Author Archives: Günther

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Xenos, mein Bruder – II

Mein nächstes, nur kurzes Erlebnis, im Zusammenhang mit Fremden hatte ich im Alter von etwa elf, als ein Freund meines Bruders und ich uns an eine Wiese an der Autobahn begaben, wo eine grössere Anzahl amerikanischer Soldaten für einen Tag kampierten.
Ich versuchte mich mit meinen wenigen englischen Worten mit ihnen zu unterhalten – was zumindestens als Versuch gelang. Wir wurden von den Soldaten – und aus heutiger Sicht auch von den Offizieren – freundlich aufgenommen. Sie lachten mit uns, sie versuchten mit uns Lieder zu singen.
Am Ende das Nachmittags zogen wir, was von uns nicht beabsichtigt war, beladen mit verschiedensten Konserven und mit Schokolade von dannen.
Dieses Erlebnis war die Basis dafür, dass ich in meinem späteren Leben – als ich die USA schon als einen der Verursacher von vielen Krisen weltweit eingeordnet hatte – immer zu unterscheiden wusste zwischen dem Staat, seiner Macht und seinen Interessen einerseits und den Einwohnern und Bürgern andererseits.

 

Xenos, mein Bruder – I

Meine ersten Erfahrungen mit „Fremden“, an die ich mich, wenn auch nur sehr transparent, erinnern kann, machte ich im Alter von 3 Jahren mit Michael aus (damals noch) Abessinien. Michael war als Praktikant bei der Fiirma „Otto-Webereien“ beschäftigt, und wohnte beim selben Vermieter wie meine Familie, als Untermieter.
Wann immer er Zeit erübrigen konnte, kümmerte er sich um mich. Wenn ich auch nur eine sehr vage bewusste Erinnerung an ihn habe, so verbindet sich für mich mit seinem Namen ein ganz ganz angenehmes, positives Gefühl.

 

The Highest Hill in Germany – Hohenasperg

How comes ?
Old saying in the region: Hohenasperg

Prison since late medieval time, it kept lots of – sometimes locally, sometimes worldwide well known – prisoners.

Celtic principality ca 500 BC, Hohenasperg was officially chartered in 1510.
1525 the leader of the countrymen, Jäcklein Rohrbach, was taken prisoner by the governor of Asperg.

In 1737, Joseph Süß Oppenheimer, a Jew and the financial adviser to the Duke of Württemberg, was arrested and, in a dubious political trial, was sentenced to death. The poet C. F. D. Schubart was held prisoner there between 1777 and 1787. Schubart’s fate became the subject of Friedrich Schiller’s Drama “The Robber.” Schiller himself had escaped the confinement of the Hohenasperg by fleeing to Mannheim in the neighboring Electoral Palatinate.

1933, numerous members of the Hitlers opposition, the Social Democrats and Communists, were imprisoned on Hohenasperg.

Transit Camp for Deportation to Concentration Camps (1940 – 1943)

The prison later became a civil prison for the detention of non-political prisoners

and now also houses the central hospital of the prison service in Baden-Württemberg.
In this capacity it held Peter Graf, father of the tennis-player Steffi Graf, in 1995. The serial killer Heinrich Pommerenke, died in Hohenasperg in the central hospital on December 27, 2008.

Uphills – if you risk it – you find a museum detailing the lives of some of the prison’s notable inmates. (“Hohenasperg. Ein deutsches Gefängnis”).

 

Lysistrata

The greek problem today is still the ancient problem, that Lysistrata solved – using her way.

If you have a look on the social life today : Old men, “working”, bad mood, impolite. trying avoiding heavy actions.
Whenever you see a woman do the same job : friendly , smiling, minimum double the speed, effective (you may call this problem oriented – but it is just DOING it).

Though the solution today might not be Lysistrata’s solution anymore – they should have women doing the jobs.

Sweden 1967.

My first serious trip to foreign countries was in August 1967. We – Köngen Folkdance Group – visited our partner groups in Sweden.

Side comment: This was the year, when Sweden switched driving from left hand to right hand side. We still drove left, but everywhere we found the preparations for the change.

On the trip we stayed in Hamburg for one day, including an evening vistit of the well known Sankt Pauly entertainment area.

The day after, we headed towards Travemünde with a short stop in Lübeck. In Travemünde we entered a ferry boat to Helsingborg/Sweden. Our first night in Sweden was in Halmstad in  a  vandrarhem ( kind of a youth hostel ). The first stay with a partner group then was in Varberg, from were we also visited Göteborg.

Some days later we drove to Karlstad at the lake Vännern, one of the biggest lakes in Europe. The group had a home of their own – directly at the lake. We could not only sleep there, we also  had the opportuniuty of a dance fest in the hall of the home together with our friends. As one of our activities there, we had the chance of visiting the coffee roasting plant of Löfberg – still today known for Löfberg Lila coffee brand ( you get it at IKEA nowadays ).

Next visit was Älvdalen, in the very north of Sweden, nearly at the polar circle. Though we stayed at hosts, we once had a dance fest again at hut in the woods, where we danced outside, and took the chance to look for bears ( we were much to loud, and did of course not see a single one ). This night was my first experience with nordic light, with no real darkness even at midnight. It did not allow us to be aware of the time when dancing.

From Älvdalen along the Österdalälv, via Mora and the lake Siljan – partially via boat, we had a chance to visit Rättvik – the Spelmans festival – very impressive, if you listen to  hundreds of violinists playing (more or less) synchroniously. Near Rättvik was and still is the ability of a very long summer sledding track.

From Rättivik next station was Falun, were we took the opportunities to visit the Falun copper mine – today  cultural world heritage. The copper from this mine, besides the main usage as metal, was used to create the so called “rett färg” – red colour, which you still find at tradinional Swedish homes. The copper mine is also mentioned in Selma Lagerlöf’s famous  book Nils Holgersson.

Uppsala

From Falun through Gävle and Uppsala to Stockholm.
We were located at a YMCA hostel just above the – 1967 – new tunelbana station at Slussen. In the morning we awoke very early from the metro trains’ noise.
After a big banquet on the day of our arrival with the Stockholm major, visits of the Vasa viking boat, the Royal castle at Gamla Stan,

Stockholm Royal Castle - side entrance

Stockholm castle

including  changing of the guards were following. One day we spent with a tour to the “Schären”, an area of about nearly 25.000 small islands in the forefront of Stockholm, before reaching the open baltic sea.

The event that was related to our group and our hosts was a dancing performance at the traditional buildings open-.air museum “Skansen”.

From Stockholm the trip continued to Nyköping. On this trip I had my personal special experience :
A police car stopped our bus, and brought the message, that one suitcase has been left back at the place where we entered the bus. Cars of our hosts followed after 1/2 hour and brought a suitcase -MINE.

From the one night stay at Nyköping – the last one with hosting groups, we continued back to Helsingborg, with the ferry to Helsingör, down through Jütland / Denmark, with a short stop through northern Germany back to our home village.

The experiences I made during this trip – seeing new, unknown areas – as well as meeting foreign people more or less immediatelly convinced me of travelling beeing a target of my life.

 

 

 

Near Rättvik was and still is the ability of a very long summer sledding track.

Timemachine

February 15th in the year 1949 – this was the date, and roughly the time of my birth. I am still around in this world, intending visiting a big share of the places in this world.

Part of the ambition of this Glog is to collect, what I have experienced and will experience in those places, that I had and will  have the luck of seeing, to  collect whome I have met, and how we managed to communicate. An other ambition, is not just to uncover the information by itself, but making it surviving for a while.