Berlin

Alongside good quiche, cool bars, and the locals’ finicky habit of rolling their own cigarettes, add to the German capital’s reputation this: It is a refuge for prominent members of the pro-transparency community best embodied by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

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Obama Ist Kein Berliner

Fifty years after JFK's visit, and five since his own, Obama returns to Berlin—to a much different mood

Fifty years after JFK's visit, and five since his own, Obama returns to Berlin—to a different mood.

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“Where are we now?” croons David Bowie in the single he released to the music world’s surprise this Tuesday, on the occasion of his sixty-sixth birthday, and the unspoken answer is “Back together.” The theme of the song is reunification, in all its meanings. The first new music from Bowie in ten years, “Where Are We Now” reunites one of the most revered elders of art pop with fans who had been filling the long silence with whispers about his health.

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The Music Libel Against the JewsBy Ruth HaCohen (Yale University Press, 507 pp., $55)   IN NOVEMBER 1934, Privy Councilor Wilhelm Furtwängler, vice president of the Third Reich’s Music Chamber and conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, imprudently took to the pages of the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung to defend the composer Paul Hindemith against the charge of “Jewishness” with which Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister for propaganda and enlightenment of the people, had justified a prohibition on the performance of his work.

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Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American HistoryBy John Fabian Witt (Free Press, 498 pp., $32)   WAR IS ABOUT killing, maiming, and destroying. Yet in its midst men have sought heroism not only in savage acts of bravery but also in observing limits, in finding a way to affirm their and their adversaries’ common humanity, in the concept of honor as a higher expression of morality than is attainable even in peace.

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The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War By Halik Kochanski (Harvard University Press, 734 pp., $35) The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery By Witold Pilecki translated by Jarek Garliński (Aquila Polonica, 460 pp., $34.95)   ONCE, THE Allied history of the Second World War—the Anglo-American history of the Second World War, the Victors’ history of the Second World War—was the only one we thought mattered.

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Please, Herr Krugman, May I Have Another?

How America’s favorite liberal stokes German masochism

Krugman loves to insult the Germans, and they love to be insulted by him.

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Don't mess with Texas? Don't mess with us!

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Baathism: An Obituary

When Bashar Al Assad's government finally collapses in Syria, it will mean the end of a totalitarian ideology that thrived—and killed—for 70 years.

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