Details of the strategy paper by members of Merkel’s Christian Democrat (CDU) were revealed Sunday by the news magazine Spiegel.
The writers of the strategy paper called on the party leadership to take the threat posed by the euroskeptic party Alternative for Germany (AfD) more seriously.
Founded this February, AfD has called for an “orderly dissolution” of the eurozone and a return to the Deutschmark.
On Sunday, Alternative for Germany became the country’s newest political party. DW spoke with Konrad Adam, one of the founders of the new group, about the party’s euroskeptic views. (16.04.2013)
The paper by the CDU’s party leaders in the state parliaments of Hessen, Saxony and Thuringia - Christean Wagner, Steffen Flath und Mike Mohring respectively - warned that the AfD threatened to split the conservative vote in Germany’s upcoming general election in September. This, would benefit the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens, they said.
Wagner, Flath and Mohring called upon the CDU leadership to take the threat posed by the AfD seriously, and to reassert its conservative credentials among voters disillusioned with the eurozone.
The year was 1887 when two of the best-known German anti-Semites of the time put down stakes here in Paraguay’s remote jungle with 14 German families screened for their racial purity.
The team of Bernhard Förster and his wife, Elisabeth, the sister of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, had an ambitious plan: nothing less than the establishment of a colony from which an advance contingent of Aryans could forge a claim to the entire South American continent.
But the continent had other plans for this new Fatherland.
“Some were able to survive,” said Lidia Fischer, 38, a blonde-haired descendant of a family that was among Nueva Germania’s first settlers. Those pioneers struggled with disease, failed crops, infighting and the megalomania of the Försters, who lorded over the colony from an elegant mansion called the Försterhof.
“Some returned to Germany,” said Ms. Fischer in an interview on her farm, where she lives with her husband and their five children. “Some committed suicide.”
Within two years the dream had been shattered, and today the Försterhof, where a sign that read “Over all obstacles, stand your ground” once hung on the wall, lies in ruins. The forest grows over its charred remains. Not long after founding the outpost and envisioning its mission as the “purification and rebirth of the human race,” Mr. Förster grew despondent over Nueva Germania’s progress. He swallowed a mixture of morphine and strychnine, killing himself in 1889.
Mr. Förster’s wife left Paraguay in 1893 for Germany, where she spent her later years staining her brother’s reputation. While Nietzsche derided anti-Semitism and expressed disdain in correspondence with his sister for the anti-Semitic character of Nueva Germania, she went on to reinvent his legacy after his death in 1900, transforming the philosopher into a kind of prophet for the Nazi propaganda machine.
BERLIN (AP) - A 93-year-old man who was deported from the U.S. for lying about his Nazi past was arrested by German authorities Monday on allegations he served as an Auschwitz death camp guard, Stuttgart prosecutors said.
Hans Lipschis was taken into custody after authorities concluded there was “compelling evidence” he was involved in crimes at Auschwitz while there from 1941 to 1945, prosecutor Claudia Krauth said.
Lipschis has acknowledged being assigned to an SS guard unit at Auschwitz but maintains he only served as a cook and was not involved in any war crimes.
Krauth said, however, that a judge upheld her office’s request for an arrest warrant after concluding there was enough evidence to hold him before charges on accessory to murder are brought. Bringing formal charges, a process similar to a U.S. grand jury indictment, would take another two months, she said.
Apparently, Hyundai thought this ad was a clever way to sell cars in Germany. They obviously didn’t put a lot of thought into it.
Warning: If you have experience with suicide this may be triggering. Avoid the comments also. A lot of psychopaths have shown up to go, “Boo fucking hoo. Grow a pair, weaklings.”
Greece, Germany bicker over war reparations issue
By ELENA BECATOROS | Associated Press – 19 hrs ago
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A long-standing debate over whether Germany still owes Greece war reparations stemming from the Nazi occupation erupted anew Thursday in a spat between Greece’s foreign minister and Germany’s finance minister.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was quoted by German media as suggesting that Greece should focus on reforming its economy and that the issue of war reparations was definitively closed years ago.
