Germany

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Overview

The United States and Germany enjoy a long history of cultural ties, due to the large number of Germans who immigrated to the US, primarily during the 19th century. Relations during the first half of the 20th century were antagonistic as a result of wars in Europe, first World War I (1914-1918) and then World War II (1941-1945). After the end of the Second World War, the US became very involved in the post-war oversight of Germany in the wake of the Nazi government collapse and the sharing of political control with Great Britain and the Soviet Union. As part of the larger reconstruction of war-torn Europe, the US invested considerable money and attention to the rebuilding of German society—the western half at least, as Germany was divided between East and West as a result of the Cold War tussle between the US and the USSR.

 
For approximately 40 years, Germany remained divided, with American military forces stationed in West Germany and Soviet army units in East Germany. Germans lived under the threat of World War III taking place on their soil in the event the two superpowers engaged in what many experts feared would be a catastrophic conflict, had it occurred. With the fall of Communism, the division of East and West Germany came to an end in 1989, along with the tearing down of the famed Berlin Wall. Germany was again unified into one country in 1990, a difficult task that dominated the succeeding decade as the more prosperous West Germany tried to integrate the less developed East Germany and create one strong national economy. Although the threat from the Soviet Union ended, the United States has continued to station tens of thousands troops in Germany as part of its security commitments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Economically, the US and Germany have become strong trading partners, with billions of dollars in goods exchanged annually between the two economic giants.
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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: Germany lies in the central heartland of Europe and is bordered by nine countries: Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland. The land ranges from flat to mountainous (more than 8,000 foot above sea level in the Bavarian Alps), and from arid to fertile.

 
Population: 82.4 million
 
Religions: Evangelical Christian (a union of Lutheran, Uniate, and Reformed Protestant) 32.8%, Roman Catholic 32.0%, Muslim 4.3% (Sunni 3.3%, Alevi 0.6%, Shi’a 0.4%), Orthodox Christian (Greek, Serbian, Romanian, Russian) 1.7%, other Protestant (New Apostolic, German Baptist, Baptist) 1.0%, Buddhist 0.3%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 0.2%, Jewish 0.2%, non-religious 25.6%. Only 5-10% of citizens from former East Germany belong to a religious organization.
 
Ethnic Groups: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (largely Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish).
 
Languages: German (official) 91.4%, Saxon 2.4%, Kölsch 0.3%, Bavarian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Romani (Balkan, Sinte, Vlax) 0.1%, Alemannisch, Limburgisch, Swabian, Silesian, Westphalien, Yiddish. There are 27 living languages in Germany.
 
 
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History
The first people of Germany were the Celts, followed by German tribes at the end of the 2nd century BC. German invasions destroyed the declining Roman Empire in the 4th and 5th centuries. One of the tribes, the Franks, became a powerful force in Western Europe under Charlemagne, who was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800. For several centuries after Otto the Great was crowned king in 936, German rulers were also usually heads of the Holy Roman Empire.
 
By the 14th century, the Holy Roman Empire was little more than a loose federation of the German princes who elected the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1438, Albert of Hapsburg became emperor, and for the next several centuries the Hapsburg line ruled the Holy Roman Empire until its decline in 1806. Relations between state and church were changed during the Reformation, which began with the rise of Martin Luther, and came to a head in 1547, when Charles V scattered the forces of the Protestant League at Mühlberg. A dispute over the succession to the Bohemian throne brought on the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), which devastated Germany and left the empire divided into hundreds of small principalities virtually independent of the emperor.
 
Prussia eventually developed into a state of considerable strength. Frederick the Great reorganized the Prussian army and defeated Maria Theresa of Austria in a struggle over Silesia. After the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo (1815), the struggle between Austria and Prussia for supremacy in Germany continued, reaching its climax in the defeat of Austria in the Seven Weeks’ War (1866) and the formation of the Prussian-dominated North German Confederation (1867).
 
The architect of the new unified Germany was Otto von Bismarck, a conservative monarchist and militaristic Prussian prime minister. He unified all of Germany in a series of three wars against Denmark, Austria, and France. On January 18, 1871, King Wilhelm I of Prussia was proclaimed German emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. The North German Confederation was abolished, and the Second German Reich, consisting of the North and South German states, was born.
 
Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck in 1890 and embarked upon a “New Course,” which expanded Germany’s reach overseas with new colonies in Africa. Kaiser Wilhelm also led Germany down the path of war, thanks to Germany’s alliance with Austria-Hungary. In the early years of World War I, the German army made significant gains against the French and British, but as the war dragged on, the Allies, with the backing of the United States, turned the tide against Germany. Following the defeat of the German armies in 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm fled to the Netherlands.
 
The Social Democrats, led by Friedrich Ebert and Philipp Scheidemann, established the Weimar Republic, with Ebert as president. Ebert died in February 1925 and was succeeded by Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg. In the eyes of Germans, the Weimar Republic became synonymous with weakness and defeat, as the country struggled through a crippled currency, tremendous reparations imposed by the Allies, and acute economic distress. Into this wounded climate stepped Adolf Hitler, an Austrian war veteran and a fanatical nationalist, who fanned discontent by promising a greater Germany, abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, restoration of Germany’s lost colonies, and the destruction of the Jews and Gypsies.
 
When the Social Democrats and the Communists refused to unite against the growing Nazi threat, President von Hindenburg made Hitler the chancellor on January 30, 1933. With the death of von Hindenburg the following year, Hitler repudiated the Treaty of Versailles and began full-scale rearmament. In 1935, he withdrew Germany from the League of Nations, and the next year he reoccupied the Rhineland and signed the Anti-Comintern pact with Japan, at the same time strengthening relations with Italy. Austria was then annexed in March 1938. By the Munich agreement in September 1938, he gained the Czech Sudetenland (the ethnic German regions of western Czechoslovakia0, and in violation of this agreement he completed the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in March 1939. Hitler’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, precipitated World War II.
 
Following his conquests in Eastern Europe, Hitler turned his military forces to the West, and with lightning efficiency, captured France and forced the British army off the continent. German divisions swept across North Africa, and in 1942, the Wehrmacht was launched against the Soviet Union in a bid to seize much of the Asian continent. Hitler established concentration camps to carry out “the final solution” against the Jewish people, which wound up killing six million Jews by the end of the war (as well as Gypsies, homosexuals, Communists, the handicapped, and others not fitting the Aryan ideal).
 
Beginning in 1942, the United States and the British began to slowly turn the tide of the war. First, Allied forces attacked German forces in North Africa, followed by successful assaults that claimed Italy. In June 1944, the Allies pulled off the single greatest amphibious operation in modern warfare, landing thousands of troops on the shores of Normandy, France, and establishing an important beachhead on the Western European continent. US and British forces gradually rolled back the German army across France, while the Red Army to the east pushed the once-mighty Wehrmacht back to the Fatherland. Germany surrendered unconditionally to Allied and Soviet military commanders on May 8, 1945. On June 5 the four-nation Allied Control Council became the de facto government of Germany.
 
At the Potsdam Conference in July-August 1945, President Harry S. Truman, Soviet Chairman Josef Stalin, and Prime Minister Clement Attlee of Great Britain set forth the guiding principles of the Allied Control Council: Germany’s complete disarmament and demilitarization, destruction of its war potential, rigid control of industry, and decentralization of the political and economic structure. Pending final determination of territorial questions at a peace conference, the three victors agreed to the ultimate transfer of the city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) and its adjacent area to the USSR and to the administration by Poland of former German territories lying generally east of the Oder-Neisse Line. For purposes of control, Germany was divided into four national occupation zones.
 
The Western powers were unable to agree with the USSR on any fundamental issues. Work of the Allied Control Council was hamstrung by repeated Soviet vetoes, and on March 20, 1948, the Soviet Union walked out of the council. Meanwhile, the US and Britain took steps to merge their zones economically. On May 31, 1948, the US, Britain, France, and the Benelux countries agreed to set up a German state comprising the three Western zones. The USSR reacted by clamping a blockade on all ground communications between the Western zones and West Berlin, an enclave in the Soviet zone. The Western allies countered by organizing a gigantic airlift to fly supplies into the beleaguered city. The USSR was finally forced to lift the blockade on May 12, 1949.
 
The Federal Republic of Germany (or West Germany) was proclaimed on May 23, 1949, with its capital at Bonn. In free elections, West German voters gave a majority in the constituent assembly to the Christian Democrats, with the Social Democrats largely making up the opposition. Konrad Adenauer became chancellor, and Theodor Heuss of the Free Democrats was elected the first president.
 
The East German states adopted a more centralized constitution for the Democratic Republic of Germany (or East Germany), put into effect on October 7, 1949. The USSR thereupon dissolved its occupation zone. However, Soviet troops remained, keeping East Germany within the political grip of the Soviet Union. The Western allies declared that the East Germany was nothing more than a Soviet creation undertaken without self-determination and refused to recognize it. Soviet forces created a state controlled by the secret police (Stasi) with a single party, the Socialist Unity (Communist) Party in charge of the government.
 
Agreements in Paris in 1954 gave West Germany full independence and complete sovereignty on May 5, 1955. Under the agreement, West Germany and Italy became members of the Brussels treaty organization created in 1948 and renamed the Western European Union. West Germany also became a member of NATO. In 1955, the USSR recognized the Federal Republic of Germany. The Saar territory, under an agreement between France and West Germany, held a plebiscite, and despite economic links to France, elected to rejoin West Germany on January 1, 1957.
 
The division between West Germany and East Germany intensified when the Communists erected the Berlin Wall in 1961. In 1968, the East German Communist leader, Walter Ulbricht, imposed restrictions on West German movements into West Berlin. The Soviet-bloc invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 added to the tension.
 
West Germany signed a treaty with Poland in 1970, renouncing force and setting Poland’s western border at the Oder-Neisse Line. It subsequently resumed formal relations with Czechoslovakia in a pact that “voided” the Munich treaty that gave Nazi Germany the Sudetenland. By 1973, normal relations were established between East and West Germany, and the two states entered the United Nations.
 
West German chancellor Willy Brandt, winner of a Nobel Peace Prize for his foreign policies, was forced to resign in 1974 when an East German spy was discovered to be one of his top staff members. Succeeding him was a moderate Social Democrat, Helmut Schmidt. Schmidt staunchly backed US military strategy in Europe, staking his political fate on placing medium-range nuclear missiles in West Germany unless the Soviet Union reduced its arsenal of intermediate missiles. He also strongly opposed nuclear-freeze proposals.
 
Helmut Kohl of the Christian Democrat Party became chancellor in 1982. An economic upswing in 1986 led to Kohl’s reelection. The fall of the Communist government in East Germany in 1989 paved the way for German reunification. On the night of November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was dismantled. In July 1990, Kohl asked Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to drop his objections to German unification in exchange for financial aid from Germany. Gorbachev agreed, and on October 3, 1990, the German Democratic Republic with the Federal Republic, and Germany became a united and sovereign state for the first time since 1945.
 
A reunited Berlin serves as the official capital of unified Germany, although the government continued to have administrative functions in Bonn during a 12-year transition period. The issues of the cost of reunification and the modernization of the former East Germany were serious considerations facing the reunified nation.
 
In its most important election in decades, Germans chose Social Democrat Gerhard Schröder as chancellor over Christian Democrat incumbent Helmut Kohl in 1998, ending 16 years of rule by the Christian Democrats that had seen the reunification of Germany and symbolized the end of the cold war in Europe. A centrist, Schröder campaigned for “the new middle” and promised to rectify Germany’s high unemployment rate of 10.6%.
 
Tension between the old-style left-wing and the more pro-business pragmatists within Schröder’s government came to a head with the abrupt resignation of finance minister Oskar Lafontaine in March 1999. Lafontaine was also chairman of the ruling Social Democratic Party. Lafontaine’s plans to raise taxes—already nearly the highest in the world—on industry and on German wages went against the more centrist policies of Schröder. Hans Eichel was chosen to become the next finance minister.
 
Germany joined other NATO allies in the military conflict in Kosovo in 1999. Before the Kosovo crisis, Germans had not participated in an armed conflict since World War II. Germany agreed to take in 40,000 Kosovar refugees, the most of any NATO country.
 
