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The Berlin Journal

A Magazine from the American Academy in Berlin | Number Nine | Fall 2004
Chuck Close up Close
Stephen M. Kellen Distinguished Visitor
The Berlin Journal
Number Nine | Fall 2004
Privatizing Public Diplomacy
When German Chancellor Gerhard Schrder spoke at the
American Academy on September 9, it was a moment of
optimism as well as celebration. The tenth anniversary of
the Allied withdrawal from a unied Berlin offered a power-
ful symbol of German-American fraternity. Not incidentally,
it was also the anniversary of the day Richard Holbrooke, as
US Ambassador to Germany, announced his idea of found-
ing the American Academy in Berlin. This fall, both the
chancellor and Berlins mayor Klaus Wowereit inventoried
the impressive list of corporate, educational, and cultural
initiatives that, alongside the Academy, have been estab-
lished to foster strong post-cold-war transatlantic relations.
To judge from the eforescence of applications arriving
annually at the Hans Arnhold Center, Berlin has become a
magnet for American academics, writers, and artists. And
there is skilled diplomacy at work behind the scenes as well.
Why else would US Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge
y to Berlin in spite of a terrorist alert earlier this fall to attend
a dinner honoring German Interior Minister Otto Schily?
Nonetheless, American public diplomacy has been better
in the past. This traditionally robust relationship is under
unusual duress. As administrations come and go, it is heart-
ening to know that transatlantically-minded non-governmen-
tal institutions can help provide continuity and insofar as
they are bipartisan engender trust. Such institutions must
offer more than intra-German networks, seminars on secu-
rity policy, and declarations of friendship. They must ensure
that channels of communication remain open.
The American Academy in Berlin, with its resident art-
ists, poets, and scholars as well as its visiting policy experts,
journalists, and legal experts, testies that cultural diplo-
macy can be an effective vehicle in fostering strong relations
and that, even in Germany, an institution performing at the
highest level can be built on the foundations of private gen-
erosity and mentoring. And such institutions must never
lose sight of their missions as mediators Vermittler whose
only partisanship is toward the goal of closer German-
American relations. For they, ultimately, will form the basis
of the European-American relationship in the future, and
this is a relationship we cannot do without.
Gary Smith
5 Reviewing the Transatlantic Agenda: The United States
and Germany need to keep the conversation going on
a number of fronts. Three items of abiding importance
are terrorism, immigration, and the Israeli-Palestinian
conict.
6 Daniel Benjamin offers ideas for winning the war
against terrorism and coping in the age of sacred
terror.
12 Hiroshi Motomura takes the long view of how the
tragedy of September 11 has changed the prole of
immigration in the United States.
18 Roger Cohen looks along the length of Israels
security fence and weighs the cost of protection.
20 Steven Erlanger looks back on his stay in Germany
as the New York Times Berlin bureau chief. Yes, the
train system runs admirably well, but what about the
foundering economy and the brain drain in the east?
And what sort of welcome mat is being laid out for
Germanys newest citizens?
25 Notebook of the Academy: A visit from Chancellor
Schrder; a generous gift from The Starr Foundation;
ve new trustees strengthen the Board; a prole of
Trustee Dieter von Holtzbrinck, and more news about
the Academys visitors, programs, and alumni.
32 Life and Letters: People and projects at the Hans
Arnhold Center during the fall semester.
36 On the Waterfront: What have German papers been
writing about the Academy? A sampler, plus a sneak
preview of next springs fellows.
40 Chuck Close chats with critic Michael Kimmelman about
his stint as a guest curator at New Yorks Museum of
Modern Art and about being collected there himself.
45 Gjertrud Schnackenberg The Alphabet Enters Greece
48 Donations to the American Academy in Berlin
THE
AMERICAN
ACADEMY
IN BERLIN
Hans Arnhold Center
Irgendwann wird die Umsetzung
wichtiger als die Theorie.

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Wenn ein High Performer die Theorie beendet hat, wei
er, dass er entweder Ergebnisse liefern oder nach Hause
gehen muss. Accenture arbeitet mit Ihnen daran, Ihre
Umsetzungskompetenz auszubauen. So knnen wir
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The Berlin Journal
A Magazine from the Hans Arnhold Center
Published twice a year by the American
Academy in Berlin
Number Nine Fall 2004
Editor Gary Smith
Co-Editor Miranda Robbins
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Original Drawings Ben Katchor
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Brad K. Steiner
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Executive Director
Gary Smith
Deputy Director
Paul Stoop
External Affairs Director
Renate Pppel
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Marie Unger
Program Coordinator
Philipp Albers
Press Coordinator
Ingrid Mller
Fellows Selection Coordinator/
Director of Publications
Miranda Robbins
New York Ofce
Sandy Sacco and Ute Zimmermann
THE
AMERICAN
ACADEMY
IN BERLIN
Hans Arnhold Center
Trustees of the American Academy
Honorary Chairmen
Thomas L. Farmer
Henry A. Kissinger
Richard von Weizscker
Chairman
Richard C. Holbrooke
Vice Chairman
Gahl Hodges Burt
President
Robert H. Mundheim
Treasurer
Karl M. von der Heyden
Trustees
Diethart Breipohl
Gahl Hodges Burt
Gerhard Casper
Lloyd Cutler
Thomas L. Farmer
Marina Kellen French
Julie Finley
Vartan Gregorian
Andrew S. Gundlach
Franz Haniel
William A. Haseltine
Jon Vanden Heuvel
Karl M. von der Heyden
Richard C. Holbrooke
Dieter von Holtzbrinck
Michael Inacker
Josef Joffe
Henry A. Kissinger
Horst Khler
John C. Kornblum
Otto Graf Lambsdorff
Nina von Maltzahn
Erich Marx
Deryck Maughan
Wolfgang Mayrhuber
Robert H. Mundheim
Joseph Neubauer
Franz Xaver Ohnesorg
Robert Pozen
Volker Schlndorff
Fritz Stern
Tilman Todenhfer
Kurt Viermetz
Alberto W. Vilar
Richard von Weizscker
Klaus Wowereit, ex ofcio
4 Number Nine | Fall 2004
INTELLIGENCE,
RELEVANCE,
POLITIC5
AND THE CULTURE Of
INTELLECTUAL DI5PUTE
for generations magazines Iike The TT New orker or Atlantic have provided a c
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At a time in which the American governments
actions are unpopular in the world and consultation
between the US and Germany is at a minimum on
important issues, it is all the more urgent to work
through various channels in order to keep the con-
versation going on crucial issues. The last number
of our Berlin Journal (Spring 2004) offered three
American voices on the perpetual problem of the
Israeli-Palestinian conict and explored the possi-
bility of constructive collaboration on making a uni-
lateral withdrawal from Gaza a success. The cur-
rent Journal revisits two familiar areas of pressing
transatlantic relevance: terrorism and immigration
while continuing to reect upon barriers to peace
in the Middle East. The Academys Foreign Policy
Forum was so successful that the Chancellery
asked us to continue it by arranging visits from
experts on China and Russia. To this end, The Starr
Foundation has generously provided major fund-
ing. As a welcome offshoot of the Academys new
C.V. Starr Public Policy Forum, future issues of the
Journal will delve into the conundra of Iran, China,
Russia, and the Caucasus.
Gary Smith
Reviewing the
Transatlantic
Agenda
Daniel Benjamin, Hiroshi Motomura,
and Roger Cohen
The Berlin Journal 5
Sacred Terror
An Assessment and a Strategy
by Daniel Benjamin
Beirut, 2001
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8 Number Nine | Fall 2004
AN ASSESSMENT OF WHERE we are in the war
on terror must begin with a paradox. Since
the attacks of September 11, 2001, we that
is the West and the other nations who are
joined together in the global war on terror
have had signicant, even surprising, tacti-
cal success. Yet at the same time, we are slip-
ping dangerously strategically.
What do we mean by tactical success?
Fighting terrorism is, rst and foremost, a
challenge for intelligence services and law
enforcement agencies, which must track
and arrest or kill terrorists, thwart their
conspiracies, and dismantle their organiza-
tions. On occasion, military forces are also
required as they were in Afghanistan. But
by and large the lead participants are intel-
ligence and law enforcement.
In terms of their activities, we have done
better than anyone in the eld of counterter-
rorism could have expected on September
11, 2001. In all, as many as 3,500 operatives
are said to have been incarcerated around
the world. Among the most important
arrests were Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the
architect of the attack on the World Trade
Center, Abu Zubayda, Ramzi bin alshibh,
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, and Hambali.
Muhammad Atef and Qaed Salim Sinan
al-Harethi are dead, both killed in mili-
tary operations. The Bush administration
claims that three quarters of the groups
senior leadership has been arrested or killed,
though this may be inated. Still, these
achievements are signicant and have been
due to the profound, galvanizing effect the
9/11 attacks had on intelligence and law
enforcement authorities both in America
and around the world.
Some caveats need to be noted. Every
time in the past when we thought we had
taken the measure of al-Qaeda, we were
proven wrong. This was true after the East
Africa embassy bombings, the Millennium
conspiracy, and the bombing of the USS
Cole. After each event, another internation-
al dragnet was launched, and every time we
were surprised at how many cells and opera-
tives were turning up in scores of countries.
Today, we still have great difculties
assessing the size of the group and its
changing structure. The head of German
intelligence has estimated that 70,000 peo-
ple were trained in the Afghan camps. Not
all of those were prepared to be terrorists
many were only taught the skills necessary
for unconventional warfare. Still, that is
quite a gure.
A dozen top al-Qaeda managers are still
at large. Bin Laden and his top lieutenant,
Ayman al-Zawahiri, who serves as chief
ideologist for the group, are on the run
and probably unable to run operations as
they did before, but there are still a num-
ber of individuals with the know-how and
the authority to carry out a major strike.
Moreover, the organization has shown itself
to be resilient and have real depth, so lower-
level operatives have been moved up to
important managerial positions, seemingly
with ease.
If we have been roughly as successful as
we believe we have, then we may have won a
pause from genuinely catastrophic attacks
though no one can make such a prediction
with condence. With luck, we may reach
a level at which attacks involve only double-
digit or low triple-digit death tolls. Such
calculations may seem grisly, but that is a
level that we can probably live with, so long
as the attacks do not come too frequently.
The question is: will there be more massive
attacks in which the casualties run into four
or more digits?
To try to answer that, we must turn to the
strategic situation. Consider a few indica-
tors:
Inspired by the dramatic events of 9/11
and galvanized by the invasion of Iraq,
radical Islamists around the world are
remaking themselves ideologically and
operationally in al-Qaedas image. Despite
the punishment meted out to al-Qaeda in
the period since the Taliban were defeated
and the organization lost its safe haven in
Afghanistan, the jihadist movement has
been transformed. At the same time, other
member-groups in the network bin Laden
forged in the 1990s have increased their
activity, and radical Islamist groups that
were historically unconnected to al-Qaeda
are adopting that organizations ideology
and methods. Groups such as the Tawhid
and Jihad network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,
the most accomplished terrorist in Iraq,
have demonstrated formidable abilities,
including a remarkable operational tempo
and an impressive geographical span that
reaches at least to Europe.
Not surprisingly, Western intelligence
services report that recruitment to the jihad-
ist cause is up and fundraising continues to
be strong. The movement has less central
direction than it did before the defeat of the
Taliban, but the franchising phenomenon
has not led to a diminution of violence so
much as a more global distribution of the
killing. To be sure, there have been no more
attacks of the scale of 9/11, but the aggregate
violence over the last three years due to this
one movement greatly exceeds that com-
mitted by any other terrorist organization
or alliance of organizations in the postwar
period. One need only mention Madrid, Bali,
multiple attacks in Riyadh, multiple attacks
in Istanbul, multiple attacks in Jakarta,
Casablanca, and Moscow to recognize how
much killing these terrorists have accom-
plished.
Within the Muslim world, the aston-
ishing levels of anti-Americanism have
softened slightly in the last year. But opin-
ion analysts still see a transformation of
attitudes in these countries. It appears that
the traditional dichotomy, in which citi-
zens of Muslim countries liked Americans
as people indeed, admired Americas
democracy, rule of law, can-do attitude, and
technological achievements but disliked
our policies, is giving way to an increas-
ing dislike of Americans, full stop. The
US is viewed unfavorably by 61 percent of
Pakistanis, 53 percent of Turks, 94 percent
of Jordanians and 68 percent of Moroccans.
These are not just any countries but some of
Americas most important allies. Lest any-
one think that such gures do not necessar-
ily translate into support for al-Qaeda, bin
Laden is regarded favorably by 65 percent of
Pakistanis and by 55 percent of Jordanians.
(Moroccans are divided in their views, with
45 percent favorable and 42 percent unfavor-
able.) When the Pew Research Center did
an earlier round of polling in 2002, it found
that majorities in seven of eight Muslim
countries surveyed believed that America
posed an imminent threat of invasion to
their country. The parallels between these
views and al-Qaedas hardly need to be
underscored.
Additionally, we see that the rhetoric
among clerics, always an important indica-
tor, is tending toward the extremes even
from those who are paid by the state.
Moderates often now sound like they are
taking a page from the writings of Ayman
al-Zawahiri because they fear losing their
following.
This is not an encouraging picture. The
key to understanding it lies in the recogni-
tion that al-Qaeda is not just a group of peo-
ple with an agenda. It is, as is often said but
Every time in the past when
we thought we had taken
the measure of al-Qaeda,
we were proven wrong.
The Berlin Journal 9
perhaps not fully understood, an ideology
a world view. The ideology is a powerful one
and, in a sense, an elastic one. It answers
the most fundamental questions of people
who live in some of the most stagnant and
disappointed parts of the earth, and others
who live in some of the most successful and
afuent countries, especially in the Muslim
diaspora, but who still feel deeply alienated
and that their identity is challenged. The
ideology speaks to these people in a lan-
guage that resonates for them because it is
the language of their religion.
We should be clear: Al-Qaedas theol-
ogy is not that of the mainstream forms of
Islam. But there are points of contiguity,
so many aspects of the groups argument
appear to be legitimated by tradition. In a
time of profound ux in the Islamic world,
when traditions are enduring stresses from
both modernizers and conservatives, this
extreme jihadist Salasm has a powerful
authenticity. Moreover, for many people
who feel beleaguered in their everyday lives,
al-Qaeda has identied the enemy that
oppresses them: the alliance of Christians
and Jews world indelity as they call it
that they claim is led by the United States.
In bin Ladens message, this force is deter-
mined even metaphysically destined to
destroy Islam and occupy Muslim lands.
By translating the grievances that arise
from deprivation, alienation, and authoritar-
ian governance into a religious language, al-
Qaeda has infused its efforts with unimagi-
nable energy and transformed terrorism. By
making the struggle a matter of religious
faith, it raises grievances to another level. By
bringing God into the matter, it makes vio-
lence holy.
We are a long way from the traditional
terrorism of the postwar period. That terror-
ism was about leveraging a small amount
of violence into a lot of inuence. The
Palestinian Liberation Organization and the
Irish Republican Army are the best exam-
ples. Through carefully staging the theatrics
of terror, they managed to become accepted
as negotiating partners by their opponents.
They calibrated their violence so they would
not be viewed as pariahs but rather as the
representatives of a population struggling
to gain a hearing for legitimate grievances.
Sacred terror, however, is something else
entirely. The goal is not admission to a nego-
tiating process but violence itself. The more
killing of the cosmic enemy, the better.
To understand why bin Ladenism is on
the rise and to get a sense of the cultural
energies fueling it, we need to turn to the
intersection of sociology and theology. It is
often said that what the Islamic world needs
is a reformation so it can get religion out of
its politics and move forward with the devel-
opment of secularism and strong represen-
tative institutions. I believe something of
the sort has begun and we should be care-
ful what we wish for. Reformations do not
creep in on cats feet.
The germ for this reformation is carried
by Islamism itself, which is in part a reac-
tion to a crisis of authority in the Islamic
world. As everyone knows, Islam is a decen-
tralized religion with no universal church.
Under the impact of colonialism, an erosion
of existing authority began more than a
century ago. The great question of the late
nineteenth and early twentieth century was,
How do we catch up with the West? As
Richard Bulliet has pointed out, elites, even
the sons of clergy, sent their sons to new
European-style schools for education that
would prepare them for a technological and
bureaucratic world. The tie to the mullahs
was also broken when the justice system
was taken out of their hands. And the coup
de grace in this series of developments was
the delegitimation of the clergy, who were
put on the state payroll. They have thus
come to be viewed as lackeys of the state, as
the compliant apologists for often brutal,
non-Islamic regimes.
Instead of traditional kinds of education
with all the deference to tradition and reli-
gious authority, young Muslims, particu-
larly in Egypt and the Maghreb, were taught
subjects such as math, chemistry, and com-
position. They developed a different kind
of mentality, especially those who went on
to university. They began to interpret the
Quran and other sacred literature for them-
selves, and they adapted and appropriated
from older texts to justify their views.
Just as Martin Luther said Every man
a priest, these individuals saw the act of
struggling with holy texts as vital, but they
paid little attention to most of the interpre-
tations that had built up over centuries. It
is striking how many of the jihadists are
engineers and doctors, people who believe
they have well-trained minds and can think
for themselves. The leader of the group that
killed President Sadat of Egypt was an elec-
trician. Ayman al-Zawahiri is a doctor; bin
Laden studied engineering and economics.
Another aspect of this proto-reforma-
tion is that the radicals are reshaping the
essentials of the religion redening the
sacraments. The ve pillars of Islam are the
declaration of faith, prayer, charity, the Hajj,
and the fast of Ramadan. The Islamists seek
to raise jihad to a level at least equal with
all of these. For them, jihad is not internal
struggle, as most Muslims understand it.
They cling to its original meaning of war
waged to extend the realm of Islam.
Given this, it is hardly surprising that,
much like in the messianic movements
and shortlived theocracies of early modern
Europe, we see in the Islamic movement
today an effort to purify the faith and return
to a golden age, in this case the early caliph-
ate the Muslim superstate of the seventh
century. Al-Qaedas presentation of its griev-
ance in the language of Islam is not a matter
of misinterpretation in bad faith. It grows
out of a century-long struggle of Muslims to
confront modernity, and it draws on ancient
Muslim impulses one common to all
religions to purify the faith and return to
basics. We see this in the rise of fundamen-
talism in all religions.
By failing to understand the religious
motivations of this phenomenon and by
refusing to recognize that we now face an
ideologically driven global insurgency, we
and I mean especially the Bush administra-
tion have committed a major error. We
have failed to observe the rst command-
ment of warfare: know thine enemy.
The consequences of this error transcend
our continual surprise at the resilience of
al-Qaeda. For all the achievements we have
had at the tactical level, we have pursued
policies that undermine our prospects.
Most importantly, we have ignored a key
objective in this ideological struggle. We
have not made it a priority to prevent more
people from being seduced by the enemys
arguments. Indeed, we have inadvertently
advanced the jihadists efforts.
The most glaring example of this has
been in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
No one should harbor nostalgia for Saddam
Hussein or his vicious regime, but the
United States played into its most danger-
ous enemies hands by venturing into Iraq.
Bin Ladens message can be very roughly
summed up as The indels seek to occupy
Muslim lands and destroy Islam. By invad-
ing Iraq, we have unwittingly allowed the
terrorists to say that we have conrmed
As we know from history,
large youth bulges are
often associated with
revolutionary periods.
10 Number Nine | Fall 2004
their arguments. Ideological struggle is ulti-
mately a ght over narratives, and instead
of undermining the account of our oppo-
nents, we validated it. We have allowed the
war on terror to be mischaracterized as a
war against Islam, and this has been a major
mistake.
In doing so, we brought the targets to
the killers and set ourselves the impossible
task of proving our goodwill to Iraqis at a
moment when we had to suppress an insur-
gency. We may have taken away al-Qaedas
sanctuary in Afghanistan, but we have pro-
vided jihadists with an unparalleled train-
ing ground in Iraq. As we have seen from
the activities of al-Zarqawi, who is said to
have carried out the worst car bombings,
kidnappings, and beheadings, the jihadists
have put this opportunity to effective use.
Second, there has been little movement
on the foremost Muslim grievance: the
plight of the Palestinians. It would be hard
to argue that under current conditions,
progress toward a comprehensive peace
would have been easy. But by being absent,
by essentially letting the peace process with-
er, the US has again allowed its enemies to
characterize it as the enemy of Muslims.
Now, one could argue that, given the suc-
cess of our tactical counterterrorism efforts,
we do not need to worry too much about the
turn of Muslim opinion. After all, the impli-
cations of this splintering of the jihadist
movement are mixed. Some of the groups
that have begun to attack Western targets,
la al-Qaeda, are not very competent; con-
sider for instance the group in Casablanca
that attacked a Jewish community center on
a Friday night when no one was there.
But over the longer term it would be a
serious error to ignore the inroads that radi-
calism is making in the Muslim world.
We should be concerned about the pos-
sible emergence of a jihadist state. There
are no immediate candidates. But as the Far
Eastern Economic Review has documented,
a growing number of middle-class, edu-
cated Pakistanis are joining al-Qaeda and
other jihadist movements. Or if we consider
that not today or tomorrow but in ten years,
Saudi Arabia might become unstable the
consequences of that scenario do not need to
be spelled out. Some critical factors may has-
ten the emergence of such a country the
terrible condition of the economies of most
Muslim countries and, more importantly,
the demographics. Saudi Arabias popula-
tion is expected to grow by more than 50 per-
cent in the next 15 or so years, and, as we
know from history, large youth bulges are
often associated with revolutionary periods.
Perhaps even more imminent and wor-
risome is the dynamic of radicalization
that has taken hold among Western-born
Muslims especially in Europe. The work of
the French expert Olivier Roy has been par-
ticularly illuminating on this issue. Young
European Muslims are often alienated from
both the moderate traditions of their par-
ents and the often-unwelcoming societies in
which they live. (Although American society
has a greater ability to integrate immigrants,
there is no guarantee of immunity from
similar developments there.) Easy access
to high-quality education in engineering,
chemistry and biology could put consider-
able destructive power in the hands of such
diaspora jihadists. Al-Qaeda, moreover, has
set its sights on recruitment of the tech-
nologically sophisticated, and on converts
to Islam who cannot easily be marked for
surveillance by government proling. Thus,
while nine out of ten successor groups to
al-Qaeda might be capable of nothing more
than a truck bomb, the remaining one could
include operatives more skilled than any
we have yet faced. In light of the galloping
advances in biotechnology in particular, this
is a deeply worrying trend. One key point
about the war on terror: we should never
make the mistake of believing that things
cannot get worse and that our enemies will
not resort to greater destruction.
What is to be done? The United States,
together with its allies, must forge a strategy
for reducing the appeal of jihadist ideology.
The US, aside from not having the resources
or capabilities to bring about far-reaching
change on its own, is simply too toxic a pres-
ence in the Muslim world to be effective.
This will involve policy moves that aim to
change ordinary Muslims views of America
and the West. This will require signicantly
deeper diplomatic, economic, and cultural
engagement with the Muslim world. If
Islam may be said to be in the midst of a
civil war, then it is one in which the proxy
punching bag is the West. Our goal must be
to extricate ourselves from this struggle.
Let me sketch out some elements of what
might be called strategic counterterrorism.
Restarting the Middle East peace process
is a sine qua non. For the terrorists, of course,
no outcome that leaves Israel on the map is
acceptable. But this is beside the point. We
are not going to rehabilitate any terrorists.
But we must win over those who have not
bought the bin Laden line.
Strategic counterterrorism must also
involve efforts to accelerate economic liber-
alization and a broad-based drive to improve
educational systems in the Muslim world.
Right now, too many countries allow their
young to be trained for global jihad instead
of the global economy. This will cost money
and it will be a sensitive undertaking, but it
is essential.
There must be a coordinated effort by the
international community to curtail incite-
ment: the blaming of the United States and
its allies for all that ails Muslim societies.
Much of the hatred we face has been generat-
ed by authoritarian governments practiced in
the art of deecting blame onto an external
enemy. Historically, Western countries have
turned a blind eye to this behavior, while
pressing for support on the peace process
or Persian Gulf security. The situation is no
longer acceptable.
Finally, there needs to be a coordinated
effort to press key countries toward gradual
opening of their political systems. In short:
we need to carefully support democratiza-
tion in the Muslim world carefully, because
many of these regimes are key allies in the
war on terror. And we must avoid creating
runaway reaction that leads to instability or
the emergence of radical regimes. What this
suggests is that instead of embracing a cook-
ie-cutter approach toward democratization,
we need to look at each country individually
and remember that democratization involves
more than just the ballot box. It involves the
rule of law, freedom of speech, and institu-
tional development. This will be neither easy
nor cheap. But only democracies are capable
of containing the kinds of stress and dissent
that these countries are experiencing.
This is an enormous agenda, and no one
country can achieve it alone. Such a policy
will demand as high a level of diplomatic
skill as anything we have done in recent
decades. The new terrorism is a global prob-
lem that threatens all who have any invest-
ment in the status quo and in peace and
security. It can only be addressed by a broad
alliance of the like-minded. The rst task for
the coming years is to forge that alliance.

