Occasional musings, Geistesblitze, photos, drawings etc. by a "resident alien", who has landed on American soil from a far-away planet called "Germany".

Thursday, August 26, 2010

German funk

When I was in Germany this summer, I found the country in a strange funk. I say "strange" because this mood is in contrast to a booming economy, which is bucking the world-wide trend: Unemployment is lower than it has been in years; the carmakers are running extra shifts to meet world-wide demand etc. And besides, the young and inexperienced soccer team did much better than expected during the World Cup. But still, the Germans seem to be unhappy—more in my first comment...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1963 Trip through the Middle East and North Africa

(Middle East - North Africa by Ulrich Flemming, with contributions by Dirk Schmidt)
I just turned old negatives and slides (of my own and those of a friend) from a 1963 trip into a photobook. The preview is not consecutive, but shows a cross section—from the Balkans to Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya and Tunesia.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Word of the month: Volksverhetzung

This compound noun hitches together Volk (people--as in "the American people") and Verhetzung (stirring up of hatred, especially against other peoples or minorities; vicious demagoguery). Volksverhetzung is a crime in present-day Germany, no doubt in response to the Nazi rhetoric of the past, in which Volksverhetzung played a major part.

The law is being enforced; i.e. people have been convicted based on it. I remember a case of the recent past, when a Neo-Nazi was convicted under the law for anti-semitic remarks that were considered sufficiently close to Nazi rhetoric. However, I do not know how systematic the prosecution of this type of speech is. More in my first comment...

Note on pronunciation: Both v's are pronounced like English "f". (Remember: A Volkswagen is a Folksvagen in German!).