Peter wrote in 2014: My Granddad and World War I

One hundred years ago the most terrible of wars began. Up to that time there had been no war like this. I blame the industrial societies for it. In their search for growth potential they did not allow any restrictions; “markets, customers and resources,” was the cry for the “promised land”.

My Granddad, Otto Hannemann, was a carpenter foreman in the growing city of Berlin. Born in the small town of Lukenwalde, south of Berlin, he looked for work in the big city to support his growing family. In the first picture we see him with one of his two daughters and my dad. It seems they are all dressed up for  a Sunday outing. In July 1907 my father was six years old.

July 1907

July 1907

These were the years of peace and  future  well being. I don’t know much about my Granddad. My father seemed to be proud of him and proclaimed that “he built all the bridges” over the railway lines out of Berlin to the South. In the next picture we see him with some workers on a building site. I have been assured that he is in the picture. I think it is him on the far left with his hat on. The occasion is most likely a “Richtfest”,  the celebration of the erection  of the roof supports.


When the war started he was not called up straight away. Only later, in the beginning of 1916, he was called upon as he was a reservist (Landjäger). In the picture he looks rather serious, probably anticipating what lay ahead of him.

Early 1916, it is still Winter

Early 1916, it is still Winter

It is the same picture my Grandmother had in a large frame on the wall of her bedroom. It seems he had his training in Schwerin, the capital of Mecklenburg.

The next picture was taken on the 15th February 1916. He was sending the card as a birthday gift. For whom, I don’t know. You can see him on the left in the back row.with the arrow pointing at him.



In the next picture you can see him second from the left in the centre row. On the back he wrote that those are the men from room 13 and he added, which mystifies me,  “the ‘washer children’ are not in the picture”. Whatever this means?



The next picture could be from the same period. The soldiers in “drill uniforms” usually worn on work duties. It looks to me they are waiting to be issued with food. He is in the centre and is marked with a red cross.


I have no idea when he was sent to the Western Front. Perhaps he was even opposite Australian forces.

The following photo was made on Sunday 14th May 1916. It tells on the sign  “Rat-Goulash on the menu for the day”.

14 th of May 1916

14 th of May 1916

On the 15th of July 1916 he wrote at the back of the photo that he sent to his loved ones, that really they don’t have to eat rat-goulash yet. The picture has been staged he assured the readers, but still there are lots of rats to be seen. And they say Germans have no sense of humour.

I don’t know what happened to him after his arrival at the front. We know from the war reports and history books that it was hell. On the 2. 12. 1916 he fell. Some reports tell of cold and frosty days. He is buried in a war cemetery just  outside Lille.#

Granddad's final resting place.

Granddad’s final resting place.

When the fighting stopped all soldiers hoped they saw the last of it. But the struggle was not over. World War Two, the next conflict, was even worse.

Sacred Space

Series 34 Sacred Space – James Ricketson

Geraldine Doogue seeks powerful connection with prominent Australians through an investigation of their sacred space. Filmmaker James Ricketson talks about his connection to his home in the northern beaches of Sydney.Share

This episode was published 9 months ago.PLAYduration: 27 minutes27m

I, Uta, think this is a beautiful documentary!

James Ricketson

Australian film director

James Staniforth Ricketson is an Australian film director who, in June 2017, was arrested while flying a drone at a Cambodia National Rescue Party rally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and charged with espionage, a charge he denies. WikipediaBorn: 1949 (age 71 years), SydneyRelativesStaniforth Ricketson (grandfather)Criminal chargeEspionageEducationAustralian Film Television and Radio SchoolAwardsAACTA Award for Best FilmAACTA Award for Best Adapted ScreenplayAlan Stout Award for Best Short Film

COVID-19 threat to Karla Grant’s mother

Karla Grant’s mother Elizabeth lives at the aged care facility in Sydney, where four elderly residents have passed away after contracting coronavirus. Karla shares how she juggled reporting on this virus, while her mother is in a lockdown and facing the grave risk of infection.
 By: Karla Grant
30 MAR 2020 – 2:49 PM  UPDATED 8 MAY 2020

At the same time, I have been out in the Redfern community investigating coronavirus or COVID-19, for a special Living Black episode that goes to air tonight.

The strain of juggling personal concerns, with the weight of information I learn on the job has been quite a challenge. On occasions the pressure has bought tears to my eyes.

