This book began almost a decade ago as a conference paper on German- Czech relations. Since then German-Czech and German-Polish relations as well as my manuscript have seen a number of ups and downs. Certainly German-Czech relations are in better shape today than they were in the mid-1990s. In writing this book I have incurred a number of debts. A research grant by the American Political Science Association and two Rhode Island College research grants enabled me to travel to Europe and conduct interviews. Jeffrey Anderson and Peter Dombrowski offered advice on parts of the manuscript as did a number of conference participants and anonymous reviewers. My wife Alexandra endured my anxieties and numerous requests to read drafts. About halfway through this journey Franziska entered our lives and became the most pleasant distraction from completing this project.