Chancellor of Germany Writes an Introduction for This Special Issue
by Konrad Adenauer 1954
When I first learned that the editors of LIFE were preparing this special
issue on Germany and were attempting, even within the necessarily
limited scope of several dozen pages, to bring the American
people into a closer understanding of some aspects of my country, I
was most heartened. For in these tense times, when America and
Germany find themselves, after a long period of war and enforced mis
understanding,facing a common danger and the same crisis of survival,
it is imperative that they know one another. For the times are indeed
perilous and the forces which would divide us most persistent.
I have before me an Atlas of World History, published in Germany
in 1953. Its maps show the territorial changes which have come from
historic developments, especially from wars [see Struggle to Become
a Nation, p. 14]. It shows, much more directly than does written history,
where tensions on this globe have led to catastrophes. For, after
all, every war is basically a catastrophe.
It is a book which gives rise to serious thought. The maps show
alarmingly how freedom in Europe is being pushed back farther and
farther by the colossus of Russian Communism. That area of the
Europe-Asia land mass in which freedom still prevails has become
frighteningly small in Europe since Russia's power reached the Elbe. ...