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German and Austrian Culture and Words ( to run away but also having fun with it before )

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Silent_Water

Governor
Hm, these are really "interesting times" - worldwide and certainly also in Germany. There is a new kind of demonstrations along the "Bundesstraße 96" = "B 96" in East Germany and I do not really know if I shall find it "funny" or "sad" or ... shall I laugh or cry ? :


Usually on Sundays, there are sometimes up to 500 persons standing along the B 96 and the funny problem with this kind of demonstration is that they are not really talking about the reason of their demonstration. They are simply finding together in their anger about different topics or they are simply "against everything" - usually in silence and not talking to journalists because "the journalists are all lying about them". Some are against Merkel, her hair-dressing and against the refugees, some are against coronavirus-protection-masks, some simply would like to live in the past and some are having quarrels with themselves about the question, when Germany was looking better: in 1910, in 1939 (?) or in 2020 and they certainly have the historically fitting national flags of those times with them.
The funniest part in this article is when a female lawyer & SPD-party-member in one of the neighbouring towns once saw a man from her circle of aquaintances in the line of these protesters and asked him, what he is demonstrating here for. He answered: - "I would like to have back the Germany of 1913!"
- "Mhm, but you are demonstrating here aside of some people with the German "Reichskriegsflagge der Kaiserlichen Marine" (= the German War Flag of the Imperial Marine of the First World War) which is not outlawed in Germany but also sometimes a sign for members of neo-nazi-parties. And some hundred meters down the road, I have seen someone with a Kriegsflagge of 1940 with a very small swastika in it and this one is outlawed because of the swastika!"
- "I do not belong to these nazi people! I just stand here because I want to live in the Germany of 1913!"
:eek: :confused: :doh:
This answer made the lawyer speechless. Others obviously did not know anything about the other demonstrators and their reasons only some meters away.
I think, I would be speechless, too. But what should you say and what would you think of such people? I really do not know ...
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
But what should you say and what would you think of such people? I really do not know ...
He got a point, right? ;) Better than 1918, anyway?
This is what he longs for:


A country with a strong military, with strickt social rules, still much rich-poor contrast, but nevertheless, visibly growing wealth, and not an absolutist empire, but a constitutional democracy,! It is curious to wonder how this would have evolved, if a year later some people would not have made stupid decisions.
The most striking detail of change, is the way, in 1913-1914, just before the war, woman's fashion is leaving behind the formality of the late 19th century, and evolving to a more practical and simple style - which suits them, and makes them look more attractive, to my opinion.
(a funny scene at 2:27-2:29 : did that proud women knew she was captured on camera?)
 

Silent_Water

Governor
Oh yes, these "good old times"!

The only Sci-Fi-problem with the wish to live there again is that you have to pick a rather short certain time and if you cannot find a way to stay longer in this special time, the "good" part of this special time in history will be over soon. The man who wanted to have back Germany of 1913 should have been asked how he would have prevented the danger of living through 1914-1918 and the people who would like to have "their" Germany of 1939 again would have a similar problem to survive in good health the time till 1945.

But I also must admit that there were interesting developments in "democratization" and society which might have been successful if there had not been this world war no. 1:
For example, the Austro-Hungarian empire tried to develop multi-ethnic parliaments in its smaller provinces as a test of keeping the Austrian power but also make all minorities participate in political decisions. In Bohemia, Moravia and Bucovina, between 1908 and 1910, there were founded parliaments with several minority houses and all minorities had a complicated right to vote but it would have been very unusual for us to see something like this from our point of view today: The richer you were in money or land ownership, the more votes you could have: You could have up to 3 votes, whereas a poor worker had only one vote, one voice. In principle, women had no right to vote yet, but there was a case of a rich noble widow in the Bucovina whose husband had died. She was a millionnaire AND she owned a lot of land, so she could vote via her bank manager with 3 votes for her money and via her trusted land administrator for her land with additional 3 votes. In some way, this was a typical Austrian way of making regulatory problems "disappear" for the intelligent rich (women), but a very strange pattern of participation in political decision finding.

In my case, I would rather like to live somewhere in the "Star Trek" future of "the federation of united planets" and on one spaceship of its "starfleet" or so ...
 

malins

Stumbling Seeker
It is curious to wonder how this would have evolved, if a year later some people would not have made stupid decisions.
if you cannot find a way to stay longer in this special time, the "good" part of this special time in history will be over soon
Indeed, often during those times that are still good at the surface, the forces are already at work underneath, that will bring about the fall.

However the future isn't fully predetermined, not all events are inevitable, otherwise we might as well all just crawl into coffins and pull them shut.

While there's a widely spread opinion that demographics and economy determine everything, and individuals don't count ... at the very least I'd say a few reckless people making stupid decisions can bring about much worse outcomes than those that perhaps were made necessary by anonymous forces of the 'long arc of history'.

Any ideal that requires us to make all the right decisions all the time will fail hopelessly but it is perhaps a goal worth following to avoid the worst failures at least sometimes...

