Ausgabe 10/2004

English Summaries

"Peace, Joy, Pancakes"

German chancellor Gerhard Schröder is trying to escape from the swamps of political reform at home via the high ground of foreign policy. A report on his trip to the United States.

"Army of Secret Agents"

Stasi: With the opening of the "Rosenholz" files, the last great wave of investigations, the search for former East German spies, has begun. It could affect tens of thousands, particularly once again in the East. For years the treasure trove of data, containing the complete list of members of the espionage outfit run by the main East German intelligence authorities (HVA), was locked away - labelled as "Secret", first in America, then in Germany. It took Marianne Birthler, who is in charge of the documents relating to the East German state security service, Stasi, months to purge it of its errors. But now the treasure trove is to be opened in Berlin, after which almost five million civil servants, from police constables to cabinet ministers, will once again be open to inspection as to their Stasi involvement.

"We Shall Have to Stay for a Long Time Yet"

SPIEGEL in-depth interview with American expert for the Middle East Kenneth Pollack about Bush's dilemma in Iraq, the failure of the intelligence services and the threat of civil war in Mesopotamia:

"I can see no evidence that the government lied. But there is evidence that it only revealed part of the truth. ... We were all wrong in our assessment of how extensive and how dangerous Iraq's potential for weapons of mass destruction really was. Our intelligence services hadn't realised Saddam's strategic about-turn, in which he suspended the work on weapons of mass destruction from about 1996 in order to first bring about the lifting of UN sanctions. ... The resistance movement will continue to harass us as long as we don't remove political and economic deficiencies, the resentment that fuels it. ... To my mind the poor security situation lies at the heart of the problem; it is paralysing the reconstruction process. ... We shall have to stay there for a long time yet, at least five years, before the job's done and Iraq has become a stable, affluent and pluralist state."

"Teresa's Election"

US presidential election campaign: President John Forbes Kerry would bring an unusual wife to the White House. Teresa Heinz Kerry is wealthier and older than her husband, and some people say she is cleverer, more aggressive and stronger than him too. Can America cope with this lady? Teresa Heinz Kerry knows her way around, she has got around a lot: born in Mozambique, she went to school in South Africa and to university in Geneva, she speaks five languages, has translated for the United Nations, and she knows the world. Which is why she knows, and says out loud, that the United States can at times be quite immature.

"A Hero for the White House"

SPIEGEL cover story: Until only recently, a second term seemed a certain thing for President George W. Bush. However, the Democrats have chosen a challenger who even today looks and acts like a president - John F. Kerry. In a deeply divided America, the candidates have to find supporters in the opposing camps.

"Victims of the Commune"

Exhibitions: As of this week, a Viennese museum is paying homage to the artist Otto Mühl, ignoring new allegations of abuse made against the communard. Thanks to his coarse show events, Otto Mühl (78) became one of Austria's most successful action artists - and a coveted export. But apart from this, the artist is also a convicted sex offender. According to its director Peter Noever, the Museum for Applied Art (MAK) wants to stick to its Mühl homage, despite Mühl's known paedophile misdemeanours.

"Blair Believes His Own Lies"

SPIEGEL in-depth interview with novelist John le Carré about the resistance against the British-American policy of going to war, his own secret service past and his latest novel "Absolute Friends" whose story also takes place in Germany:

"Now we are dealing with totalitarian capitalism. This is the next excess, following Bush's motto: 'Anyone who isn't for us, is against us.' The heroes in my novel, Ted Mundy and Sasha, don't like this alternative - and that makes them enemies. ... Look, over a million Britons demonstrated in London against the war on a single day, we marched along with them too - and it did no good. A demoralising experience. ... The British Secret Service was a refuge, you felt as if you belonged to an elite. For an insecure person, that can be like an embrace, a form of protection - ironically also protection against reality."

"A Thousand and One Fronts"

Iraq: Since invading armies occupied Iraq last March, the 101st Airborne Division has been fighting for the local population. The model unit of the US occupying force is considered a success at "nation-building" - but it could still lose the day-to-day war.

