Michael Lederer

Michael Lederer is an American writer who lives in Berlin. His newest stage play “Casual Baggage” is the story of the only small group of Jewish refugees from Europe admitted into the United States during WW II. The U.S. embassy Berlin recently presented a staged reading of the play as part of their American Literature Series. Comments about this blog are welcome on the author’s website: https://www.michaellederer.com/

Blog posts by Michael Lederer:

AI: Too Smart for Our Own Good?
An essay ‘about’ AI, writ­ten ‘by’ AI. Maybe even ‘for’ AI? As my kids say, “Are we there yet?” It feels less like we’re cross­ing the … Continue reading AI: Too Smart for Our Own Good?

No Story, No Life
Every­thing we do begins with a sto­ry. With­out sto­ry, we would per­ish. We don’t get off that couch and head to the kitchen unless we have … Continue reading No Story, No Life

German Distance, American Naivety
As an Amer­i­can writer liv­ing in Berlin, I strain to under­stand and express some of the dif­fer­ences between my two homes. So many excep­tions to any … Continue reading German Distance, American Naivety

America and the Holocaust
Beyond a severe­ly lim­it­ed immi­gra­tion quo­ta kept to a bare min­i­mum, few­er than a thou­sand Jew­ish refugees from Europe were admit­ted into the U.S. dur­ing World … Continue reading America and the Holocaust

Childhood Memories
Mem­o­ries are sto­ries we tell ourselves. “When I was younger, I remem­ber how…” We cher­ry-pick. We have to. Oth­er­wise, we’d remem­ber what we wore and ate … Continue reading Childhood Memories

Iron Curtain, Please
One man’s trash is another’s treasure. Vladimir the Small, as his­to­ry is sure to remem­ber him, has pulled the iron cur­tain off the trash pile and … Continue reading Iron Curtain, Please

Taking Peace for Granted
It’s so easy to take peace for grant­ed, when we have it. In my 2012 book, The Great Game: Berlin-War­saw Express and Oth­er Sto­ries, the char­ac­ter Cal, … Continue reading Taking Peace for Granted

I first read Hem­ing­way at col­lege in 1978, an intro course called Mod­ern Exis­ten­tial Lit­er­a­ture. The Old Man and the Sea was like look­ing at an x‑ray … Continue reading Hemingway

Mundo Overloadus
I am writ­ing this on the first day of a new year that arrived not a nanosec­ond too soon. We need­ed a new year as sore­ly … Continue reading Mundo Overloadus

A New Millennium?
Jan­u­ary 1, 2000. Not just a new cen­tu­ry, but a new mil­len­ni­um. Spot­less, for the briefest moment, though far from emp­ty. Arriv­ing so brim­ful of promise … Continue reading A New Millennium?

Erich Mühsam and the Berlin Idea Factory
Erich Müh­sam (1878–1934) was a Ger­man-Jew­ish anti­mil­i­tarist anar­chist essay­ist, poet, and play­wright. I can check most of those box­es. I tried anar­chy in my 20s; it … Continue reading Erich Mühsam and the Berlin Idea Factory

Love no more? Catalonia and Spain
CADAQUÉS, Cat­alo­nia, Spain – Dis­patch from Spain’s Cold Civ­il War. Speak­er of the U.S. House Tip O’Neill once said, “All pol­i­tics are local.” In today’s world, no … Continue reading Love no more? Catalonia and Spain

Eye of the Storm
His­to­ry nev­er crawls or walks. It runs. Some­times silent­ly as if on the soft­er sands of time. Some­times we can hear its foot­steps loud­er as they … Continue reading Eye of the Storm

New World vs. Old World Flipped
As an Amer­i­can writer liv­ing in Ger­many, I care deeply for both coun­tries. It is a strange time to do so, as pow­ers-that-be in Ger­many and … Continue reading New World vs. Old World Flipped

If it’s Tuesday, it Must be Cold War Again
“May you live in inter­est­ing times.” Many Amer­i­cans com­ing to Europe are lured by the romance: foun­tains in Rome, cafés in Paris, Span­ish gui­tars, the cool vibes … Continue reading If it’s Tuesday, it Must be Cold War Again

The Window as Mirror
Look through a win­dow and we see the world out­side. Change of focus, and we can see our­selves reflect­ed in that same window. As an Amer­i­can … Continue reading The Window as Mirror

Don Quixote Saving America
You know what tribe I belong to? Put your hand on a table. Now hit it with a rock. If it hurts, then you and I … Continue reading Don Quixote Saving America

A Night in Berlin with Michael Lederer
The U.S. Embassy Lit­er­a­ture Series at the Eng­lish The­atre Berlin in coop­er­a­tion with Pal­mArt­Press pre­sent­ed Michael Led­er­er on Feb­ru­ary 11, 2014. In the fol­low­ing video, Led­er­er … Continue reading A Night in Berlin with Michael Lederer