Thursday, November 14, 2019
Arts & Life

After five years as director of the Jewish Museum Berlin, Peter Schäfer is throwing in the towel

By Agnes Monka

People will judge you by your actions, not your intentions.” So goes the adage that even well-meant behavior may result in unforeseen condemnation. Or, in other words: It’s not enough just to want to do the right thing. In this sense, the last few months must have been rather painful for Peter Schäfer, the highly esteemed German scholar of ancient religious studies. Indeed, the former director of Europe’s largest Jewish …

A black box on an aquarium

By Jan Kepp

The small Saxony-Anhalt city of Dessau hasn’t always had it easy. During World War II, an aircraft and vehicle factory located here drew 20 devastating Allied air raids on this city, after which barely one stone was left untouched. Builders in the GDR cleared more space in what remained of the town to build a model socialist city, and after the official demise of East Germany in 1990, profiteers hurriedly …

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra are celebrating a successful collaboration

By Klaus Grimberg

Boston can look forward to some major concerts. In late October, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra will round off Germany Year 2018/19 in the US with three joint performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) at Boston Symphony Hall.

The close collaboration between the two world-famous orchestras under joint principal conductor Andris Nelsons is illustrative of the Germany Year motto of “Wunderbar Together.” The musicians have been building a cultural bridge …

A day at the museum

By timesmedia


West Germany’s “Economic Miracle” in the 1950s was more or less driven by the coal and steel industries in the Ruhr Valley. The myth of the Federal Republic climbing its way out of the fiscal hole left by the war through backbreaking, honest work is based on the media imagery of the time: toilers and machines in meaningful harmony, hard-earned transformation leading inevitably to pervasive middle class prosperity. One …

Gabriele Tergit’s epic novel about a Berlin family dynasty is being rediscovered. It is a literary triumph

By Robert Normen

This is Berlin, that pulsating cosmopolis: parties and clubs, the fables and follies of dating life, a bustling startup scene with new technologies bringing riches to self-made entrepreneurs, female empowerment and culture wars where big-city liberal lifestyles clash with right-wing populism.

But this is not the Berlin of 2019. No, indeed. It is the thematic outline of life in the city between 1878 and 1948. It is the Berlin of …

And the border guard wept: How we came to film the decisive moments of the fall of the Wall at Bornholmer Straße

By Georg Mascolo

I remember the feeling well – a mixture of frustration and disappointment. It was the morning after we’d shot what we thought was going to be some incredibly exciting and spectacular footage of the opening of the Berlin Wall. November 9, 1989, marked the climax and the grand finale of a peaceful German revolution – and it had been a Thursday. But the Spiegel TV news magazine I was working …

Sunset in the east – The culture of the GDR is fading with time

By Leonid Mlechin

November 9, 1989, was the day the world first experienced sympathy for the Germans. In fact, the international community was surprised to find out that that the Germans were even capable of experiencing deep human emotions. And it seems to me that East and West Berliners had never – neither before this day, nor after – been so truly happy for each other.

East Germany disappeared within a matter of …

The James Simon Gallery has finally opened its doors

By Nicola Kuhn

It is the cornerstone of Berlin’s Museum Island. But what may sound like a dotting of the “i” in “island” is in reality an imposing 10,900-square-meter edifice that, after 180 years, has now brought the final touches to a unique architectural ensemble in the center of the city. The James Simon Gallery – the new entrance building for Museum Island – is the sixth and final element in the ensemble, …

“People in the GDR took collective leave of each other every evening via West German TV”

“People in the GDR took collective leave of each other every evening via West German TV”
By Lutz Lichtenberger and timesmedia

Lutz Lichtenberger spoke with Klara Lakomy and Florian Havemann.

The German Times: Ms. Lakomy, on November 9, 1989, you were a little girl. What do you remember about that night?

Klara Lakomy: I remember that I was put to bed like always after Sandmännchen, the kids’ TV show, but strangely, it was my grandparents who put me to bed, as my parents weren’t home. I was shocked; I was …

10/10 Berlin bucket list

By Sabine Bärenklau


The Sophie Gips Höfe is an incomparable ensemble of carefully refurbished fin-de-siècle brickworks, Biedermeier-style buildings, contemporary architecture, traditional ways of life and modern art. In the mid-1990s, art collectors Erika and Rolf Hoffmann renovated a brick complex – once home to a sewing-machine factory, a bike-chain factory and other trades – and transformed it into lofts. Now, every Saturday, on the fourth floor, they …