Studio Berlin

The week’s headlines and YOU

Studio Berlin is KCRW Berlin’s weekly show that brings together local journalists, lawmakers and experts to provide you with context and analysis around the issues shaping the news locally and nationally. Tune in to Studio Berlin every Wednesday morning from 10:30-11:00 a.m., repeated Saturdays at 10:00 a.m., on 104.1 FM.

Each week we’ll take a closer look at the events shaping our lives here in Germany’s capital. You’ll hear from hosts Sylvia Cunningham and Sumi Somaskanda as we tackle the issues moving Berlin, Germany, Europe — and YOU.

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Studio Berlin, broadcast Oct. 21, 2020: Germany vs. COVID-19, Round 2: Can we avoid another lockdown?



As novel coronavirus cases skyrocket across Germany and Europe, we talk about what we’ve learned since the start of the pandemic. How can we best stop its spread, what are the new treatments and is a lockdown imminent or even wise?

Host Sylvia Cunningham talks with Christian Karagiannidis, president of the German Society of Medical Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine; Korinna Hennig, science editor and co-host of public broadcaster NDR’s weekly show “The Coronavirus Update”; Thomas Isenberg, health policy spokesman for the Social Democrats’ parliamentary group in Berlin’s House of Representatives; Tom Nuttall, Berlin bureau chief for The Economist; Erik Kirschbaum, special correspondent for the L.A. Times and freelance journalist in Berlin and Dr. Margaret Harris, spokeswoman for the World Health Organization.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Oct. 14, 2020: Is US President Donald Trump running out of time?

This week, we measure the political climate in the U.S. in the lead up to the presidential election. With less than three weeks to go, what’s going on in the nation’s capital? And what special role does the southern state of Georgia? We also explore how the next American president will shape politics on both sides of the Atlantic.

Monika Müller-Kroll talks with Studio Berlin co-host Sumi Somaskanda, who is on assignment in Washington D.C., and Katja Ridderbusch, an Atlanta-based freelance journalist for German and American media outlets. We also hear from Andrew Adair, a lawyer and public-policy adviser based in Berlin.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Oct. 7, 2020: Should children in Germany have more rights?

Do children in Germany deserve more of a say? Should the voting age here be dropped to 14? These ideas are being discussed in Germany as criticism mounts over the way society treats its younger members.

A recent survey by the children’s charity, Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk, or the German Children’s Fund, found a majority believe that children’s interests have been neglected during the coronavirus pandemic. Host Sylvia Cunningham unpacks these findings with Nina Ohlmeier from the German Children’s Fund; 16-year-old Mathilda Gross who is a member of the Children’s and Youth Council at the charity, and Dr. Stephan Gerbig, a researcher and policy adviser for the German Institute for Human Rights.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Sept. 30, 2020: What would you do with an extra 1,200 euros per month with no strings attached? (Rebroadcast)

This week we revisit our discussion on universal basic income. The debate over UBI is not a new one, but it has gotten more attention in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis. A new long-term study on how society would change if people were to receive an unconditional basic income is underway in Germany. The pilot project will involve 120 participants who receive a basic income over the course of three years and hundreds more in a control group who do not.

Host Sylvia Cunningham talks with Michael Bohmeyer, co-founder of the Berlin nonprofit “Mein Grundeinkommen” that is behind the pilot project and Marcel Fratzscher, president of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin. We also hear from Sabine Heißner, who received a basic income from “Mein Grundeinkommen” in 2019; Alan Posener, a Berlin-based journalist and staunch critic of unconditional basic income and Antti Jauhiainen, chairman of the economic think tank Parecon Finland.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Sept. 23, 2020: Can Europe reform its asylum and migration policies?

Two weeks after a fire destroyed the overcrowded refugee camp Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos, asylum policy is high on the EU Commission’s agenda.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition agreed to take in 1,500 additional refugees from Greece — mostly families with children — a decision hotly debated by the opposition in the German Bundestag, as well as civil society. Some critics say the number’s not nearly enough, while others say it’s time for other EU member states to step up.

Host Sylvia Cunningham discusses the current situation on the Greek island of Lesbos and the German aid efforts with NPR correspondent Joanna Kakissis, and Florian Gathmann from the German magazine, Der Spiegel.

We also hear the perspective from politicians from three of Germany’s opposition parties: Gregor Gysi, foreign policy speaker for die Linke (Germany’s Left Party); Luise Amtsberg, deputy member of the Commission on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid from the Green Party; and Nicolaus Fest, a member of the European Parliament from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. And we talk with Miriam Tödter from the Brandenburg-based nonprofit “Wir packen’s an.”

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham. Voiceover by Caleb Larson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Sept. 16, 2020: How connected are Germans really 30 years after reunification?

On Oct. 3, 1990, less than a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, East and West Germany were reunited. Late Chancellor Helmut Kohl called it a “dream come true” after more than 40 years of division. For East Germans in particular, reunification meant access to new opportunity and freedoms, but the process of growing together brought trials and tribulations that sowed animosity between East and West Germans. Thirty years later, what does German unity look like?

