The Frankfurt novelist Martin Mosebach has a nice tribute to Benedict XVI on the op/ed page of today's New York Times. Benedict is "close to God, but far from Germany":
Pope Benedict XVI may be convinced that democratic institutions have as little right to interfere in the structure of the church as all the many emperors and kings who tried to do as much in past centuries. This stance has made him unpopular among his fellow German clergymen, who are intimidated by contemporary culture, but it also fascinates intellectuals who are far removed from the church, and who aren't swayed by any superficial rhetoric of reconciliation. In Benedict, they see the authentic representative of a religion that they don't know whether to view as still dangerous or possibly as the only remaining counter to a secular society.
But one comment might damage Mosebach's book sales in Munich:"The great novelist Heimito von Doderer once said that all of Bavaria can be divided into a small group of butchers and a larger group of people who look like butchers."
I am currently trying to make my way through Mosebach's Das Bett; it is rough going. The best book about Frankfurt I've read is Valentin Senger's Kaiserhofstrasse 12, a true story about a Jewish working-class family who somehow survived living in Frankfurt in the NS-period by their own wits but also through the courageous help of strangers. I read it in one sitting (coincidentally on a plane from Frankfurt to New York).