Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff at PostGlobal

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff

Germany

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff is a Senior Director at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a transatlantic public policy and grant-making foundation. He overseas the fund's policy programs. He was previously the Washington bureau chief of the German newsweekly, Die Zeit. Close.

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff

Germany

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff is a Senior Director at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a transatlantic public policy and grant-making foundation. more »

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My Boundless, Borderless Generation Europe

My Europe today is the continent of the Eurorail Pass, bi-national marriages, the student exchange program generation, and Germans buying houses across the river -- welcomed by the French. But as recently as the 1980s I remember things very differently. Europe changed everything for me.

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All Comments (37)

German Voice:

Well, Adolf Hitler also dreamed of the Germanisches Reich, a.k.a. European Union, but... The European Union is a socialist dictatorship and the most Europeans are against this corrupt and brutal regime. However, the European Union has no future.

Well, Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff is a diehard socialist and Die Zeit a socialist outlet, therefore, his comments are just the common socialist propaganda in order to promote the dictatorship of the European Union. FYI

km:

JRLR
"Americans and their allies defeated the Nazis..."

And the the Soviets were not our allies?

JRLR:

Sorry, CORRECTION: "Please refer to Marshall Joukov's "Memoirs" and to Oxford's Omer Bartov's "The Eastern Front: 1941-45"."

JRLR:

"Americans and their allies defeated the Nazis..."

Sorry to disappoint you. 75% of the enemy forces were on the Eastern Front and were defeated by the Soviets who took them all "by the hand" all the way to Berlin, and back to their respective countries. In the process, the Soviets liberated much of Europe and were first to open concentration camps.

Only towards the very end of WWII was the famous missing Second Front finally opened, the "Allies" preferring, by then, to be part of the solution than part of the problem. Hence the surrender of the Nazis first to the Soviets and the subsequent talks having been held in Yalta (not in London or Washington).

Please refer to Marshall Joukov's "Memoirs" and to Oxford's Omer Bartov's "The Eastern Front: 1931-45".

Kohsar240:

American Jews (not all) are the most racist group in America. What a shame. This is what happens when AIPAC is the most powerful lobby group and represents a tiny minority with narrow-minded interests. If Muslims had a similar lobby group in America, things would be much better in the Middle East and in the rest of the world. Imagine if all the energy and focus could be spent else where in the world if it wasn't for Israeli preoccupation. The world pays in many ways for the policies of this sadistic group called AIPAC.


May Allah guide racist Jews to the path of light. ;)

Felix Drost, Amsterdam:

The EU is a great success, and most of all, it is an American success.

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff and James Buchanan are both right, the Europe of endless wars, hatred and nationalism is receding and this is in many ways thanks to the influence of the US; the US has always supported the EU and its expansion; the NATO guarantee kept the Soviets from moving further westwards, Americans and their allies defeated the Nazis and paid for both the Marshall plan and for the US forces that were stationed here for decades. As Thomas so eloquently illustrates it, the fruits of this labour are very obvious. Let's not forget what it took and who helped shoulder the burden.

The Oracle:

The Atlantic Charter was written by W Churchill Aug 14,1941,before the US was even at war.
The british war cabinet was at the time insisting to put something about social security into the charter and Churchill,being the author of the first law of unemployment benefits,gave his full support.It is true that there was some discussion what this new organization should be called.
When UN was suggested all were in agreement.
Churchill quoted Byron at the time;

"Here,where the sword United Nations drew,
Our countrymen were warring on that day!
And this is much-and all-which will not pass away."

The Atlantic Charter was signed by Churchill,Roosevelt,Litvinov of Russia and Soong of China january 1,1942.22 other nations was ready to sign at that time.

Kohsar240:

A message to our Jewish friend, please don't make everything about Israel. I am tired of hearing the name Israel not because of the state or its people, but it is the Jewish spin doctors dehumanizing Muslims at every turn. Can you guys just stop slaughtering Muslims in American public sphere?

Khamas------wow---end of the world.

Khizbullah-----wow---end of the world.

Yet....Jews care less to concern themselves about the rest of the world.

Cluster bombs----oh we had to...they are terrorist....Collective Punishment....when unsophisticated, rudimentary Qassam or Katysha rocket falls on Israel....Jewish lobby in the US make it sound as if a nuclear bomb is detonated.

Sorry to have spoiled the party. Viva *E* *U*

kman:

Actually Annonymos the Creation of the United Nations began in the concluding days of World War II, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin selected San Francisco as the site of a conference to take place in April 1945. Its purpose was to plan the charter of an organization to maintain world peace. Representatives of 50 nations attended the conference.

