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Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke
April 24, 1941 December 13, 2010
A Magazine from the American Academy in Berlin | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
THE BERLIN JOURNAL
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Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 1
CONTENTS
The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
Remembering Richard Holbrooke
5 The Gift of Conviction
john c. kornblum
5 The Bridge Builder
richard von weizscker
6 Friendship Forged through Film
volker schlndorff
7 A Historian at Heart
derek chollet
8 Extravagant Laughter
geoffrey wolff
10 Beneath the Bluster
gahl hodges burt
12 Like a Western
josef joffe
14 A Man and His Mtier
karl m. von der heyden
14 If Only Holbrooke Had Been in the
Balkans in 1914
fritz stern
16 The House That Holbrooke Built
frances tzgerald
17 A Last Breakfast
norman pearlstine
18 To Move the World
henry a. kissinger
19 Not a Quiet American
strobe talbott
21 Theory Versus Fact
james der derian
N1 On the Waterfront
The American Academys newsletter, with
the latest on fellows, alumni, and trustees,
as well as recent events at the Hans
Arnhold Center.
From Our Friends and Fellows
25 Doors Open, Doors Closed
tamar jacoby deliberates the details of
immigration in America and Germany.
28 Crossing Over
hal foster steadies the precarious art of
Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn.
32 No Mans Landscapes
astrid m. eckert traipses the
environments of the inter-German border.
36 The Dead Letters Dept.
peter wortsman sends up a short story
on sorting mail and overdue revenge.
40 Cairos Spring Cleaning
roger cohen pits Egypts 2/11 as the
counter to Americas 9/11.
44 The Insurgency Within
kirk w. johnson narrates the harrowing
story of his Iraq War-triggered ptsd.
RICHARD HOLBROOKE AT THE AMERICAN ACADEMY, 2008


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2 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
DIRECTORS NOTE
In Pursuit of Political Ideals
Y
ou learn a great deal about a person by spending time in their
library. A couple of summers ago my daughters and I stayed
in the Holbrookes guest apartment, which doubled as
Richards study. In the shelves surrounding us, we discovered the
library of a man whose appetite for ideas was as capacious as his
passion for people.
Winston Churchill and George Orwell, Reinhold Niebuhr
and Sren Kierkegaard, Philip Rieff and Norman O. Brown,
George Kennan and Henry A. Kissinger, Edmund Wilson and Fritz
Stern, Paul Berman and Leon Wieseltier, Rudyard Kipling and
William Styron, Geoffrey Wolff and John le Carr philosophers,
statesmen, novelists, and historians jostled one another for
space on Holbrookes shelves, each volume well-thumbed and
exhaustively employed.
In college, Holbrooke fell under the spell of Edmund Wilsons
To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History.
It became an enduring leitmotif. He once wrote that [Wilsons]
book excited me mostly because it described something unusual
and extremely important: the relationship of philosophical ideas
and practical events the savage intersection where theories
and personalities meet and sometimes end up changing the world,
for better or for worse.
Holbrooke was passionate about the transformative power of
ideas, and he put great stock in the erudition that comes from true
scholarship. His idea of the Academy resembled Ortega y Gassets
notion of the university: institutions whose moral duty it is to
intervene in current affairs, treating the great themes of the day
from its own point of view: cultural, scientic, and professional.
In this special Holbrooke memorial issue, the myriad aspects
of the man diplomat, friend, Academy founder, provocateur,
moralist, historian are celebrated, by voices as varied as
Holbrookes talents. Film director Volker Schlndorff recalls
shared jaunts through Berlins hidden locales; novelist Geoffrey
Wolff describes Holbrookes love of laughter; Henry A. Kissinger,
in a condolence letter to Kati Marton, recalls the lessons he and
Holbrooke learned from history; and Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton recounts Holbrookes relentless and revolutionary
approach to diplomacy. Features in this issue by Academy fellows
explore themes that drove Holbrookes own work: contested
borders, erupting revolutions, and the personal price of trauma.
Holbrookes interventions, some legendary, some untold, reect
a lifelong ambition to be transformative in the service of higher
ends, and he drew on a freight of resources as variegated as the
authors that lined the walls of that wonderful guest apartment
those summers ago. Isaiah Berlins essay The Pursuit of the Ideal
articulates the deepest convictions of the irreplaceable realist-
idealist (as Roger Cohen referred to Holbrooke), someone as much
a scholar of foreign policy as that rare person who understood how
to turn a vision into a reality: If we are to hope to understand
the violent world in which we live (and unless we try to understand
it, we cannot expect to be able to act rationally in it and on it),
the goals and motives that guide human action must be looked at
in the light of . . . every intellectual resource that we have.
Gary Smith
THE BERLIN JOURNAL
A magazine from the Hans Arnhold
Center published by the American
Academy in Berlin
Number Twenty Spring 2011
PUBLISHER Gary Smith
EDITOR Brittani Sonnenberg
MANAGING EDITOR
R. Jay Magill Jr.
ADVERTISING Berit Ebert,
Helena Kageneck
DESIGN Susanna Dulkinys &
Edenspiekermann
www.edenspiekermann.com
PRINTED BY Ruksaldruck, Berlin
Copyright 2011
The American Academy in Berlin
ISSN 1610-6490
Cover: Kabul, Afghanistan,
November 18, 2009. Richard
Holbrooke talks on the phone before
the arrival of Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton. Photo by
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.
THE AMERICAN ACADEMY
IN BERLIN
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Gary Smith
DEAN OF FELLOWS & PROGRAMS
Pamela Rosenberg
CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE
OFFICER
Andrew J. White
Am Sandwerder 1719
14109 Berlin
Tel. (49 30) 80 48 3-0
Fax (49 30) 80 48 3-111
www.americanacademy.de
14 East 60th Street, Suite 604
New York, NY 10022
Tel. (1) 212 588-1755
Fax (1) 212 588-1758

HONORARY CHAIRMEN Thomas L. Farmer, Richard von Weizscker
CO-CHAIRMEN Karl M. von der Heyden, Henry A. Kissinger
VICE CHAIR Gahl Hodges Burt
PRESIDENT & CEO Norman Pearlstine
TREASURER Andrew S. Gundlach
SECRETARY John C. Kornblum
TRUSTEES Barbara Balaj, John P. Birkelund, Manfred Bischoff,
Stephen B. Burbank, Gahl Hodges Burt, Caroline Walker Bynum,
Mathias Dpfner, Marina Kellen French, Michael E. Geyer, Hans-Michael
Giesen, Richard K. Goeltz, C. Boyden Gray, Vartan Gregorian,
Andrew S. Gundlach, Franz Haniel, Helga Haub, Karl M. von der Heyden,
Stefan von Holtzbrinck, Wolfgang Ischinger, Josef Joffe, Henry A. Kissinger,
Michael Klein, John C. Kornblum, Regine Leibinger, Lawrence Lessig,
Wolfgang Malchow, Nina von Maltzahn, Erich Marx, Wolfgang Mayrhuber,
Julie Mehretu, William von Muefing, Christopher von Oppenheim,
Norman Pearlstine, David Rubenstein, Volker Schlndorff,
Peter Y. Solmssen, Kurt Viermetz, Pauline Yu
HONORARY TRUSTEE Klaus Wowereit (ex ofcio)
TRUSTEES EMERITI Diethard Breipohl, Gerhard Casper, Fritz Stern
SENIOR COUNSELORS Richard Gaul, Franz Xaver Ohnesorg,
Bernhard von der Planitz, Karen Roth, Yoram Roth, Victoria Scheibler
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Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 3


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AMERICAN PEACE ENVOY, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EUROPEAN AND CANADIAN AFFAIRS RICHARD HOLBROOKE, SPEAKING TO THE PRESS
AT THE OFFICES OF SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC, ABBAS ERBIA, BELGRADE, AUGUST 1995
NORMALIZATION TALKS AT THE VIETNAMESE EMBASSY, SAIGON, DECEMBER 19, 1977. PHAN HIEN (C, BACK), VIETNAMESE VICE-MINISTER OF FOREIGN
AFFAIRS, FACING RICHARD HOLBROOKE (R, FRONT), US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EAST ASIAN AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 5
The Gift of Conviction
A former US ambassador to Germany on the enormous achievements of his successor
I
have always thought
one fact explained Richard
Holbrookes success more
than any other. People who only
met or talked with him briey,
or, in many cases, never met
him at all, feel that he touched
their lives. The number of peo-
ple who considered themselves
to be his good friends runs
into the thousands more than
he could have ever had a serious
conversation with. Those who
felt that he contributed to their
well-being can be counted in
the millions.
All of these groups were
somehow moved by his vora-
cious desire to know who they
were and what was important
to them. This ability to create
instant empathy gave him an
unmatched talent to build
bridges. Nations he had never
visited were brought back from
despair by his commitments
to the ght against aids or his
peace efforts in the Balkans.
Others have made similar
contributions, but they lacked
the human impact of Richard
Holbrooke. The reason?
Richard cared so much about
the world and its condition that
he instinctively absorbed the
personal messages from oth-
ers and transformed them into
mutual understanding. His
prodigious intellectual and
rhetorical skills did the rest.
One could never forget a con-
versation with him or ignore a
request for assistance.
Exposure to this force of
personality did not always win
Richard friends and admir-
ers. Those who felt bruised,
unhappy, or just plain jealous
of his talents were also numer-
ous. But in almost every case,
even those who were less than
thrilled with his treatment
could not deny the power of
his ideas.
Once, at a crucial meeting in
Washington, Richard accused a
very senior general of disloyalty
for not following the presidents
goals goals which Richard
had, of course, written. A year
later, this general was one of
Richards most loyal deputies.
Most successful was Richards
two-year massaging of Serbian
dictator Slobodan Milosevic.
Milosevic was a true sociopath.
He cared little for the lives of
others. His only goal was to
amass as much power and con-
trol as possible.
p
Richard met Milosevic when
the ugly Balkan war was in
its fth year. Several teams of
negotiators had tried to stop the
killing and had failed. Richard
had decided that Milosevic and
only Milosevic was the key to
success. He hit him with every
ounce of his matchless powers
of analysis, persuasion, and
coercion. Milosevic, being no
slouch, gave much the same
in return. It was a contest
Milosevic could not win, and
he probably knew it. Richard
understood that he needed
Milosevic to help implement
the agreement. He made it
possible for Milosevic to lose
gracefully by ensuring that the
interests of the Serbian people
were also protected. By the
time it was over, the Dayton
Agreement had pieced back
together a human and his-
toric puzzle that had burdened
Europe for decades.
Richards other main advan-
tage was his discipline. Much
of his cajoling of Milosevic took
place after a tragic accident on
Mount Igman, on the road to
Sarajevo. The American del-
egation was forced to take this
treacherous mountain road
because Milosevic personally
had refused them safe passage
through Serbian checkpoints.
Richard said farewell to the
three colleagues who died in
the accident and returned to
Belgrade within two weeks
for the next round of debate.
His rst meeting was with
Milosevic.
The American Academy in
Berlin is the most enduring
result of Holbrookes special-
ness. It is a unique bi-national
institution crafted from little
more than a commitment to
the singular relationship that
grew between Berlin and the
United States after 1945. But its
foundations are more than ide-
alistic. The underlying goal of
the Academy was very practical
in nature. It was to ensure that
the United States and Germany
never forget the need to build
on the deep cooperation forged
in divided Berlin. The seeming-
ly random mixture of culture
and politics, history and vision
that the Academy projects has,
for more than a decade, trans-
mitted the special Holbrooke
method to a new generation.
Each views it in his or her own
terms, and, in fact, the number
of people who claim to under-
stand exactly what Richard
had in mind for the Academy
rarely agree with one another,
but they are still all right. The
message is the method rather
than the content. It is neither
cultural, nor scientic, nor
political it is human. Living
humanity is what Richard
Holbrooke was all about. The
American Academy is the living
essence of his lifes work.
By John C. Kornblum
The Bridge Builder
Lasting impressions from a German president
R
ichard Holbrookes
decisive impulse
gave wing to the auda-
cious project of the American
Academy in Berlin. Thanks to
the moving generosity of the
founding family, this ambitious
project took ight.
The suffering of innumerable
people was eased by the new
lives he made possible for them.
He was a great diplomat
and at the same time undiplo-
matic when he thought it was
appropriate. Speak slowly,
think quickly, act decisively,
He was an incomparably ener-
getic friend, a bridgebuilder
over the Atlantic to Europe, to
the world. Make peace with
all your might: he served this
purpose with his temperament.
He never lost hope for peace. He
was restless but never spiritless.
he would say. His contributions
to our history are enormous
and resounding.
It is his character that found-
ed our Academy. This is and
will remain our guide.
By Richard von Weizscker
6 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
Friendship Forged through Film
A creative force in the company of artists
A
creative mind
himself, vibrant in
empathy and imagina-
tion, Richard Holbrooke always
enjoyed the company of artists.
Whether sports, theater, or
cinema, he enjoyed the show,
shared emotions, responded
gleefully to the wit of a good
line. The public gure had
a private life, and he tried to
unify them rather than prac-
ticing the strict separation of
these spheres as most others
do. He showed up backstage to
meet the artists, often befriend-
ing them John Guare, Susan
Sarandon, Robert de Niro,
Louis Malle, Wally Shawn,
Mike Nichols every one of
them a dear friend, indeed.
How did I, a moviemaker,
end up on the American
Academys board of trustees?
Richard Holbrooke simply
asked his New York friends,
before leaving as ambassador
for Bonn, whether they knew
any fun people in Germany.
Along with novelist Peter
Schneider, I must have been on
his list, for henceforth we were
invited to numerous joyful din-
ners at the ambassadors resi-
dence, one of them ending in a
memorable shouting contest
between Jack Valenti and me
about the lm industry, imperi-
alism, and the Motion Pictures
Association of Americas atti-
tude toward subsidizing culture
in Europe which they felt was
unfair to Hollywood. Rather
than appeasing us, the ambas-
sador pushed for escalation,
albeit an intellectual one, to
bring the conict into the open.
Late at night, the adversaries
left as friends.
He equally enjoyed tak-
ing me to the sidelines at the
Olympic Stadium, where the
Chicago Bears once played the
Berlin Thunder, introducing
me to the players, monuments
of muscle and esh, whom he
knew personally, of course. In
return he asked me to show
him and Kati Marton my
Berlin: the Turkish corners of
Kreuzberg and the old harbor in
Wedding, a location for foggy
London and movie set for
Edgar Wallaces detective sto-
ries that Germans enjoyed so
much in the 1960s. He checked
the bullet holes and shrapnel
scars left in the facades of so
many buildings, not only in the
East. He crawled through the
labyrinth ruins of the Tacheles,
enjoyed mezze at Orens, and,
most of all, raved about the
studios in Babelsberg, where
Marlene Dietrich had once
crossed her beautiful legs in
front of Joseph von Sternbergs
camera.
He was fascinated by the
story or rather history of the
ufa lm company, created in
1917 by the Kaisers General
Ludendorff to inuence the
minds of the working class,
prime clients of these new
icks, in order to win them over
for traditional values. Ive con-
templated this strategy myself:
isnt that what we should be
doing? How about telling How
to End a War to a mass audience
on television?
Richard Holbrooke must
have been one of the rst
clients of Netix and the Red
Envelope home distribution
of dvds. During sleepless jet-
legged nights or over his brief
weekends, he undoubtedly
watched hours and hours of
lms, for he knew every one of
them. He cut through the bs,
going straight to the deeper
meaning, viewing the lms
content through the eyes of a
Serbian as well as a Pakistani
audience, ever aware of and
eager to debate cross-cultural
misunderstandings.
Arts, politics, friendship, and
history in the making were all
one to him. No wonder his
conversations with Arthur
Miller (for once I had the privi-
lege of introducing a luminary
to him), with Susan Sontag,
or with the politician in the
then-opposition party, Angela
Merkel, were not mere conver-
sations but always had an aim,
an urgency, such as when, one
day before September 11, over
lunch at my home, Richard
insisted on the prime impor-
tance of Pakistan. The events of
the next day proved him right,
even though he had to wait the
better part of a decade before
he could tackle what he knew
all along was the key to ending
a war, never once consider-
ing the ending to his own life
would be so poorly timed.
By Volker Schlndorff
RICHARD HOLBROOKE AND VOLKER SCHLNDORFF AT THE AMERICAN ACADEMY, 2003


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Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 7
A Historian at Heart
A voracious reader, Holbrooke found inspiration for his public work between the pages of his favorite texts
R
ichard Holbrooke
will always be remem-
bered as his generations
premier diplomat and states-
man a doer. But he also was
a person who had a keen sense
of the past and the role memory
plays in dening todays world
he was a historian at heart.

Holbrooke loved history. He


loved books and arguments,
stories and sweeping narra-
tives. In that sense he shared
so much with the historian-
diplomat he deeply admired,
George Kennan. Holbrooke had
little tolerance for the instant
policy books that dominate
Washingtons bookshelves (he
described them as gloried
Foreign Affairs articles) and
always pushed people to write
history; something, he would
say, that would last.
I learned this rsthand in
the years I assisted him with his
Bosnia memoir, as I watched
him devour other great histo-
ries to help inspire his writing.
In government, Holbrooke
always infused his arguments
with history (needless to say,
Vietnam came up quite a bit
in describing his most recent
mission in Afghanistan and
Pakistan), and he would circu-
late chapters from history books
to his staff and colleagues. And
history was at the core of his
love for his wife, Kati, and
her many books that explored
the past in innovative and
powerful ways.
In my last conversation
with him, shortly before he
fell ill, he mentioned that hed
been re-reading Orwells 1946
essay Politics and the English
Language and intended to
distribute copies to his team.
Theres so much bad writing
in government, he said. In
recent months, we had started
to talk about the next book he
wanted to write, which I believe
could have been the great-
est diplomatic memoir since
Kennans over forty years ago.
I will miss so many things
about Richard, and only with
deep sadness can I accept
that we will never get to read
that book.
By Derek Chollet
This article rst appeared in
Foreign Policy online.
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AmercAcademie_185x124 22.03.2011 17:55 Uhr Seite 1
8 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
Extravagant Laughter
A friendship nurtured by dinner-party chats, political spats, and hours of professional football
D
ick and I met in
Washington 1965 or
1966 at one of the
many weeknight dinner parties
for a dozen or twenty guests
arranged by Polly Wisner, a
legendary hostess. These occa-
sions were insistently merito-
cratic and cosmopolitan. An
Israeli defense minister might
be at dinner, or Sir Isaiah
Berlin visiting Washington
from Oxford to lecture on
Russian literature. The most
striking feature of these occa-
sions was the calculated mix of
elders and kids, personages and
apprentices. In my twenties,
the hundred-dollar-per-week
book critic of the Washington
Post, I might be seated beside
my boss, Katherine Graham,
and at the same table with
Charles Bohlen or Averell
Harriman. Nobody at that table
would inquire where I had
attended boarding school or
whether my people summered
at Fishers Island.
The ruling principle at these
encounters was instructional,
at its best educational. The
young among us were expected
to govern our conduct by com-
mon sense, but not by caution.
Fine wines and spirits were
served in abundance, and we
were encouraged to enjoy them.
The parties ended at eleven
sharp. Sometimes grownup
guests would be obliged to
leave early, summoned to the
White House or Pentagon or
State Department, but it was
assumed that everyone at the
Wisners tables had nationally
consequential work to do rst
thing in the morning.
Were we expected to zip
our lips while affairs of the
day were debated by the best
and brightest? There was an
unspoken policy of speak-
when-spoken-to, but The Young
(maybe one-third of the guests)
younger sons were born a day
apart in Princeton Hospital.
Dick and I watched pro foot-
ball games on Sundays. I soon
learned to expect that if I was
watching an event with Dick
something momentous was
bound to happen. So it was that
we were together witnessing
the upstart Jets Broadway Joe
Namath redeem his cocksure
promise of victory over Johnny
Unitass old-guard Colts in
Super Bowl III. And we were
watching TV together in
Vermont on February 23, 1976
when Franz Klammer threw
himself down the Olympic
downhill course at Innsbruck
to win the Gold Medal in the
most ferocious expression of
reckless physical skill either of
us had ever witnessed.
It seemed that Dicks pas-
sionate engagement with what-
ever was at hand forced a dra-
matic outcome. And his sense
of the ridiculous his instinct
for the distinction between
ambition and performance
was exquisitely rened. He was
a fanatic fan the redundancy
is necessary and the most
extravagant laugher Ive ever
known.
Its losing the sound of that
laughter that breaks my heart.
Ill close with a ski trip we
two took to Sol y Nieve, in the
mountains above Granada.
Skiing was an important bond
for us. I believe that it amused
Dick that some processes and
phenomena gravity, say, and
iced pistes were resistant to
his charms and only grudg-
ingly submissive to his will.
This spring day of 1972 the
sun was behind clouds and
the wind blew snow off the ice
upon which Francisco Francos
army conscripts were being
obliged to learn the science
and art of skiing. They were
beginners, of course, and their
equipment primitive. They
stumbled and got snow down
the necks of wool uniforms so
manifestly uncomfortable that
they made me itch just looking
at them. That day we watched
grown men cry, and Dick at
dinner couldnt shut up about
the karma of it here was the
undisguised face of dictator-
ship, inicting arbitrary misery,
unable to stand on its feet, let
alone execute a parallel turn.
We were sharing a room at
a parador on the mountain, and
immediately after dinner Dick
went to bed, determined to be
up and at em at rst light. I did
not go early to bed. I went to
the bar and drank much more
Fundador (por favor) than I
needed. I met some Aussies at
the bar, two young women, and
a sullen young man. I decided
that I was charming, and as
long as I paid for the brandy
mine and the two young
womens they agreed that I
was charming. Even hilarious.
I told of the alpine legionnaires
under the command of el gen-
eralissimo, Caudillo de Espaa,
por la gracia de Dios. We sang
songs. We drank more brandy.
And then I heard from across
the lobby a thunderous voice:
Wolff! Geoffrey Wolff! You
come to bed right this minute!
Our diplomat was approach-
ing fast to take me by the ear.
He was wearing pajamas. These
were cotton annel pajamas,
their dominant color mustard,
or maybe it was honey. Memory
assures me that printed on
those pajamas were teddy bears.
I must misremember that
detail, dont you think? I do not
misremember that Ambassador
Holbrooke was in dictator mode,
and that his every wish was my
command, and that I wouldnt
have had it any other way.
By Geoffrey Wolff
were very frequently spoken to,
our opinions solicited. And no
one I met at Polly Wisners or
since 1966 anywhere else in
the world was more willing to
share his opinions about any-
thing at all than was my friend
Dick Holbrooke.
Those reading this who met
Dick in his full amboyant
ower of intellect and will and
self-certainty should know that
he was no different when he
was twenty-three. And because
the subject effacing all others
in the mid-to-late-1960s was
of course Vietnam, and because
Dicks rst job in the foreign
service was in Vietnam, and
because I rst encountered
him home from Saigon to
report to his superiors (he did
have notional superiors) I rst
experienced Dicks style of
Ciceronian discourse applied
to his view of the proper course
of United States policy in
Southeast Asia. His view rely-
ing on the study of captured
enemy documents and his
systematic study of Vietnamese
history and culture as it had
played out against the French
in 1956 called for ratcheting
up US commitment. This was
not my view, which was that
Americans should come home
and behave themselves, but
conrming that a broken clock
tells perfect time twice a day, I
happened to be right. Thus
my rst exchange of opinions
with the young diplomat:
Me: How can you be so sure ?
Dick: Because Im not a fool ?
Me: And I am a fool.
Dick: You be the judge. Id
call it case closed.
Me: Youre a jackass.
We two prodigies met a few
years later in Princeton, where
we were living with our fami-
lies in junior faculty housing.
We became close: we both
missed Washington, and our
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 9


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ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE RICHARD HOLBROOKE SHARING A LAUGH WITH HIS WIFE KATI MARTON AND HIS SONS DAVID (L) AND ANTHONY
AT THEIR WEDDING ON MAY 1, 1995
Among those whom I like or admire,
I can nd no common denominator,
but among those whom I love, I can:
all of them make me laugh.
w. h. auden
10 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
I
worked for Henry
Kissinger at the State
Department from 1973
1977 and met Richard in 1977
when he came in to serve in
the Carter administration. We
were just acquaintances then,
but I got to know him better
in Berlin, where my husband
was the US ambassador from
19851987 and where we main-
tain close ties.
Richard became the ambas-
sador in 1993, not long after
the fall of the Berlin Wall and
reunication. He was not con-
sidered a German scholar or
even a European expert, but the
fact that he became a very suc-
cessful ambassador to Germany
and then assistant secretary
for European affairs did not
surprise me at all. Richard
always had a knack of knowing
what he did not know and either
staying away from it (i.e., the
Middle East) or learning what
he needed to know. So, you can
imagine my shock, some years
later, when he proposed the
idea of the American Academy
in Berlin.
It was a very Holbrooke idea,
replacing a military institution
with an institute of culture,
and it wasnt easy to raise the
money for yet another German/
American institution. But he
Beneath the Bluster
Holbrookes aggressive demeanor belied a deep compassion for humanity
AT THE OFFICE, NEW YORK CITY, 2009
We stand face-to-face
with the terrible question
of evil and do not even
know what is before us,
let alone what to pit
against it.
carl jung


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Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 11
establish or lent his consider-
able skill to.
I dont know of anyone else
who could traverse so many dif-
ferent strata of people. When
he went into the hospital, the
calls were coming in from
President Bill Clinton, Mick
Jagger, and President Obama,
and Hillary Clinton was there
at his bedside. He could have
friendships with all of these
very different people and yet
love them all and appreciate
them all in their own way. And
therefore his network became
probably the most remarkable
of anyone I have ever known.
He loved knitting this whole
patchwork together, and he did
it expertly.
On the night of December 13,
while I was at the hospital, I
looked around at his very
youthful staff, and they were
devastated, to the person. He
had assembled the best and the
brightest; these are kids in their
20s and 30s. He was a wonder-
ful mentor and relished the role.
I was struck watching him
on television one morning
when he referenced Mika
Brzezinskis dad, Willie Geists
dad, and Mark Halperins
father. He knew the fathers,
and now he knew the sons and
daughters. Richard died before
his time, but the mark he left
on many, many institutions
will be felt for years and decades
to come. He will be sorely
missed and never replaced in
our hearts.
By Gahl Hodges Burt
This article rst appeared in
Foreign Policy online.
was never one to be deterred,
and we did it by brute force.
Henry Kissinger liked to say
about him, If Richard calls you
and asks you for something,
just say yes. If you say no, you
will eventually get to yes, but
the journey will be very painful.
Richard was exception-
ally bright and strategic. He
would always place himself
in the right place at the right
time. You couldnt be in his
presence without marveling
at how he could think outside
the box. Shortly after he was
named the special representa-
tive for AfPak, he insisted that
both leaders, Hamid Karzai
and Asif Ali Zardari, come to
Washington together. He would
not let them come separately.
And he insisted that all of the
cabinet-level meetings take
place together as well. He was
a big believer in civil society
and institutions that could help
these countries get on their
feet, but he told me many times
this was the toughest job hed
ever had. I sensed this summer
that he was down, but Richard
was not one to stay down, and
he was never one to give up.

