I’m Legal Now

Why do the forces of the universe find a joyless satisfaction in allowing a human being to become ill on the first day off work ?
Is it something we’ve done ? The looks ? The fact of our mere existence ?
Coughing, wheezing, sweating in the cold Eastern, I dragged my sore body – and the pounding head ! – over the groundless Franconian paths, slippery from treacherous mud and dirt, towards the big grey house where the authority dwells, embodied in my old nemesis, Miranda the evil dwarf.
When I first entered this crumbling building years ago and wandered through its endless corridors that look and smell like dried up pea soup, I was confronted with this gerbil like creature in the Bureau for Peasant’s Affairs. But gerbils have a soul, emotions, they even feel friendliness. Miranda the evil dwarf hated all and everything, himself, the job, the peasants. So he was the natural choice for the first desk opposite the entrance to the dimly lid file storage room that he controlled by miasmatic disdainfulness, you could have sawed blocks out of it …
To my amazement the steely stare I switched on before stepping over the threshold fell on a robust youngish woman. I noticed that the room was distinctly brighter, I was offered a chair ! Miranda seemingly is retired, maybe he kicked the bucket or simply vanished in the cellar to everybody’s relief. He took with him the nineteenhundredthirty’s ameublement, the pus coloured curtains, and the smell of fear & despair I remembered so well.
The young woman nevertheless interrogated me about personal details, like my hight (no idea), the colour of my eyes (changes, but there is always green in it), and put special emphasis on my nationality (“Coburgian”, what was dismissed). I never held two different passports, and – that was new to me – never served in foreign regular forces, thus acquiring a second nationality.
In front of me on the desk was a little thing like a tablet, like something you find in a shop, where you put the money down. It turned out to be a tablet and there I was shown the forms she had filled out, was asked to read through and control the details, and signed it with a stylo. I asked, it is a valid signature.
The new ID-card comes in the form of a cheque card size plastic piece with an embedded chip that stores my personal data and, if I allow it, the fingerprints of both forefingers (no way !). It also allows my identification online, valid for legal transactions ; but for this I’d need special soft~ and hardware, particularly a reader for the ID card.
I relinquished this functionalities, simply because I could not figure out circumstances in which I would need this. I avoid online-transactions generally, and can not think of a situation where I would need valid identification for a legally binding transaction via web – like … what ? Buying a house – no, I want a contract on paper and see who signs it. Opening an account at this respected Russian bank on The Caymans ? There are specialists for this, and again, you must see a person – hence you know whom to shoot when you are ruined …
The lady checked the photographic portrait I had acquired for expensive money, looked at it a bit quizzical, but it did fit into some scheme she used, and she glued it on a form. I payed my thirty Euro, one last signature (“This is the one that will be on the card.”), and that was it.
They send the whole stuff digitally to Berlin, the Bundesdruckerei (not G&D, I asked the lady, and she was firm about this : they cheated) will start the press, and sometime after Easter I will have a new, valid ID-card.
I went back through gardens of budding blossoms, cheered up by the distant laughter of children, wiping the image of an ugly mean dwarf from my memory.

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 ?


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.


