Shifting Perceptions of Friends

Helmut Schmidt on America, the Soviet Union and Germany

It is an unprepossessing bungalow-style house unfashionably close to Hamburg's busy airport. Art books and records line the living-room walls, and a fire blazes in the hearth. A collection of Russian icons lines the stairway to the second floor. As his wife Loki sat quietly at a table near by, cataloguing flower seeds, Helmut Schmidt alternately munched cookies from a plate in front of him and inhaled snuff from a plastic box. Departing from his usual procedure, the West German Chancellor had agreed to be...

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