Tag: Germany

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Here is an interesting YouTube item from Deutsche Welle: Germans travel to Russia for Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccinations.  It’s news to me, anyway. I have no way of knowing if the U.S. hate media have already reported on it. It seems that Germans who can afford it are doing some medical tourism. They are frustrated […]

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Filing Cabinets Full of Betrayals

 

When Anna Funder visited the former East Germany in 1994–five years after the Wall came down–she found it to be a very strange place, “a place lost in time. It wouldn’t have surprised me if things had tasted different here–apples like pears, say, or wine like blood.” The German Democratic Republic, as it called itself, had been a suffocating surveillance state, dedicated to the monitoring and control of every aspect of its citizens’ lives–enforced by a huge organization known as the Ministry for State Security, Staatssicherheit, abbreviated Stasi.

Funder wrote of her experiences and observations in a 2003 book, Stasiland.

How a Country Abandoned Law and Liberty, and Became a Threat to Humanity

 

How does an advanced and civilized nation turn into a pack of hunting hounds directed against humans? Sebastian Haffner addresses the question in his memoir, titled Defying Hitler, which describes his own experiences and observations from early childhood until his departure from Germany in 1939. It is an important document–not only for the light it sheds on this particular and dreadful era in history, but also for its more general analysis of the factors leading to totalitarianism and of life under a totalitarian state. It is also a very personal and human book, with vivid portraits of Haffner’s parents, his friends, and the women he loved. Because of its importance and the fact that it is relatively little-read in the United States (I picked up my copy at the Gatwick airport), I’m reviewing it here at considerable length.

The title (probably not chosen by the author himself) is perhaps unfortunate. Haffner was not a member of an organization dedicated to overthrowing the Nazi state, along the lines of a Hans Oster or a Sophie Scholl. His defiance, rather, was on a personal level–keeping his mind free of Nazi ideology, avoiding participation in Nazi crimes, and helping victims of the regime where possible. Even this level of defiance required considerable courage–more than most people are capable of. As Haffner summarizes life under a totalitarian regime:

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[Note: My wife, daughter, and I live in the U.S. Army Garrison-Stuttgart area where I work as a contractor] Pac-Man aficionados may recognize the reference for what happens if a player manages to get to the 256th screen of the iconic video game (which never happened to me by a long shot). The right side […]

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‘Twas the Season in West Germany

 

I experienced Christmas 1987 through 1989 in West Germany, in the heart of Bavaria, serving as a young Air Defense Artillery officer in the Army Reagan rebuilt. This was just before the influx of disillusioned East Germans and other relatively lawless former Warsaw Pact people, corrupted by the poison of living compromised lives under communism. West Germans were rule-followers. Ordnung muss sein! There must be order! The affirmative answer to “is everything alright?” “Alles ist in Ordnung.”

Everything is in order. One result was that private and public spaces were clean, neat, in order. At the same time, we and the British Army of the Rhine (by its name still an occupying force) had our boots firmly on the backs of a people who had shown a particular penchant for mass violence against others. So, I got to experience German culture and society at its best. I remember two German traditions and an American military tradition.

Former Reagan Speechwriter, and Ricochet Co-Founder, Peter Robinson sits down with Dave Carter to discuss everything related to the 2020 Presidential Election. From the state of the voting public to journalistic subterfuge, from the strengths and weakness of both candidates to the reliability of various polls and polling methods, Peter and Dave take on practically every aspect of Campaign 2020. The dynamics of this engaging and enjoyable conversation travel from serious political analysis, to two guys sitting on the front porch, wondering why more people don’t understand history, and beseeching the kids to get off the lawn. Along the way, Peter offers a compelling list of what could happen in the event of a Biden victory (it’s safe to say that you need to hear this).

Then Dave welcomes Ricochet Member Brady Kiel (Herrforce1) to the program.  Brady, an Air Force Reservist, spent some time in Dave’s old line of work as an active duty military historian.  As you might imagine, the guys have a great time comparing notes and trading stories, experiences and reflecting on their military service.  From start to finish, this episode is loaded with compelling conversation and even a few laughs.  We’re sure you’ll enjoy your time with Dave and his guests.

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Exchanging schnitzel (or maybe Swabian Maultaschen) for waffles and tiramasu? For those who want the twelve-second take, the Pentagon’s concept stated today basically says this: Belgium & Italy are big winners. Poland is a winner. Germany–specifically Stuttgart–is the loser. Of course this will take years and involve much diplomacy and political battle. I recommend listening […]

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More Bad History

 

With the announcement that President Trump wanted to bring up to one-third of US troops from our permanent bases in Germany, Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted out the following:

The American wit Will Rogers once said, “All I know is what I read in the papers.” And as far as James and Toby are concerned, ol’ Will wouldn’t have known anything about the state of the world today. Why is the mainstream media missing so much during this pandemic and why do you have to turn to obscure websites – like LockdownSceptics.org – to find out what’s really going on?

