Tag Archives: Germany

“Dear Michel” (an excerpt from the archives)

While sifting through the papers of the Bavarian SPD leader Waldemar von Knoeringen at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Bonn a few months ago, I came across a heart-rending letter from May 22, 1946. Writing almost exactly one year after the Nazi capitulation, Knoeringen’s old comrade from the Neu Beginnen group Eugen Nerdinger tries to […]

The Politics of Anniversary (and a Remark on the Fives Fetish)

Important historical dates, such as a revered leader’s birthday or a noteworthy battle, often become ingrained in the public consciousness through celebration or commemoration of their anniversaries. But it is not always so clear why we choose to “anniversarize” certain dates and not others. The world religions place a great deal of emphasis on historical […]

West Berlin Was Nearly Sold Out, 1961/62

Based on recently declassified documents, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reports that West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer secretly suggested to U. S. President John F. Kennedy that they offer to give up West Berlin to East Germany in exchange for territories in Thuringia, Mecklenburg, and Saxony. The French magazine Le Point elaborates on the […]

Rediscovered Photos of the Berlin Wall, 1961

TIME has published photographer Don McCullin’s lost negatives that he shot of the building of the Berlin Wall in August 1961. These images of Berliners in the Western zone peeking through to their friends in the East serve as a striking complement to the more familiar images of reunification and the fall of the wall […]