He could be very tough, its


true. But once you came to
know Richard, you realized
that there was a big heart
underneath the bluster. His
impatience and insensitivity
were often cited, but he actually
cared more deeply about the
human condition than almost
anyone I know. Just ask people
at the Asia Society or Refugees
International, to name a few
of the ngos that he helped
P


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12 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
Like a Western
People like him just arent made any more
G
oodbye drinks in
the Residence: after
a mere nine months
as ambassador to Germany,
Richard Holbrooke was leaving
in 1994 to head the European
desk at the State Department.
Dick took a small wooden g-
ure with a bent head and bound
hands from a glass case. It had
been carved in a concentra-
tion camp by a Bosniac with a
piece of glass and thrust into
Holbrookes hands: Please take
this home. Tell America what is
happening to us here.
This gure was a legacy. The
European desk became the
command post of Balkan policy,
and Holbrooke, the bulldozer,
became the conqueror of
Slobodan Milosevic. This was
not an exchange of diplomatic
niceties; it was a showdown,
something out of a Western.
As Holbrooke wrote in his
memoir of the Bosnian conict,
To End a War: The Serbs talk
big, but if you aim a pistol at
them, theyre nothing but little
troublemakers.
In one of the endless talks
with Milosevic, Holbrooke
set up a eld telephone that
connected him with the
commander of un troops in
Sarajevo. In another duel, the
weapon of choice was alcohol.
The Serb leader wanted to dis-
able Holbrooke by making him
drunk. Therefore, we decided
we would refuse drinks until
we had reached a partial solu-
tion. At the Dayton Air Force
base, where, in 1995 the war
was halted, Holbrooke placed
the Serb delegation next to a
cruise missile, the most potent
symbol of American military
might.
L
It was in Dayton that
Holbrooke carved out a place
for himself in the history
books, even though in 1999
cruise missiles were ultimately
deployed during the war in
Kosovo for 78 days. The
Balkans, synonymous with
war until the last year of the
twentieth century, had nally
achieved peace. Yet a second
triumph, as Obamas man for
Afghanistan and Pakistan, was
not granted to Holbrooke. On
December 14, 2010 he died,
69 years old, in Washington,
after a twenty-hour emergency
operation on a torn aorta.
They dont make people
like Holbrooke any more, even
less so in Germany, where a
civil servant remains a civil
servant until they turn 65. It is
almost impossible to list all of
Holbrookes jobs: junior diplo-
mat (at 21) in Vietnam, Peace
Corps director in Morocco,
editor of Foreign Policy, head of
the East Asia desk at the State
Department, ambassador to
Germany, Balkan negotiator,
author, banker, ambassador
to the United Nations. When
Obama named Holbrooke as
special representative to AfPak,
Holbrooke was working on
Wall Street. He served four US
presidents: Johnson, Carter,
Clinton, and Obama.
RICHARD HOLBROOKE ADDRESSES AN AUDIENCE IN MUNICH, 2007


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Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 13
He would have preferred to
become a journalist. One of
our colleagues called him a
frustrated foreign correspon-
dent; he thinks like a journal-
ist, hes as stubborn as a jour-
nalist. A friend, Frank Wisner,
said: He knew instinctively
how to feed a reporter, he knew
how to engage the press in
order to get his agenda passed.
Talking with this wanna-
be journalist was not easy.
Sometimes he gave a com-
mentary on a football match on
TV until the journalist, clearly
unnerved, shut down his laptop.
Our last talk, last year, took
place in the kitchen of his New
York apartment. Half of the talk
was about Afghanistan, the
other half about a giant panet-
tone, a Christmas present to
his wife, Kati Marton. The
problem was: how to cover up
the traces of nibbling on the
panettone, since his wife had
put him on a strict diet? While
Kissinger: If Richard asks you
something, just say yes. If you
say no, youll eventually get
to yes, but the journey will be
very painful. With Milosevic,
Holbrooke just sat put: seven
hours, twelve hours, in the end,
fty hours, until he had driven
him mad.
Holbrooke worked with
Kissinger to deliver a unique
success story, one that belongs
to cultural diplomacy. Shortly
before Holbrooke left Bonn,
in 1994, he gathered his own
Henry, former German presi-
dent Weizscker, and a small
group of committed friends
to whom German-American
relations were dear at Berlins
Hotel Kempinski. These were
the founding members of the
American Academy, without
which Berlins cultural fabric
cannot be imagined. He also
brought in the rst six million
dollars, donated by the family
of New York German-Jewish
banker Hans Arnhold. Without
Holbrooke this intellectual
lighthouse would never have
been born.
Let us quote, in closing,
Hillary Clinton: Richard
helped shape our history,
manage our perilous pres-
ent, and secure our future.
The Washington Post called
Holbrooke a literary gure.
Just before he was anesthe-
tized at George Washington
University Hospital, he is
supposed to have whispered
to his Pakistani surgeon:
You must stop this war in
Afghanistan.
By Josef Joffe
This obituary was originally
published in Die Zeit on
December 15, 2010.
we didnt solve the strategic
problem of Afghanistan, we did
achieve a tactical victory with
the cake: we simply made it
disappear.
Holbrooke was larger than
life physically as well as
intellectually. This bulldozer
was driven, on the one hand,
by unlimited ambition and
energy and, on the other hand,
braked by a sensitivity when he
realized that he had gone too
far. He then overwhelmed his
friends and enemies with just
as much charm and humor. For
that reason, his friends loved
him and his enemies forgave
him; for that reason, the White
House always called on him.
Puffed-up sail, immense ego.
It was just these undiplomatic
qualities that gave him an inex-
haustible stubbornness, which
made him one of the most bril-
liant practioners of foreign poli-
cy in American history. Nobody
expressed it as well as Henry
Kunde/client

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VAT_39L_300_Energiemix_210x135 1 23.03.11 15:43
14 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
T
he date was Friday,
September 9, 1993. The
Berlin Brigade of the
US Army had left Berlin for
the last time the day before
with a Grosser Zapfenstreich
ceremony at the Brandenburg
Gate. A New Traditions
Conference was being held at
the Kronprinzenpalais, fol-
lowed by a gala dinner spon-
sored by Deutsche Bank. The
name of the US ambassador
to Germany was Richard
Holbrooke.
I had known Richard for sev-
eral years, not in his capacity as
a diplomat but in that of a busi-
nessman; he was a business-
man whenever the Democrats
were out of power. During
the Reagan administration he
worked for Lehman Brothers.
Investment banking was clearly
not his rst love, and probably
not his second, third, or fourth
love either, but he graciously
entertained clients such as
me at expensive New York
restaurants.
But now, with Bill Clinton
as president, he was back in
his mtier. He was considered
an Asia expert and reportedly
wanted to be named ambas-
sador to Japan. But President
Clinton appointed him to Bonn
instead. If Richard was disap-
pointed, he didnt show it but
instead threw himself into this
unfamiliar assignment with
typical Holbrooke abandon.
His parents had left Hamburg
because of the Nazis, and his
mother had not set foot on
German soil since. When she
heard about Richards new
job, she threw up her arms in
disgust and exclaimed: Auch
das noch!
Getting back to the dinner
on September 9, 1993. During
dessert Richard went around
the room and asked several
of us to go to the next room,
which served as a messy stag-
ing area for the dinner. He
spoke with great passion about
the close links between the
US and West Berlin since the
end of World War II. America
had saved West Berlin repeat-
edly from falling into Russian
hands, and Berliners knew this.
They loved America and what
it stood for. He told us that this
connection shouldnt just sud-
denly end, and that we should
form an institution in Berlin for
German and American intel-
lectuals and leading citizens
to meet and continue their
special relationship. He called
it The American Academy in
Berlin. All of us mumbled our
agreement to join the board, or
at least we didnt say no. The
whole thing lasted about ten
minutes.
The next day, a Saturday,
at 11 am, those of us still in
Berlin held a constituting board
meeting, and the American
Academy in Berlin was ofcially
born. We then dispersed in all
directions.

Richard didnt stay long as


ambassador to Germany. The
Balkans beckoned, and his
greatest accomplishment came
later with the successful conclu-
sion of the Dayton Peace talks.
Making the American Academy
in Berlin a reality had to wait.
When the Republicans were
back in power, Richard now had
several new activities besides
investment banking. Perhaps
the one he enjoyed the most
was chairing the American
Academy in Berlin. A villa
was obtained from the city of
Berlin, and it soon had a new
name: Hans Arnhold Center,
thanks to a generous initial gift
by Stephen and Anne-Maria
Kellen, which restored the
villa for its intended use. As
for Richards mother, she was
nally persuaded to come for
a return visit to Germany. I
remember her sitting gracious-
ly at a dinner in Berlin, looking
happy and engaged and having
found some peace in encoun-
tering the new Germany. She
struck me as a symbol of the
closing of the tortured twentieth
century.
I saw Richard for the last
time on November 8 of last year,
at our board dinner, hosted
by Norman Pearlstine at the
Beacon Restaurant in New York.
He overheard a conversation I
had with Jim Wolfensohn about
Carnegie Hall. Wolfensohn
told me that his proudest
accomplishment and legacy
was not the work he had done
leading the World Bank but the
signicant role he had played in
saving Carnegie Hall from the
wrecking ball. Richard took me
aside and said: The way Jim
feels about Carnegie Hall is the
way I feel about the American
Academy. Those were the last
words he spoke to me.
By Karl M. von der Heyden
A Man and His Mtier
Investment banking was not his rst love, nor his second, third, or fourth
If Only Holbrooke Had Been in the Balkans in 1914
F
rom the very begin-
ning I was impressed
by Richards erce intel-
ligence and burning ambition
to understand and, if possible,
change the world. We rst met
in 1969 in Princeton: both of us
were opposed to the Vietnam
War, which we thought was
injurious to our national inter-
ests. He was 29 at the time
(I was somewhat older), but
I dont think the gap in our
ages ever made any difference.
We thought of each other as
contemporaries.
The following year, for a
variety of personal reasons, he
invited me and my family to
visit him in Morocco, where
he had been made head of the
Peace Corps. I came to admire
more deeply his personality,
the rapidity of his learning, his
highly nuanced Francophilia
(he was uent in the language),
and the way he got on with
Peace Corps volunteers and
with the Moroccan political
leadership. I thought of him
as an ideal American procon-
sul. The combination of his
profound knowledge and his
extraordinary analytical skill
was accompanied by a tactical
energy and an ability to see not
only all aspects of a given situa-
tion, but all of its ramications
as well: a man of that talent
and ambition doesnt remain
director of the Peace Corps in
Morocco for very long.
He was wonderfully open and at
peace in Morocco, though. We
spent our days talking about
writing, which was a passion of
his though it was never more
important for him than action.
He understood, already in 1970,
that the success of our foreign
policy depended on building
relationships not just between
countries, but between people.
He was capable of admiration
of other people, and he was a
quick judge of human beings.
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 15
He had a particularly intui-
tive grasp of the distinction
between capable and less capa-
ble colleagues and didnt always
disguise his views.

Almost immediately upon his


nomination as ambassador
to Germany in 1993 he got in
touch with me and asked me
to become his senior advisor
in Bonn. We arrived there
at the same time in October
1993. He quickly came to be
perceived as quintessentially
American in his openness, his
energy, and his controlled can-
dor. Europeans immediately
understood him to be one of the
most appealing, constructive
American diplomats. I doubt
that natos expansion would
have happened had he not
seized the initiative in those
years. Later, of course, he went
to the Balkans to devote his con-
siderable energies to stopping
a war.
Once, at a celebratory occa-
sion in Richards honor, on
November 11, 2004, by chance
an anniversary of the Great
Wars Armistice Day, I specu-
lated about what might have
happened if Holbrooke as a
young statesman might have
been in Europe in the summer
of 1914:
He would have gone on alert as
soon as the Austrian archduke
was assassinated in Sarajevo
on June 28, 1914. When he
rst heard rumors of the
Austrian ultimatum on Serbia,
he would have jumped on the
Orient Express and gone to
Belgrade. There he would have
told the Serbs: For Gods sake,
accept the ultimatum. Cheat
later. Before adding sotto voce,
I have in my pocket evidence
of your complicity in the crime
at Sarajevo.
He then would have been on
his way to Vienna: Youll
destroy your multi-national
empire, already attainted, if
you allow the Germans to push
you into war. Dont do it. On
to Berlin: Youre going to risk
your growing strength, your
clear ascendancy, by link-
ing yourself to a living corpse,
the Austrian Empire? For
a Habsburg your ancient
enemy? On to St. Petersburg:
Have you learned nothing from
1905? Another war, another
revolution? He then would
have come to London, threw
his arms around David Lloyd
George and said, David, you
mustnt go to war. All your
social reforms will perish and
some future historian will write
a book about The Strange
Death of Liberal England.
Yes, the Great War could have
been averted if only Richard
Holbrooke had been around.
Stretching back to those days
in Morocco, to the last time
I saw him, at a recent meeting
at a dinner for the American
Academy in Berlin (which
he founded and which we may
regard as his greatest lasting
legacy: symbol and reality of
the civilian-cultural outreach of
the United States), he remained
a genuine, quiet, deep-down
patriot, ever concerned with the
fate of the United States. His
death is a horror and a loss
to me of a friend, and of a much,
much admired contemporary.
It is a loss to the nation of a
talent that had earned world-
wide recognition, a talent
that could have still done so
much for us.
By Fritz Stern
This article rst appeared in
Foreign Policy online.
FORMER PRESIDENTS GEORGE H. W. BUSH AND BILL CLINTON AT THE PRIVATE SECTOR SUMMIT FOR POST-TSUNAMI RECONSTRUCTION AND
REHABILITATION IN MAY 2005. RICHARD HOLBROOKE, CHAIRMAN OF THE ASIA SOCIETY, WAS MODERATOR


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I
think I was the rst
to have the Holbrooke
Distinguished Visitorship
at the American Academy in
Berlin. It was a great honor, and
it gave me enormous pleasure
because Richard was a very
old friend.
We met in Saigon in early
1966, when Richard was
working as an assistant to
Ambassador Cabot Lodge, and I
was a edging journalist. I will
never forget the bicycle trip we
took around the city one Sunday,
Richard analyzing local politics
as we made our way through
the dense trafc of cyclo-pousses,
motor scooters, ancient French-
made taxis, motorcycles, and
When the American forces
left Berlin, Richard felt they
shouldnt leave an absence
that the city should have some
token of the continuing impor-
tance of US-German relations.
While some might have chosen
a monument, he, divining that
Berlin would become one of
the great cultural centers in
Germany, thought to create the
American Academy in Berlin.
And Richard didnt just have the
idea. With all his other respon-
sibilities, he worked very hard
to make it a reality. When I had
the privilege of a two-week stay
at the Academy in 2006, I was
thrilled to see that the Academy
was all that he had envisioned:
heavy trucks. I was terried.
There were no stoplights
and apparently no way to tell
which side had the right of way
at intersections. But Richard
had gured out that Saigon
drivers had a common under-
standing, and that there was an
underlying order to the trafc.
So we cycled on unharmed,
he hardly drawing a breath in
his disquisition.
K
I mention this because Richard,
while always working the inter-
ests of his country, had ne
antennae for the cultural pat-
terns of the countries in which
he served.
a major center for intellectual
and artistic exchange and one
with wonderful food.
If I had any say in it, I would
rename the institution in his
honor. Were he still with us, I
would have many facetious sug-
gestions, such as the Holbrooke
Home for Wayward Americans,
but, unbelievably, he is not.
By Frances Fitzgerald
The House That Holbrooke Built
Divining Berlin as a future capital of culture and inuence
THE AMERICAN ACADEMY IN BERLIN BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND SPRING 2007 FELLOWS


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Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 17
A Last Breakfast
The Academys president and CEO recalls his nal meeting with the Academys founder
R
ichard Holbrooke
was a founder of the
American Academy in
Berlin and, until his death in
December, one of its proudest
patrons.
Together with Henry
Kissinger and former German
President Richard von
Weizscker, Richard announced
the creation of the Academy
on September 9, 1994, one day
after the US military withdrew
its troops from Germanys
capital. He was then serving
as Americas ambassador to
Germany, having supervised
the embassys recent move from
Bonn to Berlin.
Our mission statement
embodies Richards belief that a
cultural institution committed
to scholarship and public policy
could foster greater under-
standing and dialogue between
the people of the United States
and the people of Germany
through its presence in Berlin,
a city with which the United
States should maintain its
unique cultural, social, political,
and historical links.

In the years following the


Academys creation, Richard
served as our chairman when
he wasnt in government as
an assistant secretary of state,
as US ambassador to the United
Nations, and, most recently,
as President Obamas special
representative for Afghanistan
and Pakistan.
I last saw Richard in
November 2010. Over breakfast
at Washingtons Four Seasons
hotel we spoke somberly
about Americas challenges in
Pakistan and Afghanistan. He
told me despite the difculty
of his assignment and the wea-
rying schedule that came with
the job, he would stay in gov-
ernment so long as President
Obama and Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton
required his services.
It was only when our conver-
sation shifted to the Academy
that his spirits brightened.
He told me of his pride in the
Academy, saying that his expec-
tations had been high and that
the Academy had exceeded all
of them. He also revealed his
desire to return to the Academy
when his latest stint in govern-
ment ended.
While Richards death has
deprived of us his leadership,
the Academy remains the bene-
ciary of his vision, committed
to building on that vision in
the years to come.
By Norman Pearlstine


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AMERICAN ACADEMY IN BERLIN BOARD MEETING LUNCHEON, MAY 5, 2003
18 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
D
ear Kati
I read somewhere that
getting old means
becoming increasingly a for-
eigner in ones own country.
The companions of ones youth
disappear one by one and those
that remain are the product of
different impulses.
Richard and I took our
impetus from the early Sixties
when for a moment hope and
possibility seemed conjoined
for America. We met in that
distillation of disillusionment
which was the Vietnam conict.
Richard had gone there as a for-
eign service ofcer, a so-called
provincial reporter, I as con-
sultant to Ambassador Lodge.
We both found that our goals
were not fulllable but also
that the values that brought us
to Indochina remained valid. I
watched a Republic Day parade
from the balcony in Richards
apartment together with him
both saddened by the probable
futility of what we were watch-
ing but committed to draw the
lessons which would prevent
comparable tragedies.
Richards life was a testi-
mony to that quest. Though
we acted on opposite sides of
our political contests I always
considered Richard the most
talented and the most relevant
thinker on his side of the politi-
cal dividing lines. On all the big
issues of the day Richard saw a
challenge not an obstacle. He
did me the honor in September
to invite me to meet with his
staff. Those dedicated men
and women elevated a forlorn
problem into a moral adventure.
That they did it physically in
the very fringes of the State
Department at a moment
that required rededication is
a tribute to Richards leader-
ship. Tales are told about his
ambitiousness many of them
true. But he was above all ambi-
tious to do, not to be. So at a
moment when America was at
a loss about its strategy Richard
and his team were elaborating
a direction that has a chance of
surviving the military phase.
Of course the American
Academy in Berlin will stand
as a lasting tribute to Richards
vision and consistent applica-
tion. I contributed my name,
Richard the dedication and
imagination that turned the
Academy into a permanent
xture of transatlantic rela-
tions, fullling the vision of an
American presence in Berlin
long after the American troops
had left.
Richard and I in those long
ago days on Marthas Vineyard
would reect how the world
would evolve. We stayed in
touch in the decades since
and he leaves a big hole in our
nations life.
You of course were a princi-
pal enabler; you gave him the
emotional security and the
Archimedean point from which
he could try to move the world.
And in a way he achieved his
ultimate goal: in his death he
became a unier who brought
together all factions in the
appreciation of a dedicated life.

Warm regards,
Henry
To Move the World
In this condolence letter, provided by Kati Marton, Henry A. Kissinger reects on Holbrookes life and legacy
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 19
R
ichard Holbrookes
legacy goes well
beyond the critical
role he played in bringing a
decade of fragile peace in the
Balkans, welcoming a reuni-
ed Germany in an expanding
nato, and normalizing rela-
tions with China. He also leaves
a vast, multigenerational, inter-
continental network of friends.
Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton spoke for many
when she said . . . that she had
never so admired, so depended
on, and so cared for someone
who drove her so crazy so often.
Richard, like each of us, was
a package of complicated, not
always harmonious, qualities.
But in his case, the combina-
tion allowed him to epitomize
the very best of what a single
American can do to improve a
dangerous world.
The obituaries are lled with
words not always associated
with eulogies: brash, aggressive,
unyielding, exhausting. But
put those together with effec-
tive, pragmatic, purpose-driven,
indefatigable, and idealistic,
and theyre redolent of our
national character. Not the Ugly
American, and certainly not the
Quiet American, but the Can-
Do, Must-Do, Get-the-Hell-Out-
of-My-Way American. Larry
Summers, who knew Richard
well, captured the sum of his
parts in a single phrase: the
audacity of determination. . . .
Sometimes his style aroused
resistance and resentment. But
often, he was so solidly ground-
ed in his command of the facts,
so rigorous in his logic, and so
compelling in the essence of
his position that any sensible
target of his browbeating would
have the good sense to discount
the hyperbole and accept the
force of his argument. And if
the ensuing debate exposed
a weakness in that argument,
hed listen, adjust, and press
ahead for a solution to the prob-
lem at hand.
A voracious reader (and writ-
er), Richard was never bashful
about enlisting history on his
side or, for that matter, antici-
pating what future historians
would say. In the 1990s, during
high-stress moments in the
Situation Room, the Cabinet
room, or the Oval Ofce,
Richard would lecture those
present on how future genera-
tions would not forgive us if we
didnt take decisive action to
stop the latest outrage in the
former Yugoslavia, in Africa, or
in Southeast Asia. Eyes might
roll, but the net effect was often
agreement around the table, led
by President Bill Clinton. As a
result, talk would turn to action
an alchemy of which Richard
was a master.
Nothing pleased him more
than engaging the next genera-
tion. As special representative
for Afghanistan and Pakistan,
he recruited up-and-coming
diplomats, policymakers, aid
specialists, intelligence ana-
lysts, and military ofcers
to form a team of non-rivals
unparalleled in the quality
and diversity of its expertise
and skill. We must hope that
President Obama and Secretary
Clinton nd a way to maintain
this sterling example of how
government ought to work
despite the loss of its captain.
On a busy day some months
ago, he was introduced to a
14-year-old girl who mentioned
that she had some sense of what
he was doing because she had
read The Kite Runner, a novel
set in Kabul. Richard xed his
eyes on her and conducted a
lively conversation with her for
20 minutes. Never mind if he
was late to his next meeting.
He had found someone who
understood what was at stake in
his last mission and someone
whose world is the better for all
he accomplished.
By Strobe Talbott
This article is excerpted
from the Washington
Post, where it appeared on
December 15, 2010.
Not a Quiet American
NAVY ADMIRAL MIKE MULLEN, CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, DELIVERS THE EULOGY AT THE MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR AMBASSADOR
RICHARD HOLBROOKE AT THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS IN WASHINGTON, DC, JANUARY 14, 2011
D
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20 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
RICHARD HOLBROOKE OUTSIDE THE VIETNAMESE EMBASSY IN PARIS FOR THE SECOND ROUND OF THE US-VIETNAM TALKS AIMED AT
NORMALIZING RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES. HOLBROOKE HEADED THE AMERICAN DELEGATION, MAY 4, 1977


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Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 21
Theory Versus Fact
Scenes from a diplomatic career
I
conducted an on-
camera interview with
Richard Holbrooke at Brown
University, my home institution
and his alma mater (62). At
the time a professor-at-large
at Brown, Holbrooke was a
natural choice for our docu-
mentary lm, Human Terrain.
Winning hearts and minds
was Holbrookes rst mission
when he went to Vietnam as a
member of the Foreign Service
in 1963; now it was part of a
controversial program in Iraq
and Afghanistan we were
investigating.
Other discomforting paral-
lels emerged in the course of
the interview. Holbrooke had
lost three close colleagues
when, en route to negotiations
in Sarajevo, their armored
personnel carrier plunged off
the side of a mountain. We
were struggling with the loss
of a colleague and collaborator,
Michael Bhatia (Brown, 99),
after his Humvee hit an ied on
the way to an inter-tribal nego-
tiation in Afghanistan.
Holbrooke apologized for
having to leave his mobile
phone on during our interview:
he was waiting for a very
important call. He took three
calls; judging by his mood and
the candor of his remarks, Id
say he didnt get the one he had
hoped for.
The interview lasted well
over an hour, though it was
scheduled for just fteen min-
utes. Holbrooke spoke reec-
tively and eloquently on the use
and abuse of historical analo-
gies, the role of academics in
foreign policy, and the continu-
ing importance of public ser-
vice. Below are some excerpts
from the uncut interview.
On Holbrookes early
days as foreign service
ofcer in Vietnam:
I graduated from Brown in
1962 and entered the foreign
service, and they decided what
they were going to do with me.
. . . Because I was a bachelor,
and very young . . . they decided
to teach me Vietnamese and
send me to Vietnam, and then
from Vietnam I was sent to the
Lower Mekong Delta as a civil-
ian in the pacication program.
People today would probably
call it nation building, a very
misleading phrase. It all hap-
pened kind of serendipitously.