“I consider such comments irresponsible. Much more important than misleading people with such stories would be to explain and spell out the reform path,” the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung quoted him as saying in its Thursday edition. “Greece has already accomplished a lot but also still has a longer way ahead of it. One should not divert attention from that.”
In a riposte, Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said the reparations issue was one for international law to determine, stressing it was completely unrelated to Greece’s international financial bailout.
The issue of war reparations has been a contentious and legally complicated one for decades. Nazi Germany, which occupied Greece from 1941-44, forced Athens to extend it loans and give up gold reserves. There was also the question of the destruction of infrastructure and compensation claims filed by individuals who survived Nazi atrocities.
In 1960, Germany paid Greece 115 million German marks (about $330 million at today’s value) and soundly rejects any further calls for reparations, insisting that payment definitively settled all claims.
Greece suffered some of the highest casualty figures in WW2 as a % of her population. France lost 1.35% of her population to the war and the UK less than 1% while Greece lost 4.5% of her population.
I think the Cold War and the need to have a unified western front against the USSR had the western powers force Greece to accept such little compensation from Germany for her losses.
A top-secret report compiled at the behest of the Finance Ministry in Athens has come to the conclusion that Germany owes Greece billions in World War II reparations. The total could be enough to solve the country’s debt problems, but the Greek government is wary of picking a fight with its paymaster.
The headline on Sunday’s issue of the Greek newspaper To Vima made it clear what is at stake: “What Germany Owes Us,” it read. The article below outlined possible reparations payments Athens might demand from Germany resulting from World War II. A panel of experts, commissioned by the Greek Finance Ministry, spent months working on the report — an 80-page file classified as “top secret.”
Now, though, the first details of the report have been leaked to the public. According to To Vima, the commission arrived at a clear conclusion: “Greece never received any compensation, either for the loans it was forced to provide to Germany or for the damages it suffered during the war.”
The research is based on 761 volumes of archival material, including documents, agreements, court decisions and legal texts. Panagiotis Karakousis, who heads the group of experts, told To Vima that the researchers examined 190,000 pages of documents, which had been scattered across public archives, often stored in sacks thrown in the basements of public buildings.
BERLIN — “Are there still Jews in Germany?” ”Are the Jews a chosen people?”
Nearly 70 years after the Holocaust, there is no more sensitive an issue in German life as the role of Jews. With fewer than 200,000 Jews among Germany’s 82 million people, few Germans born after World War II know any Jews or much about them.
To help educate postwar generations, an exhibit at the Jewish Museum features a Jewish man or woman seated inside a glass box for two hours a day through August to answer visitors’ questions about Jews and Jewish life. The base of the box asks: “Are there still Jews in Germany?”
“A lot of our visitors don’t know any Jews and have questions they want to ask,” museum official Tina Luedecke said. “With this exhibition we offer an opportunity for those people to know more about Jews and Jewish life.”
But not everybody thinks putting a Jew on display is the best way to build understanding and mutual respect.
Since the exhibit - “The Whole Truth, everything you wanted to know about Jews” - opened this month, the “Jew in the Box,” as it is popularly known, has drawn sharp criticism within the Jewish community - especially in the city where the Nazis orchestrated the slaughter of 6 million Jews until Adolf Hitler’s defeat in 1945.
“Why don’t they give him a banana and a glass of water, turn up the heat and make the Jew feel really cozy in his glass box,” prominent Berlin Jewish community figure Stephan Kramer told The Associated Press. “They actually asked me if I wanted to participate. But I told them I’m not available.”
The exhibit is reminiscent of Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann sitting in a glass booth at the 1961 trial in Israel which led to his execution. And it’s certainly more provocative than British actress Tilda Swinton sleeping in a glass box at a recent performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Eran Levy, an Israeli who has lived in Berlin for years, was horrified by the idea of presenting a Jew as a museum piece, even if to answer Germans’ questions about Jewish life.
Greece outside of the USSR and maybe after Poland suffered the most civilian deaths at the hands of the Nazis in proportion to their population and her wealth was stolen en mass as was here agricultural production (many Greeks starved to death from a Nazi imposed famine). We can say many things about how Greece can be blamed for her economic problems but Greece had a longer road to recover from WW2 than most European countries (including a brutal Cold War fueled post WW2 civil war). I won’t make any excuses for Spain because they were run by a fascist Hitler sympathizing dictatorship.
