#242: Cops vs New Year's and the new FC Union stadium
Lots and lots of Kartoffeln
Hey 20 Percent!
This week is also my favorite German saying: Zwischen den Jahren (between the years). I love it for two reasons — first because it so captures the mood of the final week: a temporary purgatory where little seems to happen. And second because it so goes against an exacting German psyche that demands everything go by the book.
For a week, the German language lets go of constrictions placed on it by the German government and we just hover in the ether, transitioning from last year to next year. A mixture of fever dream and hangover.
Seasons greetings and all that and — to use a phrase popular in primary schools the world over — I’ll see you next year!
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Police vs. New Years Berlin Part 2
The Berlin papers are making it sound like the re-match of the year. The Polizei is planning its “biggest presence in decades” on New Year’s after attacks on firemen and police officers in Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg and elsewhere last Jan. 1, according to Tagesspiegel. The Israel/Palestine conflict is exacerbating existing tensions, Berlin’s head cop, Barbara Slowik, said. What does a big presence look like? Between 2,000 and 2,500 extra officers from Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt as well as the federal police, who will be manning train stations. Three firework-free zones (the Pallast neighborhood in Schöneberg, Alexanderplatz and now part of Sonnenallee) will grant cops extra enforcement powers. Banning fireworks on Sonnenallee is either a fantastic joke or an unwise method of creating unnecessary conflict with the police.
Gentrying Berlin’s other football squad
FC Union Berlin has further expanded a planned expansion of its Alte Försterei stadium in southeastern Berlin to allow 40,000 visitors when complete for the season that starts in the summer of 2026, according to RBB24. Union was long the junior, second-league team to Hertha Berlin, which plays at Olympic Stadium, but their fortunes changed in recent years with Union ascending to Germany’s top league while Hertha tumbled to the second division. But neither has done well this year with Union either at or near the bottom of the top division. They will both play at Olympic Stadium for the 25/26 season as the Alte Försterei is upgraded.
No, not the two dudes from Home Alone
Two “dangerous” convicts remain at large after breaking out of a not-so-secure secure psychiatric hospital in Reinickendorf at 3.30am on Christmas Eve, according to Morgenpost. A 34-year-old man first attacked a nurse with a pan after luring her into his room. He then stabbed a second nurse who came to assist and who is still in hospital. The suspect then absconded with another convict. Both are considered dangerous because of psychiatric issues.
All I want for Christmas is … to learn German
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Potato farmers in Brandenburg harvested nearly 20% (yes, 20%) more potatoes in 2023 than the year before at 351,300 tonnes thanks to favorable weather conditions, according to RBB24. They even surpassed the average from 2017-2022 by 15,500 tonnes. The record holder in potato production last year was Teltow-Fläming county south of Berlin.
🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