Germany

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In the mail yesterday I received my copy of the number one best-selling hardback in Germany, Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab, by Theo Sarrazin. German lacks a present continuous tense, so many English notices about the book have used the English simple present, Germany Abolishes Itself. I think the present continuous captures the authors intent much more closely. the subtitle, “Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen” can be translated, “How we are gambling with our country.”

The author, Theo Sarrazin, is an economist and veteran of the German Department of the Treasury. In 1989-90 he was the head of the Government Commission which oversaw the union of East & West Germany and managed the integration of the two currencies and economic systems. He also served on the executive management team of the German national railway and as Finance Senator for the the city of Berlin. He is a member of the left-center Social Democrat party. A man of many accomplishments, very knowledgeable on financial matters, public policy, and public finance.

His book has provoked a firestorm of criticism. He was forced to resign from the board of the German Federal Bank and there has been talk of expelling him from the Social Democrat party.

The book has not been translated into English, and I’m not aware of any US publisher who has announced plans to. It’s an important book though, with many parallels to the US situation.

Sarrazin identifies three deadly trends which he fears will prove fatal for Germany. 1) A declining birth rate; 2) Unrestricted immigration; 3) Failure of foreign immigrants to integrate into German society.

Underlying all these themes is a repeated denunciation of political correctness which has stifled debate over the problems facing Germany, and the tendency of every part of modern German culture and institutions to absolve individuals for any responsibility for their circumstances.

I’ll post more after I’ve had a chance to read more. Might even try my hand at translating a bit…

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In May of 1972, members of the German resistance group, the Red Army Faction (RAF) bombed the US Army Officers Club in Heidelberg, West Germany killing three and wounding five.

In January of 1977, an RAF commando group attacked the US Army base in Giessen in an attempt to capture nuclear weapons.

In June, 1979, the RAF attempted to assassinate the Commander of NATO, US General Alexander Haig.

In August of 1981, a carbomb exploded at the US Air Force base in Rammstein, Germany

In September of 1981, RAF commandos fired a rocket propelled grenade attack against the car carrying the US Army’s West German Commander Frederick J. Kroesen. He narrowly escaped.

In August 1985, a car bomb exploded in the parking lot across from the base commander’s building at Rhein-Main Air Force Base killing an American soldier and an American civilian and wounded 20.

Clearly, our attempts to pacify and continue to occupy Germany have failed. All US troops should be withdrawn immediately (re-deployed elsewhere?) and the West Germans should be left to work out whatever arrangements they can with the East Germans and the Russians.

Right?

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