Help for the homeless in Berlin: Micha gets a tiny house

In Berlin alone there are currently around 2,000 homeless people who sleep outside all year round. Unimaginable, especially in the upcoming winter cold. They make most of us feel uncomfortable. We have learned to look away and move on quickly. Ines Sydow, on the other hand, takes action when it hurts to look.

“I learned from a neighbor that a homeless man lives with us on the edge of the forest in a bus stop,” Ines Sydow remembers from Berlin-Reinickendorf. “I could hardly believe that. I went straight there and spoke to him. ”She learned that Micha had been living on the street for eight years and was suffering from cancer. His social decline began after his father, mother and wife died in quick succession. Then he began to drink, first losing his job, then the apartment – and then every stop. “That can happen very quickly,” says Ines understandingly. “If you have no one left and you are weak yourself, you can’t get out of there so easily.”

Micha did not get any welfare or health insurance. So far he has lived from collecting bottles. But due to Corona there were no more events and no more tourists, so the deposit was also missing.

Be wherever the need is

After this meeting Ines went home thoughtfully. “The story of his life touched me very much and I wanted to help him,” says the 59-year-old. On the following days she brought Micha warm drinks and food and talked to him. The conversation at eye level was obviously good for him. Otherwise he only knew rejection and contempt. Gradually his reluctance gave way and the 61-year-old thawed.

“Had an ancient bike to collect bottles and use the deposit to buy food – and unfortunately alcohol too. He only drinks beer, no hard things and, according to his own account, does not consume drugs, ”Ines learned. “Unfortunately, the homeless all drink, which gives them a deceptive feeling of warmth. But it also means forgetting and switching off. Very few can be saved. My main concern is that the terminally ill Micha has a more humane existence. ”

She could do little alone, Ines knew that. So she turned to the neighborhood platform next with the following appeal: “Here in Heiligensee, a homeless person lives in the forest at a bus stop. He is very kind and has lived on the streets for over seven years. Who can donate warm clothing, who can give away food? If you want to do him something good, just drop by and exchange a few nice words with him, he misses that. ”

At you can network locally with your neighbors, meet up, exchange ideas, share things and, above all, help each other. Helpfulness is very important here – not only during the Corona crisis. At the moment especially risk groups are supported. The response to Ines’ appeal was overwhelming. The most necessary things came together quickly. Many neighbors brought clothes, towels and groceries right past the bus stop.

Micha was very touched and very grateful. After a while, Ines found out about his heart’s desire: a small radio to finally listen to music and news again. “A camping radio with a hand crank would be great,” Ines wrote on, “because batteries cost money, and Micha doesn’t have that.” Ines’ neighbor Joachim got such a radio and made the homeless Berliner overjoyed. “It’s amazing how little you can make people happy,” says the mother of an adult son.

Pallet instead of plate

But that didn’t stop her commitment to Micha. Together with restaurateur Norbert Raeder, Ines organized a “Little Home” for her protégé. The “Little Home” association collects donations and uses them to build mobile wooden huts – inside a place to sleep and a camping toilet – and create something that many people lack on the street: a bit of privacy and the ability to stow and lock your own things. The “Little Homes” are being built on private land and given away to the homeless. The initiator Sven Lüdecke from Cologne is now represented with his mini-houses in 16 German cities.

“This gives homeless people a permanent address and can apply for social assistance,” explains Ines, who works in the café of a retirement home. Ines and Norbert are supported by many neighbors from Berlin-Heiligensee. They all collect donations and built a wooden house for Micha out of four Euro pallets, wheels and chipboard and lovingly furnished it. Ines: “Micha is very emaciated and will probably not be with us for very long. My only consolation is that he doesn’t have to perish like an animal in the forest, but that he at least has his little house. ”

Help with a brilliant idea, wood and hammer

She howled at the handover ceremony. “I felt real shivers running down my body with emotion,” she recalls. “It gives you an incredible amount when you realize that you can help someone. It’s madness, what you feel about it yourself. ”At first Micha was completely taken aback and speechless for minutes. Surprise succeeded!

A “little home” serves as a stepping stone into one’s own apartment and back into society. It is always moving to see when people accept their little house and thus get a piece of dignity and normality back, reports initiator Sven Lüdecke. What looks like a simple wooden cart to some is the greatest luxury in life for others. Micha has seldom experienced so much charity.

