LOOKING BACK

Thatcher Opposed United Germany

Europe's most celebrated anticommunist leader was apparently less than enthused by the fall of the Berlin Wall, fearing that a united Germany might eventually produce another Hitler. A new book by former West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl recalls their clashes over the issue days after the historic event. "I told her that not even Margaret Thatcher could stop the people from deciding its own fate. She was beside herself with rage and said, 'That's how you see it! That's how you see it!,'" Kohl writes, adding that Thatcher stamped her feet in protest. In 1990, Thatcher convened a group of historians to help her evaluate her concerns that Germany could rise again. "There is no danger of a Fourth Reich," Professor Norman Stone recalled telling Thatcher, the London Times reports. "Even if there had been, the low German birth rate would mean that the new Wehrmacht would consist of old-age pensioners."