Patrols against pandemic (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

imago images/Sabine Gudath

There were controls on the occasion of the curfew in Berlin’s Kastanienallee on October 10, 2020

Almost two thirds of the population want, according to a survey published on Friday by the ZDF-Politbarometer stronger controls of compliance with corona rules. Propagandists of a “strong state” such as Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) or the Interior Ministers of Bavaria and Berlin, Joachim Herrmann (CSU) and Andreas Geisel (SPD), are only too happy to comply with this request. Major controls on the streets – in Berlin on the weekend, in Bavaria on Friday – are apparently intended to signal the ability to act in view of the increasing number of infections in both federal states. The domestic political spokeswoman for the left parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Ulla Jelpke, criticized the surveillance actions on Friday jyoung Welt as a “police show” that doesn’t really help in the fight against the pandemic.

Around 1,000 officials are said to be on the streets of Berlin on Saturday and Sunday to check compliance, above all with the mask requirement in buses, trains and train stations, at weekly markets, in shopping centers and shops, as well as compliance with the distance requirement where possible . Seehofer and Geisel agreed on Thursday that around 500 federal police officers and as many state police officers should carry out the controls. From Saturday, a new infection protection ordinance will apply in Berlin. It prescribes a mask requirement for weekly markets, for ten shopping streets such as Kurfürstendamm and Friedrichstrasse, as well as for queues and shopping malls. Only 25 people are allowed to meet outside instead of the previous 50.

The police will also take care of illegal parties and groups in front of kiosks, the reported German press agency on Friday. “The intensified controls will take place on the coming weekend day and night until Monday morning,” said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The police will inform about the partially new regulations to contain the pandemic. Depending on the severity of the violations, there may also be criminal or fine proceedings. The concrete deployment planning lies with the Berlin police, he emphasized.

In Bavaria, on Friday for the second time since the outbreak of the pandemic, there were nationwide “focus actions” by the police to ensure compliance with the mask requirement. For violations, warnings threatened with fines in the amount of 55 euros, in the case of intent also with fines of 250 euros or more. During the first inspection in the spring, the police found around 3,000 violations of the mask requirement.

Jelpke emphasized opposite jWthat she was “very much in favor of wearing a mask and keeping her distance.” Control actions like in Berlin and Bavaria are not needed. “It would make much more sense to carry out a comprehensive awareness-raising campaign,” said Jelpke. For this, personnel must be trained. Decisive for the protection against infection is the acceptance of legitimate measures: “You can’t achieve that by a massive police presence and the imposition of fines.”

Meanwhile, the Bundeswehr is using the corona crisis to loosen the restrictions on its internal use. She is currently fighting the pandemic with almost 2,000 soldiers, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense Rheinische Post (Friday) said. The contingent “Aid against Corona” has a total of 15,000 soldiers. In health departments alone, 1,561 soldiers across Germany help track chains of infection, take smears or at test stations.


Limits of poetization (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

Splintered main character: The actors Marcel Kohler, Linn Reusse, Lorena Handschin, Felix Goeser, Regine Zimmermann and Bernd Moss reconstruct and question the absent protagonist

On the morning of March 9, 2003, 18-year-old Zdenek Adamec poured gasoline on himself on the stairs of the Prague National Museum and set himself on fire; a short time later he died of his burns. Unlike Jan Palach, who killed himself in the same place in 1968 in protest against Soviet intervention during the “Prague Spring”, Adamec is hardly known today. No wonder: In one of his farewell letters he wrote about the world after the fall of the Wall that it was “corrupted by money”, not a real democracy, but a “rule of employees, money and power people who trample on normal people”. The then Czech President Vaclav Klaus, one of the people he meant, found Adamec’s suicide “completely unhappy, careless and, above all, unnecessary.”

In his latest play, which premiered in Salzburg last summer, Peter Handke took the event as a starting point. The subtitle is simply: “A scene”. The title character does not appear. Rather, there are a number of reconstructions of what happened, memories of Adamec, stories about him and stories that tie in with them. In the Berlin production by Jossi Wieler, this text is divided into six people who sometimes act with or against each other, but more often as a soloist – with at most brief interjections from the others – present their stories.

There is no act in the strict sense. Above all else, one of Handke’s main motives becomes clear, which has determined him at least since his intervention in the debates about the war in Yugoslavia and which has led to his hatred of a certain type of journalist. It goes against the mere information that is available for propaganda outside of context or is only used for the consumption of sensations. In contrast, Handke sets the story, which conveys what is sensually experienced. In this perspective, simply bringing the facts blocks access to the world. To create the context with the poetic word, however, allows understanding.

And so the memories of Adamec are not about finally knowing the main character and their life and drawing political conclusions from them. At the beginning of the play the audience doesn’t know anything about Adamec – at the end they have heard so contradicting things about him that the person, their character and the reasons for their actions are not in the least clear. This is not a mistake that somehow happens, but a deliberate consequence of Handke’s poetics.

