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U-853

"ALL U-BOATS. ATTENTION ALL U-BOATS. CEASE-FIRE AT ONCE. STOP ALL HOSTILE ACTION AGAINST ALLIED SHIPPING. DÖNITZ." [more inside]
posted by AugieAugustus on May 6, 2011 - 42 comments

 

Atlantropa: Dam in the Straits of Gibraltar and Flood Africa

The Canal des Deux Mers connected the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, the Zuiderzee Works reclaimed part of shallow inlet of the North Sea to expand the Netherlands, so why not try taming the Mediterranean and irrigating Africa? Part ocean reclamation, part power generation (the "white coal" of falling water), Atlantropa wasn't simply the stuff of science fiction. First called Panropa, it was the long-term goal of a German architect and engineer named Herman Sörgel, a dream that lasted until his death in 1952, and the Atlantropa Institute continued on another 8 years. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 22, 2011 - 17 comments

Prisoner 918

802 Prisoners attempted escape from Auschwitz. 144 were successful. Kazimierz Piechowski, a Polish boy scout, was one of them. Today, at age 91, he tells his story. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 13, 2011 - 30 comments

No matter what we get out of this, I know, I know we'll never forget

"Smoke on the Water", as performed by Germany's military brass band and Berlins guard battalion, part of the farewell to German defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 29, 2011 - 56 comments

Stasi, SSIS, ...

"I almost can't believe I'm witnessing this. We're inside the fortress of terror, our very own Mordor..." [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Mar 7, 2011 - 74 comments

Dr. zu Googleberg

In February, a political and academic scandal broke in Germany when it turned out that the defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg had plagiarized parts of his doctoral dissertation, defended in 2006 and published as a book in 2009. Guttenberg, who had initially denied the allegations and maintained his popularity despite the scandal, resigned on 1 March. [more inside]
posted by daniel_charms on Mar 7, 2011 - 28 comments

Braindriver

Braindriver is a car that allows you to steer, accelerate and decelerate with nothing more than the faint electrical signals generated by the brain.
posted by jason's_planet on Mar 5, 2011 - 13 comments

It's kind of like Minecraft, except you drive a bus in Germany...

Do you like video games? Have you ever wanted to comprehensively reenact the daily life of a double-decker bus driver in 1985 West Berlin? Your prayers have finally been answered. Aerosoft's impressive Omnibus Driving Simulator allows you to take command of the venerable 1980s-vintage MAN SD200 and SD202 double-decker buses (in 20 authentic 1980s advertising liveries) along West Berlin's Omnibus Route 92, complete with an accurate simulation of all four production-runs of the SD200's transmission, drivetrain, climate control, and passenger information systems. If the SD202 doesn't cut it for you, or you want to escape the clutches of West Berlin, there's a comprehensive map editor and scripting engine at your disposal. (via) [more inside]
posted by schmod on Feb 22, 2011 - 46 comments

SO GERMAN

Wetten Dass..? (Wanna Bet..?) is a long running German language television show where ordinary people are challenged to perform incredible stunts. While a celebrity panel looks on, someone might climb up a tower using a back-hoe. Or maybe someone could carve a pumpkin into a boat and paddle it across a lake. Many of the challenges involve people identifying things in strange ways. This girl identifies Lego Star Wars minifigs using only her mouth. This guy identifies varieties of canned sausage by tasting the juice. Other tasks show off unique physical talents, like this guy, who changes his clothes while running backwards on a treadmill, or these amazing people, who change a tire on a motorcycle while popping a wheelie on the SAME motorcycle. They don't always succeed, but it's almost always entertaining, and thanks to the official Wetten Dass..? YouTube channel you can see even more people doing crazy stuff. 63 more clips under the fold. [more inside]
posted by arcolz on Feb 11, 2011 - 43 comments

Ephemeral works

"The Szpilman Award is awarded to works that exist only for a moment or a short period of time. The purpose of the award is to promote such works whose forms consist of ephemeral situations." This years winner is Treebute to Yogya. The organisers also maintain a blog and an encyclopædia of ephemeral works.
posted by unliteral on Jan 10, 2011 - 9 comments

Raisins: More Than Nature's Candy

A box of raisins saves a family from the Nazis. The Pop Laval Foundation in Fresno, CA adds an interesting WWII story to a historical photo from a local raisin processing plant.
posted by gusandrews on Jan 8, 2011 - 25 comments

