Tag: Berlin

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Sea Life, a massive Sea World-class aquarium built into a hotel in Berlin has been destroyed. Water is running out into street, which means in these temperatures that the streets surrounding the building are effectively impassible and have been blocked of by the police.  Though the local fire department and police have not yet determined […]

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…begins with a quote from The Jazz Times: By 1968 the big bands were supposedly dead, but someone forgot to tell that to Count Basie, whose orchestra, still going strong, hadn’t altered much of anything since its heyday. Although most of the key members of the classic lineups had either passed on or moved on […]

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Book Review: Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, And The Most Dangerous Place On Earth

 

The following is a repost of a piece I wrote 3 years ago here.  With all of the Russian Collusion kerfuffle I thought it apropos to revist it.  You see, “collusion with the Russians” is hardly a new problem, and JFK himself actively and secretly colluded with Khrushchev, using his brother Bobby as a clandestine intermediary.  JFK told no one in his cabinet, or in the Secret Service, that he was doing this.  Why?  Well, for starters Kennedy was not particularly keen on the continuing defense of West Berlin, and had practically no concept of its extraordinary value to NATO as a bastion right in the middle of the Warsaw Pact.  In his mind, when he assumed the presidency, it was as best a distraction from his desired rapprochement with Moscow.  Kennedy wanted to “reset” Soviet relations after 8 years of Eisenhower refusing to “play ball”.

Secondly, Khrushchev did actually interfere with the 1960 presidential election in his own way by managing international events such that he made Nixon look paranoid against Kennedy’s openness.  Khrushchev therefore often claimed that he himself got Kennedy elected (Chicago notwithstanding, of course), and he thus felt Kennedy owed him.  The Berlin Crisis of 1961, the precursor to the Cuban Missile Crisis, was in no small part of this mutual dalliance between Khrushchev and Kennedy.  The passing of US intelligence secrets to the USSR via Bobby, the feeding of Soviet propaganda and misinformation back to Kennedy, and the dangerous near-loss of Berlin were all JFK’s doing.  We should bear all this in mind today when we are so quick to decry what Trump may or may not have done, just as we should remember that JFK learned from his early mistakes.  It hardly need be mentioned that many historians today, in their near-saintly portrayal of Kennedy, or in their endless vituperation against Trump, have ignored this episode when the US nearly bungled one of its most valuable protectorates in the Cold War.

Thoughts on Berlin

 
Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche

Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche

I had intended for today’s post in our 2016 Advent Calendar to focus on the tasty seasonal treats we enjoy as Christmas draws nearer. One I had in mind was marzipan, the almond paste used in so many European treats and particularly popular at Christmastime. Marzipan is one of those things that people either love or really do not like. I love it.

Another subject would be Stollen, the thick, somewhat dry cake with fruit, nuts, and often a marzipan center. Coated in butter and rolled in sugar, it’s incredibly delicious. The history of Stollen is intertwined with the dietary restrictions of Advent, a fasting season which precluded use of butter. Bakers could not create such masterpieces without butter, and after ardent appeals to several popes, Pope Innocent VIII finally relented in the famous “Butter Letter” of 1490. The most celebrated Stollen still comes from Dresden and bears the name Striezel, reflected in the unusual name given to Dresden’s 582-year old Christmas market: Striezelmarkt.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer the Italian police for taking out the Berlin terrorist, the Australian authorities for foiling a Christmas Day terrorist attack and those responsible for peacefully ending a hijacking in Malta.  They also get a kick out of Harry Reid calling the DNC worthless and Joe Biden concluding that Hillary Clinton never figured out why she was running.  And they applaud Donald Trump for getting Egypt to scrap a UN resolution condemning Israel after hearing the Obama administration might not oppose it.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to a Washington Post report suggesting the 2018 Senate map gives the Republicans a chance to hold a 60-seat majority.  They also shudder as German authorities confirm they’re looking for a Tunisian asylum seeker as the one responsible for the Berlin terrorist attack.  And they scratch their heads over the reasons some Democrats are giving for opposing Keith Ellison as the next DNC chairman, instead of the really glaring reasons he would be a terrible choice.

Meanwhile, in Germany- Aktualisiert (wieder)

 

There has been what is apparently a major terrorist attack at a Weihnachtsmarkt- Christmas Fair- in Berlin near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Die Welt reports that the police had been picking up evidence for days that an attack of this kind was being planned and Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that it is being compared to the Nizza attack in the summer. As of this moment, the number killed is listed as 9, the number wounded as 50. Please pray for the injured and the families of those murdered.

UPDATE: Here is the opening paragraph of the current story on the attacks as it appears on the Frankfurter Allgemeine online:

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I know it is a cliché, but sometimes being a hero means being a stubborn man with an unpopular opinion in the right place at the right time. General Lucius Clay was just this sort of man. Due to antics at West Point, when his class skipped its senior year to serve in WWI he […]

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The parallels between Kennedy’s first year as president and Obama’s entire first term are eerie: presidencies preceded by divisive campaigns against the “old way of doing things,” rejections of lessons already learned about the use of power, and the dangers of a rudderless America trying to retreat from the world stage. There is no doubt […]

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