AUS DEM SPIEGEL
Ausgabe 12/2004

English Summaries


"A Murderous Competition"

SPIEGEL interview with Gutavo de Arístegui, foreign political spokesman of the parliamentary group of the governing Spanish People's Party and potential foreign minister of a new conservative government in Madrid, about last week's terrorist attacks, the people behind them and the political consequences:

"We have to be very cautious about the assignment of guilt. As long as the investigators haven't found absolutely conclusive proof, we mustn't exclude any possibilities. ... We've been worried for some time that established terrorist groups could start acting behalf of third parties. Commissioned work like that will, I fear, start increasing world-wide. ... We must not link these attacks to our foreign policy, otherwise we make hostages of ourselves, and more or less legitimise these acts of terror. ... We are dealing with what may be the most pressing problem of the next 30 or 40 years. Our new government will dedicate itself totally to the fight against terrorism."


"Paid in Blood"

SPIEGEL interview with Kurdish leader Massud Barsani about the provisional constitution, the planned elections and the dream of an independent state:

"Most importantly, we have safeguarded our key demand, which is that the Iraq of tomorrow should be a democratic, federalist state. ... We continue to insist that the three Kurdish provinces Erbil, Dahuk and Suleymaniya, and of course Kirkuk too, should remain a single connected part of the country. ... If we end up with a final constitution that is accepted by everyone and with free elections, we will of course work together with the government that emerges from these, hoist the Iraqi flag alongside the Kurdish flag, and recognise Arab as an official language - alongside Kurdish. All on a federalist basis ... We have to deal with the terrorist groups which are being smuggled in from abroad. Things will only become bad if the Americans withdraw before a new Iraq has been born.


"We're Miles Behind"

SPIEGEL in-depth interview with Moscow writer Victor Yerofeyev about President Putin, the fear of a new political ice age and the false image that the West has of Russia:

"There are two Putins, perhaps even more. He has not yet decided what he wants to be: Russian or European, democratic or authoritarian."


"Black Holes in the Soul"

SPIEGEL in-depth interview with Salomon Korn, vice-president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, about the hostility towards Jews of Germans, the major OSCE conference in Berlin on anti-Semitism and Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of Christ":

"When Israel became a Goliath after its victory in the Six-Day-War in 1967, sympathy for it declined, to the point where Israelis were compared to Nazis and Palestinians to Jews. Here it was primarily a question of relieving the burden of guilt: if the Israelis are just as bad as the Nazis once used to be, the Nazis cannot have been that bad."


"Monti's Hottest Case"

Take-overs: Last week, the head of Alstom, Patrick Kron, was forced to admit that the long-standing French corporation, which produces power equipment and transport technology, was once again hard up and that loans worth billions that had been taken out a year earlier might soon not be serviceable in line with the agreement. Alstom's value at the Paris stock exchange plummeted by 15 percent. Particularly Siemens boss Heinrich von Pierer is much taken by these latest developments. The Munich group, Alstom's only serious competitor in Europe, both in the field of transport technology and in power generation, had already bought the business with the smaller industrial turbines from Alstom last April, for 1.1 billion euros. But von Pierer would like to have more.


"Magician's Defiantly Loyal Heir"

Legends: New studies suggest that Thomas Mann's son Golo was probably the most important offspring of Germany's best-known family of letters. His considerable historical oeuvre was also a means of coming to terms with some terrible experiences of childhood and the war. Golo Mann's strong-point stood out right from his first book, a strength which was to make him one of the most-read German historians of the 20th century: he wrote beautifully. His vocabulary was rich and full of images, and aside from this he refrained from using any scientific jargon. Had he remained in the United States, this talent could also have made him a great success at its universities. But in the academic circles of the German-speaking world it made him an outsider.


"The Boy Should Live with Me"

SPIEGEL interview with Golo Mann's daughter-in-law Ingrid Beck-Mann about loneliness and longing in the Mann household:

"Golo was very relieved when his father died, and he wanted to change a number of things in his life. But he never overcame his fear of his father. ... Golo wanted his own family. And he got it. In 1965 my husband married me and we had two daughters. Golo took a great interest in us."


"A War for Animals"

Campaigns: The members of the animal welfare organisation Peta are modern-day guerrilla fighters. Their weapons are aggressive advertising, provocative humour and naked celebrities. In their latest campaign they compare intensive livestock farming to the Holocaust. "The Holocaust on your plate" is due to be launched in Germany this Thursday, a travelling exhibition of eight large posters, each two by three metres. The war is also over the question as to whether there are any limits in the battle for a better world. Jürgen Faulmann, a member of Peta in Germany, says: "There has never been any discussion in the animal welfare movement as to whether it is right or wrong in terms of its content. The only debates have been over whether it is strategically correct to do this - or whether it does us more harm than good."


"The Dream of 'Rheingold'"

Geology: Gold rush in gravel pits - a Spanish geologist is using a pilot plant to filter the valuable precious metal from the sediments once left behind by rivers. Tonnes of gold particles could be recovered from other European quarries too - especially in Germany. If the panning method is refined, some twelve kilograms could be recovered every year: at the current price of gold that would mean a profit of some 125,000 euros a year - just as a sideline.


"No Idea ... I'll Call You"

Modern life: Young people are increasingly finding appointments and firm commitments a drag. Why bother making plans when you have a mobile phone? These devices have already radically changed the everyday lives of their most ardent users - at a high price. Through them, a certain melancholy has returned to social life; every prospective meeting is subject to reservations. While the mobile phone appears to multiply one's social contacts, the individual is at the same time becoming all the less dependable.


"The Power of Colored Pictures"

From the CeBIT special section: Every day, over 30 million presentations are created using the software package PowerPoint. Critics are warning that the easily digestible text bites and diagrams are making people's thinking shallower. But the program's triumphal march appears to be unstoppable. Did PowerPoint presentations perhaps even contribute to the disaster of the space shuttle Columbia, which went up in flames a year ago as it was preparing to land? That is certainly the conclusion reached by the Nasa committee of enquiry in its final report.


"Polish High-Pressure Finger"

Agriculture: After years of toing and froing, Germany's northernmost wine-growing region finally has the official seal of approval. It lies in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, not far from the Baltic Sea, and covers an area of 3.7 hectares.

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