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Käppner, Joachim

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4 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 02/03/2015

Terrorist threat in Germany not to be underestimated

The police in Bremen carried out a counter-terrorist operation with heavily armed security forces on Saturday, acting on suspicions of plans for an Islamist terrorist attack. However information according to which Salafists were in possession of heavy weapons was not confirmed. The left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung praises the work of the police: "So far Germany has been spared terrorist attacks of a scale like that in Paris, partly through pure luck that bombs failed to explode, but above all because of the police's good work. ... As unwise as it is to say that a major attack is inevitable, it's just as unwise to underestimate the danger. The debate often sounds as if the threat only existed in the heads of law and order fanatics. One example is the rejection of data retention laws that would allow the police to trace back with whom a suspect has had phone conversations or email correspondence for several months. But also in the case of the NSU killers, that kind of information would have been useful."

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 23/09/2014

German army too slow in fight against Ebola

The German army, or Bundeswehr, plans to contribute to the fight against Ebola in Western Africa by supplying airlifts and building a military hospital. Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen stressed on Monday that volunteers - above all doctors, nurses, technicians and logicians - are being sought from within the army's ranks. Her appeal makes it clear that Germany is promising more humanitarian aid than it is willing to deliver, the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung criticises: "Although the epidemic has been raging for months, it looks as if Germany is having trouble gathering enough people and resources to help the effected areas. By the looks of it we have no plans and are unprepared for such a humanitarian mission. And that's the Bundeswehr, which is particularly professional in its work with military hospitals. The epidemic is a huge threat, for Africa as well as for the First World. Perhaps much more could already have been achieved if we spent less time immersed in theoretical debates about international responsibility and military missions and put more money and effort into concrete humanitarian aid."

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 13/08/2013

Car toll also for German drivers

Horst Seehofer, the Premier of Bavaria, wants to introduce a toll for foreign cars on German motorways. A praiseworthy initiative, the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes, but why not extend the toll to everyone? "Germany is one of the few states that has no fees or tolls on its motorways. ... But it's unfair when German drivers have to pay for the vignette, or road tax, in Austria, and a kilometre toll in Italy, while travellers from those countries can speed through Germany toll-free. On the other hand just charging foreign drivers, as Seehofer is now proposing, would be highly problematic as far as EU legislation goes, and above all far too short-sighted. Yes, the toll is a good idea - but for everyone, Germans and foreigners alike. ... Quite apart from that, a toll would only make sense when the proceeds aren't just blindly reinvested in road construction. ... The best would be for the money also to benefit alternative automotive technologies, the railways and public transport in cities, as well as bike path networks and car sharing."

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 07/03/2006

Germans as perpetrators and victims

"Rescue and ruin, the limits of justified violence in the attempt to put an end to the violence of those who are committing injustices. 'Dresden', a TV film produced by German TV station ZDF shows all this realistically and without resorting to one-dimensional explanations, Joachim Käppner comments, referring to the TV production about the Allies' bombing of Dresden in early 1945, which has won much acclaim. "Just a few years ago a film project like this would have automatically provoked questions like: Is it permissible to make such a dramatic portrayal of German as victims? Won't this be interpreted as a moral comparison with the crimes that the Germans committed in Auschwitz, Warsaw and Russia? In actual fact there is no danger that this will happen. Even nowadays, it's not unusual for attempts to portray Nazi tyranny in films to end up doing the opposite of what had originally been intended. The evil Nazi or SS officer is an obligatory figure in German films about the war, but quite often he comes over like an extraterrestrial in a world which would be a good one if only there was no war and no Nazis. The two-part film 'Dresden' has avoided trivialising the crimes committed at all costs."

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