News from Berlin and Germany: 24th September, 2021

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany


compiled by Ana Ferreira


Berlin election administration counts more absentee ballot applications than ever before

Voting at the kitchen table at home: especially in Corona times, many Berliners seem to enjoy it. With 910,000 absentee ballot applications so far, the election offices have received more than ever before. Election officer Petra Michaelis sees three reasons for the strong increase in interest in postal voting: on the one hand, the pandemic. Then there is the Berlin marathon, on the same day. Finally, Michaelis cites the super election day as the third reason: eligible voters in Berlin would have to fill out up to five ballot papers. Many would rather do this “in peace at home.° Source: rbb

Full steam ahead for cultural workers

The captain, steering culture safely through the crisis. This is the image Klaus Lederer (die LINKE) conveyed on last Monday during a boat trip. With his approach of not only attaching culture in Berlin to the big theatres and opera houses, but also supporting the independent scene and subculture more strongly, Lederer has initiated a paradigm shift. The artists, cultural workers, club operators obviously enjoy a completely different status. The fact that the importance of culture in Berlin’s state politics is once again changing significantly after 2016 became more apparent in the Corona crisis, which strongly hit cultural workers. Source: nd

Humboldt Forum faces charges of colonialism

Even before its opening, the Humboldt Forum in Berlin has faced many controversies. Beyond its building costs, the museum was at the center of debates concerning the value of a replica as well as the colonial-era items there now displayed. For instance, the museum features some 20,000 African and Asian artifacts, which used to be housed in the Dahlem Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art in Berlin. On Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony, with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie, keywords such as transparency, transcultural projects and restitution were at the core of the presentation speeches there held. Source: dw


SPD faces landslide victory in north-east Mecklenburg-

Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) can look forward to the coming Sunday with composure. The latest poll by the election research institute Infratest dimap predicts that the Social Democrats will come out on top in the state elections: according to the poll, they can expect 40 per cent of the vote. The AfD, the second most voted party on last election, holds now only 15 per cent of the vote. Meanwhile, the Left Party (die LInke) is also weakening. In 2016, it held 13.2 per cent of the electorate. Now it can expect just around ten percent. Source: nd

Voting for the first time: “Without inclusion there is no democracy”.

26 September will be a big day for Hannah Kauschke. She will be casting her vote in a federal election for the first time – and she is already 30 years old. She works in an organic supermarket in Nuremberg, and because of her disability, she has a legal guardian. For the first time, she is entitled to vote. Jürgen Dusel, who has been the Federal Government Commissioner for the Affairs of Persons with Disabilities since 2018, compares the arguments of not letting people with disabilities vote with the opponents of women’s suffrage 100 years ago. Source: dw

Bundestag election: several undecideds

According to a survey from the Allensbach Institute, four out of ten voters do not yet know who they will vote for next Sunday. A few days before the Bundestag election, the race to succeed Angela Merkel seems to be completely open. The main problem is that none of the parties offers creative or new solutions to old problems, says German-British historian Katja Hoyer. And it is not only about voting on next Sunday once even after the election it can take a long time to determine who wants to form a government coalition with whom. Source: dw

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