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An Essay By Anne Applebaum

26 Aug

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/anne-applebaum-why-germany-must-build-a-stronger-military-a-1164039.html

An Essay By Anne Applebaum in SPIEGEL ONLINE

A Test of Maturity

“Germany Must Abandon Its Military Reluctance and Lead

Germany enjoys high regard around the world. But with American power weakening and authoritarian powers rising, the country needs to abandon its military reluctance and finally lead in Europe.”

“Anne Applebaum, 53, is an historian and respected expert on Russian affairs. She received the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for her book “Gulag,” about Soviet labor camps. She writes regularly for The Washington Post and Foreign Policy and is married to former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski.”

She says in her essay: “Trump may be an aberration, but he does reflect a very real American exhaustion, and real American doubt about the worth of the trans-Atlantic alliance. ” I say, but what about the people in America who have the real power?

I also wonder, whether she studied the Putin speeches and what she might respond to these?

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Putin+speeches&page=&utm_source=opensearch

 

Fuggerei

5 Aug

Whenever I think about the housing crisis and that so many people in this world have to live without adequate housing, I think of the Fuggerei in Augsburg. My father’s older brother used to live in Augsburg. In 1977 Peter and I visited this uncle and his wife. They showed us the Fuggerei which is still maintained to this day.

I just looked up the blog I published about it some time ago. Here it is:

https://auntyuta.com/2015/08/10/the-fuggerei-is-the-worlds-oldest-social-housing-complex-still-in-use/

Here I copy the comments it got to this post about the Fuggerei:

10 Responses to “The Fuggerei is the world’s oldest social housing complex still in use.”

  1. catterelAugust 10, 2015 at 7:53 pm Edit #

    Fascinating! I’ve always wanted to visit Augsburg properly (I changed trains a few times there but never got beyond the station) – maybe one day I’ll make it.

    • berlioz1935August 10, 2015 at 8:13 pm Edit #

      It is a great place. The main street has buildings reflecting the wealth of the former trading post.

    • auntyutaAugust 11, 2015 at 8:03 am Edit #

      We have some lovely memories of the place, Cat, spending the day with Uncle and Flora. Gee, this goes back to 1977!

  2. berlioz1935August 10, 2015 at 8:26 pm Edit #

    I remember the day well. Flora, a Berliner speaking with the out of place accent, was a retired GP who did some work for the Army checking up new recruits. She was a no-nonsense person who liked to be in charge. In the restaurant, she was the queen.

    She had ordered a huge platter laden with cheeses and cold cuts. We could not eat all and she ordered all the left-overs being packed up to take home.

    The building in the main street seemed to be covered in gold and great churches could be seen. The Fuggers of the 16th century financed half of the known world.

    • auntyutaAugust 11, 2015 at 8:06 am Edit #

      It is quite impressive how rich the Fuggers were. Their housing project is a good example of what can be done for needy people.

      • auntyutaAugust 11, 2015 at 8:21 am Edit #

        Yes, Flora was quite a character. Both she and Uncle were marvellous hosts to us. They walked with us showing us very interesting places around the city centre. After lunch back it was back to their luxurious apartment for coffee and yummy cakes.
        Uncle was overjoyed when he could hand us a minuscule grandfather clock to take home as a gift. We loved this little clock because it was given with so much joy and reminded us of that beautiful day we had spent in Augsburg. Alas, sadly in Australia it soon broke to pieces! 🙂

  3. gerard oostermanAugust 11, 2015 at 11:27 am Edit #

    Yes, the idea of ‘owning’ own place is fairly new. We had no idea of that concept before we came to Australia. We always rented in Holland and it was as secure as owning.
    Social housing has a lot going for it. Just look at what the Fuggerei achieved and it is still going.
    Something like that in Australia would now be a shopping mall or a McDonalds.

    • auntyutaAugust 11, 2015 at 3:31 pm Edit #

      This uncle Edmund and his wife lived in a patrician. very spacious apartment. And I am sure they did not own it but paid rent, which they presumably could very well afford. I assume each one would have had a very good pension. As Peter mentioned, Flora substituted her income by doing some casual medical work.
      Edmund as well as Flora were widowed when they decided to get married. Edmund seemed to be quite content to have resolute Flora for company in his old age.

