German Reconciliation

Archive Report

Federal Republic Today

Refocusing on War Defeat and Rebirth

For a week in May, Germany will be the focus of world attention. First, President Reagan and leaders of six other big Western industrial powers will gather in Bonn for their annual review of international economic and trade matters. Reagan will then extend his stay in Germany until May 6, just before the 40th anniversary of the collapse of Nazi Germany, ending World War II in Europe.1

The two events starkly illustrate the dilemma of modern Germany—a powerful participant in the community of nations, yet still haunted by an aggressive and sinister past that often impedes its ability to play its present role. While few people still seriously question Germany's place as a positive force in international affairs, ...

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