On theory versus
practice in Vietnam and
Afghanistan:
The Michigan State University
teams hired by the US govern-
ment went into Vietnam, stud-
ied it carefully, and decided that
it was a village-based society
and the best way to deal with
it was to strengthen villages.
Some people wanted to defend
each village with barbed wires
and bamboo spikes . . . . But
all of this depended not on the
physical idea of defending a
hamlet (they were called strate-
gic hamlets in those days) [but
rather on] a government that
could provide services, security,
and an ideology worth living for
and risking your life for. And
that all failed, not because the
United States was wrong, but
because the central govern-
ment in Vietnam, in Saigon,
was not up to the task. If this
sounds familiar to people, it
echoes exactly whats happen-
ing in Afghanistan. Nobody
wants the Taliban back not
nobody, but very few people.
[Most Afghanis] remember the
black years, the brutality, the
abuse of women I dont mean
normal abuse, which is bad
enough, Im talking about kill-
ing women who dared to get an
education, and beating people
who danced, and things like
that and yet in Afghanistan
today, notwithstanding the
hatred of the Taliban, you have
a very major issue: . . . the gov-
ernment is not providing any of
the services.
Jerry Hickey . . . wrote a
book called Village in Vietnam,
which was one of the early
books I studied, and . . . Sam
Popkin wrote a book called
The Rational Peasant these
were terric books but they
didnt change the basic fact,
which was that no matter
how conceptually sound your
theory was, it would rise or fall
on the strength of the central
government in Saigon. Its the
governments ability to protect
the people, deliver services,
and not be corrupt, and on that
score the government of Ngo
Dinh Diem failed, and then the
successor governments, the
military governments, more or
less failed. And meanwhile the
Viet Cong, although they were
brutal, had a clear ideology, and
that ideology was based on their
co-opting the idea of national-
ism. Even though they were
communists from the North,
directed from the North, they
presented themselves as indig-
enous, nationalist patriots, to
drive the Americans out.
Again, this sounds famil-
iar to anyone whos watching
Afghanistan today. Although
the terrain is completely differ-
ent, the culture is completely
different, and the technologies
have changed a lot, the core
equation remains the same,
and the biggest problem for the
United States in ghting wars
like Vietnam and Afghanistan
is that they risk becoming the
cause around which opposition
rallies. Their very presence
becomes a problem. Thats
what happened in many areas,
and in every case South
Vietnam, Afghanistan the
majority of the people wanted
the American goals to succeed
but they did not have enough
strength, [nor the] security to
stand up to the communists
in Vietnam. In the case of
Afghanistan, its not too late
theres plenty of room to turn
it around: the Taliban are so
unpopular because of their
history. Unlike South Vietnam,
people in Afghanistan know
what the Taliban stand for, and
that is something that can be
worked on.
On comparing Kosovo
and Afghanistan:
Kosovo and Afghanistan have
nothing really in common.
The hatred in Kosovo between
Albanians and Serbs is actu-
ally deeper than anything Ive
seen in Afghanistan . . . . In
Afghanistan the Taliban are all
Pashtun, and the majority of
Afghans are Pashtun its an
ideological religious struggle.
The methods are brutal, as they
were in Kosovo, but it isnt a
racial hatred. To put it another
way, theres more chance of rec-
onciliation in Afghanistan than
there is in Kosovo; on the other
hand, Afghanistan is much,
much bigger, its got other
ethnic groups, its complicated,
and let us never forget it is the
fth poorest country in the
world, the other four being in
Africa. It is an extraordinarily
remote and ancient culture
with proud, deep tribal tradi-
tions, very high illiteracy rates
among men and even higher
among women, so the situa-
tions are quite dissimilar.
22 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
On drawing the line between
humanitarian intervention
and imperialism:
It is a ne line . . . between
humanitarianism and impe-
rialism. In fact, sometimes a
humanitarian is also an unin-
tentional imperialist or a neo-
colonialist, because he or she
comes from another culture to
bring his or her values and cul-
ture to the place he is going. . . .
Now theres no easy solution
to this, but . . . if youre talking
about non-military involvement
(I wouldnt call it interven-
tion) theres always been inner
changes [created by] ngos,
government, business, church
missionaries, missionaries for
secular ideas; its always been
that way. What was Marco Polo,
what were the people carrying
ideas? Im not too troubled
over the semantics here. On
the other hand, it is critically
important that we not intervene,
in the sense of interfere, with
local cultures and traditions.
. . . Now there are some local
traditions not acceptable to
Westerners, female circumci-
sion is a perfect example; its
just an appalling barbaric
thing. While its an ancient
tradition, it also happens to
increase the spread of disease,
infant mortality, and female
diseases. I think the world is
right to try to put pressure on
those societies that still practice
it. Similar with slavery, that was
an ancient tradition, which still
exists, theres twenty or thirty
million modern slaves in the
world, we should do everything
we can to stop that.
On the tension between
traditional and modern
warfare:

I think theres a tremendous
tension between old-fashioned
thinking about war and mod-
ern conditions. I wont even say
battleeld conditions because
wars are not fought on battle-
elds anymore. This is very
consequences. Sadaam was
worse than Milosevic, he was
a terrible man, we all know
that, but to do it this way was
beyond reckless. At the same
time, by doing it, we let the
Taliban and especially al-Qaeda
escape into Pakistan, so we
went into Afghanistan to ght
al-Qaeda, not the Taliban. The
Taliban were terrible but so
were the Burmese generals, so
is Mugabe. The Taliban had
been in power for six years
already, and we drove them
into Pakistan, where al-Qaeda
stayed. The Taliban came back,
and now were ghting the
Taliban, but the enemy that
took us into the region is in the
country next door, which we
cant ght in, aside from occa-
sional predators. So historys
going to give very black marks
to [the Bush] administration.
The above answers were
extracted from raw footage
for the documentary lm
Human Terrain, by James
Der Derian, a professor of
international studies at
Brown University and a
spring 2011 Bosch Fellow at
the American Academy.
difcult for traditional armies
to gure out. The United States
is grappling with it in Iraq
and Afghanistan, as it did in
Vietnam, with very limited
success. The United States is
powerful enough to seize any
square meter . . . of soil on the
face of the earth . . . because we
have helicopters, we have mis-
siles, were heavily armed. . . .
But you can only hold it as long
as the troops remain there,
and what good is that? Theyre
a sitting target. So the issue
becomes what is your goal
and how do you leave some-
thing behind when you with-
draw? . . . When your goal is not
to destroy a national capital, as
in World War II, but to push
your enemy out and then turn
it over to local authorities,
youre facing a whole different
kind of war.
On how history will remember
the invasion of Iraq:
The invasion of Iraq was
supremely reckless at a level
thats unbelievable. . . . History
will record this as one of the
most grotesque mistakes of all
time. It is true that getting rid
of Sadaam was a good thing,
if there hadnt been negative
But often, in the worlds most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our re and restless force
In tracking our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.
matthew arnold, the buried life
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 23


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Delivering solutions.
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Notebook of the American Academy in Berlin | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
ON THE WATERFRONT
NEWS FROM THE HANS ARNHOLD CENTER
N2 Academy Notebook: US
Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton speaks
at the Academys Richard
Holbrooke Memorial
N11 Life & Letters: The spring
2011 fellows; obituary for
alumna Miriam Hansen;
Mitch Epsteins Berlin; and
recent alumni books
N8 Sketches & Dispatches: Rosina
Bierbaum on climate change;
John Wray reads from Lowboy;
Ren Pape at the Morgan
Library & Museum
N4 Academy Notebook: Pamela
Rosenberg on early inspiration;
cellist Yo-Yo Ma stops by
the Hans Arnhold Center;
welcoming Helga Haub
T
ucked into the
Hollywood Hills are hidden
valleys and ravines, where
the vegetation is so thick it feels
like stumbling into wilderness,
although the next house is only
ve minutes away. Many celebri-
ties own villas there. My boarding
school was in one such valley. My
parents had sent me to Beverly
Hills to nish the last two years of
high school while they remained
in South America. Those years,
from 19601962, turned my life
upside down.
One night, shortly after arriv-
ing in Los Angeles, friends of
my parents, Lynette and George
Wooliver, took me to a so-called
underground theater. Lynette
predicted it would be an amus-
ing and dada-esque evening; I
was 15 and had no idea what a
dada-esque evening could pos-
Theater in the Trees
The Academys Dean of Fellows and Programs on how
an avant-garde performance unveiled a new world
T
he world has no time
to waste when it comes
to climate protection.
To match that pace, Professor
Rosina Bierbaum, Dean of the
School of Natural Resources and
Environment at the University
of Michigan, spoke breathlessly
on the topic at the American
Academy in Berlin. Her open-
ing hypothesis was that while
climate change is threatening all
countries, it has been particularly
hard on the developing world.
Bierbaum knows what she is talk-
ing about. She has been occupied
with the topic of climate change
for the last twenty years, and last
year President Barack Obama
elected her to be one of his cli-
mate advisors.
First off, we need to under-
stand that there is still time
to pursue a different style of
politics, Dr. Bierbaum says.
Developing countries can follow
The Cost of Change
Rosina Bierbaum on the environmental time bomb
CONTINUED ON PAGE N12 CONTINUED ON PAGE N8
Over 150 guests joined US Secretary
of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,
EU Foreign and Security Policy
High Representative Catherine
Ashton, and journalist and widow
Kati Marton at the American
Academy on April 15 to celebrate
the life of veteran diplomat
and Academy founder Richard
Holbrooke. Vice Chair of the
Academy, Gahl Hodges Burt,
opened the forum of remembrances,
followed by Kati Marton; Werner
Hoyer, Minister of State at the
German Foreign Ministry; colum-
nist Roger Cohen; Vali Nasr,
a senior Holbrooke advisor; Josef
Joffe, publisher of Die Zeit; lm-
maker Volker Schlndorff; John
Kornblum, former US Ambassador
to Germany; Hillary Rodham
Clinton; Philip D. Murphy,
US Ambassador to Germany;
Catherine Ashton; and Academy
Executive Director Gary Smith.
The following is the full text
of Secretary Clintons speech:
I
want to start by thank-
ing Gary Smith for the work
youve done to realize the
vision that the Academy repre-
sents and what Richard certainly
hoped for. Gahl, thank you, for
US SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, APRIL 15, 2011
The Internationalist
Hillary Rodham Clinton visits the American Academy to celebrate the life of Richard Holbrooke
CONTINUED ON PAGE N2


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N2 | Academy Notebook | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
Academy Notebook
the instrumental role you played.
And, of course, Kati, it would not
even have the meaning it does
without the partnership and sup-
port that you gave Richard all
those years. And Im delighted
that Sarah and three of Richards
grandchildren, Beatrice, Kathryn,
and William, are here as well.
It is so tting that we would
have this, most likely, last memo-
rial service and remembrance
of Richard in a place that he
loved so much, not only here
at the Academy, but Berlin and
Germany. It is a tting place
to tell these stories, and I only
wished that we had arranged it
so that it was somewhere relaxed
in this beautiful building with a
giant panettone and lots of good
Riesling and other treats to keep
us going, because the stories
would never have ended. That
was the thing about Richard,
every story that Ive heard has
prompted even more in my own
mind to come to the surface.
Richard thrived on conversa-
tion. He was an absolutely relent-
less conversationalist, as any
of us who have engaged in con-
versation with him understand
and remember. Les Gelb, one
of his dearest friends, said that
a conversation with Richard
meant listening to a breathless
monologue, which you could only
engage by interrupting. And the
story that Gahl told about Richard
following John Fuegi into the
mens room was so familiar. He
followed me onto a stage as I
was about to give a speech, he
followed me into my hotel room,
and on one memorable occasion,
into a ladies room in Pakistan.
So these are all now very fond
memories.
This American Academy meant
the world to him. He talked
about it, along with all of his
other passions, starting with Kati,
endlessly. And it was, I think,
a way for him to embody his love
of Germany and his belief that
Germany and the United States
had to be indispensably linked
together, going forward into
the unknown future. As John
Kornblum famously said, liv-
ing humanity is what Richard
Holbrooke was all about. The
American Academy is a living
example, an essence of his
lifes work.
When my husband asked him
to be ambassador to Germany,
I think he was a little disap-
pointed at rst; lets be honest. I
can remember the conversation.
Bill said to Richard, You know,
Richard, we dont know whats
going to happen in Europe now.
I think the point that Ambassador
Kornblum made is worth remem-
bering what looks now to have
been inevitable was not in any
way preordinated.
Watching Bill Clinton and
Richard Holbrooke have a con-
versation was truly like watching
two bull elephants circle around,
trumpeting their positions
looking for openings, pawing
the ground, and luckily, nally,
coming to an understanding.
CONTINUED FROM N1
1.
1. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
SIGNS THE RICHARD
HOLBROOKE CONDOLENCE
BOOK
2. NINA VON MALTZAHN, JOHN
C. KORNBLUM, HILLARY
RODHAM CLINTON, GARY SMITH,
KATI MARTON
3. KATI MARTON SHOWS THE
ACADEMYS PHOTO WALL
4. PAMELA ROSENBERG, PHILIP
D. MURPHY, TAMMY MURPHY
1.
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Academy Notebook | N3
But what Richard so quickly and
very importantly grasped was
that, yes, the Cold War era was
over and, yes, the Berlin Wall had
come down, and yes, the last of
the Berlin Brigade would be leav-
ing, including 5,000 American
troops. But there was nothing
that made it at all sure that this
relationship that had been based
on the past would continue into
the future.
Richard believed we needed
to create an entirely new relation-
ship, one based not just on stra-
tegic necessity, but on friendship,
shared vision, and shared values.
He was absolutely convinced that
the United States and Germany
had to form the core of a perma-
nent transatlantic community,
and that led him to the extraordi-
nary effort about enlarging
nato, which, as I was listening
to John, I thought of all of the bit-
ter arguments that were held
over those years about what that
would mean.
Now, there are many ways
to describe Richard, and weve
heard some wonderful descrip-
tors. You can describe him by the
many hats that he wore, not just
hats, but caps and helmets. You
can see him wearing a cap as a
development ofcer or a Peace
Corps director or an ambassador,
a magazine editor, a presidential
advisor, a peace negotiator, an
aids activist, a banker, a diplo-
mat, and someone who believed
always in the power of ideas. Hes
also been described by numerous
political labels. Hes been called
a liberal interventionist, a neo-
conservative, a multilateralist, a
liberal hawk, and those are some
of the nicer things that have been
said about him. He is certainly
referred to as a thinker, an idea
generator, a man of serial enthu-
siasms, a voracious reader, a pro-
lic writer, a prodigious intellect,
and a great friend.
But instead of talking about
who he was, what weve heard
today is what he stood for and
what he did. He was, of course, a
man of powerful convictions, but
he was a pragmatist and he never
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saw any contradiction between
the two. He believed in doing
what was right for America and
right for the world, and he actu-
ally thought those two intersected
more times than not. He spent
his life grappling with two of the
hardest questions in internation-
al relations. The rst was when
and how to use military force.
Sometimes, of course, nations
must act unilaterally to protect
their security.
But there are also times,
which he knew, when nations
are called to join together to
defend common principles, stop
humanitarian crises, and act on
behalf of those shared values.
He believed totally in building
international coalitions. When he
was appointed to be the special
representative for Afghanistan
and Pakistan, he was the rst of
a kind. By the time he nished
there were 42. He reached out
and included Muslim-majority
nations, and his successor,
someone who had worked with
Richard, Ambassador Marc
Grossman, went to a recent meet-
ing of the special representatives
sponsored by the Organization
of the Islamic Conference held
in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. And
as Marc told me later, it was so
clearly the work of Richard.
He understood that at times,
one had to use military force. But
he also fought hard about how
to end it and what tools were
necessary to do so. He knew that
you had to deal with some fairly
unlikable characters from time
to time. After he visited Bosnia
as a private citizen, he came back
totally convinced that the world
not just Europe but the world
had to act, because he watched in
horror one day as Serbian soldiers
rounded up Bosnian Muslims,
and it was, for him, a terrible,
eerie echo of what had happened
fty years before.
When Richard took on the
State Departments European
Bureau, in September 1994, after
leaving Germany as ambassador,
it was, as has been described, a
time of a lot of uncertainty. In
the article that was written and
published in the spring 1995
Foreign Affairs issue, he laid out
so many of the concerns and sug-
gested actions that we have been
following ever since. When he
did the extraordinary work that
Kati has provided an inside look
to all of us for the Dayton Peace
Accords, he was not only profes-
sionally engaged, but personally
committed. Because the part
that Kati didnt tell you is that
his three colleagues died on that
road after Milosevic had refused
to allow them safe passage and
made them ride that road that
was ringed by Serbian snipers.
And yet, despite that loss, Richard
was relentless in his pursuit of
peace and absolutely convinced
he would get Milosevic to the
nal line.
When he was asked by
President Obama to serve in
Afghanistan and Pakistan, he
took on the challenge with rel-
ish. He was very clear-eyed, but
he did say on more than one
occasion, I thought Dayton was
pretty difcult at the time. This
is a lot tougher. He set to work
the only way he knew: full-bore,
with everything he had, relying
on the principles that have always
guided him.
He mapped out three mutu-
ally reinforcing tracks: a military
offensive, which he, along with
the rest of us, were working with
President Obama, who inher-
ited a deteriorating situation in
Afghanistan, a Taliban with an
enormous sense of momentum.
Waiting on the Presidents desk
that rst day were requests for
troops that had not been in any
way discussed or acted on by the
prior administration.
At the same time, Richard
was probably the most relentless
1. GAHL HODGES BURT (R)
2. JOSEF JOFFE
3. BARONESS CATHERINE ASHTON
4. WERNER HOYER
1.
CONTINUED FROM N3
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and passionate advocate for a
civilian campaign. When Richard
became srap, there were 300
American civilians, including
the Embassy in Kabul, in all of
Afghanistan. They were largely
on six-month tours, and many of
them spent a third of that time on
R & R outside the country because
it was really hard.
And nally a third track was
an intensive diplomatic push.
Now, those who found negotia-
tions with the Taliban distasteful
got a very powerful response
from Richard. Diplomacy would
be easy, he would say, if you only
had to talk with your friends.
Negotiating with your adversaries
wasnt a disservice to people who
had died, if by talking you could
prevent more violence.
He saw the regional implica-
tions, and as Vali Nasr said, he
dove into Pakistan with all his
Richard-ness. After the devastat-
ing oods that affected almost
20 million Pakistanis last year, he
went to visit a dusty refugee camp
not far from Karachi. As usual,
he arrived in a way he hated. He
hated having security, he hated
the armored cars, and he if could
duck his entourage, he always did,
and then, of course, I would get
the phone calls. He slipped, alone,
into a tent occupied by two refu-
gees from the oods, a father and
his young son. He just wanted to
hear their story.
He also loved breaking protocol.
He may have been the rst person
who told me the joke Whats
the difference between a terrorist
and a protocol ofcer? You can
negotiate with a terrorist. And
so the protocol ofcers would say,
Do not wear the usaid hat. If
you go to this region, you will be
a target and you will also be con-
sidered somewhat undiplomatic.
Well, all over The New York Times
were pictures of Richard in his
usaid hat.
He did make a big impact in
a very complex situation, and
in two countries that no one
should pretend to understand.
But he built a foundation for us
to build on. He formed friend-
ships and alliances. He broke
a lot of pottery. He brought
together an exceptional team of
people. Vali described them as
sort of a Silicon company start-
up. I thought of it more as the
bar scene in Star Wars because
Richard was intent upon doing
something that all governments
and every bureaucracy hates.
He wanted to break down all of
the barriers.
So this was going to be a
whole-of-government commit-
ment, which I certainly thought
it was and what I thought we were
being asked to do. He wanted
people from every agency in the
government. So you try calling
the Department of Agriculture
and saying we want some agri-
cultural specialists to work with
us in the State Department on
helping improve agriculture in
Pakistan and in Afghanistan.
Very tough negotiations. But in
the end, Richard got his way.
Now, I think that part of what
we will miss about Richard is that
as we have seen the actions and
events of the last months, many
of us have thought, What would
Richard have said? We didnt
have Richard to advise us in Libya
but we had his principles to guide
us. And we did work hard to bring
the international community
together and quickly.
The world did not wait for
another Srebrenica in a place
called Benghazi. Instead, we
came together in the United
Nations, a place where Richard
served as our ambassador, to
impose sanctions, a no-y zone,
and an arms embargo, and pro-
tecting civilians. In a single week,
we prevented a potential massa-
cre, stopped an advancing army,
and expanded the coalition.
And as Colonel Qadha con-
tinues attacking his own people,
we are gaining even more part-
ners in our efforts.
There will always be conicts as
long as there are human beings,
as long as there are power-mad
egomaniacs running countries
which, of course, never happen
in democracies, thank goodness.
And we will have to navigate them
without Richard, but not without
his insight.
I want to nish by reading
something he wrote not long after
the Dayton Accords were signed:
There will be other Bosnias in
our lives, he wrote. They will
explode with little warning, and
present the world with difcult
choices choices between risky
involvement and potentially
costly neglect. He concluded:
Early outside involvement will be
decisive.
That doesnt mean we dont
need patience. It doesnt mean
that we dont have to continue
to do the hard work that tries
to avoid conicts. But we do need
to remember Richards plea for
principled interventionism. He
lived those ideals, and perhaps
better than any other diplomat
of his generation, he made them
real to so many of us.
We have a lot to learn
from Richard Charles Albert
Holbrooke, as advisor, counselor,
teacher, but above all else, dear
friend. I can see in this room on
the faces of so many of you the
kind of memories that we all have
of this extraordinary man. Let
us give thanks for him.