Once this is set, everything can become the subject of the narrative. Fantasies about Adamec’s feelings, speculations about his earliest youth and his last thoughts – and the opposite of everything said: It gains a sensual quality through language. Even bare numbers become poetic in this context. How many kilometers he covered from his hometown to Prague, with death in mind, or the temperature of the morning when he lit himself – that makes what is happening tangible. Of course, where one does not know which story to believe, the individual number becomes questionable.

Handke succeeds, once again, in poeticizing the world. That even includes protest against it. When stage characters respond to a story with a brief “How do you know that?” Or even with cynicism; if these cynicisms also lead to narratives about one’s own attitudes and their causes, then this avoids monotony. This also applies to the language. Handke is smart enough to know that a consistently high tone is tiresome and that he needs colloquial contrasts.

Still, it remains difficult to stage. It is almost impossible to maintain the tension over an evening that hardly brings any development. Jossi Wieler does not give in to the temptation to keep the audience engaged by external effects; that would also mean openly distrusting the piece and losing the evening. Rather, he relies on the power of Handke’s language. As the opera director he is, he stages the narratives in the play as a series of arias that he entrusts to his soloists, interrupted by short ensembles. The formal law of performance is musical rather than dramatic. Wieler suggests characters of individual figures, stories between them. But since almost every character gradually adopts almost every posture, no story emerges from the stories that would support the performance.

Despite the manageable playing time, the result is lengths – also because the actors manage to convey the nuances of Handke’s language convincingly to varying degrees. It is also difficult to personalize without doing. Behind this, however, there is a problem of the genre: Handke contrasts the merely visible with the narrative as what is experienced and remembered. The stage, however, requires visible action.

And behind the problem of the genre is a social deficiency. Handke rightly refuses to recognize the actual conditions in the activism that the daily news shows. He is referring to Adamec’s act, which actually denies the logic of this kind of politics. The bourgeois rule pushes self-sacrifice into the realm of the strange: the “careless and unnecessary” of Klaus. Handke’s aesthetic opposition creates spaces of possibility: What could be? The dramatic answer, however, would have to be an act that shows what is and what consequently follows from it.


Hélène Dutrieu: on two wheels or in the air, still a pioneer

Every Saturday with RetroNews, the BNF press site, a look back at a sport story as told by the press of the time.

From cycling to aviation, via moped stunts or comedy theater, Hélène Dutrieu is one of those reckless sportswomen who manage to break down barriers regardless of the discipline, without history, always recognizing them. Born in 1877 in Tournai, the Belgian was passionate about cycling as a child. Towards the end of the XIXe century, a women’s movement then chased two-wheeled records. Hélène Dutrieu wants to be part of it. Having become professional, she thus beats the women’s hour record in 1895: 30 kilometers.

to (re) readPrevious RetroNews

We find the trace of Hélène Dutrieu for the first time in the press the previous year. In the pages of Bike, “Daily velocipedia journal”, the “Valiant cyclist from Lille” challenge “All the ladies cyclists of France” : run 10 kilometers in one hour at the Lille velodrome. “This challenge is to be taken up within eight days”, adds Dutrieu.

Her name will be found more regularly in the newspapers of the time from 1898: that year she won an unofficial world speed championship in Ostend, Belgium, then the English competition “The 12 Days Race” and , finally, begins a season on the Berlin velodromes. July 15, 1898, the bike reports the victory of Hélène Dutrieu over the German cyclist Paul Mündner. Party with a handicap of 3000 meters “Offered free of charge to its little competitor”, comment the bike in a rather paternalistic tone, he would not have won them back before the finish line, after a 30-kilometer race on the Friedenau velodrome.

At the turn of the twentiethe century, Hélène Dutrieu abandons her career as a professional cyclist. She first opened a fashion house in her hometown of Tournai. Without success. She then turns to the music hall, notably performing aerobatics on a bicycle or moped.

“The human arrow”

His debut on stage at the Dejazet theater, in Paris, in the play Mossieu the Mayor are commented in the bike of January 27, 1903: “The gracious artist has achieved real success in the role of Hélène, well done for her, since she arrived on stage … by bicycle, with the mastery that velodrome enthusiasts know her.” The journalist collects his impressions when leaving the stage: “I’m very happy, I didn’t have the jitters. I didn’t ask for more. I will now work seriously. And I hope to shine in the front row soon. ”

During those years, attracted to the air, she became a stunt performer. She performs a 15-meter-long jump on a bicycle, notably at the Olympia in Paris. This number will give it a nickname: “The human arrow”. Dutrieu does loops, by bicycle, moped, then by automobile. Before an accident during one of these stunts, in Berlin in 1904, sent him eight months to the hospital. She resumed her acting career for a few years in Paris, at the Théâtre des Capucines, des Mathurins or Porte Saint-Martin, before setting out again for other intrepid adventures.

