Posts tagged "Germany"
Orientalism For Dummies

Orientalism For Dummies

Most of the time, the point of education is to help us to distinguish between things, figuring out what does and doesn’t belong together. But there are times when it pays to remember what ignorance once conflated and confused. Prejudice may derive from misunderstanding, but that doesn’t make it any less real. And prejudice, more often than not, comes from a failure to recognize and respect distinctions. More»

Berlin at War

Berlin at War

Kein mensch ist illegal. Refugees welcome here. Few cities can claim as much pro-asylum messaging as that found in Berlin. Spray-painted on the sides of buildings, stickered inside public restrooms. It’s absolutely everywhere. Considering the diverse character of the city, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The German capital is as much a global metropolis as it is a national one. More»

No Insurance

No Insurance

It took us a few seconds to figure out what was happening. One minute my host brothers had been hurling snowballs towards the roof of an apartment building, and the next we were being assaulted by a blur of a man, shirtless but a little sweaty despite the fierce cold. He landed one punch, missed another, then turned to charge at me. “I don’t have insurance,” I shouted in German, More»

Hating Remembrance Day in London

Hating Remembrance Day in London

I have never seen such an ahistorical marker of a historical event as Remembrance Day in London. Remembrance Day has never been about intellectual debates. It is a solemn holiday that is marked by macabre displays of poppies and moments of silence. More»

Missing in Berlin

Missing in Berlin

Newsstands aren’t what they used to be. Onetime indicators of high circulation periodicals, today, their selection tends towards a combination of promoted titles [think advertising placement, pushing readers online] and community newspapers. Berlin’s newsstands oftentimes lean towards the latter, offering titles in multiple languages, ranging from Albanian to Turkish. More»

Berlin as Jerusalem

Berlin as Jerusalem

Compared to other German cities or metropoles like Paris and London, Berlin has benefited from its lack of meaningful antiquity. Little more than a village prior to Prussia’s ascendancy in the 1700s and still not very impressive in Germany’s early years as a unified nation, it was free to develop as a fully modern city. Not only cartographically and architecturally, but ideologically. More»

Germany for Refugees

Germany for Refugees

Flags were flying everywhere. Kurdish, Turkish, Syrian, Palestinian. If you wanted to take inventory of where this neighborhood comes from, this would be the place to start. Police in riot gear milled through the crowd, taking stock of the situation, looking to be in place if things got out of hand. You could see the worry in their eyes. More»

Safe European Home?

Safe European Home?

Anti-Semitism in Europe has been growing for some time, most prominently in France, which not coincidentally has the continent’s largest Jewish population by a wide margin. Emigration to Israel is rising. But Germany is a notable exception, having become a destination for Jews in recent years. While there are several reasons for this, it’s hard to argue with the conclusion that education has played a key role. More»

Evicted From the World

Evicted From the World

The complaints are always the same. They commit crimes. They’re a strain on social services. They’ve come for economic reasons. They’re Muslims. The negatives are predictable, and unfortunately, convincing. The more they come, the more Europeans find themselves uncomfortable. More»

Germany's Black Energiewende

Germany’s Black Energiewende

If the goal is to decisively tackle climate change, then Germany’s Energiewende is a disaster. This wouldn’t be the case if Europe’s environmentalists weren’t so deeply opposed to using nuclear power. More»

Devil May Dare

Devil May Dare

“Daredevil” is not a word that many people associate with Germany these days; certainly not the nation’s military. And that’s probably a blessing, even if its allies long for less hesitant support. The history of Germans acting boldly took a wrong turn shortly after Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door. Does anybody want to risk urging them to act now and think later? More»

Right for the Wrong Reason

Right for the Wrong Reason

Few pieces of journalism have aroused the ire than Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem did when it was published in 1963. Arendt, who covered the trial for The New Yorker, seemed to have her own agenda. At times her tone bordered on flippancy, particularly when she accused the Judenräte, the councils that ran the ghettoes of Poland and Russia, of collaboration. More»