WHe who visited Alfred Grosser in recent years was always surprised at how alert and insightful he was about German-French relations. The relationship between the two countries was the life theme of the European, whose biography was marked by the upheavals of the 20th century. He died in Paris shortly after his 99th birthday on Wednesday, as his son Pierre Grosser announced on Thursday.

Alfred Grosser once summarized his life motto as follows: to be satisfied without being satisfied, to receive and give as much joy as possible. The tireless mediator between France and Germany never forgot the latter. His former students at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (“Sciences Po”) still rave about him and his weekly “current hour,” in which he commented on what was happening in Germany and often in the world in a sharp-tongued and funny way. He worked at the elite university for 36 years, which is trying to continue his work with an “Alfred Grosser Chair”.