This Could Never Have Happened To Us

As reported earlier

Hindenburg

The enlightened left (in this case Berlin’s “red-redder-green” city government) are routinely shocked to discover that historical figures fail to meet their current level of enlightened leftist consciousness and so must scorn their memory with puritanical outbursts of intoxicating guilt and self-righteous moral outrage.

This could have never happened to them, in other words. They’ve got Stalinists in their own government right now but it could never happen to them.

Berlin strips Hitler kingmaker Paul von Hindenburg of honorary citizenship – Berlin city-state has rescinded honorary citizenship for Paul von Hindenburg. In 1933, the German Weimar-era general-turned president named Adolf Hitler as chancellor, giving him powers for his 12-year Nazi dictatorship.

German Of The Day: Ehrenbürger

That means citizen of honor.

Hindenburg

And now, after 87 years, Berlin’s red-redder-green city government (SPD, the Left Party, the Greens) has decided that Paul von Hindenburg can no longer carry that title.

Liberals everywhere are all the same. They are routinely shocked to discover that historical figures fail to meet their current level of enlightened leftist consciousness and must therefore ridicule their memory with pious outbursts of intoxicating guilt and self-righteous outrage. Otherwise they’re a nice bunch of folks, I’m sure.

Am 20. April 1933 wurde Paul von Hindenburg Ehrenbürger Berlins – am gleichen Tag wie Adolf Hitler. Nun wurde ihm die Ehrenbürgerschaft aberkannt. Er habe dazu beigetragen, die Demokratie in Deutschland zu zerstören.

The Third Time’s The Charm

Or it will be. Or it could be. Maybe.

Growth

Germany’s Second Economic Miracle Is Ending – The cognoscenti of international economics are once again agape, and not in a flattering way, at the budget surpluses Germany’s government keeps running, when instead it should be stimulating the economy with tax cuts and higher spending. The surplus revealed this week for 2019, at 13.5 billion euros ($15 billion), is the fifth in a row, and the biggest ever.

Many Germans still regard such numbers as signs of economic virtue and virility, as they keep slashing public debt and reveling in high employment numbers. Alas, these positive indicators are likely to be lagging, not leading. That’s because an unusual era is drawing to an end, one that was likened by Bert Ruerup, one of Germany’s top economists, to a “second economic miracle.” (The first was West Germany’s long postwar rally).

In the past 15 years — somewhat coincidentally, the reign of Angela Merkel as chancellor — Germany turned from the “sick man of Europe” to the continent’s export powerhouse and growth engine. In the next 15 years, Germany won’t necessarily become sick again. But, as Ruerup puts it, it could simply turn economically “gray,” with meager growth indefinitely.

Are All American Celebrities Experts On Nazi Germany?

No wonder they’re all so, I dunno, celebrated or something.

Celebrities

Linda Ronstadt sees ‘great parallels’ between Hitler’s Germany and Trump’s America – In a recent interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the Grammy-award winning singer said she sees “great parallels” between pre-Nazi Germany and now.

“The intelligentsia of Berlin and the literati and all the artists were just busy doing their thing. Hitler rose to power. There were a lot of chances to stop him, and they didn’t speak out… By the time he got established, he put his own people in place and stacked the courts and did what he had to do to consolidate his power…”

Hitler “stacked the courts.” Hilarious. People who say such things out themselves as not knowing the slightest thing about Nazi Germany. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, of course, but they really out to consider keeping their ignorance to themselves.

German Of The Day: Disneyfizierung

That means Disneyfication.

Checkpoint

Just stop by Checkpoint Charlie sometime and see for yourself.

Authorities in Germany’s capital Berlin have banned local performers from wearing US army uniforms at Checkpoint Charlie, the iconic Cold War crossing between the east and west of the city.

They said the actors exploited tourists by demanding money for photos at the attraction…

People impersonating US soldiers have been at Checkpoint Charlie for nearly 20 years, working in rotation to pose with tourists.

But many Berliners are unhappy about the “Disneyfication” of the site, where fake Soviet Red Army fur hats, gas masks and pieces of the Berlin Wall can be found for sale.

If You Didn’t Read It Here It Didn’t Happen

Go Neues Deutschland. There are not a lot of East Berlin newspapers out there that have the backbone to call the fall of the Berlin Wall fake news.

