Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies

Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies More than an institute…we're building community! GICS offers German tutoring and small group classes at all levels; Community-building opportunities; Translation services; Resources and referrals.

We are committed to providing outstanding quality in teaching through many years of experience as educators, community scholars, and activists. We are building confidence in every student's linguistic and cultural competencies through a structured learning environment. We are serving every student with empathy, dedication, and enthusiasm.

Operating as usual

Bossy: Is gendered marketing outdated? | DW | 19.05.2020
02/20/2021
Bossy: Is gendered marketing outdated? | DW | 19.05.2020

Bossy: Is gendered marketing outdated? | DW | 19.05.2020

Diet Coke and Coke Zero. Virtually the same product, with different packaging. An example of gendered marketing, which many would argue has had its day. Cristina Cubas gives her view.

02/20/2021
Rap Up: Chooser by EES | DW | 17.02.2021

""Real kings always take care of their queens:" Namibian rapper EES is fighting back against gender-based violence - and has a strong message for all men on how to be part of the solution."

"Real kings always take care of their queens:" Namibian rapper EES is fighting back against gender-based violence - and has a strong message for all men on how to be part of the solution.

"It was no ordinary art deal.The sale of a precious medieval collection by a group of tradesmen to the Prussian governme...
02/17/2021
Medieval treasure, Nazi pressure: Germany struggles to atone for its past

"It was no ordinary art deal.

The sale of a precious medieval collection by a group of tradesmen to the Prussian government in 1935 was notable not only for its treasured contents, but also for its participants.

The sellers were Jewish, a fact that defined their fate in Nazi Germany and hangs over the transaction to this day.

“They know they're under the gun,” Marc Masurovsky, a historian who specializes in plundered art during the Holocaust, said from his home in Washington. “The average position of Jews in Germany as of 1933 is nothing short of dangerous, perilous, fragile and precarious.”

Though historical consensus is clear that state-sponsored Jewish persecution took place from the start of Adolf Hitler’s rule, today three heirs of those very art dealers are struggling to prove just that.

And experts fear a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling could prove a bitter blow not only to those heirs, but also to hundreds of Jewish families seeking restitution from Germany as it struggles to atone for its past."

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/medieval-treasure-nazi-pressure-germany-struggles-keep-demands-its-past-n1257623

The Nazis seized an estimated 20 percent of art in Europe, with scores of items still not returned to the families that owned them.

Two regional ballots next month will mark the unofficial start of Germany’s campaign sprint to the federal election on S...
02/17/2021
A Primer on Germany’s Election Year: Watch the Palette

Two regional ballots next month will mark the unofficial start of Germany’s campaign sprint to the federal election on Sep. 26. That in turn will be the occasion for a new leader to take over from Angela Merkel, after her 16 years as chancellor of the European Union’s largest country and economy. In short: It’s an important year.

Unfortunately, this also means that international readers interested in European politics are in for some confusion and frustration in the coming months. At least that’s my extrapolation from the two other German elections I covered, in 2013 and 2017. How German politics works, what matters and what doesn’t, and how policy might eventually change: All of this is hard to divine, much less convey, especially to “Anglo-Saxons.”

Technically, the German system isn’t uniquely baffling. Austria and Belgium, for example, are also federal states with parliamentary systems, proportional representation, and lots of quirky conventions on top. But the policy machine of Berlin, thanks to its relative weight in the EU and beyond, is seen as more important to suss out than, say, Vienna’s.

The difficulties start with personalities and style. In the U.S., U.K. or France, politicians (with monikers like “The Donald,” “BoJo,” “Jupiter,” etc.) tend to be colorful and the political options (left, right, populist, internationalist) on full display. By contrast, Germany’s mainstream politicians tend to be so drab and woolly you’d think they were doing it on purpose.

They actually might be. Historians such as Oxford University’s Timothy Garton Ash think Germans distrust passion and soaring oratory in politics because it still evokes the Nazi era. “Because of Hitler, the palette of contemporary German political rhetoric is deliberately narrow, cautious and boring,” he’s written.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-02-17/german-politics-is-baffling-here-s-how-to-understand-it

German politics is both important and unfathomable. Here’s a little help.