Host Sumi Somaskanda discusses the ups and downs of Germany’s transformation with Anke Domscheit-Berg, parliamentarian for die Linke (the Left Party), and historian Ned Richardson-Little from the University of Erfurt. We also hear from Ekkard Bäuerle, who moved from West to East Germany in the late 90s, and Valerie Schönian who was born after the fall of the Berlin Wall and is the author of the book, “Ostbewusstsein.”

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sumi Somaskanda. Voiceovers by Sylvia Cunningham and Caleb Larson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Sept. 9, 2020: Conspiracies in Germany, vigilance in France — What are the latest coronavirus challenges?

Cases of COVID-19 are rising and despite warnings from Berlin to remain alert, a growing number of Germans are pushing back against hygiene and social distancing rules even as their neighbors — the French — embrace those measures to try and avoid another lockdown.

But France also announced a plan to cut COVID-19 quarantines to only one week.

Host Sumi Somaskanda explores how the two European neighbors are dealing with the health crisis with her guests, MP Andrew Ullmann of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), who is on the Bundestag health committee; Eleanor Beardsley, NPR international correspondent in Paris, and Andreas Kluth, columnist at Bloomberg Opinion.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sumi Somaskanda. Voiceovers by Caleb Larson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Sept. 2, 2020: What would you do with a basic income of 1,200 euros per month with no strings attached?


The debate over unconditional basic income is not a new one, but it has gotten more attention in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis. A new long-term study on how society would change if people were to receive a basic income is underway in Germany. The pilot project will involve 120 participants who receive a basic income over the course of three years and hundreds more in a control group who do not.

Host Sylvia Cunningham talks with Michael Bohmeyer, co-founder of the Berlin nonprofit “Mein Grundeinkommen” that is behind the pilot project and Marcel Fratzscher, president of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin. We also hear from Sabine Heißner, who received a basic income from “Mein Grundeinkommen” in 2019; Alan Posener, a Berlin-based journalist and staunch critic of unconditional basic income and Antti Jauhiainen, chairman of the economic think tank Parecon Finland.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham. 

Studio Berlin, broadcast Aug. 26, 2020: Should the word ‘Rasse’ (or ‘race’) be removed from Germany’s constitution? (Rebroadcast)

This show originally aired on July 15, 2020.

This week we revisit a controversial discussion that started earlier in the summer. Amid nationwide and international protests against racism, Germany’s Green Party proposed to change Article 3 of the nation’s Basic Law by removing “Rasse” – in English, “race” – from the text. Proponents of removing the word say it’s linked to Nazi ideology and this change is long overdue. Others say this move is too hasty and would actually harm people of color.

Studio Berlin host Sylvia Cunningham discusses this complex issue with Werner Graf, the chairman of the Greens in Berlin; Martin Fischer, an evolutionary biologist and professor at the University of Jena; Natasha Kelly, a sociologist who focuses on colonialism and feminism; and Anatol Stefanowitsch, a linguist and professor at the Freie Universität (Free University).

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Aug. 19, 2020: Debating Berlin’s Anti-Discrimination Law (Rebroadcast)


This show originally aired on June 17, 2020.

Back in June, Berlin passed a hotly debated anti-discrimination law. It is the first of its kind in Germany and allows victims to pursue legal remedies against state officials — including police — for discrimination related to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and more. But is the new law the panacea its proponents claim or is it villainizing the police as the law’s critics contend?

Host Sumi Somaskanda talks with Armaghan Naghipour, who worked on the new legislation and is the political adviser to Berlin Justice Senator Dirk Behrendt; Niklas Hofmann from the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency and Joseph Hutchinson, an African-American lawyer and co-publisher of DADDY magazine. We also hear from two of the law’s critics: Berlin Police Union Spokesman Benjamin Jendro and Burkard Dregger, CDU parliamentary leader in the Berlin House of Representatives.This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with voiceover by Benjamin Restle.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast Aug. 12, 2020: Back to school amid the pandemic – how is Berlin keeping students and teachers safe?

Berlin schools reopened this week amid fears of a second COVID-19 wave, with about 370,000 students returning to the classroom.

What measures are in place to minimize the risk of coronavirus outbreaks, and how are students, teachers and parents adapting to the “new normal”?

Host Sylvia Cunningham discusses these questions with Professor Olaf Köller, education expert for the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina; Berlin mom Anda Corrie and her 12-year-old daughter Sidonie, and teachers Micah Brashear and Ryan Plocher.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham.  

Studio Berlin, broadcast Aug. 5, 2020: How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted climate change policies and the environment?

With the COVID-19 health crisis still at the top of Germany’s agenda, have climate change policies fallen to the wayside? Or has the pandemic provided a test run in crisis management?

Host Sylvia Cunningham discusses these questions with Clara Mayer, a press speaker for Fridays for Future in Berlin; Jakob Schlandt from the Energy & Climate briefing of the Berlin newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel; and Dr. Kira Vinke, who is a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham.  

Studio Berlin, broadcast July 29, 2020: A closer look at a series of death threats sent to politicians and other prominent figures in Germany


German authorities are investigating a series of death threats sent via email to politicians and other prominent figures.

