• It’s Murder on the Dancefloor: Incredible Expressionist dance costumes from the 1920s | Dangerous Minds

    Lavinia Schulz and Walter Holdt were a wife and husband partnership briefly famous in Germany during the early 1920s for their wild, expressionist dance performances consisting of “creeping, stamping, squatting, crouching, kneeling, arching, striding, lunging, leaping in mostly diagonal-spiraling patterns” across the stage. Shulz believed “art should be…an expression of struggle” and used dance to express “the violent struggle of a female body to achieve central, dominant control of the performance space and its emptiness.”

    In his book, Empire of Ecstasy—Nudity and Movement in German Body Culture, 1910–1935, author Karl Toepfer notes that “Husband-wife dance pairs are quite rare on the stage; in the case of Schulz and Holdt the concept of marriage entailed a peculiarly deep implication in that it also referred to a haunting marriage of dance and costume.”

    The couple created dances and costumes together and at the same time, so that bodily movement and the masking of the body arose from the same impulse. Schulz was a highly gifted artist whose drawings and sketches invariably startle the viewer with their hard primitivism and demonic abstraction, but Holdt assumed much responsibility for the design of the costumes and masks; for most of the costumes deposited in Hamburg, it is not possible to assign definite authorship to Schulz. The mask portions consisted mostly of fantastically reptilian, insectoid, or robotic heads, whereas the rest of the costumes comprised eccentric patchworks of design, color, and material to convey the impression of bodies assembled out of contradictory structures.

    According to Toepfer, these costumes “disclose a quality of cartoonish, demonic grotesquerie rather than frightening ferocity.” The couple gave these designs descriptive names like Toboggan, Springvieh, and Technik, which they also used as titles for their performances. Their designs sought something pagan, pre-Christian, that tapped into the “redemptive organic forms of nature and the animal world.”

  • Historic German Schooner Sinks After Collision with Containership on Elbe River – gCaptain

    Photo credit: Freiwillige Feuerwehr Hansestadt Stade

    Seven people were injured Saturday after a 19th-century wooden schooner collided with a containership on the Elbe River in Germany.

    German fire officials reported that there were 43 people aboard the historic 37-meter Elbe No. 5 when it collided with the 150-meter Cyprus-flagged containership Astrosprinter near Hamburg on Saturday afternoon.

    Luckily, fire fighters were attending a nearby incident and were quick to respond, helping rescue all 43 people on board.

    The ship was eventually moved to a nearby estuary where it partially sank.

    Built in 1883, the Elbe No. 5 is Hamburg’s oldest wooden ship still in operation, according to Hamburg Maritime Foundation, which has owned the ship since 2002. The Elbe No. 5 originally operated as a pilot vessel for more than 30 years, but later used as a private yacht, credited with making 13 transatlantic crossings, according to Hamburg Maritime Foundation’s website.

    To make matters worse, the schooner had only recently completed a major renovation, returning to its home port on May 29th.

    Photo credit: Freiwillige Feuerwehr Hansestadt Stade

  • Afghan Migration to Germany: History and Current Debates

    In light of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Afghan migration to Germany accelerated in recent years. This has prompted debates and controversial calls for return.

    Historical Overview
    Afghan migration to Germany goes back to the first half of the 20th century. To a large extent, the arrival of Afghan nationals occurred in waves, which coincided with specific political regimes and periods of conflict in Afghanistan between 1978 and 2001. Prior to 1979 fewer than 2,000 Afghans lived in Germany. Most of them were either businesspeople or students. The trade city of Hamburg and its warehouses attracted numerous Afghan carpet dealers who subsequently settled with their families. Some families who were among the traders that came to Germany at an early stage still run businesses in the warehouse district of the city.[1]

    Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the number of Afghans seeking refuge and asylum in Germany increased sharply. Between 1980 and 1982 the population grew by around 3,000 persons per year. This was followed by a short period of receding numbers, before another period of immigration set in from 1985, when adherents of communist factions began facing persecution in Afghanistan. Following a few years with lower immigration rates, numbers started rising sharply again from 1989 onwards in the wake of the civil war in Afghanistan and due to mounting restrictions for Afghans living in Iran and Pakistan. Increasing difficulties in and expulsions from these two countries forced many Afghans to search for and move on to new destinations, including Germany.[2] Throughout the 1990s immigration continued with the rise of the Taliban and the establishment of a fundamentalist regime. After reaching a peak in 1995, numbers of incoming migrants from Afghanistan declined for several years. However, they began to rise again from about 2010 onwards as a result of continuing conflict and insecurity in Afghanistan on the one hand and persistently problematic living conditions for Afghans in Iran and Pakistan on the other hand.

    A particularly sharp increase occurred in the context of the ’long summer of migration’[3] in 2015, which continued in 2016 when a record number of 253,485 Afghan nationals were registered in Germany. This number includes established residents of Afghan origin as well as persons who newly arrived in recent years. This sharp increase is also mirrored in the number of asylum claims of Afghan nationals, which reached a historical peak of 127,012 in 2016. Following the peak in 2016 the Afghan migrant population has slightly decreased. Reasons for the numerical decrease include forced and voluntary return to Afghanistan, onward migration to third countries, and expulsion according to the so-called Dublin Regulation. Naturalisations also account for the declining number of Afghan nationals in Germany, albeit to a much lesser extent (see Figures 1 and 2).

    The Afghan Migrant Population in Germany
    Over time, the socio-economic and educational backgrounds of Afghan migrants changed significantly. Many of those who formed part of early immigrant cohorts were highly educated and had often occupied high-ranking positions in Afghanistan. A significant number had worked for the government, while others were academics, doctors or teachers.[4] Despite being well-educated, professionally trained and experienced, many Afghans who came to Germany as part of an early immigrant cohort were unable to find work in an occupational field that would match their professional qualifications. Over the years, levels of education and professional backgrounds of Afghans arriving to Germany became more diverse. On average, the educational and professional qualifications of those who came in recent years are much lower compared to earlier cohorts of Afghan migrants.

    At the end of 2017, the Federal Statistical Office registered 251,640 Afghan nationals in Germany. This migrant population is very heterogeneous as far as persons’ legal status is concerned. Table 1 presents a snapshot of the different legal statuses that Afghan nationals in Germany held in 2017.

    Similar to other European countrie [5], Germany has been receiving increasing numbers of unaccompanied Afghan minors throughout the last decade.[6] In December 2017, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) registered 10,453 persons of Afghan origin under the age of 18, including asylum seekers, holders of a temporary residence permit as well as persons with refugee status. The situation of unaccompanied minors is specific in the sense that they are under the auspices of the Children and Youth support services (Kinder- und Jugendhilfe). This implies that unaccompanied Afghan minors are entitled to specific accommodation and the support of a temporary guardian. According to the BAMF, education and professional integration are priority issues for the reception of unaccompanied minors. However, the situation of these migrants changes once they reach the age of 18 and become legally deportable.[7] For this reason, their period of residence in Germany is marked by ambiguity.

    Fairly modest at first, the number of naturalisations increased markedly from the late 1980s, which is likely to be connected to the continuous aggravation of the situation in Afghanistan.[8]

    With an average age of 23.7 years, Germany’s Afghan population is relatively young. Among Afghan residents who do not hold German citizenship there is a gender imbalance with males outweighing females by roughly 80,390 persons. Until recently, most Afghans arrived in Germany with their family. However, the individual arrival of Afghan men has been a dominant trend in recent years, which has become more pronounced from 2012 onwards with rising numbers of Afghan asylum seekers (see Figure 2).[9]

    The Politicization of Afghan Migration
    Prior to 2015, the Afghan migrant population that had not received much public attention. However, with the significant increase in numbers from 2015 onwards, it was turned into a subject of increased debate and politicization. The German military and reconstruction engagement in Afghanistan constitutes an important backdrop to the debates unfolding around the presence of Afghan migrants – most of whom are asylum seekers – in Germany. To a large extent, these debates revolved around the legitimacy of Afghan asylum claims. The claims of persons who, for example, supported German troops as interpreters were rarely questioned.[10] Conversely, the majority of newly arriving Afghans were framed as economic migrants rather than persons fleeing violence and persecution. In 2015, chancellor Angela Merkel warned Afghan nationals from coming to Germany for economic reasons and simply in search for a better life.[11] She underlined the distinction between “economic migrants” and persons facing concrete threats due to their past collaboration with German troops in Afghanistan. The increasing public awareness of the arrival of Afghan asylum seekers and growing skepticism regarding the legitimacy of their presence mark the context in which debates on deportations of Afghan nationals began to unfold.

    Deportations of Afghan Nationals: Controversial Debates and Implementation
    The Federal Government (Bundesregierung) started to consider deportations to Afghanistan in late 2015. Debates about the deportation of Afghan nationals were also held at the EU level and form an integral part of the Joint Way Forward agreement between Afghanistan and the EU. The agreement was signed in the second half of 2016 and reflects the commitment of the EU and the Afghan Government to step up cooperation on addressing and preventing irregular migration [12] and encourage return of irregular migrants such as persons whose asylum claims are rejected. In addition, the governments of Germany and Afghanistan signed a bilateral agreement on the return of Afghan nationals to their country of origin. At that stage it was estimated that around five percent of all Afghan nationals residing in Germany were facing return.[13] To back plans of forced removal, the Interior Ministry stated that there are “internal protection alternatives”, meaning areas in Afghanistan that are deemed sufficiently safe for people to be deported to and that a deterioration of security could not be confirmed for the country as such.[14] In addition, the BAMF would individually examine and conduct specific risk assessments for each asylum application and potential deportees respectively.

