GERMANY, OSTPOLITIK | ‘The term [Ostpolitik] dates back to the rapprochement with the communist bloc begun in 1969 by Willy Brandt, West Germany’s first Social Democratic chancellor. It set in motion the normalisation of relations with East Germany and other Warsaw Pact nations, as well as easing tensions with the Soviet Union. Today Social Democrats still credit Ostpolitik for the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall. After German reunification, which required Soviet blessing, the conciliatory spirit spread to the centre-right Christian Democrats, led today by Mrs Merkel. It has also spawned the notion of Russlandversteher (“Russia-understanders”), Germans who mix sympathy for Russia with antipathy for America,’ (‘German Russophiles: Bear-backers’, The Economist 06th Feb 2016, p22).