News that Angela Merkel’s secured a fourth term as Germany’s Chancellor cements her position as Europe’s most experienced leader, and the de-facto voice of reason in global politics. But Germany has an intriguing, fractured past – which is reflected in books written in it, and about it.
When a Stasi officer is assigned a surveillance task, he quickly becomes absorbed in the minutiae of his subject’s lives: a playwright and his actress girlfriend. But when it transpires his assignment isn’t what it first appeared, he begins to question his loyalties.
O, Tannenbaum! An intriguing look at the evolution of Christmas traditions in Germany; from tribal pagan beginnings through to consumerist excesses, along with ways in which this favourite holiday was hijacked by propagandists during the war.
The subject of this book needs little introduction. Remnants of the concrete barrier which once divided a city remain present as visual reminders across Berlin nearly thirty years after it was pulled down. But its story is just as relevant today.