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Opinion
Andreas Kluth

The Walls Are Going Up Again All Over Europe

From Bosnia to Belfast and Belarus, hard national borders are coming back in the worst possible way.

Europe is putting up barbed wire again.

Europe is putting up barbed wire again.

Photographer: Leonid Shcheglov/AFP via Getty Images

Whenever I’m browsing the geopolitical headlines and feeling the need for nostalgic reprieve, I think of Alsace. 

Up to World War II, the history of that region along the Rhine used to be an example of everything that was wrong with Europe. Then it became a case study in everything that could go right in Europe — and potentially the world. But as I ponder this, a pang of recognition — those headlines — wakes me from my reverie: Are we forgetting the Alsatian lesson and going back to the bad old world?