University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

South Bend, February 25, 1969

President Nixon’s Journey to Europe

It will be difficult for Europeans to assess how profoundly President Nixon’s journey to friendly European countries is changing public opinion in America. For years public attention has been concentrated on the Far East, understandably focused almost exclusively on the War in Vietnam. American attention is again turning toward Europe. The transatlantic question is given priority in American foreign policy, striving to achieve a balance of nuclear capabilities between the United States and the Soviet Union. A sobering word was spoken during Nixon’s visit at the NATO Headquarters. Nixon explained how Europe could be meaningfully defended without being completely destroyed. Nixon’s journey has the effect that questions of NATO and the European Economic Community are front page news and have once more become subjects of editorials. After a long time, also pictures of every day life in Europe are seen on American television.

South Bend, February 27, 1969

Nixon’s Visit to Berlin

A visit to Berlin has become not only an obligatory act but also a test of courage for every new American president. Nixon’s visit to the beleaguered city not only gives the two and a half million West Berliners new confidence but also to Western Europe more self-confidence. Surprisingly, the presence of the American president can give Western Europe a sense of solidarity, which it does not find by itself. Nixon has evoked the memory of John F. Kennedy. The frozen American-European sympathies are thawing again. By his restrained appearance and effort to understand the European point of view, Nixon was able to win over the sympathies of the Europeans on his side.

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