I lived in West Berlin for 5 years, right up until it wasn’t West Berlin anymore. The funny thing is, I sort of envied my German friends and neighbors for their beautiful quality of life. West Berlin in the late eighties was an incredible place.

But they all seemed to envy me. Or maybe that’s going too far. I always felt appreciated at least just for being an American. Being an American who spoke good German made me pretty popular.

Wow, how times have changed. Now, the Germans I still know seem to try not to show that they’re treating me with either pity or suppressed anger.

I hope we can turn that around as a nation. I am not entirely optimistic, and I’m afraid that last bit of phrasing is British understatement.