Russian nationalists’ embrace of Nazi ideology might seem especially masochistic given Hitler’s plans to enslave and butcher his eastern neighbors. But on the whole, Russians and Germans have gotten along just fine over the past 1,000 years.
Vladimir Putin arrived in Berlin an hour late after first visiting Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko. The symbolism was clear: Angela Merkel, Germany and the West can wait – and not just an hour but two whole weeks.
It is hard to explain the appeal of the mysterious white cylinder, about four feet tall, sealed with a blue vinyl covering. The unwieldy home appliance, which East German engineers designed as a “portable sauna,” is one of the main attractions at a Berlin exhibit.
Barbara Sauer is one of 84,000 Berlin gardeners who spends the summer months cultivating her garden in a so-called “garden colony.” The topography of Germany’s metropolis is dotted with more than 800 such garden colonies.
The largest city between Paris and Moscow, Berlin still exudes a certain air of self-conscious provinciality incongruous to its population of 3.5 million.The roots lie in the island mentality of West Berlin and the isolation of East Berlin from outside influences.