Honor for Sir Christopher Clark: The historian from Australia was awarded the Charlemagne Medal (“Médaille Charlemagne”) in Aachen on Thursday. This honors “an outstanding chronicler of recent European history” who has “explained to us time and time again why the world is sometimes different,” says the laudatory speech.

The author of the highly acclaimed work “The Sleepwalkers” – an analysis of the genesis of the First World War – then swam against the tide in an interview in which he expressly criticized the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and his cautious actions in the current Ukraine crisis praised.

“As for Olaf Scholz: I think this hesitation is absolutely right, and it also befits the statesman of a peace-loving nation,” said the Cambridge-teaching scientist of the German Press Agency.

It is “a bit perverse” if the Germans are now expected to give up their previous policies almost overnight. “Of course that takes time. And I think the process is already underway.” He cannot judge whether the arms deliveries could have been made faster, but he supports Olaf Scholz’s general line.

“I think Olaf Scholz hit the right note,” Clark continued. “I’m also thinking of his speech in Düsseldorf, when he was drowned out by the hooting of the crowd, when he said: It must seem cynical to a citizen of Ukraine when he is told to defend his country without weapons. That was a great moment.”

He thinks it is “absolutely essential” that Scholz continue to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “There is no other way.”

Clark (born 1960), who lives in England, teaches as a professor of modern European history in Cambridge.