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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct 7, 2011 9 Tishrei, 5772

Germany Comes of Age

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | BERLIN — A united Germany turned 21 this week. Families celebrated a three-day weekend, with the children waving black, red and gold national flags in the bright sunlight of an unseasonal October summer in Berlin. In Bonn, the capital of West Berlin when Germany was divided into the Soviet east and the free West, fireworks flashed across the night sky.

Unification has not been without problems, and the conventional wisdom is that it's been harder on Germans in the east, where unemployment is almost double that in the west. But it's difficult to find a German who would return the communists to power.

In fact, the fall of the Wall, which is celebrated on Nov. 9, usually draws bigger celebratory crowds. But the date falls on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, "the night of the broken glass," when on Nov. 9, 1938, Nazi thugs smashed Jewish homes, burned synagogues and broke out the glass windows of Jewish shopkeepers all across Germany. Delicacy prevented the date being taken as the official holiday of German unification.

This year's unity celebration follows Angela Merkel's resounding victory in the Bundestag, the endorsement of her decision to increase Germany's contribution to the eurozone rescue fund. The debate was fierce and will remain a continuing challenge to the government. Many Germans, like others in Northern Europe, resent paying for the high life of profligate Greeks in their Dionysian disarray. Peter Altmaier, chief whip of the Christian Democratic Union, the lead party in Merkel's coalition, told the Financial Times, "A huge majority is a very strong signal to Europe, the financial markets and America, that Germany is ready to resume its responsibility (in the eurozone crisis)."

It's difficult to recall how a wary world feared a unified Germany 21 years ago. There were fears that a militaristic nation that plunged the world into world wars twice in the 20th century had not really learned its expensive lesson. But times change. For four years in a row Germany has been ranked the most popular country in the world in a survey taken by the BBC of 30,000 people in 27 countries. A popularity contest is rarely about power, but it's an irony nevertheless that Germany is the poster country for peace and popularity.

This might be a source of pride, but it was hardly reported, discussed or debated in Germany. Germans are rightly sensitive to the judgment of history, and are generally reluctant to say positive things about themselves lest their criminal past be thrown in their face. Such sensitivity affects the way they act.

In a lecture titled "Germany Has Come of Age," Gunter Nooke, who for five years was the German human rights commissioner for policy, argues that it's time to change that self-perception. Germans, he says, should build on an understanding of their whole history and speak out clearly on political positions in which they were once vulnerable.

"Even the terrible crimes of the Germans, for which we as Germans will always bear responsibility, do not negate our freedom to make decisions," he told the German Historical Institute in Washington. "They no longer provide us with a justification for refraining from getting involved."

Berlin has approved the design of a monument to commemorate both the 1989 peaceful revolution and German reunification. The sculpture captures a blithe new German spirit, called the "Citizens' Movement." The monument is an enormous 330-ton steel dish that can accommodate 1,400 persons. The dish moves with the movement of those in it, but only if there's a minimum of 20 persons aboard. The idea is that the well-being of the community needs the engagement and cooperation of its citizens. This is not merely symbolic, since the dish depends on the weight of its participants to get it in full swing.

Critics call it a playground for grown-ups, lacking the gravitas of history, but its defenders say it reflects both the surge of relief at the fall of the Wall and the new sense of responsibility that accompanies freedom and unification. It will occupy a square in front of the proposed reconstruction of the Prussian Palace where the original was torn down to build the parliament building of the communist government of East Berlin. It was here that a million Germans gathered to demand the destruction of the Wall.

From this perspective, the movement of heavy industrial steel requiring the push of the people represents the see-saw on which the mix and flux of modern Germany rests. It will bear inscriptions that were popular slogans in the peaceful revolution of 1989 that brought down the Wall: "We are the people," and, "We are one." That's enough to celebrate.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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