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Music

"A newly discovered letter suggests Johann Sebastian Bach severely neglected his duties in the years leading up to his death. Now scholars are asking: Was that due to burn-out, seeing problems or clever time management?"  (Deutsche Welle, 12/27/13)

In Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven, John Eliot Gardiner "has done a masterly, monumental job of taking the measure of Bach the man and the musician."  (The Guardian, 10/30/13; The New York Times, 12/3/13; On Point, 1/7/14; The New York Review of Books, 2/20/14)

Happy 50th anniversary to the Philharmonie!  Hans Scharoun's architecture is as impressive as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra itself.  (The Atlantic, 10/30/13)

Catch up on the musical contributions of Germany's migrant workers with two new CD compilations, Songs of Gastarbeiter and Heimatlieder aus Deutschland. (The Guardian, 10/25/13)

It's the end of era: Lou Reed has passed away, and Berlin's underground nightlife has become a coffee table book. (Spiegel Online - International, 10/18/13; The Local, 10/28/13)

"He just did what he thought was right." Christoph von Dohnanyi recalls the acts of moral courage that led to his father's execution in April 1945. Read more about Hans von Dohnanyi and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the double biography No Ordinary Men, by Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern.  (The Boston Globe, 10/12/13)   

More than 100 versions of Schubert's Winterreise are available on CD and DVD; here's a short list of the very best, by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and others.  (Financial Times, 8/28/13)

"Notable now is that the current rap scenes, gangsta versus mainstream, exist side-by-side with neither group threatening to pull out their sawed-off shotgun."  (Deutsche Welle, 8/27/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
Richard Wagner at 200: "It would be good to report that the anniversary year has yielded a raft of fresh insights. Alas, outside of scholarly precincts, discussion of Wagner is stuck in a Nazi rut. His multifarious influence on artistic, intellectual, and political life has been largely forgotten; in the media, it is practically obligatory to identify him as 'Hitler’s favorite composer.'”  (The New Yorker, 8/26/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
Bayreuth 2013: "If this Ring had a theme, it was unintentional and only occurred to me after the performance. Castorf seems like a living embodiment of the Ring's villain, Alberich, who steals the gold, renounces love and wants to rule the world."  (The New York Times, 8/1/13; Financial Times, 8/2/13;  The Guardian, 8/2/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
When Castorf meets Wagner... The Bayreuth Ring begins on July 26, and it's not going to be boring. Stay tuned!  (Gramophone, 7/22/13; Spiegel Online - International, 7/25/13)

Stockhausen "boomlet" in NYC! "Over the course of his prominent career, the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen took on myriad guises...Now, just over five years after his death...Stockhausen appears to have assumed his least-likely status of all: surefire box-office hit."  (The New York Times, 7/12/13; The New York Times, 7/19/13)

"It's great to be in East Berlin," Bruce Springsteen told a GDR audience of 300,000 in July 1988. "I came here to play rock 'n' roll for you, in the hope that one day all barriers will be torn down." Erik Kirschbaum's new book shows how The Boss rocked the Berlin Wall.  (BBC, 6/26/13; Reuters, 6/26/13; The Guardian, 7/5/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
The British Library has placed its collection of Richard Wagner's manuscripts online. Take a look!  (The Public Domain Review, 5/22/13)

Zachary Woolfe explores conductor Christian Thielemann's "nostalgia-trip" appeal and that Germanic reputation. (The New York Times, 5/17/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
One less Wagnerian music drama onstage in 2013. (Dear Deutsche Oper am Rhein, what were you thinking?!)  (Deutsche Welle, 5/9/13; The Guardian, 5/9/13; Spiegel Online - International, 5/9/13; Spiegel Online - International, 5/13/13)

"Karlheinz Stockhausen has arguably done more to transform 20th- and 21st-century music than any other single composer: from serialism to electronic music, from consciousness-expanding musical happenings to cycles of pieces for every day of the week and every hour of the day..."  (The Guardian, 5/7/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
Wagnerians, free up some room on those bookshelves. Upcoming releases include The Wagner Experience and its Meaning to Us, Friedelind Wagner: Richard Wagner's Rebellious Granddaughter, and Richard Wagner: The Lighter Side.  (The Wagnerian, 4/28/13) 

Don't miss the Jasper String Quartet's tribute to "master and prankster" Paul Hindemith! Surely you've always wanted to hear the "Overture to the 'Flying Dutchman' as Played on Sight by a Bad Spa Orchestra by the Village Well at 7 in the Morning."  (The New York Times, 4/19/13)

Christian Thielemann and the Dresden Staatskapelle came to Washington with an all-Brahms musical program, "trailing a cloud of Deutschtum." Not exactly sure what that means...  (The Washington Post, 4/17/13) 

Richard Wagner at 200
200 years after Richard Wagner's birth, he's still the composer we hate to love, and love to hate. Reflections from Ed Smith, Nicholas Spice, Dirk Kurbjuweit, Michael Tanner, and Anne Midgette.  (New Statesman, 4/9/13; London Review of Books, 4/11/13; Spiegel Online - International, 4/12/13; The Spectator, 4/13/13; The Washington Post, 5/24/13)

Alex Ross recreates a bit of musical Dada first engineered by Stefan Wolpe in 1920: eight Victrolas playing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony at eight different speeds. "No one can deny that it provides a fresh perspective on a familiar work."  (The New Yorker, 4/2/13)

Who knew? Stanley Kubrick wanted to film the story of Dietrich Schulz-Koehn, "a swing-loving Luftwaffe officer who wrote about the music scenes in Nazi-occupied cities using the pen name 'Dr. Jazz.'"  (The Atlantic, 3/25/13)

David Hasselhoff -- yes, he's part of the Kultur
Don't be too quick to mock David Hasselhoff's latest appearance in Berlin, writes Marc Young. "He has showed a lot more passion and sense of history than many of the city's politicians of late."  (The Local, 3/19/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
It's the bicentenary of Richard Wagner's birth -- and that means a lot of Wagnerian music drama on German stages. Watch for these five outstanding productions.  (The Wall Street Journal, 3/15/13)

David Hasselhoff -- yes, he's part of the Kultur
Saving the Wall....or saving his career? "He once sang about freedom as the Berlin Wall was torn down -- now he's returning to the German capital to save what is left of it. US entertainer David Hasselhoff plans to join protests to save the East Side Gallery on Sunday." (The Local, 3/13/13; The Guardian, 3/17/13; The Local, 3/17/13; The Guardian, 3/19/13)

Vergangenheitsbewältigung at the Vienna Philharmonic: "A startlingly frank new report posted on the orchestra's website (in German only, for now) makes it clear that when the Germans swept into Vienna, they found an orchestra that was a ready, even eager tool of Nazi propaganda."  (Bloomberg, 3/10/13; The Guardian, 3/11/13; The Guardian, 3/11/13; Reuters, 3/11/13; Vulture, 3/12/13)

Can Herbert Grönemeyer become a pop star outside of Germany? His English-language album I Walk is on sale now.  (Financial Times, 10/12/12; NPR, 3/9/13)

Have 4 minutes, 52 seconds to spare? The new video from Brandt Brauer Frick, "Plastic Like Your Mother," won't disappoint you.  (The Guardian, 3/7/13)

One of the few places you won't hear Richard Wagner in 2013-14: the Metropolitan Opera, which has announced its first Wagner-free season since 1918-19.  (Associated Press, 2/26/13) 

In memoriam: Wolfgang Sawallisch (1923-2013), who "embodied the German type of the 'Kapellmeister' in the best sense...a supportive accompanist as well as an informed interpreter and who understood how to train, develop and lead an orchestra."  (The Guardian, 2/24/13; The New York Times, 2/24/13; Slipped Disc, 2/24/13)

We're shocked, shocked to find that Germany's Eurovision song entry is not an original work of creative genius. (Spiegel Online - International, 2/18/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
The most celebrated recording of Wagner's bicentennial year? No controversy there -- it's Jonas Kaufmann's Wagner, featuring six operatic excerpts and the lovely Wesendonck-Lieder too.  (Entartete Musik, 2/10/13; NPR, 2/16/13; The Guardian, 3/6/13; Opera Today, 4/16/13)

Karl Bartos goes on the record about Off the Record, his new album mined from years of rich material from the Kraftwerk era and after.  (Financial Times, 2/8/13; The Quietus, 3/4/13)

Heino's Mit Freundlichen Grüßen -- "Never before has an album by a German artist been legally downloaded as many times in the first three days."  (Spiegel Online - International, 2/7/13; The Guardian, 2/24/13)

"Kraftwerk tickets pass you by? Take a Krautrock tour of the Tate Modern instead. From Richter's Cage paintings to Heartfield's photomontages, recreate the band's robo-Dada visionary landscape for free."  (The Guardian, 2/7/13)

By labeling certain works of art as 'Holocaust music,' writes James Loeffler, "we risk creating a genre that turns the details of history and the complex meanings of music into one saccharine lesson in universalist tolerance."  (NPR, 1/25/13; Tablet, 7/11/13; The Washington Post, 7/26/13)

The Emperor of Atlantis and The Last Cyclist: Theatrical satires created by prisoners of the Theresienstadt concentration camp, onstage today.  (Deutsche Welle, 1/25/13; The Guardian, 5/24/13; Associated Press, 5/30/13; The New York Times, 6/2/13)

