Germany

Dan Saelinger illustration for Foreign Policy

Can Social Democrats Save the World (Again)?

Communism and democratic socialism won’t heal today’s political divisions. But social democracy—which helped ward off extremism following World War II—could.

An AfD election brochure in Russian and German

Immigrants Are Big Fans of Germany’s Anti-Immigrant Party

The fiercest devotees of the far-right AfD aren’t native Germans but migrants from Russia.

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The Words That Explained the World in 2019

A look at terms from India and El Salvador to South Korea and Ukraine.

The BT-9 guard tower, part of the 
Berlin Wall exhibit at the Newseum in Washington before its closure in December.

Why the Berlin Wall Still Matters

Fragments of the wall have become museum pieces. But with the rise of extremist parties in Germany, the debate over the barrier’s legacy is anything but history.

Kevin Kühnert gives a speech during an extraordinary congress of the Social Democratic Party in Bonn on Jan. 21, 2018.

Germany’s OK Boomer Moment

Millennials on the left and right are getting tired of their country’s politics of centrism—and trouble in the governing coalition shows it.

German Green party co-leader Robert Habeck is shown as he tours the venue prior to a two-day party congress in Bielefeld, western Germany on Nov. 14.

How to Say Emmanuel Macron in German

Robert Habeck established himself outside major parties, has sweeping plans for Europe’s future—and is getting ever closer to taking power in Berlin.

US President Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at Winfield House, London on Dec. 3, 2019.

NATO Defense Funds Have Been Building for Years, but Trump Wants the Credit

Renewed defense spending by European states is in part a response to Russian aggression.

(L-R) Leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom Geert Wilders, Belgian Vlaams Belang party member Gerolf Annemans, Italy's League party leader, Matteo Salvini, president of the French National Rally party, Marine Le Pen, and others at a rally of European nationalists ahead of European elections on May 18 in Milan.

How Europe’s Nationalists Became Internationalists

Many European far-right parties made their mark by railing against the EU. Now they are appealing to a pan-European identity to further their goal of a racially pure, white Christian continent.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping speak to the press in Berlin on July 5, 2017.

Europe’s Backlash Against Huawei Has Arrived

Resistance to Chinese technology is growing in Germany—and the ripple effects could reach across the continent.

U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee Nov. 20, 2019 in Washington.

Our Top Weekend Reads

Impeachment drama on full display in Washington, fallout of the U.S. recognition of Israeli settlements, and the legacy of Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Foreign Policy illustration/Getty Images and AP photos

The Kaiser’s Family Wants Its Stuff Back. Germany Isn’t Sure They Deserve It.

The former royal family lost countless artworks, palaces, and wealth in the 20th century. But were they victims—or enablers of the Nazis?

People from East Germany greet citizens of West Germany at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Dec. 22, 1989, after the fall of the Berlin Wall the month before.

We Weren’t Ready for a World Without Walls

The fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago was a giddy moment, but the subsequent rush to tear down walls everywhere has yielded a global system in which bad actors are no longer held accountable. 

Demonstrators hold posters of U.S. President Donald Trump depicted as Adolf Hitler during the Women's March in Barcelona on Jan. 21.

Don’t Call Donald Trump a Fascist

What it means to brand today’s right-wing leaders with the F-word—and why you probably shouldn’t.

Christine Lagarde and Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann

Germany Chooses Economic Nostalgia Over Saving the Planet

Central bankers are recognizing they have the power and responsibility to fight climate change. The Bundesbank would rather not.

A Huawei Lego model on display at the 10th Global Mobile Broadband Forum in Zurich on Oct. 15.

Germany Chooses China Over the West

Berlin’s refusal to shut Huawei out of its 5G networks weakens Europe’s prospects of standing up to Beijing.

Participants seen holding flags during the National Rosary

Why Poland’s Populists Keep Winning

PiS won by offering provincial voters social benefits that transformed their lives. If Poland’s opposition wants to defeat the illiberal ruling party, it will have to offer an alternative welfare state model.

A worker walks in front of pipes stacked at the Nord Stream 2 facility in Sassnitz, Germany, on Oct. 19, 2017.

With Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2, Putin Is Getting Ready to Put the Screws on Europe

The new pipeline won’t deliver energy security. It will make the EU more dependent on a capricious Russia.

Alice Weidel speeks with former Christian Democrat Erika Steinbach during an AfD election campaign event on Sept. 6, 2017 in Pforzheim, Germany.

Germany’s New Ultranationalist Intelligentsia

The far-right is associated with the disaffected masses—but has a growing intellectual class.

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Repent for Your Frequent Flyer Miles!

Feeling guilty for the carbon burned on your last flight? The Germans have a word for that.

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