Daniel Benjamin is the author, with Steven Simon,


of The Age of Sacred Terror. He is a senior fellow at
the Center for Strategic and Inter national Studies
and was in Berlin last spring as a Bosch Fellow in
Public Policy at the Academy.
In too many countries, the
youth trains for global jihad
not the global economy.
X
Y
N
I
A
S
W
E
T
Z
E
L
.
D
E
Fernsehen wie im Kino.
Sharp Proles
How Immigration Law is being Misused as Anti-Terrorism Law
by Hiroshi Motomura
P
h
o
t
o
g
r
a
p
h

f
r
o
m

G
e
t
t
y

I
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a
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s
14 Number Nine | Fall 2004
On December 12, 2001, just two months
after the attacks of September 11, a New York
Times survey revealed broad approval of two
separate systems of justice in the United
States, one for them and one for us. The
facts that emerged about the September 11
hijackers conrmed an image of terrorists
as foreigners the same image that had
quickly but falsely emerged after the 1995
bombing of the Oklahoma City federal
building by Timothy McVeigh and Terry
Nichols.
Much of the story of the war on terrorism
over the three years since September 11 has
been the story of separate systems of justice
for suspected terrorists. To be sure, some
suspected terrorists have been prosecuted
under criminal law in the federal courts.
But a far greater number have been held as
enemy combatants at Guantanamo Naval
Base, beyond the protections of traditional
criminal procedure, notwithstanding sever-
al recent US Supreme Court rulings on the
reach of the US Constitution.
Part of the sentiment for a separate
system of justice reects the idea that the
delicate balance between law enforcement
and civil liberties can rightly tip toward law
enforcement when noncitizens rather than
citizens are affected. But the sentiment also
reects the fear that criminal law cannot do
the job alone. A basic premise of criminal
law is that it investigates and prosecutes
crimes that have been committed. Only in
exceptional circumstances does criminal
law try to identify those likely to commit
future crimes. Yet, public ofcials said
repeatedly after September 11 that the prior-
ity is preventing future terrorist attacks.
Besides the detention of enemy combat-
ants, the other separate system of justice
that has become a type of anti-terrorism law
is immigration law. Right after September
11, the federal government arrested and
detained over one thousand noncitizens,
mostly men, and mostly for immigration
law violations, though the apparent purpose
was to prevent further acts of terrorism and
to aid in investigating acts of terrorism that
had already occurred. As would become typ-
ical, the focus was on noncitizens from Arab
and Muslim countries. About one-third
of the detainees were Pakistanis. The rest
came from Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Yemen,
India, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria,
Lebanon, Israel, and Iran. Many detainees
were held for long periods some over one
year and later government investigations
showed that many were physically and ver-
bally abused by guards.
Also after September 11, the government
concentrated its deportation resources
on deportable noncitizens from Arab and
Muslim countries. Entry-exit controls and
visa application procedures were signicant-
ly tightened for these countries. The govern-
ment also required noncitizen males at least
16 years of age from 25 predominantly Arab
or Muslim countries (plus North Korea)
who were not lawful permanent residents to
appear at Immigration and Naturalization
Service ofces as part of a special registra-
tion program to be photographed, nger-
printed, and interviewed under oath. Many
of those who registered were arrested and
detained, often on the basis of immigration
violations that normally would go undetect-
ed or overlooked.
The war on terrorism also affected
the conduct of deportation proceedings
in immigration courts. Ten days after
September 11, a directive from Chief
Immigration Judge Michael Creppy closed
immigration proceedings in over one thou-
sand special interest cases to all observers,
including family and the press. The direc-
tive did not dene this category of cases, but
most involved noncitizens from the Middle
East or South Asia.
With these initiatives, much immigra-
tion law enforcement came to be based on
race or ethnicity without any individual-
ized indication that the targeted persons
deserved investigation. This is what I dene
as racial or ethnic proling. What happened
to these individuals happened because they
were from predominantly Arab or Muslim
countries, not because there was any spe-
cic evidence that brought them to the
attention of authorities. Signicantly, many
of these noncitizens caught up in these
enforcement measures were not illegal
immigrants, or students, or other tempo-
rary visitors, but rather lawful permanent
residents of the United States, some of
whom had lived in this country for many
years.
Assessing the Bush administrations use
of immigration law as anti-terrorism law
must consider the pervasive use of race and
ethnicity in post-September 11 immigration
law enforcement. We should start by asking
how these measures differed from prol-
ing African-Americans sometimes known
as DWB (or driving while black) that
previously had drawn broad condemna-
tion from a wide array of public ofcials,
including President Bush and Attorney
General Ashcroft. Why did the consensus
against racial proling ip so quickly after
September 11? The quick answer is that
immigration law is a separate system of
justice for them as outsiders. To assess
this answer, we need to look more closely at
immigration law as anti-terrorism law.
As far back as the Alien and Sedition Acts
of 1798, and then ever since the early fed-
eral immigration statutes of the late 1800s,
immigration law has barred and deported
noncitizens from the US on national secu-
rity grounds. Noncitizens can be arrested,
detained, and deported with little recourse
to the constitutional protections that would
limit law enforcement outside of immigra-
tion. The government found it easier after
September 11 to proceed against nonciti-
zens suspected of terrorist ties by enforcing
immigration laws, rather than initiating
criminal prosecutions.
Another reason that immigration law
is convenient as anti-terrorism law is that
many noncitizens in the US are here in
violation of immigration laws. Some of
these violations are highly technical, like
a gap between two valid periods of student
status, while others are more obvious, like
ignoring a nal deportation order. This
means that the main use of immigration
law as anti-terrorism law after September
11 has not involved new immigration laws
but rather the much stricter enforcement
of immigration laws that have long been on
the books.
Since these efforts targeted noncitizens
from predominantly Arab or Muslim coun-
tries, accusations of racial and ethnic prol-
ing quickly and predictably emerged. But
critics of the Bush administrations use of
immigration law as anti-terrorism law need
to deal with two objections to their criticism.
First, many of these targeted individuals in
fact violated immigration laws, so how can
these lawbreakers be complaining? Second,
shouldnt noncitizens be handled within a
separate system of justice?
Answering the rst question means look-
ing at the role of discretion. Immigration
enforcement has never been a simple matter
Can the balance between law enforcement and civil
liberties tip toward law enforcement when noncitizens
rather than citizens are affected?
of identifying and deporting violators but
has always given ofcials a great deal of room
to maneuver. Enforcement zeal has been
inconsistent. This history reects tacit agree-
ment among politically powerful groups,
including employers who need foreign work-
ers, and consumers who want to keep down
the price of groceries and hotel rooms and
everything else. Some citizens, moreover,
have a strong personal interest
in a degree of underenforcement that lets rel-
atives join them in the United States before
those relatives qualify for lawful status.
There are many examples of under-
enforcement. For many years, no federal
law made it unlawful to hire a noncitizen
who lacked work authorization. In 1952,
Congress made it a felony to harbor an
alien who is in the US unlawfully. But at
the insistence of southwestern growers
and other agricultural interests, Congress
also included the so-called Texas Proviso,
which dened harboring not to include
merely hiring an unauthorized worker.
This state of affairs changed in 1986 with
penalties for employers who knowingly hire
or continue to hire unauthorized workers,
but the scheme was predictably ineffective.
False documents became readily available.
Even today, the law only requires employers
to see if documents reasonably appear to be
genuine. Further probing, such as asking for
more documents, exposes employers to lia-
bility for discrimination. As long as employ-
ers check documents and do the paperwork,
they risk no liability. Enforcement efforts
are sporadic, and penalties on the unlucky
employers who are caught are too light to
deter further violations. Overall, employer
sanctions failed to eliminate unauthorized
work as a magnet for undocumented immi-
gration. This was not a surprise. Too many
powerful interests were involved in draft-
ing and passing the legislation to produce a
law that would actually staunch the ow of
undocumented immigrants.
This is but one recent chapter in the story
of enforcement ambivalence in immigration
law. Enforcement puts on a strong public
face, but laws go underenforced or unen-
forced in reality. There is a powerful consen-
sus that strict and constant immigration law
enforcement would drag down the US econ-
omy, block the reunication of families, and
otherwise hurt broad segments of American
society. Chronic but broadly accepted toler-
ance of illegal immigration prevails, even
if politics demands an occasional show of
vigor.
No wonder, then, that discretion plays an
important role. Given a baseline of underen-
forcement, the government has historically
had considerable latitude to enforce some
aspects of immigration law but not others,
or to target certain industries, localities,
groups, or individuals for enforcement but
not others. Government ofcials are under
great pressure to address the most urgent
demands with the limited resources at their
command. These uctuations have typically
reected domestic political demands often
economic ones, like Californias recession in
the early 1990s.
At other times, enforcement priorities
have responded to perceived foreign