…"Located near Hamburg's famed but now shuttered fish market, the Hamburger Kunsthalle museum is in lockdown yet its wal...
02/02/2021
Art behind locked doors: How galleries continue to suffer during COVID-19 | DW | 02.02.2021

…"Located near Hamburg's famed but now shuttered fish market, the Hamburger Kunsthalle museum is in lockdown yet its walls are freshly adorned with paintings by Italian master Giorgio de Chirico (1888 to 1978). His dreamlike cityscapes painted between 1909-1919 were a forerunner to surrealism, and can now be enjoyed via a virtual online tour. The exhibition opening was also live streamed to the public.

De Chirico is "the painter of empty spaces, the painter of nightmares in the midst of society," said Kunsthalle museum director Alexander Klar at the opening of the "Magical Reality" exhibition.

Also featuring works by Carlo Carrà, Giorgio Morandi, Alberto Magnelli and Pablo Picasso among other, the show has been made available to the public in the midst of a crisis. Yet countless museums, galleries and exhibition venues around the world are struggling to adapt to the ongoing COVID-related closures."

Museums around the world are struggling to cope under COVID-19 lockdowns. While some have turned to online exhibits, others are doubting whether they can survive.

…"Did Germany perhaps lose sight of its refugees amid the fuss about intensive care units, vaccinations and masks? The a...
01/27/2021
Coronavirus: Germany loses sight of its refugees | DW | 27.01.2021

…"Did Germany perhaps lose sight of its refugees amid the fuss about intensive care units, vaccinations and masks? The answer is yes, says Memet Kilic of the German Council on Immigration and Integration (BZI)."

Amid heated debate about the long-term effects of the lockdown on children, business and the arts, Germany’s refugees seem to have been forgotten.

"There may be some doubts, 70 years later, over the Christian motive of most of the demonstrators in their commitment to...
01/07/2021
Germany, 1951: Solidarity with Nazi mass murderers | DW | 06.01.2021

"There may be some doubts, 70 years later, over the Christian motive of most of the demonstrators in their commitment to the war criminals. True, one of the prominent speakers on January 7, 1951, Dr. Richard Jaeger, described the death sentences against the 28 men as un-Christian. But only a few years later, as justice minister, he made a name for himself as a zealous advocate of reintroducing the death penalty into German law, earning the nickname "Kopf-Ab-Jaeger" (Chop-the-head-off-Jaeger).

For committed Landsbergers like memorial director Manfred Deiler, the "zeitgeist" of 70 years ago still resonates today. "When I look at the polls, how the AfD performs there [the far-right Alternative für Deutschland] and how its slogans hark back to the Nazi era, I would say 20% of the population still clings to this "zeitgeist" from back then."

The protest of 70 years ago was successful. Of the 28 death sentences, only seven were carried out in June 1951 — Pohl and Ohlendorf among them. They were to be the last death sentences on the soil of the Federal Republic.
With the onset of the Cold War, a new era had dawned for the United States. The enemy was now the Soviet Union. From now on, the Germans were allies. And in the following years, this change of course enabled many forrmer Nazis to return to prominent positions in politics and business in the emerging West German postwar republic."

Seventy years ago, thousands of Germans gathered in the Bavarian town of Landsberg to demonstrate against the death penalty for Nazi war criminals. The event shows how little awareness of guilt there was among Germans.

Viele Jahre lang haben sich unsere Klönschnackgruppe und viele Studierende mit mir im Mudrakers Café getroffen. Dies ist...
01/05/2021
Mudrakers Cafe Financial Assistance, organized by Joseph Perkins

Viele Jahre lang haben sich unsere Klönschnackgruppe und viele Studierende mit mir im Mudrakers Café getroffen. Dies ist seit der “shelter-in-place” Anordnung nicht möglich. Hazim Bazian, der Kund*innen seit 2006 jeden Tag im Café bedient, hat große Einbußen unter Covid-19 erlitten, bekommt jedoch keine finanzielle Unterstützung von der Stadt Berkeley. Joseph Perkins, ein Kunde, hat eine Go Fund Me Kampagne gestartet, um das Mudrakers Cafe zu retten. Ich bin Hazim dankbar, uns immer freundlich zu bedienen und uns einen Raum für unsere Treffen zur Verfügung zu stellen, was sehr großzügig ist. Deshalb bitte ich dich, das Mudrakers Café mit einer Spende zu unterstützen (please support the Mudrakers Café): https://gofund.me/2e69d602. Vielen Dank! Ich wünsche mir, dass wir uns bald wieder dort treffen können!

