- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 19 Jan 1961, p. 180-194
- Jaenicke, Dr. Joachim, Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The challenge to Germany as that to the entire free world: the twin challenge to Freedom and to Peace; how to maintain, how to protect, and how to strengthen Freedom and Peace, Peace and Freedom. A look at the world situation today. The free world losing ground to Communist expansion since 1945. The situation in and for Germany; a partitioned Germany. Effects on Germany of the Marshal Plan, particularly in terms of aid. A rebuilt Germany due to Freedom, Foreign Aid, and the Will to Work. Germany's aim with regard to relations with other nations. Concerns about the Common Market, the Six and the Seven for Canada. Supporting a liberal trade policy. Avoiding a trade split in Europe. Challenges to Germany in 1961 and what Germany is trying to do about them. The Berlin situation. The challenge to freedom connected with Germany's immediate past. Confronting the dark past: what Germany and its people are doing, in some detail. Restitution and indemnification, with some facts and figures. Germany's contribution to developing countries. The spirit in which Germany and its leaders approach the future.
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- 19 Jan 1961
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- CHALLENGE TO GERMANY-1961
An Address by DR. JOACHIM JAENICKE
Thursday, January 19th, 1961
CHAIRMAN: The President, Alexander Stark, Q.C.
MR. STARK: I know you would think me very remiss indeed if I did not depart from precedent and present to you at the very outset of our meeting a very distinguished visitor, indeed, who has joined us at the head table. That distinguished visitor, none other than Earl Alexander of Tunis, would be welcome in any Canadian audience as he was such a great General, and because he was our beloved Governor-General for many years. But he is especially welcome here because, as you know, for fifteen years, from 1946 until last year, Lord Alexander was our Honorary President.
It is a tremendous pleasure and a great thrill to present him to you and he has kindly consented to say just a word or two at this time.
FIELD MARSHALL THE RIGHT HONOURABLE EARL ALEXANDER OF TUNIS: Mr. President, Your Worship, Gentlemen: It has been nice to be back here again in Toronto and I have enjoyed myself immensely. It is most kind of your President to give me this invitation, as I am only here for one night.
I did not know I should have the pleasure of even saying a few words to you, so I feel a little bit like the young curate -begging Your Excellency's pardon-who was translated from one parish to another. When he arrived at the new parish on the Sunday morning he found that the vicar was ill and that he would have to preach the sermon, which he hadn't had time to prepare.
So, mounting the pulpit he said, "Dearly beloved Brethren, in the unfortunate absence of the Vicar it falls to my lot to preach the sermon today, which I have not had time to prepare, so the best I can do is to repeat the words which God puts into my mouth. But I can promise you next Sunday I will have something much more worthy of your attention.
Well, now, Gentlemen, I am not going to say any more because I know you are all busy people and you are very much interested to hear what Dr. Jaenicke has to tell us, so I will sit down, but not before I have expressed my appreciation for the kind invitation which has brought me here this afternoon and for the pleasure, not only of coming back to Toronto, but seeing so many old friends among the audience here.
MR. STARK: Thank you very much, Sir.
Today we are honoured in the visit to us from Ottawa of Mr. Joachim Jaenicke, Counsellor to the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. All of us have been astounded and amazed at the growth and recovery of West Germany in the past few years. It has been described to us as a modern Utopia, without unemployment and with abounding prosperity. And yet it also is a land facing problems, national and international, of its own.
Our guest today is a man who believes that "the Germany of today is not the Germany of yesterday". He is one who has experienced life under a modern totalitarian dictatorship, as well as in later happier days; and he is one who is conscious of the obligations which the facts of history impose upon the German people.
Mr. Jaenicke was born in 1915 in Breslau, Germany. In his education, he specialized in International Law, Modern History, and Economics at the University of Geneva and, later, in Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, and, later still, in Massachusetts. Then for five years he taught modern languages and history at Westtown School, Westtown, Pennsylvania. Following that, was Assistant Professor of History and German at Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana for two years. In 1948 he returned to Germany. He rendered valuable services in connection with the Marshall Plan, and in July of 1950, he entered the newly-created German Foreign Service. He then was appointed ViceConsul for the German Consulate General at New York and later served at the German Embassy in Washington. In 1955 he returned to Bonn, where he was spokesman and chief of the Press Office of the German Foreign Office. In December of 1959, he was appointed as Counsellor to the German Embassy at Ottawa.
