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The Third Economic Miracle

4/2007 Main Theme The Economy


Europe’s Long Journey


The New Africa


Fatih Akin


The Father Generation


Summer of Art in Germany


Regional Focus

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on the renewed dynamism of the European Union

6 Mathias Bothor/photoselection


A Success for Europe

A review of the German EU Presidency by Europe expert Josef Janning

16 Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin

A continent viewed from the perspective of German foreign policy

Filmmaker and pioneer of new Turkish-German cinema

On nappy changing and parental leave – a closer look at Germany’s new fathers


Reports and articles on regional projects and cooperation

Jörg Ladwig

Documenta, sculpture projects and more in a summer of major exhibitions


40 Upturn 2007

44 Investing in Germany

10 good reasons for choosing one of the world’s most attractive markets

Zeppelin University

Cultural studies specialist Nico Stehr on the foundations of future growth

Leaders and centres of the creative industry


Commitment to Creativity The Voith engineering company has a passion for new ideas

60 Logistics World Champions

Germany is an important hub for the transport of goods in the world economy


Things are moving forward. In the EU, too, the first

Knowledge and Creativity

50 Creative Minds + Regions 56


Imprint, Readers’ Letters

Voith AG



Attractive business location, booming industry – the German economy on course for success


any have been waiting for it for some time – now it has arrived and is discernible everywhere: the economic upturn “made in Germany”. Industry is thriving, exports are booming, the DAX stock-market index is in exceptionally good condition, unemployment figures are falling and tax revenues are rising. For some time, the optimism in the forecasts of the economic research institutes and the statements of the Federal Government has no longer been formulated in restrained and modest terms, but is openly expressed. “I would call it the third economic miracle. The first economic miracle took place in the period of reconstruction after 1945, the second after reunification in 1990. This third miracle is based on our wide-ranging reform process, which represents Germany’s answer to globalization,” says Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. This sustained upturn is not only due to strong contributions from the “usual suspects” in the automobile and engineering industries, but also from a sector that is drawing attention to itself under the name “creative industry”. This is where all those engaged in the fields of art, film, fashion, media, design and lifestyle are likely to feel they belong – in other words, 800,000 not only ingenious, but also revenue-generating creative workers. We introduce a few of the most successful representatives of this group in our special feature on the economy (page 50) – as well as the cultural studies specialist Nico Stehr, who ponders on the sociological aspect of the upturn, on the development of the knowledge society.

six months of 2007 went well, thanks to a highly regarded diplomatic feat by the Merkel/Steinmeier team. Taking stock at the end of the German EU Presidency in the first half of 2007, the Federal Government is able to report that it has overcome EU lethargy and set course for reform. In her review, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel explains to Deutschland what she sees as the groundbreaking results. She puts the “European project” in a nutshell: “Europe stands for respect for human dignity, for solidarity and tolerance, for peace and freedom as well as for democracy and the rule of law. These values also form the guiding principle for European action in the world. They have successfully steered us in the past. I am convinced: Europe shall also succeed in the future on the basis of this awareness.” Peter Hintereder, Editor-in-Chief

Deutschland 3

NEWS EU Quiz in Issue 6/2006

Winner Comes from Ukraine

Biometric Visas

Bundesliga Soccer in 2007/08

Digital Fingerprints Increase Security

World Cup Stars Mesmerize Germany

Fingerprints are unique and unmistakeable and they cannot be transferred to another person. These qualities are utilized in biometrics, the use of biological characteristics to identify individuals – in the service of security. From September 2007 to 2010 biometric visas will be introduced worldwide for travel to the European Union (EU): the foreign missions of the 27 EU members states will collect digital fingerprints from applicants for visas. The German embassies in Damascus (Syria), Kinshasa (Congo) and Ulan Bator (Mongolia) are among the first that will installing fingerprint scanners on the counters of their visa and passport offices before the end of this year. The scanners are like small copying machines that record fingerprints electronically in two minutes without using ink or other chemical substances. As soon as the visa application and the biometric data are available, the information is encrypted and transmitted to a central data store in Germany. When the traveller arrives at one of the EU’s external frontiers, his or her biometric data is retrieved from the central store and checked. The process determines whether the individual is the same person who was granted the visa. All stored biometric data is subject to the strict provisions of European and German data protection law and is deleted again after five years.

Kickoff for the most attractive Bundesliga season of all time: German teams have been reinforced with more top international stars than ever before – headed by record-breaking champions Bayern Munich. After its – by Munich’s standards – disappointing fourth place in the last season, a World Cup winner from Italy and World Cup runner-up from France are now to ensure that the competition will have to look for Bayern “in the league table with binoculars”, as team manager Uli Hoeness put it. Striker Luca Toni came from AC Florence and midfield player Franck Ribéry from Olympique Marseille. German national player Miroslav Klose also moved from Werder Bremen to the river Isar. These three names alone promise football of the highest quality. But the competition has also invested strongly. Current German champions VfB Stuttgart have brought back the Brazilian Ewerthon, who caused a sensation in Dortmund. Bayer Leverkusen have signed up Greek Bundesliga topscorer Theofanis Gekas and 1st FC Nuremberg the Greek European Cup hero Angelos Charisteas. And newly promoted MSV Duisburg have set priorities by signing up Brazilian Ailton – to be seen from 10 August onwards.

The new high-tech procedure is intended to facilitate the granting of visas. It protects against mistaken identity and identity theft and is regarded as an effective instrument against illegal entry and human trafficking, against terrorism and other forms of crime. New biometric visas are being introduced for journeys to the European Union

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Two new players in the red jerseys of FC Bayern Munich: Luca Toni (left) and Franck Ribéry


Which country will hold the EU Presidency in the first half of 2007? That was euro”. one of the four questions in our EU Quiz that led to the winning solution: “e Thousands of participants found the right answer. So the winner was decided by lot: Anna Dowhanjuk from Ukraine has won a trip to Germany for two. Congratulations and welcome! We have named the winners of the 99 copies of the illustrated book Discover Germany on our website:



The Union’s ability to act has been secured on a long-term basis with the Berlin Declaration and the agreement on a Reform Treaty. The Common Foreign and Security Policy and the European Security and Defence Policy were strengthened. In the fields of climate and energy policy important decisions were taken on reducing climate-damaging emissions and increasing the proportion of renewable energies.


Priority was given to strengthening the social dimension of Europe and to competitiveness (e.g. “roaming regulation”, decisions on coordinating social security systems).


Mathias Bothor/photoselection

In the fields of justice and home affairs it is planned to curb illegal immigration in dialogue with the countries of origin and to improve the opportunities for legal migration.

By Federal Chancellor


The new treaty will strengthen the European Union’s ability to act both internally and externally. It will bring Europe closer to its citizens. Institutional reforms such as the transition to the “double majority” system of voting and the reduction in the size of the European Commission will facilitate more effective decision-making. In foreign relations, the new High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will represent the interests of the European Union to the world in a unified way and thereby become its “face and voice”. The advances for citizens are also tangible: the Charter of Fundamental Rights will be legally binding and the new European Citizen’s Initiative will open up further opportunities for active participation in shaping Europe.

The agreement on a reform of the EU treaties is based upon a clear motive: the common will to constantly 6 Deutschland 4/2007

Angela Merkel set herself the goal of strengthening the European Union’s transparency and ability to act

Laurence Chaperon

ith the agreement on a Reform Treaty, Europe has regained new strength. Under the German EU Presidency we have broken the deadlock and jointly set course for a renewal of the treaties on which the European Union is based. As a result, the reform of the treaty will be able to enter into force before the elections to the European Parliament in 2009.

During the German Presidency we also jointly reoriented the scope of the European Union. That includes the strengthening of Europe’s competitiveness. An economically successful Union increases our scope for shaping global decision-making processes. That is why during our Presidency, among other things, we supported a reduction of bureaucracy. We are striving for a 25% reduction in administrative burdens by 2012. That will give businesses new scope for development. A new European payments area will finally enable entrepreneurs and citizens to make future crossborder payments in exactly the same way as within their own country. Additionally, the agreed “roaming regulation” will reduce the cost of using mobile telephones across Europe.

develop Europe anew. The European project will remain worthy of all our efforts in the future. Europe is far more than an economic community. We share common values and goals. Public awareness of this has again been strengthened by the Berlin Declaration of 25 March 2007 on the occasion of the 50 anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. Europe stands for respect for human dignity, for solidarity and tolerance, for peace and freedom as well as for democracy and the rule of law. These values also form the guiding principle for European action in the world. They have successfully steered us in the past. I am convinced: Europe shall also succeed in the future on the basis of this awareness.

Under the German Presidency the European Union also took farreaching decisions in favour of an integrated climate and energy policy. We have jointly set ourselves ambitious targets for reducing climate-damaging emissions and for a secure, efficient and environmentally compatible energy supply. As a result of the renewal of the treaties on which the Union is based, climate protection has now been defined as an environmental policy goal of the European Union. The EU has thereby underlined its aspiration to continue playing a pioneering global role in this area. This signal was not only of great significance for the conclusion of the agreement on climate protection at the G8 summit in Heiligendamm. I am confident that it will also have an impact far beyond that. “Europe succeeds by pulling together” was the motto of the German EU Presidency. Winning stronger support for the project of Eu-

ropean unification among citizens in Germany was also one of my personal concerns. Some two months before the beginning of our chairmanship, 85% of the people surveyed in Germany knew nothing about the forthcoming German Presidency. Today the picture is very different: at 57%, citizens’ approval of EU membership has reached the highest level Europe-wide for ten years. I am as equally pleased about that as I am about Europe’s new-found dynamism.

Under the German Presidency, the European Union has proved that it is capable of reform and can provide solutions to the central challenges. That is how Europe can constantly give us new inspiration.

Dr. Angela Merkel The research physicist was born in Hamburg in 1954 and grew up as the daughter of a pastor in the former GDR. Angela Merkel has been a member of the CDU and Member of the German Bundestag since 1990. She has been Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany since November 2005. In the first six months of 2007 she was head of the Union as EU President. Deutschland 7

and, on the other, the sombre words in the conclusions of the Brussels summit, which state: “The constitutional concept ... is abandoned.”


The key to success is found in the motto of the German Presidency: “Europe succeeds by pulling together.” This was the Federal Chancellor’s formula from the beginning of the year as she worked, through her personal representatives, to prepare a mandate for an intergovernmental conference that was clearly intended to contain more than just a schedule of phased treaty reforms until 2009. The negotiation of the Berlin Declaration for the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome on 25 March 2007 offered a good opportunity for the Presidency to open bilateral consultations and discuss controversial questions with each of the member states months before the decisive summit. It was clear to all the partners that the German Presidency wanted an agreement that would transform the substance of the constitutional treaty into a reform of existing treaties. In view of the marked differences of opinion between the governments this was the only way to realize the strengthening of the EU’s powers envisaged within the constitutional treaty.

By Josef Janning

SUCCESSFUL PRESIDENCY Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

owhere is it written that the difficult tasks always have to fall to the Presidency of one of the large or experienced member states. Neither is there a rule that the large members of the European Union shall always succeed in finding a solution. For German European policy, however, it would appear to be the case that its EU chairmanship often produces the decisive turnaround in EU controversies. The German EU Presidency in 2007 confirmed this pattern: Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier have solved the crisis of the constitutional treaty and led the EU out of the stagnation of a deadlocked reform.

EUROPE’S LONG JOURNEY Taking stock of the German EU Presidency 8 Deutschland 4/2007

European Community 2006, Grabowsky/


The agreement at the June summit in Brussels is undoubtedly the most important advance of the six months and it would probably not have been achieved by the leadership of any other EU member state. Not distracted by changes in government and with no doubts about the further development of the EU overall, Germany was able to complete the leap from constitution to reform treaty more credibly than others. Who else would have been able to manage the difficult tightrope walk between, on the one hand, the clear commitment to the constitution by the 18 ratification states in Madrid

The summit demonstrated that even a return to the traditional strategy of treaty amendments appears ambitious under today’s circumstances. The special provisions for the United Kingdom with regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, for Poland with regard to the system of majority decision-making and the retreat in the area of EU external policy are proof of the change in the composition of the EU. Today, preserving the status and interests of states dictates the reform agenda of the community. During the early stages of foundation in the 1950s and during the exciting second phase of European development following the fall of the Wall in 1989, the EU wore the face of a community of fate. Three years after major enlargement, calculated interests dominate – the EU appears as a community of advantage. When an avant-garde project developed outside the EU treaties by seven countries – the Prum Convention to improve the exchange of data in the fight against terrorism and organized crime – has more chance of integration into the EU framework than 27 countries have of reforming their decision-making processes, then the significance of strategies of differentiated integration grows. One of the lessons of this Presidency is that further development is more likely to be achieved through pilot projects. The more opt-out clauses some countries push through, the stronger the incentive for others to implement their opt-in interests according to their own rules and without making allowances for those who always say no. The fact that European integration has now progressed too far to always be able to wait for the last is something the Federal Chancellor made very clear during the night of talks in Brussels. As chairwoman, she went some way towards accepting the demands of the few, but at the same time also understood how to increase the pressure upon them.

“The German Presidency has achieved a success many would have thought unattainable a few months ago. Angela Merkel has done excellent work and brought together the interests of 27 member states. On behalf of Europe, I want to thank you most warmly and I look forward to working with you in future.” JOSE MANUEL BARROSO President of the European Commission

“Now we have the conditions to progress. The EU Treaty is our absolute priority for the coming months. Further focal points of our Presidency are the modernization of the economy and the strengthening of Europe in the world.” JOSE SOCRATES Prime Minister of Portugal and EU President since 1 July 2007

Although the final summit was significant, it still only represents a single mosaic stone in the overall picture of the six-month Presidency. It also consists of two other major duties that are easily forgotten in the media hullabaloo in the build-up to the summit. On Deutschland 9

EUROPE UP CLOSE: Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel with schoolchildren during the Europe Festival in Berlin

standing of our country in Europe and beyond and made Europe much more prepared for the future. I believe that it was a successful Presidency. And I think everyone is pleased that in the end we achieved the progress we wanted on the so-called constitutional question.”

