It seems to have been a professional job. They broke into a telecommunications sub-station, and cut off the out-going fibre optic cables, what effectively stopped all internet (and communications in general) traffic in the community (Ger., Eng.) : No internet, no phone.
Then they broke into the museum (Ger.), and grabbed the gold (pic). They left with nearly five hundred gold coins (Ger., Eng.). The ongoing coverage reports nothing new. The police showed up only late in the morning (around 9:45), so the thieves had effectively some hours to transport die Sore (rotwelsch for stolen goods) away. And given the amount of criminal energy shown – this was no impulsive smash & grab action – one can be sure that they did use their time.
Mad collector, who ordered the heist ? Possible, but not that probable. Blackmail ? Possible. I think the more belike state of the affaire is that the coins will be melted down.
It is a cultural crime, a crime against the European culture, executed by barbarians. I hope they left a trace, will be caught and punished. Bastards.

Books in Autumn, 1

It is a good half a year since the last book related post. Time to clear the space and sort them back in. So follows a list, in no particular order, of books I read over the last six months. Maybe you find something of interest that helps to your own lecture.

WOLTERING, Herbert : Die Reichsstadt Rothenburg ob der Tauber und ihre Herrschaft über die Landwehr. Diss. Jur. 1965
Reichsstädte, free imperial towns (Ger., Eng.), come in different sizes, and forms. It reaches from economical powerhouses like Nuremberg, Frankfurt/M. or Augsburg to tiny dots on the map like Bopfingen. Some end at their own wall, and literally the next tree outside belongs to someone else. Very few of these towns were in possession of a large “Umgriff”, possess the land around them, like Rothenburg ob der Tauber (Ger., Eng.) did.
WOLTERING discusses the administration of the very Rothenburgian speciality, the Landwehr. (Ger.), and in doing so gives a good and informative overview of the administration of the town as a whole. He does this lege artis, hope he got a summa cum laude.

WASSON, Gordon R. ; HOFMANN, Albert ; RUCK, Carl A.P. : Der Weg nach Eleusis. Das Geheimnis der Mysterien. Aus dem Amerikanischen übertragen von Adrian LINDER. 1. Aufl. Frankfurt/M. 1984 (first : The Road to Eleusis. Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries, NewYork 1978)
WASSON (Ger., Eng.) and his wife went deep into mushroom world. HOFMANN (Ger., Eng.) did the lab work, and Carl RUCK (Eng.) is still at it. Very readable little tome. Don’t try it at home. Could find no information about the translator.

STIERLE, Karlheinz : Petrarca. Fragmente eines Selbstentwurfs. Essay. München Wien 1998
As the title says, not a biography of Petrarc (1304-1374) (Ger., Eng.), but an essay about his self-styling, about how Petrarc construed his public persona. Hint : He did this very well. Petrarc was not “only” a poet, but a pretty important politician and public persona of his age. STIERLE (b. 1936) (Ger.) is a not unimportant German Romanist.

WITTKOWER, Rudolf : Allegorie und der Wandel der Symbole in der Antike und Renaissance. Übersetzt von Benjamin SCHWARZ. Köln 2002 (first : Allegory and the Migration of Symbols, Boulder & London, 1977)
WITTKOWER (1901-1971) (Ger., Eng.) is a British art historian, a friend of PANOFSKY (Ger., Eng.), and belongs to the WARBURG school. This tome was first published 1977 as the third volume of his collected essays. The quality of the illustrations is (at least partly) not good. It is a common saying that “symbols” were taken from the ancient world and “re-vived” at the end of the middle ages in Europe – but how was it actually done ? WITTKOWER shows.
In connection with his other titles it is important to mention his wife Margot, née HOLTZMANN (1902-1995) (Ger., Eng.). SCHWARZ (born 1937) is a translator in Berlin.

DUBY, Georges : Wirklichkeit und höfischer Traum. Zur Kultur des Mittelalters. Aus dem Französischen von Grete OSTERWALD. Berlin 1986
A collection of essays dealing with ideas & models of culture in the high middle ages. These texts originated in the course of developing larger works, namely Le Dimanche de Bouvines (1973) and Les Trois Ordres (1978). Not much I could say about G. DUBY (1919-1996) (Ger., Eng.).
OSTERWALD (born 1947) is a free translator in Frankfurt/M.

WEIGEL, Helmut : Epochen der Geschichte Frankens. Würzburg 1953
(Sonderdruck aus : Mainfränkisches Jahrbuch für Geschichte und Kunst 5(1953)
A lecture held either 1953 or 1952. WEIGEL is a not unproblematic historian, so this is basically only interesting for a historian of historiography. A discipline always consists of its own history too, especially humanities.

KASPER, Josef : Belichtung und Wahrheit. Bildreportage von der Gartenlaube bis zum Stern. Frankfurt/M. NewYork 1979
A history of the picture story / photo reportage from 19th century’s Gartenlaube (Ger., Eng.) to post-war publications in Western Germany. Could find no more information about Josef KASPER.