It is with great pleasure that I now present Mr. Joachim Jaenicke, who will speak to us on the topic, "Challenge to Germany--1961".
MR. JAENICKE: Mr. Chairman, My Lord, Your Worship, Distinguished Guests and Members of The Empire Club: I thank you for having granted me the privilege to address you here today and I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your gracious words of welcome.
Mr. Chairman, I do not know what the feeling is at The Empire Club toward the diplomatic profession. I understand there are certain circles quite critical of it! Those of us who practise diplomacy with so much tact and finesse find this critical attitude, of course, somewhat surprising! We stand before such an attitude with a sort of sad resignation, resignation at such lack of comprehension, such ingratitude.
Of course, Mr. Chairman, I must admit that the more sensitive members of our profession sometimes are assailed by doubts! You know--big international crises, a war here and there--this unfortunately lends some support to a feeling on our part of insufficiency, maybe even failure! In fact, we don't always know what to do, and that is why, according to our instructions, we always think twice before we say nothing!
But about one thing we are quite certain. Whatever we do, we must not get into trouble! I bring this up, Mr. Chairman, because I am in trouble. I draw your attention to the fact that I am billed wrongly, billed as a "Doctor". Mr. Chairman, I appear under false pretences! I do not wish to give even the appearance of false pretences! I know your Canadian authorities will probably be very understanding and magnanimous-diplomatic immunity, and all that! But think of my own authorities! German thoroughness, an investigation, worse: immediate recall. "Schrecklich"!
Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I should like to go on record publicly now, although I am German and wear glasses, I do not have a Doctorate!
Mr. Chairman, "Challenge to Germany-1961" is my topic. Essentially, the challenge to Germany is the same challenge as that to the entire free world. It is the twin challenge to Freedom and to Peace. The problem for all of us is how to maintain, how to protect, and how to strengthen Freedom and Peace, Peace and Freedom.
Let us look for a second at the world situation today. It is dominated by the East-West struggle, by the Cold War, by the conflict between the free world on the one hand, the unfree world on the other; by our world aspiring toward democracy and ever greater freedom. On the other--a world where quite different values prevail. The situation is dominated by the conflict between the world where faults can be corrected-maybe that is the essence of Democracy -and, on the other side, the world where the system is perfect, the rulers always right.
Incidentally, it would be a grave mistake to consider this struggle with any sort of complacency just because we believe that our values are superior. This may well be. In fact, we think they are superior-we have chosen them.
But, Ladies and Gentlemen, the road of history is strewn with the wrecks of superior civilizations which succumbed to the onslaught of societies with decidedly inferior values! Higher values in themselves are no guarantee. They are nothing, they cannot win without being backed up by conviction and a willingness to sacrifice.
It would be closing our eyes, I believe, to reality, not to see that the free world is on the defensive. The free world has been losing ground to the virulent Communist expansion going on ever since 1945. Look at Asia: suffice it to mention Red China. Look at Africa: the struggle is intense ... the outcome hanging in the balance. Look at Europe--grievous losses between 1945 and 1948. Old and proud nations of Eastern Europe disappeared in the world behind the Iron Curtain, a world about whose sufferings free men have little idea, and, I feel, something even worse, give little thought to. The great Russian peoples themselves continue to pay the price of freedom and other human values we prize, for their all too rapid advance from a development country, as we would say today, to a military and industrial giant.
In Europe, however, since 1949, since the foundation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the free world held its ground.
And now, where does Germany fit into this picture? First of all, which Germany? The Germany of pre-war days was destroyed-a destruction brought on by its own criminal leadership, although I should like to interject here that it took a dictatorship to lead Germany into ruin. It took a dictator who first, in a way, conquered his own nation, subjugated his own people, before he could lead it astray, and to the end you all know.
