April 06, 2019

Obama Evokes Nostalgia in Germany, but Message Focuses on Future Struggles

Featuring Julianne Smith

Source: The New York Times

Journalist Katrin Bennhold

The man whom Chancellor Angela Merkel calls “dear Barack” was back in Berlin on Saturday, his lanky figure and easy smile a reminder for Germans of a different era that ended not so long ago.

But former President Barack Obama had not come to speak about the past. He came to speak to the future: some 300 young leaders from across Europe, who had gathered for a town hall-style meeting in the German capital.

It did not take long for Mr. Obama to touch on one of his main concerns — and the reason he had come to what he called “the heart of Europe.”

Europe, Mr. Obama suggested, is one of the main battlefields between liberal democracy and far-right populism.

Read the full article and more in The New York Times.

  • Julianne Smith

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Julianne (“Julie”) Smith is currently in residence at the Bosch Academy in Berlin as a Weizsäcker Fellow. She is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy, where she coedits “Sh...