“Sensational” aviator

In 1908, the Clément-Bayart company brought out a little cuckoo called Young lady and is looking for a valiant pilot to perform tests. Hélène Dutrieu introduces herself: ultra-light, she also has the advantage of not being afraid of anything. She has proven it in the past. The following year, she therefore took flying lessons with aviation pioneer Maurice Farman in Mourmelon, in the Marne.

The Figaro of November 2, 1909 announces the reconversion of Hélène Dutrieu: «Mlle Hélène Dutrieu, who excelled in exercises of unprecedented intrepidity, will pursue aviation. ” Further on, he predicts: “Brave, resolute, skilful, she will have a sensational career in aviation.”

The newspaper l’Auto the poster in photo in its edition of December 31, 1909, indicating in caption that“Yesterday she made her debut as a student pilot at the Issy-les-Moulineaux airfield”.

In 1910, Hélène Dutrieu became the first woman in the world to fly a plane with a passenger. As reported Echo of Paris September 3: “Beautiful feat of a Belgian aviator. Mlle Hélène Dutrieu rose this morning, around 6 a.m., in Blakenberghe, with a passenger, and went around the belfry of Bruges, ten kilometers away, flying at a height of about 500 meters. Mlle Hélène Dutrieu thus conquered as a pilot the record for duration, altitude, flight with passenger and cross-country… ”

The following month, we find her in an interview in the magazine Femina, 1is October 1910. “I’m risking my life, obviously. But if I don’t come back, too bad! “ : All the assurance of Hélène Dutrieu is there.

In December, she won the Femina Cup of the Aero-Club de France. This trophy is awarded to the aviator who completed the longest flight through the countryside during the year, as described in the newspaper The radical of December 6, 1910. It is thanks to her return flight Etampes-Orléans, 60.8 km in 1:09, that she succeeds Marie Marvingt. «Mlle Hélène Dutrieu is a very skilful pilot, indicates the log. She also had all the qualities required to make an excellent aviator, having been once a star of “looping the loop” and other “death jumps” which require, one can easily imagine, a certain dose of composure. “.

The following year, Hélène Dutrieu beat 14 male drivers to win the Coppa del Re in Florence, Italy. After many other victories in the United States in particular, we find her in 1912 at the helm of the first seaplane. She is the first woman to pilot such a machine. As stated Gallic of July 3 in a laudatory article, «Mlle Hélène Dutrieu preaches feminism in her own way, and this way is so brave, and so graceful at the same time, that it would be a bad grace not to be persuaded. ” She then demonstrated her hydro-airplane in Enghien-les-Bains.

The press does not mention it but she was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor on January 9, 1913 by the French government for her performances on French planes. In Belgium, the governor grants him the honorary title of officer of Leopold.

Paramedic then journalist

Her career as an aviator ended with the start of the First World War: she enlisted as an ambulance attendant with the Red Cross. Her fame was such at this period that she was asked by General Gallieni to give propaganda conferences in the United States. Returning to France in 1917, she took charge of the Val-de-Grâce field hospital.

In 1922, at 45, she married the mayor of Coulommiers, Pierre Mortier, at the same time obtaining French nationality. New turning point in an already busy career: Mortier is the editor of the newspaper Gil Blas, which he has been trying to revive since 1921 after its publication ceased during the war. He entrusted his wife with the management of numerous magazines. Hélène Dutrieu therefore becomes a journalist, even if we find in 1914 her signature at the bottom of articles of Gil Blas. As on April 16 of that year: it tells in two columns the Grande Quinzaine de Monaco, an air rally bringing together several European pilots.

After the death of her husband in 1946, she remained a passionate promoter of aviation, notably becoming vice-president of the women’s section of the Aero-club de France. She also created the Hélène Dutrieu-Mortier Cup in 1956, a long distance competition reserved for French and Belgian pilots. After a life of records and exploits, Hélène Dutrieu died in Paris on June 26, 1961, at the age of 84.

Contextual source: Champions, they conquered gold, silver, bronze (2016) by Lorraine Kaltenbach and Clémentine Portier-Kaltenbach.

Adrien franque


TV series »Babylon Berlin« pays tribute to Rote-Hilfe lawyer (newspaper Junge Welt)

The Hans Litten Archive recalled on Thursday: TV series “Babylon Berlin” pays tribute to Rote Hilfe lawyer Hans Litten – the Office for the Protection of the Constitution classifies the Hans Litten Archive as “extremist”:

The Hans Litten Archive pays tribute to the great merit of the filmmakers of »Babylon Berlin« in drawing the attention of millions of people to the committed left-wing lawyer Hans Litten for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic – and in an excellent manner.