  4. stuartbramhallAugust 12, 2015 at 9:32 am Edit #

    Very interesting background. Excellent example of German determination to retain the commons. As I understand, resistance to enclosure was strongest in Germany. It was only under the Third Reich that customary rights were abolished in many regions. It’s good to see this institution survived the Nazi regime.

    • auntyutaAugust 12, 2015 at 4:02 pm Edit #

      Yes, it is quite amazing, Stuart, that the institution survived over such a long time. However it says In the Wikipedia that the Fuggerei was heavily damaged by the bombings of Augsburg during World War II, but has been rebuilt in its original style. I am glad that it was rebuilt in its original style! 🙂

      REPLY

Der 18. März – March, the 18th

18 Mar

Five years ago, Peter wrote the following blog in German:

https://pethan35.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/sonntag-der-18-marz/

 I copy here parts of the last part of that blog, and further on I’ll try to explain then in English what Peter has been writing about. So, please bear with me:

“Der 18. März ist auch ein historisches Datum, denn 1848, allerdings ein Samstag, kam es in Berlin zu Kämpfen zwischen Preußischen Truppen und revolutionären Untertanen die gerne Bürger sein wollten. Es gab etwa 260 Tote.

Bei dem Luftangriff am 18. März 1945 gab es 336 Tote, 357 Verletzte und 226 Vermisste. 79785 Menschen wurden wohnungslos.

Am Sonntag, den 18. März 1990 gingen die Mensche in der DDR frei wählen.

Am Sonntag, den 18. März 2012 wählte die Bundesversammlung einen neuen Präsidenten, Joachim Gauck. Er ist ein früherer Bürger der DDR. Er ist der oberste Bürger der Bundesrepublik geworden. Vielleicht hat sich der Kreis geschlossen. Er begann seine erste Rede nach seiner Wahl mit den Worten:

„Es ist ein schöner Sonntag!“

Es gab einen Schlager während des Krieges, „Es geht alles vorüber, es geht alles vorbei. Nach einem Dezember folgt wieder ein Mai!“

Peter refers to the March revolution in 1848 which is explained here in Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_revolutions_of_1848%E2%80%9349

260 people died on Saturday, the 18th of March 1848.

On Sunday, the 18th of March 1945, there was one of the most severe air-raids that Berlin suffered during World War Two: 336 people died,  357 were injured, 226 were unaccounted for and 79785 lost there home on that day.

People of the GDR had free elections on Sunday, the 18th of March 1990.

Joachim Gauck, President of Germany (Bundespräsident), assumed office on Sunday, the 18th of March 2012.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_Gauck

His term of office ends today, Saturday, the 18th of March 2017,

Father, Mother and Grandfather

29 Jan

https://berlioz1935.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/october-27th/

Peter’s father, Richard Hannemann, was born on the 28th of October 1900 in Luckenwalde.

“Seventeen of his descendents live in Australia and nine in Germany Two of his grandchildren have passed away.”

https://berlioz1935.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/6-november/

Peter’s mother, Frieda Hannemann, nee Müller, was born on the 16th of November 1900 in Berlin.

“She was always a rather physically weak child, did not like any strenuous activity. On Sundays her father liked to walk with the family across the Tempelhofer Field (later Airport Tempelhof) where the walk over the sandy ground drove her to tears. But her father wanted to have his beer on the other side of the large field.

After school and training to be an “early childhood carer” she worked for a little while as a nanny, but later, during the Big War, she joined the Post Office and became a telephone operator in the new technology of telephony. She had a beautiful, clear voice right to the end of her life. In old age she still sounded like a forty year old on the phone.”

Peter’s parents got engaged in 1922
and married in 1929.

https://berlioz1935.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/my-granddad-and-world-war-i/

This blog is about Peter’s grandfather, Otto Hannemann, father of Richard Hannemann.

“Otto Hannemann, was a carpenter foreman in the growing city of Berlin. Born in the small town of Luckenwalde, south of Berlin, he looked for work in the big city to support his growing family.

When the world war one 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).
It seems he had his training in Schwerin, the capital of Mecklenburg

He was sent to the Western Front. (Perhaps he was even opposite Australian forces.) 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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lille”

Visiting the MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRACY in Canberra

8 Sep

THE MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRACY
is situated in the Old Parliament House.