United States v. Tiede

On August 30, 1978 a Polish airliner was hijacked and redirected to Tempelhof airport in West Berlin. Torn between a policy of supporting defection and a recently-signed anti-hijacking treaty, the West German government ceded jurisdiction over the defendants to the United States government, which was still technically an occupying power and had an interest in the case because of the US Air Force Base at Tempelhof. The result was the one and only decision rendered by the United States Court for Berlin, United States v. Tiede. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jan 7, 2011 - 13 comments

The German Model & Works Councils

Wondering at the route US vs. German unemployment has taken, I found some clues here and there, but the overriding factor seems to be the German model[1] and works councils.[2] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 27, 2010 - 34 comments

Dates which do not live in infamy

The attack on Pearl Harbor was neither the U.S.' first armed conflict leading to WW II, nor the last Axis attack on American soil. [more inside]
posted by Zed on Dec 7, 2010 - 29 comments

They always did tend towards having the snappiest uniforms

American military planners are fascinated with German/Prussian military history. Busts of Von Clauswitz adorn American military academies where On War is taught, often with the misperception that Von Clauswitz viewed war as a controllable science. Shock & Awe is just the idea of Blitzkrieg with better weapons. Endless exhortations about unit cohesion (a complex, multi-layered idea with no military definition that is nonetheless used to keep gay soldiers from openly serving) comes from admiration for the Wehrmacht, their discipline and courage on the battlefield. So too the idea of a military culture separate and more honorable than the civilians they protect, advancing the professional warrior model at the expense of the citizen-soldier model. But to quote author military/adventure author Tom Clancy, “Why do people have a fixation with the German military when they haven’t won a war since 1871?Previously
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 2, 2010 - 128 comments

A G.I.'s WWII Memoir

Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt," told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 23, 2010 - 7 comments

Triumphant

Regina Jonas was the first woman rabbi. Ordained by the head of the German Liberal Rabbis’ Association in 1935 she continued to meet considerable resistance from many more conservative Jews; nevertheless she continued to work as a rabbi whereever she could find an audience even after being deported to the concentration camp of Theresienstadt; she remained there, giving comfort as she could, until she was murdered at Auschwitz in 1944. Her work was, for many years, forgotten until her papers were discovered in East Germany.
Ukrainian-born German Alina Treiger is to become the first woman ordained in Germany as a Rabbi since then.
posted by rodgerd on Nov 4, 2010 - 5 comments

The Battle of Stalingrad

In the scale of its intensity, its destructiveness and its horror, Stalingrad has no parallel. It engaged the full strength of the two biggest armies in Europe and could fit into no lesser framework than that of a life-and-death conflict which encompasses the earth. - The New York Times, February 4, 1943 [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 27, 2010 - 61 comments

RIP Hermann Scheer (1944-2010)

Hermann Scheer - long-serving German parliamentarian, "Europe's Al Gore," father of the feed-in tariff, and perhaps the most important green politician of our time - died yesterday at the age of 66. [more inside]
posted by gompa on Oct 15, 2010 - 8 comments

Rendez-vous auf den Champs-Elysées

In 1957, the year of the Treaty of Rome, founding the European Economic Community and setting the aim of an "ever closer union", the national railway companies of West Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and Holland (later joined by Belgium and Spain) launched the Trans Europ Express, a joint network of first-class-only international trains for business travellers. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Oct 10, 2010 - 14 comments

The cat, the mouse, and the elephant.

"This is your state! A big country like India is a slave to a small country like Britain. The Indian soldiers should be fighting for their freedom which can only be achieved if England is destroyed. You are only fighting to remain enslaved." A comprehensive account of WWII propaganda campaigns on all sides of the complicated relationship between Axis, Allies, and India. [more inside]
posted by albrecht on Oct 8, 2010 - 13 comments

World War I Officially Financially Ends

World War I will officially financially end this Sunday on the 20th anniversary of the Reunification of Germany (German Unity Day) and 91 years after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles as the last debt is paid. [more inside]
posted by Deflagro on Sep 29, 2010 - 34 comments

Auf wiedersehn, jet

On the 19th of October, a Deutsche Bahn ICE3 train will travel from Germany to London through the Channel Tunnel. [more inside]
posted by acb on Sep 20, 2010 - 60 comments

"...I never saw anything like this. The animal that came from never had any fur on it.”