"But children are the same / In Paris or in Göttingen..." On the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, Stephan Evans recalls the French chanteuse Barbara's musical contribution to Franco-German rapprochement.  (BBC Magazine, 1/21/13)

"Where are we now?" David Bowie revisits Berlin in his first new song since 2003. (The Guardian, 1/8/13; The Guardian, 1/8/12; Evening Standard, 1/9/13; Spiegel Online - International, 1/10/13; The Guardian, 1/12/13)

Want to see the Rolling Stones perform on the roof of the former Stasi headquarters? Of course you do -- and so does Stasi archive director Roland Jahn.  (The Independent, 1/7/13)

Love Song by Ethan Mordden: the latest, if not the best, portrait of the remarkable lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya. "Their story should be told, but could benefit from more surehandedness."  (Bookslut, 9/2012; The Wall Street Journal, 10/12/12; Theater Talk, 11/14/12; The New York Times, 1/6/13)

You could write an entire book about the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Oh wait, Matthew Guerrieri has! Guest appearances by Adorno, Wagner, Marx (A.B. and Karl), E.M. Forster, Ralph Elllison, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  (Los Angeles Review of Books, 12/18/12; The Wall Street Journal, 12/21/12; Bookforum, Dec/Jan 2013)




Art & Design

Looted art from the Nazi era: new discoveries and new questions
"Hildebrand Gurlitt, the man who assembled the astounding art collection recently discovered in a Munich apartment, was more deeply involved in the trade of looted artworks than had been previously assumed. He also profited from Nazi injustices after the war."  (Spiegel Online - International, 12/23/13)

"In a city that prides itself on unblinking confrontation with its traumatic history," how has the East Side Gallery "come to feel perennially threatened, poised for its next inevitable challenger?" Esther Yi considers the most vulnerable of all Berlin monuments.  (Los Angeles Review of Books, 12/19/13)

Looted art from the Nazi era: new discoveries and new questions
Before you see the Hollywood movie, read up on the real "Monuments Men" who saved European cultural treasures from looting and destruction at the end of the Second World War.  (Spiegel Online - International, 12/5/13; Smithsonian, Jan. 2014)

Yet another Taschen volume you'll wish you owned: Fritz Kahn, celebrating the life's work of the infographic pioneer behind the iconic 1926 poster "Man as Industrial Palace" (and much more).  (Brain Pickings, 11/20/13)

Looted art from the Nazi era: new discoveries and new questions
"About 1,500 modernist masterpieces -- thought to have been looted by the Nazis -- have been confiscated from the flat of an 80-year-old man from Munich, in what is being described as the biggest artistic find of the postwar era."  (The Guardian, 11/3/13; Spiegel Online - International, 11/4/13; The New York Times, 11/5/13; Spiegel Online - International, 11/21/13)

Happy 50th anniversary to the Philharmonie!  Hans Scharoun's architecture is as impressive as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra itself.  (The Atlantic, 10/30/13)

An inspired resolution for 2014: visit the Isa Genzken retrospective in New York (right now), Chicago or Dallas (later this year).  (Spiegel Online - International, 10/25/13; The New York Times, 11/21/13; The New York Times, 11/21/13; Tablet, 11/21/13; The New Yorker, 11/27/13)

Paul Klee is the artist Philip Hensher loves best, for "his modesty and resourcefulness, and his willingness to combat oppression and violence with laughter." See for yourself at the Tate Modern, now through March 9.  (The Guardian, 10/4/13; The Economist, 10/5/13; The Arts Desk, 10/15/13)

"The Big Apple goes bananas for German art," reports Deutsche Welle. "Major retrospectives of greats like Sigmar Polke are on deck, while numerous German expats are immersed in the struggle to create beauty in an impossible city."  (Deutsche Welle, 9/25/13)

George Grosz's Berlin: "perpetually leaning over its inhabitants like a roaring drunk about to vomit down a bystander's neck." See Grosz's prostitutes, politicians, and profiteers at the Richard Nagy gallery, now through November 2.  (Prospect, 9/23/13; The Independent, 10/1/13; The Guardian, 10/3/13)

"Good Bausünden make an impression on your memory," says architectural historian Turit Fröbe. "They're original, they have their own distinctive character and they're easily recognized."  (Spiegel Online - International, 8/23/13)

Prepare to add one more museum to your Berlin travel itinerary -- 20th-century art is getting a home of its own (and the Old Masters are staying put). (Bloomberg, 8/21/13)

Will the modernist parking garage on Berlin's Kantstrasse be saved?  (The New York Times, 8/19/13)

"East Germany's feared secret police had a bit of a sartorial flair, photos found by artist Simon Menner in the Stasi archive reveal. The images, which offer a glimpse into the clandestine world of phony facial hair and the all-important hat, are set to be published in a book this fall."  (The Daily Mail, 7/30/13; Spiegel Online - International, 9/4/13; The Verge, 9/18/13)

Bronze Age: Europe without Borders "was supposed to mark the culmination of a Year in Germany in Russia after three years of co-operation between German and Russian curators." Instead, the exhibition reopened old wounds about the looting of treasures during and after WWII.  (Financial Times, 6/21/13; Bloomberg, 6/22/13; Judy Dempsey's Strategic Europe, 6/24/13; The Art Newspaper, 6/27/13)

Stuttgart's train station, Hamburg's concert house, Berlin's airport: what would the "starchitects" behind Germany's greatest construction headaches say if they got together to discuss? Read on!  (Spiegel Online - International, 6/14/13)  

In memoriam: Willi Sitte (1921-2013), "one of the few visual artists of the GDR to achieve international renown."  (Goethe-Institut, 6/2013; Deutsche Welle, 6/8/13)

Going to see the Lenbachhaus in Munich? Don't forget the Münter-Haus in Murnau -- here's why.  (The Economist, 5/24/13)

Seven decades later, Anselm Kiefer realizes his own Morgenthau Plan, at the Gagosian Gallery in NYC.  (T Magazine, 5/3/18; Hyperallergic, 5/18/13)

Bad news for Joseph Beuys fans: the artist's legacy has gotten more complicated.  (Spiegel Online - International, 5/17/13; Spiegel Online - International, 7/12/13)

The latest addition to Munich's Kunstareal looks something like a "swish nightclub or luxury department store." It's really Norman Foster's addition to the Lenbachhaus, home to a stunning collection of works from the Blue Rider group.  (Bloomberg, 5/7/13; The Economist, 5/25/13; The Wall Street Journal, 7/24/13)

Last call to encounter the experimental films, paintings, and other creative work of Hans Richter at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art! The Richter retrospective is on display through September 2.  (The Wall Street Journal, 5/22/13; JewishJournal.com, 7/2/13; Los Angeles Times, 8/16/13)

"I want to inspire pedestrians to think about Karl Marx in a different way," explains artist Ottmar Hörl. Done! Now visitors and residents of Trier can experience Marx as a garden gnome in four different shades of red.  (Spiegel Online - International, 5/3/13)

"
De l'Allemagne
, 1800-1939: German Thought and Painting from Friedrich to Beckmann" is now showing at the Louvre. (The Art Newspaper; Deutsche Welle, 4/22/13)

"Admirers of the late WG Sebald's inimitable blend of essay, memoir, novel and found images...will be grateful for A Place in the Country," a collection of essays on artists that Sebald himself admired.  (The Guardian, 4/20/13; Financial Times, 4/26/13; The Guardian, 4/27/13)

Is it "permissable to find beauty in an art that served to legitimize an abhorrent regime?" What if the artist later became that regime's armaments minister? Léon Krier attempts to rehabilitate the architect Albert Speer.  (The Wall Street Journal, 4/12/13)

See a glimpse of "the birth of German expressionist sculpture" in the work of Wilhelm Lehmbruck -- on display now at the Michael Werner Gallery in London.  (Financial Times, 3/29/13)

The special exhibition of works by Albrecht Dürer now showing at the National Gallery of Art "is so good and so absorbing, you’ll want to walk home alone, avoid crowds, and preserve the fragile sense of awe and melancholy it inspires for as long as possible."  (The Washington Post, 3/22/13; Los Angeles Times, 3/31/13; The New York Review of Books, 5/20/13)

Christo is back! His Big Air Package, installed within Oberhausen's landmark, 117-meter high Gasometer, "is meant to be the largest inflatable object of all time."  (Spiegel Online - International, 3/14/13; Deutsche Welle, 3/15/13; Need Supply Co., 3/31/13)

"The Porsche, the distinctive, aerodynamic, lightweight, low-slung, and undeniably sexy feat of German engineering, is considered by many to be a work of art." The North Carolina Museum of Art agrees -- look for its Porsche special exhibition next fall.  (ARTnews, 3/14/13)

Good news for Joseph Beuys fans: two Rhineland museums -- Museum Kurhaus Kleve and Schloss Moyland -- "have undergone makeovers with the artist's legacy in mind."  (The Wall Street Journal, 3/7/13)   

The artists of the troubled Berlin Brandenburg Airport appear to have been much more efficient than its engineers. (Spiegel Online - International, 2/27/13; Spiegel Online - International, 2/28/13)

What?! Iconic paintings from the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, have been removed to make way for high-rise luxury apartments.  (The Local, 2/26/13; The Guardian, 2/27/12; The Atlantic Cities, 3/1/13; Spiegel Online - International, 3/4/13; Spiegel Online - International, 3/27/13; The Washington Post, 3/30/13)