    Country experts and international actors such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) agree on the absence of internal protection alternatives in Afghanistan, stating that there are no safe areas in the country.[15] Their assessments are based on the continuously deteriorating security situation. Since 2014, annual numbers of civilian deaths and casualties continuously exceed 10,000 with a peak of 11,434 in 2016. This rise in violent incidents has been recorded in 33 of 34 provinces. In August 2017 the United Nations changed their assessment of the situation in Afghanistan from a “post-conflict country” to “a country undergoing a conflict that shows few signs of abating”[16] for the first time after the fall of the Taliban. However, violence occurs unevenly across Afghanistan. In 2017 the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), registered the highest levels of civilian casualties in Kabul province and Kabul city more specifically. After Kabul, the highest numbers of civilian casualties were recorded in Helmand, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Faryab, Uruzgan, Herat, Paktya, Kunduz, and Laghman provinces.[17]

    Notwithstanding deteriorating security conditions in Afghanistan and parliamentary, non-governmental and civil society protests, Germany’s Federal Government implemented a first group deportation of rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan in late 2016. Grounds for justification of these measures were not only the assumed “internal protection alternatives”. In addition, home secretary Thomas de Maizière emphasised that many of the deportees were convicted criminals.[18] The problematic image of male Muslim immigrants in the aftermath of the incidents on New Year’s Eve in the city of Cologne provides fertile ground for such justifications of deportations to Afghanistan. “The assaults (sexualized physical and property offences) which young, unmarried Muslim men committed on New Year’s Eve offered a welcome basis for re-framing the ‘refugee question’ as an ethnicized and sexist problem.”[19]

    It is important to note that many persons of Afghan origin spent long periods – if not most or all of their lives – outside Afghanistan in one of the neighboring countries. This implies that many deportees are unfamiliar with life in their country of citizenship and lack local social networks. The same applies to persons who fled Afghanistan but who are unable to return to their place of origin for security reasons. The existence of social networks and potential support structures, however, is particularly important in countries marked by high levels of insecurity, poverty, corruption, high unemployment rates and insufficient (public) services and infrastructure.[20] Hence, even if persons who are deported to Afghanistan may be less exposed to a risk of physical harm in some places, the absence of social contacts and support structures still constitutes an existential threat.

    Debates on and executions of deportations to Afghanistan have been accompanied by parliamentary opposition on the one hand and street-level protests on the other hand. Non-governmental organisations such as Pro Asyl and local refugee councils have repeatedly expressed their criticism of forced returns to Afghanistan.[21] The execution of deportations has been the responsibility of the federal states (Ländersache). This leads to significant variations in the numbers of deportees. In light of a degrading security situation in Afghanistan, several governments of federal states (Landesregierungen) moreover paused deportations to Afghanistan in early 2017. Concomitantly, recognition rates of Afghan asylum seekers have continuously declined.[22]

    A severe terrorist attack on the German Embassy in Kabul on 31 May 2017 led the Federal Government to revise its assessment of the security situation in Afghanistan and to temporarily pause deportations to the country. According to chancellor Merkel, the temporary ban of deportations was contingent on the deteriorating security situation and could be lifted once a new, favourable assessment was in place. While pausing deportations of rejected asylum seekers without criminal record, the Federal Government continued to encourage voluntary return and deportations of convicted criminals of Afghan nationality as well as individuals committing identity fraud during their asylum procedure.

    The ban of deportations of rejected asylum seekers without criminal record to Afghanistan was lifted in July 2018, although the security situation in the country continues to be very volatile.[23] The decision was based on a revised assessment of the security situation through the Foreign Office and heavily criticised by the centre left opposition in parliament as well as by NGOs and churches. Notwithstanding such criticism, the attitude of the Federal Government has been rigorous. By 10 January 2019, 20 group deportation flights from Germany to Kabul were executed, carrying a total number of 475 Afghans.[24]

    Assessing the Situation in Afghanistan
    Continuing deportations of Afghan nationals are legitimated by the assumption that certain regions in Afghanistan fulfil the necessary safety requirements for deportees. But how does the Federal Government – and especially the BAMF – come to such arbitrary assessments of the security situation on the one hand and individual prospects on the other hand? While parliamentary debates about deportations to Afghanistan were ongoing, the news magazine Spiegel reported on how the BAMF conducts security assessments for Afghanistan. According to their revelations, BAMF staff hold weekly briefings on the occurrence of military combat, suicide attacks, kidnappings and targeted killings. If the proportion of civilian casualties remains below 1:800, the level of individual risk is considered low and insufficient for someone to be granted protection in Germany.[25] The guidelines of the BAMF moreover rule that young men who are in working age and good health are assumed to find sufficient protection and income opportunities in Afghanistan’s urban centres, so that they are able to secure to meet the subsistence level. Such possibilities are even assumed to exist for persons who cannot mobilise family or other social networks for their support. Someone’s place or region of origin is another aspect considered when assessing whether or not Afghan asylum seekers are entitled to remain in Germany. The BAMF examines the security and supply situation of the region where persons were born or where they last lived before leaving Afghanistan. These checks also include the question which religious and political convictions are dominant at the place in question. According to these assessment criteria, the BAMF considers the following regions as sufficiently secure: Kabul, Balkh, Herat, Bamiyan, Takhar, Samangan and Panjshir.[26]

    Voluntary Return
    In addition to executing the forced removal of rejected Afghan asylum seekers, Germany encourages the voluntary return of Afghan nationals.[27] To this end it supports the Reintegration and Emigration Programme for Asylum Seekers in Germany which covers travel expenses and offers additional financial support to returnees. Furthermore, there is the Government Assisted Repatriation Programme, which provides financial support to persons who wish to re-establish themselves in their country of origin. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) organises and supervises return journeys that are supported by these programmes. Since 2015, several thousand Afghan nationals left Germany with the aid of these programmes. Most of these voluntary returnees were persons who had no legal residence status in Germany, for example persons whose asylum claim had been rejected or persons holding an exceptional leave to remain (Duldung).

    The continuing conflict in Afghanistan not only causes death, physical and psychological hurt but also leads to the destruction of homes and livelihoods and impedes access to health, education and services for large parts of the Afghan population. This persistently problematic situation affects the local population as much as it affects migrants who – voluntarily or involuntarily – return to Afghanistan. For this reason, migration out of Afghanistan is likely to continue, regardless of the restrictions which Germany and other receiving states are putting into place.
    #Allemagne #Afghanistan #réfugiés_afghans #histoire #asile #migrations #réfugiés #chiffres #statistiques #renvois #expulsions #retour_volontaire #procédure_d'asile
    ping @_kg_

  • How Japan is using an old German map to irk South Korea | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 27.03.2019

    Yellowed with age, with visible creases and slightly damaged on its bottom right corner, a world map drawn up by a German cartographer in 1856 is one of the most prized possessions of the Japan Coast Guard.

    In a ceremony in Hamburg on Monday, a copy of the map was donated to Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency in a gesture that Japan’s Foreign Ministry said was a demonstration of the “good bilateral relations between Japan and Germany.”

    However, a single inscription on the map makes the gift a far more significant present, at least in the eyes of Japanese nationalist circles. In small but decipherable letters, the words “Japanisches M” (Sea of Japan) appear over the stretch of water that divides the Japanese archipelago from the Korean Peninsula.

    #carte #géographie #Japon #Corée_du_sud

  • Porsche to Restart Production of Limited-Edition 911s Lost in Grande America Sinking – gCaptain

    Sports car maker Porsche will have to restart production on a limited-edition 911s which sank along with more than 2,200 other vehicles on board the Grande America in the Bay of Biscay last week.

    A Porsche Brazil spokesperson has now confirmed that it had 37 new cars on board the ship, including four rare 911 GT2 RS being shipped from Hamburg, Germany to Santos, Brazil.

    In a rare move, Porsche says it is now taking steps to restart production in order to “uphold its commitment” to its customers in Brazil, and the company has ensured that those vehicles will be reproduced in the order in which they were received.
    According to the ship’s Italian operator, Grimaldi Group, the Grande America was carrying a total of 2,210 vehicle, including 2,298 new ones from various major manufacturers, when the vessel sank.
    In case you were wondering, the 911 GT2 RS comes with a price tag of over $293,000, that’s if you can get one.

  • French authorities try to stem slick from capsized ship | Reuters

    French authorities battled on Thursday to contain an oil slick after the Italian Grande America ship capsized in the Atlantic this week.

    The Grimaldi Lines container ship capsized and sank on Tuesday, after catching fire while sailing from Hamburg to Casablanca. Britain’s Royal Navy frigate Argyll rescued all 27 crew members from the water.

    The ship was carrying 2,200 tonnes of heavy fuel when it sank some 330 km (200 miles) off the coast from La Rochelle in western France. Footage from the French navy showed thick black smoke pouring from the vessel.

    French authorities said a slick measuring 10 km (6 miles) long and 1 km wide could reach the coast of southern Brittany by the end of the weekend.

    French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Environment Minister Francois de Rugy both said they were closely monitoring the situation.

    A Grimaldi representative in France declined to comment. Company officials in Italy could not immediately be reached for comment.

  • Press Release on the Protest in #Ellwangen March 14, 2019

    Ellwangen has become a symbol of our protest!

    Picket from 11 a.m. onwards, Am Fuchseck in Ellwangen, rally at 3:30 p.m.

    Refugees take legal action against their sentences.

    Trial dates before the Ellwangen district court on March 14, 2019 cancelled!

    Detained refugees must be released.

    Since May 3, 2018 various groups and trial observers have presented criticism of the brutal police operation carried out by 500 officials at the first reception centre in Ellwangen. The police operation itself triggered more than 25 criminal proceedings. Letters and e-mails to the police headquarters in Aalen, to the democratic factions in the state parliament and to the Ministry of the Interior, Digitisation and Migration were not answered, or only partially or briefly. Evidently there is little interest to question the legality of the police action.

    After the first trials began at the Ellwangen local court in July 2018 and a refugee was sentenced to six months in prison without probation for assaulting the police (tätlicher Angriff), there were already serious doubts about the legality of the police operation. Shortly afterwards, various groups wrote a multi-page inquiry to the Aalen police headquarters. The letter was sent to all democratic factions in the Stuttgart state parliament. It was also brought to the attention of the Ministry of the Interior.

