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”

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.

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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”