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In this issue

 

Enough!

‘We need each other as partners’
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met with US Secretary of State John Kerry on July 12. During a one-hour bilateral meeting in Vienna on the sidelines of the Iran nuclear talks, they discussed possible fallout from the spy scandal. Both stressed that German-American ties were indispensable and were independent of the current dispute.

Germany and America are “great friends,” Kerry said. Steinmeier stressed that despite “some tribulations” over the past few weeks, “we want to work on re-invigorating ties on a foundation of trust and mutual respect.” He expected “a strong contribution” from the Americans, Steinmeier said.

Speaking to the Atlantic Times after the meeting with Kerry, Steinmeier said: “All differences of opinion aside and especially in view of the international flashpoints, we need each other as partners.”

Spy case – Germany asks CIA resident to leave

By Rüdiger Rossig

July 14, 2014

Power Women” was the title of Germany’s highest-profile talk show on the first Sunday in July. Host Günther Jauch had invited two powerful German women - Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Margot Kässmann the former head of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) – and one American: Hillary Clinton, former US secretary of state.

Jauch would not have strayed from his topic had it not been revealed two days earlier that an employee of the BND, the German foreign intelligence agency, had been arrested. He is suspected of having spied for a foreign power, and, surprisingly, not for Russia but allegedly for the US.

Clinton showed a great deal of understanding for Germany’s outrage over the mole within the BND. The US was “very aware of the sensitivity of our partners.” But she said many Americans also were unaware that in Germany “friends and neighbors spied on each other just a few years ago and that in the past you could trust no one.”

It is true that Germany experienced two dictatorships in the 20th century – the totalitarian Nazi regime and authoritarian communism in East Germany. And that plays a role in Germany’s extreme sensitivity over surveillance and privacy. But when anger boils over across the political spectrum, the shadows of history are not the only explanation.

Read more: Enough!

 

Consumer rights or GDP growth?

All you need to know about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: facts and figures, pros and cons

By Heike Buchter, Wolfgang Uchatius und Petra Pinzler

July 14, 2014

Sometimes when Don Shawcroft rides on horseback through the expanses of the western prairie, he thinks of Europe. Alongside him, hoofs thunder and whips crack as his cowboys drive a herd of black cattle, a few hundred thousand dollars with horns.

Shawcroft and his men are heading for Colorado’s San Juan Mountains where, at an altitude of 3,000 meters (1.86 miles), the livestock will spend the summer, breathing the fresh air and eating the succulent mountain grass. Then they go back to the stables and get a hormone capsule in their ear.

Shawcroft, 55, wears a broad-rimmed hat and spurs on his boots, just like his father and grandfather did. The Shawcrofts have been raising cattle for 135 years. Their livelihood has stayed the same, but its methods have changed.

The capsules contain growth hormone, which is released into the steers’ bodies. With it the cattle need less feed and reach their carcass weight faster. Feed prices have soared in recent years. Don Shawcroft is an entrepreneur, after all.

Read more: Consumer rights or GDP growth?

   

Fighting for recognition

Jewish soldiers during WWI: Channukah service on the eastern front in 1916.

Many Jews who served in the Germany army in WWI saw it as a path to equality – but prejudice prevailed

By Thomas Schuler

July 14, 2014

In August 1914 in Munich, 23-year-old Ernst Toller volunteered for frontline duty and was bitterly disappointed: “It’s not easy to become a soldier,” he wrote. The barracks are overflowing with volunteers, he is turned away from the infantry and cavalry. He is told to wait. The next morning, he presented himself at the artillery division, the doctor examined him and shook his head. Toller, afraid that he won’t be accepted, says appearances are deceptive. “I’m strong and healthy, I must be accepted, I want to go to war,” he says. The doctor smiles good-naturedly, Toller is in. He is relieved: “The old second-hand uniform hangs loose on my limbs, the boots are too tight and my feet hurt, but I’m proud, I’m a soldier at last, admitted to the ranks of the defenders of the fatherland.”

The pacifist Lion Feuchtwanger also served, albeit not voluntarily. The 30-year-old writer was conscripted in Munich, but served for only a few months before being discharged. Shortsighted and not used to taking orders, he found the barracks drill difficult to cope with. He was clumsy and suffered a gastric hemorrhage. He later wrote that the whole thing had been a pointless exercise.

Read more: Fighting for recognition