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Germany looks east

Is Germany taking over in central and eastern Europe? The country has re-established a dominant presence in its eastern hinterland. But, apart from friction with the Czechs, it has been welcomed.

By Steve Crawshaw   January 1997

Germany has been a part of our destiny, our inspiration as well as our pain,” said the Czech president V?clav Havel in 1995, “a source of traumas… as well as of standards to which we aspire; some regard Germany as our greatest hope, others as our greatest peril.”

Large parts of central and eastern Europe have been subject to cultural, economic and military domination by Germany over many centuries: from the German knights’ conquest of the Slavs, through the German-Russian treaty of Rapallo, to the barely healed wounds of the second world war. This has left a curious mixture of…

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