No image "in the history of Western painting is more brutal than the crucifixion scene in the Isenheim Altarpiece." But Renaissance artist Mathias Grünewald intended his work to console, not to disgust. "His belief in the ameliorating capacity of the violent image was profound."  (Los Angeles Times, 2/15/13)

"Anti-bourgeois, anti-industrial and anti-imperial, German Expressionism started at the dawn of the century and ended, in an official, nationalist sense, with the Nazis' 'Degenerate Art' exhibition of 1937." See an overview of the movement at New York's Neue Galerie, now through April 22.  (Bloomberg, 2/7/13; The New York Times, 2/7/13; The Wall Street Journal, 3/18/13)

"Kraftwerk tickets pass you by? Take a Krautrock tour of the Tate Modern instead. From Richter's Cage paintings to Heartfield's photomontages, recreate the band's robo-Dada visionary landscape for free."  (The Guardian, 2/7/13)

The Federal Republic of Germany still holds thousands of artworks and other collectibles that were amassed by high-ranking Nazis. "For almost 68 years now, those in charge of the art -- no matter their political persuasion -- have done little to investigate the provenance of the valuable pieces that make up this poisonous legacy and return them to their rightful owners."  (Spiegel Online - International, 1/30/13)  

Georg Baselitz complains about the German media, museums, and the museum-going public. He's not a fan of Günter Grass, Peter Sloterdijk, or most women painters, either.  (Spiegel Online - International, 1/25/13)

Since 1977, artist Wolfgang Laib has collected "pollen from the forests and meadows surrounding his home in a small village in southern Germany." Check out his largest pollen installation yet, in the 18 x 21 foot "womb" of the MoMA.  (The Huffington Post, 1/13/13; The Wall Street Journal, 1/24/13)

Dadaist Kurt Schwitters "lived out his final years in postwar Cumbria, working feverishly in a draughty old barn, poor, hungry and ignored." Now his late work is getting its due -- the exhibition Schwitters in Britain opens at Tate Britain on January 30.  (The Observer, 1/5/13; The Guardian, 1/18/13; The Independent, 1/20/13)

Tired of "edgy" Berlin? Munich has culture too! (Financial Times, 1/11/13)

New approaches to understanding the Holocaust
"From the beginning, creating art that honors the suffering of Holocaust victims while admonishing the world not to forget has been a mission that -- necessarily, some might argue -- pushes at the boundaries of taste." Robin Cembalest shows some of the latest ways these boundaries have been pushed.  (ARTnews, 1/10/13)





 
Books & Ideas

Here's why there's a lot to love about Why We Took the Car, Wolfgang Herrndorf's last novel.  (The Washington Post, 12/31/13; Kirkus, 1/9/14)

To publish or not? Mein Kampf in the Internet age
Work proceeds on the Institute of Contemporary History's scholarly edition of Mein Kampf -- but not with Bavarian support.  (The Wall Street Journal, 12/12/13; The Guardian, 12/18/13)

Looking for critically acclaimed foreign fiction, full of anguish and brutality? Julia Franck's Back to Back, translated by Anthea Bell, is the novel for you.  (Vogue, 12/9/13; Washington Independent Review of Books, 1/8/14; Words Without Borders, 2/2014; The Independent, 3/7/14)

Yet another Taschen volume you'll wish you owned: Fritz Kahn, celebrating the life's work of the infographic pioneer behind the iconic 1926 poster "Man as Industrial Palace" (and much more).  (Brain Pickings, 11/20/13)

There's no shortage of WWI histories to choose from in 2014. "Intensive mining of the sources (by the authors and sometimes their amanuenses) has unearthed nuggets of new information, but mainly they sift through the existing store of knowledge."  (The Times Literary Supplement, 11/13/13; Financial Times, 1/17/14; The New York Review of Books, 2/6/14)

In Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven, John Eliot Gardiner "has done a masterly, monumental job of taking the measure of Bach the man and the musician."  (The Guardian, 10/30/13; The New York Times, 12/3/13; On Point, 1/7/14; The New York Review of Books, 2/20/14)

November is German Literature Month -- it's not too late to sign up!  (German Literature Month, 10/27/13)

Ordinary women? Hitler's Furies, by Wendy Lower, "brings German women's history eastward into the Nazi empire and warfare, in the open-air landscape of the Holocaust, at mass shootings, ghetto liquidations, death marches and deportations of Jews and Soviet POWs."  (The New York Times, 10/8/13; The New York Times, 10/14/13; The Washington Post, 12/13/13)

"On Sept. 30, the German author Ilija Trojanov was checking in for an American Airlines flight from Salvado de Bahia, Brazil to Miami, en route to Denver, when he ran into trouble." Did the NSA prevent the surveillance-critical author from getting to the GSA? (Eurozine, 10/3/13; Slate, 10/4/13)

Jakob Arjouni "was the first writer to put a self-confident, aggressive, individual and charming German Turk on the national stage as a character in popular culture.” His last novel, Brother Kemal, has just been published in English.  (The New York Times, 10/2/13)

It's just like the Oscars! (Sort of.) Catch up on the nominees -- I mean, the shortlist -- for this year's German Book Prize, to be awarded on October 7.  (New Books in German; Germany.info, 10/1/13)

In Red Love: The Story of an East German Family, Maxim Leo "honours the complicated motivations of real people, resulting in a humane, enlightening history of a collapsed country and a lost home."  (New Statesman, 9/26/13; The New York Times, 4/13/14; The Guardian, 4/25/14)

In praise of "digital natives," "Zeitgenossen," and other fine examples of linguistic cosmopolitanism.  (The New York Times, 9/25/13)

In memoriam: Marcel Reich-Ranicki (1920-2013)
. He survived the Warsaw ghetto and became "Germany's leading literary arbiter."  (Bloomberg, 9/18/13; The Guardian, 9/18/13; The New York Times, 9/18/13; love german books, 9/19/13; Dialog International, 9/20/13; The New Yorker, 9/24/13)

Hitler and Hollywood, historical hot topic in 2013

Ben Urwand overstates his case in The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact with Hitler.  (The Daily Beast, 9/9/13; The New Yorker, 9/16/13; Self-Styled Siren, 9/16/13; The Nation, 9/30/13)

Whatever happened to Ernst Haffner? His 1932 novel Jugend auf der Landstrasse Berlin (republished as Blutsbrüder) became the German literary rediscovery of 2013. Now there's a new English translation by Michael Hofmann.  (love german books, 9/2/13; The Guardian, 10/3/13; The New York Times, 2/13/15; Public Books, 10/15/15)

In memoriam: Wolfgang Herrndorf (1965-2013), award-winning author of Tschick (Why We Took the Car) and Sand.  (Goethe-Institut, 8/27/13)

"Good Bausünden make an impression on your memory," says architectural historian Turit Fröbe. "They're original, they have their own distinctive character and they're easily recognized."  (Spiegel Online - International, 8/23/13)

Walter Laqueur shares his observations on "the small but not insignificant cohort of Germans of Jewish descent who in one way or another are portrayed by latter-day historians as having served Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime." Laqueur tells you what he thinks about those "latter-day historians," too.  (Tablet, 8/21/13)

"Of course German literature has worth," asserts Rebecca Schuman. 'But how can I prove that when I can't teach it, because the discipline is being drowned in a forest pond, like Gretchen's poor infant in Faust?" (The Chronicle Review, 8/21/13)

Denglisch 101: how English is gradually transforming the German language, from abgefuckt to der Zoom.  (The Economist, 8/15/13)

The first English-language reviews are in for the film adaptation of Charlotte Roche's Wetlands: "Director David Wnendt and breakout star Carla Juri leave no bodily orifice unexplored in this spiky, smartly packaged commercial enterprise."  (Screen, 8/11/13; Indiewire, 8/15/13; Variety, 8/19/13)

Reflections on the Suhrkamp bankruptcy: "What's in a book? Everything, it would seem in Germany...The idea that Kultur is an asset deriving from written words still forms the national narrative." (Standpoint, July/August 2013)

"It was as though the left-Hegelian World Spirit had briefly descended on the Central European Department of the OSS." Read the analyses of Franz Neumann and team in Secret Reports on Nazi Germany: The Frankfurt School Contribution to the War Effort.  (Foreign Affairs, July/August 2013; New Statesman, 8/22/13; Standpoint, 9/13)

"East Germany's feared secret police had a bit of a sartorial flair, photos found by artist Simon Menner in the Stasi archive reveal. The images, which offer a glimpse into the clandestine world of phony facial hair and the all-important hat, are set to be published in a book this fall."  (The Daily Mail, 7/30/13; Spiegel Online - International, 9/4/13; The Verge, 9/18/13)

In July, the Simon Wiesenthal Center asked Germany to shut down Der Landser, a right-wing adventure magazine with an idealized take on the heroism of German soldiers in WWII. In September, Bauer Media Group made the right call.  (The New York Times, 7/29/13; The Guardian, 7/30/13; Deutsche Welle, 7/31/13; History Extra, 9/16/13)

Leopold Schreyer fled Berlin in 1939, leaving a precious book collection and nearly everything else behind. 72 years later, Karin Andert and Niko Kohls found one of his books. A fascinating story -- both depressing and hopeful --- about postwar restitution.  (Boston Review, 7/29/13) 

"When Peter Sloterdijk concentrates on tangible objects or actions, he illuminates. The more anthropological he is, the more he reveals. Then Dasein appears and darkness descends..." (The Chronicle Review, 11/5/12; The New Republic, 7/19/13)