The threats were signed with the name NSU 2.0, a reference to a neo-Nazi terrorist group. Investigators found that some of the cases of these threats involved data accessed from police computers in the state of Hesse.

Host Sumi Somaskanda discusses the latest development with Melissa Eddy, Berlin-based correspondent for the New York Times; comedian Idil Baydar, who has received death threats via email and phone; criminal lawyer Onur Özata; and Berlin police spokesman, Thilo Cablitz.

Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sumi Somaskanda.

Studio Berlin, broadcast July 22, 2020: Is the party over?

Berlin lifted more pandemic restrictions this week, but the city’s clubs remain closed for the foreseeable future. What does that mean for Berlin’s iconic clubbing culture and the city’s reputation?

Host Sumi Somaskanda talks with Lutz Leichsenring of Clubcommission Berlin, and Matthias Stieler from “One Berlin” about new strategies to keep Berlin’s club scene alive and explores the city’s rich music culture with DJ Sarah Farina and KCRW Berlin’s Brave New Rave host Moderna.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sumi Somaskanda. 

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast July 15, 2020: Should the word ‘Rasse’ (or ‘race’) be removed from Germany’s constitution?

In the wake of nationwide and international protests against racism, Germany’s Green Party wants to change Article 3 of the nation’s Basic Law by removing “Rasse” – in English, “race” – from the text. The conversation is not new, but controversial. Proponents of removing the word say it’s linked to Nazi ideology and this change is long overdue. Others say this move is too hasty and would actually harm people of color.

This week on Studio Berlin, host Sylvia Cunningham discusses this complex issue with Werner Graf, the chairman of the Greens in Berlin; Martin Fischer, an evolutionary biologist and professor at the University of Jena; Natasha Kelly, a sociologist who focuses on colonialism and feminism; and Anatol Stefanowitsch, a linguist and professor at the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University).

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast July 8, 2020: What would Donald Trump’s withdrawal of 9,500 U.S. troops do to NATO and Europe?

 

President Trump’s announcement of a drawdown of American forces from Germany caught German leaders, NATO, and the U.S. Congress by surprise. There’s a bipartisan effort to prevent the White House from following through. What are the chances the U.S. troops will be moved and what’s at stake for American ties with Germany?

Host Sumi Somaskanda talks with retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe; German Coordinator for Transatlantic Affairs Peter Beyer; Deutsche Welle and NPR contributor Teri Schultz in Brussels and Berlin-based journalist Erik Kirschbaum.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sumi Somaskanda.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast July 1, 2020: Is Germany’s ‘Corona-Warn-App’ a success?

 

More than 14 million people have downloaded Germany’s COVID-19 contact tracing app. Before its launch last month, the German government project came under fire over data security and privacy concerns. So does it work? What are users saying? And what questions about the app still need to be answered?

This week, Studio Berlin host Sylvia Cunningham breaks down the pros and cons of the “Corona-Warn-App” with Thomas Leonhardi, spokesman for the software giant SAP; Günter Voß, coordinator of the Senior Computer Club in Berlin-Mitte; Chris Köver, journalist for the website Netzpolitik.org and Svea Windwehr, Mercator Fellow on International Affairs.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham with voiceover by Benjamin Restle.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast June 24, 2020: Will Germany’s EU Council Presidency move Europe forward?

 

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet today are discussing what to do when Germany takes the helm of the EU Council on July 1. The presidency comes at a crucial time as Europe grapples with recovery measures to handle the unprecedented health and economic crisis. What are the expectations and challenges ahead? And what are the other topics on Germany’s agenda during its six-month presidency?

Host Sylvia Cunningham discusses what’s at stake with Andreas Kluth, columnist at Bloomberg and Christian Odendahl, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform; with Christine Pütz from the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung about the foundation’s recent survey on the German view of their role in the European Union and with Lea Nitsch, chairwoman of the “Junge Europäische Bewegung Berlin-Brandenburg” (Young European Movement Berlin-Brandenburg).

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham

Studio Berlin, broadcast June 17, 2020: Debating Berlin’s new anti-discrimination law

 

Berlin passed a hotly debated anti-discrimination law this month, the first of its kind in Germany, that allows victims to pursue legal remedies against state officials — including police — for discrimination related to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and more. But is the new law the panacea its proponents claim or will it lead to a villainization of the police as the law’s critics contend?

Host Sumi Somaskanda talks with Armaghan Naghipour, who worked on the new legislation and is the political adviser to Berlin Justice Senator Dirk Behrendt; Niklas Hofmann from the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency and Joseph Hutchinson, an African-American lawyer and co-publisher of DADDY magazine. We also hear from two of the law’s critics: Berlin Police Union Spokesman Benjamin Jendro and Burkard Dregger, CDU parliamentary leader in the Berlin House of Representatives.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with voiceover by Benjamin Restle. 

June 10, 2020: Will the worldwide, ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests open a new dialogue on racism in Germany and Europe?

 

Host Sumi Somaskanda delves into modern-day discrimination in Germany and its history of racial injustice with Malcolm Ohanwe, journalist for German public broadcaster BR; Larry Olomofe, executive director of PADLINK; Joshua Kwesi Aikins, a political scientist with Afrozensus, and Peggy Piesche, a literary and cultural studies scholar.

