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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Germany celebrates 25 years since the fall of the Berlin wall

Twenty-five years ago I was a recent college grad who had studied international relations and US-Soviet relations. The events of November 9, 1989 were completely unexpected and would lead to the end of the cold war that had defined the world of my generation up to that point. It would be a few years later in 1995 that I would visit Berlin for the first time, and the wall was still very much in evidence. The Reichstag had not been restored, and there were construction sites everywhere as the country scrambled to rebuild areas of the city that had been part of the no man's land that was the wall. This included areas like Potsdamer Platz that are now centers of culture and the new Berlin. I have been privileged to visit Berlin many times since the 1990s and have been impressed with its growth as well as the commitment to remembering all of the past. November 9-10 also marks the anniversary of kristallnacht in 1938 when the Nazi's attacked Jewish neighborhoods and business, intensifying efforts to end the presence of Jews in Europe through genocide. The recently completed Topography of Terror is a testament to that history. I post pictures and commentary from my most recent trip to Berlin last June in my personal blog.

Berlin Wall: Thousands of balloons released to mark fall


The word peace is projected on to the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin. 9 Nov 2014




Workers lay bricks


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Muslims in Europe - integration and protests against ISIS violence

The Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog is hosting series of blogs this week on Muslim integration in Europe, starting with a post by Terri Givens and Pete Mohanty of the University of Texas at Austin:

A left-right divide in European attitudes toward immigrants


More Posts: Monkey Cage: Immigrant Integration in Europe

Muslims in Europe rally against extremist violence

Muslims attend a gathering in front of the Paris Mosque after Friday prayers September 26, 2014 to pay tribute to Herve Gourdel, a French mountain guide who was beheaded by an Algerian Islamist group. Thousands of French Muslims, who at 5 million make up about eight percent of the population, rallied across the country on Friday to protest ISIS.  REUTERS/JACKY NAEGELEN

Europe Tries to Stop Flow of Citizens Joining Jihad