"Russian Cadavers"

Trade in dead bodies: The scandal about the dealings of Gunther von Hagens, the inventor of "Body Worlds", is spreading: Heidelberg University was deeply involved in the big business with the dead. As dozens of documents demonstrate, the Institute of Anatomy at the renowned Ruprecht Karls University did not spare a thought for ethical scruples in realising the plastination fantasies of its then scientific assistant. Not only did it authorise the sale of plastinated corpses; it also appears to have allowed entire, unplastinated bodies to be put up for sale - for colleagues in the Middle East to practise on, at a price of 3500 marks (men) or 4100 marks (women) a go. For over a decade, the illustrious circle of the university "plastination laboratory" went to every effort to conceal its dodgy deals through which it made millions.

"Fire in the Phial"

Middle Ages: Fountains of youth, elixirs, transmutation - a researcher has succeeded in deciphering Europe's most famous book of magic. Twenty copies of the treatise "Splendor Solis" have turned up so far. But who wrote it? Until now, neither the author nor the artist have been identified. Now at last there is a lead. Equipped with patience and a magnifying glass, the Berlin art historian Jörg Völlnagel, 36, has been studying "one of the most important secular codices". He has found that the book of magic originated in the region of Augsburg; the "original" was written in 1531/32; and the drawings were painted by Jörg Breu the Elder, known for his blasphemous attacks against the church and the state.

"Message from the Realm of Dreams"

Sleep research: A Heidelberg sports scientist is convinced that football players and golfers can train in their dreams. The only requirement is that they must know they are dreaming. The fact that things we learn can be reinforced overnight is regarded as being a well-established truth. Neuroscientists have proved that people are better able to solve tricky problems if they get a good night's sleep after their first encounter with the problem. This effect is attributed to the general strengthening of memory impressions while sleeping. The sports scientist is going a step further: once a dreamer takes control of his night-time mental movie, he should be able to deliberately practise. Again and again, lucid dreamers are encountered in the laboratory who use their special ability for their jobs.

"From Rapunzel to Rainy Season"

Internet: An enormous encyclopaedia is growing on the Internet, the work of volunteers. Thousands are working together successfully, without pay or supervision. The "Wikipedia" is rapidly expanding. The English version already comprises over 200,000 articles; the German more than 50,000. For the most part they cover sound world knowledge. The on-line encyclopaedia costs next to nothing; it is available to the public for free. Novices can start at once; no prior know-how is required. To rewrite an existing article you simply open a text window on your screen, make your changes and you are done. The new version is immediately posted on the Internet.

"Anyone Who Is Afraid Gets Overtaken"

Interview with racing car designer Patrick Head, co-owner of the Williams Team, about revolutionary cars, the fluctuating performance of driver Ralf Schumacher, and the only female chief designer in the men's world of Formula One:

"If you can improve the aerodynamics of a car by just one percent, you have to make use of this advance. ... We don't hide Antonia Terzi. Antonia isn't interested in wasting her time with public appearances. Her job is to make our car faster; and if we are the world champions at the end of the season, she'll make a name for herself that way."

"Traces in the Trash

Doping: The report by a special agent discloses the tricks used by US track and field athletes - an almost perfect system of deception, if those involved were not so talkative. Until now only Victor Conte, the head of the Californian gang of frauds, his deputy Greg Anderson, who coaches baseball star Barry Bonds, and Remi Korchemny, the coach of Kelli White, world champion sprinter over 100 and 200 metres, have been charged; until now, the investigator Jeff Nowitzky is withholding the names of the athletes because he needs them as witnesses. But US President George W. Bush and minister of justice John Ashcroft are personally urging the investigations ahead - so further names and details will soon be published. At the same time, all the achievements of the US athletes, including their future performance at the summer Olympic Games in Athens, will be tainted by the suspicion of drug abuse.


© DER SPIEGEL 10/2004
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