GMF’s Founder and Chairman Emeritus Attends Chancellor Merkel’s Harvard Commencement Address
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s commencement address at Harvard University drew attention on both sides of the Atlantic as a statement of shared purpose between the United States and Europe. Her remarks came 72 years after Secretary of State George Marshall introduced the idea for an initiative to help Europe recover in the aftermath of the Second World War: the Marshall Plan. One of Chancellor Merkel’s predecessors, Willy Brandt, also announced the foundation of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) as a memorial to the Marshall Plan in 1972 with a speech at Harvard.
GMF’s Founder and Chairman Emeritus Guido Goldman attended the commencement, which also marked his 60th class reunion. At the Marshall’s Spread luncheon in Harvard’s Widener library, Chancellor Merkel spoke warmly about GMF. “I went over to her afterwards to thank her,” says Goldman. “She responded with a big smile, saying ‘Ich habe von mein Herzen gesprochen. [I spoke from the heart].’”
Of the commencement address, Goldman says, “The Chancellor made an outstanding speech, perfectly attuned to a young, graduating audience.” GMF Transatlantic Fellow Peter Sparding provided background on Twitter on the relevant history and political context for Chancellor Merkel’s commencement address.
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