Thursday, November 14, 2019

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 …

Can’t we just stay poor?

By Jan-Philipp Hein

Berlin is – famously – poor but sexy, yet the city is now booming. Its tens of thousands of new arrivals could renew the German capital, but Berlin’s older established residents see it all as a plague.


There are few places in Berlin where one can simultaneously experience prosperity and misery better than around the Schönleinstrasse subway station. Anyone exiting a subway train at this stop on the German …

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 …

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 …