Skinheads used to be a common site on Karl-Marx-Straße. Every so often you’d see them strolling down the street in their green flight jackets and white laced combat boots throwing menacing looks at passersby. (More…)
Few cities are as hyped for their cosmopolitanism more than Berlin. Home to a bewildering array of nationalities, it caters to fantasies of a fully globalised space that could be designated capital of a world without borders. (More…)
The racists have it wrong. The invading hordes of migrants are neither Arab nor Muslim. The majority, in the two cities I work, Berlin and Turin, are African. Black African that is, many speaking indigenous languages, if not French or English. If they’re religious, generally the choice of faith is Evangelical Protestantism, not jihadist Islam. (More…)
The German revolutionary movement before Hitler was based on the economic and social theory of Karl Marx; an understanding of German fascism, therefore, presupposes an understanding of Marxism. (More…)
Few words strike fear into the Jewish heart more than pogrom. Russian shorthand for the state-sponsored persecution of minorities, it comes second only to Shoah, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust. It’s not a big jump to the Nazi genocide. One, at least historically, if not logically, precedes the other. (More…)
They’re the only populist party that matters. Or at least did, until Italy’s far-right Lega (Nord) entered government in June, in a previously unimaginable coalition with the upstart Cinque Stelle (5 Star), well to the Lega’s left on most issues. Numerically speaking, Alternative für Deutschland polled far better in Germany’s 2017 elections but had no one similar to partner with. (More…)
Oren was frustrated. “You always end up living with jihadists,” he said. “Wherever you move in Europe, it’s always the same.” While I wouldn’t have chosen the J-word, he wasn’t entirely wrong. I’d made a habit of living in Muslim-heavy neighbourhoods in Milan and Berlin. (More…)
In a final “Fuck You” to the German press, soccer star Mesut Özil chose to publish his long-awaited statement on the controversy surrounding him in the form of a series of English-language social media posts spread out throughout last Sunday, ruining more than a few editors’ weekends. (More…)
At first glance, the Germans clambering over the Berlin Wall were a welcome sight. Finally, the DDR had imploded, and the countdown to reunification had begun. But, the Cold War wasn’t over just yet, and my distrust of the coverage made me wonder about the darkness that might yet follow the protestors West. (More…)
“God is great,” exclaimed the cab driver. “Erdogan is Allah’s messenger.”
To my Middle Eastern trained ears, it might as well have been Istanbul. But, as populists would have it, this was Berlin.
Neukölln, to be precise, cruising down the revolutionary Karl-Marx-Straße en route to the veterinarian with my Welsh Terrier.
“I’m not so sure about his democratic inclinations,” I responded. “Erdogan’s growing concentration of power in the executive is frightening.” (More…)
“Heil Hitler,” the shout rang out as we disembarked from the train. The largely Arab passengers were taken aback, immediately scanning the platform. Several hijab-clad women with young children made eye contact to see if I was the offending European party. (More…)
The Sixties are a cliché. They have been since the 1980s. But, who wouldn’t argue that the era isn’t preferable to the one we live in now. Everything in politics is about time these days. Nostalgia, in particular. (More…)