“This involves things that we don’t even think about. When handing over the keys, for example, Micha said: ‘Finally I can undress to sleep!’ ”Ines explains. “It must be incredibly exhausting to spend the whole night half asleep because you have to reckon with everything all the time. Unfortunately, there were two more incidents recently in Berlin: A homeless man was set on fire while he was sleeping on the park bench and young people set fire under a Little Home and thus destroyed the entire existence of a poor person who had almost nothing anyway. It’s awful! ”To be on the safe side, all mini-houses have a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher.

Ines Sydow asks for clothing and material donations such as sleeping bags and sleeping mats for the homeless. “Either you give them directly to someone sitting in the cold, or you take them to the official collection points. Many are looking forward to a nice word and a cup of coffee these days. ”

Terrorism: France’s interior minister wants to control mosques – politics

France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has announced a “massive and unprecedented action against separatism” for the next few days. On Darmanin’s instructions, 76 mosques across France are to be examined by the authorities. In an interview with the Figaro Darmanin had previously said that “places where war has been declared on the republic can be identified”. 18 mosques could be closed.

At the end of November, the Pantin mosque, in the north of Paris, was closed for six months because its rector is accused of “incomprehensible negligence”. The video was distributed on the mosque’s Facebook account, in which the history teacher Samuel Paty was described as a “boob” against whom action had to be taken because he had shown caricatures of Mohammed to students.

In the comments below, a user shared the name of Paty’s school. A week later, Paty was killed by an 18-year-old who was searching the net for victims of an Islamist attack.

France is knocked out of a new wave of Islamist attacks


France has been in front of the former editorial offices of the satirical magazine since mid-September after an attack Charlie Hebdo, faced a new wave of Islamist attacks following the murder of the history teacher Samuel Paty and the murder of three Christians in a church in Nice. Since 2015, 260 people have been killed in France by terrorists invoking radical Islam.

Both Interior Minister Darmanin and France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced tougher action against Islamist networks after the recent attacks. You are “at war”, said Darmanin, but “not against a religion, but against the Islamist ideology.”

On December 9th, a new law to “strengthen republican principles” is to be presented in the Council of Ministers, behind which Macron’s attempt to regulate the anchoring of Islam in French society is hidden. Among other things, the financing of mosques is to be controlled more closely and a homeschooling ban introduced, with which 50,000 children from radicalized milieus are to be brought back to state schools. The proposal also provides for an expansion of imam training and Arabic teaching in schools.

Critics accuse the government of exposing Muslims to general suspicion through the law. Among others, however, the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris defends the initiative, since Islamism threatens the Muslims of France.

Since the French Constitution forbids recording citizens’ religious affiliation, the number of Muslims in the country can only be estimated. It is believed to be between five and six million, making Islam the second largest religion in the country after Catholicism. There are 2500 mosques.


The DOSB has to save – sport

When the agenda of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) approached the topic of finance in recent years, it could happen that the hall emptied a little and the queue at the coffee bar grew. It will be different this time. The convention on Saturday will only take place virtually due to the corona. At the same time, there is ample reason for the delegates to pay particular attention to the financial issue this time around.

Like so many other associations, the DOSB is also financially affected by the corona situation. There is no income, he has to save a lot. How difficult the situation is, however, remains unclear because the DOSB does not provide transparent information. Above all, there is the question of what the consequences would be if the Tokyo Summer Games, which were postponed to 2021, were completely canceled.

The DOSB’s core budget is usually around 20 to 25 million euros – depending on whether the sport is in an Olympic year or not. There are three main sources of income: membership fees, gaming income and marketing, which includes in particular income from the Olympics. For the next year, the DOSB has to slim down compared to the 2020 plan. The membership fees are set to four instead of 4.4 million euros, and the marketing revenues are 10.7 instead of 11.7. It is planned to take just under one million euros from the reserve. In addition, the DOSB speaks of “significant cost-cutting measures in all areas” in the draft resolution on the business plan.

