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Geography Archives: Poland

Who Is to Blame?

Back in 1963 Bob Dylan (soon to be 75) wrote a bitter song; Pete Seeger also sang it often.  It asks, after the death of a young boxer: “Who killed Davey Moore?  How come he died, and what’s the reason for?”  Then came the alibis of all those responsible, from the manager and media to […]

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Germany: Icy Times and Rays of Hope

  2016 began here with an icy chill, not only with the weather but far worse, with human relations.  It also offered some, like myself, at least a few warm rays of hope. First the larger scene.  The huge influx of immigrants and asylum seekers, over a million in 2015, saw Germany effectively split in […]

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Immigrants, Welcome and Unwelcome

A silent three-year-old, lying drowned on a Turkish beach; the tearful protest of a Syrian man as he, his wife and baby are torn from the tracks next to a locomotive by Hungarian police; desperate families jammed into tiny, leaky boats, hoping to reach Europe alive or, if they do, facing ever new obstacles from […]

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German Know-Nothings Today

“I don’t know.”  Those words, often repeated 160-odd years ago in the USA, earned the gang of those using them the nickname “Know-Nothing Party.”  Those were no expressions of intellectual modesty; party doings were secret, so members were not supposed to disclose anything about them, but just say, “I don’t know.”   Their patriotic title was […]

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Berlin, July 1, 1990 — Athens, July 1, 2015

In a recent news video I watched people pushing and shoving at a bank entrance.  I immediately recalled another scene, also with people pushing at a bank entrance.  In the older scene people looked eager and gleeful, pushing so hard, I believe, that one man’s rib was broken.  In the recent pictures they looked very […]

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ΟΧΙ!

For some in other lands and continents Greece may seem distant and marginal, a few narrow peninsulas and scattered archipelagos jutting out of the sea.  Some may vaguely recall school knowledge about it.  “Didn’t some fellow named Prometheus steal fire from the gods?  Or was it Alexander the Great untying some “Gordian knot”?  Or a […]

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The Contradictions of

Dissecting the Failure of Soviet “Socialism”

Michael A. Lebowitz.  The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted.  New York: Monthly Review Press, 2012.  222 p. In current discussions of twenty-first century socialism, the work of Michael Lebowitz has a unique merit: it is rooted in the experience of Cuba and Venezuela, where efforts in recent decades to move toward […]

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Kurt Hiller

An Early Activist Critique of Stalin’s 1934 Antihomosexual Law: “A Chapter of Russian Reaction” by Kurt Hiller

  Introduction This article, titled “A Chapter of Russian Reaction,” translated into English here for the first time, was written in German by longtime homosexual activist Kurt Hiller (1885-1972) from London and published in the Swiss gay journal Der Kreis in 1946.  Hiller had been active in Germany’s first homosexual-rights organization, the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäre Komitee (Scientific […]

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Dresden and Its Dangerous Demonstrators

Dresden, Saxony’s beautiful capital, has a distinguished history.  One ruler, August the Strong, could bend horseshoes with his bare hands and, so legend has it, sired 354 children.  In 1697 he pushed and bribed his way onto the royal throne of neighboring Poland, made possible by his quick conversion to Catholicism.  (His wife, refusing the […]

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Democracy, Hypocrisy, and President Gauck

In the USA Republicans are jubilant.  Jubilation here in Germany is about an event twenty-five years ago: “We beat those red SOBs!”  But is there not, hidden behind the confetti, helium balloons, and crowing of the victors in both Germany and the USA, an occasional jarring note of anxiety? A man with good reason for […]

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Humpty-Dumpty and the Fall of Berlin’s Wall

“Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall.” The children’s rhyme and its words Wall and Fall came to mind in connection with commemorations of the fall of the Berlin Wall — actually its opening up.  Is such an allusion frivolous?  Maybe.  For millions, that event twenty-five years ago was marked by genuine, […]

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In Shared Sorrow: Remembering ‘Comrade’ Nirmal da

This tribute to one of India’s finest radical economists first appeared in Analytical Monthly Review, May 2014.  AMR, published from Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of Monthly Review. Nirmal Kumar Chandra (1936-2014), referred to by his dear friend, Ashok Mitra, in The Telegraph (April 4, 2014) as “The Compleat Economist”, was in […]

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Germany’s Left Party on the EU and NATO

Running up a down escalator is itself mighty difficult.  Trying to keep your footing both on an up and a down escalator at the same time is simply hard to imagine.  Yet it gives an idea of Germany’s present Ukrainian policy. Soon after Soviet soldiers left East Germany between 1989 and 1994, the newly-unified country […]

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Germany: Threats of Violence, Hopes for Votes

All summer the threat of violence was in the air in Hellersdorf.  This borough on the outskirts of East Berlin, once a huge site of modern high-rise buildings aimed at solving East German housing problems, provided homes for nearly 130,000 people.  After “the Wall went down” many high-rise buildings were cropped from eleven to five […]

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