“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)

No, the pickle ornament is not a beloved German holiday tradition. But “somewhat ironically, the Christmas Pickle has made its way across the pond and has recently started to rise in popularity in Germany.”  (The Local, 12/16/19)

Ever wondered about what happens to items left behind on German trains? This story is for you.  (The New York Times, 12/23/19)

“My country was no longer the land of religious tolerance that it likely felt like to my grandparents upon their arrival,” writes Rachel Leventhal. “Continuing to hold a grudge against Germany for the sins of its past felt completely out of touch with the reality of this terrifying new America.”  (Tablet, 11/1/19)

“Merkeling along has not served the country poorly (not for nothing is the chancellor still its most popular politician) . . . But the practice of deferring many difficult decisions, taking others at the last-minute and wrapping the whole package in a soothingly apolitical vagueness has left behind a trail of unresolved tensions and challenges.”  (New Statesman, 11/21/19; The Guardian, 11/22/19)

“German unification was shaped by both the East and the West, and Helmut Kohl’s political skill and the trust he enjoyed with the allies played a significant role. But the peaceful revolution and Nov. 9, 1989, was the work of the citizens of the GDR.” (Spiegel Online – International, 11/7/19)

It’s November 2019. Germans are celebrating three decades of reunification with each other—and mourning three years of estrangement with the U.S.  (Bloomberg, 11/7/19)

Neues Deutschland, once the party newspaper of the SED, is now published by Die Linke. “Despite brutal circulation decline, heavy financial losses and massive job cuts, the paper survived the transition to capitalism and democracy.”  (Financial Times, 11/1/19)

“Germany’s Jews are increasingly a target of violence and aggression. Germany, of all countries, needs to protect them.”  (The Atlantic, 10/9/19; The New York Times, 10/10/19)

Walzwerk, a restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District that specializes in East German cuisine, “is a portal to life behind the Iron Curtain and to a state that no longer exists.”  (Atlas Obscura, 9/17/19)

“It feels like more books about race have been published in the past two years in Germany than in the past two decades,” writes Mithu Sanyal. “Reading about all this can create the impression there is more racism than ever in Germany. Actually, the opposite is true. What’s happened is we are finally starting to talk about it.”  (The Guardian, 9/18/19)

Germans “have been getting naked in public for over a hundred years.” Katrin Bennhold investigates!  (The New York Times, 8/31/19; The New York Times, 8/31/19)