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Hump day recommendations 12/20/2022

Watch: Letterman meets Zelensky. In a special episode of his Netflix show, available for streaming, America’s iconic late-night chat show host and goofball comedian David Letterman traveled to Kyiv for an interview with former goofball-comedian-turned-wartime-leader Volodymyr Zelensky for an interview that’s funny, poignant, thoughtful, inspirational, and unforgettable. Air raid sirens and passing metro trains provide the soundtrack. Here’s a clip: My Next Guest. — Willis

Visit: Esslingen, Germany. Brimming with half-timbered houses and gothic steeples, this small town near Stuttgart offers the perfect backdrop for an enchanting medieval holiday market that runs from around Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve every year. Bring your taler (euros) and good cheer to enjoy gluhwein, stockbrot, rote wurst, candle dipping, and endless stalls with woolen-garbed traders who sell everything from ceramics and leather-bound journals to medieval-style clothes and pendants. Before leaving, visit Kessler Sekt off the market square for a few sips of Deutschland’s very first sparkling wine — Georg Christian von Kessler learned the trade from Madame Cliquot herself. — Tracy

Read: The Escape Artist. Ellie Wiesel. Oskar Schindler. Anne Frank. We all know these names and the role they played in shaping our understanding of the Holoaust. Reading about Rudolf Vrba (born Walter Rosenberg), the first person to successfully escape Auschwitz and make it out of Poland, I couldn’t believe that this man — a real maverick and a hero — wasn’t more widely known. This book, written by British journalist Jonathan Freedland, documents Vrba’s unreal journey. — Gabrielle


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