Something to look forward to

I have never been to Frankfurt/Oder. We found out now that there is a beautiful Cafe in Slubice in Poland which can be reached from Frankfurt by crossing the bridge over the river Oder. From Berlin to Frankfurt/Oder is only a short trip. When we are in Berlin next year we may have the opportunity to go into Poland to the little town of Slubice and pay the Szczerbisky cafe a visit. Apparently they have yummy dumplings and cakes!

Welcome to the Confectionery Szczerbińscy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
See also: Słubice, Masovian Voivodeship

Website http://www.slubice.pld
Słubice [swuˈbʲit͡sɛ] (German Dammvorstadt) is a border town in the Lubusz Voivodeship of western Poland. Located on the Oder river, directly opposite the city of Frankfurt (Oder) in Germany, of which it was a part until 1945 (as Dammvorstadt). At the 2011 census, the town had a total population of 18,000 (urban agglomeration Słubice-Frankfurt 85,000).

International relations
Frankfurt (Oder), being located on the border to Poland, plays a special role in connection with German-Polish relations and European integration. The European University Viadrina has one of its buildings in Poland, in the neighbouring town of Słubice. The university also has a number of projects and initiatives dedicated to bringing Poland and Germany together, and offers its students pro bono Polish courses. Another project that contributes to German-Polish integration in Frankfurt (Oder) is the fforst house, a German-Polish student project, which has been granted support by the town’s administration[7] and by the Viadrina,[8] having been described by the former president of the university, Gesine Schwan, as the place where “Europe begins”.[9]
Twin towns and sister cities[edit]
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany
Frankfurt (Oder) is twinned with:
Poland Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland, since 1975
Poland Słubice, Poland, since 1975
France Nîmes, France, since 1976
Finland Vantaa, Finland, since 1987
Germany Heilbronn, Germany, since 1988
Belarus Vitebsk, Belarus, since 1991
Israel Kadima, Israel, since 1997
United States Yuma, United States, since 1997
Italy Scandicci, Italy
Bulgaria Vratsa, Bulgaria, since 2009

Cake, balloons and fireworks One of the many surprises we have prepared Slubice to celebrate the 750 birthday of Frankfurt, was a huge cake, which on Saturday July 12, during the fair partner cities, residents distributed Mayor Richard Bodziacki.

Uta’s Diary, 3rd of September 2015

In September 2013 my blogger friend Linda wrote in a comment to one of my blogs:

“As I grow up 🙂 I discover that families the world over and through the centuries have been weird. Just plain weird! It’s a good thing to know. More kids should recognize this fact so they wouldn’t feel so isolated by the facts of their families.”

And my reply was:
“Quite amazing, Linda, isn’t it? What exactly do you mean by ‘weird’? Families that are somehow ‘dysfunctional’? What about divorce? Hasn’t this been on the increase in our time? Maybe it has partly to do with the increase in life expectation? In any case I believe it is important for children to know who their parents are. Whether they stay through all their growing up years with one, two or none of their parents this is a different matter. Some parents might not be the best option for a child, but the same goes for some institutions. It all depends. I did get to know during my growing up years some very well functioning families. I am talking about our extended family and about the families of some of my friends. I also saw examples of desperately struggling war widows with for instance four children and a bone breaking job with very little money. When I was a child a lot of people seemed to blame WW II for the increase in dysfunctional families.”

I experienced my growing up years in Berlin, Germany. During my teenage years I was always dreaming of living in some other country with a different family. I feel, having lived in Australia since 1959 I grew more and more apart from Berlin. Over the years I have been back to Berlin for some family visits. But I am always glad when I am back in Australia. It is quite amazing how Berlin has changed over the years. I can understand how a lot of young people feel now

A cafe in Berlin, where we like to go to when we visit Berlin.
A cafe in Berlin, where we like to go to when we visit Berlin.
The cafe is right at the Gendarmen Markt.
The cafe is right at the Gendarmen Markt.

attracted to living in Berlin. However, I definitely want to spend the last few years of my life in Australia. Even my husband Peter, who has still very strong attachments to Berlin, prefers to live in Australia for as long as he can still afford to go back to Berlin for regular visits!

