The Legend of Anti- wall Diplomacy
By By Jorgji Kote
Albanian Daily News
Published April 4, 2016

When he was appointed on the top of German diplomacy in 1974 in the German government coalition, few believed in the abilities of Hans Dietrich Genscher in this mined field, when the Cold War was in its peak, with 'inflation' of dangerous and various crises, especially for the then Germany. Moreover, in 1972, he had suffered probably the only failure as former Interior Minister in managing the situation after the terrorist operation of kidnapping the Israeli team during the Olympic Games in Munich.

But, very soon and then for 18 years on top of German diplomacy, Genscher turned into a 'giant' of diplomacy at planetary level. Thus, his recent passing away at the age of 89 has shocked the entire German and international politics and diplomacy. One of the main diplomats has passed away, who has engraved the history of modern times of Europe and world with his visions and realpolitik.

Not simply and only thanks to his unprecedented longevity on top of the diplomacy of a country like Germany, above all due to the epochal dimensions of Genscherism in the current diplomacy. But even due to the extremely particular circumstances that Germany and Europe faced before, during and after the German unification. The emblematic former chancellor and his ally Helmut Kohl estimated him as 'fellow traveler and the most distinguished foreign minister of Germany and world, who has given a tone to international politics and diplomacy'.

Meantime, the historical former secretary of the US Department of State, James Baker said with deep sadness that 'freedom lost a great champion'. Being an active participant of some government cabinets led by '24-carat' leaders, Brandt, Schmidt and Kohl, and participant in the World War II, Genscher experienced the Nazi dictatorship and the communist totalitarian one in the former East Germany. He became very soon a determinant participant and actor in the strengthening of pluralist democracy and market economy.

He was one of implementers of the great historic acts and treaties of the famous German Ostpolitik, actor and signatory of the historical Helsinki  Process, a renowned manager of various violent and military crises all over the world and undoubtedly a fighter and distinguished contributor of the German and European reunion. He is the top diplomat who contributed like no one else before to give the deserved international dimension to the modern German diplomacy in Europe and world at all levels.

Along with the other legend, Henry Kissinger, Genscher is considered 'the father of shuttle diplomacy', travelling towards the world's hottest spots. He was among the first to practice the so-called 'charm diplomacy' and 'soft power', extremely effective even in the current diplomacy.

The pole star of Genscher's activity as a top diplomat of a divided country was from the beginning until the end the demolition of walls and bunkers of any kind, not only in Berlin, but wherever they were built. Genscher was engraved in the memory of mankind that day on September 30, 1989, when from the balcony of German Embassy in Prague he articulated his legendary half-sentence, that was completed in chorus by 4,000 eastern Germans sheltered there who were trying to go back to the Federal Republic of Germany.

The historical balcony of Prague was the prelude of the demolition of the Wall of Berlin one month later. It is known that the official act of German reunion on October 3, 1990 was extremely facilitated, among others, even the persuasive credibility that Genscher and Kohl, as a serious and loyal partner, had created.

In this line, Genscher became a friend of Central and East Europe countries, supporting the process of acceleration of their approach and adherence in the EU. The Balkans was and remained in the center of attention of Genscherian politics and diplomacy. The then Germany accelerated the process of the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, recognizing the independence of Croatia and Slovenia and helping other countries in the trip towards European integration.

Genscher proved to be a true friend of our country in some of the most difficult situations of its history. Opposing with his diplomatic subtlety the backward mentality of the then regime, which posed as condition the dark German past during World War II, from which the entire German political class clearly distanced long time ago, Genscher proposed to direct the attention on the common future of both countries, as the best and most stable foundation of our new friendship and cooperation relations. 

Therefore, on October 2, 1987, arrived in Tirana to inaugurate the establishment of diplomatic relations and along with it he placed the cornerstone of the headquarters of the German embassy in Tirana. The latter, only three years later, became the shelter of thousands of Albanian citizens who challenged red totalitarianism, in search of a new life in true peace and democracy. He visited our country again in May 1992, only few days before resigning at the height of his success. His last political act towards our country was the clear confirmation of the German and European political support for the future processes of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Genscher remained until the end of his life a political personality that was honored, adored and wanted by all German political forces. He was a precious advisor, wanted by the entire German political class.

This is why Genscher remains a major point of reference, especially in the current conditions of serious crises, especially those related to asylum and international terrorism. His model and emblematic achievements clearly prove the veracity of the motto of this legend of world diplomacy that with long-term views, small steps, vision and courage, politics and diplomacy may truly become the art of the possible.  

(Daily Gazeta Shqiptare, April 3, 2016)

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