Quick access:
Go directly to content (Alt 1)Go directly to second-level navigation (Alt 3)Go directly to first-level navigation (Alt 2)
The Big Pond – A U.S.-German Listening Series

A US-German Listening Series
The Big Pond

In collaboration with radio producers and broadcasters from the US and Germany, the Goethe-Institut Washington is bringing to you The Big Pond, a podcast with 50 features that will be produced this year.

Our topics such as music, sports, history, religion, language, and society convey a multifaceted image of life in Germany and in the US. With high-quality journalism, thorough research, and a preference for unique stories, this series takes on pretzels, beer, and the Berlin Wall, each piece offering a fresh perspective on just how much these two countries share.

Goethe.de/TheBigPond

Visit “The Big Pond” on the website of the Goethe-Institut in the USA. There you can find a lot of information about each episode of the podcast.


Latest episode


Recently aired

MIETENmove!-Demonstration in Hamburg Photo by Rasande Tyskar on flickr licensed under CC-BY-NC 2.0

May 15, 2019
The Big Pond #28: Exploding Rents in San Francisco and in Berlin

Audio wird geladen
Rents in San Francisco have exploded in recent years; by now, the metropolis in Northern California has overtaken New York as the most expensive city in the US. In Germany’s capital Berlin, the issue of affordable housing is also a hot topic – some are even suggesting dispossessing companies owning more than 3,000 apartments.

More

The Big Pond #27: Welcome to Motherland © Melissa Gerr

May 8, 2019
The Big Pond #27: Welcome to Motherland

Audio wird geladen
Three women, two countries, one shared experience: Motherhood. From giving birth to receiving support – our producer Melissa Gerr looks at the role and expectations of being a mother in the US and in Germany, revealing some startling differences. 

More

A Box of Berger Cookies © Katie Marquette

May 1, 2019
The Big Pond #26: No Restraint – Berger Cookies and the City of Baltimore

Audio wird geladen
Over 200 years ago, German immigrant Henry Berger opened a bakery in East Baltimore – and since that day, Berger Cookies have been handmade in the city of Baltimore. Our producer Katie Marquette investigates this special, “unrestrained” cookie.

More

Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Center, library of the Humboldt University in Berlin Photo: Bernhard Ludewig

April 24, 2019
The Big Pond #25: US-American Students in German Universities

Audio wird geladen
For some US students, escalating costs are putting college out of reach – whereas in Germany higher education is considered a right, tuition is normally even free. Meanwhile, German Universities are also creating degree programs entirely in English, thus eliminating the language barrier. For these reasons and others, Germany recently surpassed China, becoming a top-five destination for US-American students.

More

Friday prayer of the Muslim Student Association of the Miami University, Oxford, Ohio © Rosemary Pennington

April 17, 2019
The Big Pond #24: Being Muslim in the Midwest

Audio wird geladen
What is it like to be Muslim nowadays in the Midwest, the so-called Heartland of the US? And how does that reality connect to the one in Germany? Our producers Rosemary Pennington and Joe Sampson interviewed members of several Muslim communities as well as speakers of Muslim advocacy groups in the Cincinnati area.

More

Recycling © Nina Bohlmann

April 10, 2019
The Big Pond #23: Sorting Out Recycling

Audio wird geladen
As most of the Western world, the US and Germany have a waste problem – and recycling has been pushed by policymakers as one of the best ways to combat it. In Baltimore and Berlin, conversations with locals and experts reveal that recycling is not necessarily working as it should be on both sides of the Atlantic. 

More

Prezel production in Cincinatti, Ohio © Valora

April 3, 2019
The Big Pond #22: The Story of the Brezn

Audio wird geladen
The pretzel, known as a “Brezel” or “Brezn” in German, is not an ordinary pastry. It has a century-old history full of myths and stories. Where did it come from? Why does it have this special shape that vaguely resembles a hug? And how come it’s doused in lye? In this episode of The Big Pond, we trace the pretzel’s story from its origins to today. 

More

Hessian Barracks in Maryland © Rob Sachs

March 20, 2019
The Big Pond #20: Hessian Barracks in Maryland

Audio wird geladen
It is estimated that 30,000 Hessian soldiers fought for the British during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). Where did they come from and what happened to the survivors after losing to the US Army? For The Big Pond, Rob Sachs visits the Hessian Barracks in Frederick, Maryland to find out more.

More

The City of Magdeburg © Jakob Lewis

March 27, 2019
The Big Pond #21: What’s a Sister City Really?

