Tag: war

It’s Dark

Thank GOd it’s Frayday. Just returned from my morning drive, one more turn in the early afternoon, and yahoo ! that is it ; the engine will be started on the morning of the 15th again, not one second earlier.
I do not know what made this week so exhausting – the snow ? It was not that bad, the wind was a bit scary sometimes. But the job itself is all bearable. What is not bearable at times is the foolish gibberish of some colleagues. Sometimes I wonder where these people have their brains, especially when they talk about “die” / “them”, referring to asylum seekers & refugees.
I do not like the word “Flüchtlingskrise”, perhaps best translated as “refugee crisis” – humans are no crisis.
What we see is a crisis of the European idea ; the rise of nationalism throughout Europe with a special emphasis on Eastern Europe and the post-socialist societies (where they happily chop democracy) ; a strong current of xenophobia ; partly openly racist and even neo-fascist or nationalsocialist movements in Germany and elsewhere : Only some days ago a police chief in Saxony spoke about “Pogromstimmung” in some areas there.
Some of my colleagues, the “hard-working” “salt of the earth” – I hope you get the sarcasm – have seemingly no ability (or will) to differentiate. Asked who “they” / “die”, would be it’s Auslänner, Asylande, Neecher – all the same. The sentiment is partly sheer enviousness (” ‘they’ do get everything”, “even i-phones”), or blank racism (” ‘they’ are too dumb”, ” ‘they’ just want our women”, ” ‘they’ never have learned to work”, ” ‘they’ are of no value” etc.), combined with the preference for very simple “explanations” (“Merkel ist schuld !” / “It’s all Merkel’s fault !”) and “solutions” (“Grenze zu – alle in’s Lager !” / “Borders shut, all in camps !”).
All in all it is depressing dumbness. No wonder that “AfD” and “pegida” & Co. enjoy a large clientele – the far-right “AfD” reached 12 % at the last Sonntagsfrage (“If there were elections next Sunday, which party would you vote for ?”), nationwide.
I never thought that I’d say this publicly about a conservative German chancellor, but GOd bless Angela Merkel, may she stay strong and healthy.
I only hope that the brutish simplemindedness of these zombies will not prevail.

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Sorry, No Title

Egon FRIEDELL, a long forgotten German Kulturhistoriker (1878-1938, born Friedmann, suicide in Vienna), once said sinngemäß – I can not cite it correctly, nor can I give the exact location – that rationalism would be an “Irrlicht”, a “ghost light”. The history of the Early Modern Æra (in Europe), the time of enlightenment / Aufklärung is for him only an intermezzo between two irrationalisms, the medieval and the one to come. And since 1989 we see again the rise of religiously motivated irrationalism that wants to eliminate anything and anyone who is not fitting in the pattern. The rotten bastards of the so-called “islamic state” do remind me a lot of the SS, just with beards. I read their letter, their “claim”, it’s dripping from arrogance & pathos, as sickening as their Mumbay-style attack on Paris.
As I see it there is no basis for negotiation or something else of this peace-keeping methods. NATO should declare the “Bündnisfall”, now the situation for what it was established is here – the attack on a partner of the alliance – and, together with Russia, kill them. I only wish those involved will be clear enough in their heads to avoid the American mistake of Iraq – and have a goddamn plan for the situation after the war !

Still alive

The wind is thundering, for the third day now. And it is a remarkably cold wind from the East. Clear air, no wetness yet, but it is to come in the next days. Finished driving this early afternoon, Monday will start a bit later than usual, a quiet weekend ahead.
I looked into the news and found a remarkably stupid statement by a certain Mr. McCain, an American senator. The French President Hollande and the German chancellor Merkel are actually on a diplomatic mission in the Ukraine and in Moscow trying to defuse the ongoing conflict that has the potential to escalate into something nasty. McCain compared this to the appeasement-policy (Ger., Eng.) of the 1930s, and told the world that he did not expect something else from these people who have no idea of politics and don’t care, yadayadayada. Can’t see that Mr. McCain does something constructive about this conflict, except screaming for more weapons, thus applying caveman’s logic : Bigger hammer is better hammer, yoh !
If he really compares this diplomatic effort with what historians call 1930s’ appeasement-policy he also insinuates that Putin would equal Hitler – plainly unacceptable and deplorable. He is either really stupid, and thus his comments can be ignored and filed as the waffle of an old man, or he makes his remarks at exactly this point for a purpose, aiming at hindering or hampering anything that has a chance to de-escalate the situation. Then he’s an arsonist & war monger. I wonder whether he comes to Munich, perhaps some people would shut him up there, but I doubt.
McCain’s remarks are echoing Rumsfeld’s moquant jabber about “old Europe”. What these old sods do not understand is that after 1989 all the old problems returned that were suppressed by the East-West-conflict, the Cold War. And with the demise of the SU something started that is connected to the political situation of pre-1933, in some respect even pre-1914. And the answer is surely not cold-war-logic ( = more weapons, more escalation, until “we” “win”), the answer is politics, diplomacy and in the end : keeping peace. Exactly what this European initiative aims to. The results of American foreign policy of the last twenty years can be inspected in the middle East, really great.
GOd help us when the next American president is elected.

