TIME ebola

German Hospital: U.N. Worker Dies of Ebola

He was the third Ebola patient flown to Germany for treatment

(BERLIN) — A United Nations medical worker who was infected with Ebola in Liberia has died despite “intensive medical procedures,” a German hospital said Tuesday.

The St. Georg hospital in Leipzig said the 56-year-old man, whose name has not been released, died overnight of the infection. It released no further details and did not answer telephone calls.

The man tested positive for Ebola on Oct. 6, prompting Liberia’s UN peacekeeping mission to place 41 staff members who had possibly been in contact with him under “close medical observation.”

He arrived in Leipzig for treatment on Oct. 9 where he was put into a special isolation unit.

The man was the third Ebola patient to be flown to Germany for treatment.

The first patient, a Senegalese man infected with Ebola while working for the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone was brought to a Hamburg hospital in late August for treatment. The man was released Oct. 3 after recovering and returned to his home country, the hospital said.

Another patient, a Ugandan man who worked for an Italian aid group in West Africa, is undergoing treatment in a Frankfurt hospital.

TIME conflict

The Tragic Nobel Peace Prize Story You’ve Probably Never Heard

Carl Von Ossietzky
German pacifist writer Carl Von Ossietzky, circa 1933 Hulton Archive / Getty Images

This is the story of the "long-ailing, wornout, beaten Nobelman" Carl von Ossietzky

In some years, and this year was no exception, there is no obvious choice for the Nobel Peace Prize. Speculators can guess, pundits can argue, but ultimately the Norwegian committee’s decision — if there is one — comes as a surprise to many.

In 1935, however, the choice seemed obvious. The plight of Carl von Ossietzky, a journalist and socialist activist held in a Nazi concentration camp, had drawn international attention. After serving during the First World War, von Ossietzky became a staunch pacifist and decried German rearmament, facing persecution under successive German governments but refusing to flee despite the threat to his safety. He had been put in a Nazi camp in 1933.

Albert Einstein and French author Romain Rolland were among the period’s celebrity activists who supported Ossietzky’s nomination for the peace prize. Wrote TIME that year:

If ever a man worked, fought & suffered for Peace, it is the sickly little German, Carl von Ossietzky. For nearly a year the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has been swamped with petitions from all shades of Socialists, Liberals and literary folk generally, nominating Carl von Ossietzky for the 1935 Peace Prize. Their slogan: “Send the Peace Prize into the Concentration Camp.”

But the Third Reich was anything but pleased that one of its prisoners might receive the high profile award. The Germans pressured the committee against choosing him, with one Nazi state newspaper warning the Committee “not to provoke the German people by rewarding this traitor to our nation. We hope that the Norwegian Government is sufficiently familiar with the ways of the world to prevent what would be a slap in the face of the German people.” Under this Nazi pushback, the Committee announced it would not award anyone the prize that year–citing violence in Africa and political instability in Asia. “The time seems inappropriate for such a peace gesture,” the Committee said in a statement.

The Committee would redeem itself a year later, retroactively awarding von Ossietzky the 1935 prize, worth $40,000. The move infuriated Hitler. German media called von Ossietzky a “traitor” and the award an “insult” to Germany. The Führer threatened to cut off relations with Norway, even after the Foreign Minister resigned from the Committee over the decision, and declared that Germans would never again be allowed to receive Nobel Prizes. (Several German scientists who were subsequently awarded Nobel Prizes were unable to accept the award until after World War II.)

But by the time the award was announced, von Ossietzky’s health had worsened. The Germans had already moved him from the prison camp to a hospital in Berlin, perhaps aware of the impending international attention that would soon befall him. When they unexpectedly allowed journalists to meet with him, he was “looking thin and sounding tired,” TIME wrote after an interview with him:

But in high spirits, Herr von Ossietzky chirped, ‘I count myself as belonging to a party of sensible Europeans who regard the armaments race as insanity. If the German Government will permit, I will be only too pleased to go to Norway to receive the Prize and in my acceptance speech I will not dig up the past or say anything which might result in discord between Germany and Norway.’