In December 1999, former chancellor Helmut Kohl and other high officials in the Christian Democrat Party (CDU) admitted accepting tens of millions of dollars in illegal donations during the 1980s and 1990s and keeping the money in secret bank accounts. The enormity of the scandal led to the virtual dismemberment of the CDU in early 2000, a party that had long been a stable conservative force in German politics.
 
In July 2000, Schröder managed to pass significant tax reforms that lowered the top income-tax rate from 51% to 42% by 2005. He also eliminated the capital-gains tax on companies selling shares in other companies, a measure that was expected to spur mergers. In May 2001, the German parliament authorized the payment of $4.4 billion in compensation to 1.2 million surviving Nazi-era slave laborers.
 
Schröder was narrowly reelected in September 2002, defeating conservative businessman Edmund Stoiber. Schröder’s Social Democrats and coalition partner, the Greens, won a razor-thin majority in parliament. Schröder’s handling of Germany’s catastrophic floods in August and his tough stance against US plans for a preemptive attack on Iraq buoyed him in the weeks leading up to the election. Germany’s continued reluctance to support the US call for military action against Iraq severely strained its relations with Washington.
 
Despite Schröder’s economic policies, Germany continued to toil in recession into 2003, after having Europe’s lowest growth rate among EU countries during the previous three years. In August 2003, Schröder unfurled an ambitious fiscal-reform package and called his proposal “the most significant set of structural reforms in the social history of Germany.” Schröder’s reforms, however, did little to rejuvenate the economy and angered many Germans, accustomed to their country’s generous social welfare programs. His reforms reduced national health insurance and cut unemployment benefits at a time when unemployment had reached an alarming 12%.
 
National elections in September 2005 ended in a deadlock. The conservative CDU/CSU and its leader, Angela Merkel, received 35.2% and Gerhard Schröder’s SPD garnered 34.3%. After weeks of wrangling to form a governing coalition, the first left-right “grand coalition” in Germany in 36 years was cobbled together, and on November 22, Merkel became Germany’s first female chancellor. During her first year, Merkel’s first major initiative, reforming the health care system, was widely viewed as ineffectual. In 2008 Forbes deemed Merkel the Most Powerful Woman in the World.
 
History of Germany (Wikipedia)
A Country Study: Germany (Library of Congress)
History of Germany (History World)
German History Sources (by Richard Weikart,California State University, Stanislaus)
The Thirty Years War(by Frederick Schiller)

 

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Germany's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Germany

The first Germans arrived in America alongside the English in Jamestown in 1607, and from that point on outpaced all other nations (except England, initially) in immigration until the 1890s. Many Germans came to America for the religious liberty it offered; Catholics in Protestant provinces and Protestants from Catholic provinces traveled across the Atlantic for the opportunity to practice their religion without interference. When the first national census was carried out in 1790, Germans comprised 8.6% of the population. Pennsylvania was the main destination for these early arrivals, and the 1790 census found that 33% of the state’s population was German. 

 
German immigration, significant already in the 18th century, accelerated quickly beginning in 1815. The Napoleonic wars left Germany’s economy in ruins, and in 1820 Prussia forced a union of the Reformed and Lutheran church, which culminated in a wave of religious and economic immigration. German merchants also began shipping “redemptioners” to America during this period, in a style reminiscent of the indentured servants of the 18th century. These immigrants were guaranteed free passage to America, where they would work for 5-7 years to redeem the cost of their passage. Like Ireland’s potato famine, large potato crop failures in the 1840s provided yet another stimulus for immigration. At the same time, thousands of revolutionaries in the failed rebellion of 1848 fled Germany for the safe haven of America.
 
The German nobility founded a number of pro-emigration groups, such as the National Emigration Society, which subsidized travel costs for German emigrants. The nobility’s motivation was less than pure humanitarianism—they believed that paying the dissatisfied to leave was the simplest solution to social problems at home. In addition to economic migrants, thousands of German Jews left because of discriminatory policies, and a large number of young men left to avoid conscription in the Prussian military. An underdeveloped economy continued to motivate poor farmers to immigrate to America up through the 1880s, at which point Germany began to industrialize and provide more factory jobs for its citizens. Although Germans were still coming to America in large numbers, immigration at the turn of the century was characterized by new arrivals from southern and eastern Europe. 
 
Germans tended to settle where their countrymen had already established communities, in a process known as chain migration. Transcontinental railroads, especially the Northern Pacific when German immigrant Henry Villard ran the company, sent agents to Atlantic ports to recruit industrious German farmers to work their land grants in the Midwest. This gave rise to the “German triangle” of cities in the Midwest, namely St. Paul, St. Louis, and Cincinnati, although German influence was strongly present across a much broader swathe of land. Because Germans were so numerous in the United States, the pressure to assimilate into the mainstream was not as strong. Between 1850 and 1970, German was the second most prevalent language in the US.
 
Relations between the United States and Germany in the 19th century focused on immigration and commerce. After 1871, as a unified Germany became a more dominant power in European politics, the relationship encountered some frictions as a result of naval and economic rivalries.
 
On August 4, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed US neutrality in the European war. This changed abruptly on May 7, 1915, when a German submarine sank the British ocean liner Lusitania with 1,198 people aboard, among them more than 100 Americans. When Germany announced on January 31, 1917 a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, the United States cut diplomatic ties with Germany. After the sinking of five US vessels, Wilson formally declared war on April 6, 1917.
 
In response to the war, German-language instruction ended in most public schools in the US. Hundreds of German-language publications ceased to exist. German music was no longer played, and many streets, buildings, and even cities were renamed. Sauerkraut became “liberty cabbage” and hamburgers turned into “Salisbury steaks.”
 
President Wilson presented his Fourteen Points in January 1918 as the basis for a just peace. When the armies of Germany were beaten back in the fall of 1918, the German government appealed to Wilson to negotiate on the basis of the Fourteen Points. The president conferred with the Allies, who acceded to the German proposal, but only with some compromises. An armistice was concluded on November 11, 1918.
 
The United States sought a lenient peace for Germany at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919; however, Wilson had been forced to compromise on his proposals for a generous and lasting peace. In June 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. It redrew the map of Europe and, as a result, Germany lost one seventh of its territory. Germany was also charged with paying heavy reparations. The US Senate rejected both the Versailles Treaty and the League Covenant in March 1920. Germany was not permitted to join the League of Nations until 1926. The United States and Germany signed a separate peace treaty in 1921 and a trade treaty in 1923.

The Dawes Plan presented in 1924 by American banker Charles Dawes was designed to help Germany pay its World War I reparations debt. It eased Germany’s payment schedule and provided for an international loan. In 1929, the Dawes Plan was replaced by the Young Plan, which substituted a definite settlement that measured the exact extent of German obligations and reduced payments appreciably.
 
The rise of Hitler and the resulting persecution of Jews and political dissidents brought about another break in German-American relations. After the Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938, which marked an unofficial beginning of intense persecution of German Jews, the American ambassador was recalled, althoughdiplomatic relations were not severed.
 
A new wave of emigration from Germany to the United States occurred. These refugees from Nazi Germany included Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Kurt Weill and Marlene Dietrich and other artists, scientists, musicians, and scholars. In particular, German scientists who fled the Nazis for the US wound up playing vital roles in the development of the atomic bomb and space programs in the United States.
 
With the fall of France and the air war against Britain in 1940, the debate intensified between those who favored joining the war effort and the isolationists. By 1941, there was an undeclared war between the United States and Germany in the Atlantic, with US warships protecting supply convoys bound for Britain from attacks by German submarines.
 
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On December 8, Congress declared a state of war with Japan; three days later its allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the United States.  Four years later, the Allies insisted on an unconditional surrender by Germany. President Franklin D. Roosevelt considered a radical proposal, the Morgenthau Plan, which envisaged the permanent dismemberment of Germany and the destruction of all heavy industry, but ultimately decided against it.
 
Four zones of occupation controlled by the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union were established in Germany at the end of the war. The Russian zone in Germany later became the German Democratic Republic.
 
US occupation policy was characterized by programs to eliminate all traces of Nazi influence, introduce democratic institutions, and assure that German industry was used only for peaceful purposes. The US played a major role in the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg that charged 24 former Nazi leaders with the perpetration of war crimes and various groups with criminal actions.
 
On June 5, 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall laid the foundation for a US program of assistance to the countries of Europe. His long-sighted proposal was a major factor in the reconstruction of Germany in the aftermath of World War II and in the establishment of stability and prosperity in Europe.
 
In June 1948, the Soviets sealed off West Berlin. Through their control of the surrounding countryside, the Soviets halted all traffic into the city, cutting off food and supplies. The United States and Great Britain took to the skies and began flying in provisions for West Berlin’s 2.2 million residents, an effort that lasted 322 days. At midnight on May 12, 1949, the Soviets capitulated and reopened land and water routes into Berlin.
 
US policy in postwar Germany focused on the protection of personal liberties and constitutional safeguards as the basis of a democratic political order and the containment of an independent West German foreign policy through international organizations and treaties. The establishment, rearmament, and economic reconstruction of the Federal Republic of Germany was accomplished within the bounds of such international organizations as NATO, the Western European Union (WEU), the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), and the European Economic Community (EEC). In the 1950s, large numbers of US troops were stationed in Europe to ward off any thoughts of a Soviet attack on Western Europe.
 
It was believed that the non-confrontational response of the US to the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 showed that the United States was not truly interested in German unification. President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Berlin highlighted his tour of several European countries in June 1963. In his speech on June 26, Kennedy declared his special commitment to West Berlin, concluding his remarks with these words: “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” (Unknown to JFK at the time, his remark was grammatically incorrect with the inclusion of “ein.” The mistake changed the meaning of Kennedy’s remark, intended to say “I am a citizen of Berlin,” to “I am a donut,” Berliner being a popular treat consumed in those days).
 
Politics of detente in the 1970s both fulfilled some aspects of American and Russian security policy and Bonn’s desires to develop more extensive opportunities for personal contacts between the Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic. At the same time, beginning in the 1960s and continuing into the 1980s, a wide range of security issues revolved around the buildup of ballistic and nuclear missiles and the extent of the US nuclear commitment to Western Europe.
 
Following the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany, the US withdrew its last military brigade from Berlin in July 1994, but continued to station other forces throughout the country.
 
History of German-American Relations (US Embassy in Germany)
Ethnic Studies: German-Americans (World Wide Web-Virtual Library)
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Current U.S. Relations with Germany

German-American political, economic, and security relationships continue to be based on close consultation and coordination at the most senior levels. High-level visits take place frequently, and the United States and Germany cooperate actively in international forums.

 
During the 45 years in which Germany was divided, the US role in Berlin and the large American military presence in West Germany served as symbols of the US commitment to the preservation of peace and security in Europe. Since German unification, the US has maintained a strong military presence, stationing nearly 59,000 US military personnel in Germany.
 
Following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States and Germany cooperated closely to combat international terrorism in the areas of judicial cooperation, intelligence sharing and freezing the financial assets of suspected terrorists.

Germany participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, the US military operation launched in early October 2001 against the Taliban regime and against Al Qaeda strongholds in Afghanistan. Germany did not support the US military operation in Iraq in March-April 2003. Chancellor Angela Merkel took office in November 2005 promising a foreign policy anchored in a revitalized transatlantic partnership.

In recognition of the importance of the German-American economic relationship, during Germany’s six-month presidency of the European Union in 2007, Chancellor Merkel initiated the Transatlantic Economic Initiative to reduce and remove trade barriers.
 
The Merkel government has also sought to increase transatlantic cooperation in a range of other areas, including climate change policy, global counterterrorism and non-proliferation policy, and peacekeeping, reconstruction and stabilization in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans.
 
A total of 42,884,825 people identified themselves as of German origin in the 2000 US census, making them the largest ethnic group in the US. The states containing the greatest numbers of German-Americans are California (3.3 million), Pennsylvania (3.1 million), Ohio (2.9 million), Illinois (2.4 million), New York (2.1 million), and Texas (2.1 million).
 