But as everywhere, numbers are volatile in the Corona period. A cancellation of the Tokyo Games in particular would have serious consequences. In that case, services that the sponsors have been guaranteed could no longer be provided. The millions that the DOSB like all other national Olympic committees receive from the large pot of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are also questionable. The exact height is traditionally kept silent, also towards the delegates. Transparency would be particularly important for the DOSB members right now.

But the DOSB remains true to its line. There is only one general answer to specific questions about the expected shortfall in income in the event of a Tokyo failure or the risk scenarios that he has worked out according to his own information. The DOSB risk management has been “implemented very professionally and successfully for years in close cooperation between the board and the presidium”. In the current year, “the complex corona effects in particular have been intensively analyzed and discussed”. The results will be communicated in the upcoming conferences and in the framework of the general assembly of the DOSB.

However, the DOSB’s economic situation has not only been an issue since Corona. Four years ago, the consulting firm Ernst & Young identified “weak points in profitability” in a study. “Measures on the cost side as well as an optimization of the revenues”, so it was said, could contribute to “sustainably compensate for the long-term structural deficit of the DOSB or to put the budget in a stable position”. The auditors, on the other hand, only recommended replenishing the reserves in the medium term two years ago. Instead, the DOSB must now tap into this reserve.

At the same time, the DOSB’s dealings with the “Stiftung Deutscher Sport” raise questions again. This organization has long been accused of acting like a second cash register of the DOSB, which the association can use at will – whereby the association always asserted that everything was running correctly. Deutsche Sport Marketing (DSM), which is responsible for marketing the association, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of this foundation. In the past few years it has been diligently filled. In 2019, for example, the DOSB hired 1.9 million euros. The reason? “In order to serve the purpose of the foundation, the promotion of non-profit German sport,” says the DOSB: “One of the future projects currently being funded is the club campaign ‘Support Your Sport'”.

A respectable seven-digit amount goes to the foundation – but the DOSB only mentions a club campaign as the intended use. How expensive is this campaign? Why is it financed by the foundation and not directly by the DOSB? And why is another 900,000 euros earmarked for the foundation for 2020?

The DOSB does not answer any of this. “The results and activities of the German Sport Foundation are regularly reflected on in the responsible foundation board,” he says. According to the statutes, this board of trustees is the same as the DOSB executive committee. The Foundation’s 2019 income and expenses have not yet been published. According to DOSB, the annual financial statements should be determined at a meeting on Thursday and then published “the following week”. That would certainly be something that the delegates would be interested in at the general meeting.


Lotto in South Africa: 5,6,7,8,9,10 – Panorama

How the numbers 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 were drawn in the South African lottery.

(Foto: Becker & Bredel)

Let’s talk about money. You can earn that through honest work (exhausting), you can squeeze off a few million through a dubious third-party business in Asia (nobody notices for a few years, but is highly criminal). Or you can win the lottery.

An example from South Africa. The numbers 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 were drawn there this week, plus the power ball with the number 10. On Twitter they sensed a shift, but everything was correct. The right combination was typed 20 times, profit: 5.7 million rand, the equivalent of 305,000 euros. And 79 times there were five correct numbers without a power ball, winning: just 350 euros.

Unhappiness in happiness, the layman might say. But mathematically it is like this: All combinations are equally likely. But some are typed more often. Number series, for example. Or numbers that form a cross on the lottery ticket. Or the birthday numbers 1 to 31.

The South African lottery is a 5-out-of-50 drawing, plus the right power ball from 1 to 20. So the probability is quickly calculated. 1 divided by parentheses to 50 over 5 times 20 over 1 parenthesis, easy. Equals: 1 divided by square brackets to 50 factorial divided by brackets to 5 factorial times 45 factorial brackets to times 20 factorial divided by brackets to 1 factorial times 19 factorial brackets to, square brackets to. Nothing easier than that. Chance of the main prize: 1 in 42 million. And yes, as we know from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is the answer to all questions anyway.


This is what France’s vaccination strategy looks like

Dhe start of a major vaccination campaign in France is only “a matter of weeks”, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday evening. He presented the vaccination strategy to be followed over the next few months. In a first phase in January, residents of nursing homes (Ehpad) and nursing staff are to be vaccinated. The government expects to vaccinate a million people at risk. More than a third of the Covid 19 deaths lived in nursing homes.

