Category Archives: History

While researching the story of a great Romanian adventurer, I found a great Romanian adventurer. But a different one.

When I moved to Romania, I knew that it had produced one of the greatest adventurer of all times. This is the story of how I was both wrong and right at the same time. (Scroll down to the 5th … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Colombia, History, Iran, Romania, Russia, Statistics, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The allure of chess

In a civil registry office in the Soviet Union, some time in the 1960s: The men are immersed in a game of chess. The brides are bored, most of them have already fallen asleep. So, the long waits in government offices … Continue reading

Posted in History, Marriage, Sports | Tagged , , | 2 Comments


When enough years have passed since the end of a dictatorship, some people will become nostalgic. They will talk up the positive aspects of the dictatorship, forgetting about the labor camps, the political prisoners, the censorship. They will promote their … Continue reading

Posted in History, Montenegro, Photography, Politics, Travel | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

“Why We Lost” by Daniel Bolger

Maybe a book that promises “a general’s inside account of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and how it all went wrong” had to disappoint, but I didn’t expect it to disappoint so much. Lieutenant General Bolger sounds contrite in the introduction: … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Books, History, Military, Politics, USA | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Berlin Wall in Lithuania

Visitors who come to Berlin often wonder: “What happened to the Berlin Wall?” I found a chunk of it in Lithuania, at Europos Parkas, an outdoor art museum. To address any suspicions about larceny: it was a gift by the Federal … Continue reading

Posted in Germany, History, Lithuania, Photography, Travel | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Why is German reunification celebrated on 3 October?

Today, Germany celebrates the 25th anniversary of the reunification of East and West Germany on 3 October 1990. The history buffs among you will know that the Berlin Wall fell almost a year earlier, on 9 November 1989. So why … Continue reading

Posted in Germany, History, Holocaust | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

How Romania got its flag

Romanians are really crazy about their flag. The blue-yellow-red banner hangs from every lamppost, in front of every building, in bakeries, doctor’s practices and in liquor stores. Because that is not enough, there is even a public holiday to celebrate … Continue reading

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