In 2006 2,118,564 Americans visited Germany. Tourism has grown steadily since 2002, when 1,768,275 Americans traveled to Germany. That same year 1,385,520 Germans visited the US. The number of tourists peaked in 2005 at 1,415,530 after having grown steadily for a number of years.
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Where Does the Money Flow

Since reunification, US foreign direct investment in Germany has more than tripled, while German investment in the US is roughly seven times what it was when the Berlin Wall fell. Germany has a liberal foreign investment policy. For 2007, German investment in the US amounted to $202.6 billion, while US investment in Germany was $107 billion. Germany is the US’s fifth largest trading partner.

 
After France, the United States is Germany’s largest export market. The United States also is Germany’s third largest supplier, and its principal trading partner outside the EU. Two-way trade in goods totaled $144 billion in 2007. US exports to Germany were $49.6 billion, while US imports from Germany were more than $94.4 billion. At nearly $45 billion, the United States’ fifth-largest trade deficit is with Germany.
 
Major US export categories for 2007 included passenger cars ($7.1 billion), pharmaceutical preparations ($4.3 billion), aircraft engines ($2.1 billion), and medicinal equipment ($2.4 billion).
 
US imports from Germany are concentrated in motor vehicles ($17.6 billion), medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations ($8.9 billion) industrial machinery ($4.2 billion), and industrial organic chemicals ($1.5 billion).
 
Today, there are more than 3,000 German companies in the United States, with almost 670,000 employees; over 1,450 American companies in Germany provide over 800,000 jobs. Altogether, German-American bilateral investment and trade provide over 1.2 million direct jobs in Germany and the United States and sizably more indirect jobs. 
The US sold $1.33 billion of defense articles and services to Germany in 2007.
 
The US does not give foreign aid to Germany.
 
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Controversies
Germany Becomes ‘Pimp’ During World Cup
A US lawmaker and human rights groups accused Germany during the 2006 World Cup of doing little to prevent the exploitation of women, with one expert calling Berlin an official “pimp” for the event. “While the winner of the World Cup remains unknown, the clear losers will be the thousands of women and children trafficked and sold in Germanys legal sex industry to accommodate the huge influx of demand experts anticipate will be generated by male fans attending the games,” said Christopher Smith, the Republican chairman of a human rights panel in the US House of Representatives.
 
Germany legalized prostitution in 2002 and some 400,000 women work in the sex trade, according to various estimates. Traffickers had planned to bring in some 40,000 additional “sex workers” to “service” fans during the month-long soccer event, according to Smith and rights advocates who testified at a Congressional hearing entitled “Germany's World Cup Brothels.”
 
“The German government has made the highly controversial decision ... to act as an official ‘pimp’ for the 2006 World Cup,” said Juliette Engel, director of the Moscow-based MiraMed Institute, a public charity.
 
In the end, use of the brothels actually diminished during the World Cup, as international soccer fans preferred drinking and following the tournament.
 
German Leader Critical of US Renditioning of German Muslim
Khalid El-Masri, a Lebanese-born German citizen, was a car salesman living in the southern German town of Ulm. He was snatched by intelligence operatives while on holiday in Macedonia on December 31, 2003. El-Masri was sent to a secret interrogation center in Afghanistan and held incommunicado for five months during which he allegedly was roughly questioned about his supposed links to Al Qaeda. He was then flown to Albania and released, blindfolded, on a remote mountain road without explanation or apology after the CIA apparently concluded that he was who he said he was—an out-of-work car salesman unlucky enough to have a name similar to that of an Al Qaeda fugitive named Khalid al-Masri.
 
Two years later, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice found herself almost apologizing to German officials for the mistake involving al-Masri. In an unusual concession to critics of American policy, Rice acknowledged that mistakes were made in the murky war against Islamic terrorists. “Any policy will sometimes have errors. When that happens, we will do everything we can to rectify it.”
 
Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the United States had owned up to making wrong moves involving El-Masri. “I’m pleased to say we spoke about [this] individual case, which the government of the United States has accepted as a mistake,” Merkel told reporters as Rice stood beside her. “I’m very happy that the secretary has repeated here that when such mistakes happen, they must be corrected immediately.”
 
Within hours, senior US officials accompanying Rice took issue with Merkel’s comments, insisting that the secretary of state had made no such admission of US mishandling of the Masri case. “We are not quite sure what was in [Merkel's] head,” a senior official told reporters.
CIA abduction case ignites controversy (by Colin Nickerson, Boston Globe)
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Human Rights

On the whole, the State Department says Germany respects the human rights of its citizens. Problems that were cited in 2007 involved limitations on the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association aimed at groups deemed extremist. There was governmental and societal discrimination against some minority religious groups. Harassment of asylum seekers, violence against women, harassment of racial minorities and foreigners, anti-Semitic acts, and trafficking in persons were problems.

 
Distribution of propaganda of proscribed organizations is illegal, as are statements inciting racial hatred, endorsing Nazism, and denying the Holocaust. Germar Rudolf was found guilty in Manheim of denying the Holocaust and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. His book, Lectures on the Holocaust: A Controversial Question Cross‑Examined, was banned. Ernst Zuendel was sentenced to five years in prison for Holocaust denial and writing anti‑Semitic essays in several right‑wing extremist pamphlets.
 
Authorities opened an investigation of the alleged neo-Nazi affiliations of three members of an elite Frankfurt-based police unit that protects public figures. The three had served as bodyguards to Michel Friedman, former deputy head of Germany's Jewish community. The officers were suspended or reassigned. One officer slated to go on trial is accused of treason, possession of an illegal weapon, and of having posed for a picture in an SS uniform and signing the picture “Adolf Hitler.”
 
Officials in Saxony outlawed the far-right extremist group Sturm 34 and raided the homes of suspected members. Sturm 34 was known for its attempt to establish a “liberated nationalist zone” in the Mittweida area.
 
German officials responsible for protecting the constitution (known as OPC) examined possible threats to the constitutional democratic system and monitored several hundred organizations. Monitoring generally consisted of collecting information from written materials and firsthand accounts. However, OPCs could employ more intrusive methods, including the use of undercover agents, subject to legal checks. OPCs published lists of monitored organizations. Although the law stipulates that OPC monitoring must not interfere with an organization’s activities, representatives of monitored groups complained that the publication of the organizations’ names contributed to prejudice against them.
 
Scientologists continued to report instances of official and societal discrimination. Minister‑President of Baden‑Württemberg Günther Oettinger demanded that actor and Scientologist John Travolta be disinvited from a scheduled guest appearance on a popular television show, expressing concern that Travolta might use the show to promote Scientology. Travolta appeared on the show, but he reportedly agreed beforehand not to mention Scientology.
 
Before receiving official permit requests, officials barred the use of a ministry of defense facility in the making of a movie in which actor Tom Cruise, a follower of Scientology, would play the leading role. An official of the Ministry of Defense cited affiliation with Scientology as the reason for the decision. The government eventually permitted filming to proceed with Cruise’s participation.
 
On June 4, 2007, the federal government lifted a travel ban against the founder of the Unification Church, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, pursuant to a ruling by the Higher Administrative Court of Koblenz. The action followed the October 2006 Federal Constitutional Court's rejection of the Federal Interior Ministry's rationale for its 1995 immigration exclusion, which was based on the government's characterization of Reverend Moon and his wife as leaders of a “cult” that endangered the personal and social development of young persons. The court dismissed this rationale on the grounds that it violated religious freedom.
 
During 2007, courts upheld headscarf bans in several cases. The Federal Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that banning of head scarves is within state legislative jurisdiction, and subsequently eight of the 16 federal states passed headscarf bans for civil servants.
 
There were incidents of violence by right‑wing extremists against Muslims. On June 11, 2007, Berlin police clashed with some 450 right‑wing extremists protesting the construction of the first mosque in the East Berlin neighborhood of Pankow‑Heinersdorf. Police arrested twenty individuals, 15 of whom were right‑wing extremists.
 
There were a number of anti‑Semitic incidents. According to preliminary figures provided by the Federal Interior Ministry to the federal parliament, through September 2007 there were 716 anti-Semitic offenses (including 23 violent ones) compared to 749 (15 violent) for the same period a year earlier. Through September, authorities identified 398 suspects and made 21 arrests, compared to 449 suspects and 67 arrests in 2006. There were 13 injuries, an increase of five from the previous year.
 
On September 7, 2007, a rabbi was stabbed in Frankfurt by a man who at the time reportedly made anti‑Semitic remarks. Police arrested a twenty-two year old German citizen of Afghan origin one week later. The rabbi, whose wound was not life-threatening, made a full recovery. On February 25, Nazi sympathizers vandalized a Jewish kindergarten in Berlin, defacing the building with swastikas and slogans invoking the Holocaust, and threw a smoke bomb (which did not ignite) into the building.
 
Desecrations of Jewish cemeteries and other monuments were the most widespread anti‑Semitic acts. On March 8, 63 tombstones were destroyed at a Jewish cemetery in Diesbeck. Police arrested two men in connection with the act. On August 11, vandals overturned 79 tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in Ihringen. Police arrested four young men and confiscated extreme-right pamphlets from their apartments.
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

John Quincy Adams
Appointment: Jun 1, 1797
Presentation of Credentials: [Dec 5, 1797]
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, May 5, 1801
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin. Formally received on Dec 5, 1797.

Adams served as the 6th president of the United States (1825-1829).
 
Henry Wheaton
Appointment: Mar 3, 1835
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 9, 1835
Termination of Mission: Promoted to Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
Henry Wheaton
Appointment: Mar 7, 1837
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 29, 1837
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 18, 1846
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
 
Andrew J. Donelson
Appointment: Mar 18, 1846
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 18, 1846
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 9, 1849
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
Andrew J. Donelson
Appointment: [Aug 9, 1848]
Presentation of Credentials: [Sep 13, 1848]
Termination of Mission: [Presented recall, Nov 2, 1849]
Note: The dates in brackets relate to Donelson’s service as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Federal Government of Germany at Frankfurt.
 
Edward A. Hannegan
Appointment: Mar 22, 1849
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 30, 1849
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jan 13, 1850
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
 
Daniel D. Barnard
Appointment: Sep 3, 1850
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 10, 1850
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 21, 1853
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident to Berlin.
 
Peter D. Vroom
Appointment: May 24, 1853
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 4, 1853
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Aug 10, 1857
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Feb 9, 1854. Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
 
Joseph A. Wright
Appointment: Jun 1, 1857
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 3, 1857
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 1, 1861
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jun 14, 1858.
 
Norman B. Judd
Appointment: Mar 8, 1861
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 1, 1861
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 3, 1865
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
 
Joseph A. Wright
Appointment: Jun 30, 1865
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 3, 1865
Termination of Mission: Died at post, May 11, 1867
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin. Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 22, 1866.
 
George Bancroft
Appointment: May 14, 1867
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 28, 1867
Termination of Mission: Recommissioned and reaccredited on formation of the German Empire
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jul 15, 1867. Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
George Bancroft
Appointment: May 31, 1871
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 23, 1871
Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Jun 30, 1874
Note: Commissioned to the German Empire. Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 12, 1871.
 
J.C. Bancroft Davis
Appointment: Jun 11, 1874
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 28, 1874
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 26, 1877
Note: Commissioned to the German Empire.
 
Bayard Taylor
Appointment: Mar 4, 1878
Presentation of Credentials: May 7, 1878
Termination of Mission: Died at post, Dec 19, 1878
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Andrew D. White
Appointment: Apr 2, 1879
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 19, 1879
Termination of Mission: Had farewell audience, Aug 15, 1881
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
A. Sargent
Appointment: Mar 2, 1882
Presentation of Credentials: May 18, 1882
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 6, 1884
Note: Commissioned to Germany
 
John A. Kasson
Appointment: Jul 4, 1884
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 10, 1884
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 21, 1885
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
George H. Pendleton
Appointment: Mar 23, 1885
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 21, 1885
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Apr 25, 1889
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Murat Halstead
Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Note: Not commissioned; nomination rejected by the Senate.
 
William Walter Phelps
Appointment: Jun 20, 1889
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 26, 1889
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 4, 1893
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 16, 1889. Commissioned to Germany.
 