Castex said France had secured 200 million doses of vaccine, which would allow 100 million people to be vaccinated. “That covers more than our needs,” said Castex. A safety margin was foreseen because some vaccines could prove to be less effective. In addition, it should be avoided that there are bottlenecks. Castex was alluding to the shortages in the supply of protective masks and protective clothing when the epidemic broke out, which the government is still blaming. In its final report, the National Assembly’s committee of inquiry reproached the government with serious deficiencies in crisis management.

The online flat rate: F +

Castex stressed that France benefited from the common European strategy on vaccines. The vaccine is said to be available free of charge to all French people. Castex said the government expects Pfizer / Biontech and Moderna vaccines to be approved by the European Medicines Agency before December 29. In a second phase, the vaccinations are to be offered to all older people or people with fragile health. The government wants to vaccinate 14 million people.

In the third phase in early summer, vaccination of the other population groups is to begin. The government appointed a “monsieur vaccination”, the immunologist Alain Fischer, who is to monitor the vaccination campaign and explain it to the public.

In France, the number of people who are against vaccinations is very high. In a recent survey, 59 percent said they refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The Prime Minister stressed that vaccination is one of the most important weapons against the virus. The development in France is slowly easing, but is fragile. “We definitely have to avoid a new wave of infection following the holidays,” he said.


Serious accident in Formula 1: Many complained about the safety bar – now it saved Grosjean’s life

When the safety bar was introduced into Formula 1, the criticism was sharp. Numerous officials and pilots railed against the Halo system. After the accident of Romain Grosjean, the last critics should finally fall silent.

That the Formula 1 racing driver Romain Grosjean survived the accident at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday bordered on a miracle. After exiting a bend, he collided with the car of the Russian Daniil Kwjat and then raced head-on into a guardrail at 250 kilometers per hour. His car caught fire and was split in two. Grosjean rescued himself from the burning wreck after 27 seconds. He only got burns on the back of his hand.

In addition to the fireproof racing suit and the sturdy monocoque, the cockpit made of one piece, Grosjean’s main saved life was the Halo system. The safety bar, already vilified as a “toilet ring”, prevented the French from suffering severe head injuries.

Niki Lauda: The halo is the worst

When the halo was introduced two years ago, the resistance was sometimes high. The statements from back then seem strange today against the background of Grosjean’s accident. The German Formula 1 driver Nico Hülkenberg (currently no team) said at the time: “It just looks wrong to me. Always just security, security, security. We mustn’t sterilize and soften the sport”, he grumbled. Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda was beside himself: “The Halo system is the worst thing that Formula 1 has ever done.” Former racing driver Marc Surer was downright offended: “The safety thinking is exaggerated here. On the one hand, you forbid the tail fin to make the cars more beautiful. On the other hand, you build this terrible toilet ring like buggies. That can’t be. “

Fortunately, most of the team bosses held back with similar statements and the world motor sport federation held on to the plans, because there was no doubt at the time that the bracket would not be particularly beautiful, but effective.

Romain Grosjean was one of the critics himself

This is how many drivers saw it: Lewis Hamilton, who was still very critical at first, finally came to the conclusion: “The era of good-looking cars is over, things are going downhill. But at least safety is increasing.” Sebastian Vettel pointed out the fatalities who were fatally hit in the head by flying parts because their cars did not have a halo: “The aesthetics are not nice, but we have been with Henry Surtees (a young driver) and Justin Wilson for the past four years (Indy Car) lost two drivers in a similar accident. There’s nothing ugly enough to justify the two are no longer alive. “

Romain Grosjean now admitted in the hospital bed how important the halo was. Years ago he was also one of the critics. In a video message on Instagram, he said: “I was against the Halo myself a few years ago. But now I think it was the greatest innovation in Formula 1. Without Halo, I couldn’t speak to you now.”

Sources: “”, “t-online”

Investors vie for medium-sized companies in the marketplace

Philipp Triebel and Malte Horeyseck

The founders of SellerX want to build a digital Procter & Gamble by taking over small retailers on the Amazon platform.