My parents separated soon after WW II. Then, around 1950, my mother demanded a divorce. During 1948/49 Peter’s mother left Peter’s father and got a divorce from him. Peter and his two sisters moved along with their mother. Both our fathers, Peter’s and mine, died long before our mothers. Both fathers had suffered badly due to war experiences.

All my cousins seem to come from very stable families. The generation of my nieces and nephews is different though. Whereas Peter’s nieces and nephews seem to come from rather stable families. Of course, Germans these days have very small families. Some people point out,  the increased influx of migrants to Germany could be a blessing,  for there are too many old people in Germany and not enough young people. Still, this enormous influx of refugees, that is taking place right now,  does cause major upheavals. I hope, all this can be settled in a humane way, and a lot of effort will be directed towards avoiding outbreaks of violence.



Before and after the Fall of the Wall (Memories)


Sunday, the 16th of September, 2012.

On that day we were travelling by public transport to Borgsdorf visiting Ingrid and Erhard at their summer place. Ingrid is related to Peter’s family. Over the years we were always happy to visit Ingrid and Erhard whenever we happened to be in Berlin. On the phone Ingrid wanted to make sure we would come on Sunday. When I mentioned I still had a bit of a cold she said, not to worry, it was going to be a lovely, sunny day. I could just sit outside in the sun and this would do me good. I didn’t have to do anything. She was going to cook lunch for us, she said.

She did serve us a wonderful lunch. She loves to cook with healthy ingredients and lots of herbs and vegetables from her garden. I really felt all right sitting in the autumn sun for hours and hours, being served a lovely meal and later on coffee and cakes. Before the coffee break we all went for a walk to the close by river. Borgsdorf is a very secluded little village. In people’s gardens we could see fruit trees with hundreds of red apples on them.

This is an extract from a blog I wrote after our visit to Berlin in 2012:


My brother Peter Uwe had dropped us off at Berlin Tegel Airport. It was already afternoon, so he wanted to drive back straight away to his place in Mecklenburg/Vorpommern, where we had stayed with him and Astrid for the last few days of our holiday.

We checked in and then had plenty of time to have a drink with the six family members  who had come to see us off:
Peter’s cousin Ingrid, Peter’s nephew Daniel, Peter’s sister Ilse, and all their partners, all had come to farewell us.

It turned out, the flight to Amsterdam was delayed. Because of this,  we got into trouble with our connecting flight in Amsterdam. We had in Amsterdam actually less than one hour to get to our connecting flight. When I pointed this out to a cabin crew member he inquired about my age and whether I could walk all right. I told him I couldn’t walk as fast as younger people. Voila, a drive on a buggy was arranged for Peter and me.

Being driven through the immense airport with passengers roaming about and making way for the buggy, we felt like in a movie. It was a long, long drive to the departure point for our connecting flight. I doubt I could have made it in time by walking. We were extremely grateful for the lift and were able to board on time on the long stretch to Kuala Lumpur.

At Kuala Lumpur Airport we had a seven hour rest. From there we took off  on a seven hour flight to Sydney.  The longest non-stop stretch was from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, namely eleven hours! During this long flight Peter got sick. After that he had hardly anything to eat anymore.

I got distracted again. Searching for some pictures of Ingrid and Erhard,  I finally found the departure pictures that Peter took at Berlin Tegel Airport. You can look at them here:


All the above happened in 2012. The wall had come down already in 1989. We were still thinking about it and all the changes it had brought. Berlin was an undivided city again, East- and West-Germany were one country. But we could still remember what it was like before the Fall of the Wall.


I wrote the following on the 19th of November 2012:

Peter and I  landed safely back in Australia. Yesterday morning our daughter Caroline picked us up from Sydney airport and drove us to our home (100 km south of Sydney). So we’ve been back home now for nearly thirty hours and are gradually getting rid of our jet legs. Everything is fine at our place. Our lovely daughter is going to stay with us till tomorrow (Tuesday).

Six people had come to Berlin Tegel airport on Friday to see us off. We found the perfect place to have a drink with them. This was very relaxing for us. We knew already that our plane to Amsterdam was going to leave somewhat later than originally planned. My brother had driven us to the airport from his place in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. He had only dropped us off,  for he wanted to  be  back home before it got too dark.