Theodore Runyon
Appointment: Mar 23, 1893
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 4, 1893
Termination of Mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
Theodore Runyon
Appointment: Sep 14, 1893
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 26, 1893
Termination of Mission: Died at post, Jan 27, 1896
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Edwin F. Uhl
Appointment: Feb 10, 1896
Presentation of Credentials: May 3, 1896
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 8, 1897
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Andrew D. White
Appointment: Apr 5, 1897
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 12, 1897
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Nov 27, 1902
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Charlemagne Tower
Appointment: Sep 26, 1902
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 19, 1902
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 8, 1908
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 8, 1902. Commissioned to Germany.
 
David Jayne Hill
Appointment: Apr 2, 1908
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 14, 1908
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 2, 1911
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
John G.A. Leishman
Appointment: Aug 12, 1911
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 24, 1911
Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 4, 1913
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
James W. Gerard
Appointment: Jul 28, 1913
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 29, 1913
Termination of Mission: US severed diplomatic relations with Germany, Feb 3, 1917; Gerard received official notice of this Feb 5, 1917, and suspended his official functions. He left post, Feb 10, 1917.
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Ellis Loring Dresel
Appointment: Nov 18, 1921
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 10, 1921
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 18, 1922
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Alanson B. Houghton
Appointment: Feb 10, 1922
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 22, 1922
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 21, 1925
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Jacob Gould Schurman
Appointment: Mar 17, 1925
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 29, 1925
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 21, 1930
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Frederic M. Sackett
Appointment: Jan 9, 1930
Presentation of Credentials: Feb 12, 1930
Termination of Mission: Left Germany, Mar 24, 1933
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
William E. Dodd
Appointment: Jun 13, 1933
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 30, 1933
Termination of Mission: Left post, Dec 29, 1937
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Hugh R. Wilson
Appointment: Jan 17, 1938
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 3, 1938
Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 16, 1938
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
Note: During the period 1938–1941 each of the following served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim: Alexander C. Kirk (May 1939–Oct 1940) and Leland B. Morris (Oct 1940–Dec 1941). Morris was serving as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim when Germany declared war on the United States Dec 11, 1941.
 
James B. Conant
Appointment: May 9, 1955
Presentation of Credentials: May 14, 1955
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 19, 1957
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany. The Embassy in Germany had been reestablished May 5, 1955, with Ambassador-designate Conant (who had been serving as High Commissioner) in charge except for a brief temporary absence pending confirmation of his nomination, commission, and presentation of his letter of credence.
 
David K.E. Bruce
Appointment: Mar 14, 1957
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 17, 1957
Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 29, 1959
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Walter C. Dowling
Appointment: Nov 7, 1959
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 3, 1959
Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Apr 21, 1963
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation, on Jan 21, 1960. Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
George C. McGhee
Appointment: Apr 25, 1963
Presentation of Credentials: May 18, 1963
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 21, 1968
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
Appointment: Apr 22, 1968
Presentation of Credentials: May 27, 1968
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 14, 1969
Note:Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Lodge had previously served as US senator from Massachusetts (1937-1944, 1947-1953), Ambassador to the United Nations (1953-1960) and Ambassador to South Vietnam (1965-1967). In 1960, Lodge was Richard Nixon’s running mate in his unsuccessful campaign for President of the Untied States.
 
Kenneth Rush
Appointment: Jul 8, 1969
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 22, 1969
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 20, 1972
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Martin J. Hillenbrand
Appointment: May 1, 1972
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 27, 1972
Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 18, 1976
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Walter J. Stoessel, Jr.
Appointment: Sep 16, 1976
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 27, 1976
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 5, 1981
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Arthur F. Burns
Appointment: Jun 26, 1981
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 30, 1981
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 16, 1985
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Richard R. Burt
Appointment: Jul 18, 1985
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 16, 1985
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 17, 1989
 
Vernon A. Walters
Appointment: Apr 14, 1989
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 24, 1989
Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 18, 1991
Walters served as Ambassador to the United Nations (1985-1989).
 
Robert Michael Kimmitt
Appointment: Aug 2, 1991
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 5, 1991
Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 28, 1993
 
Richard Holbrooke
Appointment: Sep 16, 1993
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 19, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post, Sep 12, 1994
Holbrooke later served as Ambassador to the United Nations (1999-2001).
 
Charles E. Redman
Appointment: Sep 24, 1994
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 31, 1994
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jun 17, 1996
Note: J. D. Bindenagel served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Jun 1996–Sep 1997.
 
John C. Kornblum
Appointment: Aug 1, 1997
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 10, 1997
Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge Jan 16, 2001
Note: The US Office Bonn (Embassy Bonn until Jul 7, 1999) was closed Apr 3, 2000.
A. Elizabeth Jones
Note:Nomination of Feb 22, 2000 was not acted upon by the Senate.
 
Daniel R. Coats
Appointment: Aug 7, 2001
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 12, 2001
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 28, 2005

 

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Germany's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Wittig, Peter

 

Peter Wittig was named Germany’s ambassador to the United States on April 30, 2014. It’s the fourth ambassadorial post for Wittig, a career member of Germany’s Foreign Service.

 

Wittig was born in Bonn, then the capital of West Germany, on August 11, 1954. His father worked in a government ministry and his mother was a teacher. Wittig attended college at Bonn, Freiburg, Canterbury and Oxford universities, studying history, political science and law. After finishing school, he was an assistant professor at the University of Freiburg.

 

Wittig joined the Foreign Service in 1982 and some of his early assignments were to Madrid, Spain; to the United Nations in New York; as private secretary to the foreign minister; and as a spokesman in Germany’s Foreign Ministry.

 

In 1997, Wittig was named Ambassador to Lebanon, serving there for two years before moving to Cyprus as Ambassador and German envoy on the Cyprus Question, the division of the island nation. He served there until 2002.

 

He returned to the Foreign Ministry, as deputy director for United Nations (U.N.) Affairs and Global Issues, then as director in 2006. Wittig was named Germany’s ambassador to the U.N. in 2009. He successfully campaigned to win Germany a nonpermanent seat on the Security Council, speaking to 190 of 191 representatives in the process. Germany won a seat in 2010, but the campaign, while wound down, didn’t completely cease as the nation made noises about being given a permanent seat on the Security Council, as the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France have. However, Germany’s abstention from the 2011 vote on whether to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya might have hurt its chances in that quarter. Wittig was quoted at the time as being concerned for “the likelihood of large-scale loss of life” during such a campaign.

 

For a time during his U.N. tenure, Wittig was overshadowed by his wife, journalist Huberta Voss-Wittig. She and Sheila Lyall-Grant, wife of Britain’s ambassador to the U.N., made a video urging British-born Asma al-Assad, wife of Syria President Bashar al-Assad, to help end violence in Syria.

 

Wittig and his wife, who was also spokeswoman for German Bundestag President Rita Suessmuth, have four children, Valeska, Maximilian, Augustin, and Felice..

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

U.N. Ambassadors’ Wives Urge Syria’s First Lady To ‘Stop Your Husband’ (by Eli Clifton, Think Progress)

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Germany's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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U.S. Ambassador to Germany

Emerson, John
ambassador-image

President Barack Obama is sending a major campaign contributor and volunteer to serve as U.S. ambassador to Germany, continuing a time-honored and bipartisan practice. John B. Emerson, who is president of Capital Group Private Client Services, is an attorney and longtime Democratic Party donor and activist. If confirmed by the Senate as expected, Emerson would succeed Philip D. Murphy, who has served in Berlin since August 2009 and was also a political appointee. 

 

Born circa 1954, John Bonnell Emerson was raised mainly in the New York City suburbs of Bloomfield, N.J., and Larchmont, N.Y. Emerson’s father, James G. Emerson, was a Presbyterian minister and his social worker mother, Margaret Bonnell Emerson, was the daughter of prominent Presbyterian minister John Sutherland Bonnell, who was one of the first public figures to challenge Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s (R-Wisconsin) anti-communist witch-hunts of the 1950s.

 

Deciding against a career in the ministry in order “to seek my own path,” Emerson earned a BA in Government and Philosophy at Hamilton College in 1975 and a JD from the University of Chicago in 1978. A lifelong Democrat, Emerson also got involved in politics during college, participating in anti-war rallies and volunteering for Democratic Sen. George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign.

 

Relocating to Los Angeles after graduating law school, Emerson practiced law at the Manatt, Phelps & Phillips law firm, specializing in business and entertainment litigation and administrative law and rising to partner. He also served as chief deputy and chief of staff in the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.

 

Continuing to be politically active after moving to California, Emerson played prominent roles in several campaigns, usually for moderate Democrats. He served as general counsel for Jerry Brown’s 1982 U.S. Senate bid; as California chairman of Sen. Gary Hart’s presidential run in 1984; and as deputy national campaign manager for Hart’s 1986-1987 presidential bid.

 

Emerson has even run for office himself. He nearly won a campaign for a seat in the State Assembly from the Silver Lake-Echo Park area in 1991, losing by only 31 votes, but refusing to request a recount.

 

Emerson finally backed a winner in 1992, when he was Bill Clinton’s California campaign manager. He was rewarded with a White House job, serving from 1993 to 1997 as deputy assistant to President Clinton. He coordinated the Clinton-Gore transition team’s economic conference in 1992 and served as the President’s liaison to California in the aftermath of the January 1994 Northridge earthquake.

 

After leaving the Clinton administration, Emerson joined the Capital Group Companies, one of the world’s largest investment management firms with assets of about $1 trillion under management.

 

A wealthy man, Emerson has donated $225,000 to Democratic candidates and organizations since 1992, and bundled donations from others for Barack Obama to the tune of at least $500,000 in 2012. 

 

Emerson has served as the chairman of the Music Center of Los Angeles County, a director and vice chairman of the Los Angeles Metropolitan YMCAs, a trustee of The Buckley School, a trustee of Marlborough School, a member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Trade Advisory Council, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also been appointed by President Obama to serve on his Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

 

John Emerson is married to Kimberly Marteau Emerson, an attorney who served in the Clinton Administration as director of Public Liaison for the U.S. Information Agency, a now-defunct foreign propaganda arm of the federal government, most of whose functions are now carried out by the Bureau of International Information Programs in the State Department

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Mr. Fix-It: When Things don't Run Right in California, the White House Calls on John Emerson (by Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times)

Mr. John B. Emerson & Ms. Kimberly Marteau Emerson (Pacific Council on International Policy)

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Germany

Timken, William
ambassador-image

 

A native of Ohio, William Robert Timken, Jr. was sworn in as US ambassador to Germany on August 15, 2005. He presented his credentials to German President Horst Köhler on September 2, 2005. Timken concluded his servies on December 5, 2008.
 
Timken received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1960 and an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1962.

Prior to becoming ambassador to Germany, Timken was the head of the Timken Company, a worldwide Fortune 500 company specializing in the manufacture of bearings and other steel-based components, with operations in 28 countries, including Germany. The company was founded by Timken’s great-grandfather in 1898.
 
Timken told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “They didn't send me there [to Germany] to be a bureaucrat. My job was more like running a big business.” Timken considered himself the CEO of all US government persoonel in Germany, including the military and 30 federal agencies, totaling 75,000 people.

His business experience includes service on the boards of directors of numerous public companies. He has also chaired the National Association of Manufacturers, The Manufacturing Institute and the Ohio Business Roundtable. He has served on the Advisory Council of the Stanford University School of Business and was a member of the US-Japan Business Council for 20 years. In 2003, he received a presidential appointment to serve as chairman of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.
 
Timken has donated tens of thousands of dollars to national and Ohio GOP organizations and numerous Republican candidates, including President Bush and US Senator George Voinovich. In 2004 he served as Ohio finance co-chairman for the Bush-Cheny campaign and was classed a “Bush Ranger” for having raised more than $200,000 for the campaign.
 
