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The Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives, picking up the pieces of Germany's dark past
The Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives, picking up the pieces of Germany's dark past
Claudia Becker

BERLIN - She’ll never know why, on August 7 1970, her father was in the border area near the Berlin Wall. The only thing she knows is that East German border guards fired 177 shots at him. Monika N. was 13 when she lost her father. Her sister was a year older.

The worst thing on that summer day, she remembers, was the uncertainty. Nobody in the West knew that her father, Gerald Thiem had been shot. They only found out 24 years later, well after their mother – who thought her husband had deserted the family – died.

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People walk by a mall destroyed by Russian shelling in Irpin, Ukraine. More than 300 civilians died in this city close to Kyiv. A month after the Russian troops’ withdrawal, its inhabitants are gradually returning to their devastated homes.

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Bonjour!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Russia declares victory in Mariupol as the 82-day siege ends, Biden’s administration lifts some Trump-era restrictions on Cuba and NASA’s rover starts digging around for life on Mars. Meanwhile, America Economia explains how blockchain technology could take the cannabis business to an all-time high.

[*French]

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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