There’s got to be a better way to stop the Nazis

Thousands  of counter-protestors successfully halted a neo-Nazi march on the anniversary of Rudolf Hess’s death on the outskirts of Berlin last Saturday. International media is largely hailing this as a victory for the left and praising the efforts of the brave protestors. What they’re not talking about, however, is how the counter-demonstrators accomplished this feat.

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500 right-wing extremists march towards Berlin Spandau. Photo: dpa
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Workers survey the damage to a train signal outside of Berlin after protestors set fire to it in order to stop a train of Nazis from entering Berlin. Photo: DPA

Anti-Nazi counter-protestors set fire to a train signal outside of Berlin last Saturday morning in order to prevent a train full of neo-Nazis who came to participate in the march from reaching its destination. The fire was successful in stopping that train – and all of the trains that were scheduled on that route for the next three days. This included two of the most highly traveled routes in Germany: Berlin-Hamburg and Berlin-Hannover.

Why do I care? Because me and my parents were scheduled to take one of those trains. And because the fire resulted in canceled trains and massive delays, my parents missed their flight home. Overall, this little stunt cost my family about $500. Continue reading “There’s got to be a better way to stop the Nazis”

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Something magical happens in this botanical garden in Germany every night

Planten und Blomen. The name is low German, or Plattdeutsch, for “plants and flowers.” This beautiful botanical garden is located right in the Hamburg city center, easily reachable by public transit.

Every evening in summer around dusk, an incredible performance takes place here: the Wasserlichtspiel, or water light show.

Continue reading “Something magical happens in this botanical garden in Germany every night”

Barmbek knife attack: when a terrorist attack happens in your neighborhood

On an uneventful, drizzly Friday afternoon, a young man wielding a kitchen knife walked into a Hamburg supermarket and started stabbing people.

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Police stand in front of the Edeka supermarket where a man murdered one and injured six people using a kitchen knife in a possible act of Islamist terror July 28. Photo: DPA

He killed one person and, as he fled, injured six others. Bystanders apprehended him in the street and held him until police arrived and made the arrest.

According to an eyewitness, before he struck, he shouted “Allahu Akbar” – the Muslim call to prayer, meaning “God is great” in Arabic. Although police have yet to confirm if the attack was motivated by radical Islam, in the court of public opinion, it was an act of Islamist terror. Continue reading “Barmbek knife attack: when a terrorist attack happens in your neighborhood”

The view from the ivory tower

Towering above the city at 52 meters (170 ft), the Philosophy Tower is the tallest building on the University of Hamburg campus.

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The view from the 14th floor of the Philosophy Tower overlooking Hamburg. As you can see pictured, Hamburg has a TV Tower as well, though it’s not as famous as the one in Berlin.

Officially called the Philosophenturm, it is colloquially known as the Phil-Turm. The building houses a cafeteria, no fewer than three libraries, a handful of auditoriums, and dozens of classrooms and offices.

And it’s my new place of work. Continue reading “The view from the ivory tower”