Düsseldorf Malte Horeyseck and Philipp Triebel are looking for the most successful retailers who sell products on the Amazon marketplace and have developed their own brands for this purpose. They want to build a big company out of many of these small brands. “We want to become a digital consumer goods giant modeled on Procter & Gamble,” says Horeyseck about his only four-month-old start-up SellerX.

Numerous small retailers benefit from the growing trend towards e-commerce via Amazon’s platform. For some, however, the corona boom has outgrown the business. Investors and founders alike see their opportunity: They want to take over the most successful mini-companies in order to make them even more profitable with professional management.

Horeyseck and Triebel have made 100 million euros available for this. First takeover: A dealer who sells brushes, paint and canvases for artists.

The two entrepreneurs are not the only ones who have raised millions of venture capitalists with this vision. There is so much money on the table that some successful Amazon sellers are likely to become millionaires in the next few months.

The role model is the US start-up Thrasio, which after its founding two years ago reached a billion-dollar valuation within a very short time. Since then, the model has been cloned again and again. The Razor Group from Berlin, which was also only founded in the summer, collected 25 million in November, the Heroes company from the Hamburg founders Alessio and Ricardo Bruni raised 55 million. After rumors about the SellerX investment increased, the comparatively high amount has now been confirmed.

Typically, the investment in these companies consists mainly of bullet loans – unlike other start-ups, financiers expect profitability quickly, after all, successful companies with high sales are taken over.

According to Amazon’s “KMU Impact Report 2020”, the annual turnover of all small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the online platform in Germany is around 4.8 billion euros. The around 40,000 marketplace traders therefore turn over an average of 120,000 euros.

Christian Otto Kelm, Amazon expert at the Amalyze retailer consultancy, points out major differences: More than 3,300 German SMEs achieved sales of more than one million US dollars (840,000 euros), for the rest the average turnover would be less than 57,000 euros.

Competing for Amazon retailers is imminent

In any case, sales alone are not decisive for the new brand collectors. The SellerX founders and their competitors are particularly interested in buying objects of sale from retailers who are at the top of the list of results for popular searches – they speak of “category leaders”.

Equally relevant is the question of whether the sales and profitability of a mini company with e-commerce expertise can be increased. It’s always about so-called FBA dealers. The abbreviation stands for “Fulfillment by Amazon” and describes sellers who have the platform operator store, ship and manage returns.

Founders like Horeyseck and Triebel want to consolidate and then take over the other half of the business: from product selection to delivery to the Amazon warehouse, product description and advertising in social media to expanding sales to their own websites and other platforms.

“If you have several brands under one roof, specialists are worthwhile,” says Philipp Triebel. With experts in marketing, supply chain management and inventory management, awareness and sales of one-man businesses could be increased significantly. “So we buy up brands with good product reviews and customer trust and develop them further,” explains co-founder Horeyseck.

Investor Filip Dames from Cherry Ventures sums it up as “one and one make three”: The acquired companies already functioned without professional management. “That means that in the future you can grow disproportionately with these brands in the e-commerce market, and if you have a family of brands together, the value is higher than the sum of the individual parts.”


Mark Steier runs the largest Facebook community for marketplace traders. The well-connected expert sees potential above all for the majority of small companies that fall into a growth trap after initial successes. If they can no longer increase sales on their own, additional resources and synergies from a multi-brand system could provide new growth impulses. The sale then becomes all the more lucrative: “The money is extremely loose with many investors at the moment,” he observes.

Above all, profitable dealers with sales of more than one million euros per year can calculate takeover opportunities. The price for acquisitions is usually based on the pre-tax profit (EBIT) of the previous year. In the past, Thrasio paid an average of double the Ebit for Amazon retailers. The US website determines that, depending on annual sales, retailers could calculate four times as much.

The website also provides investor contacts for dealers willing to sell. Exchanges have literally been created for such marketplace sellers. Anyone looking for a buyer for their FBA business in Germany can turn to Deals for companies with a turnover of 100,000 euros or more are brokered there. The portal also brings together marketplace traders and investors. There is currently a boat accessories supplier and an online shop for school supplies there.

The growing list of new brand collectors could help dealers in negotiating the selling price. Competing for some brands seems possible.