    The letter of 29 August 2018 already pointed out that “there was sufficient time between the protest action on 30 April and the police action on 3 May 2018 to obtain a court order. Since the time span between the two police operations was long, this does not constitute an exigent circumstance (Gefahr im Verzug)”. This point was taken up now by the judge of the Ellwangen local court, because also rooms in a refugee accommodation are protected by the Basic Law article 13 GG “inviolability of the home”.

    After further proceedings at the district court Ellwangen and issuing of orders of punishment (Strafbefehl), numerous further inhabitants have taken legal action. In one case meanwhile the proceedings were terminated (Einstellung). The three scheduled trial dates for March 14, 2019 have been cancelled. The background to this is that the court has given up on the public prosecutor’s office to conduct further investigations. The proceedings are continuing, but hearings will not take place due to this court order for the time being. It is obvious that the police raid had no legal basis. And if a search has not been lawful, defendants did not make themselves punishable. In this context, we demand the immediate termination (Einstellung) of all cases and the annulment of all sentences already imposed on residents of the camp. We also demand the release of the detainees!

    Alassa M. took legal action before the Stuttgart administrative court against the police operation of May 3, 2018. Since his legal re-entry and renewed application for asylum, the public prosecutor’s office has tried to criminalise him in connection with the protest in Ellwangen and to present him as a criminal. Months later, criminal investigations are initiated and orders of punishment (Strafbefehl) issued. The impression of a political guideline by the Green Party – CDU-led state government, in particular by the CDU-led ministry of the interior, is obvious here.

    On Thursday March 14, 2019 we call for a protest to Ellwangen. We would like to commemorate the police operation that took place exactly a year ago in Donauwörth and of the questionable, violent role of the security personnel in the mass camps, especially in Bavaria. Mass camps, ANKER centres or first reception facilities are increasingly revealed as state institutions in which more and more basic and human rights of the residents are latently undermined. These institutions are increasingly developing their own dynamics and questionable power structures, which enable police operations such as those that took place in Ellwangen, Donaueschingen, Donauwörth, Plattling, Bamberg, Fürstenfeldbruck and other camps. We understand the protest in Ellwangen on March 14 also as a protest against these state power centres, which in the end can only be classified as a stage on the way to sealing off refugees and eliminating the right to asylum. Together we must put a stop to this development.

    First signatories

    Stoffwechsel e.V. Karlsruhe

    Aktion Bleiberecht Freiburg

    Freiburger Forum aktiv gegen Ausgrenzung

    Solidarity International

    Julia Scheller Landesvorsitzende MLPD Baden-Württemberg

    Haru Schuh Mannheim


    Forim Azilon – Asyl und Menschenrecht Konstanz

    Daniel Tandol

    Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie

    KOP – Kampagne für Opfer rassistischer Polizeigewalt

    Freundeskreis Alassa & friends


    Unabhängiger Freundkreis Asyl Murrhardt

    Solinet Hannover

    Karawane Hamburg

    Lili Mirecki

    Antifaschistisches Aktionsbündnis Stuttgart & Region (AABS)

    OTKM Stuttgart

    IL Stuttgart
    #Allemagne #réfugiés #asile #migrations #violences_policières #manifestation #Anker-Zentrum

    In German :

  • Small Town Near Hamburg Said to Be Likely Choice for LNG Plant - Bloomberg

    A small port city near Hamburg is the leading choice of Angela Merkel’s government for the first liquefied natural gas terminal in Germany, according to people familiar with the thinking of senior ministers.

    The town on the Elbe River, #Brunsbuettel, is competing with rival bids from the city of #Stade and the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven for federal aid that’s key to unlocking investment in the terminal. The Economy and Energy Ministry in Berlin is backing the bid of Brunsbuettel partly due to its proximity to Hamburg, said two people familiar with the government’s thinking.

    #Brunsbüttel est au débouché de l’Elbe sur son estuaire et à l’entrée du canal de Kiel, pourrait (peut-être) permettre d’éviter d’avoir recours à un pilote maritime de l’Elbe #Lotsenbrüderschaft_Elbe)…

    #Stade, plus en amont sur l’Elbe, à mi-chemin de Hambourg.

  • Montblanc Meisterstück Fountain Pens — Gentleman’s Gazette

    Montblanc 142 (pour les petites mains) avec plume gravée

    Dans cet article on apprend que pour les grands hommes il y a l’équivalent de la grosse bagnole pour les petits. Le numéro « 9 » dans le nom du stylo-plume Meisterstück 149 signifie que ce stylo est équipé de la plume la plus large et du corps le plus gros. Voilà.

    Montblanc Meisterstück Series

    The Meisterstück, likely Montblanc’s most popular pen, was introduced in 1952. It suceeded the Meisterstück 139 and had a much more streamlined shape. Although you may read, on occasion, that the Meisterstück 149 is produced in the same way since its introduction, there have been a number of modifications. Originally, it was made of a celluloid shaft, a brass telescope piston mechanism, and a gold nib. Today, it is made of resin and a plastic mechanism, but still with a gold nib. Moreover, its former shape and mass was shorter, slimmer, and heavier than current models.

    As a side note, the number 149 was not chosen randomly. ‘1’ indicated that it was a Meisterstück, whereas 2 and 3 represented models of lower quality. The ‘4’ stood for the telescope piston mechanism and ‘9’ for the size of the nib (with 1 being the smallest). People with smaller hands, for example, would be better suited to the Montblanc Meisterstück 142 or 144. The 146 was a medium sized pen, and if you wanted to spend a little less, you might buy a 234.

    Despite the fact that the Meisterstück 149 has deteriorated in quality over time, it is still an iconic pen that has been used by many ranging from Konrad Adenauer to Nelson Mandela, from John F. Kennedy, to the Pope.

    De l’intérêt d’acheter un stylo-plume à € 650,00

    See How Montblanc Makes Its Famous Pens - Bloomberg

    By Jack Forster - My first Montblanc was a grad school graduation gift from my wife – a Meisterstück 149, which is as iconic a pen in the world of writing instruments, as, say, the Royal Oak or Submariner are in the world of watches or a 911 in the automotive realm. The only time it’s been out of sight is when I was careless enough to drop it, uncapped, a meter and a half onto asphalt; it landed point down, and the nib got badly bent. Montblanc’s New York boutique sent it back to Hamburg for repair and I got it back in a week, working just fine, no charge (watch companies, take note).


  • Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG
    Des fois que vous nauriez jamais compris pourquoi l’Allemagne est le meilleur ami des USA en Europe voici le résumé de la thèse d’Anne Zetsche

    Transatlantic institutions organizing German-American elite networking since the early 1950s

    Author » Anne Zetsche, Northumbria University Published: November 28, 2012 Updated: February 28, 2013

    The Cold War era witnessed an increasing transnational interconnectedness of individuals and organizations in the cultural, economic and political sphere. In this period, two organizations, the Atlantik-Brücke and the American Council on Germany, established themselves as influential facilitators, enabling German-American elite networking throughout the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. The two organizations brought together influential politicians and businesspeople, as well as representatives of the media and the academic world.

    Efforts in this regard commenced in the early days of the Cold War, only a few years after the end of World War II. In 1949, two American citizens and two Germans began developing the plan to found the Atlantik-Brücke in West Germany and a sister organization, the American Council on Germany (ACG), in the United States. Their plan was to use these two organizations as vehicles to foster amicable relations between the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America. Only a few years prior, Americans and Germans had faced each other as enemies during World War II and many segments of German society, including West German elites, held strong, long-standing anti-American sentiments. The U.S. public in turn was skeptical as to whether Germans could indeed be denazified and convinced to develop a democratic system. Thus, in order to forge a strong Western alliance against Soviet Communism that included West Germany it was critical to overcome mutual prejudices and counter anti-Americanism in Western Europe. It was to be one of the central tasks of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG to achieve this in West Germany.

    Individuals at the Founding of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG

    One of the founders of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG was Eric M. Warburg. He was a Jewish-American banker originally from Hamburg where his ancestors had founded the family’s banking house in 1798. Due to Nazi Aryanisation and expropriation policies, the Warburg family lost the company in 1938 and immigrated to the United States, settling in New York. In spite of the terror of the Nazi regime, Eric Warburg was very attached to Hamburg. He became a vibrant transatlantic commuter after World War II, living both in Hamburg and in New York. In the intertwined histories of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG, Warburg played a special role, becoming their leading facilitator and mediator.

    Not long after his escape from the Nazis, Warburg met Christopher Emmet, a wealthy publicist and political activist who shared Warburg’s strong anti-communist stance and attachment to pre-Nazi Germany. On the German side of this transatlantic relationship, Warburg and Emmet were joined by Marion Countess Dönhoff, a journalist at the liberal West German weekly Die Zeit, and by Erik Blumenfeld, a Christian Democratic politician and businessmen. There were two main characteristics shared by the original core founders of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG: firstly, each one of the founding quartet belonged to an elite – economic, social or political – and was therefore well-connected with political, diplomatic, business and media circles in both the United States and Germany. Secondly, there was a congruence of basic dispositions among them, namely a staunch anti-communist stance, a transatlantic orientation, and an endorsement of Germany’s integration into the West.

    The Western powers sought the economic and political integration of Western Europe to overcome the devastation of Europe, to revive the world economy, and to thwart nationalism and militarism in Europe after World War II. Germany was considered Europe’s economic powerhouse and thus pivotal in the reconstruction process. West Germany also needed to be on board with security and defense policies in order to face the formidable opponent of Soviet Communism. Since the Federal Republic shared a border with the communist bloc, the young state was extremely vulnerable to potential Soviet aggression and was at the same time strategically important within the Western bloc. Elite organizations like the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG were valuable vehicles to bring West Germany on board for this ambitious Cold War project.

    Thus, in 1952 and 1954 respectively, the ACG and the Atlantik-Brücke were incorporated and granted non-profit status with the approval of John J. McCloy, U.S. High Commissioner to Germany (1949-1952). His wife Ellen McCloy was one of signatories of the ACG’s certificate of incorporation and served as its director for a number of years. The Atlantik-Brücke (originally Transatlantik-Brücke) was incorporated and registered in Hamburg.

