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Letter from the Editors, 31st August 2023

Anti-war day, how do we fight the repression of Palestinians in Germany, and the far right and antifeminism


Hello everyone,

This evening (Thursday) at 6.30pm, there’s a public meeting: Joint fight against State Repression, but how? with inputs from the Palestine Campaign, the Kurdish movement, BIPoCs for Future, the Campaign for the victims of racist violence (KOP) and a lawyer. Whether it’s the movement for Palestine, Climate Justice or Kurdistan, or the fight against racist police violence – the State is attacking several left-wing  movements at the same time. A “divide and rule” strategy is used to separate them from another. Come and join a discussion in the Mehrgenerationenhaus (Gniesenaustraße 12) about how we can break this isolation. The meeting will be in German, with translation into English available.

From Friday to Sunday, there’s the Situated Economies conference. Situated Ecologies weaves together ecology, art and activism, focusing in on the locality of Berlin. Taking place at the Floating University, it aims to become a space for reflection on climate justice and ecological entanglements in urban environments. Featuring workshops, soundwalks, performances, and collective meals, Situated Ecologies invites artistic and collective constellations to open the space for exchange, storytelling and listening. It is organised by Sonic Tomorrow, who are our Campaign of the Week.

Friday is Anti-War Day – the anniversary of the start of the Second World War. A number of Events have been organised over the weekend, including the following:

On Saturday lunchtime, Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen are organising a Graffiti battle for Expropriation. Show your creativity in the fight for affordable housing. At the large graffiti wall in the Mauerpark near the Eberswalder entrance, the spray cans will be unpacked again this year, and the best logo wins! Come along and join the spraying for a Berlin for everyone. We want to exchange views, sprays and jointly demand: finally implement the referendum! It all takes place between 11am and 3pm.

Spanish football president Luis Rubiales has shown that sexist ideas are still very much mainstream, And far right groups like VOX in Spain and the AfD in Germany are trying to roll back women’s rights even further. On 16th September thousands of fundamentalists, including the AfD’s Beatrix von Storch, will be marching through Berlin. This Monday, the Berlin LINKE Internationals will be meeting at 7pm in Schierker Straße 26 to discuss the Far Right and Antifeminism, and strategies of fighting back. The discussion will follow half an hour planning future activities.

There are many more activities this week in Berlin, which are listed on our Events page – especially so this week. You can also see a shorter, but more detailed list of events which we are directly involved in here.

In News from Berlin, Berlin doctors warn that there will be a shortage of medicines this winter.

In News from Germany, as schools reopenm there is a shortage of nearly 1,500 educators in Brandenburg, the first stage of the law making German citizenship easier has passed, fourth decline in-a-row leads the German economy into recession, Munich authorities crack down on climate protestors, Germany will legalise cannabis, the citizens income which replaced Hartz IV will rise, and prosecutors drop charges against Rammstein singer Till Lindemann.

Read all about it in this week’s News from Berlin and Germany.

New on theleftberlin this week, Hari Kumar looks at Madame Butterfly and charges of cultural appropriation.

You can follow us on the following social media:

If you would like to contribute any articles or have any questions or criticisms about our work, please contact us at And please do encourage your friends to subscribe to this Newsletter.

Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board

Sonic Tomorrow

Querying the place and performance of political action and activism within discourses and practices of the sonic arts.


SONIC TOMORROW is a collective of artists, curators, researchers, and activists seeking to query the place and performance of political action and activism within discourses and practices of sonic arts and experimental musics. Guided by gentle gestures, sensory narratives, and poetic storytelling, the collective centres its practice on collective and participatory listening and sounding experiences that are envisaged as spaces for gathering and reflection.

The collective curates experimental discourse formats, leads workshops, produces work for radio, develops sound installations, and dives into artistic research projects.

On 1st-3rd September 2023, Sonic Tomorrow is organising the event SITUATED ECOLOGIES – sounding ecological entanglements in urban environments. Situated Ecologies weaves together ecology, art and activism, focusing in on the locality of Berlin. Taking place at the Floating University, it aims to become a space for reflection on climate justice and ecological entanglements in urban environments.

Featuring workshops, soundwalks, performances, and collective meals, Situated Ecologies invites artistic and collective constellations to open the space for exchange, storytelling and listening. Focusing on migrant and marginalised perspectives, the three-day festival is envisaged as a gathering of artistic practices and community experiences. Through listening with and sounding urban ecologies, it hopes to expand individual practices into a collective ecosystem, cross-pollinating across diverse communities and spaces.

Register by sending an e-mail to sonictomorrowcollective[at]gmail[dot]com, For latest updates, follow our Instagram @sonictomorrow and click here for event descriptions

News from Berlin and Germany, 30th August 2023

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany


Doctors in Berlin fear again about drug shortages in winter

Many doctors in Berlin fear that medicine could become scarce again in the coming autumn and winter. In a survey conducted by the Berlin Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KV) among 430 practices, 61 percent of the doctors surveyed stated that, in their opinion, the care during the next cold wave would not be sufficient. According to the head of the Berlin KV, Burkhard Ruppert, antibiotics, blood pressure medication, fever medication and painkillers as well as asthma medication and eye drops are to be particularly scarce. The Berlin health secretary Ellen Haussdörfer (SPD) said the Senate takes the current survey “very seriously.” Source: rbb24


Students start the new school year, but teacher shortage continues

The new school year begins for over 300,000 Brandenburg schoolchildren. There is an increase of 8,000 children and young people among them. The Ministry of Education announced last Thursday that a total of 1,380 trained educators and lateral entrants had been hired on a permanent basis. This means that around 460 full-time positions have not yet been filled. The Education Minister Steffen Freiberg (SPD) said the shortage of teachers remains an ongoing issue. A good half of the new teachers are 36 years or younger. 958 of the new teachers are women and 422 are men. Source: rbb24

Dual citizenship law passes through German cabinet

The German government voted on August 23 to pass the country’s new citizenship reforms, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) announced. It is expected that such reforms will ease the path to citizenship for non-Germans living and working in the federal republic. Faeser called the reform an “acknowledgement of a modern Germany” which is one of the “most important reform projects of the traffic-light coalition”. She also mentioned that the German government hopes the reforms would encourage long-term residents in Germany to stay and encourage new workers to come and feel welcomed. The bill is likely to be voted in the German Bundestag at the beginning of September. Source: iamexpat

German economy heading for recession

The German economy appears to be headed for a recession. The purchasing managers’ index for the entire private sector – i.e. industry and service providers – fell to 44.7 points from 48.5 points in July, the financial services provider S&P Global announced last Wednesday in its monthly survey of around 800 companies. It was the fourth decline in a row and the lowest value since May 2020, when the corona pandemic kept the economy stagnant. The service sector was decisive for the rapid decline. The service industry barometer fell below the growth threshold – to 47.3 points after 52.3 points in July. Source: faz

“Last generation”: Munich issues a partial ban

A general decree by the city of Munich on “preventive defense against danger” will prohibit future climate protests that take place on the routes used by emergency and rescue vehicles. This was announced by the city administration. Accordingly, protests that are not reported to the district administration department and in which participants stick to the road are prohibited. Violations can result in a fine of up to 3,000 euros. The reason for the decision: during climate protests last Friday in Munich, two emergency vehicles got stuck in the traffic jam caused by blockade actions. Source: br

Legalising weed in Germany

It’s finally happening. After years of discussion, Germany is moving forward with some sort of legalisation of cannabis. The government plans to have the new legislation by early 2024. Nevertheless, smoking in the presence of minors, or close to schools or playgrounds will not be allowed, among other prohibitions. Exberliner points out that the black market might go on being a reality. For instance, the USA has legalised weed to an even greater extent than Germany, but the black market there still represents 75% of sales. On the other hand, in Canada, where restrictions are especially light, only 4% of pot smokers acquire their weed from illegal sources. Source: exberliner

Bürgergeld raise

The standard rates of the citizens’ income (Bürgergeld) will increase on 1 January 2024, as announced by Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD). The monthly amount for a single adult will increase from 502 to 563 euros. According to Heil, the increase in the standard rates is due to the fact that, with the introduction of the citizens’ income, the calculation method was changed in such a way inflation is taken into account as well as to ensure participation in social life. The citizens’ income replaced Hartz IV benefits at the beginning of the year. Source: taz

Rammstein singer’s sexual assault probe dropped

Germany has dropped investigations against Rammstein singer Till Lindemann, the Berlin state prosecutor’s office said in a statement last Tuesday. Prosecutors considered initial investigations “did not provide any evidence” of the claims and said as well that law enforcement agencies have yet to receive testimony from any alleged victims of Lindemann’s conduct, meaning that investigators were not able to substantiate the allegations. Regarding Shelby Lynn, a fan who said she suspected that her drink was spiked with a drug at a band’s party in Vilnius, Berlin prosecutors affirmed her testimony remained too “vague.” Source: dw

The problems posed by Puccini’s ‘Madame Butterfly’

Hari Kumar discusses “Madame Butterfly” and how to grapple with charges of cultural appropriation in opera.


I was lucky recently that a relative gave me tickets to the Breganza festival to see ‘Madame(a) Butterfly’ by Giacomo Puccini. This stimulated thoughts on recent views on ‘Butterfly’. For example, that of Oliver Mears, the director at the Royal Opera House:

“We’re all very conscious these days that opera and race have had a complicated relationship and history. There is always a risk, when a Western opera house is portraying a different culture, that it can make missteps.”

After the 1941 attack by the Japanese air force on Pearl Harbor, the opera was banned in the United States until 1946. This suggests it depicted the “enemy Japanese” as having humanity and high morals. And yet: 

“The opera has long been criticized for its portrait of Asian women as exotic and submissive, and the use of exaggerated makeup and stereotypical costumes in some productions has drawn fire.”[1]

This article has three aims: Firstly, to consider Puccini and how he came to write it; Secondly to place it in relation to historical reality; finally, to consider charges of cultural appropriation and stigmatisation.

Giacomo Puccini (22 December 1858 – 29 November 1924) 

Puccini was born in Italy into a family known for producing composers. He had early fame and was considered the operatic heir of Giuseppe Verdi – the great nationalist composer. Stylistically Puccini was influenced by two strands. Firstly the late realistic ‘verismo’ school. This was: 

“a movement in Italian literature and opera (literally, ‘realism’).. influenced by the naturalism of Émile Zola. Verismo was introduced to Italy through the prose writings of Giovanni Verga (1840–1922), (and) his short story set among Sicilian peasants… an alternative to ubiquitous historicist settings of Italian opera.”[2]

Another motivating force for Puccini was internationalism, in the form of Art Nouveau. Applied to Puccini, he displayed in Butterfly: 

“an eclectic selection of national styles… Puccini had read voraciously about Japanese culture, had several meetings with the wife of the Japanese Ambassador and attended performances by the Imperial Japanese Theatrical Company… He incorporated a number of authentic Japanese folk songs into the finished score, made liberal use of the pentatonic scale and employed exotic percussion instruments, including the tam-tam and Japanese bells.”[3]

For his efforts, he was vituperated by right-wing artists alleging he was not nationalist enough.

