Parity law: equality slowed down (neue-deutschland.de)

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.

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Brandenburg: In the Schorfheide in search of the wolf

Germany Schorfheide

Looking for the wolf in Brandenburg

Brandenburg is the state where most of the wolves live. The chances of seeing them here aren’t bad. But also elsewhere in Germany, tourists are drawn to the forests to capture the animals with the camera.

| Reading time: 3 minutes

editor in charge of travel / style / engine

Wolves in Germany – “The reaction was zero”

Wolves in northern Germany killed over 1000 animals in 2019. That is 60 percent more than in the previous year. At the same time, Master Isegrim shows a worrying trend.

Dthe coachman knows how to stir up the wolf fever. “I’ve already seen one,” says Thomas Hakenbeck from Friedrichswalde, vaguely waving his whip from the driver’s seat into the autumn forest. “The wolf ran across the forest path.”

The guests, high up on the open covered wagon on their way through the Brandenburg Schorfheide, look around expectantly and eerily. Aren’t the two snorting carriage horses noticeably nervous? Why do the crows moan excitedly in the pine trees? The voltage increases.

The other day he was driving a group of foresters around, Thomas Hakenbeck continues, and he listened carefully to them. They would only have talked about wolves. A whole pack was filmed nearby, seven in number. A sure wolf indication: If the blueberry herb grows too high under the pines, the wolf is not far away.

Please what? Is that now coachman or forester Latin? The explanation, however, makes sense: all game that blueberry buds normally keep short like a lawn has moved to other still wolf-free retreats in fear of the wolf. The inmates stare at the blueberry bushes along the way. They are actually quite big. But where is the wolf?

Most of the wolves live in Brandenburg

The chances of seeing a wild wolf are not that bad. Brandenburg is the federal state with the most wolfs. According to the Brandenburg Ministry of the Environment, there are currently 49 territories occupied by wolves, one of them in the Schorfheide.

A wolf in Germany

While the increase in wolves worries shepherds, the tourists are happy

Quelle: Getty Images

According to the Federal Wolfs Documentation and Advice Center, 105 packs, 29 pairs and eleven individual territorial animals have been confirmed nationwide for 2018/2019. This corresponds to an estimated population of the wolf in Germany of 1350 to 1950 animals, if you add the offspring.

This summer, Thuringia reports the first wolf pups in 150 years that have walked into a photo trap on the northern edge of the Thuringian Forest near Ohrdruf; North Rhine-Westphalia confirms the first wolf offspring in the Rhein-Sieg district.

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Thuringian Forest in Thuringia: Schwarzburg an der Schwarza attracted tourists as early as 1840 - today it's quiet here

Wolves attract visitors everywhere: both in the Westphalian Hünxe and in the Brandenburg Löwenberger Land, the forests are full of tourists who try to use cameras to find those wolves that have been newly discovered and filmed there. By the way, only four of 16 federal states will be wolf-free in 2020: Saarland as well as Bremen, Hamburg and Berlin.

Wendland and Lausitz skillfully market the wolf

The famous mouflon of the Schorfheide has already been practically exterminated because of the wolves, the coachman continues in a whisper. These wild sheep are high on a wolf’s menu because they are easy prey. They only have a short escape distance, prefer to hide behind trees in case of danger or crouch in bracken, which a greedy wolf naturally finds very practical.

“Oh!” Groan some tourists in pity and look fearfully into the forest. Not a wolf in sight. It’s just a romantic carriage ride through the forest. Meanwhile: In Wendland in Lower Saxony and in Lusatia in Saxony, where wolves have howled for a long time, people are more enterprising.

Well booked: hikes where tourists are shown wolf droppings. In the hotel “Kenner’s Landlust” in Wendland, after the tour, the four-course menu from Grimm’s “Little Red Riding Hood” is recited: “There is what the wolf likes to eat: lamb”, it says on the menu. Wolves are good for business.

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We will be happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

Source: Welt am Sonntag

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Brandenburg: Children in Ruppin Switzerland like to hike

Dhe boys are hard to keep. Adrian leans out of the carriage and sticks out his arm. Jacob’s voice almost cracks: “Piiiii-lze!” Coachman Jürgen Strache, who has so far presented his anecdotes, is startled: “It’s nice when children are so enthusiastic about nature!” He gives Chico and Hercules, the two shiny black geldings to stop the signal with reins and voice. The children jump off and scurry under the trees.

Edible or not? To be on the safe side, there is a mushroom identification book in the backpack, and the parents of the two boys have enough experience in collecting mushrooms. On the family hike through Ruppiner Schweiz in the federal state of Brandenburg, another great mushroom miracle is to come.

Our project starts in Neuruppin. From there it should go to Rheinsberg. For the sake of the youngsters, we divided the 25-kilometer march over three days – each around eight kilometers. A six and a ten year old can do that too.

The waters are the heart of Ruppiner Switzerland

The old Prussian town was already in focus in 2019 as Theodor Fontane’s birthplace for his 200th birthday. Another well-known son of the city was the builder and architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. He built castles and classicist buildings on an assembly line, such as the theater on Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt or the Nicolaikirche in Potsdam.

