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Germany's Day of Destiny

While 9/11 has shaped US foreign policy and national identity significantly, German identity and foreign policy has been shaped even more by 9.11. — that’s how we write "November 9th."

This is what happened on November 9th in Germany:
1848: Germany's first revolutionary dreams were killed.
1918: Proclamation of the Weimar Republic.
1923: Hitler first attempted to take over the government.
1938: The so-called Reichskristallnacht took the brutal persecution of Jews to the next level and would end in the murder of millions of people.
1989: The Berlin Wall fell.
2007: Chancellor Merkel meets with President Bush on his ranch in Crawford. The Associated Press writes that Iran is likely to dominate the talks. Let's see what secret worldshaking decisions they will make ;-)

Today, a few German papers (example Bild) feature the kids who were born in November 1989 and who now turn into adults. The Tagesspiegel writes how the unified Germany is coming of age. German foreign policy has changed tremendously in the last 18 years. Some commenters here and elsewhere argued that Germany has shown adolescent behaviour. One think tanker wrote that "German Foreign Policy Needs to Grow Up"

Regarding gratitude for President George H.W. Bush's strong support for German unification see: Day of German Unity and German-American Day

More related Atlantic Review posts: Historical Revisionism in Germany? and Two More Americans Accuse Germany of Historical Revisionism What do you think of Germany's "evolution"?

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Zyme on :

One important date was forgotten - or rather the wrong event was chosen. On November 9th 2007, our parliament is passing the bill for the Vorratsdatenspeicherung. This most likely has a bigger impact into our future than Merkel visiting Bush..

Quinn Eastman on :

It seems to be a proposal for massive data storage and mining by federal security agencies, pushed for by the Interior Minister?

Zyme on :

Today, the german parliament is going to enact a EU anti-terrorist law that makes communication providers save data at least six months from every user. This data can then be searched by the authorities to persecute "heavy crime". Here is what is saved: Every number you dial, which persons you contact by message, how long you have talked, when using a cellphone the locations of both participants is kept. Every email adress you use, where you write to and from whom you get mails. Also is saved the time you went online and for how long. The usage of anonymizers will be forbidden for EU citizens. This way, the authorities can combine the information via data processing and create a "social web" of every citizen, showing the authorities a person´s all social contacts at a glance. Journalists argue that they then have to find conspirative measures to get inofficial information from the government, as the informants could be easily traced and would risk getting uncovered. Lawyers object since they want to keep a private atmosphere between them and their clients. And finally privacy protection organisations point out that with the combination of the cell phone data, it will be easy to create a "movement profile" for every citizen. This week, 15.000 people demostrated against this legislative project in Berlin, which is a hell of a demonstration in Germany. The law is expected to go into effect at january 1st 2008. The project is called "Vorratsdatenspeicherung", literally meaning "stockpile data storage". It is the incorporation of a EU-directive: In the aftermath of terror strikes in London and Madrid, it became clear that terrorist networks can be easily uncovered when one terrorist is identified and then his social network is analysed.

Fuchur on :

Naturally, the usual suspects are crying "Big Brother!!" again... But, let's face it: The general reaction in Germany is a big yawn. IMHO, rightly so.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

I have cross-posted this on The Moderate Voice. One commenter wrote about the “Vorratsdatenspeicherung” bill as well: [quote]it gets germany back on track to become a Third Reich or a second GDR just a new “leader” who then will have total control and we should be heading in this direction not for too long. [/quote] [url=http://themoderatevoice.com/society/history/16013/germanys-day-of-destiny/#comments]http://themoderatevoice.com/society/history/16013/germanys-day-of-destiny/#comments[/url]

Pat Patterson on :

One recorded conversation on those terrible Americans, one on Heidi Klum, one on how to make organic Berliners, on one getting tickets for the next Karl May festival and the last on the trailer trash from East Germany(or the Poles or the Romanians). Yep, the government will control all this revealing information and pretty soon Germans will all be driving on the right hand side of the road.

Callimachus on :

Apologies for not alerting you to this sooner, but I saw your piece on TMV and it inspired this response. http://vernondent.blogspot.com/2007/11/passive-voice.html I tried to post comment/trackback at TMV, but I am consistently unable to do that.

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