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This audio drama invites your ears to visit Slumberland, a small island town in the US. Come along with Thomas Edward M, the freelance soundman. He's been hired to meet the locals and record their oral histories for the town's time capsule. The unfolding history of the town mixes folklore, paranormal, mystery and humor.
 
Common Ground was launched in September 2020 as the flagship talk show of KCRW Berlin 104.1 FM. Every week, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson brings together prominent guests from all walks of life to tackle questions on everything from local to transatlantic topics. Look for us every Monday wherever you get your podcasts.
 
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show series
 
Russia appears ready to invade Ukraine, with the recent deployment of roughly 100,000 Russian troops along their mutual border. In this episode of Transatlantic Takeaway -- a monthly collaboration between Common Ground and the German Marshall Fund of the United States -- Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and her guests discuss the ongoing crisis and its …
 
A virtual meeting via computer webcam reunites Thomas and his nemesis Delfina Del Becha. Delfina's decided it's time for Thomas to record her final additions to the Secret Oral History of the Del Bechas. For more info please contact slumberlandpodcast at outlook dot com Written, recorded and performed by Tom Mansell Delfina Del Becha performed by K…
 
Our collaboration with the Goethe Institute that shatters the stereotype of the unfunny German – Or does it? Laugh at and learn about German humor with host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and her guest comedians Carmen Chraim, Christian Schulte-Loh and Daniel Stern as well as German Institute for Humor founder Eva Ullmann and Nicola McLelland, a German pro…
 
On the inaugural episode of Transatlantic Takeaway -- a monthly collaboration between Common Ground and the German Marshall Fund of the United States -- Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores what German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the French taking over the EU presidency will mean for the European bloc and the United States. Her guests: Rachel Tausen…
 
How will Germans respond to beer getting more expensive? What will the outcome of the ongoing coalition talks mean for younger Germans? How do Americans perceive the legacy of Angela Merkel? And is Joe Biden a hit or a miss in Germany? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and her guests delve into these issues and more on this special episode of Common Grou…
 
In A.D. 321, an edict drawn up by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great appointed Jewish people to the Cologne town council. This decree is the oldest known document showing Jewish life thriving north of the Alps. But what does it mean to be Jewish in Germany today? In this episode, guest host Stephanie Wolf speaks with Anti-Defamation League’s A…
 
Today marks the birthday of Mildred Harnack, an American academic and spy who was murdered by the Nazis in Berlin and who is the subject of Rebecca Donner’s New York Times bestseller “All The Frequent Troubles Of Our Days.” In this episode, Common Ground host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to Donner about her great-great-aunt's life, the state of wom…
 
In this joint episode by the Common Ground and Out of Order podcasts, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and GMF Senior Transatlantic Fellow Sudha David-Wilp examine the struggle to elect the first new chancellor in 16 years and what Germany’s top three political parties in opinion surveys are doing about it. Featuring: Tobias Hans of the CDU, minister pr…
 
The pandemic has dramatically changed our lives for nearly 18 months now. The learning curve of how to deal with COVID-19 has been steep and definitive answers remain elusive. So were the experts right about the vaccines? What about booster shots? And should children be inoculated against the coronavirus? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson speaks with Ger…
 
If you like music and dancing, Berlin has a club for you. At least it used to until the pandemic struck. But now that there’s light at the end of that tunnel, will the German capital’s culture of clubs return? Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson hosted an on-air special on Aug. 13 at Germany’s top electronic music radio station, sunshine live, and spoke with DJ…
 
Coming up on Aug. 13, Common Ground and Germany's top electronic music radio team up on air to bring you the latest on nightlife in the German capital, which continues to grapple with COVID-19. Tune in from 7 p.m to 10 p.m. CET Guests and DJs include United We Stream’s Robin Schellenberg, Berlin's Club Commission’s Lutz Leichsenring and Georg Kössl…
 
This episode of Common Ground -- the last before our summer hiatus -- was recorded outdoors in the Berlin neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, where host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores the mounting challenges facing cyclists with Andrew Bulkeley, who writes for Berliner Zeitung English Edition; Dirk von Schneidemesser of Changing Cities, an initiative…
 
Germany’s handling of the pandemic has sparked a debate about whether the country’s form of government still makes sense. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson untangles the complex federal and state relationship with Bloomberg Opinion Columnist Andreas Kluth and Wolfgang Renzsch, professor emeritus at the University of Magdeburg, who has written extensively…
 
It’s been nearly six months since U.S. President Joe Biden took office, but has he repaired the frayed U.S. relations with Germany? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson brings you an update from both sides of the pond with Bloomberg Opinion columnist Andreas Kluth; Sudha David-Wilp, senior transatlantic fellow and deputy director of the German Marshall Fund…
 
Max MacGillicutty, the eccentric rich dude and quasi-resident of Slumberland, once again calls upon Thomas Edward M to sit with him, throw back a few, and listen to head-spinning yarns. The tales told this time around, center upon Max's ancestor in the 1860s. A man named Hexray Peeperman. Entrepreneur, war hero, inventor, and creator of "Notions an…
 
It’s the first day of summer and #berlinreopens is trending, but are tourists coming back? And what about international travel? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores how the pandemic has changed the way we vacation and the kinds of summer travel we can expect. Her guests are: Christian Tänzler, spokesman for visitBerlin, the city’s official tourism …
 