The name "United Nations" was first suggested by President Roosevelt for the World War II alliance of the United States, United Kingdom and 26 other countries. These Allied forces met to create the Declaration of the United Nations in 1942, promising to continue to fight the Axis powers and laying the foundation for the international organization that would succeed the League of Nations (the brainchild of another US President, Woodrow Wilson). Unfortunately, President Roosevelt passed away before he could see the UN formally established. The details were discussed at two conferences-the Dumbarton Oaks conference of 1944 in Washington, DC, and the Yalta conference in 1945 located in the Crimea. In June 1945, the US hosted the UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, where members of the conference signed the United Nations Charter. President Harry Truman attended the final session of the conference to show his support, and on July 28, 1945, the US Senate ratified the Charter. The Charter went into effect on October 24, 1945, now celebrated internationally as UN Day.

Tarik:

Some in America think that we must remain perpetually involved in foreign wars. This will shift the focus from its internal problems.
The "army of the black and the brown"must never be allowed to come home. Just like the Romans who had decreed that its legions must remain outside the city walls.

But who can stem the tide of History which has a nasty habit of changing loyalty.
Every thing starts with change in character.
For"character is Destiny".


What is the fun in invading a country like Irak which is 1/10 of your size. Or Nicarague or Panama or Grenada which are even smaller.
Problem is it makes you lose sense of proportion and judgement. You become vain and pompous.
The generation that fought WW2 were men of a different race! They were real solders. They were also gentlemen.
Things changed since Vietnam.
There is deep anger and frustration in the Veteran soldier.( He may not say it out loud- that wont be patriotic).
And why not when he is the only person to have made the sacrifice while others are busy enjoying their lives and making money.
This is not how a nation fights wars.
This is the change in Character.


Anonymous:

Winston Churchill is the most quoted man in history and anyone with a particular point of view can find a quote to support his allegations.
I agree that he was a visionary and I enjoy having read his works about WW1 and WW2.
By reading this it will become clear that rooting out fascism as an idea was imperative and that without achieveing this,
there could never be peace in Europe.
He always believed there was going to be more war simply because WW1 was never completed.
The rooting out of the prussian militaristic culture was the lasting result of his efforts.
By the way he was the founder of the UN,he wrote the atlantic treaty which the whole organization is based upon.
He was all for a democratic and prosperous world with common and fair rules for security and trade.
It will also become clear that he had the same opinion about the american press then as I have now.

brian mcc, the arctic:

Europe is a living history novel. Some have dispersed to the new world, or the world down under, the soldiers that fought WWII are all but dead now. For generations to learn the reasons of conflicts past, and take that wisdom forward ...war is the same from day 1 to 2007: death. My father is 82. He was 20 when a sniper in France took out his left and right hand man. I am his son and echo his question, 'why me lord, at the age of 20, to be sparred?' So you can live to be 83 with that purple heart and schrapnel in the lower back. His father came from Ireland during the mass-migration of the 1910's. I am typical Irish; we'll fight when we have to, but we prefer peace and a guiness stout to wash away the bad memories.

DNTN:

WHERE WOULD ANYONE HERE WANT TO LIVE OR TAKE A VACATION? EUROPE OR USA?

People should read about history (WWI-present), look up all the statistics and be honest about discussing them without the political baggage since none of us are running for political office here.

Considering how Europe, especially Germany (and Russia) were so destroyed, I think it is quite an achievement that Europe industries /economy/institutions surge on since the 80's. And despite the Cold War years and the many hindrances/political assassinations, the EU finally got its start - though it remains to be seen as to how the power structure will ultimately lie. May Real Democracy live on in the EU dream at last for the rest of us!

Kohsar240:

Compared to other regions of the world, Europe's Union is celebratory, indeed. Congratulations to all!

kman:

President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have courageously restricted Iran’s influence by toppling the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq. However, these are ongoing terrorist wars. We will still lose those wars if our nations don’t unite behind our leaders. That is almost certainly not going to happen.

Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush had the vision to see that our nations can’t win the war against terrorism without using our power!

Most of our politicians, the press and our universities do not understand terrorism—nor do they understand history! Winston Churchill said “the history of man is war.” Misinformed people like to believe that is not true.

Superpowers cannot survive in this evil, warring world without the will to wage long, hard wars. This is the real world in which we live; fantasies won’t change that reality.

