Germany

German train drivers’ union calls off strike and agrees to arbitration

By Ulrich Rippert, 22 May 2015

The strike was called off Thursday, the day before the Bundestag takes up the contentious “contract unity” bill, which would essentially ban strikes by smaller unions in an industry.

“Münkler-Watch” and the reproach of anonymity: A red herring

By Peter Schwarz, 22 May 2015

A student blog criticizing the lectures of Herfried Münkler at Humboldt University has been attacked for its anonymity in an effort to distract attention from the real issues at stake.

German police officer accused of torturing refugees

By Verena Nees, 21 May 2015

A federal police officer in Hannover has been accused of assaulting and dragging a shackled detainee and forcing another to eat rancid pork while he was held down on the floor.

German train drivers launch new strikes

By Dietmar Henning, 21 May 2015

After a six-day walkout earlier this month, German train drivers resumed strikes on freight lines and passenger lines.

German postal service threatens to lay off strikers while deploying strike-breakers

By Gustav Kemper, 20 May 2015

Despite major attacks on postal workers, their union has restricted the strike to regional centres and only called on a small number of employees to participate.

Defend student free speech at Humboldt University! Stop state-sponsored censorship!

Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (PSG) and International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 19 May 2015

The PSG and the IYSSE unequivocally support the students who publish the blog “Münkler-Watch” and have become the target of a massive intimidation campaign.

“Marx Is Muss” congress: Germany’s pseudo-left discusses war policy and austerity

By Johannes Stern, 16 May 2015

The Marx 21 congress that began in Berlin on May 14 has absolutely nothing to do with socialist politics or the class struggle.

Nationwide strike by child care workers in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 14 May 2015

Striking workers in child care and social services confront not only their employers, but also the trade unions.

German SPD achieves worst result in Bremen state elections since World War II

By Dietmar Henning, 13 May 2015

The outcome of the Bremen state elections exposes the immense gulf between official politics and the working class in Germany

Berlin police powers strengthened

By Bernd Reinhardt, 13 May 2015

The changes to Berlin’s police powers reveal a mentality that places so-called security needs above the protection of civil liberties.

Siemens announces massive job cuts worldwide

By Dietmar Henning, 12 May 2015

The new job cuts were agreed upon between the trade union, works council and management.

Video: “It’s about the defense of the right to strike”

Train drivers demonstrate in Berlin

By Julian Fischer and Hiram Lee, 9 May 2015

Several hundred striking train drivers and conductors demonstrated in front of the main train station in Berlin on Wednesday.

German court rejects claims of Kunduz victims

By Verena Nees, 9 May 2015

The higher regional court in Cologne has rejected the compensation claims of two survivors of the notorious 2009 massacre perpetrated by the German armed forces.

German train drivers’ strike: “This is about our basic right to strike”

By Marianne Arens, 8 May 2015

Freight train employees across Germany have been on strike since Monday afternoon, with passenger services joining on Tuesday.

The British election as seen from Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 7 May 2015

The European media regard the British general election as a source of economic instability and a step towards the fracturing of the European Union into its national components.

Statues of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning unveiled in Berlin

By Stefan Steinberg, 7 May 2015

“Art is called upon to make a choice, to show a new direction,” explains Italian artist Davide Dormino.

The political issues in the German train drivers strike

By Ulrich Rippert, 7 May 2015

The strike by train drivers is doomed to failure if it remains under the control of the GDL union and is subordinated to the nationalist and pro-capitalist perspective.

German press demands more effective tanks for war against Russia

By Johannes Stern, 4 May 2015

A commentary in one of the major German newspapers is calling for German tanks to be equipped with depleted uranium ammunition to destroy Russian tanks.

Former IG Metall union leader heads Volkswagen supervisory board

By Verena Nees and Dietmar Henning, 1 May 2015

As chairman of IG Metall, Berthold Huber turned the trade union into a profitable enterprise that serves major corporations as a consultant and specialist in corporate restructuring.

Deutsche Bank: Union trades jobs for speculation

By Gustav Kemper and Peter Schwarz, 30 April 2015

Deutsche Bank is now concentrating on international speculation and substantially downsizing its business with smaller customers.

