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Bettina Vestring
Author / 19 Posts
is a freelance journalist based in Berlin. She writes on foreign and security policy and EU affairs.

There was nothing he wouldn’t sell and very little he couldn’t buy. Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski was communist East Germany’s foremost capitalist. Having outlived the state he served by a quarter century, he died on June 21 at the age of 82.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel turned down Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to attend the huge military parade planned for the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory over Germany. Instead, she will travel to Moscow one day later to take part in a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – an unexpected hopeful sign.


Barack Obama’s absence at the great Paris rally for the victims of last week’s terrorist attacks may be symbolic of a deeper rift: Americans and Europeans have a completely different view of what it takes to combat terrorism.