I didn’t put much stock in the possibility that a Dominican spiritualist working out of a basement in Union City, New Jersey, would have much to say about a lampshade that might have been made from human skin in a Nazi concentration camp. But there I was.... (via)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 7, 2010 - 74 comments

The Taxi Gourmet

The Taxi Gourmet Every week, I get in a taxi, ask the driver to take me to his or her favorite restaurant. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago on Aug 30, 2010 - 98 comments

"Berlin is rather a part of the world than a city"

Postcards from Berlin is a call from a Berlin (Germany) design studio for virtual postcards from all of the places in the US named Berlin.
posted by mkb on Aug 20, 2010 - 29 comments

A Home Movie Featuring Adolf Hitler (SLYT)

A family traveled to France and Germany in 1938 and shot this footage which features two appearances by Adolf Hitler. It's creepy seeing this Nazi spectacle shot by an amateur. It's a perspective I don't know if I've ever seen. The video opens in France and the Nazi footage starts around 1:45.

The collector writes: "The Basement Collection presents: An 8mm film bought at an estate sale back in the 90's. This reel is part of a series of a family vacation movies to Europe in 1938. On this reel the family visits France and then Germany. The footage of Hitler is from a celebration in the Berlin Stadium on what I think is a May Day celebration (May 2, 1938) then another celebration at Berlin's Lustgarten. (on May 1st). (I think the reel was edited together out of order)."
posted by zzazazz on Aug 12, 2010 - 95 comments

Hoggin'

Feral hogs can be a real problem. They destroy native ecosystems and are difficult to catch and relocate (previously). But folks, now we have a real problem. Radioactive boars are on the loose in Germany.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on Aug 7, 2010 - 26 comments

Poetry in Hell

Poetry in Hell contains a complete collection of poems recovered from the Warsaw Ghetto's Ringelblum Archives. The project, which took ten years to complete, gives English translations of poems that are shown in their original Yiddish. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 23, 2010 - 9 comments

"We’re still here, playing board games.”

“There are two schools of thought as to why the Germans love board games. The Germans are of the opinion that it’s down to their superior education system. We English are of the opinion that it’s because German TV is shite.” The most prestigious award in board gaming, the Spiel des Jahres, goes to the storytelling game Dixit. Video presentation of 2010 nominees. List of previous winners.
posted by grounded on Jul 20, 2010 - 88 comments

The Internet Is Over

He says: "The internet's completely over. I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it. "The internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good."
After releasing Cause & Effect and Hot Summer through his local Minneapolis public radio station, Prince elects to forego official digital release of his new album, "20Ten". Instead, he will give it away through France's Courrier International (July 8), England's Daily Mirror and Scotland's Daily Record (July 10), and Germany's Rolling Stone (July 22), starting this week. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jul 6, 2010 - 139 comments

Nearly there....

There are only 10 days of the World Cup left. The World Cup Final is on Sunday 11th July at 19:30 GMT. Today sees the start of the Quarter Finals, and with only 8 teams left, this is when the pressure really starts. A brief Preview of the Quarter finals: [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 2, 2010 - 349 comments

Psychic octopus 1 - 0 everybody else

Paul, an octopus in Germany, has made international headlines with his perfect record predicting the outcome of Germany's World Cup matches. On Tuesday, the cephalopod chose the national squad to defeat Argentina on Saturday. But it could be a tight game.
posted by orrnyereg on Jun 29, 2010 - 55 comments

Berlin is colorful

Matthias Heiderich takes colorful pictures of Berlin, among other things. I think this one is my favorite. [via] [more inside]
posted by malapropist on Jun 28, 2010 - 15 comments

The Radiographic Nude

"EIZO High End Monitors Medical Imaging" presents: Pin-Up 2010, an x-ray pinup calendar. (Possibly NSFW)
posted by zarq on Jun 16, 2010 - 46 comments

Iz just like Friends, but with cupcakes, at McDonald's and ...

When do you know the cupcake fad is dead? When Germans start selling them at McDonald's with names inspired by New York City neighborhoods.
posted by treeshar on Apr 5, 2010 - 108 comments

Nennen wir das Ganze ab.

