Ambassador Ammon on 60 Years of German-US Relations
In celebration of their 60th anniversary, the Atlantik-Brücke interviewed 14 individuals who have been and continue to be pivotal in the German-American relationship. Ambassador Peter Ammon was interviewed for the video (starting at 23:05), which looks back at Germany's role in the world as it has changed over the period between the association's founding and today.
The Atlantik-Brücke asked the ambassador and the other interviewees to reflect upon their personal memories and their own experiences as they have witnessed the German-American relationship mature over the years.
At the founding of the Atlantik-Brücke, “it was a completely different world,” said Ambassador Ammon. Starting with Germany's separation and the confrontation between East and West, the ambassador recounted Germany's reunification up to the present-day country, “which plays a completely different role in the world.”
Continuing, Ambassador Ammon said that much had been accomplished, even if the topics facing a united Germany today are much different than those that confronted West Germany. For instance, the focus has shifted from traditional military concerns like “protecting the country against … columns of Soviet tanks” to an expanded security concept that wields both civil and military tools to address new challenges, from “environmental protection, energy security, climate change to cybersecurity.”
One other seminal part of the current climate of good relations between Germany and America is the great understanding the two countries share in questions of economics and trade. The two-way investment made alternately on both sides of the Atlantic is something, according to the ambassador, that should continue to be “fostered” and strengthened.
Also interviewed for the video were, among others, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the US ambassador to Berlin, Philip Murphy, Henry Kissinger and former German president Richard von Weizsäcker.