Germany’s redemptive transition makes engaging history – from a militaristic heyday exactly a century ago, when Friedrich von Bernhardi’s Deutschland und der Nächste Krieg was a bestseller, to reunification in 1990, by when democratic probity, pacific internationalism and monetary discipline had long been West Germany’s guiding stars. The country avidly upholds and practises these three virtues today in consequence of the harshest of inoculations: defeat in two devastating wars, a hideous dictatorship and, linking those two wars, the most spectacular inflation endured by an advanced economy.
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