Thatcher and Kohl clashed over unity after Fall of the Berlin Wall
“But can we trust them?” Margaret Thatcher’s doubts about a new, merged Germany surfaced again and again during the months that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The dramatic event, followed by a ten-point unification plan put forward by Helmut Kohl, the West German Chancellor, challenged her political instincts and stirred the buried prejudices about Germans that she shared with much of Britain.
Nine days after the crumbling of the Wall, she met Mr Kohl in Paris and expressed her reservations in very firm terms. In his memoirs, the Chancellor recalled: “I told her that not even Margaret Thatcher could stop the people from deciding its own fate. She was beside herself with rage and said, ‘That’s how you see it! That’s how you see it!’. ” According to Mr Kohl, she stamped her feet in frustration.
Mr Kohl came to see himself as one of history’s winners — and the winner of his duel with Mrs Thatcher, an elemental row about the future shape of Europe. “The Prime Minister’s biggest problem was her miscalculation of the attitudes towards German reunification held by Gorbachev, Mitterrand and President Bush,” said Mr Kohl, who airbrushes most of Mitterrand’s hostility to unity out of his memoirs.
comments powered by Disqus
- David Rosand, an Art History Scholar Whose Heart Was in Venice, Dies at 75
- NYT interviews Rick Perlstein about his book
- OAH issues a statement in support of the AP standards
- Daniel Pipes says in interview that the absence of anti-Israel protests in Muslim countries is highly significant
- A historian who studies China has discovered an overlooked angle in the debate about the Middle East. Could he have figured out a key reason for Iraq’s failure to defeat ISIS?