Speaking Of Explosions…

Germans typically turn their country into a war zone on New Year’s Eve, blowing the begeezus out of every small to medium-large object they can get their fingers on (fingers included) with big honking fireworks for hours and hours and hours on end. It’s just what they do.

Fireworks

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon how you look at it), they are not “alone” this year and some communities are now banning setting off these fireworks near or on the grounds of the many refugee centers located in Germany now “out of concern about the psychological effects on refugees,” a lot of whom having come here from real war zones. As far as bad ideas from local government go, maybe this one isn’t that bad at all.

In der Ersten Verordnung zum Sprengstoffgesetz heißt es: “Das Abbrennen pyrotechnischer Gegenstände in unmittelbarer Nähe von Kirchen, Krankenhäusern, Kinder- und Altersheimen sowie Reet- und Fachwerkhäusern ist verboten.” Kommunen können darüber hinaus weitere Verbotsbereiche bestimmen.

Why Does This…

Unity

Remind me of this?

Just kidding. Sort of.

When East and West Germany reunited 25 years ago this weekend, the country was drunk on euphoria and a sense of heightened optimism. While reigning chancellor Helmut Kohl promised “flourishing landscapes”, his predecessor Willy Brandt produced the now legendary sentence: “What belongs together, will grow together”.