We did drive to the Old Parliament House on that Friday morning after we had returned from our walk to Manuka. I wrote about this walk in my previous post.You can go back to it here:

https://auntyuta.com/2016/09/07/going-for-a-walk-to-manuka/

We saw in the museum interesting historical things.

 

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Buses did bring a lot of visitors to the museum.

Buses did bring a lot of visitors to the museum.

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The Museum stressed 1215 as an important year for the MAGNA CARTA

1215 was the year when the MAGNA CARTA was first drafted.

 

At lunchtime we drove to this tavern, Wig & Pen, to have one of their delicious beers and some lunch.

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Bike riding is quite popular in Canberra.

Bike riding is quite popular in Canberra.

Our chosen beer was Russian Ale,. We were warned it had very much alcohol in it!

Our chosen beer was Imperial Russian (like a very strong Guinness),. and we were warned it had very much alcohol in it!

While waiting for our meal I had a look in this very interesting magazine about beer brewing:

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Peter is happy with his meal.

Peter is happy with his meal.

I liked my spicy vegetarian meal. However it turned out, I had to leave some of it. It was just too much!

I liked my spicy vegetarian meal. However it turned out, I had to leave some of it. It was just too much!

In my first post about our visit to Canberra

https://auntyuta.com/2016/08/30/utas-diary-august-2016/

I mentioned that on Saturday, the 27th of August, we went to the Telstra Tower and later on to the National Museum.
At nighttime of that same Saturday, which was our last day in Canberra, the Museum of Australian Democracy presented
THE HANSARD MONOLOGUES (Age of Entitlement) and we had tickets for this very interesting show. As I said before, the Museum of Australian Democracy is in the Old Parliament House.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you might like to have a look at this website:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Hansard

We departed Canberra on Sunday, the 28th of August. Our first stop was Goulburn where we had some coffee and cake in a building from 1889.

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Then, we drove on to Bowral and had a lovely lunch there with our friends G and H.

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Driving home we went down MacQuarie Pass with some pies from the Robertson Pie Shop.

Charlotte Amalie

7 Feb

THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES BY ALICE HOFFMAN

All the following pieces are copies from various Google articles.
In this book with the title “Marriage of Opposites” Alice Hoffman says in her afterword, that Rachel Pizzarro’s life in her imagined story mirrors the known facts about Rachel as closely as possible.
I reckon it is very rewarding to find out more about the historical background of the book’s characters by googling for some more information. Right in the beginning of Hoffman’s book Rachel says that she rarely did as she was told. Out of all the numerous children that Rachel had, Jacobo Camille, the artist, is by far the most interesting. I would say this novel is extremely well written and that it is based on historical facts makes it all the more interesting.

The story is set on the Island of St. Thomas and in Paris. Charlotte Amalie is the place where Rachel and her family lived. Here are some facts about Charlotte Amalie:

“Charlotte Amalie (/ˈʃɑːrlət əˈmɑːljə/ or /-ˈæməliː/), located on St. Thomas, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. Virgin Islands, founded in 1666 as Taphus (meaning “beer houses” or “beer halls”[1]). In 1691, the town was renamed to Amalienborg (in English Charlotte Amalie) after Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel (1650–1714), queen consort to King Christian V of Denmark. It has a deep-water harbor that was once a haven for pirates and is now one of the busiest ports of call for cruise ships in the Caribbean, with about 1.5 million cruise ship passengers landing there in 2004. Protected by Hassel Island, the harbor has docking and fueling facilities, machine shops, and shipyards and was a U.S. submarine base until 1966. The town has been inhabited for centuries. When Christopher Columbus came here in 1493, the area was inhabited by Island Caribs and Taíno. It is on the southern shore at the head of Saint Thomas Harbor. In 2010 the city had a population of 18,481,[2][3] which makes it the largest city in the Virgin Islands Archipelago. Hundreds of ferries and yachts pass through town each week, and at times the population more than doubles.
The city is known for its Danish colonial architecture, building structure and history, and a dozen streets and places throughout the city have Danish names. Charlotte Amalie has buildings of historical importance including St. Thomas Synagogue, the second-oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere,[4] and the oldest Lutheran church in the Western Hemisphere, the Frederick Lutheran Church. The town has a long history of pirates, especially stories of Bluebeard and Blackbeard (Edward Teach). In the 17th century, the Danes built both Blackbeard’s Castle and Bluebeard’s Castle attributed to the pirates. Blackbeard’s Castle is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Another tourist attraction is Fort Christian, the oldest standing structure in the Virgin Islands Archipelago. A copy of the Liberty Bell is in Emancipation Park, which is a tourist attraction.