Produced by Monika Mueller-Kroll and Sumi Somaskanda. Sylvia Cunningham contributed. 

 

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast May 27, 2020: Soccer is back in Germany, should other countries follow suit?

 

The Bundesliga resumed this month with soccer teams playing to empty stadiums. It’s the first major sports league in the world to restart amid the coronavirus health crisis. But is this a manageable solution in the pandemic era for soccer and other sports? And how are fans reacting to the so-called “ghost games”?

Host Erik Kirschbaum is joined by Alima Hotakie, a broadcast sports journalist at Deutsche Welle, and Claus Vetter, sports editor for the daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. We also hear from two die-hard soccer fans in Berlin and Alexander Fuchs, who is in charge of sport policy at the regional sports federation, the Landessportbund Berlin.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll. 

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast May 20, 2020: How has the pandemic changed Berlin gastronomy, and who are the people protesting COVID-19 measures?

 

Restaurants and cafes are back open in Berlin, but how has the pandemic changed the experience of dining out? And protests against coronavirus-related restrictions, so-called “hygiene demonstrations,” are gaining attention across the country. Who are these protesters and what are they asking for?

Host Sylvia Cunningham is joined by two popular food and restaurant bloggers, Mary Scherpe from Stil in Berlin and Per Meurling from Berlin Food Stories to talk about how the pandemic has changed gastronomy. She also talks with Melissa Eddy, a correspondent in Berlin for The New York Times; Andrea Dernbach from the daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel and Florian Gathmann, who writes for the German magazine Der Spiegel and Spiegel Online, about why people are taking to the streets to protest coronavirus-related restrictions and how the German government is responding.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham.

Studio Berlin, broadcast May 13, 2020: What are the options for leisure travel in the time of COVID-19

It’s high time to book that summer vacation, but what options for leisure travel are there in the time of a pandemic? Is it even safe to travel domestically or internationally? And what will happen to tourism in Berlin?

Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores these questions with Elizabeth Becker, an award-winning journalist and author of “Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism,” travel writer Katherine Alex Beaven, whose articles appear in Fodor’s Travel, Lonely Planet and Travel+Leisure; hidden europe magazine co-founder Nicky Gardner, who is the author of “Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide,” and visitBerlin CEO Burkhard Kieker.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson with assistance from Sylvia Cunningham. 

Studio Berlin, broadcast May 6, 2020: How will the COVID-19 pandemic change Europe’s relationship with Beijing?

 

Lawmakers from across the European Union are urging transparency from China, with growing calls for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus. How will the COVID-19 pandemic change Europe and Germany’s relationship with Beijing? And among the many challenges to globalization, is this pandemic the biggest?

Host Sumi Somaskanda is joined by Noah Barkin, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund and fellow Studio Berlin host; Lucrezia Poggetti, a research associate at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS); and Amrita Narlikar, president of the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA).

This show was produced by Sylvia Cunningham and Sumi Somaskanda with assistance from Monika Müller-Kroll.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast April 29, 2020: How much should Germany rely on contact tracing apps in the fight to contain the COVID-19 pandemic?

 

Developers worldwide are working on contact tracing apps that track the spread of the coronavirus through Bluetooth technology – that means, if you’ve come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you’ll be notified. But how much do these apps actually help, and how much privacy do users have to give up?

Studio Berlin host Sylvia Cunningham is joined by Shashank Bengali, a Los Angeles Times correspondent based in Singapore, Chris Köver, who writes about digital rights for Netzpolitik.org, and Andrea Renda, a senior fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham

Studio Berlin, broadcast April 22, 2020: This week Germany is trying to restart part of its economy and public life, but is loosening restrictions the right way out of the COVID-19 crisis?

 

This week Germany is trying to restart part of its economy and public life, but is loosening restrictions the right way out of the COVID-19 crisis? 

Studio Berlin host Sumi Somaskanda examines Germany’s plan for a gradual return to normality and takes an in-depth look into the medical effort to contain the coronavirus. She is joined by Professor Ulrike Protzer, director of the Institute of Virology at the Technical University of Munich; fellow Studio Berlin host Erik Kirschbaum; Ayten Doğan, who is with the SPD and Berlin commissioner for Integration and Migration, and secondary school teacher Ryan Plocher.

Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sumi Somaskanda.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast April 15, 2020: How are asylum-seekers in the EU faring during the coronavirus pandemic? 

 

Few leaders in EU states agree on what should happen to people who flee to Europe to escape war and poverty.

Studio Berlin host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores this sensitive topic with Joanna Kakissis, an international correspondent whose stories air on NPR and This American Life, and James Kanter, founder and editor of the progressive politics podcast “EU Scream.” We also hear from Jane Wangare, a volunteer with “Women in Exile,” and a female asylum-seeker in the eastern German city of Suhl whose refugee center was locked down because of a COVID-19 threat.

Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, production assistance by Sylvia Cunningham.

