History

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?

Iranian monarchists on Aug. 27, 1953, after staging a successful coup.

The United States Overthrew Iran’s Last Democratic Leader

Despite a campaign of historical revisionism in Washington, the archival record makes clear that the U.S. government was the key actor in the 1953 coup that ousted Mohammad Mosaddeq—not the Iranian clergy.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with his Lithuanian counterpart, Saulius Skvernelis.

Lithuania Is Forming a New Relationship With Its Past—and With Israel

As political ties flourish, the country is taking tenuous steps to confront its Holocaust history. But it hasn’t gone far enough.

A protester with a sticker on his head reading "Vox Now" in reference to the Spanish far-right party Vox takes part in a demonstration in Madrid on Feb. 10.

Digging Up a Dictator Won’t End Spain’s Divisions

The Spanish government just moved a step closer to disinterring the remains of Francisco Franco. But as the country heads for yet another election, a new book shows that voters have other priorities.

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Blast From the Past

Forty years ago, a U.S. satellite detected the telltale signs of a nuclear explosion. An analysis of the evidence today points to a clandestine nuclear test, a Carter administration cover-up, and only one country that was willing and able to carry it out: Israel.

A man holds a picture with Macedonian national hero Goce Delcev in front of the parliament building in Skopje on June 23, 2018 during a protest against the new name of the country, the Republic of North Macedonia.

Refighting the Balkan Wars Won’t Lead to a Seat at the Table in Brussels

Historical feuds still threaten to stop Eastern European countries from joining the EU.

An election campaign poster from the far-right Alernative fuer Deutschland (AfD) reads: "We are the people!" in Zehdenick in the federal state of Brandenburg, eastern Germany, on August 28, 2019, ahead of state elections.

Germany’s Far-Right Freedom Fighters

Eastern Germans increasingly claim to have freed themselves from communists, only to have been taken over by another dictatorship: western Germany.

A wine vessel attributed to the Niobid Painter of Athens.

Pandora’s Vox

Thousands of years ago, the ancient Greeks anticipated robots and artificial intelligence—and they didn’t trust them.

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Books in Brief

Reviews of the latest releases on mosquitoes, the Islamic State, and Kim Jong Un.

A woman holds a portrait of a former South Korean “comfort woman,” one of those who were forced by Japan’s military into sexual slavery during World War II, at a rally to mark National Liberation Day in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Aug. 15, 2018.

The United States Needs Japan-South Korea Reconciliation

This weekend's G-20 efforts are likely to flop as old quarrels emerge.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao speaks at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, California, on Oct. 2, 2018.

Elaine Chao Learned From the Best

The transportation secretary is part of a long line of individuals who’ve bridged China and the United States—and done well for themselves in the process.

U.S. troops land in Normandy, France, on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

The Lessons of 1944 Are in Jeopardy

Seventy-five years after D-Day, the United States should remember that on-the-ground leadership still works.

Crimean Tatars light candles during a memorial ceremony in Kiev on May 18, 2016, in commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the deportation of the indigenous population of Crimea by the Soviet Union.

Who Will Speak for the Tatars?

When Russia seized Crimea in 2014, a crackdown on the Muslim minority ensued.

A man walks up the steps in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2018.

The United States’ Problems Aren’t What You Think They Are

America’s decline resembles nothing so much as the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Presidential candidates should take note.

Attendees hold rainbow flags during a march to honor LGBT rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker in New York City on June 14, 2017.

Congress Wants State Department to Reckon With the ‘Lavender Scare’

Gay employees were hounded from office in a dark episode of State Department history from the 1950s and ’60s, and many committed suicide.

The Fialka encryption system, part of the collection at the KGB Espionage Museum in New York City.

The Soviets’ Unbreakable Code

The hidden history of the Fialka espionage machine.

The spire of Notre Dame collapses as the cathedral is engulfed in flames in Paris on April 15. (Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images)

‘This Restoration Will Take at Least a Decade’

Despite being spared the worst, Notre Dame is not out of danger, says the building expert Caroline Bruzelius.

Carl Muscarello and Edith Shain, who claim to be the nurse and sailor in the famous photograph taken on V-J Day, kiss next to a sculpture based on the photograph in Times Square to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II on Aug. 14, 2005 in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Nostalgia Is a National Security Threat

By idealizing the past, Americans have made themselves unsafe in the present.

A protestor aims a gun at an effigy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Quetta, Pakistan on March 1. (Bananas Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

Our Best Weekend Reads

This week, India and Pakistan faced off in Kashmir, and Trump left Hanoi empty-handed.

Konstantin Khabensky in Trotsky. (Sreda Production Company

‘Trotsky’ Is an Icepick to the Heart of Soviet History

The Russian-produced Netflix series is selling worrying myths to the public.