Topless tobogganers receive an icy reception

Nude bathing on public beaches and Alpine hiking in the buff may rate as everyday Teutonic pastimes, but the outraged burghers of eastern Germany's highest ski resort draw the line at the nation's latest winter sport: topless tobogganing.

Ballack: 'People have weaknesses. We should just accept it'

Tomorrow Michael Ballack will be back doing what he knows best. There in the heart of Chelsea's midfield at the Emirates will be the imposing figure of Germany's captain, bringing his they-shall-not-pass presence to a side not lacking in strong characters. It is where Ballack wants to be, and right now it is where he has never been more grateful to be.

In their own words: East Berliners on the Wall

The Stasi man, the spin doctor, the dissident and teenager tell of the day when the Wall came down

Dictator's wife defiant over forced adoptions

Margot Honecker, a Communist-era minister now living in exile in Chile, left a cruel legacy of separated families

John Reid: The enduring implications of the fall of the Berlin Wall

The fall of the Berlin Wall, on November 9, 1989, was one of history’s truly epochal moments. During what became a revolutionary wave sweeping across the former Eastern Bloc countries, the announcement by the then-East German Government that its citizens could visit West Germany set in train a series of events that led, ultimately, to the demise of the Soviet Union itself.

The Weekend's Television: The Children Who Fought Hitler, BBC4, <br />The Secret Life of the Berlin Wall, BBC2

Some small-print disclaimers first, relating to product description. The Children Who Fought Hitler, to start with, a title that conjures up images of human waves of boy-soldiers, running through the rubble-filled streets of Berlin to see who can get to the bunker first and take out Adolf with a Sten gun.

A bridge opened &ndash; and then the Wall fell

1989: Europe's Revolution: On the 20th anniversary of Berlin's reunification, Tony Paterson remembers the place where the city's dividing lines began to dissolve

The Fall of the Wall: 20 Years On

We know what happened in the years following the momentous events of 9 November 1989: the birth of a new Europe. But that week, fear mingled with hope &ndash; and The Independent's correspondents and photographers were there to capture the moment. In a special report, we present the first draft of history

When East met West: How Germany became one

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany's landscape has changed dramatically. Foreign correspondent Rupert Cornwell returns to his old stamping ground

Hero or Villain? Egon Krenz

Communist who got to the top just as the Party was over

The fall of the wall: For some, there's little to celebrate

Reunification has led to fewer jobs and fewer people in the east, and some are nostalgic for a more certain past

The Berlin Wall: Where are they now?

The Berlin Wall

An Ossi success amid the disenchantment

Two decades after the fall of Communism, and 19 years after reunification, Victor Sebestyen reports on one of Europe's biggest economic triumphs

Adam Roberts: The peaceful revolution of 1989

Apart from civil resistance, one crucial factor was the huge role of Gorbachev

East Germans watch transfixed as their country falls apart

Countdown to the fall of the wall: By late October 1989, the East German regime was imploding. Demonstrations and an exodus across the Czech border forced hardliners from office, state censorship to be cast aside, and an air of panic to grip the leadership...
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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

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Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past