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German man leaves €7 million to far-right AfD | DW

An engineer who died in 2018 has donated his entire estate of gold, property and patents to the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The endowment is one of the largest ever given to a German political party.

Source: DW

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TV Series: 'Arctic Circle'

I just finished watching a Finnish-German TV series entitled Arctic Circle. Most of the series takes place in Lapland, the largest, northernmost and least densely populated region of Finland. Less than 4% of Finland’s 5.6 million people live in Lapland.

The crux of the story is the hunt for a deadly virus that has the potential to spread and kill many people. The heroine of the story is Lapland police officer Nina Kautsalo who is ably portrayed by the beautiful Iina Kuustonen. The hunt for the virus involves international crime figures and Finland’s neighbor Russia. There subplots include a love story, parental love and the complexities of modern marriage. It’s hard to describe more without spoilers. The dialogue is in Finnish, English, German and Russian. The subtitles are good and easy to follow.

The scenery is gorgeous. I really now want to visit Lapland, one of the best places to see the Northern Lights.

By Čeština: Petr Vodička, WikipedieEnglish: Petr Vodička, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46453801

You can read more about this fine series on The Euro TV Place, which is my primary source for great European television worth watching. The series is available exclusively on a new streaming service called Topic. Topic is also available as an Amazon channel, which is how I watched it.

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France and Germany to Build New Jet Fighter

Seventy-five years after the end of German occupation of Paris, France and Germany have agreed to work together to build a new jet fighter to protect Europe. France and Germany are each expected to contribute €77 million ($83 million) to the project.

It’s nice to see two former enemies now work together militarily. Where would Europe be without the EU?

Source: DW

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German Politics Have Shifted to the Right

Lukas Hermsmeier, an independent journalist based in New York and Berlin, writing in The New York Times on the election of a German governor with the support of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party:

The AfD has grown consistently since its founding in 2013 and is now present in the parliaments of every one of Germany’s 16 states. The parties of the center, meanwhile, have all shifted rightward. Both the Free Democrats, under their leader Christian Lindner, and the Christian Democrats have moved their policy platforms in an anti-immigrant direction.


Germany in 2020 is not Germany in 1933. But German politics have shifted in recent years in a disturbing way. Centrists and the far right share talking points on immigration. They share what they perceive as a common enemy in the left. And now, for the first time in decades, they even share a governor.

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Germany: Berlin parliament passes five-year rent freeze

Berlin’s parliament . . . passed a law to freeze rent prices in the rapidly gentrifying city-state for five years, becoming the first federal state in Germany to introduce a rent cap. The new law puts a cap on residential rental prices in the German capital, where the cost of rent has doubled in the last 10 years.

DW
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Israeli President: “many Poles stood by and even assisted in the murder of Jews.”

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin speaking to his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda:

We remember that Nazi Germany initiated, planned and implemented the genocide of the Jewish people in Poland and other places and that it takes full responsibility for its actions. And we also remember, with distress, that significant assistance came from across all of Europe, and that also demands the acceptance of responsibility.

See also, Haaretz.

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History: ‘Auschwitz Untold’ on History

This History special depicts the Nazi persecution and extermination of European Jews by combining newly colorized footage from the Holocaust and rare, first person interviews with survivors. Seventy-five years after the liberation, these survivors, who were young children at the time of the Holocaust, reflect on the tragic circumstances that lead to their internment and reveal the ways in which they survived the brutal Nazi campaign. Ultimately, a story of incredible courage, faith, and resilience emerges from the darkness of this horrific chapter in history.

The documentary premieres on January 26, 2020.

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Statements on the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz

Remarks at the the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on January 23, 2020:

I wish I could say that we Germans have learned from our history once and for all, but I cannot say that when hatred is spreading.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier

The crimes committed by the Nazis, their deliberate, planned, and as they said, ‘final solution to the Jewish issue,’ is one of the darkest and most shameful pages of modern world history. But we should not forget that this crime also had accomplices. They were often crueler than their masters. Death factories and concentration camps were served not only by the Nazis, but also by their accomplices in many European countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin 

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Slovenian court voids executed Nazi collaborator’s 1946 treason conviction

JTA: — A court in Slovenia voided the treason conviction of a Nazi collaborator who was executed in Yugoslavia shortly after World War II. The Supreme Court of Slovenia, a European Union member on Italy’s eastern border, nullified the 1946 conviction of Leon Rupnik last week, the director of the Jewish Cultural Center of the capital Ljubljana wrote in a statement.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel criticized the decision to annul the 1946 conviction of Rupnik explaining that he headed the Provisional Government of the Nazi-occupied Province of Ljubljana and played a major role in the arrest and deportation of Jews from Ljubljana in 1943 and 1944.

Robert Waltl, director of the Ljubljana JCC said he was “shocked and deeply concerned to learn about the decision.”

Robert Waltl, Director of Jewish Museum and Synagogue in Ljubljana © David Enzel, 2019

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Angela Merkel: Global Warming Real, Man-made and Dangerous

The 65-year-old chancellor added that while she would not live long enough to witness all of its consequences, global warming was real, man-made, and dangerous. “So we must do all that is humanly possible to combat this challenge to humanity,” she said. “There is still time.”

DW

This may be Merkel’s last New Year’s address:

Although she has repeatedly vowed to stay in office until the next scheduled election, in 2021, her coalition government is unpopular, and pundits have been discussing her early exit since she announced in 2018 that she would not run for re-election.

Christopher F. Schuetze writing for the The New York Times