Established marketplace traders also want to buy

In addition to the companies mentioned, Thirstii, Zeelos and Brands United follow the Thrasio approach. Investors who do not yet have their own start-up in the segment are suggesting that there will be news soon. Successful marketplace giants such as KW Commerce are also entering the business. The company founded by Jens Wasel and Max Kronberg is, according to its own information, one of the largest marketplace dealers in Europe with a turnover of around 100 million euros and has already bought up its first smaller brands.

According to industry circles, Peter Chaljawski will also be with the Berlin Brands Group (BBG) shortly before the first takeover of an FBA company. With the sale of private label products on Amazon and his own web shops, he is likely to generate sales of 300 million euros this year. Now BBG wants to position itself as a strategic investor who brings the infrastructure for the global scaling of the business models. Chaljawski has proven his own brand know-how, and he is also said to have powerful investors. BBG is to negotiate with several companies.

“The wheat will soon be separated from the chaff”

In order to identify the right takeover targets and successfully develop the brands that have been taken over, a deep understanding of the market is required, says Mark Steier. “The wheat will be separated from the chaff soon.” He estimates that in the long term two, at most three Thrasio clones will remain in Germany.

For investor Filip Dames, himself co-founder of the online retailer Zalando, the decision to invest in the market was only a question of the team. “We observe that Amazon is increasingly becoming an ecosystem in which very successful companies can grow, at the same time we are observing a strong consolidation in e-commerce.” The founders of SellerX are “a great team with very, very much experience”.

As a co-founder of the Brazilian Zalando subsidiary Dafiti, Horeyseck worked with its brands. “He has a very good feel for brand building, and Philipp Triebel brings the financial expertise with him.” He started his career at the “Special Situations Group” of the investment bank Goldman Sachs, which specializes in equity and debt investments in small, unlisted companies .

“On the one hand there is a lot of competition, on the other hand there is also a lot of retailers – it will depend on the expertise in brand building,” says Dames. In addition to Cherry Ventures, Felix Capital from London, TriplePoint Capital and Village Global from California and several business angels with extensive online trading experience are investing in the team, including Zalando co-founder David Schneider, the former UK boss of Amazon, Chris North, and the KW Commerce founders

The 100 million euros should be enough to build the team and 30 to 40 acquisitions over the next year and a half. After the takeovers, the SellerX plans to work with the acquired dealers for two to twelve months. “Some dealers are happy when they are out of business, others are highly motivated to give it another year of full throttle and then take a higher purchase price with them,” says Philipp Triebel. The competition for the best dealers is already in full swing.

More: Amazon threatens EU punishment for abusing its market power


Against “lateral thinkers” on the street

At a demonstration on November 15 in Düsseldorf

The alliance “Düsseldorf stands across” is organizing a rally against “lateral thinking” on Sunday, as it announced on Thursday:

On December 6th, starting at 12.30 p.m., the alliance “Düsseldorf is standing across” (DSSQ) calls for protests against the “thinking outside the box”. In addition to conspiracy ideologues, “lateral thinking” also expects a large number of right-wing hooligans and organized neo-Nazis. By registering for various rallies in the inner city area, the “lateral thinkers” will try to hold demonstrations between these rallies.
At the DSSQ rally, together with representatives of the Düsseldorf Appeal, churches, trade unions, artists, and hospital and care alliances, a critical focus will be placed on the current corona policy and the various facets of its consequences will be examined. “Broad social protest against the lateral thinking movement is necessary because it is a lack of responsibility and right-wing ideas are spreading,” says Dominican Father Wolfgang, who supports the cause of DSSQ. Christof Seeger-Zurmühlen, head of the public stage at the Schauspielhaus, also takes part in the rally and adds: »The closings of cultural institutions due to Corona are an enormous burden for artists in many ways. A critical reflection with the current corona regulations is essential at this time, but never justifies solidarity with the extreme right, as happens with the lateral thinking movement. “

The alliance »Enlightenment instead of conspiracy ideologies« calls for December 12th under the motto »Solidarity through the crisis! Defend the right to health – against lateral thinking and Corona! «And declared on Thursday:

