There's a notorious Nazi concentration camp guard living in New York City and ICE won't deport him

Jakiw Palij is a convicted Nazi war-criminal who helped train the force charged with murdering every Jew in Poland, guarded the Trawniki forced labor camp -- where 6,000 prisoners were murdered in a single day -- and was present at the "liquidation" of the Warsaw Ghetto. He's lived in the USA since 1949, when he entered the country and lied about his Nazi past. Read the rest

Marx's birthplace celebrates his bicentennial with Communist traffic-lights

Karl Marx was born in the German city of Trier 200 years ago and lived there until he was 17; to celebrate his bicentennial, the city has installed a Marx-themed pedestrian signal light designed by Johannes Kolz, with another to come. Read the rest

Patti Smith stops to calm down crowd: "Just be cool, get cool" (1979)

When Patti Smith, the queen of cool, tells you to "just be cool," you'd better stop and check yourself. Watch her do just that in this Live at Rockpalast German TV footage from 1979. At around the 3:45 mark, she pauses her performance of "Dancing Barefoot" to break up a ruckus in the crowd.

"Now, c'mon. Just be cool, man. Hey everybody, just be cool. Get cool... Stop acting like assholes and settle the fuck down!"

(RED) Read the rest

25 years ago, a mutant American crayfish turned to asexual reproduction, and all of Europe's lakes are filling up with its clones

The marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) is a mutant slough crayfish (Procambarus fallax) an American species; the mutation that allowed slough crayfish to reproduce asexually by cloning itself occurred a mere 25 years ago, and it came to Germany as an aquarium pet in 1995, sold as "Texas crayfish." Read the rest

Berlin regulates Airbnb and safely deflates its housing bubble while returning 8,000 rentals to the market

Berlin is one of many European cities that have faced new housing crises -- or worsening existing ones -- attributed to Airbnb, where homes were converted to unlicensed, super-profitable hotel rooms, driving up housing prices, shrinking rental inventory, and making the city unaffordable for the people who lived and worked there. Read the rest

Twitter complies with Germany's new hate-speech laws by cutting off the account of a satirical magazine that mocks hate speech

When a German neo-Nazi politician tweeted that German police were trying to "to appease the barbaric, Muslim, rapist hordes of men," her account was briefly suspended -- but when the satirical magazine Titanic put up its own tweet mocking the Nazi, their account was suspended, too. Read the rest

German VW exec is going to US prison for seven years for his role in Dieselgate

Oliver Schmidt, the general manager of Volkswagen's Michigan environmental and engineering office, is going to jail for his role in Dieselgate, the company's criminal conspiracy to trick regulators about the emissions from their diesel cars, allowing them to emit lethal levels of NOx on roads all over the world. Read the rest

Germany's proposed anti-cryptography bill: backdoors and hack-backs

This week, German authorities will introduce a law that will allow law enforcement agencies to order companies to insert back doors into their products to assist in law enforcement queries; the law is backed by Thomas de Maizière, Germany's Interior Minister. Read the rest

America's private health-care is rationed, but socialized medicine is luxury medicine

To hear America's fearmongering private health-care shills describe it, socialized medicine is a kind of Soviet death march, where rationed care and long waits are imposed on all and sundry; but if that state of affairs sounds familiar, it's because of how neatly it describes America's dysfunctional private care system, where you need to change doctors every time you change employers, where your care is denied and your prescriptions are deemed unnecessary by faceless insurance-company bureaucrats, and where three quarters of your family doctor's overheads are dedicated to filling in insurance forms in triplicate and chasing payment in a kind of LARP of Terry Gilliam's Brazil or a Stalinist hospital in deepest Siberia. Read the rest

Cheaters cheat: VW swears the €17B it stashed in a web of Luxembourg companies has nothing to do with tax-avoidance

As Volkswagen's murderous Dieselgate scandal has unfolded, the company has steadfastly maintained that even if it did kill thousands of people with its toxic cars, at least it pays its taxes. Read the rest

