No One Wants to Wear the “Fascist” Label, Even If It Fits

Why Hitler's Brownshirts and Mussolini's Blackshirts Rile up Today's Politics

Western democracy may be facing its biggest challenge since 1945. It’s easy to find parallels between Donald Trump, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), the French National Front, the Alternativ für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany–AfD), and many similar movements and the fascist and national socialist movements of the interwar years. Racism, extreme hostility to the left, and Trump’s hints that he might not have accepted a Hillary Clinton victory all suggest rebirth of an ideology that many people thought had died with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Trump can hardly complain …

Did Hamburg’s Olympic Bid Destroy Its Local Democracy?

How the Failed Effort to Bring the 2024 Games to Germany Restricted Voters' Democratic Rights

Democracy killed a bid to bring the Olympics to Hamburg, Germany, where I live. But in the process, the Olympics dealt a big blow to our local democracy.

I’ve worked on …

How World War II Turned Soldiers Into Bookworms

American GIs Devoured Paperbacks on the Front Lines, Spawning a New Generation of Readers

In January 1942, thousands of New Yorkers gathered on the steps of the legendary New York Public Library, at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, wearing their Sunday best and warmest …

Yes, I’m Muslim—and German

Europe's Largest Nation Integrates Immigrants With High Ideals and Everyday Discrimination

Wars across Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan have sent millions of refugees fleeing to Europe in recent years, the majority of them Muslims. How to integrate these refugees into liberal (but …

Why Cologne Will Keep Welcoming Refugees

The Assaults on New Year’s Eve Have Made My Hometown Anxious About Safety, but I Worry More About Our Sanity

The pastry shop Cup Cakes Cologne has put two fancy cakes in its shop window. One cake shows German chancellor Angela Merkel in the style of a red angel. The …