Von Ossietzky was never allowed to accept his prize in Norway, and his tortuous saga continued. Though he was eventually released from prison supervision, it was widely assumed that the release was on the condition that he refrain from activism. In an eerie TIME interview in 1937, von Ossietzky praised the Nazi government and announced that he had been allowed to accept the prize money. But the TIME article also made clear that von Ossietzky’s words were not entirely freely spoken. “Hollow-eyed and pale, Ossietzky knew that if he got himself imprisoned again, it would be his death,” the article noted.

Still, the sickly Nobel Laureate’s troubles continued. A swindler claiming to be a lawyer proposed to collect von Ossietzky’s prize money for him, only to launder the funds and keep them for himself. Almost all of the money was recovered by May of 1938 when von Ossietzky died at 48 of, according to the official death record, meningitis — but by then he was, as TIME wrote, a “long-ailing, wornout, beaten Nobelman.”

Read the 1935 story about the Nobel Peace Prize Committee passing over von Ossietzky: Way of the World

TIME Germany

Angela Merkel Savaged by Helmut Kohl, the Architect of United Germany

GERMANY-POLITICS-ANNIVERSARY-KOHL
Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and German Chancellor Angela Merkel sit in the first row at the German Historical Museum in Berlin on Sept. 27, 2012. Wolfgang Kumm—AFP/Getty Images

The former German Chancellor believes one-time protégé Merkel "has no idea" about European politics, a controversial new biography reveals

Angela Merkel, western Europe’s longest serving and most influential leader, was elected to a third term in office last year and her popularity among German voters remains startlingly high. But not everybody, it seems, feels the love.

It has emerged that Helmut Kohl, himself a former Chancellor of Germany, the architect of German reunification and in 1991 TIME’s runner-up as Man of the Year (to George H. W. Bush), once said that when it comes to the intricate politics of Europe, his former protégé “has no idea.”

Kohl threw in a few more barbs too. Merkel, who grew up in East Germany and has never entirely absorbed the polish and formality of West German high society, “couldn’t even eat properly with a knife and fork,” Kohl told an interviewer in the early 2000s. “She mooched around so much at state dinners that I often had to call her to order.”

These comments and Kohl’s similarly ripe views of several other colleagues in Germany’s center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) may never have been intended for publication. They are included in “Vermächtnis: die Kohl-Protokolle” (Legacy: the Kohl Transcripts), a biography of Kohl based on more than 600 hours of conversations with Heribert Schwan, a journalist originally contracted to ghostwrite Kohl’s memoir.

But after Kohl dismissed Schwan—who blames the influence of Kohl’s second wife, Maike Kohl-Richter, 34 years Kohl’s junior, for his sudden 2009 ouster—Schwan used the recordings to co-author an unauthorized biography with a writer called Tilman Jens, despite Kohl’s victory last month in a court tussle over copyright of the tapes. Media reports in Germany have suggested Kohl—now a frail 84-year-old with limited powers of speech since suffering a head injury in a 2008 fall—will attempt to block the book’s release, but he has not issued an explicit denial of his remarks.

The book will be published in Germany this week and is previewed in the new issue of the German news weekly Der Spiegel. The interviews with Kohl took place between 2001 and 2002, a period of tragedy and turbulence for the politician. Kohl’s first wife Hannelore killed herself as the former Chancellor battled to salvage his reputation in the aftermath of a scandal over CDU party funding. Merkel almost certainly earned Kohl’s enduring ire by helping to force his resignation from the CDU presidency in 2000, urging the party to move on without its “old warhorse” (her words) to rebuild popularity after the scandal. She may not have chosen the most respectful term to describe Kohl, who in 1991 installed her as a minister in the first government of reunited Germany. Then again, he famously patronized Merkel, often referring her as “das Mädchen,” the girl. Nobody, least of all the wily Merkel, will have been blindsided by the revelation that Kohl continues to nurse a grudge against her.

