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Russian President Vladimir Putin listens as German Chancellor Angela Merkel answers a question a Russia-EU Summit. Russian President Vladimir Putin listens as German Chancellor Angela Merkel answers a question during the news conference at the Russia-EU Summit in Volzhsky Utyos, May 18, 2007 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

Vladimir Putin Played Germany’s Aging Patriarchs for Fools

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Usually, parents don’t congratulate their children for ending up in detention at school. But for my Ukrainian mom in early-1990s Germany, there were some things that mattered more than what my teachers thought.

Having opted to learn Russian at my high school in the city of Hanover, I quickly discovered that the version of history my teachers embraced did not square with what I had experienced growing up in the Ukrainian tradition. My Russian teachers espoused a deep commitment to promoting reconciliation between Germany and the Russian people, having embraced the idea that all of German society shared a collective responsibility for the Nazis’ crimes during World War II. ...

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