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News of the day: battle tank deliveries, shortage of teachers, Holocaust Remembrance Day


The number of conscientious objectors is increasing. The Bundestag commemorates the victims of National Socialism. And a group of experts is calling for more effort from teachers. This is the situation on Friday evening.

the three question marks today:

  • German Tanks to the Ukrainian Front – Is the West Risking Too Much?

  • Shortage of teachers – are educators not working enough?

  • Holocaust commemoration – When should children be educated about German history?

  • 1. Real Danger or Dangerous Reality?

    It's only a small number, but it's an exciting one: According to internal statistics from the Federal Ministry of Defense, 235 active soldiers in the Bundeswehr have subsequently refused to serve with weapons since the beginning of the Ukraine war - that's around 30 percent more in the previous year.

    Many of the later conscientious objectors wrote in the reasons for their applications that they had not expected a real armed conflict when they joined the Bundeswehr.

    Now there is a war in Europe, and it also affects Germany and the Bundeswehr.

    "The dispute over the leopards has revealed a lot," writes the team of authors from SPIEGEL's capital city office in the current cover story.

    "We now know more about the Chancellor's leadership style, but also about the problems, the cracks in relations with Washington, in the Western alliance."

    "Can Ukraine win now?" is the title of the new SPIEGEL.

    The issue is now available digitally and from Saturday at the kiosk.

    The ten SPIEGEL authors reconstructed the chancellor's decision to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

    The results of their research can be told as a heroic story about Olaf Scholz, who, with his perseverance, managed to get the Americans on board.

    Or as the story of a chancellor who only jumps in when there is no other choice.

    "It's true that we didn't let ourselves drift," says Scholz himself.

    The SPIEGEL cover team finds: "Scholz has dragged the matter off, that's small.

    He has sought the protection of the United States, but he obviously does not have much confidence in the independence of Europe.

    On the other hand, the public verdict on the procrastinating chancellor may have been a bit hasty, because he prevailed against Biden.” The danger that Putin would split the West and only choose Germany as a war target because of the leopards was with the tank agreement decreased from this week.

    • Read the current SPIEGEL cover story here: Olaf Scholz and the last taboo 

    And here is more news and background information on the war in Ukraine:

    • The new red line:

      first tanks – then fighter jets?

      Ukraine is demanding exactly that, and some states are open to it.

      What would military aircraft bring in defense against Russian attack? 

    • "Germany is not a war party and will not become one":

      After a controversial statement by Foreign Minister Baerbock, her party colleague intervened in the debate: Germany is not a war party in the Ukraine war, says Economics Minister Habeck.

      Not the only one.

    • “Let them send tanks.

      Russia can use the scrap metal«: Major

      offensives by both warring parties are expected in Ukraine soon.

      Kyiv is pushing for quick delivery of the announced tanks and asking for more weapon systems.

      And what do the people in Moscow say?

    • The quarreling beneficiaries of the tank boom:

      German armaments manufacturers are facing billions in business.

      They are supposed to repair old leopards, produce masses of ammunition and develop new weapons.

      But what can they actually deliver?

      And when? 

    • Find all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine here: The News Update

    2. Against the wall

    Biology, sport, French, math, German, physics, music - there is almost no school subject that someone in my family has not taught at some point.

    I come from a teaching household.

    And therefore I can guess what the following headline will trigger in many teachers: "Expert group demands more commitment from teachers".


    As my colleague Swantje Unterberg from the SPIEGEL Germany department reports today, scientists have presented a plan against the shortage of teachers - almost without taboos.

    Enlarge image

    Teacher in Lower Saxony (symbol image): "Of course there will be headwind from the teachers' associations"

    Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance / dpa

    The Standing Scientific Commission (SWK) recommends, among other things, that educators should work more in the future than before.

    "The part-time rate in teaching is around 47 percent in relation to that of employed people overall (29 percent)," says the 40-page SWK paper.

    If all of the approximately 447,000 part-time teachers were to be increased, there would be more than 200,000 additional full-time positions - "far more than would be necessary to combat the teacher shortage," reports Swantje.

    "If we don't want to crash the system into a wall, teachers have to do even more than they did in the past," says SWK Chairman Olaf Köller.

    There is no alternative to this.

    "Who actually keeps this country going?" asks my situation colleague, SPIEGEL columnist Alexander Neubacher.

    The bakery closes, the post office remains closed and now his newspaper deliverer Mr. Stöhr is also quitting.

    "Did you know that the average weekly working time in Germany is lower than in all EU countries except Denmark and the Netherlands?" writes Alex.

    He wishes everyone, including teachers, »a nice work-life balance.

    But I believe that an economy like ours cannot be run part-time without making losses.«

    • Read the full story here: Expert group demands more effort from teachers 

    3. Fight against right

    On January 27, 1945, 78 years ago today, the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by Red Army soldiers.