In Amsterdam we had scarce time to catch the connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur. We made sure we’d get some help by the airport people. Just as well! It turned out we had to go  right to the other end of the airport. This would have meant a tremendous walk for us. We were very grateful for being driven to our departure point. I doubt that we could have made it on time by walking.

In Kuala Lumpur we had close to seven hours to catch our Malaysian connecting flight to Sydney. This meant we had no problem with being on time for boarding at the departure gate. It also gave us the opportunity to stretch our legs a bit and then take a break in a beautifully furnished cafe with French songs playing in the background. The toilet facilities were also very welcome. We couldn’t take a walk through the airport’s beautiful open air jungle walk since it was closed for renovations. What a pity!

Near our departure gate we found some stretch-out chairs.  To be able to stretch out on these chairs we welcomed very much.

Some pictures of these stretch out chairs you can actually find in this blog:

I wrote in this blog further on:

We were grateful for the long break at Kuala Lumpur Airport. It gave us ample time to recover a bit from the previous eleven hour non-stop flight. In Kuala Lumpur Peter even enjoyed the coffee and cake we had at one of the airport’s coffee-shops. At some other establishment we had a large glass of iced Chi tea. This tasted very good and was very refreshing. On the next seven hour stretch  to Sydney Peter refused food again. However he had lots of drinks all the time: Mainly water, but also some juice and coffee. He just didn’t feel like eating.


My main purpose of looking up all these posts was actually that I wanted to be reminded what experiences we had on previous visits to Berlin when the city was divided by that Wall. There was a lot of confusion going on about currencies in East and West, lifestyle changes dividing East and West, crippling shortages in the East. a lot of spying going on in the East, West-Berliners making nasty remarks about the “poor” East-Berliners and so on.

And after the Fall of the Wall? To this day these parts of Germany that had previously been GDR territory are still a bit less prosperous than their cousins in the other parts of Germany. Yes, it is one country again, but you do find differences. People in the East seem to be somewhat different from people in the West. The unemployment rate is much higher in the eastern parts of Germany. West-German companies seem to prefer to go to a neighbouring Eastern country where they can pay lower wages.

For some time low cost housing was available in East-Germany. In areas where there is work or tourism, housing prices are on the up. In some remote areas, where there is no work, low cost housing is of no use to the people. It is unbelievable, but people who cannot afford any more to pay for housing and live on the streets for most of the year, these people are on the increase, while other people gentrify their places, and they invest in places they can let for more and more rent. How about this attitude that “the Market” regulates all?






Surge in Refugees in Germany

A Publication by SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL from July 07, 2014

I copied this publication for I am quite distressed that all these wars, hostilities and fighting create such misery for so many refugees.

Growing Influx: Germany Caught Off Guard By Surge in Refugees

Photo Gallery: Germany's Crowded Refugee CentersPhotos

The German government is expecting around 175,000 people to file applications for asylum this year, the highest number in two decades. Regional politicians are acting surprised, but there have been signs of this development for years now.

Last Friday, the state interior ministers of Germany’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) convened for a meeting at the stately Westin Bellevue in Dresden, with a view of the Elbe River and the baroque historic city center. But they weren’t here to discuss the views — the subject at hand was much grimmer: packed school gymnasiums, dwellings made out of shipping containers, cots and other logistical aspects of Germany’s refugee crisis.


Part of the job of state interior ministers in Germany is to ensure that refugees who make their way into country are provided with acceptable accommodations. If you travel through Germany’s cities, you can often see evidence that state governments haven’t been doing their jobs well — and that they’ve been overstrained by the sheer number of people seeking assistance, which has risen dramatically for months.Officials had been hoping that Thomas de Maizière, Germany’s federal interior minister and a member of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU, might present a realistic solution at the Dresden meeting. Germany’s federal parliament passed a new law penned by de Maizière on Thursday that defines Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina — the sources of a massive wave of refugees to Germany during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s — as “safe countries of origin” and expedites the process of rejecting asylum applications for citizens from these countries.

Although de Maizière praised the law at the meeting, it is unlikely that it will be approved by the Bundesrat, Germany’s second legislative chamber, which represents the interests of the states — the CDU and SPD do not have a majority in the Bundesrat, and the Green Party has already expressed its displeasure with the proposed law. And even if it is approved, it isn’t clear if the new rules can slow the influx of refugees.