"I am a continent that one day soon will sink without a sound into the sea." The poet Gertrud Kolmar is rediscovered in a new biography by Dieter Kühn (translated by Linda Marianello).  (The Wall Street Journal, 7/7/13)

Eugen Ruge's prize-winning novel In Times of Fading Light is "the story of a family" and the story of a country -- a sensitive, gripping portrayal of four generations' experience of the German Democratic Republic. Now available in English!  (Barnes and Noble Review, 7/2/13; The Guardian, 7/5/13; Financial Times, 7/12/13; The New York Times, 8/13/13)

In memoriam: Walter Jens (1923-2013), "noted author and literary historian who campaigned for tolerant debate in post-war Germany." (Deutsche Welle, 6/10/13)

Here's the story behind the girlhood friendship that inspired Fazit (Account Rendered), Melita Maschmann's 1963 memoir of her years as a committed activist in the Bund Deutscher Mädel.  (The New Yorker, 5/29/13)

In memoriam: Sarah Kirsch (1935-2013)
. German literature has lost "one of its most important, headstrong and poeticallly powerful voices."  (Deutsche Welle, 5/22/13; PN Review, 5/28/13)

"Goethe in translation is a radically diminished author." (The Best American Poetry, 5/13/13)

80 years ago, university students across Germany coordinated the burning of books by Jewish, socialist, and other "degenerate" authors. (Deutsche Welle, 5/10/13; The Huffington Post - United Kingdom, 5/10/13)

Explore the Berlin of Erich Kästner children's classic Emil and the Detectives with Michael Rosen and Kate Connolly.  (The Guardian, 5/1/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
Wagnerians, free up some room on those bookshelves. Upcoming releases include The Wagner Experience and its Meaning to Us, Friedelind Wagner: Richard Wagner's Rebellious Granddaughter, and Richard Wagner: The Lighter Side.  (The Wagnerian, 4/28/13) 

"Admirers of the late WG Sebald's inimitable blend of essay, memoir, novel and found images...will be grateful for A Place in the Country," a collection of six essays on artists whom Sebald himself admired.  (The Guardian, 4/20/13; Financial Times, 4/26/13; The Guardian, 4/27/13; The New York Times, 3/21/14)

Travel reporters don't have to dig very deep to find "Christopher Isherwood's Berlin." Have a drink at the Sally Bowles cocktail bar, or sign up for an "Isherwood's Neighborhood" walking tour...  (The New York Times, 4/12/13)

Looking for the "world's most prolific publisher of German literature in English"? It's Seagull Books in Kolkata, India.  (Deutsche Welle, 4/11/13)

"There is no official estimate for how many Nazi-looted books remain in German libraries. Tracing their owners and returning them is a task that librarians say will take decades."  (Bloomberg, 4/7/13)

Much deeper than four shades of red -- In Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life, Jonathan Sperber brings Marx down from the ideological heavens.  (The New York Times, 3/29/13; The Daily Show, 4/2/13; The New York Review of Books, 5/9/13; The Nation, 10/8/13)

Brush up your Adorno (and your Horkheimer, Marcuse, and Benjamin too)!
A brief introduction to the Frankfurt School that will leave you wanting more. (The Guardian, 3/25/13; The Guardian, 4/1/13; The Guardian, 4/8/13; The Guardian, 4/15/13)

"Life and death, honor and shame in the turbulent sixteenth century": Joel F. Harrington illuminates the dark world of Nuremberg executioner Frantz Schmidt. (New Republic, 3/19/13; The Wall Street Journal, 4/7/13; The Chronicle Review, 4/8/13; Barnes and Noble Review, 4/16/13; The Times Literary Supplement, 9/4/13)

"It's in the deepest dungeons that the most beautiful dreams of freedom are dreamt." Michael Lipkin considers Friedrich Schiller's traumatic education at the Hohe Carlsschule.  (The Paris Review Daily, 3/13/13)

In memoriam: Otfried Preussler (1923-2013), author of The Robber Hotzenplotz and other classic children's stories.  (Deutsche Welle, 2/20/13; The Local, 2/20/13; The New York Times, 2/25/13)

Reviews are plentiful but mixed for Hitler's Philosophers, Yvonne Sherratt's study of "the thinkers admired, corrupted and oppressed by the Nazis."  (Financial Times, 2/15/13; Times Higher Education, 2/21/13; The Independent, 2/22/13;  The Chronicle Review, 3/18/13)

Er ist wieder da -- atop German best-seller lists since mid-December, and about to be translated into 17 -- make that 32! -- different languages. Author Timor Vernes "tries to show up the Hitler-fixated media industry....but he himself profits from this fixation to the highest degree."  (Presseurop, 2/1/13; Bloomberg, 2/3/13; Deutsche Welle, 2/4/13; The Guardian, 2/5/13; The Economist, 6/25/13)

American critics come to terms with Christa Wolf's coming to terms in City of Angels, or The Overcoat of Dr. Freud.  (Dialog International, 1/12/12; Los Angeles Times, 1/31/13; The California Report, 2/1/13; The Wall Street Journal, 2/15/13; The New Republic, 3/7/13)

So much Kultur, so little cultural sensitivity
A new edition of Otfried Preussler's Die kleine Hexe sparks "heated discussion over how to handle outdated, controversial language in classic children's books."  (Spiegel Online - International, 1/16/13; The Local, 1/24/13; Spiegel Online - International, 1/25/13; The Guardian, 1/29/13; The New Yorker, 1/31/13)

In memoriam: Hans Massaquoi (1926-2013), longtime managing editor of Ebony magazine. His memoir, Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany, appeared in 1999.  (Los Angeles Times, 1/22/13; NPR, 1/25/13)

The setting of Erich Kästner's Going to the Dogs is still Weimar Berlin...but the similarities with Emil and the Detectives end there. Newly reissued by NYRB Classics!  (Bookforum, 1/10/13; The Literateur, 1/15/13; Spiegel Online - International, 4/18/13)

Love Song by Ethan Mordden: the latest, if not the best, portrait of the remarkable lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya. "Their story should be told, but could benefit from more surehandedness."  (Bookslut, 9/2012; The Wall Street Journal, 10/12/12; Theater Talk, 11/14/12; The New York Times, 1/6/13)

Psychotherapist Hans Keilson (1909-2011) spent most of his career helping children who had been traumatized by war. Now the world has rediscovered his early literary efforts, including Life Goes On: "a profound novel, written in Weimar Germany and newly reissued, about life during an economic depression."  (The Wall Street Journal, 11/22/12; Bookforum, 12/11/12; The Barnes & Noble Review, 12/18/12; The New York Times, 1/4/13)

In 1918, Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West "hit the German consciousness like a boulder tossed upon an anthill." 21st-century Americans, take heed: Robert W. Merry shows how many of Spengler's ominous prophecies remain relevant today.  (The National Interest, 1/2/13)

You could write an entire book about the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Oh wait, Matthew Guerrieri has! Guest appearances by Adorno, Wagner, Marx (A.B. and Karl), E.M. Forster, Ralph Elllison, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  (Los Angeles Review of Books, 12/18/12; The Wall Street Journal, 12/21/12; Bookforum, Dec/Jan 2013)




Film

The Book Thief "tries so hard to warm our hearts amid grotesque suffering, it goes a bit mad under the strain. It relays an uplifting story that, ill-advisedly, is not so much Holocaust-era as Holocaust-adjacent, determined to steer clear of too much discomfort."  (Chicago Tribune, 11/14/13; The Atlantic, 11/15/13; Boston Review, 1/6/14)

Hitler and Hollywood, historical hot topic in 2013
See the 1930s rarities Hitler's Reign of Terror and I Was a Captive of Nazi Germany at MoMA's 11th International Festival of Film Preservation.  (The New York Times, 10/9/13)

"German filmmaker Edgar Reitz, renowned for his 'Heimat' television series, has created a prequel that is likely to polarize viewers. An experiment in slow motion, it forces the audience to confront the contrast with fast-paced modern life."  (Spiegel Online - International, 10/4/13)

Hitler and Hollywood, historical hot topic in 2013
Ben Urwand overstates his case in The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact with Hitler.  (The Daily Beast, 9/9/13; The New Yorker, 9/16/13; Self-Styled Siren, 9/16/13; The Nation, 9/30/13)

Five early films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in a DVD box set! Check out why "Fassbinder's sleazy gangsters and slackers are worth watching today."  (Cinespect, 8/27/13; The Same Cinema Every Night, 8/28/13)

A student project from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, featuring a young Adolf Hitler and a C-class Mercedes, goes viral.  (The Independent, 8/23/13; Indiewire, 8/26/13)

The first English-language reviews are in for the film adaptation of Charlotte Roche's Wetlands: "Director David Wnendt and breakout star Carla Juri leave no bodily orifice unexplored in this spiky, smartly packaged commercial enterprise."  (Screen, 8/11/13; Indiewire, 8/15/13; Variety, 8/19/13; The Daily Beast, 1/17/14)

Hitler and Hollywood, historical hot topic in 2013
American movie moguls didn't just ignore the Nazis, they were willing collaborators! The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact with Hitler, by Ben Urwand, will be published in September -- but is getting plenty of press now.  (Tablet, 6/10/13; The New York Times, 6/25/13; The Chronicle Review, 7/10/13; The Hollywood Reporter, 7/31/13)