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1. PETER SCHNEIDER AND
WOLFGANG ISCHINGER
2. ALEXANDRA GRFIN
LAMBSDORFF, HILLARY
RODHAM CLINTON, KATI
MARTON, WERNER HOYER,
VALI NASR, GABRIELA
VON HABSBURG
3. GARY SMITH, GAHL HODGES
BURT, HILLARY RODHAM
CLINTON, KATI MARTON,
CATHERINE ASHTON
1.
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Academy Notebook | N7


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Theater in the Trees
sibly entail. But I was curious
because Lynette, a former dancer
at the Martha Graham Dance
Company, would take part in the
performance.
We drove to a villa, located
in one of Hollywood Hills wild,
overgrown ravines. The the-
ater was not inside the villa but
behind it, in the garden house. In
my memory, it was a tree house
on stilts, with a large room and
an adjacent smaller room. There
were about thirty spectators, and
we sat on the oor, at the edges
of the big room. As the youngest
among them, I felt fairly nervous.
Night had fallen outside, and
black window shades prevented
any mote of light from penetrat-
ing the interior. In this bottom-
less black, the actors began to
move. I occasionally felt a breeze
of body movement; I heard steps
and breaths. Suddenly the light
was switched on, and the actors
froze and remained motionless
for a couple of seconds. Then,
without a word, through mimicry
and gestures, they established
relationships amongst each other.
I had never seen theater like this.
I longed to try it myself to
move like Lynette, lithesome and
feline; to make uninhibited faces;
to play like a child but sensed
that I was too self-conscious.
After the show, the actors sat
around with their friends and
heatedly discussed art. They talk-
ed as if their lives depended on it,
as if art was a matter of survival.
And for them, it was. I had never
met people before in my life for
whom art was so essential.
I was raised in a conservative
household. When I was very
young, my parents moved from
Los Angeles to Caracas where
my father, a former naval ofcer,
worked for an oil company. I had
always been a sensitive, serious
girl. In Caracas I had an Armenian
piano teacher. Once a month I was
allowed to visit her salon where I
met Russian emigrants who made
music, discussed literature, and
spoke several languages. Even
those early salons opened another
world to me, separate from the one
my parents lived in, and stirred a
deep longing in me. My parents
led a typically upper-middle-class
life, with dinner parties and golf
tournaments. I realized that the
conventional atmosphere at home
was stiing me.
Now I sat, cross-legged, in a
tree house in Hollywood and felt
understood. Not that I joined the
actors conversations. I eaves-
dropped and observed. I liked
these original spirits. I had been
searching for them. That evening,
I felt like a knot unraveled inside,
and I intuited that my own path
would lead me far from home.
On our way back, Lynette told me
that the performers were a steady,
hard-working group of actors. In
retrospect, their forms of inter-
pretation were reminiscent of
Jerzy Grotowskis methods, who
granted the body a signicant
role on stage. I began to look
closer, to scrutinize the gestures
of those around me. George,
Lynettes husband, also enjoyed
the evening, even though he
wasnt an artist but the chief ceo
of a large company.
Lynette became an important
parental gure to me. Her crazy
home was full of people, guests
that spontaneously dropped
by, unlike my parents home,
where you made an appointment,
arrived punctually at 8 pm, and
sat dutifully at the table. Artists,
including the famous painter
Sam Francis, came and went.
In their passionate discussions
I learned to question the act of
seeing. I could watch Lynette for
hours when she worked on one
of her sculptures. Her house and
garden were full of sculptures,
and she worked on them in turns.
Los Angeles in the 1960s was
cutting edge: the galleries on
Cienega Blvd set the trends. You
could nd the newest, most excit-
ing art scenes, the avant-garde.
Shortly after the tree house
evening, Lynette organized a
dark theater at her home. I also
participated. It took me some
time to grow unconstrained and
free. Every now and then, a hos-
tile face or sudden grimace from
another performer startled and
shocked me. Gradually, I sunk
into the play. It felt as if the make-
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News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Academy Notebook | N9
On January 11, 2011, an intimate circle of Academy guests and
spring 2011 Fellows welcomed world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma
for an informal reception and discussion. Ma was in Berlin for
performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker, including works
by Anders Hillborg (Cold Heat, Premire) Dmitri Shostakovich
(Cello Concerto No. 2), and Carl Nielsen (Symphony No. 5). He
had expressed his eagerness to meet Academy fellows at the Hans
Arnhold Center, and he did not arrive alone: I never expected
him to bring his cello ! said Pamela Rosenberg. The evening was
anchored by Mas moving rendition of a Bach Sarabande, an hom-
age to his friend and Academy founder, Richard Holbrooke.
believe surrounding us simply
dissolved. I beneted from such
experiences, which question the
apparent and the obvious, and
continued to prot from them in
the decades to come when I went
on to work at the San Francisco
Opera, the Oper Frankfurt, and
the Staatsoper Stuttgart.
My parents were happy that I
had found a second family in Los
Angeles with whom I could spend
the weekends. To them, Lynette
and Georges home was amusing
and exotic. Their lifestyle was not
to be taken seriously. They had no
clue what the encounter had trig-
gered within me.
I developed a critical eye
toward my parents lifestyle. It
is not atypical for a 15-year-old
to rebel but my rebellion was
not the typical one where peers
played an important part, nor did
it involve fashion or music. I dis-
regarded all of that. My rebellion
took the form of participating in
L.A.s underground scene and
befriending Lynette and George,
who were the same age as my
parents. Larger conicts with my
parents erupted later, during my
studies in Berkeley. My parents
blamed my rebellion on the popu-
lar student movements of the
time. But without the inspiration
I had received at the Woolivers,
I probably would not have been
receptive to the spirit of the stu-
dent movements.
I remained friends with
Lynette and George and visited
them often during my studies in
Berkeley. Over time, I witnessed
how George became infected by
the passion of the artists who
spoke, night after night, in his
home; whom he met in galler-
ies and theaters. He eventually
began painting, resigned from
his high-paying position, and
became a successful artist.
When I walk through a gallery
today or attend an avant-garde
dance performance, I feel Lynettes
spirit, in whose house I learned to
consciously look and to transgress
boundaries by thinking. Ever since
that night, sitting among artists in
the dark theater, Ive sought to sur-
round myself with such original,
passionate people.
By Pamela Rosenberg
Originally published in
German in the Berliner
Zeitung, March 5, 2011
Conservationist on Board
Welcoming Helga Haub, co-owner of the Tengelmann Group, to the American Academy Board of Trustees
HELGA HAUB
T
he American Academy
is pleased to introduce a
new member of its Board of
Trustees: Helga Haub, co-owner
of the Tengelmann Group and a
dedicated philanthropist. We are
delighted that Helga Haub has
joined our board, says Academy
Co-Chairman Karl M. von der
Heyden. She is the quintessen-
tial Atlanticist: equally at home in
Europe and North America, she
understands the nuances of cul-
tures on both sides of the ocean.
Haub helps to oversee the inter-
national, multi-sector retailer
Tengelmann Group, which has
been family-owned and managed
for ve generations. Its divisions
include Kaisers and Tengelmann
supermarkets,obi stores, and
the discounter Ki k, in addition to
several smaller production com-
panies, service providers, and
e-commerce retailers.
In addition to her business,
Haub chairs the Elizabeth Haub
Foundations for Environmental
Law and Policy in Germany,
Canada, and the United States.
The foundations support the
development and implementa-
tion of legislative provisions for
the conservation and sustainable
use of nature. She has also served
on the board of the American
Chamber of Commerce since
1995 and is active with the George
C. Marshall International Center
at Dodona Manor, the University
of Wyomings Helga Otto Haub
School of Environment and
Natural Resources, and the uso
Germany, serving as longstand-
ing president of its Rhein-Main
area. Haub has received honor-
ary doctorates from St. Josephs
University, in Philadelphia, and
from the University of Wyoming.
She has also been awarded the
Medal of Merit from the United
States Air Force in Europe; the
Spirit of Hope Award from uso
World; and the Distinguished
Public Service Medal from the
US Department of Defense.


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Financial Overview of the American Academy in Berlin
Outlook for 2011/2012
The American Academy was
fortunate in 2010, as it received
not only continuing support
from its lasting benefactors but
also was able to extend its base
of donors both in the US and
Germany, thanks to the muni-
cent generosity of its supporters.
We are extremely grateful
to the members of our Board
of Trustees, who continue to
support us unhesitatingly, as
we are to the descendents of
Hans and Ludmilla Arnhold,
who from their founding gift
onwards have continued their
invaluable support.
Not least are we grateful
to the multiple corporations,
foundations, and private indi-
viduals who continue to enable
the American Academy in
Berlin to serve as a beacon of
intellectual and cultural life in
the German capital.
The American Academy
has changed its scal year end
to June 30 in 2011 to bring it
in line with similar institutions
and to align it with our aca-
demic year.
The stub scal period end-
ing on June 30, 2011 will be
in line with our expectations.
a.w.
The American Academy in Berlin
is funded almost entirely by pri-
vate and corporate benefactors
and does not accept any dona-
tions from governments or politi-
cal organizations.
The American Academy
operates as a Charitable Private
Corporation (gemeinntzige
GmbH) in Germany, which is
wholly owned by The American
Academy in Berlin, Inc., a 501(c)3
corporation based in New York
City. Both organizations are reg-
istered charities and empowered
to receive tax-deductible dona-
tions in accordance with respec-
tive legal codes.
In line with regulations gov-
erning charitable organiza-
tions and applicable tax rules,
whenever allowable we reinvest
income from our endowments
to further enhance the value
and income-generating poten-
tial of such benefaction.
In addition to donations to our
annual fund, certain individual
benefactors, groups of benefac-
tors, and corporations have
established endowments both
multi-year or in perpetuity
to secure the nancing of named
fellowships, distinguished visi-
torships, or lectureships.
continuing excellent perfor-
mance of our investment
managers as well as further
endowments in perpetuity
during the year.
The American Academy pre-
pares Consolidated Financial
Statements in accordance with
generally accepted US accounting
principles, which are audited by
independent auditors.
Sources of Income and
Expenditure for the last
two years
Our sources of income can be
broken down as shown in the
pie charts below:
Our Consolidated Balance
Sheet as of December 2010
showed net assets of $39.8m
compared with $36.5m at the
end of 2009. This increase
was attributable largely to the
REVENUE
2010
EXPENDITURES
2010 2009
Corporate unrestricted
Private unrestricted
Corporate restricted
Private restricted
Other
Fellows & Distinguished
Visitor program
Development
General Administration
OUR NET ASSETS ARE CATEGORIZED AS FOLLOWS:
ABRIDGED CASH FLOWS:
2010
$m
2009
$m
Available for operations: 1.9 2.1
Board-designated endowments 10.9 8.6
Fixed assets 2.2 2.6
15.0 13.3
Temporarily restricted assets 9.3 11.3
Permanently restricted assets 15.5 11.9
39.8 36.5
2010
$m
2009
$m
Net cash provided by operating activities (1.0) 1.2
Net cash used in investment activities (2.4) (3.0)
Cash ows from nancial activity 1.9 1.9
Exchange-rate effects 1.6 (0.4)
Net (decrease)/increase in cash and
cash equivalents
0.1 (0.3)
Abridged Financial Information

2009
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Private Initiative Public Outreach | N11
Private Initiative Public Outreach
FRIENDS up to $2,500 Johannes Altincioglu, James Attwood, Barbara Balaj, Sid & Mercedes Bass, Jagdish Bhagwati & Padma Desai, Ronald Binks, Manfred
Bischoff, Susan S. Braddock, Leopold Bill von Bredow, Diethart Breipohl, Eckhard Bremer, Irene Bringmann, Christian Bunsen, Stephen B. Burbank, Gahl Hodges
Burt, Caroline Bynum, Gerhard & Regina Casper, Avna Cassinelli, Adele Chateld-Taylor, Candia Clark, Edward E. & Betsy Z. Cohen, Georg Crezelius, Edla F.
Cusick & Douglas Clifford, Rudolf Delius, David W. Detjen, Steven & Margrit Disman, Norma Drimmer, Walter A. Eberstadt, Gaetana Enders, Jean-Marie & Elizabeth
Eveillard, Erika Falkenreck, Donald Fox, Robert Fribourg, Emily T. Frick, Bart Friedman & Wendy Stein, Edith & Egon Geerkens, Brbel & Ulrich Gensch, Marie
Louise Gericke, Michael Geyer, Vartan Gregorian, Nancy & Mark Gruett, Christian Hacke, Franz M. Haniel, John D. Hawke, Cristine & Benjamin Heineman, Gregg
Horowitz & Ellen Levy, Isabel von Jena, Helga Kallenbach, Anke & Joachim-Friedrich Kapp, Jrg Kastl, Diana Ketcham, Marion Knauf, Donald & Christine Kursch,
Anneliese Langner, Regine Leibinger & Frank Barkow, Abby Leigh, Michael Libal, Nina & Daniel Libeskind, Quincy Liu, Charles Maier, Jacqueline Mars, Wolfgang
Matthies, Wolfgang & Beate Mayrhuber, Joseph & Elisabeth McLaughlin, Ronay & Richard Menschel, Thomas Menzel, Hans-Jrgen Meyer, Stephanie Moeller,
Michael Mnchehofe, Joan & David Murdoch, Jan-Daniel Neumann, Wolfram Nolte, Axel Osenberg, Frank & Geryl Pearl, Lawrence Perelman, Justin J. W. Powell,
Lutz R. Raettig & Katherine Frstenberg-Raettig, Susan Rambow, Christa Freifrau & Hermann Freiherr von Richthofen, Hergard Rohwedder, Henry Sapparth,
Helmut Schfer, Volker Schlndorff, Harald Schmid, Pamela & Philipp Scholz, Sebastian Schwark, Kenneth Scott, Robert Silvers, Michael & Patricia Sovern,
Manfred von Sperber, Hans-Jrgen Spiller, Immo Stabreit, Ronald Steel, Thomas von Thaden, Nikolaus Weil, Lutz Weisser, Richard von Weizscker, Tod & Linda
White, Sabine & Ned Wiley, Roger M. and Jill J. Witten, Pauline Yu
CORPORATIONS AND CORPORATE FOUNDATIONS
PRESIDENTS CIRCLE
Above $25,000
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Cerberus Deutschland GmbH
Daimler AG
Daimler-Fonds im Stifterverband
fr die Deutsche Wissenschaft
Deloitte & Touche GmbH
Deutsche Brse AG
Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Deutsche Post AG
Germanwings GmbH
GRG Partnerschaft von
Rechtsanwlten
KPMG AG
Wirtschaftsprfungsgesellschaft
Liberty Global Europe BV
Macys
Marsh GmbH
Merrill Lynch International Bank Ltd.
MSD Sharpe & Dohme GmbH
Pepsico Foundation
Pzer Pharma GmbH
Philip Morris GmbH
Porsche AG
Robert Bosch GmbH
Siemens AG
Susanna Dulkinys and
Erik Spiekermann
Edenspiekermann AG
Telefnica O
2
Germany GmbH & Co. OHG
Vattenfall Europe AG
BENEFACTORS
up to $25,000
Axel Springer Stiftung, Bayer
Schering Pharma AG, Bertelsmann
AG, Coca-Cola Deutschland GmbH,
Deutsche Bank AG, Deutsche
Bundesbank, Fleishman-Hillard
Germany/Public Affairs & Gov.
Relations, Investitionsbank Berlin,
Rudolf August Oetker Stiftung,
Villa Grisebach (Berlin)
INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILY FOUNDATIONS
FOUNDERS CIRCLE
$1 million and above
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen
Foundation and the descendants of
Hans and Ludmilla Arnhold
CHAIRMANS CIRCLE
$ 25,000 and above
Henry H. Arnhold
Lester Crown
Marina Kellen French
Werner Gegenbauer
Richard K. Goeltz
Helga & Erivan Haub
Mary Ellen and Karl M. von
der Heyden
The Estate of Richard C. Holbrooke
Stefan von Holtzbrinck
Michael Klein
Nina von Maltzahn
Christopher Freiherr von Oppenheim
Maren Otto
Norman Pearlstine and Jane Boon
Pearlstine
Kurt F. Viermetz
TRUSTEES CIRCLE
$10,000 and above
Constance and John P. Birkelund
Wolfgang Ischinger
Dr. Pia & Klaus Krone
Wolfgang Malchow
Dieter & Si Rosenkranz
Rafael J. Roth
Mary Ellen von Schacky-Schultz &
Bernd Schultz
The Fritz Stern Fund of the Princeton
Area Community Foundation
Barbara & Jrg Zumbaum
PATRONS
$2,500 and above
Henrik Aldinger, Thomas van Aubel
& Jutta von Falkenhausen, Heinrich
J. Barth, Kathrin Barwinek & Alexander
Ochs, Joel Bell & Marif Hernndez,
Volker Booten, Stephen Burbank, Gahl
Hodges Burt, Matthias & Christa Druba,
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, Julie
Finley, Georg & Doris Gafron, Hans-
Michael & Almut Giesen, Marisa &
Carl Hahn, Jrg Menno Harms, Ina
Vonnegut-Hartung & Wilhelm Hartung,
Klaus & Lily Heiliger, Brigitte & Bernd
Hellthaler, Roe Jasen, Ulrich Kissing,
Henry A. Kissinger, Stephanie & Martin
Korbmacher, John C. Kornblum, Renate
Kchler, Evi & Peter Kurz, Erich Marx,
Mehretu-Rankin Family, Jeane Freifrau
von Oppenheim, William D. & Nancy
Ellison Rollnick, Norman Selby,
Peter Y. Solmssen, Paul Volcker, Will
Foundation (Hans George Will), Roger
M. & Jill J. Witten
FELLOWSHIPS AND DISTINGUISHED
VISITORSHIPS ESTABLISHED IN PERPETUITY
John P. Birkelund Berlin Prize in the Humanities
Daimler Berlin Prize
German Transatlantic Program Berlin Prize
supported by European Recovery Program funds
granted through the Transatlantic Program of the
Federal Republic of Germany
Ellen Maria Gorrissen Berlin Prize
Nina Maria Gorrissen Berlin Prize in History
Mary Ellen von der Heyden Berlin Prize for Fiction
Holtzbrinck Berlin Prize
Anna-Maria Kellen Berlin Prize
Guna S. Mundheim Berlin Prize in the Visual Arts
Lloyd Cutler Distinguished Visitorship in Law
Carol F. Lee, William Lee, WilmerHale
EADS Distinguished Visitorship
EADS
Marina Kellen French Distinguished Visitorship
for Persons with Outstanding Accomplishment in
the Cultural World
Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Visitorship
Stephen M. Kellen Distinguished Visitorship
Kurt Viermetz Distinguished Visitorship
Richard von Weizscker Distinguished Visitorship
ANNUALLY FUNDED FELLOWSHIPS AND
DISTINGUISHED VISITORSHIPS
Berthold Leibinger Berlin Prize
Metro Berlin Prize
Siemens Berlin Prize
Axel Springer Berlin Prize
Allianz Distinguished Visitorship
ENDOWMENT GIVING
Max Beckmann Distinguished Visitorship in the
Visual Arts
Thomas van Aubel & Jutta von Falkenhausen,
Deutsche Brse AG, Marie Louise Gericke,
Lily & Klaus Heiliger, Jeane Freifrau von
Oppenheim, Galerie Sprth Magers, Galerie
Thaddaeus Ropac GmbH, Victoria & Aurel
Scheibler, Mary Ellen von Schacky-Schultz &
Bernd Schultz, Peter Schwicht, Villa Grisebach
(Berlin)
Marcus Bierich Distinguished Visitorship in the
Humanities
Dr. Aldinger & Fischer Grundbesitz und
Vermarktungs GmbH, C.H. Beck Stiftung,
Deutsche Bank AG, Mary Ellen von
Schacky-Schultz & Bernd Schultz, Villa
Grisebach (Berlin)
The American Academy in Berlin is funded almost entirely by private donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. We depend on the
generosity of a widening circle of friends on both sides of the Atlantic and wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to those who support us. This list documents
the contributions made to the American Academy from April 2010 to April 2011.
Private Initiative Public Outreach
N12 | Sketches & Dispatches | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
Sketches & Dispatches
The Cost of Change
Tunnel Vision
Wrays third novel goes underground
low-carbon paths while they build
up their economies and alleviate
poverty. Still, they are dependent
on the nancial and technical
support of countries with high
incomes. And these high-income
countries have to act quickly to
reduce their C02 emissions and
to further the development of
alternate energy sources to solve
the problem of climate change.
Developing countries, of
course, are not to blame for the
crisis, and they are hardly pre-
pared to face its challenges. Yet
they must bear the nancial
and environmental burdens of
climate change and its multiple
dangers. They are, in fact, dispro-
portionately affected by climate
change. And so the world com-
E
verybody in New
York knows the sub-
way but nobody ever
looks at it closely, said John
Henderson, alias John Wray,
son of an American leukemia
researcher and an oncologist
munity is obliged to help them
more intensely.
Dr. Bierbaum indicated that
around 1.6 billion people in the
third world do not have access
to electricity. These developing
countries, where the emissions
per head are only a fraction of the
emissions in countries with a
high income, are in dire need of
assistance in the elds of energy,
transportation, urban planning,
and agricultural production.
Increasing access to energy and
other facilities with a high car-
bon footprint will produce more
greenhouse gases and thus pre-
cipitate climate change.
The solution to the worri-
some climate situation requires
the transformation and further
development of the worlds
energy systems in the decades
to come. Each year, investments
for research and development
amount to 100 500 billion.
No country can accomplish this
alone. This is why we need pri-
vate funds, says Bierbaum. And
that means more tax deductions
for private citizens who invest in
climate protection.
The nancial means to ght
climate change have to be aug-
mented dramatically because
current investments do not meet
predicted needs. The Climate
Investment Funds (cifs), admin-
istered by the World Bank in col-
laboration with local banks, are
one such chance to engage sup-
port from industrial countries
effectively, because these means
can reduce the costs of technolo-
gies with low carbon footprints in
developing countries.
At the end of her impassioned
talk, Dr. Bierbaum reminded
the audience of the bygone days
of smokers: Forty years ago
smoking was in fashion there
was not a movie where an actor
did not have a cigarette dangling
from their lips. Today, smoking is
pass. The same goes for climate
protection. We need to have the
sense that climate protection is
in style. We have everything at
our hands to make this endeavor
successful: new technologies,
money, and determination.
By Peter Brinkman
Excerpted from the
European Circles Green Mag
November 4, 2010
Translated by Rieke Jordan
from Krnten, Austria. For four
years, the 39-year-old literary star
from Brooklyn closely observed
an underground world that oth-
ers had merely glanced at in pass-
ing. He traveled exhaustively on
the subway, a laptop perched on
his knees, wearing headphones,
as he wrote Lowboy. Maybe I
wrote in the subway because my
grandfather was a subway plan-
ner in Vienna and because I was
not making any progress in my
apartment, he explained.
Lowboy is the story of William
Heller, a 16-year-old schizophren-
ic who believes he is the only one
capable of saving the world. He is
hunted because he is considered
to be dangerous, after pushing
his girlfriend, Emily, onto the
subway tracks, and because
he ed from a mental institu-
tion. The Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung called Wrays third novel
a piece of art destined to become
a classic.
This fall, the American
Academy invited John Wray
to Berlin for a fellowship. On
Wednesday, the highly praised
author came to Gppingen to
read excerpts from his novel in
the local art gallery. While read-
ing, Wray stood in front of 35 lis-
teners and the installation Dead
End Lopes, which is reminiscent
of a subway entrance. It evoked a
tunnel-vision effect that could not
have been more suggestive.
Lowboy, as William calls him-
self, feels free and unobstruc ted
in the subway and its tunnels.
Wray describes Lowboys and
the subways nature in a lengthy
and effusive but never tedious
fashion. Even his cramped and
claustrophobic brain felt a mea-
sure of affection for the tunnel.
It was his skull that held him cap-
tive, after all, not the tunnel or
the passengers or the train.
By Hans Steinherr
Excerpted from the
Sdwest Presse
December 12, 2010
Translated by Rieke Jordan
CONTINUED FROM N1
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Sketches & Dispatches | N13
Nostra Voce Munico
German opera bass Ren Pape delivers a benet concert in New York for the American Academy in Berlin
T
he American Academy
in Berlin was graced with
the generosity of German
bass Ren Pape, who delivered
a stirring benet recital on
October 21, 2010 at the Morgan
Library & Museum in New
York City, expertly arranged by
Academy trustee Marina Kellen
French. Pape was accompanied
by noted concert and chamber
pianist Brian Zeger in a pro-
gram that included a moving
rendition of Robert Schumanns
Dicterliebe, as well as a set of
Franz Schuberts Lieder.
The evening performance
proved to be not only a musical
tour-de-force but a fundrais-
ing success. The benet was
attended by nearly two hundred
Academy trustees, benefac-
tors, alumni, and a great many
additional friends. Present from
the Academys own board were
co-Chairman Karl M. von der
Heyden, Academy President
and ceo Norman Pearlstine,
and trustees Stephen Burbank,
Marina Kellen French, Michael
Klein, and Richard K. Goeltz.
To add to the nights musical gifts,
Deutsche Grammophon had
produced a special-edition CD
of Pape singing previously unre-
leased Wagner arias.
Dresden-native Pape, a longtime
friend of the Academy, debuted
at the Berlin Staatsoper Unter
den Linden in 1988 and has been
a member ever since. He has
appeared with the worlds lead-
ing orchestras and conductors
in major concert halls all over
the globe. The recipient of two
Grammys, Pape has appeared
at the New Yorks Metropolitan
Opera every season since 1995,
a venue he recently called his
second musical home.
Pape was in New York at the
Metropolitan Opera during
the fall 2010 season to sing the
title role in a new production of
Boris Godunov a role that has
won him an Artist of the Year
title from the German Critics
Association, among other acco-
lades. The opera was directed
by Stephen Wadsworth, with
Valery Gergiev conducting. Pape
was also honored during the
fall 2010 season as part of the
Metropolitan Opera Guilds new
series The Met Mastersingers.
In February 2011 Pape and
Zeger gave a West Coast debut
recital at the Dorothy Chandler
Center in Los Angeles. Without
surprise, our voce munico won
resounding praise.
m. r./r. j. m.
PIANIST BRIAN ZEGER AND BASS VIRTUOSO REN PAPE PERFORM AT THE MORGAN LIBRARY ON OCTOBER 21, 2010


