Tag: childhood

Global Warming – what else

I switched the world on at 19:45 – no pun intended, pure contingency. It glows now for three hours and is still pretty cool, except for the top spot, as may be expected. When you look at it, Siberia is on top and actually the hottest place. But it’s far from hot, just warm to the touch. You can’t see it, but my world is a bit shattered, repaired & re-glued, but I assume that is a common experience, to have it shattered once or twice through lifetime.

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Die Welt

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I think such a globe could be found in any Western boy’s room through the late Sixties / early Seventies. And now that it’s de-dusted & cleaned I can switch it on again without having to fear burning dust. The colours are similar to those on the maps in the Atlas I got in school, and was allowed to keep when it was due to be given back, because it was falling apart. Now and then I turn my world a bit around, so that any part of it has a chance to become warm and cool off again.
I did not crawl into the cellar trying to locate family papers today, it was much too cold and böh. Instead I attempted to write something about the fountains of the village, but found it hard to get into the flow – lack of a dead-line perhaps … I do not remember whether I mentioned it here, it’s a group of volunteer historians, who produce small audio-pieces about historical points of interest, the Roman bridge (here) was my first contribution. At one point these soundbits will be accessible via wwweb, in connection with a presentation of the village and its neighbours on occasion of a local Gartenschau, still some years away ; but it needs a lot of preparation, because large areas that were former used by the USArmy are part of the whole package, and these areas are bordering the village. The university has a hand into the mud too.
But of course we want to look good, don’t we all ? Therefore Mago pieces together the history of the Fontane di Villaggio, and tries to fit the lack of history into an amusing three-minute-feature. I have to put on my thinking cap – there is always the village historian, a force to be reckoned with, as my old friend Duke Nukem (logo) once put it.
I turned the world a bit farther, Siberia was becoming notably warmer, not bad after four hours ; now it’s Alaska’s turn.

Some Monsters Walk on Two Legs

I’m dealing in the following with unsolved crimes against children.
If there is a possibility, dear reader, that this topic may trigger something – skip it here.
See you back for Sunday Music ?

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It started easy enough last evening when I went to the Smithsonian magazine to have a look. I was astounded to find an article from 2012 listed among the most popular reads, “The Children Who Went Up in Smoke” about the SODDER children who vanished on Christmas 1945 from the house of their parents in Fayetteville, West Virginia (Ger., Eng.). Yes – it is a staple for armchair-sleuths, and it is surely caused by the season of the year that this article is ranked high in saied list. I do not want to speculate about what has happened to them, or if it is possible to find a solution to this riddle – or if there actually exists a riddle. Some may say that the father of the children sadly destroyed any possible traces when he bulldozed over the place where his house had stood ; others may point to the ominous letter that was sent to the grieving parents 1968 – if this was not a terribly cruel prank, it surely must indicate that at least one kid survived what ever has happened to them. Read Ms ABBOTT’s article, and if you are interested, look at others too (here, and here f.e.). I do not want to dwell on this surely interesting case, but want to describe my meandering through and to other cases. For example I found this interesting blog about cold cases by Stacy HORN.
In a forum someone mentioned the BEAUMONT children (no German article, Eng.), about whom I had never heared before. Three children vanished in January 1966 from Glenelg Beach (Eng.), near Adelaide, Australia. As I understand, nobody was ever brought to court for this, the case remains unsolved. One of the main suspects is a man called Bevan Spencer von EINEM (no German article, Eng.) who is serving a life sentence for murder of a teenager. von EINEM is saied to have been the member of a group called “family” that has committed several severe crimes. “Family” here is a name given by a police officer, who in an interview sarcastically described this group as “a fine family”, it is not a chosen name like what MANSON did – who btw is freshly married, incredible.
The wikipedia-article about The Family Murders (no German article) does not mention the names of those involved or say that these individuals, with the exception of von EINEM, faced a worldly judge for their alleged deeds. I do not know what is going on there, and do not want to speculate.
What made me think is that there was a group of  “up to 12 people, several of them high-profile Australians”, who kidnapped, drugged, sexually abused and in some cases killed & tortured teenage boys and young adults.
At first I would think of a typical “Verschwörungstheorie”, conspiracy theory (Ger., Eng., German list, English list), a construct blaming “evil forces” or a specified social group for grave misdeeds – the mother of them all is in my opinion still the story of the Protocolls of the Elders of Zion (Ger., Eng.), and what all is connected with this, there are surely older examples too. This is the route this creature DUTROUX (Ger., Eng.) took, who always claimed that he was just a kind of henchman for a group of well-situated and well-connected persons in Belgium. As far as I can see these claims have never been proven and there seems nothing to be to it. What is a bit disturbing is the seemingly high number of witnesses who died while the case was investigated, 27 in all. That the investigation was far from effective and deeply spoiled by corruption, inefficiency and sheer distrust between the different authorities involved, can not seriously be denied.
Different is what is known today as the CASA PIA Scandal (Ger., Eng.) in Portugal : Here it is proven that a clique of well-connected, influential people were over years abusing orphans, some of them handicapped. The investigation and trial took ages, but finally a verdict was reached, nobody was burnt at the stake, sadly. [Note to OldKnudsen : I still oppose the death penalty as fundamentally wrong and scorn it as a modern and enlightened state unworthy ; it deters no one from committing crimes and is only a tool for revenge. I admit that revenge sometimes has something to itself.]
In merry old England a seemingly comparable case is brewing. I do not mean this monstrosity connected with the name of the city of ROTHERHAM (BBC, Ger., Eng.), but what is centred around DOLPHIN SQUARE (no German article, Eng., DailyMail) and Elm Guest House in London. Again a group of well-connected people abused and allegedly killed young boys over years.
I am not so much interested in the single person who does commit sadistic crimes, I’m more interested in how it is possible to do this in the middle of a more or less civilized society. What factors must come together that such a group can form and be active over years ? Protected, even when authorities are informed. Has someone worked about this, compared such groups, searched for similarities & distinctions ?
I think it would be a worthy endeavour and perhaps sharp the eye for such buboes.

