The Germanic countries are major players in modern European history and remain focal points in a collective Western consciousness still grappling with the aftermath of the Holocaust and the Cold War. This title distills Germany, Austria, and Switzerland's ongoing historical and political controversies for student debate and reports. Eleven issues - from German unification to Swiss neutrality -are considered and essays provide extensive background information and probe hypothetical positions that give a sense of the public responses to current events. This volume aims to energize the study of German language and culture. There are no easy answers to the questions that the issues raise, and readers have to negotiate nuanced arguments and use critical-thinking skills to defend a position. Each issue provides a "Questions and Activities" section to stimulate lively consideration of the European powers, past and present. In addition, copious use of German words aids translating skills.