Audio wird geladen
In the historic city of Magdeburg, Germany, there is a “Johnny Cash”-themed country music festival called Nashville Days – complete with corn dogs and cowboy hats. This is one of the fruits of the sister city relationship between Nashville and Magdeburg. Our producer Jakob Lewis, a Nashville citizen, goes to Magdeburg to see where the rubber meets the road for Sister Cities' idealistic vision to “promote peace one individual, one community at a time.”

More

Bread Nikki Out West © Nikki Out West

March 13, 2019
The Big Pond #19: German Bread – A Nourishing Craft

Audio wird geladen
Germany is internationally renowned for its bread. With its diversity of more than 3,000 varieties the Germans are world champions of bread. Since 2014, German bread culture is even an immaterial world cultural heritage, recognized by UNESCO. But the traditional baker's craft is threatened because there is a lack of new blood and competition from large-scale bakeries and cheap prebake stations.

More

Wurstfest in New Braunfels © Wurstfest Association of New Braunfels

March 6, 2019
The Big Pond #18: German-Texan Heritage Societies

Audio wird geladen
Between 1820 and World War I, nearly six million Germans immigrated to the US – in 2017, only about 5,000 made the trip. If Germans aren’t coming to the US anymore, what will happen to the German-American heritage societies that try to keep German culture alive in the US? Our producer Berit Mason investigates in Texas.

More

Detroit, MI © Frank Hofmann

February 27, 2019
The Big Pond #17: The Detroit-Berlin-Connection

Audio wird geladen
Dimitri Hegemann, the mastermind behind the Berlin nightclub Tresor, has been nurturing an artistic connection between Berlin and Detroit since the early nineties. Hegemann is trying to pay Detroit back for what its electronic music scene has done for Berlin – by converting former industrial spaces in Detroit into cultural hotspots.

More

Alsace, Bas-Rhin, Sélestat, Église Sainte-Foy, Verrière “Sainte-Hildegarde” du chœur (Ott Frères, 1892); Photo (excerpt) by Ralph Hammann via Wikimedia Commons; licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

February 6, 2019
The Big Pond #14: St. Hildegard of Bingen

Audio wird geladen
St. Hildegard of Bingen was a twelfth-century German nun – a writer, composer of chants, mystic and visionary. You might be asking yourself, “What on earth does a twelfth-century nun have to do with life today? What does medieval chanting have to do with music today?” It turns out, a lot.

More

A Cup of Coffee © Nina Bohlmann

February 20, 2019
The Big Pond #16: Culture of Coffee

Audio wird geladen
Coffee is more than just a beverage – it can be a jumpstart to a day at work or a relaxing afternoon with friends. This episode explores the meaning of coffee across cultures, from Baltimore to Berlin, including a glimpse into the typically German tradition of “Kaffee und Kuchen”, or afternoon coffee and cake.

More

The Bonn Capitals present their Medals © Bonn Capitals, Schönenborn

February 13, 2019
The Big Pond #15: American Sports in Germany

Audio wird geladen
“German baseball” may sound like an oxymoron, but the Bonn Capitals have successfully maintained a leading position in the German baseball league for years. The Capitals’ success can be traced back to earlier times when Bonn was the capital of Germany and home to a large American community that popularized the sport.

More

Grapes Image by milivanily on Pixabay

January 30, 2019
The Big Pond #13: German-style Wines in the US

Audio wird geladen
German entrepreneurs and winemakers have shaped the manufacturing of wine in the US for over a century. Join our producer Gary Lee on a tour of three US vineyards with surprisingly German roots to see the full scope of German influence on this industry in the US.

More

Alexander Haus Courtesy Alexander Haus

January 23, 2019
The Big Pond #12: A House for Reconciliation

Audio wird geladen
Five families have lived at the Alexander-Haus on Groß Glienicker See over the past century – enduring fascism, war, the division of Germany, and the Fall of Communism. Now, the former family home has undergone yet another transition into an educational center.

More

Germans on Harleys © Scott Carrier

January 16, 2019
The Big Pond #11: Germans on Harleys

Audio wird geladen
Every year, tourists from around the world flock to Southern Utah to take in the scenic landscape. Most travel by car, but some opt for a less traditional mode of transport. Ride along as our producer Scott Carrier accompanies a German motorcycle club on their trip through the Red Rock Canyons.

