Russians and the Germans: a Difficult Road Towards Reconciliation
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Russians and the Germans: a Difficult Road Towards Reconciliation
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The article touches the problem of post-war reconciliation between the former aggressor and its victim. It traces the evolution of relations between the Germans (mainly citizens of Western Germany) and citizens of the USSR. The author pays attention to iconic moments associated with the long reconciliation process: from fairly well studied, but certainly symbolic Konrad Adenauer's trip to the USSR to the half-forgotten but important acts of repentance to contemporaries — such as the public statement of German President Richard von Weizsäcker on May 8, 1985 about the day of war's ending in Europe as the “day of liberation” (in the GDR it had been done 35 years earlier). But not all problems have been solved during the final reestablishment of relations in the process of German unification in 1990. An important act was the adoption in 2000 by the Gerhard Schroeder's cabinet of the law establishing the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future”. Its task was to raise funds and make payment to foreign workers forcibly deported to Germany during the Second World War. From 4, 54 billion euro accumulated by the Foundation 443, 7 million euro have been payed to the Russian citizens. The problems, in particular regarding compensation for slave labor in Germany, remains, but the prospect of it quick solution look quite favorable. The decisive steps towards reconciliation between the two peoples had been made, and the development of relations on the state and personal levels prove the success of historic reconciliation between the two countries.
World War II, USSR, Federal Republic of Germany, Germany, Germans, Russia, Schroder, von Weizsacker, compensation, reconciliation
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