    Transatlantic Networking

    The main purpose of both organizations was to inform Germans and Americans about the respective other country, to counter mutual prejudices, and thus contributing to the development of amicable relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States in the postwar era. This was to be achieved by all means deemed appropriate, but with a special focus on arranging personal meetings and talks between representatives of both countries’ business, political, academic, and media elites. One way was to sponsor lectures and provide speakers on issues relating to Germany and the United States. Another method was organizing visiting tours of German politicians, academics, and journalists to the United States and of American representatives to West Germany. Among the Germans who came to the U.S. under the sponsorship of the ACG were Max Brauer, a former Social Democratic mayor of Hamburg, Willy Brandt, the first Social Democratic Chancellor and former mayor of West Berlin, and Franz Josef Strauss, a member of the West German federal government in the 1950s and 1960s and later minister president of the German federal state of Bavaria. American visitors to the Federal Republic were less prominent. Annual reports of the Atlantik-Brücke explicitly mention George Nebolsine of the New York law firm Coudert Brothers and member of the International Chamber of Commerce, and the diplomats Henry J. Tasca, William C. Trimble, and Nedville E. Nordness.

    In the late 1950s the officers of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG sought ways of institutionalizing personal encounters between key Americans and Germans. Thus they established the German-American Conferences modeled on the British-German Königswinter Conferences and the Bilderberg Conferences. The former brought together English and German elites and were organized by the German-English Society (later German-British Society). The latter were organized by the Bilderberg Group, founded by Joseph Retinger, Paul van Zeeland and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. Those conferences began in 1954 and were informal, off-the-record meetings of American and West European representatives of business, media, academia and politics. Each of these conference series was important for the coordination of Western elites during the Cold War era. Bilderberg was critical in paving the way for continental European integration and the German-British effort was important for reconciling the European wartime enemies.

    From 1959 onwards, the German-American Conferences took place biennially, alternating between venues in West Germany and the United States. At the first conference in Bonn, 24 Americans came together with 27 Germans, among them such prominent individuals as Dean Acheson, Henry Kissinger, and John J. McCloy on the American side, and Willy Brandt, Arnold Bergstraesser (considered to be one of the founding fathers of postwar political science in Germany), and Kurt Georg Kiesinger (third Christian Democratic Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and former minister president of the federal state Baden-Württemberg) on the German side. By 1974 the size of the delegations had increased continuously, reaching 73 American and 63 German participants.

    A central goal in selecting the delegations was to arrange for a balanced, bipartisan group of politicians, always including representatives of the Social and Christian Democrats (e.g. Fritz Erler, Kurt Birrenbach) on the German side and both Democratic and Republican senators and representatives (e.g. Henry S. Reuss, Jacob Javits) on the American side, along with academics, journalists, and businessmen. Prominent American academics attending several of the German-American conferences included Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Representatives of major media outlets were Marion Countess Dönhoff of Germany’s major liberal weekly Die Zeit, Kurt Becker, editor of the conservative daily newspaper Die Welt, and Hellmut Jaesrich, editor of the anticommunist cultural magazine Der Monat. The business community was prominently represented by John J. McCloy, the president of the Chase Manhattan Bank, and Herman Georg Kaiser, an oil producer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. From Germany, Gotthard von Falkenhausen and Eric Warburg represented the financial sector and Alexander Menne, a member of the executive board of Farbwerke Hoechst, represented German industry.

    Officers of the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG were mainly in charge of selecting the delegates for the conferences. However, Shepard Stone of the Ford Foundation also had an influential say in this process. In the late 1950s and 1960s he was director of the foundation’s international program and thus responsible for allocating funds to the ACG to facilitate the German-American conferences. Shepard Stone was deeply attached to Germany as he had pursued graduate studies in Berlin in the Weimar period, earning a doctoral degree in history. After World War II he returned to Germany as a public affairs officer of the U.S. High Commission. Stone’s continuing interest in German affairs and friendship with Eric Warburg and Marion Dönhoff regularly brought him to Germany, and he was a frequent participant in the German-American conferences.

    The German-American Conferences and Cold War Politics

    All matters discussed during the conferences stood under the headline “East-West tensions” in the earlier period and later “East-West issues” signaling the beginning of détente, but always maintaining a special focus on U.S.-German relations. The debates from the late 1950s to the early/mid-1970s can be categorized as follows: firstly, bilateral relations between the U.S. and the FRG; secondly, Germany’s relation with the Western alliance; thirdly, Europe and the United States in the Atlantic Alliance; and last but not least, relations between the West, the East, and the developing world. The conferences served three central purposes: firstly, developing a German-American network of elites; secondly, building consensus on key issues of the Cold War period; and thirdly, forming a common Western, transatlantic identity among West Germans and Americans.

    Another emphasis of both groups’ activities in the United States and Germany was the production of studies and other publications (among others, The Vanishing Swastika, the Bridge, Meet Germany, a Newsletter, Hans Wallenberg’s report Democratic Institutions, and the reports on the German-American Conferences). Studies aimed at informing Germans about developments in the United States and American international policies on the one hand, and at informing the American people about West Germany’s progress in denazification, democratization, and re-education on the other. The overall aim of these activities was first and foremost improving each country’s and people’s image in the eyes of the counterpart’s elites and wider public.

    The sources and amounts of available funds to the ACG and the Atlantik-Brücke differed considerably. Whereas the latter selected its members very carefully by way of cooptation especially among businessmen and CEOs to secure sound funding of its enterprise, the former opened membership or affiliation to basically anyone who had an interest in Germany. As a result, the ACG depended heavily, at least for its everyday business, on the fortune of the organization’s executive vice president Christopher Emmet. Emmet personally provided the salaries of ACG secretaries and set up the organization’s offices in his private apartment in New York’s upper Westside. In addition, the ACG relied on funds granted by the Ford Foundation especially for the biannual German-American conferences as well as for the publication of a number of studies. The Atlantik-Brücke in turn benefitted immensely from public funds for its publications and the realization of the German-American conferences. The Federal Press and Information Agency (Bundespresse- und Informationsamt, BPA) supported mainly publication efforts of the organization and the Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) regularly granted funds for the conferences.

    Politics, Business and Membership Growth

    Membership of the Atlantik-Brücke grew from 12 in 1954 to 65 in 1974. Among them were representatives of companies like Mannesmann, Esso, Farbwerke Hoechst, Daimler Benz, Deutsche Bank, and Schering. Those members were expected to be willing and able to pay annual membership fees of 3000 to 5000 DM (approx. $750 to $1,250 in 1955, equivalent to approx. $6,475 to $10,793 today). Since the business community always accounted for the majority of Atlantik-Brücke membership compared to members from academia, media and politics, the organization operated on secure financial footing compared to its American counterpart. The ACG had not even established formal membership like its German sister organization. The people affiliated with the ACG in the 1950s up to the mid-1970s were mostly academics, intellectuals, and journalists. It posed a great difficulty for ACG officers to attract business people willing and able to contribute financially to the organization at least until the mid-1970s. When Christopher Emmet, the ACG’s “heart and soul,” passed away in 1974, the group’s affiliates and directors were mostly comprised of Emmet’s circle of friends and acquaintances who shared an interest in U.S.-German relations and Germany itself. Emmet had enlisted most of them during his frequent visits to the meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations. Another group of prominent members represented the military. Several leading figures of the U.S. occupying forces and U.S. High Commission personnel joined the ACG, in addition to ranking politicians and U.S. diplomats. The ACG’s long term president, George N. Shuster had served as Land Commissioner for Bavaria during 1950-51. In 1963, Lucius D. Clay, former military governor of the U.S. zone in Germany, 1947-49, joined the ACG as honorary chairman. George McGhee, the former ambassador to Germany prominently represented U.S. diplomacy when he became director of the organization in 1969.

    Although the Atlantik-Brücke had initially ruled out board membership for active politicians, they were prominently represented. Erik Blumenfeld, for example, was an influential Christian Democratic leader in Hamburg. In 1958 he was elected CDU chairman of the federal city state of Hamburg and three years later he became a member of the Bundestag.In the course of the 1960s and 1970s more politicians joined the Atlantik-Brücke and became active members of the board: Kurt Birrenbach (CDU), Fritz Erler (SPD), W. Alexander Menne (FDP), and Helmut Schmidt (SPD). Thus, through their members and affiliates both organizations have been very well-connected with political, diplomatic, and business elites.

    Besides individual and corporate contributions, both organizations relied on funding from public and private institutions and agencies. On the German side federal agencies like the Foreign Office, the Press and Information Agency, and the Chancellery provided funding for publications and supported the German-American conferences. On the American side additional funds were provided almost exclusively by the Ford Foundation.

    Although both groups were incorporated as private associations with the objective of furthering German-American relations in the postwar era, their membership profile and sources of funding clearly illustrate that they were not operating at great distance from either public politics or official diplomacy. On the contrary, the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG represent two prominent actors in a transnational elite networking project with the aim of forging a strong anti-communist Atlantic Alliance among the Western European states and the United States of America. In this endeavor to back up public with private authority, the Atlantik-Brücke and the ACG functioned as major conduits of both transnational and transcultural exchange and transfer processes.

    #Europe #Allemagne #USA #politique #guerre #impérialisme #élites

  • KOLLEKTIV TURMSTRASSE - Sorry I Am Late (Official Video)

    Kollektiv Turmstrasse – Wikipedia

    Kollektiv Turmstrasse ist ein Musiker-Duo bestehend aus den Musikproduzenten Nico Plagemann und Christian Hilscher, die in Wismar an der Ostsee aufgewachsen sind und nun in Hamburg wohnen. Ihr Sound lässt sich in den Bereich des melodischen Minimal #Techno einordnen.

    Kollektiv Turmstrasse | Free Listening on SoundCloud

    There are few artists operating in the house/techno milieu who offer much beyond functionality in their music. Those who bring more than this to the table always stand out from the crowd. Hamburg/Berlin duo Kollektiv Turmstrasse (Christian Hilscher and Nico Plagemann) are one of those rare acts whose music caters for both body and soul.