Studio Berlin, broadcast April 8, 2020: Faith leaders on celebrating a holy month during lockdown and the mental health ramifications of the pandemic

 

This April is a holy month for Christians, Jews and Muslims that would normally be one in which families and friends gather and people get together to pray. But how can the faithful observe their respective holidays given the COVID-19 pandemic? Also, what toll are the bans, closures and increasing isolation taking mentally on all of us?

Studio Berlin host Sylvia Cunningham gets tips on relieving stress from psychiatrist and head of the Fliedner Klinik Berlin Dr. Mazda Adli and hears from Father Sylvester Ajunwa, the head of the English-speaking Mission of the All Saints Catholic Community in Berlin, Iman Andrea Reimann, the chair of the Deutsches Muslimisches Zentrum (German Muslim Center) and Nina Peretz, a member of the Fraenkelufer Synagogue in Kreuzberg and chair of the non-profit Friends of Fraenkelufer on how they’re managing to uphold tradition, even when they can’t be with their communities.

Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham. 

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast April 1, 2020: Will the historic aid package protect Germany’s economy during the COVID-19 crisis?

Germany has abandoned its balanced budget to soften the blow the pandemic is delivering to the economy. Will this historic aid package get Germany through the crisis? And what is happening on the European level?

Studio Berlin host Sumi Somaskanda discusses the relief efforts with fellow Studio Berlin host Noah Barkin, and DW and NPR contributor Teri Schultz from Brussels. We also hear from small business owners in Berlin about their struggle to survive.

Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with Sumi Somaskanda.

 

Studio Berlin, special broadcast March 24, 2020: Does Germany deserve the accolades it’s receiving for its handling of COVID-19?

German Chancellor Merkel has called the coronavirus pandemic the biggest challenge to her nation since World War II and is receiving praise around the world for her government’s handling of the crisis. But is that praise deserved?

This week, Studio Berlin host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores that question and the impact of COVID-19 on Berlin, Germany and the EU with fellow Studio Berlin host Sumi Somaskanda; the Bloomberg editorial board’s Andreas Kluth, and Henning Hoff of the Berlin Policy Journal.

Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Sylvia Cunningham.

Studio Berlin, broadcast March 21, 2020: Pedaling toward a paradigm shift?

 

In the first six weeks of 2020, five cyclists were killed in road traffic in Berlin, propelling cycling advocates to demand more protection for people on their bikes.

In this episode of Studio Berlin, we take a closer look at the city’s cycling infrastructure and Berlin’s mobility law. When the law came into effect in 2018, it was meant to mark a “paradigm shift” in the city’s transport policies. So where are we now?

Studio Berlin host Sylvia Cunningham is joined by Nikolas Linck, spokesperson for the German National Cyclists’ Association (ADFC) and Julia Jarass, who researches mobility and urban development at the Institute of Transport Research at the German Aerospace Center in Berlin.

Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham with voiceovers by Benjamin Restle and Caleb Larson.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast March 14, 2020: Lockdowns, travel bans and cancellations – what’s being done to contain COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing our lives. This week, Studio Berlin host Sylvia Cunningham looks at where we are in this health crisis and what measures are being taken to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

She’s joined by Dr. Margaret Harris from the World Health Organization (WHO), journalist and fellow Studio Berlin host Erik Kirschbaum, and Klaus Warmedinger, a German business economist who’s been living in China for the past two years.

Produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham.

This photo was taken in January, when German business economist Klaus Warmedinger and his wife returned from their Japan vacation to their home in China, landing in the middle of a rapidly developing health crisis. Photo courtesy Klaus Warmedinger.

Studio Berlin, broadcast March 7, 2020: Facing the gender pay gap in Germany

Despite laws to close the gender pay gap, Germany’s gap remains one of the largest among all EU countries. As Berlin celebrates the second official International Women’s Day, Studio Berlin takes a look at how far Germany has come and speaks with Berlin women who are working for greater gender equality.

Studio Berlin host Nikki Motson is joined by Tina Limbird from the Girls Gearing Up International Leadership Academy, Stefanie Bickert from the Business Professional Women network and Equal Pay Day, and Yvonne Büdenhölzer from Berliner Theatertreffen and the recipient of the 2020 Berlin Women’s Prize for outstanding work to foster gender equality.

This show was produced by Nikki Motson with assistance from Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Feb. 29, 2020: How will the ‘Mietendeckel’ affect Berlin renters and landlords?

This week on Studio Berlin, we talk about Berlin’s five-year rent freeze, which came into effect last Sunday. Will it lead to positive changes for Berlin’s renters, or will it slow down housing construction and scare away new investors?

Studio Berlin host Erik Kirschbaum takes a closer look with Wibke Werner, deputy director of the Berliner Mieterverein, Joel Dullroy, reporter for Deutsche Welle and the producer of a podcast called “Rent Freeze,” and Burkard Dregger, faction leader of the CDU in the Abgeordnetenhaus, the House of Representatives, in Berlin.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Feb. 22, 2020: The Skilled Immigration Act

A new law will go into effect on March 1: the Skilled Immigration Act. Why is Germany in need of skilled workers from non-EU countries and is Germany ready to welcome them?

Studio Berlin host Sumi Somaskanda takes a closer look at Germany’s Skilled Immigration Act with her guests, Michaelle Nintcheu, researcher for the German government’s portal “Make it in Germany,” and Sophia Burton, co-founder of Migration Matters, a non-profit based in Berlin.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Caleb Larson. 