In the 1930s, Winston Churchill warned Britain and America about Hitler. The politicians, media and educational institutions were overwhelmingly pacifist and against him (request our free booklet Winston S. Churchill: The Watchman). In fact, he stood alone among world leaders! And it almost cost us victory in World War II! We have learned virtually nothing from Churchill’s warning. In fact, the pacifists have grown much stronger today

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
Winston Churchill"
http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=+Churchill+wanted+to+win+the+war+at+any+price.+&btnG=Search&meta=

Erik USA:

It surprises me how hostile some are to the concept of a United Europe. I've traveled to the European parlaiment and spoken with several members of that legislative body. I think all of us can recognize that Europe has come a long way since the ravages of war and the political power plays of the Cold War. It has become more democratic, more inclined to utilize soft power and developed institutions to ensure that new members adopt Democratic Reforms.

Granted I do believe many Europeans are nervous about the growing muslim population. But over time through education and enhanced awareness average europeans can eventually not view muslims as a threat to their way of life. Much is the same with Mexicans in the United States.

My last comment is about the U.S. and Europe. I agree the U.S. has played a significant role in re-habilitating Europe. I would posit that as exampled by the controversy of the Iraq war, the U.S. is beginning to take its relationship with the EU for granted. The U.S. should not be so quick to dismiss europes potential simply because European governments prefer soft power. There is an opportunity here for Europe and the U.S. to deepen their relationship and find a common ground between their approach to world policy. Its only a matter of time before someone recognizes this potential.

Anonymous:

"Peace is a product of aggressive vigilance and the willingness to flatten the enemy BEFORE he's rolling his damned tanks down Main Street."
If recent history has anything to teach us it is that peace and material progress goes hand in hand.Much more can be done for the prosperity of the world with fair world trade than with fearbased paranoid ignorance.

James Buchanan:

Don't let the name fool you, I'm a mutt. Mostly Romanian ancestry, but the truth is I can't tell an ethnic joke without insulting someone in my family...

Even if Europe somehow manages to deal with the surging Muslim situation, I am absolutely curious to see how they handle a resurgent Russian threat. Putin's presidency ought to be making people nervous.

Halozcel:

Charlemange 747-814.Father of Europe,he was the first ruler of western europe empire since the fall of roman empire.

Otto the Great 912-973.Founder of holy roman german empire known as First Reich.

Napoleon 1804-1821.italian originated french emperor and commander.He was a homosexual.He tried to unify europe but fail.

Second Reich.1871-1918 Wilhelm and Bismarck tried to unify europe but they fail.

Third Reich,Hitler 1933-1945.He was blooddrinker insane.He failed to unify europe.

Today,European Empire called european union oriented by Germany.Although EU is an economical giant,
aber keine sexual potency,leider funktionier nicht,vielleicht eines tages?

Nobody knows what happen 50 years later.

ken murray:

Jan McNutt USA
"Australians can't know anything except the asian invasion."
That's right Jan -Australians never get to leave their own country and travel the world.
"Self agrandizing statements"??? Show me just one.

As for the rest of your post it's just gibberish and I had don't have a clue of what you are talkimg about.

fiver:

All Hail Europe! With Communism destroyed, Europe is again free to celebrate its most cherished values of racism, classism, and subjugation. The proletarians of the U.S. can not only take care of European defense (against the horrible things that threaten her), but European multi-national corporations can also manipulate the U.S. into aggressive warfare to protect the economic and natural resources consumed almost entirely by Europeans.

After all, a not too distant relative of European Royalty has been installed as leader of the U.S. To the historically famous traits of the Royals such as constitutional weakness, arrogance, insanity and blood-lust, GWB has excelled in the Noble traits most valued in the multi-national corporate sector - idiocy, pliancy, and amorality.

We can again openly rejoice in the slogan that will live as Europe's single greatest mark in history - "Freedom through Work." Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Europa! God help us all.

Andrew:

Why do so many folks focus only on the role of the US in WWII? The UK had a pretty big role too and let's not forget the Soviet Union which sacrificed more than all 'Western' countries to overcome Nazism.

Much US power came from strategically dismantling and bankrupting the British Empire, allowing the US to step into the role that the British used to carry out in C19. And as for the Aussies, they must surely remember that in WWII and WWI, they were in fact British and their armies were components of the British military. In fact, Australia only gained significant independence from the UK in 1986.