Haribo: sweetened with forced labor and abused animals

In "The Haribo Check," aired on German public broadcast ARD, a documentary team audits Haribo's supply chain and finds "modern day slaves" in Brazil working to harvest carnauba wax, a key ingredient in the sweets: the plantations pay $12/day, and workers (including children) sleep out of doors, drink unfiltered river water, and have no access to toilets, under conditions that a Brazilian Labor Ministry official called "modern-day slavery." Read the rest

Coming to Europe: a lecture tour with Garnet "Disobedient Electronics" Hertz

Garnet Hertz is the designer/scholar/provocateur behind the amazing Disobedient Electronics project ("Building electronic objects can be an effective form of social argument or political protest"); though he is normally based at British Colombia's Emily Carr University, he's currently touring Europe with the Disobedient Electronics book on a Disobedient Electronics protest tour, with stops in London, Southampton, the Hague, Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Madiera. Read the rest

German artists stage a quirky performance for passing trains

When I was a kid growing up back East, my parents would bring me to a place called Edaville Railroad. It's a theme park now but, back then, the main attraction was a train that went through a track in cranberry bogs. During the holidays, they turned those bogs into a sort of winter wonderland with bright lights and festive sculptures. Passengers were the audience, and the decorated bogs became a kind of "stage."

I remember it being a lot of fun.

Well, for three days in late August, a group of artists in Germany took this idea to a whole new and incredibly impressive level. I love this so much!

Over 500 volunteers and residents in the "Bewegtes Land" art project entertained passengers with a super fun and quirky art performance, all happening along the train's nearly 19-mile route.

Watch the video to see how they surprised their moving audience along the way.

The route went from Jena to Naumburg, a quiet area in the Saale valley's countryside not known for tourists.

All I have to say is that someone really needs to do a U.S. version of this. Pretty please.

(TwistedSifter) Read the rest

Everyday antisemitism: a 1936 letter from Germany to America

Mike Shaughnessy, professor of German at Washington & Jefferson College, translated a letter written one Ernst from Cologne, to his cousin in Pittsburgh, U.S.A. Sent in 1936—after Hitler's rise to power, but before World War II and the Holocaust—it refers glibly and approvingly to the removal of Jews from civil life, even as it reflects the anxieties and growing paranoia of life under fascist government.

Shaughnessy's translation:

Köln, Machabäerstrasse 46. January 6, 1936.

Dear Wilhelm and Family!

I’ve been waiting a while to get a letter from you in which you would send me the letter from Mr. Früh about your inquiry. Apparently you haven’t received anything, so I’ll inform you that I’ve had to give the government very positive, specific details about our ancestry and where our assets are currently.

You told me a lot previously, but I need more specific details. I thought you had heard something from Mr. Früh that could be useful to me. Please be so kind and tell me everything, even the smallest details. The matter is indeed starting to take shape. I haven’t heard anything from Gersweiler and Mr. Kugler also seems to know nothing. People here keep speculating about everything and are becoming suspicious of each other. I don’t have a lot of news to report. I wrote to that guy “Becker” in Hundheim. Maybe I’ll hear something there.

Things in Germany are looking up thanks to our Führer and the cleansing of the population from the Jews (Those exploiters who are the misfortune of humanity). Read the rest

Reidentification attack reveals German judge's porn-browsing habits

In their Defcon 25 presentation, "Dark Data", journalist Svea Eckert and data scientist Andreas Dewes described how easy it was to get a massive trove of "anonymized" browsing habits (collected by browser plugins) and then re-identify the people in the data-set, discovering (among other things), the porn-browsing habits of a German judge and the medication regime of a German MP. Read the rest

Berlin SWAT raids yield arrests in theft of manhole-sized gold coin

On Wednesday, heavily armed and armored Berlin police carried out a series of raids, arresting four suspects in the theft of a $3.9m, 220lb manhole-cover-sized gold coin from Berlin's Bode Museum in March. Read the rest

How to covertly toss an apartment, Stasi style

In 1984, the Stasi -- East Germany's notorious secret police -- searched the flat of an auditor to determine if he'd leaked files that put the country in a bad light to Stern, a West German magazine, published in Hamburg. They recorded the clandestine search for posterity, and used it as the basis for a training video explaining to other secret police operatives how to search a dissident's home without alerting them that they were under suspicion. (via Grugq) Read the rest

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