German child care workers vote for strike action

By Verena Nees, 28 April 2015

The 240,000 child care workers in German public-sector institutions are demanding a salary increase.

US settlement shields Deutsche Bank from criminal prosecution for rigging Libor

By Gabriel Black and Barry Grey, 27 April 2015

The monetary settlement with the US Justice Department protects the bank’s executives from criminal liability for the rigging of the global interest rate.

Stress and speedup in German GM-Opel plants

By Marianne Arens, 27 April 2015

The IG Metall trade union is collaborating with management to pressure workers to increase output at GM-Opel factories.

Greece’s Syriza government signals pension cuts

By Christoph Dreier, 25 April 2015

The elimination of early retirement benefits, which Syriza previously declared a “red line” that would not be crossed, is one of the central demands of the troika.

An appraisal of German writer Günter Grass: 1927-2015

By Sybille Fuchs, Wolfgang Weber and Peter Schwarz, 25 April 2015

Günter Grass, who died at the age of 87 on April 13, was one of Germany’s most outstanding storytellers and a man who remained true to his political principles throughout his life.

German train drivers strike for seventh time in a year

By Dietmar Henning, 24 April 2015

Deutsche Bahn management is delaying talks with German train drivers’ union (GDL) until the enforcement of a new law that will effectively outlaw strike action.

Workers at Germany’s Postbank begin indefinite strike

By Gustav Kemper, 23 April 2015

As part of its gradual takeover of Postbank, Deutsche Bank has carried out a radical cost-cutting program, including outsourcing and wage cuts.

Trial of former SS soldier begins in Germany

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 22 April 2015

The trial of Oskar Gröning is likely to be one of the last trials of living perpetrators of the mass war crimes committed by the Nazis.

German government introduces new mass data retention regulations

By Johannes Stern and Denis Krassnin, 20 April 2015

The re-introduction of mass data retention is another step towards a total surveillance state.

Banking group HGAA stokes conflict between Vienna and Munich

By Markus Salzmann, 18 April 2015

The decision of the Austrian government to no longer pay the debts of banking group HGAA has provoked conflicts in Bavaria.

Octoberfest bombing: German government blocks information on intelligence agency involvement

By Dietmar Henning, 18 April 2015

Almost 35 years after the worst right-wing extremist attack in post-war Germany, the government is withholding important documents.

Germany: Behind the conflict at Volkswagen

By Ulrich Rippert, 17 April 2015

A public attack by Volkswagen chief executive Ferdinand Piëch on the chairman of the board has provoked a leadership crisis at Europe’s largest auto company.

German professor Herfried Münkler: Combat drones and poison gas are “humane” weapons

By Johannes Stern, 16 April 2015

That Münkler now places poison gas in the same category as drones shows that inhumane and militaristic attitudes are once again running rampant in ruling circles in Berlin.

Right-wing extremist Geert Wilders delivers diatribe in Dresden, Germany

By Christoph Dreier, 15 April 2015

Although only a few thousand people came to the event, the major media outlets sought to use Wilders’ appearance to resurrect the Islamophobic movement.

World famous German author Günter Grass dies at age 87

By Peter Schwarz, 14 April 2015

Grass was one of the most important German writers of the 20th century and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999.

Why is Syriza demanding reparations from Germany?

By Peter Schwarz, 14 April 2015

Demands for reparations are an inappropriate means of combating fascism, war and social attacks. They do nothing to address their causes, but rather serve to reproduce them.

German postal workers strike against outsourcing of jobs

By Gustav Kemper, 13 April 2015

While the trade union was forced to call a short-term strike, it is involved at the highest level in the restructuring of Deutsche Post and associated attacks on working conditions.

NATO rearmament increases risk of war in Europe

By Johannes Stern, 11 April 2015

NATO’s military buildup in Eastern Europe is increasingly taking the form of preparation for war against Russia.

German Left Party leader praises right-wing politician Peter Gauweiler

By Ulrich Rippert, 10 April 2015

Following the resignation of Peter Gauweiler from political office, Left Party stalwart Oskar Lafontaine praised the CSU right-winger in the German tabloid Bild.

Third witness dies in German trial against far-right NSU

By Dietmar Henning, 8 April 2015

Melissa M. is the third witness to die under mysterious circumstances in the investigation into murders committed by the National Socialist Underground.