Supposedly “left wing” artists also criticized him, such as F. T. Marinetti’s Futurists, who in later years became closely linked to the fascist regime.[4]  Puccini himself appeared mostly to have had little interest in broader politics. However, in 1919 he was paid to write the music for a poem by Fausto Salvatori in praise of Italy’s war victories during WW1 – Inno a Roma (Hymn to Rome). Puccini wrote about the poem that it was “a right load of rubbish”.[5]  The music and hymn was not intended for the fascist movement, but they adopted it. It is also true that Puccini hailed Mussolini after the March on Rome, writing that “Mussolini was undoubtedly sent by God for the salvation of Italy.”[6]

In 1923 Puccini met Mussolini twice, seeking support for a national theater. This was before the fascists took control of parliament by subverting the 1924 general election, by when Puccini had died.

The opera Madame Butterfly

Puccini’s mid-career opera Madame Butterfly was completed in 1904. It relies on the world of ‘small things’ and “moments of emotion and pathos”. It originates from a play by David Belasco based on a story by John Luther Long.[7] Its story is simple – if venerably old. Madame Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San) is a 15 year old geisha, who from poverty is sold into a ‘marriage’ with an American naval officer – Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton. But she falls desperately in love with him, before being abandoned with a son. She waits three years in poverty, believing in his return for love. He does indeed return, but it is with his American wife in order to take the son. Butterfly gives up the boy for his future. She then commits suicide by hari-kari with a knife. 

Puccini was struck by the doomed heroine, whose dilemma is the heart of the opera. Underlying the tragedy is the ‘collision of cultures’:

“The underlying theme at the core of the tragic plight of Puccini’s geisha heroine, Madama Butterfly, or Cio-Cio-San, is the collision of cultures… or the incompatibility of Eastern and Western culture, forms the underlying engine of all of those dramas: the result of the white race’s arrogant superiority. The heroines belong to non-European races and fall in love with a white man, essentially offending their own racial customs and traditions; and all of their lovers desert them to return to their native lands.”[8]

Is the story of ‘Butterfly’ historically accurate?

The Japanese economy was forced open by the USA’s Commander Perry in 1853 with his armed naval incursion threatening destruction and demanding the right for trading. ‘Butterfly’, is set in that era. This ushered in the changes resulting in the Meiji “Restoration” dynasty (1868-1912). The USA had been eyeing Japan for some time as:

Japan’s strategic location between California and China made it especially appealing because it could serve as a coaling station for merchant steamships on route to and from China; and for whaling.”

Perry’s kick was part of a chain of events that was to transcend feudalism. As Marx pointed out

“Japan, with its purely feudal organisation of landed property and its developed petite culture, gives a much truer picture of the European middle ages than all our history books, dictated as these are, for the most part, by bourgeois prejudices.”

Four years after Perry’s mission broke the Japanese “isolation”, USA President Franklin Pierce signed a commercial treaty establishing formal trade relations. Shortly, an American naval force was based in Nagasaki Japan, including intelligence surveillance of the Chinese coast. This had huge social repercussions:

“To further encourage friendship with its European and American allies, the Japanese allowed foreigners to avail themselves of Japanese women by providing them with the same legal rights accorded Japanese men: foreigners could enter into temporary marriages with Japanese women with a convenient arrangement whereby the marriage could be terminated on the expiration of the “husband’s” leave.”[9]

Pinkerton, Puccini’s American character, is an expression of Perry-ism. In the opera, Pinkerton brags of his American machoism – with corresponding racist, imperialist toasts: 

“Pinkerton’s aria, “Dovunque al mondo lo Yankee vagabondo” (“All over the world, on business or pleasure, the Yankee scorns danger”), is a sort of male chauvinist ditty about macho American males who travel the world picking, choosing, and conquering women… Pinkerton concludes with a toast to the folks at home, “And to the day of my real marriage to an American wife.”[10]

This aria can be heard as sung by Jose Carreras; or by Richard Tucker with the Metropolitan Orchestra conducted by Max Roach. In the second version, note the opening phrase with its American echo. The predictable, but nonetheless tragic end of Butterfly’s suicide is heralded by a ‘motif’ of a pentatonic theme. Here as seen performed by the Berlin Philharmonic under conductor Mark Elder and as sung by Jana Smitkova (at 2 hr 25 minutes) from 1987. 

