber of the Washington Post has
only continued to strengthen
her ties to Eastern Europe since.
Her illustrious career in journal-
ism, which also included stints
at the Evening Standard and
the Spectator (not to mention
articles in publications rang-
ing from the New York Review
of Books to Newsweek), has not
stied her penchant for history.
Eight years after the release of
her rst book, Between East and
West: Across the Borderlands of
Europe, Applebaum returned
to book-length work with
her groundbreaking Gulag:
A History. In it, she reveals not
only the remarkably long history
of the Soviet prison system but
also the Wests persistent igno-
rance of the systems enormity.
In 2003 Newsweek wrote, Anne
Applebaums 677-page Gulag,
the most authoritative and
comprehensive account of this
Soviet blight ever published
by a Western writer, puts the
Gulag in its rightful, horrify-
ing place. Her determination
to pull back the Iron Curtain of
naivety earned her not only criti-
cal acclaim but also the Pulitzer
Prize for General Non-Fiction
in 2004.
The project that the George
H.W. Bush/Axel Springer Fellow
will pursue at the Academy is
in many ways the natural exten-
sion of her Gulag research.
While traveling through Russia
and speaking with people about
why they acqui-
esced to the
Gulag system
despite being
fully cognizant
of its atrocities,
a broader ques-
tion arose: why
did Russians
and, even
more, people
comply with
the institution-
alization of
in general?
By focusing on countries like
Poland, Hungary, and East
Germany between 1945 and
1956, Applebaum is retracing
the evolution of public and pri-
vate institutions from liberal
entities to Soviet collaborators.
Above all, she is interested in the
individuals within these institu-
tions and how their day-to-day
lives changed as a result of the
Red Armys occupation. Why did
some collaborate while others
resisted? How were individual
lives inltrated so effectively in
such a short time? The answers
she takes home be it to the
US or Poland, now her second
home will surely help tear
away yet another shred from the
mental curtain.
r. m.
Editorialist and Historian
Susanna Moore and Stephen Hartke Anne Applebaum
The Berlin Journal 41
Recent Releases
Barry Bergdoll
Fragments: Architecture and the
Unnished, co-edited with Werner
Thames and Hudson
(June 2006)
Paul Berman
Carl Sandburg: Selected Poems
Library of America
(October 2006)
Mark Evan Bonds
Music as Thought: Listening to the
Symphony in the Age of Beethoven
Princeton University Press
(August 2006)
Laura L. Carstensen
Social Structures, Aging, and Self-
Regulation in the Elderly, co-edited
with K. Warner Schaie
Springer Publishing Company
(July 2006)
Jane Dailey
Jim Crow
W.W. Norton
(December 2006)
Myra Marx Ferree
Global Feminism, co-edited with
Aili Mari Tripp
New York University Press
(July 2006)
Peter Filkins
Darkness Spoken: The Collected
Poems of Ingeborg Bachmann
Zephyr Press
(October 2005)
Harry Frankfurt
On Truth
Alfred A. Knopf
(October 2006)
Also by Harry Frankfurt
Taking Ourselves Seriously
and Getting It Right
Stanford University Press
(September 2006)
Jonathan Franzen
The Discomfort Zone: A Personal
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
(September 2006)
Sander Gilman
Multiculturalism and the Jews
(August 2006)
Ward Just
Forgetfulness, Houghton Mifin
(September 2006)
Stephan D. Lindeman
The Concerto: A Research and
Information Guide
(September 2006)
Hiroshi Motomura
Americans in Waiting: The
Lost Story of Immigration and
Citizenship in the United States
Oxford University Press, USA
(September 2006)
Anson Rabinbach
Nazi Germany and the Humanities
Oneworld Publications
(November 2006)
Catherine Rudder
Smoking and Politics: Bureaucracy
Centered Policymaking, co-
authored with A. Lee Fritschler
Prentice Hall
(June 2006)
C.K. Williams
Collected Poems
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
(October 2006)
Alan Wolfe
Does American Democracy Still
Yale University Press
(September 2006)
An inux of creative writers
and artists will be in residence
at the Academy this spring.
Novelists Jonathan Safran
Foer and Nicole Krauss will
be Holtzbrinck Fellows while
Geoffrey Wolff, the director
of the ction mfa program at the
University of California, Irvine,
will hold the inaugural Leibinger
Fellowship. They will be joined by
Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow Anne
Carson, a poet and classicist at
the University of Michigan. Two
Sneak Preview
The Spring 2007 Fellows
prominent non-ction writers will
complement their creative coun-
terparts: New Yorker writer and
Haniel Fellow Katherine Boo
and counterintelligence expert
Thomas Powers, who will be
an Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellow.
The Guna S. Mundheim Prize in
the Visual Arts will be taken up by
two large-scale painters, Laura
Owens and Julie Mehretu.
Spring historians include
Brown Universitys Omer
Bartov, a JPMorgan Fellow;
George H.W. Bush/Axel Springer
Fellow David Barcl ay, a
professor of international stud-
ies at Kalamazoo College; and
Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellow
Susanna Elm of the University
of California, Berkeley.
Michael Taussig, a profes-
sor of anthropology at Columbia
University, will hold the Siemens
Fellowship while Harvard Chinese
literature professor Wai-Yi Lee
will be the Coca-Cola Fellow.
Stanford Law Professor
Lawrence Lessig will nish his
year-long residence as a JPMorgan
Fellowship appointments were
made by an independent selection
committee that included Carolyn
Abbate, Harvard University;
Stephen Burbank, University of
Pennsylvania School of Law (chair);
Joel Conarroe, Guggenheim
Foundation; Michael Geyer,
University of Chicago; Anthony
Grafton, Princeton University;
Dagmar Herzog, cuny Graduate
Center; James Hoge, Council
on Foreign Relations; Michael
Jennings, Princeton University;
Molly Nesbit, Vassar College;
Amit y Shl aes, Bloomberg News;
and Ronald Steel, the University
of Southern California.
The art jury was comprised of
curators Chrissie Iles, Larissa
Harris, and Ann Temkin and
painters John Moore and Alex
42 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
Regulatory Realities
A Former SEC Commissioner Dispels European Fears
Harvey Goldschmid, Dwight
Professor of Law at Columbia
University and former sec
Commissioner, was a JPMorgan
Distinguished Visitor in June
2006, during which time he
joined Thomas Exner and Holger
Zschpitz of Die Welt for the
following interview.
Die Welt The planned merger of
Euronext and nyse is in danger
of falling through because of
the issue of regulation. Many
European companies are wor-
ried that after a merger they
would have to adhere to the
US stock exchanges strict and
costly sec rules. Is this a valid
Harvey Goldschmid No. In my
opinion this is not an obstacle
at all. After a merger the respec-
tive regulating authorities watch
over the local stock exchanges;
in this case, the sec would over-
see the nyse and a European
authority would oversee
Die Welt Then Europe shouldnt
be concerned by the prospect
of this merger? Wont the US
market rules, which are stricter,
be introduced through the
back door, thus leading to over-
Goldschmid It is a common
myth that the Sarbanes-Oxley
Act, implemented in 2002,
made the US stock exchange
rules unnecessarily demand-
ing, burdening companies with
an excess of bureaucracy. The
Sarbanes-Oxley Act was simply
a revision of investor protection
laws that had already been in
effect for some time. The upper
management of a rm was
already responsible for making
sure that its nancial statements
were in order, even without a
signature; now company execu-
tives must explicitly validate
the annual balance sheet with a
Die Welt It is not a myth, how-
ever, that an increasing number
of companies are criticizing the
overregulation on Wall Street
and turning their backs on the
US stock exchange.
Goldschmid Foreign businesses
tend to overestimate the effects
of Sarbanes-Oxley. We have
created special exceptions just
for these businesses. The con-
troversial supervision of internal
business procedures will not go
into effect for non-American
companies until 2007. And
among US rms, the costs of
bureaucracy have not been as
high as rumors often claim.
Quite a few managers have even
shown that this kind of control
can be economically benecial.
Die Welt How so?
Goldschmid The best example of
this is General Electric. The con-
glomerate invested $30 million
in internal accounting control
procedures the rst year after
the laws were changed. The
money was well invested. In the
process, the auditors also discov-
ered a large number of economic
inefciencies that the company
could then address. There was
also a learning curve, so that
by the second year GE only had
to pay half as much to fulll
the requirements for investor
Die Welt Nevertheless, very few
companies wish to submit to the
tight leash of the sec. Arent you
concerned that many businesses
will seek out less strictly regu-
lated markets in the long run?
Goldschmid I am not afraid of
that at all. No market can chal-
lenge the US markets exibility
or maturity. It may be that com-
panies avoid New York for their
debuts. But sooner or later these
rms are likely to switch to Wall
Street. A listing in New York and
the corresponding acceptance of
the sec rules will develop into
a seal of approval, and investors
will recognize that they are deal-
ing with rst-class accounting.
Die Welt But how is such strict
supervision compatible with the
ideal of free markets?
Goldschmid We need compre-
hensive investor protection in
order to guarantee the stability
of nancial markets. Robust
rules are required. Without
supervision, companies tend
to publish only the good news.
In the long run, this would
make investors feel insecure,
and they would withdraw from
the markets. The Enron and
WorldCom stock scandals
showed what happens when
investors lose condence in
the integrity of the market.
Eventually, this would be the
end of the stock exchange.
Even worse, the vitality of the
US economy would be in jeop-
ardy. After all, 60 percent of
Americans are stockholders.
They make a decisive contribu-
tion through their investments,
enabling rms to fund them-
selves and invest this capital.
Die Welt But given that we have
global markets, dont we need
global regulation?
Goldschmid The international
nancial regulating authorities
already work very well together.
Of course a body of transna-
tional rules would be desirable.
But a single global regulator is
not likely to develop within the
next ten years. National con-
cerns remain too signicant.
By Thomas Exner and
Holger Zschpitz
Die Welt, June 22, 2006
Translated by Anicia



The Berlin Journal 43
Advocate of Access
Harold Varmus Opens Up
His scientific career,
honored by the Nobel Prize in
medicine and the top position in
Americas inuential National
Institutes of Health, is dedicated
to the ght against cancer. But
Harold Varmus, in daily life
a New Yorker and the head of
the Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center, has a second
passion. He is set on making
science and research universally
available. His demand is simple:
that people have access to as
much scientic information as
possible for free.
At the moment, the results of
scientic research are primarily
published in journals with sub-
scription rates so prohibitively
high that they are out of reach
for young scientists or poor
countries. Varmus considers
this not only a scandal but also a
great hindrance to progress. In
tandem with the Public Library
of Science (plos), he therefore
pioneered the Open Access
Initiative, creating an alterna-
tive to the traditional publishing
industry that has long printed
commercial journals like Nature
and specialty magazines like
Science that are aimed at the
research and scientic com-
munities. Varmus accuses this
established industry of subor-
dinating the substance of scien-
tic work to the need to make
Six years after its foundation,
plos is still ghting to prove
itself against the established
system. But now Varmus can
also cite ourishing business,
unexpectedly quick success,
and high citation rates as
more and more scientists and
researchers forego the conven-
tional route of publication and
instead make their results avail-
able free of charge in the various
plos journals.
Speaking at the American
Academy in Berlin, Varmus
introduced the German audi-
ence to the newest innovations
in the Open Access Initiative.
These included a journal for
clinical studies that publishes
negative (and therefore unspec-
tacular) results; a journal on the
unprotable tropical diseases
ignored by large pharmaceu-
tical companies; and his new-
est project, plos One, which
aims to remake the landscape
of scientic publishing. Each
publication will be a chat room,
Varmus says. Allowing fellow
online readers to assess others
research, this project will bring
new life to the scientic tradi-
tion of peer reviews.
But, in Varmuss eyes, public
access to scientic information
is only the rst step on the path
to effective science. He also
wants to put this research to
better use in the ght against
poverty. His organization
Global Science Corps will soon
send young and retired scien-
tists from industrial nations
to research centers in poor
countries in order to accelerate
the transfer of knowledge. The
66 year old certainly does not
shy away from idealistic state-
ments. Science is a healing and
uniting power, he says.
By Christian Schwgerl
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
June 13, 2006
Translated by Rachel Marks
Academy Director Gary Smith and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns discussing current developments in the
Middle East the morning after the September 7 EU3+3 meetings in Berlin.






