Book look: Mohamed & migration

Controversy is certain as an expert on Islam presents his new book. Hamed Abdel-Samad previously documented the Arab Spring movement and what he describes as Islamic fascism. The renowned author also released “Ein Araber und ein Deutscher müssen reden.”, a collection of e-mail exchanges with television scriptwriter Hans Rath about 21st century culture, faith and extremism. Now Droemer published “Mohamed. Eine Abrechnung”. Abdel-Samad investigates the strong influence of Mohamed’s theses on life in the Arab region but also checks different claims and translations of concerning the prophet’s life. There will be disputes as Abdel-Samad questions the immense force of radical movements. “Mohamed. Eine Abrechnung” also includes highly informative chapters regarding the Koran, Islamic culture and the different sociological developments. Abdel-Samad has been threatened with murder many times for attacking the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic extremists but the 44-year-old former member of the German Islam Conference – whose autobiography “Mein Abschied vom Himmel” was released in 2009 – refuses to remain silent.

Mohamed. Eine Abrechnung
By Hamed Abdel-Samad
Published by Droemer (www.droemer-knaur.de)

Is the German economy depending on migration? How much money is available for asylum seekers? And what about crime figures? A new book is set to clarify some issues in the heated debate regarding migration, xenophobia and terror attacks. Karl-Heinz Meier-Braun, a board member of the German Migration Council, has created a 160-page fact check on subjects like the role of Frontex, international law and accusations concerning the alleged refusal of Turkish migrants to integrate. The honorary Tübingen University lecturer does not just focus on current issues. Meier-Braun also examines developments after the first intense migration movement to Germany after World War Two. He writes about the GDR (DDR) and migratory movements from Europe to the United States. Eventually “Einwanderung und Asyl. Die 101 wichtigsten Fragen” provides a realistic future perspective.

Einwanderung und Asyl. Die 101 wichtigsten Fragen
By Karl-Heinz Meier-Braun
Published by C.H. Beck (www.chbeck.de)

Old home, new views

The amazing oeuvre of an Austrian photographer is now on display at a museum in his hometown.

Robert Haas did a brilliant job in capturing daily life sceneries at markets and on the roads of Vienna. The Jewish snapper had to leave Austria when the Nazis came to power in 1938. He migrated to the United States where he continued working as photography artist.

Haas portrayed personalities like actress Marlene Dietrich and painter Oskar Kokoschka, but the fascinating New York City life photos are the most impressive part of his legacy. Haas also travelled to California, Nebraska and other regions to document life in the US in the 1940s.

For more information about the Wien Museum exhibition “Der Blick auf zwei Welten” (Framing Two Worlds), visit http://www.wienmuseum.at

Book look: Gebauer & Graz

Fair play and fan friendships – but also accelerated commercialisation and outrageous corruption. There are many aspects which seem to dominate global football. While pessimists have already buried their hopes for honest sportsmanship, the number of enthusiastic supporters around the world fascinated by the game seems to increase nevertheless. Gunter Gebauer has attempted to decipher the philosophy of football. On 300 pages, the Free University of Berlin professor analyses the importance of rituals in soccer and examines the enormous effects of the game on fans’ feelings. “Das Leben in 90 Minuten. Eine Philosophie des Fußballs” helps understanding the overwhelming force of emotions felt by supporters after a last-minute victory – or defeat – of their favourite team.

Das Leben in 90 Minuten. Eine Philosophie des Fußballs
By Gunter Gebauer
Published by Pantheon (www.randomhouse.de/pantheon)

Graz is not just the second-biggest city of Austria and the capital of Styria. It has also developed into a popular place for young businesspeople and artists. “Stadtgespräche aus Graz” is a colourful portrait of a vibrant city featuring 40 personal stories. The authors Anita Arneitz and Natalie Resch interviewed a former provincial governor, an ambitious hotel manager and a football legend. Their book lets you find out more about the city’s airport, tradition-rich manufacturing trades and the local theatre scene. “Stadtgespräche aus Graz” is part of a Gmeiner series which also consists of releases about Munich, Karlsruhe, Hamburg and Vienna.

Stadtgespräche aus Graz
By Anita Arneitz and Natalie Resch
Published by Gmeiner (www.gmeiner-verlag.de)

Book look: Duckspeare & Dylan

The title of this new Ehapa Comic Collection publication already indicates its direction. The comic experts of the German publishing house have focused on creating a William Shakespeare-influenced collection of Duckburg stories. In his seven-page foreword, Andreas Platthaus examines the links between the unique English poet’s oeuvre and the adventures of Donald Duck and his mates. Shakespeare – and whoever might have been creative using his name – was just a fantastic storyteller, while the comic characters created by Carl Barks entertain us all. On over 250 pages, “Duck oder nicht Duck. Duckspeares gesammelte Werke” includes “Romussel and Gloria”, a Romeo & Juliet-inspired tale and six other hilarious stories from Duckburg which were initially released throughout the 20th century in Brazil, Italy and Sweden. Peter Daibenzeiher, Gudrun Penndorf and others were in charge of translating Donald’s adventures into German.

