On the evening of Monday, January 9, the American Academy in Berlin hosted a farewell dinner in honor of the outgoing United States ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, the Honorable John B. Emerson and Mrs. Kimberly Marteau Emerson. The dinner was followed by a speech delivered by former German ambassador to the United States, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, and Academy trustee Wolfgang Ischinger, followed by a keynote address by Ambassador Emerson. It was one of the last speeches he delivered ambassador to Germany.
Populism is not a new phenomenon in the United States. In this lecture, economist Barry Eichengreen will review a century and more of economic populism in America and place the historic November 2016 election of Donald Trump as President of the United States in that historical context. He will analyze how mainstream American politicians and institutions have responded to populist movements in the past, and identify circumstances and approaches that have enabled them to respond more -- and less -- successfully to the populist challenge.
Ioana Uricaru's screenplay Paperclip is based on historical events, especially Operation Paperclip, the US military's program of recruiting German scientists at the end of World War II. This intelligence operation, which made it possible to establish the American space program, is named after the office supplies used to affix a new set of paperwork—and therefore a new identity—onto the scientists' files. It also became the target of controversy decades later, as the scrubbed biographies of some of its beneficiaries came back to haunt them. This fictionalized version of the operation focuses on the moment when two representatives of the US military are confronted with the meaning of their mission. Paperclip uses authentic historical events as a substrate from which difficult questions can grow and develop, challenging viewers to look very closely at the raw reality of human behavior and its consequences.
Historian Rebecca Boehling examines divergent Western Allies' theories behind denazification and how they implemented their policies once on the ground. How, she asks, did denazification develop from the intent to come to terms with, if not confront, the past, and to attempt a level of reconciliation conducive to economic recovery and democratization? Using a broad chronological and geographical framework of transitional justice, she uses the case study of Berlin to explore how the Western Allied theories were put into practice—first by the Allies and then by Germans.
There are more than two hundred surviving manuscripts of Frankish capitularies—royal laws divided into chapters. Though they were produced by kings and courts, they were mostly copied by local authorities who decided to use them for their own purposes. Jennifer Davis's lecture, the title of which is eponymous with her most recent book, Per capitularios nostros: Law and its Uses in the Frankish Kingdoms, examines how these laws were used in different ways over time, revealing changes in Frankish politics, society, and culture. Her focus on manuscript evidence -- many of them located in Berlin -- allows her to look at both what kings intended and how Frankish law was used.