The Germanys Waiting for the Magic Words

By failing to endorse the postwar border with Poland, Chancellor Kohl stirs up old stereotypes and creates unease over unification

Technically at least, East Germany is still a sovereign nation. But that has hardly inhibited the leaders of West Germany's major political parties, who have been crisscrossing their neighbor's landscape on behalf of sister groups vying for victory in the country's first -- and perhaps last -- free elections on March 18. No one has campaigned with more gusto than West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who was in the city of Erfurt last week. When he was introduced as "the Chancellor of our German Fatherland," chants of "Hel-MUT! Hel- MUT!" rose from 100,000 citizens massed in the town square. "We are...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!