This year’s grand marshals were Ambassador Peter Witig and Olympic Gold Medal skater Katarina Witt. Baron von Steuben was an Honored Guest (top photo-right). As is custom the parade was followed by Oktoberfest in Central Park.
While watching the parade march up Fifth Avenue, past the World War I monument, one couldn’t help but recall the events of 100 years ago and how they continue to resonate.
In 1916 Germany tried to end the war, but Britain wouldn’t hear of it — wanting to destroy Germany and knowing the U.S. would enter the war on their side after the 1916 election (even though Wilson had run on the promise of keeping the U.S. out of the war). Wilson’s aid Colonel House made it known in England that he planned to get in. Wilson also made the Russian revolution a precondition for U.S. involvement, not wanting to support the Czar. So by playing interventionist, on behalf of prominent Zionists (Brandeis), who got Palestine out of the deal, the U.S. laid the groundwork for Hitler, the Holocaust and the Soviet Union.
Today U.S. intervention and support for regime change in Libya and Syria has created a new holocaust and a refugee crisis that undermines peace and stability everywhere. Good of Germany to support the refugees (even with a few bad eggs). By doing so they express a goodness that others would do well to emulate.
Photographs: Stephen Wise