HAFFNER, Sebastian : Geschichte eines Deutschen. Die Erinnerungen 1914-1933. Mit einer Vorbemerkung zur Taschenbuchausgabe und einem Nachwort zur Editionsgeschichte von Oliver PRETZEL. München 2002
HAFFNER (1907-1999) (Ger., Eng.), born Raimund PRETZEL, is a German-British journalist and historian. He studied jus, and his experiences as junior lawyer (“Rechtsreferendar”) at the Kammergericht (Ger., Eng.) in Berlin taught him about what to expect. I think there is an English edition available, worth a look.

Enough now. I am tired. Part 2 will follow in the next days.


Brain Bubble

The promised rain (and the promised drop in temperatures) just evaporated. Instead it became hotter, the “official” weather thingy says 34° C for today & tomorrow, my appartement says 27° C a few minutes ago. Maybe the sauna starts on Frayday, or maybe not.
My phone made squeaky sounds and demanded an update, finally I gave in – and watched my “data volume” vanish in the haze (purple haze ?), including a warning that things would soon be very slow. I use this apparatus only for phoning, not for internet access, the occasional photographic picture, sometimes sent. I am not in the mood to check my contract, yadayada … may they do what they want.
My brain is seemingly half shut down, now and then a thought bubbles to the surface. Some thoughts circled around those Unknown Areal Phenomena, that’s how UFOs are called nowadays. Obviously there are objects that do strange things on the fly. Objects, things, they are, simply because they reflect whatever radar beams we send out. Pilots watched these objects, and could not get their heads around what they saw. Now it seems that the USNavy seriously starts to investigate what is out there.
I do not think that we see extraterrestrial objects. I think VALLÉE (Ger., Eng.) was the first (I may be wrong) who came up with the interdimensional hypothesis (Eng.). It says in short that these objects are not from “outside” but from a terrestrial origin.
Life seems to be anywhere in the universe. I read that physicists came to the conclusion that we live in a more than four-dimensional space (height, length, depth ; time – of course in my layman’s understanding). If these two things are true, then there is life in other dimensions. And these are everywhere, Earth including.
I have no clue how life may look in a more-dimensional space, but it must be there. And it must be all around us. Maybe these unknown objects are just probes, explorers ? Or the damning enterprise of a multi-dimensional salesman like Musk, who sends adventure seeking billionaires to the “unknown place”, to visit the apes ?
I never saw an UFO, and am not keen to encounter one. As a young child I may have felt the “presence” of “something“, but these are very faded memories I surely can not recall, and do not want. I watch the moon storm up to its zenith, and that does it for me. A little bit of sleep would be nice also.


Look Out

Some days ago I visited an old, green thumbed man, who has reduced his once sprawling garden into a very carefree affaire that demands just some cutting of the lawn nowadays. He pointed to the apples rotting in the meadow – they are all too early ; the trees throw them down because of the drought, simply because they can not keep to the regular schedule. He also mentioned that at least one local creek fell dry.
Two days ago we decided that it was time to go out, air the brain & move the flaccid body around – so a visit to a nearby recreational area with lakes and a small river – that would be it. The lakes were still there, and locals were still bathing, swimming, and drinking beer in naturalibus, but the river is gone.
Larger rivers like Kocher and Jagst e.g., or the Neckar, have remarkably low water, of course a danger for fish and other wildlife. Transport by inland vessel on Rhine and other Wasserstraßen becomes difficult, the loading capacity must be reduced – hence more vessels needed, hence more cost.
At least the South of Germany is spared (large) fires ; some hectares of woodland were destroyed by fires in the Spessart and in Northern Franconia, but this is not comparable to the fires in the Eastern Federal States, which in itself are far far smaller than what our Southern neighbours in Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy, and Southern France had to endure.
We have to reduce the amount of natural gas used for heating, in order not to freeze off some limbs in the coming winter, thanks to Vlad (and our idiocy to trust this fine man !), so some cities already closed public swimming baths to reduce costs and consumption. It seems that there is a connection between natural gas and production of electric energy, another area that may see some difficulties in the (near) future. I also remember to have read that our electric grid’s digital administration is already infiltrated with foreign maleware, or viruses. Thanks again, Vlad. Or Kim – who cares ?
All I know is that the cost for heating, warm water, and energy in general, will soar sky-high. Things will become uncomfortable for the average citizen
It is unhealthy to look into the news too long, bookmark articles etcetc., the image is bleak nowadays. The only highlight is the search and seizure action at the little fuehrer’s whorehouse – there is still a chance for the American Federal State. But I doubt that this will comfort me in the coming winter, when I’ll sit rolled up in a rug at my desk writing my thoughts down on a piece of paper wile the candle gently smokes. I only hope the ink will not freeze.