Karla Grant with her three children and mother.

Karla Grant with her mother Elizabeth and three children, Lowanna, John (left) and Dylan (right).
Source: Karla Grant

This virus has halted life as we know it. It has touched all our lives, at home and work.

At my workplace, virtually everyone at NITV is either working on COVID-19 related content, or they are having to adjust ‘business as usual’ to accommodate COVID-19.

With incredible support from my colleagues, I have carried on working as normally as I can muster under these strained circumstances. The toll has been emotionally and physically draining.

My team and I have all discussed the risks we face of catching COVID-19 while filming and editing this Living Black episode.

We’re all mindful, we are putting our lives at risk in order to produce this story. We all have families at home.

Driving us on is the need to report on how the Indigenous community is being impacted by this killer virus. Our people and communities need to know the seriousness of the crisis and what precautions they need to take to keep themselves, their families and their Elders safe.

I am forever grateful to my team for their dedication, for risking their lives to produce this important episode.

I only hope this special episode on COVID-19 sheds light on the dangers of the virus, how it is impacting the world and most importantly, our own backyard.

And while the last week and a half has tested me, I smiled on the final day of shooting.

I was lucky enough to see my Mum and hear her say ‘I love you Karla’.

It was from a distance, in line with social distancing of course, but it was the most moving and touching moment to see the smile on my Mum’s face, to talk to her and to know that she is doing okay.

For me, distance does make the heart grow fonder.


Watch Living Black – Covid19 Special on SBS On Demand. 


If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
Coronavirus symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia, according to the Federal Government’s website, and can include a fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

Living Black can be viewed on on NITV (Ch.34) Monday 30 March at 8.30pm, Wednesday 1 April at 9:30pm and will be available On Demand after the broadcast.

Leonard and Elizabeth Jolley

A Marriage of True Minds: Leonard and Elizabeth Jolley

A Marriage of True Minds: Leonard and Elizabeth Jolley



One of the most unsettling experiences in old age is the discovery, after the death of friends whom you thought that you knew well, that you had been unaware of what had been most central to their lives. We live in an age of revelation, when it is easier than it has ever been before to dig up the past; and the public’s ‘right to know’ is freely invoked to justify intrusions into the private lives of the living. The dead, especially celebrities, have always been fair game: ‘uncovering the past’, ‘telling the true story’, and ‘exposing the lies and deception’ are fairly common claims made by biographers. Less common, perhaps, is the claim to have seen someone’s life in its true proportions and to have seen it whole, though that is probably the claim that most justifies the work of a biographer.

We are now at the beginning of what looks like being an Elizabeth Jolley industry, which will come into full production when her papers in the Mitchell Library eventually become available to the public. In 2008 readers might have thought that in Brian Dibble’s biography of Elizabeth they had the full story of her partnership with Leonard; but in 2012 a memoir, The House of Fiction, written by Leonard’s daughter of his first marriage, Susan Swingler (who, ironically, is likely to be remembered as ‘Elizabeth Jolley’s step-daughter’), has revealed for the first time what the publishers call ‘an ethically complex story’ involving not only Leonard’s tangled sexual relationships but his deliberate deception of his family, with the aid of Elizabeth. Because Elizabeth is a writer, and the relationship between biography and art is a real and legitimate area of discussion, in the media coverage of this book more attention has focused on her than on Leonard. The sentimental image of Elizabeth as (in Andrew Riemer’s phrase) the ‘Grandma Moses of Australian letters’ — a guileless and seemingly unsophisticated housewife who surprisingly discovered an ability to write fiction late in life — is now being undermined by an antithetical image of a calculating and heartless writer, whose life was one long deception. One reviewer of the book even goes so far as to call her ‘ruthless’. Neither of these interpretations comes near the Elizabeth that I knew: a sensitive and caring woman, for whom it was easy to feel affection. Nor do I feel comfortable with the summing-up by Brian Dibble that Leonard was ‘egocentric and arrogant’. I can claim no particular insight into their lives and the motives that determined their actions, but because they were two people who mattered so much in my life and have remained so vividly present in my memory, I want to put on record my version of them. It may be that my impressions of Elizabeth and Leonard as I knew them in Perth in the 1960s have been corrupted, in some measure, by my awareness of her later career as a writer and by the recent revelations; but nothing has weakened the feeling for them formed during those years, when my wife and I came to think of them as ‘family’.