More

Volunteers make about 4,000 dumplings for the annual Sour Beef dinner at the Zion Church of Baltimor © MelissaGerrMedia

January 9, 2019
The Big Pond #10: Faith, and a Side of Sour Beef

Audio wird geladen
Within the historic walls of Zion Lutheran Church in Baltimore, Maryland, you’re just as likely to hear a rousing polka band as sacred organ music. For more than 250 years, the congregation has remained dedicated to its German immigrant heritage, faith, and ministry. Now, they’re grappling to find the right balance that will carry Zion Church into the future.

More

Leigh Hamilton © Janine Guldener

December 19, 2018
The Big Pond #09: A Singer’s Life

Audio wird geladen
Leigh Hamilton is a dramatic soprano who has been based in Germany for more than 17 years. This episode follows Leigh’s story, which takes her from small-town in Ohio to metropolitan Berlin where she now trains the next generation of singers for the rigors of the stage in her private voice studio. 

More

Apprentice Jahi Taylor and his mentor Erik Smith © Rhoda Metcalfe

December 5, 2018
The Big Pond #08: German-style Apprenticeships in the US

Audio wird geladen
Driven by a critical lack of skilled technicians, a group of largely German-owned manufacturers in Chicago have launched a new apprenticeship program based on the German education model. This idea is now spreading to a number of American companies.

More

Oktoberfest at “Zum Schneider” Courtesy “Zum Schneider”

November 21, 2018
The Big Pond #06: Suds and Stories

Audio wird geladen
Germany’s beer influence has spread around the world, and one of the epicenters of this trend is New York City. There are now more than two dozen beer gardens and halls in the city. And every year, Oktoberfest celebrations are held in all of the five boroughs, lasting several weeks. 

More

Jürgen Klinsmann talking to Kerstin Zilm © SilverLakes

November 28, 2018
The Big Pond #07: Klinsmann in California

Audio wird geladen
He is a soccer legend in Germany as player and as coach: Jürgen Klinsmann. After leading the German national team to a third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup, he also coached the U.S. men’s soccer team from 2011 to 2016. But now, Klinsmann is anything but retired: In the summer of 2018, he created the SilverLakes Cup, an international youth soccer tournament in Southern California.

More

Thomas Buergenthal and his parents © Thomas Buergenthal

November 14, 2018
The Big Pond #05: Thomas Buergenthal - A Lucky Child

Audio wird geladen
Thomas Buergenthal saw the Nazi concentration camps through a child’s eyes. Luckily, he survived and later became a lawyer and, eventually, a judge on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and the United Nations Truth Commission for El Salvador. 

More

Marine A Grain Silo, Buffalo, NY © Alex van Oss

November 7, 2018
The Big Pond #04: The Colossi of Buffalo

Audio wird geladen
Buffalo, New York was once the world’s foremost grain port. More than a dozen enormous grain silos, awesome colossi made of wood, steel, and reinforced concrete, still attest to that fact. Their surreal quality fascinated European pioneers of modern architecture, including Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe. 

More

Atlanta, GA Photo by Jessica Furtney on Unsplash

October 31, 2018
The Big Pond #03: Revitalizing Downtown Atlanta

Audio wird geladen
When Jake Nawrocki had the idea to revive the Southside of Atlanta’s downtown neighborhood – which could take up to 20 years – he had to find investors interested in a long-term commitment. He found a partner in Olaf Kunkat, a German real estate investor. 

More

Migration © Chris Gash

October 3, 2018
The Big Pond #01: The Things We Brought

Audio wird geladen
​There are keepsakes that hold a story for each of us, things that we hold onto for our whole lives – a stitch, a book, a hat. In this episode, we hear three stories about mementos that immigrants brought to the U.S. from other countries and what they mean to their owners.

More

Frances Schoenberger and John Lennon 1975 in New York © Bob Gruen

October 17, 2018
The Big Pond #02: A Day With John Lennon

Audio wird geladen
In 1975, the German journalist Frances Schoenberger interviewed John Lennon in New York, a dream gig for her – but this interview was never published. For The Big Pond, Schoenberger listens to the recordings again for the first time in more than 40 years, recalling what she calls the best day of her career.

More


Our Partners

Logo der RIAS BERLIN KOMMISSION   Logo KCRW Berlin   PRX-Logo

The Kitchen Sisters   Germanic-American Institute Logo WABE 90.1 Logo   Kristina, Kati, Kalifornia


Developed within the scope of

Logo Wunderbar Together Logo Federal Foreign Office Logo Goethe-Institut Logo BDI