What happens to these individuals happens because
they are from predominantly Arab or Muslim
countries, not because of any specific evidence.
16 Number Nine | Fall 2004
threats anarchists at the turn of the twen-
tieth century for example, or communists
during the McCarthy era. In October 2001,
Attorney General John Ashcroft explicitly
announced that the Department of Justice
would, as an anti-terrorism strategy, detain
and remove noncitizens for minor immigra-
tion violations. Discretion shifted the focus
of immigration enforcement toward the
noncitizens from Arab and Muslim coun-
tries, against whom immigration law
became anti-terrorism law.
Although many of these individuals had
violated the immigration laws that were
now enforced against them, these were in
many cases violations that would seldom if
ever lead to government enforcement under
normal circumstances. For example, many
individuals who had voluntarily reported
for special registration were noncitizens
without lawful immigration status, but they
had met all of the requirements for lawful
permanent residence and were merely wait-
ing for paperwork processing. Even other
noncitizens who were more clearly in the US
without lawful immigration status would
not have been targets of government atten-
tion but for their ethnicity.
Moreover, the fact that someone violates
the law should not end the inquiry into
whether enforcement is justied. Assume,
for example, that the district attorney of
a large American city adopts a policy to
focus its armed robbery prosecutions on
cases in which the defendants are African-
Americans. No one would dispute that
armed robbery is a serious crime, but no
one should dispute that it is wrong to pros-
ecute only African-Americans, no matter
how serious the crime. Why is this wrong?
This requires a closer look at proling, and
brings us back to questioning the notion
that proling in immigration law concerns
noncitizens who should be handled within a
separate system of justice.
One troubling aspect of racial or ethnic
proling in law enforcement is that it can
be irrational. It can lead to lazy enforce-
ment that relies on unfounded suppositions
rather than hard evidence. The thousands
of detentions that resulted from the post-
September 11 immigration law enforcement
initiatives against Arabs and Muslims led
to not one terrorism conviction. But irratio-
nality is not the only problem with proling.
Even rational proling may be disturbing
if it offends other values that matter. It is
familiar for the law to recognize important
values even if they impede the rational
search for truth. Examples of this include
the attorney-client privilege, the rule in
criminal procedure that excludes from evi-
dence the fruits of an unlawful search, and
the requirement that the prosecution in
criminal cases must show guilt beyond a
reasonable doubt.
So why after September 11 did the broad
apparent public consensus against racial
and ethnic proling in the domestic context
suddenly turn into support for government
policies to engage in racial and ethnic prol-
ing in immigration law enforcement against
Arabs and Muslims? The proling that
prompted pre-September 11 criticism had
involved blacks and Latinos who were US
citizens. But in the war on terror, the gov-
ernments exercise of discretion in immi-
gration law enforcement was perceived to be
directed against noncitizens. It was prol-
ing in a separate system of justice for them.
If we assume that only noncitizens are
affected by proling, it is easy to limit our-
selves to the question of whether using race
and ethnicity is rational or irrational. But
there are harder questions of dignity and
equality, and of what else might be more
important than rational truth. These may
be easy to duck because noncitizens are con-
sidered not part of us. Proling of nonciti-
zens, especially terrorist noncitizens, seems
not to implicate these other values, and thus
seems quite unlike proling in an entirely
domestic setting. But to look at proling
this way is to miss the point.
A key premise underlying the Bush
administrations use of immigration law
as anti-terrorism law was that proling in
immigration law enforcement hurts only
the noncitizens who are arrested, detained,
or deported. The debate was largely con-
ned to whether the administration had
acted properly by sacricing the civil liber-
ties of noncitizens while retaining basic
protections for citizens. This was consistent
with much public opinion, notably the New
York Times survey results endorsing two sys-
tems of justice.
But it is impossible to affect noncitizens
without affecting citizens who are closely
related. Calling them noncitizens makes it
easy to forget that they are the mothers and
fathers and husbands and wives of citizens.
Moreover, noncitizens are vital members
of ethnic communities made up of citizens
and noncitizens. The exercise of discretion
to enforce immigration law selectively can
destroy families and ethnic communities.
The selective deportations of noncitizens
who would not be deported but for their eth-
nicity has devastated Arab and Muslim com-
munities in the United States. An estimated
one out of every eight residents including
some US citizens abandoned Brooklyns
Little Pakistan neighborhood in the eigh-
teen months following September 11.
In addition to immediate, tangible harms
from direct government action, racial and
ethnic proling in immigration law enforce-
ment burdens the citizens and communities
that are closely tied to the targeted individu-
als with a stigma akin to racially segregated
schools. As the US Supreme Court put it in
Brown v. Board of Education, this stigma is a
feeling of inferiority as to their status in the
community that may affect their hearts and
minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.
Even if proling is rational, it is wrong if it
affronts the dignity of individuals and the
idea of a society in which individuals are not
subordinated by race or ethnicity.
This ofcial stigma can spur private
hatred. Soon after September 11, the highest
government ofcials, including President
Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft,
denounced attacks against persons who
were or appeared to be Arab or Muslim. Yet,
the Department of Justice opened investiga-
tions into about 380 post-September 11 cases
of violence or threats against persons of (or
believed to be of) Muslim, Arab, Sikh, or
South Asian religion or ethnicity. According
to the FBI, hate crimes against Muslims
and persons of Middle Eastern ethnicity
increased sixteen-fold over the previous year.
To use an image from the American fron-
tier, the government response to September
11 seems to be to circle the wagons for self-
protection, with the costs of the anti-terror-
ism measures imposed on noncitizens who
are on the outside. If the harms visited on
noncitizens did not affect citizens, then the
circle would tighten symmetrically, with all
citizens protected equally, then all perma-
nent residents equally, and so on. But look-
ing at affected US citizens and communities
gives the circled wagons a more unsettling
meaning. Shifting perspective to include
citizens makes clear that lines between the
Calling them noncitizens makes it easy to forget that
they are the mothers and fathers and husbands and
wives of citizens vital community members.
The Berlin Journal 17
circles are not bright, and that they tighten
asymmetrically by race and ethnicity. Arab-
Americans and Muslim-Americans should
be inside the circled wagons, but after
September 11 the Bush administration cast
them out.
Immigration law is being overused as
anti-terrorism law because the Bush admin-
istration has combined two facile assump-
tions: (1) that mobilizing immigration law
as a preventative supplement to criminal law
is appropriate because terrorists are foreign-
ers; and (2) that immigration law enforce-
ment can, as a system of justice for them,
rely on racial and ethnic proling in ways
that criminal law enforcement should not.
What is being overlooked is this basic
truth: as soon as enforcement of immigra-
tion law relies on race and ethnicity, then
race and ethnicity will matter more than
whether those targeted are citizens or
noncitizens. This is a key lesson from the
internment of Japanese-Americans during
World War II, when the focus on ethnicity
led to internment of noncitizens and non-
aliens (i.e., citizens) alike.
The next, hard question is what can be
done if the American consensus supports
some changes in our understanding of civil
liberties so that future terrorist acts can be
prevented and not just prosecuted after the
fact. Can immigration law ever be anti-ter-
rorism law, supplementing criminal law?
Let me suggest three ideas that might help
in answering this question.
First, the idea of mobilizing immigra-
tion law as a preventative supplement
to criminal law holds more promise if we
rid it of racial and ethnic proling. For
example, even-handed application of entry-
exit control systems to all noncitizens
would not raise the problems that I discuss
here.
Second, racial and ethnic proling
concentrates the costs of immigration law
enforcement on some noncitizens and
citizens while minimizing costs for other
Americans. If exceptional measures against
terrorism are ever required, then it may be
far better for all Americans to accept less
intrusive measures a national identica-
tion card comes immediately to mind than
for some Americans to bear the brunt of
immigration law as anti-terrorism law.
Giving law enforcement a little information
about everyone may reduce the need for law
enforcement to severely disrupt the lives of a
few based on race or ethnicity.
Third, let us assume the worse case, that
the danger is so pressing that immigration
law must be used in combination with racial
and ethnic proling that imposes dispro-
portionate costs on some US citizens and
communities. The American legal scholar
(and my casebook co-author) Alex Aleinikoff
has wisely suggested that the question of
what is necessary can be separated from
the question of who bears the cost. If we
must impose disproportionate injury on
Arab and Muslim Americans to ght ter-
rorism, then we must compensate them for
this. All Americans should be willing to pay
in one way or another for what it takes to
ght terrorism, to reassure those who bear
the direct, day-to-day impact that they are
Americans, too.

Hiroshi Motomura is Lloyd Cutler Fellow at


the American Academy in Berlin and Dan
K. Moore Distinguished Professor of Law at the
University of North Carolina. He is completing
a book, Americans-in-Waiting: The Lost Story of
Immigration and Citizenship in the United States,
to be published by Oxford University Press.
At the Heart of Europe
DW-TV
Germanys international television service DW-TV broadcasts programmes
around the world, 24 hours a day, in German, English, Spanish and Arabic.
DW-TV: fast, reliable, precise and unmistakable.
The world of politics, business, sports and the arts with a dinstinctively European
profile. DW-TV helps its viewers make sense of events in Germany and Europe.
DW-TV: news and information, every hour on the hour.
DEUTSCHE WELLE
www.dw-world.de
ISRAELS
WALL
by Roger Cohen
anyone crossing the barrier and so make
Israel safer.
A second ofcer shows off the gadgetry:
night-vision cameras trained 24 hours
a day on a barrier loaded with electronic
gizmos that signal the precise location
of anyone who touches it, ensuring that
Israeli forces reach the area within two to
eight minutes to stop the sort of inltra-
tion of Palestinian suicide bombers that
resulted in close to one hundred Israeli
deaths in March 2002 alone.
On those war-room screens the most
common sight is a Palestinian in a donkey
cart trundling along a dirt track beside the
barrier.
The contrast between the high-tech
Israeli cameras that deliver these images
and the abject existence of the Palestinians
photographed provides an apt summation
of the divergence of the societies: a rst-
world Israel forging ahead as best it can,
a third-world Palestinian society going
backwards.
The barrier, destined to run over 430
miles from the northern West Bank to its
southern rim, with numerous protrusions
into the area, is to be completed by the

JERUSALEM The Israeli ofcer points to
a detailed map of the West Bank, explain-
ing the methods the army has used to
slash the number of Palestinian suicide
bombers emerging from there to hit Israeli
buses and cafes. More than two hundred
Israelis were murdered in 2002, less than
two dozen so far this year. The armys cam-
paign, including raids and ceaseless patrols
in West Bank towns, has been effective. But
the ofcer admits to a certain unease.
I dont feel good about building walls,
he says, pacing his ofce. Not around
my home or in my country. The army was
against the wall in the beginning. But
when we saw there was no change in the
Palestinian leadership, no serious attempt
to control terrorism, and when we under-
stood that the incitement would not change,
we knew that every tool had to be used.
Those tools include the so-called War
Room, the nerve center of the wall or
fence or barrier it is all these things in
different places that is transforming
the physical and mental landscape of the
Israeli-Palestinian conict. Here, Israeli
soldiers gaze at banks of computer and
television screens. Their job is to stop
Photograph from Corbis
The Berlin Journal 19
end of next year. It amounts to the most
visible expression of the way Israelis and
Palestinians have parted company. Because
it wills and advances this unilateralist sepa-
ration, and claims more than 10 percent
of the West Bank, the wall is profoundly
political.
To move through the West Bank today is
to witness the growth of parallel networks.
Israelis drive on highways to their settle-
ments spreading like garrisons on hills.
Palestinians are increasingly conned
to dirt tracks beside these roads. The
impression of colonizer and colonized is
inescapable.
Nowhere is this separation more evident
than between Qalqilya, northwest of
Jerusalem, and the adjacent West Bank
town of Hable. Having built the fence
around three sides of these two towns,
Israeli authorities realized that the two
places, now cut off, depended on each other.
So now the army is building a series of tun-
nels under the winding fence that will be
used by Palestinians.
Israeli ofcers portray this as a generous
gesture. They are proud of helping the
tunnel people communicate. They show off
ourishing orange trees and say the trees
are proof of how we let them into their
elds. At one gate, Mutassem Abu Tayem,
a 36-year-old Palestinian farmer, waits on
a donkey cart to be let onto his land. His
view? We are living in a prison and are
treated like beasts.
Fair treatment, many Israelis contend,
for a people who adopted a national strategy
of blowing up busloads of children. Benny
Morris, a historian, says: I am in favor
of the fence. It creates human problems,
but the Palestinians have themselves to
blame. They brought it upon themselves. A
society that dispatches its agents to blow up
Israeli bars and restaurants cannot expect
anything different. Suicide bombers are
much more damaging to Israels soul than
building a fence.
During the 1990s, Morris believed in
the peace process. He believed there could
be a historic compromise between Jews and
Palestinians over the land that each side
covets. He believed that the Palestinian
leadership had accepted the existence
of Israel. But Palestinian leaders were
dissembling, he now argues. They do not
really accept that we have an inch of land.
A two-state solution remains the only
hope for lasting peace, Morris still believes.
But such an accord is now a distant hope.
Meanwhile, the wall provides a form of
semi-truce, as well as a border to which
Israelis might withdraw if they ever leave
the West Bank. The Palestinians will
now have less land for their state, Morris
suggests. They could have had 70 to 80
percent of the land we have fought over
in 1937, 43 percent in 1947 and 21 percent
under the plan of Clinton and Barak. In
history, you pay for your mistakes.
As these comments suggest, Israeli
attitudes have hardened. The barrier has
become an article of faith for most soldiers
and ofcers, and even liberal Israelis tend
to see its merits. It is an effective tool, they
say. Projected to cost well over one billion
dollars, it works and must be completed.
If Israelis are going to the beach and to
clubs again, and if bombings have become
rare, it is thanks in large part, they insist, to
these ditches and guard towers and coils of
barbed wire and miles of wire fencing that
separate two peoples, demarcating the gulf
between them.
Most Israelis are tired of the conict,
exhausted by it. They want to forget what
goes on over there, in the West Bank. A wall
helps them do that. They feel that peace
was within reach ve years ago, but now the
best that can be hoped for is damage limita-
tion. A fence seems to serve that objective:
it makes the task of Palestinians who want
to kill them harder.
There is a feeling that you cannot
resolve this situation for the coming
decades, you can only manage it, says Tom
Segev, a historian. The wall is ugly and
terrible, but it is also a way of managing.
So when the International Court of
Justice in The Hague rules that the barrier
is illegal, or when the Israeli Supreme
Court declares that its planned path
northwest of Jerusalem must be changed,
many Israelis shrug. Prime Minister Ariel
Sharons insistence that the barrier is nec-
essary for self-defense and international
opinion or law be damned nds a gener-
ally sympathetic domestic reception.
Opinions diverge on the reasons for
the precipitous fall in the number of
Palestinian bombings this year. Is the
intifada exhausted after almost four years?
Was Yasser Arafat cowed by the Israeli
killing of Hamas leaders? Did the removal
of those leaders throw Palestinian militants
into disarray? Have the ceaseless patrols
by more than 12,000 Israeli soldiers in the
West Bank blocked attacks?
Perhaps each theory has its share of
truth. But whoever espouses these ideas
also tends to see the barrier as an effective,
additional guarantee of some semblance
of normal life in Israel. Sure, the price is
high the defeat of hope but so be it.
What is missing, of course, from such
Israeli musings is any real grasp of the
life of the person on the other side of the
barrier, the Palestinian in his donkey-cart.
The damage inicted by the barrier on the
idea of a Jewish homeland built by Jews
eeing the walled ghettos of Europe seems
enormous. In the Jerusalem area, where
the wall is really a wall of concrete, higher
than the Berlin wall, the offense to the ideal
that was Israel appears incalculable.
Look one way from the Mount of Olives
and you see the golden walls of the Old
City, refracting light. Turn east toward the
village of Abu Dis and there is this gray
monument to defeat, deadening light. To
one side, minarets and churches and onion
domes and synagogues piled, it seems, one
on top of the other. To the other, the razor
cut of a wall through land and psyche.
Life is an accumulation, war a dissection.
It seems clear in Jerusalem today that the
logic of war has won.