The Jolleys arrived in Perth in November 1959, shortly before I returned to Melbourne, having been a temporary Lecturer in English at the University of Western Australia for two years. I did not meet Leonard, who had been appointed University Librarian, until I went back to Perth in 1963, by which time the fruits of his work were already becoming apparent. His deservedly high standing in his profession had been enhanced at UWA where he had successfully fought the battle to get greater library resources. Among the significant events in what was the University’s jubilee year was the opening of the library building — the first time that the library had its own building.

On campus Leonard was an easily recognizable figure, and in memory he was always hurrying along, with the aid of a walking stick. Despite the rheumatoid arthritis that had afflicted him early in adult life, causing swollen joints that must often have been very painful, I never heard him complain. On one occasion when he needed physiotherapy for his hand, he entertained us with accounts of the pretty young female physiotherapist who gave him her hand and exhorted: ‘Squeeze it harder, Mr Jolley, squeeze it harder’. I was fascinated at the first graduation ceremony that I attended to see him clambering on to the Winthrop Hall stage in full academic dress and sandals, the sandals which he always wore presumably being easier than shoes on his feet, deformed by arthritis.

By the time that I came to know him, Leonard had become an influential participant in university affairs. He did not hold back in debate, his opinion carried weight, and his capacity for ridicule made some administrators and academics reluctant to tangle with him. I soon heard stories of his scathing criticism of Academic Board proposals that he did not like. As University Librarian Leonard was entitled to attend meetings of the various faculties. He was probably most at home in the Arts Faculty, where his erudite and ironic contributions to discussion were generally received sympathetically; and some time in the sixties there was a move to put him up for the deanship, a move that was thwarted when someone in administration read the university statute carefully, and pointed out that the dean had to be an academic. He was in the tradition of the scholar librarian, and it often seemed to us in the English Department that, for all intents and purposes, he was an academic colleague. He had a scholarly interest in literature, had always read the latest Times Literary Supplement before we had, was always ready with a literary allusion and would slyly test our knowledge of works that he was most familiar with. So close did he become to the English Department that he did some tutoring (without payment) in an English course that included eighteenth-century authors, in whom he had a special interest. Late in the 1960s, when we invited him to join the small committee that edited Westerly, I don’t think that we knew that he had founded a journal, The Bibliotheck, when he was a librarian at the University of Glasgow.

For someone with his disabilities, Leonard was surprisingly gregarious, and had a wide acquaintance across the university. A criticism that has often been voiced about him is that he ‘did not suffer fools gladly’. Should that be a criticism? Should one suffer fools gladly? I have often wondered how those who so freely make that criticism see themselves. Leonard could produce withering phrases when he felt strongly, and in arguments about university administration he may have ‘tossed and gored several persons’ (as Boswell once told Johnson that he had done). For my part, I always enjoyed talking with him and never felt that he was out to wound, though he was frequently acerbic in his judgments. A Time journalist once wrote of student life at Oxford as ‘jousting with England’s finest minds’; and the word ‘jousting’ seems to me to be exactly right to describe Leonard’s way of conducting a conversation. His face lighted up as he greeted you and produced one of his elegantly turned observations and waited for your reply. He gave the impression of being stimulated by contact with other minds, and he was undoubtedly pleased to display his learning. I had taken it for granted that — unlike myself — Leonard was from a well-educated family; but Susan Swingler reports being told by his sister ‘how ill-educated his family had been and how driven he was’ [p.132]. Knowing now that his grandfather had been illiterate, and his father an autodidact determined that his children should have the best education, I find myself thinking that what some have may have regarded as Leonard’s pedantry or showing-off was a form of self-affirmation.

I quickly got to know Leonard at the university but it was a couple of years before I could say that I knew Elizabeth. The first occasion on which I went to their home was memorable for personal reasons. A few days beforehand, I met Leonard on the campus and told him that I would withdraw from the dinner party to which I had previously accepted an invitation, as Josephine and I had decided to announce our engagement that day. He urged that I should bring Josephine, whom he had never met, and so our first outing as an engaged couple was at the Jolley house in Claremont. It was a very happy occasion, with Leonard toasting us with a shy smile and Elizabeth making us feel that we were old friends of hers. After our marriage at the end of 1965 we lived only a few streets away and saw them often. There was a generational difference, but when we moved to Melbourne in 1970 they were among the Perth friends whom we knew we would miss most.



