Keep Calm and Drink Gluhwein

Following the terrible Christmas market truck incident at Breitscheidplatz, all other markets were told to keep their music down. Does staying quiet actually achieve anything? We’re going to carry on enjoying Gluhwein rather than respond with fear.

What’s changing in Berlin in 2017? We’ll get an extra public holiday, pay more for public transport, and get a small raise in hourly rates – unless you’re a freelancer.

Looking for something to do over the Christmas break? Why not volunteer at a refugee shelter. Find one near you at

Thanks for listening to Radio Spaetkauf in 2016! This episode is presented by Joel Dullroy and Maisie Hitchcock, and is brought to you by RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

Radio Spaetkauf - Berlin's English Podcast

Live: Catching the U-Bahn Kicker

Should a man who once trained with the Stasi be allowed to run Berlin’s housing department? Professor Andrej Holm has been named city secretary for housing. He’s been the most vocal critic of the city’s policies for many years, and advocates high taxation on real estate speculation. His critics say he shouldn’t have such an important job because in 1989 he joined a Stasi training academy. His supporters say a person’s mistake as an 18 year old shouldn’t affect them 26 years later.

Should the city install more security cameras, after that terrible kicking attack in an U-bahn station? Berlin was shocked by a video showing a man kicking a woman in the back, sending her flying down the stairs of the Hermannstrasse U-Bahn station. The man was caught on a bus after being recognized by a passenger. The new R2G has promised to reduce the number of surveillance cameras in public places.

And should the city take free money to rebuild an imperial monument? The federal government wants to give Berlin €18.5M to rebuild the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial. Why not build something new instead?

Want to protect your data while using the BVG’s free WiFi network (or any other)? Join our guest Adam Burns at a Cryptoparty:

It’s cold out. If you see someone on the street in danger of freezing, call the Kaltbus on 0178 523 58 38.

Become a Radio Spaetkauf supporter! Donate just €1, €5 or €10 a month to help us bring you the news. Go to and click “Donate.”

This episode was recorded at Comedy Cafe Berlin on Sunday December 18. It was presented by Maisie Hitchcock, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern. Thanks to Katharina Bille for video work, and Joshua Alas from Mobile Kino for sound.


Berlin’s Industrial Snowstorm

Berlin still has an estimated 3000 unexploded WWII bombs under the surface. One of them was discovered this week between Neukölln and Treptow, causing the evacuation of 2600 residents.

The city also has a lot of people in jail for not paying their public transport fines. In fact, almost 10 percent of the city’s 4100 inmates are there for dodging train fares. Now the new justice senator, Dirk Behrend from the Greens, plans to roll back the policy of jailing so-called “Schwarzfahrer”. He wants to let them do community service instead.

Michael Müller has been sworn in as Berlin’s mayor for a second term as head of the R2G coalition. But it hasn’t been the best week for the returning mayor. His top aide, Björn Böhning from the SPD, is being investigated for alleged corruption. The controversy is about a report written by the consulting company McKinsey into the city’s refugee situation in 2015. McKinsey originally said this would be done pro bono. But later Mr. Böhning authorized a payment of €237,000 to the consultants, one of whom was a former SPD party secretary. The mayor is supporting Mr. Böhning. The investigation continues.

Residents of Neukölln and Wedding awoke this week to the first snow of the season. Meteorologists said the fine layer of white snow actually came from the city’s fossil fuel-fired power plants. Steam from the plants crystalized in the cold foggy air and fell to earth. They’re calling it “Industrieschnee.”

Our next live show is on Sunday December 18 at the Comedy Cafe Berlin. Come along!

This episode of Radio Spaetkauf was presented by Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern, and was brought to you by RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.