Germany is marking the 75th anniversary of the most famous plot to kill Adolf Hitler, honoring those who resisted the Nazis — who were stigmatized for decades as traitors — as pillars of the country’s modern democracy amid growing concerns about the resurgence of the far-right. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will speak Saturday at an annual swearing-in ceremony for some 400 troops before addressing a memorial event, paid tribute ahead of the anniversary to executed plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators and highlighted their importance to modern Germany. “Only if we understand our past can we build a good future,” Angela Merkel said. Von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, during a meeting at his headquarters in East Prussia. Hitler escaped the full force of the blast when someone moved the briefcase next to a table leg, deflecting much of the explosive force. The plot crumbled when news spread that Hitler had survived. Von Stauffenberg and his fellow plotters were executed within hours. The story had little resonance in the immediate post-World War II years, when many still viewed the July 20 plotters as traitors, as they had been painted by the Nazis in the aftermath of the failed assassination. The resistance against the Nazis only came to be “laboriously accepted” over subsequent decades, said Johannes Tuchel, director of the German Resistance Memorial Center, and even in the 1980s many believed its memory would fade away. Only in 2004
The abrupt resignation of the leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) after disastrous European and regional elections has thrown the future of the ‘grand coalition’ with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives into doubt. The government looks set to limp on until elections in three former Communist eastern states in September and October. But if the SPD and Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) do badly, the risk of a government collapse would increase sharply. The SPD, led by an interim triumvirate for the next few months, will later this year pick a new leader and review its role in the coalition. To reinvent itself in opposition and win back defectors from the resurgent Greens, the SPD may, under a new leader, ditch its marriage with Merkel. Here are the main scenarios for Germany if the coalition between the conservative bloc and SPD collapses: NEW ELECTION The option most analysts are talking about, a snap election before the next scheduled one in 2021, poses enormous risks for the conservatives and SPD. Merkel has said she will not stand for a fifth term as chancellor. The conservative bloc of the CDU and its Bavarian CSU sister party is polling at 26%-29%, below their 2017 election result. Merkel’s heir apparent Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has failed to boost the CDU’s ratings since taking over as its leader in December. The SPD faces decimation, at 12%-17% in polls, paying the price for sharing power as Merkel’s junior partners for six years and 10 of the last 14. A
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer lives with her family in Püttlingen. Kramp-Karrenbauer was born on August 9, 1962 in Völklingen. In 1982 she graduated from the Marie-Luise-Kaschnitz Gymnasium in the same place. In 1982 she began her studies in law and political science at the universities in Trier and Saarbrücken. In 1990 she completed her studies with Magister Artium.
From September 1999 to March 2018 Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was a member of the Saarland Landtag. From 1999 to 2000 she held the post of parliamentary director of the CDU parliamentary group.
Germany’s Angela Merkel, who has headed the CDU for 18 years, had until now always indicated that she believed the posts of party leader and chancellor should be held by the same person.
“She will not stand again for the chairmanship of her party,” a source within the Christian Democratic Union said.
Bavarians were voting Sunday in a state election that was expected to deal the prosperous region’s long-dominant conservative party a stinging setback, with unpredictable consequences for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s federal government.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “Of course I hope for a good result for the CSU. I know we don’t live in easy times. Otherwise I’m waiting for the result.”
Britain’s military capabilities easily dwarf those of any other EU member state apart from France. It also has diplomatic and intelligence services that are among Europe’s best resourced and most capable.
“We will further strengthen the European pillar in NATO, contribute to European security and improve Europe’s resilience to security threats,” Britain and Germany said in a document which did not mention Brexit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel: “Almost 80 years ago, on the pogrom night of November 9, Jews in Germany faced unimaginable hate and violence. This was followed by unprecedented crimes against civilization in the form of the Shoah. Germany has a perpetual responsibility to remember those crimes and to confront anti-Semitism, xenophobia, hate and violence.”