Faculty Club Lounge, Brandeis University, 415 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453
Discussion with Professor Bruce Leimsidor
Abstract: Just a few years ago, Germany’s reputation as an open and tolerant society was seriously called into question by the publication of an overtly xenophobic tract by a leading German political figure, forcing Ms. Merkel’s well-publicized statement that the German model of a multicultural society had utterly failed. There followed reports of frequent right-wing demonstrations and even acts of violence against foreigners, which have increased during the present crisis. Nevertheless, official Germany’s response to the current massive wave of immigrants in Europe from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia has been generous way out of proportion to her population relative to the rest of the EU. Even taking into consideration Germany’s prosperity, her practically unflinching acceptance of the lion’s share of the responsibility for this culturally difficult migration seems to contradict the issues she was having in this regard just prior to the current influx and continues to have. How did official Germany accomplish this turnaround, to what extent was it voluntary, and what are the prospects for Germany’s maintaining this leadership position?