Trippin’

You have not been alive when you can’t say that you once travelled on the Suebian railway (“Schwäb’sche Eisebahne”). So join me on a photographic journey from Neckarsulm to Metzingen. We start in Neckarsulm (Ger., Eng.), that dates back to a Roman foundation. Today it is mostly known for its automotive industry.

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Neackarsulm station in all its renovated glory

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Next we will reach Heilbronn (Ger., Eng.), a former Reichsstadt. The city is mostly indescribable, simply because (with the notable exception of the KIlianskirche (Ger., Eng.)) there is nothing worth to be described. Here usually strange people enter the train, humans wearing training gear, who have no qualms to describe intimate personal “things” in a fully seated railway carriage. Conversations may start with “Yeah, I’m out on probation now.”, phone calls may include “Only ten grams ?! Make it fifteen shithead, and we’re good. You owe me …” You get the idea.

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Heilbronn. There is always a train outbound.

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Next stop is Nordheim (Ger., Eng.). Obviously they like to leave assuring, positive messages on the walls.

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Nordheim says “Be positive” !

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Our next stop is Kirchheim (Ger., Eng.). They like their Abstandsgrün here.

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Kirchheim am Neckar. The river must be somewhere behind the greenery.

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Now we fly into BIetigheim-Bissingen (Ger., Eng.), where we are greeted with modern architecture.

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Bietigheim-Bissingen has one of these modern “Turmhäuser”, tower houses.

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Next is Ludwigsburg (Ger., Eng.). It was founded in the early 18th century, it is a planned settlement (“Planstädte” (Ger., Eng.), and shows how an 18th century ruler wished a city should look. Many barracks.

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Ludwigsburg

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Now we reach Stuttgart (Ger., Eng.), the Suebian capital The station is a terminus, but they are not satisfied with that, and dug a large hole, where billions of € vanish. They promised to keep the old (pretty ugly, but architecturally & historically relevant station building), but astoundingly a lot of it had to be cut down. Now some rumours of corruption go round (Ger.), a fool who thinks bad about it.

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This is still above ground, the new station will mainly be below ground. Nobody said that it would look any better.

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And now we leave, I just had to sit on the opposite seat to avoid unwanted bodily reactions.

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Leaving Stuttgart

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Wendlingen (Ger., Eng.), here we come !

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Wendlingen

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Oberboihingen (Ger., Eng.). Where is Unterboihingen ? Every time I pass one of these pubs along the travel route, I feel the urge to stop and walk into the establishment. Of course I never do.

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Oberboihingen and its promising pub.

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I can not say something about our next stop, Bempflingen (Ger., Eng.). The structure in the distance is the Schwäbische Alb, a good place.

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Bempflingen

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And finally we reach the end of our little journey, Metzingen (Ger., Eng.), where they produce clothes.

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Metzingen. The cheap casino is on the other side of the track.

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And finally one last picture, somewhere in Suebia.

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Looks like snow.

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G’schicht’l

Some days ago I read about the Huzulei, and I draw a perfect blank. I had absolutely no idea what this was or is. And I take a certain (hopefully innocent enough) pride in knowing something about the Hultschiner Ländchen (Ger., Eng.), ha !
The first thing that showed up in my head is “Binnenexotismus”. “Exotism” or “exoticism” understood as a European-centered point of view, as admiration, or fascination for or with “exotic” areas, landscapes, humans and their culture, understood to be of non-European origin, situated in far-away countries & continents. “Binnen” means as much as “within” or “domestic”, so “Binnenexotismus” is something that is “exotic”, but just around the corner. One could know about it.
But it was not just the fact that there is an area, a population, and hence a more or less independent culture within Europe, I never had heared about that vexed me, it is part of larger field I have no knowledge about – I have to reach back a bit to describe what it is all about.
I was always interested in history. I can not say when this started, maybe the stories my grandparents told about their youth, and “the olden times” in general stand at the start of this ongoing preoccupation with “what was”. For me “history” from the start was, and still is, lived human life, not an abstract operation, or ministry, of abstract “forces” ; it is life as it was, humans solving problems, getting on, more or less.
It started seriously in the last classes of gymnasium (secunda & prima), when we were happy enough to choose our subjects by ourselves. I was in one of the first years of the “reformierte Oberstufe”. I choose “History” and “Latin” as majpr subjects (“Hauptfächer”), in retrospect I should have voted for English. Sadly I never had a chance to learn even the basics of a Slavic language, Polish would have been a good choice.
The last two years were divided into semesters, and for each semester we could choose a topic, within a given frame. History of the Third Reich was a given, of course. We also choose the history of the “Deutsche Reich” from 1871 onwards, something I was not happy about, because it meant social and economic history, hence a lot of statistics, numbers, and I am terribly bad at numbers. The second topic was “War & Peace”, and we looked at the German wars in the 19th century, WWI and WWII – how did they start, how did they end etc. The last topic to choose should involve some non-European culture, it could be basically anything from Africa to South America, Russia or the US – we choose Japan, it was facinating.
At the university I heared , among other stuff, “Modern History”, and WWI was one of the themata in my oral exam, I did not do too well, but survived.
To make a long story short, I really believed that I would “know” something about WWI. This idea showed the first cracks after 1989, when the Serbian madness started, and all of a sudden the EU was at war. And not only me, but a lot of people understood that in “the East”, “the Balcans” especially, a lot of problems had survived the Cold War that had their origin in the end of WWI – think of all these borders that were drawn at the proverbial “green table”.
I finally understood that I had (and still have) a big blind spot regarding WWI, when I read an article that mentioned a decisive battle, at a place I not even could pronounce, Przemyśl (Ger., Eng.). (Good luck trying, use the wikipedia thingy. I was taught it by a Polish speaking person only recently.)
So I was very happy when I finally had the means to buy the two volume work by Polish historians Włodzimierz BORODZIEJ (Ger., Eng. Pol.) and Maciej GÓRNY (Pol.) titled Der vergessene Weltkrieg. Europas Osten 1912-1923, Darmstadt 2018, zuerst : Nasza Wojna, 2016 (The forgotten Worldwar. Europe’s East 1912-1923). This is the master narrative of that war in the East, long overdue, very useful.
The story of the Huzulei is a margin in all what happened in those years, a typical one, but excuse me I am too tired now. And no, this is not a “cliff-hanger”, I really am too tired, and there is absolutely nothing special about

