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The unloveable green

Germany's radical foreign minister—who evoked Auschwitz to persuade his fellow Greens to back the bombing of Serbia—is an awkward character. But Joschka Fischer deserves his place in German history

By Josef Joffe   March 2008
The Red-Green years: German Foreign Policy from Kosovo to 11 September, by Joschka Fischer

(Kipenheuer & Witsch, é22.90)

Loveable Joschka Fischer was not. Even those who liked his politics were not too fond of Germany’s first Green foreign minister, who ruled in tandem with the Social Democrat Gerhard Schröder from 1998 to 2005. Perhaps it is the curse of the super-smart autodidact. Fischer, a butcher’s son, never finished high school, but became a voracious reader and prolific writer—and often seemed impelled to prove his credentials, if not his intellectual superiority, to all those Herr Doktors who moved in the same…

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