The reason for the protests is the nationwide mobilization of the right-wing and ideological conspiracy alliance »lateral thinking« for a demonstration in Frankfurt am Main. Under the cover of criticism of the corona-related measures, the alliance wants to spread hatred, agitation and anti-Semitism again. (…) »There are a lot of good reasons to demonstrate against the state policy in the corona pandemic. However, anyone who takes this as an opportunity to take untruths onto the streets with Nazis and their like will only make things worse. In the face of the worsening situation, to rant about a global conspiracy or even about the denial of the virus in an anti-Semitic manner, stirs up hatred and fears. We will actively stand in the way and lateral thinking will take the wind out of the sails «, says Timo Brym, press spokesman for the alliance.
The aim of the protests should not only be to prevent the march of lateral thinkers, it should also be made clear that criticism of the politics of the federal government is necessary and possible from a solidarity and social perspective. “The pandemic works like a fire accelerator, with which all the problems that were there before are kindled into wildfire. While large companies are subsidized by the state, hundreds of thousands of us wage earners have lost our jobs through downsizing. (…) «


“Extreme embalming” causes discussion

Dhe core of the tragic event is quickly told: On the evening of November 15 at around 11.30 p.m. Adlay Lewis, 54 years old, and his 29-year-old son Che Lewis were shot in their sleep in the family home in Diego Martin near Port of Spain, Trinidad . Ten days later, father and son were carried to the grave of Diego Martin in the cemetery. The investigation into the background of the bloody act continues, according to the police.

Matthias Rüb

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta, based in Rome.

The special circumstances surrounding the funeral of Adlay and Che Lewis have sparked heated debates not only in Trinidad and Tobago but throughout the Caribbean. It is about “extreme embalming”, the extremely complex embalming of the remains of a person. At the request of the bereaved, the undertaker Dennie’s Funeral Home prepared the body of Che Lewis so that he could be put on a chair in his favorite holiday attire and sunglasses. Instead of in a closed coffin like his father Adlay, Che Lewis was driven to the church in the back of a pick-up truck. Next to the body sat two funeral home workers in black suits. Naturally, the journey of the special hearse through the streets of the capital Port of Spain was filmed, and the cell phone recordings quickly spread via social media.

Che Lewis had to stay outside

The priest who celebrated the funeral service, however, refused to allow the chair with his son to be carried into the church of St. John the Evangelist with the coffin of father Lewis. Che Lewis had to stay outside at his own funeral service, in his chair by the church door. Che Lewis’ coffin was laid immediately before the actual funeral. In the meantime, the police are checking whether a fine can be imposed on the funeral home for prohibited people being transported on an open loading area.

In the meantime, the Archdiocese of Port of Spain has announced that such “unworthy” handling of a corpse will no longer be accepted at funerals. The body is the “temple of the Holy Spirit” and “to be treated with the greatest respect” even after death.

The corpse should be “laid out” sitting at the gaming table

The relatives of Che Lewis and the funeral home did not want to hear about disrespect. On the contrary. “Every life is unique, so every funeral should be unique,” ​​is the motto of Dennie’s Funeral Home. The owners of the funeral home, which was founded three years ago, were satisfied with the great response to Che Lewis’ funeral. An elderly passionate card player recently placed his order, Cochese CEO Tyler Dennie told a local newspaper earlier this week. The customer had ordered that his embalmed corpse should be “laid out” in his favorite bar, sitting at the gaming table.

In fact, “extreme embalming” has spread over the past few years in the Caribbean, particularly in Puerto Rico, but also in cities like New Orleans. In view of tropical temperatures, a handout from the Californian diocese of San José expressly recommends embalming the body, especially if several days are planned for laying out. But from what point is embalming “extreme”? Will the majority of believers continue to accept that the Church alone determines what is respectful and what is macabre?

At the beginning of October, the body of Carlo Acutis was shown in a glass sarcophagus in a church in Assisi in central Italy. Acutis died of leukemia in October 2006 at the age of 15 and was buried in Assisi. 14 years later, his corpse was exhumed, comprehensively restored using silicone and then “extremely embalmed”: a boy seemed to be sleeping in the glass coffin. The display of the reconstructed body of Carlo Acutis took place before the beatification of the youth, which was promoted mainly by Pope Francis. At the age of eleven, he had created an online directory of all Eucharistic miracles around the world. After 19 days, the glass front of the high coffin with the embalmed corpse was closed. It should be reopened in May.