In Hannah Arendt, Margarethe von Trotta takes on one of the great -- and greatly debated -- lives of the 20th century.  (Tablet, 5/24/13; The New York Times, 5/28/13; The New Yorker, 5/31/13; The New York Times, 7/7/13; The New York Review of Books, 11/21/13)

Hitler and Hollywood, historical hot topic in 2013
Hitler and his followers have always been Hollywood's villains of choice, right? Ironically, no, explains Thomas Doherty in Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939. "Nazis were all but invisible in American movies at the time when depicting their savagery might have done the most good." (The New York Times, 5/23/13; The Wall Street Journal, 5/24/13)

Hitler and Hollywood, historical hot topic in 2013
Watch a clip from Hitler's Reign of Terror, a 1934 documentary by Cornelius Vanderbilt IV: "It is an oddball production to our modern eyes and sensibilities, but remarkable all the same: it appears to be the first-ever American anti-Nazi film."  (The New Yorker, 5/21/13)

The TV miniseries Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter will be released in U.S. movie theaters as Generation War(New Republic, 5/7/13)

Budd Schulberg and Leni Riefenstahl, "fleeting and unlikely collaborators." The 1945 film that he helped assemble "with, he claimed, her assistance as an involuntary consultant...remains a key document of the twentieth century and helped send ten war criminals to the gallows." (Tin House, Spring 2013)

Who knew? Stanley Kubrick wanted to film the story of Dietrich Schulz-Koehn, "a swing-loving Luftwaffe officer who wrote about the music scenes in Nazi-occupied cities using the pen name 'Dr. Jazz.'"  (The Atlantic, 3/25/13)

Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter shows that a TV miniseries can still spark passionate discussion about the experiences of World War II and the Holocaust.  (AICGS, 3/18/13; Associated Press, 3/28/13; Spiegel Online - International, 3/28/13; The Economist, 3/30/13; Spiegel Online - International, 4/10/13) 

The Silence, from director Baran bo Odar, is "an icy, gripping police procedural thriller," set during a heat wave in rural southern Germany.  (The Guardian, 10/27/11; Times Higher Education, 10/27/11; Los Angeles Times, 3/8/13)

"Christoph Waltz’s second Academy Award has once again launched a very serious debate in Europe – is he Austrian or German?"  (The Wall Street Journal, 2/25/13)

See Casablanca, Hangmen Also Die!, Some Like it Hot, and 30 other films with "the Weimar touch" at this year's Berlin International Film Festival...or at the MoMA!  (Deutsche Welle, 2/8/13; GlobalPost, 2/14/13; The Wall Street Journal, 3/4/13)

"You may be thinking you don't have the emotional and psychological space for yet another movie about childhood in wartime or the legacy of the Holocaust" -- but critic Andrew O'Hehir promises that Cate Shortland's Lore "offers a vision of the costs of war at an individual level, along with a challenging moral parable, that's not like anything you've seen before."  (j.b. spins, 2/4/13; The New York Times, 2/7/13; Salon, 2/8/13)

In the spring of 1972, Lutz Becker discovered Eva Braun's home movies among a stash of uncatalogued film canisters in a National Archives vault. Becker's find transformed visual historical memory of Adolf Hitler and his inner circle.  (The Guardian, 1/26/13) 

Looking forward to Hannah Arendt -- Margarethe von Trotta has created "an extremely vivid cinematic essay, thrilling in its every minute, deeply moving in its seriousness and suitably unsettling." (Spiegel Online - International, 1/11/13)

Barbara is capturing the admiration of North American audiences, too. "By including something like an unanticipated good along with the more obvious bad in examining life in a police state, Petzold creates a rich portrait of life in East Germany."  (The New York Times, 12/7/12; Los Angeles Times, 12/8/12; The New Yorker, 1/11/13)

How do the descendants of Goering and Himmler grapple with the atrocities in their families' past? In Hitler's Children, "the Israeli documentarian Chanoch Ze'evi talks to five people who bear the names of particularly infamous Nazis."  (The Boston Globe, 1/1/13; The Atlantic, 2/15/13; Los Angeles Times, 2/17/13)




Theater

Marianna Salzmann's Muttersprache Mameloschn impressed audiences at the 2013 Mülheimer Theatertage.  Now the tale of three generations of Jewish women in contemporary Germany has crossed the Atlantic.  (PRI, 12/23/13)

Forget A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker -- take the kids to see Emil and the Detectives instead!  Onstage now at the National Theatre. (The Guardian, 12/4/13; The Arts Desk, 12/5/13; Financial Times, 12/5/13)

Been to the theater much in Berlin? Chances are, you've seen something risky (or self-indulgent) that you won't see anywhere else. Even so, explains J. Kelly Nestruck, the Berlin theater scene is more like its North American counterparts than you might expect. (The Globe and Mail, 10/11/13) 

Bertolt Brecht, out of fashion? "His legacy is all around us," writes theater critic Michael Billington.  (The Guardian, 9/18/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
Bayreuth 2013: "If this Ring had a theme, it was unintentional and only occurred to me after the performance. Castorf seems like a living embodiment of the Ring's villain, Alberich, who steals the gold, renounces love and wants to rule the world."  (The New York Times, 8/1/13; Financial Times, 8/2/13;  The Guardian, 8/2/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
When Castorf meets Wagner... The Bayreuth Ring begins on July 26, and it's not going to be boring. Stay tuned!  (Gramophone, 7/22/13; Spiegel Online - International, 7/25/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
One less Wagnerian music drama onstage in 2013. (Dear Deutsche Oper am Rhein, what were you thinking?!)  (Deutsche Welle, 5/9/13; The Guardian, 5/9/13; Spiegel Online - International, 5/9/13; Spiegel Online - International, 5/13/13)

Schiller with a twist of Brecht: Robert Pinsky reinterprets the 18th-century epic Wallenstein -- now playing at Washington DC's Shakespeare Theatre through early June. (The Washington Post, 4/12/13; The Washington Post, 4/18/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
200 years after Richard Wagner's birth, he's still the composer we hate to love, and love to hate. Reflections from Ed Smith, Nicholas Spice, Dirk Kurbjuweit, Michael Tanner, and Anne Midgette.  (New Statesman, 4/9/13; London Review of Books, 4/11/13; Spiegel Online - International, 4/12/13; The Spectator, 4/13/13; The Washington Post, 5/24/13)

Richard Wagner at 200
It's the bicentenary of Richard Wagner's birth -- and that means a lot of Wagnerian music drama on German stages. Watch for these five outstanding productions.  (The Wall Street Journal, 3/15/13)

One of the few places you won't hear Richard Wagner in 2013-14: the Metropolitan Opera, which has announced its first Wagner-free season since 1918-19.  (Associated Press, 2/26/13) 

Andres Veiel's Das Himbeerreich at Berlin's Deutsches Theater "is a brave attempt to bring derivatives, ratings agencies, subprime mortgages, state bailouts and banking bonuses to the theater-going public."  (Bloomberg, 2/25/13)

At London's National Theatre, The Captain of Köpenick, Carl Zuckmayer's "gentle, if sprawling, satire on bureaucracy and respect for uniform is...transformed into a huge theatrical mural depicting the Kaiser's Germany: we get marching bands, military balls, a distorted expressionist Berlin backdrop, even occasional nods to the hectic changes of silent movies."  (The Arts Desk, 2/6/13; Financial Times, 2/6/13; The Guardian, 2/6/13; The Economist, 2/14/13)

The Emperor of Atlantis and The Last Cyclist: Theatrical satires created by prisoners of the Theresienstadt concentration camp, onstage today.  (Deutsche Welle, 1/25/13; The Guardian, 5/24/13; Associated Press, 5/30/13; The New York Times, 6/2/13)



History

"When he was born, World War I had just ended. He was German chancellor for eight years, roughly as long as he served in Hitler’s Wehrmacht." Helmut Schmidt speaks with the international press on the occasion of his 95th birthday.  (The Guardian, 12/22/13; The New York Times, 12/23/13)

"Many of the longest-held traditions celebrated at Christmas have their origins in German-speaking Europe, from the Christmas tree to the rituals of decoration to Advent calendars and gingerbread houses. Today, it is the Christmas market that is spreading..."  (The Christian Science Monitor, 12/21/13)

Tempelhof Airport: "a masterpiece of adaptive reuse and a powerful rebuke to the demons of Germany’s past."  And possibly the site of a new central public library too?!  (The Guardian, 12/19/03; The Atlantic, 12/23/13)

"In a city that prides itself on unblinking confrontation with its traumatic history," how has the East Side Gallery "come to feel perennially threatened, poised for its next inevitable challenger?" Esther Yi considers the most vulnerable of all Berlin monuments.  (Los Angeles Review of Books, 12/19/13)

To publish or not? Mein Kampf in the Internet age
Work proceeds on the Institute of Contemporary History's scholarly edition of Mein Kampf -- but not with Bavarian support.  (The Wall Street Journal, 12/12/13; The Guardian, 12/18/13)

Looted art from the Nazi era: new discoveries and new questions
Before you see the Hollywood movie, read up on the real "Monuments Men" who saved European cultural treasures from looting and destruction at the end of the Second World War.  (Spiegel Online - International, 12/5/13; Smithsonian, Jan. 2014)

There's no shortage of WWI histories to choose from in 2014. "Intensive mining of the sources (by the authors and sometimes their amanuenses) has unearthed nuggets of new information, but mainly they sift through the existing store of knowledge."  (The Times Literary Supplement, 11/13/13; Financial Times, 1/17/14; The New York Review of Books, 2/6/14)

Marking the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a new exhibition at Berlin's Centrum Judaicum examines the foreign diplomatic response (or lack thereof) to the events of November 9, 1938.  (Spiegel Online - International, 11/5/13)

Who first paved the way for today's "politics and religion of ego"? Martin Luther, says author Thomas Cahill, for citing "his own little conscience (surely a negligible phenomenon to the majority of his listeners) as the reason for his absolute, unnuanced, unhedged rebellion."  (The Daily Beast, 11/3/13)

What should be done with war criminals' bodies after death? "No country wants Erich Priebke's body," writes Malte Herwig, "because it reminds us of the failure to achieve justice when he was alive."  (The Guardian, 10/24/13)

It's the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Nations. For the first time, some 6000 would-be soldiers gathered near Leipzig to reenact "one of the biggest and bloodiest battles in the history of mankind."  (Spiegel Online - International, 10/18/13; BBC News, 10/20/13; IP Journal, 10/21/13; Spiegel Online - International, 10/21/13)

"He just did what he thought was right." Christoph von Dohnanyi recalls the acts of moral courage that led to his father's execution in April 1945. Read more about Hans von Dohnanyi and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the double biography No Ordinary Men, by Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern.  (The Boston Globe, 10/12/13)   

Ordinary women? Hitler's Furies, by Wendy Lower, "brings German women's history eastward into the Nazi empire and warfare, in the open-air landscape of the Holocaust, at mass shootings, ghetto liquidations, death marches and deportations of Jews and Soviet POWs."  (The New York Times, 10/8/13; The New York Times, 10/14/13; The Washington Post, 12/13/13)

In Red Love: The Story of an East German Family, Maxim Leo "honours the complicated motivations of real people, resulting in a humane, enlightening history of a collapsed country and a lost home."  (New Statesman, 9/26/13; The New York Times, 4/13/14; The Guardian, 4/25/14)

"Trading of Nazi relics has gone global, with people buying and selling in the United States, Europe, Russia and the Far East." Just because you can earn a lot of money with this endeavor, Alexander Historical Auctions, doesn't mean you should.  (The Washington Post, 9/11/13)

"It's best not to remember all those things." Thomas Harding interviews the 80 year-old daughter of Rudolf Höss, now resident in northern Virginia.  (The Washington Post, 9/7/13)

"For years following reunification, those from the communist east saw themselves as 'eastern Germans.' Now, more than two decades after the Berlin Wall fell, that identity is rapidly disappearing. East Germany is almost completely gone."  (Spiegel Online - International, 8/30/13)

Walter Laqueur shares his observations on "the small but not insignificant cohort of Germans of Jewish descent who in one way or another are portrayed by latter-day historians as having served Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime." Laqueur tells you what he thinks about those "latter-day historians," too.  (Tablet, 8/21/13)

"America's museums of Native American and African American history embody a quintessentially American quality: we have always been inclined to look to the future instead of the past, and our museums follow suit. It's impossible to compare what's on display in our national showcase with what you can find in Germany without feeling that America's national history retains its whitewash -- and that a sane and sound future requires a more direct confrontation with our past."  (Aeon, 8/12/13)

"It was as though the left-Hegelian World Spirit had briefly descended on the Central European Department of the OSS." Read the analyses of Franz Neumann and team in Secret Reports on Nazi Germany: The Frankfurt School Contribution to the War Effort.  (Foreign Affairs, July/August 2013; New Statesman, 8/22/13; Standpoint, 9/13)

"East Germany's feared secret police had a bit of a sartorial flair, photos found by artist Simon Menner in the Stasi archive reveal. The images, which offer a glimpse into the clandestine world of phony facial hair and the all-important hat, are set to be published in a book this fall."  (The Daily Mail, 7/30/13; Spiegel Online - International, 9/4/13; The Verge, 9/18/13)

67 years after the end of WWII, the German War Graves Commission still locates and reburies the bodies of 40,000 missing soldiers each year throughout Russia and eastern Europe.  (Spiegel Online - International, 5/8/12; Spiegel Online - International, 7/31/13)

In July, the Simon Wiesenthal Center asked Germany to shut down Der Landser, a right-wing adventure magazine with an idealized take on the heroism of German soldiers in WWII. In September, Bauer Media Group made the right call.  (The New York Times, 7/29/13; The Guardian, 7/30/13; Deutsche Welle, 7/31/13; History Extra, 9/16/13)

Leopold Schreyer fled Berlin in 1939, leaving a precious book collection and nearly everything else behind. 72 years later, Karin Andert and Niko Kohls found one of his books. A fascinating story -- both depressing and hopeful --- about postwar restitution.  (Boston Review, 7/29/13) 

Late but not too late? A push to bring the last surviving perpetrators of the Holocaust to justice raises difficult legal and ethical questions.  (Los Angeles Times, 7/23/13; The Telegraph, 9/4/13; Spiegel Online - International, 9/30/13)

Writing that dissertation just got a little bit easier! All issues of Neues Deutschland, Neue Zeit, and the Berliner Zeitung between 1945-1990 are now available for free online.  (Spiegel Online - International, 6/27/13) 

"It's great to be in East Berlin," Bruce Springsteen told a GDR audience of 300,000 in July 1988. "I came here to play rock 'n' roll for you, in the hope that one day all barriers will be torn down." Erik Kirschbaum's new book shows how The Boss rocked the Berlin Wall.  (BBC, 6/26/13; Reuters, 6/26/13; The Guardian, 7/5/13)

Forget the "jelly donut" thing -- John F. Kennedy's Berlin moment was brilliant.  (BBC News, 6/24/13; The Globe and Mail, 6/25/13; AFP, 6/26/13)

Bronze Age: Europe without Borders "was supposed to mark the culmination of a Year in Germany in Russia after three years of co-operation between German and Russian curators." Instead, the exhibition reopened old wounds about the looting of treasures during and after WWII.  (Financial Times, 6/21/13; Bloomberg, 6/22/13; Judy Dempsey's Strategic Europe, 6/24/13)

Here's the story behind the girlhood friendship that inspired Fazit (Account Rendered), Melita Maschmann's 1963 memoir of her years as a committed activist in the Bund Deutscher Mädel.  (The New Yorker, 5/29/13)

In Hannah Arendt, Margarethe von Trotta takes on one of the great -- and greatly debated -- lives of the 20th century.  (Tablet, 5/24/13; The New York Times, 5/28/13; The New Yorker, 5/31/13; The New York Times, 7/7/13; The New York Review of Books, 11/21/13)

Watch a clip from Hitler's Reign of Terror, a 1934 documentary by Cornelius Vanderbilt IV: "It is an oddball production to our modern eyes and sensibilities, but remarkable all the same: it appears to be the first-ever American anti-Nazi film."  (The New Yorker, 5/21/13)

"Over the years, Leibniz refined his ideas about the systematization and formalization of knowledge, imagining a whole architecture for how knowledge would—in modern terms—be made computational." Stephen Wolfram pays a visit to the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek in Hannover. Fascinating!  (Stephen Wolfram Blog, 5/14/13)

80 years ago, university students across Germany coordinated the burning of books by Jewish, socialist, and other "degenerate" authors. (Deutsche Welle, 5/10/13; The Huffington Post - United Kingdom, 5/10/13)

The TV miniseries Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter will be released in U.S. movie theaters as Generation War(New Republic, 5/7/13)

"The year was 1887 when two of the best-known German anti-Semites of the time put down stakes here in Paraguay's remote jungle with 14 German families screened for their racial purity." Simon Romero visits Nueva Germania today.  (The New York Times, 5/5/13)

"Goodbye to the Nazi's": Richard Overy speaks his mind about the overuse and abuse of that shorthand term for the National Socialist German Workers Party.  (History Today, 5/2013)

Is it "permissable to find beauty in an art that served to legitimize an abhorrent regime?" What if the artist later became that regime's armaments minister? Léon Krier attempts to rehabilitate the architect Albert Speer.  (The Wall Street Journal, 4/12/13)

The "Hitler Diaries" that weren't -- back in the news, and heading to the German Federal Archives.  (Spiegel Online - International, 4/9/13; The New York Times, 4/23/13; The New Yorker, 4/25/13)

"There is no official estimate for how many Nazi-looted books remain in German libraries. Tracing their owners and returning them is a task that librarians say will take decades."  (Bloomberg, 4/7/13)

That bomb uncovered near the Berlin Hauptbahnhof wasn't an anomaly. "Across Germany, an estimated 20,000 tons of WWII material everything from bombs to rusty rifles and the wreckage of trucks and tanksis recovered annually."  (National Geographic Daily News, 4/4/13; The New York Times, 5/27/15)

Much deeper than four shades of red -- In Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life, Jonathan Sperber brings Marx down from the ideological heavens.  (The New York Times, 3/29/13; The Daily Show, 4/2/13; The New York Review of Books, 5/9/13; The Nation, 10/8/13)

"Life and death, honor and shame in the turbulent sixteenth century": Joel F. Harrington illuminates the dark world of Nuremberg executioner Frantz Schmidt. (New Republic, 3/19/13; The Wall Street Journal, 4/7/13; The Chronicle Review, 4/8/13; Barnes and Noble Review, 4/16/13)

Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter shows that a TV miniseries can still spark passionate discussion about the experiences of World War II and the Holocaust.  (AICGS, 3/18/13; Associated Press, 3/28/13; Spiegel Online - International, 3/28/13; The Economist, 3/30/13; Spiegel Online - International, 4/10/13) 

Since the mid-15th century, explains Brendan Simms, Germany has either been too weak or too strong.  Now it's both at the same time. "One way or the other, the German question persists and will always be with us."  (New Statesman, 3/14/13; The Guardian, 3/26/13)

In memoriam: Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist (1922-2013), last surviving conspirator in the Wehrmacht officers' plot to kill Adolf Hitler in 1944.  (The New York Times, 3/12/13; Deutsche Welle, 3/13/13; The Telegraph, 3/13/13; Financial Times, 3/15/13)

John Feffer explores the split personality of Berlin's GDR Museum: "Everyday life in the GDR comes across as quaint, inefficient, boring, comical, and worthy of a varying degree of derision." But the museum's restaurant tells a different story -- that "there was something good about East German life, something worth praising, saving, and even serving to people today."  (Slow Travel Berlin, 3/12/13; Guernica, 5/14/13)

Vergangenheitsbewältigung at the Vienna Philharmonic: "A startlingly frank new report posted on the orchestra's website (in German only, for now) makes it clear that when the Germans swept into Vienna, they found an orchestra that was a ready, even eager tool of Nazi propaganda."  (Bloomberg, 3/10/13; The Guardian, 3/11/13; The Guardian, 3/11/13; Reuters, 3/11/13; Vulture, 3/12/13)

You know the script: "Every few months some politico runs his mouth off, comparing the policies of the other party to those of Nazi Germany." The comparison: typically uninformed and inappropriate. "But the righteous backlash against insensitivity should not overshadow the greater danger: that frivolous analogizing bludgeons the public into cynicism about historical lessons altogether."  (First Things, 3/5/13)

New approaches to understanding the Holocaust
"Thirteen years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe." So far they've cataloged 42,500 sites -- many more than once expected.  (The New York Times, 3/1/13)

"Nothing is so unworthy of a civilised nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct." 70 years ago, three members of the White Rose group were executed for their anti-Nazi expression.  (BBC News Magazine, 2/21/13; Atlantic Review, 2/22/13)

Reviews are plentiful but mixed for Hitler's Philosophers, Yvonne Sherratt's study of "the thinkers admired, corrupted and oppressed by the Nazis."  (Financial Times, 2/15/13; Times Higher Education, 2/21/13; The Independent, 2/22/13;  The Chronicle Review, 3/18/13)

Neither Soviet spies nor Marxist saints -- historical interpretations of the anti-Nazi resistance movement once known as the "Red Orchestra" have shifted in the post-Cold War era.  (The New York Times, 2/15/13)

New approaches to understanding the Holocaust
Fifty years after Hilberg's The Destruction of the European Jews and Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, David Cesarani looks back at the evolution of Holocaust studies.  (New Statesman, 2/14/13)

When Jean-Paul Sartre met RAF leader Andreas Baader in a Stammheim prison cell...the two left-wing icons didn't agree on much, according to a newly released transcript from the Landeskriminalamt Baden-Württemberg.  (Spiegel Online - International, 2/6/13)

In the spring of 1972, Lutz Becker discovered Eva Braun's home movies among a stash of uncatalogued film canisters in a National Archives vault. Becker's find transformed visual historical memory of Adolf Hitler and his inner circle.  (The Guardian, 1/26/13) 

"In the decades from 1770 to 1820, German writers changed the way we think about ethics, the theory of knowledge, religion, law, language, music, art and aesthetics, work and vocation, humans and the natural world, and -- not least -- history."  (The Globalist, 1/18/13; The Globalist, 1/19/13)

Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. Eighty years later, consider these reflections on this fateful turning point.  (The Guardian, 1/30/13; Spiegel Online - International, 1/30/13)

In memoriam: Hans Massaquoi (1926-2013), longtime managing editor of Ebony magazine. His memoir, Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany, appeared in 1999.  (Los Angeles Times, 1/22/13; NPR, 1/25/13)

See the building of the Cologne Cathedral and a battlefield from the German wars of unification -- among other rare photographic glimpses of 19th-century Germany. (Deutsche Welle, 12/10/12; Spiegel Online - International, 1/16/13)

Looking forward to Hannah Arendt -- Margarethe von Trotta has created "an extremely vivid cinematic essay, thrilling in its every minute, deeply moving in its seriousness and suitably unsettling." (Spiegel Online - International, 1/11/13)

In memoriam: Klemens von Klemperer (1916-2012), "one of a generation of refugee historians who helped lay the groundwork for modern German and European studies in the United States."  (The New York Times, 1/7/13)

In 1918, Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West "hit the German consciousness like a boulder tossed upon an anthill." 21st-century Americans, take heed: Robert W. Merry shows how many of Spengler's ominous prophecies remain relevant today.  (The National Interest, 1/2/13)

How do the descendants of Goering and Himmler grapple with the atrocities in their families' past? In Hitler's Children, "the Israeli documentarian Chanoch Ze'evi talks to five people who bear the names of particularly infamous Nazis."  (The Boston Globe, 1/1/13; The Atlantic, 2/15/13; Los Angeles Times, 2/17/13)




Et Cetera

Same procedure as every year, James. It just wouldn't be New Year's Eve without another look at that most baffling of all German holiday traditions, "Dinner for One."  (The Wall Street Journal, 12/26/13)

"When he was born, World War I had just ended. He was German chancellor for eight years, roughly as long as he served in Hitler’s Wehrmacht." Helmut Schmidt speaks with the international press on the occasion of his 95th birthday.  (The Guardian, 12/22/13; The New York Times, 12/23/13)

"Many of the longest-held traditions celebrated at Christmas have their origins in German-speaking Europe, from the Christmas tree to the rituals of decoration to Advent calendars and gingerbread houses. Today, it is the Christmas market that is spreading..."  (The Christian Science Monitor, 12/21/13)

Tempelhof Airport: "a masterpiece of adaptive reuse and a powerful rebuke to the demons of Germany’s past."  And possibly the site of a new central public library too?!  (The Guardian, 12/19/03; The Atlantic, 12/23/13)

"In Bavaria, a centuries-old tradition is being revived. There are no reindeer. No elves. Just terrifying creatures called Krampus."  (National Geographic, 12/17/13; The New York Times, 12/21/14)

Anne Applebaum explains why Angela Merkel's cellphone isn't worth tapping.  (Slate, 10/31/13)

Saul Austerlitz investigates "Germany's Hip New Jew-Pop Revival" -- how a new generation is rethinking the Holocaust, Israelis, and shtetl stereotypes.  (Tablet, 10/21/13)

Kudos to John Crutchfield for a lovely "work of remembering" -- about Kultur, friendship, and the city of Leipzig before it was hip.  (berfrois, 10/15/13)

Herbstlaubtrittvergnügen, Tageslichtspielschock, and 14 other inspired suggestions for Duden's next edition.  (The New York Times, 10/11/13)

The 2013 general election
"Long time, no see: the DDR resurfaces -- on a 2013 electoral map." (Big Think, 10/7/13)

"On Sept. 30, the German author Ilija Trojanov was checking in for an American Airlines flight from Salvado de Bahia, Brazil to Miami, en route to Denver, when he ran into trouble." Did the NSA prevent the surveillance-critical author from getting to the GSA? (Eurozine, 10/3/13; Slate, 10/4/13)

Berlin and its discontents
Berlin's golden age is really over this time, write Quinn Slobodian and Michelle Sterling. "The town’s whimsy and play have been branded by the SPD, sold to venture capital, and dangled before its residents via the Yummie Net."  (The Baffler, 23)

"Are Germans now more American than we are?" asks E.J. Dionne. "We’d do well to study how postwar Germany -- yes, encouraged by the United States -- has embraced the sort of consensual, problem-solving politics for which we were once famous."  (The Washington Post, 9/29/13)

In praise of "digital natives," "Zeitgenossen," and other fine examples of linguistic cosmopolitanism.  (The New York Times, 9/25/13)

"So there you have the EU for the foreseeable future: a giant, weary tortoise, with chancellor Merkel sitting astride its shell, trying to steer its woozy head and coax its bleeding underbelly across stony ground." Ouch!  (The Guardian, 9/25/13)

"Germany has had a kick-me sign on its back for comedians at least since Kaiser Wilhelm donned a spiked helmet more than a century ago." Now, German stand-up comedians are mining the stereotypes for laughs, too.  (The Wall Street Journal, 9/24/13)

The 2013 general election
The day after: Post-election analysis of Angela Merkel's "resounding," "stunning," "depressing" victory.  (Bloomberg, 9/23/13; Financial Times, 9/23/13; The New York Times, 9/23/13; Spiegel Online - International, 9/23/13)

The 2013 general election
Coalition building made easy: check out this handy Koalitionsautomat.  (The Wall Street Journal, 9/16/13)

The 2013 general election
The German election made easy: check out this 2-minute animated introduction.  (BBC, 9/13/13)

The 2013 general election
So much
Kultur, so little cultural sensitivity

Philip Rösler looks different than Germany's other leading politicians. "For the overwhelming majority of Germans that is either uninteresting or a plus, because they are proud that Germany is nowadays an immigrant-friendly country where every opportunity is open to all ethnicities. But for a regrettable minority, the Asian face seems to be a topic of conversation." (The Economist, 9/11/13)