“The draft treaty is very good news for Europe. Europe has shown it is in a position to take difficult decisions. Cooperation with Chancellor Merkel was very successful.” NICOLAS SARKOZY President of the French Republic picture-alliance/dpa

“We have increased the

FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER Federal Foreign Minister

10 Deutschland 4/2007

In addition to this compulsory programme, there are also the “free exercises” of the voluntary programme, the part of the agenda where the Presidency can set or promote its own emphases within the framework of community policy. This freedom

Finally, a successful Presidency also involves the promotion of Europe, especially in one’s own country. The German Presidency made intensive use of this opportunity – not only at the formal and ceremonial level, but also with a plethora of events throughout the country, exhibitions, competitions, information campaigns and the big EU party in Berlin on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome.

“Let’s not mince words: the result of the EU summit is okay, even very good. The German EU Presidency managed to overcome the deadlock with all those who want progress in Europe.” DANIEL COHN-BENDIT Co-President of the Greens/European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament

Speaking before the European Parliament, Angela Merkel summed up her Presidency strategy of consensual diplomacy with an African saying: “If you want to progress swiftly, then go alone. If you want to go far, then go together.” For the Federal Chancellor, peace, freedom, security and prosperity can only be preserved by pulling together. Unkel/vario-images

HANS-GERT PÖTTERING President of the European Parliament

was most clearly visible in climate and energy policy. Here the German Federal Chancellor did not only have the opportunity to significantly influence the EU position, but was also able, as chair of the G8, to make Europe the driving force of the global debate. The 20/20/20 target – reducing CO2 emissions by 20%, improving energy efficiency by 20% and increasing the proportion of renewable energies to 20% by 2020 – was a decision in favour of a clear formula whose achievement is ambitious in global terms, but certainly attainable in relation to Europe. This area of the German Presidency also includes Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s initiative for an EU Central Asia strategy: for the first time, EU member states are defining their interests in relation to this important region and outlining key points of a future joint policy.

Boness/Ipon, Jens Schicke, Frischmuth/argus

“The outcome of the EU summit is an important step towards the necessary reform of the European Union. The compromise enables reforms for more democracy and the ability to act in the European Union. The new treaty will decisively strengthen the European Parliament and, with it, democracy in Europe.”

the one hand, there is the management of the EU in its day-to-day business, in the weekly voting routines, the Councils of Ministers, the specialist groups and the Council working groups, the various bilateral encounters and, on the other, there is the representation of Europe to the public. The Presidency chairs hundreds of meetings; on hundreds of occasions it has the authority to initiate voting processes and decisions, to balance interests and to arbitrate conflicts. A major part of the agenda follows the legislative and regulatory schedule of the EU – this is the compulsory part of the Presidency programme. Among the many mandatory tasks of the last six months, a number of examples stand out that directly affect producers and consumers – for example, the roaming regulation to limit the fees charged for mobile telephone calls across national frontiers within the EU, the conclusion of the negotiations on the crossborder order for payment procedure or the strengthening of the border protection agency Frontex, the development of a legal framework for the single euro payments area or the understanding between the EU and the USA on an air transport agreement, which was finally reached after many years of talks. However, not even a German Presidency can achieve everything. The differences in interests are occasionally too great: for example, in the case of postal deregulation, the planned directive on company pensions or the package of measures against value-added tax fraud. Other projects require the approval of third parties outside the EU – for example, the EU had been prepared to undertake its biggest foreign and security policy mission in the event of a Security Council decision on the status of Kosovo.

Josef Janning The political scientist is Member of the Management Committee of the Bertelsmann Foundation and Deputy Director of the Center for Applied Policy Research (CAP), Munich. Deutschland 11

DIPLOMATIC TIES Germany maintains a total of 148 embassies worldwide, of which 39 cultivate diplomatic contacts on the African continent. These are also joined by consulates general and consulates as well as honorary consuls. In the opposite direction, 24 African countries are represented by embassies in Germany.


POLICY CHANGES Africa is increasingly becoming a focal point of German foreign policy. This engenders new opportunities for the whole continent


By Stefan Mair

frica was one of the major topics at the G8 summit held under German presidency in Heiligendamm in June this year. In the coming years the leading industrialized nations and Russia want to provide 60 billion dollars (44.5 billion euros) solely for the fight against infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. It was mainly foreign observers who interpreted the fact that Germany had given Africa such a central place on the G8 agenda as a prioritization of the continent in German foreign policy. In fact, Africa is playing an increasingly greater role in German policy. Until the end of the 1990s it was the generally accepted view that Germany had no economic and strategic interests in Africa and was only involved there primarily for moral and altruistic reasons. Africa policy was largely centred in the field of development policy. There are five main reasons that have led to a reappraisal of Africa's role. Two of them, however, are only rather indirectly connected with the continent itself: first, the expansion of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) of the European Union and, second, the development of a new un-

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derstanding of Germany's role in international relations. Germany has always advocated a strengthening of both the CFSP and ESDP – and France and Great Britain, but also Portugal and a number of other European Union countries view Africa as a prime region for a common foreign and security policy. Historical ties play a role in this, but so do the fact that the EU countries easily reach consensus in their Africa policy. This is strengthened further by the emerging new role perception of German foreign policy. Shaping the global order and global processes is increasingly viewed as one of its primary tasks.

ECO N O M I C CO M P E T I T I O N In addition to these two direct causes, there are also three indirect reasons that are increasingly shifting the continent into the focus of German policy. First, the migratory pressure from the region has risen considerably and thus significantly increased interest in Africa policy among home affairs policymakers. Second, China's increased engagement in Africa also

ECONOMIC RELATIONS German-African economic relations have been steadily growing for several years. In 2006 alone, the volume of foreign trade between the two partners increased by almost 18% to 33 billion euros. German direct investment totals some six billion euros.

DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION In addition to Asia, Africa is a priority partner region of German development cooperation. Germany provides roughly three billion euros for the continent. The Federal Foreign Office also supported humanitarian assistance projects in Africa with 30 million euros in 2006 alone.

SUPPORT THROUGH NGOs More than 175,000 Germans engage in voluntary work for development policy non-governmental organizations (NGOs). They collect donations, organize information events or directly assist in the countries concerned – above all in Africa. NGOs also have some 6,000 salaried employees in Germany.

SAFRI The Southern Africa Initiative of German Business, SAFRI for short, has promoted German-African trade since 1996. Its main goal is developing partnership with the 14 countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Among other things, SAFRI organizes bilateral business conferences and project journeys.

UNITED FOR AFRICA Under the patronage of Federal President Horst Köhler, 32 aid organizations are working together in the United for Africa campaign. So far 5,000 projects have been initiated in Africa, ranging from schools to hospitals. One of the most prominent helpers is singer Herbert Grönemeyer.

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raises questions for German foreign trade policy. Third, the terror attacks of 11 September 2001 have made security policy specialists conscious that Germany's security can also be threatened by developments in faraway regions.

A CO N V I N C I N G ST RAT EGY FO R A F R I C A German Africa policy now faces the task of translating the changes in the perception of Africa and in the debate about Germany's policy to-

wards the region into a convincing Africa strategy. Its main points were defined in the Africa strategy of the European Union agreed at the end of 2005. Even before the task of social and economic development, it emphasizes the European Union's contribution to the creation of peace and security, to the promotion of good governance and to the growth of trade, investment and regional integration in Africa. This prioritization was already reflected in the Africa agenda of the G8 summit in Heiligendamm. It is now important for German foreign policy to find additional partners among the African countries for common policy building. As a continent with more than 50 countries, Africa carries relatively great weight in most international organizations and bodies, but it has hardly been put to constructive use at all until now. A German foreign policy that involves itself more strongly in shaping the global order can make a contribution to opening up Africa's international potential. Even if German policy is attaching increasingly greater significance to Africa, setting priorities in this cooperation is vital. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has already identified three fields in which it intends to concentrate its commitment to cooperation with the African coun-

tries south of the Sahara: good governance, sustainable economic development and water supply. Furthermore, the ministry admits to a country-related concentration of its development cooperation. The subjects of civilian crisis prevention and the promotion of democracy will certainly play an increasingly important role in German Africa policy in the future.

I N T EG RAT I N G L A RG E CO U N T R I ES The question of the regional prioritization of political engagement is not easy. No nation can maintain the same level of bilateral relations with all the countries of Africa. Cooperation not only with the smaller countries, but also with the large African states is important for a successful Africa policy. However, the instruments used in shaping relations with these countries vary depending on whether they are currently engaged in a civil war or are governed democratically or autocratically. The German Federal Government used the opportunity offered by this year's G8 summit to direct political and public attention towards Africa – another opportunity presents itself at the end of the year at the EU-Africa Summit in the Portuguese capital Lisbon. Both sides will benefit from this: German Africa policy and the countries of the continent.

Dr. Stefan Mair is Director of Studies at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin.


These changes in the perception of Africa and also the role of Germany and the EU in international relations have made their mark on German Africa policy. Today the debate on Africa is conducted on a broader footing and the circle of participants has grown considerably larger. Until a few years ago, it was mainly development policymakers and the Africa experts at the Federal Foreign Office and in the Bundestag who were occupied with the African continent; today, discussions of the correct policy towards the region also involve decision-makers from the fields of foreign, security, home affairs, European and foreign trade policy. That has initiated a debate on setting priorities and selecting the right policy instruments. It is most clearly illustrated by the area of peace and security. For some time Africa experts have been occupied by the question of whether development is the

precondition for peace and security – or whether development cannot be ensured without peace and security. There is a third path, between these two positions, that is probably taken by the majority of Africa policymakers: lasting and stable peace requires social and economic development, but any investment in development projects is meaningless without the cessation of violent conflicts. The number of development policymakers who support the Bundeswehr's participation in peace missions in Africa is correspondingly great. How successful that can be is demonstrated by the Bundeswehr's leadership of EUFOR RD Congo, the EU mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Almost 800 German soldiers provided security for the first parliamentary and presidential elections held in the country for more than 40 years. Although the deployment of military units will not be one of the standard instruments of German Africa policy in the future, it will not be totally ruled out.

RESEARCH The G8 countries are making available 60 billion dollars to combat infectious diseases

GROWTH The continent’s economic growth rate in 2006 was 5.5%


Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos/Agentur Focus


BUSINESS LOCATIONS More and more businesses – for example, BMW and Volkswagen – are investing in African production facilities

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uring his press conference in Cannes this year, when Fatih Akin was obviously happy and relieved about the enthusiastic applause for his film The Edge of Heaven, when he delightedly welcomed any sign of interest, and in his excitement spoke almost non-stop in broken English, you simply had to take a big liking to him. Fatih Akin’s presence in Cannes was like that of some agreeable outsider, as little suited to the festival’s sometimes all too affected cineastic pathos as were his replies to some of the journalists’ questions, which in his eagerness frequently included small personal digressions and confessions (“Hey, Scorsese was my man!”). Perhaps the director’s mentality should not be compared to that of his films, yet there are still a number of features that they certainly have in common: liveliness, honesty and passion. Whether it is his debut film Short Sharp Shock, the melodrama Head-On, the documentary film about Istanbul’s music scene Crossing the Bridge, or his latest film The Edge of Heaven – Fatih Akin has always sought direct access to his characters, to their conflicts and their emotions. Like his colleague Quentin Tarantino, his kind of films are the result of an early and insatiable appetite for the cinema.