44 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
Helen Vendler, Porter
University Professor of English
and American Literature and
Language at Harvard University,
was the Stephen M. Kellen
Distinguished Visitor at the
Academy in May 2006. Gregor
Dotzauer of Der Tagesspiegel met
her for an interview.
Tagesspiegel You have a lot of
enemies. The politically oriented
accuse you of dealing too little
with questions of race, class, and
gender; academics accuse you of
a theory decit. And then there
are the experimental poets, with
whose poems you yourself say you
dont know where to start.
Helen Vendler If I have enemies
it is because I ignore them rather
than that I notice them. I can only
write about poets that I like. I dont
like writing scathing reviews. I
dont want to write about what a
poet is lacking, but rather about
wherein his quality lies. I am from
the East Coast. I can in principle
understand poems about the
California desert, but I simply have
no roots in that region. No critic
is the ideal purveyor of all forms
of poetry, just as no music critic
is the ideal purveyor of the entire
spectrum of music, from jazz to
Stockhausen. I, for instance, can-
not write about novels. Once, when
I was young and poor, I wrote a
A Musical Ear
Helen Vendler on Her Poetic Passions
book review. Everything that I
wrote was essentially correct, and
everyone agreed with my conclu-
sions, but I felt guilty. It was as
though I had pretended to be an
expert in an area in which I was not.
Tagesspiegel You prefer to call
yourself a critic rather than an
academic. Are you uncomfort-
able with how the academic world
treats poetry?
Vendler When I studied literature
at Harvard, I sometimes sat in
seminars and asked myself, why
is no one actually talking about
the poem itself? They talked about
landscapes, biographies, civil war,
about theory and history. But no
one considered the poem itself to
be worthy of discussion. With one
exception. That was I.A. Richards.
He turned the classroom lights off,
his white hair waved in the wind,
and with an overhead projector he
projected a single poem onto the
wall. I thought for the rst time:
now this is someone really inter-
ested in the poem. Richards had
the charisma of a Welsh preacher,
the self-image of a Druid, and was
a wonderful lecturer with his rich
voice. I remember how once, when
a re alarm went off during one
of his seminars, he stood up and
recited from Apollo Musagetes
by Matthew Arnold: Not here, O
Apollo! / Are haunts meet for thee!
Tagesspiegel Richards is consid-
ered the father of New Criticism,
a school of literary criticism to
which you also belong. It is based
on a method of close reading and
tends to ignore historical and
social conditions.
Vendler May I correct you? I come
from a tradition of commentary
that is as old as the classics them-
selves. Someone comments on
what someone else said. Every
book from the Middle Ages is lled
with commentary. Commenting
on poetry is as old as the culture
of writing. But critics get closer
to or further from the texts. New
Criticism moves away from
Marxism to say: lets look at the
text rather than the context.
Tagesspiegel You have a phe-
nomenal memory. Among
other things, you know all 154
Shakespeare sonnets by heart
Vendler I did when I was writing
my book on them
Tagesspiegel Was that your
intent or simply a by-product?
Vendler I hadnt intended it, no.
When I was young, I could already
recite a handful. I found it useful
to know them. I said them fre-
quently to myself when I went on
trips and in the process discovered
that I couldnt remember certain
parts exactly the places whose
function I hadnt understood. So
learning them by heart improved
my understanding of the sonnets.
Tagesspiegel Do lines oat
about uninvited in your head?
Do they appear in the middle of
the night or in the middle of a
Vendler Not so much at bedtime,
but sometimes a quotation will
shoot through my head and tell
me what I sense even before Ive
processed it. My mother often
told me things that I only recog-
nized as quotations of William
Wordsworth for example years
One has to have an ear for
poetry. A poet must have a
basic constitution that distin-
guishes him from a storyteller.
James Joyce had a great grasp of
language, but he couldnt write a
good poem if he tried. The same
was true of William Faulkner,
who actually began as a poet.
Poetry requires rst a musical
ear, then a non-linear under-
Tagesspiegel Who is your favorite
poet today?
Vendler Wallace Stevens may
not be the greatest poet of the
English language, but I feel the
closest connection to his poetic
spaciousness and opulence.
Long before I understood his
poems, I listened to them on a
record, and I thought: oh! In
every work of genius, Emerson
said, we recognize our own
rejected thoughts; they come
back to us with a certain alien-
ated majesty.
Tagesspiegel You write about
young poets only reluctantly.
Why does it seem to be so much
easier for you to understand
English classics like the poems of
John Keats or the metaphysicist
George Herbert? Couldnt you
learn much more about the world
in which you live through wilder
contemporary poets?
Vendler I also loved George
Herbert long before I under-
stood him. The very rst thing
one must do is fall in love with
a poem. It is easier to deal with
authors of the past because
their strengths have already
impressed so many. Other
poets decide the canon. As T.S.
Eliot once said, if they nd you
good enough to plagiarize, you
belong to the canon. If your
writing is weak, no one wants
to plagiarize, quote, imitate, or
parody you.
Interview by Gregor Dotzauer
Der Tagesspiegel
Translated by Rachel Marks
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(2530 percent). The numbers suggest that
education immunizes against bad labor-
market outcomes, and it does so by confer-
ring a general ability to solve problems, to
research independently, and to read, write,
and think critically. The situation repre-
sents a rst fundamental betrayal of the
ideals Wilhelm von Humboldt outlined in
his Theory of Human Education: What does
one demand from a nation, an era, from the
human race itself, if one is to grant it respect
and admiration? That education, wisdom,
and virtue be spread out as powerfully and
universally as possible.
This decline must be viewed in the
context of the preeminent position that
German universities held in the natural
sciences, social sciences, and humanities
at the beginning of the twentieth century.
It is hardly an exaggeration to claim that,
before the twin catastrophes of the Third
Reich and World War II, Berlin was the
intellectual epicenter of the world and the
Humboldt the single university in Berlin.
It was the academic home to luminaries
like Hermann von Helmholtz, Rudolf
Virchow, Robert Koch, Paul Ehrlich, Werner
Heisenberg, Max Planck, Albert Einstein,
Erwin Schrdinger, Theodor Mommsen,
and many, many others. Today, visitors to
the universitys main building on Unter den
Linden are drawn to the upper marble land-
ing with its portrait panorama of 29 Nobel
laureates, most of them from the period
19001934. The absence of more recent
portraits can be blamed on the massive
hemorrhage of intellectual capital and tal-
ent from Berlin, rst due to the Nazis, then
to the division of the city, and, throughout,
to systemic failures in higher education.
Berlin and Germany now seem very far
from the golden age when Americans wrote
scientic papers in German and dreamed
of doing a doctorate here. In 2003 only
2,800 Americans were enrolled in German
universities, while 9,000 Germans pur-
sued studies in the US, despite the fact that
higher education in the US costs a substan-
tial amount of money, unlike in Germany.
What factors are behind this decline?
Can they be slowed, arrested, or even
reversed? I do not subscribe to the view that
the damage done to German universities in
the 1930s or their aftermath is irreparable.
Rather, I am convinced that the system has
failed to allow universities the fundamental
freedoms to adapt to the educational needs
of young people and the research require-
ments of society in an internationally com-
petitive, postindustrial, and information-
driven age. Here I outline my Jaccuse, my
personal appeal for change.
The Symptom: A Chronic Lack of Money
Germans may be romantics at heart, but
no amount of social romanticism can solve
the fundamental issues hindering higher
academic institutions. The rst unavoidable
issue is that universities cost money, even
if they do not charge tuition. An adequate
resource base is key to the health of univer-
sities, a necessary, though not sufcient,
factor of success. The oecd publishes
extensive statistics on the expenditures of
member countries as a fraction of gross
domestic product (gdp), a measure of eco-
nomic strength and ability to pay (see table).
Germany has never led the oecd pack, but
in recent years it has fallen behind remark-
ably, currently spending barely 1.1 percent of
its gdp on tertiary education. Expenditures
are considerably higher not just in the US
(2.6 percent of gdp), Canada (2.5 percent),
and Korea (2.2 percent), but also in the
Nordic countries Denmark (1.9 percent),
Finland (1.8 percent), Norway (1.7 percent),
and Sweden (1.5 percent). This development
in Germany is all the more troubling when
German Universities at the Crossroads
Since 1993 I have had the privilege of being
a professor at Berlins Humboldt University,
the legacy of Wilhelm and Alexander von
Humboldts reforms of the early nineteenth
century and a model for universities around
the world. As an American, I have come to
appreciate Germany, a land of poets and
thinkers, a land of ideas. It is easy for me
to empathize with my compatriot W.E.B.
DuBois, who studied in Berlin in the 1890s
and admired the country in which, as
Goethe wrote, two souls reside in a single
breast. To my mind, this comment points to
the distinctly German conict between ratio-
nalism, personied by Kant and Hegel, and
the romanticism of Goethe and Schiller
a conict that I now nd embodied in the
German approach to higher education and
that compels me, despite my high esteem
for the country, to criticize the current state
of affairs.
German universities are in a state of
decline. No statistic makes this more evi-
dent than the low fraction of young people
who have actually completed a university-
level degree. Compared to the number in
other economically advanced countries, few
Germans aged 2434 have completed stud-
ies at universities or comparable polytech-
nic colleges: roughly 22 percent, compared
with 28 percent in the Netherlands, 31 per-
cent in Denmark and the United Kingdom,
39 percent in the United States, 40 percent
in Sweden, and 51 percent in Canada. In the
worlds wealthy countries, the overall per-
centage of young people with such degrees
has risen since 1991 from 20 to over 28 per-
cent. In Germany it has hardly budged.
While one can always quibble about the
comparability of national numbers, these
gures originate with the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development
(oecd) and are vetted by member national
governments. They reect a qualitative
development that should concern German
politicians and policy makers.
Worse, this development comes at a time
when academic research in labor and per-
sonnel economics shows a need for more
rather than less general education at the
tertiary level. In a globalizing world, labor-
market opportunities for college graduates
are signicantly better than for those with
less schooling. In Germany, the unem-
ployment rate among university graduates
currently stands at less than 5 percent, com-
pared with the rate among those with typical
apprenticeship training (about 10 percent)
or those who did not nish secondary school
The Ruins
of Humboldt
Restoring German Higher Education
by Michael Burda
46 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
one considers that, since 1995, growth in
expenditures on tertiary education has
failed to match the growth in the countrys
economy, in contrast to other countries
where expenditures on tertiary education
have risen spectacularly. By 2003 Germany
had fallen to 21st place in the oecd table
behind Turkey after having occupied 14th
place in 1995. How can this have happened?
The immediate and obvious answer lies
in the sources of funding, summarized in
the third and fourth columns of the table.
Public funds have supported more than
90 percent of German university education
since the 1960s. In contrast, the University
of Michigan at Ann Arbor, a top US public
university with roughly 40,000 students,
derived only a quarter of its $1.2 billion gen-
eral fund budget in 20052006 from state
government appropriations. More than half
was funded by tuition revenue. Though
Michigan tuition is considered high, most
large state universities still derive about
a quarter to one-third of their operating
revenue from tuition, relying more heavily
on research grants, nancial endowment
income, and state support. German uni-
versities, on the other hand, do not charge
tuition; the previous Schrder government
actually passed a law prohibiting it. This
remarkable freebie is a scal by-product of
Germanys golden economic age and the
student unrest in the late 1960s.
The unavoidable fact is that tertiary edu-
cation not only costs money but is indeed
very expensive. The annual budget of a large
university in Germany can easily exceed
200250 million. According to Humboldt
Universitys internal information, a student
who completes a Diplom or Magister (com-
parable to masters degrees) in ve or six
years will generate roughly 30,000 in costs,
virtually the same as at the Free University
across town and not much greater than
at the Christian Albrecht University in
Kiel (roughly 27,500) or the University
of Hamburg (29,000). Naturally, these
averages conceal massive variation across
departments. A standard degree in eco-
nomics, business, or law at the Humboldt
runs cheap at about 18,500; in the natural
sciences it averages about 44,000, in the
agricultural sciences roughly 75,000, and
in physics and African-Asian studies about
165,000. These costs are usually a closely-
guarded secret, undoubtedly because
they shed light on universities economic
From an economists perspective, uni-
versity education is a service no different
from that provided by a law rm, medical
practice, or beauty salon. In rich countries,
services are expensive and have a tendency to
become more and more expensive over time
as compared with manufactured products.
Among other things, this is because profes-
sors teach using the same techniques, more
or less, that Aristotle or Plato used, and, like
lawyers, doctors, and hairdressers, show only
a modest rate of labor-productivity growth
over time. In contrast, labor productivity
in the manufacture of things (cars, clothes,
shoes, appliances) has increased steadily over
the decades. Germany is not immune to this
phenomenon, and when budgets are capped
but costs continue to rise, output must be
scaled back. This means that fewer profes-
sors are hired, fewer graduate students are
trained, fewer students are admitted, and
fewer lecture halls are equipped with mod-
ern technology or even renovated. In the
end, the stagnation of spending in Germany,
combined with the rigidities of the German
labor market, have led the universities to
a dead end, if not to a generalized state of
implosion. The deterioration in the quality
of education that accompanies the rise in the
number of students per teacher is certainly a
central reason why so few Germans pursue
university degrees here; those who have the
will and the means often study abroad.
While the lack of resources is certainly
central to the agging competitiveness of
German higher education, it is a symptom,
not the root cause. The problem is not the
lack of public funding but rather a lack of
commitment from the private sector. This
ambivalence reects a lack of pressure
on the universities to develop alternative
nancing options and underscores the
working assumption that the government
will always cover the operating decit.

