Monday, April 15, 2024

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 …

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 …

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 …

An obituary for US Senator Richard Lugar

By Detlef Prinz

Trans-Atlantic relations have suffered a number of heavy blows in recent times. The latest loss is a sad one indeed: The death of US Senator Richard Lugar leaves us mourning the loss of a great statesman, a loyal friend to Germany and campaigner for a free world. Alongside Senator John McCain and former President George H.W. Bush, Lugar counts as one of the great trans-Atlantic figures of our time.

Richard …

The US is pursuing a protectionist agenda that breaks with its own ideals

The US is pursuing a protectionist agenda that breaks with its own ideals
By Alexander Hagelüken

You have to give Donald Trump credit for at least one thing: He never hid his feelings about China. One year before he was elected 45th president of the United States, he wrote in his manifesto Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America: “There are people who wish I wouldn’t refer to China as our enemy. But that’s exactly what they are.”

An erstwhile trading partner becomes a stated …

Despite all the US president’s statements to the contrary, the Americans are expanding their military presence in Germany

By Nana Brink

Several times a month, Anja Pfeiffer, the mayor of Weilerbach, drives to “her” construction site, she likes to say with a laugh. At the outer edge of her municipality, directly across from the US air base in Ramstein, the Americans are building a new hospital. The diminutive mayor is a welcome guest at these site consultation meetings. She knows her stuff. Since 2011, when she first learned of the project, …

The Bundeswehr is plagued by understaffing and equipment shortages, but policymakers reject a significant budget increase

By Lorenz Hemicker

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the CDU’s brandnew chairwoman and a leading candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor, has already started taking warm-up laps. At the recent “Denk ich an Deutschland” conference organized by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft in Berlin, the former minister president of Saarland mused aloud about the manufacturing of a European aircraft carrier, stating that such a project would give expression to the …

Germans complain about Donald Trump and the decline of the liberal order, but they’re doing little themselves to defend it

By Christoph von Marschall

Donald Trump is causing Germans so much emotional grief these days that they can no longer soberly distinguish what’s good and bad for Germany, what poses a tangible danger to the country and what is, plainly put, just terribly annoying. At one point in time, Germans knew for certain that Russian missiles were pointed directly at them – and that it was US weapons that were protecting them from attack. …