“Justice must be Done”

COLOGNE On the occasion of the anniversary of the Nazis’ November Pogroms, german-foreign-policy.com (gfp.com) spoke with the chairs of two prominent citizens’ initiatives about German commemorative culture and Germany’s responsibility for Nazi crimes. They are Hans-Rüdiger Minow spokesperson for the Board of Directors of the “Train of Commemoration” and Christoph Schwarz, spokesperson for the Board of Directors of “Stolen Children – Forgotten Victims.”

german-foreign-policy.com: ‘The 70th Anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp will be commemorated in January. Its survivors will look toward Germany. Would this be a reason for you to take stock?

Hans-Rüdiger Minow (“Train of Commemoration”): Should the survivors actually look toward Germany on January 27, 2015, they will do it with much bitterness and anger. Even in the seventieth year since these mass crimes, the Federal Republic of Germany is still refusing to live up to its inherited responsibilities.

Minow: Today they are German citizens. Even in relationship to its own citizens, Berlin does not acknowledge that the Federal Republic of Germany is heir to all the deeds and crimes committed by its predecessor government. On the other hand, Berlin does claim all the rights of this predecessor government, if it means a repudiation of this heritage.

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US and China: The Fight for Latin America

According to Robert Valencia, China is vying for greater economic influence in Latin America, to include possibly constructing and operating an alternative ‘Panama Canal’ through Nicaragua. One unanticipated consequence of this burgeoning US-China rivalry, Valencia observes, is that it might push Latin American countries closer together.

During the first weekend of June, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California to discuss cyber espionage and territorial claims in the Pacific Rim. While tension on these topics has hogged the headlines, the fight for influence in another area could be even more important—Latin America. Other emerging markets in Africa, where China has an overwhelming influence due to foreign direct investment in mining and oil, also offer economic opportunities, but Latin America has an abundance of natural resources, greater purchasing power, and geographic proximity to the United States, which has long considered Latin America as its “backyard.” Continue reading