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N14 | Sketches & Dispatches | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
Stalinism and Genocide
Norman Naimark delves into the ugly past of Stalins killing machine and the legal tribulations of its crimes
B
eginning in the 1930s,
a Polish-Jewish attorney
named Raphael Lemkin
became fascinated and horried
by the topic of mass killings that
had occurred throughout history.
In all likelihood he had a premon-
itory sense of what was to happen
in neighboring Germany, so he
lobbied the League of Nations
to make constituents aware of a
phenomena he was calling bar-
barism. He was ignored.
In 1939 Lemkin left Poland
and landed in the United States,
where he began working for
the Carnegie Endowment, and
then for the Department of War.
During this time he wrote a book,
The Axis Occupation of Europe,
where the word genocide was
used for the rst time.
On March 3, Norman
Naimark, the Axel Springer
Fellow this spring, discussed
Lemkins work and his continued
lobbying to punish and prevent
genocide across the world.
A specialist on the Stalinist
genocide of the 1930s and early
1940s, Naimark focused in his
lecture on the ways that the
Soviet Union managed to erase
between ten and twenty million
people in social, national, eco-
nomic, and political slaughters
meant to square society with
the Communist project. These
groups included not only ethnic,
political, and religious minorities
but socially harmful people:
prostitutes, the homeless, alco-
holics, drug users, political
opponents, and former revo-
lutionaries. Stalinist ideology
was used to justify these mass
murders, to dehumanize and
then exterminate human beings,
Naimark reminds, leading to
the literal decimation of the
Russian population still demo-
graphically palpable.
Aside from the historical prob-
lems involved in the Stalinist
genocide, there is also the
problem of numbers of deaths
unearthed in the nkdv (Peoples
Commissariat for Internal
Affairs) archives since being
opened after the end of the
Cold War. You simply cant
believe them, Naimark says.
Why? Because just like the Five-
Year Plan, they always add up.
The number of ethnic Kulaks
eradicated in the process of
de-Kulakization, for example,
reads exactly 1,837,622. Crimean
Tartars killed exactly 179,604.
Naimark notes that these gures
dont include tortured victims
who died from their injuries, peo-
ple who were simply left to perish
of famine, and those who were
deported, many of whom simply
died out of sight.
After the war, in 1946, Raphael
Lemkin went to the Nuremberg
trials and insisted that the Nazis
be tried for genocide. His pleas
fell on deaf ears. No one was tried
for genocide, Naimark points
out, and the very idea was not
attached to any indictments.
Yet Lemkins efforts forced the
United Nations into recognizing
that something of extraordi-
narily horror had just occured.
The United Nations Genocide
Convention of 1948 success-
fully passed an international
law prohibiting the mass killing
of national, ethnic, racial, or
religious groups, as such. By lob-
bying the un with the assistance
of the Poles, however, the Soviets
had prevented the legislation
from including the words social
and political. They would reign
over half of Europe for another
four decades. r. j. m.
The Cult of the Word
A
uthors develop
how could it be other-
wise? special relation-
ships to language. Han Ong, a
New York-based novelist and
dramatist born in the Philippines,
nurtures a distinct vocabulary
fetish. The 42-year-old is the
current Holtzbrinck Fellow at
the American Academy, in
Wannsee, and is working on his
third novel. At a recent reading
he celebrated his cult of words
with the public.
An ideal balance of eccentric-
ity and laconic self-irony accented
Ongs performance, as well the
use of single words projected
on a screen. Using rare Anglo-
American terms like to trans-
mogrify and inchoate, Ong
described what his new project
was all about.
Initially, Burden of Dreams
was a self-contained short story;
he rened the piece over months,
read many short stories by other
authors and then realized that
his story lacked the essence of
the genres brevity. Since then he
has been working on expanding
his original story about a rich
American who supports twelve
Philippine students nancially
and has decided to include the
stories of the twelve students.
Immigration and assimila-
tion expressions that have
already found their way into
everyday language were the
keywords of the evening. Ong
was born in 1968 in Manila to
Chinese immigrants. Sixteen
years later the family moved to
Los Angeles. Due to an early and
overabundant consumption of
English literature and Hollywood
lms, Ongs English was hardly
shabby before he came to the
United States. Nonetheless he
wanted to lose his accent which
he did. He coquettishly compared
his adolescent ambition with the
heroine of Shaws Pygmalion,
who is transformed from a
cheeky brat into an elegant lady.
Eliza Doolittle has nothing on
me, he quipped.
In most of his books (which
have not yet been translated into
German), Ong tells the story of
immigrants and their highly
original methods to stomach
their culture shock in America.
The author has obviously come to
terms with it. His dramas have
been showered with stipends and
prizes: his debut Fixer Chao was
chosen as the book of the year
2001 by the Los Angeles Times; six
years ago his second novel The
Disinherited was short-listed for
the Lambda Book Award.
Ong does not return to the fate
of immigrants in order to critique
society or because of his familiar-
ity with their mentality. What is
particularly alluring to him are
the verbal possibilities. The lin-
guistic clumsiness of his protago-
nists allows the English language
to gain pliable dimensions and
semantic versatility. There is
nothing clumsy in Ongs writing,
but he exudes a childlike awe
and delight in language.
By Marianna Lieder
Excerpted from Tagesspiegel
December 12, 2010
Translated by Rieke Jordan
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Life & Letters | N15
Life & Letters
Berlin via Epstein
Academy alumnus Mitch Epsteins book of visual odyssies through the German capital
Photographer Mitch Epstein, who
was awarded the presitgious Prix
Pictet in March 2011, was a Guna
S. Mundheim Fellow in the Visual
Arts at the American Academy in
spring 2008. He had just completed
his monumental photo survey
American Power (Steidl, 2009)
and was looking for a small respite
in Berlin. No such luck: Epsteins
curiousity was piqued by the
German capitals quotidian and
quirky corners, such as this defunct
air-raid shelter in Wnsdorf.
The result of Epsteins rich visual
odyssey, Berlin, will, at last, be
available in June 2011 from
Steidl. The following is the books
Introduction.
I
was raised in a Jewish
American family that refused
to visit Germany in deference
to lost kin who had perished in
the Holocaust. At 49, I broke the
family protocol and traveled to
Gttingen to supervise the print-
ing of a book of my photographs
at the publisher Steidl. This trip
became the rst of a dozen to
Germany in the decade that fol-
lowed, during which I worked
on more books at Steidl, and
on exhibitions in Cologne with
my gallerist, Thomas Zander.
Then, in 2008, I was awarded
the Berlin Prize. To my astonish-
ment, Germans had become my
staunchest allies.
I left New York with my wife
and daughter for a six-month resi-
dency at the American Academy
in Berlin. We arrived in bone-
chilling January and I planned
to sequester myself for a period
of reection and reading. But the
city more complicated and poi-
gnant than any Id known, except
Hanoi could not be ignored.
MITCH EPSTEIN, WINKELTURM AIR-RAID SHELTER, WNSDORF, 2008
The day we arrived, a driver took
us from Tegel airport to the
Academy in Wannsee, the suburb
where the Nazis plotted the Final
Solution. As he drove, I asked
questions, and a ood of historical
information poured forth: What
was that toy-like tower? That was
Hitlers radio and look-out tower
during the war. Now its part of
the Berlin Convention Centre.
The highway we were driving
on was Hitlers former racetrack.
Only a few miles down the road
was the legendary Glienicke
Bridge in Potsdam, where the cia
and kgb traded captive spies only
twenty years ago.
It was tempting to remain in the
comfortable Academy enclave,
with its replace and brilliant
scholars. But I was drawn to
the Berlin that had attempted to
annihilate my ancestors, as well
as the Berlin that had embodied
the Cold War division, which had
threatened the bedrock stability
of my American childhood. I
looked for the remnants of those
tormented wartime and postwar
histories; they were often overt,
and sometimes lay just below the
thin skin of contemporary Berlin.
With an 8 x 10 camera, I started
at Sachsenhausen concentration
camp in January and ended with
the Dalai Lama speaking at the
Brandenburg Gate in June.
Berlin was reconceived with
the reunication of East and
West in 1990. And although it
has to contend with the stresses
of all modern cities, Berlin has
come to signify a society with
a conscience. The remnants of
wretched histories that I found
were not accidental. Berliners
have chosen to leave traces of the
worst of themselves in their archi-
tecture and landscape. They have
understood what a largely amne-
siac America has not: reform
relies on memory.
mitch epstein
N16 | Life & Letters | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
JAMES DER DERIAN
The terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001 occurred a
decade ago. Yet the preoccupa-
tion with terrorism continues to
hamper the response of states-
men and scholars alike to global
changes. Bosch Fellow James Der
Derian, professor of international
studies at Brown University,
argues that the American unipo-
lar moment has passed, succeed
by a heteropolarity of net-
worked forms of power. Is there
a way to move on to a new global
security agenda that recognizes
and can manage these changes?
Der Derian has been theorizing
what such an environment would
look like, as well as its ethical
considerations. While at the
Academy in spring 2011 he will
be writing on these subjects and
completing an e-book version of
the documentary lm Human
Terrain.
Der Derian received his BA at
McGill University in Quebec and
was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford
University, where he completed
his MPhil and DPhil in inter-
national relations. Der Derian
has authored and edited several
books on international relations.
In addition to his work on Human
Terrain, Der Derian has produced
two documentaries, Virtual y2k
and After 9/11. His writing has
appeared in numerous global
security publications, as well as
the New York Times, The Nation,
Washington Quarterly, and Wired.
ASTRID M. ECKERT
Since Churchills Fulton Speech,
in 1946, the Iron Curtain has
served as one of the primary
political metaphors in Cold War
politics. But what exactly hap-
pened at the Aussenrand of the
free world during those tense
decades? Daimler Fellow Astrid
M. Eckert revisits the history
of Cold War West Germany by
focusing on its most sensitive
geographical space, the border
with its ideological adversary,
socialist East Germany. An assis-
tant professor of modern German
history at Emory University,
Eckert studies the borderlands
that emerged on the eastern edge
of the new West German state.
Viewing borderlands as elds
of heightened consciousness, as
Daphne Berdahl observed, Eckert
seeks to recast West German his-
tory from the periphery. Her new
book project, tentatively entitled
West Germany and the Iron
Curtain, will be Eckerts focus
during her residency.
Eckert received her PhD from
the Free University of Berlin in
2003. With a dissertation entitled
Battle for the Files: The Western
Allies and the Return of Captured
German Archives after World War
II, which was awarded the 2004
Friedrich Meinecke Dissertation
Prize of the Free Universitys
history department and the bien-
nial Hedwig Hintze Dissertation
Award of the German Historical
Association. She also co-edited
Proles in Scholarship
Presenting the spring 2011 fellows
S
ince it began, lm was
made to be seen. It has cre-
ated, in turn, unique ways
of seeing. Miriam Hansen, an
Ellen Maria Gorrissen Fellow in
spring 2004, spent her academic
career fascinated by this lmic
dialectic. Hansens intense com-
mitment to lm led her to found
the now legendary Committee
on Cinema and Media Studies
at the University of Chicago,
where she was the Ferdinand
Schevill Distinguished Service
Professor in the Humanities
in the Department of English
since 1990 until her death, on
February 5, 2011.
Born Dorothea Miriam Bratu
in 1949 in Offenbach, Germany,
Hansens parents were Jewish
exiles who had met returning
home after World War II. Hansen
went on to receive a doctor-
ate, in 1975, from the Johann
Wolfgang Goethe-Universitt in
Frankfurt. Prior to her arrival
at the University of Chicago, in
1990, she taught at Yale and
Rutgers. Her pioneering study,
Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship
in American Silent Film (Harvard,
1991) was lauded by peers as a
work that has revolutionized the
concept of spectatorship.
Hansen was an inuential and
subtle reader of the key cultural,
social, and lm theorists loosely
afliated with the city of her stud-
ies, including Theodor Adorno,
Walter Benjamin, Alexander
Kluge, and Siegfried Kracauer.
She had completed a book manu-
script on these monumental
thinkers shortly before her death.
American Academy Executive
Director Gary Smith, who taught
at the University of Chicago con-
temporaneously with Hansen,
was struck by both her brilliance
and her kindness towards rising
scholars. Miriam was revered
by younger colleagues for her
personal generosity as well as
A Life in Film
The Academy mourns the death of lm theorist and alumna Miriam Hansen (19492011)
her scholarship. I remember her
always having time to discuss
Walter Benjamin and other topics,
despite her continuing battles
with cancer.
The eminent German author,
social theorist, and lm director
Alexander Kluge, who broadcast
several lengthy interviews of
Miriam Hansen on German tele-
vision, described to the Academy
her profound inuence: Like


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a careful gardener, Miriam
Hansen planted and interwove
traditions of Frankfurt critical
theory, modern lm history, and
her own critical passions and
curiosity. She is an important
transatlantic bridge for the tradi-
tions of enlightenment and lm
art. She was not only a theoreti-
cal mind, but someone who also
exerted a strong, practical inu-
ence on lmmaking. Because of
her, the Minutenlm saw a rebirth,
as well as lm projected onto
multiple screens, the Max Ophls
renaissance, and much more. We
auteurs listened to her. She was
as she sat in her Chicago ofce
and worked, occasionally glanc-
ing over the lake our prophet.
Hansen is survived by her
husband, Michael Geyer, the
Samuel N. Harper Professor of
German and European History at
the University of Chicago and a
trustee of the American Academy
in Berlin. r. j. m.
Institutions of Public Memory: The
Legacies of German and American
Politicians, published in 2007.
HAL FOSTER
In Walter Benjamins 1933
essay Experience and Poverty
he observes, In its buildings,
pictures, and stories, mankind
is preparing to outlive culture,
if need be. Hal Foster, the
Townsend Martin Class of 1917
Professor of Art and Archaeology
at Princeton University, takes
inspiration from Benjamins
surviving civilization sentiment
in his project, Bathetic, Brutal,
Banal: Strategies of Survival in
20th Century Art. While each
of these terms refers to a specic
cultural moment respectively
Dada, Brutalist architecture, and
Pop banality they are unied
in a longer view of modernism,
specically in a key, overlooked
strategy that Foster calls mimet-
ic exacerbation. Exploring what
exactly this strategy is and how
it continues to inuence contem-
porary art will be Fosters focus
as a Berlin Prize Fellow at the
American Academy.
Foster began writing art criti-
cism for Artforum in 1978. The
strength of this early writing
quickly propelled him into a
major presence in the New York
art scene: from 19811987 he
was an editor at Art in America,
and in 1983 he edited a seminal
collection of essays on post-
modernism The Anti-Aesthetic:
Essays on Postmodern Culture.
Foster received his PhD from
the Graduate Center at the
City University of New York in
1990. Fosters books include
Compulsive Beauty (mit, 1993),
The Return of the Real (mit, 1996),
Design and Crime (and Other
Diatribes) (Verso, 2002), and
Prosthetic Gods (mit, 2004). He
continues to write regularly for
the London Review of Books, the
Los Angeles Times Book Review,
October (where he is also a co-
editor), and the New Left Review.
RIVKA GALCHEN
Rivka Galchen, the Mary Ellen
von der Heyden Fiction Fellow,
is a New York-based writer and
a contributing editor to Harpers
magazine. Her debut novel,
Atmospheric Disturbances (Farrar,
Straus & Giroux, 2008), was
selected as a New York Times
Notable Book of the Year as
well as both a Slate and Salon
Best Book of 2009. Galchen
has taught creative writing at
Columbia University, where
she completed her own MFA in
Fiction in 2006 and was a Robert
Bingham Fellow. She also holds
a medical degree in psychiatry
from the Mount Sinai School of
Medicine. Her medical exper-
tise and psychiatric sensitiv-
ity reveal themselves discreetly
in Atmospheric Disturbances
through the leading character of
Leo Liebenstein, a psychiatrist
who believes his wife has been
replaced by an almost identical
double.
Galchen won the 2010
William Saroyan International
Prize for Writing and has
received fellowships from the
New York Public Librarys
Cullman Center for Scholars
and Writers and the Rona Jaffe
Foundation. Her work has
appeared in the New Yorker,
Harpers, the New York Times,
the Believer, and New York
Magazine. In July 2010, Galchen
was featured as one of the New
Yorkers 20 under 40 ction
writers.
TODD GITLIN
No fewer than three crises are
affecting journalism today,
claims Columbia University pro-
fessor Todd Gitlin: the economic
travails of newspapers; an atten-
tion crisis of the news-consuming
public; and, perhaps most wor-
risome, an authority crisis that
has led to mistrust of the news
media generally. Journalism and
journalists
themselves have begun to lose
both morale and legitimacy.
To say that the atmosphere
among journalists is troubled,
Gitlin says, is an understate-
ment. Toxic might be a better
adjective. At the American
Academy as a Bosch Fellow, Gitlin
aims to write a concise account
of journalisms current predica-
ment: its origins, signicance,
and the eventual effects it will
have on both civil society and our
shared intellectual environment.
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Life & Letters | N17
CLASS OF SPRING 2011 (L TO R): HAL FOSTER, H. C. ERIK MIDELFORT, DAVID B. RUDERMAN, DAVE MCKENZIE, P. ADAMS SITNEY, ELLEN KENNEDY,
KEN UENO, ASTRID M. ECKERT, JAMES DER DERIAN, NORMAN NAIMARK, PIETER M. JUDSON, RIVKA GALCHEN (NOT PICTURED: TODD GITLIN)


