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 Republic of Europe

Tuesday 20 December, 2011

Thanks to Radoslaw Sikorski's speech in Berlin, Poland has at last joined the big European debate about restructuring the EU in connection with the euro crisis. The "European Reformation" advocated by Germany does not mean that the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation will be established in Europe, but instead – let us hope – the Republic of Europe. By Adam Krzeminski
read more

Kapuscinki's poetic license

Wednesday 10 March, 2010

Artur Domoslawksi's biography "Ryszard Kapuscinski non-fiction" sparked controversy even before it was published. Not only does it show the legendary reporter warts and all, it also shows where the reportage ends and fiction begins.  Polityka's Daniel Passent meets the author who, in spite of it all, still regards Kapuscinski as his friend and master.
read more

The black marketeers of Bahnhof Zoo

Tuesday 24 March 2009

TeaserPicThe idea that 1989 came out of thin air speaks volumes about historical insensitivities and limited horizons. The fall of the Berlin Wall was preceded by years of erosion and attrition. Historian Karl Schlögel looks at the molecular movements on the margins of history that are much more powerful than any deeds of "great men".
read more

Waking a Polish demon

Monday 21 January, 2008

"Fear" is the punchy title of book about Polish anti-Semitism whose recent publication in Poland has sparked an emotional debate. Very few people have come to the defence of its author, Jan Tomasz Gross, who has taken on the difficult task of making uncomfortable facts known to a wider audience and removing blind spots in Polish history. By Jakub Kloc-Konkolowicz
read more

From closed circuits to communicating tubes

Monday 18 June, 2007

European democracy exists largely within nation-states, and not in the continental dimension. Even the ponderous TV channel "Euro-News" has not succeeded in creating a European public sphere. But without a European consciousness there will be no European federation. For this to happen interpreters are needed, to explain the motives of one side to the other. By Adam Krzeminski
read more

Auschwitz, our home

Thursday 15 February, 2007

Tadeusz Borowski survived Auschwitz, became a Communist, and committed suicide in 1951. A new edition of his stories was published in German this year: morally questionable, but a milestone in Holocaust literature nonetheless. Even Dante's "Inferno" pales by comparison. By Arno Lustiger
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

Modern art in Utopia

Thursday 27 July, 2006

Zamosc, the "Padua of the North," planned as an ideal city in the 16th century, is a remote town in the Polish provinces. Until the international art scene came to stay, that is. Now Sabrina van der Ley and Markus Richter have enticed a group of artists to come create works on the theme "Ideal City - Invisible Cities." By Birgit Rieger (Image: Jaroslaw Flicinski, Up, up and away, 2006)

read more

Canfora's scandalous history of democracy

Wednesday 22 March, 2006

Adam Krzeminski is outraged by Luciano Canfora's highly selective "Democracy in Europe" which puts Stalinism on a pedestal. He congratulates a German publishing house for refusing to print it and believes European scholarship has shamefully neglected Polish history.
read more

Hoping for a game without fouls

Wednesday 11 January, 2006

An interview with Gdansk author Pawel Huelle on the new Polish government, anti-Semitism in Poland and Kaczynski's "moral revolution". By Gerhard Gnauck
read more

In search of lost sense

Wednesday 21 September, 2005

"Some find smearing the Solidarity revolution and its heroes by means of the secret police archives heroic. Others think it is more like throwing a hand grenade into a cesspool: some get killed, some injured, and everyone is left soiled and smelly. This is how we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the August revolution: bruised, smeared and frustrated. Can't we learn to speak sensibly about the things we have had the courage to achieve?" By Adam Michnik
read more

Rebels who move the furniture

Wednesday 8 June, 2005

Polish cinemas are full of films by the younger generation of German filmmakers. Their common theme seems to be rebellion. Or, as Adam Krzeminski sees it, rebellion lite.
read more

The sweet taste of underground

Monday 6 June, 2005

The youngest generation of Polish writers has avidly taken up the political reality of unemployment, the suburban wasteland and consumption terror in a new spirit of anti-capitalism. But the scene's real superstar, Dorota Maslowska (born 1982), is convincing above all aesthetically. In her works, social misery becomes a virtuoso language game. Her second book, a rap poem, has just been presented at the Warsaw Book Fair. By Ina Hartwig
read more

As many wars as nations

Wednesday 6 April, 2005

May the 8th is the anniversary of the end of WW II, but was it really a liberation? Each European country has a different memory of the war, and there is no real consensus on the Holocaust either. With the EU entry of the Eastern European countries the competing myths will no longer exist in isolation, but will have to be contested with the neighbours. By Adam Krzeminski
read more

Not a living soul around

Tuesday 1 March, 2005

"Quite possibly, as time goes by, we tend to perceive the 'prison of nations', as the Austro-Hungarian Empire was called in those days, as something like a prototype, albeit an imperfect one, for a united Europe." Polish author Andrzej Stasiuk wanders through the landscapes of World War One in Eastern Europe.
read more