The Legal Guarian of a Patch of Dirt

Today I did what is possibly the most German thing ever: I applied to be the legal guardian of a patch of dirt.

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The word is Gartenpaten, which roughly translates to “garden godparent.” It means someone in a neighborhood who has agreed to look after a “garden” – or in this case, a small patch of dirt around a street tree in the middle of a sidewalk. Continue reading “The Legal Guarian of a Patch of Dirt”

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”