Almost all institutions - employment protection legislation, unions, wages, wage structure, unemployment insurance, etc. - have been alleged and found guilty to have caused this tragic development at some point in the long history of rising and persistent unemployment in Europe. US labor market institutions, assumed to leave markets unfettered, became the benchmark for Europe. Based on the assertion of neutrality of monetary policy in the medium and long run, the search for causes of European unemployment has shielded away from the policy of central banks. Actually, however, the institutional setup regarding monetary policy is very different between the FED and the Bundesbank (ECB). We argue that the interaction of negative external shocks and tight monetary policies may have been the major - although probably not the only - cause of unemployment in Europe remaining at ever higher levels each recession. We identify the monetary policy of the Bundesbank as asymmetrical in t he sense that the Bank did not actively fight recessions, but that it dampened recovery periods.