Drawings by Miriam Isaacs to go along with her memoir about Mengele

Moment Memoir | Shame, Names and the Mengele Tractor Factory

I learned about the Mengele tractor factory in 1981 when I was trying to get from Denmark to Italy by rail. I simply could not avoid Germany, so I decided to book a sleeper car and sleep my way through. It was my very first time there since my parents and I left the Displaced Persons camp when I was a toddler. I woke up and I went out to the corridor to look out the window and see where I was, really hoping to be in Italy. But I could tell I was still in Germany, for in the middle of a bucolic meadow stood a tractor with “MENGELE” printed in large letters. My heart almost stopped. I couldn’t breathe. The conductor stood beside me and smiled. Mengele. I remember the name from my childhood....

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The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel with journalist Kati Marton in conversation with Amy E. Schwartz

Angela Merkel, who just stepped down as German chancellor after a remarkable16 years, has redefined the image of a woman leader. A pastor’s daughter raised in Soviet-controlled East Germany, Merkel worked as a research chemist before entering politics and rising to become the unofficial leader of the West. Award-winning journalist Kati Marton, author of The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel, shares how Merkel helped shape Germany into what some call the world’s moral center, and explores her legacy—including allowing Middle Eastern refugees to enter Germany while the world looked away. She also discusses the rise of the far right Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) and Merkel’s complicated relationships with other world leaders such as Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Marton is in conversation with Amy E. Schwartz, Moment’s Book & Opinion Editor.

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antisemitism in Germany

The State of Antisemitism in Germany Today with Ambassador Emily Haber and Robert Siegel

Emily Haber, Germany’s Ambassador to the U.S., discusses the current forms and manifestations of antisemitism in Germany, and how it is connected to other European movements. Ambassador Haber is in conversation with Robert Siegel, Moment special literary contributor and former senior host of NPR’s All Things Considered. This program is hosted by Moment Magazine with the support of the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation and co-presented by the German Embassy, Washington.

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german far right

Anti-Semitism Watch | Germany’s Far-Right Is Changing the Political Landscape

In August, far-right mobs in the eastern German town of Chemnitz hunted foreigners through the streets. In the chaos, a kosher restaurant was attacked and its owner injured. With right-wing political extremism on the rise, where will it end? On August 27 at around 10 p.m., a mob numbering around a dozen approached the kosher restaurant Schalom in the eastern German town of Chemnitz. Far-right demonstrators had been marauding around the city center that day shouting, “Foreigners, out!” and, in some cases, giving the Hitler salute. Dressed in black, their faces covered, the gang descended upon Schalom—launching rocks, bottles, and a metal pipe. The building was damaged and the owner, Uwe Dziuballa, injured. “Judensau, hau ab aus Deutschland,” the assailants reportedly shouted—“Jewish pigs, get out of Germany.” The day before, a 35-year-old German man was stabbed and...

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The Consequence of Conscience

In July 2015, as thousands of Syrians and others fleeing ISIS and civil war thronged into train stations in Germany, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Rostock, a dingy port city that has seen its share of anti-immigrant violence. There she participated in a routine panel discussion with teenagers on the topic “Living Well in Germany.” Video of the event, which later went viral, shows a 14-year-old Palestinian girl, Reem Sahwil, who haltingly begs the chancellor in shy but perfect German not to deport her family back to Lebanon. She is doing well here, she says, she is finally happy and safe—why can’t she stay in Germany and complete her studies? The camera swings to Merkel, who interrupts the girl and begins to explain, in an uncomfortable, slightly pedantic manner, the reasons why Germany needs to send...

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