After German Chancellor Angela Merkel received intelligence from her government that her phone was under surveillance, President Obama called Chancellor Merkel and reassured her that her phone was not being tapped. That conversation came just a few days after he had to offer similar reassurances to French President François Hollande. David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for our partner The New York Times, joins the Takeaway to discuss this latest diplomatic riff.
In the US the media have almost universally glommed on to the “blame game” narrative of the government shutdown. Reaction from around the world has been most diverse. Aviva Shen of the progressive website ThinkProgress speaks with Bob about reactions from around the globe.
John Zorn - The Dream Machine
Timothy Garton Ash discusses the new German question: Can Europe’s most powerful country lead the way in building both a sustainable, internationally competitive Eurozone and a strong, internationally credible European Union? He explores the question and looks for answers in his article “The New German Question” in August 15 issue of the New York Review of Books.
A new museum dedicated to Richard Wagner opens this weekend near Dresden. Located in a former hunting lodge, it opens as the world gets ready to mark his 200th anniversary, reports Fred Plotkin.
Though it is already two decades after the start of World War II, the shadow of Nazi Germany still looms large over this 1960 talk given by journalist and historian William L. Shirer at a Books and Authors Luncheon.
Sönke Neitzel, Professor of International History, London School of Economics, discusses his investigations into the mind-set of the German fighting man during World War II. Soldaten: On Fighting, Killing, and Dying, written with social psychologist Harald Welzer, is based on declassified transcripts of covert recordings taken within the confines of the holding cells, bedrooms, and camps that housed the German POWs, providing a view of the mentality of the soldiers in the Wehrmacht, the Luftwaffe, the German navy.
In May 1965, the Overseas Press Club hosted the German novelist Günter Grass, who had arrived in New York to teach a seminar at Columbia University.
In the Euro Cup soccer tournament today, Greece plays Germany in a big quarterfinal matchup. The game takes place in the context of tensions between the two countries over the European debt crisis. Martin Rauchbauer, Director of Deutsches Haus at NYU and Dimitris Filippidis, program director at Hellas FM discuss what's at stake in the game, what's at stake in their economies, and the ties between the two countries.
Greek-Americans, German-Americans -- are you watching today's match? What do you make of the state of relations between the two countries, and will the game help or hurt? The phones are open! 212-433-9692 or comment below.
On January 1, 2016 one of the most infamous books of the 20th century, Mein Kampf, will go into the public domain and will be published in Germany for the first time in 70 years. German media professor Nikolaus Peifer explains to Bob how Germans are trying to manage and contextualize the book’s release in order to minimalize its impact.
When traveling I like to use public transit as much as possible, and Leipzig's tram system does not disappoint.
I couldn't help but think of the semi-profane Saturday Night Live digital short "I'm on a Boat" with a group of overenthusiastic guys parading around in costumes rapping about how hot it is that they're on a yacht. I avoided both the rapping and the regatta wear, but I found myself almost unreasonably happy to be riding the tram. It's quick, it's clean, and it's predictable: monitors on the platform tell you exactly when the next tram will arrive.
First, to ride: you buy your ticket either on the platform -- or, prepare to be shocked, New Yorkers -- on the actual tram itself. (How many times have you wished for a MetroCard machine inside the turnstile?)
Once on the tram, you validate your ticket. There are no turnstiles or barriers to entry -- it basically works on the honor system. So why pay at all? Because Germany has roaming undercover ticket police who will board a tram and call out "Fahrkarten, Fahrausweise, bitte," at which point everyone is obligated to hold up their validated tickets. If you fail to show one, the fine is somewhere in the €30 to €50 range. According to a Berliner I spoke to, the Fahrkartenkontrolleur are not amused by your excuses.
Note too in the following picture --on the top center -- you'll see a pair of television monitors. These are on every tram car I rode on. The one on the right runs ads. The one on the left provides a rolling, visual station stop list.
The only unnerving thing about trams, at least if you're used to city subway systems, is that since their tracks are laid into the street, you must often cross them. OF COURSE THE TRACKS ARE NOT ELECTRIFIED. But a healthy respect for the third rail is part of my DNA and I couldn't bring myself to actually step ON a rail, choosing instead to advertise my out-of-townness by casually hopping over them.
And because they run on the street, they have their own traffic lights.
I'm sure the average German commuter is jaded. But as a transit tourist, the tram was a trip.
Andrew Nagorski discusses Hitler’s rise to power and Nazi Germany as seen through the eyes of Americans—diplomats, military, expats, visiting authors, Olympic athletes—who lived and worked there and watched it happen. Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power offers surprising twists and a fresh perspective on this era.
A small town in Germany has found that a mysterious person is leaving envelops filled with money around in an overwhelming display of generosity. Envelopes stuffed with 10,000 Euros, or about $13,000, have been found recently in the town of Braunschweig. Steve Evans of our partner the BBC reports from the scene of a generosity mystery.
A new treaty agreed to in the early hours of Friday by 23 European Union countries, including all 17 euro zone states, may be the most direct discussion of what constitutes sovereignty since the creation of the United Nations. The intergovernmental pact is a major step toward closer integration for the 17 countries that use the euro as currency, as well as the six that hope to join in the future. British Prime Minister David Cameron vetoed a plan by France and Germany to make changes to the EU treaties that would affect all 27 EU nations, saying the deal was not in the U.K.'s interests.
Twenty-three European Union countries, including all 17 that use the euro, agreed to an intergovernmental treaty that dictates strict tax and budget rules early Friday. The measure fell short of Germany and France's goal to get all 27 EU nations to back changes to the union's treaties after objections from Britain. Prime Minister David Cameron had sought exemptions for the U.K.'s financial sector. The fiscal compact, which penalizes members for breaking deficit rules, was welcomed by Mario Draghi, the new head of the European Central Bank.
Almost 1,000 delegates from Afghanistan, NATO, and neighboring countries met in Bonn, Germany to discuss the future of Afghanistan. The talks happened in the context of the planned withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan by 2014. The meeting had a sense of deja vu; 10 years ago, in this same city, in the same hotel, Afghan leaders met to discuss the future of Afghanistan. Back then, it was just months after the 9/11 attacks, the American-led invasion of Afghanistan, and the fall of the Taliban.
A crucial international conference on Afghanistan’s future began Monday in Bonn, Germany. Delegates from 100 nations are attempting to chart a long term course for the war-torn country, after international troops leave in 2014. But neighboring Pakistan, crucial to Afghanistan’s security, is boycotting the conference, following a NATO attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is to meet Thursday with his German and French counterparts to discuss euro zone issues. On Wednesday, Germany attempted to raise €6 billion in 10 year bonds, but only sold €3.6 billion. Louise Cooper, markets analyst for BGC Partners in London, has the latest.
WDET's Martina Guzman spent six weeks in the German city of Berlin, exploring a long-recognized but underreported connection between that former manufacturing giant and the Motor City. In this post, which you can hear from the radio here, she gives a first-person account of visiting Berlin and talking with several people that recognize the connection between the two cities, especially their diminished but still "sexy" industrial prowess.
Two cities, both alike in industry: Detroit, U.S.A. and Berlin, Germany. In a recent series for WDET, Martina Guzman explored the similarities and differences between the two iconic hubs of industry that came into their own in the 20th century.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel scored a major political victory on Thursday as the Parliament voted to expand the European Union's bailout fund. While the measure passed, the divisive vote had threatened Merkel's control over her own governing collation. The legislation increases Germany's share of guarantees from €123 billion to €211 billion. Six out of 17 euro zone nations still need to pass the agreement. Analysts are skeptical, saying the fund is too small to help seriously indebted European countries.