    The day has been a day of remembrance for the victims of National Socialism in Germany since 1996.

    "The suffering of six million innocently murdered Jews is unforgotten - just like the suffering of the survivors," wrote Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Twitter.

    Enlarge image

    Bundestag President Bärbel Bas (SPD): “It is important that we tell the stories of all those who were persecuted”

    Photo: Jean MW / Future Image / IMAGO

    Some people would believe that Germany has already dealt with the Shoah enough, said Bundestag President Bärbel Bas today in the Bundestag: "That's a mistake.

    There can be no line of closure.«

    That's why I would like to recommend a story from the new SPIEGEL to you today: My colleagues Maik Baumgärtner, Ann-Katrin Müller, Roman Höfner and Max Hoppenstedt describe a new scene of Nazi hunters in it.

    “Well camouflaged, they follow right-wing extremists online and reveal the identities of ringleaders that the state often cannot find.

    At your own risk,” they write.

    At what age are children actually big enough to learn about the Holocaust?

    Are there any books or films that you think are particularly suitable as a first introduction to one of the darkest chapters in German history?

    Then please write to me at 

    My eight-year-old son wants to go ice-skating with a friend this afternoon – on an ice-skating rink in Dachau, not far from the concentration camp memorial.

    The eastern barracks there will be specially illuminated after dark.

    We'll drive past it on the way home.

    • Read the full story here: How recreational investigators stop Nazis 

    What else is important today

    • The public prosecutor sees no suspicion of criminal behavior by Lindner:

      In October, SPIEGEL reported on questionable real estate financing by the Federal Minister of Finance.

      The Berlin public prosecutor's office then dealt with the case.

      Result of the check: no bribery or acceptance of advantages.

    • Auckland is under water:

      Torrential rain and severe weather have led to flooding in Auckland.

      A concert by Elton John also had to be canceled for safety reasons.

    • Investigators secure 420,000 euros and kilos of gold in the "Reichsbürger" raid:

      In the major raid on the "Reichsbürger" scene, the federal prosecutor confiscated more money than is known.

      According to SPIEGEL information, the circle of suspects has also expanded in the meantime.

    What we recommend at SPIEGEL+ today

    • »... before the debate gets out of hand«:

      A mysterious conference call and the alleged world conspiracy - how the search for the origin of the corona virus turned into a toxic debate.

      And how researchers became hate objects who fear for their lives.

    • Aachen is the perfect city for a weekend trip:

      The distances are short, the sightseeing list is all the longer: Here are the best tips for enjoying art, cocktails and Charlemagne in the just wintry city of North Rhine-Westphalia Westphalia .

    • "This 'reform' combines corrupt interests with extremist ideological interests":

      Benjamin Netanyahu's government is planning special laws that limit the separation of powers.

      Writer Zeruya Shalev warns: Israel's prime minister also wants to use this to slow down his corruption process.

    Which is less important today

    Enlarge image

    NBA professional Dennis Schröder

    Photo: Mark J. Terrill / dpa

    Just now on the basketball court, suddenly arrested as an alleged car thief: the police in Los Angeles

    stopped the German NBA professional

    Dennis Schröder on the way home.

    The Los Angeles Lakers point guard had to step out with his hands up and was briefly handcuffed.

    A friend who was driving the car was forced to lie on the ground at a gas station with his arms and legs spread.

    Minutes later the clarification came: It was a misunderstanding.

    Mini concave mirror

    Here you can find the whole concave mirror.

    cartoon of the day

    And tonight?

    The youth drama »Close«, nominated for the foreign Oscar, has been running in German cinemas since this week.

    In his coming-of-age story, the only 31-year-old Belgian director Lukas Dhont tells of the destruction of a friendship through social pressure - and of rigid ideas about masculinity.

    Enlarge image

    Scene from »Close«: »Our idea of ​​masculinity is very limited and puts a lot of pressure on boys«


    Kris Dewitte / Pandora Movie

    At the center of the story are two 13-year-olds: Léo (Eden Dambrine) and Rémi (Gustav De Waele) grow up in the Belgian province.

    They are used to cuddling and enjoying each other's closeness.

    Her parents think so too.

    But the impartiality with which the two touch each other in public soon causes questions at school.

    "Our idea of ​​masculinity is very narrow and puts a lot of pressure on boys," says Dhont.

    He experienced that himself as a young man.

    "It's drastic when we, as teenagers, realize that the world pigeonholes us." In his films, he tells of what this experience has to do with young people.

    SPIEGEL film critic Lars-Olav Beier wrote a very touching review of »Close«.

    He thinks director Dhont has captured the teenage life, "the brief span of time that can transform us into other people, with a precision and delicacy that is rare in cinema."

    I wish you a nice evening.


    yours, Anna Clauss, Head of Opinion and Debate

    Source: spiegel

    All news articles on 2023-01-27

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