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WORLD
November 1, 2009 | Kate Connolly, Connolly is a special correspondent.
Martina Metzler peers at the piles of paper strips spread across four desks in her office. Seeing two jagged edges that match, her eyes light up and she tapes them together. "Another join, another small success," she says with a wry smile -- even though at least two-thirds of the sheet is still missing. Metzler, 45, is a "puzzler," one of a team of eight government workers that has attempted for the last 14 years to manually restore documents hurriedly shredded by East Germany's secret police, or Stasi, in the dying days of one of the Soviet bloc's most repressive regimes.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 6, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
In "The Diplomat," premiering Tuesday on ESPN, directors Senain Kheshgi and Jennifer Arnold look at figure skater Katarina Witt in the context of her changing times. (It shows as part of the network's documentary series "Nine for IX," as in Title IX, about women in sports.) Witt's career began in what used to be called East Germany and ended in the reunified state; it's a story from back when the developed world was divided into capitalist and communist, and the twain met only with difficulty - and perhaps most often through athletics.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 31, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
City of Angels Or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud A Novel Christa Wolf Translated from the German by Damion Searls Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 316 pp., $27 Christa Wolf's final book, "City of Angels, or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud," is a work about betrayal - or more accurately, our inability to know ourselves. Set in Southern California between mid-1992 and mid-1993, it was inspired by the year Wolf, who died in 2011, spent as a Getty fellow. Although it comes labeled as a novel, it is more a public act of self-reflection, intensely autobiographical and vividly imagined at once.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 31, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
City of Angels Or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud A Novel Christa Wolf Translated from the German by Damion Searls Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 316 pp., $27 Christa Wolf's final book, "City of Angels, or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud," is a work about betrayal - or more accurately, our inability to know ourselves. Set in Southern California between mid-1992 and mid-1993, it was inspired by the year Wolf, who died in 2011, spent as a Getty fellow. Although it comes labeled as a novel, it is more a public act of self-reflection, intensely autobiographical and vividly imagined at once.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
It takes a lot of confidence, not to mention nerve, for a small German film to arrive in theaters in the heart of the holiday season and face off against the formidable behemoths of Hollywood. "Barbara," however, has a secret weapon: It's one terrific film, as smart, thoughtful and emotionally involving as just about anything that's out there. Winner of the Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear for writer-director Christian Petzold and starring a luminous Nina Hoss, Petzold's frequent collaborator and one of Germany's top actresses, "Barbara" has another advantage: its Soviet-era, behind-the-Iron Curtain setting allows it to investigate the kinds of complex and compelling moral dilemmas endemic to that time and place.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 6, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
In "The Diplomat," premiering Tuesday on ESPN, directors Senain Kheshgi and Jennifer Arnold look at figure skater Katarina Witt in the context of her changing times. (It shows as part of the network's documentary series "Nine for IX," as in Title IX, about women in sports.) Witt's career began in what used to be called East Germany and ended in the reunified state; it's a story from back when the developed world was divided into capitalist and communist, and the twain met only with difficulty - and perhaps most often through athletics.
OPINION
November 8, 2009
The fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989, marked the end of the Cold War and the making of a new world map. For those who had come of age in East Germany, the change was both exhilarating and disorienting. Overnight, East Germans had unfettered access to goods, travel and, above all, to ideas that had been denied them for decades. They were reunited with relatives in the West and no longer had to fear inquisitive neighbors and Stasi police. Their national narrative of the good socialist was replaced by a Western narrative of the liberated capitalist.
OPINION
December 27, 1998 | Robert Gerald Livingston, Robert Gerald Livingston, former director of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, is writing a book on the German-American relationship since 1945
With the Communist German Democratic Republic falling apart in late 1989 and 1990, the Central Intelligence Agency was suddenly presented with an extraordinary opportunity to acquire the operational files of the government's foreign-espionage service. Whether a Russian or an East German sold the files to Americans remains a mystery, but the price for what has come to be known as Operation Rosewood is said to have been $1 million to $1.5 million.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 1991 | Reuters
Two thousand agents of the former East German Stasi security police are still living undetected in western Germany, according to a member of the citizen's committee that helped disband the organization. Ralf Merkel told ADN news agency Friday that only a handful of agents had quit their posts and returned to East Germany before unification last October. Those still in western Germany had jobs in politics and industry.
