I Thought He’d Never Leave

Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit (SPD) will finally step down on 11 December, after thirteen years in power. Damn. That’s longer than the Third Reich lasted.

Klaus

And talk about chuzpe. This guy took it to a whole new level (just like he took building airports to a whole new level). He’s leaving now of his “own free will.” Before his cronies get around to tossing him out first, in other words. Even the Berlin SPD crowd has finally figured out that Berlin doesn’t “work” because of Wowereit, it works despite him.

Hey, lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken als ein Schrecken ohne Ende. The Party Klaus is finally over.

Sein drittes Problem: die Stadt. „Arm, aber sexy“, wie der Bürgermeister sie eins beschrieb, das reicht in Wahrheit keinem Berliner mehr. Ihre Stadt, so stellten sie fest, funktioniert nicht wegen Wowereit, sondern trotz Wowereit.

We All Lose Our Heads Once In A While

But how do you lose a 5.6-foot tall one of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin? It’s not easy, but Berlin city authorities can do it.

Lenin

It was the star of Good Bye Lenin, Wolfgang Becker’s tragicomedy set around the fall of the Berlin Wall: a statue of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, suspended from a helicopter, seemingly waving goodbye to the crumbling socialist republic.

But more than two decades after it was torn down, Berlin authorities have admitted the giant monument may be lost in storage.

And You Thought US-Amerika Had Problems With Potholes

A Second World War bomb discovered under one of Germany’s busiest autobahns has blown a 65ft hole in the road after it exploded.

Pothole

Bomb disposal experts were forced to carry out a controlled explosion after being unable to defuse the 1,000lb British shell which was unearthed during construction work.

Der britische Blindgänger war neben der stark befahrenen Autobahn 3 in der Nähe des Frankfurter Flughafens bei Bauarbeiten gefunden worden. Um die Fundstelle wurde eine 1000-Meter-Sicherheitszone eingerichtet. Die Autobahn wurde voll gesperrt, es kam zu kilometerlangen Staus.

The Rise And Fall Of The German-American Volksfest

And fall and fall and fall it has. It’s been falling for at least twenty years now.

Volksfest

They ought to just finally get it over with and pull the plug for good. Like they already have on that other German-American whatever-it-used-to-be.

…At the time, West Germany and the United States were facing the first major postwar crisis in their relations. Many West Germans were protesting against the US war in Vietnam while many others, around 500,000 annually at the time, attended the annual fair, which was then held near the barracks in Berlin’s Dahlem district. They came because they liked the United States or American music — or maybe even its beer.

Wave Of Anti-Hamas Rallies Hits Cities Across Germany

Enraged at the cowardly Hamas rocket attacks that have provoked Israel’s ground offensive into the Gaza Strip, thousands of Islamists, left-wing extremists and neo-Nazis have taken to the streets all across Germany to vent their hate by chanting clever new ant-Semitic slogans.

Israel

“Jew, Jew, cowardly swine, come out and fight on your own!” was a particularly popular one at a rally in Berlin, for instance. “Hamas, Hamas, Jews in the gas!” came in a close second, however.

It is unclear what effect these slogans have had upon the Hamas terrorists firing said rockets but it doesn’t really matter all that much because their capacity to do so is being taken away from them as you read this. Right about… Now.

“Jude, Jude, feiges Schwein, komm heraus und kämpf allein.”

Anti-Chancellor To Anti-Celebrate Her Anti-60th Birthday Tomorrow

And she’s been running the show here in Germany for about 40 of those sixty years too, I think. But don’t call her Anti, I mean Aunti. Her real name is Mutti.

Merkel

I’d wish you a happy birthday now, Frau Bundeskanzlerin, but Germans like you are very superstitious about doing that before the actual birthday takes place, so I won’t. But I’ll think it now anyway.

Das Talent der Angela Merkel, heraufziehende Chancen und Risiken zu erkennen und – ganz unabhängig von ihrer Überzeugung – opportun darauf zu reagieren, ist gut dokumentiert: beim nach Fukushima plötzlich betriebenen Atomausstieg, beim Ringen um Jean-Claude Juncker, als sie gleich mehrmals die Position wechselte, oder in der NSA-Affäre, in der sie zu Gunsten guter US-Beziehungen lange schwieg und auch angesichts der jüngsten Spionage-Skandale nur symbolisch handelt, um die Deutschen zu beruhigen.

Gerade die größten Erfolge der Kanzlerin bleiben bei einer derartigen Management-Methode unbesungen. Es sind jene Katastrophen, die nicht eingetreten sind, weil vorsichtiges, iteratives Agieren sie verhindert hat. Merkels größter Verdienst ist letztlich jene lang anhaltende Phase der Langeweile, an der Intellektuelle gerade wieder so lautstark leiden.

My Pope Can Beat Up Your Pope

Germans everywhere seem to be particularly nervous today for some reason. Somebody told me  it might have something to do with soccer. And Argentina.

Nervous

I’d be nervous then, too. Each team has a pope in the corner.

My the best pope win.

For the first time ever, the two teams facing each other in the World Cup final will each have a living pope in their corner: Pope Francis’ Argentina against Pope Emeritus Benedict’s Germany.

Germans Wrestling With Unresolvable Guilt After Annihilating Brazil

After a devastating 7-1 victory over Brazil, and with World Cup domination possibly just one small step around the corner, Germans everywhere have instinctively begun flagellating themselves with guilt and remorse in a futile attempt to come to grips with the responsibility they feel for the soccer atrocities committed in their name last night.

Soccer

“4-0 would have been enough,” a spokesman for the shamed German people said.

“This victory is too high,” another disturbed German tweeted. “Shame. Compassion for humiliated opponent. Quickly to bed.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel caught the mood with typical understatement. “I think it almost deserves the name ‘historic,” she said.

America Decides Its Gold Is Safe In German Hands

No, wait. Germany has decided its gold is safe in American hands (I knew it was one of those).

Gold

Surging mistrust of the euro during Europe’s debt crisis fed a campaign to bring Germany’s entire $141 billion gold reserve home from New York and London. Now, after politics shifted in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition, the government has concluded that stashing half its bullion abroad is prudent after all.

“The Americans are taking good care of our gold… It’s my view that the gold reserves should be stored wherever they might be needed in an emergency.”

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