Key comparative statistics on tertiary education, selected OECD countries
Total Spending
Percent of GDP
Total Spending
Percent of GDP
Public Spending
Percent of GDP
Private Spending
Percent of GDP
Student Spending
per Annum in
Dollars* 2002
Australia 1.7 1.6 0.8 0.8 8,816
Denmark 1.6 1.9 1.9 11,604
Finland 1.9 1.8 1.7 7,332
France 1.1 1.1 1.0 0.1 7,302
Germany 1.1 1.1 1.0 0.1 6,617
Italy 0.8 0.9 0.8 0.2
Korea 2.2 0.3 1.9
Netherlands 1.4 1.3 1.0 0.3 7,977
Spain 1.0 1.2 1.0 0.3 6,030
Sweden 1.6 1.8 1.6 0.2 7,832
Turkey 0.7 1.2 1.0 0.1 4,267
United Kingdom 1.2 1.1 0.8 0.3 8,966
United States 2.7 2.6 1.2 1.4 18,574
OECD Country Average 1.4 1.1 0.3 7,299
OECD Overall Total 1.7 1.0 0.8 11,945





















The Berlin Journal 47
Why should private donors give money to a
university when the gift might well lead to
a cut in public funding, leaving the school
with no net improvement? Even more per-
verse, the incentive for individual depart-
ments or faculties to raise funds aggres-
sively from private sources is dampened
when success is penalized by a reduction in
allocated public funds in the name of being
fair to those departments less successful at
fundraising and grantsmanship.
The chronic state of general undernanc-
ing has certainly not gone unnoticed by
policy makers in Germany but has yet to be
dealt with at the roots. Rather than explain-
ing the problem to the public and offering
new approaches, politicians have hidden
behind party polemics, either a promise of
free education (Social Democrats) or a stub-
born insistence on Lnder-level tutelage
(Christian Democrats). Precisely for this
reason, I am deeply skeptical that the
so-called Excellence Initiative, a national
program initiated by former education
minister Edelgard Bulmahn that will give
1.9 billion over ve years to universities
on a competitive basis, will bring any last-
ing relief. While the proposal has received
enormous media attention over the past two
years, it is merely a quick x of symptoms, a
political patch, and not a long-term solution.
Furthermore, the program is at best of only
supercial signicance, since 400 million
per year represents only about a 1.5 percent
increase in overall funding assuming that
cuts are not made simultaneously elsewhere.
The Remedy: Autonomy and Accountability
By now it will be obvious to most readers
that German universities are in trouble
because they lack freedom, the sine qua non
of modern academic institutions, the same
freedom for which the universities of Paris
and Bologna struggled almost a millen-
nium ago. In the end, the most important
freedom is the freedom to set ones own
economic boundaries, to allocate ones own
resources. As long as German universities
depend primarily on government funding,
they will always be at the behest of govern-
ment administrators and politicians who do
not necessarily share the values and priori-
ties of higher learning.
In Germany, universities are the exclu-
sive domain of the federal Lnder. It is
impossible to make even short-term policy
without consulting the paymasters. Degree
offerings, examination rules, plans of study,
student-body size, and admission levels
must be approved by education ministries.
Demand for courses plays at best a marginal
role in the stafng of departments or the
resources available to them, in course offer-
ings and degree options, or in overall admis-
sion policy. Traditionally, when the number
of applicants in a particular department
exceeded the number of predetermined
slots, numerus clausus was imposed,
limiting the number of students in that
eld. For decades, the student population in
medicine, dentistry, law, business, and eco-
nomics has been capped in this way rather
than adjusted to meet demand in these
areas, which would allow more students
the freedom to choose based on their own
interests. Exams in Germany have the char-
acter of administrative decisions, and courts
regularly adjudicate disputes over grades
and degrees. Professors teaching loads are
xed uniformly across all universities by a
national cartel of state ministers of educa-
tion, leaving little or no freedom to reward
productive faculty for good research.
Politics is also to blame for the outsourc-
ing of research from the universities. Over
the years, German ministries have created
a web of extramural institutes in the name
of promoting research examples in the
natural sciences include the renowned
Max Planck, Fraunhofer, and Helmholtz
Institutes, and, in my own eld, prestigious
economic research centers such as the Kiel
Institute of World Economics and the Ifo
Institute in Munich. These institutes are co-
nanced by state and federal governments,
ultimately at the expense of traditional
in-house university research. University
professors who want to do research have
little time to do so; a full faculty member
teaches roughly two hundred real hours
per year, about twice the load of professors
at Harvard, the University of Chicago, or
Stanford, and about a third more than at
American state universities. As a result, the
only obvious way to reduce ones teaching
obligations in Germany is to leave the uni-
versity for a research institute. The exodus
of research professors for the institutes is
seldom discussed, much less criticized, but
to my mind it reects a betrayal of another
of Humboldts ideals, namely of the Einheit
von Forschung und Lehre, the unity of
research and teaching that lay behind his
university reforms two centuries ago.
A truly autonomous university a non-
prot charity or foundation, for example
would be sheltered from volatile education
policy, indifferent politicians, money-
hungry nance ministers, and frustrating
bureaucracies. It could plan long term to
deal with the state funding cuts so common
in Berlin over the past decade. But auto nomy
without a mission is a dangerous thing.
Universities need a clear mandate, a charter
of purpose. Is their goal to provide educa-
tion to the brightest young people or to all of
them? Is it to provide continu-
ing education to older members
of society? Should universities
engage only in research that
furthers the public interest or
in all areas of science, including
those with commercial aspects?
Should all universities be uni-
versitae litterarum, covering all disciplines,
including the most esoteric and unpopular?
It is here that policy makers need to step
back decisively and allow academia to work
out the details on its own. With a clear man-
date and the independence to pursue it, I am
condent that competition among univer-
sities would have a signicant impact, not
only on their overall quality but also on their
concordance with the desires of those seek-
ing higher education. Set the university free
and the problem will solve itself. There are
enough young people willing and able to pay
for high quality education. (Witness the exo-
dus of good German students to universities
abroad.) The antiquated German ideal of
Selbstverwaltung needs to make way for inno-
vative, professional university management
with the skill to tap into new resources for
higher education including foundations,
private individuals, and naturally private
tuition fees.
The issue of tuition highlights the links
among autonomy, accountability, and com-
petition. Tuition will only work if universi-
ties are allowed to keep the money without
a signicant loss of other funds and if there
is competition among universities for stu-
dents. If the state simply keeps the revenue
from tuition or reacts by cutting the general
funding, tuition is in effect nothing but a
tax on students. Let universities keep the
tuition revenue, on the other hand, and
universities and departments that attract
students will grow; those that do not will
shrink. Almost overnight, students will
nd themselves empowered, taken seri-
ously. They can demand service, as custom-
The Excellence Initiative, which will
give 1.9 billion over five years to
universities on a competitive basis, is
merely a quick fix of symptoms.
48 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
ers. Reputations both good and bad will
develop, and students will nd themselves
an integral part of that reputation. Quality
will become a central issue. Most impor-
tant, a sense of ownership and pride among
students, professors, and administrators
will also emerge. Universities will nd it in
their interest to spend money on buildings
and equipment. Nor will this necessarily
make for an elitist student body of only the
wealthy. Most American universities inter-
ested ultimately in the best students miti-
gate the adverse effects of charging tuition
through nancial aid programs, which, in
effect, create private redistribution from the
wealthy to the poor.
That brings me to a neuralgic point. Most
Germans are turned off by competition as
an unsocial concept, just as they are ter-
ribly averse to the notion of inequality. But
recall that German tertiary education is
already very elitist only 2025 percent
obtain a degree and it becomes difcult
to see the current system as egalitarian!
Demands for social justice are hardly
served when most university students come
from upper middle-class or wealthy families,
or are the children of teachers and other
civil servants who hardly need the nancial
break. Those who endorse equal opportu-
nity and redistribution via free education
would do better to spend public money on
day care and elementary education. It is
counterintuitive that universities are free
in Berlin, but public day care in the city can
cost up to several hundred euros per month.
Even if politics dictates that university
education should be free to all, it can still
be supplied competitively, giving universi-
ties the incentive to acknowledge student
demands. In Sweden, for example, the com-
petitive aspect has been expanded signi-
cantly despite low tuition fees. Government
funding follows enrollment in elds, above
and beyond a base amount, which gives
departments and universities incentive to
attract students. A student who transfers
from Stockholm to Uppsala triggers a trans-
fer of government money from the former to
the latter. Departments must pay rent and
electricity bills and plan their own budgets.
This added responsibility leads to a more
efcient use of resources, which is in the
taxpayers interest.
Naturally, more autonomy will have the
desired effect only if the discipline of the
market and competition for students is
allowed to take its course without interfer-
ence from politicians. This will be a dif-
cult pill for many to swallow. The quality
and quantity of universities will change
because administrators will deem these
changes to be in the best interest of the
institutions themselves, rather than in the
interest of politicians. Universities will need
a system of governance to oversee these
adminis trators. A strong board of trustees
modeled perhaps on the German corporat-
ist board of directors, with representatives
from business, labor unions, government,
and normal local citizens combined with
an annual reporting system of management,
would permit innovative leadership while
holding administrators accountable for their
actions. But oversight without real power
is also a waste of time. Autonomy requires
that university executives have real power
to fulll their mandate within the means of
the universitys resources. German lawyers
often argue that this model poses constitu-
tional problems, but numerous examples
in the private sector contradict these asser-
tions. Government ownership of enterprises
such as Lufthansa or Deutsche Bahn have
never stopped their ceos from making
tough decisions or from being removed
when they misbehaved or underperformed.
The system of corporate governance appears
to work in the private sector; why, then, not
apply it to universities?
Berlin and the Future of German Academia
Berlin is not only Germanys political capital
but also its academic center. While I have
not endeared myself in Germany for criti-
cizing the feudal structure of universities,
the paralysis of initiative that comes with
state sponsorship and tutelage, the growing
separation of teaching and research, and
the wasteful Excellence Initiative, I will
certainly make myself very unpopular in
Berlin for endorsing a merger of the Free
and Humboldt Universities. The creation of
these two separate schools in West and East
Berlin is a by-product of the cold war, and
they have had a standofsh, backbiting rela-
tionship since 1990. Impoverished capital
that it is, Berlin cannot afford to support the
infrastructure of two full-edged universi-
ties on top of a complete engineering and
technical school (the Technical University)
and several other specialized colleges. A
negative decision this fall by the federal
constitutional court on a nancial bailout
for Berlin will certainly seal our winter of
By reattaining the critical mass lost
decades ago, a merger of Berlins universi-
ties would create a research powerhouse that
Central Europe has not seen in a century.
Coupled with a modern, efcient adminis-
tration, it would create a school capable of
looking eye-to-eye with top public univer-
sities around the world. But I reject out of
hand any merger that does not give the new
university the four ingredients pivotal to its
success: autonomy, mandate, competition,
and accountability. This means retaining
the entirety of the already meager govern-
ment funding while simultaneously giving
the new university the freedom to expand its
resource base and the quality of its research
and teaching options.
Where to put Berlins new Berkeley? For
those who know this city, the future site is
obvious. Tempelhof Airport, with its impos-
ing, almost terrifying neoclassical archi-
tecture, is desperately looking for a new
purpose after its impending 2007 closure.
Why not house a serious, world-class univer-
sity, the Free Humboldt University, on the
site? At a time when most universities, such
as Harvard, are struggling to nd new real
estate for their expansion plans, Berlin has
the luxury of space. In the creation of this
merged institution, size invariably matters.
With some 285,000 square meters of space,
Tempelhof is a big place currently the sev-
enth largest building in the world. Making
its endless, undeveloped aireld into a
campus is an obvious solution.
The Land der Dichter und Denker is at a
crossroads. Coming to grips with the chal-
lenges that social romanticism poses for
higher education will not be easy. But the
international world of higher education is
moving fast. The universities of the world
that survive the global competition for
minds will be those with critical mass; only
the largest will make the grade of universi-
tas litterarum. Germany cannot wait to see
how and when the tide will turn because the
countrys best students have already begun
to jump ship. Berlin and Germany need
to take Wilhelm von Humboldt seriously
again. In 1810, he wrote: I believe that I am
right to assert that higher learning in our
modern state has, through my work, taken
on new momentum and that many traces
of my administration will survive in years
to come. Something that I can take more
personal credit for than all other things is
the establishment of a new university here
in Berlin.