Studio Berlin, broadcast Feb. 15, 2020: What can we expect from Berlinale 2020?

Following the appointment of new leadership, will 2020 be the start of a new era for Berlin’s International Film Festival?

This week on Studio Berlin, host Monika Müller-Kroll discusses the program of the 70th edition of the Berlinale with Meredith Burkholder, creator of Webfest Berlin, and Tom Dorow, co-founder of Indiekino Berlin, an arthouse movie magazine and online platform.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Sylvia Cunningham. 

Studio Berlin, broadcast Feb. 8, 2020: What’s next for Germany’s troubled carmakers?

This week on Studio Berlin: What’s next for Germany’s troubled carmakers? Noah Barkin takes a closer look at the growing challenges for the German auto industry.

There’s Brexit, renewed tariff threats from U.S. President Donald Trump, and Elon Musk’s announcement to build a Tesla factory just outside of Berlin. Join host Noah Barkin, Stefan Nicola of Bloomberg News, Thorsten Riecke of Handelsblatt and Jack Ewing of the New York Times as they discuss the future of German cars.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Sylvia Cunningham. 

Studio Berlin, broadcast Feb. 1, 2020: A closer look at Germany’s abortion law

 

It’s been almost a year since the German parliament voted to amend Paragraph 219a, regarding the advertisement of abortion services, in the country’s criminal code. What does this look like in practice, and what are abortion rights activists and opponents calling for in 2020?

Host Sylvia Cunningham takes a closer look at Germany’s abortion law with Kate Cahoon from the pro abortion rights group, Bündnis für sexuelle Selbstbestimmung, Dr. Alicia Baier from Doctors for Choice Germany, and Dr. Paul Cullen, chairman of Ärzte für das Leben (Doctors for Life).

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Sylvia Cunningham with research assistance and voiceover from Benjamin Restle. 

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast Jan. 25, 2020: Germany’s debate over the future of agriculture

 

Berlin’s Grüne Woche wraps up this weekend, reason enough to take a closer look at the debate over Germany’s agricultural future.

Host Monika Müller-Kroll delves into the recent farmer protests with Prof. Dr. Bernd Hansjürgens, head of the department of Economics at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig. We also talked with consumers and farmers.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Sylvia Cunningham and Caleb Larson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Jan. 18, 2020: Unpacking the European Green Deal

 

It’s being called Europe’s “man on the moon moment”: The European Green Deal is Europe’s ambitious plan to become the world’s first climate neutral continent. The deadline is 2050, and the price tag starts at 1 trillion euros.

This week on Studio Berlin, host Nikki Motson dives into the details of the historic deal with Tim McPhie, European Commission spokesperson for climate action and energy, Karsten Neuhoff, head of the climate policy department at the German Institute for Economics, and Oldag Caspar, climate policy expert at the NGO, Germanwatch.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll  and Nikki Motson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Jan. 11, 2020: What are the big challenges facing Germany in 2020?

 

What are the big challenges facing Germany in 2020?

This week on Studio Berlin, host Sumi Somaskanda discusses the crucial questions of German domestic and foreign policy with Siobhán Dowling, editor at the Berlin Policy Journal, and Andreas Kluth, writer and editor at Bloomberg Opinion.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll .

Coming up on Jan. 11, 2020: What are the challenges facing Germany’s domestic and foreign policy in 2020?

Studio Berlin, broadcast Dec. 14, 2019: Can Klinsmann save Hertha?

 

Hertha BSC has had a tough Bundesliga season so far, but there’s hope on the horizon. German soccer legend Jürgen Klinsmann took over as head coach in late November. Can he save Hertha?

Studio Berlin host Erik Kirschbaum talks about Klinsmann and Hertha’s future with Claus Vetter, deputy sports editor for Der Tagesspiegel, RBB’s managing sports editor Dirk Walsdorff and Kres Harrington, sports reporter for Deutsche Welle.

 

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll  with production assistance from Sylvia Cunningham, Benjamin Restle and Caleb Larson.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast Dec. 7, 2019: What were the biggest news stories of the year?

As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at the important news stories that we’ve covered on Studio Berlin. Our weekly current affairs show launched in June 2019 and since then we’ve produced over 20 shows.

So, this Saturday our main Studio Berlin hosts Sumi Somaskanda, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Erik Kirschbaum discuss some of the big news stories of 2019 that left a mark on Berlin.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll 

Studio Berlin, broadcast Nov. 30, 2019: How secure are Berlin’s Christmas markets?

 

It is Christmas market season in Berlin, a favorite of residents and tourists alike. How safe are these markets three years after the attack at the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market?

Studio Berlin host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson discusses the issue with Deborah Cole, correspondent for the news agency AFP, and city parliament member Marcel Luthe from the Free Democratic Party (FDP). We also hear from the Berlin Police Union spokesman, Benjamin Jendro.

Photos by Benjamin Restle.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, with assistance from Benjamin Restle.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Nov. 23, 2019: Homelessness in Berlin and Germany

 

Germany’s homeless population has increased by more than 4% over the previous year. What’s the reason behind it and what can authorities do to address the issue?

