Verständnis und Verständigung

In This Review

Verständnis und Verständigung

By Herbert Blankenhorn
Propyläen, 1980
624 pp.
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The author, Konrad Adenauer's confidant from the immediate postwar period and for six years his special aide for foreign affairs, became successively Bonn's ambassador to NATO, Paris, Rome and London, and saw the principal actors and scenes of Germany's reemergence into world politics. An excellent and entertaining source, with reminders of past crises and apprehensions, such as Adenauer's fears in 1946 that all the Anglo-American troops would withdraw from Europe, and aperçus such as Adenauer's sense of Western identity as "the child of the Roman occupation." A bit bland, a bit lacking in that esprit de curiosité which time and again the author himself lauds as a diplomat's high virtue; but still an appealing and important book.