Angela Merkel reacts to the election

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

How incredibly weird that Germany is now the last defender of the West. I suppose this is when it can pay back its moral debt.

Much like her initial response to the Brexit vote — urging calm and expressing the intent to work for a close relationship with Britain no matter what — Ms. Merkel’s reaction to the election of Mr. Trump was deft.

On a fateful date when Germans are usually preoccupied with remembering Kristallnacht — the Nazis’ pogroms against Jews on Nov. 9, 1938 — and the joyous fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989, Ms. Merkel offered Mr. Trump her close cooperation but named a price: respect for human dignity and for minorities from a man who has mocked both.

Ms. Merkel had a brisk, assertive tone that was a measure of how far Germany has come since American generosity and protection enabled it to rise from Nazi defeat, first to prosper and eventually to overcome Cold War division.

“Germany and America are bound by common values: democracy, freedom, as well as respect for the rule of law and the dignity of each and every person regardless of their origin, skin color, creed, gender, sexual orientation or political views,” she said. Cooperation with the United States, she said, must be “based on these values.”

“It was stunning how she publicly laid out the rules for Trump, congratulating him but laying down conditions,” Mr. Kornelius said.

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