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Talking Germany

Blog with Peter Craven

The value of values, with Ellen Ueberschär

Thinking for yourself

Ellen Ueberschär 1“He helped to start a new way of thinking, encouraging people to use their own brains and think for themselves.” Was he a very German figure? “Well, he had strong opinions. He was impulsive and uncompromising. Those are German traits. He certainly triggered developments that divided Germany through to the present day.” It’s Ellen Ueberschär – my latest guest on Talking Germany – speaking about theologian Martin Luther, the central figure in the Protestant reformation.

Date

October 27, 2014

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Episodes in a story quietly told, with Claus Hipp

Hipp_Peter_nah_niceOr: “You don’t have to say that any more!”

Musician, artist, linguist, equestrian, entrepreneur: he’s an outstanding representative of the Mittelstand – the medium-sized, family-run companies often described as the backbone of the German economy. He’s Claus Hipp – my latest guest on Talking Germany. Before the show he tells me about an aspect of his family’s story that doesn’t get a lot of publicity.

Date

October 17, 2014

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Stefanie-Lahya Aukongo – The time has come

Or: powerlessness become authority, with 

Stefanie-Lahya Aukongo 1

“The time has come. Before they removed our chains, they brainwashed us. Brainwashed us with their dirty ideologies. They wanted us to walk like them. Talk like them. Think like them. And what did we do? We walked like them. Talked like them. Thought like them.

Stefanie-Lahya AukongoOur legacy spoke not. It was biding its time. Our legacy is in us. Now it can grow. Now it can show itself. Brothers! Sisters! The time has come. We are here. We are here. We are wanted. My African pride. My African story. My African life. I sense the power of my ancestors. I know of the strength of my nation.

Stefanie-Lahya Aukongo 3In an endless landscape of humiliation, we are rising up. This is our time. A time where powerlessness becomes authority. Authority becomes love. Love becomes understanding. And understanding becomes humanity. Is it just a dream? Are we still shackled in those chains of old? Or shall we today begin to build tomorrow?”

Stefanie-Lahya Aukongo 4These are the words of Stefanie-Lahya Aukongo, my latest guest on Talking Germany. She brings with her all the hopes, the fears, the joys and despair of her fascinating life. A life in three “nations”: the former East Germany, black Africa, and present-day reunified Germany. And she brings with her the hopes, and the fears, of Germany’s large and flourishing Afro-German community.

Date

October 13, 2014

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An encounter with Constanze Kurz, who has a lot of computers

Or: Lucky if you know a nerdKurz_Maske1
Who are they? How do they tick? Are they on our side? Or are they enemies of society? Are they a community? Or are they driven individuals. Certainly, it would seem, they are very often compulsive and addictive personalities. And investigations appear to show that they yearn for recognition, influence and power. One thing they hate for sure is boredom. Most of them are men. But not all. Like Constanze Kurz, my latest guest on Talking Germany. In case you hadn’t guessed: she’s a hacker.

Date

October 6, 2014

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Talking particle physics with the very busy Rolf-Dieter Heuer

Dr. Yes: the charming head of a scientific mini state

It’s a strange underground world. It has cost billions of euros to construct. It’s a giant experiment designed to recreate conditions immediately after the Big Bang and provide important clues about what gives mass to matter. About, that is, what makes a chair a chair. This amazing, but slightly bizarre, underground realm that has been created by literally thousands of scientists looks just a little bit like the one built by Dr. No in the Bond movie of the same name. This one, though, is called CERN, and it’s run by a charming and compelling Dr. Yes: Rolf-Dieter Heuer – my latest guest on Talking Germany.

Date

September 28, 2014

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