The city was named Charlotte Amalie in honor of Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel in 1691”

I also found the following about THE DANISH WEST INDIES:

“The Danish West Indies (Danish: Dansk Vestindien) or Danish Antilles was a Danish colony in the Caribbean, consisting of the islands of Saint Thomas with 43 square miles (110 km2); Saint John with 42 square miles (110 km2); and Saint Croix with 100 square miles (260 km2). The Danish West India Guinea Company annexed the uninhabited island of Saint Thomas in 1672 and St. John in 1675. In 1733, Saint Croix was purchased from the French West India Company. When the Company went bankrupt in 1755, the King of Denmark-Norway assumed direct control of the three islands. The Danish West Indies was occupied by Britain in 1802–1803 and 1807–1815, during the Napoleonic Wars.
The intention of Danish colonization in the West Indies was to exploit the profitable triangular trade, involving the exportation of firearms and other manufactured goods to Africa in exchange for slaves who were then transported to the Caribbean to staff the sugar plantations. The final stage of the triangle was the exportation of cargo of sugar and rum to Denmark. The economy of the Danish West Indies was dependent on slavery. After a rebellion, slavery was officially abolished in 1848, leading to the near economic collapse of the plantations.
In 1852, the sale of the increasingly unprofitable colony was first debated in the Danish parliament. Denmark tried several times to sell or exchange the Danish West Indies in the late 19th and early 19th century, to the United States and the German Empire respectively. The islands were eventually sold for 25 million dollars to the United States, which took over the administration on 31 March 1917, renaming the islands the United States Virgin Islands.”

The Synagogue on the Island of Saint Thomas is mentioned frequently in Hoffman’s novel. Here is some more background about this synagogue:

“Saint Thomas Synagogue was built in 1833, and is the second-oldest synagogue on United States soil (after the 1763 Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island). It also has the longest history of continuous use by a Jewish congregation in the nation. It was built for a congregation founded in 1796 by Sephardic Jews who had come to the Caribbean Basin to finance trade between Europe and the New World.[1]
Features[edit]

The synagogue as a number of distinctive and unique features. Most of the wooden features including the benches, the ark and the bimah are made from mahogany. The menorah dates back to the 11th century and is Spanish in origin. The chandeliers are European and are presumed Dutch. There are four pillars inside representing Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca and Leah, the four matriarchs of the Jewish people. But by far the most unusual feature of the synagogue is the sand floor. There are two theories behind this unusual occurrence. One is to represent the Israelite journey through the desert. Another theory is that it represents the Conversos who were forced to convert to Catholicism. Many continued to observe Judaism, so they usually met in their cellars and would use sand to muffle their prayers.
The congregation is affiliated with the Reform Jewish movement and the rabbi is a graduate of Hebrew Union College.

Here now a synopsis written I think by Tom Morrison:
ALICE HOFFMAN
“The Marriage of Opposites”

“Growing up on the idyllic island of St Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of faraway Paris.
Her mother, a pillar of their tight-knit refugee community of Jews who escaped the European Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for refusing to live by the rules.
But Rachel’s fate is not in her own hands: in order to secure the future of her father’s business, she is married off to a widower with three children.
When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome nephew Frederic arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes control of her life, beginning a passionate love affair that sparks a scandal affecting her entire family, including her favourite son, Camille Pissarro, who will one day become a founder member of the Impressionists and one of history’s greatest artists.

Set in a world of lush, exquisite beauty, THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES shows Alive Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. The marriage of Rachel and Frederic is an unforgettable story of an extraordinary women and her forbidden love, from the internationally bestselling author of THE DOVEKEEPERS.”