Michael Burda is a professor of econom-

ics at Humboldt University, a research
fellow at the Center for Economic
Policy Research, and the co-author of
Macroeconomics: A European Text.
The Berlin Journal 49
n his 1943 Reections on the
Revolution of Our Time, the British
liberal political theorist Harold Laski
wrote that fascism is at bottom a doc-
trineless nihilism; the attempt to provide it
with a philosophic basis is the usual attempt
of scholars to explain, or to provide a pedi-
gree for, something altogether remote from
serious inuence upon its fortunes. For a
generation of scholars and writers schooled
in the antifascist ethos of the 1930s and
1940s, it was an anathema to imagine seri-
ous research into the intellectual or cultural
dimensions of a regime characterized only
by a wanton brutality and criminality. Even
as astute an observer as Hannah Arendt
echoed a similar sentiment when she noted
at wars end that the Nazis did not really
require ideas, since respectable German
professors who volunteered their services
were of little use.
Consequently, with only a few exceptions
(Max Weinreichs 1946 Hitlers Professors
stands out), there was little scholarly
interest in the cultural, ideological,
or aesthetic dimensions of National
Socialism until 1961, when Fritz
Stern published his pathbreaking
study of Germanic ideology, The
Politics of Cultural Despair. Stern
examined the gures of Paul de
Lagarde, Julius Langbehn, and Arthur
Moeller van den Bruck, artists without tal-
ents of creative expression, prophets without
a God, who, along with a generation

