Thursday, November 14, 2019
Arts & Life

When Neil Armstrong, “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins flew to the moon 50 years ago, they used German technology

By Philip Artelt and Nana Brink

Nothing is impossible in the land of opportunity. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,” said US President John F. Kennedy in 1962. And he wasn’t the only one who believed in the unlimited possibilities ahead. On July 21, 1969, US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon, …

Zee Germans & their dogs: Dogs are popular pets all over the world, but there’s something special – one might say odd – about the Germans’ relationship with their four-legged friends

By Bettina Weiguny

In Germany, you can joke about everything,” quipped Peer Steinbrück recently, “except about dog owners.” And Steinbrück, a former German finance minister under Angela Merkel, would know. While still a politician for SPD, he became well known for his quick wit, and today, after retiring from politics, he has been touring the country on a regular basis, performing in a satire show with popular German political satirist Florian Schroeder. In …

Trans-Atlantic Book Review #04

By Lutz Lichtenberger


In the late 1990s, Heinz Bude became a star German intellectual. The sociology professor wrote an essay published by a small publishing house on low-quality paper: “Generation Berlin” perfectly captured the Zeitgeist. Berlin was the nation’s new capital and Bude detected a spirit of transformation in its wake. There would be no more ill-fated notions of German destiny, as evidenced by the horrors of Nazi ideology, or …

Harald Jähner’s story of the first 10 years after the demise of the Nazis has mesmerized German readers

Harald Jähner’s story of the first 10 years after the demise of the Nazis has mesmerized German readers
By Lutz Lichtenberger

In March 1952, the German writer Kurt Kusenberg published what today would be called a “think piece” in a newspaper – it’s headline: “Nothing is to be taken for granted. In praise of hardship.” With more than a touch of nostalgia, the author reflected on the oddly halcyon days after the war had ended seven years hence. Nothing was working – no mail, no trains, no traffic; people were homeless …

The deadliest border in the world: Europe’s equivalent to the Mexican border is not a wall; it’s water

By Peter H. Koepf

When the catastrophe began, the maritime rescue team on board the Iuventa wasn’t anywhere nearby. In early May, 3,000 people had set out from Africa in several boats and were now floundering helplessly in flimsy dinghies and worm-eaten wooden vessels along “by far the deadliest border in the world,” as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) called the Mediterranean in 2015. The coast of Libya had long since disappeared on …

Swimming to Berlin: Their heroic flight from war-torn Syria made the Mardini sisters, Yusra and Sarah, famous all over the world.

By Verena Mayer

Two sisters. Their father is a swimming coach; both started swimming at a very young age. They trained, they competed and their lives were like those of lots of children from ordinary middle-class families. Yet there is nothing ordinary about these sisters. They come from Syria where they had to flee the war. From Lebanon they traveled to Turkey, and from there they crossed the Mediterranean to Greece. When the …

The “Wurst” is over: Berlin has emerged as a hot spot for vegetarian and vegan cuisine.

The “Wurst” is over: Berlin has emerged as a hot spot for vegetarian and vegan cuisine.
By Susanna Glitscher and Eva-Maria Hilker

When Berlin takes time to celebrate its best chefs at the annual Berlin Master Chefs gala dinner, these prize-winning culinary artists are usually asked to do the very thing they’re being honored for: cook. In 2015, Lukas Mraz – head chef at a hip Berlin restaurant at the time – was one such honoree. On that evening, he created something very special, namely a vegan tartar – albeit with a …

With the US as a role model, Berlin is working harder than any other European city to help its homeless. But the capital’s efforts also create a number of problems

By Frank Bachner

The man hit her. He hit her hard and it hurt like hell. But Sabine Müller* accepted the pain. She clung to the illusion that the man who beat her time and again loved her. It was only once he had thrown her out of the apartment – when she found herself on the street, desperate and destitute – that she knew it couldn’t have been love.

Sabine lived on …

Konrad Wachsmann was a pioneer in industrial construction and a highly regarded architecture professor in the US

By Klaus Grimberg

In his pursuit to impress the great physicist Albert Einstein, Konrad Wachsmann resolved to put on an extraordinary performance. As chief architect at the construction firm of Christoph & Unmack, which specialized in manufacturing timber buildings, Wachsmann borrowed the fancy limousine and driver of the firm’s director and set off from the small Saxon town of Niesky. It was the spring of 1929 and Wachsmann was headed to the village …

Circling the square: The brouhaha at Walter-Benjamin-Platz

By Jonathan Lutes

A week ago, I set out on a subway for Charlottenburg, one of the swankier districts in Berlin and the birthplace of Walter Benjamin (1892–1940). My destination was the square named in honor of Benjamin, the German Jewish philosopher and cultural critic who ultimately took his own life in 1940 rather than be captured and most likely killed by his Nazi pursuers.

I was determined to get to the bottom …