‘My mother is a very strange person’, remarked Sarah, Elizabeth’s eldest daughter, one day while standing in our garden at Warrandyte….


John Barnes is Emeritus Professor of English at La Trobe University. This excerpt has been taken from an edited version of an essay to appear in Partial Portraits: Essays in Remembering, a work in progress.

You can read the full version in Westerly 58:2.

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FUTURE DEVELOPMENT Stakeholder capitalism arrives at Davos Addisu LashitewTuesday, January 21, 2020

Stakeholder capitalism arrives at Davos

“The 2020 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum opens this week with the theme of “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” More than 3,000 global leaders, including 53 heads of state, will convene in the resort town of Davos on the Swiss Alpine to deliberate on pathways to “stakeholder capitalism.”


“Economic and political polarization will intensify, as collaboration is needed more than ever to respond to severe threats to climate, public health, and technology systems.”

“The Global Risks Report 2020 presents the major risks the world will be facing in the coming year. It stresses the need for a multistakeholder approach to addressing the world’s greatest challenges, and comes ahead of the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, where the focus is Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.

Speakers: Borge Brende, President, World Economic Forum Mirek Dusek, Deputy Head of the Centre for Geopolitical & Regional Affairs, World Economic Forum John Drzik, President, Global Risk and Digital, Marsh Peter Giger, Group Chief Risk Officer,

Zurich Insurance Group Emily Farnwoth, Head of Climate Change Initiatives,

World Economic Forum Moderated by: Adrian Monck, Managing Director, Head of Public Engagement The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.”

The End of November 2019


Caroline and Matthew moved last weekend from a studio apartment to a two bedroom apartment next door. The removalist guys had to take everything down 30+ stairs and carry everything up next door some 53 stairs!
This is quite a lot of steps to carry every thing down and then up all these  stairs!

The rooster in the above picture remarkably made it to the balcony at the new place! Again, they do not have anything above where they live, so it is like a penthouse apartment!


Hungerwinter – Überleben nach dem Krieg

Survivors’ testimonies, archive footage and re-enacted scenes are combined to describe the effects of one of the coldest and hardest winters in German history, only shortly after the end of WWII.


Gordian Maugg


Alexander Häusser (screenplay), Gordian Maugg (screenplay)


MY INTENTION: Must see the above documentary! I, Uta, and Peter as well, we can remember all too well this harsh winter!

Now to the downloading of more pictures. I was at a loss this morning to find my picture folder. As always, Peter had to come to the rescue again. So we sorted it out now.

I think I’ll insert some of the pictures into another post!

Landgericht, Die Dokumentation

Die Geschichte des Berliner Richters Kornitzer und seiner Familie, die das Fernsehspiel “Landgericht” erzählt, beruht auf wahren Erlebnissen: Es ist die Geschichte der Familie Michaelis.

35 min




Video verfügbar bis 30.01.2022

I think all the following is enormously interesting. This is why I copy all of it!!


“Die Autorin hat sich auf die Suche begeben und Zeitzeugen gefunden. Unter ihnen ist auch Ruth Barnett, die Tochter von Robert und Luise Michaelis, die aus erster Hand von der Geschichte ihrer Familie berichten kann.

Es gab nur einen Ausweg: Die Ausreise

In den frühen 1930er Jahren stand Robert Michaelis am Beginn einer Karriere am Landgericht Berlin. Im April 1933 wurde er Opfer der Willkür der neuen Machthaber, die Nationalsozialisten warfen ihn aus dem Amt. Verheiratet mit einer “Nicht-Jüdin”, entschloss sich der Familienvater zunächst in Deutschland zu bleiben. Erst nach dem Novemberpogrom 1938 sah er nur noch einen Weg: die Ausreise.