During their consultations, the ministers gave the impression that developments have caught the country by surprise — almost as if they were being overrun by it. But in fact, large numbers of refugees have been making their way to Germany from the world’s crisis zones for two years now.

Officials Moved too Slowly to Address Problems

The refugees in Germany are fleeing many things: the civil war in Syria, the recent wave of terror in Iraq, torturous regimes but also, in many cases, a life of poverty and no prospects, be it in Africa or as a member of the Roma minority in Serbia. Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) estimates that as many as 175,000 people will apply for asylum in Germany this year alone, the highest number seen in the past 20 years and double the figure for 2013.

In Munich, the state government even considered the idea of erecting tent camps to provide new arrivals with accommodation. What’s happening there is symptomatic of what other municipalities and aid organizations are experiencing: One of Europe’s richest countries is proving unable to provide humane accommodations for refugees. At least part of the problem lies in the fact that government officials failed to plan and properly prepare for the current wave. Cities have been complaining since the beginning of 2012 about having too little money available and too little capacity for providing assistance to refugees. Their complaints were either ignored or went unheard.

The federal interior minister and state governments have done too little to address the problem. There have been faint promises that municipalities and states would be given more money at some point in the future for the care of refugees, but the people are arriving here now.

At the end of June, Pastor Andreas Herden of Inner Mission, the Munich chapter of a Protestant aid organization, spoke openly about the situation in the state. He said it had become inevitable that tent cities would have to be set up at the preliminary reception center in Munich for refugees. In just two days’ time, he said 300 people had arrived at the former military barracks, which were already full. Herden’s public remarks sent a collective chill down the spines of members of the Bavarian state government — they feared that photos making beautiful Munich look no different than a Syrian refugee camp would make their way around the world.

Shortly thereafter, German President Joachim Gauck pleaded with his fellow Germans for a greater sense of humanity. He said the images of coffins in the hangar of Lampedusa airport didn’t fit in with the image “we have of ourselves as Europeans.” Thousands of mostly African refugees have perished in recent years as they sought to make their way to the Italian island, which is located just 113 kilometers (70 miles) from Tunisia.

Germans Growing More Empathetic to Refugees

Gauck’s words struck a chord with Germans. In contrast to the 1990s, there is a greater consensus among society today that refugees should be provided with protection in Germany. Empathy for stranded people — who have made the voyage from Africa, often having given their entire sayings to human-traffickers in the hope of getting to Europe — has replaced old fears of foreigners.

These days, Germans don’t seem to mind taking in refugees from Syria either. German politicians — from Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) right down to members of the Left Party in parliament — have said that Germany has to face up to its international responsibilities by taking in more Syrians. But what good is compassion for the needy if no one is taking care of the practical aspects of refugee relief?

When it opened in 2010, the Munich reception center for new refugees, located at the former Bayernkaserne military barracks, was only meant to be a temporary, back-up location to be used for six months. At the time, 400 people moved in and the Bavarian Interior Ministry promised it would quickly build a new reception center in the smaller city of Deggendorf, where the government had the opportunity to inexpensively purchase buildings that were part of an apparel factory. Munich city officials had originally planned to build new apartments at the site of the barracks.

But then the barracks filled with asylum seekers from the countries affected by the Arab Spring, families from the Balkans, refugees from Eritrea and Nigeria and Syrian war victims. By the winter of 2013, the interim facility had grown into a giant camp with 1,600 people. It became so cramped that a former military equipment hangar was converted into a sleeping facility with beds. As of the end of June of this year, some 2,000 refugees were being accommodated in the barracks.

Influx Exceeds Forecasts

Nowadays, smugglers simply drop their passengers off in small buses on side streets near the barracks. “The influx is exceeding any of our previous forecasts,” laments Bavarian Social Minister Emilia Müller.

The government district of Upper Bavaria, which includes Munich, quickly cleaned up an old truck storage facility on the barracks property and crammed 300 cots inside with stained, thin 5-centimeter (2 inch) thick foam mattresses. Anything had to be better than erecting tent cities, the thinking went.

The same day, officials led journalists on tours through the soot-covered hall, with rain water leaking through the roof. Officials wanted to show the media that the state still had capacity and that everything was under control. But they weren’t shown the quarantine area located just next door, where dozens of people were being kept locked behind iron fences because no doctors were available to give them the quick examination for infectious diseases required under Germany’s Asylum Procedure Law.

