Resurge of pro-Americanism in W. Germany

As President Reagan arrives in West Germany this week, the country is experiencing a resurgence of pro-Americanism after much recent criticism of the United States.

Opinion polls show that more than 80 percent of the population supports friendship with the US and West Germany's membership in NATO--the highest figure in any period since the first poll was taken in the early 1950s.

And more than 150,000 people rallied at demonstrations over the weekend called by the opposition Christian Democrats in Bonn and Munich to support Mr. Reagan and endorse a strong Western alliance.

But the carnival-like atmosphere of the demonstrations also carried a political message. In the words of Christian Democratic (CDU) leader Helmut Kohl , they were meant to show that the ''silent majority'' here appreciates American friendship and protection.

The left-liberal Bonn government, which ignored the conservative rallies, is also doing its share to promote better US-German ties even if, as Chancellor Helmut Schmidt said, it does not feel the need to demonstrate for its friends in the streets.

The antinuclear peace movement, parts of which not only oppose Mr. Reagan's policies but also seek to loosen West Germany's alliance with the West, has its own ideal image of the United States.

The peace campaigners have invited singers Pete Seeger and Joan Baez to perform at their Bonn rally and are expecting a Roman Catholic bishop from Seattle to speak against the evils of rearmament.

But a string of well-coordinated bomb attacks on US targets last week showed that there is a violent anti-American fringe in West Germany. The Revolutionary Cells who claimed responsibility for the bombs said this was just the start of their reception for Mr. Reagan.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Resurge of pro-Americanism in W. Germany
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today