Actually the story of Butterfly was repeated endlessly – up to the Vietnam War and beyond. It rings true. But what of the wider political frame? Even there the story of Butterfly also mirrors real events.   

Marx described Japan as a feudal state. But by the 1850s it had entered a stagnation as comparatively progressive pro-democratic forces in Japan wished to further harness the potential of society for profits. By 1869, decrees were passed to abolish feudalism.

How do Marxists view Japan’s ‘Meiji Restoration’? 

Gavin Walker describes how the small warring feudatories had intensified exploitation of the peasantry, raising many peasant revolts:

“One of the motors for the development of the modern Japanese state was the intense agrarian struggle that existed at the end of the Tokugawa system of provincial city-states. That usually came in the form of peasant revolts, which increased radically in number between 1850 and the early 1860s, leading up to the Meiji Restoration of 1868.”

The problem faced by the ruling classes of feudal Japan by mid 19th century was to catch up to the development of Western capital:

“Much of the economic difficulties that Japan experienced during the Taisho period were directly related to its status as a late developer… the oligarchs ruling in the name of the Meiji emperor launched the Meiji reforms in the 1870s to strengthen Japan militarily enough to oppose external pressures from more advanced capitalist countries – ‘to expel the barbarians’.”[11]

This had to be done fast if the Japanese ruling class was to keep power and profits, as Walker explains:

“(Japan) compressed its development into a small space of roughly fifty years from 1868 and the Meiji Restoration, which broke the feudal power of the old Shogunal government and established the route toward a modern state in Japan, to the 1930s. Over the space of fifty or sixty years, Japan passed through the stages of being a dominated or peripheral country with a late transition from feudalism to becoming a very rapidly industrializing country, particularly in the 1880s and 1890s, when enormous investment by the state in munitions manufacturing and heavy industry prompted … modern Japan, which was the turn to imperialism.”

The concrete steps taken were thorough:

“massive industrialization under the slogan ‘fukoku kyohei’ (“enrich the country and strengthen the military”), its goal to match the achievements that England and France had required more than a century to produce.”[12]

“The 1868 Charter Oath eliminated the class restraints characteristic of the centralized feudalism of the Tokugawa period… and erased all legal arrangements that could be identified with feudal backwardness’. The han (feudal domains) were abolished, and administrative prefectures were established, a single Imperial military force… and a conscription law destroying the former division of labour between samurai and commoner; … a single uniform currency, and a major reform in the system of agricultural land taxation..”[13]

However the Meiji Restoration of an Emperor was a sham – by which I mean that the restoration of an emperor to full power was simply to disguise the new rule – of a new ruling class aiming to modernize. The most powerful feudal rulers agreed to re-empower the previously displaced emperor. They then used war to force unwilling feudal potentates to do the same, erecting a constitutional monarchy, but with a theocratic mystical facet of an all-powerful Emperor:

“When, in the Meiji Restoration, the feudal government was toppled, one looked to the authority of the emperor for an ideal of national unity beyond the feudal regional subdivisions. The leaders of the new regime tried to secure their despotic power by giving to the emperor the position of an absolute ruler with spiritual authority and political power. … the maintenance of their despotic power and the stimulation of the free activity of the people, was solved, in the Constitution by divinizing the emperor and making him the supreme arbiter of the rights and duties of the people and, on the other proclaiming that every citizen can accede, according to his abilities, to any position except that of emperor. In this way, 1889 saw the birth of the Emperor System. This … combined a constitutional monarchy … (with) a theocratic system, whereby the authority of the state position to dominate also the inner mind of the people in the name of the emperor as a religious Absolute.”[14]

The class character of the state was that of a dominant capitalism:

