Friday, August 23, 2019

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Capital look: Coolness is the Berlin fashion scene’s biggest asset

By Julia Hackober

On the eve of Berlin Fashion Week, a group of bloggers, journalists and Berlin celebrities have gathered at Colette, the brasserie run by star chef Tim Raue. They were invited by Vreni Frost, one of Berlin’s first and foremost fashion bloggers. There’s boeuf bourguignon and nougat mousse, and it just so happens that Sahra Wagenknecht and Oskar Lafontaine – a powerhouse left-wing couple and two of Germany’s most famous political …

Perfectly suited: Berlin designer Patrick Hellmann is preparing to take Manhattan

By Claudia von Duehren

German perfection, French charm, Moroccan temperament and American modernity – these are the characteristics Patrick Hellmann (64) uses to describe his own designs. But they are also an apt description of this Berlin designer himself. His father was a Berlin fashion merchant, his mother was Spanish and he was born in Casablanca in 1955. The language spoken at his father’s studio was Italian, and the family spoke French at home. …

Berlin: An epic graphic novel

By Jason Lutes

I graduated from art school in 1991 with no clear idea of what to do with my life. I was interested in “alternative” comic books – which is to say, comic books that were not about superheroes – and I knew that the best-known publisher of such books was based in Seattle, Washington. On the off chance that I could land a job with this publisher, I drove the 3,000 …

Berlin Wedding: A district in the process of reinventing itself

By Julia Boek

It’s a typical afternoon in Berlin-Wedding, not far from Leopoldplatz. The radiant early-spring sun is shining down, so much so that the Turkish barber has put a rack of wet towels out on the sidewalk to dry. In contrast, the cigarette smoke at Cafe Morena hangs heavy in the air. Wolle, the tavern’s retired proprietor, and Paule, one of his regulars, are drinking their morning beer in the still-empty pub. …