Posts tagged "Germany"
To the Crematorium

To the Crematorium

He was running across our rows for the first time. He was creating a new block out of us, the “zugangs” (new arrivals.) He was seeking, among unknown people, some men to keep order in the block. Fate willed it that he chose me, he choose Karol Swietorzecki (a reserve officer of 13th cavalry regiment,) Witold Rozycki (a good fellow from Warsaw,) and several others. More»

Nowhere to Hide

Nowhere to Hide

As I was preparing to spend a year abroad in Germany, I agonized over one of the tips my exchange student organization had sent me. It encouraged us to photograph aspects of the United States that wouldn’t be familiar from watching American movies and television. But what came to mind for me were the homeless people I saw on every trip to Washington D.C. More»

Camping in Poland

Camping in Poland

We were terribly thirsty. Pots with some beverage were just delivered. The same people, who had been killing us, were distributing round mugs of that beverage along our ranks, while asking: “Was bist du von zivil?”We got what desired, that is (a) beverage, and replied some trade, a worker or a craftsmen. And those pseudo-people, while beating and kicking us, shouted:… “Hier ist Auschwitz – mein lieber Mann!” More»

Red Scares

Red Scares

When Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote the first lines of The Communist Manifesto, they turned the conventional notion of haunting on its head, conjuring the “ghost”, not of something that had passed away, but of something that had not yet come to pass. Since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, though, this has changed decisively. The world is haunted instead by the communism that was — and wasn’t. More»

SYRIZA, Take Two

SYRIZA, Take Two

Few ruling parties have their legacies written and the successes and failures declared in less than a month’s time in power, but left-wing critics have decided there are new rules for SYRIZA, the radical left coalition elected in Greece at the end of January. More»

The Right To Be Wrong

The Right To Be Wrong

The horrifying quality of the attacks at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo and at the Hyper Cacher market in Porte de Vincennes continues to roil Europe. The immediate aftermath saw outpourings of support for the periodical, in particular, and for “free speech” in general, although the definition of the latter was (and continues to be) a matter of some debate. More»

This is not Uganda

This is not Uganda

More than just a graphic novel, This is Not Uganda is like peeking over the shoulder of the artist, the Berlin-based Tine Fetz, and seeing everything she sees. The book, released late last year by German publisher Ja Ja Verlag, is a chronicle of the time that Fetz spent studying and traveling in Israel. More»

Someone Else's Problem

Someone Else’s Problem

Sometimes it’s easier to perceive a country’s most pressing problems when you don’t speak the language. It was August, 1986. I had only been in Germany a few weeks. All I could really say were sentences like “It is X” and “I am Y”. Understanding others was even harder. But I had already figured out that the words Obdachlosen and Asylanten were crucial for understanding the nation’s future. More»

The PEGIDA Problem

The PEGIDA Problem

The Nazis are back. So one would be inclined to believe, over the last few weeks, as Islamophobic demonstrations mushroomed across Germany. First catching the international media’s attention with a riot in Cologne, followed by a series of Monday night demonstrations in Dresden, Germany has been forced to acknowledge the growth of widespread sentiment against minorities, specifically Muslims. More»

Bullshitting UKIP

Bullshitting UKIP

The festive period has come early! UKIP has been forced out of its South London office due to activists from AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) dumping half a ton of fresh, steaming fertilizer on the doorstep of their London office on World AIDS Day. I’m trying to be sympathetic, and polite, but UKIP doesn’t make it easy for us.  More»

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»