Guttenbergs Visit Ground Zero

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Guttenbergs Visit Ground Zero

Germany’s most popular couple make their first public appearance since taking up temporary residence in America.

Since relocating temporarily to Connecticut three weeks ago, Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and his wife, Stephanie, have kept a low profile. But last weekend they made a public appearance in New York to acknowledge the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.

Viewing the site from an elevated position high above Ground Zero on the 48th floor of the new glass-fronted tower, no. 7 World Trade Center in New York City, the Guttenbergs mused, “New York knows, like no other city, how to bear scars and yet, at the same time, to draw strength from them. Even in the worst of moments there can always come a fresh start. This is the American mentality” (Bild, September 12; translation ours throughout).

But the baron and his wife were also at Ground Zero to publicly acknowledge the Atlantic alliance, yet with a subtle twist, with the emphasis on America’s relationship specifically with Germany. Guttenberg stated to the Bild newspaper that “We are also here to show that we know that together Germany and the United States must never separate across the Atlantic.”

That alliance has undergone a degree of strain under the present anti-European bias of the current U.S. administration. Also, with the leaders of both nations, the U.S. and Germany, presently under attack for lack of leadership in their respective current series of crises, the specific alliance between Germany and America that was a bulwark of defense against Soviet threats during the Cold War is currently fraying at the seams.

When in political office, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was a declared stalwart supporter of the Atlantic alliance and a successful builder of bridges between Washington and Berlin. It will be interesting to watch his future public appearances in his land of temporary abode as he bides his time awaiting the call that must inevitably come from his beloved Fatherland in the wake of the government crisis that is rapidly building in Germany in the sunset days of the Merkel coalition government.

Watch for the baron and his wife to ultimately emerge with a higher profile than ever on the political scene in Germany.