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Talking Germany

Blog with Peter Craven

Avi Primor’s friendship with an outstanding German

Learning to overcome hate

My latest guest on Talking Germany arrived very early for the recording. And, for technical reasons, we started somewhat later than planned. Which meant that Avi Primor – the “doesn’t-mince-his-words” former Israeli ambassador to Germany – and myself had a lot of time to chat. So, I looked him in the eye, and asked him for permission to ask some leading questions. Like: “How did you feel when you were appointed to the post of ambassador to Germany – the country which had, after all, murdered many members of your wife’s family?” 

Date

October 24, 2010

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The extraordinarily ordinary Anna Loos

No airs, no graces

My latest guest on Talking Germany enjoys successful acting and singing careers and there are times when, it seems, you can hardly pick up a newspaper or magazine without Anna Loos and/or her ‘famous husband’ leaping out at you. Photos typically show “The Couple of the Year 2010” striding confidently to some special invitation event or up another red carpet. So when I heard that she would not be taking advantage of the exquisite Talking Germany make-up facilities, but arriving ‘ready to go’ … well, I was worried that we might be in for some airs and graces.

Date

September 26, 2010

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Talking with Reinhold Messner about the extremes of parental responsibility

You can’t kill mountains!

Just over a decade ago I was walking in the Western Tian-Shan Mountains that tower up to the east of the capital city of Uzbekistan, Tashknet. Our team of three “western” journalists and a Russian guide were making good progress on an itinerary that had taken us along steep mountain ridges and over high passes. Then I stumbled, fell quite a distance, and smashed my knee. The result: the kneecap was shattered and, when I finally made it down the mountain (part of the way on a donkey!) and back to Germany, I was told that I’d never walk properly again. 

Date

June 6, 2010

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The fiercely-focussed Paul Breitner

Talk about keeping your eye on the ball!!

His eyes are cut diamonds. Behind them, inside the man, there’s a deep well of energy, intensity and resolve. In his playing days, he combined almost animal instinct with razor-sharp intellect. The result: an often irresistible force. This is Paul Breitner, legend of German soccer, and my latest guest on Talking Germany. 

Date

May 16, 2010

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Sol Gabetta’s dark secret!!

The high-energy cellist …

During the last year or so we’ve had a number of the top names from the world of classical music on the show: the conductors Kent Nagano and Christian Thielemann, the virtuoso violinist David Garrett and the delightful soprano Annette Dasch. With each of them I’ve edged closer to understanding what it takes to be among the best in the world of music: the work level, the sacrifices.

Date

January 31, 2010

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