The bigger surprise is how Kohl saw the man he often hailed as a friend, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last President of the Soviet Union, named TIME’s Man of the Decade in 1990 for his role in ending the Cold War. In Kohl’s estimation, if Gorbachev was a hero, it was only of the accidental kind. “Gorbachev looked over the books and realized all was lost and the regime couldn’t survive,” Kohl told Schwan. “And if he wanted to preserve Communism, he had to reform it, so he came up with the idea of Perestroika… He dissolved Communism, partly against his will, but he did dissolve it. Without violence. Without bloodshed. There wasn’t much more to his legacy than that.”

Kohl will have had an eye on his own legacy as he spilled his innermost thoughts to Schwan. The manner of their publication, unvarnished and without the pruning Kohl might have preferred, will certainly shape historians’ views of the architect of German reunification. He may have united his country, but he remains, even in retirement, a divisive figure.

 

TIME Germany

Charles Manson Musical Opens in Germany

Actors Maja Schoene, Alicia Aumueller, Joerg Pohl, Sebastian Rudolph, Tilo Werner, Miriam Struebel, Franziska Hartmann and Tabita Johannes perform during a press rehearsal of 'Charles Manson: Summer of Hate - The Musical' at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, Germany on Sept. 24, 2014.
Actors Maja Schoene, Alicia Aumueller, Joerg Pohl, Sebastian Rudolph, Tilo Werner, Miriam Struebel, Franziska Hartmann and Tabita Johannes perform during a press rehearsal of 'Charles Manson: Summer of Hate - The Musical' at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg on Sept. 24, 2014. Christian Charisius—EPA

The musical traces the cult leader's failed musical endeavors and murders

The former cult leader who is currently serving a life sentence in a California prison is getting the musical treatment in Hamburg, Germany. The play follows Manson’s failed musical endeavors and the crimes and killing spree of the Manson “family,” as his followers were known.

“Charles Manson: Summer of Hate – The Musical” opened Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In 1971, the Manson family was found guilty of killing actress Sharon Tate and four other people at her home in 1969 before murdering a married couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, the next day. Manson’s apocalyptic race-war worldview, which he shared with his followers, was heavily influenced by the Beatles song “Helter Skelter.”

[LA Times]

MONEY office etiquette

Germans Say “Nein!” to Late-Night Work Email. Here’s How You Can, Too

Mariella Ahrens attends the Dresscoded Hippie Wiesn 2014 at Golfclub Gut Thailing on August 28, 2014 in Steinhoering near Ebersberg, Germany.
Turns out Germans may have us beat when it comes to balancing work and play. Gisela Schober—Getty Images

Sick of your boss's 3 a.m. emails? Maybe you should move to Germany—where support is growing for a law banning late-night work communication.

Despite their reputation for industriousness, it turns out Germans have a thing or two to teach us about work-life balance.

The country has shaved nearly 1,000 hours from the annual schedule of its average worker (compared with 200 hours in the U.S.) in the last half-century. And now a movement is growing there to make after-hours work emails verboten.

A newly initiated study on worker stress led by the German labor minister is expected to lead to legislation preventing employers from reaching out to employees outside of normal office hours. (That might surprise those who’d expect such a thing only from the French.)

Though the law wouldn’t come to fruition until 2016, Germans—and Europeans in general—are still slightly better off than Americans in the meantime. While the average work week in major developed countries is 47 hours, that number balloons to about 90 hours per week for U.S. workers (vs. 80 for Europeans) if you include time that people are checking email and staying available outside of the office.

“We have become such an instantaneous society,” says Peggy Post, a director of The Emily Post Institute and expert on business etiquette. “We’re expected to be on call 24/7.”

And all this late-night work isn’t without consequences: Studies have found that staying up checking work emails on smartphones actually makes workers less productive the next day because of effects on sleep. Other downsides include more mistakes and miscommunications.