Wild, direct and melancholic: critics and

Pioneer of the new German-Turkish film

film fans alike honour

A portrait of the leading German film director

16 Deutschland 4/2007

Zoellner/, Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, boxfish Kerstin Stelter

Fatih AKIN

Akin, whose parents are Turks, studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) in Hamburg, although in fact his real university was his cousin’s video rental shop. That was where as a child Akin became engrossed in Italowesterns and action films, and discovered the works of his great role model, Martin Scorsese. HamburgAltona became Fatih Akin’s Little Italy. It was on the streets of this multicultural city quarter that he made his first film in 1998, the genre film Short Sharp Shock. When this film was released in Germany, Akin announced with a certain self-confidence: “It took

Success with emotional films: Head-On not only won Fatih Akin the European Film Award, his story about an unhappy love also convinced the 2004 Berlinale jury – who awarded him the Golden Bear

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The strength of the film Head-On, which catapulted Akin onto the international scene and gained him the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and the European Film Award, also lies in the honest, politically-incorrect boldness with which Akin depicted the German-Turkish milieu of his city quarter. The film’s heroine Sibel enters into a marriage of convenience because her own Turkish family, with its traditional morals, is standing in the way of her fulfilling her dreams. Her supposed husband, who is also of Turkish origins, is a drunken drug-taking drop-out called Cahit who lives in a small apartment full of empty beer cans. And yet Head-On is primarily a love story, an emotional film that purposely diverges from the German-Turkish problem films of the 1970s and 1980s. “Identity seeking between the cultures, I just don’t want to hear that kind of thing again,” says Akin. “Such clichés no longer apply to me and my generation.” Nevertheless, he repeatedly takes a stand on specific issues – for example, the anti-Islamic tendencies that emerged following September 11, or the debate about Turkey’s accession to the European Union, on which he commented in a cocky Hamburg accent:

“Suddenly everything you say or do is held against you.” Akin responds to the trends with neither bitterness nor disdain. Instead he headed right for the heart of the “alien” and made a documentary film about the incredibly lively, multifaceted, hybrid and cosmopolitan music scene in Istanbul entitled Crossing the Bridge. This name can also be read as a kind of agenda for his film-making in general, which from the very outset roved like a freebooter between the different cultures. A mixture of affection and respect In his new film The Edge of Heaven, which received a prize in Cannes for the best screenplay, Akin undertakes not only a surprisingly serene, reflective treatment of the worlds that have influenced him, the film also resounds with a whole new tone. It is a story about chance and fate, death and sacrifice. It links the settings of Istanbul, Bremen and Hamburg. And it brings together people whose lives are then changed by their encounters: a young German woman falls in love with a female Turkish oppositionist and is killed in Istanbul. Her mother, played by the German Fassbinder icon Hanna Schygulla, goes in search of the last traces left by her daughter. A Turkish widower in Germany “buys” a Turkish prostitute as a companion. When the woman dies, the man’s son, a professor of German studies, looks for her daughter in Istanbul. The Edge of Heaven links all these figures in a chain of fatal events, in the

German-Turkish reflections The Edge of Heaven is a film in which for the first time Akin deliberately raises political questions, engaging with current politics in Turkey and the problems Germany faces with immigration. According to Akin, his films are actually a kind of German-Turkish chronicle: “In Short Sharp Shock there were still Turkish gangsters and thieves. In Head-On I dealt with Turkish proletarians, among whom the step from illegality to legality had been taken, and in my new film there is even a Turkish professor of German studies. All these films reflect the history of Turkish migrants in Germany.” He has participated in festival competitions in Berlin and Cannes, won a Golden Bear and a screenplay award – doesn’t so much success go to your head? During a premiere party at a villa in the hills above Cannes, Fatih Akin was boisterously running around playing Turkish club hits and repeatedly kissing his crew members: “That’s all just like in a film!” So there’s no real need to worry, Fatih Akin cannot lose his head, because he has never left Hamburg-Altona. Katja Nicodemus

He is constantly searching for a direct path to his characters:

Fatih AKIN

And in the process, he is indifferent to political correctness 18 Deutschland 4/2007

course of which they come to know and respect the wishes, ideas and plans of another person after their death. The strong point of this restrained melodrama is the attitude with which Akin encounters his characters. It is a mixture of affection and respect. Akin expects his characters to put up with the greatest pain, the worst loss, yet his film makes do without any great drama. He relies on gestures, looks and embraces, that is to say, on his actors, whom he sometimes simply allows to be silent. After all, a facial expression, a physical stance, can say it all. When Hanna Schygulla is overcome by the loss of her daughter, for example, the camera withdraws to the upper corner of the hotel room in Istanbul, as if not wanting to harass the mother in her pain.

picture-alliance/KPA, picture-alliance/dpa, picture-alliance/obs

Scorsese and the other Italo-Americans 70 years to start making their films. The Maghribi-French needed 30 years for their cinéma beur. We were much quicker. We’re already doing it!” The plot of his first film, about a cordial friendship between a Turk, a Serb and a Greek, was put together right in front of his own front door. What emerged amidst red-light district bars, Turkish sofas and Serbian weddings was a lively image of a whole district, with its small-time crooks, its hussies and its local big shots. Short Sharp Shock represented a new German-Turkish cinema, expressing itself self-assuredly as it made its way onto German screens in the late 1990s. Interestingly enough, Akin’s most convincing films are still infused with the spirit of Hamburg-Altona, while the road movie In July (2000) and the German-Italian family story Solino (2002) seem peculiarly anaemic.

Multitalent from Hamburg: Fatih Akin is not just a director, he frequently stands in front of the camera and writes prizewinning screenplays. Recently in Cannes he received the prize for the best script of 2007 – from the hands of actress Charlotte Rampling

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FATHER GENERATION Children are women’s business? Far from it: more and more German fathers are discovering the advantages of a baby furlough thanks to a new family policy

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By Rainer Stumpf Photographs Jörg Ladwig

örg Sattler has a new boss. She wants him now – immediately. She wants her bottle. And then a change of clothes. His boss shouts and wets herself: Zoe is barely half a metre long – and her 37-year-old father can imagine nothing better than spending every available minute with his newborn baby daughter. Instead of attending meetings, he spends his time giving consolation – also at four in the morning. For one year, Sattler has exchanged his job as manager of the lost property office and deputy manager of the passenger service department at Fraport, the company that runs Frankfurt Airport, for a place in front of the baby’s changing unit. These precious months have been made possible by a new parenting benefit (Elterngeld). The first time he saw the ultrasound images of his daughter in the womb was “the most beautiful experience”, says Sattler. “The birth was simply unbelievable! It was clear to me from the very start that I wanted to play a big part in looking after her. This opportunity came at just the right time.” Zoe is now lying contentedly in his arm, sucking on her bottle and enjoying having papa at home. The

? a p Pa

Fraport employee is one of the first fathers to take advantage of the new parenting benefit rules that came into force on 1 January 2007 and are thus pioneers for a new understanding of the family in Germany. “Almost 70% of all fathers see themselves primarily as educators of their children, only 33% regard themselves mainly as breadwinners,” explains gender researcher Robert Richter. Jörg Sattler is also convinced: “It is perfectly normal today for men to do housework. Equally, it will soon be perfectly normal for them to play an equal part in bringing up their children. Parenting benefit is the first step towards that.”

NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR FATHERS The key date for the new parenting benefit was 1 January 2007: the government will pay working mothers and fathers a parenting benefit for twelve months in place of earnings for all the children born on or after that date. The monthly allowance amounts to 67% of the average net monthly income over the previous twelve months – up to a maximum of 1,800 euros. If both parents actively participate in childcare, the parenting benefit is paid for two additional months, in other words, a total of 14 months. Mothers and fathers can flexibly divide this time between them. That means more hours together with their children. Above all, however, the scheme of-






fers new opportunities for fathers. Previously, payments of childraising benefit (Erziehungsgeld) of roughly 300 euros a month had been made, but this was usually not enough to replace the normally higher earnings of fathers. Now even men with management jobs, like Jörg Sattler, can devote time to their children without having to take a great financial risk. The system is a success: whereas last year only 3.5% of all applications for parental leave were submitted by men, the total already doubled during the first quarter of 2007. Ulrich Schmidt has also handed in his application. “Unfortunately, after the birth of my first daughter I couldn’t take any parental leave. When our second child is born in November, I’ll be taking a two-month break from work.” The 35-year-old journalist didn’t hesitate this time around: he now wants to and can help his wife from immediately after the birth. Stefan Schmidt wants to do the same: “When my daughter Anna Dora was born, my head of department immediately asked when I would be taking parental leave. There was no question about that for her.” His colleagues, family, friends – everyone supported his decision. Several friends, also fathers-to-be, want to follow his example and take advantage of the new rules. A baby furlough of eight weeks is planned for spring 2008. He is not the only person looking forward to these two




24 Deutschland 4/2007

months. After twelve months of parental leave, his wife, a biologist, wants to set up her own business next year. The support from her husband comes at just the right moment. “You don’t want to give up everything for the child. We need a middle path – between career and family,” says the 38-year-old mother. For men and women. That is also the goal of Federal Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen. “It’s the beginning of a new era, a family-friendly era,” explains the politician, who is herself a mother of seven. Within a short period of time she has made family policy a central focus of domestic policy in Germany. With the introduction of parenting benefit, the government has made it easier for highly qualified mothers and fathers to decide to have a child. Now a nationwide expansion of creche and nursery places also aims to enable them to return to work easily. 500,000 additional childcare places, largely for children under three, are planned by 2013. That means there will be a childcare place for roughly one third of all infants. Additionally, the ministry is supporting multi-generational

houses and planning a system of nursing leave. This aims to enable sons and daughters to look after parents who need care without them having to give up their jobs. These are decisions from which society as a whole will benefit, insists von der Leyen: “Family policy is a definite growth engine.” That is also confirmed in a study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. Economically, European countries will be left behind by the United States if they do not take measures to increase their low birth rates. Good family policy secures rising birth rates and thus maintains prosperity.

erator was named as one of the 500 most family-friendly firms in Germany by berufundfamilie, a national families initiative. The company is currently launching a fathers’ network and encourages fathers to take advantage of the new parenting benefit rules. Lost property office manager Jörg Sattler will certainly have a lot to tell there – about his one-year period of parental leave, his new boss that he would like to hold in his arms around the clock and about his professional future: he is enjoying the time he spends with his daughter Zoe so much that he only wants to work part-time when his parental leave comes to an end. P.S. The author of this article has also experienced for himself how satisfying parental leave can be. He would not want to have missed one second of his baby furlough.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY EMPLOYMENT It is also becoming increasingly important for business. Demographic change in Germany means the proportion of old people in the population is steadily growing and this is already creating personnel shortages in some industries. There is growing competition between companies for the best minds. It is clear to Patrik Speier, a team leader at the R+V insurance company who has just become a father, that only those firms that enable their employees to achieve a balance between work and family will be able to retain their personnel in the future. The 46-year-old has himself experienced how important that is – thanks to the support of his superiors and colleagues he was able to take five weeks’ leave after the birth of his daughter Kira and defer his parental leave to 2008 when his wife will go back to work: “A satisfied worker is a better worker,” says Speier. Although it would involve a greater planning effort for the leader of a group of 10 employees, he would like to see more flexible working arrangements. “Companies should offer more part-time jobs. That would help many parents and also strengthen employees’ commitment to their firms.” According to a survey by the German Society for Personnel Management (DGP), there is a good chance that will happen. Some 85% of German personnel managers expect that family-oriented corporate policies will become increasingly important. Fraport demonstrates what parent-friendliness can mean. Just recently, the airport op-







A summer of art in Germany: five large exhibitions certainly make a trip worthwhile. The main focus is the Museum of 100 Days, or documenta in Kassel, which aims to create an “experience space” and show that everything in the world somehow hangs together

By Janet Schayan e walked right into the art trap. Dancers wriggle through a grid of ropes and entangled pieces of clothing. The visitors crane their necks to see this body play. And right away they are in the middle of a “common medium”, the exhibition, the mesh of relations that is documenta 12. The New York revolutionary of dance Trisha Brown presents her performance Floor of the Forest in the main hall of the Fridericianum museum. What? A piece that is 37 years old at the “world’s most important exhibition of contemporary art” that is staged in Kassel only every five years? Next door, curved rods of steel with Plexiglas sails would seem to be taking up the movements of the dance as they meander blithely through the room, even breaking through to the outer wall. Is the 1970s performance being continued in this 2007 sculpture by Brazilian artist Iole de Freitas, who is herself a dancer?

Please give it some thought: documenta 12 in Kassel involves a lot of sociopolitical concept art that demands a bit of deciphering

Above: puzzle room with cuddly toys – Documentahalle, one of five exhibition venues, contains the installation Relax, it’s


picture-alliance/dpa (4)


Visitors’ favourite: “Brownie”, the giraffe, tells the Zoo Story by Peter Friedl from Austria

only a ghost by Cosima von Bonin, a German artist born in Kenya in 1962. Centre: red, as in revolution – video installation Red Alert by the Munich artist Hito Steyerl. Below: collective trauma – Status, an installation by South African artist Churchill Madikida on the theme of AIDS

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4 picture-alliance/dpa (3)



28 Deutschland 4/2007

1 Interrelations: the performance Floor of the Forest by New Yorker Trisha Brown was first put on in 1970. 2 Martial archetypes: Anatoly Osmolovsky, Moscow, alludes to the shapes of tanks in his bronze sculptures Hardware. 3 The dance of the steel pipes: Brazilian artist Iole de Freitas makes the rigid space in the classicistic Fridericianum float. 4 Storyteller: Ai Weiwei is the star of this documenta with his project Fairytale. Below right: Roger M. Buergel, artistic director of documenta 12, is a Berliner who lives in Vienna



The documenta-makers Roger M. Buergel and Ruth Noack refer to the “migration of form” as one of the guiding principles of their exhibition: 500 artworks by 113 artists – of whom many are from Africa, Asia and Latin America – have been placed in relation to one another, both historically and aesthetically. Globalization is not an invention of our time, for which reason the show repeatedly has recourse to “old art”, such as the 14th century Persian miniature depicting a Persian landscape rendered in the typical style – but with a Chinese river. The Persian artist had been in China and taken a look at the technique of stylized waves. This is what the play of ideas in this 12th documenta revolves around – what happens when forms “travel”. Needless to say, it is not just a question of form but also of content, as demonstrated by the somewhat cerebral questions which this show puts both to the artists and the spectators, and which accompany us like three mantras through the exhibition venues of the Fridericianum, the Documentahalle, the Neue Galerie, the Aue pavilions and the museum in Schloss Wilhelmshöhe: “Is Modernism our Antiquity?” “What is mere life?” And: “What is to be done?” But should we encounter art burdened by such ideas, should we resolve it as an educational task? Would we not prefer to just let ourselves drift, discover something, enjoy ourselves, without having to read up on the background information in the catalogue? This documenta makes it difficult for us to do just that. What would the pathetic, badly stuffed giraffe Brownie, favourite of the documenta visitors, mean to us if we had not read that it once lived in the only Palestinian zoo and was killed during shooting in the second intifada. Dying in panic. Needless to say, the phrase much cited by art historians – “You only see what you know” – is always applicable. And the abundance of sociopolitical con-

The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York

The slogan for the exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie suggests that “the most beautiful French [artworks] come from New York”. New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has entrusted Berlin with 150 of its masterpieces of 19th century French painting, and people are queuing to see worldfamous works by Manet, Monet, Cézanne or Degas. An sistible magnet.