Duck oder nicht Duck. Duckspeares gesammelte Werke
By Gudrun Smet-Puknatis, Susanne Walter and others
Published by Ehapa Comic Collection (www.ehapa-comic-collection.de)

2Reclam has published a new edition of Heinrich Detering’s superb Bob Dylan biography. The internationally renowned literature theorist does not just analyse Dylan’s brilliant lyrics – which earned him a Nobel Prize in Literature earlier this year. Detering also describes the many changes in appearance of the unique singer-songwriter. He attempts an examination of Dylan’s mysterious personality and created vivid portraits of each century Dylan has shaped with his music. The book also features live photographs and images showing Dylan in intimate moments in the studio. A photo of Cate Blanchett performing in Todd Haynes’ sophisticated Dylan-themed movie “I’m not there” underlines the enormous influence of the artist on pop culture.

Bob Dylan
By Heinrich Detering
Published by Reclam (www.reclam.de)

Book look: survivors & refugees

Hiding in sercret rooms, using fake identities and depending on the help of loyal friends. “Uns kriegt ihr nicht. Als Kinder versteckt – jüdische Überlebende erzählen” includes 15 portraits of Jewish children who managed to survive the Nazi terror. Tina Hüttl and Alexander Meschnig met them to tell their stories. Hüttl works as reporter for Deutschlandradio Kultur. She was born in Munich but moved to Berlin to focus on journalism. Meschnig comes from Vorarlberg in western Austria. He is based in Berlin. The freelance writer is specialised on a broad range of topics such as labour, consumption and history. “Uns kriegt ihr nicht. Als Kinder versteckt – jüdische Überlebende erzählen” has been released by Piper. The German publishing house recently also presented a very special book about one of the most exciting cities in the world. Actor Rainer Strecker’s “Gebrauchsanweisung für Los Angeles” informs about L.A.’s magnificent museums and its showbiz. Strecker also discloses Americans’ passion for driving. He writes about the reasons for miserable public transport and describes the special feeling of being based in Los Angeles.

Uns kriegt ihr nicht. Als Kinder versteckt – jüdische Überlebende erzählen
By Tina Hüttl and Alexander Meschnig
Published by Piper (www.piper.de)

Fewer people are arriving in Europe and some regions might have seen ceasefire – but the refugee crisis is anything but solved. Devastating wars are continuing to rage in several areas while hunger and unemployment are forcing men, women and children to leave their home countries. “Auf der Flucht. Reportage von beiden Seiten des Mittelmeers” is a collection of intense portraits of people on the run by experienced foreign correspondents for Austrian broadcaster ORF. Mathilde Schwabeneder (“Die Stunde der Patinnen”) is based in Rome while Karim El-Gawhary (“Tagebuch der Arabischen Revolution”) observes the Middle East from the ORF office in Cairo. Their book features stories from Lebanese refugee camps and destination points in Europe. They interviewed voluntary rescue units and investigate the problem of slow bureaucratic procedures. The book also criticises the lack of political leadership in the European Union by underlining the difficult situation of refugees who have lost everything.

Auf der Flucht. Reportage von beiden Seiten des Mittelmeers
By Karim El-Gawhary and Mathilde Schwabeneder
Published by Kremayr & Scheriau (www.kremayr-scheriau.at)

Book look: Bulls breakthrough

In times of soaring criticism of commercialisation and exaggerated show elements in football, RB Leipzig has developed into enemy number one for nostalgic supporters. The club founded by a Salzburg-based energy drink producer has shot through the leagues into the upper region of the Bundesliga, Germany’s elite competition.

Now a new book promises a critical and comprehensive analysis of the phenomenon. Saxon journalist Ullrich Kroemer provides detail insights into the rise of the emerging force from eastern Germany. “RB Leipzig – Aufstieg ohne Grenzen” – now out by Verlag Die Werkstatt – describes the first fruitless contact between football managers and Red Bull officials.

Kroemer’s richly illustrated book features a bizarre document revealing the initial attempt of a Saxon football fanatic in getting Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz to invest in the Leipzig area. Furthermore, the author conducted interviews with important figures such as former club officials, a lawyer and ex-captain Daniel Frahn. Kroemer’s oeuvre is convincing as the author is a true expert on the region and developments at RasenBallsport Leipzig from day one.

The only dissatisfying aspect of the book is his lack of distance at some point. There is no doubt that Ralf Rangnick is a brilliant coach and a wise analyst of developments in modern soccer. However, turning the former Schalke 04 boss into a faultless genius who hardly ever makes mistakes in an essay and an interview packed with lukewarm questions is just ridiculous.

