Category بلومبرگ

Berlin’s state ballet school confronts allegations of abuse

One of Germany’s most prominent ballet training institutions stands accused of fostering a “culture of fear.” With the investigation report now public, the future remains uncertain as teaching reform is demanded.

Professional ballet schools have a reputation for cut-throat competition and harsh demands, from bloody toes and caloric deprivation to submitting to an iron-clad training regime, often far from home and at a vulnerable preteen age. Germany’s schools are no exception.

Recently, the Berlin State Ballet School and School for Acrobatic Arts (SBB), as well as the Ballet Academy of the Vienna State Opera in Austria, had to confront accusations of structurally endangering children’s well-being...

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How a church in Germany posthumously reinstated a gay clergyman

A Protestant church in Berlin has surprised many with an admission of past guilt and a promise of future change by rehabilitating a gay clergyman, who had been persecuted by the Nazis.

At Berlin’s Immanuelkirche church, the evening’s ceremony is primarily dedicated to one long-deceased Protestant pastor.

“Revoking the ordination rights of Reverend Friedrich Klein on January 20, 1943, has been recognized as an injustice and is declared null and void,” Protestant Berlin Bishop Christian Stäblein tells the congregation.

Read more: Gay Nazi victim dies without state compensation

He’s speaking about one ruling and one man, but his words betray how much further the issue goes. After more than 75 years, the comments are akin to an admission of past guilt and a promise of future change.

Advertisement for commemorative Mass outside Church (DW/C. Strack)

The ...

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Germany’s integration councils — the election for everyone

Integration councils represent the rights of migrants and non-Germans; everyone can vote, regardless of citizenship. In Cologne, a member of the Polish-German community has been elected for the first time.

“It is not easy to convince citizens who are not allowed to elect a mayor, a city council or a district council of the necessity of their vote — especially if they feel like ‘migrants’ and eternal guests.”

That is the challenge faced by Susanne Kremer-Buttkereit. She is the leader of the Municipal Integration Center in the western German city of Cologne and works to raise awareness about elections to a little-known board of officials: the integration council.

Residents of Germany’s most populous state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) have spent the last few months awaiting local elect...

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Germany: The right-wing hatred of women

German lawmakers are not paying enough attention to the danger of misogynist ideologies. They have and continue to incite violence against women, and can serve as a gateway to more radical right-wing worldviews.

Anne Helm, who heads the socialist Left Party’s parliament group in Berlin’s legislature, has grown used to threatening emails. But it’s wearing her down, she says. Helm usually receives them late at night. Some declare she’s been “sentenced to death.” Often, the sender claims to belong to the “NSU 2.0,” a German right-wing terrorist network. “I have to take this seriously,” the lawmaker tells DW. “That makes my life so much more exhausting.” But even though some emails contain death threats, Helm is not scared for her life.

According to Hesse’s state parliament, a total of 69 t...

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EU plans international coronavirus tracing network

Starting in October, a number of EU member states will launch a cross-border coronavirus tracing network. But France, where infection numbers are at a record high, will not join the scheme.

There is considerable cross-border traffic between Germany and France. Daily, German and French nationals cross the 450-kilometer-long (280-mile) border, as many either work or live on the other side. In everyday life, the frontier is barely noticeable.

But this cannot be said for France’s coronavirus tracing efforts. In the Northern Hemisphere’s spring months, France launched an app that does not utilize Google’s or Apple’s interface, and automatically stores a user’s contacts on a state-run server. Most other EU states reject this centralized approach, deeming it inimical to users’ data privacy.

Police officer controlling the French-German border in Strasbourg

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German students defy coronavirus to study abroad

Thousands of German students head abroad every year — but university experience and exchange programs have altered beyond recognition in the pandemic. With term starting, DW spoke to students who chose to stay overseas. 

“Student life just came to a sudden stop,” says Celal, a German student at Columbia Business School in New York. “I am doing fine adjusting to the new situation — but obviously it’s not going to be the same again.” 

Celal is one of at least 134,000 German students who make the leap to study abroad each year. The US is a popular destination, but the majority who study abroad do so through the European Union’s ERASMUS exchange program, staying within the visa-free EU, which included the UK until January 2020...

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Germany’s historical discrimination against gay soldiers unveiled in new report

The German defense ministry has published a report outlining the extent of historic discrimination of gay soldiers before 2000. But authorities “cannot right every injustice,” the defense minister admitted.

“I can’t believe this is happening — I feel like I’m dreaming,” 77-year-old Dierk Koch says, blinking down from the podium at a special event at the German defense ministry on Thursday night.

In 1964, Koch was a 21-year-old marine set to travel with other members of the German armed forces to the Tokyo Olympics, an opportunity he described as “amazing.” Weeks ahead of the trip, and without warning, he was called up in front of his commanding officer and told he would not be making the trip — and that he had been dishonorably discharged.

Koch’s only crime was being gay...

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Coronavirus: Will Germany’s Christmas markets be canceled?

Germany is preparing for winter amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. More treatment centers and new mandatory mask rules are planned. But with Oktoberfest already canceled — will the famed German holiday attractions go ahead?

Temperatures soared past 30 degrees Celsius across Germany in mid-September as people headed to parks and swimming pools to cool down. For many German residents, winter still seems a long way away.

But experts have expressed concern about the coming cold weather and what it might do for coronavirus infection rates.

The number of daily coronavirus cases has been rising steadily across the country over the last four weeks. On Saturday there were 2,297 new cases — the highest daily number recorded since April.

Other European countries are considering fresh lockdowns...

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Islam still faces obstacles on path to be part of Germany

Some ten years ago, German President Christian Wulff said Islam was very much part of German society. What about today? 

It was a short statement that had a lot of impact. In his speech almost 10 years ago on the 20th anniversary of German reunification, Germany’s then-President Christian declared that Islam was a part of Germany.

The claim sparked a nation-wide debate on the role of Islam in the country — one that had continued to this day. Wulff’s 2010 statement enraged some, while resonating deeply with others.

Today, millions of Muslims call Germany their home. Some families have been living in the country for two, three and even four generations...

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FinCEN Files: Tracing the flow of dirty money

The FinCEN files are the result of extensive international research on money laundering and financial crime. They show how dirty money is shuffled around the world and how banks fail to stop this flow of money.

The unchecked movement of dirty money may not register as an immediate threat in a world beset by headline-grabbing crises. But the consequences are profound, as narcotraffickers, smugglers and Ponzi schemers shift illicit profits beyond the reach of authorities, and despots and corrupt captains of industry swell their own ill-gotten fortunes and consolidate power, aided by the powerful and the banking system.

In 2019 the US media outlet BuzzFeed News obtained a large cache of secret US Department of the Treasury (USDT) financial records and shared them with the International Cons...

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