To the Editor:

Andrei S. Markovits ("The Minister and the Terrorist," November/December 2001) has come to some very startling conclusions about German politics.

The author argues that it was through Joschka Fischer and the "68ers" that Germany brought about the "normalization process" in dealing with its Nazi past. In fact, those who experienced the years 1933-45 should be given more credit for the postwar democratic transition than Fischer's generation. Germany's spectacular re-entry into the circle of democratic nations and its rise in economic and political status were made possible through the successful "anchoring" of the young Bonn republic with the leading democracies of the West. This was done by Adenauer and the majority of the voters he was able to gather behind him.

Since 1998, German foreign policy under Fischer has been controversial and contradictory. It has faltered in managing the introduction of the euro (former Chancellor Helmut Kohl's landmark policy), and only after relentless pressure from Germany's friends and allies (and from the political opposition) did the coalition government align itself with NATO positions on the Balkans and Afghanistan.

Instead, in their successful march through the institutions of the country, Fischer and his friends have done much harm to the nation's economy, educational system, and domestic security.


Chairman of the Supervisory Board, HypoVereinsbank