“Problembewusstsein nicht vorhanden”

In the summer of 2014 several members of the Foreign Relations Committee of the German Bundestag visited Washington, DC. Their talks were overshadowed by media reports that the U.S. had been spying on the  Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND, Germany’s intelligence service) and the Verteidigungsministerum (German Ministry of Defense).

The Germans tried to help their American colleagues to understand the Empörung (indignation, anger, outrage) felt by the German people. They did not get very far, the ARD (one of Germany’s major tv networks) stated in their special report titled Problembewusstsein nicht vorhanden – Problem-consciousness non-existent.

The German parliamentarians left Washington with little hope that their colleagues in the Congress would be able to get the American intelligence agencies under control, if Members of Congress themselves were not aware (conscious) of the problems damaging German-American relations.