    #Hamburg #Berlin #Kottbusser_Tor #Kreuzberg #Polizei #Musik #Hip_Hop

  • The Kaiser goes : the generals remain - Theodor Plivier

    Text entier en anglais :

    Du même auteur : Stalingrad (1945), Moskau (1952), Berlin (1954), une trilogie sur la guerre contre les nazis. Je n’ai pas encore trouvé de version en ligne.

    This is an amazing novel about the German Revolution, written by a participant. Republished here in PDF and Kindle formats.

    I’m republishing a novel about the German Revolution called The Kaiser Goes: the Generals Remain, written by a participant in the naval mutinies which kicked the whole thing off. But the novel doesn’t just concern rebellion in the armed forces, there’s all kinds of other exciting events covered too!

    I first became aware of the novel when I noticed some quotations from it in Working Class Politics in the German Revolution1, Ralf Hoffrogge’s wonderful book about the revolutionary shop stewards’ movement in Germany during and just after World War I.

    I set about finding a copy of The Kaiser goes..., read it, and immediately wanted to make it more widely available by scanning it. The results are here.

    Below I’ve gathered together all the most readily accessible information about the novel’s author, Theodor Plivier, that I can find. Hopefully, the sources referenced will provide a useful basis for anybody who wants to do further research.

    Dan Radnika

    October 2015

    THEODOR Otto Richard PLIVIER – Some biographical details

    Theodor Plivier (called Plievier after 1933) was born on 12 February 1892 in Berlin and died on 12 March 1955 in Tessin, Switzerland.

    Since his death Plivier/Plievier has been mostly known in his native Germany as a novelist, particularly for his trilogy of novels about the fighting on the Eastern Front in WWII, made up of the works Moscow, Stalingrad and Berlin.

    He was the son of an artisan file-maker (Feilenhauer in German) and spent his childhood in the Gesundbrunnen district in Berlin. There is still a plaque dedicated to him on the house where he was born at 29 Wiesenstraße. He was interested in literature from an early age. He began an apprenticeship at 17 with a plasterer and left his family home shortly after. For his apprenticeship he traveled across the German Empire, in Austria-Hungary and in the Netherlands. After briefly returning to his parents, he joined up as a sailor in the merchant navy. He first visited South America in 1910, and worked in the sodium nitrate (saltpetre) mines in 1913 in Chile. This period of his life seems to have provided much of the material for the novel The World’s Last Corner (see below).

    He returned to Germany, Hamburg, in 1914, when he was still only 22. He was arrested by the police for a brawl in a sailors’ pub, and was thus “recruited” into the imperial navy just as the First World War broke out. He spent his time in service on the auxiliary cruiser SMS Wolf, commanded by the famous Commander Karl August Nerger. It was he who led a victorious war of patriotic piracy in the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, seizing enemy ships and their cargo, taking their crews prisoner, and returning in glory to Kiel in February 1918. The activities of SMS Wolf are described in fictional form in the final chapter of Plivier’s The Kaiser’s Coolies (see below). The young Plivier didn’t set foot on land for 451 days, but while at sea he became converted to revolutionary ideas, like thousands of other German sailors. Nevertheless, he never joined a political party. In November 1918, he was in Wilhelmshaven and participated in the strikes, uprisings and revolts accompanying the fall of the German Empire, including the Kiel Mutiny. He also played a small role in the November Revolution in Berlin.

    He left the navy after the armistice (11 November 1918) and, with Karl Raichle and Gregor Gog (both sailor veterans of the Wilmhelmshaven revolt), founded the “Green Way Commune”, near Bad Urach. It was a sort of commune of revolutionaries, artists, poets, proto-hippies, and whoever turned up. Two early participants were the anarchist Erich Mühsam and Johannes Becher (see below), who was a member of the German Communist Party (KPD). At this time several communes were set up around Germany, with Urach being one of three vegetarian communes set up in the Swabia region2.

    It was the beginning of the anarchist-oriented “Edition of the 12” publishing house. Plivier was certainly influenced by the ideas of Bakunin, but also Nietzsche. Later he took on some kind of “individualist anarchism”, ensuring that he didn’t join any party or formal political organisation.

    In Berlin in 1920 he married the actress Maria Stoz3. He belonged to the circle of friends of Käthe Kollwitz4, the radical painter and sculptor, who painted his portrait. On Christmas Day 1920 he showed a delegation from the American IWW to the grave of Karl Liebknecht5. In the early ‘20s he seems to have associated with the anarcho-syndicalist union, the FAUD (Free Workers’ Union of Germany), and addressed its public meetings6.

    Plivier underwent a “personal crisis” and began to follow the example of the “back to nature” poet Gusto Gräser7, another regular resident of “Green Way” and a man seen as the leading figure in the subculture of poets and wandering mystics known (disparagingly at the time) as the “Inflation Saints” (Inflationsheilige)8. In the words of the historian Ulrich Linse, “When the revolutionaries were killed, were in prison or had given up, the hour of the wandering prophets came. As the outer revolution had fizzled out, they found its continuation in the consciousness-being-revolution, in a spiritual change”9. Plivier began wearing sandals and robes…10 According to the Mountain of Truth book (see footnote), in 1922, in Weimar, Plivier was preaching a neo-Tolstoyan gospel of peace and anarchism, much influenced by Gräser. That year he published Anarchy, advocating a “masterless order, built up out of the moral power of free individuals”. Supposedly, “he was a religious anarchist, frequently quoting from the Bible”11. This was not unusual amongst the Inflationsheilige.

    His son Peter and his daughter Thora died from malnutrition during the terrible times of crisis and hyper-inflation in 1923. A year later he began to find work as a journalist and translator. He then worked for some time in South America as a cattle trader and as secretary to the German consul in Pisagua, Chile. On his return to Germany he wrote Des Kaisers Kulis (“The Kaiser’s Coolies”) in 1929, which was published the following year. It was a story based on his days in the Imperial Navy, denouncing the imperialist war in no uncertain terms. At the front of the book is a dedication to two sailors who were executed for participation in a strike and demonstration by hundreds of sailors from the Prinzregent Luitpold12. Erwin Piscator put on a play of his novel at the Lessingtheater in Berlin, with the first showing on 30 August 1930. Der Kaiser ging, die Generälen blieben (“The Kaiser Goes: The Generals Remain”) was published in 1932. In both novels Plivier did an enormous amount of research, as well as drawing on his own memories of important historical events. In the original edition of Der Kaiser ging… there is a citations section at the end with fifty book titles and a list of newspapers and magazines consulted. This attention to historical fact was to become a hallmark of Plivier’s method as a novelist. The postscript to Der Kaiser ging… clearly states what he was trying to do:

    “I have cast this history in the form of a novel, because it is my belief that events which are brought about not by any exchange of diplomatic notes, but by the sudden collision of opposed forces, do not lend themselves to a purely scientific treatment. By that method one can merely assemble a selection of facts belonging to any particular period – only artistic re-fashioning can yield a living picture of the whole. As in my former book, The Kaiser’s Coolies, so I have tried here to preserve strict historic truth, and in so far as exact material was available I have used it as the basis of my work. All the events described, all the persons introduced, are drawn to the life and their words reproduced verbatim. Occasional statements which the sources preserve only in indirect speech are here given direct form. But in no instance has the sense been altered.”

    His second marriage (which didn’t produce any children) was to the Jewish actress Hildegard Piscator in 1931. When Hitler came to power as Chancellor in 1933, his books were banned and publically burnt. He changed his name to Plievier. That year he decided to emigrate, and at the end of a long journey which led him to Prague, Zurich, Paris and Oslo, he ended up in the Soviet Union.

    He was initially not subject to much censorship in Moscow and published accounts of his adventures and political commentaries. When Operation Barbarossa was launched he was evacuated to Tashkent along with other foreigners. Here, for example, he met up (again?) with Johannes Robert Becher, the future Culture Minister of the DDR! In September 1943 he became a member of the National Committee for a Free Germany (NKFD), which gathered anti-Nazi German exiles living in the USSR – not just Communist Party members, although there were a fair number of them involved. In 1945 he wrote Stalingrad, based on testimonies which he collected, with official permission, from German prisoners of war in camps around Moscow. This novel was initially published in occupied Berlin and Mexico, but ended up being translated into 14 languages and being adapted for the theatre and TV13. It describes in unflinching and pitiless detail the German military defeat and its roots in the megalomania of Hitler and the incompetence of the High Command. It is the only novel by Plievier that was written specifically as a work of state propaganda. It is certainly “defeatist”, but only on the German side – it is certainly not “revolutionary defeatist” like Plievier’s writings about WWI. The French writer Pierre Vaydat (in the French-language magazine of German culture, Germanica14) even suggests that it was clearly aimed at “the new military class which was the officer corps of the Wehrmacht” in an effort to encourage them to rise up against Hitler and save the honour of the German military. The novel nevertheless only appeared in a censored form in the USSR.

    He returned to Weimar at the end of 1945, as an official of the Red Army! For two years he worked as a delegate of the regional assembly, as director of publications and had a leading position in the “Cultural Association [Kulturbund] for German Democratic Renewal” which was a Soviet organisation devoted to changing attitudes in Germany and preparing its inclusion into the USSR’s economic and political empire. As with so much else in Plievier’s life, this episode was partly fictionalised in a novel, in this case his last ever novel, Berlin.

    Plievier ended up breaking with the Soviet system in 1948, and made an announcement to this effect to a gathering of German writers in Frankfurt in May of that year15. However, Plievier had taken a long and tortuous political path since his days as a revolutionary sailor in 1918… He clearly ended up supporting the Cold War – seeing the struggle against “Communist” totalitarianism as a continuation of the struggle against fascism (logically enough). What’s more, his views had taken on a somewhat religious tinge, talking of a “spiritual rebirth” whose foundations “begin with the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai and end with the theses of the Atlantic Charter”! Although it can be read as a denunciation of the horrors of war in general, it’s clear that Berlin, his description of the collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945, is far more of a denunciation of Soviet Russia than anything else. The character Colonel Zecke, obviously a mouthpiece for Plievier’s views, even claims that Churchill and Roosevelt only bombed Dresden because they wanted to please Stalin. If you say so, Theo…! One virtue of Plievier’s single-minded attack on the Russian side is that he draws attention to the mass rape of German women by Russian soldiers. This was a war crime which it was not at all fashionable to mention at the time he was writing, despite the existence of perhaps as many as two million victims16.