Germany: Speculation mounts over Thyssen Krupp plan to outsource steel production

By Elisabeth Zimmerman, 7 April 2015

Speculation is growing at Germany’s largest technology firm that Thyssen Krupp may be preparing to separate from its steel production division, affecting some 26,000 jobs.

Germanwings crash: Details are clearer but motive remains unknown

By Christoph Dreier, 3 April 2015

Ten days after the crash of Germanwings flight 4U9525, recovery teams have located the plane’s flight data recorder.

Germany and France stage joint military build-up

By Peter Schwarz, 3 April 2015

Berlin and Paris are planning to jointly build a combat drone and work together more closely on satellite reconnaissance.

German public service contract: Teachers sold out once again

By Dietmar Henning, 1 April 2015

Anger is running high among trade union members over the latest deal.

The return of the Bismarck cult

By Peter Schwarz, 1 April 2015

Two hundred years after his birth, the “Iron Chancellor” is being paraded as a role model for Germany, especially in relation to foreign policy.

German army expands its submarine fleet

By Denis Krasnin, 31 March 2015

A current strategy paper states that the German navy is preparing to militarily defend “free and unhindered world trade as the basis for the welfare of Germany and Europe.”

The social and political context of the Germanwings disaster

By Peter Schwarz, 28 March 2015

To understand the actions of Andreas Lubitz, who plunged Germanwings Flight 9525 into a French mountainside, one must consider not only his individual illness, but also the society in which he lived.

French prosecutor says copilot deliberately crashed Germanwings flight

By Stefan Steinberg, 27 March 2015

According to French prosecutors in Marseille, the German copilot of the Airbus A320 deliberately flew the jetliner into a mountain in the Alps.

The bankrupt perspective of Blockupy

By Christoph Dreier and Peter Schwarz, 27 March 2015

The Blockupy protest against the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, was a political cover for the right wing politics of Syriza and the Left Party.

Syriza leader Tsipras meets with Left Party leaders in Berlin

By Johannes Stern, 26 March 2015

The Left Party is firmly backing Tsipras precisely at the point when he is uncritically accepting the line of the German government and the austerity policy of the European banks.

German Airbus crash in southern France kills 150

By Stefan Steinberg, 25 March 2015

The plane, which belonged to a subsidiary of Lufthansa, had recently been grounded due to technical problems.

Tsipras in Berlin: Germany and Greece pledge “cooperation” in imposing austerity

By Johannes Stern, 24 March 2015

Syriza has completely capitulated to the demands of the European banks, making clear that it will not only continue the austerity measures dictated by the “troika,” but will intensify them.

Germany: ThyssenKrupp workers force union-dominated works council to resign

By Dietmar Henning, 24 March 2015

Workers supporting the opposition “List 5” have succeeded in their challenge to the result of the works council elections last year at steelmaker ThyssenKrupp.

German government plans new “anti-terrorism unit”

By Johannes Stern, 23 March 2015

The build-up of a paramilitary police force in Germany under the framework of the "war on terror" is part of a massive military expansion at home and abroad.

Strike by Lufthansa pilots continues

By Philipp Frisch and Ulrich Rippert, 21 March 2015

Management wants to force the pilots to submit and make an example of them in order to push through worse conditions for the other 110,000 staff.

German Social Democrat leader backs mass data retention by telecommunication companies

By Denis Krasnin, 21 March 2015

Sigmar Gabriel, SPD chairman, spoke out in favour of a data storage law in an interview with radio broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.

German government increases defence budget by €8 billion

By Johannes Stern, 20 March 2015

The rapid boost to military spending, amounting to an increase of more than 6.2 percent, heralds a new stage in the return of German militarism.

Attack on democratic rights in Germany follows Blockupy protest

By Christoph Dreier, 20 March 2015

The German media and politicians have responded to the Blockupy protests against the ECB on Wednesday by denouncing the protesters and demanding restrictions on the freedom of assembly.

Massive police mobilization against anti-austerity protest in Frankfurt, Germany

By Christoph Dreier and Alex Lantier, 19 March 2015

Police arrested 350 people after thousands of protesters from across Europe converged on Frankfurt to protest austerity measures targeting Greece and other countries.