On October 14th, the 22nd episode of the popular TV series »Babylon Berlin« was broadcast on ARD, (…) you can see an instructive account of the work of the Red Aid in 1929, (…) including Hans played by Trystan Pütter Suffered. (…), who was known as the “advocate of the proletariat” (Wikipedia) and opponent of the Nazi regime; Driven to his death in 1938 in Dachau concentration camp.

The scene shows how the detective assistant “Charlotte Richter”, played by Liv Lisa Fries, visits Comrade Litten in his office with the intention of soliciting legal assistance for her imprisoned friend “Greta Overbeck”. (…) Comrade Litten lights a cigarette and then explains the tasks of the Red Aid as follows: »We provide legal aid for the underprivileged. For workers, for the unemployed. We advise people. We represent them in court. We fight for these people and thus help them to achieve what they are entitled to: namely their rights! «(…)

The lawyer of the Red Aid, Hans Litten, is portrayed in “Babylon Berlin” as what he always was: open and personable, open to help seekers without prejudice, well informed, extraordinarily committed and “not even the bean” extremist. (…)

We named our archive association, founded in 2006, on the history of solidarity organizations of the workers’ movement and social movements after Hans Litten in order to keep alive the memory of this courageous Red Aid lawyer and anti-fascist. In his last weeks in office as President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in 2018, Hans-Georg Maaßen arranged for the Hans-Litten Archive to be listed in the report for the next year as an “extremist group” pursuing “anti-constitutional goals”. As an independent association recognized as a non-profit organization, we are falsely labeled »Structure of the Red Aid Association. V. «marked. Our archive association is also mentioned in this year’s report for the protection of the constitution for the year 2019. Such an entry in the constitution protection report endangers our scientific cooperation with other institutions such as universities. In addition, being named in the report for the protection of the constitution threatens to withdraw our non-profit status (…). We are currently pursuing a lawsuit against this at the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court. (…)

The Hans Litten Archive as a volunteer organization today sees itself entirely in the spirit (…) of Hans Litten in »Babylon Berlin«. By documenting the history of the solidarity organizations of the workers’ movement and the social movements including the various Red Aid organizations over the past 100 years, we want to show how important it is and remains to provide legal aid to the underprivileged in order to enable them to do so help what is due to them. (…)


Refurbishment of the Silent Heroes Memorial Center in Berlin

In March 1941, the Krakow pharmacist Tadeusz Pankiewicz stepped into the light of history. That month, the German occupiers set up the Krakow ghetto around the pharmacy that Pankiewicz ran in a district of the city on the Wawel. Pankiewicz was asked to move his shop, but he refused. In the two and a half years until the ghetto was dissolved, he supplied its residents with medicine and food, smuggled messages and hid several persecuted Jews in his business premises. After the war he wrote a book about his experiences. In 1983 Pankiewicz was honored as Righteous Among the Nations in Yad Vashem. Since yesterday, some text and picture panels in the permanent exhibition “Silent Heroes” in the Berlin German Resistance Memorial Center have been devoted to his activities.

Hideouts in churches and farmhouses

Andreas  Kilb

The Silent Heroes Memorial Center, as it is officially called, is a straggler in the state’s remembrance of National Socialism and the Shoah. It was not until the nineties that the memory of the civil and military rescuers of the Jews was given its own place in the former workshop of the blind manufacturer Otto Weidt in Berlin-Mitte. When their rooms became too small, the exhibition moved to the Bendlerblock at the Tiergarten in 2018. But here too, at first only German resistance members could be reported who sabotaged the National Socialist racial policy. The new permanent exhibition is now taking the final step due by adding a European perspective to the subject.

So on the third floor of the Bendler block it is no longer just about Helmuth Groscurth, Maria von Maltzan, Harald Poelchau and Oskar Schindler, but also about the Latvian Jänis Lipke, who with his family saved dozens of deportees from the Riga ghetto, about the parish of San Gioacchino in Rome, who hid Jewish Italians under the roof of her church, or the Albanian Refik Veseli, who hid a Jewish family from Serbia in his parents’ house in the mountains. And many more.

The exhibition design comes from Ursula Wilms, who also set up the Topography of Terror Foundation. It combines the utmost clarity with appropriately staggered information: large picture and colored text panels with different font sizes, interactive screens that provide information about what is happening in individual countries, about helpers and escape routes. The German Resistance Memorial Center thus finally joins the other places in Berlin that commemorate the extermination of European Jews, the Holocaust memorial, the Jewish Museum and the permanent exhibition on the Prince Albrecht site. The “silent heroes” are the piece of the puzzle that was still missing.

Silent Heroes – Resistance to the Persecution of Jews in Europe from 1933 to 1945. German Resistance Memorial Center, Berlin. The catalog costs 10 euros.


