Category Archives: History

“The Cold War Swap” by Ross Thomas

There is probably no better time than now to read a novel about two NSA employees who have absconded to the Soviet Union and about the US government’s attempts to get them back. Yes, I wrote Soviet Union instead of Russia, … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Cold War, Germany, Language | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Film Review: “Argo”

When I was in prison in Iran in 2009, I was hoping for somebody like Tony Mendez to burst open the door to my cell and to whisk me to a waiting helicopter. Except that I hadn’t heard of him at the … Continue reading

Posted in Films, History, Iran, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Easily Confused (33) Erasmus students

Young Europeans wasting their lives in 1914: Young Europeans wasting their lives in 1944: Young Europeans wasting their lives in 2014: As much as I question what Erasmus students do during their time abroad, in light of the above comparison even I have … Continue reading

Posted in Death, Education, Europe, History, Life, World War II | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Diplomatic Breakthrough in Crimea

After weeks of failing communication between the great powers and after the world had come dangerously close to World War III Cold War II, international negotiators reached an agreement on Sunday night after a Summit Meeting on Crimea. (Zur deutschen … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, History, Politics, World War II | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

There are more important things than territorial integrity

Democracy and self-determination are great. But nobody should believe that a referendum hastily pulled out of a hat, with limited choices and without a proper prior public debate about the question posed at the polls is a good example of direct … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Cold War, Elections, Estonia, Europe, Germany, History, Human Rights, Latvia, Law, Lithuania, Maps, Military, Politics, Polls, Russia | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Salaspils – A Train Ride to the Countryside

The local train which departed in Riga is almost fully occupied this Friday noon. It stops every few minutes, at every possible stop. I am going to Dārziņi, a stop in the middle of the forest. A beautiful Baltic pine and … Continue reading

Posted in History, Holocaust, Latvia, Photography, Travel, World War II | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Garibaldi was here

Italy is full of commemorative plaques and statues, many of them about the Risorgimento, the unification of Italy, and the independence wars from 1861 on. There are plaques and statutes to commemorate the landing of troops, successful battles, sustained defeats and … Continue reading

Posted in History, Italy, Photography, Sicily, Travel | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Obsessed with Shoes?

If you know someone who is obsessed with shoes and you want to cure her, you can try showing her this photo. It puts things into perspective. (Photo taken at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial site in May 2009.)

Posted in Holocaust, Israel, Photography | Tagged , | 1 Comment

You think you travel a lot?

You may think that you travel a lot because you have already been to Bali and to Australia. Or, if you are American, you may think you have seen the world after your trip to Rome and Paris. Even I … Continue reading

Posted in Military, Poland, Russia, Travel, World War II | Tagged | 2 Comments

How different countries catch their “most wanted”

How different countries go about finding their “most wanted” tells a lot about the respective country. USA: The US invades the country where the culprit is located, sometimes invading another country in the process. It locks up hundreds of people, … Continue reading

Posted in Germany, History, Holocaust, Law, Terrorism, USA | Tagged , , | 9 Comments