Friday, January 11, 2013
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.
Monday, December 24, 2012
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.
Friday, October 12, 2012
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.
Friday, October 05, 2012
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.
Friday, June 22, 2012
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.
Friday, May 18, 2012
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.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
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.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
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.
Monday, March 05, 2012
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.
Friday, December 09, 2011
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.
Friday, December 09, 2011
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.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
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.
Monday, December 05, 2011
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.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
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.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
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.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
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.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
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.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Greek Prime Minister George Panpandreou is in Germany to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss a new strategy to keep his country from defaulting on its debt. Greece needs a further €8 billion to pay its bills. Without it, hundreds of thousands of civil servants will not get paid. Early Tuesday, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said his country will receive bailout funds.
Friday, September 02, 2011
In June 1961, Nikita Khrushchev called Berlin "the most dangerous place on earth." American and Soviet fighting men and tanks stood only yards apart. Frederick Kempe talks about what made Berlin so dangerous. His book Berlin 1961 is based on a wealth of new documents and interviews, filled with fresh insights, and is a masterly look at key events of the 20th century, with powerful applications to these early years of the 21st century.
Friday, September 02, 2011
In this 1965 Overseas Press Club Luncheon, Hallie Burnett, novelist and publisher, describes her experience in Berlin in August, 1961. On assignment for Reader’s Digest, Burnett was charged with reporting on the conditions of the East German refugees, who were “coming over at that time at about 2,000 a night.” Amidst a quiet week, she describes the night of August 13 when the foundations for the Berlin wall were laid. She describes standing among Berliners at the Brandenburg Gate, who were so shocked they had not yet found their voices to protest.