Walter Laqueur: Europe – Recovery Or Collapse? – Interview

Historians in the News

...Just recently Walter Laqueur published his new book ”After the Fall. The End of the European Dream and the Decline of a Continent”. This new book is much more than an update of his former book on Europe. It offers new analyses and new perspectives.

Dieter Farwick: I remember quite well the debate about your prognosis at the end of 2006. Your conclusion was based among other things upon the demographic developments in Europe with its aging and greying population and an “Islamisation” in major European cities.

Now, some five years later, are you still convinced that you were right or do you have to correct your predictions?

Walter Laqueur: I was right—but not because I am such a good prophet.. I was writing after all not about the future but described things that had already taken place. But many did not want to see them. Why? Because it is part of the human condition not to accept unpleasant facts. Because it is part of the human condition to engage in wishful thinking. It is better to be mistaken because of excessive optimism rather than be right because of pessimism. Think of Cassandra in Greek mythology. She was always right in her predictions (Apollo had given her this gift). But this did not at all add to her popularity. She was a tragic figure....

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