Reconciliation

The inability to accept the past by Japanese leaders stands in stark contrast to Germany's clear acknowledgment of its responsibility for the Holocaust. The deep layers of reconciliation Germany developed with France, Poland, Israel, and the Czech Republic stand in contrast to Japan's apologies to its neighbors, which have been thin, intermittent, and devoid of follow-up in bilateral policies toward China and South Korea that show a genuine desire to make amends. Germany’s experience—apologize, offer compensation, build other relationship—can serve as a guideline for continuing reconciliation in East Asia.

A Proposal for Historical Reconciliation: The “Dokdo Movement” of Korean Americans in the Washington Area

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Watching the daily lives of Korean Americans, one thing stands out: the way they live. Korean Americans are distinct, from the wrapping paper they use at dry cleaners, their supermarkets, their senior citizens associations, Korean restaurants, or even the inside of their
cars. The reason for Korean Americans’ distinction is Dokdo, a small group of islets between
Korea and Japan. Wherever there are Korean Americans you will find objects or people related to Dokdo. That does not mean, however, that Korean Americans are obsessed with
it …

Compensation as a Mechanism of Reconciliation? Lessons from the German Payments for Nazi Forced and Slave Labor

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In the growing scholarly discussion on reconciliation after violent conflicts, compensation
payments to former victims are described as a fundamental tool besides apologies, truth
commissions, or trials. Germany’s confrontation with its Nazi past is generally considered
a role model. Even if there is no consensus about a definition, “reconciliation” can be described as a process that offers former enemies a way to a shared future. The aim is to
overcome the past, but not to forget it …

The Role of the German Jewish Community in Postwar Germany’s International Recognition

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In a new Transatlantic Perspectives essay, DAAD/AICGS Fellow Prof. Dr. Michael Brenner analyzes the role the Jewish past and the small contemporary Jewish community played in the foreign policy of the two German states before 1989, and to a smaller extent of unified Germany. The symbolic role the Jewish community played in the recognition of West Germany as a major player on the international stage was one of importance, Prof. Dr. Brenner argues, but in contrast, only during its last years of existence did the GDR use its official Jewish community to improve its foreign relations.

Different Beds, Same Nightmare: The Politics of History in Germany and Japan

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In Policy Report 39, “Different Beds, Same Nightmare: The Politics of History in Germany and Japan,” Professor Thomas Berger examines the characteristics of Germany and Japan that have shaped how the two countries respond to their histories from the Second World War. Citing differences in their histories, reckonings, and international political contexts, Professor Berger shows how despite these differences, Germany’s successes can provide a roadmap for reconciliation in northeast Asia.

Sixty Years After the Founding of the Jewish State: Are German-Israeli Relations Still “Special”?

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In the sixty years since Israel’s founding, German-Israeli relations have been nothing if not complex. On the occasion of Israel’s sixtieth anniversary, the essays in German-American Issues 8 examine the issues of remembrance, the fading of the survivor generation, the new challenges faced by both countries in the twenty-first century, and the idea of a “normal” relationship between Germany and Israel. This volume features essays written by Michael Brenner, Lily Gardner Feldman, Harald Kindermann, Shimon Stein, and Frank Stern.