ND

Communist newspapers? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

Wolfgang Hübner returns from the archives of the Neues Deutschland newspaper clutching a rare treasure: a thick binder containing one of the biggest misses in journalistic history.

Mr Hübner has unearthed the edition of Friday, November 10 1989, the day after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is the most consequential moment of the decade, yet that day’s ND — the official organ of the Socialist party of East Germany, boasting a circulation of more than 1m — contains not a word on the event.

“Lots of traffic at the border crossing.”

Virtual Socialist Reality

Last call for boarding to Cold War Berlin. Don’t forget your VR goggles.

Berlin

Who says time travel isn’t possible?

30 years later, Berlin Wall comes back to life with virtual reality – German startup offering visitors and history buffs an ‘authentic’ and immersive Cold War-era tour of the divided capital.

A packed bus approaches Checkpoint Charlie, the Cold War’s most famous border crossing, as grim-faced East German guards whisper among themselves about whether to hold you for questioning.

After a few heart-stopping minutes, you and your fellow passengers are free to pass into the smog, soot and shadowy intrigue of 1980s East Berlin.

Das Ost-Berlin vor dem Mauerfall ersteht für Touristen wieder auf. Mit VR-Brille kann man eine Stadtrundfahrt vom Checkpoint Charlie zum Palast der Republik unternehmen, vorbei an Gendarmenmarkt und „Ahornblatt”.

If Only US-Amerika Had A Rate That Low

Of Antisemitism, I mean. Only one in four? Damn. Seriously, folks. That’s not bad at all.

Anti-Semitism

One in four Germans hold anti-Semitic beliefs, study finds – More than a quarter of Germans surveyed said they agreed with anti-Semitic statements, including that Jews have “too much power over the economy.” Over 40% said they thought Jews “talk about the Holocaust too much.”

Jeder vierte Deutsche hegt laut einer neuen Studie antisemitische Gedanken.

Germans Too Busy Killing Hitler To Help Allies

It’s another German oddity kinda thang. And one of my personal favorites.

Hitler

Germans hide from responsibility today by routinely ritualizing  how they hid from responsibility in the past. And don’t kid yourself. They are perfectly aware of what they are doing.

Germany will not join US naval mission in Strait of Hormuz – Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany will not be taking part in a US-led mission to secure oil tanker ships sailing near Iran. The US ambassador in Berlin slammed the decision, saying Germany has responsibilities.

“Hardly any other country is as dependent on the freedom of international shipping as export champions Germany.”

And You Thought Paying Back Your Student Loan Was A Bitch

And I’m sure it was but…

Debt

Germany’s World War I Debt Was So Crushing It Took 92 Years to Pay Off – After the Treaty of Versailles called for punishing reparations, economic collapse and another world war thwarted Germany’s ability to pay…

The Allies exacted reparations for World War II, too. They weren’t paid in actual money, but through industrial dismantling, the removal of intellectual property and forced labor for millions of German POWs. After the surrender, Germany was divided into four occupation zones, and in 1949 the country was split in two. Economic recovery, much less reparations payments, seemed unlikely.

By then, West Germany owed 30 billion Deutschmarks to 70 different countries, according to Deutsche Welle’s Andreas Becker, and was in desperate need of cash. But an unexpected ray of hope broke through when West Germany’s president, Konrad Adenauer, struck a deal with a variety of western nations in 1953. The London Debt Conference canceled half of Germany’s debt and extended payment deadlines. And because West Germany was required to pay only when it had a trade surplus, the agreement gave breathing room for economic expansion.

Soon, West Germany, bolstered by Marshall Plan aid and relieved of most of its reparations burden, was Europe’s fastest-growing economy. This “economic miracle” helped stabilize the economy, and the new plan used the potential of reparations payments to encourage countries to trade with West Germany.

Still, it took decades for Germany to pay off the rest of its reparations debt. At the London Conference, West Germany argued it shouldn’t be responsible for all of the debt the old Germany had incurred during World War I, and the parties agreed that part of its back interest wouldn’t become due until Germany reunified. Once that happened, Germany slowly chipped away at the last bit of debt. It made its last debt payment on October 3, 2010—the 20th anniversary of German reunification.