    Berlin ends with one of the recurring characters in Plievier’s war novels being killed while participating in the East German worker’s revolt in 195317. Despite his conservative turn, Plievier obviously still has some of the spirit of Wilhelmshaven and can’t restrain himself from giving the rebellious workers some advice about how to organise a proletarian insurrection – seize the means of production! Another character says:

    “What use was it raising one’s fists against tanks, fighting with the Vopos [Volkspolizei – People’s Police], trampling down propaganda posters – one has to get into the vital works, to get busy at the waterworks, the power stations, the metropolitan railway! But the workers are without organisation, without leadership or a plan –the revolt has broken out like a steppes fire and is flickering away uncoordinated, in all directions at once.”

    He went to live in the British Zone of Occupation. He got married for a third time, in 1950, to Margarete Grote, and went to live next to Lake Constance. He published Moscow (Moskau) in 1952 and Berlin in 1954. He moved to Tessin in Switzerland in 1953, and died from a heart attack there in 1955, at the age of 63.

    His works – particularly the pro-revolutionary ones – are almost unknown in the English-speaking world (or anywhere else) today. The republication of The Kaiser Goes: The Generals Remain in electronic form is a modest attempt to remedy this!

    Finally, please read Plivier’s novels! Even the reactionary ones…

    #Allemagne #histoire #révolution #littérature

  • The Largest Act of Terrorism in Human History - Daniel #Ellsberg on RAI (4/8)

    The British bombing of Hamburg in 1942, and the American firebombing of Japan in March 1945 that killed as many as 120,000 people in one night, created the conditions for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which were considered mere extensions of the firebombing tactics, says Daniel Ellsberg on Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay

    #histoire #terrorisme

  • M/Y Eclipse Superyacht berthed at the Detached Mole, Gibraltar

    Vous critiquez l’Allemagne ? Vous avez tort. Voilà pourquoi : regardez toutes les merveilles technologique Made in Germany qui rendent la vie plus belle et sûre pour les passagers de ce modeste bateau de plaisance. C’est beau, n’est-ce pas ?

    M/Y Eclipse is the world’s largest private yacht built by Blohm & Voss of Hamburg, Germany. Its exterior and interior are designed by Terence Disdale Design and its naval architect is Francis Design. M/Y Eclipse is also equipped with a three-man leisure submarine, two swimming pools, intruder detection systems, accommodation for three helicopters, a German-built missile defense system and bullet-proof glass and armor plating in the master suite.

    Source : Moshi Anahory sur Flickr (licence

    #Allemagne #technologie #navigation #vacances #nantis

  • Hostile architecture: an uncomfortable urban art – in pictures | Cities | The Guardian

    Hostile architecture: an uncomfortable urban art – in pictures
    Bollards in a covered corner next to the entrance of a Carrefour supermarket in Paris. Photograph: Julius-Christian Schreiner
    Cities is supported by
    Rockefeller Foundation
    About this content

    Julius-Christian Schreiner’s Silent Agents series, shot in London, Paris, Innsbruck and Hamburg, depicts examples of ‘hostile architecture’: subtle interventions in urban spaces designed to hinder people’s use of them

    #urban_matter #aménagments_urbains #dispositifs_anti_sdf #architecture

  • “The Hatpin Peril” Terrorized Men Who Couldn’t Handle the 20th-Century Woman | History | Smithsonian

    “The Hatpin Peril” Terrorized Men Who Couldn’t Handle the 20th-Century Woman
    To protect themselves from unwanted advances, city women protected themselves with some sharp accessories

    On the afternoon of May 28, 1903, Leoti Blaker, a young Kansan touring New York City, boarded a Fifth Avenue stagecoach at 23rd Street and settled in for the ride. The coach was crowded, and when it jostled she noticed that the man next to her settled himself an inch closer to her. She made a silent assessment: elderly, elegantly dressed, “benevolent-looking.” The horse picked up speed and the stage jumped, tossing the passengers at one another again, and now the man was touching her, hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder. When he lifted his arm and draped it low across her back, Leoti had enough. In a move that would thrill victim of modern-day subway harassment, she reached for her hatpin—nearly a foot long—and plunged it into the meat of the man’s arm. He let out a terrible scream and left the coach at the next stop.

    “He was such a nice-looking old gentleman I was sorry to hurt him,” she told the New York World. “I’ve heard about Broadway mashers and ‘L’ mashers, but I didn’t know Fifth Avenue had a particular brand of its own…. If New York women will tolerate mashing, Kansas girls will not.”

    Newspapers across the country began reporting similar encounters with “mashers,” period slang for lecherous or predatory men (defined more delicately in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie as “one whose dress or manners are calculated to elicit the admiration of susceptible young women”). A New York City housewife fended off a man who brushed up against her on a crowded Columbus Avenue streetcar and asked if he might “see her home.” A Chicago showgirl, bothered by a masher’s “insulting questions,” beat him in the face with her umbrella until he staggered away. A St. Louis schoolteacher drove her would-be attacker away by slashing his face with her hatpin. Such stories were notable not only for their frequency but also for their laudatory tone; for the first time, women who fought back against harassers were regarded as heroes rather than comic characters, as subjects rather than objects. Society was transitioning, slowly but surely, from expecting and advocating female dependence on men to recognizing their desire and ability to defend themselves.
    (San Francisco Sunday Call, 1904)

    Working women and suffragists seized control of the conversation, speaking out against mashers and extolling women’s right to move freely—and alone—in public. It was true, as social worker Jane Addams lamented, that “never before in civilization have such numbers of young girls been suddenly released from the protection of the home and permitted to walk unattended upon city streets and to work under alien roofs.” Dating rituals and sexual mores were shifting. A man no longer called at a woman’s parlor and courted her under the close eye of her parents, but took her to a show or a dance hall, where all manner of evil lurked. The suffragists rejected the notion, advanced by the Chicago Vice Commission, that unchaperoned women should dress as modestly as possible—no painted cheeks or glimpse of ankle—in order to avoid unwanted attention. The issue lay not with women’s fashion or increasing freedoms, one suffragist countered, but with “the vileness of the ‘masher’ mind.”

    Instead of arguing with the suffragists, some detractors took a more subtle approach, objecting not to women’s changing roles but to their preferred mode of self-defense: the hatpin. Tales abounded of innocent men—no mashers, they—who fell victim to the “hatpin peril.” A 19-year-old girl in Scranton playfully thrust her hatpin at her boyfriend and fatally pierced his heart. A young New York streetcar passenger felt a sharp pain behind his ear—an accidental prick from a stranger’s hatpin—and within a week fell into a coma and died. Also in New York, a hundred female factory workers, all wielding hatpins, attacked police officers who arrested two of their comrades for making allegedly anarchistic speeches. Even other women weren’t safe. In a suburb of Chicago, a woman and her husband’s mistress drew hatpins and circled each other, duel-style, until policemen broke it up. “We look for the new and imported Colt’s hatpin,” one newspaper sarcastically opined, “or the Smith and Wesson Quick-action Pin.” By 1909, the hatpin was considered an international threat, with the police chiefs in Hamburg and Paris considering measures to regulate their length.

    In March 1910, Chicago’s city council ran with that idea, debating an ordinance that would ban hatpins longer than nine inches; any woman caught in violation would be arrested and fined $50. The proceedings were packed with curious spectators, men and women, and acrimonious from the start. “If women care to wear carrots and roosters on their heads, that is a matter for their own concern, but when it comes to wearing swords they must be stopped,” a supporter said. Cries of “Bravo!” from the men; hisses from the women. Nan Davis, there to represent several women’s clubs, asked for permission to address the committee. “If the men of Chicago want to take the hatpins away from us, let them make the streets safe,” she said. “No man has a right to tell me how I shall dress and what I shall wear.”

    Despite Davis’ impassioned speech, the ordinance passed by a vote of 68 to 2. Similar laws subsequently passed in several other cities, including Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and New Orleans. Ten thousand miles away, in Sydney, Australia, sixty women went to jail rather than pay fines for wearing “murderous weapons” in their hats. Even conservative London ladies steadfastly refused to buy hatpin point protectors.

    “This is but another argument for votes for women and another painful illustration of the fact that men cannot discipline women,” argued the suffragist Harriot Stanton Blatch, a daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. “Women need discipline; they need to be forced, if not led, out of their barbarisms, but women never have and never will submit to the discipline of men. Give women political power and the best among them will gradually train the uncivilized, just as the best among men have trained their sex.”

    The furor over hatpins subsided at the onset of World War I, and died entirely when bobbed hair and cloche hats came into fashion—at which point emerged a new “social menace”: the flapper. It wouldn’t be long, of course, before politicians grew less concerned with what women wore than with how to win their votes.

    pas encor lu

  • #Soviétisme #atmosphère #photographie #quelques images

    Je crois me souvenir que quelques unes de ces images étaient exposées devant la gare de l’Est.


    Live your life, how you wish your life should be. I love images and even more, I love to create them. I love travelling and moving around more then sitting at one place. My journey and inspiration to photography started in Leipzig, where I was born before the fall of the Berlin Wall. During my childhood, I was not interested in taking photos at all, and I even hated it so much that I pulled out the film of my mother´s camera to expose all images and make them useless. But later on, I realised that it is a perfect way of expressing things which you cannot explain in words. It´s possible to create magic and miracles with this medium. So, finally, I bought my first own camera with help of my first earned money and started the same day. But I soon felt that I must move forward and so I decided to go to Hamburg and London. There I studied and assisted to several photographers and worked on my first own commissions and projects. But life is unpredictable, and I finally ended up being in Moscow. This very charming city with all controversial sides of life gave me the possibilities to develop my cinematic-dream-like shooting style. All these mysterious things happening here let my photography heart beat stronger. Always looking for the surrealist aesthetic that denies journalistic facts and loving to create narrative story telling images.

