John Seymour Chaloner, a 21-year-old major of the Westminster Dragoons, requisitioned office space and recruited a former Wehrmacht radio operator called Rudolf Augstein to create an unfettered weekly magazine.
Chaloner tolerated blunt reporting even when a first edition accused British authorities of providing starvation rations to Ruhr workers. The story caused a storm in London, but tolerance for criticism eventually prevailed. What has become Der Spiegel Magazine was launched under German control in 1947.
The Americans also moved towards reconciliation, but with some delay, while the French resisted longer. It was the British who pushed for the revival of German industry in key talks in January 1946. “They were the most liberal and led the way,” said Dr Knowles.
It would be an exaggeration to describe Armin Laschet as a committed Anglophile. The Christian Democrat candidate is a negotiator at heart who likes to keep the lines open to everyone, including Vladimir Putin. “He is from Achen (Charlemagne’s lair) and will always put the Franco-German relationship at the forefront when the going comes,” said Holger Schmieding of Berenberg Bank.
Yet Mr Laschet gave a striking answer when asked during the first presidential televised debate which country should be the European Union’s primary partner. “We have to do everything we can to keep the British very, very close to us,” he said.
You could say this is an implicit recognition that the EU has mismanaged Brexit negotiations, more or less forcing the UK into a hard Brexit by insisting on dynamic legal alignment and sweeping oversight of the European Court as a sine qua non of basic free trade.
Rather, its main anger is directed at those states that remain in the EU, eagerly spend handouts from Brussels (i.e. German taxpayers), while ignoring the EU’s rules of the game when it comes to them. fits. The British may have been thorny, but they didn’t abuse the system in that way.
When Greens candidate Annalena Baerbock was asked the same question about foreign policy, her straightforward Pavlovian response was to advocate for more “Europe”, which captures a fundamental difference in ideology. She is a reflexive supranationalist. There is little room for the democratic nation-state in its philosophy.