Interesting Women: Countess Lanckorońska

“Polish art historian” – this is really a bit too sparse as description for this woman.
Karolina Maria Adelajda Franciszka Ksawera Małgorzata Edina Gräfin LANCKORONSKA (1898-2002) (Ger., Eng., obit.) was the child of count Karl LANCKORONSKI (Ger., Eng.) (1848-1933) and his third wife Margarethe (1863-1954), a born LICHNOWSKY. The brother of Karolina’s mother was the count LICHNOWSKY mentioned here. Karolina had a sister Adelajda, and a half-brother from her father’s first marriage, Anton (1893-1965), none of the siblings married.
She grew up in Vienna, where the family lived in a pretty large palais (Ger., Eng.) that sadly & unnecessarily was destroyed after the war. The large art collection left little Karolina with no other choice but to seriously study art history.
The countess was a romantic patriot. She learned the Polish language from a gouvernante, her father wanted her to speak English and French, her Prussian mother preferred to converse in German. So when in 1919 the Polish state finally came into being she became a Polish subject. She stayed in Vienna, studied art history and did her doctorate about Michelangelo in 1926. Ten years later she habilitated at the university (Ger., Eng.) of Lemberg (Ger., Eng.), today Ukraine, where she received an assistant professorship – thus she became the first Polish habilitated art historian altogether. Her brother took care of the family estate in Galizia.
In 1939 Poland was not only attacked, but divided and Lemberg was occupied by the Red Army. The palais in Vienna (and everything in it (!) ) was seized by the then German gouvernement. The family estate in Galizia was lost to the communist state. To escape the imminent Stalinistic deportation (think Katyn (Ger., Eng. !) she went into the German occupied area in March 1940. She had already contact to the Polish resistance and in Krakow she met the head of the Armia Kraiowa (Ger., Eng.) KOMOROWSKI (Ger., Eng.), aka general BOR. She worked for the RGO, a Polish caritative organisation, and as courier for the AK.
At the beginning of 1942 the countess came to Stanisławów (Ger., Eng.), today in the Ukraine, where the local head of the Gestapo, Hans KRÜGER (Ger.) had her arrested. KRÜGER was a bloody murderer, and during an interrogation he bragged about his involvement in the massacre of the Lemberg professors (Ger., Eng.) of July 1941. This was a part of HIMMLER’s plan to eradicate the “Polish intelligence”. KRÜGER btw was jailed for other murders and crimes he committed, not for the Lemberg massacre, even the SS itself had him arrested for a year; the countess tried in vain to reach his conviction for this crime in 1968.
Countess LANCKORONSKA stayed in Gestapo jails until she was sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp, yes – full circle, where she arrived at the beginning of 1943. She was not executed in the Ukraine because the Italian Royal family had turned to HIMMLER in her favour. In March 1945 she was put on a transport to Switzerland, after the head of the Red Cross BURCKHARDT (Ger., Eng.) had intervened – I think these transports must be seen in the light of HIMMLER’s attempts to negotiate; he seemingly seriously thought that he could get away. So the countess and other people survived because the head of the SS used them as jetons, tokens.
The countess now was a Polish emigrant for the rest of her life. She first lived in Switzerland and later settled in Rome, where she helped survivors (Ger., Eng.) of the Anders (Eng.)-Armee (Ger., Eng.).
She did not accept a call to Fribourg university (Ger., Eng.), but stayed independent, kept on publishing, took care of the remains of the family’s art collection – she donated it after 1989 to the free & democratic Polish state – and founded the Polnische Historische Institut in Rome.
“Formidable, frugal and fit”, as the obituary describes her, she survived all of them. Interesting woman.