Berlin Rally Is Off-Limits for Embassy Workers (by Karen DeYoung, Washington Post)
Dr. Range-Rover (or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Ambassador) (see entry for April 22, 2007) (by Arden Pennell, New Yorker in Berlin)

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Overview

The United States and Germany enjoy a long history of cultural ties, due to the large number of Germans who immigrated to the US, primarily during the 19th century. Relations during the first half of the 20th century were antagonistic as a result of wars in Europe, first World War I (1914-1918) and then World War II (1941-1945). After the end of the Second World War, the US became very involved in the post-war oversight of Germany in the wake of the Nazi government collapse and the sharing of political control with Great Britain and the Soviet Union. As part of the larger reconstruction of war-torn Europe, the US invested considerable money and attention to the rebuilding of German society—the western half at least, as Germany was divided between East and West as a result of the Cold War tussle between the US and the USSR.

 
For approximately 40 years, Germany remained divided, with American military forces stationed in West Germany and Soviet army units in East Germany. Germans lived under the threat of World War III taking place on their soil in the event the two superpowers engaged in what many experts feared would be a catastrophic conflict, had it occurred. With the fall of Communism, the division of East and West Germany came to an end in 1989, along with the tearing down of the famed Berlin Wall. Germany was again unified into one country in 1990, a difficult task that dominated the succeeding decade as the more prosperous West Germany tried to integrate the less developed East Germany and create one strong national economy. Although the threat from the Soviet Union ended, the United States has continued to station tens of thousands troops in Germany as part of its security commitments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Economically, the US and Germany have become strong trading partners, with billions of dollars in goods exchanged annually between the two economic giants.
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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: Germany lies in the central heartland of Europe and is bordered by nine countries: Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland. The land ranges from flat to mountainous (more than 8,000 foot above sea level in the Bavarian Alps), and from arid to fertile.

 
Population: 82.4 million
 
Religions: Evangelical Christian (a union of Lutheran, Uniate, and Reformed Protestant) 32.8%, Roman Catholic 32.0%, Muslim 4.3% (Sunni 3.3%, Alevi 0.6%, Shi’a 0.4%), Orthodox Christian (Greek, Serbian, Romanian, Russian) 1.7%, other Protestant (New Apostolic, German Baptist, Baptist) 1.0%, Buddhist 0.3%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 0.2%, Jewish 0.2%, non-religious 25.6%. Only 5-10% of citizens from former East Germany belong to a religious organization.
 
Ethnic Groups: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (largely Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish).
 
Languages: German (official) 91.4%, Saxon 2.4%, Kölsch 0.3%, Bavarian 0.3%, Polish 0.3%, Romani (Balkan, Sinte, Vlax) 0.1%, Alemannisch, Limburgisch, Swabian, Silesian, Westphalien, Yiddish. There are 27 living languages in Germany.
 
 
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History
The first people of Germany were the Celts, followed by German tribes at the end of the 2nd century BC. German invasions destroyed the declining Roman Empire in the 4th and 5th centuries. One of the tribes, the Franks, became a powerful force in Western Europe under Charlemagne, who was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800. For several centuries after Otto the Great was crowned king in 936, German rulers were also usually heads of the Holy Roman Empire.
 
By the 14th century, the Holy Roman Empire was little more than a loose federation of the German princes who elected the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1438, Albert of Hapsburg became emperor, and for the next several centuries the Hapsburg line ruled the Holy Roman Empire until its decline in 1806. Relations between state and church were changed during the Reformation, which began with the rise of Martin Luther, and came to a head in 1547, when Charles V scattered the forces of the Protestant League at Mühlberg. A dispute over the succession to the Bohemian throne brought on the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), which devastated Germany and left the empire divided into hundreds of small principalities virtually independent of the emperor.
 
Prussia eventually developed into a state of considerable strength. Frederick the Great reorganized the Prussian army and defeated Maria Theresa of Austria in a struggle over Silesia. After the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo (1815), the struggle between Austria and Prussia for supremacy in Germany continued, reaching its climax in the defeat of Austria in the Seven Weeks’ War (1866) and the formation of the Prussian-dominated North German Confederation (1867).
 
The architect of the new unified Germany was Otto von Bismarck, a conservative monarchist and militaristic Prussian prime minister. He unified all of Germany in a series of three wars against Denmark, Austria, and France. On January 18, 1871, King Wilhelm I of Prussia was proclaimed German emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. The North German Confederation was abolished, and the Second German Reich, consisting of the North and South German states, was born.
 
Wilhelm II dismissed Bismarck in 1890 and embarked upon a “New Course,” which expanded Germany’s reach overseas with new colonies in Africa. Kaiser Wilhelm also led Germany down the path of war, thanks to Germany’s alliance with Austria-Hungary. In the early years of World War I, the German army made significant gains against the French and British, but as the war dragged on, the Allies, with the backing of the United States, turned the tide against Germany. Following the defeat of the German armies in 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm fled to the Netherlands.
 
The Social Democrats, led by Friedrich Ebert and Philipp Scheidemann, established the Weimar Republic, with Ebert as president. Ebert died in February 1925 and was succeeded by Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg. In the eyes of Germans, the Weimar Republic became synonymous with weakness and defeat, as the country struggled through a crippled currency, tremendous reparations imposed by the Allies, and acute economic distress. Into this wounded climate stepped Adolf Hitler, an Austrian war veteran and a fanatical nationalist, who fanned discontent by promising a greater Germany, abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, restoration of Germany’s lost colonies, and the destruction of the Jews and Gypsies.
 
When the Social Democrats and the Communists refused to unite against the growing Nazi threat, President von Hindenburg made Hitler the chancellor on January 30, 1933. With the death of von Hindenburg the following year, Hitler repudiated the Treaty of Versailles and began full-scale rearmament. In 1935, he withdrew Germany from the League of Nations, and the next year he reoccupied the Rhineland and signed the Anti-Comintern pact with Japan, at the same time strengthening relations with Italy. Austria was then annexed in March 1938. By the Munich agreement in September 1938, he gained the Czech Sudetenland (the ethnic German regions of western Czechoslovakia0, and in violation of this agreement he completed the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in March 1939. Hitler’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, precipitated World War II.
 
Following his conquests in Eastern Europe, Hitler turned his military forces to the West, and with lightning efficiency, captured France and forced the British army off the continent. German divisions swept across North Africa, and in 1942, the Wehrmacht was launched against the Soviet Union in a bid to seize much of the Asian continent. Hitler established concentration camps to carry out “the final solution” against the Jewish people, which wound up killing six million Jews by the end of the war (as well as Gypsies, homosexuals, Communists, the handicapped, and others not fitting the Aryan ideal).
 
Beginning in 1942, the United States and the British began to slowly turn the tide of the war. First, Allied forces attacked German forces in North Africa, followed by successful assaults that claimed Italy. In June 1944, the Allies pulled off the single greatest amphibious operation in modern warfare, landing thousands of troops on the shores of Normandy, France, and establishing an important beachhead on the Western European continent. US and British forces gradually rolled back the German army across France, while the Red Army to the east pushed the once-mighty Wehrmacht back to the Fatherland. Germany surrendered unconditionally to Allied and Soviet military commanders on May 8, 1945. On June 5 the four-nation Allied Control Council became the de facto government of Germany.
 
At the Potsdam Conference in July-August 1945, President Harry S. Truman, Soviet Chairman Josef Stalin, and Prime Minister Clement Attlee of Great Britain set forth the guiding principles of the Allied Control Council: Germany’s complete disarmament and demilitarization, destruction of its war potential, rigid control of industry, and decentralization of the political and economic structure. Pending final determination of territorial questions at a peace conference, the three victors agreed to the ultimate transfer of the city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) and its adjacent area to the USSR and to the administration by Poland of former German territories lying generally east of the Oder-Neisse Line. For purposes of control, Germany was divided into four national occupation zones.
 
The Western powers were unable to agree with the USSR on any fundamental issues. Work of the Allied Control Council was hamstrung by repeated Soviet vetoes, and on March 20, 1948, the Soviet Union walked out of the council. Meanwhile, the US and Britain took steps to merge their zones economically. On May 31, 1948, the US, Britain, France, and the Benelux countries agreed to set up a German state comprising the three Western zones. The USSR reacted by clamping a blockade on all ground communications between the Western zones and West Berlin, an enclave in the Soviet zone. The Western allies countered by organizing a gigantic airlift to fly supplies into the beleaguered city. The USSR was finally forced to lift the blockade on May 12, 1949.
 
The Federal Republic of Germany (or West Germany) was proclaimed on May 23, 1949, with its capital at Bonn. In free elections, West German voters gave a majority in the constituent assembly to the Christian Democrats, with the Social Democrats largely making up the opposition. Konrad Adenauer became chancellor, and Theodor Heuss of the Free Democrats was elected the first president.
 
The East German states adopted a more centralized constitution for the Democratic Republic of Germany (or East Germany), put into effect on October 7, 1949. The USSR thereupon dissolved its occupation zone. However, Soviet troops remained, keeping East Germany within the political grip of the Soviet Union. The Western allies declared that the East Germany was nothing more than a Soviet creation undertaken without self-determination and refused to recognize it. Soviet forces created a state controlled by the secret police (Stasi) with a single party, the Socialist Unity (Communist) Party in charge of the government.
 
Agreements in Paris in 1954 gave West Germany full independence and complete sovereignty on May 5, 1955. Under the agreement, West Germany and Italy became members of the Brussels treaty organization created in 1948 and renamed the Western European Union. West Germany also became a member of NATO. In 1955, the USSR recognized the Federal Republic of Germany. The Saar territory, under an agreement between France and West Germany, held a plebiscite, and despite economic links to France, elected to rejoin West Germany on January 1, 1957.
 
The division between West Germany and East Germany intensified when the Communists erected the Berlin Wall in 1961. In 1968, the East German Communist leader, Walter Ulbricht, imposed restrictions on West German movements into West Berlin. The Soviet-bloc invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 added to the tension.
 
West Germany signed a treaty with Poland in 1970, renouncing force and setting Poland’s western border at the Oder-Neisse Line. It subsequently resumed formal relations with Czechoslovakia in a pact that “voided” the Munich treaty that gave Nazi Germany the Sudetenland. By 1973, normal relations were established between East and West Germany, and the two states entered the United Nations.
 
West German chancellor Willy Brandt, winner of a Nobel Peace Prize for his foreign policies, was forced to resign in 1974 when an East German spy was discovered to be one of his top staff members. Succeeding him was a moderate Social Democrat, Helmut Schmidt. Schmidt staunchly backed US military strategy in Europe, staking his political fate on placing medium-range nuclear missiles in West Germany unless the Soviet Union reduced its arsenal of intermediate missiles. He also strongly opposed nuclear-freeze proposals.
 
Helmut Kohl of the Christian Democrat Party became chancellor in 1982. An economic upswing in 1986 led to Kohl’s reelection. The fall of the Communist government in East Germany in 1989 paved the way for German reunification. On the night of November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was dismantled. In July 1990, Kohl asked Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to drop his objections to German unification in exchange for financial aid from Germany. Gorbachev agreed, and on October 3, 1990, the German Democratic Republic with the Federal Republic, and Germany became a united and sovereign state for the first time since 1945.
 
A reunited Berlin serves as the official capital of unified Germany, although the government continued to have administrative functions in Bonn during a 12-year transition period. The issues of the cost of reunification and the modernization of the former East Germany were serious considerations facing the reunified nation.
 
In its most important election in decades, Germans chose Social Democrat Gerhard Schröder as chancellor over Christian Democrat incumbent Helmut Kohl in 1998, ending 16 years of rule by the Christian Democrats that had seen the reunification of Germany and symbolized the end of the cold war in Europe. A centrist, Schröder campaigned for “the new middle” and promised to rectify Germany’s high unemployment rate of 10.6%.
 
Tension between the old-style left-wing and the more pro-business pragmatists within Schröder’s government came to a head with the abrupt resignation of finance minister Oskar Lafontaine in March 1999. Lafontaine was also chairman of the ruling Social Democratic Party. Lafontaine’s plans to raise taxes—already nearly the highest in the world—on industry and on German wages went against the more centrist policies of Schröder. Hans Eichel was chosen to become the next finance minister.
 
Germany joined other NATO allies in the military conflict in Kosovo in 1999. Before the Kosovo crisis, Germans had not participated in an armed conflict since World War II. Germany agreed to take in 40,000 Kosovar refugees, the most of any NATO country.
 