NEWS
September 30, 1996 | From Times Wire Reports
The Soviet KGB and East Germany's Stasi tried to thwart German unification hours after the Berlin Wall collapsed by sending false reports of civilian unrest to Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Chancellor Helmut Kohl says in a book, "I Wanted German Unity," to be published Tuesday. Kohl tells how Gorbachev telephoned him during a rally in West Berlin on Nov. 10, 1989, to seek reassurance that events in the city were not "completely out of hand."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
It takes a lot of confidence, not to mention nerve, for a small German film to arrive in theaters in the heart of the holiday season and face off against the formidable behemoths of Hollywood. "Barbara," however, has a secret weapon: It's one terrific film, as smart, thoughtful and emotionally involving as just about anything that's out there. Winner of the Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear for writer-director Christian Petzold and starring a luminous Nina Hoss, Petzold's frequent collaborator and one of Germany's top actresses, "Barbara" has another advantage: its Soviet-era, behind-the-Iron Curtain setting allows it to investigate the kinds of complex and compelling moral dilemmas endemic to that time and place.
OPINION
November 8, 2009
The fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989, marked the end of the Cold War and the making of a new world map. For those who had come of age in East Germany, the change was both exhilarating and disorienting. Overnight, East Germans had unfettered access to goods, travel and, above all, to ideas that had been denied them for decades. They were reunited with relatives in the West and no longer had to fear inquisitive neighbors and Stasi police. Their national narrative of the good socialist was replaced by a Western narrative of the liberated capitalist.
WORLD
November 1, 2009 | Kate Connolly, Connolly is a special correspondent.
Martina Metzler peers at the piles of paper strips spread across four desks in her office. Seeing two jagged edges that match, her eyes light up and she tapes them together. "Another join, another small success," she says with a wry smile -- even though at least two-thirds of the sheet is still missing. Metzler, 45, is a "puzzler," one of a team of eight government workers that has attempted for the last 14 years to manually restore documents hurriedly shredded by East Germany's secret police, or Stasi, in the dying days of one of the Soviet bloc's most repressive regimes.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2009 | Susan King
Armin Mueller-Stahl didn't have to do a lot of research to play a former East German Stasi officer in the thriller "The International," which opens in theaters today. The 78-year-old actor, who possesses vibrant Paul Newman-esque blue eyes, was well acquainted with the secret police of the former socialist state. He lived under their repressive rule until 1980, when he emigrated to West Germany.
BOOKS
June 24, 2007 | Tara Ison, Tara Ison is the author, most recently, of "The List."
EXPECTING a reader to ride shotgun on the journey of a character's existential crisis is a lot for a writer to ask. Potholes loom: Ah, the paralyzing anomie of postmodern life, the self-absorption of the downward spiral, the privileged self-indulgence of middle-class despair! Woe to the reader -- and writer -- who risks that invitation: Do we really need to hear that story again? Do we really want to go there?
ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 2007 | Lisa Rosen, Special to The Times
A remark Lenin made to his writer friend Maxim Gorky set off Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's imagination. A month's stay in a monastery captured it. The result is Henckel von Donnersmarck's writing and directing debut, "The Lives of Others," now in the running for an Oscar as best foreign film.
NEWS
July 5, 2001 | From Associated Press
Helmut Kohl won a court ruling Wednesday blocking the release of his conversations that were secretly recorded by East German spies, a victory in the former chancellor's attempts to defend his legacy as the leader who reunited Germany. After a one-day hearing, the Berlin administrative court agreed with Kohl's lawyers, who argued that he could claim protection under provisions shielding the victims of surveillance by the East's pervasive communist-era secret police, the Stasi.
NEWS
December 17, 1990 | From United Press International
Former East German Premier Lothar de Maiziere resigned today as minister without portfolio in the German federal government after claims that he had been an informer for East Germany's communist state security police. De Maiziere said he will also give up his positions as vice chairman of Chancellor Helmut Kohl's conservative Christian Democratic Union and leader of the CDU in the eastern state of Brandenburg.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 2006 | Christopher Hawthorne, Times Staff Writer
AT age 79, the Argentine-born, Connecticut-based architect Cesar Pelli is inevitably described in newspaper and magazine profiles these days as diplomatic and genteel. In his design for the $200-million Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, which opens Friday night, he and his firm have produced a building that brings the very same adjectives to mind.
NEWS
July 5, 2001 | From Associated Press
Helmut Kohl won a court ruling Wednesday blocking the release of his conversations that were secretly recorded by East German spies, a victory in the former chancellor's attempts to defend his legacy as the leader who reunited Germany. After a one-day hearing, the Berlin administrative court agreed with Kohl's lawyers, who argued that he could claim protection under provisions shielding the victims of surveillance by the East's pervasive communist-era secret police, the Stasi.
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