Monday, July 22, 2019
Arts & Life

A Berlin initiative is calling for the expropriation of private housing companies. A crazy idea or a necessary step?

By Tong-Jin Smith

Imagine you live in Berlin, one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. You really love your apartment and your neighborhood. It’s affordable, the people are nice, parks and grocery stores are just around the corner. In a matter of minutes, public transportation gets you to the center of town, with all its cultural and commercial offerings. Commuting to work is a snap. Why would you ever move?

Enter your new landlord, …

A very special relationship, Germans and their forest

By Dieter Borchmeyer

Hardly any other German myth has been cited and celebrated as consistently as that of the German forest. In Jacob Grimm’s 1835 publication Deutsche Mythologie (Teutonic Mythology), the author singled out the forest as the specific primordial site of popular belief and Germanic pagan ritual. That the myth of the forest has held firm through the irrevocable dissolution of most German myths during the apocalypse that was the Third Reich …

The wolves are back, and Germans are debating how to reconcile the large, carnivorous predators with the rural economy

By Eckhard Fuhr

At the turn of the millennium, the wolves returned to Germany. On a military training ground in the Lausitz region east of Berlin, a wolf pair was spotted raising pups for the first time in 150 years. In other words, the 21st century began with the reemergence of wild predators. It was not generally understood as a sign of the times, but rather a curiosity, an historical misunderstanding, something to …

What does the “new man” look like? And how will this man live in the future? 100 years ago, the Bauhaus in Weimar began to revolutionize the world of design. A new museum spotlights its work

By Klaus Grimberg

The contemporary being must begin anew, to rejuvenate himself, to achieve a new humanity, a universal lifeform of the people,” wrote architect Walter Gropius emphatically back in 1919. The sentence reveals the brutal disillusionment felt by an entire generation after the horrors of World War I. Their confidence in the blessings of technology had been deeply shaken by the mechanized killing and industrial annihilation of millions of young people.

But …

East Germans continue to talk about the indignities they suffered after 1989 while nurturing a victimization myth that absolves them of any responsibility

By Ines Geipel

Laura, age 19, studies theater at a dramatic arts academy in Berlin. Elektra is her greatest role. She stands at the front of the stage: “Hate is nothing. It eats itself up and it’s gone,” she says, directly to the audience. She hears their breathing. They hear hers. It’s one of the moments you go to the theater for. Laura stares at the people sitting in the dark and they …

Trans-Atlantic Book Review #03

Trans-Atlantic Book Review #03
By Lutz Lichtenberger

There is a whiff of Cold War nostalgia permeating Horst
Teltschik’s book on the geopolitical state of play. But its profound historical underpinnings form the sturdy foundation of Russisches Roulette. Vom Kalten Krieg zum Kalten Frieden (Russian Roulette. From Cold War to Cold Peace).
Teltschik spent his formative political years in the 1980s serving as then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s senior foreign policy advisor. In the 2000s, Teltschik was head …

The great historical gray area

By Lutz Lichtenberger

A new biography of Claus von Stauffenberg, the man who tried to kill Hitler, has reignited a long-running historical debate. It says a lot about the German state of mind

At midnight on July 20, 1944, four men are escorted to the inner yard of the Bendlerblock, the headquarters of German Army in Berlin. The glaring headlights of military vehicles cast the scene in a ghostly atmosphere. The firing squad …

Benjamin Balint has written a book about the long-running “custody battle” over Franz Kafka’s legacy

By Thomas Schuler

This story begins and ends with betrayal – or perhaps redemption, depending on whose perspective you take. For years, the literary legacy of one of the world’s most celebrated writers was stored in a three-room apartment in Tel Aviv and in two bank safety deposit boxes, one in Israel, the other in Switzerland. All the while, archivists worried about the condition of the papers, fearing the damage that could be …

After Germany’s early exit at the 2018 Soccer World Cup in Russia, head coach Joachim Löw finally realized it was time to build a new team

By Thomas Kistner

Joachim Loew got his act together just in time. After balking and bristling at calls for change, he’s finally put the German national soccer team on a different track. Whether this proves effective has yet to be seen, but at least they got off to a good start with a convincing 3:2 win at the European Championship qualifier. That win was all the more satisfying as it came in Amsterdam …

Dirk of yore: After 21 years in the NBA, the great Dirk Nowitzki is calling it quits. A look back at a transcendent career

By Robert Normen

A typical German residential neighborhood at night, cars neatly parked in driveways, all the lights are out, everyone’s asleep, yet in front of one of the houses is a hoop attached to the garage. A very tall and lanky man with a ball in his hands is standing 23 feet-nine inches away. He calmly launches one three-point shot after the next, and all you can hear is the soothing sound …