Evil Santa
If even Santa is naughty, who can be nice?

IF YOU'VE EVER WONDERED where horror writers get their twisted ideas from, wonder no more: it's from news items like this one. Over the weekend I wrote about the serial poisoner who has been preying on merrymakers at Berlin's Christmas markets./… Read full post »

 Berlin Christmas market
The Nostalgic Christmas Market
on Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt


WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT it, an outdoor German Christmas market is the perfect environment for a psychopath. He or she can blend in with thousands of clueless merrymakers, many of whom are tourists unfamiliar with local customs,Read full post »

 Computer love


TIME WAS WHEN INTERNET sex was a tawdry business (or so I have been told), largely consisting of dirty pictures and coeds with webcams, preening and moaning as if anybody was really having a good time. But no longer. According to a recent Swedish-American study being highlightedRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 5, 2011 10:49AM

Nazi terror gang marketed anti-Jewish board game

This game doesn't end well:
The NSU's "Pogromly"
(Source: FAZ)

GAMES ARE A PREPARATION for real-life situations. According to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung yesterday, the German neo-Nazi terror trio calling itself the National Socialist Underground designed and mar/Read full post »



Gone in three minutes:
Berlin's Deutschlandhalle in 1939
(Source: wiki)


IT WAS THE LARGEST multi-purpose hall of its kind when it opened in 1935 after just nine months of construction, but that was nothing out of the ordinary in the Berlin of those days. The capital waRead full post »

 Christa Wolf 
"Paradise can make itself scarce. That is its nature."
East German author Christa Wolf, 1929-2011
(Source: Wiki)

POST-WAR GERMAN LITERATURE lost one of its most distinctive voices today. Christa Wolf, East Germany’s best-known and still best remembered author, has died atRead full post »


The "Black Baron" and wife Stephanie in better days


JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT he had finally disgraced himself for good, the man is back, his eyes on high office and generating headlines everywhere he goes. No, I’m not talking about Newt Gingrich. It’s [Dr.] Baron KRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 16, 2011 10:12AM

German terror group had bigger targets in their sights

 National Socialist Underground 
A far-right Baader-Meinhof Gang?:
Neo-Nazi terrorists Beate Zschäpe, Uwe Böhnardt,
and Uwe Mundlos of the "National Socialist Underground"


NEW EVIDENCE IN THE case of the self-styled “National Socialist Underground,” which is suspected for at least ten m/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 14, 2011 10:41AM

Neo-Nazi terror gang leaves trail of blood across Germany



 Beate Zschaepe
Terrorist Beate Zschäpe of the
"National Socialist Underground"
(Source: STERN)


HAVE YOU EVER STOPPED to wonder whether the hundreds of billions we have been investing in “security” over the past decades have actually made us any safer againsRead full post »

NOVEMBER 9, 2011 2:57PM

Kristallnacht averted: November 9, 1969

The burning New Synagogue on Oranienburger Strasse,
Berlin. Contrary to popular perceptions, the synagogue wasn't
torched by the Nazis but rather by Allied bombers in 1943.
(Source: Museum of Tolerance) 

THEY SAY A PICTURE is worth a thousand words, but sometimes a simRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 16, 2011 9:09AM

The greatest children's book you'll never read

Or: Tom Swift and me. How an argument over adverbs killed my new novel


Empty Shelf 
Empty shelf syndrome:
While I'm prohibited from exhibiting the cover art for my
aborted novel, if you click on the above image fast enough you might
still catch a glimpse of it on Amazon


IT WAS SUCH ARead full post »

"Claimed innocent victims":
Would-be Hitler assassin and latter-day national hero,
Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (1907-44)

MAYBE GERMANY'S MOST PROMINENT neo-Nazi faction, the National Democratic Party (NPD), has been hitting the beer and Jägermeister a little more strongly… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 27, 2011 1:35PM

Big surprise: Plagiarism sinks yet another politician

Germany's obsession with academic honors
hits a new iceberg

THIS SOUNDS LIKE YESTERDAY'S news, but I suspect it's tomorrow's as well: the dodgy dissertation scandal that has already sunk a half dozen senior German politicians has claimed yet another victim. The latest to hit the ice,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 14, 2011 2:15PM

An end to freedom? Berlin mulls public transport booze ban

 Berlin Subway
If a local initiative has any say in the matter,
this subway train and station could become an
alcohol-free zone
(Source: BVG)

THERE'S A MOVEMENT UNDERWAY calling for a complete ban on the consumption of alchoholic beverages in the vehicles and stations of Berlin's far-flung public transpor… Read full post »

 Klaus Wowereit
"Gay, and that's a good thing":
Berlin's Lord Mayor Klaus Wowereit at Christopher
Street Celebration, 2001
(Source: wiki)

WHILE NEW YORK WAS legalizing gay marriage, the city and federal state of Berlin were finalizing plans to teach “sexual diversity” in the municipal primary sRead full post »

A new book challenges conventional beliefs about Christianity and the family 

Republican Family Values 
Sayin' it don't make it so:
While "family values" may appeal to many people today, early
Christians, including Jesus himself, had little use for them

UNLIKE GEORGE W. BUSH, I’m not exactly whRead full post »

 Margarita Mathiopolous
Latest victim of the contagious Guttenberg Syndrome:
FDP foreign policy adviser "Prof. Dr." Margarita Mathiopolous
(born in 1957)


GERMANY HAS BEEN SWEPT by an epidemic of academic plagiarism cases in recent months. In fact, there’s been nothing like it since the last bout of wRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 19, 2011 10:23AM

Revealed: The great Reichstag fire plot of 2011

Reichstag Fire 
The news from Vienna recalls the horrific
Reichstag fire of February 1933
(Source: wiki)

WHEN THE NEWS BROKE it seemed like 1933 all over again: Yesterday an Austrian newspaper announced that the Vienna police had arrested a 25 year-old convert to Islam, charging him with conspiracy to desRead full post »

A new book examines the record of the small denominations under Hitler


Christianity in the Third Reich:
Blessed are the collaborators...?


THERE IS NO END of books examining the relationship between Germany’s semi-established Catholic and Protestant Churches and the NazRead full post »

Die Erwartung  

Any minute now... Read full post »

Where's Waldo?

Dear Readers,

In view of tomorrow's Rapture, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your kind and loyal support over the years. As of tomorrow, I will continue to blog for selected readers at my new blog, "Lost in the Clouds," at www.open.heaven.com.… Read full post »

Why Hitler's "Colossus of Prora" may still contain lessons for us today



The "Sea Resort of the 20,000":

Model of the Prora complex with Great Hall at the top


THE GERMANS HAVE AN expression for it: “ripe for the island.” And around this time last year, strRead full post »

 Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg
You are so busted!
Ex-German defense minister Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg
(Source: wiki)


IT’S A BLACK DAY for Germany’s Black Baron, former Defense Minister (Dr.) Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg. Four months after a left-wing scholar in Bremen reviewed Baron Guttenberg’sRead full post »

When it comes to food, weirdness is always relative 


 Boy egg
"Boy eggs" are a popular Chinese picker-upper



DID YOU EVER WONDER how China got its remarkable edge in math and industry? If you believe some Chinese entrepreneurs, the answer may have to do with an ancieRead full post »

Guttenberg's Grand Tattoo - click here to watch

READERS OF MY BLOG may already have figured out that I am not a particularly ecstatic fan of disgraced German defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who resigned in a hurry last week over revelations about his fraudulent d… Read full post »