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N18 | Life & Letters | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
Gitlin was educated at Harvard
University, the University of
Michigan, and the University of
California, Berkeley; and is the
author of twelve books, including,
most recently The Bulldozer and
the Big Tent: Blind Republicans,
Lame Democrats, and the Recovery
of American Ideals (Wiley, 2007).
Gitlins articles have appeared in
scores of publications, including
New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
San Francisco Chronicle, Harpers,
and Mother Jones, where he is a
contributing writer, and he has
often appeared on television
and radio programs. Prior to his
position at Columbia, Gitlin was
a professor of sociology and direc-
tor of the Mass Communications
Program at the University of
California, Berkeley, and then
a professor of culture, journal-
ism and sociology at New York
University.
PIETER JUDSON
For over eight centuries the
Habsburg Monarchy alternately
attempted, succeeded, and failed
to unify states throughout
Europe under a succession of
duchys, kingdoms, and banats
from Vienna to Carpathia. The
policies implemented to achieve
such grand reach did not die with
the Empire in 1918, however, and
it is the aim of historian Pieter
Judson to write a new history of
the Habsburg Monarchy and its
successor states, one that looks
closely at events that occurred
as the Empire crawled to a halt.
Judsons Academy project dur-
ing his Nina Maria Gorrissen
Fellowship will consider a broad
range of imperial campaigns
that sought to unify the diverse
regions and thereby offer an alter-
native to the fragmented, nation-
based accounts that continue to
dominate narratives about East
Central Europe.
A professor of history at
Swarthmore College, and an
award-winning author, Judsons
current work on modern
European history, specically
on Germany and the Austro-
Hungarian Empire between 1848
and 1948, focuses on national-
ist conicts, revolutionary and
counter revolutionary social
movements, and European fas-
cism. Judson has been awarded
grants from the Guggenheim
Foundation, the neh, and has
been a Whiting, Marshall, and
Fulbright fellow. His most recent
book, Guardians of the Nation:
Activists on the Language Frontiers
of Imperial Austria (Harvard,
2006), offers new challenges to
traditional accounts of the rise
of nationalism in multi-ethnic
regions of Central and Eastern
Europe.
ELLEN KENNEDY
In University of Pennsylvania
political scientist Ellen
Kennedys Academy project
The Political Theory of Market
Governance, she observes how
economic and nancial crises in
Weimar Germany and the United
States became a source of greatly
expanded executive powers in
both constitutions. Economic
emergencies caused escalations
in presidential power. These his-
torical examples, Kennedy says,
reveal the fragility of rule of law
concepts in the social context of
modern democratic constitutions.
There is an alternative, however,
in the theorists of Ordo liberal-
ism and the soziale Rechtsstadt,
specically in the relatively
obscure gure of Walter Eucken,
an economist whose ideas helped
create the miracle economy of
postwar Germany the subject
of her work in Berlin as an Axel
Springer Fellow.
Kennedys work has long
focused on a variety of topics
with the elds of comparative
political economy and the history
of modern European political
and legal theory. She received
a PhD in government from the
London School of Economics,
and before joining the faculty at
the University of Pennsylvania,
Kennedy taught at the universi-
ties of London, York, Manchester,
and Freiburg. Kennedy is the
author of several books, among
them Constitutional Failure:
Carl Schmitt in Weimar (Duke,
2004), The Bundesbank (Johns
Hopkins, 1997), and Freedom
and the Open Society: Henri
Bergsons Contribution to Political
Philosophy (Garland, 1987).
DAVE MCKENZIE
Brooklyn-based artist Dave
McKenzie blazes across multiple
media sculpture, video, paint-
ing, and performance, while
engaging in the tradition of
public art that boldly interrogates
societys unspoken assumptions
about itself. Often employing
his own likeness, McKenzies
self-ironizing, playful approach
to art-making belies the serious-
ness of his themes: artistic and
racial identity, social masking,
and economic nonfunctionality,
which he will continue exploring
as a Guna S. Mundheim Visual
Arts Fellow at the Academy.
McKenzie was born in
Kingston, Jamaica in 1977. He
received a BFA in printmaking
from the University of the Arts in
Philadelphia and studied at the
Skowhegan School of Painting
and Sculpture. He has had
numerous solo exhibitions, most
recently On Premises at Susanne
Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
in 2009, Present Tense at the
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
and Screen Doors on Submarines,
shown at redcat Gallery in Los
Angeles, both in 2008. Prior
exhibitions were held at the
Institute of Contemporary Art
Boston in 2007, as well as
at Gallery 40000 in Chicago
in 2006.
H. C. ERIK MIDELFORT
During his Ellen Maria
Gorrissen Fellowship at the
American Academy in Berlin,
historian of early modern
Germany H. C. Erik Midelfort
will pursue his project Fear of
Freethinking: the Suppression of
Dissent in Germany, 16501750,
which examines the ways in
which the German states during
that century, with no Inquisition
like that of Catholic Italy or Spain
and with virtually no effective
central government managed
to suppress radical and dissent-
ing political, moral, religious or
irreligious views. It is Midelforts
aim to show how certain cultural
dynamics led to the develop-
ment of a surprisingly academic
culture in which Catholics and
Protestants (both Lutherans and
Calvinists) could survive in their
own separate religious niches,
but where other thoughts were
rigorously censored.
Midelforts pioneering
research into some uncanny
facets of early modern Germany,
including exorcism, witchcraft,
and the history of madness,
has resulted in acclaimed nd-
ings and in prize-winning
books such as Mad Princes in
Renaissance Germany (Virginia,
1994), and A History of Madness
in Sixteenth-Century Germany
(Stanford, 2000). Midelfort, at
the University of Virginia since
1970 and since 1996 the Julian
Bishko Professor of History, has
been a visiting scholar at several
universities in the US and abroad,
including at his alma mater Yale
where he received his BA, MA,
and PhD degrees at Harvard,
and at both Wolfson and All
Souls College at the University
of Oxford.
NORMAN NAIMARK
What was the span of Joseph
Stalins plans for Europe from
the end of World War II until his
death, in 1953? Which European
ideologies, social movements,
and cultural values intersected
with Soviet designs on Europe
at the beginning of the Cold
War? Norman M. Naimark, the
Robert and Florence McDonnell
Chair in East European History
at Stanford University, is inter-
ested in the problems of radical
politics in the Russian Empire
and Eastern Europe. In his cur-
rent Academy project, the Axel
Springer Fellow aims to explore
seven case studies that high-
light how the shape and tenor of
postwar Europe were decided
by a three-cornered historical
relationship between Stalins
News from the Hans Arnhold Center | Life & Letters | N19
policies, European social move-
ments and values, and the grow-
ing rivalry between the US and
Soviet Union.
Formerly a professor of his-
tory at Boston University, a
fellow of the Russian Research
Center at Harvard, and senior
fellow at the Hoover Institution,
Naimark has served as Director
of Stanfords Center for Russian
and East European Studies and
chair of the history department,
in addition to acting as director of
Stanfords interdisciplinary pro-
grams in International Relations
and International Policy Studies.
In 1996, Naimark was presented
with the Distinguished Service
Cross from the government of
the Federal Republic of Germany.
DAVID B. RUDERMAN
In 1797 Phinehas Elijah Hurwitz,
a Jewish mystic who lived
from 1765 to 1821, published an
obscure book called the Sefer
ha-Brit (Book of the Covenant)
in Moravia. The book offers an
exegesis on an older work of
Jewish mysticism and expounds
upon the sciences of the day
before detailing the souls prepa-
ration for imbibing the Divine
Spirit. David B. Ruderman, the
Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of
Modern Jewish History and
the Ella Darivoff Director of
the Center for Advanced Judaic
Studies at the University of
Pennsylvania, will tackle his own
exegesis of Hurwitzs volume in
his project Mysticism, Science,
and Moral Cosmopolitanism in
Enlightenment Jewish Thought.
The German Transatlantic
Program Fellow aims to open a
fascinating window into the pro-
cesses of continuity and change
in Jewish thinking at the dawn of
the modern era.
Ruderman was educated at
the City College of New York,
the Teachers Institute of the
Jewish Theological Seminary
of America, and Columbia
University. He received his rab-
binical degree from the Hebrew
Union College-Jewish Institute
of Religion in New York and
his PhD in Jewish history from
the Hebrew University. He has
taught at Yale University and
the University of Maryland,
College Park, and at the Graduate
School of the Jewish Theological
Seminary of America and the
Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
He is the author or editor of
eighteen books, including The
World of a Renaissance Jew: The
Life and Thought of Abraham b.
Mordecai Farissol (Hebrew Union
College Press, 1981) and Jewish
Enlightenment in an English
Key: Anglo-Jewrys Construction
of Modern Jewish Thought
(Princeton, 2001).
P. ADAMS SITNEY
P. Adams Sitney, Professor of
the Council of the Humanities
and Visual Arts at Princeton
University, was last in Berlin in
the bright fall of 1967. It was then
that he met two pioneering lm-
makers: Gregory Markopoulos
and Robert Beavers. Both avant
garde auteurs would come to
occupy a large portion of Sitneys
critical attention over the com-
ing decades, and in Sitneys
Academy project, Cinema and
Poetry, he re-examines not only
their work, but also that of lm-
makers Pier Paolo Pasolini and
Andrey Tarkovsky, both of whom
push the subtle visual language
of poetry into the cinematic
dimension.
Sitney, this springs Anna-
Maria Kellen Fellow, was edu-
cated at Yale University, where he
studied Greek and Sanskrit as an
undergraduate before obtaining
his MA and PhD in comparative
literature. He went on to found
the Anthology Film Archives and
curate international lm series
and exhibitions of contemporary
lm, as well as serve as associate
editor at Film Culture for three
decades. He has taught at New
York University, Bard College,
Cooper Union, and Middlebury
College. His book Visionary
Film: The American Avant-Garde
(Oxford, 1974) remains required
reading for aspiring lmmak-
ers. Sitneys most recent work
is Eyes Upside Down: Visionary
Filmmakers and the Heritage of
Emerson (Oxford, 2008).
KEN UENO
Composer Ken Uenos music
shirks easy categorization, draw-
ing on inuences as disparate
as heavy metal and Tuvan throat
singing. Ueno himself is not only
a composer of acoustic and elec-
tronic works, but also a performer
and vocal improviser specializing
in extended techniques, such
as growling, gurgling, humming,
and whispering. In his second
semester as the Berlin Prize
in Music Composition Fellow,
Ueno will continue work on two
compositions.
Currently an assistant profes-
sor of music at the University
of California, Berkeley, Ueno
has taught at the University of
Massachusetts, where he was
also was the director of the
Electronic Music Studios. A
graduate of West Point, he holds
degrees from Berklee College of
Music, Boston University, the
Yale School of Music, and a PhD
from Harvard University.
T
his fall welcomes
another outstanding class
of scholars and writers
to the Hans Arnhold Center.
Jennifer Culbert, a politi-
cal scientist at Johns Hopkins
University, will be studying the
jurisprudence of Hannah Arendt;
Lel and de l a Durantaye,
who teaches English at Harvard
University, is beginning work
on a study of Samuel Beckett;
James Der Derian, a
spring 2011 fellow from Brown
University, will fulll the remain-
der of his Bosch Fellowship at
work on his lm, Human Terrain,
part of his project of Global
Engagement through Innovative
Media. A professor of social
psychology at Northwestern
University, Alice Eagly,
delves into the origins of male-
female psychology, and, tangen-
tially, Adam Haslet t, a San
Francisco-based writer, is at work
on his novel Kindness. Daniel
Hobbins, an associate profes-
sor of history at Ohio State, is
researching the medieval ori-
gins of print; Susan McCabe
of the University of Southern
California furthers her research
on the writer Annie Winifred
Ellerman, in her project Bryher:
Female Husband of Modernism,
and Geoffrey O Brien,
Editor-in-Chief of Library of
America, is working on America
before the Code. Visual artist
Paul Pfeiffer will delve into
new works, and Elizabeth
Povinelli, who teaches anthro-
pology and gender studies at
Columbia University, explores
the relationship between new
media and late liberalism. Jut ta
Schickore, a professor of his-
tory and philosophy of science at
Indiana University, is studying
three hundred years of experi-
ments with snake venom (1660
1960); poet Tom Sleigh, of
Hunter College, is putting down
brave new lines while in Berlin,
and lastly John Van Engen,
a professor of history at Notre
Dame, is studying the European
twelfth century as a turn in
the medieval narrative.
Sneak Preview
Announcing the fall 2011 fellows
N20 | Life & Letters | News from the Hans Arnhold Center
Alumni Books
Recent releases by former fellows
ANNE APPLEBAUM
Gulag Voices: An Anthology
Yale University Press,
January 2011
WENDY LESSER
Music for Silenced Voices:
Shostakovich and His Fifteen
Quartets, March 2011
LEONARD BARKAN
Michelangelo: A Life on Paper
Princeton University Press,
January 2010
WALTER MATTLI
(with Tim Bthe)
The New Global Rulers:
The Privatization of Regulation
in the World Economy
Princeton University Press,
March 2011
CHARLES LANE
Stay of Execution: Saving
the Death Penalty from Itself
Rowman & LittleField,
October 2010
W. S. DI PIERO
When Can I See You Again ?
New Art Writings
Wafer Press, September 2010
GEOFFREY WOLFF
The Hard Way Around:
The Passages of Joshua Slocum
Alfred A. Knopf, October 2010
MITCH EPSTEIN
State of the Union
Hatje Cantz, March 2011
MITCH EPSTEIN
Berlin
Steidl, June 2011
MICHAEL TAUSSIG
Feldforschungsnotizbcher
Hatje Cantz, March 2011
ALEX KATZ
Catalogue Raisonn
Hatje Cantz, June 2011
SIGRID NUNEZ
Sempre Susan:
A Memoir of Susan Sontag
Atlas, March 2011
FRANCISCO GOLDMAN
Say Her Name
Grove Atlantic, April 2011
NICOLE KRAUSS
Great House
W. W. Norton, October 2010
THOMAS HOLT
Children of Fire: A History
of African Americans
Hill & Wang, October 2010
The American Academy in Berlin invites applications for resi-
dential fellowships for 20122013 and future academic years. The
application deadline is October 1, 2011. Prizes will be awarded
in February 2012 and publicly announced in early spring 2012.
Approximately two-dozen fellowships are awarded to established
scholars, writers, and professionals who wish to engage in indepen-
dent study in Berlin. Prizes are conferred annually for an academic
semester and on occasion for an academic year and include
round-trip airfare, housing, partial board, and a monthly stipend of
$5,000. Fellows are expected to reside at the Hans Arnhold Center
during the entire term of the award.
Fellowships are restricted to candidates based long-term in the
United States. American citizenship is not required, and American
expatriates are not eligible. Candidates in academic disciplines
must have completed a doctorate at the time of application. The
Academy gives priority to a proposals signicance and scholarly
merit, not its specic relevance to Germany. It is helpful, however,
to explain how a Berlin residency might contribute to the projects
further development. Application forms may be submitted via the
Academys website, www.americanacademy.de.
Call for Applications
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 25
DOORS OPENED,
DOORS CLOSED
Cant anyone get immigration right ?
By Tamar Jacoby
I
thought I was taking a break
from my life as an immigration reform
advocate in Washington during my
stay at the American Academy in Berlin. I
knew, of course, that immigration was a
roiling issue in Europe, too. Even from my
beleaguered bunker inside the Beltway, Id
caught wind of the murder of Dutch lm-
maker Theo van Gogh, the Paris riots, the
Danish Mohammad cartoon crisis. Still,
I thought a few months of living in Europe
and listening in on its immigration debate
would clear my head and give me some per-
spective. After all, I reasoned, the issues
and our countries are so different.
I couldnt have been more wrong about
the escape.
Europe and the United States are cer-
tainly different. Germany, where I spent
two months this winter, is an economic
powerhouse. But to an American its strati-
ed social structure feels left over from
another era: rigid high-school tracking,
pervasive credentialism, and workplace
seniority systems sharply limit personal
opportunity. Denmark, where I also vis-
ited, is even more different: a tiny, homo-
geneous country (population 5.5 million),
with the worlds most developed welfare
state. What, I asked, could it possibly have
in common with the giant, hyper-diverse
US, the worlds most developed free-market
economy?
In both Germany and Denmark, unlike
in the US, the immigration debate is less
about how many foreigners to admit than it
is about how to handle those already living
there. In the 1960s, both nations imported
guest workers from southern Europe and
Turkey foreigners allowed to stay, joined
later by their families. But for one reason or
another some economic, some cultural,
some rooted in government shortsighted-
ness many of these workers and families
failed to integrate into their new societies.
And over the past decade, both German and
Danish publics have become increasingly
alarmed, calling for sometimes helpful,
sometimes punitive and coercive integra-
tion policies from government-funded
language courses to much-resented restric-
tions on visas for foreign spouses.
Still, for all the differences, when you
scratch the surface, Europe and the US
turn out to be more similar than they rst
appear. All three countries, it turns out,
need foreign workers both highly skilled
and less skilled. But voters in all three
nations are anxious about the cultural
differences the immigrants bring. As a
result, policymakers in all three places are
paralyzed: caught between rationality and
emotion, between their countrys economic
interests and voters spiraling fear and
resentment.
As the worlds second largest exporter,
just behind China, Germany has a vora-
cious need for foreign workers to do jobs
Germans are either too educated or not
educated enough to do. Every summer
300,000 Eastern Europeans and others
come to Germany to ll seasonal agricul-
tural jobs. Thats a huge number: translat-
ed to the US, it would amount to 1.2 million
agricultural workers every year. In fact, we
admit fewer than 70,000 legally, relying
instead largely on illegal immigrants. But
the bottom line is the same in both coun-
tries: the domestic workforce, hardly grow-
ing and increasingly educated, has less
and less interest in outdoor, physical work.
Neither nation can sustain its agricultural
sector without immigrants. And in both
countries, even in the downturn, the same
is true in an array of other industries hos-
pitality, the personal service sector, and,
most urgently in Germany, home health-
care for the elderly.
E
uropes generous welfare
states complicate the picture. In
the US, the labor market self-corrects
to synchronize with the business cycle.
Thanks to cell phones and the Internet,
even unskilled workers know about job
opportunities a continent away. And when
little work is available, fewer migrants
make the trip so few that during the
downturn less than half as many Mexicans
entered the US each year than were coming
a decade ago, when the economy was boom-
ing. It doesnt work that way in Germany
or Denmark, where many immigrants and
their children nd it cheaper to live on the
dole than hold a job. Still, in either case,
what drives most migration is an economic
calculus individuals calculus about their
opportunities in a global labor market.
Receiving countries need to manage this
dynamic to their advantage.
The same is true at the skilled end of
the job ladder. The twenty-rst century is
posing the same challenge in all developed
countries. Innovation is our eras key to
business success, not just in it and com-
munications, but also in traditional sectors
from banking to manufacturing. No nation
produces enough scientists, engineers,
inventors, or high-end business managers
to drive its knowledge economy. And all of
our countries are scrambling to attract
AS THE WORLDS SECOND
LARGEST EXPORTER, JUST
BEHIND CHINA, GERMANY HAS A
VORACIOUS NEED FOR FOREIGN
WORKERS TO DO JOBS GERMANS
ARE EITHER TOO EDUCATED OR
NOT EDUCATED ENOUGH TO DO.

26 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011


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DAVE MCKENZIE, INSTALLATION FROM THE EXHIBIT SCREEN DOORS ON SUBMARINES AT REDCAT, LOS ANGELES, 2008
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 27
highly skilled immigrants. This is
the global race of our era: not for new,
advanced weaponry or colonies or
natural resources but for international
brainpower.
In 2005 Germany created a new visa
to attract highly skilled immigrants.
Its an appealing package: the visa is
permanent, not temporary; you can
bring your spouse, who can also work
legally. And theres no test to deter-
mine if youre taking a job that could
be lled by a German worker, tests of
a kind that often lead to red tape and
delay. Still, even these favorable terms
attracted fewer than 200 applications
for the new visa last year. In the US, by
contrast, we admit some 350,000 highly
skilled immigrants annually, some tem-
porary, some permanent, plus roughly
ve times as many foreign students as
Germany. Yet in the US, too, employers
from universities to government labs to
cutting-edge it companies complain
about a shortage of high-end workers.
Its no mystery why policymakers in
Germany, Denmark, and the US have
proven unable or unwilling to satisfy
their economies demand for foreign
workers. Voters in all three countries are
skeptical of immigrants, if not hostile
to them, blind to the economic benets
they bring, and worried about whether
they will integrate. Last summer,
establishment politician and former
central banker Thilo Sarrazin shocked
Germany with an incendiary, best-
selling book claiming that immigration
was destroying the country, more than
likely because of foreigners defective
genes. In Denmark, the Danish Peoples
Party is xated on origins, calling for a
halt to all immigration from non-West-
ern countries. And though Denmarks
mainstream parties have hesitated to
go that far, in government both left
and right have followed the DPPs lead,
slowly making their tiny country less
and less hospitable to foreigners.
In America, we still pride ourselves
on being a nation of immigrants, and
we frown on talk of genetic inferiority.
But returning to the US from Europe this
spring, I began to feel this was perhaps a
distinction without as much difference as I
once thought. Rising anti-immigrant sen-
timent in Arizona and elsewhere doesnt
feel that far removed from the xenophobia
surfacing in Germany and Denmark. And
new claims, from House Republicans
and others, that every immigrant we
deport will open a job for an unemployed
American, are just as misleading and ulti-
mately self-defeating as the counterfactual
anti-immigrant arguments I heard in
Europe. Once again, in all three countries,
the bottom line seems much the same: ris-
ing public anxiety, mainly about unskilled
immigrants, is driving out all rational
discussion and preventing policymakers
from acting effectively to meet national
economic needs.
The fact that many of the immigrants in
Germany and Denmark are Muslims only
raises the stakes, adding to concerns about
what their failure to integrate would mean
for the host country for its cultural mores
and national security. Muslim populations
are growing; native-born families are hav-
ing fewer children. And its easy for many
Danes and Germans to imagine the worst
that every headscarf and every mosque is
a sign of surging fundamentalism.
Thoughtful people in both Denmark and
Germany recognize that radical Islam is
a reality in their country, but many feel the
threat is exaggerated. According to Naser
Khader, a Danish member of parliament
of Syrian-Palestinian descent and an out-
spoken critic of Islamic fundamentalism,
perhaps 10 percent of Muslims in Denmark
are anti-Western Islamists. An equal share,
he says, are unequivocally supportive of
Western values. The problem, in his view,
and survey research bears him out, is that
the majority in the middle is often hesitant
to repudiate radicals, and no one, newcom-
er or native born, draws a sharp enough
distinction between religious Islam and
political Islam. This dynamic and the
need to reverse it help put our American
situation in some perspective. Whatever
problems were facing, they look small in
comparison to Europes.
Still, standing back, I found myself struck
by a nal, haunting parallel. We Americans
tend to think we know the answers on
immigrant integration. We argue bitterly
about border issues and enforcement and
how many foreign workers to admit. But
compared to Europe there is relatively little
American debate about whether immi-
grants are succeeding in the United States.
We count on the traditions of generations
past that mysterious alchemy we once
called the melting pot. And unlike
in Europe, we make virtually no effort to
help newcomers make their way in the
new country.
B
ut what if, like Europe a genera-
tion ago, we too are sowing the seeds
of a long-term failure? True, immi-
grants in the US are still integrating more
successfully than in Europe: labor force
participation is higher, unemployment
lower, language acquisition and education-
al outcomes signicantly better. But what
kinds of results can we expect over the long
haul from eleven million unauthorized
immigrants and their children newcom-
ers blocked by law from full participation in
society? Workers stuck in black-market jobs
with little opportunity for advancement;
families discouraged from putting down
roots; parents afraid to send their children
to school; talented students denied college
scholarships its not exactly a recipe for
successful assimilation. Add our angry
debate to the mix the unrelenting anti-
immigrant rhetoric now a staple across
the country and its hard not to fear for
the future. Legal and illegal, Latino young
people are getting the message, and it is
breeding social alienation that will create
problems for decades to come.
Yes, the US and Europe are different.
But thanks to the global economy, we are
all what Germans call immigration coun-
tries, and the challenges were facing are
surprisingly similar. So instead of a needed
respite, my time in Europe felt like a wake-
up call. America has a glorious record as
a nation of immigrants, but that heritage
may be more fragile than we think.
Tamar Jacoby, president of
ImmigrationWorks USA, was a Bosch
Public Policy Fellow at the American
Academy in fall 2010. A version of this
article rst appeared in Zcalo Public
Square, an online magazine.
THERE IS RELATIVELY LITTLE AMERICAN DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER
IMMIGRANTS ARE SUCCEEDING IN THE UNITED STATES.
WE COUNT ON THE TRADITIONS OF GENERATIONS PAST THAT
MYSTERIOUS ALCHEMY WE ONCE CALLED THE MELTING POT.

28 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
W
hat happens when the
avant-garde is faced with a state
of emergency, whether real (when
the rule of law is actually suspended) or
imagined (when it only seems to be)?
Modernist movements like Dada were
marked by the chaos of world war, to be
sure, yet in many ways our own present is
also one of emergency. If there is a condi-
tion that has governed recent art, it is a
precarious one.
Almost any litany of the machinations
of the last ten years will evoke this state of
uncertainty: a stolen presidential election;
the attacks of September 11 and the War on
Terror; the deception of the Iraq War and
the debacle of the occupation; Abu Ghraib,
Guantnamo Bay, and rendition to torture
camps; another problematic presidential
election; Katrina; the scapegoating of
immigrants; the healthcare crisis; the eco-
logical disaster; the nancial house of cards,
and so on. For all the discussion of rogue
states elsewhere, our own government
has sometimes operated out of bounds. It
is little wonder, then, that the concept of
the state of exception (developed by Carl
Schmitt, in the early 1920s) was revived,
that this state once again appeared to be
not the exception but the rule, as Walter
Benjamin wrote in his 1940 essay Theses
on the Philosophy of History, and that
as a consequence one could assert that the
camp was the new biopolitical nomos
of the planet, as Giorgio Agamben did
in 1994.
CROSSING OVER
The precarious practice of Thomas Hirschhorn
By Hal Foster
Perhaps our political bond whether we
call it the social contract or the symbolic
order is always more tenuous than we
think; it was certainly precarious long
before September 11. Prior to Bush and
Blair, Reagan and Thatcher led the charge
of neoliberalism with the battle cry, There
is no such thing as society, and the lives of
the most vulnerable (the underclass, gays
and lesbians, immigrants) have become
ever more precarious since. It is this height-
ened insecurity that some art has attempt-
ed to manifest, even to exacerbate. This
social instability is redoubled by an artistic
instability, as this contemporary practice
foregrounds its own schismatic condition,
too, its own lack of shared meanings and
methods. Paradoxically, then, precarity is
almost constitutive of some art today.
Precarity has come to gure in sociological
discourse, where it is used to describe
the situation of a vast number of laborers
in neoliberal capitalism whose employ-
ment (let alone healthcare, insurance,
and pension) is anything but guaranteed.
This precariat is seen as a product of the
post-Fordist economy; though, historically,
precarity might be more the rule, and the
Fordist promise of relative job security and
union protection the exception, as Gerald
Raunig points out in A Thousand Machines
(2010). It is a tricky category. What might
be lost in a discursive shift from prole-
tariat to precariat? Might the latter term
normalize a specic condition, a society
of risk, a condition that is subject to chal-
lenge and change? Can the precariat be
pried from its victim status and developed
as a social movement? At least one thing is
certain: it is not a unied class. As Raunig
argues, there are smooth forms of pre-
carization for digital bohemians and
intellos prcaires, on the one hand, and
rigidly repressive forms of labor discipline,
for migrants and sans papiers, on the other.
T
he Swiss artist Thomas
Hirschhorn, who represents
Switzerland in the 2011 Venice
Biennale, has long used the term prcaire,
though its full signicance was not always
apparent. Initially the term denoted the
insecure status and limited duration of
his pieces, some of which, such as Travaux
abandonns and Jemand kmmert sich um
meine Arbeit (both 1992), were made up of
odds and ends left on the street to be picked
up by others. In a conversation with Alison
M. Gingeras, Hirschhorn stressed the
commonality of his means:
What Ive got around me is some pack-
ing material; theres some aluminum
foil in the kitchen and there are card-
board boxes and wood panels downstairs
on the street. That makes sense to me:
I use the materials around me. These
materials have no energetic or spiritual
power. Theyre materials that everyone
in the world is familiar with; theyre
ordinary materials.
For a while, Hirschhorn merely distin-
guished the precarious from the ephemeral.
He told Gingeras,
My work isnt ephemeral, its precarious.
Its humans who decide and determine
how long the work lasts. The term
THIS PRECARIAT IS SEEN AS A PRODUCT OF THE
POST-FORDIST ECONOMY; THOUGH, HISTORICALLY, PRECARITY MIGHT
BE MORE THE RULE, AND THE FORDIST PROMISE OF RELATIVE JOB
SECURITY AND UNION PROTECTION THE EXCEPTION.
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 29
centers of homage, assembled with the help
of local inhabitants, where discussions,
readings, performances, and more casual
encounters can occur.
The rst monument, dedicated to
Baruch Spinoza, was set in the red-light
district of Amsterdam, in 1999; the sec-
ond, to Gilles Deleuze, was located in a
mostly North African quarter of Avignon,
France, in 2000; and the third, to Georges
Bataille, was placed in a largely Turkish
neighborhood in Kassel, in 2002; a fourth,
the last, dedicated to Antonio Gramsci, is
planned for Queens, New York, in 2012.
This practice of the precarious as a real
form has also guided Hirschhorn in his
other projects, such as his Muse Prcaire
Albinet, set in the Aubervilliers banlieue
of Paris, in 2004, and his Bijlmer-Spinoza
Festival, located in the Biljmer project of
Amsterdam, in 2009.
What does this precarious practice entail?
The truth can only be touched in art in
hazardous, contradictory, and hidden
encounters, Hirschhorn asserted in a text
for his 2006 installation Restore Now. This
suggests a rst principle, an actual sharing
in the conditions of social risk lived by a
precariat in a particular situation; to this
end, Hirschhorn has sometimes adopted
the guise of a squatter on-site (in effect,
he also squats the work of the artists,
writers, and philosophers chosen for his
altars, kiosks, and monuments). In order
to reach this moment I have to be present
and I have to be awake, Hirschhorn
continues. I have to stand up, I have to
face the world, the reality, the time and I
have to risk myself. That is the beauty in
precariousness. Alert to the Deleuzian
caveat about the indignity of speaking for
others, Hirschhorn
does not stand in


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ephemeral comes from nature, but
nature doesnt make decisions.
Soon enough, however, the precarious
came to gure less as a characteristic of his
work than as a predicament of the people
addressed by prcaire, with ramications
both ethical and political.
Is there a way to cross from our stable,
secure, and safe space in order to join
the space of the precarious? Is it pos-
sible, by voluntarily crossing the border
of this protected space, to establish new
values, real values, the values of the
precarious uncertainty, instability, and
self-authorization?
This is a question that Hirschhorn has
probed in all three of his monuments to
date, which take the form of makeshift
STEFAN WOLPE, CIRCA 1936


