Katja Hoyer

Katja Hoyer

Katja Hoyer is an Anglo-German historian. Her latest book is Beyond the Wall: East Germany, 1949-1990.

Germany’s Reichsbürger movement is anything but a joke

They don’t believe the German state exists, they make their own passports and they want the German monarchy restored. It’s tempting to dismiss the so-called Reichsbürger movement as a bunch of deranged conspiracy theorists. But the movement is growing, increasingly well-connected and willing to use violence to overthrow the state. In their latest crackdown on

Why did the Weimar Republic descend so rapidly into chaos?

‘Thirteen wasted years’ bellowed Adolf Hitler at receptive audiences in the spring of 1932. He was talking about the first full German democracy, the Weimar Republic. Proclaimed in November 1918, it was born out of a desire to do things better after the horrors of the first world war and was an ambitious attempt to

Germany shouldn’t ban the AfD

There are few countries in the world more conscious of the fragility of democracy than Germany. After the horrors of Nazism, the country vowed never again and, in August 1948, a constitution was drafted for West Germany that was designed to build a stable democracy and defend it. 75 years later, the same legal framework

The unlikely rise of Germany’s defence minister

An unlikely political star has risen in Germany. Boris Pistorius, a 63-year-old father of two is a career politician and, as of January, defence minister, an office that has proved a dead end for many of his predecessors. On the face of it, Germany’s Boris has little by way of stardust. Yet he is the

What explains the remarkable rise of Germany’s AfD?

A common stereotype about Germans is that they love to complain – and there is certainly a kernel of truth to that. Grumbling is part and parcel of everyday German life, often with complete strangers. But on my recent trips to Germany, I felt that general expressions of dissatisfaction have acquired a new sharpness. Whole communities

Has Germany truly come to terms with its Nazi past?

Germany is often lauded for the way it confronts its own past. The Holocaust, the murder of six million Jewish men, women and children, has a central place in collective memory as well as in the memorial landscape of the capital Berlin, where a 200,000 sq ft site is dedicated to it. But campaigners and

Katja Hoyer: Beyond The Wall

50 min listen

In this week’s Book Club podcast, my guest is the historian Katja Hoyer, whose new book Beyond The Wall: East Germany 1949-1990 tells the story of four decades which are vital to understanding modern Germany, but which tend to be quietly relegated to a footnote in history. Born in the GDR herself, Katja tells me how much

How does the EU solve a problem like Qatar?

Can the EU afford to snub Qatar? The corruption scandal engulfing the European Parliament centres around allegations that the Gulf state gave bribes in exchange for influence and favour at the European Parliament. But if the EU cleans up this problem by distancing itself from Qatar, it might have a serious, potentially even larger, dilemma

Germany’s failed coup shows the danger of conspiracy theories

It was one of the biggest police raids modern Germany has ever seen. Early Wednesday morning, 3,000 officers, among them members of special units sent by both state and federal police forces, searched 130 properties in 11 of 16 states. They arrested 25 people on suspicion of being members or supporters of a terrorist organisation

Mark Galeotti, Katja Hoyer and Tanya Gold

19 min listen

This week: Mark Galeotti tells us why Ukraine has become a weapons testing ground (00:53), Katja Hoyer discusses Germany’s extreme monarchists (09:12), and Tanya Gold reads her Notes on … espressos (15:24).  Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson. 

The march of Germany’s extreme monarchists

The far right in Germany isn’t all angry young men with shaved heads, baseball bats and black boots. There are those who appear respectable, even intellectual. The Reichsbürger movement includes accountants, teachers and academics; many members are middle-aged. It’s a fractured network with vastly diverging world views, united in their belief that the current government

How the Queen helped to fix Germany

The Brandenburg Gate has often reflected the state of the German nation. Throughout the centuries, Berlin’s iconic landmark has been a symbol of victory, defeat, unity, division and restoration. It has even reflected Germany’s energy crisis, no longer lit in order to save electricity. But on Friday night it shone brightly once more: in red,

Olaf Scholz needs to deal with the Putin appeasers in his party

‘The weapons have to fall silent,’ the left wing of Germany’s ruling Social Democratic party suggested this week, in their latest public appeal for peace in Ukraine. The authors argued that it is time to find a way of living with the Russian government, putting pressure on the Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The intervention could well

Is Germany afraid of China?

The German air force has taken off for its first deployment in the Indo-Pacific region. It will take part in Australia’s biennial warfare exercise Pitch Black from Friday, side by side with other western nations as well as regional partners such as Japan, Singapore and South Korea. Berlin’s show of solidarity will be welcomed by

Germany is caught in Putin’s trap

A collective sigh of relief went through Berlin this week as Russia resumed its gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline after a scheduled ten-day maintenance break. But even with the immediate crisis averted, Germany remains palpably jittery: it is unclear whether it will have enough gas to get through the winter. Threats from Vladimir Putin

Douglas Murray, Katja Hoyer and Lara Prendergast

20 min listen

On this week’s episode: Douglas Murray on Hispanic Conservatives in US politics (0:26). Katja Hoyer on East German sentiment towards Russia (08:32) and Lara Predergast on the rise of the sex bore (13.13). Presented by Natasha Feroze.Produced by Oscar Edmondson.

Cold War

41 min listen

In this week’s episode:Can Russia turn off Germany’s gas?Wolfgang Münchau and Katja Hoyer discuss Germany’s looming energy crisis (0.51).Also this week:What are relations like between Boris Johnson and Prince Charles? The Spectator’s diary editor, James Heale joins Camilla Tominey from the Telegraph talk about the growing tensions between the Prime Minister and future King (19.56).And