“Under the guidance of such a state, Japanese capitalism was driven on along the lines of interest of big business and big industry and on the basis of a landlord system of land ownership. However, in this system, the social and economic antagonism of landowners and tenants, capitalists and workers did not appear except as private disputes. The opposition was palliated and disguised ; and, thus, the interests of the independent producers, the tenants, and the workers were, in fact, crushed.”[15]

The character of the state was the origin of a fundamental divide in Japanese communism. One side – the Rono faction – argued that the bourgeois-democratic revolution was completed. The tasks remaining were now those of socialism. The other side was the Koza faction – which argued the revolution had been incomplete. Both sides agreed that the Meiji Restoration targeted feudalism.  

Reverting to Puccini – Should Butterfly” be amended to modernize it?

While unfashionable in today’s youth, we will not try to argue the virtues of operatic music. However, most opera commentators appear to agree that Madame Butterfly’s music remains captivating. But many people also argue that it reinforces the views of submissiveness of Japanese women. Some have proposed to change the ending so that Butterfly walks out of the final meeting with Pinkerton alive, with her child. 

Yet maybe this ignores the reality that a “Butterfly” then had only three free choices – of which her final choice was to turn her back on the two more submissive options:

“When she faces the realization that she has been abandoned, she faces three alternatives: first, marriage to Prince Yamadori; second, resumption of her former geisha profession, and third, death — her most courageous choice. It is Butterfly’s decision to resolve her conflict through self-annihilation that transforms the story into a grave tragedy that elevates her to the status of a true tragic heroine.”[16]

Another artistic question frequently raised is whether the art of one nation can be expressed fairly, or even adequately – by those not of that nation? For example in “Butterfly’ – should only Japanese or “Asian” performers present it, including Madame Butterfly? 

Speaking personally, this is simplistic and should be rejected in favour of individual approaches. For example, playing blackface evokes the racism of the deep South in the 19th century and is not performed with respect for Black Americans. In Butterfly, the portrayal is of humanity and respect for a culture. While Puccini was unlikely to have fully thought it through, his opera shows an empathy for the suffering of the ‘little character’, the woman so wretchedly treated. 

There are other considerations too – of the skills that a performer needs to have. In Madame Butterfly, the evocation of the despair and the humanity of the themes, is enhanced by the degree of musical accomplishment. If that is present, it perhaps may trump other considerations of the nationality of the singer.

For this viewer, the opera as it stands confirms several things. For example, the imperialist relations of the USA to Japan, the crumbling of feudal society in Japan after Commander Perry’s arrival, the absence of independent rights for women which still endures. Besides which it is a moving depiction, in musical and artistic terms of human – mainly women’s – suffering. 

To conclude: Modernizing the opera – for example changing the ending – is of course a legitimate choice for a director or artist. But the opera in its traditional form is both a true reflection of history, and has an artistic integrity that has proven powerful to audiences.


[1] Javier C. Hernández, “Reimagining ‘Madame Butterfly,”; July 24, 2023; NYT

[2] Dennis Kennedy (Ed); The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance; Oxford, 2003.

[3] Wilson, Alexandra, The Puccini Problem: Opera, Nationalism, and Modernity, Cambridge University Press, 2001; p. 114.

[4] Wilson,.  p. 168; 171.

[5] Wilson,; 2001; p. 187.

[6] Wilson,; 2001; p. 193.

[7] Fisher, Burton D., Puccini’s Madama Butterfly: Opera Classics Library Series, Opera Journeys Publishing, 2001; p. 12-13.

[8] Burton D., 2001; p.15-16.

[9] Fisher, 2001; p.17.

[10] Fisher; 2001; p.17.

[11] Germaine A. Hoston, Marxism and the Crisis of Development in Prewar Japan, Princeton 1986; p.5.

[12] Huston Ibid; p.5.

[13] Huston Ibid; p.5.

[14] Yoshitomo Takeuchi “La Philosophie Japonaise Contemporaine”; Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 1974, Vol. 28, No. 107/108 (1/2), pp. 49-68.