Feel Me Grip

Everybody may dream. I dream of moving to another place. With a bit more space, a room for sleeping only would be very nice. A bit more space, so that I can actually reach my books and do not have to move furniture before I can go through a shelf. And last but not least, a place away from screaming mother-of-the-year in the appartement below, a terrible dumb nuisance.
I mean, I lived out junkies, drunk Russians and party-happy students, sooner or later they all learned to be considerate of neighbours, the people in those flats around them ; this stupid bitch (excuses, but its justified) is resistant to any kind of complaints. Every time I am ready to go down there, another neighbour walks up to her door, either slams his fists against it or presses in the bell button, and depending on the daytime and the degree of noise & abuse tells her calmly or yells at her to shut the fuck up. Happened only this afternoon. Then it’s quiet for some (two ?) hours. Afterwards the yelling starts again. It is time to take action and to get her out of here.
So I dream & look at houses, around here, in other parts of Franconia, in Hohenlohe : farm houses, land houses, Aussiedlerhöfe (farms outside villages, in the middle of the land that belongs to them), forester’s houses, and of course houses of historical value, listed as landmarks (Denkmalliste). I am in no way able to afford one, forget about the cost to make a ruin habitable, but everybody is allowed to dream.
There are some specialised agents, and of course the list of sellable landmarks (Liste verkäuflicher Denkmäler), run by administrations.
Over time there are some places (advertisements) I like to visit again. I notice when prices are going down, when offers are changed ; some are sold easily and fast, others are like lead & nobody seemingly touches them. Some come with a lot of land (forest, meadows, fruit-groves), with Wasserrecht (water law – does this word exist ? –  especially old mills), some are in disrepair and nearly collapsing, others are neatly re-constructed and ready for moving in.
My favourites are an old factory for oat flakes – in fact it was built as a grain storage facility before WWI, so lots of space ; a converted farm-house in the area here ; and a kind of “Landhaus”, built seemingly in the seventies, in an area where normally building and housing is off-limits. The last two are basically inhabitable with little work, but come at a terrible price (the view, the location). The factory does not carry a tag, it is advertised as “günstig”, keen ; looking at it I counted the windows, more than seventy (!) ; replacing these alone would cost some hundred thousands of €. But one could plan and lay out a wonderful large garden, a park even … ach
It’s less the actual moving I dream of, what causes a lot of work and stress, but the idea of moving to another place, cutting some things off, while keeping some that are worth keeping. And of course going through the stuff : In fact I want to burn a lot of things, not only papers – my world is made from paper after all – but also some things. I do not want to take these to the dump or “recycling-place”, “where they can find a new owner” – GOd, what kind of speak is this ?
These are things I possess and I want to get rid of them and I want them to be destroyed : I want to burn them. Even when I have to use  a chain-saw, and I learned to handle such a machine – I want to use it on these things. This actual desk for example that I hate. It’s not the desk’s fault, it’s its history, what I connect with it, all that I want to get rid of – a nice fire would be good. Same goes for a lot of papers – a nice little or not so little bonfire.
Anyway, it’s not in sight. Soldiering on. And of course, when one learned to read, and write, and listen to music, one is never alone, but always part of a conversation, regardless whether the partners in this conversation are long gone and physically dead, or actually living in the same world.
Now, if I only could get rid of that epitome of ignorant brutishness that lives under me ; without using my bare hands, preferably … this would help, really.

Wagner II

WAGNER came from a poor family, his father died early, so did a lot of his brothers and sisters. In 1913 there were only two sisters and one brother left. He was an intelligent child managed somehow to study and become a teacher. From 1894 until 1900 he was “Hilfslehrer” in Wuerttenberg, until a nervous breakdown forced him to quit for some months. In 1901 he was as teacher in Mühlhausen an der Enz (Ger. only), where he met his later wife. They had an affair resulting in daughter Klara and thus were forced to marry. He hated the family of his wife. Children were born, he finally was allowed to work in another place and in 1912 began to work at the school in Degerloch.
WAGNER rides his bicycle to the station and boards a train to Ludwigsburg (Ger., Eng.). He has a snack there and moves on towards his place of birth Eglosheim (Ger. only). He meets the wife of his brother, his nephew shows him the new rabbit hutch. WAGNER hides some of the ammunition. He boards another train and travels to Bietigheim (Ger., Eng.) where he drives around the area, posts some letters – among them one to the landlady in Degerloch (“I am sorry. But there was no other way. Wagner”). He visits the “Krone” in Bietigheim and at 19:00 starts the travel to Mühlhausen. He reaches the village circa 23:00 and hides the bicycle in a field. He replaces his normal hat with a “Autofahrermütze” (possibly something like this, without the glasses) and puts a veil over the lower part of his face.
He sets fire to the place at various locations, grabs his two Mauser pistols (C96, Ger., Eng.) and walks through the village shooting at any person he sees. He tied the two pistols to his wrists, but the cords are much too long, so he gets entangled in them. The two guns have ten rounds each, but he forgets to reload. So a workman and a civil servant have the chance to attack him with a pickaxe and a sabre: His left hand gets smashed, he receives two blows with the sabre into his face, the right hand is badly hurt. They leave him for dead in the street.
At 02:00 a policeman recognises that WAGNER is not dead yet. He says that he wanted to kill all men of the village, and it would be alright to chop off his head now. He is brought in the Bezirkskrankenhaus in Vaihingen, where his left lower arm is amputated.
WAGNER shot at twenty people and two animals, he killed eight men and a little girl.
In his notes the further course of events was outlined: After his work was done (his own words, he speaks of Arbeit), he would stop the train from Mühlacker to Ludwigsburg. Because of the possibility that the engineman would be recalcitrant he had watched how a locomotive was to be operated. He would stop the train near Eglosheim and en passant eradicate his brother’s family, then drive to Ludwigsburg, set fire to the castle (Ger., Eng.)  and finally burn to death “in the bed of the duchess”.

Plans …

He made it into the NYT -pdf here.