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Happy Birthday, Freedom!

Current Issue

Let’s drink a toast, let’s have a party, let’s light 25 torches of freedom! 25 years ago on November 9, the Wall that imprisoned Berlin died, and freedom was reborn.
This is a birthday party in print. You’re invited!

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Close cooperation is key

The US and Europe must stay together

By Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

September 26, 2014

Ten years ago, German-American relations were strained. For this reason, Detlef Prinz and Theo Sommer decided to bring more news from Germany to the United States and created The Atlantic Times. They wanted to increase understanding and strengthen transatlantic cooperation at a time of global interconnectivity and interdependence.

Both Prinz and Sommer acted under the immediate impact of the war in Iraq and the diverging US and European views on this conflict. And yet, their goal has never been as pertinent as it is today because – and I will never tire of repeating this – close transatlantic cooperation is key if we want to handle the growing number of vital security challenges surrounding us.

While we celebrate 25 years of the fall of the Berlin Wall, questions of war and peace have returned to the European continent. The crisis in Ukraine is challenging the post World War II security architecture, a system of cooperative security that has taken generations to build, since the Helsinki Accords in 1975, the Paris Charter in 1990 and the development of NATO’s partnership policy.

Read more: Close cooperation is key


Think in The Interest of the People

Why we should have the courage to seize the real transatlantic opportunity

By Klaus F. Zimmermann

September 26, 2014

In the world of global commerce, two insights stand out: First, the global trading system badly needs a shot in the arm, all the more so as the World Trade Organizastion’s (WTO) so-called Bali round, agreed to in December 2013, has run into trouble. And second, at a time when it is increasingly difficult to arrive at growth-enhancing global agreements, regional agreements rise in importance as an alternate route for progress on trade liberalization.

The launch of the new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), announced in June 2013, represents a promising step in that direction. But even though governments and business organizations were keen to get going, the negotiating process had not even started in full when the bickering about what’s “on the table” and “off the table” was already in full swing.

As a result, the negotiations got bogged down quickly in ever more mind-numbing details. The movement toward an agreement had slowed even before the NSA scandal arose. The latter incident offered some politicians in Europe a platform to call for a timeout on any new trade agreement with the United States.

Read more: Think in The Interest of the People


Hearts and minds – and “candy bombers”

The “air-side” hangar doors on the eastern wing of the former Tempelhof Airport (top). Berlin kids watching Allied planes in hopes of getting “bombed” with candy during the airlift.

Berlin’s Allied Museum revisits the American history of Tempelhof Airport

By Klaus Grimberg

September 26, 2014

Aid came from the skies every three minutes. US and British transport planes rattled unceasingly overhead and landed in the heart of Berlin – at Tempelhof Airport. During the Soviet blockade of West Berlin from June 24, 1948 to May 12, 1949 the besieged city’s two million inhabitants were supplied by Allied planes in an unprecedented airlift. This incomparable act of solidarity made Tempelhof famous – as the gateway to freedom.

The Berlin Airlift went down in history as a logistical masterpiece and decisive action against Soviet provocation. And the American and British pilots flew not just into the annals, but also into Berliners’ hearts when they threw sweets out of the planes as they were coming in to land. These packages drifted down on little parachutes into the hands of eager children. From then on, the planes were called “candy bombers.”

The airlift made Tempelhof a legendary part of the German-American friendship. Nowhere was it more clearly manifested that former enemies would become friends. In West Berlin and far beyond, French, British, and above all, American soldiers were increasingly no longer regarded as occupiers; they were considered to be guardians against Soviet Communism, which had extended its sphere far into central Europe after World War II.

Read more: Hearts and minds – and “candy bombers”