Christoph Amend


What do pop stars like Herbert Grönemeyer and Lena Meyer-Landrut think about their country? Christoph Amend’s exciting journey through the new Germany

15 years ago, Christoph Amend talked to the grandfathers of the German republic. He asked Richard von Weizsäcker, Egon Bahr, Hellmuth Karasek, Joachim Fest, Erich Loest and Horst-Eberhard Richter about their experiences of Germany. Now the editor-in-chief of ZEIT Magazin meets with women and men of all generations to feel the pulse of modern-day Germany.

With the answers of the nation’s grandfather’s at the forefront of his mind, Amend visits pop star Herbert Grönemeyer, Hellmuth Karasek’s daughter Laura, Jens Spahn and “that German girl” Lena Meyer-Landrut as well as his own parents, asking them, “What happened to the country I grew up in?”

Over the course of his journey, Amend visits places where Germany is grappling with difficult issues and meets people who help him explore the sense of division so palpable across the country.

15 years ago, Egon Bahr told Chrstoph Amend, “The veneer of civilisation is thin.” Joachim Fest spoke of his doubts that democracy had a natural home in Germany. During his travels across the country, the author talks to a diverse range of people. These include a 19-year-old who remembers the AfD being discussed in her school lessons, and a 95-year-old woman who, despite coming to Germany as a refugee, is scared of foreigners. Yet Amend also argues with his own 75-year-old father about the nation’s current political condition.

What state is Germany in, and where does it go from here? These are the issues explored in Christoph Amend’s enlightening new book.