Mudraker's Cafe (2801 Telegraph Ave -Cross Street Stuart) has been in business sinc… Joseph Perkins needs your support for Mudrakers Cafe Financial Assistance

…"First things first: the Nazis didn't invent the Autobahn. Instead, the idea of constructing motorways connecting Germa...
12/08/2020
How German Autobahns changed the world

…"First things first: the Nazis didn't invent the Autobahn. Instead, the idea of constructing motorways connecting Germany's expanding cities after World War I was conceived in the post-war Weimar Republic. The first public road of this kind was completed in 1932, linking Cologne and Bonn. It still exists -- today, it's part of Autobahn 555.
After Hitler rose to power in 1933 he used the Autobahn for political gain, appointing Fritz Todt as "Inspector General of German Road Construction," and tasking him with increasing the Autobahn network.
Todt was behind a jobs creation program which, according to Nazi propaganda, helped eradicate unemployment in Germany. Autobahn workers lived in work camps near their construction sites, though often did not come here voluntarily -- they were conscripted through the compulsory Reich Labor Service (that way, they were removed from the unemployment registry)."

Is there really no speed limit on the Autobahn? It's the one thing everyone wants to know about Germany's freeway network. But there's far more to its history, from the Nazi development project to Kraftwerk to Tom Hanks.

"Germany is to scrap its phonetic spelling table introduced by the Nazis 86 years ago and temporarily replace it with th...
12/04/2020
Zacharias not Zeppelin: Germany to scrap Nazi-era phonetic table

"Germany is to scrap its phonetic spelling table introduced by the Nazis 86 years ago and temporarily replace it with the version the regime abolished because it was “too Jewish”.

The table, in which codewords are assigned to each letter of the alphabet to aid communication and avoid confusion, particularly in radio transmissions and telephone calls, originated in the late 19th century. In 1934 it was adapted by the Nazis who cleansed it of all its Jewish names as part of the regime’s drive to reject all Jews from German life, which culminated in the Holocaust.

“Samuel” was replaced by “Siegfried” to represent the letter S, “Zacharias” became “Zeppelin” for Z, and “David” was switched to “Dora”. The preference was for Nordic names to replace Jewish ones, and where no suitable ones could be found, such as N (originally “Nathan”), an object or placename, such as “Nordpol” (north pole), was chosen instead."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/03/zacharias-not-zeppelin-germany-to-scrap-nazi-era-phonetic-table

Communication aid was altered in 1934 because original version was deemed ‘too Jewish’

Try it, you'll learn a thing, or two.
11/19/2020
Take a tour through Germany and win! | DW | 18.11.2020

Try it, you'll learn a thing, or two.

Take an online tour of Germany in our web special, "Germany's 16 states." From the Alps to the Baltic Sea coast, from the Brandenburg Gate to Cologne Cathedral. Take a look around and take part in our competition.

"Mehr als 176.000 Menschen forderten per Petition vom Bundestag ein Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen, um die Folgen der Co...
10/22/2020
Eine Stunde im Bundestag, die alles verändern könnte

"Mehr als 176.000 Menschen forderten per Petition vom Bundestag ein Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen, um die Folgen der Coronakrise zu mildern. Sechs Monate ist das her. Am Montag wird die Petition endlich im Parlament verhandelt. Kommt jetzt das Corona-Grundeinkommen für alle?

Susanne Wiest kann es kaum noch erwarten: "Ich bin nicht aufgeregt, aber angeregt", sagt die Urheberin der größten Online-Petition, die jemals beim Bundestag eingereicht wurde. Sie zentriere sich vor dem großen Tag vor allem mit Gartenarbeit. "Im Herbst gibt's in meinem Garten immer was zu tun."

Dass es Herbst werden würde, bis ihre Petition endlich im zuständigen Ausschuss des Bundestages verhandelt wird, hätten wohl weder Susanne Wiest noch die 176.000 Menschen gedacht, die sie im März und April unterzeichnet haben.