  • Qui est Cunégonde ?,_ou_l%E2%80%99Optimisme/Beuchot_1829/Chapitre_27

    Cunégonde et la vieille servent chez ce prince dont je vous ai parlé, et moi je suis esclave du sultan détrôné. Que d’épouvantables calamités enchaînées les unes aux autres ! dit Candide. Mais, après tout, j’ai encore quelques diamants ; je délivrerai aisément Cunégonde. C’est bien dommage qu’elle soit devenue si laide.

    Une première réponse

    Voltaire était ami avec une dame allemande, comtesse dans une minuscule principauté endettée. Ses déboires et son caractère auraient servi de source d’inspiration quand Voltaire inventa le personnage de Cunégonde. En réalité ce fut une femme extraordinaire féministe avant le mot.

    Charlotte Sophie von Bentinck Aldenburg

    Bentinck, Charlotte Sophie Gräfin von
    * 5.8.1715 Varel (Oldenburg), † 4.2.1800 Hamburg. (reformiert)

    Charlotte Sophie, countess Bentinck, her life and times, 1715-1800 : Le Blond, Aubrey, Mrs : Internet Archive

    Full text of "Charlotte Sophie, countess Bentinck, her life and times, 1715-1800"

    CHARLOTTE SOPHIE, Countess Bentinck, nee Countess of Aldenburg, Sove-reign Lady of Varel, Kniphausen, etc. (to give her, once for all, her full title), lived in an extremely interesting period of European history. During the eighty-five years of her life from 1715 to 1800 France passed from Louis XIV
    through the age of Voltaire and Rousseau to the Revolution, and when Charlotte Sophie died Napoleon held all Europe in his grip. The Empire, under Marie Therese, and Prussia, under Frederick the Great, entered on the long struggle of the Seven Years* War, and Russia was for many years in the hands of Catherine II. Of what transcendent interest passing events must have been to a woman who was personally acquainted with all the people involved

    Charlotte Sophie von Aldenburg Bentinck (comtesse de, 1715-1800) : nom d’alliance

    Charlotte Sophie Bentinck – Wikipedia

    L’article en allemand est assez complèt contrairement à l’entrée en anglais.

    In Hamburg (ab 1768)
    Nachdem sich Charlotte Sophie mit mehreren deutschen Höfen überworfen hatte, zog sie 1768 nach Hamburg, wo sie über dreissig Jahre wohnte - länger als an keinem anderen Ort. Hier wohnte sie in prominenter Lage am Jungfernstieg Nr. 3, Ecke Neuer Wall und zog später ins ländliche Eimsbüttel. Wegen der engen persönlichen Beziehungen zur aristokratischen Gesellschaft der Generalstaaten und wegen ihrer zahlreichen Verwandtschaft in England verstand sie sich als Repräsentantin des Adels. In ihrem Salon, den sie aufgrund ihrer vielseitigen literarischen Bildung veranstaltete, verkehrten Diplomaten, die in Hamburg akkreditiert waren und dem Adel angehörten und nach 1789 Angehörige des französischen Adels, die vor den Schrecken der Revolution geflohen waren. Mit ihrem Salon bildete sie einen anerkannten Gegenpol zu den bürgerlichen Zirkeln in Hamburg. Einer dieser Zirkel, genauer der von Elise Reimarus und Margaretha Büsch, gab sich zum Zwecke der Abgrenzung den Namen „Theetisch“.

    Hamburg, Jungfernstieg 4-5, la maison Jungfernstieg 3 sur la Alster a fait place à un pavillon touristique.,+20095+Hamburg/@53.5537658,9.9917507,3a,75y,48.88h,100.46t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sH2GLvHSTkbo8XIocg7cCeA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x47b

    Schloss Bückeburg

    Les secrets de fabrication de « Candide »

    Voltaire a parlé de Ragotski dans le chap. XXII du Siècle
    de Louis XIV
     ; voyez tome XX. Ragotski est mort en 1785. B.

    François II Rákóczi — Wikipédia

    Un admirateur et protégé de Louis XIV. , personnage dont se sert Voltaire pour ironiser la cour de Versailles et sa politique. Dans Candide il est mentionné comme le roi déchu Ragotski .

    Rákóczi, « L’Autobiographie d’un prince rebelle. Confession • Mémoires »

    Rákóczi Ferenc II Prince of Transylvania 1676-1735 [WorldCat Identities]

    Works: 679 works in 1,228 publications in 10 languages and 4,540 library holdings
    Genres: History Sources Biography Records and correspondence Fiction Art Pictorial works
    Roles: Author, Honoree, Editor, Other, Creator, Dedicatee, Signer
    Classifications: DB932.4, 943.91

    Candide ou le détour oriental de monsieur de Voltaire, Abdel Aziz Djabali, p. 93-112

    #histoire #littérature #philosophie #politique

  • John Bolton chaired anti-Muslim think tank

    John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, chaired a nonprofit that has promoted misleading and false anti-Muslim news, some of which was amplified by a Russian troll factory, an NBC News review found.

    The group’s authors also appeared on Russian media, including Sputnik and RT News, criticizing mainstream European leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron.

    From 2013 until last month, Bolton was chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a New York-based advocacy group that warns of a looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe leading to a “Great White Death.”

    The group has published numerous stories and headlines on its website with similar themes. “Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants,” warned one from May 2017, about a single apartment rental property in Hamburg that had gone into temporary trusteeship. Another from February 2015 claimed the immigrants, for instance Somalis, in Sweden were turning that country into the “Rape Capital of the West.”


  • Smartphones Are Killing The Planet Faster Than Anyone Expected

    There’s nothing inherently bad about the design of the Skyrider 2.0, a new compact seat that allows airlines to fit more passengers in less space with a hypothetical super-economy class. Engineered by Italian aerospace interior design company Aviointeriors and introduced at Hamburg’s Airplane Interiors Expo in earl April, the seat positions a willing passenger almost completely upright on a polyester saddle and back support. It seems well thought out, it’s reportedly very functional, and it even looks good. But I’ll still never sit on one.

    The Skyrider 2.0 makes a lot of sense for airlines trying to squeeze as much value as they can from every pound of fuel and inch of cabin space. Decreasing seat space is an easy way to do so, and even major companies like Airbus have toyed with unconventional seat designs like this butt-destroying bike seat. The new saddle-style seat is a twist on the company’s previous high-capacity seat prototype, which came out in 2010 and was never installed by any airline–perhaps out of fear after the backlash Ryanair received for similar plans. This new version is an aesthetic improvement over the original (which looked like a squeezed version of a normal seat), but it seems to be more clever, as well: positioning a passenger almost upright, with a saddle and a foot panel to support part of their body weight, takes up only 23 inches of pitch (“the space between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front of it”).
    [Photo: Avio Interiors]

    Aviointeriors calls Skyrider 2.0 “the new frontier of low cost tickets and passenger experience” and claims that the design allows a 20% increase in passengers per flight. It also weighs 50% less than standard economy class seats–after all, it’s half the size–lowering the fuel cost per passenger. So it seems likely that such a design could lower the cost of travel for consumers–but at what price when it comes to the experience?

    A reviewer at the travel review site The Points Guy tried one at the expo, spending 10 minutes in versions of the seat in both front and back rows. “The front row wasn’t bad, but at 5 foot 11 inch tall,” he says, “my knees were firmly planted against the seat back for the entire time in the rear row.” He claims that the saddle itself “didn’t seem to be bad.” The director general of Aviointeriors had an explanation for the saddle-style design decision back in 2010, pointing out to USA Today that, “cowboys ride eight hours on their horses during the day and still feel comfortable in the saddle.” True, though cowboys also enjoy total freedom of movement on a horse, and are not tightly sandwiched between other cowboys and their flatulence. Also, have you ever played The Oregon Trail? But I digress.

    So how far are we from seeing the Skyrider 2.0 on real airplanes? Companies have been talking about these “high-capacity seats” for a while, but at this point, no airlines have announced plans to install this particular solution, though Aviointeriors says interest is “really strong.” If airlines truly believe that are willing to trade their suffering on an airborne inquisitorial torture device for a major airfare discount, it’s just a matter of time.


  • Gregory Klimov. The Terror Machine. Introduction by Ernst Reuter

    The decisive problem of our time is that of relations with the totalitarian Soviet system. Despite all the astonishing results that have been achieved, not only in western Germany but in other European countries during recent years, the quite understandable disposition of a large part of the western world to be concerned with its own anxieties and to devote considerable energy to the restoration of its own conditions cannot dispose of the fact that there can be no peace in the world so long as the Soviet problem is not solved. Today the Soviets stand in the heart of Europe; Lubeck and Hamburg, as well as Kassel and Frankfurt-on-Main, lie in a sense at their gates; the bounds between the two worlds run along the Elbe in Germany, the geographical center of Europe; and countries like Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Rumania are under the domination of a foreign power which is never prepared to give up its ultimate goal. And all these facts show that there can be no serious peace so long as they endure.

    They cannot endure, because the people living under the Soviet yoke will not regard them as a lasting solution. They could only endure if the western world were to compound with them. But the western world cannot, and dare not, compound with these conditions. It must clearly recognize that this enemy will never abandon his goal, and by his very nature cannot renounce his conquests, still less his aim to incorporate those countries not yet under his subjection.

    Given this situation, which even today is not clearly realized by many millions of the western peoples, it is of decisive importance whether we can keep the way open to the subjected peoples, and also find a way to the peoples who are suffering most of all under the Soviet yoke. I mean the peoples of the Soviet Union, and above all the Russians themselves. More than any other place, Berlin has drunk the bitter cup of Soviet occupation to the dregs, and it is by no means fortuitous that it is in Berlin that the point has been made most persistently and urgently that our spiritual and political dispute is not with the Russian people but with the Soviet system. Again and again, we in Berlin have stressed that we have no hatred and no aversion for the Russian people, whose tremendous cultural achievements we all know and recognize, but that we wish to live and could live in true friendship with that nation.

