Andreas Kluth

Should Your Buses, Trams and Trains Be Free?

Like everybody I know in Germany, I bought the so-called 9-euro ticket this summer. Three, in fact — one each for June, July and August. I put the QR codes in my cell phone’s digital wallet, and was free to hop on and off all buses, trams, local and regional trains nationwide. This all-you-can…

Germany Has the Tanks Ukraine Needs. It Must Send Them ASAP

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said it best in a tweet this week: “What is Berlin afraid of that Kyiv is not?” Kuleba and his compatriots, along with their friends all over the world, are celebrating the heroic rout by Ukrainian forces of the Russian invaders in Kharkiv over the…

Putin Wouldn’t Shrink from Starting Chernobyl 2.0 in Ukraine

The history of warfare has no precedent for what is happening right now in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. Never before has a nuclear power plant been on the front line of a major war, and indeed a main object of the warring parties’ strategies. How Russia, Ukraine and the rest of the world handle this…

From the Rhine to the Tigris, Rivers Are Warnings

You can’t step into the same river twice, the philosopher Heraclitus said in a different context. If he were alive in the era of anthropogenic climate change, he might add that you may no longer even have that river to step into. And even if you do, you might not want to, because its fluids could…

Germany’s Anti-Digital Law Is a Case Study in Stunting Progress

If you want to know why Europe’s largest economy is a digital laggard — indeed, if you want to know why progress is difficult anywhere — regale yourself with a trip into the fine print of a new German law governing employment contracts. The occasion for the anecdote is a directive from Brussels…

Europe Is Faking Solidarity, and Putin Knows It

The 27 national leaders of the European Union love to extol the solidarity that binds their countries together. Even the words signal destiny. “Union” comes via French from the Latin unus for “one,” and solidarity from solidus for “firm, whole and undivided.” Like a good marriage, the bloc is…

Sweating While Worrying About Shivering

What makes our current situation so unnerving is an outbreak of “non-simultaneity.” At least that’s what I recently heard Robert Habeck, Germany’s energy and commerce minister, tell a gathering of German industrialists. What a big word, I thought to myself. And what a difficult — though…

Germany Should Make English an Official Language

Here’s a great idea that unfortunately won’t become reality any time soon: Germany should recognize English as a second official language. So should most countries, in fact. The idea popped up this month in a 10-point program put forth by the Free Democrats, the business-friendly and liberal…

Ukraine Has Better Heroes Than This Friend of Fascism

Russian President Vladimir Putin must be delighted that Germans, Poles, Israelis, Ukrainians and others are suddenly in each other’s hair about a historical figure named Stepan Bandera. Part of Putin’s web of lies is that Ukraine, a democratic country he attacked without provocation, is…

To Save Ukraine, Slow Down on the Autobahn

Rather as the US is an outlier among developed countries in equating freedom with gun ownership, Germany is almost unique in defining liberty as the absence of speed limits on the autobahn. That mentality, however, is now slamming into the imperative to save energy, which is in turn part of the…