Douglas Richard Hurd, Baron Hurd of Westwell CH CBE PCis a British Conservative politician who served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major from 1979 to 1995...
People know they are lacking something, they are constantly wanting some kind of spiritual guidance.
But Germany will always suffer, I fear, from the intensely dramatic character of the crimes of the Third Reich.
Margaret Thatcher was fearful of German unification because she believed that this would bring an immediate and formidable increase of economic strength to a Germany which was already the strongest economic partner in Europe.
There are thus great swathes of the past where understanding is more important and reputable than judgement, because the principal actors performed in line with the ideas and values of that time, not of ours.
We must admit that history is enjoyable to a large extent because it enables us to pass judgment on the past.
But it cannot follow that because weapons and troops are now being deployed we are bound to go to war.
Men like Hitler and Stalin and their immediate lieutenants cannot plead in defence of their actions that these were justified by the accepted values of that time.
A genuinely democratic Iraq might well act as a fresh spur.
There is nothing false or arrogant about German pride in German technical and business skills.
It was essentially for self defence that we went to war in Afghanistan and would go to war in Iraq.
There is no consensus even today on the merits of Napoleon - and certainly no agreement on the rights and wrongs of the origins of the First World War.
It is normal for politicians in all countries to profess themselves the pupils of history, anxious to draw the right lessons from her teaching.
The first two Prime Ministers whom I served, Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher drew strikingly different lessons from the Second World War.
Wisely used history can give pleasure and provide us with a useful tool; but we should not become its slaves.
People are very interested in politics, they just don't like it labelled politics.
We, Britain and Germany, can neither of us be happy about our handling of the Iraq war.
Despite this lamentable lack of balance in our education I do not believe that either children or adults in my country are permeated by a widespread hostility to Germany.
I may be wrong in that, but not I think in putting the questions. In our modern democracy the government needs not a unanimous but a general support for war before it orders our forces to fight.
It depends on how it is done but what we are drifting into, which is that people grow up without any sense of a spiritual dimension to life, is just impoverishing.
Margaret Thatcher, growing up in a bombed and battered Britain, derived a distrust which has grown with the years not just of Germany but of all continental Europe.
No military timetable should compel war when a successful outcome, namely a disarmed Iraq may be feasible without war, for example by allowing more time to the UN inspectors.
We should be wary of politicians who profess to follow history while only noticing those signposts of history that point in the direction which they themselves already favour.
Neither the Iraqi people, nor other Arab governments nor indeed Islamic fundamentalists have any reason to admire or trust Saddam Hussein.
Our motives (for war against Iraq) are becoming mixed as extra motives are thrown into the pot.
History provides no precise guidelines.
Ten Downing Street is a house, not an office. That is its most important characteristic.
The tragedy of 9/11 galvanised the American superpower into action, leaving us in Europe divided in its wake.
Prison is an expensive way of making bad people worse.
People are very interested in politics, they just don't like it labelled 'politics'.
War on Iraq runs the risk of turning the Middle East into an inexhaustible recruiting ground for anti- western terrorism.
Diplomacy is unfashionable in the world of knee-jerk reaction and the dogmatic sound bite on television.
If Margaret Thatcher had been Prime Minister at the time, there would have been no Treaty of Maastricht.
Some people find it difficult to argue with a woman Prime Minister and shrivel up.
Silence is regarded as a sort of sin now, and it has to be filled with a lot of gossip and soundbites.
While hard work remains ahead of us, our efforts are starting to show results.
They have to weigh the undoubted benefits of ... (Iraqi President Saddam) Hussein's overthrow against the risk of turning the Middle East into an inexhaustible recruiting ground for anti-Western terrorism.
Indeed it is a characteristic of most human beings, whether politicians or not, to flatter themselves on their knowledge of history.
I do not envy the British Cabinet or the Bush administration their choice,
I believe that Egypt in its own way, the Palestinians when they are given a chance, and others will before long move towards greater democracy.