Crosscut: digging, thinking, writing and discovering


Thanks to Crosscut, I’ve spent time with some pretty rough characters lately.

My beat at Crosscut is where Northwest history and politics meet. I try to add perspective and context to what’s happening in our region by looking at what we’ve done before, where we’ve been, and how we got here.

In the last year, I have been probing some of the unseemly politics that have shaped our region. For the last few months, for example, I have been digging into Seattle’s connections to Hitler’s Germany in the decade before World War II. Far from being removed from world events, Seattle was tied right into them with pro-Nazi groups, diplomats of the Third Reich stationed here, and locals who became sympathizers with the “new Germany.” Nazis visited our landmarks, attended teas, tennis clubs and social events, and dined at our best eateries.

Who were they, how did that happen, what were the consequences? Crosscut has given me the time and encouragement to spend time digging into these little-remembered aspects of local history.

Why is this important? The more we know about the past, the better we can shape the future. That’s my answer. My Crosscut editors and colleagues have been extraordinarily supportive — allowing me the time and resources, helping guide my reporting, looking for ways to reach as many readers as possible with stories that make you slap your forehead and say, “Wow. I had no idea!”

And that’s often my own reaction as I dig into archives, interview experts and eye-witnesses, and read through old documents. It can be a kind of investigative history which is becoming rarer every day with the 24/7 online news chatter. Crosscut allows me the time to dig, to think, to write, to discover.

Your support is incredibly important. Crosscut is growing, because we believe that to shape a better region and city, we need more in-depth reporting, not less. And in order to do what we do, we need your committed support.

As issues of race, class, immigration, civil liberties, and social justice gain in the public arena, I am more than ever compelled to explore tough topics — and the sometimes rough characters — that shaped our contemporary landscape

I am incredibly grateful for your support for Crosscut and for my small part in this wonderful journalistic enterprise. We have so much more to do, so much more to learn.

I hope you will help us get it done.


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About the Authors & Contributors

Knute Berger

Knute Berger

Knute “Mossback” Berger is Crosscut's Editor-at-Large.