Studio Berlin host Sumi Somaskanda takes a closer look at homelessness and poverty in Germany and Berlin. She is joined by Jutta Allmedinger, president of the WZB Berlin Social Science center and Wilhelm Nadolny from the Berliner Stadtmission, or Berlin City Mission.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll, with assistance from Nikki Motson and Caleb Larson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Nov. 16, 2019: The debate over 5G, Huawei, and Germany’s digital future

 

Could it be one of the most important conversations of the modern era? This week on Studio Berlin, host Noah Barkin delves into the details of Germany’s 5G debate. Why all the fuss about Chinese company Huawei and it’s role in supplying parts of Germany’s 5G infrastructure?

Does the decision against competitors like Nokia and Ericsson end chances for European tech excellence? Is the decision forcing Germany to decide between China and the US? Together with two of the leading experts on 5G in Berlin, guests Janka Oertel and Jan-Peter Kleinhans discuss why this decision could redefine digital autonomy for Europe.

This show was produced by Nikki Motson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Nov. 9, 2019: Building a new Germany after the fall of the Wall

 

How have East and West Germany grown together 30 years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall? This week on Studio Berlin, host Erik Kirschbaum remembers the Fall of the Wall and discusses the making of a new Germany after 1989.

He is joined by Hope Harrison, Associate Professor of History and International Affairs at the George Washington University and author of the book, “After the Berlin Wall – Memory and the making of the New Germany. 1989 to the Present” as well as Günter Nooke, personal representative of the German Chancellor for Africa in the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. Nooke started his political career as a civil rights activist in the GDR with Demokratischer Aufbruch, or Democratic Awakening.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Sylvia Cunningham, Benjamin Restle, and Colin Shea.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Nov. 2, 2019: Music and the fall of the Berlin Wall

 

What was the soundtrack of the late ’80s, shortly before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall? In this episode of Studio Berlin, host Erik Kirschbaum explores the power of music and how it captured the spirit of freedom and united people in East and West Germany.

Erik is joined in studio by Jochen Staadt, leading researcher of the Forschungsverbund SED-Staat at the Freie Universität Berlin. We also hear from Jörg Stempel, worked for the GDR-owned Amiga music label and Tobias Rapp, author of “Lost and Sound: Berlin, Techno and the Easyjetset.”

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Sylvia Cunningham, Ben Restle, and Colin Shea.

 

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast Oct. 19, 2019: As European migration rises again, what are the challenges ahead?

 

Migration to Europe is rising again. In September alone, more than 12,000 refugees arrived in Greece.  This week on Studio Berlin: how is Europe tackling this challenge?

And why can’t European countries seem to agree on a common approach to migration? Host Sumi Somaskanda talks with Emmanuelle Chaze, political correspondent at Deutsche Welle and NPR international correspondent Joanna Kakissis.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Colin Shea.

Show broadcast October 12, 2019: Election in Poland

 

It’s election time in neighboring Poland this weekend. Polish voters will cast their ballots on Sunday for a new parliament.

Studio Berlin host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson discusses the importance of the election and its impact on Europe with Wojciech Szymanski, correspondent for the Polish service of the Deutsche Welle network and Lucasz Pawlowski, managing editor of Kultura Liberalna.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Benjamin Restle and Nikki Motson.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast Sept. 28, 2019: A closer look at the protests in Hong Kong

 

Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong described Hong Kong as the new Berlin – a ground zero for a new Cold War. What does Germany make of Wong’s  comparison? And how do the Hong Kong protests influence Germany’s relationship with China?

Join host Noah Barkin and his guests, American journalist Melissa Chan and Kristin Shi-Kupfer of the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Sept. 21, 2019: What can individuals and businesses do to help reach climate goals?

 

What can individuals and businesses do to help Germany reach its climate goals?

This week on Studio Berlin, host Nikki Motson discusses questions about energy efficiency with Martin Bornholdt from DENEFF, Laurenz Hermann from CO2 Online and Tim Kauermann founder of “Berlin Kann Mehr.”

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Nikki Motson,  with assistance from Colin Shea.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Sept. 14, 2019: The Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

This week on Studio Berlin, we’re talking about the controversy surrounding the Nord Stream 2 pipeline: why some countries are against it and why Germany stands by it. President Trump has called the project a “horrible thing” and the U.S. Congress is taking steps that could lead to sanctions against companies involved in the project.

Host Erik Kirschbaum takes a closer look with American lawyer and political advisor Andrew Adair and Till Bullmann, energy expert at DIHK (Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce).


This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Sylvia Cunningham and Colin Shea.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Sept. 7, 2019: Are we headed for a global financial meltdown?

This week on Studio Berlin we ask the questions – are we headed for a global economic meltdown? And what role do political threats play in the financial turmoil?

Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson discusses the German recession and growing global financial crisis with Marcel Fratzscher, head of DIW, American Berlin-based journalist Noah Barkin and Marc Adam, researcher at the Freie Universität John F. Kennedy Institute.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Aug. 24, 2019: Upcoming state elections in Brandenburg and Saxony

 

On September 1, Brandenburg & Saxony go to the polls in state elections that could be a litmus test for Merkel’s government.

