The Annual History Lecture, organised in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London, serves to engage in a dialogue on the contemporary political and historical situation of Germany and to open up conversations on how Germany reflects on its own historical background and trajectory.
It also aims to foster mutual cultural understanding and to portray Germany’s role in contemporary history and politics.
Addressing the audience in her welcome address, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Tania von Uslar-Gleichen stated:
The European idea of freedom, peace and unity is and will remain the bedrock of our political thinking and aspirations in Germany.
She went on to say that against the backdrop of the numerous challenges that Germany and Europe are facing today “[o]ne thing […] is certain: We will not master these challenges without open dialogue and joint efforts. The need for cooperation at an international level will remain stronger than ever. For Germany and the UK this will mean that a close partnership will remain an essential element of our bilateral relationship post-Brexit.”
Professor Andreas Gestrich, the Director of the German Historical Institute, introduced this year’s distinguished speaker Professor Garton Ash as an internationally renowned expert on European Studies with a distinctive personal and academic connection to Germany and as the recipient of the prestigious Charlemagne Prize of Aachen 2017.
In his lecture entitled ‘German and European unification: Harmony or dissonance?’ Timothy Garton Ash gave an insightful analysis of the processes of German and European unification, reflecting on the history of the European Monetary Union, the unification of Germany as a means towards a more united European continent and on how the roots of the problems we face in Europe today are connected to the historic developments in 1989 and the 1990s.
The ensuing lively and intensive Q&A session with many engaged contributions from the audience highlighted the many different perspectives of the debate surrounding the German and European unification. Animated discussions continued well into the subsequent reception.
Listen to the lecture
The lecture is available as a Podcast below, or on the website of the German Historical Institute: http://www.ghil.ac.uk/home.html.