In December 1999, former chancellor Helmut Kohl and other high officials in the Christian Democrat Party (CDU) admitted accepting tens of millions of dollars in illegal donations during the 1980s and 1990s and keeping the money in secret bank accounts. The enormity of the scandal led to the virtual dismemberment of the CDU in early 2000, a party that had long been a stable conservative force in German politics.
 
In July 2000, Schröder managed to pass significant tax reforms that lowered the top income-tax rate from 51% to 42% by 2005. He also eliminated the capital-gains tax on companies selling shares in other companies, a measure that was expected to spur mergers. In May 2001, the German parliament authorized the payment of $4.4 billion in compensation to 1.2 million surviving Nazi-era slave laborers.
 
Schröder was narrowly reelected in September 2002, defeating conservative businessman Edmund Stoiber. Schröder’s Social Democrats and coalition partner, the Greens, won a razor-thin majority in parliament. Schröder’s handling of Germany’s catastrophic floods in August and his tough stance against US plans for a preemptive attack on Iraq buoyed him in the weeks leading up to the election. Germany’s continued reluctance to support the US call for military action against Iraq severely strained its relations with Washington.
 
Despite Schröder’s economic policies, Germany continued to toil in recession into 2003, after having Europe’s lowest growth rate among EU countries during the previous three years. In August 2003, Schröder unfurled an ambitious fiscal-reform package and called his proposal “the most significant set of structural reforms in the social history of Germany.” Schröder’s reforms, however, did little to rejuvenate the economy and angered many Germans, accustomed to their country’s generous social welfare programs. His reforms reduced national health insurance and cut unemployment benefits at a time when unemployment had reached an alarming 12%.
 
National elections in September 2005 ended in a deadlock. The conservative CDU/CSU and its leader, Angela Merkel, received 35.2% and Gerhard Schröder’s SPD garnered 34.3%. After weeks of wrangling to form a governing coalition, the first left-right “grand coalition” in Germany in 36 years was cobbled together, and on November 22, Merkel became Germany’s first female chancellor. During her first year, Merkel’s first major initiative, reforming the health care system, was widely viewed as ineffectual. In 2008 Forbes deemed Merkel the Most Powerful Woman in the World.
 
History of Germany (Wikipedia)
A Country Study: Germany (Library of Congress)
History of Germany (History World)
German History Sources (by Richard Weikart,California State University, Stanislaus)
The Thirty Years War(by Frederick Schiller)

 

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Germany's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Germany

The first Germans arrived in America alongside the English in Jamestown in 1607, and from that point on outpaced all other nations (except England, initially) in immigration until the 1890s. Many Germans came to America for the religious liberty it offered; Catholics in Protestant provinces and Protestants from Catholic provinces traveled across the Atlantic for the opportunity to practice their religion without interference. When the first national census was carried out in 1790, Germans comprised 8.6% of the population. Pennsylvania was the main destination for these early arrivals, and the 1790 census found that 33% of the state’s population was German. 

 
German immigration, significant already in the 18th century, accelerated quickly beginning in 1815. The Napoleonic wars left Germany’s economy in ruins, and in 1820 Prussia forced a union of the Reformed and Lutheran church, which culminated in a wave of religious and economic immigration. German merchants also began shipping “redemptioners” to America during this period, in a style reminiscent of the indentured servants of the 18th century. These immigrants were guaranteed free passage to America, where they would work for 5-7 years to redeem the cost of their passage. Like Ireland’s potato famine, large potato crop failures in the 1840s provided yet another stimulus for immigration. At the same time, thousands of revolutionaries in the failed rebellion of 1848 fled Germany for the safe haven of America.
 
The German nobility founded a number of pro-emigration groups, such as the National Emigration Society, which subsidized travel costs for German emigrants. The nobility’s motivation was less than pure humanitarianism—they believed that paying the dissatisfied to leave was the simplest solution to social problems at home. In addition to economic migrants, thousands of German Jews left because of discriminatory policies, and a large number of young men left to avoid conscription in the Prussian military. An underdeveloped economy continued to motivate poor farmers to immigrate to America up through the 1880s, at which point Germany began to industrialize and provide more factory jobs for its citizens. Although Germans were still coming to America in large numbers, immigration at the turn of the century was characterized by new arrivals from southern and eastern Europe. 
 
Germans tended to settle where their countrymen had already established communities, in a process known as chain migration. Transcontinental railroads, especially the Northern Pacific when German immigrant Henry Villard ran the company, sent agents to Atlantic ports to recruit industrious German farmers to work their land grants in the Midwest. This gave rise to the “German triangle” of cities in the Midwest, namely St. Paul, St. Louis, and Cincinnati, although German influence was strongly present across a much broader swathe of land. Because Germans were so numerous in the United States, the pressure to assimilate into the mainstream was not as strong. Between 1850 and 1970, German was the second most prevalent language in the US.
 
Relations between the United States and Germany in the 19th century focused on immigration and commerce. After 1871, as a unified Germany became a more dominant power in European politics, the relationship encountered some frictions as a result of naval and economic rivalries.
 
On August 4, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed US neutrality in the European war. This changed abruptly on May 7, 1915, when a German submarine sank the British ocean liner Lusitania with 1,198 people aboard, among them more than 100 Americans. When Germany announced on January 31, 1917 a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, the United States cut diplomatic ties with Germany. After the sinking of five US vessels, Wilson formally declared war on April 6, 1917.
 
In response to the war, German-language instruction ended in most public schools in the US. Hundreds of German-language publications ceased to exist. German music was no longer played, and many streets, buildings, and even cities were renamed. Sauerkraut became “liberty cabbage” and hamburgers turned into “Salisbury steaks.”
 
President Wilson presented his Fourteen Points in January 1918 as the basis for a just peace. When the armies of Germany were beaten back in the fall of 1918, the German government appealed to Wilson to negotiate on the basis of the Fourteen Points. The president conferred with the Allies, who acceded to the German proposal, but only with some compromises. An armistice was concluded on November 11, 1918.
 
The United States sought a lenient peace for Germany at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919; however, Wilson had been forced to compromise on his proposals for a generous and lasting peace. In June 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. It redrew the map of Europe and, as a result, Germany lost one seventh of its territory. Germany was also charged with paying heavy reparations. The US Senate rejected both the Versailles Treaty and the League Covenant in March 1920. Germany was not permitted to join the League of Nations until 1926. The United States and Germany signed a separate peace treaty in 1921 and a trade treaty in 1923.

The Dawes Plan presented in 1924 by American banker Charles Dawes was designed to help Germany pay its World War I reparations debt. It eased Germany’s payment schedule and provided for an international loan. In 1929, the Dawes Plan was replaced by the Young Plan, which substituted a definite settlement that measured the exact extent of German obligations and reduced payments appreciably.
 
The rise of Hitler and the resulting persecution of Jews and political dissidents brought about another break in German-American relations. After the Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938, which marked an unofficial beginning of intense persecution of German Jews, the American ambassador was recalled, althoughdiplomatic relations were not severed.
 
A new wave of emigration from Germany to the United States occurred. These refugees from Nazi Germany included Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Kurt Weill and Marlene Dietrich and other artists, scientists, musicians, and scholars. In particular, German scientists who fled the Nazis for the US wound up playing vital roles in the development of the atomic bomb and space programs in the United States.
 
With the fall of France and the air war against Britain in 1940, the debate intensified between those who favored joining the war effort and the isolationists. By 1941, there was an undeclared war between the United States and Germany in the Atlantic, with US warships protecting supply convoys bound for Britain from attacks by German submarines.
 
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On December 8, Congress declared a state of war with Japan; three days later its allies, Germany and Italy, declared war on the United States.  Four years later, the Allies insisted on an unconditional surrender by Germany. President Franklin D. Roosevelt considered a radical proposal, the Morgenthau Plan, which envisaged the permanent dismemberment of Germany and the destruction of all heavy industry, but ultimately decided against it.
 
Four zones of occupation controlled by the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union were established in Germany at the end of the war. The Russian zone in Germany later became the German Democratic Republic.
 
US occupation policy was characterized by programs to eliminate all traces of Nazi influence, introduce democratic institutions, and assure that German industry was used only for peaceful purposes. The US played a major role in the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg that charged 24 former Nazi leaders with the perpetration of war crimes and various groups with criminal actions.
 
On June 5, 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall laid the foundation for a US program of assistance to the countries of Europe. His long-sighted proposal was a major factor in the reconstruction of Germany in the aftermath of World War II and in the establishment of stability and prosperity in Europe.
 
In June 1948, the Soviets sealed off West Berlin. Through their control of the surrounding countryside, the Soviets halted all traffic into the city, cutting off food and supplies. The United States and Great Britain took to the skies and began flying in provisions for West Berlin’s 2.2 million residents, an effort that lasted 322 days. At midnight on May 12, 1949, the Soviets capitulated and reopened land and water routes into Berlin.
 
US policy in postwar Germany focused on the protection of personal liberties and constitutional safeguards as the basis of a democratic political order and the containment of an independent West German foreign policy through international organizations and treaties. The establishment, rearmament, and economic reconstruction of the Federal Republic of Germany was accomplished within the bounds of such international organizations as NATO, the Western European Union (WEU), the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), and the European Economic Community (EEC). In the 1950s, large numbers of US troops were stationed in Europe to ward off any thoughts of a Soviet attack on Western Europe.
 
It was believed that the non-confrontational response of the US to the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 showed that the United States was not truly interested in German unification. President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Berlin highlighted his tour of several European countries in June 1963. In his speech on June 26, Kennedy declared his special commitment to West Berlin, concluding his remarks with these words: “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” (Unknown to JFK at the time, his remark was grammatically incorrect with the inclusion of “ein.” The mistake changed the meaning of Kennedy’s remark, intended to say “I am a citizen of Berlin,” to “I am a donut,” Berliner being a popular treat consumed in those days).
 
Politics of detente in the 1970s both fulfilled some aspects of American and Russian security policy and Bonn’s desires to develop more extensive opportunities for personal contacts between the Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic. At the same time, beginning in the 1960s and continuing into the 1980s, a wide range of security issues revolved around the buildup of ballistic and nuclear missiles and the extent of the US nuclear commitment to Western Europe.
 
Following the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany, the US withdrew its last military brigade from Berlin in July 1994, but continued to station other forces throughout the country.
 
History of German-American Relations (US Embassy in Germany)
Ethnic Studies: German-Americans (World Wide Web-Virtual Library)
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Current U.S. Relations with Germany

German-American political, economic, and security relationships continue to be based on close consultation and coordination at the most senior levels. High-level visits take place frequently, and the United States and Germany cooperate actively in international forums.

 
During the 45 years in which Germany was divided, the US role in Berlin and the large American military presence in West Germany served as symbols of the US commitment to the preservation of peace and security in Europe. Since German unification, the US has maintained a strong military presence, stationing nearly 59,000 US military personnel in Germany.
 
Following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States and Germany cooperated closely to combat international terrorism in the areas of judicial cooperation, intelligence sharing and freezing the financial assets of suspected terrorists.

Germany participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, the US military operation launched in early October 2001 against the Taliban regime and against Al Qaeda strongholds in Afghanistan. Germany did not support the US military operation in Iraq in March-April 2003. Chancellor Angela Merkel took office in November 2005 promising a foreign policy anchored in a revitalized transatlantic partnership.

In recognition of the importance of the German-American economic relationship, during Germany’s six-month presidency of the European Union in 2007, Chancellor Merkel initiated the Transatlantic Economic Initiative to reduce and remove trade barriers.
 
The Merkel government has also sought to increase transatlantic cooperation in a range of other areas, including climate change policy, global counterterrorism and non-proliferation policy, and peacekeeping, reconstruction and stabilization in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans.
 
A total of 42,884,825 people identified themselves as of German origin in the 2000 US census, making them the largest ethnic group in the US. The states containing the greatest numbers of German-Americans are California (3.3 million), Pennsylvania (3.1 million), Ohio (2.9 million), Illinois (2.4 million), New York (2.1 million), and Texas (2.1 million).
 