Another thing of course is one needs to remember that the good and the bad were often mixed together ...
... life was certainly improvng for many people in Germany during those years and there was actually quite a bit of social improvement going on.

However for instance if you happened to be Polish, you didn't even have a country, as it was divided up between Germany, Russia and Austria. That might have influenced one's opinion...
 

Silent_Water

Governor
...

Another thing of course is one needs to remember that the good and the bad were often mixed together ...
... life was certainly improvng for many people in Germany during those years and there was actually quite a bit of social improvement going on.

However for instance if you happened to be Polish, you didn't even have a country, as it was divided up between Germany, Russia and Austria. That might have influenced one's opinion...
Yes, but even different opinions because of different experiences can mislead seriously. As I mentioned some time ago in this thread, I think, the Polish population in the Austrian occupied part of Poland was not so forced to learn the language of the occupiers as in the German or Russian occupied parts.
Although it seems incredible today, the Polish newspapers in 1932 / 1933 were really celebrating and very happy when they heard that "an Austrian", born as an Austrian Catholic was now the "leading man" in Germany.
The historical experience with Austria seriously and terribly misled them in their opinion about the "beautiful future" with their German neighbours and their new "Austrian chancellor" ...
 

Heineudo

Executioner
Something different here, at the end of March I found a satire online that I would now like to introduce. Unfortunately I do not know the author, I did the translation into German. The German text is the second half of the PDF file. Its Title was Interviev with Corona Virus.
 

Attachments

Heineudo

Executioner
Hm, you can still find this interview here, too:


And a bit about the author here:

Thank you for pointing this out to the author. I hope he's not angry that I translated his text.
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung

Silent_Water

Governor
The "Covidator-in-chief" first has to fight against the "Covidiot-in-chief" in order to become no. 46, but it should not be so difficult because the predecessor has too much "maskholes" on his side, who most probably prevent him from winning against any no. 46.
 

Silent_Water

Governor
There is a really good and funny article about the satires and the work of "Martin Sonneborn" who was for some time the only professional satririst (now he is one of two) working as parliamentarian at the European Union parliament in Brussels. Unfortunately, some of the jokes in this interview are not really possible to translate, but if you understand a bit German and know a bit about the complicated politics in the European Union, you may find this interview very funny.

Just as an introduction, the last lines:
"When we finished this interview with Martin Sonneborn, it happens again. He is recognized by a woman on the street and she says: "I think, I remember your face!"
Sonneborn: "I know. This happens to me every morning in front of the mirror!"
- "But who are you?"
- "I am an actor. I am playing here to be a politician in the EU!" "

 

Silent_Water

Governor
I once have seen an Austrian comedian trying to explain to an American tourist this song title from an Austrian "Singspiel" (= almost an "Operetta"), which is "Im weißen Rössl":


"Im Salzkammergut, da kann man gut lustig sein ..." ("Salzkammergut" is in principle the Austrian cultural landscape which was already rich in the Middle Ages because of its natural salt.) The song means that you can have a good and happy life and holiday there. "Salzkammergut" is best explained here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salzkammergut

But the comedian tried to explain the song in Austrian "Denglish", saying in the worst English I have ever heard from an Austrian:

"Oh, you tooo not knoouw ssiss famooos Austrian operetta song "In sse saltroomgood, you can good happy beee?"

Does this also sound so incredibly funny for native English speakers as it sounds for Germans with some better knowledge of languages?

In any case, some German sayings and proverbs are so strange even in German that I thought no one would ever try to say this in English. I was very wrong because nothing is so bad that it could not be made worse by human beings and this is almost acoustically torture for me:

For example: German youth speaking translated into English:

"Du gehst mir tierisch auf den Keks!" (= "You are going me animally on the cookie!" = "I am really annoyed with you!") OUCH !!!

Some other examples:


 
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Silent_Water

Governor
Sorry for mentioning European politics but after having described the excessive self-control of our German chancellor Angela Merkel on page 8 here, her press-conference today was almost the opposite of her self-control for our German diplomatic behaviour and our conditions.
Although her tone seemed to be controlled as ever, the text was almost a preliminary stage of a "diplomatic declaration of war" against Russia:


She said that a German special military laboratory of the "Bundeswehr" could prove without any doubt a poisoning of the Russian opposition leader Navalny with the same or a very, very similar "Novichok" nerve agent used on the ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Great Britain. According to her words, this was attempted murder by a poison usually only used by the military power of a foreign state.
The Russian ambassador has already been "invited" to an almost unfriendly interview with our minister of foreign affairs and all of this in one afternoon.
It seems that our government has lost every patience with the Russian "tea-party" of Putin and we are really curious how this story is developing in the future because the relations are getting worse every day between Russia and Germany or the European Union.
Angela Merkel is said to have now really enough of Putin's games, psychological tricks and lies.
Her anger about him is said to have started in 2007 with this "event" in Sotchi, when Putin had his dog with him although he should have known that Merkel once as a young girl was bitten by a big dog and since then she is scared by such big dogs.