Parity law: equality slowed down (

It was almost a courageous step in the fight for equality: at the beginning of 2019, the coalition of the SPD and the Left Party, in cooperation with the Greens, was the first state government to pass a law according to which parties are only allowed to fill their state lists for state elections equally. With the so-called zipper principle, the alternating occupation of the list places, equal opportunities for women and men should be guaranteed for a mandate.

The law came into force on July 1st of this year. So far, it has not been used – this should happen for the first time in the state election in 2024. The corresponding law overturned the constitutional court of the state of Brandenburg on Friday. The prescribed parity has an impermissible influence on the chances of the parties in the election, it says in the judgment. Through the Parity Act, the legislature withdraws a substantial part of the democratic decision-making process by influencing the composition of the lists.

For Kathrin Dannenberg, parliamentary group leader of the Left in the state parliament, this is “a defeat, but not a knockout.” It is true that the judgment is respected that the equality of women and men in parliaments still results for the left from the democratic principle of the Basic Law. “We’re sticking to it: The voice of the Brandenburg women must have greater weight in the state parliament. Parity does not harm democracy, it strengthens it. “

The state chairwoman of the Left, Anja Mayer, also declared: »The verdict is a bitter signal for the fight for equality. In the opinion of the court, of all things, the level of political decision-makers should be exempted from regulations that ensure equality legally. «The spokeswoman for women’s and equality policy of the SPD parliamentary group, Elske Hildebrandt, spoke of the fact that equal participation of women and Men in political decisions and processes continue to be the declared aim of the SPD in Brandenburg.

The extreme right could be happy: the national associations of NPD and AfD had filed the now negotiated lawsuits against the parity law. They saw the freedom of choice and the freedom of the parties to organize seriously impaired. The plaintiffs argued that the law violates the parties’ freedom to choose their candidates on their own terms. It also discriminates against men and violates the Basic Law and the state constitution. The NPD criticized that because of the low proportion of women it had little chance of meeting the requirements. The AfD may have felt the same way. Right-wing populists have the lowest proportion of women in the state parliament, at 22 percent. Greens and leftists, on the other hand, are already implementing a quota of 50 percent – without any law. Of the total of 88 members of all parliamentary groups, one third are women.

The Young Liberals also welcomed the court’s decision. That the red-red-green alliance gave the NPD and AfD the chance to present themselves as model democrats loyal to the constitution is scandalous, according to their state chairman Matti Karstedt. One now wants to work on “constitutional solutions”.

Decision like in Thuringia

With their verdict, the constitutional judges in Potsdam made the same decision as their colleagues in Thuringia before. In July, the Constitutional Court in Weimar had already declared the state election law reformed by Red-Red-Green to be unconstitutional. It affects “the right to freedom and equality of choice” as well as the “right of political parties to freedom of activity, freedom of programs and equal opportunities.” Both rights also apply to “preparatory acts” such as listing candidates, the verdict said. It was passed with six votes to three. The only two judges in this case and one judge gave separate opinions in which they declared that the law was in conformity with the constitution.

Renate Licht and Jens Petermann decided that the »structural discrimination that actually exists against women in politics« is misunderstood. In the meantime, a complaint has been submitted to the Federal Constitutional Court. It should examine the decision from Weimar. In addition, the parliamentary groups of Left and Greens had declared that they could imagine a new attempt at a parity law. The special votes had shown the legal leeway, said the left parliamentary group leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow after the judgment.

The chairwoman of the Brandenburg Left, Katharina Slanina, announced something similar: “In its judgment, the court has already given the first indications of necessary changes to the state constitution.” It is also assumed that the parties in the governing coalition are also interested in a speedy restart , and am available for appropriate discussions, said Slanina. Group leader Dannenberg said: “Right now we see ourselves strengthened in the fact that this area must also be examined as part of a constitutional reform.”

Nationwide initiatives

Despite legal concerns, there are also initiatives for parity laws in other federal states and at the federal level. As a list of the German Women’s Council shows, corresponding demands were made in May 2019 in all federal states except Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Saarland. The left-wing parliamentary group in Berlin presented a draft in March 2019. A month ago, a study by the SPD-affiliated Friedrich Ebert Foundation confirmed that the project was in conformity with the constitution. The author of the study, Silke Ruth Laskowski, comes to the conclusion: “A parity amendment to the Berlin electoral law is possible and also necessary within the framework of the current constitution of Berlin and the Basic Law!” When the draft law comes to the vote in the House of Representatives, is so far unclear.

In an interview with “nd.DerTag”, the President of the German Association of Women Lawyers (DJB) Maria Wersig explained that there are other ways of combating the underrepresentation of women in addition to quoting. “One could anchor equality concepts in the party law,” she said on Wednesday. “Or expand party funding that honors the results of these efforts.”