Roger Cohen is a columnist for the International


Herald Tribune and writer at large for the New
York Times. He will hold a Bosch Berlin Prize in
Public Policy at the Academy next spring. This
piece is expanded from an article that ran in the
Times on July 18, 2004
HISTORIAN BENNY MORRIS STILL BELIEVES THAT A TWO-
STATE SOLUTION OFFERS THE ONLY HOPE FOR LASTING
PEACE, BUT IT IS NOW A DISTANT HOPE.
ON THOSE WAR-ROOM SCREENS THE MOST COMMON SIGHT
IS A PALESTINIAN IN A DONKEY CART TRUNDLING ALONG A
DIRT TRACK BESIDE THE BARRIER.
20 Number Nine | Fall 2004
Identity Writ Large
Germanys Perpetual Preoccupations
by Steven Erlanger
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The Berlin Journal 21
T
he Anglo-American romp
through Iraq and its wearying after-
math have claried transatlantic
relations considerably. But it is not
a happy picture, and it does not promise
any radiant future. The administration of
George W. Bush, swollen with hubris, acted
as if it disdains all allies, even the loyal Tony
Blair, whose government has been badly
weakened by all this martial success. With
gratuitous unilateralism, on issues both
serious and utterly inconsequential, Bush
threw away his chance to have his war and
the backing of the Security Council, too. In
the aftermath, with the grinding process
of pacifying and rebuilding Iraq, Bush
behaved grudgingly, with clear divisions
in his own administration over the wisdom
of seeking friendly help and advice. When
Bush found himself in need of allies to
share the pain of post-war Iraq he seemed
astonished that so few were willing to help
and that some barely bothered to hide their
hope that he lose his bid for re-election.
Germany, of course, has always been
the European exception around which
European policy revolves. Having most
recently been a correspondent there, I feel
I should here take a more serious look at its
problems and perceptions. This is because
Europe will never be more than it is unless
the Germans are willing to come along;
more than that, unless the Germans are
willing to take their indispensable place as
the vital center of an enlarged Europe its
largest nation, its largest economy its
engine, not its caboose.
Yet Germany now seems even more
exceptional than during the long reign of
Helmut Kohl, more wounded, more alone,
more ambivalent, more schizophrenic,
more conicted, more torn between its
ambitions and its past. The Germans are, if
anything, more smug than ever about the
ideology of peace, environmental protec-
tion, and aid to the Third World that the
Americans helped to instill after World
War II. They are deeply mistrustful of any
national role that would require them to lead
anyone, anywhere, in anything that looks
like a battle. And they are blind to the need
for a serious restructuring of their postwar
model of economic development in the face
of reunication, let alone the rise of China
or even the Internet.
During the German election campaign
of September 2002 and how long ago that
already seems! I spent quite a lot of time
chatting with people who would have been
ordinary, except that they had actually come
to listen to the candidates who sought their
vote. They stood politely, mostly, sometimes
with children, sometimes on a break from
work, sometimes festooned with facial jew-
elry and sometimes with furs, and heard out
their politicians: Schrder, Stoiber, Fischer,
Schily, et al. It was the kind of retail politics
we do not see very much any more in the
United States, where the enormous size of
constituencies means campaigning by radio
and television, with the unhappy prolifera-
tion of attack advertisements that suggest
that the other party, if it wins, has a secret
plan to murder children and eat them.
But I found these conversations discon-
certing and even troubling in a different
way. Intelligent, cosmopolitan people, from
Cologne to Cottbus, Munich to Rostock,
seemed puzzled by my efforts to discuss
Saddam Husseins Iraq or a nuclear Iran. Do
Germans currently see a threat from anyone,
I would ask. People looked almost embar-
rassed for me. Only if we attack somebody,
a smart young businessman said.
But is there a German responsibility to
its allies in NATO and the United States?
Is there a special responsibility to Israel
that comes into play? Again, most people
shrugged, annoyed by the question or what
they perceived to be the American bias
within it. Thinking of September 11, I asked:
What would Germany do if a terrorist seized
a Lufthansa plane and crashed it into the
Kanzleramt? Apologize? Go to war? Again,
there was a deep, tense silence. I know what
Germany would do, I would say, and people
would look up, interested. Youd go to NATO,
Id say, and people would nod, quite relieved.
And, by the way, I would ask, who is your
European member of parliament? Perhaps
one person in fty actually knew.
Germany is a country that should make
the United States proud. It is a strong and
vibrant democracy, a prosperous land of
goodwill and decency, with antibodies to
fascism and anti-Semitism, and a younger
generation of great sophistication and gen-
erous instincts about the environment and
the underdeveloped world outside Europe.
But Germans seem to live in a postwar,
post-conict geopolitical fantasyland, where
the greatest threat to existence, it seems,
is the mixing of green glass with brown.
Germany is the best example of Robert
Kagans vivid if admittedly simplied the-
sis that Europe imagines a region without
conict, where threats are social and devel-
opmental, and the cures are aid, education,
and moralistic hand-wringing, not military
power or military spending.
1
This may also
be its greatest weakness. But the exception
may in this case prove the rule.
There is in Germany a kind of secular-
ized evangelicism: that the world can be bet-
tered only by German instruction and aid,
that a duty to the poor and the oppressed
is transcendent above any other obligation,
and that this attitude is the only modern,
appropriate, or even decent position to take.
And it leads to a kind of sanctimonious-
ness, just as grating coming from a German
mouth as from an American one. And it can
lead to absurdity.
The following analogy has aws, I grant.
But I have sometimes asked Germans who
are angry with the United States for its poli-
cies on genetically modied grain why they
still smoke cigarettes. It is right to be wor-
ried and motivated by potential dangers,
but surely it is schizophrenic to ignore the
proven danger of the cigarette in your own
mouth. The past, bad enough, serves as
an object lesson for the present. But it also
serves as a kind of rationalization, a pass
from responsibility, a constant excuse for
immaturity for a nation that has a deep
reluctance still to getting involved with its
allies in the world.
Sometimes I think that German teachers
must spend so much time on the horrors of
the German past that Germans think the
crimes of Nazism were unique. As some-
one who has reported from Cambodia and
Chechnya, let alone large stretches of the
Middle East and the Balkans, I nd it quite
bizarre that Germans, and Europeans gen-
erally, given the history of this blood-spat-
tered continent, consider the world to be
such a benign and harmless place.
Faced with the simplistic and sometimes
inane comments of Bush, it can be easy to
feel superior. And the sheer power of an
Germans seem to live in a
postwar, post-conflict geo-
political fantasyland, where
the greatest threat to exis-
tence, it seems, is the mixing
of green glass with brown.
1. Robert Kagan, Power and Weakness,
Policy Review 113 (JuneJuly 2002).
22 Number Nine | Fall 2004
American president, at the head of the hyper-
power that prompts so many contradictory
feelings anyway, is infuriating to Europeans
who feel that the cowboy is their president,
too, unelected and unwanted.
But this is not the rst right-wing
Republican to claim to know the difference
between good and evil: in Western Europe
Ronald Reagan was despised and feared.
And we all survived, even if the Soviet
Union and all its satellites did not.
My point here is not supercilious. It is
simply to say that the free world is more
resilient than it seems, and that the cycle of
power, from one administration to the next,
one party to the next, one politician to the
next, is a crucial brake on enduring stupid-
ity and Germans, too, must take the longer
view: of the United States, of their continent,
of their own economy and well-being.
Germany is to me a nation of sleep-
walkers, like the title of Hermann Brochs
famous novel. People are asleep not to the
dangers of fascism but to the dangers of
economic stagnation, which also has moral
consequences. It is easy for the prosperous
to ignore the poor and to say that high taxes
are punishment enough. Even in Berlin,
though, one can see one shuttered shop
after another, businesses dropping like rot-
ten teeth in a brave smile.
To travel in eastern Germany is to expe-
rience the analogy of a neutron bomb. The
buildings, city centers, sidewalks, and pub-
lic structures show every evidence of the $1
trillion in investment since reunication.
But the young people are gone. It is shock-
ing, really, and not enough discussed. There
is no work for the relatively old and little for
the young, who are eeing to the west as fast
as possible for the jobs that remain.
What Walter Ulbricht feared when he
built the Berlin Wall is actually taking place
today the depopulation of the best, most
ambitious, and most capable citizens of
the east. But among Germans there is not
nearly enough outrage about this issue or
self-examination about its causes and its
implications.
The famous Rhine model of managed
workeremployer relations is outdated,
creaking, and becoming self-defeating,
when even a Social Democratic chancellor
cannot challenge the ability of the unions
to set wages over whole sectors of the econ-
omy including enterprises with which the
union has no contract at all.
The situation makes a realistic labor
market difcult if not impossible because it
overprices labor in the east, given compara-
tive productivity. It makes outside invest-
ment in the east too expensive, it makes
freelance employment too complicated, it
encourages a wide black market that pays
no tax to the state, and it undermines the
very basis of the generous social benets
the state is proud of providing. Whats even
worse, perhaps, is that this continuing tax
on the productive part of the economy has
drained growth away, pulling the whole
country into stagnation and even recession.
The German economic condition is
worse than it seems, hidden by the beautiful
buildings, the excellent infrastructure, and
the ne trains, subways, and busses. If mat-
ters go on as they are, even with an eventual
global upturn, Germany could face serious
comparative economic decline, a gutting
of its generous social welfare system, and
social disorder that goes beyond union dem-
onstrations.
These fundamental issues of economic
weakness, stagnation, and pessimism are
at the heart of the European problem and,
pace Kagan, have as much to do with the
European self-image and reluctance to face
challenges as any other factor.
But societies do react when circum-
stances become bad enough. Britain did in
the 1980s, and Germany will, too. And, as
in Britain, the outcome will be uneven and
less than revolutionary. Angela Merkel, the
Christian Democrat who is likely to be the
conservative candidate for chancellor in
2006, is already being referred to as Maggie
Merkel.
But Germany still must confront the real
meaning of reunication, both economical-
ly and in human terms. It is admirable to be
generous to the Third World, but Germans
must also be both understanding and gener-
ous to the easterners and to the Turks and
other immigrants who have worked so hard
in Germany and made it their home.
The people in the east are hampered
by the past, but they are not shirkers and
parasites, as some western Germans nd it
comforting to think. Germany must nd a
broader and more generous sense of iden-
tity to encompass all those who chose to live
and work there. Citizenship and belonging
must be about commitment and behavior,
not just about blood; a task that Schrder
has begun, juridically at least. As of 2000,
an amendment to the 1913 citizenship law
has allowed for jus soli citizenship based
on birth on German soil under limited
circumstances.
Oh, and as for the Jews . As a Jew of
German background, in an odd way I have
found Germany almost uncomfortably
philo-Semitic, overly anxious to treat its
Jews as precious, like fragile exhibits in a
museum. So when Germans ask me if is it
permissible for Germans to criticize Jews,
I must answer, of course it is permissible.
But it would be better if Germans could
see their Jewish compatriots like their
Turkish ones as Germans. Can there be
a new conception of what it is to be truly
German?
As for Europe writ large, a Europe in
which this unnished Germany uneas-
ily sits as the lynchpin, what is it really to
be a European? What is a European policy
that is not dened in contradistinction to
American policy? What kind of European
identity can there be to which a Romanian
peasant or a Muslim immigrant can happi-
ly aspire? What kind of European state can
there be for which a new European would
willingly lay down his or her life?
These questions are not about Mars
and Venus, or Hobbes and Kant. They
are, as ever, about identity and loyalty, the
rst principles of patriotism, as central to
Europes future as to Americas.