In 2006 2,118,564 Americans visited Germany. Tourism has grown steadily since 2002, when 1,768,275 Americans traveled to Germany. That same year 1,385,520 Germans visited the US. The number of tourists peaked in 2005 at 1,415,530 after having grown steadily for a number of years.
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Where Does the Money Flow

Since reunification, US foreign direct investment in Germany has more than tripled, while German investment in the US is roughly seven times what it was when the Berlin Wall fell. Germany has a liberal foreign investment policy. For 2007, German investment in the US amounted to $202.6 billion, while US investment in Germany was $107 billion. Germany is the US’s fifth largest trading partner.

 
After France, the United States is Germany’s largest export market. The United States also is Germany’s third largest supplier, and its principal trading partner outside the EU. Two-way trade in goods totaled $144 billion in 2007. US exports to Germany were $49.6 billion, while US imports from Germany were more than $94.4 billion. At nearly $45 billion, the United States’ fifth-largest trade deficit is with Germany.
 
Major US export categories for 2007 included passenger cars ($7.1 billion), pharmaceutical preparations ($4.3 billion), aircraft engines ($2.1 billion), and medicinal equipment ($2.4 billion).
 
US imports from Germany are concentrated in motor vehicles ($17.6 billion), medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations ($8.9 billion) industrial machinery ($4.2 billion), and industrial organic chemicals ($1.5 billion).
 
Today, there are more than 3,000 German companies in the United States, with almost 670,000 employees; over 1,450 American companies in Germany provide over 800,000 jobs. Altogether, German-American bilateral investment and trade provide over 1.2 million direct jobs in Germany and the United States and sizably more indirect jobs. 
The US sold $1.33 billion of defense articles and services to Germany in 2007.
 
The US does not give foreign aid to Germany.
 
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Controversies
Germany Becomes ‘Pimp’ During World Cup
A US lawmaker and human rights groups accused Germany during the 2006 World Cup of doing little to prevent the exploitation of women, with one expert calling Berlin an official “pimp” for the event. “While the winner of the World Cup remains unknown, the clear losers will be the thousands of women and children trafficked and sold in Germanys legal sex industry to accommodate the huge influx of demand experts anticipate will be generated by male fans attending the games,” said Christopher Smith, the Republican chairman of a human rights panel in the US House of Representatives.
 
Germany legalized prostitution in 2002 and some 400,000 women work in the sex trade, according to various estimates. Traffickers had planned to bring in some 40,000 additional “sex workers” to “service” fans during the month-long soccer event, according to Smith and rights advocates who testified at a Congressional hearing entitled “Germany's World Cup Brothels.”
 
“The German government has made the highly controversial decision ... to act as an official ‘pimp’ for the 2006 World Cup,” said Juliette Engel, director of the Moscow-based MiraMed Institute, a public charity.
 
In the end, use of the brothels actually diminished during the World Cup, as international soccer fans preferred drinking and following the tournament.
 
German Leader Critical of US Renditioning of German Muslim
Khalid El-Masri, a Lebanese-born German citizen, was a car salesman living in the southern German town of Ulm. He was snatched by intelligence operatives while on holiday in Macedonia on December 31, 2003. El-Masri was sent to a secret interrogation center in Afghanistan and held incommunicado for five months during which he allegedly was roughly questioned about his supposed links to Al Qaeda. He was then flown to Albania and released, blindfolded, on a remote mountain road without explanation or apology after the CIA apparently concluded that he was who he said he was—an out-of-work car salesman unlucky enough to have a name similar to that of an Al Qaeda fugitive named Khalid al-Masri.
 
Two years later, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice found herself almost apologizing to German officials for the mistake involving al-Masri. In an unusual concession to critics of American policy, Rice acknowledged that mistakes were made in the murky war against Islamic terrorists. “Any policy will sometimes have errors. When that happens, we will do everything we can to rectify it.”
 
Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the United States had owned up to making wrong moves involving El-Masri. “I’m pleased to say we spoke about [this] individual case, which the government of the United States has accepted as a mistake,” Merkel told reporters as Rice stood beside her. “I’m very happy that the secretary has repeated here that when such mistakes happen, they must be corrected immediately.”
 
Within hours, senior US officials accompanying Rice took issue with Merkel’s comments, insisting that the secretary of state had made no such admission of US mishandling of the Masri case. “We are not quite sure what was in [Merkel's] head,” a senior official told reporters.
CIA abduction case ignites controversy (by Colin Nickerson, Boston Globe)
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Human Rights

On the whole, the State Department says Germany respects the human rights of its citizens. Problems that were cited in 2007 involved limitations on the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association aimed at groups deemed extremist. There was governmental and societal discrimination against some minority religious groups. Harassment of asylum seekers, violence against women, harassment of racial minorities and foreigners, anti-Semitic acts, and trafficking in persons were problems.

 
Distribution of propaganda of proscribed organizations is illegal, as are statements inciting racial hatred, endorsing Nazism, and denying the Holocaust. Germar Rudolf was found guilty in Manheim of denying the Holocaust and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. His book, Lectures on the Holocaust: A Controversial Question Cross‑Examined, was banned. Ernst Zuendel was sentenced to five years in prison for Holocaust denial and writing anti‑Semitic essays in several right‑wing extremist pamphlets.
 
Authorities opened an investigation of the alleged neo-Nazi affiliations of three members of an elite Frankfurt-based police unit that protects public figures. The three had served as bodyguards to Michel Friedman, former deputy head of Germany's Jewish community. The officers were suspended or reassigned. One officer slated to go on trial is accused of treason, possession of an illegal weapon, and of having posed for a picture in an SS uniform and signing the picture “Adolf Hitler.”
 
Officials in Saxony outlawed the far-right extremist group Sturm 34 and raided the homes of suspected members. Sturm 34 was known for its attempt to establish a “liberated nationalist zone” in the Mittweida area.
 
German officials responsible for protecting the constitution (known as OPC) examined possible threats to the constitutional democratic system and monitored several hundred organizations. Monitoring generally consisted of collecting information from written materials and firsthand accounts. However, OPCs could employ more intrusive methods, including the use of undercover agents, subject to legal checks. OPCs published lists of monitored organizations. Although the law stipulates that OPC monitoring must not interfere with an organization’s activities, representatives of monitored groups complained that the publication of the organizations’ names contributed to prejudice against them.
 
Scientologists continued to report instances of official and societal discrimination. Minister‑President of Baden‑Württemberg Günther Oettinger demanded that actor and Scientologist John Travolta be disinvited from a scheduled guest appearance on a popular television show, expressing concern that Travolta might use the show to promote Scientology. Travolta appeared on the show, but he reportedly agreed beforehand not to mention Scientology.
 
Before receiving official permit requests, officials barred the use of a ministry of defense facility in the making of a movie in which actor Tom Cruise, a follower of Scientology, would play the leading role. An official of the Ministry of Defense cited affiliation with Scientology as the reason for the decision. The government eventually permitted filming to proceed with Cruise’s participation.
 
On June 4, 2007, the federal government lifted a travel ban against the founder of the Unification Church, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, pursuant to a ruling by the Higher Administrative Court of Koblenz. The action followed the October 2006 Federal Constitutional Court's rejection of the Federal Interior Ministry's rationale for its 1995 immigration exclusion, which was based on the government's characterization of Reverend Moon and his wife as leaders of a “cult” that endangered the personal and social development of young persons. The court dismissed this rationale on the grounds that it violated religious freedom.
 
During 2007, courts upheld headscarf bans in several cases. The Federal Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that banning of head scarves is within state legislative jurisdiction, and subsequently eight of the 16 federal states passed headscarf bans for civil servants.
 
There were incidents of violence by right‑wing extremists against Muslims. On June 11, 2007, Berlin police clashed with some 450 right‑wing extremists protesting the construction of the first mosque in the East Berlin neighborhood of Pankow‑Heinersdorf. Police arrested twenty individuals, 15 of whom were right‑wing extremists.
 
There were a number of anti‑Semitic incidents. According to preliminary figures provided by the Federal Interior Ministry to the federal parliament, through September 2007 there were 716 anti-Semitic offenses (including 23 violent ones) compared to 749 (15 violent) for the same period a year earlier. Through September, authorities identified 398 suspects and made 21 arrests, compared to 449 suspects and 67 arrests in 2006. There were 13 injuries, an increase of five from the previous year.
 
On September 7, 2007, a rabbi was stabbed in Frankfurt by a man who at the time reportedly made anti‑Semitic remarks. Police arrested a twenty-two year old German citizen of Afghan origin one week later. The rabbi, whose wound was not life-threatening, made a full recovery. On February 25, Nazi sympathizers vandalized a Jewish kindergarten in Berlin, defacing the building with swastikas and slogans invoking the Holocaust, and threw a smoke bomb (which did not ignite) into the building.
 
Desecrations of Jewish cemeteries and other monuments were the most widespread anti‑Semitic acts. On March 8, 63 tombstones were destroyed at a Jewish cemetery in Diesbeck. Police arrested two men in connection with the act. On August 11, vandals overturned 79 tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in Ihringen. Police arrested four young men and confiscated extreme-right pamphlets from their apartments.
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

John Quincy Adams
Appointment: Jun 1, 1797
Presentation of Credentials: [Dec 5, 1797]
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, May 5, 1801
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin. Formally received on Dec 5, 1797.

Adams served as the 6th president of the United States (1825-1829).
 
Henry Wheaton
Appointment: Mar 3, 1835
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 9, 1835
Termination of Mission: Promoted to Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
Henry Wheaton
Appointment: Mar 7, 1837
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 29, 1837
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 18, 1846
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
 
Andrew J. Donelson
Appointment: Mar 18, 1846
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 18, 1846
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 9, 1849
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
Andrew J. Donelson
Appointment: [Aug 9, 1848]
Presentation of Credentials: [Sep 13, 1848]
Termination of Mission: [Presented recall, Nov 2, 1849]
Note: The dates in brackets relate to Donelson’s service as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Federal Government of Germany at Frankfurt.
 
Edward A. Hannegan
Appointment: Mar 22, 1849
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 30, 1849
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jan 13, 1850
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
 
Daniel D. Barnard
Appointment: Sep 3, 1850
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 10, 1850
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 21, 1853
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident to Berlin.
 
Peter D. Vroom
Appointment: May 24, 1853
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 4, 1853
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Aug 10, 1857
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Feb 9, 1854. Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
 
Joseph A. Wright
Appointment: Jun 1, 1857
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 3, 1857
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 1, 1861
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jun 14, 1858.
 
Norman B. Judd
Appointment: Mar 8, 1861
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 1, 1861
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 3, 1865
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
 
Joseph A. Wright
Appointment: Jun 30, 1865
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 3, 1865
Termination of Mission: Died at post, May 11, 1867
Note: Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin. Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 22, 1866.
 
George Bancroft
Appointment: May 14, 1867
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 28, 1867
Termination of Mission: Recommissioned and reaccredited on formation of the German Empire
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jul 15, 1867. Commissioned to Prussia; resident at Berlin.
George Bancroft
Appointment: May 31, 1871
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 23, 1871
Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Jun 30, 1874
Note: Commissioned to the German Empire. Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 12, 1871.
 
J.C. Bancroft Davis
Appointment: Jun 11, 1874
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 28, 1874
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 26, 1877
Note: Commissioned to the German Empire.
 
Bayard Taylor
Appointment: Mar 4, 1878
Presentation of Credentials: May 7, 1878
Termination of Mission: Died at post, Dec 19, 1878
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Andrew D. White
Appointment: Apr 2, 1879
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 19, 1879
Termination of Mission: Had farewell audience, Aug 15, 1881
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
A. Sargent
Appointment: Mar 2, 1882
Presentation of Credentials: May 18, 1882
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 6, 1884
Note: Commissioned to Germany
 
John A. Kasson
Appointment: Jul 4, 1884
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 10, 1884
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 21, 1885
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
George H. Pendleton
Appointment: Mar 23, 1885
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 21, 1885
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Apr 25, 1889
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Murat Halstead
Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Note: Not commissioned; nomination rejected by the Senate.
 
William Walter Phelps
Appointment: Jun 20, 1889
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 26, 1889
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 4, 1893
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 16, 1889. Commissioned to Germany.
 