Damals rollte gerade die erste Coronawelle übers Land. Die wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Folgen der Pandemie zeichneten sich bereits ab. Angestellte wie Selbstständige verloren von heute auf morgen ihr Einkommen, viele ihre Existenz. "Mein erster Gedanke war: Wenn wir doch bloß jetzt schon das Bedingungslose Grundeinkommen hätten!" erinnert sich Susanne Wiest."

https://www.mein-grundeinkommen.de/magazin/petition-corona-grundeinkommen-bundestag?name=nl-content-201022&action=cta1-petition

Mehr als 176.000 Menschen forderten per Petition vom Bundestag ein Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen, um die Folgen der Coronakrise zu mildern. Sechs Monate ist das her. Am Montag wird die Petition endlich im Parlament verhandelt. Kommt jetzt das Corona-Grundeinkommen für alle?

…""The future as an artist is not just linked only to this Kunstkompass ranking," the artist told DW, but "to the possib...
10/20/2020
Otobong Nkanga: The art world's rising star | DW | 19.10.2020

…""The future as an artist is not just linked only to this Kunstkompass ranking," the artist told DW, but "to the possibilities of our existence on this planet for the future."

The 46-year-old, who was the artist in residence in 2019 at Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau museum, has long been interested in the way people have imposed systems of exploitation on land, creating a violent legacy.
A visitor walks through a room dominated by white stone - exhibition by artist Otobong Nkanga at Martin-Gropius Bau Berlin

The outcome of Nkanga's residency is the current Gropius-Bau show, There's No Such Thing as Solid Ground, which explores the interdependent relationship between the human body and the landscape, and how humans ultimately leave their mark on the planet.
However, the artist is not only interested in pointing out emerging deficits, or in exposing simple exploitation. Instead, she is interested "in the complex themes of repair and care," Clara Meister, co-curator of Nkanga's current exhibition at Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau, told DW. "

Currently exhibiting in Berlin, the Nigerian artist has been labeled the top art 'star of tomorrow' by Kunstkompass. In her art, Otobong Nkanga examines human exploitation of land.

…"Life took place mostly at night, she recalled. In the clubs — which back then were called discos — with names like Par...
10/20/2020
David Bowie and West Berlin's '70s and '80s subculture | DW | 29.10.2019

…"Life took place mostly at night, she recalled. In the clubs — which back then were called discos — with names like Park and Jungle. Psychedelic music, live concerts and early morning drinks in one of the gay bars and then on to some Italian restaurant on Kurfürstendam to grab a piece of cake for breakfast.

"There was no closing time in Berlin," Skoda said. Part of the nights of partying were also political discussions. About the then-ongoing wave of left-wing terrorism, about the punk movement and the people squatting in buildings across the city."

Onetime Berlin resident David Bowie's song "Where are we now" is a nostalgic look back at the old West Berlin. But what was the spirit of that town on the frontline between East and West? And what's left of it today?

…"She may only be 30, but Ilwad Elman is already considered one of Somalia's leading voices as the country edges tentati...
10/20/2020
Ilwad Elman awarded German Africa Prize 2020 | DW | 19.10.2020

…"She may only be 30, but Ilwad Elman is already considered one of Somalia's leading voices as the country edges tentatively towards stability. Elman's efforts have led the German Africa Foundation to hand its marquee prize to the internationally recognised expert on conflict resolution, chosen from a shortlist of 30 candidates.

As Somalia descended into civil war at the beginning of the 1990s, her father Elman Ali Ahmed — an engineer by training, as well as an entrepreneur and social activist — had established rehabilitation and apprenticeship schemes for Somali child soldiers and orphans of war-torn Somalia. When Mogadishu became unsafe, Ilwad Elman had to flee to Canada with her mother as a two-year-old. Her father chose to stay in Somalia, but was assassinated in 1996."

Somali-Canadian peace activist Ilwad Elman has been awarded the 2020 German Africa Prize. The German Africa Foundation has confirmed she will be honored later this month in Berlin by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

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2128 108th Ave
Oakland, CA
94603

Close to BART and local bus routes. See web site for more information.

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The Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies distinguishes itself through innovative approaches to the study of German with an emphasis on culture and history.

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Monday 10:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00
Thursday 10:00 - 18:00
Friday 10:00 - 18:00

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(510) 430-2673

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The Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies (GICS) is a progressive community-based and community-supported educational organization, founded in 2006, and directed by Marion Gerlind, Ph.D.

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