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Good Girl Anni

This morning Anni from next door felt the need to make some points clear. First of all she stated that it was a really bad fancy to get up so early (“Ich will in mein Bett !” / I want in my bed !), and that getting dressed to go out into the cold darkness was also not the brightest idea this morning (“Ich will mich nicht anziehen !” / I do not want to get dressed !). Also the impending visit to the kindergarten was not to her taste (“Ich will nicht in den Kindergarten !” / I do not want to go to the kindergarten !).
Apropos taste, what her father had presented her with for breakfast was seemingly not what her mother would usually put on the table (“Ich will das nicht essen !” / I do not eat this !).
Her father is a physicist at the uni labs here, he is slim and looks healthy, perhaps he gave her a carrot or something, surely not chocolate-coated-sugar-bombs – not that she needed additional energy, all natural and already taking off.
Ahja her mother, (“Ich will Mamma !” / I want my mother !), she’s with Anni’s younger brother away on some family gathering or such, just a few days.
When her father called from another room to get ready and dress (he seldom raises his voice), because it was time to leave, she switched to a fake crying that was not convincing. She clearly felt no bodily payne, and her father, despite his carrot-obsession, never hits his children – the “crying” really needs a bit of effort & training from her.
Anni was simply terribly infuriated (“echt angefressen” – I guess one could translate this with “seriously pissed off”).
She did not only tell her father, me – the next door neighbour -, the people on our floor, but I guess the inhabitants of the whole village what she felt about this early morning situation. She kept on her stark communication while I heard either the table or a chair being dragged over the floor – she seemingly clung to a table leg despite her father’s repeated requests to release it (“Lass’ endlich los !” / Take yer hands off now !) – and she kept her protest up until the elevator doors shut (“Ich will net!” / I do not want !), incorruptible.
I like Anni. She has character (& good lungs) and gets her priorities right. It’s better to stay in the warm bed until daylight than being dragged into the kindergarten through cold drizzle in the damn-dark-morning, the last extension of a long, cold night. And I like that a five-year-old clearly says what she wants and what not.
It is sad to know that Anni has no chance to break this stupid rule that kindergarten, pre-school. school and work has to start at eight o’clock in the morning, and that there is no chance to switch to a civilised time, at least one hour later would help. I really sympathise with her, because I hated to sit in the classroom at 07:55, the first two hours were mostly lost. I think this rule is a leftover from the times of the Kaiser. I wished her the best, and slept until 10:30.

Scrubbin’

Mr. McTIGUE, a 45-year-old bus driver, prefers to live in the Thirties. He inhabits a house built 1936, collects things from the period, even wears clothes of the era, tailor-made from authentic materials. And he has no washing machine, instead he uses wash board and mangle for his rugs.
If he does not now and then accidentally traipse to the launderette down the road? I still remember the smell of washing day. Every house had a Waschküche, wash kitchen literally; a large room in the basement suitable for wet work. In the house I grew up in, was a large laundry cauldron. I do not remember whether the water had to be poured into it with buckets or if it already was connected to the water pipe. The water was heated by fire under it – so the cauldron must have been sitting on a masonry subconstruction. It was mainly used (or at least my memory tricks me into believing this) for weiße War’, white textiles like covers etc. It was heavy labour and my mother was very glad when the first washing machine came into the family – at the begin of the Seventies, after we had moved into the big town.
The first working washing machine by the way was constructed, and built, in Regensburg in the late 18th century, by Jacob Christian SCHAEFFER (Ger., Eng.) (1718-1790). In the older literature it is called the Regensburger Maschine, but google was not very interested by this lemma. SCHAEFFER was a protestant theologian and worked in the field of biology. He left a not unimportant collection (museum Schaefferianum), a natural history collection, corresponded with LINNÈ (Ger., Eng.) and de RÉAUMUR (Ger., Eng.). His machine was actually built and sold, it is not clear in which numbers, and seemingly no exemplar survived, here is his description (pdf, picture of the machine at the end). I wonder what happened to his collection after his death.