Stories From California

I fell in love with being a reporter when I got an internship at the RIAS in Berlin, weeks after die Berliner Mauer between East und West came down. I moved to Los Angeles in 2003 when I was assigned to be the head of German public radio’s West coast studio. In 2008, I became the California correspondent for Weltreporter, the largest network of German freelance foreign correspondents. I mostly work for Deutsches Public Radio, LA’s NPR station KCRW, and the journalism collective RiffReporter. If you want me to write a story for your publication, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Great Surprise While Waiting For The Rain

The experts said it was not El Nino's overture yet, but it sure looked like wonderful, dramatic clouds full of rain. That's what I saw over the Pacific before an interview appointment walking on the beach.


And it was only getting better ...

Refugee Kids - Cristian's Story


In the summer of 2014 more than 68 000 kids from Central America came to the United States without a family member with them on the journey. They escaped gang violence and poverty and by now have all but diappeared from the headlines.

Finding out what happened to them, I learned about Casa Libre, a shelter and academy for homeless teenagers. In this converted gothic villa Cristian, 21 years from Guatemala, student at CalArts, told me his story.

I would have never guessed the ordeal this polite, funny and smart young man had to go through to get to Los Angeles. And whenever I start complaining about bad food, tight seats and long hours on a plane from Germany to California I will probably think of him. And be a little more thankful for what I have.

I Won Two SoCal Journalism Awards!

What a great surprise! Delivered between cutting carrots and boiling ravioli - because unfortunately I was not able to attend the Southern California Journalism Awards and was preparing dinner instead.

But I won! And nice colleagues let me know via text messages, phone calls and tweets! So I had to check and found: 1st place in the radio category "Lifestyle feature" for a story I produced at KCRW and 1st place in "International News" for a Deutschlandradio Kultur story! Yeah! I am pretty stoked. Honestly it is a pretty lonely profession being out there with your microphone and recorder not getting a lot of feed back and feeling like most of your stuff just disappears somewhere in the airwaves. So it's nice somebody gives you a pat on the back!  I was even happier when I read the jury comments.

Looking for Hildegard - A Soldier and A Girl


Last week I was skyping with 93 year old Leo Ryan and his daughter Jackie, a successful Jazz Singer. We were not talking about her. Leo was telling me a story that happened 70 years ago in Germany, only a few days after WW2 had ended. Leo, a Squad Leader with the 284th Combat Engineers of Gerneral Patton's 3rd Army had arrived in Nuremberg with his Bataillon May 10th. Almost immediately a five year old girl started following him around: Hildegard. They started a friendship. But the farewell came so quickly that they coud never say Good Bye and Leo never got to thank Hildegard for a special gift she had given him at the final military ceremony.