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Elbphilharmonie  











The Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg


                  What's New
The massacre of the Herero and Nama people is widely recognized as the first genocide of the 20th century. How should Germans today work to heal this "colonial-era wound"?  (The Guardian, 12/25/16; The New York Times, 1/21/17) There's a lot of Vergangenheitsbewältigung going on in the top auction houses for contemporary art.  (The Guardian, 2/13/17) "The €789m Elbphilharmonie is an astonishing building: unpredictable, unforgiving and not entirely beautiful, but also generous, open and profound in its relationship with the docks, the city and the sky."  (Financial Times, 12/2/16; Deutsche Welle, 1/9/17; The New York Times, 1/10/17)


                  Germany, the United States, and the new world disorder
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) "West Germans of Senfft’s generation knew how fragile democracy was, and did the daily work of strengthening it."  (Financial Times, 2/8/17) "For Germany, Trump poses a threat with no clear solution."  (Foreign Affairs, 1/29/17; German Marshall Fund, 2/3/17; Spiegel Online - International, 2/5/17; The New York Times, 2/6/17)


                   Music
Ute Lemper brings "Songs of Eternity" and an important message for today to Washington DC.  (The Washington Post, 2/3/17) In memoriam: Jaki Liebezeit (1938-2017), "the rigorously minimal and quietly influential drummer for the 1970s German experimental rock band Can."  (The Guardian, 1/23/17; Rolling Stone, 1/23/17; The New York Times, 1/25/17) Take a tour of Germany's grandest pipe organs with Akhil Sharma.  (Financial Times, 1/19/17)


                  Art & Design
There's a lot of Vergangenheitsbewältigung going on in the top auction houses for contemporary art.  (The Guardian, 2/13/17) How did the Protestant Reformation influence visual arts? 2017 offers numerous opportunities for you to see for yourself.  (Financial Times, 12/26/16) Manaf Halbouni has erected a striking, 12-meter-tall memorial to the residents of Aleppo in the heart of historic Dresden.  (Deutsche Welle, 2/7/17; The Guardian, 2/7/17)


                  Books & Ideas
Remember the girl who played with matches instead of listening to her cats? Here's a fun new translation of the classic Struwwelpeter poem. (The Paris Review, 2/15/17) Dive into Stuart Jeffries' Grand Hotel Abyss, the witty history of the Frankfurt School that we've all been waiting for.  (The Washington Post, 9/28/16; The Guardian, 11/3/16) Günter Grass’s "greatest regret seems not to have been that life per se is finite but that creativity is too, and the loss of his earlier deftness grieved him." Vonne Endlichkeit is now available in English (Of All That Ends, trans. Breon Mitchell). (The Arts Desk, 12/4/16; The Spectator, 12/31/16)


                  Film
"Marx and Engels meet cute" in The Young Karl Marx, an intelligent communist bromance directed by Raoul Peck.  (The Guardian, 2/12/17) "The dead are haunting We Were So Beloved, Manfred Kirchheimer’s personal documentary, from 1986, about the Washington Heights community of German Jewish people who escaped or survived Nazi Germany."  (The New Yorker, 2/13/17) Skip Vincent Perez's new film Alone in Berlin and read Hans Fallada's novel instead.  (Variety, 2/15/16; NPR, 1/12/17)


                  Theater
From the land of "long entertainment," Wagner's Ring Cycle is the original binge-watching experience.  (The Washington Post, 4/14/16) See a recreation of the Lichtburg rehearsal space and much more, in a Bonn exhibition devoted to the work of Pina Bausch.  (Deutsche Welle, 3/4/16) See and hear how Wagner's "Ring" was forged, in a new exhibition at NYC's Morgan Library & Museum.  (The New York Times, 1/28/16; The New York Review of Books, 2/25/16)


                  History
The massacre of the Herero and Nama people is widely recognized as the first genocide of the 20th century. How should Germans today work to heal this "colonial-era wound"?  (The Guardian, 12/25/16; The New York Times, 1/21/17) Welcome to Heligoland, "an apt location from where to rethink the Anglo-German past."  (The Economist, 2/18/17) The extent of narcotic consumption by Nazi soldiers and Hitler has surprised even those who have spent decades researching this era." (The New York Times, 12/9/16; The New York Review of Books, 3/9/17)


                  Et Cetera
"While others saw refugees, this German professor saw human potential."  (NPR, 2/9/17) "Germany has a soccer team made up entirely of writers."  (PRI, 1/24/17) Just in time for an anxious election season, Germany's political fringe showcases its own charismatic xenophobe.  (The New York Times, 1/18/17)