As NATO leaders meet in Brussels, our episode features the second part of a special town hall Common Ground co-hosted with the German Marshall Fund of the United States about the future of Afghanistan once the alliance’s troops leave in the coming months. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with: Atia Abawi, award-winning foreign correspondent and ch…
 
On May 27th, Common Ground and The German Marshall Fund of the United States co-hosted a special town hall with Afghan women, aid workers and analysts on three continents to talk about the future of the Central Asian Country after two decades of military and humanitarian intervention. This episode includes excerpts and interviews from that event. H…
 
What role will Germans between the ages of 18 and 35 play in choosing the next chancellor? Germany is often called a “pensioner democracy,” which has made it hard for young people to make a difference. That could change this year following a rare court victory and the surge of the Green Party and Annalena Baerbock, who could become the youngest cha…
 
Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson delves into why women struggle with fear despite wielding more political and economic power than ever before, with guests Anne Ruetten, social media manager of Plan International; Conny Vogt of Heimwegtelefon, a private initiative in Germany and Austria helping women feel safer when they walk home at night; and Sarah Rie…
 
Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores what the end of the Berlin rent cap means for renters, landlords and the upcoming German federal elections with guests Wenke Christoph, state secretary in the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing; Economist Konstantin Kholodolin of the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin; and K…
 
Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores the impact of changing attitudes, governments and the pandemic on people’s plans to retire, with guests llka Houben, head of pensions policy at the German Insurance Association; Michael Heuser, research director of the German Institute for Wealth Creation and Retirement Insurance and Megan Leonhardt, senior mone…
 
Common Ground’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to Korinna Hennig, co-host of a top German coronavirus podcast and Stefan Gosepath, a German philosopher and professor at the Freie Universitat Berlin, about the growing exodus in search of inoculations. We also hear from an American in Berlin who returned to the United States to get vaccinated and two o…
 
The Western allies’ coordinated sanctions on China this month for human rights abuses in Xinjiang are the first of their kind since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. But do they signal a new, unified approach by Washington and Berlin toward China? Or will the transatlantic unison be short-lived? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with Noah Bar…
 
Immigrants and their descendants account for a quarter of Germany’s population, but still have a hard time breaking into the political arena. Will any of that change this election year? Is the first-ever Syrian refugee candidate a good start? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with MP Aydan Özoğuz, a Social Democrat who was previously the federal co…
 
While Thomas is busy working on the oral history project, two residents of Slumberland enter the do-it-yourself recording booth. Their mission: to spread information about the man named Tango, who stole a "Del Becha tape" and then went missing. For more info please contact slumberlandpodcast at outlook dot com Written, recorded and performed by Tom…
 
What accounts for the slow digitalization of Europe’s economic powerhouse? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores Germany’s digital reality with Social Democratic MP Daniela Kolbe, who serves on the Artificial Intelligence Study Commission; MP Anke Domscheit-Berg, The Left party’s spokeswoman on the Digital Agenda parliamentary committee; and Philip …
 
Affordable housing in German cities is increasingly hard to find. What went wrong and can it be fixed? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with Berlin housing activist Thomas McGath of Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen und Co; Barbara Steenberger, head of the EU Liaison Office of the International Union of Tenants and Konstantin Kholodilin, senior economis…
 
Where are we in the fight to curb climate change? And will having Joe Biden as the U.S. president help? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to Douglas Hengel, senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund who writes about global energy, climate and resource challenges; Tim Gore, head of the Low Carbon and Circular Economy Program at The Institute for Eur…
 
Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck, founder of the news literacy project Lie Detectors in Brussels; Lisa Dittmer, Reporters without Borders’ advocacy officer in Berlin for internet freedom; Damaso Reyes, multimedia journalist and founder of Clarify Media; and Jacob Mchangama, founder of the Copenhagen-based think tank…
 
The coronavirus vaccination efforts in Germany and the EU are a mess. Why are some countries so much better at getting people inoculated? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is joined by Die Welt Middle East Correspondent and author Christine Kensche in Tel Aviv; Wall Street Journal Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Yaroslav Trofimov in Dubai and ARD Rad…
 
E-learning isn’t working the way many students, teachers and parents would like. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores the ramifications with psychologist Dr. Ilka Wolter, diversity consultant and parent Annette von Wedel and Berlin teachers Ryan Plocher and Adrianne Oldham. This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.…
 
The California company's new facility in Brandenburg is set to open this summer, leaving Germany’s auto giants scrambling to retain their dominance in the global luxury car market. Common Ground host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to Jens Hanefeld, who is in charge International and European Policy at Volkswagen, and Bloomberg Correspondent Stefan Ni…
 
The enormous metal sculpture of a woman's head floats in an expanse of water. Surrounded by fog, beneath cover of storm clouds, one man clings to the statue and faces a supernatural siren call. For more info please contact slumberlandpodcast at outlook dot com Written, recorded and performed by Tom Mansell The sound design in this episode owes than…
 
Unprecedented bans by the U.S.-based tech giants are sparking debate in Germany over who should control social media. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is joined by German MP (Greens) Renate Künast, Bloomberg Opinion’s Andreas Kluth, digital rights blogger and lawyer Joachim Steinhöfel and Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. This show is …
 
On the last episode of Common Ground in 2020, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to a man who has profoundly influenced Berlin and transatlantic relations for many decades: Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, John Kornblum. Tune in to hear about key moments in Berlin and the Cold War, the public radio station in the German capital he helped create, a…
 
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