Host Sumi Somaskanda looks into the possible implications of the upcoming vote with Berlin Policy Journal’s editor, Henning Hoff, the DW’s political correspondent Thomas Sparrow, and Krautreporter journalist Josa Mania-Schlegel.

This show was produced by Nikki Motson with production assistance from Benjamin Restle.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast Aug. 17, 2019: Unpacking the Berlin Airport saga

 

This week on Studio Berlin, host Erik Kirschbaum delves into the BER saga.

Berlin’s new international airport is scheduled to open in October 2020. What can we expect and are the past problems history? Erik is joined by Martin Delius, who was the head of the Berlin state parliamentary inquiry into the airport delays and freelance journalist Grace Dobush.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with production assistance from Benjamin Restle.

Studio Berlin, broadcast Aug. 10, 2019: The E-Scooter Phenomenon

 

This week on Studio Berlin, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson delves into the e-scooter phenomenon. Germany officially began allowing e-scooters onto the streets and bicycle lanes in mid-June.

Are e-scooters a key step forward in German e-mobility, or are they a passing fad? Soraya talks with tour guide Jan Katzmarczyk, American journalist Matthew Schofield and German entrepreneur Florian Walberg.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast July 27, 2019: The growing concern over right-wing extremism in Germany

On this week’s episode of Studio Berlin, host Sumi Somaskanda discusses the murder case of CDU politician Walter Lübcke and how it has alarmed the public to right-wing extremism as well as political violence across the spectrum.

Sumi is joined by Till Eckert, journalist with CORRECTIV, criminal attorney Onur Özata and Tarik Abou-Chadi, assistant professor of political science at the University of Zurich.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with production assistance from Arie Burshtein and Caleb Larson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast July 20, 2019: What action is being taken against rising rents in Berlin?

This week on Studio Berlin: What action is being taken against rising rents in Berlin?

Host Erik Kirschbaum breaks down proposals, like expropriating property and the rent freeze (“Mietendeckel”), with Thomas McGath from “Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen” and journalist Grace Dobush who has written about urbanization and the Berlin housing market for Handelsblatt and Fortune.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with production assistance from Léo Bräuer-Potier, Arie Burshtein, and Sylvia Cunningham.

 

Studio Berlin, broadcast July 13, 2019: How will an Afghan peace deal affect women in Afghanistan?

The Taliban peace deal that Washington and Berlin want just became a lot more likely. But what will happen to Afghan women? Will more Afghans flee to Germany?

Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with YAAR Berlin’s Kava Spartak, three Afghan mountain climbers and Afghan psychologist Huma Sherzai.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast July 6, 2019: Summit in Afghanistan

 

In this week’s Studio Berlin, Germany is helping the U.S. reach a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan. But is a deal with the Taliban a good idea?

Studio Berlin host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson will explore the far-reaching effects of a Taliban deal with Der Tagesspiegel’s Andrea Dernbach and JACK’s Daniela Dachrodt.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast June 29, 2019: Inclusion in Berlin schools

In this week’s Studio Berlin, we’ll be taking a look at the debate surrounding inclusion in Berlin schools. In particular, the discussion around children with special needs. How should schools best serve students with additional needs?

Host Nikki Motson will be joined by Eileen Bernardi, the mother of an autistic child and founder of a Berlin support group for parents of special needs kids and Ryan Plocher, a teacher at one of Berlin’s more inclusive schools and a member of the GEW teachers’ union.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll and Nikki Motson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast June 22, 2019: The Rise of the Green Party

This week on Studio Berlin: The rise of the Greens in Germany, an inside look with a longtime Green politician.

Host Erik Kirschbaum is joined by Özcan Mutlu, a Green Party politician in Berlin and former member of the German parliament, and Andreas Kluth, a Berlin-based journalist who was previously the bureau chief of the Economist and editor-in-chief of Handelsblatt Today, to break down the success of the Greens and what it might mean for Germany’s future political landscape.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll.

Studio Berlin, broadcast June 15, 2019: Brexit

 

Seven candidates are in the running to be the next prime minister of the U.K. Who will succeed Theresa May and how will the key players deal with Brexit? What can we expect to see next – new elections, a second referendum?

Our second episode of “Studio Berlin” is all about Brexit, a three year divorce in the making, and how it affects the rest of Europe and Berlin. Host Maisie Hitchcock is joined by Jon Worth, communications consultant for European politicians, and Jan Techau, Senior Fellow and Director of the Europe Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Berlin.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Nikki Motson.

Studio Berlin, broadcast June 8, 2019: Fridays for Future

Young people around the world are taking to the streets to demand action on climate change. What do the Fridays for Future activists want and how are politicians reacting to the movement?

In our first edition of “Studio Berlin” host Sumi Somaskanda talks with Franziska Wessel, a 15-year-old activist from Fridays for Future in Berlin and Jennifer Collins, a reporter and writer who’s been covering climate and environmental stories for Deutsche Welle, among other media outlets.

This show was produced by Monika Müller-Kroll with assistance from Nikki Motson.

 

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