Organized by the Studium generale in cooperation with the ZEIT-Stiftung as part of the event series "Germany 1945/2015 – Questions of Contemporary History," Schäuble spoke on the particular responsibility of post-1945 Germany.
Following an introduction by ZEIT-Stiftung Chairman Professor Dr. Michael Göring, Schäuble began by addressing the responsibility that stems from horrors of the Third Reich—the need to acknowledge that past generations were capable of committing such atrocities. Through this acceptance of responsibility and act of processing came a second chance for Germany: one of coexistence with human dignity and rule of law for which political and economic cooperation with other European countries continues to be essential.
During the second portion of the event, conversations with Ralph Bollmann, a freelance journalist and historian, drifted toward current issues such as Schäuble’s opinion of a declining separation of power, public attitudes toward refugees and the definition of Germany’s role within Europe. Discussion emphasized the need for moderation among conflicting viewpoints and an openness to compromise in order to ensure the continuation of a united Europe and preservation of values fundamental to the continent.
Questions from the audience covered a broad range of topics including the current situation in Poland, digitization and legal matters surrounding intelligence services.