Latest Issue

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…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect