BERLIN/NEW YORK | | ungarnukrainelettlandkroatienitalien

BERLIN/NEW YORK (Own report) - The Federal Republic of Germany has refused to vote in favor of a United Nations resolution condemning the glorification of National Socialism and Nazi collaboration. Last week, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly passed a resolution strongly criticizing the edification of memorials to Nazi functionaries and the stylization of Nazi collaborators as "freedom fighters." Germany and the other EU nations abstained, the USA, Canada, and Ukraine voted against the document, with 115 nations voting in favor. Berlin and Brussels use the excuse of not wanting to support a resolution initiated by Russia. In fact, a vote in favor of the document would have caused hefty disputes within the EU, and between the EU and important allies. With growing frequency, notorious Nazi collaborators are being publicly honored in such EU countries as Hungary or the Baltic countries and in Ukraine, in some cases by officials of the respective governments. more…

PARIS/BERLIN | | frankreich

PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) - Paris has strongly reacted to Germany's new attempts to impose its austerity dictate on the French national budget. Following the German government's massive interventions in Brussels, German EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger called the French government a "recidivist" in a newspaper column last Friday - because it does not accept the full extent of Germany's austerity dictates. This is an "uncontrolled gaffe," said the General Secretary of the ruling French Socialist Party (PS) and called on Oettinger to resign. To impose more massive budget cuts, Berlin continues its efforts to torpedo the budget compromise reached by the French government with the EU Commission in late October. Since months, observers have been warning against a deflationary spiral and strong social protests in France. The EU Commission's position statement on France's budget, scheduled for today, may have to be postponed because of German interventions. more…

BUCHAREST/BERLIN | | rumaenien

BUCHAREST/BERLIN (Own report) - Under President-elect Klaus Johannis, Germany will greatly strengthen its influence on Rumania. This has been confirmed by a government spokesperson, who explained that Chancellor Angela Merkel explicitly assured Johannis "her support" in the "reinforcement of Rumania's European orientation" and agreed "to coordinate standpoints on important foreign policy issues with him in the future." This will particularly affect policies involving Russia. Whereas Traian Băsescu, the country's outgoing president had been considered a US ally, Victor Ponta, the loser in last Sunday's presidential elections, was seen more as being Russia-oriented, while Klaus Johannis, a long-time "Rumanian Germans" functionary, is seen as unambiguously pro-German. He has good contacts to Berlin's bureaucracy as well as to the German economic community, and, for some time, has prided himself with his personal relations to Chancellor Merkel. This new constellation offers Berlin the possibility of appreciably reinforcing its national grip on Southeast Europe. more…

TEHERAN/WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | iran

TEHERAN/WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is pushing for a rapid conclusion to the Iran nuclear program negotiations. The talks must absolutely be successfully concluded by the November 24 deadline, insist leading German foreign policy-makers along with the German Foreign Minister personally. This is ´"technically" feasible; it must be resolutely pursued politically. Further postponement would be counterproductive. Berlin has achieved a prominent position within the framework of the negotiations and is using this to play a more powerful role in global policy-making. A form of renewed cooperation with Iran, along the lines of "transformation through convergence" strategy, which had been used against the Soviet Union, is considered a probable result of these negotiations. Test runs for this sort of cooperation have long since been made - in the war against the Islamic State (IS), with US bombers serving as the air force of Iranian commanded militias. US President Barack Obama has suggested the possibility of an expansion of this sort of cooperation. more…

Hans-Rüdiger Minow | COLOGNE |
(Hans-Rüdiger Minow)

COLOGNE On the occasion of the anniversary of the Nazis' November Pogroms, german-foreign-policy.com (gfp.com) spoke with the chairs of two prominent citizens' initiatives about German commemorative culture and Germany's responsibility for Nazi crimes. They are Hans-Rüdiger Minow spokesperson for the Board of Directors of the "Train of Commemoration" and Christoph Schwarz, spokesperson for the Board of Directors of "Stolen Children - Forgotten Victims." more…

Christoph Schwarz | COLOGNE |
(Christoph Schwarz)

COLOGNE On the occasion of the anniversary of the Nazis' November Pogroms, german-foreign-policy.com (gfp.com) spoke with the chairs of two prominent citizens' initiatives about German commemorative culture and Germany's responsibility for Nazi crimes. They are Hans-Rüdiger Minow spokesperson for the Board of Directors of the "Train of Commemoration" and Christoph Schwarz, spokesperson for the Board of Directors of "Stolen Children - Forgotten Victims." more…

Christoph Schwarz | COLOGNE |
(Christoph Schwarz)

COLOGNE On the occasion of the anniversary of the Nazis' November Pogroms, german-foreign-policy.com (gfp.com) spoke with the chairs of two prominent citizens' initiatives about German commemorative culture and Germany's responsibility for Nazi crimes. They are Hans-Rüdiger Minow spokesperson for the Board of Directors of the "Train of Commemoration" and Christoph Schwarz, spokesperson for the Board of Directors of "Stolen Children - Forgotten Victims." more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - Several citizens' initiatives are unambiguously repudiating the semi-official German "commemorative culture." Particularly the "Train of Commemoration" is raising serious accusations against the German government, on the occasion of the upcoming commemoration of the Nazi November Pogroms. According to the initiative's voluminous publication, Berlin is crossing the line between revisionist theses and open denial of Nazi mass crimes. Aside from the token public events, the Federal Republic of Germany is expending a great amount of energy and mobilizing all official means in opposition to the survivors of Nazi terror, to avoid having to face the inherited debt left by its predecessor state ("Train of Commemoration, the Deutsche Bahn and the Struggle against Forgetting"). These accusations against Berlin are not new, however they are now accompanied with documentary evidence. The publication of this work comes at an embarrassing moment for Berlin, because demands are becoming louder in other European countries for a complete settlement of debts from Nazi crimes. In October, Italy's Supreme Court ruled that lawsuits against the Federal Republic of Germany on the question of compensation are subject to review by courts. more…

BERLIN/THE HAGUE | | niederlande

BERLIN/THE HAGUE (Own report) - German politicians, military officials and the media consider the subordination of combat units of other European nations to German Bundeswehr command to be a role model for a future EU army. The integration of a paratrooper unit from the Netherlands into the German Army's covert operations and counter-insurgency unit of the Rapid Forces Division (DSK) is considered a "milestone of integration." An armored contingent from the Netherlands will soon be integrated into a German cavalry unit, along the same lines. The European Air Transport Command (EATC) stationed in Eindhoven, the Netherlands - currently under a German commanding officer - is also being praised as an "effective model of cooperation." According to its own accounts, the Bundeswehr sees the EATC as a clear extension of its "radius of operations," providing bases stretching "from be the Baltic Sea almost to Gibraltar." more…

WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | usa

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - NATO should apply a new "Monroe Doctrine" to lay claim to hegemony over Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. This is the demand advanced for discussion by a prominent German daily. According to the author, countries such as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are located "within a dangerous grey area." Regardless of the issue of their NATO membership, they should be accorded a status, which declares that "all attempts, by outside powers, to subvert their sovereignty" is an aggression against "the Western Alliance," offering them every measure "just short of" NATO's mutual assistance clause. A US American journalist, who echoes the opinion of US foreign policy hardliners and has been repeatedly given space to express these views in German media, authored the article. His articles support the positions of German hardliners, who call for a more aggressive approach toward Russia, thus opposing current government policy. Once again yesterday, Foreign Minister Steinmeier declared, it is "important that we begin discussing the criteria for relieving sanctions," as he had already "suggested in the EU Foreign Affairs Council." more…