A Shortage of Money and Staff

Space problems aside, the reception center — like most German accommodations provided for asylum seekers — is short on money and staff. Günther Bauer, the head of Inner Mission Munich, says that at least 20 employees are needed to provide social counseling for the new arrivals at the Bayernkaserne facility. Currently, he says, there are only 6.5 employees and they are only allowed to enter into the quarantine area in cases of emergency.

Doctors with the public health office are unable to complete the close to 100 examinations that are currently necessary each day. This has created a bottleneck for the refugees who now face long waiting periods before they can obtain their medical certificates, without which they are not allowed to leave the barracks. As they wait, the five-to-10-day deadline in which they can apply to be brought together with family members already living in Germany expires.

After the medical examination, the refugees are taken to decentralized accommodations or community centers. Even after spending weeks in Germany, many refugees aren’t able to meet with the BAMF representatives who are responsible for listening to their stories and reviewing their cases. “Sometimes they spend months in a village waiting for a representative of the office,” says Alexander Thal of the Bavarian Refugees Council, an umbrella group of state organizations providing assistance to asylum seekers. It’s a period of time in which nothing happens. New arrivals are only permitted to seek employment nine months after they get to Germany, and those who haven’t been interviewed also can’t be deported.

The overcrowding in the shelters has been worsened by the BAMF’s personnel shortage, which has led to longer wait times and frustrated those who have already undergone dangerous travels to make it to Germany. On Friday, the police evicted 80 refugee claimants from the agency’s property in Nuremberg who had threatened to begin a hunger strike.

The current federal budget allowed for 300 new BAMF hires, but officials in Nuremberg seem to be struggling to fill those positions. Just recently, eight candidates backed out. The workers who decide on asylum cases usually come from Germany’s government-backed public administration colleges. But the graduates of those institutions are coveted, and now BAMF recruiters are going to job fairs and considering bachelors degree-holders who have learned the basics of public administration.

Besides, in the months it will take to train the new employees, the processing points will continue becoming more crowded. In addition, 150 employees who had been on loan to BAMF from the German Federal Police — to help with the past year’s increased number of refugee claims — will have to return to their original positions, despite the fact that the current number of refugees is considerably higher than it was in 2013. Last week, the staff council of the Federal Police turned down the Interior Ministry’s request to extend the temporary workers’ deputation.

The German Federal Police have little sympathy for their colleagues. They argue that the rising number of asylum requests isn’t some unexpected, new problem — people have aware of it for a long time. “People have known about this for years, and they’ve turned a blind eye to it,” says one high-ranking Federal Police employee.

In most German states, the search for refugee housing is just as disorganized. Refugees are geographically allotted according to the so-called Königsteiner Schlüssel (Königstein Code), which takes tax income and population into account. The western German state of North Rhine-Westfalia and the southeastern state of Bavaria are responsible for accommodating the greatest number of refugees, a container village is also being planned in the central German state of Hesse, where even a former garden center has been repurposed as shelter.

North Rhine-Westphalia is trying to acquire empty British-army barracks from the federal government in the city of Mönchengladbach to create additional capacity. In Upper Bavaria, local authorities want to use school gymnasia and tennis facilities during the summer months, if necessary. The northern German state of Lower Saxony is planning to outfit group accommodations in the Wendland region, in facilities intended to house police securing the transportation of dry-cask radioactive material to the nuclear waste facility in Gorleben.

Not In Our Backyard Complaints

In three years, Hamburg has increased the number of spaces in its refugee processing center from 70 to today’s 1,700. Now the authorities want to open a shelter in the well-heeled Harvestehude neighborhood, where a building belonging to the German armed forces is available. Some high-earners, however, have been resistant to the idea. It is inhumane, they argue, to expose refugees to an affluence that they themselves could never attain.

Protests have also been popping up in the countryside. In the Bavarian municipality of Salzweg, near the Austrian border, village locals have fought against the leasing of an inn for refugee families. In Anzing, near Munich, posters were recently hung in the old forester’s lodge that was supposed to house refugees: They included a rhyme claiming that the 30 men the inn was to house would be a burden for the community. In the Baden-Württemberg town of Fellbach, refugees had to move out of a container village located in the parking lot of a stadium because of neighbor complaints.


