While on our brief stopover in Germany this September, my parents took us for a ride to Weimar and Dessau. I had never been before, and it was great to see and stay in the Bauhaus. Some photos and impressions after the jump.


The Bauhaus main building in Dessau (some photos taken by my mother)

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Shifting horizons

Much has happened since I last posted some of my thoughts on the ongoing Eurozone crisis three years ago. Although I do not follow the debate with the same level of vigour now than I once did, a few uncollated notes after the jump nonetheless. I notice that my political views have changed rather considerably over the past couple of years.

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Wall reflections

The 9th of November has passed by quickly, and with it the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. As a young East Berliner at the time, the event was of great importance to me, although the true extent would only reveal itself many years later.


TV Tower on a foggy day

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Gehry on Alexanderplatz

It’s official: US investor Hines will go ahead with a Frank Gehry design and build Germany’s tallest residential tower smack in the middle of Alexanderplatz. At the same time, an old master plan is to be revived. What to make of all this?


Gehry’s tower will rise to the right of the Saturn electronics store, across the street from the GDR-era “Haus des Reisens” (with the Sharp advertisement on its top) – here is a rendering

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Hiatus, update

It’s been a while since I last posted anything. There is really no sole reason to blame for this hiatus – just a variety of things coming together. To make use of the diary aspect of blogging and to bridge the time until my focus returns, herewith some personal updates and thoughts just ahead of the holidays.


Zooming along the Den-en-toshi Line

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East Germany and Japan 2: economic cooperation

The 1980s are often described as the “lost decade” for much of the second and third world. East Germany was partly able to avoid economic malaise. That was partly the case because Japanese banks kept the tabs open while relations between the GDR and the East Asian miracle nation blossomed. Some further historical anecdotes after the jump.


Two icons of the 1980s GDR – Semperoper in Dresden and Mazda 323 parked to the far left next to more common vehicles Trabant, Lada, Skoda, and Wartburg; by Flickr user Felix O (creative commons)

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East Germany and Japan 1: Kajima Corporation

Japan’s post-war rise is often mentioned in the same breath with Germany’s spectacular economic miracle – the “Wirtschaftswunder”. For someone born on the other side of the wall in East Berlin, it is interesting to read about the less-documented relationship between economic superstar Japan and socialist East Germany during the decades of the cold war. The first installment in a set of some anecdotes is about Kajima Corporation’s export of Japanese construction practices to Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden.


Hotel Merkur Leipzig model presentation by Kajima Corporation in 1978

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Export Germany

Germany has been the target of some stinging criticism as of late. The US Treasury and the IMF accused the Germans of running too large trade and current account surpluses. Germany is hence fuelling huge global imbalances, as these surpluses must by definition lead to equivalent deficits elsewhere. Is there any merit to this argument?


Berlin – TV Tower / Fernsehturm on foggy day

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Voter’s dilemma

I haven’t lived in Germany for many years, so I am not really confronted with the consequences of my voting behaviour. This has made me a very opportunistic voter in the past; going on and making my cross at whichever party suits me best based on the website’s questionnaire.


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