108 - Is Merkel's immigration policy to blame for terrorism?

In the aftermath of the tragic events in the south of Germany this month, we discuss the reactions to these stories and what common misconceptions have emerged as a result. Later on in the show we take a look at alternative medicine and its position within the German healthcare system. We then take you on a trip into East German history in this months Destination Germany.

On the 18th of July, a young man who arrived to Germany as a child (with media outlets reporting him from either Pakistan or Afghanistan), attacked and injured 4 people on and a 5th outside a train, near the town of Wurzburg in south Germany, with Islamic State linked materials found in his apartment. Four days later, on the 22nd of July, another young man attacked a shopping mall in Munich, killing nine people. This time, it was a German national of Iranian decent with apparent links to Islamaphobic Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik.

With these two violent incidents occurring in the space of a week, this quickly became international news. For our top story, Olcan Hiller joins us to talk about these stories, and to explain and examine some of the claims and responses that have emerged since. 

Later in the show, with some health insurance companies covering alternative medicine and some doctors prescribing herbal and homeopathic remedies, we examine alternative medicine in Germany and it's position within the healthcare system. We speak to both Rainer Krell, an alternative medical practitioner in Berlin and Dr. Jutta Hübner of the German Cancer Society and member of the Drug Commission of the German Medical Association. 

For this months Destination Germany, Olcan visits Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen (the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial), a building complex most famous for it use as a Stasi prison in East Berlin after the Berlin Wall went up. Olcan tells us about its dark history and historical importance. For more info on the tours that are offered, visit www.stiftung-hsh.de

And once again, if you enjoyed this episode and want to support, you can do so by simply buying us a beer



107 - Brexit! Plus: is Germany doing enough to remember WWI?

In this episode, we take a look into both the past and future.  At the top of the show, a news story everyone is talking about, Brexit. We discuss how it could effect us here in Germany and the European Union in general. Later in the show, we go back 100 years, to examine WWI and how it is remembered in Germany today.

On the 21st of June, the UK public voted to leave the EU in the so called Brexit referendum.  With the stock markets taking a hit and the British pound dropping against the US dollar, the world is keeping a close eye on the UK to see what happens next.

While plenty is being talked about how all this will effect the UK, less has been said about what effect this could have on Germany and the European Union's stability. Olcan Hiller joins us to discuss the Brexit effect on Germany in our top story...

Also on the show this month, with the 100 year centenary of the Battle of the Somme on the 1st of July, we talk to Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hirschfeld, author of the book Die Deutschen an der Somme, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Stuttgart and former Director of the Stuttgart Library of Contemporary History. He joins us to talk about this historic battle and if the Great War is in danger of being forgotten in Germany today.

In this month's edition of Destination Germany, we take a trip to the east German town of Dessau, home to Bauhaus, the world famous art school that combined crafts and the fine arts, and is famous for both it's buildings architecture and the approach to design that it publicised and taught. 

And as always, if you'd like to help us out, please consider buying us a beer! For the cost of one beer a month, you can help keep this show going! 

106 - Is Germany at risk of a nuclear meltdown?

In this episode, we look at Germany's nuclear energy future... if it has one at all. Plus big news about this very podcast! 

Germany began using nuclear energy in 1969, and by 2011 obtained one-quarter of its electricity from nuclear energy. However, with public opinion in Germany broadly opposed to nuclear power, the current government has begun the phasing out of this energy source.

Eight reactors were shut down in 2011, triggered in part due to the meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. We travel to defunct Rheinsberg nuclear power plant with journalist Jonas Schönfelder find out more about German nuclear energy and what happens to a reactor after you shut it down. We also speak to sustainable energy expert, Professor Ortwin Renn

We'll be asking whether the shutdown is just a populist policy brought about by hysteria and misinformation and can green power really provide a viable alternative.

In this month's edition of Destination Germany, Rob takes us west to Cologne, to hear about Germany's most visited landmark and World Heritage Site, Cologne Cathedral. It's Rob's last Destination Germany and his last episode ever! 

Also on the show, a bloody stabbing on a train in Bavaria sparks worries over terrorist attacks on German soil. Just weeks later, a supposed plot to attack Dusseldorf with machine guns and explosives is uncovered. We're joined by Olcan Hiller to discuss our top story.

If you'd like to help us out, please consider buying us a beer! For the cost of one beer a month, you can help keep this show going! 

Tanks a lot: Germany wins Strong Europe Tank Challenge

Leopard 2A6 tanks helped Germany win the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2016! (Image: US Army/public domain)

Leopard 2A6 tanks helped Germany win the Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2016! (Image: US Army/public domain)

Sure, Germany may have come last in the Eurovision Song Contest but at least other countries know to watch out on the battlefield. That's because Germany came out on top in the 2016 Strong Europe Tank Challenge!

The competition was hosted in Bavaria by the US Army and the German Bundeswehr as an opportunity to train and show off the firepower of six NATO nations. 

Tank crews are tested in categories such as vehicle identification, battle damage assessment, mounted orienteering, camouflage and dealing with improvised bombs. 

Germany's Mountain Panzer Battalion 7, Panzer Brigade 12 were the top team using the Leopard 2A6 - a model which improves upon the Cold War-era Leopard 2. The United States failed to gain a place on the winner's podium.

“It was challenging, but it was a lot of fun,” said German tank commander Staff Sgt. Tim Walter, according to Stars and Stripes. “We’re all happy... we worked so hard for this.”