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Germany

Frankfurt Lessons: Books Are Not Inherently A Force For Good

This year's Frankfurt Book Fair was marred by violence amid protests against a far-right publishing house. It's time to rethink our relationship with literature.

Protests at Frankfurt book fair against Bjorn Hocke of far-right AfD party
Protests at Frankfurt book fair against Bjorn Hocke of far-right AfD party
Lothar Mueller

-Analysis-

FRANKFURT — There was something approaching mass hysteria last weekend at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest trade show for the publishing industry. In the evening, brawls broke out between strangers among the empty booths. Fists flew at book launch parties. The title of the German text behind much of the fervor was Mit Linken leben ("Living with the Left"), published by the far-right Antaios publishing house. But there was also the presence of Bjorn Hocke, a far-right Alternative for Germany politician, that riled up the crowd. The book was a hastily-written riposte to another book titled Mit Rechten reden ("Speaking with the Right"), published by Klett-Cotta, a rival publisher. The latter book's title was meant to be sincere: a call for meaningful debate instead of marginalizing political opponents.

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Geopolitics

How Millennials And Boomers See Putin's Nuclear Threats Differently

Baby boomers who grew up under the threat of nuclear armageddon warn against a nuclear escalation of the war in Ukraine. But the younger generations are not cowed by Putin's blackmail. And that’s a very good thing.

Anti-nuclear bomb activists protest during Hiroshima Day Action in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 2020.

Peter Huth

-Analysis-

BERLIN — It is a sentence that no German Chancellor had ever had to utter before. “I am doing everything I can to prevent an escalation that would lead to World War III. There must not be a nuclear war,” said Olaf Scholz.

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