Helene F.

Beautiful German of the week.

Helene Fischer

Because somebody has to admire them.

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It Wasn’t Sabotage

I read half a dozen times today that no, it wasn’t sabotage that caused a forced landing of Angela Merkel’s plane on its way to the G20 in Argentina shortly after leaving Berlin.

Plane

Of course it wasn’t sabotage. It was a Bundeswehr plane, folks. That’s all you need to know. What’s interesting is how the first thing everyone thinks is that it could have, might have, must have been sabotage. Angie, maybe it really is time for you to go.

The plane’s communications system went down and the crew had to use a satellite phone to contact air traffic controllers, Germany’s Spiegel website reported. The problem is thought to have been with an electronic distribution box, which controls both the radio and discharge of aviation fuel.

The German air force denied suggestions that the plane’s electronics could have been sabotaged. “There’s is absolutely no indication of a criminal background,” a spokesman said.

Es ist dringend.”

Save The Wolves!

Save the wolves? So they can attack us at… cemeteries?

Wolf

These romantic visions of nature everybody fosters these days are all fine and good, I guess, but sometimes they can get a little creepy.

The German news agency dpa reported Wednesday that a 55-year-old man was working on the cemetery in the village of Steinfeld in Lower Saxony on Monday when he felt something biting his hand from behind. When he turned around, he saw a wolf attacking him and three other wolves watching from a distance. He managed to free himself from the wolf’s bite and shooed all the animals away. Then he went to see a doctor, who bandaged his injured hand.

Man oh man. This time there will definitely be consequences.

Auf einem Friedhof in Niedersachsen hat offenbar ein Wolf am Dienstag einen Menschen angegriffen. Nach Polizeiangaben soll das Tier den 55-jährigen Gemeindemitarbeiter in den linken Unterarm gebissen haben.

German Is A Tough Language To Learn

Even if you’re, well, a German cop-to-be in Berlin.

Police

And the English language is at fault. Sort of.

Germany’s cops are bombarded with countless criticisms today, but this one definitely stands out – it emerged that police cadets in Berlin, many of whom have immigrant backgrounds (some 40 percent), have difficulty using… the German language.

Many cadets attending Berlin’s police academy have “fundamental difficulties” writing in German without spelling or punctuation errors, revealed Tanja Knapp, the newly appointed head of the institution. She said it was really disappointing to learn that these cadets are unable to produce written texts. And since after every stakeout or chase you have to write a report, that’s discouraging news.

Part of the problem is that too much emphasis is placed on learning English, Knapp said. Over the years, Berlin has evolved into a truly international city where English is sometimes spoken more frequently than German.

“Of course, it makes sense to be able to speak English to the capital’s many tourists,” Knapp said. “But if the basic required level of German is too low, then the focus should be on German.”

Berlins Polizeischüler sollen künftig weniger Englisch- und dafür mehr Deutschunterricht erhalten. Es gebe bei vielen Polizei-Azubis „grundsätzliche Schwierigkeiten“ mit der Sprache.

Make Law International Again

Ouch. The Kremlin certainly wasn’t expecting that one.

Maas

After Russia’s latest display of disregard for territorial sovereignty, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas has bravely stepped forward and told the roughhouse renegade of a nation that it must now respect international law again. Or else. Or something.

To achieve this, Germany and its European allies need clear principles and a “true dialogue” on common security in Europe, Maas added.

Wow. Dialogue. That’s never been tried before. This guy is the greatest thing since Bismarck. No, not the herring. That chancellor dude.

“The aim must be that Russia sticks to international rules again and that it does not violate the territorial sovereignty of its neighbors.”

PS: The EU ITSELF would have done the lecturing but it’s too busy trying to get rid of daylight savings time. Actually, it’s not all that busy anymore. It just failed at that attempt. Kind of like it always does at practically everything it tries. But to be fair, it was way too ambitious a project for the EU to handle in just one generation.

This Guy Needs Immediate Medical Attention

After Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s ambassador in Berlin has called for – now get ready for this – the deployment of German warships to help clear up the situation.

Ukraine

Either he’s been drinking too much happy juice or he’s living in some parallel universe none of the rest of us have access to. Germany doesn’t have any worships to begin with (that are ready for deployment) and how can you expect a country that isn’t even willing to defend itself to defend somebody else’s country? Coo coo for Coco Puffs!

Kann Deutschland der Ukraine in der neuen Krimkrise militärisch beistehen? Zumindest wünscht sich das der ukrainische Botschafter in Berlin. Die Nato berät in Kürze über das weitere Vorgehen.

German Of The Day: Amerikanische Verhältnisse

That means American conditions. And it’s usually meant in the negative sense.

TK-Maxx

You know, like when forty people in two rival groups start a mass brawl during a Black Friday sale at a TK-Maxx in Osnabrück? That’s right. They may not celebrate Thanksgiving in Germany but they certainly know how to enjoy Black Friday festivities here now. And they seem to be really good at it, too.

The police had to come in with twenty cop cruisers and a few ambulances to haul the injured away. But the savings were tremendous!

Die Polizei rückte mit 20 Streifenwagen an und musste die Situation entschärfen. Außerdem wurden bei der Schlägerei mehrere Menschen verletzt, sodass auch mehrere Rettungswagen im Einsatz waren.

Let The Christmas Cheer Begin!

New fortified security measures at Berlin Christmas market.

Christmas

All week, workers have been installing 160 giant, square, lattice-work frames on the perimeter of Charlottenburg’s Breitscheidplatz, the site of the fatal attack.

Enormous sand-and-stone-filled bags have been lowered into each frame, which have all been bolted to the next to form a long row. Narrow access points have been protected with extra bollards.

During the market, private guards will patrol the grounds, joined by a heavy presence of uniformed and plainclothes police officers.

The Berlin Senate has said the elaborate €2.5 million ($2.9 million) installation will provide “unprecedented protection” against trucks weighing up to 40 tons.

This reminds me of German oddity 234. Germany is a country that now places the ugly security controls, bollards and heavily armed police it used to have on its national borders at Christmas markets and Volksfeste around the country instead.

Germany Can’t Abolish The Death Penalty

It never had one to begin with (not since the war).

Death penalty

Germany abolishes death penalty in public vote. But please read a little further: The ballot was purely symbolic, because Germany’s federal constitution and European treaties mean the death penalty is already banned in the country as these override state law.

Germany is a country where lebenslänglich (a life sentence) is fifteen years and somebody wants to suggest that they have a death penalty here? It’s interesting fake news, I guess, but it’s fake news all the same.

“There was a fear if a terrible crime was committed… then the vote could do the wrong way.”

PS: And yes, despite that morbid theme, Happy Thanksgiving!