Rank #1: Talking Germany - Claus Hipp, Entrepreneur
Claus Hipp took over the company founded by his father Georg in 1932 at a young age. His father died when he was 29 and he and his brothers Georg and Paulus took the helm. With a law degree under his belt as well as an apprenticeship with the painter Heinrich Kroop, Claus Hipp had to put his love of art and acting on the backburner.
Today, his five children have all joined the family business and he has more time to devote to his first loves. He's been teaching at the art school in Tbilisi, Georgia, since 2001, and also lends his talents as a set designer to the opera festival at the Gut Immling estate im Chiemgau. Now 75, he is a keen oboe player and lives in the family estate near Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm.
Jun 15 2015
Rank #2: Talking Germany - Alexandra Kalle, Fragrance Developer
Alexandra Kalle was born in 1970 in Paderborn. After graduating from high school, she studied languages and business administration. At a job interview in the marketing department of a perfume company she took an olfactory test and achieved an outstanding score. She decided to begin anew and finished a two-and-a-half-year training course as a perfumer, a profession that only about 60 people carry out in Germany. She composes new fragrances in her mind and develops formulas not in the laboratory, but at her desk. Now 44, she has worked for six years for 4711, a brand with a long tradition, best known for itsOriginal Eau de Cologne, which is celebrating its 222nd anniversary this year. Alexandra Kalle has renewed and extended the brand, which is sold in 160 countries around the world, with her own series of fragrances. She likes to take walks to scent out the air in her adopted home town of Cologne.
Jun 08 2015
Rank #3: Talking Germany - Amir Kabbani, Professional Mountain Biker
Amir Kabbani, whose mother is German and father Syrian, discovered mountain biking when he was 13. Just four years later he turned pro. He now lives on the prize money he wins at national and international competitions and support from sponsors. He earned his reputation in the mountain bike scene and beyond through spectacular web videos. Together with director and cinematographer Lukas Tielke he shot two short films titled "In the Woods with Amir Kabbani. " A third title is in preparation. In his home town of Boppard he's helped build a mounntain bike park which he looks after, together with a team. For a long time Amir Kabbani escaped any severe injuries, but in March 2014 he fractured his twelfth thoracic vertebra in an accident during practice. Fortunately the injury is healing well, and there has been no permanent damage.
Jun 01 2015
Rank #4: Talking Germany - Constanze Kurz, Author and Hacker
Constanze Kurz was born in East Berlin in 1974. Her interest in technology was sparked by her father's work as an engineer and the education she acquired at vocational college. With relatives who worked in the church, her family was also of interest to the dreaded secret police.
After finishing school, she began studying economics because it seemed like a sensible option in the post-unification years. But then she switched to computing, with a special focus on surveillance technologies. She wrote her dissertation on electronic voting. She now works for the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin and as a volunteer spokesperson for the Chaos Computer Club. She also serves on a special Internet and Digital Society Commission convened by parliament. Constanze Kurz lives and works in Berlin.
May 25 2015
Rank #5: Talking Germany - Walter Möbius, Doctor and Author
Born in Bonn in 1937, Walter Möbius studied medicine and traveled the world as an ameteur photographer and rock climber. From 1978 to 2002, during most of which time Bonn served as the seat of the German government, he was head doctor at the Johanniter Hospital in Bonn, where many politicans were treated. One of them was Helmut Kohl, who became a close friend. Although Möbius retired 12 years ago, he still visits his former workplace on a regular basis and his artwork is exhibited in one of the hospital wards. He believes that hospitals should be pleasant environments, and that if they are comfortable and well cared for, their chances of recovery are greater. He also works on behalf of the Salesians of Don Boscos youth services.
May 18 2015
Rank #6: Talking Germany - Johannes Kneifel, Former neo-Nazi - Present Day Pastor
Johannes Kneifel was born on July 6, 1982 in the central German town of Celle and grew up in Eschede in Lower Saxony. His father was nearly blind and his mother suffered from multiple sclerosis. Both lost their jobs and had difficulty caring for their three small children. They had little time for the kids. As a teenager, Johannes fell in with a group of militant, anti-foreign rightist extremist neo-Nazis. He landed in jail after being convicted of taking part in the fatal beating of a man in August 1999. While in prison, he completed a training program and says he found his faith with the help of the prison chaplain. Gradually, he came to renounce neo-Nazism. Later, he went on to study theology. Today he is the pastor at a small Baptist church in the Erzgebirge in southeastern Germany. He has also written a book about his experiences.
