Arnulf Baring

German lawyer, writer and academic (1932-2019)

Arnulf Martin Baring (8 May 1932 in Dresden – 2 March 2019 in Berlin) was a German lawyer, journalist, political scientist, contemporary historian and author.

Arnulf Baring (2002)


  • The current situation in the former GDR is in fact completely different than it was in our country after 1945. The regime dwarfed people for almost half a century, ruined their upbringing, their training. Whether someone calls himself a lawyer or an economist, pedagogue, psychologist, sociologist, even a doctor or engineer, it doesn't matter. His knowledge is largely useless. In most cases, there is no professional perspective today in the areas in which one has been trained. We can forgive the politically and characteristically burdened their sins, forgive and forget everything. It will be of no use, because many people are no longer usable because of their lack of specialist knowledge. They simply have not learned anything that they could bring into a free-market society.
    • Germany, what now? A conversation with Dirk Rumberg and Wolf Jobst Siedler , Goldmann Verlag (1991) p. 59
  • Germany is on the way to a western ‘GDR light’. . . . Citizens, on the barricades! We must not allow everything to go further downhill, helpless politicians let the country rot. All Germans should be our fellow Leipzigers Discover role models, adopt their slogan of autumn thirteen years ago: We are the people!
  • Many politicians, but also church leaders and do-gooders who are blind to the facts, played down the problem of a lack of integration for a long time, some even glossed it over. All camps have ignored the risk of integration, and to a large extent they still do - very often against their better judgment. Anyone who speaks truths too early is discredited and may experience a wave of indignation - like Jörg Schönbohm in the 1990s when he pointed out the danger of ghettos… We have to work hard to ensure that emigrants become Germans, that is, not only master our language, but also make our culture, history and general manners our own. This is much more than just living together multicultural.
  • Of course it is perfectly clear that the twelve years of Hitler will be with us as long as there are Germans. Even if we ourselves would be inclined to draw a line, this twelve-year period will always cling to us. It has been a disaster and the crimes have continued to damage us. But it is also true that these twelve years and the criminal traits of that time do not make up the whole of our history, that this has been a deplorable derailment, that we basically only think back with sadness about this phase, that this is just a past that does not want to pass, that German history does not accumulate in this phase, but that there were centuries of German efficiency and German peacefulness before.[...] This, too, is part of this story that we should acknowledge.
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