Tag Archives: Germany

Getting Germany Back on Track

By Markus Ziener

The Mar­shall Plan has become syn­ony­mous for mas­sive help, for bring­ing about a her­cu­la­neum task and hav­ing a coun­try rise again from the ash­es. Orig­i­nal­ly designed to help Europe get back on track after the dev­as­ta­tions of World War II, it has a much broad­er mean­ing today. In dis­cus­sions about how to rebuild Ukraine at some point in the future, there’s again talk of the need for a Mar­shall Plan. How­ev­er, it’s worth­while to take a step back and look at what the orig­i­nal Mar­shall Plan was all about.

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Homeschooling and the Pandemic

By Mukta Dharmapurikar, Johanna Eichler, and Aaron Ming Meyer

While her neigh­bors rush down the street to catch the school bus, 14-year-old Lilah Had­den starts her school day at home. After spend­ing the morn­ing on math and cre­ative writ­ing with her moth­er, she takes a vio­lin class online, fin­ish­ing her day with inde­pen­dent read­ing. For two years now, home­school­ing has worked well for her. “I’m get­ting to … learn more of what I actu­al­ly want to learn about,” Lilah says, not­ing that she’s par­tic­u­lar­ly pas­sion­ate about music. But if it weren’t for the pan­dem­ic, the idea to school at home would nev­er have crossed her mind.

Covid-19 forced stu­dents around the globe to learn with­out phys­i­cal­ly going to school, as entire states and coun­tries went through long peri­ods of lock­down. It’s sparked new inter­est in home­school­ing alter­na­tives in places rang­ing from Des Moines, Iowa, to Ham­burg, Ger­many, where home­school­ing has been banned for over a cen­tu­ry. Stu­dents have dis­cov­ered that alter­na­tive school arrange­ments can offer more flex­i­bil­i­ty to man­age dif­fer­ences, pan­dem­ic stress, and distractions.

Home­school­ing — Gustoff fam­i­ly in Des Moines

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Conifer Wood Makes You Feel Good — Christmas Trees in Germany and the U.S.

By Veronika Heinrich

Pho­to Cred­it: “Christ­mas Pyra­mid Nativ­i­ty Scene” by Kitsuta

 

O Christ­mas Tree, O Christ­mas Tree,

Your boughs can teach a lesson

That con­stant faith and hope sublime

Lend strength and com­fort through all time.

O Christ­mas Tree, O Christ­mas Tree,

Your boughs can teach a lesson.

 

 

When I was a child, Christ­mas meant presents. It also meant going to our small town Christ­mas mar­ket. There, we board­ed a tiny train to take us for rides around the church. San­ta then showed up and gave us choco­late San­tas, deep-fried pas­tries, and gin­ger­bread – any­thing sweet a child’s heart could wish for. Of course, there was also a beau­ti­ful Christ­mas tree. How­ev­er, we had some­thing that made my Christ­mas expe­ri­ence tru­ly dif­fer­ent from that of most chil­dren in the Unit­ed States – a Christ­mas pyramid.

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The Reviews Are In: Babylon Berlin Sets the Scene for Unusually Visionary Television, Intercontinentally

By Hannah Quinque

CC BY-SA 4.0, Lear 21

Grant­ed, Baby­lon Berlin has at its dis­po­si­tion all the means nec­es­sary to become a true block­buster. But it isn’t every day the view­er gets to expe­ri­ence just how phe­nom­e­nal­ly a big bud­get can be spent on a TV series – with­out com­pro­mis­es between bom­bas­tic mon­tages and cin­e­matog­ra­phy for lovers, between fast-paced sto­ry devel­op­ment and cred­i­bly com­plex char­ac­ters, that is.

For Baby­lon Berlin, pro­duced in Ger­many by Ger­man pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies, the com­mit­ment to an unflinch­ing and unre­served depic­tion of a nation on the verge of fas­cism pays off. As a bit of an inside tip, the show’s spec­tac­u­lar efforts are appre­ci­at­ed far beyond its coun­try of ori­gin, as demon­strat­ed by almost exclu­sive­ly glow­ing U.S. reviews.

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In a trying political climate, look not towards what divides, but what unites Germany and the U.S.: Journalistic Excellence

By Mattheus Wee

Are Ger­man-Amer­i­can rela­tions in a crit­i­cal state? If pub­lic opin­ion sur­veys are any­thing to go by, per­haps so – at least accord­ing to Ger­mans. While Amer­i­cans gen­er­al­ly still hold on to a pos­i­tive image of Ger­many, the same can­not be said for the way most Ger­mans view the Unit­ed States. A joint­ly con­duct­ed poll by the Pew Research Cen­ter and the Kör­ber-Stiftung revealed late last year that while “three-quar­ters of Amer­i­cans see rela­tions with Ger­many as good,” near­ly “two-thirds of Ger­mans (64%) see rela­tions as bad.” More alarm­ing­ly, the New York Mag­a­zine quotes a sur­vey con­duct­ed by YouGov reveal­ing that Ger­mans view Pres­i­dent Trump as “a greater threat to world peace than any oth­er head of state” – a note­wor­thy dis­tinc­tion, espe­cial­ly in light of the exis­tence of oth­er con­tro­ver­sial lead­ers, such as the likes of Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin.

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May 8 – Celebrating the End of World War II as a German

By Kai-Arne Zimny

75 years ago, the world sighed in relief. After six grue­some years and over 70 mil­lion lost lives, World War II was final­ly over. May 8, 1945, marked both the end of a ruth­less regime and the war in Europe. The Allied Forces had brought the Ger­man Wehrma­cht to its knees, and at 11:01 p.m., the war in Europe was offi­cial­ly over. In the U.S. and the UK, the day is cel­e­brat­ed as “Vic­to­ry in Europe Day,” and for decades, May 8 (and in some cas­es May 9) has been a hol­i­day in var­i­ous Euro­pean coun­tries – but not in Ger­many. How­ev­er, for its 75th anniver­sary, the Day of Lib­er­a­tion has been declared a one-time hol­i­day in Berlin.

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