[15] Takeuchi, Ibid.

[16] Fisher., Ibid; 2001; p.14.

Letter from the Editors, 24th August 2023

Festivals for peace in Sudan and sea rescue, and demonstrate against police violence


Hello everyone,

On Saturday it’s the Beyond Borders street festival on sea rescue. For the first time, the Beyond Borders Collective invites you to a street festival focused on civilian sea rescue and safe escape routes. Starting at 11am, there will be a cultural program, lectures, and information booths offered until 9pm. Other collectives such as LGBTQ+ Lesvos Solidarity will participate. It all takes place in Spreewaldplatz near the entrance to Görlitzer Park.

Also on Saturday, the Go Film the Police alliance is organising a demonstration to make police brutality visible as organised violence, and to resist the criminalisation of film. Let us be loud against racist police violence! Let us be loud against everyday harassment and oppression, and organise together! The demo starts at 4pm at the RAW Gelände near S-Bahn Warschauer Straße and ends around 6pm at Oranienplatz.

On Saturday from 4pm, Die LINKE Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg is organising a Beach Party in protest against the closure of swimming pools. In Friedrichshain there is nowhere left to swim, and in Kreuzberg there are fewer opportunities although the Spree runs through the whole city and the quality of its water is getting better all the time. The party is demanding a lido on the Stralauer peninsula. Because of building work on the peninsula, it will be taking place in exile in the Jockel Biergarten.

And on Saturday evening, there’s a Sudan Solidarity Festival for Freedom, Peace and Justice. Sudan Solidarity Festival wants to set an example for peace in Sudan by bringing people together and encouraging mutual exchange! With live acts by solidarity musicians from Sudan and Germany, the festival wants to celebrate the courage of the Sudanese who have been opposing the oppressive military for years. It takes place in the Festsaal Kreuzberg and is our Campaign of the Week.

On Tuesday evening, Extinction Rebellion is organising a walking tour about German colonialism in Wedding. The tour focuses primarily on the everyday historical manifestations of German colonialism in the north of Berlin. It will explore the continuities of German colonial medicine, deal with the numerous colonial acts of violence and scandals and question the understanding of tradition of some Berlin allotment garden associations. It starts at Sprengelhaus, Sprengelstraße 15 at 6pm. The tour will be in German with whispered translation into English.

There are many more activities this week in Berlin, which are listed on our Events page. You can also see a shorter, but more detailed list of events which we are directly involved in here.

Two extra dates for your diary:

  • The Situated Ecologies festival for sounding ecological entanglements in urban environments will be in Berlin next week between 1st-3rd. More information in next week’s Newsletter, but the organisers recommend that you register by 30th August.
  • Next year’s Berlin LINKE Internationals Summer Camp will be in the usual venue – Naturfreunde Hermsdorf – on 29th-30th June 2024. The programme will be developed later this year. If you’d like to be involved, please contact the LINKE Internationals on

In News from Berlin, the Berlin government and real estate developers defy another referendum and prepare to build on Tempelhofer Feld.

In News from Germany, an Islamophobic demonstration follows an attack on a refugee home in Saxony, Germany sees three times as many far right demos as last year, experts find Germany’s plans to tackle climate change to be inadequate, changes to the €49 rail ticket mean fewer rights for travellers, court allows Shelby Lynn to continue her accusations against Rammstein singer Till Lindemann, migration laws are eased to fill Germany’s shortage of skilled workers, and meat production in Germany continues to fall.

Read all about it in this week’s News from Berlin and Germany.

New on theleftberlin this week, Dominic Bunnett looks at ISDS, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement System, the financial treaty which systematizes the exploitation of the Global South.

You can follow us on the following social media:

If you would like to contribute any articles or have any questions or criticisms about our work, please contact us at And please do encourage your friends to subscribe to this Newsletter.

Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board