What should we get Erich for his birthday? How about a desk set
with a radio, a thermometer disguised as a TV mast, a clock topped with a tank, a calendar, and four ballpoint pens disguised as missiles. Iconographia socialistica
from the GDR.
posted by tellurian
on Feb 21, 2007 -
French Jewish writer Irène Némirovsky's
claim to fame rests on Suite Française, a novel that she wrote about the German occupation of France while awaiting death in Auschwitz but which was not published until 2004. Irène may also provoke interest because her early fiction was steeped in anti-semitic stereotypes and serialized in right-wing newspapers. [More Inside]
posted by gregb1007
on Feb 6, 2007 -
Since the Middle Ages, German craftsmen have gone 'auf der Walz'
(taken to the road) as part of a kind of working-pilgrimage that artisans make after completing an apprenticeship with a master craftsman. These travels are meant to teach them about work and life and takes precisely three years and one day; they are not allowed to return home before this time. The trip can take these young craftsmen and women (all must be under the age of 30) halfway around the world (and often does
) and they are allowed only a small rucksack. Other than that, they can bring along their uniform (a simple black and white affair that almost defies description
), their tools, undergarments, a sleeping bag, a book and their trademark walking stick.
Although today this is a dying tradition, and is often more traditionally known as being a Journeyman
today, it still exists and has inspired some to write about the strage travellers they see on the road
. Indeed, perhaps the most famous work this tradition inspired is Australian poet Banjo Patterson
, whose work Walzing Matilda
is believed to have been inspired
by this fascinating yet waning custom.
posted by Effigy2000
on Dec 14, 2006 -
Everyone by now has heard the story of Oscar Schindler
, but he wasn't the only one saving Jews
in the dark era of WW II. This story was kept secret for many years, until the last member of the Leitz
posted by pjern
on Nov 10, 2006 -
Winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize for Literature, a peace activist
who opposed reunification for fear Germany might once again war against its neighbors, ghost-writer of Willy Brandt's speeches, author
of the great fabulist history of World War II and postwar Germany, The Tin Drum,
and of My Century
, a novel of one hundred chapters, one for each year of the last century, a man considered part of the artistic movement known in German as "Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung" or "coming to terms with the past",
Günter Grass belatedly admits the history he expunged from his personal narrative: his service as a member of the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg of the Waffen-SS
In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
, Grass explained
his service would stain him forever,
but that only after the war did he feel ashamed
of having been in the Waffen-SS
for me, because I am sure of my recollection, the Waffen SS was nothing frightful, but rather an elite unit that they sent where things were hot, and which, as people said about it, had the heaviest losses.
posted by orthogonality
on Aug 12, 2006 -
Secret agent Huub Lauwers was parachuted into occupied Holland
in 1941 to relay intelligence back to London. His capture by the Germans marked the beginning of the Englandspiel
, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse intelligence that cost the lives of over fifty agents. Lauwers frantically tried to inform the SOE
that he had been caught, but the Baker Street Irregulars
just didn't get it. Or did they? [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Aug 6, 2006 -
work can be found all over the world. He is an artist that carves symbols on rocks and then leaves them at the site where they were created (sometimes burying
posted by tellurian
on Aug 2, 2006 -
On September 9th 2006, 112 of the world's writers, artists, activists, and social entrepeneurs (nominees here
) will gather for a Table of Free Voices
in Berlin, Germany, discussing questions about the important issues of today. Who provides those questions? You.
posted by divabat
on Jul 24, 2006 -
Mildred Fish Harnack
was the only American woman
executed for treason during World War II. Born
, raised, and educated
in Wisconsin, she moved to Berlin
with her German husband Arvid
. Arrested by the Nazis in September 1942 for their pivotal role
in the Communist Red Orchestra resistance movement
, they were tried in December 1942: Arvid
was hung and Mildred
received six years hard labor. Reviewing her case (during the humiliating German defeat at Stalingrad
), Adolph Hitler ordered her retried in January 1943. This time, she was convicted, sentenced to death, and beheaded
in Plötzensee Prison
on February 16, 1943.
[Mildred's life is detailed in the 2000 biography Resisting Hitler: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra.]
posted by cenoxo
on Jul 24, 2006 -
90 years ago today, whistles blew around the river Somme in France as British troops prepared for an attack on German trenches. By the end of the day they had suffered 57,470 casualties. By the battle's end in November, there were over 600,000 Allied casualties, with perhaps the same number of German casualties. The Imperial War Museum
has launched an online exhibition, where you can find out more about how the battle was planned, personal stories
of those involved, and myths
about the attack. Elsewhere you can find copies of Army reports on the first day
, look at film
of the attack, diaries and letters
home from the troops, go on tours
of the trenches
, listen to contemporary songs and music
inspired by the battle, and see some more modern responses
posted by greycap
on Jul 1, 2006 -
Lost in translation.
British Comedian Stewart Lee explores comedy in Germany and finds it stymied by the peculiarities of language and sentence construction. Mark Liberman at Language Log disagrees
. And an extended essay by Josh Schonwald explores in greater depth how the German comedy scene is transitioning
(PDF) from the more traditional kabernett to a burgeoning stand-up comedy scene, which is characterized by one observer as being in "the Bob Hope phase of comedy."
posted by madamjujujive
on May 26, 2006 -
The Monks Formed in the early '60s by American G.I.s stationed in Germany
. After their discharge, the group settled in Germany to concentrate on finding a unique sound, and soon began to shave their hair into Monk's tonsures
and appear in cassocks
. One of the truely original
bands of the 60's, The Monks are now often refered to as 'proto-punk
'. The Monks experimented
fervently, developing a unqiue sound, with heavy bass, repetitive but amelodic rhythms, nursery rhyme style, yet powerful vocals
and a good helping of feedback
. They recorded only one albumn, Black Monk Time
, until their 1999 reunion
.Hear some tracks from the albumn
See and hear The Monks Live in Germany
, Also, check out Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback
, a documentary (with trailer
, though there seems to be something wrong with it). [Trivia: the song I Hate You can be heard in the background in one scene in the bowling alley in The Big Lebowski]
posted by MetaMonkey
on Apr 21, 2006 -
He has cavorted naked with Charlotte Rampling [this is VERY NSFW]
and covered himself in caviar for Marc Jacobs
, but Jürgen Teller
thinks "fashion is a wank".
Teller's first solo show in Paris is entitled "Nurnberg"
, it consists of a sequence of images (annoying Flash site, sorry)
taken at the infamous Zeppelintribune
parade ground, site of Nazi propaganda rallies
, which was designed by Hitler's favourite builder, Albert Speer. Over several months, Teller (.pdf)
has photographed the monument, the podium and the steep, ruthless steps, all of which have been left to decay. Or not. "It wasn't really maintained, but if there was a broken step, or a smashed wall, it would be mysteriously replaced with a new one." Teller's photographs show the delicate weeds, flowers and lichen [NSFW]
that have grown up around the stone blocks. "In Germany, there is a saying about letting the grass grow over things, meaning that events will eventually be forgotten".
posted by matteo
on Mar 22, 2006 -
"They are demanding that I kill the children of my people with my own hands"
On October 4, 1939, a few days after Warsaw's surrender to the Nazis, Adam Czerniaków
was made head of the 24 member Judenrat, the Jewish Council (write "Czerniakow" in the linked page's search box)
responsible for implementing German orders in the Jewish community (interactive map of the Warsaw ghetto)
. On July 22, 1942 -- Tisha B'Av
, the "saddest day in Jewish history
" -- the Judenrat received instructions that all Warsaw Jews were to be deported to the East (exceptions were to be made for Jews working in German factories, Jewish hospital staff, members of the Judenrat and their families, and members of the Jewish police force and their families. Czerniaków tried to convince the Germans at least not to deport the Jewish orphans)
. Czerniaków kept a diary from September 6, 1939, until the day of his death. It was published in 1979 in the English language as the "The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniaków: Prelude to Doom
", edited by one of the most prominent
, Raul Hilberg
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Feb 17, 2006 -
(Knock, knock) "Candygram!"