Today, Germany is partitioned. If you will recall for a moment the map of Europe, the easternmost part of Germany was handed over to the Communist Government of Poland, the so-called Oder-Neisse Territories-one quarter of Germany and ancient German land.
The central part of Germany today is occupied by Soviet troops, the central part of Germany which the world press persists in calling East Germany. I say the Central part of Germany is today the area of the greatest military concentration anywhere in the world-Soviet military concentration. In the midst of that area, the City of Berlin with, roughly speaking, four million people, but the city itself again divided into a Soviet sector and the British, French and American sectors, known as West Berlin or the free part of Berlin--two and a half million people on an island of freedom--two and a half million people who do their share in holding this bastion of the free world, holding open the gateway to freedom for all those who want to flee, not only from Communist-dominated Germany, but from all Communist-dominated Eastern Europe. Last year alone two hundred thousand Germans from Central Germany fled through Berlin. To give you a figure of comparison, I believe last year's immigration to this vast land of Canada stands at eighty-five thousand.
The Eastern part gone, the Central part of Germany occupied by Soviet troops, what about the Western part? The former United States, United Kingdom and French zones of occupation today form the Federal Republic, the free part of Germany, the Germany to whose Embassy in Ottawa I belong.
What of the Germans who live in the Federal Republic? What have the Germans done with their freedom? They were defeated just as much as all the other Germans in 1945, but they had the good fortune of finding themselves in the areas occupied by the United States, by Great Britain and by France, and these three Western Allies have successively, step by step, given back to the Germans their freedom.
They did even more. The Western Allies helped the Germans get on their feet by immense financial contributions. If I may interject one statistic, Germany received a billion and a half dollars in Marshal Plan aid that triggered her economic recovery.
But they also received aid which we particularly appreciated, aid by the millions from private individuals. I mention the CARE organization. They even received aid in considerable amounts from the United Kingdom at a time when Britain herself was still suffering severely from the wounds of the war that had just been ended.
With the aid as a starter and with the moral and political support, and with their own will to rebuild a shattered homeland, the Germans went to work. They rebuilt Germany physically. They rebuilt it to the level which you know, which you have heard about, which you have even wondered about.
How was this possible? Well, I think I could summarize it by mentioning three words. It was possible because we had Freedom, Foreign Aid and the Will to Work.
I always remember one little incident which occurred a few years ago, when a friend of mine who was an economist at an English university, came to visit me in Bonn and we walked across the market square of the City of Bonn which in one bombing raid in the latter part of the war had been laid flat. He stopped, looked around, saw all the new buildings, the rebuilt cathedral, the department store and so on. He put his hand on my arm and said, "Twenty-five percent of investment--an investment rate of twenty-five per cent and no dictatorship! It is fantastic!"
He was referring to the voluntary effort that the German people made, the voluntary renunciation of consumption which they put into investments, into the rebuilding of their country.
But what was even more important than the physical rebuilding was-the moral and political rebuilding.
The Germans used their freedom to build anew and to rebuild Democracy in Germany.
I use the word "rebuild" advisedly, because a public contention to the contrary notwithstanding, there is and there always has been since the Middle Ages a democratic tradition in Germany. It resided with us in our municipalities, in our cities. Of course, it was not the modem type of democracy, but it corresponded to the type and the degree of democracy which existed in other European municipalities at that time and which, if you study English history, you realize always went in gradual steps from a narrower type to an ever widening, more popular type of democracy.
We also have in Germany the great tradition of the revolution of 1848. In my family, for instance, this matters tremendously. My great-grandfather at that time was condemned to death for a speech he made in which he reminded the Prussian King that he had promised a Constitution way back in 1818!
Confidentially, he was pardoned later on. Otherwise, I might not be here.
We have had our first democratic experiment in 1918 which lasted to 1933, and foundered on the rocks of the world economic crisis under the onslaught of an unusual, demoniac demagogue.
But the Germans also after the Second World War tried to apply the lessons of the Third Reich, of the dictatorship, and they wrote them into the Constitution and created a new democratic government. As you all know, it has been our good fortune to have one of the most stable democratic governments in Europe.
Thirdly, we also applied the lessons by adopting a new foreign policy. One of the key conceptions of that foreign policy, whose architect very largely is the Chancellor of Germany, Dr. Adenauer, is that the day of inter-European rivalry must be gone. This principle must be a thing of the past. The legitimate aims of all our European nations, the day-today goals each government legitimately has, must be pursued and reached, not against each other but on a new European level. The conflict of interest must be solved on the higher plane of the common European approach and the common European effort.
Now, these are not only, as you might suspect, fine sounding phrases; they can be backed up by facts. I recall to you the reconciliation between the French and the German peoples. I recall to you the effort toward European integration. I recall to you that Germany not only was very active in the movement toward European unification and integration, but also has been received as a member of the great Western defensive alliance, NATO.
It has been our aim to have good relations with all peoples of the world, and the Federal Republic maintains diplomatic relations with eighty-two nations of the world.
As for the fruits of the European policy which I have tried to define, may I say a word about the greatest achievement to date, the creation of the Common Market. It was a Canadian author who in a series of articles recently pointed up, even to my own surprise, what he called the "fantastic success" of the Common Market in raising the standard of living, in raising production in Europe. I am referring to the series of articles by Bruce Hutchison.
I also know that the Common Market, which we regret, causes some apprehension in Canada. It is understandable because, at least we feel, it is the fear of the unknown. May I say one reassuring word. In 1959 Canada's trade with the six members of the Common Market was twenty million dollars in favour of Canada. In 1960, for the months of January to November, the Canadian exports to the Common Market rose by forty-one per cent.
There is also some concern about a fact that the Common Market could not get together with the rest of the European economic community, and that there was a split between the Common Market, between the Six and the Seven.
Another word on this point. Germany, whose trade with the Seven, with the non-Common Market, is very large and most significant, has always pursued and still does pursue today, two aims-to support and press for a most liberal trade policy on the part of the Common Market, and secondly, to explore all possibilities, to promote all efforts toward an understanding between the Six and the Seven, trying by all means to avoid a trade split in Europe.
And now a word as to the challenges before Germany in 1961. I have already said that the challenge before my country is essentially that before the free world, but of course the challenges take a special form, a particular form for each country and I should like to mention a few.
If I could formulate my topic, "Challenge to Germany," in a more exact, should I say, in a more precise manner, with a little bit of German thoroughness, I would say, "Challenges to Germany in 1961 and what we are trying to do about them."
It is obvious that one challenge will be Berlin. It will remain a challenge during the coming months and so will the problem of reunification.
I see from the papers that Mr. Khrushchev has again threatened to conclude a separate peace treaty between the Soviet Union and the Soviet-occupied part of Germany. Nobody can keep the Soviet Union from concluding a treaty with itself, but I don't think it will have a very great effect when you have concluded a treaty with yourself.
As for Berlin, it is interesting to note that at the active stage of the Berlin crisis, the Communists said that Berlin was an anomaly, an "intolerable cancer". Today that intolerable situation has, by fiat of the Soviet Government, been made curiously tolerable. It seems to be a cancer of quite a unique kind, namely, a cancer which can be turned off and on at will, like a water faucet!
The freedom of Berlin does not, to us in Germany, appear as an anomaly. In fact, we tend to believe that it is quite normal that the Berliners should be in Berlin and that they should live there in freedom and prosperity.
Perhaps there is something after all in the idea expressed the other day by a United States Senator who said he thought it seemed anomalous to him that the Soviets were in Berlin, that they still occupied so much of European territory outside the Soviet Union. No, the ups and downs of the Berlin situation prove one thing: that the Berlin question is an integral part of the East-West conflict. And so is the question of German reunification.
Both are not German questions in the narrow sense of the word. . . they are not questions that can be dealt with by the Germans themselves alone. However, they are both questions to which the Germans must, can, and will make a contribution.
What is that contribution? It is steadfastness against threats and, I would say, deafness and blindness toward blandishments. Since 1945 the German people could have had, I think, reunification if they had been willing to pay the price of freedom. But particularly our brothers and sisters in the Soviet-occupied part of Germany would never have wanted us to pay this price.
I say, our contribution to those two German questions is steadfastness against threats, steadfastness toward blandishments, and, Gentlemen, patience! We will show the patience of one who knows that what he wants is both reasonable and equitable. We will, if necessary, wait a very long time to reach the goal of unity and freedom.
We have great examples, great models in the history of the world, of peoples who had to wait centuries to attain their national unity, their national home and their liberty. We shall wait, if fate so requires of us, as long as the Polish people, as long as the Greek people, as long as the Jewish people!
Now, in Germany the challenge to freedom which I have mentioned earlier is intimately, and I would say this is peculiar to the German situation, intimately connected with our immediate past.
Freedom will always be challenged. It is challenged in the most experienced democracies today, and it is of course challenged in our own country, in my own country.
I have said that this challenge to freedom is particularly connected with our immediate past. In other words, one of the great problems which we face today and tomorrow is: the confrontation of the German people with the immediate past. That is the great debate going on in Germany--the problem of digesting, of overcoming the past, the immediate, dark past.
It is only natural that the German people should not be terribly enthusiastic or, let us say, more enthusiastic than other peoples, to contemplate their faults and crimes. Of course, there is a tendency to sweep things under the rug. Only if you do, after a while, you start stumbling around.
There is a great deal of criticism in Germany of this tendency.
So the question I would briefly like to mention is what do the German people do, what do the authorities in Germany do, to confront this dark chapter in our past?
First of all, let me mention the press. The press has absolute freedom and it uses it gladly and fully for the most comprehensive reporting on anything that comes to light on the history of the Nazis. Every day in Germany you can find in the German papers documentation, memoirs, reports, tables, and last but not least, very detailed reports on the trials of Nazi criminals.
There is the book market where a veritable avalanche of books of revelations, memoirs, analyses, has appeared. It is perhaps significant that the little book, "The Diary of Ann Frank," has been the greatest best seller in post-war Germany. Nearly a million copies of that little book have been sold. The book has been made into a play. More than 1,500 performances have been given of that play, and it is estimated that more than two million Germans have seen this play. That, of course, is a completely voluntary action and event.
Radio and television play a great part in bringing the events of the past to the attention of the German people. You must remember that the Germans themselves see and learn about these things very often for the first time because secrecy is one of the great ingredients of the totalitarian state.
We have today running in Germany a series of fourteen one-hour telecasts which will bring complete documentation of the history of the Hitler regime.
As for the government, the authorities have created a special Central Office which is collecting and co-ordinating all the data concerning Nazi criminal acts. We will have more than seven hundred cases which are at present being prepared-seven hundred trials in the next few months. The courts carry on a relentless prosecution of Nazi crimes and criminals, as they come to light. This is a very important fact, because the German trials are reported fully in the papers. There are no punches pulled, and the German people read these reports in their daily papers and they accept them. They accept them as they do accept the findings of the normal German courts.
The government also helped further, helped financially, an organization whose task it is to publish a full documentation on the events of the Hitler period, and also to carry on a vast programme of adult education in the field of Civics.
There is one other great effort which the German people are making in connection with that past. It is the effort at restitution and indemnification for the victims of the Nazi regime. The Germans decided, as soon as they began re-establishing the government, on a massive programme of restitution and indemnification to make amends in so far as that is possible at all, for the misdeeds done and the suffering caused by Germans in the name of the whole nation.
Let me quote today a foreigner on this effort. I think it is particularly appropriate to quote him, because he was an Executive Trial Counsel at the Nuremberg trials. He is today a member of the United States Senate. He said this in a speech made to the United States Senate on March 15, 1960:
As Executive Trial Counsel at the major Nuremberg trials I had spread before me in nightmarish detail the whole incredible story of Nazi barbarism and of the fiendish persecution of the Jewish people.
And here is what Senator Dodds said about the effort of today's Germany to make amends. In his speech he continues:
The attitude of the German Government on the question of restitution provides the most concrete evidence of its determination to extirpate the evil vestiges of the past and somehow atone for the terrible crimes that were committed in the name of the German people. When they are completed Germany's payments of restitution and reparations to Jewish victims of Nazism and to the State of Israel will total almost six billion dollars.
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, President of the World Jewish Congress has declared that Israel has received more money from Germany than from all the Jews in the world put together.
Germany's commitment to pay restitution was entirely voluntary. This in itself is remarkable. Indeed, I believe it is unique in history, but Germany's restitution programme is remarkable in many other ways. It is remarkable because the commitment was made not in the time of general prosperity but in the year 1951 when the government was still attempting to cope with the gigantic problems of reconstruction and the equally gigantic problem of the nine million refugees and expellees from the Soviet Zone. It is remarkable for a generosity that refused to be limited by an already generous initial commitment. As Dr. Goldmann pointed out, Germany's restitution payments will amount to two or three times as much as the figure German and Jewish experts had originally agreed upon.
It is remarkable because this onerous voluntary burden was assumed by unanimous vote of the Bundestag (the German Parliament) with the complete support of the German President, with the backing of a clear majority of the German people and in defiance of a threatened Arab boycott of Germany.
Senator Dodd was concentrating on the restitution, the indemnification to the Jewish victims, but we have also passed a series of laws which deal with the indemnification and restitution of the many other victims of Nazism. This series of laws which I will briefly summarize, entitles the victims to claim for compensation of damage inflicted on life, body, health and freedom, on property, and for damage suffered in professional and economic opportunity.
Now, let me give you an example. If a young official, a man who was young in 1933 and happened to be of Jewish origin was forced to flee Germany in 1933, he not only has f a claim to his back pay, but a claim to the pay according to the promotion he would have had, had reason to expect, had he stayed in Germany. If a man was, for instance, an official of a Jewish community, of the synagogue, he is treated like a German official. He has the same claim to the back pay and the increases of pay he might have had, had he stayed on.
So far 1.4 million individual claims have been processed and settled and 2.7 million applications have been filed. But, Gentlemen, there is no ceiling on this programme. As applications come in, they are examined, decided upon, and payments will go on until all claims are satisfied.
The status of all the restitution and indemnification programmes today, all programmes taken together, is: We have paid to the Government of Israel, five hundred million dollars.
We have paid under the Indemnification Laws for all victims of Nazism, two billion dollars.
And in the series of other programmes, one-half billion dollars.
It is expected that the Federal Republic of Germany will pay another 2.7 billion dollars.
May I remind you that these figures have to be multiplied by four to get to the "D-Mark" figure, the currency unit of Germany, and of course they are even larger there.
This restitution and indemnification are one of the challenges we plan to meet in the coming months and years. I would like to mention one other challenge in which Germany means to participate. It is the challenge presented to the free world by the undeveloped countries. We mean to make our contribution there also. Germany was late in starting that programme because, as you know, she was physically destroyed. She had to absorb, until 1951, about nine million refugees. In the meantime, the figure has grown to twelve and a half million, roughly speaking. So it was that only in 1956 our own programme of development aid began to roll.
In one form or another, between 1956 and 1959, Germany has given development aid to the amount of about three billion dollars.
Now, the Government has launched on a new programme by harnessing the support of industry, the budget, and also of the German provinces. All told, the new programme envisages more than three-quarter billion dollars in the next year, in the following months, eight hundred and fifty-seven million dollars, to be exact.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen, these are some of the challenges which we have confronted, which we will continue to confront and to meet in the year 1961 and later on.
What is the spirit in which Germany and its leaders approach the time before us? This spirit is best expressed in the New Year's Address delivered at the beginning of this month by the German President, when he said, "May all of us succeed in developing the virtues of patience and willingness to sacrifice, of steadfastness and moderation."
THANKS OF THE MEETING were expressed by Mr. J. R. W. Wilby.