Both social welfare organizations and authorities are predicting that the number of asylum seekers will continue to increase until October. The stream of refugees supposedly won’t crest or plateau until the winter, at the earliest. Günther Bauer of Inner Mission Munich is convinced that “the strain from Africa will remain constant.” The German government should have delivered a real refugee policy strategy a long time ago, he argues.But such a strategy doesn’t exist in the EU, or in Germany or Bavaria. Bavarian Governor Horst Seehofer has simply stated that his cabinet will now address the massive shortage of accommodations. Minister Müller promised 5,000 new spots for refugees by the end of 2014, an ambitious plan that will be almost impossible to achieve.

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter, meanwhile, wants to provide the refugees with at least one good-will gesture: TVs for the Bayernkasserne facility so that the new arrivals can watch the World Cup.

Translated from the German by Daryl Lindsey and Thomas Rogers




I was able to find these pages in English in the Wikipedia and want to publish them here for bloggers who may perhaps have an interest to get to know a bit more about the city of Leipzig.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leipzig (/ˈlptsɪɡ/German pronunciation: [ˈlaɪ̯pt͡sɪç] ( listen)) is a city in thefederal state of SaxonyGermany. It has around 510,000 inhabitants.[2]Leipzig is situated about 150 km south of Berlin at the confluence of theWhite ElsterPleisse, and Parthe rivers at the southerly end of the North German Plain.

Leipzig has been a trade city at least since the time of the Holy Roman Empire,[3] sitting at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important Medieval trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centers of learning and culture in fields such as music andpublishing.[4] After World War II, Leipzig became a major urban center within the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) but its cultural and economic importance declined,[4] despite East Germany being the richest economy in the Soviet Bloc.[5]

Leipzig later played a significant role in instigating the fall of communism inEastern Europe, through events which took place in and around St. Nicholas Church. Since the reunification of Germany, Leipzig has undergone significant change with the restoration of some historical buildings, the demolition of others, and the development of a modern transport infrastructure.[citation needed] Nowadays Leipzig is an economic center in Germany and has an opera house and one of the most modern zoos in Europe.


Twentieth century[edit]

With the opening of a fifth production hall in 1907, the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei became the largest cotton mill company on the continent, housing over 240,000 spindles. Daily production surpassed 5 million kilograms of yarn.[10]

The city’s mayor from 1930 to 1937, Carl Friedrich Goerdeler was a noted opponent of the Nazi regime in Germany. He resigned in 1937 when, in his absence, his Nazi deputy ordered the destruction of the city’s statue of Felix Mendelssohn. On Kristallnacht in 1938, one of the city’s most architecturally significant buildings, the 1855 Moorish Revival Leipzig synagogue was deliberately destroyed.

Several thousand forced laborers were stationed in Leipzig during World War II.

The city was also heavily damaged by Allied bombing during World War II. Unlike its neighboring city of Dresden this was largely conventional bombing, with high explosives rather than incendiaries. The resultant pattern of loss was a patchwork, rather than wholesale loss of its center, but was nevertheless very extensive.

The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Leipzig in late April 1945. The U.S. 2nd Infantry Division and U.S. 69th Infantry Division fought into the city on 18 April and completed its capture after fierce urban combat, in which fighting was often house-to-house and block-to-block, on 19 April 1945.[11]

The U.S. turned over the city to the Red Army as it pulled back from the line of contact with Soviet forces in July 1945 to the predesignated occupation zone boundaries. Leipzig became one of the major cities of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).

In the mid-20th century, the city’s trade fair assumed renewed importance as a point of contact with the Comecon Eastern Europe economic bloc, of which East Germany was a member. At this time, trade fairs were held at a site in the south of the city, near the Monument to the Battle of the Nations.

In October 1989, after prayers for peace at St. Nicholas Church, established in 1983 as part of the peace movement, theMonday demonstrations started as the most prominent mass protest against the East German regime.


Bis zum Zweiten Weltkrieg war die Hauptspielstätte des städtischen Schauspiels das 1766 erbaute „Alte Theater“ auf dem heutigen Richard-Wagner-Platz am Brühl. Es wurde 1943 völlig zerstört. Opern wurden im ebenfalls 1943 zerstörten Neuen Theater an der Stelle des heutigen Opernhauses am Augustusplatz gegeben).