From the DJB’s point of view, both the Thuringian and Brandenburg parity laws were constitutional. After the Potsdam judgment, Wersig was nevertheless confident: »The Brandenburg Constitutional Court today missed the opportunity to cement the milestone set by parliament for democracy and equal rights. The debate continues anyway, “she said on the short message service Twitter. “Again,” said the President of the State Parliament, Ulrike Liedtke, after the verdict.


There is something wrong! (Young World newspaper)

An expensive victory: During the siege of Belgrade in 1789, hundreds of thousands fell ill with dysentery and malaria

June 1789. In the Russo-Austrian Turkish War, which last year cost the Austrian army thousands of dead and a further 80,000 men who died of illness or fell into Turkish slavery, the Habsburg troops besieged Belgrade, which they will take in October – but are in May 1789 there, in the swamp area around Semlin, 172,000 soldiers fell ill with dysentery and malaria, 33,000 died of the epidemic. Joseph II had returned from the battlefield with tuberculosis and malaria (and will die in early 1790), dysentery and malaria were also brought to Vienna by returning soldiers. The campaign of the previous year had devoured vast amounts of money, almost as much as the Seven Years War. The situation in Vienna is desolate, both politically and economically, soldiers and deserters crippled on the streets, an epidemic is to be feared.

Down and out

But the world situation is probably Mozart’s smallest problem. He is completely in debt, and composition commissions are to be expected neither from the emperor nor from the aristocrats, who are subject to the war tax. From a costly trip to Prague, Leipzig and his actual destination, Berlin, Mozart returns disaffected and, above all, without the income and orders he had hoped for. The Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II. Had allegedly signaled an interest in employing Mozart at the Berlin court, but when he arrived in Berlin and wished to “show his talents to Ew. To lay the feet of your royal majesty «, the Prussian king reacts very coolly and orders that his cello teacher should take care of the Viennese Kapellmeister. The king doesn’t want to hear him, not even a few weeks later, only the queen, writes Mozart, “in the thiergarten in an inn,” “but there’s not much to do,” he explains to his wife, whose name he is throughout his journey (“Make your dear, beautiful nest clean, because my Büberl really deserves it” is one of the more harmless passages) and occasionally sends quite jealous letters. Conclusion: Nothing but expenses, “When I come back you have to look forward to me more than the money”.

Mozart is broke and desperate, he writes begging letters, especially to his Masonic lodge brother Michael Puchberg: “God! I am in a position that I do not wish for my worst enemy. «On his return his wife falls ill, Mozart pays for himself a celebrity doctor who is actually unaffordable for him and who prescribes an expensive cure for Constanze, Mozart is getting more and more debts, and even his concerts the Viennese no longer want to see: he advertises intensively for two weeks, but there is currently only one ticket buyer in all of Vienna, while five years earlier 176 people had subscribed to his concerts. Mozart is broken, down and out. In June 1789 he entered only one composition in his catalog raisonné: “A quartet for 2 violin, viola et violoncello. For His Mayestätt the king in Prussia ”, the string quartet in D major, K. 575, which he dedicated to the Prussian king because of a very vague hope of subsequent payment.

Under the surface

But what is Mozart doing in his desperate situation? What kind of piece is he composing? “In his life Mozart never had more than ten minutes to think about how bad everything is,” Hans Werner Henze was convinced. That certainly does not apply to Mozart’s financial worries, but it does to his way of composing. It would be a »romanticizing idea« (Georg Knepler) to expect that Mozart had to compose a sad piece in the midst of all the desolation of his existence. No, despite the personal situation, this string quartet is vocal, lyrical, positive, without too strong emotional outbursts: three movements “Allegretto”, first movement and finale even in alla breve time, so practically twice as fast. The main theme of the first movement is a gently ascending triad, followed by calmly descending thirds, and in the final fourth movement Mozart uses these triads again, rhythmically reduced. The slow movement is a variant of his popular song »Das Veilchen«, translated into three time, which frames a concerted dialogue between first violin and cello. Pure understatement.

Is everything in perfect order with the desperate composer? Chamber. As is so often the case with Mozart, there are signs of melancholy, of dissonant disagreement with the world beneath the surface of cheerfulness. Already in the first movement there are first chromatic indications that something might not be right, especially in the development with its harmonies that are wildly led through the keys; and again and again we hear the typical syncopated bars – of course, the syncopations and dissonances are quickly resolved: “Like the quarrel of lovers, the dissonances of the world are. Reconciliation is in the midst of a dispute, and everything that has been separated can be found again, ”ends Holderlin’s“ Hyperion ”.