So here we have Greece, which shed blood fighting the fascists for Europe (and helped win the Battle of the Atlantic with her considerable merchant marine fleet and was present at D-Day) and helped defeat communism in a brutal civil war and the western capitalist economies could care less. No good deed ever goes unpunished it seems.
Greece and Spain helped postwar Germany recover. Spot the difference
Sixty years ago, half of German war debts were cancelled to build its economy. Yet today, debt is destroying those creditors
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 27 February 2013 07.24 EST
Seventeen years ago, Bernard Connolly foretold the misery that awaited the European Union. Given that he was an instrumental figure in the EU bureaucracy and publicly expressed his doubts in a book called “The Rotten Heart of Europe,” he was promptly fired. Mr. Connolly takes no pleasure now in having seen his prediction come true. And he takes no comfort in the view, prevalent in many quarters, that the EU has passed through the worst of its crisis and is on the cusp of revival.
As far as Mr. Connolly is concerned, Europe’s heart is still rotting away.
The European political class, he says, believes that the crisis “hit its high point” last summer, “because that was when there was an imminent danger, from their point of view, that their wonderful dream would disappear.” But from the perspective “of real live people, and families and firms and economies,” he says, the situation “is just getting worse and worse.” Last week, the EU reported that the euro-zone economy shrank by 0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2012. For the full year, gross domestic product fell 0.5% in the euro zone.
Two immediate solutions present themselves, Mr. Connolly says, neither appetizing. Either Germany pays “something like 10% of German GDP a year, every year, forever” to the crisis-hit countries to keep them in the euro. Or the economy gets so bad in Greece or Spain or elsewhere that voters finally say, ” ‘Well, we’ll chuck the whole lot of you out.’ Now, that’s not a very pleasant prospect.” He’s thinking specifically, in the chuck-‘em-out scenario, about the rise of neo-fascists like the Golden Dawn faction in Greece.
Amazon has denied the allegations but will investigate per the request of the German government. Sounds like a third party is in charge of hiring. Hopefully Amazon will get rid of all those involved quickly if the reports are true.
Online retailer Amazon has said it will investigate reports temporary staff at its logistics centres in Germany were subjected to a climate of intimidation by security staff wearing neo-Nazi linked clothes.
A documentary aired on German television told of grim conditions for staff hired by temp agencies on Amazon’s behalf.
ARD public television cited temporary staff saying they were paid less than promised, faced constant searches and were intimidated by security staff wearing clothes linked to Germany’s neo-Nazi scene.
The documentary showed guards in black uniforms with ‘HESS’ emblazoned on their chests, standing for Hensel European Security Services, but also reminiscent of Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess.
In Frankfurt, locals said they would end their use of Amazon’s German website, Amazon.de, in response to the documentary.
“I ordered books at Amazon 2 or 3 times, but this will not happen anymore. Simple,” said one man.
Another had deleted his account altogether.
“In reaction to that, yesterday an email from Amazon arrived with a statement which tried to correct the claims and with the request not to cancel my account, but I finally deleted it this morning,” he said.
Amazon has more than 7,700 permanent employees in Germany, but hires thousands more to fulfil surges in orders before Christmas.
The German union ‘ver.di’ says Amazon workers have for years complained of intense pressure, random searches and short breaks.
BERLIN — Online retailer Amazon reacted to mounting criticism Monday by firing a security company named in a German television documentary about alleged mistreatment of foreign temporary workers.
An Amazon spokeswoman in Germany said the company had ended its relationship with Hensel European Security Services “with immediate effect.”
“Amazon has a zero tolerance limit for discrimination and intimidation and expects the same of other companies we work with,” spokeswoman Ulrike Stoecker said in an email to The Associated Press.
A documentary shown on German public television channel ARD last week showed staff of the security company — whose initials spell out the surname of Adolf Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess — wearing clothes linked to Germany’s neo-Nazi scene. It also interviewed people claiming they were intimidated by the security guards, who were stationed at a holiday camp where the temporary staff were housed.
Good for them.