Tuesday, August 29, 2006

One year after Katrina - Now it's Nuremberg?

The Katrina desaster of New Orleans happened one year ago.
But what happened in Nuremberg last night?
A thunderstorm with heavy rain and a whirlwind has caused severe damage in the quarters of Nuremberg Gartenstadt and Falkenheim on Monday evening.
The fire brigade reported of several untiled roofs, damaged extensions and uprooted trees. More than 350 fire fighters were busy with cleanup efforts and pumping out of flooded cellars. The damage adds up to several million Euros.
Fortunately nobody was hurt. Fortunately Nuremberg cannot be compared with Katrina. I hope so much that New Orleans will recover. I heard an interview with a German citizen of New Orleans (a pastor for sailors!) today. He said that there a still looters. Parts of his house which is renovated at the moment were tore down for example.
The national guard is back in town because the local police is overstrained. Many citizens still didn't come back. There are fears of a new hurricane as well.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Faded myths - 1. FC Nürnberg

A little miracle has happened. After three games the 1. FC Nürnberg (nickname: Der Club) leads the German soccer league Bundesliga. 2 victories, one tied game, no goal against so far.
This has happened last in 1967/1968, the year of the last (of nine) championships!
Der Club, often mocked as "elevator" team, because of oscillating between the first and second German league.
Der Club, of which a saying exists: "Der Club is a Depp" (Der Club is a fool)
Der Club, those team which seemed so incapable to the coach Peter Neururer in November 2005, that he refused an offer via SMS and preferred an engagement at Hannover 96. He presumed better perspecitves there. Well at this time the Club was 18th (and last). But now: Hannover 96 is 18th and last with three losses and Neururer stands close before dismissal. It needs no personal malice against Neururer anymore, fate itself has procured the fun for the Club fans.
Der Club with the most enthusiastic fans in Germany. Capable of suffering and sorely tried. The home page Clubberer tells of it and offers a lot of details.
Der Club with a special fan song: Ich bin a Clubberer und ich wärs a immer bleim. Ogmalt hab ich schwarz und rot mei Fensterscheibn. Mei Nachbarn sochn ich kör in a Therapie. Und an jeds Münchner Auto bruns ma aweng hie. Translation to follow........

I will decide at the end of this season whether the Club will turn from faded mythos to mythos again. I will cross fingers for my Club of course.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Let he who has not sinned throw the first stone - The discussion about Günter Grass

After Günter Grass confessed that he was a member of Waffen SS at 17, Germany erupted

The admission of German Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass that he was a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II has provoked everything from rage to empathy in the German press.

Until now, biographies of the writer, who was born in 1927, have asserted that Grass was conscripted as anti-aircraft personnel in 1944 and then served as a soldier. After being injured on April 20, 1945, he was taken into war captivity by the Americans.

On August 12, Grass explained in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (excerpt in German) that he was not in the armed forces but in fact in the Waffen SS, in the 10th SS tank division "Frundsberg". He said he was called up in the late summer of 1944 when he was just about 17. The following autumn and winter he was trained as member of a tank crew and he was involved in rearguard action of the German army in Lausitz in March and April 1945, until he was wounded on April 20. He ended up in an American war prison soon afterwards.

A huge discussion emerged after the confession. The where different reactions like disappointment, anger, understanding, incomprehension but never indifference.
Germany's most celebrated living writer, the Nobel Prize winner, the conscience of the nation, the writer of legends, was a member of the Waffen-SS...
A cheap joke of history? Or a truth whose bitterness cannot yet be fully measured?
I tend to think the first way. Grass was still a boy when he was called up. He hasn't become an element of war crime. The action lasted only a few months. And even later, he never portrayed himself as a resistance fighter
Sure one can ask and criticize why he hasn't revealed this secret earlier. Would the reception of his work been different? Would he have been suggested for the Nobel Prize?
But on the other hand, he has disclosed. He wasn't forced to. How many people didn't disclose their failures and became esteemed member of German society? Nobody knows.
This is a courageous act of Günter Grass and hopefully it is not meant as an advertising campaign for a publicity addict who has written a new book. Why he did not speak much earlier about his own entanglement, nobody will now except him.

Like the historian Michael Wolffsohn said: "You too, GG... ? You too are going to ooze the truth!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Glad to be in the office again- now the recovery from the holiday begins for Konrad the builder

So I'm back. I need a recovery from the holiday. Three weeks of physical work have ended and now I'm staring into the PC again. The only things I move are my fingers on the keyboard.
It feels a little strange because it's so totally different. Not that I would want to work on a building site for the rest of my life, no! It's hard, hard work.
But it was nice to see our house changing and lend a helping hand as well. I have done something and that will stay.
Friends of ours are building a new house and complain about not having the chance to do so. I can understand this now.
No the craftsmen are at work mainly. But there will be still a lot of things to do for us, especially at the weekends.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Room with a view

One of the first photos of our house. I'm working like a dog, but man it's fun as well. You can clearly see, it's a building site. The roofers are working. The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire......I remember this song now....

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Wo man singt, da laß Dich ruhig nieder - böse Menschen haben keine Lieder. Or: Emma, our little singer.

Emma has started to sing whole songs. That's amazing for a little girl, who is not yet 20 months old.

Her favourite songs so far, that she can sing by heart are:

Alle meine Entchen.
La Le Lu, nur der Mann im Mond schaut zu.
Backe, backe Kuchen.
Es tanzt ein Bi Ba Butzemann in unserem Haus herum.
Hänsel und Gretel.
Der Elefant kommt gerannt.

Besides some poems for little kids and games like "Hoppe hoppe Reiter".

We wonder what happens when she keeps improving her language like this. Probably she will have a greater vocabulary as I have, latest when she turns three.......

Right now she is sleeping like an angel, probably dreaming of all her family members and friends, of whom she is thinking and telling all the time.

So these greetings go to them:

Grandma Karin and Grandpa Eberhard
Grandma Marianne and Grandpa Werner
Aunt Kathi and Jonathan, Julius and Titus (for whom she brushes her teeth first every evening) Aunt Claudia, Hans and Sam (Wau Wau)
Aunt Catrin and Steve (Canada she says, when telling of them)
Uncle Leonhard, her favourite
Uncle Kilian, Anna and Leander, Valentin and Clara
"Aunt" Anni (Tina's aunt)
Anna her child minder, Alicia (her best friend), Julian, Baba and Dziadzio
Kerstin, Till and Fiona
Monika, Marlon and Nicolas (America she says, when telling of them)
Sophia and Sandra
Hanna and Simone
Paula and Petra
Max and Barbara

And many more.

Good night and good luck to all of you.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sore muscles but sweet thougts

The building site has started on Monday this week. We are glad that we can start working now. For months it was in our thoughts but kind of vague and obscure. Not we can pump up the volume of the radio and tear down.
Because that is what we do right now. Mainly wallpaper. We have up to 5 layers, that's amazing. And such beautiful wallpaper: Flowers, cork design, geometric design, various colours. Gorgeous. I hope I will never see wallpaper again in my whole life.
We had to cut down 2 small maple leaf trees (sigh!), sorry Canada. We tore down eternit (asbestos) flags, a balcony balustrade and two canopies. A lot of garbage has piled up. But we see progress.
At night wee sleep without dreaming.
Emma is having fun as well, she is talking of the house frequently. And she likes to run around there and screams "Baustelle, Baustelle". And she loves tools as well as toys.

For Dirk Fans like me