From the Sacred to the Street
Manipulating Culture in the Third Reich
by Anson Rabinbach
The Strength through Joy car, 1938
The Berlin Journal 51
of similar cultural types across the con-
tinent, exemplied in the realm of thought
what the National Socialists would later
achieve in practice: the cultural annihila-
tion of culture. Sterns acute analysis of
this irrationalist strand of thought, along
with his canonical essay The Political
Consequences of the Unpolitical German,
mapped the terrain of what he called
Vulgridealismus, or the invasion of unpo-
litical ideas into Germanys political life.
Stern was not so much interested in dem-
onstrating the intellectual antecedents of
National Socialism in German philosophy
as he was in showing that a cultural afnity
emerged between these dispossessed intel-
lectuals and a gebildete, or educated, elite who
shared the same aesthetic and philosophical
contempt for politics.
Along with George Mosses The Crisis of
German Ideology, which followed two years
later, and Peter Gays psychoanalytically -
informed study of Weimar Culture: The
Outsider as Insider (1968), a body of histori-
ography emerged in American universities
that held the Conservative Revolutionaries,
vlkisch mythogogues, and elements of the
Weimar avant-garde to the exacting stan-
dards of an ascendant and politically mus-
cular liberalism. Each of these works, not
insignicantly authored by young refugee
historians living in the United States, broke
new ground in illuminating the manifold
ways in which the Nazi revolution of 1933
did not emerge sui generis from Hitler and
his paladins but could indeed be traced
back to distinctive milieux and mentalities
formed during the Kaiserreich. Only in the
years following Germanys defeat in World
War I did they coalesce into a politically viru-
lent agenda among a wide variety of intellec-
tuals, students, and professors. The success
of National Socialism, so these historians
argued, derived not merely from political
and economic frustration, German thought,
or even hatred of the Jews (who symbolized
par excellence a degenerate modernity), but
from a deep cultural, intellectual, liturgi-
cal, and ceremonial repertoire established
in Germany during the nineteenth century.
Nazism appeared to its unpolitical middle-
class followers as their salvation from
unchecked liberalism, technological mas-
tery, and the cultural degeneration that
the intellectually elite Bildungsbrgertum
regarded as the telos of the West. German
culture instead venerated the unpolitical
artist and thinker who made a Faustian pact
with the devil, resulting in what Stern called
the nihilism of the Third Reich.
Why did these young refugee intellectu-
als and scholars of Jewish descent choose
to emphasize the intellectual and cultural
dimensions of National Socialism when so
many German scholars hesitated until only
recently to acknowledge the deep intellec-
tual resonances, popularity, indeed the con-
sensus character of Hitlers rule? There are
many reasons, but I think the answer lies in
the political culture of the Federal Republic.
As Germany was transforming itself into
a Western-style democracy, it was not good
form to bring up German cultures deep
emotional resistance to the West.
In the half century since Stern published
The Politics of Cultural Despair, the eld
he seeded has blossomed into a wide vari-
ety of studies of the Weimar and National
Socialist intelligentsia: Jerry Mullers The
Other God that Failed: Hans Freyer and the
Deradicalization of German Conservatism,
Jeffrey Herfs Reactionary Modernism, and
Hans Slugas Heideggers Crisis, to name
just a few. These works have greatly compli-
cated our picture of the ideological texture
of the pre-1933 German right and radi-
cally reconsidered the cultural domain of
the Zivilationskritik, the assault on liberal
democracy and commercialism. One par-
ticularly important aspect of this reconsid-
eration has been to emphasize, as historian
Enzo Traverso put it, that the barbarism of
the Nazis was not the antithesis of modern
industrial and technological civilization,
but its hidden face, its dialectical doppel-
ganger. Historians have posed the ques-
tion: can the mentalit of Zivilationskritik
be exclusively identied with the political
right, or was it politically promiscuous,
just as easily mapped onto strong liberals
(Walter Rathenau), weak liberals (Stefan
Zweig), Marxists (Herbert Marcuse), and,
of course, a variety of conservatives (Hans
Freyer, Ernst Jnger, Martin Heidegger)?
And, nally, was there anything exclusively
German about it, since everything from
Futurism to the craze for morris dancing in
Britain ts the antimodernist mold?
Sterns remarkable achievement was
to point out that it was not ideology per se
but a certain cultural style and a shared
mentality (though he did not use that term)
that brought the culturally disenchanted
elites into communion with the cultur-
ally dispossessed. Cultural elites did not
require full or even partial Nazication to
participate in National Socialisms institu-
tional cornucopia. National Socialism was
after all a cultural synthesis, fusing diverse
and incompatible elements from a modern
industrial society with a fundamentally
unstable admixture of romantic anticapital-
ist, nationalist, technocratic, quasi- socialist,
radical vlkisch, and bio-racial elements. In
toto, the Nazi worldview encompassed a
multiplicity of discordant beliefs. What was
important was not so much the coherence of
the worldview, but that it serves as a unify-
ing principle for a large and diverse group
of people. What mattered was the performa-
tive appeal to and enactment of the worldview
rather than the worldview itself, Sluga
writes in Heideggers Crisis. As a result, intel-
lectual fealty to National Socialism required
not so much ideological consistency as an
ethos or Gesinnung, a willingness to adhere
to the precepts of a worldview that was
vague and indistinct enough to embrace a
variety of related perspectives. The philo-
sophical orientations in Nazied universi-
ties were remarkably diverse and, apart from
the already marginal and banned Marxist
and logical positivist schools, a wide spec-
trum of philosophical orientations from
Kantianism to existentialism continued to
ourish under National Socialism.
Frank Rutger-Hausmanns detailed survey
of the Nazi recruitment of university scholars
during the war the mammoth project
called the mobilization of the humani-
ties (Kriegseinsatz der Geistwissenschaften)
for wartime propaganda conrms that,
despite the fact that some scholars may have
privately expressed certain reservations or
demonstrated remarkable awareness of the
criminal nature of the regime, few invited
scholars refused to participate in what
appeared to them as a purely academic
enterprise. Ideological interference by the
partys cultural agencies was largely super-
uous because most humanities disciplines
were already so inundated with elements of
The invisible God was replaced by the earthly messiah;
the earthbound Jew was the anti-race whose parasitism
contaminated and weakened the creative genius of the
Aryan artist-race.
52 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
the Nazi worldview that subscribing to the
new order did not require a major shift in
perspective or methodology. To be sure, a
few of these academics like Heidegger and
Carl Schmitt held out the hope that vulgar
National Socialism would sooner or later be
replaced by ideas closer to its purer and more
sublime essence, namely their own.
t is hard to imagine that the dean
of American historians of Germany,
Gordon Craig, could still call Nazi cul-
ture an oxymoron in the 1960s. Today
we are confronted with a library of studies
attesting to this presumptuousness. It may
be productive, therefore, to distinguish
four domains of Nazi culture that have
come under scrutiny: the sacred, racial sci-
ence, the aesthetic, and the popular, each
of which has a venerable tradition in the his-
tory of cultural anthropology.
Numerous scholars, from Eric Voegelin
to Philippe Burrin and Hans-Eckehard Bahr,
have considered National Socialism an
ethno-religion, a secular, even Nietzschean
worldview that combined the political
religion of the Volk with an apocalyptic
struggle against the Jew, the hetero geneous
gure of falsehood, seduction, and power
and the threat to the ethnic bodys very
existence. This approach, grounded in
Christian theology and the anthropology
of religion, frequently invoked the cultic,
even Christological content of Nazisms
dominant ideological tropes Volk, nation,
race as well as the deication of the Fhrer,
the fervor of the believers, and nally the
demonization of the Jews. Simultaneously
naturalistic and transcendent, pantheistic
and Christological, National Socialism,
like all interwar fascisms, mobilized the
idea of spiritual regeneration (palingenesis)
as well as the civil religion of Hitlers provi-
dence and Germanys divine mission.
Yet the concept of a political religion is
problematic insofar as it assumes an anthro-
pological constant, the almost universal
need for the sacred in a secular world, and
the existence of a void that can be lled
by historically novel types of political cul-
ture. It asserts (rather than demonstrates)
that this theological core was fundamental
to National Socialisms successful appeal
to the broad masses. It addresses only one
dimension of the cultural consensus in the
Reich, and it does not question the degree
to which these mythical tropes penetrated
beyond academic and social elites.
While earlier historians had regarded
vlkisch ideology as hostile to both moderni-
ty and the Enlightenment, in the 1980s the
Nazi modern took center stage in debates
on the Holocaust. Focusing on the scien-
tic origins of National Socialist ideology,
historian Detlev Peukert demonstrated that
racial health encompassed the broad array
of population politics that characterized the
Nazi regime: racial tness, eugenics, educa-
tion, immigration, citizenship, marriage
requirements, and the exclusion of others,
including the mentally ill and handicapped.
In a broader sense, the de-Judaization
of German public culture was realized
through the subtle interplay of legal dis-
course, pedagogical incitement, civil apart-
heid, and scientic racism, as Claudia
Koonz has shown in The Nazi Conscience.
The systematic eradication of any humanist
conscience resulted in a loose consensus
about the ethnic organism (Volkskrper);
the result was the isolation, the weaken-
ing, and ultimately the sundering of ties
between Jews and their former non-Jewish
friends, neighbors, and colleagues. After
1935, books on popular racial science,
lms, exhibits, and educational programs
ooded the public sphere. Soon, highly
assimilated Jewish victims like the profes-
sor and famous diarist Victor Klemperer
reported feeling like immigrant[s] in ones
It almost goes without saying that Nazi
rule was a form of aestheticized politics.
But it is rare to nd this aspect so care-
fully and coherently examined as in Eric
Michauds superb The Cult of Art in Nazi
Germany. Following Voegelin, Michaud
emphasizes the fundamental continuity
between Christianity and Nazism: The
same concept of the Church as the mystical
body of Christ that had been perpetuated
in the dynastic concept of the European
monarchies had now reappeared in the
National Socialist idea. The invisible God
was replaced by the earthly messiah; the
earthbound Jew was the anti-race whose
parasitism contaminated and weakened the
creative genius of the Aryan artist-race. But
was there a coherent Nazi myth? Michaud
creates a synthetic version of the Nazi sub-
lime, a unied National Socialist worldview,
whereas the Nazi myth frequently con-
sisted of the competing ideological motifs of
Christianity and paganism.
his Nazi myth approach
interprets only the esoteric dimen-
sion of Nazism, what Robert Pois
called the religion of nature, with-
out taking into account the entertainment
spectacle and equally unpolitical side
of the Third Reich. National Socialism
expended a great deal of energy on its propa-
ganda spectacles and especially on exhibi-
tions that promoted the ofcially sanctioned
art of monumental nudes and heroic male
physiques. This art sanctied the regime
as a cultural movement but was largely
unknown to the vast majority of Germans.
Though some critics called Nazi art mere
decorations for Auschwitz, others wondered
whether a generation of scholarship relying
on what Susan Sontag called fascinating
fascism had not in fact overstated the inu-
ence of Nazi art, which, after all, was only
seen by a small part of the population.
In contrast, the bulk of the popular cul-
ture in Nazi Germany was often lacking in
the mythical and sublime aspects of repre-
sentation embodied in the ofcially sanc-
tioned architecture, painting, and music.
Films like Triumph of the Will, Olympia, and
Hitlerjunge Quex were heralded as triumphs
of Goebbels propaganda ministry, but for
the vast majority of Germans Nazi cul-
ture was largely communicated through
less overtly political forms of entertain-
ment though these were hardly devoid
of ideological content or propagandistic
motifs. The genuinely popular lms of
the Third Reich were romantic comedies
modeled on Hollywood or epics starring
the Reichs glamour queens Zarah Leander
and Kristina Sderbaum. This was in
part an expression of class. Art, theater,
opera, and classical music appealed to elite
tastes; lm, radio, sports, and mass travel
had much broader appeal. Of all the lms
produced in Germany between 1933 and
1945, a fth were overtly propagandistic,
and only a handful, such as the commer-
cially successful feature Jud Sss and

The world learned of Hitlers passion not only for Lohengrin
but also for Hollywood films like King Kong, of Robert Leys
passion for drink, Rudolf Hesss for nature cures, and Otto
Dietrichs for horseplay on Bismarcks couch.
The Berlin Journal 53
the box-ofce failure Der Ewige Jude, were
explicitly anti-Semitic. In many respects,
the Third Reich fostered the modern eras
rst full-blown media culture, strategically
instrumentalizing state-of-the-art technol-
ogy, introducing radios into almost every
household, pioneering television, staging
political events as grand photo opportunities,
replaying military conquests in the form of
weekly newsreels, historian Eric Rentschler
wrote in Ministry of Illusion: Nazi Cinema
and Its Afterlife. Feature lms, radio, and
commercial culture played at least as impor-
tant a part, if not a more important part, in
orchestrating perceptions as art, architec-
ture, propaganda, and mass festivals.
nly recently have historians
begun to reect on the difcul-
ties of writing about the distinc-
tive propaganda cultures of the
Third Reich. The representation of National
Socialism as a gesamtkunstwerk focuses
far too exclusively on the sacred and aes-
thetic on representations and images of
the worldview from above. In addition to
the sacred, aesthetic, or sublime manifes-
tations of exalted National Socialism, it
is useful today to distinguish among the
universe of choreographed representa-
tions. The nonaesthetic vulgarity of street
brawls, sausages, beer, air shows, May Day
rallies, and the apparent normality of ref-
erenda, plebiscites, tours of Madeira, and
the like, all played as great, if not a greater
role in securing the cultural synthesis that
took hold once the regime was in place. It
is worth remembering the wartime sketch
of the inner sanctum of the Third Reich,
Hitler: The Missing Years, produced by the
Nazi defector Ernst Putzi Hanfstaengl for
Franklin Roosevelt. From Putzi, the world
learned of Hitlers passion not only for
Lohengrin but also for Hollywood lms
like King Kong, of Robert Leys passion for
drink, Rudolf Hesss for nature cures, and
Otto Dietrichs for horseplay on Bismarcks
couch. The picture that emerges from
his report is closer to the Marx Brothers
Fredonia than the Teutonic Knights.
The impact of media on everyday life,
how it was decoded or received by readers
and listeners, remains obscure. For example,
was radio propaganda effective because
it came from Goebbels rhetorical blast
furnace or because it frequently came in
softer, even comedic forms, like the highly
popular radio program Wunschkonzert? Did
the Nazis broadcast their aims, especially
concerning the murder of the Jews, or was
the conspicuous absence of anti-Semitism
in radio programming indicative of the per-
vasive use of entertainment to disguise the
political barbarism of the regime? Or was
it perhaps the combination of the two that
was so irresistible? For the most part, anti-
Semitism did not in fact play a signicant
role in the lm, newsreel, or radio program-
ming of the Nazi years. After a short phase
of experimentation, during which Goebbels
responded to the pressure of the party and
subordinated entertainment to political and
propagandistic broadcasts, entertainment
like music and light talk became the norm.
Historian Inge Marsolek suggests that
there was a kind of division of labor. Radio
in large part represented the cheerful
side of the Volksgemeinschaft. Even in the
party press, anti-Semitic campaigns were
parsed out in small doses. Only 4 percent
of the headlines in the Vlkische Beobachter
dealt with Jews. Nonetheless, from wartime
speeches, anti-Jewish poster campaigns,
and the publication of Walter Grosss infa-
mous racial political ofce, not to mention
rumor and direct experience, a great deal
more information about the Holocaust was
known than has been claimed for the last
fty years.
With the work of Fritz Stern, George
Mosse, Peter Gay, and others, Nazi culture
can no longer be called an oxymoron. It is
no longer sufcient to regard Nazi culture
simply as a myth that appealed directly
to deep and primal psychic responses. To
assume that National Socialist ideology,
with its phantasm of biological purity and
racial homogeneity and the negative conno-
tations ascribed to Jews, asocial Slavs, and
others deemed to be foreign to the German
essence (wesensfremd), was communicated
directly by the regimes talented propagan-
dists leaves much to the imagination. What
we might call more vulgar forms of enter-
tainment lm, radio, sports, and fashion,
as well as private entertainments like sex,
reading, and crossword puzzles may have
been more effective, especially when poli-
tics was folded into more palatable fare.
What Ian Kershaw calls working toward
the Fhrer was not conned to adminis-
tration and decision-making alone. Rather,
it occurred on a variety of levels, in a multi-
tude of contexts, in and out of the home, the
school, the workplace, the street, the kneipe,
and the cinema. Thinking about the festi-
vals, mass meetings, ofcial press, and the
Strmer, Victor Klemperer noted that all of
these contributed, along with education and
language, to expand the popular stratum
in everyone to such an extent that the think-
ing stratum is suffocated.

Anson Rabinbach, a professor of

European history and the director of the
Program in European Cultural Studies
at Princeton University, was a JPMorgan
Fellow at the Academy in fall 2005.
This text is adapted from a speech he
delivered at the Academy in May 2006.