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S
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THOMAS HIRSCHHORN, EUROPA, 1999, MIXED MEDIA WALL SCULPTURE, 181 X 221 X 6 CM
30 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
place of a precariat; rather, he insists, in an
essay for Muse Prcaire Albinet, he wants
to engage [in] dialogue with the other with-
out neutralizing him.
In fact, Hirschhorn does not always seek
solidarity with this precariat, for such soli-
darity might only come of a forced union of
very different parties. To the benign com-
munity imagined by relational aesthetics,
he counters with the principle of Presence
and Production, which names his double
commitment to be present on the site
where he produces his work and acknowl-
edges that the result might be antagonism
with residents as much as fellowship. In
this way, Hirschhorn updates the argu-
ment in Author as Producer (1934), where
Benjamin nds the political use-value of a
work less in the attitude of its content than
in the import of its production.
P
recarious derives, the oed
tells us, from the Latin precarius,
obtained by entreaty, depending
on the favor of another, hence uncertain,
precarious, from precem, prayer. This de-
nition underscores that this state of inse-
curity is a constructed one, engineered by
a regime of power on whose favor the pre-
cariat depends and which it can only peti-
tion. This means that to act out the precari-
ous, as Hirschhorn often does, is not only
to evoke its perilous and privative effects
but also to intimate how and why they are
produced, and so to implicate the authority
that imposes this revocable tolerance, as
his sometime collaborator, the French poet
Manuel Joseph, denes prcarit. The note
of entreaty lodged in the word precarious
is strong in many Hirschhorn projects,
where it often also carries the force of
accusation.
Here the political dimension of the pre-
carious shades into the ethical. To give a
form to the precarious, Hirschhorn com-
ments in his 2009 essay Thtre prcaire
pour Ce qui vient, is to attest to the
fragility of life, awareness of which com-
pels me to be awakened, to be present,
to be attentive, to be open; it compels me
to be active. In Precarious Life (2004),
her brief essay on Emmanuel Levinas,
Judith Butler writes in a similar vein:
In some way we come to exist in the
moment of being addressed, and some-
thing about our existence proves precari-
ous when that address fails. Here Butler
explores the notion of the face, which
Levinas posed as the very image of the
extreme precariousness of the other.
To respond to a face and to understand its
meaning, Butler argues, means to
be awake to what is precarious in another
life or, rather, the precariousness of life
itself. This is the face often put forward
by the precarious art of Hirschhorn,
who refuses to turn away.
Hal Foster is Townsend Martin 1917
Professor of Art and Architecture at
Princeton University and the spring 2011
Siemens Fellow at the American Academy.
29
5026_berlin_journal_210x135_RZ.indd 1 06.04.11 12:21
THE POLITICAL DIMENSION
OF THE PRECARIOUS SHADES
INTO THE ETHICAL.
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 31
29
5026_berlin_journal_210x135_RZ.indd 1 06.04.11 12:21
2011 Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
WilmerHale provides legal counsel to clients in and around
Germanys key nancial, political and industrial centers. With
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32 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
JRGEN RITTER, INNER-GERMAN BORDER AT THE JUNKERKUPPE HILL BETWEEN LINDEWERRA AND OBERRIEDEN, NOVEMBER 1, 1984
JRGEN RITTER, FORMER INNER-GERMAN BORDER AT THE JUNKERKUPPE HILL BETWEEN LINDEWERRA AND OBERRIEDEN, SEPTEMBER 1, 2009


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Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 33
O
ne day in March 1982, a
red telephone rang at the East
German Border Control Ofce
in Salzwedel. The phones had appeared
nine years earlier, a by-product of the 1973
inter-German Border Commission, and
allowed for immediate communication
between West and East German border
guards. Conversations unfolded according
to a strict protocol; the caller began by say-
ing, I have some information for you, to
which the respondent would answer with
a single word. Not even a Good day crept
into these austere exchanges.
The call that day in March was no
exception. A Western border guard in
Uelzen asked his Salzwedel counterpart
to postpone a scheduled mine detonation
until late June. The explosion, the Western
ofcer explained, would disturb the breed-
ing grounds of cranes. The East Germans
consented, and the red receiver was placed
back in its cradle. Before returning to
more pressing business, however, the East
German ofcer mused over the peculiar
nature of the call, making a note that
requests . . . pertaining to bird sanctuaries
have not been made before.
In truth, no ofcial bird sanctuary
existed, though an accidental one was
ourishing. By 1982 the border strip had
already undergone more than two decades
of enforced tranquility. East German bor-
derland regulations, introduced thirty years
earlier, had reduced legal cross-border traf-
c to a trickle. After the construction of the
Berlin Wall, in August 1961, gdr authori-
ties also escalated fortications along the
inter-German border. The various layers of
border elements created a space Westerners
commonly called no mans land although
it was part of gdr territory. It began at the
demarcation line and extended to the rst
fence; Westerners were forbidden entry.
Depending on the terrain, it could be
50 to 200-plus meters deep. In the parlance
of East German border guards, this strip
of land lay on the enemy side ( feindwrts).
It was patrolled by reconnaissance troops
(Auf klrer) known to be politically reliable;
regular border troops remained behind the
fence and covered the hinterland. Hence,
this stretch of land rarely ever encountered
foot trafc. Birds, especially ground-breed-
ing ones, were the prime beneciaries of
the new ecological regime in the immedi-
ate border strip.
W
hat, then, do state borders
do to nature? The inter-German
border was, of course, a very par-
ticular border. Its political and social func-
tion was to delineate the socialist project
from its capitalist foe and to prevent East
Germans from exercising a choice between
the two. To that end, the East German
regime invested heavily in border forti-
cations that were designed to kill. At the
very least, 270 people, but more likely well
over 700, lost their lives trying to cross the
Berlin Wall and the inter-German border.
Unlike other fortied state borders, the
Iron Curtain was set up to lock people in,
not to keep invaders out. Not surprisingly,
it regularly drew comparisons to a prison.
As the spatial theorist Karl Schlgel puts it,
if borders are the outer skin of states, their
appearance tells us much about the polity
they surround.
East Germanys skin consisted of
several generations of border fortications
that evolved from a simple barbed wire
fence, in the 1950s, to an elaborate border
control system replete with metal fences,
walls, mineelds, spring-guns, observation
towers, ood lights, vehicle ditches, guard
dogs, alarm wires, and border patrols in the
1980s. In May 1952, East German authori-
ties deported borderland residents deemed
untrustworthy and created a 500-meter
security strip and a ve-kilometer-deep
security zone characterized by access
restrictions. All in all, the border created
a buffer zone in the heart of Europe
that funneled trafc through a scant few
permissible routes.
In view of this excessive infrastructure,
Western commentators often referred to
the Iron Curtain in relation to its impact on
nature and the surrounding cultural land-
scapes. From the air, noted a British travel
writer, the border looks like earth that has
just been prepared for a new road, much
lighter than the surrounding ground of
elds and forests. Watchtowers disturbed
the scenery like the gibbets in a landscape
by Breughel. Another writer emphasized
the borders interventions in the landscape,
describing the mined strip as it runs over
hill and dale, zigzagging through wood-
land and meadow. Trees and undergrowth
have been cut down to minimize cover
and provide a wide eld of re. With the
ground ripped up, weeds controlled with
herbicides, and corridors cleared in
thick
forests, the idea of a scar in the landscape
became a common metaphor.

NO MANS LANDSCAPES
The Iron Curtain stopped humans from crossing political borders for over four decades.
In their stead, an ecosystem all its own.
By Astrid M. Eckert
THE IRON CURTAIN WAS
SET UP TO LOCK PEOPLE IN,
NOT TO KEEP INVADERS
OUT. NOT SURPRISINGLY,
IT REGULARLY DREW
COMPARISONS TO A PRISON.
34 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
A leading West German geographer called
the border a Zerreiungsgrenze, a lacerated
boundary. What incensed him in particular
was the extent of arable land lying fallow
in the East German security strip. For this
geographer, the landscape on the other side
thus took on the character of a wasteland.
T
he Iron Curtain sliced through
mountains, forests, lakes, wetlands,
grasslands, uvial ecosystems, open
cultural landscapes, and even mining areas
a cross section of German landscape
types. With the same biota often found on
both sides of the fence, the Iron Curtain
conrms a truism of environmental his-
tory: nature rarely respects man-made
boundaries. The installations and prac-
tices that constituted this border, however,
impacted nature and wildlife on both sides.
Depending on the species, this impact
could prove benecial or problematic.
Where red-listed birds eventually found a
welcome refuge, game animals could meet
a cruel end. Much like the recently con-
structed fence between the US and Mexico,
the installation of a ten-foot razor wire
fence between East and West Germany in
the 1960s posed formidable challenges
to mammals. Traditional deer-crossings
became impenetrable, restricting habitats
and interfering with genetic exchange.
Worse still, along 800 kilometers of
the border, mineelds supplemented the
fence. Between 1961 and 1986, well over
one million landmines were planted. They
were triggered frequently, and locals shud-
dered at the sound of explosions, unsure
whether the mines had encountered beast
or man. Clearing dead animals in the mine
corridor was usually not worth the risk;
an East German hunter residing in the
security strip in the district of Schwerin
remembers cadaver elds adjacent to the
fence. By the mid-1960s, West German
customs personnel in the Harz Mountains
were convinced that the mines had already
seriously reduced the population of roe
deer. The mines were sensitive enough to
be triggered by hares and foxes, prompting
gdr authorities to insert holes into the wire
mesh to serve as passages for small game
not out of consideration for the animals but
because replacing mines was expensive
and dangerous. The carnage abated along
those stretches of border that eventually
received a double fence, closing off the
mineelds.
Although the East German regime did
not intend the border to serve as a contact
zone and tried to undercut any ties and
unsupervised communication across the
border, the Iron Curtain impacted the
natural environment in a fashion that
forced both German states to address its
consequences. To that end, the Border
Commission was founded in 1973. Its
primary job was to come to an agreement
about the exact location of the demarcation
line in order to remove recurring irritants
in German-German relations. Many of its
subsequent negotiations, however, dealt
with environmental problems, above all
with water management. In the Harz
Mountains, the border cut through a water
reservoir, turning maintenance of the
dam into a diplomatic maelstrom. Both
sides also had a stake in the dikes along
the Elbe River. Each and every cross-border
stream could turn into a state affair. Some
had been outtted with grids to prevent
escapes and became clogged with debris.
Drainages in marshes could not be main-
tained because the ditches were off-limits.
At times, the ensuing oods washed up
landmines on the western side, turning
farming into a dangerous occupation.
Inter-German water management was
probably more pressing for the Federal
Republic than for the gdr. With 37 streams
pointing westward and only ten owing
eastward, one of the overarching West
German concerns during the 1970s and
beyond was the pollution of border rivers
and streams with untreated sewage, slurry,
household waste, and chemicals. Similarly,
the air in the western borderlands was at
times heavy with sulfur dioxide, y ash,
and other dust, affecting peoples health,
the integrity of forests, and the public
images of borderland towns. The politi-
cally contentious border threw these envi-
ronmental offenses into sharp relief. The
history of the Iron Curtain thus conrms
another truism of environmental history:
if nature knows no boundaries, neither
does pollution.
In short, the border fortications and all
activities that kept them functional became
causal (either directly or in a somewhat
mitigated fashion) to changes in the natu-
ral environment adjacent to the border. The
conditions impacting the 1393-kilometer-
long strip on both sides of the Curtain
included its inaccessibility to humans in
certain sections, and the relatively thin pop-
ulations found in others; scant agriculture,
forestry work, and shing; the restriction of
industrial development in the East and its
subsidization to little avail in the West; and
the presence of security structures such as
fences, towers, and ditches. The resultant
landscapes are probably best understood
as having transboundary natures, which
transcend a politically and socially con-
structed barrier, a barrier, however, that
was itself an agent in their emergence.
Landscapes with comparable trans-
boundary natures emerged along the
seams of the ideological divide in Asia. The
1953 armistice between North and South
Korea brought forth, in the words of histo-
rian Lisa Brady, a new ecological regime
. . . shaped by war and maintained by diplo-
macy. A 155-mile-long and 2.5-mile-deep
Demilitarized Zone (dmz) was designated
as a neutral buffer to keep the two antago-
nists apart until hostilities abated. Not
only did military activities cease in this
stretch of land, but agriculture, logging,
and development came to a halt as well,
allowing the native ecosystems to recover
without human interference. The resultant
accidental nature preserve has become a
haven for ora and fauna, most notably
for migratory birds like cranes. In recent
years, it has also turned into a destination
for ecotourism, showcasing the once native
natural heritage that had prevailed on the
Korean peninsula before rapid industrial
and urban development compromised the
integrity of many ecosystems. Efforts are
underway to turn this accidental oasis into
a transboundary Peace Park or, in the yet
unlikely event of a political status change
in Korea, to protect the swath of land from
sudden development.
In Germany, too, the idea of transbound-
ary nature preserves briey ared up in the
mid-1980s, when it had become sufciently
clear that red-listed species such as white-
tailed eagles, black storks, eagle-owls and
whinchats had withdrawn into portions
of the sparsely developed borderlands.
West German state ofcials, supported by
environmental non-governmental orga-
nizations, extended feelers to persuade
gdr authorities to help establish several
THE HISTORY OF THE IRON CURTAIN THUS CONFIRMS
ANOTHER TRUISM OF ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY:
IF NATURE KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES, NEITHER DOES POLLUTION.
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 35
commonly protected areas on the border.
These included parts of the Lauenburg lake
region in the north, the Drmling wetlands
east of Wolfsburg, and the Rhn moun-
tain range straddling the border between
the states Hesse, Bavaria, and Thuringia.
None of these projects came to fruition,
however. gdr ofcials, already forced by
international agreements to negotiate on
transboundary pollution, had no interest in
getting roped into a cooperation that would
increase unwanted contact with West
Germans and did not promise any Western
currency for the trouble.
November 9, 1989 changed all that.
At issue was no longer whether the gdr
would agree to conservation across bor-
ders. Rather, the fall of the Iron Curtain
suddenly presented both the real chance to
protect the transboundary natures that had
emerged along the inter-German border as
well as the real danger of their destruction.
Hastily opened and locally celebrated new
border crossings sometimes led directly
through the hatcheries of rare birds. The
heavy equipment used to take down border
fortications and locate remaining land-
mines plowed through tranquil meadows.
Bogged down by throngs of cars driven
by excited East and West Germans who
wanted to visit each other, politicians in
borderland towns soon called for new roads
across the former German divide. After
years of controls and high fences, local resi-
dents yearned to swim, row, and sh in the
border lakes, hike without stop signs, and
take back the land.
Alarmed by such demands, a group of
conservationists under the leadership of
a Bavarian environmental ngo, the Bund
Naturschutz in Bayern, convened a meet-
ing of East and West German activists in
December 1989, calling for the preserva-
tion of the Green Belt that had developed
in the border strip. The demise of the gdr
and the concomitant disappearance of
border fortications allowed ecologists to
conduct habitat inventories on both sides
of the border, conrming the conservation
value of what had become a unique string
of habitats. Against many odds, the Green
Belt today has become one of the agship
projects in German nature and wildlife
conservation, enjoying widespread political
and public support. Its efforts are seconded
by the European Green Belt project that
covers the Iron Curtain in its entirety from
Finland to the Adriatic Sea.
A
n environmental history of
the Iron Curtain has much to tell us
about natural spaces along fortied
borders. It reminds us how military activi-
ties and installations shape environments.
In view of the success of the Green Belt
conservation project, it is quite tempting to
read the Iron Curtains history as a barbed-
wire-into-biodiversity conversion. But ani-
mal encounters with landmines and con-
taminated rivers are as much a part of this
tale as the resurgence of red-listed birds
and undisturbed wetlands. This dirty
side of the story makes the emergence of
a Green Belt in the heart of Europe even
more wondrous. What an environmental
approach certainly contributes is a better
understanding of the historicity of the land-
scape that the Iron Curtain occupied and
helped create.
Astrid M. Eckert is an assistant profes-
sor of modern German history at Emory
University and the spring 2011 Daimler
Fellow at the American Academy.
www.zeit.de
Mehr ZEIT fr Sie!
Genieen Sie anspruchsvollen Journalismus.
Im
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6604_ZANZ_AWP_BerlinJourn_185x121 1 25.03.2011 10:06:29 Uhr
36 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
THE DEAD LETTERS DEPT.
By Peter Wortsman
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CHRISTIAN STOLL, MAILROOM, 2010
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 37
A
t 16, after my fathers repeated
prodding to stop idling and nally
make something of myself, I
answered a want ad in the Sunday paper
under the heading Editorial, and was, to
my great surprise and decidedly mixed
emotions, hired as a junior ling clerk in
the Dead Letters Department of Selden
& Reinhardt, an international dealer in
obscure reference materials and arcane
scholarly works: Uzbek-Russian dictionar-
ies, Sanskrit etymologies, Finno-Ugaritic
grammars and the like.
In those bygone days of cheap storage
space, before hard drives hoarded data and
shredders devoured the detritus, Dead
Letters was the company repository of
the unresolved: partially completed order
forms, letters of inquiry and the like, which,
for one reason or another, could not be pro-
cessed either because the return address
was unintelligible, the zip code inaccurate,
incomplete, or lacking altogether, or the
senders name obscured. It was company
policy to maintain such missives for future
reference, based on the old bromide: You
never know. Envelopes stamped with a
telltale nger above the words Returned
to Sender, inscribed in various languages
and shades of red, were led and consigned
to a state of administrative limbo.

BESIDES, 99 HUNDREDTHS OF
ALL THE WORK DONE IN THE
WORLD IS EITHER FOOLISH AND
UNNECESSARY, OR HARMFUL
AND WICKED.
HERMAN MELVILLE
38 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
M
y immediate superior, Leo
Coocoo, was short, beady-eyed,
near-sighted, stooped and squat,
his oily black hair and leathery complexion
mole-like, his paws girded with long n-
gernails twisted like claws, his foul breath
reeking of mold and decay. He had worked
his way up or rather, strictly speaking,
down from company gofer to head clerk
of Dead Letters, a position he had carved
out for himself and from which there was
no prospect of promotion. Still, Leo took
unconcealed pride in his work, which he
viewed as a wellspring of future possibili-
ties. Having amassed a kind of patchwork
erudition reading through reams of unan-
swered inquiries from, as well as returned
mail addressed to, scholars and librarians
from a wide spectrum of elds, fueled with
the conceit of the autodidact and the resent-
ment of the scorned romantic, he felt woe-
fully underappreciated by the higher-ups,
who, by an inverted emotional geometry, he
considered beneath him.
They see us as scavengers, but we are
treasure hunters, Henry, archival archeolo-
gists! He ashed me the semi-deranged,
under-oxygenated smile of a happy coal
miner in a Golden Book I pretended to be
able to read when I was ve, simultaneously
nodding and shaking his head. Leo thought
I had promising ling ngers and advised
me to keep a good inch-and-a-half of nail
on my right thumb and index if I hoped to
make the grade.
S
unlight and fresh air never
ltered down to our windowless
precinct, an oblong partitioned
chamber sometimes I thought of it as a
bunker, sometimes as a submarine going
nowhere, sometimes as the secret passage-
way of a pyramid lined with scratched
gray ling cabinets and illuminated only
by a pair of ickering bare uorescent
bulbs forever on the blink, two ights
below street level. Having come of age in
the duck-and-cover days of the Cold War
era, it did occur to me that I might survive
a nuclear attack here, and so felt somewhat
snug and cozy at rst, even privileged
before the claustrophobia set in.
There were a few minor annoyances I
tolerated at rst. The ceiling leaked a sticky
black ooze and buckets had to be placed at
strategic locations; their position changed
in accordance with the shifting source of
the leak and were emptied several times
daily part of my ill-dened job description.
While Leo manned the helm, silently paw-
ing and sorting the recently returned mail
that dropped down the shoot, I was perched
in an alcove adjacent to the clanking boiler
room, in an armless olive-green metal
ofce chair on wheels that badly needed
oiling and gave off a tortured squeak.
Despite the squeak, I even developed
a fondness for my chair, which I dubbed
Rosinante, Rosy for short, after the broken
down nag of the Spanish knight errant
whose illustrated adventures, translated
into Serbo-Croatian, and returned to send-
er, address unknown, I salvaged from a
frayed Warsaw Pact paper-wrapped package
and kept hidden at the bottom of a ling
cabinet. I pulled it out and ipped through
the pictures from time to time, focusing,
in particular, on a rather racy depiction of
Don Quixotes lady love, Dulcinea, her torn
dress falling off one shoulder, to distract
from the drudgery.
In the early days of my employment I
liked to ride Rosy from corner to corner,
shoving off with a spry ex of the knees
from the cabinets assigned to the rst few
letters of the alphabet and butting the dent-
ed back of the chair into the xs, ys and zs.
Correspondence from foreign lands
with unrecognizable alphabets were
lumped together in what Leo designated
the Beyond-Z-Zone he himself had
devised the system, of which he was very
proud. It was my job to fetch batches of
discarded letters and packages through
which Leo had sifted, to be led for future
reference according to a roster of decipher-
able features, the rst letter of a surname
or company acronym, if that could be made
out, or any other clue, like the city, state or
country indicated on the rubber cancella-
tion stamp. I was efcient, even avid, for
the rst two hours or so, studying each
envelope closely, doing my best to break the
code of unintelligibility. In time I turned it
into a game, pretending I was at the nexus
of a top-secret spy operation in the bowels
of the fbi and that the future of the Free
World depended on my precision and zeal.
Occasionally I would break for target prac-
tice with rubber band and paper clips to
simulate the ring range in the basement
of the Bureau in Washington, which had
profoundly impressed me on a family trip.
O
n good mornings I took pains
to weed out the obviously Asian
letterings from the Semitic and
the Cyrillic. But soon enough my spirit
sagged and my energy level slumped for
lack of stimulation and oxygen. I could
keep ling more or less efciently till noon,
cheering myself on with the promise of
light, nourishment, and communion in
the company cafeteria and a timid peek at
the lengthened lashes of the new recruits
in the secretarial pool. But we were the
companys untouchables, the lowlifes at
the bottom of the barrel. Leos oily hair
and calcied claws drew sneers from the
gum-clicking typists who changed hair
color monthly and lived for their bi-weekly
manicure. Being Leos underling, the scorn
rubbed off on me too. At the water fountain
they shrank from us.
Dont let it bother you, Leo breathed
his foul breath on me in between bites of
his mustard-doused Wonderbread and
bologna sandwich, sensing my distress.
Deadbeats Ive led more with my left
pinky than their manicured digits ever
thought about. At such times, Leo liked
to reminisce. Did I ever tell you about the
time I hit pay dirt almost?
Tell me again, I dutifully replied,
repressing a yawn. Leo derived great plea-
sure from the storytelling, and it was a wel-
come respite from my ling duties.
It was a saffron-colored 9 x 12 with a
broken red-wax seal and a rubber stamp in
classical A-rab script Id led away in the
Beyond Z-Zone, he began.
I thought it was gold-sealed, Leo!
Leo shrugged, as if such inconsequen-
tial details hardly mattered. Whatever, it
was all Greek to me, but I kept coming back,
trying to sniff out its secrets!
Who was it from? I asked on cue.
Just wait, he winked. Well, wouldnt
IT WAS MY JOB TO FETCH BATCHES OF DISCARDED LETTERS
AND PACKAGES THROUGH WHICH LEO HAD SIFTED,
TO BE FILED FOR FUTURE REFERENCE ACCORDING TO A ROSTER
OF DECIPHERABLE FEATURES.
SUNLIGHT AND FRESH AIR
NEVER FILTERED DOWN TO OUR
WINDOWLESS PRECINCT
SOMETIMES I THOUGHT OF
IT AS A BUNKER.
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 39
you know it! One day, Accounts Payable
hires this babe from Casablanca in
alternate accounts, she hailed from
Cairo, Damascus, Karachi, and Istanbul,
sometimes she was a Kurd, sometimes a
Chaldean, sometimes a Lebanese Maronite
from Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn
a swell gal with dark eyes and just the right
length of nail. I could tell by the tone of
his voice and the glint in his eyes when he
spoke of her, particularly her ngernails,
that he had been smitten in the Beyond
Z-Zone. So one day I show her the letter.
Sulaya, I says, sometimes her name was
anglicized as Sally whos it from?
One glance at the sender on the back
of the envelope and those coal black orbs
almost popped out of their mascara-ringed
sockets. This missive, Mr. Coocoo, is from
the private secretary to His Royal Highness,
Mohammed V, King of Morocco! She
bowed her head as she uttered the name.
Holy Moly! I says, Open sesame! What
does His Highness want?
Gently then, like she was handling some-
thing precious, or dangerous, Sulaya insert-
ed the long red nail of her right thumb in
under the break in the seal, plucked out and
studied the gold-rimmed letter. Leos
voice trembled each time in the telling, as if
he himself were the letter and that long red
nail were inserting its sharp edge beneath
the buttons of his pinstriped Permapress
shirt, stroking his chest hairs. I tell ya,
Henry, she was breathless! It is, Sir, an
order for a thousand red leather-bound cop-
ies of the Holy Koran to be given as gifts to
the members of His Highness entourage
on the last day of the month of Ramadan.
it was a chance in a million, Henry . . . a
chance in a million!
Did the company ll the order?! I asked,
though I already knew the answer.
And each time he told the tale, Leo
heaved a great sigh, part moan, part groan,
part lamentation, dramatically laying a
hand on his chest for the inconsolable loss.
Slowly he shook his head. It was too late.
By the time the big shots upstairs nally
got their act together to reply, the old Kingd
kicked the bucket and the new private sec-
retary of his son and successor, Hassan II,
reneged on the order.
And Sulaya? I pried.
Leo paused, his face ushed a Vitamin-
E-decient shade of faded red. She was
promoted to the executive typing pool, and
Leo shook his head and paused again, as
though revisiting the memory of a terrible
tragedy they made her cut her nails. The
reminiscence always ended abruptly. No
point crying over spilt milk, he tried to
shrug it off with a half-hearted smile and a
last gulped-down bolus of bread and balo-
ney. Theres work to be done!
The afternoon hours were the worst,
the nal home stretch after coffee break
between three and ve oclock positively
lethal. I led for a while till my energy level
ran dangerously low. The boiler banged,
echoing my impatience, and the ventilation
system strained noisily, pumping in a days
worth of carbon-dioxide-rich yawns from
above. I checked the ooze buckets and spat
in them for good measure. I kicked around
in Rosy, tilting with my windmills of bore-
dom, peered repeatedly at my wristwatch,
but time slowed to a crawl and the squeak-
ing grated on my ears.
Initially I was cautious in my distress.
Leo liked to creep up behind unannounced.
Suddenly a sharp pair of claws would clasp
me by the shoulder blades and a malodor-
ous cloud would waft round my nostrils.
Just keeping you on your ngertips, kid!
hed slap me on the back: Keep up the good
work! and slink back off to his hole.
O
ne day I thought I hit pay dirt.
The brittle brown-edged envelope
must have slipped out the back
of a battered cabinet drawer and landed in
another, God knows how long ago. I hap-
pened upon it when trying to wrench open
the S-drawer. Sehr geehrter Herr
/
Most
Honored Sir, read the crisply folded note
typed on the Gothic letterhead of the Reich
Ofce for Racial Research, We are respect-
fully seeking any and all original literature
available on the slave trade, posters, bills
of sale and the like, as well as bodily mea-
surements and sample skulls, should they
be available, to aid in our research. Your
kind assistance in this matter would be
most appreciated. It was signed Professor
Hans Hauptmann, Doctor of Anthropology,
Section Head, Department of Racial
Documentation. I dashed over to show Leo
the letter.
Its a historical nd! I cried out.
Leo gave it the once over. Its histori-
cal alright, he pointed out the postmark,
August 4, 1941. A quarter century too late,
f & f it, kid!
The same command to f &f (meaning le
and forget), which Id heard and dutifully
obeyed countless times before now made
my stomach twitch. Something snapped in
me. The drip drip drip into the ooze bucket
drove me to distraction. The sordid truth
of my totally useless work broke into my
benumbed consciousness. Nothing we did
or would ever do down here mattered. It
was a total waste of time.
Despondent, I cast caution to the wind.
It started with a stray letter of the alpha-
bet, a furtive f scribbled on the back of an
envelope to be led, and soon expanded
to full-edged expletives spelled out in
ever-bolder script inscribed ever more
audaciously on the lips of envelopes and the
fronts of letters and unlled order forms.
For weeks I got away with it, though the
curses swelled to colossal capital-lettered
imprecations:
F*CK THIS JOB ! F*CK SELDON
& REINHARDT ! F*CK DEAD
LETTERS ! F*CK LEO COOCOO !
scrawled in black magic marker and circled
in rings of red.
I gave poor Rosy a kick and sent her
ying with a desperate un-oiled squeal,
denting the gray metal face of the Beyond-
Z-Zone. I red paperclips round the room
and peed into the ooze bucket for good
measure. For a while Leo didnt notice. Or
maybe he chose to ignore these infractions,
hoping Id get it out of my system, buck up
and pull myself together. But when nally
he did, inevitably, catch me red-handed
stufng curse-covered correspondence in
the gaps between hanging les behind the
Beyond-Z-Zone, it was with more disap-
pointment than anger that he let me go.
You had the nger for it, Henry he
shook his head sadly, unable to nish the
sentence.
I raced up the stairs, stumbling on every
second step, chest heaving, gasping for air,
my duplicitous heart beating double-time,
feeling a bottomless sadness coupled with
a profound sense of relief once I reached
street level and ran out the door, as if half of
me had been returned to life and the other
half buried alive.
Peter Wortsman is a translator and writer
and was the spring 2010 Holtzbrinck
Fellow at the American Academy.
A SHARP PAIR OF CLAWS WOULD
CLASP ME BY THE SHOULDER
BLADES AND A MALODOROUS
CLOUD WOULD WAFT ROUND MY
NOSTRILS. JUST KEEPING YOU
ON YOUR FINGERTIPS, KID !
40 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
AMR ABDALLAH DALSH, PRAYER ON TAHRIR SQUARE, FEBRUARY 4, 2011
R
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A
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D
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Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 41
W
atching the revolution
unfold in Cairo and, before
that, in Tunisia, I have come to
believe that 2/11, the day Hosni Mubarak
fell, may very well emerge as an important
antidote to 9/11.
We have been living with an Arab
Jurassic Park. Rulers in place for decades
turned their countries into personal ef-
doms. They enriched themselves and their
offspring, groomed to succeed them as if
by divine right. All this was justied in the
name of the tired binary thinking whose
core was that the only alternative to jihadist
mayhem in the Middle East was the repres-
sion of Western-backed dictators as prac-
ticed from Benghazi to Bahrain. In fact the
brutality of the Arab dinosaurs fed the very
condition the West has sought to reverse.
When the only legal place of assembly is the
mosque, Islamist radicalization becomes
more likely.
For a long time a dismissive phrase,
the Arab Street, has been used as the glib
shorthand for the disenfranchised Arab
masses. Lets retire the phrase. The Arab
Spring has given the lie to it. Ive seldom
seen such discipline and composure and
culture as in Cairos Tahrir Square. Many
people there said to me, This is the rst
time Ive felt I really count for something,
that I as a human being have my dignity
and can have some impact on the society
around me. Here was another source of
radicalization among the systems now
crumbling: people who feel their identities
are worthless are more likely to subsume
those identities in violent movements
promising eternal redemption.
Of course, the uprisings are not a pana-
cea. Remaking Arab societies in ways that
offer freedom and representation to their
people will be the work of generations.
There will be setbacks; as I write, the fate
of Libya hangs in the balance. Germany
knows something about how painstaking
these rebuilding processes are but also
how they can succeed over time. The West
has a deep strategic interest in buttressing
positive outcomes, particularly in Egypt,
where it will be important to show that a
democratic system can also bring growth,
jobs, and education.
After Hosni Mubarak ed, I witnessed
remarkable encounters between an older
generation and younger Egyptian protes-
tors who were working together to clean the
streets. One young woman in particular
made a deep impression on me. Normally,
Cairo is the city of dust par excellence.
But Tahrir Square, the day after Mubaraks
fall, was gleaming almost Zurich on
the Nile. I asked why she swept. We want
to clean out the old and bring in the new,
bring in what is fresh, she said.
Her vigorous sweeping was also about
afrmation of purpose: doing things
to change things rather than being the
pawn of some despot. A man in his sixties
approached me and pointed at the young
woman, commenting, They did what we
couldnt do. This is a precious generation.
In other words, the Facebook-armed young
overcame fear. Both Egypt and Tunisia
were studies in how real-time, at, web-
savvy, youth-driven movements could
outmaneuver heavily armed but ponderous
hierarchies at a loss in the world of twenty-
rst-century politics and social media.
W
hile reporting on the revo-
lution in Egypt, I found myself
comparing it to the tumultuous
2009 protests I covered in Tehran. The
Green Movement was an important pre-
cursor of the Arab uprisings. The

