Condoleezza Rice on German Reunification

‘I Preferred To See It as an Acquisition’

AFP

When reunification negotiations took place in the Two-Plus-Four talks between East and West Germany and the occupying powers — the United States, Britain, France and Russia — Condoleezza Rice served as then-President George H.W. Bush’s adviser on Eastern European policy. In a SPIEGEL interview, Rice says of the talks: "There was no Plan B. It was to make Plan A work."

Reuters

Condoleezza Rice is pictured here in August 2005 with then-President George W. Bush. After working under his father, she would later become the younger Bush’s national security advisor and, later, secretary of state.

REUTERS

Of the possibility of reunification in 1989, Rice says, "as soon as I saw the stirrings in Eastern Europe in August and September of 1989 … it was pretty clear that Communist power was done."

AP

Here, then-US President George H.W. Bush meets with then West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl at Camp David in 1990 to discuss reunification. "The United States — and President Bush recognized that Germany had gone through a long democratic transition. … For us the question wasn’t should Germany unify? It was how and under what circumstances," Rice says today.

AFP

Speaking of the rift between Germany and Washington experienced years later during the Iraq war, Rice says: "Allies have a right to disagree. My only disappointment about Iraq was the picture of the German chancellor standing with the French president and the Russian president to protest the war. I have no problem with Germany disagreeing, but the Russian president should not have been standing there given our history."

In a SPIEGEL interview, former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discusses America’s fight for German reunification, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s woes at the time, Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s merits and the later mistakes of his successor, Gerhard Schröder.

SPIEGEL: Madame Secretary, when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, European nations like Great Britain and France were very worried about the prospect of German unification. America was the only country that didn’t appear to be concerned. Why not?

Condoleezza Rice: The United States — and President George H.W. Bush — recognized that Germany had gone through a long democratic transition. It had been a good friend, it was a member of NATO. Any issues that had existed in 1945, it seemed perfectly reasonable to lay them to rest. For us, the question wasn’t should Germany unify? It was how and under what circumstances? We had no concern about a resurgent Germany, unlike the British or French.

Read More>>

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: