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November 2019 - Milestone anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall marked by the uncertainty of transatlantic relations

The Brief

November 11, 2019 

Milestone anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall marked by the uncertainty of transatlantic relations.

Johns Hopkins SAIS experts reflected on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, often seen as the symbol of the Cold War, with commentary on the current state of transatlantic relations.

Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Distinguished Professor of Historical Studies Mary Elise Sarotte wrote in The Wall Street Journal that “thirty years later, the fall of the wall seems like a miraculous ending for the most indelible armed standoff of the Cold War.” Read more

Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Professor of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs Kristina Spohr noted in The Washington Post with the current U.S. administration casting doubts about the future of NATO, in Europe there is “a lot of anxiety about suddenly being left alone.” Read more

Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow Daniel Hamilton discussed the U.S.’s desire for a burden-sharing NATO by telling the Los Angeles Times that the Trump administration should advocate for it in “conscientious, planned way,” but hasn’t. Read more

The same Los Angeles Times article also quoted Spohr on how euphoria after the Berlin Wall fell led to unprecedented collaboration in Europe, but added that today “there is no spirit of cooperation.” Read more

Sarotte also told The Washington Post that it is disheartening that the “outbreak of optimism that accompanied the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago appears to have evaporated.” Read more

Read more about Johns Hopkins University’s coverage of the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall here.

The Brief highlights Johns Hopkins SAIS expertise on current events and is produced monthly by the Office of Marketing and Communications.