Hiberno Goethe: German Irish Conversations: Episode 2: Deike Potzel, German Ambassador to Ireland

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This month Ciarán is talking with the German ambassador Deike Potzel, who, ever since her inter-railing in Europe shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, had an interest in Irish people, history and even its language.   They talk about the Irish border, the ambassador’s growing up in East Berlin and the rise of the far right.   We hear how stereotypes of Germans seem to be the same in Dublin, Singapore or Tehran and about the importance of confronting our past and need for open debates for cultural understanding. 

They talk about the beauty of the Baltic sea, especially the car free picturesque island Hiddensee, Brittas Bay in Wicklow and many great German and Irish writers that inspire Deike, some of them enjoyed particularly with a glass of wine. While she doesn’t miss much specifically from Germany, certainly not Sülze, but maybe cherry jam, East Berlin and the DDR will always be an important part of her identity. 

Authors/Books:

  • Hugo Hammilton: The Speckled People
  • Heinrich Boell: Irish Journal
  • Stan Nadolny: The Discovery of Slowness
  • Daniel Kehlmann: Measuring the world; a wonderful book about Alexander von Humboldt, won many awards; made into a movie)
  • Daniel Kehlmann: Tyll (translated; about Till Eulenspiegel and the 30year-war in Europe)
  • Jenny Erpenbeck: Go, Went, Gone
  • Julie Zeh
  • Dörte Hansen: This House is mine
  • Ferdinand von Schirach: Terror (and many other crime stories)
  • Bernhard Schlink: „The Reader“, made into a movie with Kate Winslet)
  • Lutz Seiler: Kruso
  • Eugen Ruge: In times of Fading Light
  • Wladimir Kaminer: many, many books,
  • Uwe Timm: The invention of curried sausage
  • Peter Schneider: The Walljumper; a guy going back and forth between East and West Berlin in times of the wall)

Some classics – but from the 20th century

  • Hans Fallada: Alone in Berlin, wonderful story about a couple in resistance fight to Hitler)
  • Siegfried Lenz: The German lesson
  • Christa Wolf: Kassandra (and others)
  • Stefan Heym: any of his books
  • Walter Kempowski: any of his books

Musicians:

  • Die Ärzte
  • Die Toten Hosen
  • Paul van Dyck
  • Seed
  • The Boss Hoss
  • Udo Lindenberg
  • Herbert Groenemeyer
  • Marius Mueller-Westernhagen
  • Annenmaykantereit
  • Nena
  • Silbermond
  • Juli
  • Die Fantastischen Vier
  • Sarah Connor
  • Mark Forster

This Podcast dives into the many colours of arts, language and life across cultures. St. Pauli fan and former Düsseldorfer Ciarán Murray and his guests explore the connecting moments of German and Irish life. What do musicians, dancers, artists, writers pick up from either culture? How are they inspired and enriched by the other? For all listeners who like to go and think beyond borders.

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