The EU is now the world's largest trading bloc and in many senses is a union. US states have more independence in some decision making than EU member states. Forget China and India - if Europe makes the same progress in the next 50 years as it did in the last, the center of the world politically as well as economically will shift back to the place from where our Western civilization was born. Europe was the dominant area of the world for hundreds of years - it was 2 wars in the last century and US/Soviet opportunism that led to its temporary demise. It will surely match is economic power with its political power much sooner than most believe.

rk, Oakland, USA:

While it is true that Germany and France do not
always share the zeal that some American governments
have for having the rest of the world do just what it wants, when it wants it to, that sort of thing is to be expected in democracies. Some times the stars
[and the political leanings of those running the governments] line up and good and useful things are
accomplished. It seems that the biggest problem that
some on the right have with Europe is that the governments there are just not distrusted enough
by its citizens. And, when they see a highly regulated and highly taxed corporation whose workers
have generous union contracts doing quite well, it
makes their blood boil in such a way that they must want to outsource some more American jobs to
China [that bastion of freedom]. As for me, if I
could speak 2 or 3 languages, I'd be tempted to
move to Europe if they would have me.


R. Evans:

Thanks to Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff for his paean to the gentle giant. It is telling that the reactions from Americans (and one Australian) are so insular. As an American living in Europe, I have seen my children cross borders and become a part of the Erasmus generation. The language barriers are still there - it adds an extra year to your studies to master a language and culture. BUT WHAT A YEAR! Those that do it, get an insight into their own mindset and culture that makes them sensitive and aware of the beauty of human diversity. Maybe that's why they aren't particularly worried by their Muslim brothers and sisters in their midst. My experience is that Europeans are thankful for the America liberators: Eisenhower, Marshall, Reagan - but they also know that it wouldn't have happened without Churchill, Degaulle and Landsbergis. There are enough heroes to go around. The generation of Americans that saved Europe has mostly died off now - what's ruling America (and Australia) now is a bunch of chicken hawks who think war (waged by other peoples' sons) is a baseball game.

Anonymous:

Australian and american help defeating facism in europe in WWII should not be forgotten,but it seems like the ideals they were fighting for,has.
Remember the atlantic charter?The undermining of the legitimacy of all international institutions is pervasive and continuing to this day.
The reelection of George made me give up hope for an american future."The American Dream" only sells among people who do not know better.
When I grew up in the eighties,europe was divided.Communist regimes were the norm in east europe.The last year I have been to Warsawa in Poland and Riga in Latvia for vacation.We have made friends of former enemies.The material growth and drive in these new and coming countries are staggering.In time the rest of the countries in east europe will also be integrated into the european family.
I have been a subscriber to Newsweek for a long time and I have noticed that whenever europe is written about,the angle is always negative.
--Europe,our last great chance for peace--

eric (USA):

referring to the post above,

"peace in our time" was what neville chamberlain said, the brit PM, as he waved the Munich agreement that had secured a promise of "peace in our time" from Hitler's Nazi regime in 1938

not an american president

of course, believing in a happy, peaceful world didnt work out too well for Britain and France a few years later during WW2, did it?

blind trust is naive, idealistic, and presumes the lack of any people who mean harm to you
of course its a fine sentiment to strive for peace, but it always pays to be a little cautious, no?

nowadays germany is all fine and peaceful, but if europeans like to think that the rest of the world is all happy-go-lucky, democratic, and would never stoop to nibble at territory...

German-Furman:

Hitler once said:

"The U.S. will not bring peace to the Europe. We will fight them with our mighty panzers adn stukas."

If you don't think Europe is stable because of the U.S., you are agreeing with Hitler.

Jan McNutt USA:

Well it takes an Australian and American Irishman to drive home the truth about Mr. Kleine-Brokhoff's statements about Europe. Their self agrandizing statements of what they are and what they stand for is so typical of the "I'm the tough guy around here and that's all that counts" attitude. They are the ones who will believe that war is the perpetual state of the world. They will consistently expouse the truth of strong defense and power to overcome what they view as the evil in the world. I know. My fathr was one of them. He was a self admitted "pessimist." When the two Germany's finally united at the end of his life, he changed and began to believe. It was, perhaps the final stages in the beginning of the Europe I grew up in.

Yes, I'm an American that grew up in Europe and I say to those who don't believe in the new Europe, that they don't know. Especially those Australians who live down under and can't know anything except the Asian invasion which will eventually take them over. That will be the only good thing that can ever happen to them.

