The Long Shadow of Aryanization

In 1933, Hermann Tietz & Co., one of the largest department store firms in Germany, was forcibly expropriated from its Jewish owners as part of the Nazi policy of Aryanization. It was renamed Hertie, and remained one of Germany's largest retailers until it was purchased in 1994. The heirs of Georg Karg, who took over the firm from its rightful owners in 1933, set up a foundation in his honor shortly after his death.

The CSU is Scared

It made me really sad when I read in the New York Times the other day that American politicians who had advocated bringing Syrian refugees to the United States had been called the “jihadi caucus” by right-wing conservatives. What a stupid, fearful, counter-productive thing to say, I thought. But American politics is prone to this kind of hyperbole and idiocy.

The Government's Refugee Plan

The German Government has agreed on a set of measures that they will undertake to address the huge number of refugees arriving in the country. The Federal Government will spend at least 6 billion euros over the next year to register, feed, house, and process asylum applications.

 

Beyond the funds, the government also calls on the EU to develop a comprehensive and unified plan to process asylum seekers, as well as an international alliance to fight the sources of the current refugee crisis, e.g. the civil war in Syria and continued instability elsewhere.

Berlin's Medieval City Wall

Berlin's Medieval Wall was constructed around 1250, and was only around 6 feet high. It was built because the relatively new city (the first permanent settlement began sometime in the late 1100s) needed a way to defend itself. There aren't any hills in the area on which to build a fortress, so the best that the people at the time could do was throw together whatever stones and bricks they could find.

Freedom of the Press Under Attack?

An investigation by German authorities of bloggers who are suspected of publishing classified information has caused yet another mini-crisis within the governing coalition. The Justice Minister, Heiko Maas (from the SPD Party), has fired the Federal General Counsel responsible for the investigation.

The Grexit Draws Nearer

“Greece has been the recipient over the past five years of an unprecedented level of European solidarity” – German Chancellor Angela Merkel

“The reduction initiatives of the last years have led to nothing other than problem-deepening recession” – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

How do you resolve a crisis about whose origins you disagree? Europe is trying to figure it out.