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Tag Archives: german politics and society

Author of ‘Jesus Reclaimed’ Earns German Decoration

The President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck, honoured Rabbi Walter Homolka with the Officers Cross of the Federal Merit Order.   On February 27, 2015, the Prime Minister of the State of Brandenburg, Dr. Dietmar Woidke, handed over the insignia in the state chancellery in Potsdam.   Woidke thanked Rabbi Homolka for […]

A Lived Journey: Tracing ‘The Path to the Berlin Wall’

The Berlin Wall may have been erected in 1961, but the figurative foundation was laid in 1945, as the Soviet Union’s Communist Party and its allies made selections of their areas of influence. In The Path to the Berlin Wall: Critical Stages in the History of Divided Germany, to be published this month, author Manfred […]

Understanding Europe before, after 1945

In Between Yesterday and Tomorrow: German Visions of Europe, 1926-1950, published last month, author Christian Bailey seeks to understand how Germans became such “good Europeans” after 1945. Whereas many histories of European integration tend to largely focus on the diplomatic goings-on between elites, this book focuses on how support for a united Europe was cultivated in […]

Key to Transformation is Understanding the ‘Fatherland’

The parallels between the political environment of the “Arab Spring” countries and Cold War Germany can be striking, according to Alexander Clarkson, author of Fragmented Fatherland: Immigration and Cold War Conflict in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1945-1980. In these cases, when diaspora communities returned to their countries of origin, there was an energy for […]

Opening Cassirer and Arendt’s ‘Hidden Conversation’

Hannah Arendt was a German-Jewish political theorist; Ernst Cassirer was a German-Jewish philosopher. The ‘liberal Jewish ethics’ of the two come together in Ned Curthoys’ The Legacy of Liberal Judaism: Ernst Cassirer and Hannah Arendt’s Hidden Conversation. The author explains below his fascination of and engagement with the scholars.   _____________________________________ Berghahn Books: What exactly […]

Is All Repression Created Equal?

The recent revelations by Edward Snowden about the extensive online information-gathering activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) have led to a flurry of comparisons in the German media between the American agency and the infamous East German Ministry for State Security, or Stasi. According to a popular statistic, the Stasi could have filled 42,000 […]

Blackface in Berlin Play: Racism or Tradition?

In January 2012, a white man was cast for the part of an African American man in “I’m Not Rappaport” for the German adaptation of the U.S. play. The plan to use blackface makeup—common in American theater up until the Civil Rights movement—to change the man’s appearance stirred controversy, and was called out as racist. […]

Successful Transformation or Failed Transition: ‘United Germany’ Presents Lively Debate

East meets West in United Germany: Debating Processes and Prospects, to be published this month, a collection of works that compares and contrasts German sentiments since the fall of the Berlin Wall nearly a quarter of a century ago. Editor Konrad Jarausch answers questions about the collection and the roots of his passion for the […]

The Nazi Genocide of the Roma: Activism or Scholarship?

The Nazi Genocide of the Roma: Reassessment and Commemoration, to be published this month, gives voice to the plight of the lesser-studied but still widely persecuted population of the Roma in Nazi-occupied Europe. Below, editor Anton Weiss-Wendt addresses the reception of the collection, which he says begs the question: “Is this scholarship or is it […]

Meet the Editors – Rex Clark and Oliver Lubrich

Rex Clark and Oliver Lubrich are the editors of Cosmos and Colonialism and Transatlantic Echoes, two volumes that collect writings by and about Alexander von Humboldt – the first collection of its kind.  Below, the editors discuss their enthusiasm for von Humboldt’s life and work, and its continued relevance in the 21st century. __________________________________________________ What drew you to […]