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Helmut Kohl  











In memoriam: Helmut Kohl (1930-2017)


                  What's New
Decades of criminal convictions under Paragraph 175 have been overturned, "a milestone in Germany’s long-running effort to come to terms with the Nazi past."  (The New York Times, 6/23/17) Hello, Marlene Dietrich! "One of the most glamorous creatures ever to grace the silver screen is back in pictures at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C."  (CNN, 6/19/17; NPR, 6/19/17) In memoriam: Helmut Kohl (1930-2017), postwar Germany's longest-serving chancellor and architect of reunification.  (The Guardian, 6/16/17; Handelsblatt Global, 6/16/17; The New York Times, 6/16/17; Spiegel Online - International, 6/16/17; Foreign Policy, 6/18/17)


                  Germany, the United States, and the new world disorder
"The times in which we could rely fully on others, they are somewhat over."  (The Economist, 5/28/17; The New York Times, 5/28/17; The Washington Post, 5/28/17; The American Interest, 5/29/17; The Berlin Policy Journal, 5/30/17) "The Germans are bad, very bad."  (Slate, 5/25/17; Bloomberg, 5/26/17; Handelsblatt Global, 5/26/17; Spiegel Online - International, 5/26/17) What does the decline of democracy look like? Ask a German historian.  (Die Zeit, 2/1/17; Los Angeles Review of Books, 2/5/17; Gothamist, 2/6/17; Slate, 2/10/17; The New York Review of Books, 2/26/17; The Nation, 2/28/17; The New York Review of Books, 4/20/17)


                   Music
Beginning in September 1965, Beat Club brought the youth rock revolution to German television viewers. (Open Culture, 5/25/17) "Through his hymns, Luther is grandfather of a musical revolution that shared and adapted, united in stomping change on the world through rousing melodies and simple words."  (BBC, 5/24/17) "The Elbphilharmonie is the concert hall that Hamburg needs. The Pierre Boulez Saal is what the world needs."  (The New York Times, 3/3/17;  Los Angeles Times, 3/5/17; The New Yorker, 5/22/17)


                  Art & Design
Hello, Marlene Dietrich! "One of the most glamorous creatures ever to grace the silver screen is back in pictures at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C."  (CNN, 6/19/17; NPR, 6/19/17) Markus Lüpertz gets a double retrospective, at Washington DC's Phillips Collection and Hirshhorn Museum, opening in May.  (Apollo, 5/20/17; The Washington Post, 5/25/17; The Washington Post, 6/2/17) Meet Gerhard Steidl, printer extraordinare. His superlative craftsmanship has earned the regard of the world's best photographers and fashion houses.  (The New Yorker, 5/22/17)


                  Books & Ideas
"Sebald’s work can put you in mind of Diderot selling his library to Catherine the Great: he seems to be downloading everything he has ever read."  (The New Yorker, 6/5/17) Alone in Berlin has a complicated backstory: "Historians in Germany allege that Fallada's fictionalised depiction of resistance to the Nazis has only helped to cover up a true story of collaboration with the communist regime that followed in East Germany."  (The Guardian, 6/17/17) Here's a double dose of book recommendations about 20th-century Germany, from Hester Vaizey and Chris Petit. (Five Books, 5/25/17; The Guardian, 5/31/17)


                  Film
In Cate Shortland's new thriller, Berlin Syndrome, handsome German stranger meets cute with Australian tourist—and then he imprisons her.  (The Guardian, 4/19/17; The New York Times, 5/25/17) If I Think of Germany at Night, a new documentary by Romuald Karmukar, is an intimate portrait of techno DJs at work. (The Hollywood Reporter, 2/14/17; The Economist, 5/22/17) "Shot in evocative black and white, 'Karl Marx City' is a sleek, absorbing detective story, a fascinating primer on mass surveillance in the pre-Snowden era, and a roving memoir of East German life."  (The New York Times, 3/28/17; NPR, 3/30/17; Los Angeles Times, 4/20/17)


                  Theater
Berlin's Volksbühne has a new artistic director (farewell, Frank Castorf)—but Chris Dercon is unlikely to get a standing ovation from the local theater community anytime soon.  (dispositio, 5/20/17; Deutsche Welle, 5/17/17; Financial Times, 5/26/17) The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Donmar Warehouse: "Any suggestion of a correlation between the leader of a certain nation and the homicidal gangsters we depict is something that the management must strictly disavow.”  (The Guardian, 5/2/17; Financial Times, 5/3/17; The Independent, 5/3/17) NYC's Segal Center hosted a preview of Elfriede Jelinek's new play, On the Royal Road: The Burgher King ("a provocative European perspective on Donald Trump's persona"), and you, too, can watch online.  (The New York Times, 3/24/17; Deutsche Welle, 3/28/17; YouTube, 3/29/17)


                  History
Decades of criminal convictions under Paragraph 175 have been overturned, "a milestone in Germany’s long-running effort to come to terms with the Nazi past."  (The New York Times, 6/23/17) In memoriam: Helmut Kohl (1930-2017), postwar Germany's longest-serving chancellor and architect of reunification.  (The Guardian, 6/16/17; Handelsblatt Global, 6/16/17; The New York Times, 6/16/17; Spiegel Online - International, 6/16/17; Foreign Policy, 6/18/17) Scientist and activist Magnus Hirschfeld "founded what’s considered to be the first gay rights organization and established the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin." (PRI, 6/14/17)


                  Et Cetera
"The storied city of Weimar, Germany (population 65,000) absorbed 900 refugees in a year."  Here's a compelling investigation of the new stories that are currently unfolding there.  (The New York Times, 4/28/17; The New York Times, 5/2/17) The "two Germanys" theory is back (with an extra helping of water metaphors!) to explain German attitudes towards Brexit. (New Statesman, 5/15/17) Handshakes, not burqas? Thomas de Maizière reignites the German Leitkultur debate.  (The Guardian, 5/5/17; The New York Times, 5/10/17; German Joys, 5/11/17)