The recent attack on Israel by the radical Islamic group, Hamas, has sent shockwaves around the world. Chancellor Scholz, during his visit to Tel Aviv, expressed Germany's unwavering support for Israel. In a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, he stated, “This visit signifies our commitment to stand with our friends during challenging times. Ensuring the security of Israel and its citizens is of utmost national importance.”
On October 22, an emotional mass gathering took place in Berlin, where thousands of people came together to denounce anti-Semitism and express their solidarity with Israel. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier participated in the event and emphasized the civic duty of protecting Jewish life in Germany. He also acknowledged that terrorism affects people in the Gaza Strip, “whose interests the Hamas only pretends to represent. It is the terrorists who have led Gaza into a destructive, military conflict. We must and will advocate for the protection of civilians; they need humanitarian assistance and humanitarian corridors. This is a matter of humanity.”
Video (in German)
During her Middle East tour, Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited four countries in just three days: Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Egypt. Her primary goal was to foster understanding between all sides and prevent the situation from worsening. In Israel, she reaffirmed Germany's solidarity with the country and emphasized Israel's right and responsibility to protect its population in accordance with international law.
In Jordan, Baerbock pledged an additional 50 million euros in aid for the Gaza Strip, supporting organizations like the World Food Programme and UNRWA. Finally, after extensive behind-the-scenes negotiations, humanitarian aid convoys crossed the Egyptian border into the Gaza Strip, and Baerbock expressed her gratitude to all involved in this humanitarian effort.
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The Frankfurt Book Fair (18-22 October) began with a strong political focus as it coincided with the Hamas terrorist attack. Minister of State Claudia Roth, representing the German Chancellor, strongly condemned the attacks on Israel.
Roth underscored the heightened significance of books and literature during times of war and crisis. She emphasized that literature could aid in processing and understanding the profound experiences, combatting speechlessness, and describing the nearly indescribable. Books, in such times, would play a crucial role in helping people connect and empathize.
The British-American author Salman Rushdie, originally from India, was honored with the 2023 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade on October 22nd. This prestigious accolade acknowledges his unwavering spirit, his celebration of life, and his profound mastery of storytelling.
The 76-year-old Salman Rushdie, who was seriously injured in an assassination attempt last summer, was presented with the award in the historic Paulskirche in Frankfurt.
The celebratory tribute, complete with the awarding of the €25,000 prize, traditionally marks the culmination of the Frankfurt Book Fair (Oct. 18-22, 2023).
Video (in English)
Austrian author Tonio Schachinger received the 2023 German Book Prize for his novel “Echtzeitalter,” praised by the jury for its subtle irony in reflecting contemporary political and social conditions.
“Echtzeitalter,” is a coming-of-age tale centered around Till, a high school student attending an elite boarding school in Vienna. It delves into themes of family disintegration, friendships, first love, and the omnipresence of online gaming in Till's adolescence.
Since 2005, the German Book Prize, presented by the German Publishers and Booksellers Association’s Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading (“Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels”), has annually recognized the best German-language novel of the year. The award totals 37,500 euros, with the winner receiving 25,000 euros, and the other authors on the shortlist each receiving 2,500 euros. The previous year's recipient was Kim de l'Horizon for the novel “Blutbuch.”
In late September, the German research vessel Polarstern concluded its two-month expedition to the North Pole, returning to its home port in Bremerhaven. Under the leadership of Professor Dr. Antje Boetius, Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute, a team of over fifty dedicated scientists investigated the changes in the Arctic.
Explore the Arctic: An Interview with Marine Researcher Antje Boetius (in German)
Record numbers of international exchange students - Germany 3rd in global ranking
Around 370,000 international exchange students attended German universities in the last winter semester, a new record. Germany has thus overtaken Australia in the list of most popular countries for students, and now holds third place in the global rankings, according to the new edition of ‘Wissenschaft weltoffen’.
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The German Federal Cabinet has approved the 2023 Climate Protection Program, a comprehensive strategy aimed at advancing the nation's climate goals for 2030. Through its proposed measures, the government anticipates closing as much as 80% of the current climate protection deficit by 2030, putting Germany on a path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65% compared to 1990 levels.
Germany's ambition is to expedite the shift to renewable energy sources, with a target of achieving an 80% share of clean energy in power consumption by 2030.
While the programme significantly reduces the climate protection gap, it does not entirely close it by 2030, leaving approximately 200 MTCO2EQ to be addressed, primarily in the transport sector. However, this programme represents a substantial step towards achieving greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045.
NATO Conducted Annual Exercise to Safeguard Alliance Territory with Nuclear Weapons (Oct. 16 to 26, 2023)
NATO recently concluded its annual operation, codenamed “Steadfast Noon,” designed to safeguard the European alliance region using nuclear weaponry. This comprehensive exercise featured a fleet of approximately 60 aircraft, including advanced fighter jets, surveillance and tanker aircraft, as well as long-range B-52 bombers. The exercise's primary theater for this year spanned across the airspace over Italy, Croatia, and the Mediterranean Sea, and it involved the participation of 13 alliance members, including Germany.
Solar industry needs hundreds of thousands of skilled workers
The European solar industry is set to experience a surge in demand for skilled workers in the coming years, with a requirement for several hundred thousand additional professionals. As reported by the European umbrella organization Solar Power Europe (SPE), there is a notable need for construction craftsmen specializing in assembly, as well as experts in planning and electrical engineering.
In 2022, the solar sector within the EU generated an estimated 648,000 full-time jobs. According to projections, by 2027, there could be a demand for as many as 1.2 million full-time positions if the current solar energy growth trend persists.
Sanda Bozic, Head of Human Resources for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Baywa r.e., noted, “The ambitious installation targets in nearly all European countries are driving a faster growth in the renewable energy sector, particularly in the field of solar, compared to other industries.”
Digital Magazine: Opportunities - Working in Germany
The Deutschlandticket, introduced precisely 1.5 years ago, has been gaining growing popularity. Priced at just 49 euros, this ticket grants you unlimited access to Germany's extensive local and regional transportation network, including all scheduled buses, subways, commuter trains, trams, and regional trains (RB & RE).
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