    In the present historical conditions we are confronted with an unprecedented phenomenon. I refer to the fact that we are witnessing an emigration from Soviet Russia of people who have never consciously experienced any other but the Soviet regime. In all the former periods of world history, emigrants have regularly carried with them memories of the past. When they were compelled to leave their native land they took with them the memory of what they regarded as a better past, the memory of values in which they believed and which they considered it their duty to defend, even in emigration. This is true not only of emigrants from Germany. All through history, every emigration has had this traditional backward look. But now we find that ’Soviet men’, if we may use those dreadful words, are essentially cutting themselves off from the system under which they have grown up, from a system whose horrible and profoundly inhuman nature they have been forced to recognize often against their will, and only after a long inward struggle.

    Today we see that the identification of all Germans with National Socialism, and the consequent demand for ’unconditional surrender’, is one of the mistakes for which all of us, victors and vanquished, must alike pay heavily. It has taken time for this error to be men-tally overcome, and meanwhile tensions have been engendered which it would have been better to avoid. This serious political and psychological error must never be repeated on any future occasion. The Russian people and all the other peoples suffering under the Soviet yoke cannot and must not be made responsible for their regime.

    One of the most important tasks of the present time is to develop the western world’s understanding of the internal struggle and stress of relations inside Soviet Russia. We must work for realization of the fact that often men who carry Soviet passports are even compelled to become members of the Soviet Communist Party; and we must work for understanding of the reason why such men cannot be made politically and morally responsible for the regime under which they are themselves suffering.

    Major Klimov’s book is an unusually valuable contribution to the very difficult problem of understanding what is going on inside Soviet Russia. He gives a frequently dramatic description of his own process of development, and of his very rich experience and observation, which should be studied by all who have the future of the West at heart. Russia’s internal development during the war, the concessions made by the Stalin regime to the natural and inevitable patriotic feelings of the Russians who were called upon to defend, and did defend, their country against an enemy conqueror, but who hoped that something new would emerge out of their very defense, and then the monstrous post-war reaction, provide a key to an understanding of all that is happening in that country. His story shows the profound weaknesses of the regime, it reveals how responsive the Russians will be if the western world becomes convinced that our quarrel is not with Russia as such, but with the Soviet regime.

    In our own German history we have experienced something similar on a small scale. After the “élan” of the war for freedom of 1813 there was a reaction which made genuine freedom, and with it a genuine unification of Germany, historically impossible. We must get out of the habit of regarding this dispute as in the nature of a quarrel between East and West, or even between Germans and Russians. In Germany especially, but, unfortunately, not only in Germany, all old-style politicians are still inclined to think in categories derived from the past. They do not realize that the true realities of life are the hidden forces and processes at work within the people.

    They fail to realize that in our own fight for freedom our strongest allies are to be found in the Russian people themselves: people who are no less, and possibly even more, freedom-loving than those who are so quick to turn up their noses at the alleged and actual cultural backwardness of the East. On a former occasion, in a statement on German-Russian friendship, I said that I still hoped to have another opportunity to eat ’kasha’ with a Russian peasant in his hut. Perhaps those who cannot understand the depth of this longing, since they do not know Russia, will get some understanding of what I had in mind when they read Klimov’s dramatic description of a highly placed Russian Party-general’s visit to his peasant father’s home.

    For those who can read and understand, Klimov’s book gives an unequivocal answer to the question, continually being asked how we are to solve the apparently insoluble problem of dealing with the Soviets. The problem will be solved if all of us, freed from the domination of past power-conceptions, realize that the peoples themselves must be liberated; it will be solved when the peoples realize that their own internal freedom will only be secure again when the freedom of all peoples is secure. Klimov’s book reveals what profound possibilities there are of a solution on the lines of freedom in Russia.

    So it is a message of hope for us all. But it is necessary, too, for the world to understand how difficult, indeed, practically insoluble, is this task for any one people, if it has to live under such a satanic regime as the present Soviet regime. Klimov reveals so impressively the dreadful con-sequences of this regime, with its destruction of all human and natural inclinations and associations, that it is to be hoped the nonsensical idea which millions still hold, that the Russians as such cannot be trusted and that they are responsible for the regime under which they are suffering, will be abolished.

    There are still only a few who realize that we must win the genuine friendship of the Russian people. That realization is more present in the minds of those who are professionally occupied with the question. It must be our task to bring it home to everybody. Out of it a force of explosive effect can develop. No iron curtain, no terror measures adopted by the Soviet regime, will be able to hinder the long-distance effect within Russia of an inner change in the western world’s attitude to that country. In this direction we can forge weapons more effective than tanks, grenades, and atom bombs. In this direction we can forge weapons that will free the world without resort to bloodshed. Our real task is to gather around us men who, like Klimov, have gone through the purgatory of their regime and have retained intact an extraordinary strength of will and a genuine love of truth. I hope that this book will do even more than descriptions by foreign observers to help in shaping our determination to free this world, and with it the whole world too.

    Burgomaster of Berlin.
    Aschau (Cheimgau), 21 August 1951.

    #anticommunisme #histoire #Berlin #occupation #guerre_froide

  • Why is Berlin so dysfunctional? - Poor and sexy

    Auf der Suche nach Ärger - dem bürgerlichen Schreiber fehlt die aalglatte Servicekultur der gleichgeschateten Metropolen.

    Unlike other capitals, Germany’s is a drain on the rest of the country

    Dec 2nd 2017 | BERLIN

    AT A crossroads in the middle of Tegeler Forst, a wooded part of north-west Berlin, visitors can admire the city’s longest-serving provisional traffic light. Erected in 2013 after a burning car had destroyed the pillar on which the lights were mounted, it was meant to be replaced by a more permanent structure within a few weeks. When a city lawmaker asked the government why, four years later, the lights still had not been fixed, he received an interesting response: owing to changed regulations, calculating whether or not the new structure would fall down had become “very laborious and difficult”. The government would not specify how much longer it would take.

    The traffic-light saga illuminates a wider problem. Berlin, the capital of Europe’s most successful economy, is surprisingly badly governed. The new airport, the city’s biggest flagship project, missed its seventh opening date earlier this year and may not open until 2021, ten years after it was originally supposed to. The jobless rate is among the highest in the country. Schools are dismal. Courts and police are so overworked that hundreds of millions of euros in fines and taxes have not been collected; and the city failed to keep tabs on Anis Amri, the jihadist who killed 11 people with a lorry last Christmas, despite warnings about him three weeks earlier.

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    Astonishingly for a capital city, Berlin makes Germany poorer. Without it, Germany’s GDP per person would be 0.2% higher. By comparison, if Britain lost London, its GDP per person would be 11.1% lower; France without Paris would be 14.8% poorer. “Berlin’s economic weakness is unique among European capitals”, says Matthias Diermeier of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research.

    The city’s dysfunction makes everyday life more irksome. In some boroughs the streets are constantly clogged by piles of rubbish, not to mention inexplicable roadworks that make little or no progress. Registering a new car can take weeks, depriving new owners of a means of transport and car showrooms of space for new stock. This summer desperate couples travelled out of town to get married because short-staffed town halls could only offer wedding dates months in the future. “It is hard to escape the impression that Berlin’s government has a certain contempt for its citizens”, says Lorenz Maroldt, editor of the local daily Tagesspiegel, who writes a newsletter chronicling the city’s administrative hiccups.

    Berlin’s woes are partly a consequence of structural changes. Before the second world war the city was an industrial hub. When it was divided by the victorious allies, many firms moved their offices and factories to West Germany. As an anti-communist bulwark, West Berlin was heavily subsidised, but not an attractive place to set up a business. After unification, firms that had re-established themselves in Germany’s southern industrial clusters had little reason to move back. Instead the city attracted bohemians, lured by low rents and large numbers of abandoned factories and warehouses that made ideal artists’ studios or rave venues. These new, hip residents earned little and paid little tax. In 2003 Klaus Wowereit, a former mayor, described Berlin as “poor but sexy”.

    The city’s economic fortunes are improving. A heavy dose of austerity in the early 2000s averted bankruptcy. Startups have moved into the artists’ warehouses, making Berlin the second-biggest European tech hub after London. Its rough-and-colourful image has attracted tourists. The city’s population is growing.

    Yet the bureaucratic dysfunction continues. One culprit is the complex division of responsibilities between the city and its boroughs. This makes it easy for officials to pass the blame for problems back and forth without doing anything about them. (By contrast, cities such as Hamburg or Munich have centralised their administrations to improve accountability.) That the austerity measures were implemented in a slapdash fashion probably did not help either. But the main reason, Mr Maroldt believes, is cultural, going back to Berlin’s historic anti-capitalist and anti-technocratic streak: “We have a deeply held suspicion of anything that smacks of efficiency and competence.” Abandoning that attitude may make life in Berlin easier. For some, no doubt, it will also make it less sexy.

    #Berlin #Gentrifizierung

  • Two Germanies (1961-1989)

    Traffic Near the Inner-German Border (1973-1989)

    The Basic Treaty of 1972 improved opportunities for travel and visitation across the inner-German border. Residents of border regions on both sides (shown in color on the map) were given the right to apply for entry without any particular reason to visit persons on the other side of the border. The map shows the areas in both German states to which this agreement applied. Aside from Eisenach, almost all of the large border cities (Magdeburg, Weimar, Erfurt) on the GDR side were excluded from the purview of this visitation agreement. Likewise, cities on the Federal Republic side were also excluded. They included Kiel, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Würzburg, and Hanover, the latter of which constituted an exclave within this border zone. Thus, large parts of urban populations could not take advantage of the extended visiting privileges. Moreover, there was no legally binding guarantee that citizens of the Federal Republic could enter the GDR. Visitor applications from citizens of the GDR, as a rule, were only approved for women over 60 and men over 65 years of age.

    #ddr #allemagne #histoire