30 Deutschland 4/2007


Every ten years, the university town of Münster issues an invitation to the international Sculpture Show. The best thing to do is to travel from artwork to artwork by bicycle, given that they are located all around the town, on streets and squares and in parks. Among the 36 artists represented this year are the American Bruce Nauman, with an object 25 metres tall, Marko Lehanka with a talking flower (photograph), and Isa Genzken, who also created the German contribution to the 2007 Venice Biennale.

Fellbach is a town near Stuttgart and this year it is presenting its Triennale Kleinplastik for the tenth time. This sculpture event is well-established on the art scene and this year, under the heading “Bodycheck”, is showing works by 56 artists. The unusual exhibition hall is particularly attractive, and with its 2,500 square metres one of the largest in southern Germany: the Alte Kelter built in 1906; a refurbished, open, half-timber building.

Made in Germany, until 26 August Hanover

posed them to the “alien” on the other side of the globe, confronted the “images in their minds” with the reality. A social sculpture, a tale of globalization. Already, long before the “Museum of the 100 Days” closes on 23 September, Ai Weiwei is being touted as the star of this documenta, which has foregone big names. That is something for which it deserves credit: this show of world art eschews the current, overheated art market, placing its bets on outsider art and not on effects – and thereby spinning its own web.

Triennale Kleinplastik, until 23 September Fellbach

Met in Berlin, until 7 October Berlin

The focus of attention at three exhibition venues in Hanover is young art from Germany. Yet “Made in Germany” is not about German art, or even about what is German about art. It is about what artists in Germany are currently producing, what links them, what separates them, what their artistic homeland of Germany offers them. The 52 artists, all born between 1961 and 1979, are both from Germany and from 14 other countries, and live and work between Hamburg and Munich, many of them in Berlin.

Oliver van den Berg/Foto Raimund Zarkowski

Sculpture Projects, until 30 September 2007 Münster

on every corner – on the consequences of genetic technology, colonialism, imperialism, abuse. Some things have a bit of the déjà-vu about them – like the critical serial photographs by the US American Zoe Leonard. Some things really are from the 1960s – like the installations by Charlotte Posenenske. By contrast, Ai Weiwei from Beijing has succeeded, without much effort, in moving people and casting a “new” eye on the world. For the purposes of his Fairytale project he brought 1,001 Chinese to the Brothers Grimm city of Kassel, ex-

Katharina Fritsch/Foto Bruns

cept art in the main exhibition venue, the specially erected glass pavilions in Karlsaue, is hard to digest. The pavilions stand like greenhouses on the lawn in front of the Orangerieschloss. The plan of the French architects was for them to be transparent, but now they are veiled – because of the sun. Inside, the air-conditioning drones on and the art is presented in dimmed light on red asphalt. Perhaps because of this presentation, which has all the charm of the fringe programme at an NGO summit, one cannot help feeling that “instruction” is lurking


ISSN 0945-6767

Travelling at 320 kilometres an hour: France and Germany are brought closer together by a state-of-the-art high-speed rail link (page 32). German pop music heading for success: the voices of their generation, a college for the music stars of tomorrow, an interview with music producer Patrik Majer (pages 34-38)


lap. However, she will be getting off in Saarbrücken, directly on the FrancoGerman border. She is one of the stars who will be performing in all the cities along the new route to celebrate its opening. “I hope, however, that I’ll be able to use the fast train more often in future,” she says. At almost half past twelve the houses flying past the windows slowly start to grow taller. Montmartre, the hill in northern Paris, becomes visible in the distance. A brass band and lots of people with flowers are waiting on the platform in Gare de L’Est. There’s a round of applause as the highspeed train pulls in. The summery weather fits perfectly: the sky is blue over Historic event: a large number Paris. of journalists Christian Siedenbiedel were welcomed

High-Speed Partnership The new high-speed rail link between France and Germany aims to compete with the airlines – and bring two nations even closer together

ow about a croissant on the bank of the Seine, a tour of Notre Dame or a visit to the Louvre: Paris has now moved a lot closer for people in Frankfurt am Main. The new high-speed railway line, which has linked France and Germany since 10 June, has dramatically reduced the travel time from six to four hours. It is practically impossible to travel the distance any faster by air once you’ve added the journey to and from the airport and the time it takes to check-in. However, the new rail connection is not just competition for the airlines: it is also bringing two peoples closer together. Sunday morning, half past nine: Deutsche Bahn Board Member Karl-Friedrich Rausch raises the signal in the platform hall of Frankfurt’s central station. A whistle blows and we’re on our way to France. It’s the first


32 Deutschland 4/2007

regular InterCityExpress (ICE) train on the new high-speed Frankfurt-Paris route. With more than 400 passengers, the maiden journey is fully booked. That’s a good sign: Deutsche Bahn hopes to be able to increase the number of customers on this route by 50% to 1.5 million a year. A lot of money and effort has gone into the project: 28 million euros were spent on official approval for the ICE in France alone. End cars had to be modified, workshops prepared and employees made bilingually conversant with the official instructions of the two countries. The cheapest tickets for the two-country journey cost 99 euros. Who is travelling to Paris on this Sunday morning? Alongside journalists and Deutsche Bahn employees, there are a large number of private travellers. A young man from Heidelberg, for

High-speed partners: Germany’s ICE (left) and France’s TGV at the platform

example, who has a job interview in France. A woman from Le Mans who visited relatives in Speyer and is now returning home. A dark-haired young woman passionately takes her leave of a young man on the platform. She wants, she says with a French accent, to visit her parents, who live “next to Paris”. A group who meet to practise their French are also heading for Paris and have just opened a bottle of Champagne.

Taking a stroll and enjoying art For many Germans, Paris also means romance, the city of love – and it’s no longer quite so far away. Many couples from Germany have boarded the over 300 kilometre an hour train for a short trip to the Seine. Some of them have booked the trip to Paris as a romantic

Lorraine rushes by. The train passes world-war battlefields, the vineyards of Champagne. The route reminds us of the chequered history of relations between France and Germany. Improvement of relations was also the main goal of the agreement of La Rochelle, with which former Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl and the late French President François Mitterrand agreed the construction of the high-speed rail link. Since then there has been a great deal of planning and investment: 5.5 billion euros have been spent on the French side alone. The steel of eight Eiffel Towers has been used and earth nine times the volume of the Channel Tunnel moved. “Railway economic madness” was the headline in one German newspaper when the line was begun, but then again it could “not be valued highly enough psychologically and in terms of international friendship and even human history”. The French would be able to discover that Germany is not located “somewhere in Scandinavia” and on the German side, too, it would kindle greater interest.

by the FrancoGerman train crew on the maiden journey

Munich is a future destination The new route is like a “Y” lying on its side with the main trunk leading 300 kilometres eastward before splitting into two branches. Work is shared between the ICE and TGV from that point: ICE trains travel the northern route to Saarbrücken, Kaiserslautern, Mannheim and Frankfurt am Main, before returning to Paris. TGVs take care of the southern route to Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and back. With the introduction of the new timetable in December, when the journey time will again be cut by a number of minutes, it is also planned to extend the line to Munich once a day. The Franco-German singer Patricia Kaas will also be travelling in the first train on the new route – with her Maltese dog on her



Discovering Germany


birthday present. “We’re staying four days, want to enjoy ourselves, see some art, stroll through the streets,” enthuses one of the birthday girls.



Deutschland 33


rance’s president engaged them for a concert on the French national holiday, when they played under the Eiffel Tower in Paris to half a million fans. Their current album Zimmer 483 (Room 483) is in the French hit parade: German teeny-rocker group Tokio Hotel is certainly doing very well in France. The music of these four lads from Magdeburg with singer Bill Kaulitz mainly gets young French girls going – and singing along. Sabine Belz, head of the Goethe Institute in Paris, mentions countless inquiries about the texts of their songs – and looks forward to fully booked German courses.


Successful in the charts

The New Heroes of Pop Music They sing about the pain of love and aggressive marketing: bands like Wir sind Helden, Silbermond or Juli are the current stars of German pop music

34 Deutschland 4/2007

Hats off! Musicians can be successful singing in German, even though they are not part of the traditional popular and folk music scene. Yet groups like Tokio Hotel, Silbermond, Wir sind Helden or Juli are not the first to prove this point. In the 1990s a scene emerged in small clubs. In Hamburg in particular word went out about so-called “Diskursrock” – the stars of which were three Germanlanguage bands: the meantime disbanded Blumfeld, Die Sterne and Tocotronic. The generic term for brilliant social criticism and a peculiar scepticism was “Hamburger Schule”. Just a few years later, pop music from Germany was the talk of the town, so to speak. But this time not just in underground clubs and connoisseur circles, but everywhere, in the mainstream. For some time now the percentage of Ger-

man productions in the charts has reached 50%. The Berlin group Wir sind Helden were the first to make it, blaring out their highly original texts against aggressive marketing and the media, and calling their first album Die Reklamation – or Complaint. Today they have reached the top, along with Silbermond and Juli.

Voice of their generation Wir sind Helden’s singer, Judith Holofernes, was looked upon as the voice of her generation right after their first CD. She thinks highly of globalization critic Naomi Klein and women’s rights advocate Alice Schwarzer, prefers the alternative Kreuzberg to fashionable Berlin-Mitte and, their hit song Guten Tag, criticizes the mobile-phoning talk-show na-

tion. Nor is the performance-oriented society left unscathed as she chants “Ich will mein Leben zurück” (I want my life back). Their second album Von hier an blind (From here on, blind), repeated the “miracle of Berlin”. A few weeks ago album three was issued, called Soundso, with music that brings it all back together again: dynamic pop hymns and slow songs about isolation. Wir sind Helden started it all off, then a whole wave of young bands dashed into the charts. For example, Silbermond, formed in Bautzen in 1998. In summer 2004 their first album Verschwende Deine Zeit (Waste your time) was issued, selling 750,000 copies in Germany and staying in the hit parade for 69 weeks. The second album Laut Gedacht (Thinking out loud) pursued the successful concept further: hard funky guitar riffs


meet lyrics about growing up, about love and about the need for self-assurance. Needless to say, Silbermond did not reinvent the wheel. Nena’s international hit song 99 Luftballons in the 1980s is the model for this music which has everything: the rebelliousness of puberty, the urgency of rock music, the challenging gesture of singer Stefanie Kloss, coupled with an appealing self-confidence and that confusing feeling of freedom that comes when school is over and a whole new life begins.

Who’s afraid of clichés? Juli, the quintet from north Hesse with lead singer Eva Briegel, is known all over Germany today. Perhaps because they successfully handled a paradox: making something that sounds genuine out of clichés. Don’t be afraid of clichés as long as they are genuine, is how the band described their lack of prejudice when writing songs. Es ist Juli (It’s July),

their debut hit, was a high flier in the pop business, winning a triple platinum. The album sold 700,000 copies – and its successor, Ein Neuer Tag (A new day), is full of promise: pop songs in rock clothing which sound as if they were written during the hot summer months. You hear sadness, anger, inner conflict, melancholy, euphoria. Wir sind Helden, Silbermond and Juli are just the most famous representatives of a large number of new German pop groups. These also include the Cologne guitar pop group Klee, with their unrepentantly romantic love songs, or Sportfreunde Stiller, from Munich, who meantime pack large halls with their heartfelt indie-rock. Peter Brugger, Rüdiger Linhof and Florian Weber took their name from their soccer trainer Hans Stiller. There is also the Berlin group Virginia Jetzt!, who on their third album Land Unter sing not about love and happiness, but about loss and separation. However different the groups, they have a few things in common: the German language, their youth – and they are tops of the pops. Marc Peschke

The Graduates of Pop If you want to study pop music design or music management, you have to head for Mannheim, where Germany’s only Pop Academy trains future music industry specialists

annheim, the old river port district: there is a futuristic cubeshaped structure with a metal-plated façade situated between old buildings. In the darkened entrance hall a disco mirror ball glistens in the light of the spotlights beside huge loudspeakers. The concert can begin: Anneli Bentler,


the blonde singerwith a pageboy haircut and wearing a pink dress, grasps the microphone – guitar, bass and keyboard kick in. It’s one of the events referred to at the Pop Academy Baden-Württemberg, in Mannheim, as Work-inProgress. Once a month the foyer of Germany’s one and only Pop Academy is transformed into a stage. Then the main protagonists are young bands like Anneli. On Work-in Progress evenings they present their latest lyrics and melodies live to an audience. That audience includes a lot of students from the Academy, usually casually dressed in jeans, T-shorts and trainers – they way people believe pop musicians dress. Students like 21-year-old Sebastian Winckler, whose blond hair falls into his face. He is in his second semester in music management and will shortly be doing an internship with the music company Universal. Or 23-year-old Luis Baltes, brown curls and a baseball cap, who is in his second semester of pop music design and claims “After my studies, I want to be rich and famous.”

The pop professor One man stands out here. He is obviously older, in a dark suit and a white polo shirt and tapping his feet to the music. Udo Dahmen has rhythm in his blood. Not that you would expect anything else of the Artistic Director and Manager of the Pop Academy. When the Academy was founded in 2003 he came to Mannheim as a professor. Before that, Dahmen had worked for many years as a lecturer, professional drummer and free-lance musician, produced numerous albums and accompanied famous musicians like Gianna Nannini and Nina Hagen at concerts. A big poster in his office recalls his active music days: it shows Dahmen in 1995, with his drums, against the backdrop of Hamburg’s port and docks. Today, the 56-year-old pop music professor’s once long hair is cut short, but he has kept his preference for glasses with striking frames. Dahmen sits on one of the black designer chairs and tells us what students have to already have, if they want to get that final finish for the music busi-

ness at his Academy. “We are interested in applicants who are original, have potential for development, and have some idea about themselves as artist personalities.” It goes without saying that they have to be able to sing and play an instrument. But talent and good artistic performance are not enough. “The students must be able to link artistic and entrepreneurial ideas,” says Dahmen. The goal is a solid professional perspective: to be able to live from music and not just survive. The Pop Academy imparts the relevant know-how to its 155 students in two bachelor’s degree courses: pop music design and music management. Here, future song-writers, singers, rappers, DJs, instrumentalists and music producers meet future music managers and marketing experts in the music sector. Despite the mandatory tuition fees, the courses are very much in demand. Every year the Academy allots 25 to 30 places – last time round, they received 650 applications. Those who

pass the application test receive an academic training with a strong emphasis on practice that lasts for three years.