Ashampoo_Snap_2020.09.02_21h01m05s_001_.jpg

Putin said, he did not know that and apologized but no one really believed him in Germany. He was a KGB specialist for Germany, speaks fluent German and most probably has special political "dossiers" about every German politician and does not know this story about Merkel? German newspapers wrote: "Oh, come on, Vladimir, your fairy-tale is not to believe and it will become expensive for you one day in the future because "Angie" does not forget something special like this ..."

And maybe, this is the time for "Angie's" revenge, because Alexei Navalny is now treated in Germany like a governing foreign statesman in accidental coma with police and military protection like a foreign president, what he might really become one day, if he ever wakes up again in Berlin. In any case, he will be surprised to have fallen into coma in Siberia and waking up as Angela Merkel's special guest of the German state in Berlin.

Vladimir Putin must really be furious and almost out of control now with Merkel's speech today and his possibly - for him - most dangerous Russian dissident and opponent under German protection.
Interesting times ... and remember: never make "Angie" anxious again!
 

Silent_Water

Governor
The German urge for perfection is almost perfect so that even our German failures are almost perfect.

For example, on Thursday at 11 o'clock, there should be a "bundesweiter Warntag" = a "day of warning in the whole federal republic" trying to test all systems of warning, which should warn in cases of catastrophes, terrorist attacks or anything the people should be warned of very fast:

"Historical" sirens, working from WW II should be tested if they still exist or work, current warning apps for smartphones, TV and radio news should be tested etc.

All at the same time and not really prepared because catastrophes also have the habit to occur without being prepared for.

You possibly can imagine what will happen when we Germans are testing something old and new together at the same time without preparation.

1. The "historical" sirens did not work any more because they sometimes did not even exist any more.
2. The warning apps for smartphones were overloaded, but worked in principle - half an hour up to 1 1/2 hours after they should have shown the alarm or warning.
3. The TV and radio stations warned of a warning and sometimes told us already that we will not hear anything of the warning or alarm apart from this warning on TV that there is a warning right now of which you will most probably not hear anything any more!

At least the reactions of many German organizations and of the people were great and funny.

The German organization of people with hearing impairment and deaf people: "In fact, we did not hear anything!"

Ashampoo_Snap_2020.09.12_03h20m36s_001_.jpg

Normal German citizens on Twitter:

"We should have been warned much more that we won't hear anything about the warning!"
Ashampoo_Snap_2020.09.12_03h25m21s_002_.jpg

"There was a loud barking dog to be heard at 11 o'clock! Was this the warning for Berlin-Spandau?"
Ashampoo_Snap_2020.09.12_03h26m02s_003_.jpg

In any case, the responsible German ministries and local authorities regard this day as a "really great and impressive failure" and will do everything much better next year in the next German "bundesweiter Warntag"!
 

Migoz2

Senator
In any case, the responsible German ministries and local authorities regard this day as a "really great and impressive failure" and will do everything much better next year in the next German "bundesweiter Warntag"!
How very Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." ( Worstward Ho )
 

Silent_Water

Governor
At least, most Germans think this is a shame for the authorities who were responsible for the different warning devices and mechanisms, which sometimes were not used for decades because we had no danger of war around us, no catastrophes like earthquakes for centuries and many thought:
"Hm, okay, why do we need warning devices like sirens at all?"

But now, many are surprised that almost nothing was working like ... hm ... in 1980 (hey, that's a year in which I really remember to have heard a siren test for the last time!) and now, I think, the German federal governments will suddenly wake up and probably next year, some more sirens will work. Funny, that some sirens in smaller towns and villages are really the same as in 1950 and they did work, the sirens in bigger cities "disappeared" during the decades. And some very important sirens really survived and were in perfect order, for example, there is the big BASF-company in Ludwigshafen, which produces a lot of many chemicals for other companies all over Germany. Their security mechanisms and automatisms were really perfect.
So, we Germans hope as usual that our regional and central governments are learning fast from this failure because nothing was such an incentive for them as when they were told by the German press: "This is really a shame for you, dear government!"
Wow, could such governments then sometimes become fast ...

And to be honest as a German, in international comparisons, some people from abroad told me that more than 80 % of the world population would really love to have only the problems the Germans are always complaining about.
But we Germans simply love to complain about our miserable life. I am afraid, we are the only or one of the very few nations which have had enough money to travel (or have travelled before Coronavirus-times) a lot around the world, telling their friends at home how terrible the poverty in this world is and that they pity all the poor people around the world, where almost nothing in administrations or traffic or economy is working only nearly as well as in Germany - and after being home again for about one month, all we Germans are starting to complain again how miserable our life is and how terrible our government in Germany is working.
Yeah, this is Germany, this is German madness and somehow, I must admit, I love it because it works!
:confused:;)
 

malins

Stumbling Seeker
The "historical" sirens did not work any more because they sometimes did not even exist any more.
Again this is something that's regionally different.

Where I live we have siren tests every single month and they work. Every first Saturday of every month.
Luxembourg, which isn't far, also does this but I think on the first Monday each month.

One reason is the industrial history, the other especially in case of Luxembourg is the Cattenom nuclear power plant across the border in France.
 
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