54 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
56 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
n the winter of 19501951, I was
told that my instructorship at Columbia
would end in June. This was a serious
blow, as our second child was due that
summer, and I worried that now my incom-
petence was contributing to what felt like
another expulsion. Columbia had become
a home, a place of life-enhancing friend-
ships. Then the unexpected: though my
dissertation was unnished, Cornell offered
me a one-year acting assistant professor-
ship. I was to introduce my own version of
a Western civilization course to some three
hundred undergraduates there, and as a
life-changing bonus I was also assigned to
teach a graduate course on modern German
That was the more or less accidental start
of my work as a German historian and
two things stood out at once: my own unpre-
paredness, having never studied German
history as such; and, second, the paucity of
historical works on Germany, especially in
English. There were a few conventional texts
and some narrow monographs, but the eld
was largely unexplored an inconvenience
then, but what a remarkable opportunity for
my generation!
The most popular survey at the time was
A.J.P. Taylors The Course of German History
(1951), a winningly written tale of German
successes in aggression and failures in poli-
tics. Taylor, ever mischievous, excelled in
apodictic epigrams; everything was expli-
cable, everything led to the eventual catas-
trophe. To argue with his work was a bracing
exercise, and I certainly did, objecting to
what might be called his inevitability view of
history. Taylors brilliant mentor, Sir Lewis
Namier, had also written on Germany, stress-
ing the pernicious anti-Slav sentiment of
German bourgeois liberals in 1848. Thorsten
I never regretted my decision to return
to Columbia, where I continued to teach
German history. Major new works were
appearing: in 1952, Alan Bullocks masterly
Hitler, and a few years later Karl-Dietrich
Brachers book on the dissolution of Weimar,
a model in substance and method, though
some German historians criticized it, since
it didnt t the prevailing supercialities. In
1959 appeared an astounding study of Max
Weber and German politics by Wolfgang
Mommsen, a German historian then only
29 years old and destined to become a
leading gure of a new and superb genera-
tion of scholars.
And in this trying time in America, with
McCarthyism still gathering strength,
there was much talk about Weimar. Many a
left-winger talked of Gleichschaltung, and
compared Eisenhower to Hindenburg and
McCarthy to Hitler. This was dangerous non-
sense, I thought: false analogies between past
and present. What was happening was bad
enough in American terms: an irresponsible
political witch hunt was punishing culpable
and non-culpable partisans of left-wing
causes and creating an atmosphere of fear and
intimidation. Many people, especially in the
academic world, behaved cravenly. But it was
also a time when conservative Republicans,
such as Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont,
defended basic decency, and when an inuen-
tial broadcaster, Edward R. Murrow, made a
television documentary about McCarthy that
hastened the senators self-destruction. (For
its repeated showing I collected funds.) We
now know that Soviet espionage was in fact
quite pervasive, but American anticommunist
efforts at thought control, the imposition of
government loyalty oaths, and other tactics
for eliminating subversives or premature
antifascists struck me as deserving the
Veblens much older Imperial Germany and
the Industrial Revolution, a masterpiece of
quirky analysis, emphasized the discrep-
ancy between a modernizing economy and a
feudal, militaristic ruling class. Many lesser
works were variations on the theme from
Luther to Hitler, suggesting that Hitler was
the culmination of old Germanic traditions
of authoritarianism and militarism. (This,
I always thought, was the negative version of
the National Socialist creed that proclaimed
Hitler as the savior of old German virtues,
the crowning of German history.)

The Cornell years were hard: I was expected

to teach four graduate and undergraduate
courses; and for academic survival I had to
nish my dissertation, which dealt with three
German writers whose nationalist jeremiads,
composed over the years from the 1850s to
the 1920s, had found powerful echoes in the
German public and among the educated elite.
Such laments against modernity were com-
mon enough in other European countries,
but they carried far greater political weight
in Germany than elsewhere. I was studying
what I came to call a Germanic ideology,
ercely anti-Western, antiliberal, antimodern,
and, mostly, anti-Semitic, with yearnings for
Germanys national rebirth, for a new faith,
community and leader.
A couple of weeks before I defended my
dissertation in May 1953, Columbia told me
they were looking for a German historian,
that if my defense went well I might be
offered the job. When Columbia made me
the offer at a lower salary than Cornell had
proposed and without Cornells assurance of
future promotion to tenure I took the job.

A Historians
of Postwar
by Fritz Stern
The Berlin Journal 57
bery or local people of one sort or another.
Suspicion and preemptive hostility on my
part prevailed: what had the person I was
meeting done ten years earlier? Had he, or
she, been a Nazi, or worse? On the way to
Berlin, I had met Paul Roubiczek, a Czech
philosopher in Cambridge, also now teach-
ing at the Free University, and he presented
me with a marvelous anecdote on this

very name that McCarthyism used for their
opponents un-American.
The homecoming to Columbia proved
to be especially stimulating because the
university had become ever more interna-
tionalist a reection of Americas new
position in the world. An inux of federal
and foundation grants allowed for the cre-
ation of a School of International Affairs
and various regional institutes, and also
for a special seminar on European politics
involving scholars from Columbia and

That Germany was often the

focus of discussion did not seem surprising
to any of us. After all, while the cold war was
being fought on many fronts and in many
guises, Germany remained the existential

[Franz] Neumann asked me to join him

teaching in the summer semester of 1954 at
the Free University, and I leapt at the oppor-
tunity for another trip to Europe.

The night train ride to Berlin was memo-

rable. Soviet regulations demanded that
once on East German territory, still pro-
tected by Soviet troops, the shades had to
be pulled down. At dawn, through a crack,
I spied a Soviet soldier, gun slung on his
shoulder, standing there in the middle of
Europe: what a strange apparition! The train
stopped for a longish, unscheduled period
at one point early in the morning; curious,
we cautiously opened the shades: we were
on a siding at the Magdeburg Station, about
fty miles from Berlin. Across from us, a
large crowd of commuters were waiting
for their train; they waved at my three-year-
old daughter, and when our train began to
move again, she yelled, Bye, bye! The East
Germans responded in unison. An innocent
version of spreading American inuence (of
mocking Soviet-type rule?). An irresistible
The Free University had found us quar-
ters in a Dahlem villa, close to all the scat-
tered buildings that made up the university.
The leafy suburb of Dahlem was also the
center of the American presence in West
Berlin, a kind of Little America, includ-
ing barracks, soldiers quarters, and the
centerpiece, Truman Hall, with its cinema
and shops. Captain Brown had already
alerted the cultural sector of hicog to our
arrival, and from the beginning I enjoyed
a close rapport with them. To have a shelter
of American identity in a country that had
once been, but now no longer was, my own
was psychologically important.
I came to Berlin with all manner of
mixed emotions. There was simple strange-
ness: I had never lived in Berlin, for even in
childhood I knew London and Paris better.
I had to orient myself in many new ways,
especially with the people I met whether
our landlady with her upper-class snob-

Friedrich Seidenstcker, Allegory of peace taken from the Kaiser Wilhelm monument, Berlin, 1951
58 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
theme. In 1946, when the trains had begun
to run again in the British occupation zone,
a British ofcer came into a compartment
with three Germans already seated there.
After a while, he saluted the rst German,
and asked, Were you a member of the
National Socialist Party? The German
replied angrily that of course he hadnt been
a member; in fact hardly anyone had been
just a few people at the top had been respon-
sible for all that had happened. After a while,
the ofcer posed the same question to the
second German, who replied in even angrier
terms that he was offended by the very ques-
tion. Here you British are trying to teach
democracy, and then you come snooping
around asking about political opinions. In
any case, no, he hadnt been a member. On
being asked the same question, the third
German replied, In 1937, I had a wife and
three children. My job depended on my join-
ing the party, and I did. The British ofcer
saluted him and responded, Thank you.
Id like to go to the dining car and was look-
ing for someone who could keep an eye on
my luggage. Would you? Innocently, I told
that story at the rst dinner party I attended
in Berlin and discovered that it was a perfect
litmus test: a few Germans could laugh at
it, but most of them responded with sullen
Over and over again, I would hear stories
about the rst years of occupation, about
Germans denouncing other Germans to the
Allied authorities or, less often mentioned
but perhaps more common, the reverse:
Germans falsely attesting to each others
political purity, thus allowing for this mas-
sive continuity. How much rank opportun-
ism, a characteristic of life in the Third
Reich, seemed still to prevail among the
Germans I talked to!
Early on, I began to wonder whether to
talk of the Germans wasnt a dangerous
simplication. They were such a divided
people. Was their national identity in
fact feebler than that of an older people?
Was that why they were subject to these
alterations between radical chauvinism
and deep self-doubt? Was this connected
to Germanys late unication and the
divisions and traumas that followed?
Inevitably and unconsciously, I connected
my immediate impressions to historical
speculation, shuttling back and forth
between what I perceived in the present
and remembered about the past. There
remained the hope that with American
help, West Germany, at least, would yet
redeem itself. For that to happen, people
would have to unlearn the mendacious
and self-serving simplicities instilled in
them in the past and learn something
about the complexity of history and their
own culpability.
My lecture course at the Free University
was The European Crisis, 18901950, with
particular attention to Americas role. The
interplay between domestic and foreign
conicts at work in the outbreak of the Great
War and its aftermath seemed unfamiliar to
the students, as did my asides such as that
anti-Americanism, particularly in Germany,
went back to the 1870s, a time of economic
boom-and-bust, but that the antipathy had
little to do with the actual America of that
period. I emphasized the fear of modernity
that Germans projected on America and,
often enough, on Jews as well. The students
treated these unusual interpretations of
German history with sympathetic serious-
ness; perhaps they were the rst student
generation in Germany not poisoned by
chauvinism or militarism.
The students willingness to confront
the complexities of their past and to explore
Germanys troubled relationship with the
West was in contrast to the then prevailing
silences of much public discourse. Many
older Germans I talked to had a distorted,
mostly self-exculpatory and self-deluding,
picture of their past. They blamed German
failures after 1918 on Versailles, or on the
Great Depression, or on some other exter-
nal agency; after 1945, everything was
Americas fault, including the sellout at
Yalta, by which they meant the surprising
failure of the Western Allies to make com-
mon cause with Germany against the Soviet
Union. These people, still living among
devastated ruins, said little overtly about
the horrors of the wartime bombing of
their own country: were their memories
repressed because of the pervasive evi-
dence and some sense of what Germans
had inicted on Warsaw and Rotterdam?
It wasnt until the 1990s that German writ-
ers began to address the terrible destruction
wrought by Allied air raids, the death and
mutilations of more than a million people.
It is hard to explain the earlier silence, but
easy to speculate that the sudden later erup-
tion of feeling may have fortied present-
day pacist inclinations in Germany.
Self-pity, as I had noticed on my rst
return to Germany, was the undertone of
many conversations. And so was the suspi-
cion Germans expressed about one another.
West Berliners lamented the materialism of
their compatriots in West Germany. I was
reminded that Germans often complained
of German divisiveness a common theme.
At a public playground that [my son] Fred
visited, I noticed unchecked aggression in
the sandbox, taunting hostility among the
children, uncomprehending harshness