The Pop Academy Baden-Württemberg in Mannheim: Germany’s only pop music academy gives students an academic training

Seminars, lectures, projects In addition to seminars and lectures on such things as the history of pop music or how to set up a label, the students can expect to be mainly involved in project work. In the music management course they are asked to set up an events agency, carry out market research or design a marketing campaign for a new recording label. Often they receive commissions directly from the industry. One current project at the Academy is the CD project called “Töne Mannheims” for music for the City of Mannheim’s 400th jubilee. In the pop music design course the students form bands and rehearse in their own special Deutschland 37


“The Fans Want German Artists”


An interview with Berlin music producer Patrik Majer about German pop music, differences between bands and successful performances abroad

rooms. One of the corridors has a photo-gallery of illustrious guest lecturers: Smudo from the hip-hop group Die Fantastischen Vier, the band Wir sind Helden, or Mannheim’s music idol Xavier Naidoo pass on their knowledge of the music world here.

From lectures to the practice room or the studio: practice is part of the course at the Pop Academy

Pioneer of the Pop Academy One of the pioneers of the Pop Academy attended a workshop with Naidoo, Germany’s most famous soul musician. “Hi, I’m Danny,” says the young man with the shaved head and the goatee. Danny Fresh is a rap musician and was one of the first graduates of the Academy in 2006. “Studying here really opened my eyes as regards what I can do with my music,” says the 29year-old. In his first year at the Academy, Danny certainly got off to a good start: accompanying Xavier Naidoo on his tour and producing his second solo album. He wants to “keep at it, because the first years are the most difficult for a musician”. So he is doing advertising for his new album, wants to write lyrics for other singers, teach hip hop at schools and support students of the Academy as a tutor. Danny sees his profession as involving working discipline and forging new paths to creativity. One of the lessons he learned during his studies was that a musician cannot wait to be inspired by the Muse. Oliver Sefrin 38 Deutschland 4/2007

Mr. Majer, currently, pop music from German is successful. What role do you see the music industry playing in Germany? German groups are successful, that’s right. They play a big role in a branch of industry that is in a state of turmoil due to digitalization and music on offer on the Internet. It is very evident on the German music market that there has been a shift in favour of German bands and artists. It is great that different German artists have contributed to this boom. The fans want to be able to identify with local artists. They want to see bands from their own country on stage. I see this as a very positive development. Which pop bands are dominating the music scene here at the moment? A band like Wir sind Helden is certainly one of them. When they became known a few years ago they really got something going and inspired other bands, like Juli and Silbermond. Is there one musical style that characterizes successful German pop groups? I would find it hard to make out a typical style. Bands like Wir sind Helden, Silbermond and Juli are often lumped together, although I see obvious differences. This is particularly the case with the lyrics. Wir sind Helden’s lyrics are about conflicts, social problems, which they package in an almost lyrical way. They are also very playful in their music, varying the genres. Juli

make a much more direct sound, their music permeates the whole record. For me, Silbermond are much more of a rock band, a genuine live band. Their texts are rather straightforward. These differences are easy to understand if you look at the average age of the group members. In Wir sind Helden the average is about thirty, in Silbermond it is the early twenties. Bands like Tokio Hotel get a jubilant reception abroad. How do you explain the international success of such German pop groups? The only way I can explain it is that the artist or the band must always have something special about them. Tokio Hotel achieve this with the four guys themselves; they are unique performers, with a music that in a way sounds very German, although oriented towards American rock music. Which only goes to show that German artists are successful abroad if they have that something special. Just think of Rammstein, who sound so extremely German, but went down well with it in the States because the Americans did not have that kind of music in their country. In my view Rammstein is the German musical export success of the past 10, 20 years. No other group has been more successful, as far as I know. Patrik Majer (36) is one of the most successful German music producers. For his collaboration with Wir sind Helden the native of Berlin was awarded the much soughtafter Echo music prize in 2006.

The German economy is now growing faster than it has for many years and is becoming the growth engine of Europe. A report on businesses’ successful strategies and the background to the economic upturn



Pando Hall/Getty Images

40 Deutschland 4/2007

Federal Economics Minister Michael Glos reckons with a growth rate of 2.3% this year. In June the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research raised its growth forecast for 2007 to 2.6%. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) even anticipates 2.8% growth for Germany. As a result, the German economy is not only above the OECD average, but also


elmut von Monschaw enthuses, “At the moment, everything is just right.” And this man really ought to know, because he speaks from the very heart of German industry. Helmut von Monschaw is the Managing Director of the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW), in other words, the spokesperson of the industry that supplies factories with the tools that are used to produce cars, furniture and solar cells. Why is he so euphoric? The number of orders received in this key industry rose by an incredible 40% in the first quarter of 2007 – an important indicator of dynamic economic growth. The VDW is not alone in registering successes of this kind. In all sectors, one record followed another in spring 2007. The world’s largest chemicals group BASF got off to a strong start this year with a 17% increase in sales in the first quarter. In May, Deutsche Bank recorded the best quarterly result in its history. And carmaker BMW sold more vehicles in June 2007 than it has ever sold before in a single month. Sales are growing, profits are increasing and the economic prognoses are constantly being raised. The economic upturn is here.


By Martin Orth

Assembly of a Volkswagen at the Transparent Factory in Dresden

“The elation of economic upturn” was the title in the Hamburg weekly Die Zeit, which was then immediately followed by a subheading asking: “Why are we suddenly so good?” The upturn did indeed come as a surprise to many people. Economic experts had warned against raising valueadded tax by three percentage points at the beginning of the year because it might paralyze domestic demand. And the strong euro, too, was said to represent a danger, because it would make German products more expensive abroad and might slow down exports. Neither of these fears have come true. The upturn is built upon a solid base. The Federal Government has laid the foundations with tax reductions and labour market reforms. Businesses have optimized their procurement and cost structures, invested in innovative products and thereby increased their competitiveness. And employees have also made a contribution through wage restraint and longer working hours. Accordingly, Die Zeit was able to point to several reasons why Germany – naturally also within the context of a growing world economy – is so strong. Its central focus was the Mittelstand, the privately owned small and medium-sized business sector that is the backbone of the German economy. And then, above all, the so-called “hidden champions”, the largely unknown businesses that are the world market leaders in their particular field. These “secret stars” are being celebrated as “giants from the provinces”. They produce tunnel-drilling machines, wind turbines and concrete pumps. Their expertise and their products are in de42 Deutschland 4/2007


“Our economy is running at full steam. Germany has again become Europe’s growth engine. The years of stagnation are over. However, we must not reduce the pace of reform. Above all, I want to look forward. An upturn needs to be cultivated. Obstacles have to be cleared away so that the upturn can be transformed into sustainable growth. The growth process has taken root. It is no longer entirely dependent on the impetus of the world economy, but is moving forward under its own steam. In this and the coming year, the strongest momentum for growth will come from the domestic economy. The Federal Government anticipates 2.3% growth for this year. Other experts already see our growth significantly higher than that. The upturn is continuing – despite the rise in value-added tax. The feared increase in prices has also failed to materialize. The upturn has arrived – everywhere. On behalf of the Federal Government, following former Economics Minister Ludwig Erhard, I would like to say: “We are experiencing an upturn for all!” Never before in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany have there been more people in employment than there are today – almost 40 million. Incidentally, the increase is accounted for very largely by jobs with compulsory social insurance – in other words, full-time jobs. The number of unemployed is also falling. In the last twelve months alone, the figure dropped by 712,000 and is now at 3.7 million. By the end of 2008, unemployment will fall to less than 3.5 million. That would be the lowest level for more than ten years. The upturn is here and its effect is also being felt by the employees whose jobs have been preserved through pay restraint and who are now again leaving wage negotiations with significant real increases. Only insolvency administrators are facing bad times, because fewer companies are failing. But that is something the Federal Government can live with. What we cannot live with is the shortage of skilled personnel in Germany that is currently being observed. Although twenty thousand engineers are registered as unemployed in Germany, industry is desperately seeking specialists of that kind. That does not make sense. It slows down the upturn. That is why we do not only need more investment in education and training, but also in advanced vocational training, because we must first provide opportunities for the people who live in our country and are looking for work. Beyond that, however, the question of the controlled immigration of specialist employees from other countries is also on the agenda. Germany must be able to maintain its position in the global competition for the best minds. The Federal Government is constantly increasing investment in research and development to ensure that Germany stays ahead. That is shown by the medium-term financial planning. Yet the Länder and industry also continue to have a duty to increase their spending on research and development. Now especially – in the midst of an upturn – it is important to maintain our reform course. The upturn has many reasons: a favourable world economy, pay restraint and the efforts of businesses. These alone, however, would not have sufficed to achieve a return to growth. The resolute course of the Grand Coalition – our strategy has three elements: modernize, reform and invest – is now bearing fruit. The upturn will not take care of itself, but requires cultivation, like a delicate plant.”

Mr. Englisch, your study of foreign managers’ views of Germany as a business location puts it in first place in Europe and fourth place in the world. What are Germany’s strengths? Germany has firmly established itself as a player in the global league. Viewed from the foreign perspective, Germany’s virtues are primarily productivity, efficient work and innovative strength. The surveyed managers were especially positive in their appraisal of the telecommunications and transport and logistics infrastructure. Germany is also highly regarded for its well-trained workforce and for research and development (R&D).

Peter Englisch, Partner at international management consultancy Ernst & Young, authored a 2007 study on Germany as a business location

mand worldwide and deployed internationally. The Putzmeister company from Aichtal, for example, is currently involved in the construction of the Burj Dubai, the tower that will be the world’s tallest building measuring more than 700 metres.

Customers are frequently unable to avoid products “Made in Germany”. German businesses are now not only leaders in their traditionally strong sectors like mechanical engineering, automobiles and chemicals, but also in the industries of the future like information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology as well as medical technology and renewable energies. The medical technology cluster in Tuttlingen, Baden-Württemberg, which is the world’s capital for surgical instruments with 560 industry specialists, constantly inspires businesses to achieve top performance in a similar way to athletes in a training camp. And SolarWorld, a comparatively young environmental technology business, is well on the way to becoming a world market leader. It is expanding its production facilities for that purpose. In July, due to booming exports, the company decided to double the capacity of its planned solar wafer factory in Freiberg, Saxony. Certainly, German businesses in both these sectors are benefiting from demographic and climate change. However, they also recognized global trends at the right time.

The transformation in Germany is attentively being following abroad. The American Herald Tribune described it under the headline “From sick man of Europe to superstar”, while the British Economist had the more sober title “Germany’s economy: Back above the bar again”. And in a current study by international business consultants Ernst & Young, managers from 809 international companies ranked Germany number one in the list of the most attractive locations in Europe and number four worldwide – behind China, the United States and India. “International investors appreciate the new dynamism and the reawakened optimism in Germany,” said Peter Englisch, Partner at Ernst & Young, during the study’s presentation in Frankfurt am Main in June. “Today, Germany is the growth engine of Europe.” REpower Systems AG/Grömminger

at the top of the G7, the seven leading industrialized nations. In turn, the growing economy is increasing tax revenues and helping to reduce unemployment. In the first half of 2007, Federal Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück recorded an 18.4% rise in tax revenues. He is anticipating additional tax revenues totalling 200 billion euros by 2011. In the last month, the number of jobless fell to the lowest June total for twelve years – to 3.7 million. That was 712,000 less than one year ago. Meanwhile there are even fears of a shortage of labour in some industries. “I believe the term ‘upturn’ is inadequate to describe what we are currently experiencing,” said Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to the news magazine Der Spiegel. “I would call it the third economic miracle. The first economic miracle took place in the period of reconstruction after 1945, the second after reunification. This third miracle is based on our wide-ranging reform process, which represents Germany’s answer to globalization.”

BM Wirtschaft und Technologie

Michael Glos, Germany’s Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, presented a government statement on the upturn at the beginning of July (extracts)


Installation of a REpower wind turbine in a wind farm

There are criticisms of the corporate taxation system. The Federal Government is now planning a far-reaching reform of corporate taxation. What effects will that have on foreign businesses? The level of tax on corporate profits is an important criterion for investors so that the lowering of rates of corporate taxation is certainly a step in the right direction. On the other hand, the “earnings stripping rule” introduced under the framework of counterfinancing measures is going in the wrong direction. We know that the deductibility of financing interest is very important for investors. This limits the positive overall impact of the corporate tax reform. Germany’s image abroad has improved. However, that does not tie up with the figures for foreign businesses’ direct investments in Germany. They only account for 9% of foreign direct investments in Europe. Why is that the case? When it comes to direct investment in Germany, a lot of the figures are hidden. That is in no small part due to the fact that we have a very different culture of disclosure compared, say, to the Anglo-Saxon countries. Details of many investment projects remain unpublished. Accordingly, the German figures can essentially only be viewed as rough indicators – but the increase of more than 50% speaks a very clear language. We assume that this trend will continue and the existing “gap” between image and reality will steadily close. Logistics, professional services and areas with intensive R&D input are likely to have considerable potential here. In your study, Germany was surpassed by China, the United States and India. What are the decisive arguments in favour of these three countries? And what could Germany do better? Investors see the greatest market potential worldwide in China, the USA and India, not only with regard to the attractiveness of the local sales market, but also when it comes to the availability of well-qualified university graduates. In addition to this, the pay differential, particularly with regard to China and India, is an important factor. The availability on the labour market of sufficient quantities of highly qualified graduates and skilled workers will become increasingly important for strengthening Germany’s position as a business location. Further work is also needed on our weaknesses: inflexible labour laws and the costs of bureaucracy.


in %


USA 24.4%


Germany 23.5%

in billion euros Exports Imports

1,000 800

The World’s Largest Exporters and Importers (2005)



610 528

France 7.0%




Japan 17.9% Others 13.2%

United Kingdom 3.0% Italy 3.5% Switzerland 3.6% Netherlands 2.8% Source: Invest in Germany


723 622



398 304

294 304

267 255

253 251

200 0

Source: Invest in Germany Germany USA






is a centre of the world economy, an international transport hub and a powerful technology centre with innovative high-quality products

Belgium Canada


Countries with the Most Approved Patents in Europe (2005)




pillar of the German training system is the “dual

model for legal systems in many other countries.

system” of vocational education, which combines

International studies demonstrate that German

workplace training and school instruction and pro-

legal security is highly regarded by investors.

duces an acknowledged high standard of training

Among all countries, Germany ranks fourth in

closely oriented towards the needs of industry.

terms of legal security.