repres-
sion of it was brutal, as I witnessed


CAIROS SPRING
CLEANING
A new generation of young Egyptians inspires the old
By Roger Cohen
FOR A LONG TIME A DISMISSIVE
PHRASE, THE ARAB STREET,
HAS BEEN USED AS
THE GLIB SHORTHAND FOR
THE DISENFRANCHISED
ARAB MASSES. LETS RETIRE
THE PHRASE.
A MAN IN HIS SIXTIES
APPROACHED ME AND POINTED
AT THE YOUNG WOMAN,
COMMENTING, THEY DID WHAT
WE COULDNT DO.
42 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
but the Iranian example of courage in con-
fronting repression important. Nothing
has been more grotesque in recent weeks
than the attempt by the Islamic Republic to
claim that it has been a source of inspira-
tion to people in Cairo and Tunis. On the
contrary, Irans hypocrisy in repressing its
own people has been further exposed.
I have thought a lot about Iran since
2009. The desire for freedom that has
existed there for more than a hundred years,
the hunger of which Ayatollah Khomeini
spoke in 1979, at the time of the revolu-
tion, remains present in Iran today. Protest
has been pushed down but anger persists.
Many of the friends I made have been
through terrible times since I left. Some
have been in prison. Many are leaving, or
trying to leave, mainly to Canada. It is a
terrible waste. Iran is ready for some form
of representative government that will
at last balance freedom and faith, rather
than betraying the former in the name of
the latter.
T
he example of Irans revolution
has been much cited by those who
believe the Arab Spring will only
yield some new form of repression. Israel,
worried by change and the loss of Mubarak,
has advanced this view. My own is more
hopeful. The challenges are immense, but
Egypt, always a reference point for the Arab
world, can inspire Arabs with an example
of freedom and development, as well as
the rst example of a peace between Arab
and Jewish democracies. That will be good
for the peoples of the region. It will also be
good for Western societies. They have suf-
fered, in New York and Madrid and London,
from the rage the dinosaur-despots generat-
ed year after year. And so I believe 2/11 may
do more to counter 9/11 than all Americas
recent wars.

Roger Cohen is the international affairs


columnist of the International Herald
Tribune and the international writer-at-
large for the New York Times. This essay is
derived from an interview he gave on npr
on February 16, 2011.
I BELIEVE 2/11 MAY DO MORE
TO COUNTER 9/11 THAN
ALL AMERICAS RECENT WARS.
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IRAN IS READY FOR SOME FORM
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AT LAST BALANCE FREEDOM
AND FAITH, RATHER THAN
BETRAYING THE FORMER
IN THE NAME OF THE LATTER.
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against time, researching new pathways, new molecules, new
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tise of innovative partners from science and industry.
The success of this work is evidenced in new med i cines for
areas with signifcant unmet medical need such as oncology,
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Fish market by day, shortcut by night.
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Road sign to airport hidden.
If you miss it, hang the second left
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The best way through
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DHL_NOK_WORLD_SP_TheBerlinJournal_210x280_en_GB.indd 1 15.04.11 10:52
44 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011


C
Y

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W
O
M
B
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Y


C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

C
Y

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M
B
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F
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CY TWOMBLY, PROTEUS, 1984
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 45
T
here is an amusement park in
downtown Fallujah. Jolan Park has
not functioned or amused for years,
since our war in Iraq began. When Zarqawi
held sway over the city in 2004, his min-
ions reportedly used the cluster of shacks
within the park as torture cells. Some of
the ercest ghting occurred there when
the Marines nally took control of the city
later that year. A grove of trees once shaded
the rides, but Fallujans cut them down for
wood to heat their homes and to re the
ovens that baked their bread during the
siege. Splintered foot-tall stumps remain,
dusted pikes stabbing up through the
weary soil.
One of the main rides, a whirly-go-
round, is improbably aquatic themed. A
ten-foot-tall octopus, the color of moldering
lime, looms at the hub of the ride, extend-
ing his swirling tentacles outward over the
small cars, which are made to look like sev-
ered heads of sh. They are all scowling as
they bake under the Fallujah sun.
A motorless Ferris wheel slumbers near-
by, more of a monument now, its bucket
seats piling up with years of dust.
I try to wipe the dust from my brow and
cheeks, but it turns into a lm as it mingles
with sweat and clings there. I lick my
lips and frown as the chalky dust settles
on my parched tongue. The sky is more
orange than blue. I do not like this place, or
this day.
Across the street, renamed Route Henry
by Marines who struggled with Arabic
street names, the veterinarian of Fallujah
is waiting for me. Dr. Nazar is a tall, hefty
man, maybe sixty, with a darkly creased
face and gold-rimmed glasses that he
pulls from a breast pocket before running
through a list of supplies and equipment
he has prepared for me, with the hope that
I might direct some usaid support his way.
He needs incubators, vaccines to combat
diseases like Brucellosis, refrigerators for
the vaccines, generators for the incubators
and refrigerators, fuel for the generators.
Syringes, gauze, everything.
I
have just arrived in Fallujah as
usaids rst coordinator for reconstruc-
tion in the city, after seven frustrating
months conned within the sixteen-foot
blast walls encircling Baghdads Green
Zone. I am 24, relieved to be in the eld
and using my Arabic again, having studied
and lived throughout the region. I came
to Iraq to pitch in on rebuilding efforts,
despite my opposition to the war. I didnt
come to party with drunken contractors
and jaded bureaucrats.
I want an early success. Im not sure
what information Ill need from Dr. Nazar,
so in a pale-green US Government-issued
Federal Supply Service notebook, I write
down everything I can learn from the
doctor. How many head of cattle are there
in Fallujah and the outlying villages?
How many animals does he treat a week?
Which diseases are most prevalent at the
moment? What are the farmers doing with-
out these vaccines? How many chickens are
there in the city?
I take his list, which will take hours to
decipher and translate (after all, I never
learned the Arabic words for Brucellosis or
hypodermic or hoof ) into a report with rec-
ommendations for my bosses in Baghdad,
and wedge it in my notebook. I heave my
armored body back into the tub of the
Humvee, and Dr. Nazar calls out to me.
Mister Kirk ?
One of the Marines protecting me gives a
glance, signaling that we need to move
on, so I answer the veterinarian brusquely.
We never spend more than a few minutes
in each place.
Yes, doctor, what ? We are in a rush.
Fallujah needs a working slaughterhouse
again.
THE INSURGENCY
WITHIN
Out of Fallujah, into the bell jar of trauma
By Kirk W. Johnson
I HAVE JUST ARRIVED IN FALLUJAH AS USAIDS FIRST
COORDINATOR FOR RECONSTRUCTION IN THE CITY, AFTER SEVEN
FRUSTRATING MONTHS CONFINED WITHIN THE SIXTEEN-FOOT
BLAST WALLS ENCIRCLING BAGHDADS GREEN ZONE.
46 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
The Marines had temporarily occupied the
old slaughterhouse just a few blocks away,
which the veterinarian wants to re-open
with our help. He needs a generator to
keep it cool. He points to the ground I just
walked across, at a startling rivulet of dark
blood running alongside the curb, which
is also stained blood-brown. The stream
issues from the gullets of sheep and other
small livestock being slaughtered twenty
feet up the street. There is enough ow
to stretch another fteen feet down before
it disappears into a small heap of rubble
and garbage.
Its not good, its not safe to handle meat
this way, Doctor Nazar pleads.
The butchers are staring at us, in one
hand a blade, in the other, the napes of
wild-eyed livestock. Over their shoulders,
the octopus glares.
We need to clear out, a Marine grunts,
to my relief.
Sweetie ? Kirkie ?
I opened my eyes at the sound of my moth-
ers voice and Fallujah the amusement
park, the menacing octopus, the veterinar-
ian, the Marines evaporated. Something
was wrong with my vision; there was a
jagged grayish frame around the edges of
my sight.
Sweetie can you see me ?
Yes, I mumbled. What is this ?
Its a mask, honey. They put it on you
after the operation. The doctors said
that you . . .
I was in an anesthetic haze in a dimly lit
hospital room at the Centro Medico
Bournigal in the Dominican Republic.
I had left Fallujah a few days earlier for a
week-long R&R with my parents and broth-
ers. I knew there had been an accident, but
the details now evaded my drugged state
of mind, as I struggled to orient myself.
I glanced through the tunnel of my vision
and caught a dusky sight of myself in the
screen of a wall-mounted hospital televi-
sion broadcasting my reection. Dread
seeped from my brain, coursing through-
out my battered body, which I inventoried
with alternating panic and fury. I could not
breathe through my nostrils. I furrowed
my brow in frustration and a punishing jolt
of pain answered. My teeth felt missing.
My arms felt heavy.
I was broken all over and could not
grab the tails of any memories from the
morning hours of December 29, two days
earlier. They had all ed to an undiscovered
country in my mind, and now amnesia
had clawed an impenetrable ocean around
them. I stumbled around my thoughts, call-
ing out futilely for something to explain
what happened?
The antibiotics turned my stomach. My
jaw broken, I drank meals through a straw.
I soon gave up trying to control the erup-
tions of my mind, which erratically spewed
forth scenes, snippets of conversations,
and scents, without order or mercy. In the
span of a few seconds, I itted from the
memory of a midnight ride in a Humvee
lled with mannequins (to be propped on
rooftops by counter-sniper Marines) to the
wail and acrid smoke of my 1969 Pontiacs
roasting tires during a drag race in high
school, to the past-tense conjugation of
a form-four Arabic verb, to the name of
my kindergarten teacher. At rst, I tried
to make sense, to understand why one
thought followed another, but was soon
beaten back by a new torrent of unconnect-
ed thoughts and memories. My mind was
a wasp trapped in a jar, bouncing furiously
against its walls and ceiling.
I spoke with quiet apprehension: if
I opened my mouth too wide, the tear
across my chin would slit open and the pus
of infection colonizing its borders would
stream watery-yellow down my chin
and neck.
Mom, I need to get out of here.
I know, dear, you will, but rst you
need to heal a bit more.
The rst drops of an oncoming storm of
depression began to fall, as I realized that
I had failed, that my mind had stumbled,
that Iraq had spit me out. A year of struggle,
risk, and fatigue had resulted in a chaotic
disorder, led neatly under the label post-
traumatic stress. The fugue state that piloted
my sleeping self from my bed and out my
hotel window (as I would subsequently
piece together from the reports of a hotel
watchman) was not a state but a shadow,
from which it would take years to ee.
I
would not return to Iraq to n-
ish my work. Doctor Nazar would not
get his vaccines. I always knew that
I would eventually leave Fallujah, of course,
but I wanted to do so on my own terms.
The potent knowledge that I could just
leave whenever I wanted had sustained me:
I always knew that my seat ejected when
things got bad enough. What did the Iraqis
have? Or the Marines?
But I was ready to stay another six months
beyond the year Id already spent in
country, partly in reaction to the endless
turnover in personnel that was dogging
even the most basic government initiatives.
Every other night back in the Green Zone,
there were hail and farewell parties in
the aid compound, to bid goodbye to some
lucky soul on his or her way out and to size
up the fools who were only just arriving.
Those who left brought with them a year
of accrued but erratically documented
knowledge.
And in time, one sensed that we had
stumbled into a sweltering Macondo,
amnesiacs pinning simple labels on this
project here or that face there in a futile
attempt to exert control over a situation
that was well beyond our grasp. usaid
developed a massive database of its 10,000
projects throughout the country, but I
never knew more than three people in the
government other than myself who both-
ered to study it. The Marines maintained
their own database in Fallujah with photos
and notes, updated regularly, on each of
the sheikhs and civilian leaders through-
out Anbar province. This one was good.
Trustworthy. This one funds an ied-factory.
We gave this one money in 2005. Rumored
al-Qaeda in Iraq. This newspaper on payroll:
dont arrest editor.
We pinned these little scraps of infor-
mation to the hide of the beast, sometimes
with hope, more often with resignation. In
doing so, Americans attempted to reduce
the churning cauldron of shifting alli-
ances, insurgency, corruption, blood-feuds,
THE FIRST DROPS OF AN ONCOMING STORM
OF DEPRESSION BEGAN TO FALL, AS I REALIZED THAT
I HAD FAILED, THAT MY MIND HAD STUMBLED,
THAT IRAQ HAD SPIT ME OUT.
Spring 2011 | Number Twenty | The Berlin Journal | 47
criminal enterprise, and revenge to a
consumable broth. We hoped that once we
left Iraq and our memory faded, that these
notes, these databases, these reports would
aid whoever was mad enough to replace us
and patient enough to read. It was not to
be. Each of us came in blank, unwittingly
made the mistakes of our predecessors,
and left with fried or cynical brains. Our
replacements fared little better.
Dr. Nazars list of medications and
other veterinary supplies remained folded
inside my notebook, one of a stack that I
left on my desk in Camp Fallujah before
leaving for what I thought would only
be a week-long vacation, which, after my
accident, resulted in months of reconstruc-
tive surgery and rehabilitation. During
this time, the Marines surmised that
I wouldnt be returning, gave my desk
to someone else, and likely pitched my
notebooks into the burn pit. Within a
year, nobody working for usaid in Iraq or
the Marines knew who I was, and I didnt
know who they were. Iraqis that I worked
with were assassinated or else chased out
of the country.
Weeks after my fall, I realized that the
daily tide of Vicodin, depression, and
fatigue would soon erode the details I did
remember. After mourning the loss of my
Fallujah notebooks, I pulled blank ones
from the shelf of my childhood bedroom,
where I recuperated.
But I could not write with a normal pen.
Both wrists were broken, and my thumbs
and index ngers had been imprisoned in
blue berglass, just inches apart. I lurched
my way to the basement, where I found
a roll of duct tape and a white sock from the
laundry room. Even this degree of effort
left me winded, with a headache that felt as
though my brain was swelling against the
inner walls of my cracked skull. I worked
my way back to my room, sat down at the
desk and placed the duct tape next to the
pen and sock.
I clumsily wrapped the sock around
the pen and spent the better part of 15
infuriating minutes trying to free a corner
of the tape without the capacity of oppos-
able digits. Sweat issued relentlessly, and I
barked, to no one,
God dammit, does it have to be so hot
in here ?!
With great effort I managed to tear free
a foot-long piece of tape, which I crudely
wrapped around the sock. I lowered my
right hand over the fattened pen and
wedged it into the space between my
thumb and index nger until it lodged
tightly. I had regained the capacity to write.
The sweat made the lacerations in my
face sting. I looked at the clock, and real-
ized that an hour and a half had passed, all
for a sock-pen. A few weeks earlier, I was
coordinating tens of millions of dollars
worth of aid. People called me sir.
I wedged the sock-pen into position
over a blank page and began to write, in
nervous and oversized letters. Most pages
could hold no more than six or eight
words. I raced against the loss of memory
of a year that nearly destroyed me, lling
notebook after notebook, documenting
the recurrence of nightmares, capturing
details from Baghdad and Fallujah, writing
through my ptsd and my recovery.
O
ne morning, years later, on
a golf trip with my brothers, I read
about plans in Fallujah to convert
the amusement park into a cemetery. In
the weeks following the siege of 2004, the
Marines warehoused the dead in a potato
storage facility on the eastern outskirts of
town, until the Fallujans ploughed their
soccer eld into a graveyard. They had since
run out of room in the pitch, and were tired
of burying their dead in backyards.
Later that afternoon, I pull a wedge out
of my golf bag to pitch a ball over fty emer-
ald yards of watered suburban fairway grass
and towering oaks.
Think you can clear em ?
my brother asks.

Kirk W. Johnson founded and directs


the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies and
formerly served as the usaid Regional
Coordinator for the Reconstruction
of Fallujah. He was a Bosch Public Policy
Fellow at the American Academy in
fall 2010.
I CLUMSILY WRAPPED THE SOCK AROUND THE PEN
AND SPENT THE BETTER PART OF 15 INFURIATING MINUTES
TRYING TO FREE A CORNER OF THE TAPE
WITHOUT THE CAPACITY OF OPPOSABLE DIGITS.
The List Project
The List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies
was founded by Kirk Johnson in 2007
in order to help resettle Iraqi refugees
who aided the United States during
the Second Gulf War. The project
has brought together 250 attorneys
from eight leading law rms to offer
thousands of hours of pro bono rep-
resentation for Iraqi refugees. So far
the organization has resettled over
sevenhundred Iraqis and cultivates
grassroots support across the United
States.
The List Project was founded on
the belief that the US government has
a clear and urgent moral obligation to
resettle to safety Iraqis who are imper-
iled due to their afliation with the
United States and who can no longer
return to Iraq without fear of reprisal or
death stemming from their afliation.
Legal volunteers have formed chapters
across the United States and are help-
ing Iraqi refugees with everything from
retooling resumes to nding furniture.
The List Project also provides
recently resettled Iraqi children with
support and material resources to
adjust to life in the United States,
called List Kids. This arm of the project
sends monthly carepackages to chil-
dren to give them a sense of belonging
and to provide them resources to pro-
mote academic success. These pack-
ages include books, school supplies,
ESL materials, toys, gift cards, and
other emergency assistance.
Never before in US history has
there been such a vast group of refu-
gees with access to their own pro bono
representation by top American law
rms. The project, which receives an
average of 12 new Iraqi citizens each
week, hopes to contribute to a new
model of how refugees can be assisted
and resettled with dignity. More infor-
mation about the List Project can be
found online at www.thelistproject.org.
48 | The Berlin Journal | Number Twenty | Spring 2011
WE ARE GRATEFUL TO
FOR UNDERWRITING
THE BERLIN JOURNAL.
THIS SPECIAL ISSUE COMMEMORATING
AMERICAN ACADEMY FOUNDER
RICHARD HOLBROOKE
WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE
WITHOUT THEIR
GENEROUS SUPPORT.

THANK YOU !
Strategy is the Key to
Growth in a Credit Squeeze
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