Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

9/11 questioned in Japanese Parliament in January 2008

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After “Markt in der Bibliothek” next Vietnamese grocery store on Danziger Strasse, just around the corner,  has closed down this week. It will be reopened in March as a Restaurant. I wish the Vietnamese owners all the best with their new business plans – and still don’t know where to go now if I’ve forgotten to get milk. There’s probably just one solution: disciplined shopping!

My theory is: closing down the shops around the corner is part of an educational program initiated by Bezirksamt Pankow to try to discipline chaotic Prenzlauer Berg’s inhabitants. One of these measures already failed: the new parking rules on Pappelallee, established in April 2008 caused even more chaos. See also post “Unser Dorf soll schöner werden II”

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If you travel with DEUTSCHE BAHN, especially if you travel with kids, you should be very well organized and make reservations before. That’s what we did. But when we got on the train packed with people – Anna screaming because she realized that she had forgotten Isabella (the cuddly rabbit) – our seats were already taken. A lovely Scottish couple was sitting there and above their heads the signs were saying: ggf. reserviert (ggf=gegebenenfalls is translated best by: should the occasion arise). I told the lovely Scottish couple I was terribly sorry but the seats were reserved. They laughed and told me that somebody had explained to them ten minutes ago that the sign ggf. reserviert would mean that the seats were probably not reserved. It would be no problem for them to look for other seats, they told me, but there was one thing, they really wanted to know: WHAT DOES ggf. reserviert MEAN?

Did you ever try to explain to a lovely Scottish couple the meaning of ggf. reserviert? (with your reservation in one and your screaming daughter on the other hand)

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When trial was over in July 2008 out of 45 persons accused of having brutally mistreated detainees after the 2001 G8 riots in Genoa only fifteen Italian police officers and doctors were sentenced to jail. But soon it became clear that none of them would actually serve prison terms.

Defendants in Italy do not go to jail for most offences until they have exhausted all the appeals to which they are entitled – normally, at least two. And in this case, it emerged, the convictions and sentences alike would be wiped out by a statute of limitations next year.

Time to remember what actually happened in Genoa seven years ago.

British Guardian article of July, 17 “The bloody battle of Genoa” gives detailed survey about the facts.

A very good WDR television-documentary in German: “Gipfelstürmer – Die blutigen Tage von Genua” (2002)

This is what Mark Covell british journalist and victim says about the trial:

Part 1


Part 2


More witnesses and victims here:


Great site in Italian, English and German: supportolegale.org

The testimonies of most of the Bolzaneto victims you find here (in Italian)

And finally: “La Canzone del maggio” of great Genoese songwriter Fabrizio De André:

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I’m back from Cuba, it’s autumn and while I was cruising around the island Germany and especially Berlin continued to change: Marcel Reich-Ranicki started a second career in the ad business, Jens-Holger Kirchner is now thinking about having Parking-Zones in Prenzlauer Berg (see also post “Unser Dorf soll schöner werden II“) , and the Vietnamese grocery-store guy (not the “Markt in der Bibliothek” one – the other one around the corner on Danziger Strasse) told me about his plans to close the store, go to Vietnam to learn how to cook and open a Vietnamese Restaurant at the same spot. So we will soon have about six Vietnamese, Thai and Corean Restauants in close neighbourhood, but nowhere to go to get milk.

P.S. “Markt in der Bibliothek” is still closed. But no worries: The owner is still thinking about what to do with his place. He told me, he wont rent it. He seems to be completely aware of the excellent adress he’s got.

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Marcel Reich-Ranickis Auftritt bei der Verleihung des Fernsehpreises (falls jemand ihn noch nicht gesehen haben sollte):


Und was Elke Heidenreich dazu zu sagen hat hier

Das Bemerkenswerte war ja nicht Marcelke Heidenreich-Ranickis “mutige” Aussage. Das Bemerkenswerte waren doch die Standing Ovations mit denen die versammelte Kulturabeiterschaft im Coloneum und später in den Feuilletons diese Aussage quittierte. Es war doch dieses augenzwinkernde, verschwörerische “Schön-dass-es-mal-einer-von-uns-ausspricht”. DER ALTE MANN UND DAS HEER von Einverstandenen. Wir sind doch alle irgendwie Kulturmenschen und wissen eigentlich auch nicht so recht, was wir im “Unterschichtenfernsehen” verloren haben. Das ist die Haltung, die man auf allen Ebenen der Fernsehproduktion vorfindet und es ist genau diese Haltung, die die Arbeit für das Fernsehen so unappetitlich macht.

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There are two communication systems Berlin is famous for: historic “Rohrpost” (pneumatic dispatch system) and Lamppost-communication. Everything about Berlin’s famous Rohrpost you find here. And this is an example of Berlin’s lamppost-communication-system:

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Helmholtzplatz now

EINMAL IN DER WOCHE SCHREINDokumentarfilm – DDR, 1982, Farbe, 17 min. “TO SCREAM ONCE A WEEK” a 1982 GDR short documentary shows teenage life around Helmholtzplatz and tells the story of a self orgnazied youth club.

DIRECTOR Günter Jordan
PRODUCED BY DEFA-Studio für Dokumentarfilme
SCREENPLAY Günter Jordan
CAMERA Michael Lösche
MUSIC Gruppe Pankow

The film was forbidden in 1982 because the way it showed self-confidence and self-determination of GDR kids didn’t follow the rules. In October 1989 it was finally released.

The film was chosen by The Museum of Modern Art New York 2005: DEFA-Retrospektive “Rebels with a cause”

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Choriner Straßenfest 2008 was a typical Prenzlauer Berg event:




Big surprise: one of the top acts actually came from Wedding: “Brauseboys – Die Leseshow aus dem Berliner Wedding“. See also their blog “browserboys“. So in the end there was a lot of traffic crossing the border between Wedding and Prenzlauer Berg this July 12.

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There is an invisible frontier between “rich” Prenzlauer Berg and “poor” Wedding. Only on summer weekends members of Wedding’s turkish community cross the borderline to gather in Mauerpark for picnic. For the people living in Prenzlauer Berg there’s no reason ever crossing the border to Wedding. Now “Gated community Prenzlauer Berg” offers guided tours to explore wild wild Wedding. Tomorrow, July 12 guided bicycle tours at 2pm and 4pm and a special tour at 1pm, also by bike, guided by “real Wedding kids” of social project “Route 65“will start from Gleimtunnel which connects the two quarters. See the whole program here. It definitely will be an adventure for everyone living in Prenzlauer Berg. See also post “we want more farmers.”

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