1 Large Market With 82 million inhabitants,

ment in practically all areas. There are no longer

6 High Level of Innovation Statistically,

9 Strong Mittelstand The German eco-

Germany is the European Union’s most populous

any state-controlled industries. Germany is receiv-

Germany has 277 international patents per one

nomy is characterized by privately owned small and

country and therefore also the largest market

ing increasing attention from private equity firms

million inhabitants – more than anywhere else in

medium-sized firms, the Mittelstand. 85% of all

within the EU. With a gross domestic product of

and hedge funds due to its highly attractive

the world. The close cooperation between indus-

businesses are small or medium-sized. This makes

more than 2.2 trillion euros, Germany is the

companies and favourable investment conditions.

try and world-famous research institutions like

German industry very flexible, multifaceted and

largest economy in Europe and the third strongest

the Max Planck and Fraunhofer Institutes swiftly

competitive. Many of these highly specialized

economy in the world.

transforms new ideas into products for the world

firms are world market leaders in their field, so-


called “hidden champions”.

4 International Location More than 7 million foreigners live in Germany. Several metro-

2 Central Location Germany’s central loca-

politan regions have prominent foreign commun-

tion in Europe make it a hub for goods and ser-

ities with their own schools, churches, shops and

7 Highly Developed Infrastructure

10 World-Famous Trademark

vices. Germany is especially benefiting from EU

restaurants. For example, a large number of

Germany has a closely knit network of roads, rail-

Products with the “Made in Germany” seal stand

enlargement. As a result, it is the only country

Japanese live in the Düsseldorf region, many Ko-

ways and international airports. That guarantees

for the highest quality worldwide. This has played

among the seven most important industrialized

reans in and around Frankfurt and many Chinese

swift connections. The airport in Frankfurt is

no small part in maintaining Germany’s position

nations to increase its share of world trade since

in Hamburg. Approximately 70% of German blue-

an international hub. The Port of Hamburg is one

as world champion exporter for many years.


and white-collar workers can speak English.

of largest container transshipment centres in

The automobile, mechanical engineering, electri-

Europe. Communications infrastructure is excep-

cal engineering and chemical sectors are particu-

tionally well-developed throughout the country.

larly strong. Industries of the future such as

3 Open Market Germany is an open market

5 Qualified Personnel Germany offers an

environmentally friendly energy production and

and warmly welcomes foreign investors. That is

exceptionally well-qualified, motivated and con-

nanotechnology, in which the number of patent

demonstrated by the 22,000 foreign enterprises

scientious workforce. German employees’ high

8 Legal Security Germany is a modern con-

applications is doubling every two years, are

that have established businesses in Germany and

standard of knowledge and skills is internationally

stitutional state with transparent and reasonable

steadily gaining in importance. Foreign investors

now employ more than 2.7 million people. The

recognized. The demand for professionals is met

laws. The advantages are internationally recog-

can profit from the “Made in Germany” seal of

German market is open to entrepreneurial invest-

by 383 institutions of higher education. Another

nized. The German legal system has served as a


44 Deutschland 4/2007

Deutschland 45

By Martin Orth

Knowledge and creativity are the foundations of future growth. How is the world of work changing? Who will be affected by this transformation? Where are the creative centres? An interview with Professor Nico Stehr



Ac h i e ve

P Zeppelin University

rofessor Stehr, as a cultural studies specialist you have a special interest in the transition from the industrial society to a knowledge society. What characterizes this transformation? The foundations of the social order now emerging on the horizon are based on knowledge. When we first introduced the concept of the knowledge society into the academic debate at the beginning of the 1980s, we asked ourselves what would the sources of economic growth be based on in the future and what would value creation look like in modern society. In the past years this concept has been able to assert itself against other competing designations such as the post-industrial society because it opens up an unusually large number of interesting questions about the circumstances and lines of development of modern societies. It is pos-

T h a t Yo u C a n


sible to apply the concept of the knowledge society not only to the peculiarities of society overall, but also to the problems of all major modern social institutions, such as the state, economy, church, family and education. The term post-industrial society, on the other hand, points in the wrong direction. Although industry, the so-called manufacturing sector, in which cars, refrigerators, television sets and so on are made, is not declining in significance, the number of people working in industry is steadily decreasing.

Who is affected by this change? In principle, everyone. In the world of work, in industry, in the services sector, also in agriculture, in all sectors of the economy, crucial things are changing which all indicate that we are increasingly living in a knowledge society. Today, even farmers need to have a high level of education and training and be able to deal with complicated processes and technical equipment. Deutschland 47

“Cognitive abilities and social skills are the most important qualifications for tomorrow’s

world of work”

An airship, the trademark of the city of Friedrichshafen, promotes the Zeppelin University

What is the driving force behind this development?

period, the permanent threat of economic insecurity that had previously affected almost three-quarters of the total population only applied at most to roughly one fifth of the population. Although absolute poverty still exists even in the most affluent societies, for nearly 40 years there was an almost uninterrupted and often very rapid improvement not only in most people’s material living standards, but also in their educational opportunity. The distinctiveness or uniqueness of the experiences of today’s generation are above all determined by the reality of a generally higher standard of education and general affluence. It is these overall social changes that form the basis for the emergence not only of a very much more extensive demand for creativity, but also a historically unique accumulation of creative people.

The new thing about the development of the knowledge society is not the emergence of knowledge-based work, because there have always been “experts”. What is new is the high number of jobs that involve knowledge-based work as well as their relative share of total employment and the rapid decline in jobs that demand low cognitive ability or are concerned with making or moving things. Furthermore, the people now entering the world of work with considerably higher educational qualifications than in the past start employment with very different expectations and with more selfreliance. That will lead to further radical changes in the world of employment.

How important are social skills in the knowledge society? The most important qualifications for tomorrow’s world of work do not only include cognitive abilities, but also social skills such as the confidence to adapt and change. Or in a nutshell, a new understanding of self. Today’s well-educated young people show initiative, they have the feeling that they can achieve something.

What effects

Richard Florida claims that the “creative class” is also a crucial factor in the success of cities and regions – something he demonstrated with the development of American cities and regions. Can “creative centres” also be identified in Germany on the same basis?

Nico Stehr,

are changes in the world of work having on

sociologist and epistemologist, is considered the “scout of the knowledge society”. He has lived and taught in the United States and Canada and is now Karl Mannheim Professor for Cultural Studies at the Zeppelin University

social order? The development of a knowledge society is simultaneously a move towards a fragile society – in other words, a society in which the big institutions, such as the state, the church and the large companies, are losing influence. They have lost nothing of their traditional power and authority, but they are losing out against the individual, against small groups, which are increasingly in a position to undermine the power of big institutions. New relationships are evolving between consumers and companies, employees and employers, students and universities. That is one of the most important changes of the knowledge society. It does not mean, however, that all individuals are affected by this development at the same time. There will always be opinion-formers, always be trailblazers for certain developments that are then later taken up by many. People who decide to become actively involved will play a very important role in the future.

Where do these creative individuals come from?

Zeppelin University (3)

No development in the history of Europe and North America can be compared with people’s experiences in past decades, particularly in the years between 1950 and 2000. At the end of this 48 Deutschland 4/2007

Your American colleague, Richard Florida, has even proclaimed The Rise of the Creative Class and describes it as the decisive factor for success .... Indeed, creativity, cognitive factors, knowledge and information increasingly account for most of a business’s wealth in knowledge-based societies. In other words, production, with the exception of especially standardized goods and services, is being determined less and less by the amount of conventional labour and physical assets. Whether, and on what scale, existing jobs and work environments are already in a position to employ employees with growing cognitive skills and aspirations is a question that it is extremely difficult to evaluate at the present time. However, it can be assumed that employment opportunities of this kind will be increasingly necessary and possible – to the extent to which enterprises realize that jobs offering significant independence, opportunities to act and areas of responsibility are becoming the prerequisite for sustainable business success. Enterprises will thus find themselves compelled to create and not limit job opportunities of this kind.

An important law of social development also continues to apply in the knowledge society. And that is simultaneity within non-simultaneity. The law of a temporal and spatial separation of social developments – industrial forms of production and ideas still exist even in the knowledge society – states that different cities and regions of the world are influenced by the development of a knowledge society in very different ways.

Can you illustrate what that means with an example of one region? Let’s take the nearest example, namely Friedrichshafen. Although it is located on the southern edge of Germany, it has everything that goes to make a creative city. On the one hand, there is an established industrial sector that produces ship engines, car components and satellites and employs highly qualified personnel. On the other, it has attractive surroundings with many leisure amenities on Lake Constance. And then an university that enjoys a high standing. The unemployment rate is among the lowest in Germany and the influx of graduates and young people is much greater than elsewhere. The people are creative and feel comfortable here.

Zeppelin University The Zeppelin University (ZU) in Friedrichshafen is one of the youngest universities in Germany. The entirely privately funded university was recognized by the state at the beginning of the summer semester 2003 and offers bachelor’s and master’s degree courses in corporate management and economics, communication and cultural management as well as public management and governance. The Zeppelin University aims to impart management skills in an individualized, interdisciplinary and international way. In the latest higher education ranking published by Karriere magazine in May 2007 the newcomer managed to leap straight into the Top Ten of business universities.

MINDS + C r e a t i v e REGIONS


Mousse T. composes and produces songs that take charts by storm worldwide

MOUSSE T. M U S I C P RO D U C E R is most important products are creative distinctiveness and original ideas: Mousse T. works in the creative sector – as an internationally sought-after music producer and disc jockey he is cranking up the German creative industry. The creative class – publishers, gallerists, film producers and designers – are ensuring that the culture economy in Germany booms: sizeable growth rates, high turnover, employment potential. Creative persons like Mousse T. ensure the economic dynamism of an often underestimated branch of industry. His discography reads like a Who’s Who of pop music – from the Backstreet Boys to the Fugees, from Simply Red to Zucchero. Stars from the world of music come to his studio in Hanover so that he can compose new sounds at his mixing console just for them, combining rhythms that simply grab you. Mousse T., the hit guarantor: his remix of Tom Jones’ Sex Bomb was a huge market success, selling more than 20 million copies. The 40-year-old made his breakthrough as a solo artist in 1998 with his single Horny. That same year he was the first ever European to be nominated in the United States for a Grammy as the best remixer. At the age of 13, this son of a Turkish doctor learned to play his first musical instrument, an electric organ – because it was cooler than a piano. Later as a DJ he discovered electronic beats. His rise to fame on the dance floor had begun. “I need artists who inspire me, point me in a direction I wouldn’t normally take myself,” says Mousse T in connection with his search for sounds. These days he heads off to Los Angeles for video shoots, to studios in New York, and spins discs in clubs on Mykonos. But the “global citizen” – Mousse T. on Mousse T. – has remained faithful to his homeland. He has long since become a successful entrepreneur in the music industry with his own Hanover hit workshop, the label Peppermint Jam Records. 50 Deutschland 4/2007

Carsten Windrich/Peppermint Jam Records 2006


By Oliver Sefrin

Deutschland 51

chanics. Art, film, music, fashion, media and lifestyle: creative activity in Germany has many facets and huge, often underestimated economic potential. The creative economy, growth area: this sector is making its mark with

impressive growth rates. Its values are clearly above traditional industrial sectors and it earns a significant proportion of Germany’s GDP. The creative economy, guarantor of sales: with an annual turnover of billions, this sector

stands for economicdynamism. With gross value added totalling 35 billion euros, it ranks between the chemicals industry and the energy sector. The creative economy, job creation engine: its 800,000 employees mean it can compete




Germany is thriving on ideas. Ingenuity and creativity are important economic factors for Germany as a business location. The “creative economy” is booming in the land of mechanical engineering and automobile manufacturing, of engineers and me-

with other branches of industry in Germany. And just where are the country’s creative minds? We present a five-stop tour of Germany’s creative regions and cities. 1) Berlin and Potsdam The creative heart of the Republic beats in Berlin.

