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The Big Pond – A US-German Listening Series.

A US-German listening series
The Big Pond

In collaboration with radio producers and broadcasters from the US and Germany, The Big Pond is home to 50 podcasts that will be produced over the next year, all of which are available for free on this website and via iTunes and Spotify. Features on 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.

Latest episode

Apprentice Jahi Taylor and his mentor Erik Smith © Rhoda Metcalfe

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

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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.


Recently aired

Jürgen Klinsmann talking to Kerstin Zilm © SilverLakes

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

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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.


Oktoberfest at “Zum Schneider” Courtesy “Zum Schneider”

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

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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. 


Thomas Buergenthal and his parents © Thomas Buergenthal

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

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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. 


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

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

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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. 


Downtown Atlanta © Susanna Capelouto

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

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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 committment. He found a partner in Olaf Kunkat, a German real estate investor. 


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

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

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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.


Migration © Chris Gash

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

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​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.


Our Topics

Our topics are as diverse as Germany and the United States – there will be pieces on music, soccer, history, migration, food, travel, architecture, literature, and the environment. 

The common thread is a focus on the things that sometimes connect and sometimes divide us – like the Big Pond we call the Atlantic – with high quality journalism, thorough research, and a preference for unfamiliar stories, points of view, and curious topics.


Verena Hütter Commissioning Editor: Verena Hütter
Verena Hütter (verena.huetter@goethe.de) is the Goethe-Institut’s Director of Communications in North America and is responsible for journalistic and media projects. She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany and in Bourges, France as well as German Studies. Before she came to Washington, DC in November 2016 she worked at the Goethe-Institut’s headquarters in Munich in their online editorial department.
Bill Gilcher Co-Commissioning Editor: William Gilcher
William Gilcher (wgilcher at me.com) William Gilcher is a veteran of the Goethe-Institut’s engagement with electronic media projects in North America, having worked for 18 years with television, radio, and internet projects for the Goethe-Institut North America from his position in Washington. His background is in film production and film studies, specializing in US and European film criticism and history. After his retirement from the Goethe-Institut in 2011, he has worked on independent writing, editing, and production projects through Harmonia Band Communications, LLC. He serves as co-commimssioning editor for The Big Pond. 
Dario Radisic Editor and Project Manager: Dario Radisic
Dario Radisic is the editor and project manager for The Big Pond. He is a cultural theorist and has been working as a freelance writer, editor, project manager and consultant in the cultural and public sector since 2008, working amongst others for the Goethe-Institut, the Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (Second German Television) and the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education).
Savannah Beck Editor: Savannah Beck
Savannah Beck (savannah.beck@goethe.de) is the Online Editor at the Goethe-Institut Washington. She studied German, French, and International Studies at the University of Florida. She has been at the Goethe-Institut since April 2018 and is currently working on several projects for the Year of German-American Friendship including The Big Pond.
Flawn Williams © Victoria Moss Technical Director: Flawn Williams
Flawn Williams is a media producer and field recordist who spent 30 years making programs for National Public Radio, including being Technical Director of “All Things Considered” and making numerous trips into remote parts of the world for NPR’s science/nature series “Radio Expeditions”. For the last ten years he’s been teaching audio production and music recording at Georgetown University. And he was a founding member of the “Hear Now” audio producers’ collective, which has had a long cooperative association with the Goethe-Institut in Washington, DC. He now handles podcast production for Malcolm Gladwell’s “Revisionist History” and several other series from his home base in Hyattsville, MD. 


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