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Message in Bottle Finds Way Home 101 Years Later

But not quite into the hands of Richard Platz

(Newser) - At age 20, Richard Platz tossed a brown bottle into the Baltic Sea. Some 101 years later, it has found its way home, or as close to home as it can get. A German fisherman whose previous wild finds include bombs, torpedoes, and a corpse hauled the bottle out of... More »

Nazi-Art Hoarder, Germany Cut a Deal

Team will spend a year reviewing nearly half Cornelius Gurlitt's stash

(Newser) - Germany and Cornelius Gurlitt, who made headlines last year when his trove of Nazi-era art was uncovered, have hammered out a deal that could send some of the works back to their rightful owners, the New York Times reports. Under the official agreement announced yesterday, government-selected investigators will, over the... More »

Coming to Berlin: Lesbian-Only Cemetery

It will be a space for lesbians to 'live together in the afterlife'

(Newser) - A new burial area for lesbians only is being inaugurated in a two-century-old cemetery in the German capital this weekend. A 400-square-yard area of the Lutheran Georgen Parochial cemetery, established in 1814 in central Berlin, will be reserved as a graveyard for up to 80 lesbians, says Safia association spokeswoman... More »

'Bishop of Bling' Steps Down

Pope Francis accepts Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst's resignation

(Newser) - A German bishop temporarily expelled last year by Pope Francis has now left his post for good. The pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, the Vatican says. Tebartz-van Elst had reportedly spent some $43 million on renovating church buildings, including his own residence, the... More »

WWII Soldier Coming Home, No Thanks to Pentagon

German, France investigate remains after US balks at process: ProPublica

(Newser) - A US Army private killed in World War II is finally coming home, but only because the nation he fought againstGermanystepped up when the nation he fought for—America—didn't want to pursue the matter, reports ProPublica . Lawrence Gordon was killed in Normandy in August 1944 and... More »

Germany Arrests 93-Year-Old Auschwitz Medic

Prosecutors: He played a part in gas-chamber deaths in 1944

(Newser) - Add yet another elderly suspected Nazi to the list of those recently arrested for charges of aiding and abetting mass murder at Auschwitz. A 93-year-old former medic was arrested at his home north of Berlin this week and taken into pre-trial detention, the Guardian reports. Prosecutors say the ex-SS member... More »

3 Auschwitz Suspects Arrested

Germany raids homes of 9 suspected former guards

(Newser) - In a last push to punish Nazi atrocities, German authorities have swooped in on the homes of nine suspected former guards at the Auschwitz death camp. Three men aged 88, 92, and 94 were arrested yesterday in the southern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and are now in a prison hospital, reports... More »

Grocery Workers Open Banana Crates, Find Cocaine

From Colombia with, uh, oops

(Newser) - Police in Germany say they have seized a large haul of cocaine after smugglers apparently made a mistake that sent the drug to supermarkets. Workers at five stores in and around Berlin were surprised to find cocaine packed into crates of bananas on Monday—a total of about 310 pounds.... More »

Merkel Breaks Pelvis in 'Low-Speed' Ski Mishap

Has canceled visits, will rest for 3 weeks

(Newser) - Angela Merkel's posterior is making headlines this morning after she suffered "severe bruising linked with a partial fracture on the left, rear part of the pelvis" after a "low speed" cross-country skiing accident while on holiday in Switzerland, a spokesman said, per the BBC and the AP... More »

WWII Bomb Kills 1 in Germany

Eight others injured at construction site near Bonn

(Newser) - Germany today lost one more person to the Allied bombing campaign of 70 years ago. A construction worker in the city of Euskirchen was killed and eight others injured when a bulldozer hit a buried bomb at a dig site, reports the AP . It's not unusual to unearth unexploded... More »

Greece Gunmen Fire at German Envoy's Home

No one hurt in attack

(Newser) - A hail of gunfire hit the residence of the German ambassador in Greece early this morning, but no one was hurt, police say. Six people have been detained for questioning and released, the AP reports; no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the New York Times notes. Some 60... More »

Anne Frank's 'Tree' Is Stolen

Sapling grown from original is cut down in Germany

(Newser) - One of the saplings grown from Anne Frank's beloved chestnut tree has been cut down and stolen, reports the Jerusalem Post . Someone felled the 8-foot tree that had been planted outside the Anne Frank School in Frankurt, Germany, at some point over the last week. It was one of... More »

'Nazi Shazam' App Combats Far-Right Music

Germany clamps down on banned songs

(Newser) - Want to stop neo-Nazis using music to spread hate? There's now an app for that. Police in Germany have developed a app dubbed "Nazi Shazam" which can detect banned far-right songs within seconds, Der Spiegel reports. The country's authorities have identified more than a thousand songs with... More »

German Cop May Have Killed Man, Eaten Him

Two men met on cannibal website

(Newser) - A police officer in eastern Germany may have eaten parts of a man he allegedly murdered after the pair met on a cannibalism website. Police found remains of the 59-year-old victim on the officer's property in Saxony, der Spiegel reports via the tabloid Bild. "The agreement (between the... More »

German Town Clears Out to Defuse 4K-lb. WWII Bomb

20K leave city of Dortmund when unexploded ordnance found

(Newser) - More than 20,000 people are being evacuated from their homes in the west German city of Dortmund as authorities prepare to defuse a massive bomb left over from World War II. The 4,000-pound bomb was discovered after experts analyzed old aerial photographs while searching for unexploded ordnance dropped... More »

Germany Creates 3rd Gender

Baby can be 'indeterminate' at birth

(Newser) - Baby boy or baby girl? As of today, parents in Germany have the option of choosing neither, leaving the gender spot on their newborn's birth certificate blank if the baby's sex can't be determined. As many as one in 2,000 people are born with ambiguous genitalia,... More »

US Picks New Fight With Germany— on Economics

Merkel's camp fires back at Treasury report

(Newser) - As if US-German relations weren't fraught enough already, the US Treasury savaged the eurozone powerhouse in its semiannual currency report yesterday, complaining that "Germany's anemic pace of domestic demand growth and dependence on exports" have hurt the EU's struggling members, and created "a deflationary bias... More »

Europe Storm Leaves 11 Dead

Britain, Denmark, Germany take the brunt of it

(Newser) - A nasty storm killed at least 11 people in northern Europe today while snarling transportation and leaving half a million people without power, AFP reports. The storm's high winds and heavy rains claimed four lives in Britain and three in Germany, mostly from falling trees. On a French island,... More »

Hey, NSA, Enough With the Handyüberwachung

That's German for spying on cell phones, writes Roger Cohen

(Newser) - Word of the day comes courtesy of Roger Cohen at the New York Times : handyüberwachung. The Germans coined it to describe spying on cell phone calls, and it's been in heavy rotation of late given allegations that the US eavesdropped on Chancellor Angela Merkel's personal calls. She... More »

Germany Wants the UN to Hamper NSA Spying

Merkel's government goes into overdrive to counter US efforts

(Newser) - Germany is not reacting kindly to revelations that the NSA may have tapped Angela Merkel's phone . Along with fellow outraged NSA target Brazil, it intends to introduce a new UN resolution that would explicitly extend the privacy protections in the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights to communications... More »

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