Alemania

¿Qué detiene al motor francoalemán de Europa?

En enero de 1963, el canciller alemán Konrad Adenauer y el presidente francés Charles de Gaulle firmaron el Tratado del Elíseo, un acuerdo bilateral por el que los dos exenemigos pusieron fin en forma oficial a dos siglos de antipatía y derramamiento de sangre y se comprometieron a iniciar una nueva era de cooperación.

Este acuerdo, que se firmó cinco años después de la entrada en vigor del Tratado de Roma, tuvo una gran importancia simbólica, y sentó las bases para que Alemania y Francia se convirtieran en los líderes de facto de la Unión Europea. Los miembros de la UE saben por experiencia que nada puede salir adelante a menos que Francia y Alemania estén en sintonía, y que por lo general, el consenso francoalemán es el primer paso hacia acuerdos más amplios.…  Seguir leyendo »

Olaf Scholz ha acabado cediendo a las presiones para enviar tanques Leopard 2 a Ucrania. Pero no piensen ni por un momento que ha cambiado de postura. Está haciendo lo mínimo que necesita hacer para fingir que Alemania sigue siendo un miembro fiable de la alianza occidental. Scholz transmite alto y claro a su electorado y al resto del mundo que es el socio reacio del bloque. Preveo que este mismo patrón se repetirá cuando discutamos la próxima tanda de tanques o cuando se trate de aviones de combate.

Oigo a algunos afirmar que el primer ministro apoya subrepticiamente a Rusia al tiempo que simula dar su apoyo a Ucrania.…  Seguir leyendo »

A German Leopard 2 tank during a demonstration event held for the media by the German Bundeswehr in Munster near Hanover in 2011. (Michael Sohn/AP)

Eighty years ago, the hinge of history swung just north of Ukraine. There, the outcome of World War II in Europe was determined in the largest tank battle ever, a boiling cauldron in what was called the Kursk salient. Raging from July 5 to Aug. 23, 1943, the clash between German and Soviet forces involved what military historian John Keegan termed “tank armadas”, a total of about 6,000 tanks and 2 million troops. After this, Germany never again had the strategic initiative on the Eastern Front, where, 10 months before D-Day, attrition guaranteed Adolf Hitler’s defeat.

Today, the outcome of the first major European war since 1945 might turn on tanks, particularly German Leopard 2 s.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tal y como se rumoreaba desde hace días, la ministra de Defensa alemana ha dimitido.

Christine Lambrecht era percibida como una política sin liderazgo ni ideas para gestionar los retos que deben afrontar las fuerzas armadas alemanas a raíz del "cambio de época" del que hablaba el canciller Olaf Scholz en febrero de 2022.

Su salida del gobierno tripartito de coalición es personal, sí. Pero apunta a problemas más profundos en la política de defensa alemana.

Su dimisión llega en un momento delicado, a días de la próxima reunión en Rammstein de la coalición de apoyo a Ucrania. Resulta evidente lo inoportuno de un traspaso de poderes a pocas horas del encuentro.…  Seguir leyendo »

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock delivers a speech during the congress of the Green Party in Bonn, Germany, on Oct. 15. (Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made headlines with a surprise visit to the heavily damaged city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine. Though she didn’t address the controversy raging at home over whether to supply Kyiv with powerful German tanks, she did promise more weapons — which, she said, would help Ukraine “free its citizens who are still suffering under the terror of Russian occupation”. That was far more forceful than anything Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said in recent weeks. The war in Ukraine, it turns out, is Baerbock’s fight too — for the chance to become the next German chancellor.…  Seguir leyendo »

Miembros de Reichsbürgerbewegung (Movimiento Ciudadanos de Reich), que niega la legitimidad del actual Estad alemán, en una manifestación de 2019 en Berlín. Shutterstock / Juergen Nowak

El 7 de diciembre de 2022 los medios de comunicación de todo el mundo publicaron la noticia de que la policía alemana había desarticulado una conspiración que, bajo el nombre de Der Tag X (El Día X), pretendía destruir el sistema democrático alemán. En la misma participaban civiles pertenecientes a la organización de extrema derecha Ciudadanos del Reich, miembros de las Fuerzas Armadas, del partido de extrema derecha Alternativa para Alemania (AfD) y expolicías.

Aunque esta noticia provocó un gran impacto en todo el mundo, no era la primera conjura que bajo el nombre simbólico de Der Tag X se descubría en Alemania durante el siglo XXI, ni la primera operación involucionista en la que participaban militares.…  Seguir leyendo »

Olaf Scholz et Emmanuel Macron à l'Elysée le 18 décembre 2021.Sipa Press

Schadenfreude : « Joie maligne provoquée par le malheur d’autrui ». Il semblerait que ce sentiment pour lequel le français n’a pas de mot tout en le pratiquant avec délices, ait envahi la presse française ces dernières semaines.