You say Potato, I say... [more inside]
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist on Mar 21, 2010 - 13 comments

Wolves, neo-Nazis and Germanys population crash

Due to population decline, Detroit plans on bulldozing roughly a quarter of the 139-square-mile city into semi-rural farmland. It is a worst case scenario in America, but pales to the problem of Eastern Germany, where demographic collapse in some towns is so severe, urban-wolves and neo-Nazis are the new order of the day. The mayor of one town says: "You can't go into the forest without a knife anymore." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Mar 19, 2010 - 114 comments

Vintage German Illustration

Vintage German illustrations, poster art, and advertisments.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Mar 10, 2010 - 12 comments

Kinder, Küche, Kirche

In Germany, a Tradition Falls, and Women Rise. The half-day school system survived feudalism, the rise and demise of Hitler’s mother cult, the women’s movement of the 1970s and reunification with East Germany. Now, in the face of economic necessity, it is crumbling: one of the lowest birthrates in the world, the specter of labor shortages and slipping education standards have prompted a rethink.
posted by msalt on Jan 20, 2010 - 94 comments

China Overtakes Germany as the worlds greatest exporter, but China is not a superpower and won't be anytime soon.

China's Not a Superpower, and won't be anytime soon. Or is it closer to that status than ever, having just overtaken Germany as the world's number one exporter? [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jan 10, 2010 - 36 comments

She did not bear the shame

Freya von Moltke died on New Year’s Day at age 98. She and her husband led the Kreisau Circle, an intellectual salon which became an important part of the German resistance in WWII. They planned a coup, one of over forty-two separate plots to kill Hitler and overthrow the Nazi regime. Freya von Molte was not portrayed in Valkyrie, the 2008 film that depicted the assassination attempt, but she, along with the other members of the resistance (Deutscher Widerstand), "did not bear the shame."
posted by tizzie on Jan 5, 2010 - 20 comments

1942 maps of the invasion of the United States

Metafilter's own JF Ptak has an interesting post on the Life magazine issue of March 2nd, 1942, readers of which were confronted by some startling maps detailing possible Axis invasion strategies for North America. There was invasion down the St. Lawrence valley, there was invasion via Trinidad, via Bermuda, full frontal west coast, and down the west coast as well - note the mapping of the large "fifth columns". As Ptak notes, maps such as these with huge arrows pointed menancingly at the American homeland were very much not the norm of the day. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jan 3, 2010 - 44 comments

How much wood would a wood clock clock?

A digital clock made of wood and operated by 70 workers for one continuous 24-hour period. "Even though the workers are trying hard to construct every single minute, they are constantly on the verge of failing."
posted by freshwater_pr0n on Dec 27, 2009 - 35 comments

Basking in the warm glow of the television.

Sure, we all know that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is broadcast every year in the US as a Christmas tradition, and that Sweden basically closes every year from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on December 24th to watch Donald Duck, but what about other countries? [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora on Dec 22, 2009 - 33 comments

Cannibal holocaust

"Heads were skinned and muscles removed from the brain case in order to remove the skullcap. Incisions and scrapes on jaws indicate that tongues were cut out." "Scrape marks inside the broken ends of limb bones indicate that marrow was removed." "Whatever actually happened at Herxheim, facial bones were smashed beyond recognition." - Neolithic mass canibalism in southern Germany.
posted by Artw on Dec 5, 2009 - 85 comments

The Last Nazi trial?

Germany is, for the first time, trying a non-citizen for crimes committed as part of the Holocaust. John Demjanjuk, originally from Ukraine, is an 89-year-old man, retired US auto factory worker, and former US citizen who has been deported and charged with 27,900 murders for the part he may have played in World War II. This is the second time Demjanjuk has been tried. [more inside]
posted by brina on Nov 30, 2009 - 115 comments

Jelly Donuts or Bananas?

"In hindsight, it’s often seen as inevitable that the two Germanys would reunite. But this, too, is a somewhat revisionist view. " Tim Mohr writes about the "awkward twist" about the fall of the wall, many of the protestors did not seek unification.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 12, 2009 - 17 comments

World's Longest Invisible Fence

Twenty years ago this month, the nearly 700 mile border between East and West Germany started to disappear. "The fence is long gone, and the no-man's land where it stood now is part of Europe's biggest nature preserve. The once-deadly border area is alive with songbirds nesting in crumbling watchtowers, foxes hiding in weedy fortifications and animals not seen here for years, such as elk and lynx. But one species is boycotting the reunified animal kingdom: red deer." According to the Bavarian National Forest Park Service, scientists [link in German] have recorded nearly 11,000 GPS locations for 'Ahornia," a red deer who appears to never enter the Czech Republic.
posted by webhund on Nov 4, 2009 - 22 comments

The House on Garibaldi Street

The capture of Adolf Eichmann is one of the more daring spy operations in the post WWII era. The story spans 17 years, beginning with Eichmann's clandestine escape from the Allied forces and the Nuremberg trial, and ending with his hanging in Israel. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Nov 4, 2009 - 23 comments

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