In lieu of practicing your Deutsch and moving your whole life overseas, take back your “offline” time by doing the following:

1. Become an email whiz while at work.

One major reason we’re forced to take to our phones late at night and on weekends? Because it’s so hard to get actual work done during work these days, due to smaller staffs, long meetings, floods of email, and noisy open floor plans.

At least in some jobs, the more you get done during regular hours, the less you’ll be penalized if you aren’t available during evenings or weekends. Some experts suggest giving yourself a specific window during the day to handle emails. See nine specific tips on more efficient emailing from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt here. With smart rules, like “last in, first out,” you can become a speed demon.

And if you just can’t pack it all in, you might also think about a quick end-of-day meeting (preferably at the scheduled end of day) to check in with whomever you’re most likely to get emails from later on.

2. Make sure you understand the expectations.

You assume your boss wants an immediate response to that late-night brainstorm, but are you sure? It’s worth finding out.

Alison Green, who blogs at AskaManager.org has suggested phrasing your question as follows: “Hey, I’m assuming that it’s fine for me to wait to reply to emails sent over the weekend until I’m back at work on Monday, unless it’s an emergency. Let me know if that’s not the case.”

But what if the boss says that you really are expected to be at the ready? You might need to communicate your dissatisfaction with these terms—rather than succumbing to burnout.

Again, the words you choose are important. Green suggested the following: “I don’t mind responding occasionally if it’s an emergency, but I wonder if there’s a way to save everything else for when I’m back at work. I use the weekends to recharge so that I’m refreshed on Monday, and I’m often somewhere where I can’t easily answer work emails.”

Post agrees that how you speak up goes a long way toward getting the result you want. “Without whining, try to share specific constructive solutions,” says Post. “For example, you could suggest having employees take on separate after-hours times to be on call for different days of the week.”

3. Stop the cycle.

Remember, you’re perpetuating the expectation when you engage in these email chains. Should you write back once at 10 p.m., those above you will likely begin to assume that you’ll be available at that time (even if they didn’t initially expect you to be).

Likewise, if your boss emails you, you might feel that you’re in the clear to contact those below you in their free time. But that’s a no-no, according to many experts.

While you may simply be trying to send something while you remember it, you are actually putting someone else in the same predicament you’re in. Some suggest limiting yourself to answering or writing emails to between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., unless there’s a particularly urgent need or project—though the right window for you probably depends upon your company and office culture.

And if you do have your most brilliant thought at 2 a.m.? Go ahead and write it, but then use a tool like Boomerang that lets you schedule it for a more reasonable post-shower hour.

TIME Asthma

Study: Fear of Job Loss Can Increase Asthma Risk

The report looked at German adults during the recent economic downturn

Fear of losing one’s job can cause a marked increase in the risk of developing asthma, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The study, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found that for every 25% increase in job security that a worker felt, that worker’s likelihood of developing asthma increased by 24%. For people who told researchers it was more likely than not that they would lose their job, the risk of developing asthma climbed 60%.

Fear of losing one’s job has been linked to a number of negative health outcomes, but this is the first time it has been linked to the risk of developing asthma, the study’s authors said.

The study surveyed the records of more than 7,000 working German adults between 2009 and 2011, a time in which European economies were in downturn.

TIME Germany

93-Year-Old Former Nazi Charged With 300,000 Counts of Accessory to Murder

A replica hung in place of the stolen infamous "Arbeit macht frei" sign at the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland on Dec. 18, 2009.
A replica hung in place of the stolen infamous "Arbeit macht frei" sign at the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland on Dec. 18, 2009. Jacek Bednarczyk—AFP/Getty Images

The one-time member of Hitler’s S.S. has spoken publicly about working at Auschwitz

A 93-year-old man who was once a member of Hitler’s SS unit and worked at Auschwitz has been charged by prosecutors in Germany with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for his role in perpetrating the Holocaust.

