NYT: What people around the world think about Lincoln

Roundup: Talking About History

Americans know what they think about Abraham Lincoln. But what does the world think about him? To mark Presidents’ Day, and Lincoln’s 200th birthday, which took place last week, the Op-Ed editors asked four writers from around the world to describe how Lincoln has influenced their countries.

Undivided Loyalty
Germans admire Lincoln for his success in uniting a country.

AT least two dozen Lincoln biographies have been published in Germany. Streets and schools are named after Old Abe.There is one simple explanation for all this: Germans admire Lincoln for his success in uniting a country.

Hard-Working Man
Lincoln, who rebuilt his nation, has inspired Japan's reformers as well.

Japanese children, after all, don’t know much about Lincoln’s political philosophy. They just like his life story: Lincoln was born to poor parents. He lived in a log cabin. He became a respectable statesman through honesty, diligence and hard work. He rose to be the president who freed slaves. In general, the Japanese admire greatness that is hard-won.

Founding Father
Liberia’s democracy is a tribute to Abe Lincoln's values.

LIBERIANS and Americans share a history, and we have a special bond to America’s 16th president. Established in 1847 by freed American slaves, Liberia adopted a red, white and blue flag and named its new capital, Monrovia, after James Monroe.

But it was 15 years before an American administration recognized Liberia as a sovereign nation. As president, Lincoln did what his predecessors had refused to do for fear of offending Southern states.

Liberians might not always remember this history, but our connection with Lincoln lives on.

Radio Free Lincoln
In Hungary, Lincoln's dream is finally being realized.

IN 1852, Abraham Lincoln helped issue “Resolutions in Behalf of Hungarian Freedom.” The armies of the Russian czar and the Hapsburg emperor had defeated a democratic revolution in Hungary. Lincoln’s statement honored the exiled Hungarian freedom fighter Lajos Kossuth as “the most worthy ... representative ... of civil and religious liberty.”

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