We need people who believe in Peace because war as a everlasting solution is not the answer, Aussies and right wing power hungry Americans aside. Yes, the shared sense of destiny is the ideal of peace in our time. Didn't a great American president say that? And, yes it is Europe that draws us all to the hope that Peace in our time will actually happen. They were the crux of Western civilization, they are the hope of civilization for the future of the West. Unfortunately some of those whose ancestors came from there just chose to forget.

ORL:

"I actually look forward to the day when American troops are withdrawn from Europe and NATO is disbanded..."

I support that without reservation. Let's have it yesterday. After all, stretched as it is, the US needs all the troops it can muster...

Ken Murray Australia:


James Buchanan is right.

The peace and prosperity enjoyed in Europe over the last 60 years is due to two things...one the Marshall Plan which rebuilt a shattered Europe while the US opened wide it's trading doors and the American nuclear shield which ensured that Red armies would not be marching further through Europe.
Having liberated hundreds of millions of subjagated Europeans from a brutal nazi occupation and provided the ways and means to wealth and prosperity while defending them at the same time - you would think that Europeans would be a little grateful to the US,but no the reverse is all too true,especially by Germany and France -the very nations who have caused the bulk of European instability and war casualities.

France especially has undermines the United States at every possible opportunity and were the main opponents of the UN backing of the US in Iraq because of France's lucrative deals with Saddam.France also violated UN santions on exporting arms to Iraq, which obviously were and are being used today against coalition forces.

Thomas Sewell said....
"How many times, in its thousands of years of history, has Europe gone 60 years without a major war, as it has since World War II? That peace has been due to American nuclear weapons, which was all that could deter the Soviet Union's armies from marching right across Europe to the Atlantic Ocean.

Having overwhelming military force on your side, and letting your enemies know that you have the guts to use it, is being genuinely anti-war. Chamberlain's appeasement brought on World War II and Reagan's military buildup ended the Cold War.

But Europeans don't get too smug about the good times because they will be soon over, with a PC multicultism Europe being swamped with an evergrowing Muslim population which already taking over major European cities, and projections show that most of cities in Europe will have muslim majorities by 2050 (Worldwide 50% of people under 21 will be muslims)and that means Sharia Law.As far as I am concerned- Europeans deserve everything they get.

This is from one Auistralian who thanks the US for who they are and for all they have done for ensuring peace and prosperity for my country and most of the world.

brian mcc:

TK-B, thank you for the plug to N. Ireland. A historic moment this week, and history itself deemed but a footnote in the book. The eyes of the world are on this peace-process, it has come a long way, will it make it to tomorrow? And the parallel from Europe to the middle East: if it can be done in N. Ireland, it can be done in Isreal.

JoJo:

WOW! James Buchanan, I can't even imagine what it must be like to spend a day with you. Do you really look forward to everything that you proclaimed? I bet you have lived alone for a very long time...and will continue to do so, unhappily. You're attitude is exactly what's wrong with the good ol' US of A.

James Buchanan:

Its a nice feeling, congratulations on breeding your backbone into jelly under the protection of an American shield. I'm sure you'll be revising history soon enough to read how all the waves of feel good conviviality held back the mighty Soviet army...

I actually look forward to the day when American troops are withdrawn from Europe and NATO is disbanded by a wave of inept pacifism. You deserve the fate that will befall you. Its my sincere hope that Eastern Europe sees what has become of the major central European "powers" and rails like crazy against it. Lets see you defend yourselves without us.

mjames:

Spain seems happy to keep up the fence that separates Melilla and Ceuta from Morocco, while the rest of Europe is happy to keep non-European immigrants out.

JRLR:

epitomy = epitome

JRLR:

What you wrote reminds me of Europe as I first knew it "in the flesh", in the '60's. Makes me nostalgic..., yet so proud of its achievements.

At a time when fence after fence, wall after wall are being erected in North America, in the Middle East, in Asia (?), etc., to me also Europe now "means (more than ever) freedom and opportunity". But it also means enormous progress, prosperity, as much as it represents the epitomy of civilization and of a civilized life, in a world gone berserk.

That this sense of shared destiny be long lasting!

Barry:

I have one slight quibble; I was stationed in Germany in the early 1980's, in Baumholder (Rheinland Palatinate, ~60 (?) miles SE of Frankfurt. The Rhine (in Germany) was not a national border at that time.

But other than that, a good point. As Prof. Brad DeLong has pointed out, it's been over a half century since an army has crossed the Rhein 'bearing fire and sword'; the right-wing in the USA seems to feel that that's a curse, rather than a blessing.

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