Germany: More links revealed between secret service and NSU terror gang

By Dietmar Henning, 18 March 2015

Where state activities end and those of the far-right terrorist group National Socialist Underground begin is increasingly murky and undefined.

Berlin professor sees Germany as the “taskmaster” of Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 13 March 2015

In his new book, Power in the Center, political scientist Herfried Münkler, who has close ties to the political establishment, argues openly for German hegemony in Europe.

Germany’s poverty trap for welfare recipients

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 11 March 2015

A recent German television program described the government’s punitive policy of cutting unemployment benefits for people involved in job training.

German teachers and pre-school workers stage protest strike

By our reporter, 10 March 2015

There is deep mistrust among teachers of the trade union leadership, which two years ago abandoned the central demand of equal pay for equal work.

Poverty in Germany reaches a record high

By Denis Krassnin, 10 March 2015

The mounting gap between rich and poor in Germany is causing the country to fragment into disparate socio-economic regions.

German government to increase its military budget

By Philipp Frisch and Johannes Stern, 6 March 2015

The German government wants to raise the defence budget starting in 2017 and massively expand the armed forces.

German Greens press for confrontation with Russia

By Peter Schwarz, 6 March 2015

A recent conference convened by the Green Party’s Heinrich Böll Foundation consisted of four hours of hysterical warmongering against Russia.

German Left Party backs Schäuble and European austerity policies

By Johannes Stern, 5 March 2015

By agreeing to “Greek aid,” the Left Party is backing the German government, the European Union, the banks and their brutal austerity policies in Greece and Europe as a whole.

Germany: State of emergency in Bremen following alleged terror scare

By Dietmar Henning, 4 March 2015

There was a heavy presence of military clad police armed with automatic weapons in the city center of Bremen, which has a population of 550,000.

65th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 5

Two stories of German resistance: The Resistors “their spirit prevails ...” and 13 Minutes

By Bernd Reinhardt, 3 March 2015

One film makes only a partial examination of Hitler’s middle class opponents, while the other makes a more significant look at the opposition from below.

German Left Party leader outlines campaign against Russia

By Johannes Stern, 2 March 2015

The lecture at a leading German think tank by the defense spokesperson for the Left Party makes clear how deeply the organization is integrated into imperialism.

German parliament endorses Syriza’s proposed austerity measures

By Robert Stevens, 28 February 2015

The Left Party and the Green Party backed a new round of austerity in Greece in the vote in Germany’s Bundestag.

German television documentary on the troika and Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 28 February 2015

While the film shows how the troika engineered a social catastrophe, it promotes the policies of Syriza and other bourgeois critics who support the EU austerity program.

German trade union approves 1,400 layoffs at Karstadt department store

By Dietmar Henning, 27 February 2015

The job and wage cuts at the German department store are proceeding with the full support of the United Services Union (Verdi) and the joint works council.

Germany and Austria discriminate against Kosovo refugees

By Markus Salzmann, 27 February 2015

In the course of the past six months, 50,000 people have fled Kosovo due to catastrophic economic and social conditions.

German constitutional court justifies state use of agents provocateurs

By Justus Leicht, 24 February 2015

The court ruling undermines the right to a fair trial for those set up by undercover agents.

Germany: Further strike action imminent at Deutsche Bahn

By Dietmar Henning, 21 February 2015

A strike called by the German train drivers’ union would be the seventh strike in the ongoing contract dispute between the railway and the train drivers.

Schäuble’s arrogance towards Greece and the class divide in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 21 February 2015

Schäuble's arrogant attack on Greece is primarily directed at opposition to austerity in the working class in Germany and across Europe.

Germany and EU look set to reject Greece’s request for six-month loan extension

By Robert Stevens, 19 February 2015

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble denounced a new Greek proposal for a six-month loan extension and demanded further austerity measures.

German government prepares new military doctrine

By Johannes Stern, 19 February 2015

German Defense Minister von der Leyen delivered a speech Tuesday announcing the preparation of a new foreign policy White Paper codifying a program of militarism and rearmament.

Study shows inequality much higher in Germany than previously estimated

By Denis Krassnin, 19 February 2015

The richest .1 percent of the German population controls as much as 16 percent of the country's wealth.