Theodore Runyon
Appointment: Mar 23, 1893
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 4, 1893
Termination of Mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
Theodore Runyon
Appointment: Sep 14, 1893
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 26, 1893
Termination of Mission: Died at post, Jan 27, 1896
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Edwin F. Uhl
Appointment: Feb 10, 1896
Presentation of Credentials: May 3, 1896
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 8, 1897
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Andrew D. White
Appointment: Apr 5, 1897
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 12, 1897
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Nov 27, 1902
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Charlemagne Tower
Appointment: Sep 26, 1902
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 19, 1902
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 8, 1908
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 8, 1902. Commissioned to Germany.
 
David Jayne Hill
Appointment: Apr 2, 1908
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 14, 1908
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 2, 1911
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
John G.A. Leishman
Appointment: Aug 12, 1911
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 24, 1911
Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 4, 1913
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
James W. Gerard
Appointment: Jul 28, 1913
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 29, 1913
Termination of Mission: US severed diplomatic relations with Germany, Feb 3, 1917; Gerard received official notice of this Feb 5, 1917, and suspended his official functions. He left post, Feb 10, 1917.
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Ellis Loring Dresel
Appointment: Nov 18, 1921
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 10, 1921
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 18, 1922
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Alanson B. Houghton
Appointment: Feb 10, 1922
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 22, 1922
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 21, 1925
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Jacob Gould Schurman
Appointment: Mar 17, 1925
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 29, 1925
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 21, 1930
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Frederic M. Sackett
Appointment: Jan 9, 1930
Presentation of Credentials: Feb 12, 1930
Termination of Mission: Left Germany, Mar 24, 1933
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
William E. Dodd
Appointment: Jun 13, 1933
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 30, 1933
Termination of Mission: Left post, Dec 29, 1937
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
 
Hugh R. Wilson
Appointment: Jan 17, 1938
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 3, 1938
Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 16, 1938
Note: Commissioned to Germany.
Note: During the period 1938–1941 each of the following served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim: Alexander C. Kirk (May 1939–Oct 1940) and Leland B. Morris (Oct 1940–Dec 1941). Morris was serving as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim when Germany declared war on the United States Dec 11, 1941.
 
James B. Conant
Appointment: May 9, 1955
Presentation of Credentials: May 14, 1955
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 19, 1957
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany. The Embassy in Germany had been reestablished May 5, 1955, with Ambassador-designate Conant (who had been serving as High Commissioner) in charge except for a brief temporary absence pending confirmation of his nomination, commission, and presentation of his letter of credence.
 
David K.E. Bruce
Appointment: Mar 14, 1957
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 17, 1957
Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 29, 1959
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Walter C. Dowling
Appointment: Nov 7, 1959
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 3, 1959
Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Apr 21, 1963
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation, on Jan 21, 1960. Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
George C. McGhee
Appointment: Apr 25, 1963
Presentation of Credentials: May 18, 1963
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 21, 1968
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
Appointment: Apr 22, 1968
Presentation of Credentials: May 27, 1968
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 14, 1969
Note:Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Lodge had previously served as US senator from Massachusetts (1937-1944, 1947-1953), Ambassador to the United Nations (1953-1960) and Ambassador to South Vietnam (1965-1967). In 1960, Lodge was Richard Nixon’s running mate in his unsuccessful campaign for President of the Untied States.
 
Kenneth Rush
Appointment: Jul 8, 1969
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 22, 1969
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 20, 1972
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Martin J. Hillenbrand
Appointment: May 1, 1972
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 27, 1972
Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 18, 1976
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Walter J. Stoessel, Jr.
Appointment: Sep 16, 1976
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 27, 1976
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 5, 1981
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Arthur F. Burns
Appointment: Jun 26, 1981
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 30, 1981
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 16, 1985
Note: Commissioned to the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Richard R. Burt
Appointment: Jul 18, 1985
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 16, 1985
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 17, 1989
 
Vernon A. Walters
Appointment: Apr 14, 1989
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 24, 1989
Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 18, 1991
Walters served as Ambassador to the United Nations (1985-1989).
 
Robert Michael Kimmitt
Appointment: Aug 2, 1991
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 5, 1991
Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 28, 1993
 
Richard Holbrooke
Appointment: Sep 16, 1993
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 19, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post, Sep 12, 1994
Holbrooke later served as Ambassador to the United Nations (1999-2001).
 
Charles E. Redman
Appointment: Sep 24, 1994
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 31, 1994
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jun 17, 1996
Note: J. D. Bindenagel served as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Jun 1996–Sep 1997.
 
John C. Kornblum
Appointment: Aug 1, 1997
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 10, 1997
Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge Jan 16, 2001
Note: The US Office Bonn (Embassy Bonn until Jul 7, 1999) was closed Apr 3, 2000.
A. Elizabeth Jones
Note:Nomination of Feb 22, 2000 was not acted upon by the Senate.
 
Daniel R. Coats
Appointment: Aug 7, 2001
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 12, 2001
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 28, 2005

 

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Germany's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Wittig, Peter

 

Peter Wittig was named Germany’s ambassador to the United States on April 30, 2014. It’s the fourth ambassadorial post for Wittig, a career member of Germany’s Foreign Service.

 

Wittig was born in Bonn, then the capital of West Germany, on August 11, 1954. His father worked in a government ministry and his mother was a teacher. Wittig attended college at Bonn, Freiburg, Canterbury and Oxford universities, studying history, political science and law. After finishing school, he was an assistant professor at the University of Freiburg.

 

Wittig joined the Foreign Service in 1982 and some of his early assignments were to Madrid, Spain; to the United Nations in New York; as private secretary to the foreign minister; and as a spokesman in Germany’s Foreign Ministry.

 

In 1997, Wittig was named Ambassador to Lebanon, serving there for two years before moving to Cyprus as Ambassador and German envoy on the Cyprus Question, the division of the island nation. He served there until 2002.

 

He returned to the Foreign Ministry, as deputy director for United Nations (U.N.) Affairs and Global Issues, then as director in 2006. Wittig was named Germany’s ambassador to the U.N. in 2009. He successfully campaigned to win Germany a nonpermanent seat on the Security Council, speaking to 190 of 191 representatives in the process. Germany won a seat in 2010, but the campaign, while wound down, didn’t completely cease as the nation made noises about being given a permanent seat on the Security Council, as the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France have. However, Germany’s abstention from the 2011 vote on whether to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya might have hurt its chances in that quarter. Wittig was quoted at the time as being concerned for “the likelihood of large-scale loss of life” during such a campaign.

 

For a time during his U.N. tenure, Wittig was overshadowed by his wife, journalist Huberta Voss-Wittig. She and Sheila Lyall-Grant, wife of Britain’s ambassador to the U.N., made a video urging British-born Asma al-Assad, wife of Syria President Bashar al-Assad, to help end violence in Syria.

 

Wittig and his wife, who was also spokeswoman for German Bundestag President Rita Suessmuth, have four children, Valeska, Maximilian, Augustin, and Felice..

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

U.N. Ambassadors’ Wives Urge Syria’s First Lady To ‘Stop Your Husband’ (by Eli Clifton, Think Progress)

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Germany's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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U.S. Ambassador to Germany

Emerson, John
ambassador-image

President Barack Obama is sending a major campaign contributor and volunteer to serve as U.S. ambassador to Germany, continuing a time-honored and bipartisan practice. John B. Emerson, who is president of Capital Group Private Client Services, is an attorney and longtime Democratic Party donor and activist. If confirmed by the Senate as expected, Emerson would succeed Philip D. Murphy, who has served in Berlin since August 2009 and was also a political appointee. 

 

Born circa 1954, John Bonnell Emerson was raised mainly in the New York City suburbs of Bloomfield, N.J., and Larchmont, N.Y. Emerson’s father, James G. Emerson, was a Presbyterian minister and his social worker mother, Margaret Bonnell Emerson, was the daughter of prominent Presbyterian minister John Sutherland Bonnell, who was one of the first public figures to challenge Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s (R-Wisconsin) anti-communist witch-hunts of the 1950s.

 

Deciding against a career in the ministry in order “to seek my own path,” Emerson earned a BA in Government and Philosophy at Hamilton College in 1975 and a JD from the University of Chicago in 1978. A lifelong Democrat, Emerson also got involved in politics during college, participating in anti-war rallies and volunteering for Democratic Sen. George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign.

 

Relocating to Los Angeles after graduating law school, Emerson practiced law at the Manatt, Phelps & Phillips law firm, specializing in business and entertainment litigation and administrative law and rising to partner. He also served as chief deputy and chief of staff in the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.

 

Continuing to be politically active after moving to California, Emerson played prominent roles in several campaigns, usually for moderate Democrats. He served as general counsel for Jerry Brown’s 1982 U.S. Senate bid; as California chairman of Sen. Gary Hart’s presidential run in 1984; and as deputy national campaign manager for Hart’s 1986-1987 presidential bid.

 

Emerson has even run for office himself. He nearly won a campaign for a seat in the State Assembly from the Silver Lake-Echo Park area in 1991, losing by only 31 votes, but refusing to request a recount.

 

Emerson finally backed a winner in 1992, when he was Bill Clinton’s California campaign manager. He was rewarded with a White House job, serving from 1993 to 1997 as deputy assistant to President Clinton. He coordinated the Clinton-Gore transition team’s economic conference in 1992 and served as the President’s liaison to California in the aftermath of the January 1994 Northridge earthquake.

 

After leaving the Clinton administration, Emerson joined the Capital Group Companies, one of the world’s largest investment management firms with assets of about $1 trillion under management.

 

A wealthy man, Emerson has donated $225,000 to Democratic candidates and organizations since 1992, and bundled donations from others for Barack Obama to the tune of at least $500,000 in 2012. 

 

Emerson has served as the chairman of the Music Center of Los Angeles County, a director and vice chairman of the Los Angeles Metropolitan YMCAs, a trustee of The Buckley School, a trustee of Marlborough School, a member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Trade Advisory Council, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also been appointed by President Obama to serve on his Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

 

John Emerson is married to Kimberly Marteau Emerson, an attorney who served in the Clinton Administration as director of Public Liaison for the U.S. Information Agency, a now-defunct foreign propaganda arm of the federal government, most of whose functions are now carried out by the Bureau of International Information Programs in the State Department

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Mr. Fix-It: When Things don't Run Right in California, the White House Calls on John Emerson (by Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times)

Mr. John B. Emerson & Ms. Kimberly Marteau Emerson (Pacific Council on International Policy)

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Germany

Timken, William
ambassador-image

 

A native of Ohio, William Robert Timken, Jr. was sworn in as US ambassador to Germany on August 15, 2005. He presented his credentials to German President Horst Köhler on September 2, 2005. Timken concluded his servies on December 5, 2008.
 
Timken received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1960 and an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1962.

Prior to becoming ambassador to Germany, Timken was the head of the Timken Company, a worldwide Fortune 500 company specializing in the manufacture of bearings and other steel-based components, with operations in 28 countries, including Germany. The company was founded by Timken’s great-grandfather in 1898.
 
Timken told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “They didn't send me there [to Germany] to be a bureaucrat. My job was more like running a big business.” Timken considered himself the CEO of all US government persoonel in Germany, including the military and 30 federal agencies, totaling 75,000 people.

His business experience includes service on the boards of directors of numerous public companies. He has also chaired the National Association of Manufacturers, The Manufacturing Institute and the Ohio Business Roundtable. He has served on the Advisory Council of the Stanford University School of Business and was a member of the US-Japan Business Council for 20 years. In 2003, he received a presidential appointment to serve as chairman of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.
 
Timken has donated tens of thousands of dollars to national and Ohio GOP organizations and numerous Republican candidates, including President Bush and US Senator George Voinovich. In 2004 he served as Ohio finance co-chairman for the Bush-Cheny campaign and was classed a “Bush Ranger” for having raised more than $200,000 for the campaign.
 
Berlin Rally Is Off-Limits for Embassy Workers (by Karen DeYoung, Washington Post)
Dr. Range-Rover (or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the American Ambassador) (see entry for April 22, 2007) (by Arden Pennell, New Yorker in Berlin)

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