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.

500-Rechtsextreme-marschieren-in-Berlin-Spandau-auf_ArticleWide
500 right-wing extremists march towards Berlin Spandau. Photo: dpa
brandanschlag auf der bahn
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”

Advertisements

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.

knife-attack-hamburg-barmbek_DPA
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”

Remembering Helmut Schmidt: Hamburg mourns a legend

On November 10, 2015, just three days before the infamous Paris attacks, Hamburg lost a legend.

Helmut Schmidt, one of Germany’s most loved politicians and a Hamburg native, died.

2015-11-11 18.34.07
News of Schmidt’s death dominated the German newspapers on Nov. 11. Photo: Alison Haywood / Instagram.

Continue reading “Remembering Helmut Schmidt: Hamburg mourns a legend”

#RefugeesWelcome

There is no hotter topic in German media right now than refugees.refugees-welcome

I’ve told several friends about my job teaching German to refugees and gotten a lot of positive feedback. Several have asked if I get paid (I do) and said they’d like to be involved in something like that, even on a volunteer basis. Everyone is talking about the refugee crisis right now, with Germany taking in more refugees per month now than it has in twelve months in the past. (I believe the statistic I heard was, Germany took in more refugees in June of this year than it did in all of 2013). Chancellor Angela Merkel is under close scrutiny for the country’s refugee policy right now, especially after that video of her accidentally making a little girl cry went viral. Continue reading “#RefugeesWelcome”

Memorial Day 2015: I asked non-Americans how they view the U.S.’s military culture

Memorial Day was last Monday, and although I wasn’t in the States to honor it in person, my social media was flooded with pictures of backyard barbecues and military cemeteries. For every status update about camping trips and family reunions, there was another, more angry one insisting that Memorial Day was a time for reflection, not celebration, to express gratitude for those who served.

Photo: Pixabay/Creative Commons
Photo: Pixabay/Creative Commons

Continue reading “Memorial Day 2015: I asked non-Americans how they view the U.S.’s military culture”