Letter from the Editors: 13th June 2024

71 Years since the East German Uprising


Tonight (Thursday), the Rosa Luxemburg stiftung invites you to a discussion with the Palestinian Knesset member Aida Touma Sliman under the title “We will not be silent and we want to resist this war”. Aida is a member of Hadash. the democratic front for peace and equality. The subject is the escalating situation in Gaza and the region and the impact of the plans of the extreme right wing Netanyahu government for a continuous war and a renewed occupation of the Gaza strip. The meeting starts at 7pm in the rls buildings, Straße der Pariser Kommune 8A. If you want to attend, please register here.

On Friday, it’s our next Palestine Reading Group. This week we will be talking about the effect of the collapse of the USSR on Palestine. You can find the recommended reading here. The Palestine Reading Group takes place every week on either Friday or Sunday. Check the page of Events we organise for the coming dates and discussion topics. If you’d like to get more involved in the group you can join our Telegram group and follow the channel Reading group. The Reading Group starts at 7pm, and there is a meeting for Moderators at 6.30pm open to everyone who’s interested.

On Saturday evening the Irish Bloc Berlin is organising a Soli Céilí for Gaza to raise money for Connecting Humanity, an initiative set up to buy and disseminate eSIMS to the people of Gaza. A céilí is a community dance event, so be prepared to give your best attempt at a jig. We will have instructors but it’s mainly about having the craic so no experience necessary. The Event starts at 5pm at LARK Berlin Holzmarktstraße 15-18. No Irish dancing experience is necessary. The Irish Bloc Berlin is our Campaign of the Week.

Also on Saturday evening, the Jüdische Stimme is showing the film Tantura. Named after a Palestinian village conquered by Jewish forces during the Nakba in 1948, Tantura centers how Tantura residents were massacred and buried in a mass grave. Using archival footage, as well as further conversations with survivors and scholars, the film explores the racism, ethnic cleansing, and repression of memory, which are central to Israel’s founding myth. The film will be shown at the Spore Initiative at 5pm with English subtitles and at 7pm with German subtitles. The second screening will be followed by a discussion panel and Q&A.

On Sunday at 2pm, it’s our latest Political Walking Tour. This month, we will be looking at 71 Years since the East Berlin Uprising. “Risen from ruins,” the anthem starts, “and facing the future.” The German Democratic Republic was founded in 1949, and collapsed almost exactly 40 years later. East Germany left behind some amazing architecture, starting with the broad avenue once called Stalinallee. We will start at the spot where a bronze statue of Stalin stood — today, only Stalin’s ear remains. Our tour will be meeting at U-Bhf Strausberger Platz, at Andreasstraße 46. We will meet at 14:00 and leave by 14:10. The tour will end two hours later at U-Bhf Magdalenenstraße.

On Tuesday at 7pm, in the Museum Neukölln, Dr. Fazila Bhimji will be looking at Namibia in Films. How is Namibia portrayed in movies and what do cinematic images teach us about stereotypes and colonial legacies? During this interactive workshop, participants will view film clips representing Namibia and South West Africa. The overall aim of the workshop in conjunction with the exhibition BURIED MEMORIES is to raise awareness to concepts of stereotypes, ethnocentrism, colonial legacies and self-representation through film. You can read the interview we carried out with Fazila here.

There is much more going on in Berlin this week. To find out what’s happening, go to our Events page. You can also see a shorter, but more detailed list of events in which we are directly involved here.

For your calendars, on Sunday, 23rd June, we are organising the German premiere of the new film Where Olive Trees Weep. From the filmmakers: “Where Olive Trees Weep gives background to the current crisis in Israel/Palestine and brings to light the lives of people we met on our 2022 journey in the occupied West Bank. Their universally human stories speak of intergenerational pain, trauma and resilience.  We hope they touch your heart, stir compassion and understanding, and give rise to a pursuit for justice. For without justice, peace remains an empty slogan.” Entry is free, but places are limited so you should reserve a ticket in advance, you can reserve a ticket on this page but you must be there 10 minutes before the film starts to claim a reserved ticket.

If you are looking for Resources on Palestine, we have set up a page with useful links. We will be continually updating the page, so if you would like to recommend other links, please contact us on team@theleftberlin.com. You can also find all the reading from our Palestine Reading Groups here.

In News from Berlin, Berlin votes more for the CDU and less for the SPD and Greens in the EU elections, TU president refuses to resign for supporting Gaza, and more money for Berlin cinemas.

In News from Germany, AfD trebles its vote amongst young Germans, pollution leads to more dead fish on the Polish border, crop failures in Southern Germany, and further delays to Stuttgart’s controversial new railway station.

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

New on theleftberlin, Nathaniel Flakin asks what is to be done with Die Linke?, in an article written before last Sunday’s French elections, John Mullen looks at the relationship between Macron and Le Pen, John Puntis looks at Labour’s plans for the NHS, we interview Israeli activist Nimrod Flaschenberg about the recognition of Palestine, Ilya Kharkow remembers Tolstoy, Colin Falconer calls for radical unity against the French fascists, Rafael Sergi remembers the Italian Communist Enrico Berlinguer, who died 40 years ago, and Swaggy analyses the Indian elections.

Our video of the week is the trailer for Where Olive Trees Weep, which we are screening on 23rd June in oyoun. Reserve your ticket here.

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

Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board