May 11 2015
Rank #7: Talking Germany - Carolin Emcke, War Correspondent and Philosopher
Carolin Emcke likes being a witness, observing with out fear and an analytical mind. For 14 years now, she has been travelling to parts of the world stricken by crisis and strife together with photographer Sebastian Bolesch. Emcke goes to places people flee from – Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq and Gaza. She says she goes to be a witness and give victims their voice. She is also on a quest to discover how violence affects people.
Born in Mülheim an der Ruhr to a German father and Argentinean mother in 1967, Carolin Emcke studied philosophy, history and political science in Frankfurt and London. She wrote a doctoral thesis in philosophy entitled "Collective Identities." Then Emcke went on to work for eight years in Hamburg for the German weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel.She has been a freelance publicist since 2007. Emcke came into the public eye as an author when in 2012 she published a book about discovering her own sexuality – in German – Wie wir begehren The publicist lives in Berlin, where she is deeply involved in the city's cultural life. She moderates podium discussions, organizes events and works as a curator for exhibitions. Emcke believes it is a journalist's job to get involved – intellectually and politically.
May 04 2015
Rank #8: Talking Germany - Jens Weidner, Aggression Researcher and Author
Jens Weidner is Professor for Educational Science and Criminology at the Hamburg School for Applied Sciences, where he has lived and worked since 1995. He's occupied himself with the question of how to harness aggression for more than 30 years. Weidner gained fundamental insights into the power of aggression while working with violent adolescents at the Glen Mills School in Philadelphia. He later co-founded the German Institute for Confrontative Pedagogy. He's convinced that our aggressive instincts can be a positive force and has a second job as a career coach, where he advises people who are too nice at work. Jens Weidner also likes to enjoy life and besides his penchant for fine food he's also a member of The Optimists' Club in Hamburg.
Apr 27 2015
Rank #9: Talking Germany - Guest: Publisher Angelika Taschen
According to her own information, Angelika Taschen was conceived in a book shop. She was born in 1959 in the small town of Homberg in the state of Hessen. After finishing secondary school in 1978 she first trained as a classical ballet dancer. But at a height of 1.76, she was too tall for a careeer as a prima ballerina. That was another reason why, in 1979, she started to study German language and literature and art history at university in Heidelberg. That same year she married art historian Stefan Muthesius. She has a daughter from that marriage. After writing her dissertation on Futurism she applied for a job at Taschen Books, where she soon rose to be managing editor. There she got to know her second husband, Benedikt Taschen. Together with him she made Taschen Books the world's largest illustrated book publishing company. The Indian Times dubbed her "queen of the coffee table books" because of the often heavy art and design tomes she published. After separating from her second husband, she moved to Berlin in 2004 and founded her own small publishing company there.
Apr 20 2015
Rank #10: Talking Germany - Martin Hoffmann, Berlin Philharmonic
On "Talking Germany,” we chat with former lawyer Martin Hoffmann about the watersheds in his life; why classical music isn’t right for commercial television; and how he’s getting young audiences interested in the Philharmonic.
Martin Hoffmann was born in 1959 in Nussloch, near Heidelberg. After graduating from high school in Heidelberg, we studied law in Saarbrücken, Lausanne and Hamburg. He came to the attention of Leo Kirch when he prepared an expert legal opinion for the media mogul. Kirch hired him in 1994 to work for his Sat. 1 television station, and Hoffmann quickly rose to become managing director. He left the company in 2003, following its takeover by investor Haim Saban and became the CEO of the MME television production company. When the Berlin Philharmonic was looking for a new general manager, Hoffmann - a passionate lover of classical music - applied successfully for the position. The orchestra considers it an advantage that Hoffmann doesn’t come from a typical classical music background. It expects the experienced and well-connected businessman to ensure a greater public profile while interfering less with artistic decisions than his predecessors had. Martin Hoffmann is married and lives in Berlin.
Apr 14 2015