imago images / KHARBINE-TAPABOR

Compositions from better days: Pages from Mozart’s notebook from 1784/85

An abyss

This is also the case in the middle section of the minuet, which is much more of a “German dance” expanded into a sonata form, i.e. a preliminary form of the Viennese waltz (Mozart wrote numerous “German dances” for the carnival balls in the Viennese redouten halls in 1789). Stumbling blocks are built in by emphasizing unstressed parts of the bar and suddenly there is a two-bar for two bars, before broken seventh chords wander through the voices and lead back to the original dance. And in the finale, which goes far beyond the usual rondo form, the uninhibited modulation of the theme across the most varied of keys with minor insertions, seventh chords and all kinds of fallacies: “As soon as we feel on safe ground, an abyss opens up,” characterizes Eva Gesine Baur Mozart Music and speaks of “unsatisfied longing”, the conductor Daniel Harding mentions “this restlessness”, ETA Hoffmann states: “Mozart leads us into the depths of the spirit realm.” Mozart only allows the cheerful conclusion when he has “the depths of seriousness and the tragedy has measured «(Knepler) – and then such a conclusion is no longer really cheerful. The listeners sense: Something is wrong! And that’s exactly how it is. The cheerful Mozart knows about his precarious situation, he knows about the pandemic that is spreading from Belgrade to Vienna, and he also suspects that an outdated social order is being buried – Mozart has demonstrably campaigned for clarification: »Are you a poor fool – so become K[lerike]r. If you are a rich fool, become a tenant. If you are a noble but poor fool – do what you can for bread. But if you are a rich, aristocratic fool, become what you want; just not a man of understanding – I ask that, «was the text on a leaflet that Mozart had written himself and distributed at a masquerade ball in 1785. The tragic ambivalence, the tragic contradiction in Mozart’s personality, certainly also includes the fact that, as an independent musician who sympathized with the French Revolution, he is dependent on the nobility, for whom the situation is currently becoming extremely precarious, as a client.

It must be!

The Chiaroscuro Quartet is currently playing exemplary music in this Mozart quartet. The fact that the nucleus of the ensemble is likely to consist of Alina Ibragimova as Primaria and the cellist Claire Thirion suits the piece with its cello cantilenas and the dialogues between these two instruments as well as the fact that the musicians with gut strings and Playing historical arcs – so the details emerge more clearly, while the sound appears almost a bit muffled, at least extremely velvety and invites you to listen more intensely. String quartets can hardly be interpreted more lively and more directly, with the Chiaroscuro Quartet we experience very great, fascinating chamber music art.

Did you consciously put together the program of your Berlin guest performance on October 11th along the theme of melancholy? At the beginning, three of Henry Purcell’s nine “Four-Part Fantasias for 3 to 7 Violas da Gamba” were performed, which are rarely seen in a concert hall, and if so, then more by gamba consorts like Jordi Savall’s than by a string quartet. That is a shame, because with these fantasies the Chairoscuro Quartet laid a keynote for its guest performance: Each is made up of several short parts, mostly alternating between quieter and moving sections, which sometimes end abruptly. A kind of melancholy polyphony, as unusual as it is enchanting. In Beethoven’s String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 18 No. 6 with its Mozartian first movement, the last movement even bears the title “La Malinconia”. In the 18th century this no longer had a direct negative or even pathological meaning, but was expressly understood as “noble” as in Kant, whom Beethoven read again and again: “Mournful removal from the noises of the world from a legitimate weariness is noble. “Already in the second movement, a magical Adagio ma non troppo, we hear the Chiaroscuro Quartet’s interpretation of the melody of the song with sharp, sharply dotted contrasts,“ queste note ben marcate ”, in the two lower instruments; the variations take place in the secondary voices. Here, too, wild harmonic entanglements: the theme is in E flat major, the middle section in E flat minor, which is very far from it, in the coda then suddenly C major, before the movement ends in E flat major again. In the last sentence the dialectic of melancholy and cheerfulness, of disgust and weariness in the face of the “noises of the world” that seems to be bearable only through averted sadness – who would not know such feelings, in Beethoven’s time as it is today? And then again the cosmopolitan, cheerful, letting oneself get involved in the course of the world, only become endurable through the quiet contemplation of a melancholy basic feeling. But the serenity is interrupted again and again by quiet, thoughtful pausing, by recollections of the Adagio – until we finally experience a “Must it be?” Moment that seems to point to Beethoven’s last work, the String Quartet op. 135. The Chiaroroscuro Quartet and, above all, the onrushing Alina Ibragimova answer this last Beethoven question with a ludicrous Prestissimo sweep: Yes, we understand, it has to be! No question …

Aimless longing

At the end of this fascinating concert Mendelssohn Bartholdy, the string quartet in E flat major op. 12, the mature work of a twenty year old. It begins with an Adagio introduction, which defines the character of the entire work: the first movement with its cantilever Allegro remains lyrical like Mozart’s, and like this Mendelssohn also introduces new thematic material in the development. This is followed by a magical, wistful dance-like canzonetta, one of the most beautiful string quartet movements ever. A short, slow movement and an artfully constructed finale, in which themes relate to those of the first movement – Mendelssohn – like Mozart, like Beethoven – is concerned with cross-movement units: »The relationship between all 4 or 3 or 2 or 1 pieces of a sonata the others and the parts, so that by simply starting through the whole existence of such a piece one already knows the secret … «Everything is connected with everything: the different movements of a string quartet, the different string quartets of the composers, the moods. Only rarely are there such artfully compiled and interwoven concert programs. And of course Mendelssohn is also a master of melancholy, the entire work also a work of yearning.