Photographs by Friedrich Seidenstcker,
On Vacation at Home! 19501955
Three Fates, 1955 Statues from the Siegesallee, 1950
The Berlin Journal 59
between parents and children. Was I look-
ing for signs of dissonance, or was it that
prior experience and historical interest
alerted me to what in other circumstances I
might have ignored?
Berlin was the place and symbol of the
deepest division in German life, with its as
yet porous, through strictly policed border
between the two German states. Citizens of
the former occupying powers could go into
East Berlin at a few specied crossings, and
I looked forward to visiting the Soviet sec-
tor as a kind of forbidden experience. The
rst time, I stayed for only ten minutes, long
enough to feel its utter foreignness and an
uneasy fear of its arbitrariness. Walls were
plastered with party slogans, and my rst
sight of a Volkspolizist, that dreadful com-
bination of Nazi face and Soviet uniform,
made me shudder. I was unwittingly reliv-
ing a part of my youth, mistaking a police-
mans grimness for a Nazi face. The unease
was genuine.
As it happened, on the next day came the
festive opening of the universitys Henry
Ford Building. There were many speeches,
but none more impressive than that given by
the marvelously austere James Conant, ex-
president of Harvard and now the high com-
missioner in Bonn. When I was introduced
to him, I mentioned that I had been over to
the eastern sector very briey but had no
desire to go back. He instantly rebuked me:
I thought you were a historian! You have an
obligation to bear witness, to observe what is
there to be seen! I took his rebuke to heart,
as at once a reassurance and an injunction
a historians job is to be awake to the present
as well.
The highlight for me that summer was
attending the ceremonies commemorating
the tenth anniversary of the attempt on
Hitlers life, made on July 20, 1944, about
which Germans had been largely silent,
being uncomfortable with the memory of
this most spectacular effort to overthrow
the Nazi regime. Many still regarded as
traitors the army ofcers who had joined in
the conspiracy, and extremist papers such
as the Soldatenzeitung vilied all efforts
at honoring them. The public ceremony
was in the Free Universitys newly opened
Auditorium Maximum. At the time, I wrote,
The audience sat in silence, as at a funeral,
no one applauding as Heuss and Adenauer
walked down the aisle or as the last notes
of the second movement of the Eroica died.
Heuss spoke quietly and quickly, without
pathos, recalling the anguish of the men
who had chosen themselves murderers of
murderers and had paid for their courage in
torture and death He concluded Our debt
to them has yet to be fullled.
On the afternoon of July 20, another
memorial was scheduled in the courtyard
of the Ministry of War, a building known
as the Bendlerstrasse Block, where some
of the leading conspirators had been found
and then murdered. The principal speaker
was to be Hermann Ldemann, our family
friend in Breslau. After his release from a
concentration camp, he had run a movie
house in Berlin, and had joined a socialist
subgroup linked to the chief plotters of the
20th of July, army ofcers who had access
to Hitler; the co-conspirators and projected
leaders in a post-coup government included
Socialists and Communists. After the
coups failure, Ldemann had been thrown
into a concentration camp once again. He
survived, and in 1946 became the rst
minister-president of Schleswig-Holstein,
in the British zone. I wanted to meet him,
and went to the Bendlerstrasse, unaware
that one needed an invitation to the event.
Supplication at the gate was of no avail; the
police sent me away. Impulsively, I repaired
to a stationary store, bought a piece of paper
and an envelope, and scrawled a note to
Ldemann; thus armed, I ran back and
breathlessly asked a policeman to deliver
this urgent message to the (former) min-
ister-president, then volunteered to do it
myself and thus was allowed into the
small courtyard, lled with the widows
and children of the slain heroes and many
members of the current West German
Ldemanns eloquent remarks ended
with the admonition that the goals for
which the victims gave their lives, a unied
German Reich in which the German people
can live in peace and freedom and enjoy
happiness, must still be realized. Then
Adenauer, irritated that a Social Democrat
had been given pride of place, unexpect-
edly rose to speak, asserting simply that we
were there to honor those who had given
their lives trying to save the honor of the
German people. I was instantly impressed
by that trying. (The local press made no
mention of Adenauers having said this,
a token, it seemed to me, of the continued
indifference cum embarrassment about the
regicides of 1944.)
As I looked at the people in the court-
yard old, distinguished, and sadly proud,
dressed in mourning, faces hardened
and humbled by suffering I felt a sense
of shame for my indiscriminate hatred
of Germans. To Lionel Trilling, I wrote
right afterward that for me this had been a
moving, even purging experience [W]hat
saddens me: the 20th of July could have
become a great saving and unifying symbol,
except for today and for a few, it is forgotten
and even maligned. Heuss himself felt con-
strained to justify what should have been
celebrated. Unlike any other German histor-
ical event, this act of desperation involved
what might be called the good Germans
from every element in society clergy, sol-
diers, civil servants, students all risking
everything for what after all were com-
mands of conscience alone a little belated,
to be sure.
And here they were at the Bendlerstrasse,
diverse representatives of what had been
Germanys elite, many of them liberated
from its callous provincialism only by a
catastrophe, but an elite nevertheless. They
and their murdered colleagues had risen
above political passivity or even complicity
and had united in resistance against Hitler,
however belatedly. How different the post-
war German spirit would have been if their
memory had been cherished! Or, indeed,
how different the world would have been
if the 20th of July coup had succeeded!
This remained for me a telling example
of the openness of history, of the role of
accident in it.

Historian Fritz Stern is University

Professor Emeritus and former Provost
at Columbia University, as well as
a Trustee of the American Academy
in Berlin. This text is excerpted from
Five Germanys I Have Known by Fritz
Stern, published by Farrar, Straus
and Giroux, LLC. Copyright 2006
by Fritz Stern. All rights reserved.
I was
a part of
my youth,
mistaking a
grimness for
a Nazi face.
60 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
loatsburg Correctional
Institution, a walled complex of ve
large stone buildings, sits on the west
bank of the Hudson River, an hour
north of Manhattan by train. Built in the
late nineteenth century as a sanatorium for
tuberculosis patients, three of the buildings
designated A, B, and C hold ve hundred
prisoners of the federal government, all of
them women. The other buildings are used
for clinics, schoolrooms, the chapel, and
administration, as well as for the laundry,
kitchens, and machine shop. There is a
large plot of land behind Building A where
the prisoners grow beans. A high brick wall
with wooden watchtowers, occupied by men
with ries, surrounds the prison on three
sides. The river runs parallel to Building C
on the east. There are no guardhouses along
the river, which causes me to wonder. Do
they think that black women cant swim?
My rst day at Sloatsburg six months
ago this Monday I made a cautious tour
of the place, looking over my shoulder as if
I were in fear of my own apprehension. No
one seemed to notice, or to care, which I
decided was a good sign. I am still making a
cautious tour of the place.
I enter each weekday morning through
elaborate iron gates, left from the days when
the population of the institution was con-
sumptive Irish housemaids and dairy farm-
ers, passing slowly through three security
checkpoints with cameras, metal detectors,
scanning machines, and electronic hand-
checks to a large front hall with a white
marble oor. The odor, even in the hall, is
My ofce, on the second oor of Building
C, above the library, is at the end of a narrow
hallway. The rooms on either side were once
patients rooms, but now they are used by
the doctors and social workers. The ofce
doors, each with a thick glass panel, are
often left ajar and it is possible to overhear
conversations. Cameras are suspended from
the hall ceiling at intervals of twenty feet,
although not inside the small bathroom.
The bathroom is reserved for the staff, and
the key is one of several we are meant to
carry with us at all times. We have keys to
the pharmacy, the surgery, the le room,
and the chapel, which is kept locked except
when it is in use as a movie theater.
There are no windows in the ofces. I
have a wooden desk with four drawers.
There are three metal chairs the one with
arms is for the doctor. I keep my ring of keys
in the desk, as well as a Discman and CDs
for the train ride back and forth to the city,
a tape measure in a green leather case that
once belonged to my mother, a penknife, tea
bags, my personal drugs, an alarm clock, a
photograph of my son, pens and pencils, a
pencil sharpener, and some licorice. Also
a ask of vodka and a map of the prison.
There is a small ling cabinet. On top of
the cabinet sit an electric kettle, a teapot,
and two Japanese sake cups. On my desk is
a small cypripedium in a clay pot. Some of
these things are against prison regulations.
With a little reection, I see that my small
attempts to make my ofce more comfort-
able, more suitable to my tastes, are a bit
Each morning, after checking the phar-
macys compliance sheet (which lists expira-
tion dates of prescriptions), I make a list of
the psychiatrists daily appointments for the
ofcer on duty, who then arranges for the
escorts to bring each patient at the appointed
time. The most important events of the day
are the two counts one at ten oclock in the
morning and another at four in the after-
noon. Because of the counts, there is only
sufcient time to see two or three patients
a day. In the past, patients were treated by a
different psychiatrist every other week for
only a few minutes. The previous chief of
staff was given large amounts of money by
the government to conduct a study of the
animal tranquilizer ketamine with inmates
used as subjects. Ketamine induces, among
other things, hallucinations, light trails, and
whispering voices, and I have cancelled the
program. If a patient is too psychotic even
for us, she is taken under guard to Bellevue
Hospital in Manhattan.
I am beginning to understand certain
things. Appearances to the contrary,
I was a nervous wreck when I arrived last
September. Louise, I would say to myself
each morning, you can do this. But the
truth is I didnt have a clue. It is a miracle
that I lasted this long. I feel strained and
peculiar the strange smells, the slow black
river, the bells, the yellow light, all swirling
around me, make me dizzy. I feel it is only a
matter of time. But so far, so good.

They brought me here right after my
sentencing. I was pretty confused. I didnt
understand that I was going to be locked up
for the rest of my life. I thought all along I
was going to be put to death. I wanted to be
put to death!
The processing took all night. I was with
four other women, who I never saw again. We
had to ll out a lot of forms. Then they made
us take off our clothes, and they searched
us like we heard they would, wearing gloves.
Some of the ofcers wore three pairs. They
kept yelling, Come on! Come on! Hurry it up,
ladies, lets get this show on the road! Which
made me even more nervous than I was. One
of the women was crying and she kept saying,
When I was ngerprinted
my thumb came out
all blurry. When I
apologized, the woman
guard said in a nice way,
Its okay, hon, its just like
the rst pancake.
The Big Girls
Fiction by Susanna Moore
I am innocent, I am innocent, until a guard
nally said, Oh, I guess thats why they got
you all wrapped up in chains, sweetheart.
I was sweating a lot, and when I was n-
gerprinted my thumb came out all blurry.
When I apologized, the woman guard
taking my prints said in a nice way, Its okay,
hon, its just like the rst pancake. The
transport ofcer who had drove the bus was
sitting there eating take-out Chinese food
and he said, I know what you mean about
that pancake. Behind him was a sign, You
Wont Be Home for Christmas.
They asked us to wiggle our toes, hold out
our ears, and shake out our hair, which was
hard for the lady with dreads. They told us to
puff out our face-cheeks and our lips, and to
hold them that way. They sprayed us for lice
and other things. Because it was so late, they
decided not to give us a Pap smear and some
liver tests. I kept wondering why they were
going to so much trouble for people who
were on their way to the electric chair, but I
didnt say a word.
They locked me in a big holding cell
with other prisoners. It was so packed you
couldnt lie down, not even on the oor. It
was early in the summer, but it was already
hot. There was no air-conditioning. The
hum of the generator made me feel calm,
like I was inside a big machine. A lot of
people had taken off their tops, wearing
them on their head or around their waist.
One lady used her bra as a headband. You
were supposed to use the intercom to ask
for what you needed, like a drink of water or
toilet paper, but it didnt work. Some of the
women had their period and there was blood
all over them.
They fed us at six-thirty in the morning.
Lunch was at eleven, and dinner at four.
After about a day I think it was a day, I had
trouble keeping track of time I was put
in my own cell. I was lucky to get moved
so quick because some people can stay for
weeks until cells are available. I found out
later I wasnt supposed to be with the other
women in the rst place, but someone
messed up. I was moved in case I was in
danger. I felt bad for the ones who got left
behind, but I gured they couldnt execute
all of us at once. They could only do a few at
a time, right? Thats what I thought.

