Demolition of former East German apartment blocks 'threatens Berlin's socialist past'

Plans to demolish former East German apartment blocks in a prime central Berlin location have stoked fears about the loss of the city's socialist heritage and its seemingly relentless gentrification.

Andre Greipel will hope to finish ahead of Mark Cavendish in Saturday's road race

Medal spotlight on Germany: Out to spoil Great Britain's party but expectations are at all-time low

Spotlight on the main medal contenders: Greipel versus Cavendish is one of several head-to-head clashes with the hosts to savour

Burying the Typewriter: Childhood under the eye of the Secret Police, By Carmen Bugan

Cherishing the keys to freedom in Romania's locked ward

Ikea accused of using East German political prisoners to manufacture furniture

The Swedish flat-pack giant Ikea is today reeling from potentially scandalous allegations that it used scores of political prisoners in former communist East Germany to manufacture its affordable furniture products in the years leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Moment, By Douglas Kennedy

The past is a foreign country in more ways than one for the protagonists of Douglas Kennedy's novel. Largely set in Cold War Berlin, this hard-hitting love story tears down the dividing walls between past and present, showing how the course of history can turn in an instant. An author of consistently engaging and clever bestsellers, Kennedy has ranged from Stateside dramas to noirish thrillers. The Moment pulls together both strains in his fiction, marrying romantic tragedy with Le Carré-style espionage.

The Saturday Quiz

1. Which actress made her film debut in Julia (1977)?

Become a past master: Berlin's majestic Brandenburg Gate

Berlin: A classroom with a view

A walking tour isn't just a great way to see Berlin, it's also a capital way to learn about its history

Berlin remembers its wall of history

Fifty years after construction began on the barrier that defined the Cold War, Germans are looking back with mixed feelings on the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall. Tony Paterson reports

50 years since Berlin Wall went up

Exactly half a century has passed since construction began on the Berlin Wall, a symbolic reminder of Germany’s troubled past.

Hansjoachim Tiedge: Intelligence officer whose defection to the East caused panic in the West

Hansjoachim Tiedge's defection to East Germany in 1985 caused panic and dismay in West Germany and Nato. The head of West Germany's counter-intelligence department, he was soon divulging all to the Stasi spy chief Markus Wolf.

Detlef Girrmann: Lawyer who helped hundreds of students escape from East Germany

Detlef Girrmann helped over 500 people to escape from East Berlin after the Wall went up in August 1961. He and his colleagues used everything from false passes, borrowed IDs and tunnels. The Stasi declared him public enemy No 1.

Hiding in plain sight: Germany's Neo-Nazis ditch skinhead look

Far-right groups are hoping to win votes by blending in with mainstream society – but they are still clinging to the hate crimes. Tony Paterson reports in Berlin

Stephen King: Latter-day Gold Standard leaves eurozone countries facing grim choices

Economic outlook: The European Central Bank is against a default or any choreographed restructuring

Honecker was forced to resign by secret police

Stasi chief held file revealing East German premier's Nazi links

The Sketch: If the Foreign Secretary's fighting with words like this, we're in trouble

We mustn't laugh but – to paraphrase the Foreign Secretary – you have to laugh.

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003