Monday, April 15, 2024
Arts & Life

Airbus has had mixed success in North America, but its hopes are still flying high

By Jens Flottau

It was 2006, and Columbus, Mississippi, was where it was all supposed to get started. EADS co-CEO Tom Enders himself came to open a new helicopter assembly plant. His company had just won a contract to build several hundred aircraft for the US Army. The UH-72A Lakota, the military version of the EC145, was supposed to serve in a variety of roles – executive transport, search and rescue as well …

The Treaty of Versailles signed 100 years ago was not a peace agreement based on reconciliation, but rather a continuation of war by other means. However, the idea that it led to the failure of the Weimar Republic is also a historical myth.

By Eckart Conze

There was a certain historical irony at work on that day in December 1918, when US President Woodrow Wilson boarded the USS George Washington on his way across the Atlantic to attend the Paris Peace Conference. The steamer was, in fact, a former German passenger ship built by the German shipping company Norddeutscher Lloyd; it had been confiscated in New York at the start of World War I and had …

The current anti-US prejudices are an expression of German self-contempt.

By Tanja Dückers

The German-American friendship has sunk so low that Germans now have more trust in China than in the United States. A recent survey commissioned by the Atlantik-Brücke and conducted by the polling firm Civey found that 85 percent of respondents rate relations between the two countries as poor to very poor.

But Germans are airing their resentment not only in anonymous polls. A number of leading intellectuals, writers, journalists and …

Misguided accusations of anti-Americanism are an effective tool for stifling debate

By Peter H. Koepf

According to Andrei S. Markovits, “anti-Americanism is a particularly murky concept because it invariably merges antipathy towards what America does with what America is.” In a 2004 book, he bemoaned what he called the “hatred of America.” Markovits could republish this book, subtitled Anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism in Western Europe, restating and updating the antipathy against America – if indeed this hate, this anti-Americanism exists.

One can heed the …

The German harmonica and African-American blues culture may be an odd couple. But they have come a long way together

By Herbert Quelle

After the voice and the guitar, the harmonica – or mouth organ, or just harp – which was first sold in Vienna in the 1820s, is the most characteristic instrument of the blues. And the first harps African-American used to make music must have come from places that lie today in Germany, Austria or the Czech Republic. In other words, all people employed in harmonica production at the time spoke …

Two German historians have co-written the story of how Hitler came to power, yet in the form of a contemporary political thriller. It’s a disturbing and entirely intoxicating read.

By Lutz Lichtenberger

Germany, November 1932. These are dark times for the Weimar Republic. While still alive, democracy is but hanging by a thread. Unemployment is dramatically high – more than five million Germans are out of work. Fights are breaking out in the streets. There’s a whiff of civil war in the air. The Reichstagswahlen – the national parliamentary elections – already the second of the year, have again failed to yield …

The people of Kallstadt are known for their hospitality and open-mindedness, yet they are skeptical about a visit by the US president to his grandfather’s hometown

By Dagmar Schindler-Nickel

When Karin Speckert is out sweeping in front of her home and gets asked by tourists where they can find the Trump house, she pretends she doesn’t know. “It drives me crazy,” says the 76-year-old. She lives across from the house where Friedrich Trump, the grandfather of US President Donald Trump, was born in 1869. Speckert explains that the current owners of the house have had enough problems with annoying …

Who is John Maynard? For many Germans, the ballad of this heroic helmsman is inextricably linked to Lake Erie and the city of Buffalo. Its author, Theodor Fontane, was born two centuries ago this year.

By Klaus Grimberg

A paddle-wheel steamer in flames on Lake Erie – hundreds of passengers in mortal danger – the safety of the shore still far off: Ask a German man, woman or child if these fragmentary images ring a bell, and their likely answer will be the name John Maynard. “Who is John Maynard? John Maynard, he was our helmsman who …”

Thus begins one of the most famous ballads in German …

Trans-Atlantic Book Review #02

Trans-Atlantic Book Review #02
By Lutz Lichtenberger

Perception Trap

For four long chapters of masterfully even-handed historical analysis, Andreas Rödder hides his political leanings – without ever being dull. The historian from the southwestern German city of Mainz asks “Who is afraid of Germany?” (Wer hat Angst vor Deutschland? Geschichte eines europäischen Problems) and lays out the conflicts over the country in the center of Europe, starting with the lead-up to World War I, spanning …

In 2018, German screenwriter and director Christian Petzold was invited to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, yet his work couldn’t be less Hollywood

By Ursula Scheer

When Christian Petzold thinks of cinema, the image that comes to his mind is Angelus Novus, a print created by the Swiss-German avant-garde artist Paul Klee two years after the end of World War I. Klee’s image depicts what philosopher Walter Benjamin referred to as “the angel of history” with spread wings and its eyes and mouth wide open. In an essay touching on this heavenly messenger, Benjamin writes that …