There are three psychiatrists, in addition
to myself, on staff. The rather high-strung
Dr. Fischl has a full red beard and a medical
degree from Guadalajara. Dr. Henska had
her license suspended for six months











Kiki Smith, Untitled, 2006
62 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
in 2001 for selling human blood. The third
physician, Dr. De la Vega, if he is in fact a
doctor, was engaged by my predecessor, who
has since been promoted to Guantnamo
Bay, where he advises the government on
more efcient ways to accelerate the psycho-
logical and physical duress of prisoners.
Dr. De la Vega was found through an agency
called Shrinks Only. Each of the doctors,
myself included, has eighty patients at
least on paper. We are assisted (impeded) by
three medical social workers. Ms. Morton,
a psychiatric case manager, was disciplined
in her previous place of employment for the
suicide of a 12-year-old boy in her care. Eight
locums doctors work part-time, usually at
night or on the weekend. They tend to be
fourth-year residents trying to make some
money they can earn six hundred dollars
for an eight-hour shift. They have trouble
staying awake.
Yesterday I overheard Dr. Fischl and
Dr. De la Vega, who wears black three-piece
suits, talking about me like my former
husband, they cannot conceive why I would
work in a prison. Its a good question even
I sometimes wonder what I am doing here.
The Girl Scouts of America, summers with
the Haida in Canada, mild lesbian attrac-
tions, and a loss of virginity at a rather late
age to the regional director of Amnesty
International do not in themselves account
for it. Dr. Henska and Dr. De la Vega cer-
tainly wouldnt work in a prison unless com-
pelled by reasons I hope never to know. No
one wants to work as a prison doctor, except
the locums. The rest of us are badly paid,
although slightly better than the inmates
in the Psychiatric Unit who earn 18 cents
an hour to keep an eye on their fellow pris-
oners. In some prisons, they ask the more
melancholy inmates to sign a pledge that
they will not kill themselves. Dr. Henska
suggested in a recent staff meeting that we
avail ourselves of this precaution. There is
not an abundance of wit in these meetings
that would be a lot to ask but I did think it
was funny. It was only when she mentioned
it a second time that I realized she meant
it. I looked my most puzzled, wrinkling my
brow to let her know Id changed my mind
I no longer thought it very funny. Needless
to say, she dislikes me.
One hundred African-American,
Hispanic, and Caucasian men and women
are employed by the Bureau of Prisons as
corrections ofcers at Sloatsburg. They
arent particularly friendly to the medical
staff, moving as we do between the impris-
oned and their captors, and they under-
standably mistrust us. As do the inmates.
Although both the guards and the prisoners
nd us a bit ridiculous, there is a collective
understanding that it does no harm to
indulge us. You never know when a doc-
tor will come in handy. The wilier of both
groups manipulate us at their pleasure. It
is every man for himself. Not the prisoners,
but the medical staff.

Once I was put in my own cell, they took
away the orange jumpsuit I wore in court
and gave me two pairs of used jeans, four
used black t-shirts in different sizes, black
sneakers with elastic sides that t perfect,
three pairs of white tube socks, three pairs
of white cotton underpants, two bras, a new
blue sweatshirt, and a used black sweater.
Thats when it began to dawn on me maybe
I wasnt going to die. And thats when I
REALLY got crazy.

My patient Helen appears to be better. Of
course, almost anything is an improvement
over last month, when she was found naked
at the door of her cell shouting, Swim away,
Ariel! Swim away! Three ofcers wrapped
her in a suicide blanket as heavy as lead and
carried her to the Psychiatric Unit where
she was kept for three weeks. Ive changed
her prescription 15 mg of Haldol with
450 mg of Effexor, 300 mg of Wellbutrin for
depression, and a little Cogentin for the side
effects of the Haldol. She is back in her own
cell in Building C now.
There was some concern when she
arrived last summer that her life was in dan-
ger, and she was kept in Special Housing for
her own safety. (Last year, an inmate whose
husband had beaten her seven-year-old
daughter to death after forcing the child to
eat cat food and defecate in kitty litter was
found drowned in her toilet bowl.) It eventu-
ally became apparent that no one intended
to harm Helen, primarily because she is
under the protection of an inmate named
Wanda, and she was allowed to enter the
general population. Her friendship with
Wanda makes everything easier for her.
I nd Wanda a little frightening. I hope that
shes not manipulating Helen to use her
for illegal commissions. Some of the more
aggressive inmates employ the mentally ill
and other particularly powerless inmates
for criminal purposes, as they arent unduly
punished if caught.
Helen asked me during our session today
if I could bring in a subscription form to a
handicraft magazine for her as she wishes
to start making her Christmas gifts. I was
sorry to have to refuse, but it is against the
rules. She asks for so little, unlike the other

The other night, a girl named Frankie was
dragged past my cell on her way to solitary.
They say she was running a gambling casi-
no. She was screaming the whole way, Tell
that mother-fucking cunt-sucking whore
Charlene I am going to fuck her ass up BAD
when I come back! And someone yelled, You
aint never coming back, baby. There were
screams of laughter up and down the row.
I admit I laughed, too.
The new doctor sometimes comes by
in the morning to see how Im doing. Her
name is Dr. Forrest. She smiled at me today.
Its cause of how my glasses look, I think.
I came right out and asked her why she was
smiling, and she said, You look charming.
No one ever told me I looked charming
before. It confused me a little. She also said
my new medicine would make me feel dif-
ferent. It is a time-release so my moods will
not be all over the place. I told her I already
felt different, and she asked could I describe
the feeling. Its not depression, I said, if
thats what youre thinking. Its DOUBT.
Thats the only thing I can call it.
She said the better the medicine works,
the sadder Ill feel. Which Id of said was
not a possibility. Im not on Suicide Watch
anymore, so I guess Im not better. If I was
better, Id have to kill myself. She said if
things go okay, which they seem to be doing,
Ill get my measuring books and ruler and
pens back.

Helen is a 27-year-old white woman of
Scotch-Irish and Polish descent. She grew
up in a working-class family on Long
Island, New York. She has one sibling, a
younger brother named Kelly, who serves
in the United States Army. Previous to her
recent incarceration, she had no criminal
record, although she possesses a substantial
She rarely speaks of
her husband, who is a
Pentecostal Christian,
except to say that he must
hate her. I would hate myself
if I knew me, she said.
psychiatric history. As she expected, even
wished, to be put to death for her crime, she
believes that her sentence is not sufciently
severe. She has subsequently devised her
own means of punishment, which is to eat
as little as possible, at the same time that
she satises her craving for sugar. She eats
three to four boxes of Sno-Caps candy a
day. (She told me that if she could have one
wish in the world it would be to eat pizza
with her son Shane.) She will not touch the
packages of food that her mother occasion-
ally sends, but gives them to other inmates.
Ive discussed her diet with the prison doc-
tor, Dr. Subramaniya, but short of feeding
her by force, there is nothing that can be
done. Ive requested that she be given an
ophthalmological examination. She is very
attached to her glasses, cleaning the lenses
frequently with that delicate concern dem-
onstrated by people who have worn glasses
since childhood.
She has succeeded in cutting herself
three times since her arrival at the prison
last June, using instruments fashioned
from a uorescent lightbulb, the lenses of
her glasses, and the crucix of a rosary. Her
thin forearms are ringed with old and new
scars. A few stitches remain on her left wrist
from her last cutting.
There was something in my face, per-
haps, or in my voice, when she spoke of her
children today that caused her to ask if I, too,
had children. Of course, I could not answer
her. She rarely speaks of her husband, who
is a Pentecostal Christian, except to say that
he must hate her. I would hate myself if
I knew me, she said.
I see her twice a week once in private
session. She has been my patient for ve
months now. I nd her a little repellent. Im
ashamed of that. She was in the habit of def-
ecating on the oor of her cell, and the smell
used to make me gag, but she is using the
toilet now. (Freud believed that women were
rst designated guardians of the hearth
because they could not urinate on re to put
it out, a compulsion, it appears, that no man
can resist.) I cannot tell if my repugnance is
due to her crime or her character perhaps
it is the same thing. At the very least she has
led me back to Bettelheim Djuna Barnes
writes that children really like to see the
wolf and Red Riding Hood in bed together.

My cell is tiny, but thats because its for one
person only. It has hooks on the wall for
my clothes, and a built-in table with a stool
screwed to the oor. The hooks are always
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falling off the wall, but thats so you cant
use them to hang yourself. Theres a metal
plank attached to the wall for a bed, and a
mattress and a pillow. Theres a metal sink
and toilet in the corner, and a locker half a
locker really to keep your personal belong-
ings in. Anything that cant t inside your
locker is conscated. There are three nice
shelves above the bed. A uorescent light is
cemented to the wall.
My rst night, I heard the person in
the cell next to me, which turned out to be
Sessilee, say, These cells get smaller every
year, but I wouldnt know. I wasnt think-
ing about anything except my kids. I really
missed them. I had a pain in my chest
where my heart would be, and it still hasnt
gone away. I hope it doesnt ever go away.
Thats how I know Im not dead.

Susanna Moore, the Citigroup Fellow

at the Academy in fall 2006, is the
author of ve novels, including One
Last Look (2003). This text is excerpted
from her forthcoming novel The
Big Girls, which will be published
by Alfred A. Knopf in May 2007.
64 Number Thirteen | Fall 2006
There is the glorious, vital laughter that is nothing but the
expression of the lust for life. There is belligerent laughter
that seeks to annihilate. There is the spirited laughter
at the realization of sudden vacuousness in ostentatious
airs. There are all those kinds of laughter as interpreted by
theories of the joke, of irony, of humor.
I nd all of this in H.A.s laughter. But also something
more. Because with all this laughter she presses toward
another, a different laughter, a laughter that liberates
from all despair, all burdens, all anguish to which
she has exposed herself without reserve; to a loving,
straightforward laughter. Unfeigned and spontaneous,
she says something questionable yet ominous: one thing
I know for sure, namely that I could still laugh one minute
before certain death.
Nothing in that needs to be justied or refuted. There is no
compelling interpretation here. He who says: I dont like
that, that doesnt suit me, speaks about himself, not about
H.A. He who thinks and says: that is despair, pretension,
exuberance, insolence, is simply wrong.
On the hundredth anniversary of
Hannah Arendts birth, we recall
the vitriolic polemics generated
by her New Yorker reports on
the Eichmann trial. An observer
and former teacher, existentialist
philosopher Karl Jaspers, con-
tributed to the debate with 1,200
handwritten and 400 typewrit-
ten pages of lofty abstractions on
Independent Thinking in her
defense. This jumble of unpub-
lished fragments is preserved in
the German Literary Archives in
Marbach. We are grateful to its
director, the noted cultural histo-
rian Ulrich Raulff, and the Swiss
philosopher and Jaspers expert
Hans Saner for their permission
to publish this gloss on Hannah
Arendts Lachen in Domenico
Bonannis transcription and
Pierre Joriss translation.
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