Das ehemalige Operettentheater Centraltheater zwischen Bosestraße und Gottschedstraße, das 1901 vonAugust Hermann Schmidt und Arthur Johlige erbaut wurde und im Krieg ebenfalls stark beschädigt worden war, war eine der ersten festen Behelfsspielstätten des Leipziger Schauspiels nach 1945.

Das Schauspiel Leipzig ist eine Schauspielbühne in Leipzig. Seit 2008 steht es unter der Intendanz von Sebastian Hartmann, zuvor war seit 1995Wolfgang Engel Intendant. Zur Spielzeit 2013/14 wird Enrico Lübbe neuer Intendant des Schauspiel Leipzig[1]. Die Hauptspielstätte ist das Centraltheater(bis 2008: Schauspielhaus). Davon zu unterscheiden ist das 1943 zerstörte Privattheater Leipziger Schauspielhaus.



All the above I copied from Wikipedia. Sorry, for the last part I couldn’t find a translation for in English. I just wanted to find out whether the Leipziger Schauspielhaus, which was destroyed in 1943, and was never rebuilt in its original place in Sophienstrasse, whether this theater has been rebuilt somewhere else. It used to be a private theater and the Nazis didn’t like it. It had to close before the war even started. I think it was never reestablished. The theater under the name Schauspielhaus which became in 2008 the Centraltheater, has apparently no connection with what used to be the Leipziger Schauspielhaus.

Leipziger Schauspielhaus

Leipziger Schauspielhaus Sophienbstrasse 17 - 19

Sophienstrasse 20


The “Leipziger Schauspielhaus”  was a private theater in the southern part of Leipzig, Germany. This theater was situated in Sophienstrasse 17 – 19.  Sophienstrasse is now named Shakespearestrasse. During a bomb raid on 4th December 1943 the theater building was totally destroyed and has never been rebuilt.

For me it was interesting to find in the Wikipedia the above pictures and information about this particular theater. The house adjoining the theater is of special interest to me. This was  Sophienstrasse  20. It was the house my mother grew up in. This house was completely destroyed in a bomb raid in April 1945 while we, that is Mum, my two brothers and I, were there staying with my grandmother and cousin Renate.

Mum told us again and again that at the age of fourteen she did get a part as an extra. She played a page boy in a production of the famous Leipziger Schauspielhaus.. Being part of a theater production she found immensely exciting.

The above pictures are from 1906.  Mum’s sister Ilse was born in 1907 and Mum was born in 1911. Mum had another older sister and an older brother.

“Am 11. Oktober 1874 fand die Eröffnung unter dem Namen Carl-Theater statt. Hartmann nannte die Spielstätte Leipziger Schauspielhaus und eröffnete es am 10. September 1902.”

The theater was opened on 11th October 1874 under the name ‘Carl Theater’.  A bit later it was called ‘Carola Theater’. Around the turn of the century it was closed for a while. It was named ‘Leipziger Schauspielhaus’ by Anton Hartmann when he opened it on 10th September 1902.

Oral History


The past week Peter and I have been busy with the telling  of our lives’ story. We had a very lovely visitor recording everything for the Oral History section of the library at Canberra. It takes a few weeks before these recordings are accessible. I understand they are going to be preserved for future generations. This whole project is of course extremely exciting for us.

Frances, who’s interviewing us, tells us,  we as migrants from Germany, having been through WW II  and post war years as children in Germany have experiences to recall which people would be interested to hear about. Also of interest are our experiences in Australia as migrants. In this regard it is of special interest to find out how our lives were shaped by having had a daughter who had been severely disabled by polio.

Neither Peter or I are experienced speakers. Having our voices recorded is something completely new to us. However Frances is very good at encouraging us. She gently guides us into the relevant sections of our lives by asking some questions. Peter and I are always being interviewed separately. Usually we have one hour each in the morning, then a lunch-break, and maybe another hour each in the afternoon.

I found out having to talk for one hour at a time about my life can be rather tiring and sometimes a bit stressful too. But I love doing it especially with such a good interviewer as Frances. By the middle of next week she’s going to be back for the conclusion of the interviews.