Melancholy also includes “aimless longing” (Laszlo F. Földenyi), that is, “this unfortunate tendency to all places where I am not and all things that I do not have” (Walter Benjamin). Presumably, you can add personal and social conditions to the places and things that we do not (yet) have, but which we long for: last but not least, a different, better, more just world. Thoughts and mental states during a pandemic, focused in a magnifying glass by the excellent Chiaroscuro Quartet. An experience of particular depth!


Urban development: potential treasure chest (

View of one of the buildings of the former youth college of the Free German Youth at Bogensee near Wandlitz.

Photo: dpa / Jörg Carstensen

On the way to sustainable urban development geared towards the common good, there are still a few obstacles to be cleared. Long-term projects such as the area on Lake Bogensee or the orphaned public swimming pool in Steglitz clearly show how difficult it can be to develop state-owned properties and land. But even the most protracted development is ultimately better for the State of Berlin than wasting supposedly junk properties and land, as was the case until a few years ago.

The reason is simple: Instead of accepting low financial income, something can emerge on such property at some point that benefits many and not just a few private investors. An example: The former Statistics House near Berlin’s Alexanderplatz was empty for many years. BIM is now developing the building together with cooperation partners such as the Mitte district into a mixed quarter in which, in addition to the administration, limited living space is to be created and there is space for culture, education and social affairs.

The realignment of the property policy – away from selling to the highest bidder towards sustainable development – is increasingly proving to be a stroke of luck for the city. It is also correct that Red-Red-Green wants to expand this policy by expanding it to include so-called soil protection. In the future, land reserves are also to be created in order to secure these areas for sustainable urban development. “There should be no treasure chest that is not used,” said Finance Senator Matthias Kollatz (SPD) some time ago. Finally, income from the management of such purchases should be used for further purchases. This is always more sustainable than just generating a one-time income from a sale.


Fire in front of the »Liebig 34« (

Photo: Florian Bojlot

Berlin. At least a dozen masked people are said to have thrown several incendiary devices on the formerly occupied building “Liebig 34” in Berlin-Friedrichshain. According to the police, the incendiary devices triggered a fire in the recently vacated building. The Berlin police announced this on Thursday afternoon. The investigative authorities had previously written on the short message service Twitter that the fire was assumed to have been an intentional act. Accordingly, there were three employees of a security company in the building at the time of the attack. They escaped from the fire unharmed.

According to the Berlin police, the attack occurred around 9:15 p.m. The attackers threw the incendiary devices into a fenced area in front of the house. An incendiary device is said to have hit the building. The house window frames and bulky rubbish on the sidewalk then caught fire. The flames hit meters high, as shown by video recordings that were published on the Internet on Wednesday evening.

The state security responsible for political crimes is now investigating serious arson, attempted manslaughter and serious breach of the peace. Investigators are looking for witnesses who witnessed the attack.

The anarcha-queer-feminist housing project was evacuated by around 1,500 police officers on Friday, October 16. The left scene had protested against the eviction with numerous actions. dpa / nd


»Stasi practices« no termination (

Regulate separately the parking space in front of the house

Photo: dpa / Christophe Gateau

The utterance “In general, the methods of the [Vermieterin] an Stasi practices… «justifies neither immediate nor ordinary termination against the background of surveillance measures that the landlord has carried out in violation of the tenant’s personal rights (Landgericht Berlin, Az. 67 S 369/18).

Parking space termination

The parties establish a rental agreement for a car parking space that is independent of the existence of the residential rental agreement and can be terminated separately if they regulate the rental in a separate rental agreement document (Landgericht Berlin, Az. 67 S 192/19 (2)).

Dog care

If the tenant offers dog care for a fee via a social media platform – here Facebook – the offer as such does not justify a termination of the rental contract if the care takes place exclusively outside the apartment. If the landlord claims that the care also takes place inside the apartment, he is required to provide evidence (Landgericht Leipzig, Az. 02 S 401/19).

Unapproved attitude

If the tenant needs a permit from the landlord to keep a dog and would have a right to this, but does not endeavor to obtain it, the landlord cannot terminate the contract because of the unauthorized keeping of the dog if this was initially tolerated over a longer period of time and it was not disruptions occurred (Regional Court Leipzig, Az. 02 S 401/19).

Tenant newspaper August 2020