From World War 1 To Putin’s WW3 Threats – Dark History & The Bright Future

Dr. Philipp Ackermann is a German Ambassador to India and Bhutan. He has contributed a lot to the growing need in Germany from skilled Indian workers to changes in the student visa rules and how the backlog of Schengen visas is being addressed In this episode, we spoke about the horrors of war, the dark history of Germany, World War 2, & more. We also spoke about how the Germans were taught in school about WW2, what are his opinions on the future of wars, women in ‘burkha’, and much more.

About Jai Shankar

“I have met Jai Shankar on many occasions. He is a smart man. He has diplomat experience and skills. Now he is also a politician. The way he expresses Indian policies is masterful. He is funny and witty, and at the same time, he is sharp as a razor.”

“The diplomat should be able to communicate with anyone in this world. The second quality a diplomat should know is how to make your requirements and idea palpable to others. You need to know how others will consider your request. A politician, on the other hand, should have the ability of decision making. Dr. Jai Shankar has both of these qualities. We had lunch with him. It is entertaining and enlightening to be around him.”

Growing Up In Germany

“In Germany, as kids, we are taught about both the World Wars. It is a part of our curriculum. The second world war, I know that the Germans exclusively started it. Adolf Hilter was ideologically crazy. He started the way, and Hilter losing was expected. It did cost us a lot. The British and the Americans helped us a lot to get back on our feet.”

“In the first world war, many Indians fought for the British Army. The terrible irony of war is innocent people end up being a part of the war.”

“My dad experienced the world war. He heard the bomb blasts. He was around ten at that time. That generation suffered. They had to go through so many insecurities. I am glad that my parents were open to talking about it. We need to talk about history and know where our ancestors came from.”

World War 2

“After World War 2, with a lot of money from the US and a lot of good policies by the German government, within ten years, Germany came up. The population had reduced because of the war, so the government started getting people from Turkey and many other places. From the 60s, there was a growing Turkish population in Germany.”

“In Germany, there are two things you need, one is academics, and the second is technicians. Germany has a particular way of training everyone. So if someone is not interested in studying, they can get a diploma as a baker, plumber, or welder. They have as much recognition as a doctor in German.”

“It would not have been possible without the foreigners. German character also changed over the years. Food became better when Italy and Turkish people came in. We have 20% of original German people. It has become a global place and is the only way to survive. Diversity is important.”

On Being A Diplomat

“The best thing about being a diplomat is you live a rich life. I have been to many places around the world. I have lived in Morroco, New York, Berlin, Afghanistan, etc. In Afghanistan, I was living in a remote place in 2006. In early 2007 Tablibani’s started attacking. Few of our men died. The relationship between the diplomats and locals deteriorated. I feel we failed over there.”

About Afghanistan

“We failed as diplomats because we didn’t know enough about Afghanistan. The Taliban were very formal and conservative. They feel only they know what true Islam is. They are not open to discussions, so you can’t get far with them.” 

“For women in Afganistan, the burkha is the least of their problems. They still struggle with their role in the household. The people respect them when they wear burkha. It is wrong.”

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