Artists, musicians, fashion designers, film producers, media people and more: like a magnet, the capital city draws creative minds from Germany and all over the world. The offices of young record labels are to be found from Kreuzberg to Prenzlauer Berg to Friedrichshain. The music

scene gathers in Berlin for the Popkomm Fair. There are numerous galleries and theatres in the city centre. Berlin is in fashion, with almost 200 young fashion designer studios and fashion fairs like the Berlin Fashion Week and Premium. Film and cinema in the Berlin-Brandenburg



52 Deutschland 4/2007

Claudia Rorarius/photoselection

sells 20 million art books a year worldwide




Regina Ziegler produces films that appeal to millions of viewers

Benedikt Taschen

hotographer Helmut Newton called him “mad”; he calls himself a “perfectionist”. His credo: to make the best of whatever it is he is doing. And Benedikt Taschen has certainly got a lot to do. The 47-year-old caused quite a stir on the international book market with his publishing house, which is located in a late 19th century villa in Cologne. High print-runs and low prices was the recipe for success with which Taschen has made art books internationally popular and affordable. He sells almost 20 million art books a year and has his own shops in Paris, Los Angeles and Berlin. According to Taschen, one of his books crosses a shop counter somewhere in the world every two seconds. His first art publication, in 1984, a Magritte book, sold like hot cakes. The idea behind his business was born. Today its range of books is as colourful as its founder: Taschen has published erotic photography and the Luther Bible, a 34-kilogram illustrated volume about boxing legend Muhammad Ali, and a splendid and weighty tome on Helmut Newton. For Benedikt Taschen, books are not just books, “They are like water, absolutely vital.” He thinks the same about art. It is energy which charges him like a battery.


useums like the MoMA in New York show exhibitions of his artists, and US collectors accept long waiting lists and the highest prices for paintings by his artists. Gerd Harry Lybke’s business sense and marketing talent in the art world have made him Germany’s most successful gallerist. This busy man in his mid-40s, whom his friends call Judy, is the patron behind the scenes of the internationally successful Leipzig School. Its most famous representative Neo Rauch was discovered by Lybke. It’s an exciting art story. In GDR times, Lybke just about made his living as a nude model and took his first steps as a gallerist – in his Leipzig apartment. Today, the Galerie Eigen + Art in Leipzig and Berlin is his artistic centre of gravity. This is the place from which he arranges for his artists to go to the big shows, the place where collectors and curators from all over the world come to see him. Gerd Harry Lybke markets internationally successful artists like Neo Rauch through his gallery

Gueorgui Pinkhassov/Magnum


he has been nominated for both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe, she received the Golden Lion in Venice and the Adolf-Grimme Prize for her life’s work, and the Museum of Modern Art honoured her with a retrospective: Regina Ziegler is Germany’s most successful film and television producer. Her list of prize-winning films is long, her productions are seen by millions. The 63-year-old has produced approximately 400 cinema and television films, series and documentaries since founding her company, Ziegler Film, in 1973. She single-handedly promoted her career and today runs one of the largest independent production companies in Germany, with offices in Berlin, Cologne and Munich, turnover measured in the tens of millions and 28 employees. Ziegler is an established name in the film business and she has asserted herself in this male domain through her intrepid optimism and courage. Her rise to fame has been true to her motto: “If I walk through the desert I want to leave tracks.” She believes culture and commerce do not contradict. “Film, for me, is a mixture of art and business,” says Ziegler. She is said to be a stubborn and impulsive entrepreneur with a preference for the colour red. The question is whether she inherited her feel for appealing screenplays and convincing actors and directors from her father. He used to find water veins with a divining rod.

The film industry meets every year in the German capital for one of the most important festivals, the Berlinale

Deutschland 53

artists for television and video aesthetics. 3) Hamburg Germany’s second largest city develops its creative potential mainly in the media sector: the famous magazines Der Spiegel and Stern and the weekly newspaper Die Zeit are

Frank Siemers/VISUM

has made her mark as a versatile designer of fashion items and more with her own label

polises of Düsseldorf and Cologne are centres of art (Art Cologne Fair), media (TV production companies) and advertising (large agencies). 5) Munich The southern German metropolis and Bavarian

state capital is also Germany’s publishing capital. More than 150 publishing houses are situated in Munich and environs, and generate an annual turnover of around 1.5 billion euros. Munich is also a leader in the publication of first and new editions of books.

3 1 4





Jette Joop

4) Rhine and Ruhr UNESCO considers it one of the world’s most im-

portant cultural regions. Coal and creativity: in the Ruhr District the creative economy is a forward-looking sector that is driving ongoing structural change. In 2010, Essen and the Ruhr District will form the European Cultural Capital. The Rhine metro-



is idiom is that of immaculate forms and perfect lines. Chris Bangle is head designer at BMW – the creative engine of Germany’s third largest automobile manufacturer. Be it a limousine, a coupé, a compact car or an SUV, Bangle’s sense of form and his feeling for customers’ tastes have determined the success of the car company, which achieved a turnover of almost 50 billion euros in 2006. The Bavarian brand gets its unmistakable image from the ideas and working methods of this “body artist”. And the 50-year-old American has been shaping that image at BMW since 1992. For Bangle, car design is a matter of millimetres, a narrow ridge between good sense and beauty, which he negotiates with pragmatism, passion and in the success lane, as demonstrated by the much sought-after Red Dot Award for Bangle and BMW as DeChris Bangle sign Team of the Year 2007. designs cars for the automobile manufacturer BMW

Andreas Pohlmann/Stock 4B

he is driven by her talent. “I have to create, otherwise I’m not happy,” says Jette Joop about her need to work. And she designs just about everything: clothes, jewelry and perfumes, bags, shoes, shower accessories and bedclothes. The 39-year-old has even provided design ideas for whole houses, from the ground plan to the bathroom decoration. As a child she played with pins and buttons, tinkered about, painted and formed voluminous figures. Her father, the famous fashion designer Wolfgang Joop, says of his daughter that she was stubbornly creative at a young age. At 17 she went to Oxford, finished school there, studied industrial design in California and worked in New York City as a designer for Ralph Lauren and the luxury jewelry designer Barry Dieselstein-Cord. “Discipline is important if things are to function,” says Jette Joop. Under her own steam and with a lot of diligence she has developed herself and her collections. This multi-fashion entrepreneur, with a company based in Hamburg, has long since launched her own brand on the market and betrays a talent not only for designing, but for marketing and modelling. Often this attractive tall blonde is an ad for her own products. Glamour is ok, but she does not regard herself as the jet-set type. She says she is a serious person, and sees the meaning of life in gaining and passing on knowledge. As a professor of industrial design and a children’s ambassador for the Red Cross, she has also demonstrated her talent in these areas.

headquartered here. Also well-represented in the Hanseatic city are the advertising and design sectors, and large music industry companies with their German head offices.



ust how successful you can be with mailboxes is proven by Ralph Dommermuth, manager of one of the largest virtual post offices. Millions of German email postboxes belong to his company. Dommermuth is Germany’s Mister Internet. United Internet, the listed company set up in leisurely Montabaur by this trained banker in his early 40s, offers several email services, distributes fast internet connections or stores websites on powerful servers. His customers like to surf, Dommermuth likes to sail. In 2007 he was the main sponsor of the first ever German team to Ralph Dommermuth take part in the America’s Cup. is a successful Web entrepreneur who has built up a thriving Internet company

United Internet

2) Leipzig/Dresden When it comes to painting and photography, these two

eastern German cities are trendsetters of international format. A special “creative industry” markets young artists from Leipzig and Dresden: artists from the New Leipzig School (known worldwide under the label Young German Artists), advertising artists, and the “Dresden Pop”


region are inseparably linked with two things: the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) and the film studios in PotsdamBabelsberg, which are Germany’s largest.

Deutschland 55

The apprentices also learn to work in a sculptor’s studio. The training aims to foster creativity

By Dirk Böttcher


t’s a little like roulette. But you don’t risk everything on a single number. The stakes are small and distributed widely. Altogether, though, they add up to a very considerable sum, which you are gambling on your future. Surprisingly, it is Hermut Kormann, the present CEO and former chief financial officer at Voith, one of Germany’s most tradition-steeped family businesses, who uses the analogy of gambling to describe the company philosophy. The firm’s successful past is documented not only by the enormous turbines dating from the year 1886 that can be seen at the German Museum in Munich, but also by the fact that its machines today produce one third of all the sheets of paper sold worldwide. Other products include locomotives, hydro power plants, practically wear-free brakes and rather unusual ship’s propellers.

Yet the Voith engineering group sees its future in products that are still largely unknown – no one can say what they will look like or whether they will sell at all. Its employees are ardently working on new ideas – also as a result of Hermut Kormann’s declared commitment to creativity. It aims to secure growth from within for a strong enterprise that achieved sales of 3.7 billion euros in the last financial year. Voith is a flourishing experiment in creativity, an exemplary industrial model of how creativity works and what benefits it can bring. According to the

psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, creativity is based upon three elements: first: the domain, a discipline mastered to perfection; second: the field, the environment that facilitates creativity; and third: the person, the individual that achieves satisfaction through creative activity. By comparison, the definition of creativity Hermut Kormann applies to Voith seems incredibly simple: “Innovation is when our customers scrap an old product for a new one.” Kormann’s down-


C R E AT I V I T Y The family-owned Voith business, a world-class engineering firm, has made a strong commitment to creativity. A remarkable experiment in provincial Swabia

The CEO of Voith AG, Hermut Kormann, initiated the commitment to creativity in order to generate innovation

Voith AG

Elias Hassos

56 Deutschland 4/2007

The name

Elias Hassos

Voith stands for 140 years of pioneering technological achievement in mechanical engineering. Outside the industry, however, it is relatively unknown

to-earth interpretation of creativity represents a profound truth for an enterprise like Voith, because for the last 140 years the firm has been making products built to last for eternity. Voith paper machines simply run and run – if you don’t turn them off or take them apart, they will even keep going for a hundred years. The glossy paper for the current annual report – it records a surplus of 246 million euros and refers to creativity as one of the company’s main principles – was produced on “a Voith” dating from the year 1904.

The sculptor Manuel Meiswinkel encourages apprentices to make something that they cannot know at the beginning how it will look at the end

The creativity movement at Voith is built on a strong starting It would therefore be rather easy to save the cost of running a

Markus Woehl, head of corporate communications at Voith, has experienced the development of the creativity doctrine from the very outset. It is founded on the elements: secure, build, create. The first stage is a kind of basic creativity, straightforward engineering work that secures the firm’s survival. The second stage involves creative ideas that build new market share in existing business areas. Take the new Atmos drying technology, for example: once equipped with this new development, a conventional paper machine consumes a third less energy – a compelling selling point in the light of the enormous use of resources in paper manufacturing and rising energy costs. The fi-

The engineer Susanne Moses has been given time to tinker about. She is working on a contactless sensor for measuring the thickness of paper

The employees are asked to use their ingenuity. They are expected to develop their own ideas – if necessary, even against the wishes of their departmental heads

nal stage involves totally new ideas. They are developed in a kind of playground where the imagination is allowed free rein in the hope that it will prepare the ground for new areas of business.

This is where the ball spins in the roulette game for the future. Voith is staking its money, among other things, on wave power. Wavegen, a Voith subsidiary, operates the world’s only wave power station on the Scottish island of Islay. It is already feeding enough electricity into the grid to supply local households and a whisky distillery – but not yet enough to switch on just one Voith paper machine. However, the experts see the oceans as a potential source of energy with reserves equivalent to the current output of 2,000 large-scale coal-fired power stations. In 10 to 15 years, therefore, Wavegen could have developed into an entire new branch of industry. Voith is developing hundreds of forward-looking ideas of this kind. Recently, for example, a skilled lathe operator invented an articulated shaft with split flange receivers. Although rather cryptic to most non-specialists, this development enables a 20% higher power transfer. Susanne Moses, an engineer, is also tinkering about – on a contactless sensor for measuring the thickness of paper.

Voith AG (4), Text: © brand eins

sales department over one or two generations if Voith did not constantly set new standards. Some 182 million euros flowed into research and development in the last financial year. The results of this innovation drive are documented by Voith’s more than 10,000 patents. Every year, 400 new patents are added to the total. They are also reflected in the machines. Technological advances have transformed them into true cathedrals of industry measuring more than 250 metres in length and tens of metres in height. That’s enough room for 18,000 tonnes of steel – sufficient to build two Eifel Towers – and the amount of electronic circuitry found in five airbuses. Not to mention the machine’s intelligence, which is required to enable this behemoth of iron and steel to transform a mixture of 99% water and 1% fibrous material into quality white paper that runs through it at 120 kilometres an hour while being sieved, rolled and dried.

The Voith Company In 1867 Johann Matthäus Voith sold his metalworking shop to his son Friedrich. That represented the beginning of Voith, a global family business. Today, the Voith Group includes the divisions Voith Paper, Voith Turbo, Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation and Voith – Industrial Services. The Heidenheim-based group (“Engineered reliability”) generates a turnover of 3.7 billion euros with 34,000 employees worldwide.

situation – the business has been realizing solid revenues for many years. What it still needs is growth. And to achieve that you need lots of ideas. To encourage the development of ideas, Voith invites great minds to the company. Minds that are bright, but above all free, not totally tangled up in day-to-day business. After all, “the urgent always supplants the important”, as Kormann puts it. That’s why Voith has a programme entitled Scientific@Voith. The company employs scientists who are allowed to engage exclusively in research. What is more, members of other disciplines are given preference: aerospace engineers, astronomers and meteorologists, for example. Students of such exotic specialities usually have a passion for their subjects. And passion is the important thing here. “Today you cannot attract top personnel with money,” says Kormann. But you certainly can with money that helps to transform people’s ideas into marketable products. And with recognition, which Kormann considers an impetus for creativity.

That could become a decisive advantage in the competition for the best personnel. The prospect of being able to realize your own ideas is an important attraction. When it comes to day-to-day business, every department is allowed to release two to three employees to engage in creative work. Here Kormann explicitly appeals for employees to show disloyalty towards superiors: if you believe in your idea, you should do everything to promote it. In practice that means that researchers like Susanne Moses spend 10 to 15% of their time tinkering about on new projects – for example, on her sensor. Conventional contact-based measuring techniques constantly make the paper tear, which stops production. And that, says Moses, is “extremely unpopular with customers”. After three years, Moses, the mechanical engineer, is about to produce a prototype. It’s “a great feeling to take an idea all the way through to the end”. But it’s still top secret.

