“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)

Nearly thirty years after German reunification, divisions between the country’s eastern and western voters are growing wider.  (Berlin Policy Journal, 8/29/19; Financial Times, 8/29/19; The New York Times, 8/29/19)

“In the summer of 2019, the political scene in Berlin is in greater flux than at any time since the Second World War.” Adam Tooze retraces the key turning points that brought Germany’s political parties to their current volatile alignment.  (London Review of Books, 7/18/19)

Empty Hearts by Juli Zeh (translated by John Cullen) “has the veneer of a thriller but it’s more accurate to call it a chiller: chilling in the accuracy of its satire and chilling in its diagnosis of our modern malaise.”  (The New York Times, 7/26/19)

Welcome to Oldenburg, Indiana, “where people are deeply proud of their German immigrant heritage and deeply conflicted about how to think about immigration today.”  (The New York Times, 8/1/19)

Luxury renovation has become a tool for displacement in Germany’s capital city, but Berliners aren’t giving up without a fight.  (The New Yorker, 7/12/19; CityLab, 7/16/19)

“German pacifism is here to stay, and there’s no use asking the country to be what it isn’t.”  (The New York Times, 7/23/19)

The “house by the lake” in Gross Glienicke has been beautifully restored. It’s now a center for education and reconciliation called the Alexander Haus.  (The Guardian, 6/16/19)

“But, of course, honesty is only synonymous with Germany if you don’t know much about its storied history of prevarication.” No worries! Here’s Rebecca Schuman’s hilarious hot take on Otto IV, Luther, Nietzsche, Volkswagen, and the Miracle of Bern.  (Longreads, 6/2019)

Resettled refugees in Germany are participating in apprenticeship programs and filling needed jobs, and the benefits are mutual.  (The Washington Post, 5/5/19; Al Jazeera, 6/20/19; The Washington Post, 7/17/19)

“It’s only in Ms. Merkel’s absence that Germans realize how different she is from her party—an easy mistake, because she has led the center right since taking office 14 years ago. But Ms. Merkel did not stand for conservatism. In fact, she was the greenest chancellor Germany has ever had…”  (The New York Times, 6/19/19)

“Four elements—the U.S. security guarantee, the international free-trade regime, the democratic wave, and the suppression of nationalism,” writes Robert Kagan, “have together kept the old German question buried deep under the soil.” Ominously, all four are now up in the air.  (Foreign Affairs, May/June 2019)

Environmental issues are only part of the story. Here’s how the German Green Party has become more successful than ever.  (The Local, 5/27/19; The Conversation, 5/29/19)

“Some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.”  (The New York Times, 5/21/19; The Washington Post, 5/28/19; The Guardian, 5/31/19)

An EU hoodie has become the “it-garment” of German politicians. At the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger’s hoodie “got more attention than his dire warnings about the collapse of the post-World War II global order.”  (The Local, 5/23/19)

Giles Macdonogh attempts to show us that German humor is underrated.  (Standpoint, 4/30/19)

Hello, Dackelmuseum! “The world’s first and only museum in honour of the dachshund” is the new pride of Passau.  (1843, 5/15/19)

“When Karsten Hilse, an eastern lawmaker for the anti-immigrant, anti-wolf Alternative for Germany party, or AfD, talks about wolves, it sounds a lot as if he is talking about immigrants. And sometimes he is.”  (The New York Times, 4/23/19)

“One by one, the fixed stars that have guided German foreign policy for generations have started to dim.”  (Financial Times, 4/23/19)

In other words: current political trends are just as troubling in Germany as nearly everywhere else.  (The Washington Post, 4/12/19; The New York Times, 4/15/19)

Sadly, it’s the end of the road for Handelsblatt Today. But you can still appreciate Andreas Kluth’s observations on the “deep-seated differences between German and Anglo-Saxon storytelling.”  (Handelsblatt Today, 2/27/19)

“When a refugee flees to another country and claims asylum, she is, in effect, petitioning the state to listen to her story . . .  Where the state has failed to meet its moral obligation to listen, writers like Jenny Erpenbeck have stepped in.”  (Longreads, 2/2019)

It’s Grünkohl season in northern Germany, where kale is a beloved — if not exactly vegetarian — culinary specialty.  (The New York Times, 2/26/19)