On the Death of Siegfried Lenz ? ?You have to justify your life?

Siegfried Lenz, one of the great writers of German post-war literature is dead. He died on 7 October 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old.... more more

GoetheInstitute

The bellyache of an architect

Thursday 30 November, 2006

On November 28, the Berlin District Court ruled that the German rail company Deutsche Bahn will have to rebuild the entire underground ceiling of the Berlin's new Hauptbahnhof, in line with architect Meinhard von Gerkan's orginal plans. The verdict sets a spectacular precedent in architectural intellectual property law. By Andreas Zielcke
read more

A new layeha for the Mujahideen

Wednesday 29 November, 2006

Supposedly wiped out after September 11, 2001, Taliban once again control half of Afghanistan. The group's leaders have issued a new book of rules. In a worldwide exclusive, the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche published the text of the new Taliban codex which addresses behaviour towards "infidels" and enemies of Islam, the administration of justice, and rules of daily life. It is published in English here for the first time.
read more

The new Taliban codex

Wednesday 29 November, 2006

The Taliban once again control half of Afghanistan. The group's leaders have issued a new book of rules. In a worldwide exclusive, the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche published the text of the new Taliban military codex and an interview with Mullah Sabir, one of the hard core of the Taliban cadre. By Sami Yousafzai and Urs Gehriger.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 28 November, 2006

Merkur testifies to the eccentricity of Europeans. In L'Espresso, Umberto Eco reads the Koran and Tertullian. The Weltwoche interviews Ahmed Scheikh of Al Jazeera. In Figaro, Alain Finkielkraut protects Robert Redeker from his "Yes, but..." defenders. The TLS is fed up with political moral apostles and Literaturen, with writings from the new politics of values. The British are buying Bulgaria, says Przekroj. And Nepszabadsag longs for capitalism with a human face.
read more

In the spirit of Goya

Friday 24 November, 2006

Milos Forman's latest film "Goya's Ghosts" is a historic drama set during the Spanish Inquisition. Here, the Czech-American director talks to Ralph Eue about torture techniques, 18th century Europe and being true to the spirit of the facts.
read more

Facing down fear in Cairo

Monday 27 November, 2006

Amid reports of brutal sexual abuse in broad daylight - linked with political intimidation - there are also stories of courage and creativity in an Egypt whose ties with Europe remain strong. In her letter from Cairo, Mariam Lau writes about despair and hope in the streets of the capital.
read more

Destination paradise

Thursday 23 November, 2006

Islamicist movements are becoming increasingly influential in the Arab world. Yet with few exceptions, phenomena like fundamentalism and religiously motivated terror have hardly been dealt with in Arabic literature. By Mona Naggar
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 21 November, 2006

Die Weltwoche visits the jubilant Taliban. Author Hector Abad Faciolince writes in Semana that at least the Colombians seem to be fed up with killing. Prospect knows what would make England happy: Scottish independence. The New York Review of Books portrays Barack Obama, possibly the next president of the United States. Jonathan Israel summons NRC Handelsblad readers: Remember Spinoza! And Elet es Irodalom tells why Hungary is a nascent democracy.
read more

A perfect place for a revolution

Monday 20 November, 2006

"This year I was struck by the number of articles saying you should do absolutely nothing on your holidays. We Poles have fully embraced the credo 'time is money,' and become a nation of workaholics." Taking the experts at their word, Edwin Bendyk searches for perfect idleness in post-communist Poland.
read more

Opening up Fortress Europe

Thursday November 16, 2006

Jürgen Habermas laments the swelling feel-good patriotisms in Europe and the flagging communal European spirit. The EU will only be able to fulfill its international mandate if Europeans learn to form a common front, and to recognise that the Polish plumber and the Portugese winegrower are key to European unity.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday, 14 November, 2006

Historian Irfan Habib criticises the colonialists in Outlook India, while the Guardian limits itself to the bad colonialists. In Nepszabadsag, György Konrad sees the spirit of vendetta passing through south-east Europe. Elet es Irodalom sings praises of the Sulzbergers. Folio goes shopping. And in Le point, Bernhard-Henri Levy defends the Saddam trial.
read more

Kicking the headscarf habit

Monday 13 November, 2006

I decided about a year ago to live without a headscarf. It makes a difference if you're obeying duties outlined by others or those based on your own conclusions. But calling for Muslim women to remove their headscarves is as futile as calling on Germans to stop drinking beer, because it must be the result of genuine consideration. By Emel Abidin-Algan
read more

Schröder's brilliant decisions

Thursday 9 November, 2006

Ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has just written his memoirs "Decisions", in which he relates at length what a smashing job he made of everything. And along the way he reveals a singular lack of literary talent. Writer Georg M. Oswald journeys into a rosy past.
read more

Magazine Roundup

Tuesday 7 November, 2006

The magazines are worried about the state of democracy. In Gazeta Wyborcza, democracy in Poland reminds philosopher Leszek Koczanowicz of a sucked egg. The New York Times complains of Bush's intellectual dishonesty. In Elet es Irodalom, Janos Kis sees Hungary in a dead end. Outlook India describes the headscarf as a symbol of compromise. In Asharq al-Awsat, Algerian intellectuals are outraged at French hypocrisy. Al Ahram wants to have done with historical guilt. And in Die Weltwoche, Mario Vargas Llosa figures out what his Mexican-American cleaning lady must be making.
read more

Raiders of the lost art

Tuesday 7 November, 2006

After being restituted to the heirs of its former Jewish owner by Berlin's senator for culture, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's "Berlin Street Scene" will be auctioned off tomorrow at Christie's in New York. Critics argue whether the heirs really did have a legal claim to the painting. By Brigitte Werneburg
read more

Berlin: capital of the underclass

Thursday 2 November, 2006

West Germany casts a mistrustful glance at Berlin, the city of lazy pleasure-seekers. And it comes down to this: the exhausted are envious of the detached. A polemic by Jens Jessen
read more

What to do with Mother?

Wednesday 1 November, 2006

Mother's friend E. can't move her hands. Mr W. scalded himself in the shower. Mrs A. fell down in the kitchen and Mrs H. was trapped among thorny roses. Perhaps it's time to get Mother to a safe place. In coming decades the number of over-80s will grow from three to ten million, more than one third of whom will need care. But where? And how? Susanne Mayer looks at why we are overtaxed when Mother or Father become care cases.
read more