Beaucoup de commentateurs mettent en exergue la « crise » qui affecterait la relation politique entre la France et l’Allemagne. De fait, des motifs d’incompréhension, voire de discorde, sont apparus : plan de soutien des entreprises allemandes de 200 milliards d’euros, décisions de Berlin en matière d’armement, visite d’ Olaf Scholz en Chine, approches divergentes en matière de stratégie européenne dans le contexte des embargos sur le gaz et le pétrole russe, transition « verte ».…  Seguir leyendo »

Irmgard Furchner, 97, appears in court for the verdict in her trial on Dec. 20 in Itzehoe, Germany. (Christian Charisius/AP)

This month, a German court convicted Irmgard Furchner as an accessory to the murder of 10,505 people. From 1943 to 1945, Furchner served as the secretary to the commandant of Stutthof, an SS concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Bizarrely, because the 97-year-old defendant had begun her secretarial duties at 18, she was tried in juvenile court. Partly for this reason, the court gave a lenient sentence of two years, suspended. Furchner might be the last person convicted of taking part in the Nazis’ annihilation of 6 million European Jews.

The legal reckoning with the Holocaust began early, even before the war ended, with the Soviet trials of perpetrators of mass murder in Krasnodar and Kharkov in 1943.…  Seguir leyendo »

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz briefs the press on Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the German Chancellery in Berlin on Feb. 24. MICHAEL KAPPELER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Denk ich an Deutschland in der Nacht,
Dann bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht
Ich kann nicht mehr die Augen schließen,
Und meine heißen Tränen fließen.

—From Nachtgedanken by Heinrich Heine, 1844

In his poem Nachtgedanken (“Night Thoughts”), written in 1844, the Jewish German writer Heinrich Heine yearned for unity and modernity in his fragmented, feudal-ruled homeland. “If I think of Germany at night, it robs me of my sleep”, he wrote in the first two lines of one of the country’s best-known poems.

I feel similarly about Germany right now.

First as a language student and then as a young foreign correspondent, I spent some of my formative years in what was then West Germany.…  Seguir leyendo »

A pro-Ukraine demonstration in Berlin this summer. John Macdougall/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Winter is here, and Germany is ready. After worries that the country would have to resort to energy rationing, the government has managed to fill the reservoirs: Holiday season, now in full flow, is as it’s always been. Offices and apartments are a little cooler, but the Christmas markets — giving off their usual reassuring aroma of cinnamon and frying fat — and city streets are brightly lit.

That was no given. In the 10 months since Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Germany has scrambled to replace the 55 percent of gas it used to get from Russia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss is lead away by police after a raid in Frankfurt on December 7. Boris Roessler/picture alliance/Getty Images

Until last week, hardly anyone had heard of Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss, the 71-year-old descendant of a minor German princely family. Even his family had reportedly ostracized him years ago for his extreme views.

Yet for the Reichsbürger movement – the political group behind what prosecutors recently described as a thwarted plot to overthrow German democracy – Heinrich XIII was exactly the man, or rather the prince, they needed.

Absurdly, the Reichsbürger believe that Imperial Germany, which came crashing down a century ago, must be re-established for Germany to rise from the ashes again.

But for that to happen, they need a real prince – which turned Heinrich XIII into a godsend for them.…  Seguir leyendo »

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, November 2022. Kay Nietfeld / Pool / Reuters

When Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s federal president and former foreign minister, received the Kissinger Prize in November 2022, he gave a candid assessment of his country’s (and his own) foreign policy failures. Since the world has changed, he said, “we must cast off old ways of thinking and old hopes”, including the idea that “economic exchange will bring about political convergence”. In the future, Steinmeier declared, Berlin must learn from the past and “reduce one-sided dependencies” not just on Russia but also on China.

As the war in Ukraine rages on, few German politicians would take issue with the assertion that Berlin must reduce its energy dependence on Moscow.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cuando la conmoción inicial por la redada policial del pasado miércoles contra un presunto intento de golpe de Estado en Alemania se calmó, se produjo un extraño debate en los medios de comunicación alemanes. Aunque la mayoría de los medios coinciden con la ministra del Interior, Nancy Faeser, en que los sospechosos “no son chiflados inofensivos, sino sospechosos de terrorismo”, algunos periódicos han argumentado que se ha dado demasiada importancia a la detención de ″25 personas mayores y confundidas”.

Por supuesto, el complot para derrocar al Gobierno alemán tenía pocas posibilidades de éxito, pero reveló que existe una peligrosa minoría de alemanes tan descontentos con la política dominante que están dispuestos a recurrir a la violencia.…  Seguir leyendo »

A general view of the Waidmannsheil hunting lodge near Bad Lobenstein, Germany, on Dec. 8, where a group is accused of plotting a coup against the German state. Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

On Dec. 7, authorities across Germany arrested at least 25 people in connection to a conspiracy to storm the Bundestag, attack the German power grid, and overthrow the German government. At least 25 others have been accused of involvement in the plot.

