After four and a half months of haggling and recrimination and, four days past the deadline, an all-night session, the three parties had finally settled on a coalition government program—179 pages long.
Author Archive | Victor Grossman
It happened in Bonn last Sunday, on January 21st. There were close to 650 delegates, the gallery in the congress hall was also packed with observers. The suspense was almost visible, also among the demonstrators outside. All over Germany millions were watching closely to see if the future path of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), […]
The fights which must be fought and difficulties endured may perhaps be a mite easier and lighter if accompanied by occasional deep breaths of nature with its simple joys, and the freedom hopes, the values and solidarity I sometimes found there and enjoyed so greatly, may also contribute just a little to efforts of good […]
The impasse in forming a government in Germany has dragged on since election day, September 24th—often like a traffic gridlock, hardly moving forward. But Germany is Europe’s main central power—and with no proper government!
It didn’t affect many people directly, but even small victories are welcome these days. Germany’s Constitutional Court just ruled that no-one should be forced to declare themselves officially male or female. It thus created a third open category anyone can opt for (or be opted by parents when still a child). I think everyone can […]
With its theme a little-known event of over a century ago, the film was ancient in cinema terms, its rather unsuccessful premiere was way back in 1926 and the performance Monday evening marked an event even earlier than that, one which is rarely discussed and even less celebrated. Yet the theatre was sold out and […]
The left can only succeed and make gains by taking the lead in overcoming confusion and directing anger against those truly responsible for issues impacting the working class: in direct opposition to the scapegoating of conservatives and liberals alike.
A key result of the German elections is not that Angela Merkel and her double party, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavarian CSU (Christian Social Union), managed to stay in the lead with the most votes, but that they got clobbered, with the biggest loss since their founding.
Not even the stubbornest non-voters can ignore the coming Election Day in Germany, as always on a Sunday, September 24. With 34 parties, some state or local but most of them national, every stroll offers a wide choice of handsome, smiling candidate photos and bold clichés.
Germany has no exact equivalent of the White House cabal; its leaders are highly educated and circumspect in their speeches. But growing threats in both countries are far too similar.
Lower the curtain, change the scene. The atmosphere in the government building in Berlin on August 2nd is fully different, not a bit of similarity. Those present, most in tailored apparel, sit in soft leather chairs and sip aromatic drinks from fine glassware. Who are they? Germany’s power people!
I wonder whether those so horrified today were sickened then at US attacks on others’ sovereignty. There has been lots of masquerading, I think, by disguised provocateurs or indignant sovereignty defenders. Their threats against even hesitant moves toward dialogue, disarmament, de-escalation in the world’s charged atmosphere are what truly sicken me—and frighten me!
Years ago the 35th US president made a speech in Germany, four words of which, in American-accented German, remain famous: “Ich bin ein Berliner!”—“I am a Berliner!” That was John F. Kennedy. Will the 45th president, soon to visit Germany’s second city, emulate him and tweet “I am a Hamburger! Wow!”
A story worthy of a mystery author—or dramatist—has been hitting German headlines. It began when police at the Vienna airport in Austria arrested a first lieutenant of the German Bundeswehr army when he picked up a pistol hidden some weeks earlier in a bathroom. He denied it was his and was released. But his fingerprints […]
To follow German politics these days you have to like arithmetic. At first only up to six, for that many parties are now vying to get good grades, lots of votes, and more power in the September elections to the Bundestag, which will lead to a government ruling until 2021.