Beautiful, harrowing . . .
A major contribution to twenty-first-century literature’
Tom Morrison, for The Dovekeepers

Jodi Picoult says: “Hoffman reminds us with every sentence that words have the power to transport us to alternate worlds, to heal a broken heart, and to tie us irrevocably to the people we love.”

Synopsis

Alice Hoffman’s compelling tale of the artist Camille Pissarro and his mother

By Wendy Smith August 4, 2015

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/alice-hoffmans-compelling-tale-of-the-artist-camille-pissarro-and-his-mother/2015/08/04/86534d92-37fa-11e5-9739-170df8af8eb9_story.html

The Fuggerei is the world’s oldest social housing complex still in use.

10 Aug

Fuggerei

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Fuggerei is the world’s oldest social housing complex still in use. It is a walled enclave within the city ofAugsburg, Bavaria. It takes it name from the Fugger family and was founded in 1516 by Jakob Fugger the Younger (known as “Jakob Fugger the Rich”) as a place where the needy citizens of Augsburg could be housed. By 1523, 52 houses had been built, and in the coming years the area expanded with various streets, small squares and a church. The gates were locked at night, so the Fuggerei was, in its own right, very similar to a small independent medieval town. It is still inhabited today, affording it the status of being the oldest social housing project in the world.

Fugger Fuggerei Herrengasse.jpg

 

Description

The rent was and is still one Rheinischer Gulden per year (equivalent to 0.88 euros), as well as three daily prayers for the current owners of the Fuggerei — the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and the Nicene Creed. The conditions to live there remain the same as they were 480 years ago: one must have lived at least two years in Augsburg, be of the Catholic faith and have become indigent without debt. The five gates are still locked every day at 10 PM.

Housing units in the area consist of 45 to 65 square meter (500–700 square foot) apartments, but because each unit has its own street entrance it simulates living in a house. There is no shared accommodation; each family has its own apartment, which includes a kitchen, a parlour, a bedroom and a tiny spare room, altogether totaling about 60 square metres. Ground-floor apartments all have a small garden and garden shed, while upper-floor apartments have an attic. All apartments have modern conveniences such as television and running water. One ground-floor apartment is uninhabited, serving as a museum open to the public. The doorbells have elaborate shapes, each being unique, dating back to before the installation of streetlights when residents could identify their unit by feeling the handle in the dark.

History

The Fugger family initially established their wealth in weaving and merchandising. Jakob the Rich expanded their interests into silver mining and trading with Venice. Additionally he was a financier and counted the Vatican as a notable client. The family became financial backers of the Habsburg family and he financed the successful election of Charles V as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1519.[1]

The Fuggerei was first built between 1514 and 1523 under the supervision of the architect Thomas Krebs, and in 1582 Hans Holl added St. Mark’s Church to the settlement. Expanded further in 1880 and 1938, the Fuggerei today comprises 67 houses with 147 apartments, a well, and an administrative building.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s great-grandfather, the mason Franz Mozart, lived in the Fuggerei between 1681 and 1694, and is commemorated today by a stone plaque.

The Fuggerei was heavily damaged by the bombings of Augsburg during World War II, but has been rebuilt in its original style.

Upkeep

The Fuggerei is supported by a charitable trust established in 1520 which Jakob Fugger funded with an initial deposit of 10,000 guilders.[1 According to the Wall Street Journal the trust has been carefully managed with most of its income coming from forestry holdings, which the Fugger family favored since the 17th century after losing money on higher yielding investments. The annual return on the trust has ranged from an after inflation rate of 0.5% to 2%. Currently the trust is administered by Wolf-Dietrich Graf von Hundt.

As of 2011, the fee for a tour into the Fuggerei is 4.00 euro — over four times the annual rent.

In 1977 Peter and I visited my cousin Renate and her family in Munich. From Munich we did a day trip to visit my uncle Edmund and his wife Flora in Augsburg. Among other things we visited with them the Augsburg Fuggerei. For lunch they invited us to the close by FUGGEREI STUBE.

Neptunbrunnen and Entrance to the Fuggerei

Neptunbrunnen and Entrance to the Fuggerei

A street in the Fuggerei in 1977

A street in the Fuggerei in 1977

Peter on the left, Uncle E behind Uta

Peter on the left, Uncle E behind Uta

A Restaurant near the Fuggerei

A Restaurant near the Fuggerei