German Of The Day: Denkverbot

That means a ban on thinking. And that’s what this latest anti-Pegida or anti-anti-Islamization hysteria is all about.

PEGIDA

This is so German it hurts. This anti-anti-Islamization movement isn’t primarily a protest against the Pegida anti-Islamization movement in my view (although of course it is that, too), it is going through that classic German ritual of protesting against the German Nazi past by trying to compensate for the anti-Nazi movement that never took place when it could have made a difference. It’s never “anti-” enough when and where it needs to be here in Germany, in other words.

Are these 18,000+ Pegida protesters in Dresden all Nazis and racists? Of course not, although some of them undoubtedly will be. So why call them that? Especially when a recent study indicates that over 18 percent of the German population is hostile to Islam in the first place (is that all?). Do the political parties and media on the left – and elsewhere – profit from calling them Nazis? You tell me.

If they are all such idiots then why the hysteria? Do they possibly have something to say then after all? I’m slowly starting to wonder now.

One thing really does worry me about all these Pegida people, however. It is one of their slogans I heard about the other day: “Potatoes instead of Döner Kebab!” Now that’s scary. Maybe these folks do need to be stopped after all…

Um als Gesellschaft eine sinnvollere Reaktion zu finden, braucht es etwas Gelassenheit.

Tanks For Nothing, Vlad

The end of the Cold War didn’t necessarily mean the end of war between big countries, and Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine undermines the notion that a quiet Europe is forever free from war. And modern warfare means tanks. Germany recently bolstered their current arsenal of tanks by buying and upgrading 20 Leopard 2A7 tanks acquired from the Netherlands, though originally from Canada.

Tanks

Upgrading old tanks is fairly routine and accounts for the dangers of the present. Developing a new advanced tank, instead, is a bet on the future. In August, German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), makers of the current versions of the Leopard tank, merged with French defense company Nexter. Speaking to the merger, KMW CEO mentioned the idea of a Leopard 3 tank, noting that France has a strategic perspective that stretches decades into the future. In October, when the budget committee of Germany’s parliament put together their draft of a 2015 spending bill, the proposal to develop a new tank was quietly noted, and then debated in an independent German armed forces journal.

3000 Bombs In Berlin

Oddity 12. Germany is the only place on earth where huge underground bombs are regularly unearthed all around the country and this barely even makes second page news. In fact most Germans directly affected by these excavations are more annoyed by them than anything else. They grudgingly leave their homes for a few hours until the bomb crews disarm or detonate the damned things.

Bombs

Berlin authorities believe 3000 bombs still lurk beneath the capital and experts warn that some are growing increasingly dangerous as they rust and their fuses grow more brittle.

54 Tonnen Bomben, Granaten und Munition aus dem Zweiten Weltkrieg sind im vergangenen Jahr in Berlin gefunden und entschärft worden. Seit Ende des Krieges vor 70 Jahren wurden nach Polizeiangaben mehr als 1,8 Millionen Sprengkörper vernichtet. Nach Schätzungen der zuständigen Stellen beim Senat liegen aber weiterhin 3000 Blindgänger aus dem Weltkrieg im Boden der Hauptstadt – auch in der Nähe wichtiger Verkehrsknotenpunkten wie Bahnhöfen oder dem Flughafen Tegel. Genau kann das aber niemand sagen.

The End Of An Aura

It’s amazing these sleeper trains have lasted as long as they have, if you stop and think about it.

Night Train

Saturday marked the end of the line for this Paris-Berlin sleeper, at any rate. Slow food might be able to make a stand here and there but it looks like slow travel is definitely out.

Deutsche Bahn, the German rail network which operates the sleeper said the service was incurring debts over €20 million a year and losing out to cheap bus connections and easyJet which offers a regular service between the two capitals. Along with the Paris-Berlin sleeper, overnight train services linking Berlin with Copenhagen and Amsterdam are also being axed.

Germany A New Nation Of Immigrants?

I think you may have overshot the mark here, Christian Science Monitor. But nice try.

Arson

The reality here is still another one.

Far-right arsonists are believed to have caused fires which damaged three buildings earmarked for asylum seekers near Nuremberg in southern Germany.

“Es spricht einiges dafür, dass es sich um Brandstiftung handelt.”

PS: Oddity 325. Germans really do tend to equate nationality with ethnicity.

Red Friday

When Red Friday comes, I’m gonna dig myself a hole

Linke

Germany’s Left Party, descended from East Germany’s Communist SED in an unbroken line, now heads a “red-red-green” coalition government in Thuringia with boss Bodo Ramelow as the new state prime minister.

This truly is historic. No, not so much because the good folks at the Linke have gotten this far (Thuringia is about as East in East Germany as East in Germany can get). It’s historic because the good folks at the SPD (currently partners in the federal government‘s grand coalition) have proven that their promises to never-ever-ever-never work together with the Linke are now history.

If they could help the Left Party enough, the SPD wouldn’t hesitate to form a coalition at the national level with these people and now everybody in Germany knows it – who didn’t know it already, I mean.

Good News: Communists Are Back in Germany

Bad German Historian Woman Points Out Trümmerfrau Myth

… Every time another memorial goes up in the “rubble woman’s” honor, German politicians look to what former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said in Munich in 2005. The rubble-clearing women in the aftermath of WWII are “a symbol of the German people’s wish to rebuild and of their powers of survival,” he said, adding that the Munich monument “commemorates the large number of women who volunteered to clear the ruins.”

Wrong, says historian Leonie Treber. Neither was there a great number of women, nor did most of them volunteer to clear the rubble, the researcher says. “The Trümmerfrau is a German legend.”

Rubble Women

Yet it wasn’t just the women who were reserved when it came to clearing the war debris; men weren’t crazy about the task, either. In the eyes of the Germans, it was anything but honorable for people to show their “willingness to rebuild.” In fact, most Germans regarded clearing rubble as punishment – and for a reason.

During the war, the Nazis made soldiers, the Hitler Youth, forced laborers, prisoners of war and concentration camp prisoners clear the bombed cities after Allied air raids. In 1945, after the end of the war, prisoners of war and former members of the NSDAP Nazi party took their place. When that turned out to be insufficient, the population was asked to help – on a voluntary basis in the West, but usually against their will in the Soviet occupation zone.

I Love A Parade

For decades, neo-Nazis have traveled to the southeastern German town of Wunsiedel, where Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, was buried until 2011. The right-wing extremists march through the town in commemoration of Hess year after year, glorifying the horrors of the Third Reich.

This time, however, everything was different: Although Wunsiedel’s inhabitants had observed the march from a distance over the past years, this Nov. 15, some of them welcomed the neo-Nazi protesters effusively with rainbow confetti and even cheered for them. What had happened?

No, the residents of Wunsiedel — most of them skeptical and critical of the neo-fascists — had not suddenly turned into Nazi sympathizers.

Instead, the group Rights versus Rights (Rechts gegen Rechts) had come up with a new way to protest the annual neo-Nazi march: For every meter the neo-Nazis walked, local businesses and residents would donate $12.50 to a nongovernmental organization devoted to making it easier for neo-Nazis to leave behind their hateful politics.

Anybody Can Land On A Comet

10 years and 6.5 billion kilometers later (give or take a few inches)…

The spaceship Rosetta’s landing probe Philae will be landing on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Tomorrow. We hope.

The comet is currently hurtling through space at 24,600 miles per hour and its nucleus is only 2.5 miles wide. Scientists compare the task to a fly trying to land on a speeding bullet.

PS: Why couldn’t they have scheduled this thing to land on 11.11 at 11 o’clock 11 in the morning?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 419 other followers