Germany

Sex and the German Revolution

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As part of LGBT history month, Colin Wilson looks at the how the German Revolution of 1918 led to significant new freedoms for lesbians and gays, and the role played by Communists

Germany's looming defeat in the First World War meant political crisis. In November 1918 the fleet mutinied and revolution began. The Kaiser - the German emperor - fled to Holland and a republic was proclaimed, beginning a period of radicalisation that was to last until 1923. But, while they had started a revolution, German workers never took the decisive final step of seizing power, as the Russian working class had done in October 1917.

Pirates of the Bundesliga

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If you hate football with every fibre in your body, then read on. If you love football with a passion, then you need to read on too.

How can I square this circle, I hear you ask. The answer to this conundrum lies in Hamburg, Germany. There, nestling between the Reeperbahn (Hamburg's red-light district), the docks, and poor migrant and working class neighbourhoods is the Millerntor stadium, home to the football team St Pauli.

Resistance across Europe

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Italy - Germany - Portugal - Spain

Italy: Italian finance minister Giulio Tremonti's attempts to drive through £22 billion in cuts are facing an updraft of resistance. On 16 October up to a million students and workers took to the streets in Rome against the austerity measures in a protest called by the metal workers' Fiom union. Fiom leader Maurizio Landini told workers that the next step was to plan a general strike.

Eurozone crisis: German rifts revealed by bailout

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The bailout of Greece may have averted a eurozone meltdown, but it has opened rifts in the German ruling class who resent paying for Greek debt. At the same time the Left Party faces tough choices, writes Phil Butland.

In the wake of the Greek crisis Bild Zeitung, the German equivalent of the Sun newspaper, made a predictable attack on Greek workers. Bild promoted the idea that all Greeks are comfortably off and work a few years in public service non-jobs before taking well paid early retirement. With headlines like "Billions for Greece, and what about us?" it tried to drive a wedge between "hard-working German tax payers" and "lazy Greeks".

German elections: weak victors and strong left

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The results of September's general election in Germany are contradictory. It brought to power a right wing combination of a conservative-liberal government.

But this doesn't represent a rightward shift in German society. The conservatives of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)/Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) had their worst showing since the Second World War, and the conservative-liberal camp actually lost a total of 300,000 votes.

Letter From Germany: The successes and challenges of Die Linke

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Growing economic inequality and corruption have led to huge gains by the left. Christine Buchholz writes about the successes of Die Linke, and the challenges ahead

The left in Germany was celebrating last month after making a significant breakthrough in two regional elections. The polls in Lower Saxony and Hessen saw representatives of Die Linke elected with 7.1 percent and 5.1 percent respectively. The results were major election victories for the new left party, Die Linke, in former West Germany. This initial breakthrough was followed up by 6.4 percent in the election in the city-state of Hamburg.

The election results express a shift to the left by the population as a whole - a process that has been under way for some time.

Forging a New Left

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Political paralysis, a big fall in the value of the euro and talk of a policy vacuum showed that Europe's bosses suffered a serious setback following the general election results in Germany.

Angela Merkel, the leader of the CDU and strongest advocate of neo-liberalism, was the biggest loser. Having led the polls for months and widely tipped to be the next chancellor, she was unable to secure an overall majority and is now desperately trying to cobble together some sort of workable coalition. Gerhard Schröder's SDP received its lowest vote for 15 years as people expressed their anger against high unemployment and economic stagnation. The political turmoil looks set to continue for months, leading to further instability in Europe's largest economy.

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