 

Germany Prays Together: An Unprecedented Public Event

 

Back in 2015, I moved with my family to Augsburg to work with a number of Christian ministries here in Germany, chief among them the Augsburg House of Prayer. It is from that ministry that a new initiative has sprung in response to the XiJinPing-Virus-inspired crisis here in Europe. It is called Deutschland Betet Gemeinsam and you can read more about it in German here.  Since it was organized (all of ten days ago, give or take), it has spread internationally to include participating churches and ministries in Austria and Switzerland. What is really novel and encouraging about it is that Christians of all major streams of the faith — Catholic, Evangelical, Eastern Orthodox, Messianic Jewish — and Orthodox Jews from all over the German-speaking world will be praying together in public. The event will be held on Wednesday, April 8, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Central European Time. If you have the inclination, you can certainly join from abroad.

And as promised, the translation of the prayer from the website:

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In 2015, I reviewed Hans Fallada’s great novel of the late Weimar era, Little Man, What Now?   Today’s review is of another Fallada novel, this one set earlier in Weimar, during the time of the great–insane–inflation. Wolf Among Wolves tells the story of a collapsing society through the intertwined lives of many characters, who include: […]

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Citizens often complain taxes are too high or too regressive or too widespread. The stubborn resilience of specific taxes said to be “temporary” when adopted solidify like crabgrass under societies. The Feds’ continued use of the Revenue Act after its supposed expiration in 1872 took an 1894 Supreme Court ruling to kill it. America adopted […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see France, Germany, and the UK conclude that Iran attacked Saudi Arabia earlier this month and that there is no other plausible explanation.  They also groan over the political circus about to begin as House Democrats appear to be moving en masse towards impeachment and even President Trump seems to like the idea of getting impeached because it would help him win re-election.  And they discuss the dystopian world Bernie Sanders wants us all to live in as he proposes a ludicrous wealth tax to pay for the massive expansion of government that he envisions.

Rebalancing Forces

 

BrownLandSalesTwo news items caught my eye this weekend, both of them in Stars and Stripes. One story was from Korea, and the other from Germany. Together, they told a story of rebalancing our forces in the world.

The first story is about the activation of a group of new Army Reserve units in Europe. This was a growth in the total number of units or end strength in the Army Reserve. Instead, this was a relatively typical rebalancing of types of units in different parts of the world.

It may seem odd to you to hear of Army Reserve units based in Germany, but this has long been so. There is a very small full-time staff, then unit members either fly in from the States or fly/rail/drive from their American expat civilian jobs in Europe. I had a War College classmate, a native-born American citizen, who lived with his Finnish wife and kids in Finland, working for a tech company. He drilled in Germany.

The G-BA is the worst

 

A group of regulators from Germany published in the British Medical Journal a recommendation on how drug companies should design clinical trials. These “recommendations” curiously align with Germany’s unwillingness to pay for efficacious drugs.

There are two regulatory bodies in Germany that check whether a new drug is better than an old treatment and pay accordingly, IQWiG and the G-BA. Not surprisingly when the Germans decided to check most new drugs they found that a majority of them (56%) showed “no added benefit.” Notwithstanding the obvious conflict of interest with the German government both approving and paying for new drugs, there are two major problems with Germany’s approval process. The unnecessary cost they are asking the drug companies to absorb and the capricious way they judge whether a drug is efficacious.

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I think we should have an ongoing effort (can’t be one topic) to offer suggestions for the “most brainless but likely to be troublesome” human behavior story of the week or month. Mine is below, about German protestors at a coal facility, of the “climate change is urgent, so to hell with democracy or common […]

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A Tale of Two Tales Following Morsi’s Death

 

Mohammad Morsi, who was elected president of Egypt leading an Islamist party, died in court late Monday. He had been deposed by the military after imposing an Islamist constitution and showing his ties to the Muslim Brotherhood more clearly. The military acted after a second wave of popular unrest showed people wanted change, but not quite the change Morsi seemed to be delivering.

France24 reports Morsi was buried Tuesday, in keeping with the custom of burial as soon after death as possible:

Egypt’s public prosecutor said Morsi was pronounced dead in hospital at 4:50pm local time. He said the medical report showed no apparent sign of recent injuries.

ACF Critic Series #28: Never Look Away

 

There is a new Donnersmarck movie, Never Look Away, a brilliant successor to the famous The Lives Of Others, so we are getting the team back together. @FlaggTaylor and Carl Eric Scott join me on the podcast for a long, wide-ranging discussion about art and tyranny, about the relationship between beauty and politics, and what great movies can offer by way of meditation on our search for freedom. Flagg and Carl co-edited the book on Donnersmarck’s marvelous, Oscar-winning debut, The Lives of Others.