Richter Robert Michaelis 1939 auf dem Schiffsweg nach Shanghai
Richter Robert Michaelis 1939 auf dem Schiffsweg nach Shanghai
Quelle: ZDF

Während die Kinder Martin und Ruth, “Halbjuden” in der Diktion der Nazis, im Rahmen von Kindertransporten nach England geschickt wurden, gelangte Robert Michaelis im Juni 1939 auf dem Seeweg nach Shanghai. Die chinesische Hafenstadt war die letzte Anlaufstelle für schutzsuchende Juden. Fast 30 000 Verfolgte überlebten hier das “Dritte Reich”. Drei Jahre nach Kriegsende kehrte Michaelis zurück nach Deutschland, in ein Land, das in Trümmern lag, in dem die Menschen nur nach vorn, nicht aber zurück schauen wollten.

Der Jurist war dabei übrigens ein Ausnahmefall, denn nur einer von zwanzig Exilanten wagte die Rückkehr in die frühere Heimat. Verglichen mit anderen verfolgten Familien hatten die Michaelis darüber hinaus noch Glück, denn sie alle hatten den Terror der Nazis überlebt. Die Kinder waren jedoch den Eltern entfremdet, wollten nicht zurück in die Familie. Robert Michaelis, der zurück kam, um am Aufbau eines neuen und demokratischen Deutschland mitzuarbeiten, erlebte zunächst die offene Ablehnung seiner Landsleute

Eine zweite Chance in Mainz

Robert Michaelis 1939 im Exil in Shanghai (2.v.l. hinten)
Robert Michaelis 1939 im Exil in Shanghai (2.v.l. hinten)
Quelle: ZDF

Die Stadt Mainz bot ihm später die Chance einer zweiten Karriere als Jurist. Als “Opfer des Faschismus” erhielt Michaelis 1949 eine Richterstelle am Landgericht. Der Wiedereinstieg in den Beruf, 16 Jahre nach der demütigenden Entlassung durch die Nazis, schien zu gelingen. Doch dann bekam er die Missgunst und Verachtung vor allem jener Kollegen zu spüren, die ihre Laufbahn nach der NS-Zeit bruchlos fortsetzen konnten.

Michaelis’ Kampf um Wiedergutmachung und Entschädigung stieß auf wenig Verständnis. Der Geist der NS-Jahre wehte weiter in vielen Institutionen der jungen Bundesrepublik. Die Jahre des Exils, die Trennung von den Kindern, die gescheiterte Integration in die Nachkriegsgesellschaft zehrten an der Gesundheit des Richters. Mit 54 Jahren ging Robert Michaelis vorzeitig in den Ruhestand. Zeitlebens fühlte er sich ausgegrenzt.

Ruth Barnett
Ruth Barnett, Tochter von Robert Michaelis
Quelle: ZDF

Die Dokumentation rekonstruiert dieses bewegende deutsch-jüdische Schicksal, lädt ein zu einer Zeitreise an die Schauplätze der wechselvollen Biografie. Die Tochter des Richters, Ruth Barnett, lebt heute in London. In einem Buch hat sie die Verletzungen jener Kinder beschrieben, die in England zwar in Sicherheit, aber ohne elterlichen Beistand überlebten.

Die Familie von W. Michael Blumenthal zählte ebenfalls zu den Shanghai-Flüchtlingen. Der Gründungsdirektor des Jüdischen Museums in Berlin berichtet, wie er und seine Angehörigen die Ausgrenzung, die Emigration und die prekären Lebensbedingungen im Judenghetto der chinesischen Großstadt erlebten. Historiker Götz Aly erklärt die zeitgeschichtlichen Hintergründe jener tragischen Schicksale zwischen Verfolgung, Überlebenskampf und Neuanfang.”


Merck Manipulated the Science about the Drug Vioxx
The Union of Concerned Scientists is a national nonprofit organization founded 50 years ago by scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who sought to use the power of science to address global problems and improve people’s lives.

From: Heads They Win,
Tails We Lose
How Corporations Corrupt Science at the Public’s Expense

From 2005 to 2011, UCS conducted surveys
and received responses from more than 5,100 scientists at nine federal agencies, including the Food
and Drug Administration (UCS 2010e, 2006), the
Environmental Protection Agency (UCS 2008), the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(UCS 2005), and the Department of Agriculture
(UCS 2010e). Among other troubling trends, the
results revealed that hundreds of scientists across
the agencies had personally experienced political
interference in their work (UCS 2010e, 2009e).
Scientists attested that the interference often
stemmed from inappropriate corporate influence.