Steven Erlanger was Berlin bureau


chief for the New York Times through
2002. He is now the bureau chief in
Jerusalem. This article is extracted from
a chapter Anatomy of a Breakdown
in Beyond Paradise and Power: Europe,
America and the Future of a Troubled
Partnership, edited by Tod Lindberg and
to be published this November.
By the way, I would ask,
who is your European
member of parliament?
Perhaps one person in fifty
actually knew.
To travel in eastern Germany
is to experience the analogy
of a neutron bomb; the young
people are fleeing to the west
as fast as possible.
www. phoeni x. de
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24 Number Nine | Fall 2004
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The Berlin Journal 25
On the evening of September
9, the American Academy in
Berlin joined Chancellor Gerhard
Schrder in celebrating both the
tenth anniversary of the depar-
ture of allied troops from Berlin
and the simultaneous founding
of the Academy, an institution
that was conceived to replace
the military presence with a
cultural one, in the words of for-
mer US ambassador to Germany
Richard Holbrooke. Having just
come from his rst meeting with
interim Iraqi Prime Minister
Iyad Allawi, Schrder took advan-
tage of the clear weather and
walked up the driveway to the
Hans Arnhold Center, where he
was greeted warmly by Academy
Chairman Holbrooke. Nearly two
hundred guests were on hand to
celebrate on the lawn overlook-
ing Lake Wannsee in front of the
villa, which once served as a US
ofcers club.
Despite much talk of a grow-
ing distance between the US
and Germany, the theme of the
night was the many opportuni-
ties that exist for cooperation
and mutual understanding.
The chancellor mentioned a
general culture of encourage-
ment and personal responsibil-
ity in the US, and praised the
Academys role in bringing these
perspectives across the Atlantic,
specically thanking its found-
ers, Holbrooke, Richard von
Weizscker, and Henry Kissinger
for helping to make Berlin into
an intellectual center for trans-
atlantic dialogue. Schrder not
only mentioned ways that the US
model is having a positive impact
on Germany, but also stressed
the close cultural and business
ties that dene the relationship.
The chancellor expressed his
support for international coopera-
tion in dealing strongly with the
threat of global terrorism, under-
lining Germanys peacekeeping
role in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
When it came to Iraq, Schrder
acknowledged that we all have
an interest in winning the peace
and a secure and stable future in
Iraq and the entire region but also
called on the US not to describe
every divergent opinion as anti-
Americanism. He reiterated a
promise made in his meeting with
Allawi that day for several types
of German non-military support
including substantial debt for-
giveness and the training of Iraqi
police. To many, the chancellor
seemed to be exploring ways of
mitigating Germanys refusal to
participate directly in Iraq.
Introductory remarks from
Ambassador Holbrooke and Berlin
Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit
recalled the long history of part-
nership between the two countries.
Wowereit described German-
American relations as resting on a
rm foundation, and highlighted
the lasting bond formed when
Allied planes kept West Berlin
supplied in the face of the 1948-
49 Soviet blockade. Holbrooke
described the cool afternoon in
September of 1994 when Berliners
lined the streets and he stood with
Helmut Kohl to oversee the depar-
ture of Allied troops, an event that
signied a return to full German
sovereignty.
Also attending the celebra-
tions were Eberhard Diepgen,
who as governing mayor of Berlin
in 1994 presided over the troop
departure; and honorary chair-
man of the Academy Thomas
Farmer, who played a crucial role
in nding the Academy its present
quarters. Other guests included
Interior Minister Otto Schily;
American ambassador Daniel
Coats; US ambassador to nato
Nicholas Burns; the ambassadors
to Germany of France, Russia, and
Poland; Germanys permanent
representative to the UN, Gunther
Pleuger; publisher Stefan von
Holtzbrinck; and Siemens ceo
Heinrich von Pierer. Trustees pres-
ent included Michael Inacker, John
Kornblum, Nina von Maltzahn,
Erich Marx, and Franz Xaver
Ohnesorg.
When asked after his speech
if he would be back in ten years
for the twentieth anniversary, the
chancellor gave his assent, though
he humorously offered, well have
to see in what capacity it would be.
b.k.s.
An Evening with the Chancellor
Ten Years after US Troops Leave Berlin, a Vision for the Future
Klaus Wowereit, Richard Holbrooke, Gary Smith, and Chancellor Schrder.
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26 Number Nine | Fall 2004
A major gift of $750,000 from
one of the largest private founda-
tions in the United States will
establish the C. V. Starr Public
Policy Forum at the American
Academy in Berlin. Academy
Chairman Richard C. Holbrooke
announced the gift at the Hans
Arnhold Center on September 9,
during celebrations of the tenth
anniversary of the departure of
US, British, and French troops
from the reunited Berlin.
The overwhelmingly positive
response to a set of meetings on
the Middle East organized by the
American Academy in Berlin last
spring helped convince The Starr
Foundation to support the expan-
sion of the Academys Foreign
Policy Forum. Collectively, for-
mer US ambassadors Martin
Indyk, Dennis Ross, and Edward
Djerejian engaged in over fty
private and public meetings
during their visits in March and
April of 2004.
Scheduled to begin in early
2005, the forum will emphasize
the Academys role as a pluralis-
tic platform for current political
questions and informal private
diplomacy. It will bring outstand-
ing American policy experts and
international relations scholars
to Berlin to exchange their views
with German colleagues at the
governmental level in addition to
discussing issues with the media
and larger public. The foundation
Enabling Private Diplomacy
in an Age of Uncertainty
The Starr Foundation Establishes Public Policy Forum in Berlin
has committed to funding the
rst three years of the program.
The Starr Foundation and
Hank Greenberg have continu-
ally demonstrated their stead-
fast support for public policy
programs, said Ambassador
Holbrooke. This generous dona-
tion will signicantly enhance
the Academys ability to foster
closer relations between German
and American ofcials and policy
experts seeking common ground
on urgent questions of policy.
From global challenges like
the danger of nuclear prolifera-
tion to the Middle East peace
process to the new economy in
China to ongoing developments
in post-cold-war Russia, the
C.V. Starr Public Policy Forum
will address issues and areas of
ongoing transatlantic concern,
bringing top US experts into
intensive dialogue with their
German counterparts.
The Starr Foundation was
established in 1955 by the late
Cornelius V. Starr, the insur-
ance entrepreneur who founded
the family of insurance and
nancial services companies
now known as American
International Group, Inc. (aig).
The foundation makes grants
largely for education with an
emphasis on scholarships
for higher education. It also
supports projects related to
medicine and health care, social
welfare, culture, and interna-
tional relations. The company
established itself in Germany
in 1946, and today AIG Europe
Germany operates from its
Frankfurt headquarters, with
ofces in Dsseldorf, Munich
and Hamburg.
i.m.
German foreign minister Otto Schily talks with Daniel Coats, US ambassador to Germany.
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The Berlin Journal 27
Filling the second Arnhold
family seat on the board is
Stephen Kellens grandson, the
investment banker Andrew
Gundlach. A partner at the
equity investment fund Artemis
Advisors, llc since 2000,
Gundlach worked for J.P. Morgan
from 1996 to 2000 in nancial
institutions as well as mergers
and acquisitions groups. Prior to
that, he was at Morgan Stanley
in equity markets and capital.
Gundlach studied at the Institut
dEtudes Politiques in Paris,
earned his BA and MA from
the School of Foreign Service
at Georgetown University, and
received his mba from Columbia
Business School. He is a mem-
ber of the Council on Foreign
Relations, serves on the Advisory
Council of the bmw Center for
German and European Studies
at Georgetown, and has taught at
Columbia Business School.
Marina Kellen French,
Stephen Kellens daughter, brings
considerable philanthropic expe-
rience and international acumen
to the Academys board. She is
particularly active on behalf of
two of New Yorks great cultural
institutions, the Pierpont Morgan
Library and the Metropolitan
Opera. A fellow at the Morgan
Library, she is also its vice-chair-
man of campaign, and she serves
on both the Mets advisory board
and on the board of its Opera
Guild. Ms. French also has a
seat on the trustee council of
the National Gallery of Art in
Washington D.C. and is a mem-
ber of the Rockefeller University
Council. She studied at the New
York School of Interior Design
and the University of Lausanne in
Switzerland. Until 1969 she was
president of the company Keys
to New York, Inc., a business she
founded, which supplied inter-
preters and guides to major com-
panies and the United Nations.
Also elected to the Academys
board in May was Franz Haniel,
chairman of the supervisory
board of the family-owned com-
pany of Franz Haniel & Cie.
GmbH, and a supporter, through
the Haniel Foundation, of the
American Academy. He is cur-
rently a member of the manage-
ment board of the Giesecke &
Devrient Group and chairs the
management board of Secartis
AG, an enterprise in the Giesecke
& Devrient Group. Born in 1955
in Oberhausen, Mr. Haniel
studied mechanical engineer-
ing in Munich and earned his
mba in 1982 at the insead busi-
ness school in Fontainebleau.
Haniel has worked at Booz Allen
Hamilton, and held senior lead-
ership positions at Magnetische
Informations- und Datensysteme
GmbH, DataCard Deutschland
GmbH, DataCard Europa,
Gemplus Europa, and SkiData
AG, before his move to G&D in
July 2000.
Taking over the Daimler-
Chrysler seat on the board vacated
by one of the Academys earliest
supporters, Klaus Mangold, is
Dr. Michael J. Inacker, the com-
panys vice president of external
affairs. The experienced journal-
ist and expert in economic and
foreign affairs has worked as
an editor at a number of impor-
tant German papers, includ-
ing the Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung, Welt am Sonntag, and
Die Welt. In 2001 Dr. Inacker
was one of the founding editors
of the Frankfurter Allgemeine
Sonntagszeitung. Born 1964, he
studied political science, law, and
medieval and contemporary his-
tory in Bonn and spent a year at
ucl as Center for International
and Strategic Affairs. In 198990
he served on the planning staff
of the German Department of
Defense.
Tilman Todenhfer is cur-
rently a member of the super-
visory board of Robert Bosch
GmbH, where he formerly served
as deputy chairman of the board
of management. In January 2004,
Todenhfer became commis-
sioner of the Carl Zeiss Stiftung.
Todenhfer was born in 1943
in Calw. After studying law in
Tbingen and Berlin, he complet-
ed his assessors-exam in Stuttgart
in 1972. He began his career with
Walter Rose KG in Hagen as head
of the legal department. From
1973 until the end of the 1980s
he was in addition to his activ-
ity at Robert Bosch GmbH and as
a lawyer in Spain a personally
securing member of his parents
rm. Todenhfer is chairman
of the University of Tbingens
University Council and a member
of the advisory board of Deutsche
Bank AG. The Academys direc-
tor Gary Smith welcomed
Mr. Todenhfers presence on
the board: The Robert Bosch
Foundation has been a consistent
supporter of the Academys public
policy program, continuing in the
spirit of Marcus Bierich.
b.k.s.
Building the Board
New Trustees Marina French, Andrew Gundlach, Franz
Haniel, Michael Inacker, and Tilman Todenhfer
Andrew S. Gundlach
Trustees Marina French and Vartan Gregorian
Franz Haniel Michael J. Inacker Tilman Todenhfer
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28 Number Nine | Fall 2004
Dieter von Holtzbrincks
story is a singular one in modern
German publishing, and one that
should provide comfort to anx-
ious Atlanticists. In two decades,
Holtzbrinck took a Swabian fam-
ily rm built up around a book
club and transformed it into an
international publishing consor-
tium whose strategy of expan-
sion was quality-driven. A few
facts as background: In his years
as CEO, the sales volume of the
Verlagsgruppe has grown at least
six times over. The portfolio is
signicantly broadened, and the
half of the companys assets not
in Germany is now in the US and
Great Britain.
The transformation of the
rm began in the 1960s with the
acquisition of several German
houses founded by eminent pre-
war publishing gures, most
notably S. Fischer Verlag, the pub-
lisher of Thomas Mann, and Ernst
Rowohlt Verlag. Then he went on
to buy one of the oldest American
publishing houses, also, inci-
dentally, founded by a man from
Stuttgart: Henry Holt.
During those years the
Holtzbrinck holdings expanded
into the newspaper business,
most signicantly by acquiring
Germanys chief business daily
Handelsblatt and the intellectual
weekly Die Zeit. Before taking
over the helm of the publishing
consortium, Holtzbrinck had
already been very successful in
running the Handelsblatt as a
young man from 1970 to 1974.
But the agship of quality in the
publishing empire continues to
be Die Zeit (circulation 470,000),
which he turned around in 2001
by bringing in Josef Joffe and
Michael Naumann to steward the
publication.
Holtzbrincks successful entry
into the world of science journal-
ism came with the purchase of
the most renowned such monthly,
Scientic American, and was
complemented soon afterwards
when he added Nature to his
publishing list through the pur-
chase of Macmillan. This was the
major acquisition that denitively
moved the family rm into a new
era; his investments were enabled
by a timely sale of the Deutscher
Bcherbund, the family book
club, to Leo Kirch.
Holtzbrinck underscored the
familys commitment to qual-
ity when he bought the fabled
New York literary-intellectual
publishing house Farrar, Straus
and Giroux, a rm that continues
to mark out the scholarly and
literary vanguard in the United
States in a way that Suhrkamp
used to do in Germany. It is
a small house, but in cultural
weight, it is enormous, says
Naumann. No house has as
many Nobel Prize winners. (The
American Academy has already
proted enormously from its
list by hosting writers such as
Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan
Franzen, and Susan Sontag, as
well as poets C.K. Williams,
August Kleinzahler, and Gjertrud
Schnackenberg.)
Such a heady development
engenders several questions.
How was Dieter von Holtzbrinck
able to outbid or outmaneuver
his competitors in assembling
such a formidable group of qual-
ity rms? Why have so many
independent publishers, fabled
names including Ledig-Rowohlt
and Bucerius, Straus and Fischer,
entrusted their publishing
legacies to the mild-mannered
Swabian? And what motivated
Dieter von Holtzbrinck to invest
his familys resources into the
Anglo-American world, when
German competitors were focus-
ing on Central Europe and even
Russia?
The answer to the rst ques-
tion has to do with the person
of Dieter von Holtzbrinck as
well as his managerial strategy.
First, long before decentral-
ization became a mantra for
McKinsey and other consultants,
Holtzbrinck had put it into prac-
tice effectively. This meant that
the holding company in Stuttgart
always remained small and the
autonomy of the holdings, if well-
managed, was guaranteed. The
personal relationships between
the various CEOs and the owners
drove the companys success.
Second, Holtzbrincks repu-
tation and style engender trust.
When Roger Straus was ready to
sell Farrar Straus, it was he who
approached Holtzbrinck, caus-
ing famous consternation at its
rival Random House. Straus knew
that Holtzbrinck would grant
Farrar Straus the autonomy for
continued success. Dow Jones
Chairman and CEO Peter Kann,
a long-time associate, sums up
best those qualities of character
that every person I interviewed
described: Holtzbrincks was a
rare sense of strategic vision and
the patience and courage to pur-
sue his vision. He is a publisher
with uncompromising values of
editorial and business integrity.
And he is a man of great grace,
good humor and personal mod-
esty a gentleman in every sense
of that word. Die Zeit publisher
Michael Naumann puts this in
German perspective: Dieters
modesty surpasses even Swabian
standards. He would never think
of having a private plane. He
doesnt show up anyplace in heli-
copters or spout managerial wis-
doms. Which in itself is a sign of
managerial wisdom.
His turn to the US and Britain
seems to be as biographical as it
is strategic. Fresh from business
school at St. Gallen, the 27-year
old spent two years in New York
City, learning the publishing busi-
ness as a trainee at McGraw-Hill.
It was to be a watershed in his life:
Ever since those rst years in New
York, it was my wish, my dream,
one day to be engaged in business,
in publishing, in the most excit-
ing country on earth. (He resists
the strong temptation to invest
in Eastern European newspapers
for the admittedly old-fashioned
reason that he wants to be able
to read and understand what he is
publishing.)
All of this has made Dieter von
Holtzbrinck the perfect trustee
for the American Academy. He
and his family decided very early
on to invest in the institutions
mission and endowed a set of fel-
lowships for writers and journal-
ists. Already the beneciaries are
making their mark in Germany:
New Yorker writers Jane Kramer
and Alex Ross both sent a num-
ber of dispatches from Berlin
as recipients of the Holtzbrinck
Prize, and Wendy Lesser, editor
of the Threepenny Review, made
important connections to new
German authors during her stay
at the Hans Arnhold Center.
But Holtzbrinck has also
brought the formidable network
of his publishing and newspa-
per family into his relationship
with the American Academy.
Whether it be through the
annual supplement published
in Berlins Der Tagesspiegel
and now the Handelsblatt as
well the wealth of visiting
A Publisher and a Gentleman
Trustee Profile: Dieter von Holtzbrinck
by Gary Smith
He doesnt show up
anyplace in helicopters
or spout managerial
wisdoms. Which in itself
is a sign of managerial
wisdom.
The Berlin Journal 29
authors from Kiepenheuer &
Witsch, Rowohlt, and Farrar
Straus, the nascent relationship
with the Wirtschaftswoche, or
simply Holtzbrincks discrete
mentorship the mark of a good
Academy trustee he has contrib-
uted in myriad ways to foster the
Academys rapid development.
Recently his younger brother
Stefan von Holtzbrinck suc-
ceeded him at the helm of the
Verlagsgruppe, where Dieter von
Holtzbrinck remains a sprightly
eminence grise as supervisory
board chairman. He has made
the most of the benets of a fam-
ily rm. One great advantage,
he notes, is that one can estab-
lish a business strategy for the
long-term. Without having to
constantly justify our plans to
nancial analysts, we are able to
publish those books and newspa-
pers we consider important. As
a small component in the House
of Holtzbrincks non-prot plans,
we are grateful that the American
Academy ts so well into its long-
term vision.
Holtzbrinck has also
brought the formidable
network of his publish-
ing and newspaper family
into his relationship with
the American Academy.
Dieter von Holtzbrinck
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30 Number Nine | Fall 2004
The Chronicle of Higher Education
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By early October, the
Academy had already welcomed
a number of guests, includ-
ing Chancellor Gerhard
Schrder, and hosted sev-
eral special events. Johnathan
Safran Foer, the acclaimed
young author of Everything Is
Illuminated, opened the fall pro-
gram with a reading from his
recently completed novel about
September 11. He stayed at the
Hans Arnhold Center during the
last two weeks of August while
working on an opera libretto for
the Staatsoper Unter den Linden.
Following fast on Chancellor
Schrders memorable keynote
speech of September 9, artist
Chuck Close arrived for a
fortnights stay as the Academys
inaugural Stephen M. Kellen
Distinguished Visitor. As part of
the Curating Modernity Series,
he and art critic Michael
Kimmelman spoke about the
sometimes tenuous relation-
ship between the artist and the
museum.
The same weekend a team
of prominent American and
German historians convened
at the Academy for a day-long
working discussion entitled
Competing Modernities: The
United States and Germany since
1890, a roundtable sponsored
by the Robert Bosch Foundation
and co-organized by Christoph
Mauch and Kirin Patel.
Among the participants were
Academy alumnus Michael
Geyer, who is working with
Thomas Bender. The results
of this ongoing project will be
published bilingually in 2006.
In her late-September talk at
the Academy, former US Attorney
Mary Jo White addressed the
subject of The War on Terrorism
and Civil Liberties, focusing
particularly on the delicate bal-
ancing act that the issue entails.
She shared some of the insights
gleaned from a remarkable career
in public investigation and pros-
ecution of cases related to national
security. Academy president
Robert Mundheim, himself a dis-
tinguished lawyer familiar with
balancing acts, moderated a lively
question and answer session.
The Academy hosted the
Ninth International Trialogue
of Cultures as it sought new per-
spectives on the effects of the
1995 Dayton Peace Agreement
on Bosnia-Herzegovina. Over 35
experts came to the conference
table, discussing among other
things, whether Bosnia may prove
to be Europes Middle East.
Erhard Busek, special coor-
dinator of the Stability Pact for
South Eastern Europe, chaired .
An upbeat note on the theme
of the transatlantic relationship
was sounded in early October,
when Joschka Fischer and
Bob Kerrey, president of the
New School University, came
together to mark the seventieth
anniversary of the universitys
founding. The ministers talk
with the former US senator and
member of the 9/11 Commission
was part of a series of anniversary
festivities co-hosted by Berlins
Wissenschaftskolleg and the
American Academy.
A more contentious discus-
sion is set to take place in mid
October, when the American
Academy hosts its own elec-
tion debate between Republican
Richard Perle, a resident fel-
low at the American Enterprise
Institute, and Democrat
Michael Blumenthal, for-
mer US Treasury Secretary under
President Carter and presently
director of the Jewish Museum in
Berlin. The evening will be mod-
erated by Richard Bernstein
Guest Appearances
Visiting Speakers this Fall
The Berlin Journal 31
As The Berlin Journal went to
press, the November presidential
elections in the US looked too
close to call after strong show-
ings by Kerry and Edwards in the
four debates. Derek Chollet
(spring 02), as Senator Edwards
advisor on national security
issues, has since July travelled
to more than thirty states with
the Vice Presidential candidate.
Chris Kojm (spring 01), who
was deputy executive director of
the 9/11 Commission, has now
begun work as president of the
Public Discourse Project set up
to promote public awareness of
the Commissions ndings. Since
September he has been combin-
ing this role with a visiting profes-
sorship at Princetons Woodrow
Wilson School. The New American
Militarism, the book Andrew
Bacevich worked on during
his stay last spring at the Hans
Arnhold Center, is scheduled for
March 2005 publication.
Nina Bernsteins coverage
of immigration in the New York
Times has increasingly drawn her
to the issue of civil liberties in
the context of the war on terror.
Among her cheerier articles she
recalls the unexpected court-
room triumph of poor immigrant
street vendors who sued the city
for quadrupling nes without a
