Bi-lateral relations, business, climate and other news from Germany and the Embassy
February 1, 2022 View online

Dear Readers,

You may have already heard the news: On January 25, Germany announced that it will deliver 14 Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine by the end of March. Ukrainian soldiers will be trained on the tanks beforehand, and the package will include the logistics, ammunition, and maintenance.

While announcing the agreement, which was made in close coordination with Germany’s allies and partners, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that “Germany will always be at the forefront when it comes to supporting Ukraine.” 

Another important date was Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27– an occasion to commemorate the victims of National Socialism and recall Germany’s historical responsibility for the murder of millions of Jews during that era. Their suffering is unforgotten, the Chancellor said, “as is the suffering of the survivors.” German Ambassador Emily Haber said in a video message that Holocaust remembrance means “constant vigilance against hate and anti-Semitism,” – work that never finishes.

And this week, Chancellor Scholz visited South America, where he discussed rainforest protection with Brazilian President Lula, pledging ~$200 million for the protection of Brazil’s rainforest. Scholz also wants to advance the free trade agreement with the Mercosur states..

Read more in this week’s edition of “Germany for Americans”!


The "Germany for Americans" team


Ukraine to receive German Leopard tanks from Europe

Germany will supply Ukraine with modern Leopard 2 battle tanks and allow allies such as Poland, Finland and the Netherlands to do so as well. The support package also includes training, logistics and ammunition. The tanks are to come from Bundeswehr stocks.

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“We have shown what we are made of”

During government question time in the Bundestag, Federal Chancellor Scholz stressed the importance of working closely with allies on the issue of supplying weapons. He also cited the example of the pace at which Germany had overcome supply shortages and called for that pace to be maintained on the expansion of renewable energy.

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“Friends and close partners”

At a meeting of the governments of Germany and France to mark the 60th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has paid tribute to Franco-German friendship. The Treaty was signed in 1963 and is still considered the basis for Franco-German friendship today.

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Commemoration of the victims of National Socialism

The German Bundestag commemorated the victims of National Socialism on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz recalled Germany’s historical responsibility for the murder of millions of Jews during the National Socialist era.

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Sinjar after the IS terror: How is the Federal Foreign Office supporting Yazidis in Iraq?

The IS terrorist organisation left behind complete devastation in Iraq. Yazidis in particular suffered under the IS reign of terror. Hundreds of thousands of them are still in refugee camps in northern Iraq. The German Government is working with its international partners, the United Nations and the Iraqi Government on the ground to improve the living conditions of Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq.

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Scholz and Schulze meet Lula

Free trade and environmental protection – these are the issues dominating Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s trip to South America. Together with German Minister for Economic Cooperation Svenja Schulze, he met Brazil’s new President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

“It is now crystal-clear that the future belongs solely to renewables”

In a speech to this year’s meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Federal Chancellor Scholz reflected on how last year had brought fundamental changes to Germany, but Germany had changed fundamentally as well. He stressed how Germany can be flexible, unbureaucratic and fast, and that the new German speed was the benchmark for the transformation of Germany’s economy.

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Germany continues to back free trade with Mercosur

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has made an urgent call for the free trade agreement between the EU and the South American confederation Mercosur to be concluded. The EU has been negotiating a trade agreement with the Mercosur countries Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay since 1999.

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Honoring and perpetuating the memory of the Shoah lie at the center of German identity and foreign policy. In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Ambassador Haber this week hosted the traditional meeting of Holocaust survivors who volunteer with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, with students of the German International School Washington. This year’s gathering also included a musical contribution by klezmer virtuoso Seth Kibel and his band. 

"Spending time with Holocaust survivors is perhaps the most important work I do. Remembrance lies at the center of German identity and foreign policy," the Ambassador said after the event. "And passing on memories is a crucial part of Holocaust education."


The end of Germany's phone booths

For decades, you’d fine yellow, and later pink, phone booths all over Germany. But thanks to the rise of mobile phones they’ve fallen almost entirely out of use. The very last ones are now being dismantled.

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