RB Leipzig – Aufstieg ohne Grenzen
By Ullrich Kroemer
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (www.werkstatt-verlag.de)

Book look: German soccer & Syria

1From the sensational victory against Hungary in 1954 to the triumph of determination in Rio at the most recent World Cup. A new book reviews the most iconic victories of German football. However, “Mehr als ein Spiel. Das Buch zum Deutschen Fußballmuseum” does not just focus on the positive aspects of the game. The 260-page publication, which is packed with fantastic photographs – also examines low points of Germans’ most popular sport – from dictatorial propaganda to corruption scandals. Developments from the 19th century beginnings to the spectacular Bundesliga of the 1990s until today are essential too. Renowned football journalist Christoph Biermann writes about changes in coaching while Martin Wörner has a closer look at women’s soccer. Another chapter is dedicated to the German Football Museum showrooms. The institution with magnetic effect on soccer enthusiasts recently opened in Dortmund. Articles and essays by Ronald Reng, Ludger Schulze and others as well as interviews with Hamburger SV legend Uwe Seeler, 1974 World Cup captain Franz Beckenbauer, former Bayern Munich defender Lothar Matthäus and 2014 World Cup champ Philipp Lahm can also be found in “Mehr als ein Spiel. Das Buch zum Deutschen Fußballmuseum”.

Mehr als ein Spiel. Das Buch zum Deutschen Fußballmuseum
By Manuel Neukirchner, Hermann Beckfeld, Nils Havemann and others
Published by Klartext (www.klartext-verlag.de)

2An experienced German journalist with a special focus on the Middle East has drawn a vivid portrait of a shattered country. In “Syrien zwischen Schatten und Licht. Menschen erzählen von ihrem zerstörten Land”, Karin Leukefeld provides a profound historical account of the nation’s rocky past – from strong ties with Egypt to the alliance with Iran. However, Leukefeld – who has worked for German television and Swiss radio – also interviewed people she met through the past years. Her book includes stories about retired political officials, human rights activists and young students considering seeking a better life abroad as the violent conflict in Aleppo, Homs and other cities intensifies. We all know how things developed in Syria since “Syrien zwischen Schatten und Licht. Menschen erzählen von ihrem zerstörten Land” was published. No one can truly say whether peace will ever come to the country ever again. This book captures the fascinatingly broad spectrum of ways of life and hints at the chance of a peaceful coexistence of inhabitants of different opinions, sociological background and faith.

Syrien zwischen Schatten und Licht. Menschen erzählen von ihrem zerstörten Land
By Karin Leukefeld
Published by Rotpunktverlag (www.rotpunktverlag.ch)

Book look: brilliant Barca

Ronald Reng is arguably one of Germany’s most gifted writers, not just among those specialised in football.

The author of one of the best – and saddest – books about the sport, a fragile person and depression, the superb Robert Enke biography “Robert Enke. Ein allzu kurzes Leben”, is now in the news with a 250-page publication about FC Barcelona. Fans know that Reng lived there for many years. They are also aware of his love for the English fighting spirit and attitude towards the game.

1“Barca. Die Entdeckung des schönen Fußballs” describes his first encounter with Barca’s passing brilliance in 2001, featuring Markus Babbel and a well-known German rock band front man “talking rubbish about football”. Reng actually decided to relocate to Barcelona after watching them play to study the game and work as freelance writer for German-language papers. “Barca. Die Entdeckung des schönen Fußballs” is a collection of articles about Barcelona’s glorious and bleak years by Reng published by Süddeutsche Zeitung and other renowned papers.

Piper, the publishing house responsible for this release, showed lack of fair play by failing to make clear that the book does not consist of new output. However, the articles demonstrate Reng’s enormous capacities as a writer. He is much more than just another sports journalist fascinated by a brilliant team.

“Barca. Die Entdeckung des schönen Fußballs” features essays about the copycat methods of the Spanish national team and portraits of different people of importance regarding the Barca myth – from former managers to players and an economist and close friend of Pep Guardiola. Reng also compared the legendary coach and Luis Enrique, his former teammate and current manager.

The author of “Spieltage. Die andere Geschichte der Bundesliga” also examines the decline of quality in Barca’s game following the bright era shaped by Romario and manager Johan Cruyff. He analyses why it all went wrong in the end when Deco became ignorant and Ronaldinho chubby. The book closes with tributes to Cruyff following his death and the current team spearheaded by Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

Barca. Die Entdeckung des schönen Fußballs
By Ronald Reng
Published by Piper (www.piper.de)

Rapid vow revenge on Ried

Rapid fans are increasingly optimistic concerning the upcoming league game as their team achieved a draw in the Europa League.21

The Green-Whites face SV Ried at the new Allianz Stadium at 2pm today. On Thursday, the tradition-rich Viennese club’s match against Athletic Bilbao ended 1-1. Two days earlier, captain Steffen Hofmann was finally back on the training pitch. He suffered a serious muscle injury in early October when Rapid got thrashed 2-4 by Ried.

Hofmann is unlikely to be part of the squad today but his approaching comeback may lift the spirit in the locker room following a couple of difficult weeks packed with defeats and disgruntled supporters.

New Rapid coach Damir Canadi recently appealed on his players to communicate more on the pitch. He also urged them to seek faster ways towards the opponent’s box.

For more information regarding the top game of the weekend and both teams, visit http://www.skrapid.at and http://www.svried.at

The Austrian Bundesliga after 18 of 36 rounds:

Altach, 39 points
SK Sturm Graz, 36
Red Bull Salzburg, 34
FK Austria, 34
SK Rapid, 24
Wolfsberger AC, 22
Admira Wacker, 22
SV Ried, 20
SKN St. Pölten, 14
SV Mattersburg, 11