public hearing. Flanked by the
American ag, the black woman
judge scolded the city for behavior
that was unfair, unreasonable,
and undemocratic, and ruled for
the peddlers. Democracy! exult-
ed one of their organizers, a man
who ed Rwanda in 1996 and won
political asylum in New York.
Three Penny Review editor
Wendy Lesser (fall 03) is in
New York this fall where she
is a fellow at nyus Remarque
Institute and teaching a course
at Princeton. A story by Ann
Harleman (fall 00), Will
Build to Suit, won the Goodheart
Prize from Shenandoah Magazine
this spring. Biscuit Baby,
appeared in the spring issue
of MS Magazine. Dorothea
Brinkmanns German transla-
tion of Anns short story collec-
tion, Happiness, was recently
reprinted in paperback. Poet
August Kleinzahler (fall 00)
was awarded the 2004 Grifn
International Poetry Prize for
his collection The Strange Hours
Travellers Keep. Described as hav-
ing the vision and condent
skill to make
American
poetry new
in The Times
(London),
Kleinzahler has
since completed
a new collection
Cutty, One Rock:
Low Characters
and Strange
Places Gently
Explained due to
be published this
November.
Medievalist
Caroline
Bynum (fall 02) received her
tenth honorary degree this year
from Emory University. Her
article The Presence of Objects:
Medieval Anti-Judaism in Modern
Germany will appear this winter
in Common Knowledge. Michael
Steinberg (fall 03), whose
book Listening to Reason: Culture,
Subjectivity, and Nineteenth-
Century Music was published this
summer, gave the keynote address
at the Public Politics of Memory
conference organized by the
Buenos Aires-based Commission
for Memory. Public History and
Public Memory: Some Lessons
from Berlin, included discussion
of the Jewish Museum and the
monument to the deported Jews
at Grunewald Station. Two books
by art historian Margarita
Tupitsyn (spring 00) have
been published this year: Gustav
Klutsis and Valentina Kulagina:
Photography and Montage After
Constructivism and Verbal
Photography and the Moscow
Archive of New Art.
The Reasons of Love by moral
philosopher Harry Frankfurt
(spring 03) was published in
January. In October historian
Hayden White (spring 03)
will give the Jan Comenius
Lectures at Budapests Central
European University on the sub-
ject of Rhetoric, History and
the Modernist Humanities.
Among the ve books Sander L.
Gilman (fall 00) has published
this year, the most memorable
title is surely Fat
Boys, a study of
men and obesity.
Katherine
Prat t Ewings
(fall 99) chap-
ter Immigrant
Identities and
Emotion will
appear in the
forthcoming
Companion to
Psychological
Anthropology:
Modernity
and Cultural
Change.
Brian Ladd (academic year
199899) published The
Companion Guide to Berlin this
summer, a detailed guidebook
offering insights into the citys
past and present.
Ed Koren (fall 03) had
an exhibition this fall at the
Washington Art Association in
Connecticut, which included
original New Yorker covers and
cartoons. The Insomniacs
Mansion, a show of prints by
Ben Katchor (spring 02),
was held this summer at the
University of Northern Iowa
Gallery of Art. Swarthmore
College also hosted a Katchor
show. The cartoonist continues
to collaborate with composer
Mark Mulcahy, most recently
on The Rosenbach Company:
A Tragicomedy.
e.n.
of the New York Times and Peter
Frey of zdf and supported by the
Staatsbibliothek and Tagesspiegel.
As the Journal was going to
press, the Academy was also look-
ing forward to welcoming actor
Joel Grey to mark a new produc-
tion of Cabaret at Berlins Bar Jeder
Vernuft. Greys distinguished
career has included more than
twenty lms, among them the
classic 1972 version of the musical.
The Academy co-organized a Grey
master class at the Hochschule fr
Schauspiel and an exhibition of
his photography at Caf Einstein,
Unter den Linden.
Another cultural event co-spon-
sored by the Academy is a lec-
ture at the Berliner Philarmonie
by Cuban-born conceptual
artist Enrique Martinez
Cel aya on his installation
there, Schneebett. The piece
is the third and nal part of the
Los Angeles artists Beethoven
Cycle and explores themes of
memory and regret through the
last days of the composers life.
Later that week, the Academy
will host the German premiere of
Jonathan Demmes new lm The
Manchurian Candidate, followed
by a talk with the lms producer
Tina Sinatra, comparative lit-
erature professor Eva Horn, and
current Academy fellow Al an
Wolfe.
Most economists believe that
China has been the engine of
global economic growth since it
joined the WTO three years ago.
That there has been little in the
way of a corresponding liberaliza-
tion of the political system is a
troubling paradox for the Western
paradigm that free markets and
democracy are mutually reinforc-
ing. Pulitzer Prize winner and
Wall Street Journal Berlin bureau
chief Ian Johnson will address
these issues when he comes to the
Academy in November to deliver
a lecture entitled Behind the
Boom: Political Stagnation in the
Peoples Republic of China. His
most recent book, Wild Grass:
Three Stories of Change in Modern
China, came out in March.
e.n.
Alumni Accomplishments
An Update
32 Number Nine | Fall 2004
LIFE & LETTERS at the Hans Arnhold Center
Often overlooked in stud-
ies of Weimar Berlin is the role
that blacks, both American and
European, played in its cultural
scene. There are, however, exam-
ples in literature, most important
among them the character of
Juliette Martins, a black Bavarian
woman with whom the protago-
nist of Klaus Manns 1936 novel
Mephisto develops a complex and
disturbing relationship. Writer
and theater critic Hilton Als
sees Juliette as a type of gure
that had a great deal of allure for
the German avant-garde. From
this point of departure, this falls
Holtzbrinck Fellow will explore the
Africanist presence in Berlin dur-
ing the cultural apex of the 1920s,
contrasting records of the past the
photographs of August Sander, the
expressionist paintings of George
Grosz with his own experience
of the city today. What does black-
ness mean, he asks, to the north-
ern European mind and eye? Als
has been a staff writer at the New
Yorker since 1996, the year his semi-
autobiographical rst book The
Women was published.
The Fall 2004 Fellows
Profiles in Scholarship
Rembrandts late masterpieces
have received enormous schol-
arly attention, but this falls Anna
Maria Kellen Fellow Benjamin
Binstock will take a different
tack with his book The Young
Rembrandt. Starting from Kurt
Bauchs statement that an artists
youthful works project the essence
of his artistic personality, the
nyu art historian will be looking
at such issues as the inuence of
Rembrandts fellow students, his
use of family members as subjects,
and how his depictions of women
revealed a primary concern with
truth and naturalism. The project
follows on the recently completed
Vermeers Family Secrets. His work
combines traditional interests in
iconography, attribution, and con-
noisseurship with more contem-
porary concerns such as the role of
biography, gender, and art histori-
cal methodology. These factors
come together in what Binstock
calls the paradox of art history:
that the belated analysis of great
art reveals meanings that could
not have been articulated when it
was created.
While many interpret the 1960s
civil rights movement as primar-
ily a battle for political and mate-
rial equality, Johns Hopkins histo-
rian Jane Dailey has broadened
the discussion to include sex and,
in particular, interracial mar-
riage. Dailey is using her Berlin
Prize to complete Sex and Civil
Rights, in which she argues that
the Souths notorious anti-misce-
genation laws laws that did not
come off the books in some states
until the Loving v. Virginia deci-
sion of 1967 formed the basis
for all other forms of segregation
that followed. It builds on her rst
book, Before Jim Crow: The Politics
of Race in Postemancipation
Virginia, which used a similar
model to explain how something
that seemed possible right after
the Civil War bi-racial rule in
the South was impossible by
the turn of the century. The book
recounts the rise and fall of the
Rejoiners, a bi-racial political
party briey in power in Virginia
in the 1870s.
Berlin provided independent
director and producer Hal
Hartley with one of the set-
tings for Flirt (1995), a three-part
lm in which the same type of
love story is played out in three
very different cities. The writer
and directors other critically-
acclaimed lms include Amateur
(1994), Henry Fool (1997), The
Book of Life (1998), and No Such
Thing (2002), and he is presently
completing The Girl From Monday.
This fall, Hartley returns to
Berlin for what he sees as a decid-
edly non-commercial project: to
write a screenplay based on the
life of French political activist and
religious thinker Simone Weil, a
complex gure who has long fas-
cinated him. I am drawn to dif-
cult people, he says. Weils move
from practically engaged political
activist to iconoclastic religious
mystic strikes me as simultane-
ously unexpected and inevitable.
As this semesters Citigroup
Fellow, he will also be collaborat-
ing with the Berlin-based chore-
ographer Sasha Walz.
In the 1930s, as Mussolinis arche-
ologists were digging up Rome in
search of signs of Italian glory, a
giant drawing board was found
in the courtyard of the mausole-
um of Augustus. Carved into the
marble pavement were full-scale
plans for an enormous pediment.
Here, clearly, was the blueprint
for one of ancient Romes count-
less temples, but it took over fty
years before a proper identi-
cation was made by German-
born archeologist Lothar
Haselberger. He realized that
The Berlin Journal 33
the plans matched the pediment
of the great Roman Pantheon
almost down to the centimeter.
The University of Pennsylvania
professor was well equipped to
tackle the mystery, having already
made the discovery at Didyma
in 1980 of a plan incised on the
wall of the colossal Hellenistic-
Roman temple of Apollo. These
two major discoveries will form
the core of Haselbergers next
book, a comprehensive account of
Graeco-Roman architecture. The
inaugural Siemens Fellow exam-
ines a range of issues, from the
purity of the classical ideal to the
sometimes messy realities of the
building yards.
With the ongoing discussion of
whether the EU will open mem-
bership to Turkey, the role of
Islam and Muslims in European
public life has become a salient
political issue. There are already
13 million Muslims living in
Europe today. Jy t te Kl ausen
will use her short-term Bosch
Fellowship in Berlin to complete
an empirical study of Muslim
leaders and political elites in
Western Europe. Drawing on her
interviews with Muslim parlia-
ment members and other lead-
ers in Denmark, Sweden, the
Netherlands, France, the UK, and
Germany, Klausen posits that this
often overlooked group holds the
key to the successful integration
of Europes Muslim communities.
The associate professor of politi-
cal science at Brandeis has previ-
ously written on welfare states
and gender politics. What links
these themes is her interest in
how political structures adapt to
social and demographic changes
over time, and she underlines the
importance of a longer historical
and sociological perspective when
analyzing contemporary political
change.
Is Europe becoming more
Americanized, or is the US
becoming more Europeanized?
Hiroshi Motomura proposes
that, at least in regard to immi-
gration law, such a question may
miss the point. His forthcom-
ing book, Americans in Waiting,
argues that the US should return
to its time-honored model of treat-
ing newcomers as potential citi-
zens. The professor of Law at the
University of North Carolina will
spend the fall as the Academys
inaugural Lloyd Cutler Fellow
applying his analysis to recent
changes in German immigration
law. The ofcial government
line, Motomura points out, has
long been we are not a country
of immigration. But the inux of
immigrants in recent decades has
forced German policy-makers to
reconsider their approach. Should
newcomers be treated as poten-
tial Germans in waiting, or is
citizenship still a privilege earned
with painful slowness through
the establishment of social and
economic ties? He is reviewing
recent legislation and German
language secondary sources as
well as interviewing leaders in the
policy-making and immigrant
communities of Berlin.
Art historian Lawrence Nees
is a specialist in the art of book
illumination that felicitous
marriage of script and ornament
which rst emerged in northwest
Europe around 700 A.D. and
reected new habits of silent,
private reading. The University
of Delaware professor has been
compiling a catalogue of Frankish
manuscripts from the seventh
century through to the tenth
century, and out of this research
came the idea for a second book
re-examining the ethnic terms
by which the transition from
plain codici to richly illuminated
ones has long been understood.
Whereas traditional art histori-
ography emphasises the role of
(Celtic and Germanic) barbarian
outsiders in the new art form,
Nees posits that its origins in
fact belong squarely within the
late-Roman tradition. He will
explore the way in which tradi-
tional approaches to this aspect of
medieval art history were utterly
distorted by early twentieth-cen-
tury notions of culture, civiliza-
tion, and ethnicity. Intriguingly,
while the racial theorizing of that
time has lost all credibility, Nees
has found that more recent schol-
arship has yet to abandon these
mental maps.
For the rst time since its found-
ing, the Academy is host to a natu-
ral scientist: neuroscientist and
linguist David Poeppel of the
University of Maryland, College
Park. This falls DaimlerChrysler
Fellow is focusing on determin-
ing the connection between hear-
ing sounds and understanding
speech. The focus reects his
dual afliation with Marylands
departments of linguistics and
biology as well as in his interest
in the problems and rewards of
interdisciplinary collaboration.
Combining cognitive models
of language with non-invasive
brain imaging, Poeppel is fasci-
nated by the problem of how the
brain differentiates speech from
other sounds and then turns
it into meaningful language.
Being in Berlin has given him
the chance to work closely with
the Physikalisch-Technische
Bundesanstalt home of one of
the worlds most sensitive meg
(magnetoencephalo-graphy) brain
imaging systems. A native of
Munich, the mit-trained scientist
is delighted that an extended stay
here will give his three US-born
sons a chance to acquire uency
in German as they launch their
own efforts to process German
speech.
In 2002 political scientist Ezra
Suleiman was awarded the
Legion dHonneur by Jacques
Chirac in recognition of his con-
tribution to France and French-
American relations. Within
twelve months, the French
Foreign Minister was publicly
chastising the American hyper-
puissance, while, in the US,
freedom fries made their rst
appearance and pundits quipped
that France had joined the axis
of petulance. During this all-
time-low in Washington-Paris
relations, Suleimans contribu-
tions to newspapers in both coun-
tries provided a timely dose of
common sense. His latest book,
Dismantling Democratic States
sounds a challenge to contempo-
34 Number Nine | Fall 2004
rary political discourse, which
he sees as unjustly denigrating
state structures. When politi-
cians systematically attack the
very instruments of government
that they are elected to manage,
democratic governance itself
may be imperilled. While at the
Academy, the short-term Bosch
Public Policy Fellow will turn his
attention to the EU, launching an
empirical survey of the European
Commission. Through interviews
with a large number of ofcials he
hopes to shed light on the social
and power mechanisms that oper-
ate within this unique interna-
tional bureaucracy.
From John Stuart Mill through
John Dewey, notes Al an Wolfe
liberal political thinkers have
been suspicious of the claims of
strong believers, whether Catholic,
Mormon, or Protestant funda-
mentalist. To this one might add
the widespread misgivings of
many Europeans about the role
religion plays in US politics and
society. While at the Academy, this
falls George H. W. Bush Fellow
will be nishing his next book,
The Transformation of American
Religion: How we Actually Practice
our Faith. In this work he argues
that many assumptions and
fears about religions effect
on democracy are misplaced:
Americans love God and democ-
racy and see no contradiction
between the two, which makes it
the obvious place to explore the
complicated relationship between
faith and freedom. The Boston
College professors informed
and nuanced work on the subject
should provide an opportunity to
reassess some of the stereotypes
about America and its faith that
prevail on this side of the Atlantic.
Art historian Christopher Wood is
writing a history of Renaissance
art that moves mechanically repro-
duced images such as prints,
stencils, and pilgrims badges
from the margins of art history to
the center, the zone traditionally
occupied by the prestigious hand-
made, authored image. As Ellen
Maria Gorrissen Fellow, the Yale
professor is looking at replicas
made for both humble and luxuri-
ous use to see how serial produc-
tion generated a newly magical
image that clashed conceptually
with the humanist model of the
unique, non-reproducible work of
art. From simple woodcuts, which
brought pictures to a larger public
than ever before, to the ne tapes-
tries and rich bronzes enjoyed by
the very rich, mechanically-made
substitutes for the hand-made
image were effective at convey-
ing meaning and messages. The
magic, Wood suggests, derived
from the value the period placed
on skill in artice, connecting it
to the Daedalian conception of
the artist as engineer.
By Ed Taylor, Brad Steiner, and
Miranda Robbins
[ ]
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P O T S D A M
ENGEL & VOELKERS +49-331-279100 www.arcadia-potsdam.com
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The Berlin Journal 35
A Gilded Lapse of Time
Gjertrud Schnackenberg Returns to Berlin
by Miranda Robbins
Gjertrud Schnackenbergs
stay at the Academy this fall as
DaimlerChrysler Fellow marks
her rst trip back to Germany
since 1962, when she spent a
year here with her family. While
her father, a history professor
at Pacic Lutheran University,
researched Lutheran resistance
to the Nazi regime, his young
daughter made German friends
at a Stuttgart school and acquired
uency in German now lost, to
her regret. Only the familys visit
to the newly built Berlin Wall
cast a shadow over that otherwise
happy year. She was too young
to understand what it meant, but
she vividly remembers looking
over the wall and overhearing an
exchange between a tourist and
an East German guard. It was
evening, and the tourist called
out in German, Why dont you
come over to our side? The reply
has stayed with her for over forty
years: There are no steps on my
side.
When she was in her early
twenties the young poet would
evoke a different Berlin in her
poem Bavaria:
As camp by camp the lawless
ego maps / The growing territory
it proclaims, / A small eraser
rubs a list of names / To rubber
bits; now, as the Fhrer naps, /
Dreaming of Wild Westerns
in his chair / Till early morning,
now in North Berlin, / An
apartment building shatters from
within, / And, like a tooth,
a bathtub dangles there.
In her recent work, Schna-
ckenberg has tended to couch her
thinking on history in a more
distant vocabulary. Greece, Rome,
and Byzantium; the Greek clas-
sics, the Bible, Augustine, and
Dante all echo powerfully in her
poems, which have also drawn
inspiration from sources as
diverse as Grimms fairytales and
the work of Osip Mandelstam.
Her most recent book-length
poem, The Throne of Labdacus
(2000), has been called a retell-
ing of Sophocless great Oedipus
plays from the god Apollos point
of view. (A segment is reprinted
here on pages 4548.)
But her poetry is anything but
history as narrative or, in this
case, myth retold. The poet Glyn
Maxwell has admired The Throne
of Labdacus for the sense it gives
of how a god, existing outside of
time, would experience chronol-
ogy. Eyeless necessity moves
implacably across these pages in
Apollos helplessness, for example,
to protect the infant Oedipus
from his future crimes. The god
of poetry is merely setting a text,
not writing it.
Schnackenbergs work is as
much about the lapses of time as
about time itself. History and its
monuments seep into everyday
life, and vice versa. When she
describes the sublimity of works
of art for art history, like music,
is enormously important to her
the mundane is always close at
hand.
In the cycle that gave its name
to her third collection, A Gilded
Lapse of Time (1992), the narra-
tor makes her way through the
Italian coastal city of Ravenna,
starting at the Mausoleum
of Galla Placidia, where she
describes herself:
Uncertain at the threshold of a
pile / Of enigmatic, rose-colored
brick, a tomb / A barbarian
empress built for herself / That
conceals within its inauspicious /
Shattered-looking vault the
whirl of gold, / The inooding
realm we may only touch /
For one instant with a total
leap of the heart
After meditating in the basili-
ca of San Vitale, the narrator nal-
ly reaches a puddle-strewn eld in
front of Dantes tomb:
I lean over, looking into / The
mirrored, northern edge
Of the Western Roman Empire
grown over / With stiff grass
Critics have called Schna cken-
berg one of the nest American
poets of her generation, and she
is certainly a deeply learned one.
Given the profession of her father,
who died when she was a young
woman, it would seem safe to
assume that what she calls her
consuming interest in history
is part of his legacy. But Trude
Schnackenberg feels that the
transmission was inborn
rather than taught.
What has brought her back to
Berlin, after a poetic journey that
has taken her through Thebes
and Rome? What do the gilded
ruins of the Western Roman
empire have in common with
tenements shattered by WWII
bombs and the concrete rem-
nants of the Wall?
A fragile manuscript has
drawn her north, back to her
Lutheran roots. Berlin is home
to Bachs autograph copy of the
Saint Matthew Passion, the
most important work of art
in my life, a musical monu-
ment that she has wanted to
write about for over twenty
years. Its the Himalayas for
me, she says. Having sung
the Passion in choirs as a child,
she now wants to touch what
Bach has touched. Once again,
one hears an almost physical
necessity echoing in Trude
Schnackenbergs remark, I was
listening to it in the womb.
Portrait photographs by Mike Minehan
36 Number Nine | Fall 2004
The evening was picture per-
fect. A German minister and a
former American senator Joscka
Fischer and Bob Kerrey sat
together, easy and relaxed, and
discussed the problems of the
world. Transatlantic tensions
seemed to have disappeared. The
audience was allowed to ask ques-
tions, and the minister was in
such good spirits that he even
answered them. Even Mother
Nature cooperated; after days
of rain, the evening sun broke
through the clouds, immersing
the minister, the senator, the
villa, the garden, and the lake in
a gentle light. Two boats, one big,
the other a bit smaller, sailed in
the distance, harmonious as only
transatlantic friends can be. Was
it all just a dream?
This September nights long
prehistory serves as a tting
symbol of German-American
relations. Together at the Hans
Arnhold Center the Wannsee
villa that now houses the
American Academy in Berlin
the New School, the Academy,
and Berlins Wissenschaftskolleg
were celebrating the seventieth
anniversary of the University in
Exiles founding. In 1934, the
State of New York granted it the
right to issue academic degrees
a seemingly minor matter, but in
fact it was a question of survival.
One year before, Alvin Johnson,
president of the New School for
Social Research, had created the
university as a place of refuge for
persecuted European scholars,
particularly those from Germany.
These immigrants greatly
enriched the intellectual life of
the US, launching one of the most
productive phases of synthesis
