Tag: East Germany

The German election was a pyrrhic victory for Angela Merkel. She has just enough seats to pull together a new coalition with the Free Democrats and the Green Party. However, the rise of the Alternative for Deutschland, and the loss of the SPD as a junior partner, means Merkel will triangulate further to the right on the refugee question. (More…)

Going into the German elections the consensus is that Angela Merkel will once again be reinstated and the grand coalition reconstituted. Many people are taking refuge in the status quo given the instability in the world today. But this election result didn’t look so certain at the start of 2017. (More…)

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…)

This is a peculiar moment in American culture. Slavery doesn’t trouble the psyche of this country in normal times. Although it was a key element on which much of the wealth of the United States was once based, the history of slavery is typically viewed as the prehistory of the Emancipation Proclamation. But a spate of recent publications has pushed the issue to a new level of prominence. (More…)

One of the important tasks of the on-going project of Never Again for Anyone, including our own to take place in Berlin during the Holocaust’s 70th anniversary, is to highlight the danger of a resurgence of violent far-right activity in Europe. As a German resident, I think the most notable example in recent times is undoubtedly the case of the National Socialist Underground (NSU). (More…)

Who could argue with such a simple request? “1 Euro for education”, the sign reads, advertising IKEA’s ongoing commitment to donate that amount to Save the Children with the purchase of each soft toy. But given the context, it’s hard not to read the message as a disturbing double entendre. (More…)

It was too simple. Black and white, with a drawing and some type, from a distance, it had the feel of an old school punk flyer. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be solidarity demo flyer, to support Occupy Gezi. Sporting Turkish hashtags (“DiREGEZI”) it could not have been more contemporary, either.  Yet, written at the bottom was a distinctly identifiable German phrase: Wir Sind Das Volk (“We are the people.”) (More…)

This poster couldn’t be more timely. In the wake of President Obama’s trip last week, in which he went through the motions of declaring the United States’ unwavering support for Israel, despite suggesting parallels between Palestinians and African-Americans, frustration at the intransigence of Israeli leaders is at an all-time high and calls for a boycott are spreading. (More…)

The Academy Awards had its share of surprises, but none more significant than the end of broadcast cutaway to the White House, where the First Lady helped presenter Jack Nicholson announce the winner of the Oscar for Best Picture. Like many of the media events sculpted for the Obama Presidency, this high-tech exchange stopped many viewers short. (More…)

When the Simon Wiesenthal Center published its 2012 Top Ten Anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel Slurs list, it comprised many obvious figures. #1 was Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has routinely called for Jewry’s destruction. The apposite quality of this designation was further illustrated when comments made by Mohammed Morsi came to light, in which he described Zionists as “bloodsuckers.” (More…)

At first glance, the flyer might have struck the jaded flâneur as parody. Instead of the crusty punks and hippies that usually festoon images of protest in Berlin, a bunch of white-hairs hold a large banner with the classic squatter’s slogan “This house is occupied.” (More…)