The conspirators modeled this attack, which they had been planning since November 2021, on the aborted attack by far-right supporters of former President Donald Trump on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 of that year. But this isn’t a local imitation of an American original, although it combines German ideas with U.S. influence. It’s an intensely German group, rooted in a bizarre interpretation of German history.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hace un año, el 8 de diciembre de 2021, Olaf Scholz, del Partido Socialdemócrata (SPD), juró su cargo como nuevo canciller federal de Alemania. Inesperadamente, los votantes alemanes habían preferido al taciturno y tecnócrata ministro de Finanzas y vicecanciller del país, que en su campaña electoral prometió estabilidad interna y renovación social. La política exterior apenas se tuvo en cuenta. Los alemanes miraron hacia dentro, no hacia fuera.

Pero entonces llegó la guerra de Rusia contra Ucrania. Y de repente Scholz habló. Europa había entrado en un punto de inflexión trascendental, un Zeitenwende, lo llamó él, al tiempo que anunciaba una audaz evolución en política exterior, de seguridad y energética.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cette crise entre Paris et Berlin survient au pire moment imaginable depuis des décennies : l’Europe est mise à l’épreuve comme jamais.

La crise franco-allemande est d’abord celle entre Olaf Scholz et Emmanuel Macron. Car si Paris et Berlin ne parviennent pas à s’entendre depuis des mois, cela tient surtout à la relation entre les deux dirigeants qui ne se font pas confiance. L’attitude perçue comme condescendante du Président s’oppose au style du chancelier qui refuse d’expliquer ce qu’il fait.

Mais ce qui complique encore plus les choses, c’est que Scholz a une conception différente de la politique européenne et du rôle de l’Allemagne de celle de son prédécesseur.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Christmas market in front of Berlin's Charlottenburg Palace illuminated in the Ukrainian national colors on Nov. 24. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

An American friend called me the other day, having just returned from Berlin. He told me he’d been struck by how deeply Russia’s war in Ukraine has affected Germany. He could trace its impact throughout his visit. One telltale sign he mentioned — dimly lit airports and streets in the late afternoon of his arrival — seemed a bit superficial to me. That, after all, is almost nothing compared with Russia’s systematic attacks on the Ukrainian energy system and the hardships it is inflicting on the Ukrainian people. And yet his impression — as first impressions often do — had the ring of a more profound truth.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿Está Alemania enferma nuevamente?

Pueden decirse muchas cosas sobre el Presidente ruso Vladimir Putin, pero su guerra en Ucrania abrió los ojos de los europeos a algunas verdades que se han obviado durante mucho tiempo. Una es que, incluso después de más de 70 años de relativa paz en el continente, dejar de lado la seguridad militar resulta muy riesgoso. La otra es que el “sueño ecológico” de unas economías modernas alimentadas exclusivamente por energías renovables sigue estando fuera de nuestro alcance, y que el acceso fiable a un suministro de energía barata sigue siendo esencial.

Si bien la primera verdad se hizo muy evidente el día en que las tropas rusas cruzaron la frontera con Ucrania el 24 de febrero, la segunda solo ha penetrado gradualmente la conciencia pública.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sahra Wagenknecht, a leader in the Die Linke party, at a September 2018 news conference in Berlin. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The curious case of Sahra Wagenknecht can tell you a lot about the current state of German politics. Polls rank her as the country’s most popular female leader. An intensely charismatic woman, the 53-year-old Wagenknecht grew up in East Germany. She joined the ruling socialist party in 1989 and has served as a member of parliament for its successor organization, known today as Die Linke (“The Left”), since 2009. While her party is floundering, earning around 5 percent in the polls, Wagenknecht’s personal approval rating has soared.

She’s built her success by opposing covid-19 lockdowns, “woke” culture and support for Ukraine — all policies identified with a government seen as increasingly out of touch with ordinary people suffering from rising inflation and the economic effects of the pandemic.…  Seguir leyendo »

Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomes German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 4. KAY NIETFELD/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“Political leaders should have the serenity to accept the things they cannot change, the courage to change the things they can change, and the wisdom to distinguish between the two”.

This is how Chinese President Xi Jinping set the terms of his meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Beijing earlier this month, invoking the late West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who was apparently a fan of American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Serenity Prayer”.

The quote serves a precise purpose. For Xi, Scholz’s visit to China—the first by a G-7 leader after Xi’s mandate was renewed at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in October—presented an opportunity to reaffirm Beijing’s core interests.…  Seguir leyendo »