Snow

It started yesterday, and shows no inclination to stop. The forecast tells us that the temperatures will sink continuously over the coming days to minus 15° Celisus at night, while through the day also minus 5°C are in reach.

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This midday from my balcony

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The greenery I see when I look down

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Kanye For President !

Political rant ahead, sorry.

In despair and disgust I look at the news from the UsofA. What happens in Portland – and soon will happen in other cities – is something right out of the dictator’s textbook.
Let us assume that you are a ruler and feel that you slowly loose the grip on yer subjects. A protest movement grows, and it seems not to go away. It has dangerous potential, and you need to get rid of it. Of course your usual fearmongering runs on full volume, but these damn protesters do not follow your script. So you do, what you always do : escalate. And you do best escalate, when you give these pesky protestors any chance to radicalise themselves fast : Attack them !
In the images I see from Portland I see no “police”. I see white men in military gear who shoot rubber bullets & sting grenades, who gas people, and randomly kidnap some civilians. It is just one step below using live ammunition and let people vanish. I see them behave like an army in an occupied city, simply because that is what they are. This is not “policing”, this is terrorism. Shooting sting grenades at protesting mothers, letting people vanish from the street – that is what you expect from some third class military despot in Southern America, not from an only roughly “normal” USAmerican “president”. But this is what happens under the rule of Donnie Rotten, the little fuehrer.
And I fear it is the blueprint for things to come in the next winter. Donnie Rotten “does not lose”, he always wins. And he is a sucker for violence, he was really frustrated when the images of looting undermenschen did not get produced in Tulsa. So the rightful protestors, and inhabitants, of Portland shall fill the scene – and of course his Verfügungstruppe will show up in other places where the major and the gouvernor are Democrats, “fucking traitors that they are …”
Any opposition ? Forget the Republicans, spineless worms do not rebel against the ass in which they comfortably live.
The Democrats ? Write a letter. Ms Pelosy says that “we live in a democracy, not a banana republic”.
The Democrats want to carry on making politics based on insight, understanding, and compromise. And on the opposite side of table ballons the smirking visage of Moscow Mitch, the embodiment of corruption. Who bakes new judges like bread rolls – all of them of course based on political affiliation, not on juridical competence -, happily undermining the independence of one of the columns democracy is built upon.
It IS a banana republic with institutionalised corruption (what is basically okay, because the foreign ruler or CEO knows how much to pay where, there are clear tariffs), with free reign for a money “elite” (I always hated this word !), and a non-existing public debate – shouting matches on fackbuk are no debate. Now throw in public violence top-down, and there you go. It all happens openly, in real time, nobody can be “surprised” when – in the worst case – a coup d’etat happens next winter. It is a not so outlandish scenario : Donnie Rotten could declare martial law with “all that violence on the street”, could claim that the election’s results are void (IF it really takes place), and make himself “for the good of the nation” something like interim dictator.
You think the supreme court would intervene ? I doubt. It’s full of loyalists, one liberal member is seriously ill – a bit of a gamble, but Donnie has taken lesser chances.
You think the military would intervene ? Why should they ? Donnie Rotten loves the military, they’ll get anything they want, would they risk a civil war ?
The “street” ? Count the dead.
The Democrats are seemingly sure to have won the election. Like they were in 2016. Nothing is won. Nothing is sure. It is no direct democracy, and the primaries showed that the anti-democratic forces called “Republicans” do anything, use any dirty, rotten trick, to manipulate in their own favour – they surely will not stop, they’ll go in balls to the walls.
The virus ? Works just as a catalysator, helps to bring out what is already there : Real Americans do not wear masks.
The chances for a Machtübernahme are not that bad, surely it is worth to be considered.
Amerika, mir graut vor Dir.