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)