in intellectual history. Among
the many who taught there, as
refugees of the Nazis or in later
years, were Hannah Arendt, Erich
von Kahler, Hans Kelsen, Claude
Lvi-Strauss, Hans Speier, and
Leo Strauss. As the American
authorities made plans for the
postwar period in Germany, mi-
gr scholars from the New School
were asked for advice. That is one
of the reasons why US troops were
better prepared for the peace in
postwar Germany than they are
today in Iraq.
Bob Kerrey, a Vietnam War
hero, Democrat, ex-governor of
Nebraska, former Senator, and
member of the famous 9/11
Commission, has been president
of the New School University
since 2001. Now, as then, schol-
ars come from all over the world,
increasingly from China and
India. And some of its most
important donors also support the
American Academy in Berlin.
All this was part of the back-
ground for an evening at which
the German foreign minister
seemed so at ease. He even smiled,
as one freed from the restraints
of ofce, seeking out open intel-
lectual exchange and prepared
to grant equal stature to the
American political intelligentsia.
Fischer announced his trans-
atlantic vision to this German-
American audience. Nothing in
this world is possible without
America; Germans must seek out
proximity to the US. But the min-
ister also showed his mastery of
dialectics; for America must take
the initiative if the Europeans are
to follow. No one has ever reck-
oned with the US so elegantly. He
spoke of the importance of con-
ducting a strategic debate with
America. Most important is that
we talk with one another, and
such dialogue could be helped
by a new overarching big idea, a
binding idea like a global New
Deal with new institutions.
Bob Kerrey is a good test-case
of how America under a John F.
Kerry administration might act.
He was pleased by Fischers dec-
larations of friendship and whim-
sically asked whether a member
of the Green Party could ever
become federal chancellor. Both
the New School president and
Minister Fischer agreed that the
US now nds itself in the dif-
cult process of dening its role as
sole superpower. The war on ter-
ror is not merely a matter for the
Atlantic alliance, Kerrey contin-
ued. To give it new life, the West
must grow beyond itself. Trade is
more than a domestic issue but a
A Meeting of Minds
Joschka Fischer and Bob Kerrey Reflect on Atlanticism
Joschka Fischer and Bob Kerrey
Niederkirchnerstrae 7, 10963 Berlin Telefon (030) 254 86-0, www.gropiusbau.de Verkehrsverbindungen: e c Potsdamer Platz, a 129, 248, 341
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Sophie Calle 10. September 13. Dezember 2004
Kanadische Fotografie Im 19. Jahrhundert und heute Broken Ground
23. September 8. November 2004 Veranstalter: Hansgert Lambers. Gefrdert von der Kanadischen Botschaft
Paris +Klein Fotografien von William Klein 8. Oktober 5. Dez. 2004
Im Rahmen des Europischen Monats der Fotografie Veranstalter: Museumspdagogischer Dienst Berlin. Ermglicht durch die Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin
Licht und Farbe in der Russischen Avantgarde: Die Sammlung Costakis
3. November 2004 10. Januar 2005 Veranstalter: Berliner Festspiele.
Eine Ausstellung des Staatlichen Museums fr Zeitgenssische Kunst Thessaloniki. Gefrdert von der Griechischen Kulturstiftung Berlin.
Zeit der Morgenrte 3. November 2004 10. Januar 2005
Veranstalter: Berliner Festspiele und Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum fr Vor- und Frhgeschichte. Eine Ausstellung der Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen Mannheim.
Ermglicht durch den Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin, die Japan Foundation Tokyo und Bunka-ch Tokyo. Gefrdert durch die Japanische Botschaft in Berlin.
Veranstalter: Berliner Festspiele. Eine Ausstellung des Centre Pompidou Paris.
Ermglicht durch den Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin
Japans Archologie und Geschichte bis zu den ersten Kaisern
Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin AM POTSDAMER PLATZ
Ausstellungen 2004 / 2005
matter of genuine national secu-
rity. A fund should be established
for education and research for
the worlds developing nations;
dialogue should be established
between the West and reformers
in the Islamic world. The intel-
lectual challenges of globalization
and the search for new forms of
global governance are also high
on his agenda.
During an interview, Bob
Kerrey is more open. European
expectations that America will
sign the Kyoto Protocol or raise its
energy taxes are an illusion. Not
even a John Kerry administration
could do that, if only because of
the broad expanse of Americas
geography. More likely, our
shared future will begin in Iraq.
American forces have reached the
limit of what they can do there, he
says, which is why it is now power-
less in Sudan. He is struck by the
paradox that ninety percent of the
world sees the US as too aggres-
sive and militaristic while at the
same time demanding its engage-
ment on more fronts. But he has
a spark of hope: We can do it
with the help of our allies. And
only John Kerry can achieve this:
although one often reads other-
wise, the difference is like night
and day between Bush and the
Democratic candidate in terms of
foreign policy.
We Americans and Germans
are friends, on this evening
at least. If Bob Kerrey is right,
this friendship will last a long
time, as long as it seeks out new
goals, or to put it another way, as
long as there are transatlantic
hinges like the New School, the
Wissenschaftskolleg, and the
American Academy in Berlin.
By Tim B. Mller
Based on an article that appeared
in the Sddeutsche Zeitung on
October 4, 2004.
Translated by Brian Currid
Photographs by Mike Minehan
38 Number Nine | Fall 2004
Our memory of the history of
discourse is often vague. Consider
the use and misuse of the term
freedom in the old Federal
Republic of Germany. Freedom,
not Socialism ran the Christian
Democrats slogan for numerous
election campaigns in the 1970s.
Seen in the light of the GDRs
end, those who once used this
slogan now present themselves
as those whom history proved
right. But who actually had the
GDR in mind when employing
this rhetoric of freedom? Far
more often, it was directed at
freedoms supposed enemies on
the domestic front: the Social
Democrats.
Although they did not include
the word in their party rheto-
ric until the 1959 Godesberg
Platform, it was, in fact, the
Social Democrats who, since their
founding in the mid-nineteenth
century, have been a freedom
party. Historian Jrgen Kocka
pointed this out in his Fritz Stern
Lecture at the American Academy.
He was at no loss for evidence: the
partys early struggle against cen-
sorship and for elementary civil
rights like the right to vote; Rosa
Luxemburgs famous dictum,
Freedom is always the freedom
of those who think differently;
the courageous voting of the SPD
parliamentarians against Hitlers
1933 Empowerment Act; and
Willy Brandt. But the partys
actual political practice, Kocka
argued, was always contradicted
by the formulations of party theo-
reticians, who placed relatively
little emphasis on individual free-
doms or civil rights in comparison
to the liberation of the class or
even humanity.
Why is it that the Social
Democrats assigned only a sec-
ondary role to the notion of free-
dom? Indeed, why has this been
the case in German history as a
whole? Kocka cited US historian
Leonard Krieger, who wrote that
freedom in Germany has always
been linked to concepts like state,
nation, or even Volk, the cata-
strophic results of which are well
known.
Kocka sought to see this notion
of an unfree freedom in a more
complex way. Based on recent
historical research, in particular
ndings in the history of every-
day life, he traced the roots of a
German tradition of freedom far
back to the Middle Ages, when,
especially in southern Germany,
local agreements were lived out
between serfs and feudal lords
in which rights of the serfs were
recognized. These were everyday
arrangements, Kocka argued,
lacking any theoretical or legal
formality; a characteristic of these
arrangements was that freedom
was literally practiced as a living
process of acts and experiences,
and not implemented as a theo-
retical idea.
Germanys path during the
eighteenth century was different
from that of the US, France, and
England; there was no revolution,
no Declaration of Independence,
no Bill of Rights that rmly
established freedoms within the
German context. The bourgeois
revolt of 1848 was, moreover, a
failure.
Human and civil rights only
became central in the debate
around the Basic Law in 1949 at
a time when impressions of the
total negation of freedom were
still fresh. Only in prison does
freedom become an ideal that
irrevocably embeds itself in con-
sciousness. Kocka cited numerous
witnesses to conrm this experi-
ence: Ralf Dahrendorf, who saw
the basic experience of illiberal
restrictions as the basis for a life-
long struggle for civil freedoms,
and Central or Eastern European
intellectuals like Gyrgy Konrd,
Vclav Havel, and Bronislaw
Geremek, who laid the founda-
tions for the peaceful revolution of
the late 1980s and the European
concept of a civil society.
Kocka is a passionate support-
er. Freedom today, he argues, is
not endangered so much by dicta-
tors, terrorists, or an authoritar-
ian state as it is by overregulation
and hyper-organization. Again,
the individuals active in everyday
life and everyday practice are the
ones defending civil rights and
freedom.
By Johannes Wendland
From the Frankfurter Rundschau
May 12, 2004
Translated by Brian Currid
The Primacy of Freedom
Jrgen Kocka Gives the Fritz Stern Lecture
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The Berlin Journal 39
A larger than usual group of
Berlin Prize holders will take
up residence at the American
Academy next spring. At the
political end of the spectrum are
the three Bosch Fellows in Public
Policy: Roger Cohen, a journal-
ist, who will be writing articles
from the German capital for the
International Herald Tribune and
the New York Times; terrorism
expert Thomas Sanderson, who is
deputy director of the Department
of Transnational Threats at
Washingtons Center for Strategic
and International Studies; and
Peter Wallison, resident fellow
and co-director of the Program on
Financial Market Deregulation
at the The American Enterprise
Institute, who will be examining
government-sponsored hous-
ing nance in the EU. The Fall
of Atlantica will be the topic of
George Herbert Walker Bush
Fellow Ronald Steel, a professor
of international relations at the
University of Southern California,
and Myra Marx Ferree, profes-
sor of sociology, at the University
of Wisconsin, Madison, plans to
use her Berlin Prize to write an
account of contemporary German
Feminism.
In letters, Commerzbank
Fellow and scholar of German lit-
erature Peter J. Filkins of Simons
Rock College of Bard will embark
on a translation of H.G. Adlers
Weimar-era novel, Eine Reise. Next
springs Ellen Maria Gorrissen
Berlin Prize will be held by poet
John Koethe of the University
of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and
writer Sigrid Nunez will embark
on a new novel as the Holtzbrinck
Fellow.
Art historian Branden W.
Joseph will hold the Coca-Cola
Berlin Prize. The assistant profes-
sor at the University of California
is at work on a book about Andy
Warhols inuence on art of
the 1960s. Architectural histo-
rian Barry Bergdoll of Columbia
University will complete a study
of the intersection of science and
architecture in Europe between
1790 and 1850 as one of the
springs JPMorgan Fellows.
The other JPMorgan Fellow
is historian Helmut W. Smith,
who co-chairs the department
of German studies at Vanderbilt
University and will work on a
project entitled Beyond Identity:
Religion, Nation and Race in
Modern German History.
Margaret H. Marshall, Chief
Justice of the Supreme Judicial
Court of Massachusetts, and her
husband, the journalist Anthony
Lewis, will join the fellows in
April as Distinguished Visitors.
Installation artist Lisi Raskin
will be working on Berlins net-
work of Nazi bunkers as the Guna
S. Mundheim Fellow in the Visual
Arts. The prize was awarded in
January 2004 by a jury of: Lynne
Cooke, Dia Center for the Arts;
Matthew Drutt, Hal Foster, Laura
Hoptman (chair), and Jon Kessler.
Composer Mason Bates, who will
be working on Music from a
Silent Space as the Anna-Maria
Kellen Fellow, was selected in
January 2003 by a music jury
consisting of John Corigliano,
Marta Istomin, and Maestro
Leonard Slatkin.
The Berlin Prizes were award-
ed by an independent selection
committee that included: Caroline
Abbate, Princeton University;
Kwame Anthony Appiah (chair),
Princeton University; Paul
Baltes, Max-Planck-Institut
fr Bildungsforschung; Steven
Burbank, the University of
Pennsylvania School of Law;
Vincent Crapanzano, CUNY
Graduate Center; Michael Fried,
Johns Hopkins University;
Benjamin Friedman, Harvard
University; Paul Goldberger,
the New Yorker; Charles Maier,
Harvard University; Amity Shlaes,
the Financial Times, and Leon
Wieseltier, the New Republic.
Sneak Preview
The Spring 2005 Fellows
40 Number Nine | Fall 2004
This year the presence of two hun-
dred masterpieces from the Museum of
Modern Art in New York turned the Neue
Nationalgalerie into a point of pilgrimage.
Throngs of visitors, as insensible to sum-
mer heat waves as to the gusting winds of
March, waited for up to eight hours in the
entrance queue a living frieze atop the
socle of Mies van der Rohes own monu-
ment to modernism.
Printed here is an excerpt from a conver-
sation between New York Times art critic
Michael Kimmelman and the American
painter Chuck Close, whom the Academy
welcomed this fall as its rst Stephen
M. Kellen Distinguished Visitor. Their
dialogue was part of the basf-funded
Curating Modernity series, which the
Academy organized with the Staatliche
Museen zu Berlin, literaturWERKstatt, and
the US Embassy. It was held in the nearby
Staatsbibliothek on September 18, 2004, the
day before the exhibition closed.
Curating Modernity
A Discussion between Chuck Close and Michael Kimmelman
Photograph courtesy of Chuck Close
The Berlin Journal 41
Michael Kimmelman: Ill begin by complain-
ing about this MoMA show not just to be
polite to you, Chuck, because it didnt have
a work by you in it. We saw it together, and I
was surprised that it looked much less well
here than it did in Houston, where I also saw
it. I dont know whether to be pleased that
1.2 million people visited it, or disappointed
by the narrow way in which the collection
was presented a way that, ultimately, was
unfaithful to the Moderns history, which
was much friskier, much livelier, and much
more diverse than this show let on.
Chuck Close: The paintings looked like repro-
ductions hanging on the walls instead of the
real thing.
Michael Kimmelman: The installation also
seemed like a barn. The rooms were so big
and everything was mixed together so you
didnt know what the logic was; you didnt
know which direction to go in or why you
were going in one direction or another.
Chuck Close: Which is ironic, since the
Modern has been criticized for its straight-
line approach to art history, the Old
Testament version of modern art: So-and-so
begat So-and-so, who begat So-and-so, and
so forth. Part of it was a problem with Mies
van der Rohes building. Just a few sculp-
tures are sprinkled around the lobby; then
you descend below the waterline, where it is
bunker-like. You go from room to room to
room in no particular order. We kept trying
to nd the system.
Michael Kimmelman: I know that one of the
complaints about this installation has been
that the postwar period was entirely dened
by American art, with the exception of
Richters Baader-Meinhof paintings. I dont
remember that being the case in Houston.
Even if it was I saw it months ago it did
not come across as a statement of American
imperialism, which is how, in the current
political climate, it has clearly struck some
people here.
Chuck Close: I spent a year in Vienna on a
Fulbright in 19641965, at a time when
MoMA was sending its work around with
State Department support. It was part of
a program to contrast American freedom
with Soviet realism. Here was art that did
not need to propagandize or support the col-
lective state but celebrated the individual.
Believe me, it had major impact.
Michael Kimmelman: What is your memory of
your rst visit to the Modern?
Chuck Close: It was 1961, and the museum
was very small. It laid the story out in such
a way that there were no off-shoots. By that
time, the curator Bill Rubin had come along,
and he far more than Alfred Barr solidi-
ed that straight narrative of modernism.
There were very few off-ramps on this
highway of art. You could not get lost in the
museum because each room led into the
next room. And there were, of course, no
photographs, no drawings, or anything else.
The department of painting and sculpture
was its own efdom. (There was tremen-
dous struggle within the Modern between
departments. They often did not speak to
each other, let alone go into each others
shows.)
Michael Kimmelman: That seems so anachro-
nistic now.
Chuck Close: Im told that the Artists
Choice show I curated was the rst one
they did that combined works from the vari-
ous departments. It was considered revolu-
tionary at the time.
Michael Kimmelman: When you were an art-
ist looking for your own path and going to
see this sort of work this must have been
a big issue you had to deal with: art history
as it was dened at a place like the Modern.
I know you were interested in de Kooning
early on. In what sense did the weight of
this history push you in one direction or
another?
Chuck Close: Well, you sort of took your pick
as to which museum in New York you were
enamored of. If you loved Kandinsky and
European abstraction of a particular kind,
then the Guggenheim was your place. If you
liked Hopper and a lot of brown American
paintings (they all seem to be brown before
1945) or if you thought Arthur Dove and
Marsden Hartley were the end-all and be-
all, then the Whitney was your joint. Of
course at the Met there was no modern art
to speak of except for Clifford Still, who for
some reason is still up; the Met has endless
Clifford Stills!
But the Modern was the place that you
went to if you believed in the old-time reli-
gion. It was like a church meeting. The
true believers would go and spend time
with the key monuments of Modernism.
I, for instance, was a devot of de Kooning,
and then there were Clement Greenbergs
people, who held that Pollock was the road
to take. De Kooning was seen as a European
artist coming out of cubism, and Pollock
was seen as the American painter, spring-
ing full-blown from somewhere out west
(where legend has it he pissed on a rock and
got the idea to dribble paint). You sort of
signed on for one of these routes, and you
looked for the evidence that supported your
view.
Michael Kimmelman: You had a retrospec-
tive of your own at the Modern in 1998.
But before that in 1991 you organized an
Artists Choice exhibition there at Kirk
Varnadoes invitation.
Chuck Close: I had just come from eight
months in a rehabilitation hospital, and
Kirk invited me to raid the cultural ice-
box rummage around in the Moderns
basement and its storage spaces. I had the
intense pleasure of spending 24 eight-hour
days with the collection. As I said before,
the departmental efdoms were such that
people in one department did not know the
holdings of another department.
The concept of the show had grown out
of a series at Londons National Gallery, in
which artists were invited to reshufe the
deck, so to speak. This may be the wave
of the future for museums, as it becomes
so expensive to borrow works from other
museums. (As Im sure Berlin found out
from the hefty price tag that it paid MoMAs
collection over here.) If you already own the
stuff, are already taking care of it and insur-
ing it, why not bring in someone who has
a different point of view to see if there isnt
another story to be told?
Michael Kimmelman: One of the things that
I loved about your show in 1991 about that
whole series of shows, but yours especially
was that you went through so much of the
collection and retrieved so much of its histo-
ry; you concentrated on portraits and found
hundreds of different kinds, from different
parts of the collection. The show reminded
us that modernism consisted of far more
than just one aesthetic history. And it was
enormously fun, the way you hung it, salon
style, stacked on shelves and up the walls
OKeefe next to Beckmann next to Warhol
next to Avedon next to Berenice Abbott next
to Chagall.
42 Number Nine | Fall 2004
Chuck Close: Well, yes. Its about making
something big and complicated out of a lot
of little parts which is something that I
know quite a bit about. And it was consid-
ered rather outrageous at the time because
I put things on shelves, as if it were a super-
market. I put sculptures on pedestals of dif-
ferent heights so that their eyes were all on
the same level. And I placed things next to
each other that had never been juxtaposed
before.
In fact, I was shocked to nd out
how many portraits were actually in the
Moderns collection. One doesnt think
of the Modern as being particularly well
stocked with them. But as I went through
the collection, I realized just how many art-
ists had done portraits, often of themselves
or of other artists. I wanted not only to
celebrate all the people in the Moderns col-
lection who had made portraits or self-por-
traits, but by overlapping the mats and the
frames, and bringing the images as close to
each other as I possibly could to celebrate
the different ways artists made these por-
traits; the differences in hand and in touch
and in material and technique, process, atti-
tude. By juxtaposing them so closely, you
could see the incredible range of possibili-
ties within what seems to be a relatively nar-
row convention of portraiture.
Michael Kimmelman: Obviously that was
about your work as well. And it showed
many people that the Moderns range was
much broader than people thought
Chuck Close: but not as broad as it should
have been. It was only by stealth that we
were able to include a Ray Johnson bunny,
for example. As you know, Johnson founded
the New York Correspondance School in
the 1960s mail art and when he heard I
was going to do the show he was outraged
because he did not have a piece in the col-
lection. You have to understand the way
the Modern works. More than any other
museum, it bestows the good-housekeep-
ing seal of approval. (Remember the wom-
ans magazine Good Housekeeping used to
award products that it endorsed. If it had the
Good-Housekeeping Seal of Approval, you
knew it was a quality product.)
Michael Kimmelman: In fact, for about thirty
years the Museum of Modern Art actually
had its own seal of approval: a tag with a
circle and the words Good Design in the
middle of it, given out to design products
that it endorsed. They even had exhibitions,
all of which included this MoMA seal of
approval. It would also be in exhibitions and
given to stores that sold products that had
been in the exhibitions. So there was liter-
ally a good-housekeeping seal of approval at
the Modern
Chuck Close: Well you can imagine what its
like to be on the outside looking in, your
nose pressed against the glass like a kid
at a candy store. Youre an artist, you want
your work to be taken seriously, and this is
the place where work is judged. You want
to know how your work stacks up against
the best. Ray was mad that they didnt have
a portrait of his, and in his wonderful Ray
Johnson way of thinking about things, he
subverted the normal process, the dened
way, by which a work enters collection.
In the normal route, the curator asking for
a piece presents the work to the committee,
which decides whether or not to raise the
money for it. Or, in the case of a gift, the col-
lector or trustee who owns work offers it to
the museum; and it, too, goes up before the
committee. The committee votes; if it wants
it, they take it.
P
h
o
t
o
g
r
a
p
h