Elias Hassos

Deutschland 59

LOGISTICS WORLD CHAMPIONS The division of labour within the world economy is increasing the flows of goods – and Germany is the hub. A report on a race against time

60 Deutschland 4/2007

DB AG/Warter

Shipment Porsche sports cars destined for export travel their first kilometres by rail, here in Kornwestheim

ing. Two hours later an employee at the Schenker office in Filderstadt near Stuttgart pulls a shipping order from Porsche out of the fax machine: transport a right headlight for a Porsche Cayman from Ludwigsburg, 50 kilometres away, to Novosibirsk, 5,000 kilometres away. The shipment will be ready for pickup at 3:30 p.m. that day.

Shunting Freight locomotives of Deutsche Bahn subsidiary Railion are ready for work in Maschen near Hamburg

A routine case

for Schenker. For just under two years, the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary has been responsible for organizing and realizing the supply of all spare parts to Russia for Porsche. Whenever a part is needed, Schenker delivers it. The subsidiary of the German rail group is one of the global players in the international transport business. It is right at the top when it comes to car industry logistics. Schenker delivers parts from all over Europe to the Audi plant in Györ, Hungary, where the TT Roadster is produced. The forwarder uses rail shuttles to transport car components from the Opel factory in Bochum to the Astra assembly plant in Antwerp and from Zaragoza to Eisenach. At the BMW plant in Leipzig it supplies components for the 3 Series directly to the assembly line.

DB AG/Müller-Elsner (3)

Logistics is an unwieldy term for highly complex interrelation-



Schenker delivers the presorted parts for the 3 Series directly to the assembly line at the BMW factory in Leipzig

By Andreas Molitor


erhaps Andrei Sibiryakov should have taken the left turn a little slower. Just under 80 kilometres an hour on fresh snow was too much for the Porsche Cayman. When he put his foot on the brake, he already knew it was too late. Slowly the small sports car slid towards the Lada parked at the edge of the road. Then came the crash. At Sport-Auto in Datchnaya Street, the only Porsche workshop in Novosibirsk and, in fact, within a radius of several thousand kilometres, the technicians soon reach a diagnosis. “The car needs a new front spoiler,” they explain, “and the right fender and right main headlight have to be replaced, too.” The master mechanic logs on to the Porsche IT system. “The spoiler and fender are in stock in Moscow, but the headlight is currently unavailable in the whole of Russia.” It will have to be shipped to West Siberia from Germany – to be more precise, from the central spare parts warehouse in Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart. Loading

Andrei Sibiryakov doesn’t want to wait two or three weeks, which

A truck is laden directly from the freight train at the marshalling yard in Duisburg

is how long it can take to transport the headlight by road. So the part will have to be delivered as express freight and sky hop from Germany to Moscow and then from there to Novosibirsk. Sport-Auto sends the order to Germany by e-mail through Porsche Russia in Moscow. It is Wednesday, 11 a.m. local time in Novosibirsk when the order arrives in Ludwigsburg. There it is six o’clock in the morn-

Storage Shipments are stacked at the DHL high-bay warehouse in Langenfeld

Logistics encompasses everything from letter delivery to container shipment as well as supplying factories with steel tubes and service stations with fuel and frozen pizzas. Logistics specialists ensure that white roses from Kenya arrive fresh in the flower shop around the corner and that the cooking pots ordered from the home-shopping channel are delivered to people’s doors. Millions of euros are lost when a car factory comes to a halt for an hour because containers of urgently needed components were delayed at the port. Time is money – this maxim applies nowhere more than in the logistics industry. And yet the costs do not necessarily depend on the distances travelled. “When a container travels from Shanghai to Potsdam,” explains a logistics expert, “the ship’s journey half way around the world only accounts for one fifth and the overland transport from Hamburg to Potsdam for four fifths of the freight costs.” Above all, the goods have to arrive at their destination on time. That’s why Andrei Sibiryakov’s headlight, for example, is not transDeutschland 63


62 Deutschland 4/2007

ships, a world of many small, but tremendously important, interconnected processes. Logistics means “ensuring the availability of the right goods in the right quantities in the right condition at the right place at the right time for the right customer and at the right price”. The accepted definition may be long-winded, but it is accurate. In more simple terms, you could say: logistics is the lubricating oil of the world economy. The division of labour in the global factory is generating steady growth in the flows of goods travelling around the world – and the demands on point-to-point transport are also increasing. Germany is a logistics world champion. The giants of the industry – Schenker, DHL and Kühne + Nagel – are no longer just fleets of vehicles with a few trucks, but globally operating businesses, enormous spiders in the highly differentiated transport web, equipped with complex IT tools and satellite-controlled communication systems. The industry generates an annual turnover of 165 billion euros. In Germany, 480,000 people are employed by the logistics industry, and this figure is rising.

When goods are transported to Germany by sea from China or India, the journey time isn’t counted in hours or days, but in weeks. And the imponderabilities are on an entirely different scale from an afternoon traffic jam on the autobahn. Problems with customs, striking port workers or severe storms on the high seas are just some of the hurdles that can lead to detours. Spontaneous decisions then have to be made about calling at other ports or taking a few more containers on board. But that takes time. As a result, a week’s delay can easily accrue on the China route. That’s an enormous challenge for the transport planners of the major logistics firms. Logistics no longer only involves the safe transportation of freight over distances of thousands of kilometres; it has also become the art of delivering goods to the factory at predetermined times. The car industry takes this to extremes by demanding that components be delivered to the assembly line at precise times determined by production processes and irrespective of how far the parts have to travel.

DB AG/Warter (2), DB AG/Müller-Elsner

ported to Novosibirsk by truck, which would be significantly cheaper, but is loaded onto an aircraft. It’s Thursday afternoon at Hahn Airport in the Hunrück hills, 3 p.m. local time, one-and-a-half days after the accident. The headlight for Andrei Sibiryakov’s Porsche is just being loaded into the hold of an old DC-10. The part has already travelled some distance today: from the Porsche warehouse in Ludwigsburg to Schenker in Filderstadt, then onto a truck and up the autobahn on the way to the airport. Only 41 hours have passed since Andrei Sibiryakov’s accident when the DC-10 takes off punctually for Moscow at 8:20 p.m.

Control The Deutsche Bahn data processing centre resembles an aircraft cockpit packed full of electronics. Running IT applications are visible on a large screen and monitors

Delivery The last few metres to the customer are completed on foot. Here a Schenker employee is delivering monitors to Berlin’s Olympic Stadium


01 – DHL The company is the world leader

ing integrated logistics services. As a special-

for international express shipment, overland

ist for land transportation – by road and rail –

Everything the suppliers deliver from all over Europe – 2,000

dispatch and air cargo transport. Further-

in Europe, Schenker links the major economic

more, DHL is number one in the area of sea

regions in more than thirty European coun-

freight and contract logistics. The company

tries with a closely knit network of scheduled

was founded in 1969 by US Americans

transports. Schenker is also a specialist for

Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom and Robert

global sea and air freight solutions and all

Lynn – the initials of their last names formed

associated logistics services. The company

the company name. At first, they personally

was founded by Gottfried Schenker more than

delivered documents by air from San Fran-

135 years ago in Vienna and now ranks second

cisco to Honolulu. Since 2002, DHL has

among the largest logistics businesses in

And with Hanover. That’s where Schenker runs the state-of-the-

belonged to Deutsche Post World Net. It now

Germany with almost 55,000 employees.

art Production Supply Centre for Volkswagen. “The parts that arrive here every day in 130 trucks have to be fitted in 700 VW Transporters according to a timetable measured in seconds – and this has to be achieved without interrupting production at the factory,” explains Jürgen Buch, who is in charge of Schenker’s operation in Hanover. An invisible hand maintains order in the seemingly chaotic bustle of forklifts and electric carts. Nothing is left to chance and little to human judgment. The supply centre and the neighbouring factory are networked together by central computers; intelligent and flexible IT systems maintain the flow of materials in time to the rhythm of the production process. They control communication between the suppliers, Schenker and Volkswagen.

employs a workforce of 285,000 and de-

different modules and countless individual parts – has to be transferred from the trucks to the warehouse and then from the warehouse to the factory over a 360-metre bridge, a process has to be synchronized with the assembly line – with the right part always at the right place at the right time. This even applies to such apparently trivial things as the instruction book for the radio, which has to be in the glove compartment in English – not another language – if the vehicle is being built for the British market. Even the tiniest mistakes can come back to roost. “VW employees at the factory must be able to rely on the fact that the parts have been supplied in the right order,” says Jürgen Buch. “Assembly workers automatically reach for the next component. If they need grey door panels for a car and we supply black ones, the vehicle can’t be delivered on time.” In the worst case, the assembly line has to be stopped.

These global flows of goods come together at Hamburg. The bank of the Elbe with its storage bays piled high with brightly coloured steel containers has become “the stockyard of galloping globalization”, as it was recently described in a report on the world’s eighth largest port. The container, a metal box measuring 20 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8 feet tall, is the global currency of logistics. Calculated over the year, Hamburg has almost five times as many containers as inhabitants. If you were to put all the containers end to end, they would create a line of boxes stretching almost three times around the world. Hamburg is just a stop for most containers. The port links the workshops of the world – China, India and Korea – with Scandinavia, the Baltic region, Russia and southeastern Europe.

64 Deutschland 4/2007

livers 1.5 billion shipments a year in more

03 – KÜHNE + NAGEL The firm, which

than 220 countries.

was founded by August Kühne and Friedrich Nagel in Bremen in 1890, began international-

02 – SCHENKER The subsidiary of DB Lo-

izing in the 1950s and is today the third largest

gistics, the transport and logistics division of

German logistics business with 45,000 em-

Deutsche Bahn AG, is one of the world’s lead-


Saturday afternoon in Novosibirsk. The mechanic at SportAuto is getting ready to leave for lunch when a courier drives into the yard. The driver pulls out a parcel. It’s the right headlight for Andrei Sibiryakov’s Cayman. After passing through six transshipment stations and travelling 400 kilometres by road and 5,000 kilometres in the air, it has finally reached its destination. Three days and four hours have passed since the accident. The mechanic thinks for a moment before calling Andrei Sibiryakov. He can collect his car in two hours. Deutschland 65

Readers’ Letters

Discovering a New Side of the Country


Deutschland No. 2/2007 – “Art and Culture”

Publisher “Deutschland” is published by SocietätsVerlag, Frankfurt am Main, in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin

Thank you for the issue of Deutschland with the special feature on “Art and Culture”. The articles gave me a profound and truly magnificent insight into artistic and cultural life in Germany and I discovered a side of the country I had not known before. I believe that many people know nothing about that at all – unless they visit Germany or read the articles in Deutschland. Ahmed Adam, Sudan

Publishing House Frankfurter Societäts-Druckerei GmbH Frankenallee 71-81, D-60327 Frankfurt am Main Postal address: D-60268 Frankfurt am Main Tel: ++(0)69/7501-0 Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Peter Hintereder Art Directon: Hans-Georg Pospischil, Bruno Boll Editors: Martin Orth (desk editor), Janet Schayan (text), Rainer Stumpf, Oliver Sefrin Assistant: Isabel Opitz Production: Stefan Reichart, Jörn Roßberg Translations: Bob Culverhouse, Pauline Cumbers, Don Reneau, Ann Robertson, Derek Whitfield Editorial Service E-mail: Tel: ++(0)69/7501-4352 Fax: ++(0)69/7501-4361

Interesting Overview Deutschland No. 3/2007 – “Energy and Climate Protection”

I very much liked the feature on “Energy and Climate”. I especially enjoyed reading the article about energy-self-sufficient villages and towns in Germany. It was an interesting overview of renewable energy projects for the future. María Díaz, Argentina

PREVIEW 5/2007 Architecture in Germany

Facts about Germany – in handbook form and on the Web. Up-to-date and reliable information about Germany. In Facts about Germany, well-known authors provide information on all realms of modern life in Germany. Plus facts, figures and interesting time-lines.

More knowledge about Germany 66 Deutschland 4/2007

Distribution Sales Manager: Karlheinz Hohmann Deputy: Klaus Hofmann Distribution Service E-mail: Tel: ++(0)69/7501-4274 Fax: ++(0)69/7501-4502 picture-alliance/dpa/dpaweb

Dazzling museums, modern soccer arenas, spectacular concert halls: architecture in Germany has many faces and enjoys high international standing. There are many regional centres with significant historical and contemporary buildings – and one central hub: Berlin. World-class architecture can be experienced in the capital city. This is where famous German and international architects realize their ideas. German building design is also in demand abroad: architecture “made in Germany” enjoys an excellent reputation and German architects are implementing innovative architectural projects worldwide.

Advertising Karlheinz Hohmann E-mail: Tel: ++(0)69/7501-4274 Fax: ++(0)69/7501-4502 Prices Annual subscription, including postage Germany: 13.00 Euros, Abroad: 16.00 Euros, Students: 11.50 Euros, Individual issue: 2.70 Euros Notes “Deutschland” is published six times a year in 11 languages and is distributed in 180 countries. Articles by named authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the publishers. Inquiries: Cover: Wieslaw Smetek Copy deadline for this issue: July 23, 2007 Printed in Germany Copyright © by Frankfurter Societäts-Druckerei GmbH 2007 Postvertriebskennzeichen 7999 This magazine is printed on environmentally friendly paper that was manufactured using cellulose bleached without chlorine.


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