Reluctantly, Germany in Europe has become a bit like America in the world, the indispensable power. It is too big, too successful, to be left on the sidelines. The danger of Russia must be confronted. The euro zone must not be left to fester, and the EU must be reformed so it does not break up. The relationship with America must be prevented from fraying over allegations of spying, and rekindled with a big trade deal.
Having acknowledged its guilt for past aggression, Germany is in danger of committing the opposite sin, inaction. Peace is not just the absence of war, but the defence of hard-won freedom. Many of those who call for “normalisation” argue that Germany must assert its interests. Actually, the burden is even greater: it now has to pursue the interests of all of Europe.