“What lessons can Americans concerned about the current state and future of their democracy take from the German experience?” Political scientist Stephen Szabo has suggestions.  (Foreign Policy, 10/17/21)

Merkel-Raute, Muttivation, asymmetrische Demobilisierung, and more: Here are 16 terms that Angela Merkel’s 16-year chancellorship helped usher into the German language.  (The Guardian, 9/22/21)

“Angela, Angie and sometimes Merkel: For some refugee families who traveled to Germany during the migrant crisis of 2015 and 2016, gratitude for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to welcome them comes via a namesake.”  (The New York Times, 9/19/21)

“It’s a nail-biter, German-style: Who can most effectively channel stability and continuity? Or put another way: Who can channel Ms. Merkel?” Voters will elect a new chancellor and governing coalition on September 26. (The New York Times, 9/1/21)

The Greens and the CDU/CSU will settle on their chancellor candidates soon. “With both choices imminent, and an unusually competitive election looming, the focus is on the individual rivalries. but the contest also deserves to be seen as a broader one, on the character and location of Germany’s post-Merkel political centre.”  (New Statesman, 4/14/21)

Why Märklin is thriving: “For many people, the chance to create a separate, better world in the living room—with stunning mountains, tiny chugging locomotives and communities of inch-high people where no one needs a mask—is hard to resist.”  (The New York Times, 3/18/21)

Abstandsbier, Coronaangst, overzoomed, and more: more than 1,000 new German words are here to help us describe pandemic life.  (The Guardian, 2/23/21; Slate, 2/24/21)

A dilapidated Boeing 707 with an unusual history is the last plane at Berlin’s Tegel airport. It’s slated to be removed by the end of April 2021.  (Atlas Obscura, 2/17/21)

Confused about German politics? “Keep squinting at the overall hue of the national palette,” Andreas Kluth advises. “It’ll always tend toward mud-brown. But a black-green pattern is also becoming discernable.”  (Bloomberg, 2/17/21)

There’s a new political leader on Germany’s national stage. By a narrow majority, the CDU elected the “Catholic, moderate, consensus-oriented, no-experiments” Armin Laschet to be its new leader. But will he represent the party in the September election?  (New Statesman, 1/16/21; The Economist, 1/23/21)

In Germany, “the virus is not an ‘enemy,’ and the process of containing it is not a war.” In response to the pandemic, German politicians tend to forego martial imagery and opt for expressions like “challenge,” “crisis,” “task,” and even “long-distance run.”  (The Conversation, 5/22/20)

“Whatever the question, the answer is Germany”—it seems Britain and the U.S. could use some help.  (The New York Times,  7/19/20; The Guardian, 8/22/20; The New York Times, 8/25/20; The Economist, 8/29/20; The Irish Times, 8/31/20; New Statesman, 9/2/20)


One hundred years after the redrawing of the German-Danish border, a once “bloody European frontier” has become “one of the world’s most successfully integrated and multilingual border regions.”  (The Economist, 8/22/20)

“Merkel has been chancellor since 2005, when her fellow world leaders included Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and George W Bush. It is hard to imagine Germany, and the continent, without her.” Here’s a useful overview of what might come next in Germany’s political landscape.  (New Statesman, 8/7/20)

Germans, socks, and sandals—here’s all you need to know.  (Deutsche Welle, 7/29/20)

“For postwar Germany, the United States was savior, protector and liberal democratic model. Now, Germans, in shock, speak of the ‘American catastrophe.'”  (The Guardian,  7/23/20; The New York Times, 7/24/20)

“Available at train stations, supermarkets, bakeries, kiosks, factories, Portuguese beach resorts, online, and everywhere else Germans buy things, Bild Zeitung squats like a large toad on German life.” Thomas Meaney examines the history and persistent influence of Germany’s largest tabloid newspaper.  (The Guardian, 7/16/20)

Through the Darkest of Times and Attentat 1942 are among a new breed of video games that seek to portray the historical experience of National Socialism, and the difficult moral choices that accompanied it, in a more nuanced way.  (The New York Times, 3/20/20; The Washington Post, 7/6/20)

“Germany has a problem . . . Cases of far-right extremists in the military and the police, some hoarding weapons and explosives, have multiplied alarmingly.”  (The New York Times, 7/3/20)

“Confronted with a pandemic that has cratered Europe’s economy, Ms. Merkel and Mr. Macron, who have often found themselves at odds over the years, dragged the rusty Franco-German motor out of the garage and got it running again.”  (The New York Times, 5/19/20; Bloomberg, 5/20/20)

“The leader of the free world gives a speech, and she nails it.”  (Intelligencer, 3/18/20; The Atlantic, 4/20/20)

What do CDU leaders Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz, and Norbert Röttgen all have in common? They studied law with Constanze Stelzenmüller in 1980s Bonn, and she has a thing or two to say about that.  (Financial Times, 3/5/20)

Philip Oltermann casts Angela Merkel as the “anti-hero Arthur Dent: an everywoman who remains bewildered by—rather than in charge of—the strange alien universe she has landed in.”  (The Spectator, 1/29/20)

Thomas Kemmerich’s sudden rise—and fall—as minister president of Thüringen “displayed the disastrous state of Germany’s political center—and how far the country now stands from the anti-fascist consensus it proclaims to maintain.”  (Foreign Policy, 2/7/20; The New York Times, 2/7/20; Bloomberg, 2/10/20)

Berlin’s clubs are dying? Long live Berlin’s clubs!  (The New York Times, 1/24/20; The Economist, 1/30/20; The Irish Times, 2/1/20; The Guardian, 2/12/20)