b
y

M
i
k
e

M
i
n
e
h
a
n
The Berlin Journal 43
Ray thought, Now how am I going to get
my stuff into the museum if nobody sup-
ports what I do? Well, he and his New York
Correspondance School sent art to people in
the mail art that typically said Please for-
ward to yet another person so the works
were crisscrossing in the mails and going to
many different people. And Clive Phillpot,
then the librarys director, was a wonderful
man who saved every shred of anything that
had ever come into the museum. Cataloged
it, entered it, kept it, treasured it, put it in
boxes, put it on shelves, double- and triple-
referenced, so that anybody could get it. Ray
kept writing, send to clive phillpot at
the modern. So things were coming into
the collection!
And when I was doing the show, I said,
Id really like a Ray Johnson in the collec-
tion. And we asked Clive what he had. The
bunny I showed happens to be a de Kooning.
It says it right there at the bottom of the
bunny: Bill de Kooning! Of course, all of
Ray Johnsons bunnies look alike some are
by de Kooning, some are by others but hav-
ing him in my show recognizes the limita-
tions of the museum, the Byzantine nature
of the structure, and what is necessary to
subvert it.
As for the presentation of the works: I
chose salon-style hanging, which is never
done in the Museum of Modern Art. The
Modern gives white wall space to every piece.
It is the cultural sherbet between courses
that is supposed to clean the palate, to vac-
uum from your brain whatever you just saw
and prepare you for the experience of look-
ing at the next piece. In other words, you
should never have more than one work of
art in your mind at the time. Now salon-styl-
ing which is of course associated with the
Louvre, with the Beaux-arts museums was
an anathema to MoMA. So you know there
was a lot of head-scratching when I did this.
Interestingly, young curators would come
up to me and say, Oh, I love what youre
doing. I love that youre combining things
from various departments. We would never
be able to do that
Michael Kimmelman: Thats another reason
why this idea of bringing in curators from
the outside, artists especially, is refreshing.
Somebody comes fresh to the collection. It is
always useful for an institution to let some-
body see the art in a way that the institution
clearly cannot see it itself.
Your show was also funny. It was like an
archive. It was a memory bank, or attic, of
faces throughout modern history. As a visi-
tor, you could always discover new things,
go back and nd fresh faces, other links
between works. It was so obviously con-
nected to the process that you yourself went
through putting it together, making discov-
eries.
Chuck Close: I got letters and calls from art-
ists saying, I just got an invitation from
MoMA the rst invitation Ive ever had
from the Museum of Modern Art. Or its
the rst one Ive had in twenty years. Is it
possible that one of my works, which has
been in the basement for twenty years, is
actually coming upstairs to be on the wall?
It amazed and thrilled them. You know,
when youre an artist and one of your pieces
enters the collection, you say, Im in the col-
lection of the Museum of Modern Art. The
question is, has anyone ever seen it?
Michael Kimmelman: Exactly. For an artist to
be in the Modern is the ultimate thing. But
to actually be on the wall of the Modern is
something else.
Then in 1998 there was a retrospective of
your own work at the Modern.
Chuck Close: Yes. It was Kirk Varnadoes idea,
but because he was ill, Robert Storr took
over, although Kirk wrote one of the cata-
logue essays.
Michael Kimmelman: And had a retrospective
at the Modern been a dream for your career?
Chuck Close: Oh sure. Actually, its the kind
of thing you dare not dream. Because youre
likely to be terribly disappointed with your
life if you set that sort of goal. My rst goal
was to have a show in New York. That took a
while. I think I was 29 by the time I had my
rst show. By now, if you havent had a show
by 29, youre nished!
Michael Kimmelman: (Youre often nished
by the time youre 29 now, because the
career cycles of artists have come to be like
the fashion business, a season or two and
youre out)
Chuck Close: So when I came to New York
as a young artist, I was amazed at what was
available, at the visual smorgasbord laid out
in front of me. I came from a poor, work-
ing-class family in Washington state, and I
could not believe it. The galleries were open;
they would show you things; you didnt have
to buy anything; they would bring stuff out
of the back rooms and show it to you. And
that museums, if you were an artist, were
basically free. You just had to say that you
were an artist and you could go in. All my
heroes were at MoMA, and that is of course
where I wanted to be.
Michael Kimmelman: Ive always found that
one of the most interesting things youve
pointed out about your work has to do
with this idea and you began with it of
restraint, creating strict boundaries, out of
which comes, essentially, more creative free-
dom. You have done that in explicit ways. At
the same time, and you alluded to this in the
portrait done with ngerprints, youve tried,
at least at the beginning, to erase the idea
that there was expressive content
Chuck Close: I used to call them heads. I
wouldnt call them portraits. Early on I
wanted to paint anonymous people, and at
the time all my friends were totally anony-
mous. At any rate, I did not call these paint-
ings portraits. I didnt come out of the closet
as a portrait painter until I did the Artists
Choice show. For the rst time, I realized
just how I was tagged on to a long series of
conventions and traditions of portraiture
going far back. It was undeniable that I was
part of that tradition. I also noticed around
the same time that when I visited museums
in other cities the paintings I parked my
wheelchair in front of for the longest peri-
ods of time were often portraits. So it was an
acknowledgement, I think, of just how con-
nected I was to these traditions.
I had resisted that for a long while. Alex
Katz was a real hero of mine, as was Warhol
of course, because they were making a truly
modern portrait. They were not going back
and trying to breathe new life into what I
thought were shopworn nineteenth-century
notions of portraiture or guration. All of us
were, in our way, trying to purge our work of
every reference. This was before appropria-
tion; it was the antithesis of appropriation.
We didnt want anyone standing in front of
our work thinking about another artist.
Michael Kimmelman: But of course, you
cannot escape history. And, in retrospect,
as you saw when you did the show, your
work is embedded in history. You were
reacting really against abstract expression-
ism, which was itself claiming to purge
itself from history.
44 Number Nine | Fall 2004
Cy Twombly, Apollo and the Artist, 1975, courtesy of the artist and the Gagosian gallery
The Berlin Journal 45
The
Alphabet
Enters Greece
Gjertrud Schnackenberg
But that was before
The rst, tiny alphabet letter
Entered into Greece for the rst time,
The letter Iota, ,
Like a fragile, fever-laden mosquito
Struck motionless by the divinity;
Struck soundless in the heart
Of barren Greece, where the god touched the letter
Uneasily, awed. Then Delta appeared silently
In the midst of the words, ,
Like the indelible mountain
With an infant king abandoned on it;
And Theta, like a human infants face
Crossed out, ,
Before Lambda appeared like a lame man
Leaning on a stick, ,
And Omega, like a shining rope
Lowered by Zeus into the midst of things
And tied, by human hands,
Into a noose, ,
Before the slain Sphinx of Psi, ,
Before the rock throne of Eta, ,
The Greek letters arranged in the Sphinx-poetry
Of their meaningless order,
Reeling across the surface of a metal leaf
Sent to the god as a tribute, or expressing remorse,
From the people of Thebes
And left at the temple gate:

Sphinx-poetry. Filings from the iron passions,


Magnetized, conjoined in words, held fast;
Exposing a force.
The god claps his hands,
Calling a temple scribe to him:
The god: Who established the order of the letters?
The scribe: (Silence.)
The alphabet, in which lay hidden
The tale of Oedipus, no longer gouged out
In the gods language, illegible to humans,
But written in Greek: the continuum of sound
That once streamed from the gods lips,
And the question Oedipus once brought to the god,
Now broken off and shut into the silence
Of written-down words, trapping the gods hexameters
Together with folktales shepherds told about tyrants
And gossip from an even older age
Into : the Greek letters,
Waiting in silence to be arranged
Into the comedies and tragedies,
Waiting to turn the people into gods
Who gaze at things tied
Into sequences of knots they cant undo,
Things to discuss, brood on, or quarrel over,
Helpless as gods to intervene;
The god touches the letters, one by one,
Arranging them in different ways,
Trying to nd the orphans real name,
Not the foundlings name used by slaves
And conferred by the queen in Corinth
As a title for his defect, Swollen Foot,
But the name the gods call him,
For the gods are known to call
People, places, things, and other gods
By their true names
46 Number Nine | Fall 2004
Paul Alexander, der Kerrys
Kandidatur schon vor zwei
Jahren prophezeit hat, erzhlt
in einer dichten Reportage
der Vorwahlen elegant und
spannend. DIE ZEIT
304 Seiten. Gebunden. e 19,90 [D] / sFr 34,90 ISBN 3-8270-0564-7 BERLIN VERLAG
Paul Alexander stand als einzigem Journalisten
Kerrys Privatarchiv zur Verfgung. Niemand hat
einen vergleichbaren Zugang zu John Kerry und
seiner Frau, Teresa Heinz Kerry, sowie zum engsten
Kreis um den Kandidaten.
But there is no other name the god can nd:
Only Oedipus, the letters shivering in the cold,
And a recurring phrase: My-name-cringes-from-me
Like an epithet, with a gust of archaic notes
Lifting the letters and showing nothing beneath,
A shepherds music never written down,
Flute notes beyond the bourn of right and wrong,
Music that, once taken up, cant be put down
Like the oracle Oedipus receives
And holds fast, turning away from the temple
To retreat back down the mountain
With his frightening answer,
Fleeing the god, eeing his fate,
Fleeing his future crimes
On the throne of Corinth;
The god calls him back, too late, too late;
He hurries through the mountain paths,
Through gravel, in which everyones footprints
Are clubfooted, even the gods
He hurries toward Thebes, past ruined towns
Where perpetual wars are visible across
A countryside where everything is wrong,
The arson-blackened palaces, the empty slopes
Where mortals and the gods lay dead,
The Berlin Journal 47
Building bridges
The Haniel Stiftung is a proactive force in strengthening
transatlantic relations. Our foundation is proud to endow
the Haniel Fellowship in History and Public Affairs at
the American Academy and to be associated with the
McCloy Academic Scholarship Program at Harvard
Universitys John F. Kennedy School of Governance.
Who we are
In 1988 the Haniel Stiftung was established by Franz
Haniel & Cie. GmbH. Founded in Duisburg-Ruhrort in
1756, today Haniel forms a multinational group with
worldwide business interests and continues to be owned
by the Haniel family, one of the great entrepreneur
families in Germany.
Our purpose
Our foundations purpose reflects the beliefs of the
Haniel family and its company. We seek to promote
individual achievement and entrepreneurial endeavour
while fostering social responsibility at the same time.
Engaged in American-European dialogue:
Professor Joseph S. Nye and Dr. Wolfgang Schuble
at the Haniel Lecture 2003.
Haniel Stiftung, Franz-Haniel-Platz 1, 47119 Duisburg, Germany
Phone +49-(0)203-806-367, Fax +49-(0)203-806-720
E-Mail stiftung@haniel.de, www.haniel-stiftung.de
The temples plundered, the lyres broken;
Past the rubble-gates of Thebes and its broken stairs
To claim, with his answered riddle, the throne
That was his all along
The god, on behalf of Zeus,
Calls Oedipus! Oedipus!
The only name he has to call him by.
Then strains to hear a reply.
He leans forward in his shining chair
In Delphi;
Nothing. Far up, he sees
His fathers empty throne of snow,
And Olympus, dripping silence; silence; silence.
As if there is nothing that Zeus wants.
Oedipus! Oedipus! Nothing.
Yet Oedipus has heard the god;
And, seated on a throne of rock
In a shadowy wood, he lifts
His bandaged face in response.
Riddleless. Answerless.

Gjertrude Schnackenberg holds the DaimlerChrysler Berlin


Prize at the American Academy this fall and is the author of
several volumes of poetry, including The Throne of Labdacus, a
retelling of the Oedipus story, and the anthology Supernatural
Love: Poems 19761992, both of which were published in 2000.


Gjertrude Schnackenberg From The Throne of Labdacus
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000)
48 Number Nine | Fall 2004
Donations to the American Academy in Berlin
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