We don't know if ZDF has shown early SNL skits
(nostalgic photo here
), but German Greenpeace made a dramatic delivery to the Japanese Embassy in Berlin: a 55-foot-long fin whale that had been stranded in the Baltic. The dramatic gesture underscored the organization's contention that Japan's whaling, long defended as research, is in fact unnecessary: sufficient numbers of beached whales are available for research. The leviathan — 20 tonnes of blubber — was craned onto a truck and driven 150 miles from Rostock-Warnemünde to Berlin, and was due to be returned to the coast for study. (German-language stories on Greenpeace.de website here
, and here
, including logistical details for those curious about arranging their own special deliveries.)
posted by rob511
on Jan 22, 2006 -
once more: the entire German edition was shut down
this week over the contents of a single entry
. The parents of the article's subject, a German hacker who died in 1998 under mysterious circumstances
, are displeased with his real name being disclosed in the encyclopedia. It is now back online; however, the future of the family's efforts is currently unclear, not only due to the German order's debatable validity in the US - but also because the order was, initially at least, mistakenly addressed
to St. Petersburg, Russia, instead of St. Petersburg, Florida.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Jan 20, 2006 -
Everybody knows that gangsta rap promotes sexism, homophobia... and fascism. Take Bushido
, for instance - the Berlin rapper of Tunisian descent that all the neo-Nazis love. Confused
Well, so are the Germans
. And then we're not even talking about Fler
, whose "This is black-red-gold, hard and proud!"
nationalist lyrics never fail to piss off the German papers (in German)
, and who likes to pose in his videos with a nice symbolic eagle. (Then again, Helmut Kohl didn't mind
Still, Fler's flag-waving, eagle-loving rhymes are no match for Bushido's "Salute, stand to attention, I am the leader like 'A'"
. The A stands for Adolf, you know.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Jan 12, 2006 -
admits denies making mistake!
Starts off new relationship with conservative German chancellor by personally insulting her. "We are not quite sure what was in her head."
- a senior Bush administration official, referring to Merkel. This after Condoleeza Rice gave Merkel private assurances and made a public statement
in which she said "when and if mistakes are made, we work very hard and as quickly as possible to rectify them. Any policy will sometimes have mistakes . . . we will do everything that we can to rectify those mistakes."
Obviously, Condi was mistaken. The Bush administration does not make mistakes.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Dec 6, 2005 -
The London Cage.
Kensington Palace Gardens is one of the most exclusive addresses in the world
. Between July 1940 and September 1948 three magnificent houses there were home to one of Great Britain'smost secret military establishments: the London office of the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre, known colloquially as the London Cage. It was run by MI19
, the section of the War Office responsible for gleaning information from enemy prisoners of war
, and few outside this organisation knew exactly what went on beyond the single barbed-wire fence that separated the three houses from the busy streets and grand parks of west London. The London Cage was used partly as a torture centre
, inside which large numbers of German officers and soldiers were subjected to systematic ill-treatment. In total 3,573 men passed through the Cage, and more than 1,000 were persuaded to give statements about war crimes. A number of German civilians joined the servicemen who were interrogated there up to 1948. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Nov 12, 2005 -
"is devoted to the postcards my grandfather collected from approximately 1906-1918. The collection is comprised of 435 postcards, most of which were produced in Russia, Poland and Germany." [coral cache
posted by strikhedonia
on Nov 3, 2005 -
Where'd the remaining 27% go.
Researchers in Germany have finished a survey that tells them how people spend their time. With an average life-span of 78 years most time is spent sleeping
with the least time spent making new people
. Number crunching this research
[direct image link] reveals:
5.12% 4 years housework | 0.96% 9 months washing and ironing |
1.71% 16 months cleaning |
2.78% 26 months cooking |
6.41% 5 years eating and drinking |
7.05% 66 months watching television |
0.53% 5 months diy |
8.97% 7 years at work |
0.96% 9 months commuting, plus |
0.64% 6 months traffic jams |
2.14% 20 months in school |
1.71% 16 hours orgasms |
0.05% 2 weeks kissing |
32.20% 24 years 4 months sleeping |
0.64% 6 months sitting on the lavatory |
0.05% 2 weeks praying |
1.92% 18 months shopping
So where does the rest of the time go.
posted by Schroder
on Oct 23, 2005 -