Oscar Gröning is accused of taking money from victims’ luggage as they arrived at the concentration camp and giving it to SS headquarters, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Through his activities, he provided the Nazi regime with economic advantage and supported systematic killings,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The prosecutor alleges that Gröning knew that prisoners who were deemed unfit for work at the concentration camp were automatically sent to gas chambers where they were systematically murdered.

Gröning’s case is unusual because the accused has already spoken publicly in interviews with Der Spiegel and the BBC about the role he played at Auschwitz, which amounted, he said, to adding up money taken from the primarily Jewish victims of the Third Reich. Convicting former Nazis in Germany has historically been hard, due to the difficulty of proving them guilty of specific crimes many decades in the past. The conviction in 2011 of U.S. auto worker John Demjanjuk as an accessory to nearly 30,000 murders opened the possibility to other similar prosecutions, the Journal reports.

Gröning’s attorney declined to comment on the case but said his client is in good health.

[WSJ]

TIME technology

Uber Is Now Legal in Germany Once Again

German Court Bans Uber Service Nationwide
In this photo illustration, a woman uses the Uber app on an Samsung smartphone on September 2, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Adam Berry—Getty Images

Wunderbar

Updated 1:15 p.m.

Germany’s ban on Uber’s ride-sharing service has been lifted by a local court.

The Franklin Regional Court ruled Tuesday that UberPop, Uber’s cheaper alternative to its well-known black car service, could resume operating freely throughout the country. The ruling comes after Taxi Deutschland, a German taxi union, had successfully sought a nationwide injunction against Uber’s service last month.

The taxi union vowed that it would continue to fight Uber in Germany. “The taxi industry accepts competitors who comply with the law,” the organization said in a statement. “Uber doesn’t do that. Therefore we today announce that we will be appealing without delay.”

UberPop connects drivers and riders via a smartphone app. Critics say drivers are not subject to the same regulations and requirements as licensed German taxi drivers, a common complaint against Uber drivers around the world. The judge who lifted the injunction said that there was likely a legal basis to the taxi union’s complaint, but the organization could not have the issue tried as an expedited case. Therefore, the temporary inunction had to be lifted.

Uber, of course, is happy about the ruling. “We welcome today’s decision by the German court to lift the injunction placed on UberPOP by the incumbents,” Uber Germany spokesman Fabien Nestmann said in an emailed statement. “Demand is so great all across the country that we expect to double in size by the end of the year and plan to bring Uber to more and more cities across Germany.”

[WSJ]

 

TIME Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Vows to Fight Growing Anti-Semitism

"It pains me when I hear that young Jewish parents ask whether they should raise their children in Germany"

With attacks against Jews on the increase in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged on Sunday to step up the battle against anti-Semitism.

Speaking at a rally in the capital Berlin, she said Germany would do all it could to stop the growth of anti-Semitism, which has risen since the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, reports the BBC.

“It pains me when I hear that young Jewish parents ask whether they should raise their children in Germany, or elderly Jews who ask if it was right to stay. With this rally, we are making it unmistakably clear: Jewish life belongs to us. It is part of our identity and culture,” she said to a crowd of about 5,000 people.

Germany is home to about 200,000 Jews.

The rally, organized by the Central Council of Jews in Germany, comes 75 years after the beginning of World War II, says the BBC. Six million Jews were killed during the conflict.

“The legitimate criticism of the political actions of a government — be it ours or of the state of Israel’s — is fine,” Merkel said. “But if it is only used as a cloak for one’s hatred against other people, hatred for Jewish people, then it is a misuse of our basic rights of freedom of opinion and assembly.”

Since the start of the recent conflict in Gaza, tensions between Muslim and Jewish communities have flared up across Europe. There were 131 anti-Semitic incidents reported in Germany in July, up from 53 in June, Reuters reports the German government as saying.

TIME

Feel Good Friday: 14 Fun Photos to Start Your Weekend

From biker butts to world record setting cats, here's a handful of photos to get your weekend started right

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