The 2013 general election
Hoping for an end to Germany's political stasis after September 22? Sorry, says Wolfgang Münchau: "On the basis of the polls, even allowing for plenty of statistical wiggle room, it is hard to conceive of a scenario in which Germany could end up with a stable government for four years."  (Financial Times, 9/8/13)

The 2013 general election
"As world leaders debate the Syrian crisis, Europe’s dominant power is conspicuous for its silence," writes Roger Cohen. "Germany is the ghost of international relations."  (The New York Times, 9/5/13; Financial Times, 9/9/13; Foreign Affairs, 9/19/13)

The 2013 general election
Election 2013 -- who says that the Germans aren't focusing on substantive issues?  (Spiegel Online - International, 9/2/13; The Guardian, 9/3/13; Spiegel Online - International, 9/3/13; Reuters, 9/8/13; The New York Times, 9/13/13; The Guardian, 9/17/13; The Guardian, 9/20/13)

At Oktoberfest, dirndls are back -- but they're not the ones your Oma wore.  (The Guardian, 9/1/13; The New York Times, 9/28/13)

"For years following reunification, those from the communist east saw themselves as 'eastern Germans.' Now, more than two decades after the Berlin Wall fell, that identity is rapidly disappearing. East Germany is almost completely gone."  (Spiegel Online - International, 8/30/13)

The 2013 general election
Away from Germany during campaign season? No worries -- Michael Steen has rounded up "some of the more notable ads hitting the airwaves" for you. Bonus points to the Greens for creativity of presentation!  (Financial Times, 8/23/13)

We already knew the East German Ampelmännchen was cuter than his western counterparts. Now researchers at the University of Bremen have determined that he's more effective, too.  (Deutsche Welle, 8/14/13; The Independent, 8/20/13)

Denglisch 101: how English is gradually transforming the German language, from abgefuckt to der Zoom.  (The Economist, 8/15/13)

"There is a new German question. It is this: Can Europe’s most powerful country lead the way in building both a sustainable, internationally competitive eurozone and a strong, internationally credible European Union?" (The New York Review of Books, 8/15/13)

"Like an episode of Wife Swap where Angela Merkel got to set the rules," "Make Me a German" premiered August 6 on BBC 2. (The Telegraph, 7/27/13; The Guardian, 8/6/13; The Telegraph, 8/7/13)

"First as tragedy, then as farce, then as interview" with Eric Jarosinski, the man behind the monocle of @NeinQuarterly.  (Strollology, 6/27/13; Little Utopia, 8/6/13; The Wall Street Journal, 9/16/13; The New Yorker, 2/12/14)

Obama in Berlin: "What was scripted as a celebration of U.S.-German bonds on the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s 'Ich bin ein Berliner' speech has turned into a charged presidential visit underlining how two nations...now think differently about global threats and how to balance security and freedom in confronting them."  (The New York Times, 6/17/13; Yahoo! News, 6/18/13; Spiegel Online - International, 6/19/13; The New York Times, 6/29/13)

"The Social Democrats, the heavy, rusty anchor of German democracy, are 150 years old this year. Still honest, still fearful of taking a risk, still prone to the ghastly blunders which used to make people cover their faces and say: ‘Scheisse! Trotzdem, SPD!’" Neil Ascherson's observations on German politics are spot-on.  (London Review of Books, 6/6/3)

"What could an umlaut do for you? From sex appeal to heavy metal credibility and connotations of European design excellence, those two little dots above a vowel do more work than you'd think." (The Guardian, 5/27/13)

Occupy the Barbie Dreamhouse!  (It's Berlin -- what did you think was going to happen, Mattel?)  (The Guardian, 5/15/13; The Wall Street Journal, 5/16/13; Spiegel Online - International, 5/17/13)

"Europe’s equivalent of the Super Bowl does not kick off for more than two weeks, but in a development that feels all too fitting under the current circumstances here, Germany has already won."  (The New York Times, 5/7/13; The Economist, 5/25/13)

Journalistic icons Die Zeit and Der Spiegel: "Their diverging fortunes underscore different approaches to news publishing in the digital era."  (Wolfgang Blau, 4/27/13; The New York Times, 4/28/13)

A "compromise not devoid of a certain ridiculousness" -- how the square next to the Jewish Museum Berlin's new education center came to be named Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz.  (The New York Times, 4/26/13)

The Wall is long gone, but Berlin's east-west division is still apparent from outer space.  (The Guardian, 4/21/13)

Travel reporters don't have to dig very deep to find "Christopher Isherwood's Berlin." Have a drink at the Sally Bowles cocktail bar, or sign up for an "Isherwood's Neighborhood" walking tour...  (The New York Times, 4/12/13)

That bomb recently uncovered near the Berlin Hauptbahnhof wasn't an anomaly. "Across Germany, an estimated 20,000 tons of WWII material -- everything from bombs to rusty rifles and the wreckage of trucks and tanks -- is recovered annually."  (National Geographic Daily News, 4/4/13)

Ironic meta-commentary, anyone? The Jewish Museum Berlin is raising eyebrows with its latest exhibition, "The Whole Truth," featuring the controversial installation, "Jews in a showcase."  (The Guardian, 3/27/13; The New York Times, 4/4/13; Tablet, 4/4/13)

"Germany's failure to expunge the arrests of victims of a legal system that kept a Nazi-era ban on homosexuality on the books for decades after World War II is indicative of the slow pace of reforms on gay equality, despite a generally liberal populace."  (The New York Times, 3/4/13)

It's been decades since the Federal Republic's guest worker program ended. Millions of foreign "guests" have become permanent German residents -- but their successful integration remains elusive.  (The Economist, 3/2/13; Associated Press, 3/28/13)

"My Foreign-Exchange Family, the Nudists": an American teenager's introduction to FKK in 1980s West Berlin. "It left me with an acute sense of the absurd -- one I still cherish."  (The Wall Street Journal, 3/1/13)

The artists of the troubled Berlin Brandenburg Airport appear to have been much more efficient than its engineers. (Spiegel Online - International, 2/27/13; Spiegel Online - International, 2/28/13)

What?! Iconic paintings from the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, have been removed to make way for high-rise luxury apartments.  (The Local, 2/26/13; The Guardian, 2/27/12; The Atlantic Cities, 3/1/13; Spiegel Online - International, 3/4/13; Spiegel Online - International, 3/27/13; The Washington Post, 3/30/13)

"In the homeland of schadenfreude, the zeal for unmasking academic frauds" has claimed its latest victim: Education Minister Annette Schavan, who resigned her cabinet post over a 33-year-old, plagiarized dissertation.  (Dialog International, 2/9/13; The New York Times, 2/9/13; The New York Times, 2/12/13; The Guardian, 2/11/13)

"A century ago, more than 100,000 people in a large swathe of south central Texas" spoke German regularly. Here are two opportunities to hear the disappearing dialect of Texas German.  (GlobalPost, 2/7/13; BBC News, 5/14/13)

Print media is dead? Long live Der Spiegel! Germany's respected news magazine has thrived by telling "good, factually correct, society-serving stories" -- and by not treating "readers like illiterate idiots."  (The Global Mail, 1/30/13)

"Some people say that if anything could survive a nuclear strike, it would be cockroaches and 'Wetten dass...?'" Others say that the long-running TV show's "stupid German tricks" have long since worn thin.  (The New York Times, 1/30/13)

Berlin and its discontents
Feargus O'Sullivan on travel writing gone wrong: "The same slightly mistaken images of Berlin are so often reheated and served up as fresh, usually some sort of mash-up of Cabaret, The Lives of Others, and The 120 Days of Sodom."  (The Atlantic Cities, 1/18/13)

Green party supporters aren't the only ones who like their produce grown locally and pesticide-free. Meet Germany's "brown environmentalists": "right-wing extremists championing environmental causes and engaging in organic farming, particularly in the depopulated, rural former east."  (The New Yorker, 1/11/13)

Tired of "edgy" Berlin? Munich has culture too! (Financial Times, 1/11/13)

Should journalist Jakob Augstein -- together with Louis Farrakhan, the Iranian regime, and European soccer fans -- be included among those guilty of the "Top 10 Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Slurs" of 2012?  (IHT Rendezvous, 1/9/13; Spiegel Online - International, 1/16/13; Tablet, 1/22/13)

Sie or du? Andreas Kluth reports that Germans "are increasingly dispensing with the formal second person, on the assumption that this will make things easy, cuddly and bubbly." But not without some friction along the way...  (More Intelligent Life, 1/4/13)

Berlin and its discontents
Welcome to Schwabylon -- that is, Prenzlauer Berg. Wolfgang Thierse airs his frustrations with the influx of well-heeled Swabians in his once working-class East Berlin neighorhood.  (Spiegel Online - International, 1/3/13; The New York Times, 1/18/13)

In 1918, Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West "hit the German consciousness like a boulder tossed upon an anthill." 21st-century Americans, take heed: Robert W. Merry shows how many of Spengler's ominous prophecies remain relevant today.  (The National Interest, 1/2/13)

Berlin and its discontents
Tacheles is gone, rents are rising, and a gentrified Berlin has become "the de facto capital of the EU." Attention, hipsters and starving artists: now Leipzig is the city for you. (Financial Times, 10/22/12; Spiegel Online - International, 10/24/12; Deutsche Welle, 1/2/13; New York Magazine, 10/25/13)