65th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

Pulling down the shutters at the Berlinale

By Stefan Steinberg, 19 February 2015

War raging in the middle of Europe, accelerating inequality, social decline at a level unknown since the 1930s…none of these issues got a look in.

German government to establish Eastern Europe Institute

By Sven Heymanns, 18 February 2015

The new institute will serve as a think tank for an aggressive German foreign policy in eastern Europe.

New revelations in the 1980 Munich Oktoberfest bombing

By Dietmar Henning, 17 February 2015

A new television documentary suggests state intelligence agencies may have been involved in perpetrating the worst terrorist act in postwar German history.

SPD victory in German state election conceals growing gulf between political establishment and population

By Dietmar Henning, 17 February 2015

Only 56.6 percent of those eligible to vote in the Hamburg state election went to the polls, down from 71 percent in 2001.

German army association demands massive armaments increase

By Denis Krassnin and Johannes Stern, 14 February 2015

The end of restraint in matters of foreign policy, announced by President Gauck and the German government a year ago, is the primary reason for the demand to build up the army.

Siemens unveils another round of job cuts in Germany and worldwide

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 14 February 2015

The German electronics firm is cutting 7,800 jobs globally, 3,300 of them in Germany, with the collaboration of the IG Metall trade union.

German President Gauck’s human rights imperialism

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 February 2015

The meeting on Tuesday was to launch a further escalation of German militarism in the name of human rights and civilian intervention.

German Left Party backs Merkel on Ukraine crisis

By Ulrich Rippert, 12 February 2015

As tensions between Berlin and Washington have surfaced, the Left Party has abandoned all pretensions of distancing itself from German imperialism.

German Karstadt department store plans more layoffs and pay cuts

By Dietmar Henning, 12 February 2015

The retailer is working with the Ver.di trade union to slash labour costs by 20 percent.

Spiegel Online warns of nuclear war

By Johannes Stern, 11 February 2015

The 51st Munich Security Conference, held in the Bavarian capital last weekend, was dominated by threats of war against Russia by the imperialist powers.

Obama refuses to rule out arming Kiev following talks with Merkel

By Patrick Martin and Barry Grey, 10 February 2015

The White House meeting focused on the intensifying crisis in Ukraine, as the US considers massive arms shipments.

German media backs confrontation with Russia over Ukraine

By Peter Schwarz, 10 February 2015

Despite differences over whether to arm Ukraine, not a single major media outlet in Germany rejects the strategy of pursuing an aggressive confrontation with Russia.

Leader of German Social Democrats sides with right-wing Pegida movement

By Ulrich Rippert, 9 February 2015

Sigmar Gabriel used a news magazine interview to legitimize fascist views.

German television series Tannbach and German postwar history

By Sybille Fuchs, 9 February 2015

The ZDF mini-series attempts to encompass the history of divided Germany following the Second World War.

Meeting in Moscow fails to produce agreement as US plots escalation in Ukraine

By Niles Williamson, 7 February 2015

The meeting between Merkel, Hollande and Putin took place amidst threats by the US to directly arm the regime in Kiev that was installed in a right-wing coup one year ago.

German chancellor seeks to push Hungary away from Russia

By Markus Salzmann, 7 February 2015

The Hungarian prime minister has criticised Western sanctions against Russia, declaring they would “harm us more than Russia.”

Germany demands Greek austerity as Syriza pledges “frenzy of reasonableness”

By Robert Stevens, 6 February 2015

At a press conference with his German counterpart, Greece’s new finance minister pleaded with the European powers to “use us to implement the European programme.”

European leaders turn against Syriza’s appeals to alter Greek debt payments

By Alex Lantier, 5 February 2015

As Syriza leaders reiterate their willingness to accommodate the demands of European governments, the banks are pressing for intensified attacks on the working class in Greece.

German ruling class demands that austerity, debt payments continue after Greek elections

By Ulrich Rippert, 5 February 2015

The position of the German ruling class is that the elections in Greece must have no impact on the policies dictated by the European banks and their political representatives.

German military experts demand purchase of drones

By Johannes Stern, 3 February 2015

Germany’s move to acquire combat drones exposes the lie that the German ruling class and its military have been forced to wage war in defence of human rights and democracy.