The hike also leads along the Molchowsee riverside path. There is a lot to discover

Source: dpa-tmn

We walk along the road to Alt-Ruppin, then we finally go into the forest – into the green idyll. On the right the beech trees, above us a roof made of branches and leaves, on the left thick reeds through which the sun pinks. Soon the reeds open up to the sandy beach.

The Molchowsee – in autumn its banks are deserted – lies in the golden light. It is part of a chain of lakes that are connected via Rhin and Binenbach. The waters are the heart of Ruppiner Switzerland, a hilly, wooded terminal moraine landscape.

Fishing on Molchowsee in Ruppiner Switzerland (Brandenburg): The children hope for the big catch

Fishing at Molchowsee: The children hope for the big catch

Source: dpa-tmn

On the jetty, which seems to lead into the low sun, the children cast fishing rods – a welcome change after a good five kilometer walk.

In Molchow we take the paddle boat for breakfast

It is not far to Molchow, a so-called Rundlingdorf, around whose village square the farms are grouped. We check in at the Luisenhof holiday complex on the Rhin. Katrin Helldörfer-Schmitt rents out the seven holiday apartments.

She tells of the political issue of the last few years: the Molchower Bridge. When Fontane came across the Rhin to Molchow in 1873 to talk about the old “eerie” wooden bell tower on the village square, he presumably came over a bridge.

Ruppiner Switzerland (Brandenburg): The "Luisenhof" is right on the water, for breakfast we take the paddle boat

The “Luisenhof” is right on the water; for breakfast it goes with the paddle boat

Source: dpa-tmn

The residents had been denied this path since 2016 after the dilapidated successor structure was closed and demolished. “Opposite is the forest,” says Katrin Helldörfer-Schmitt. People waited for years for the new building, which was finally handed over on August 28 of this year.

But the next morning we get into the paddle boat to get our breakfast, which increases the family fun. Diagonally across the street we moor in the small port of the “River Café”. The children take off their life jackets and are soon munching on sandwiches and fruit from a cake stand. Back on the other bank, the coachman Strache is already waiting.

Discovered mushrooms while riding a carriage

Would you like to continue hiking in a carriage? Oh yeah! Fontane did it that way. He traveled through the area in a horse-drawn carriage and later published his travel texts as “Walks through the Mark Brandenburg”. What the poet could do, we too can.

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Hiking in Bavaria: A hiker in Berchtesgadener Land takes a break and enjoys the view of the clear Obersee

We enjoy the ride in the wagonette – we continue through the beech forests in an open horse-drawn wagon at around five kilometers an hour. “If you talk about decelerating today – well, that’s it,” says the coachman.

The parents almost relaxed, but then suddenly the exclamation: “Pi-iii-lze!” The boys jump purposefully from the car again. On the bank they discover large porcini mushrooms.

Brandenburg: Coach driver Jürgen Strache sits in the wagonette that pulls the geldings Chico and Hercules through the Ruppin lake landscape

Coachman Jürgen Strache sits in the wagonette that pulls the geldings Chico and Hercules through the Ruppin lake landscape

Source: dpa-tmn

Strache’s explanations that a raised bog is being renatured in order to restore order to the forest’s water balance are of course completely lost. That the gray goose and crane breed in the Ruppin Lake District and that kingfisher, otter and beaver live and that the wolf in Krangen has already killed wild game.

The mill in the forest became a hotel

The area, which is rich in mushrooms in autumn, was discovered by Berliners in the Roaring Twenties for their summer vacation, the coachman tells us on the journey, a parallel to today. How wealthy some big city dwellers were is shown by the manorial development of villages like Stendenitz, which lies between the Tetzen and Zermützel lakes.

We roll along the Rottstiel river, the connection to the Tornowsee. At its northern end is the Boltenmühle, our night camp. “It is said that Frederick the Great said that if he hadn’t been King of Prussia, then he would have liked to become a miller at the Boltenmühle,” says coachman Strache when he said goodbye.

Ruppiner Switzerland (Brandenburg): Not only Theodor Fontane passed the Boltenmühle, but also Frederick the Great

Not only Theodor Fontane passed the Boltenmühle, but also Frederick the Great

Source: dpa-tmn

In front of today’s Waldhotel, water is still splashing over a mill wheel. Shortly afterwards, the family was splashing around in the hotel’s small swimming pool with a sauna when the rain started outside.

The sun drives the clouds away on the last day of hiking. First of all, the children’s willingness to migrate is bad. But between Zechow and Rheinsberg, where there were hardly any trees in Fontane’s time, they are motivated by the abundance of mushrooms: the family hops through the coniferous forest from chestnut to chestnut, and we also find Krause Glucken, the cauliflower-like edible mushrooms, in abundance.

The fact that Rheinsberg marks the end point of our hike also fits geographically. The city is located in the outermost corner of the Ruppiner Land – once a customs post when salt and tobacco were still smuggled. But we only have mushrooms in our luggage anyway.

Picking up poisonous mushrooms has these consequences

Even before the start of the mushroom season, reports of poisoning are increasing. Biologists and medical professionals therefore advise extreme caution. Mixing up can have fatal consequences.

Tips and information

Getting there: By train to Neuruppin; If you park your car there, you can return later by bus 764 from Rheinsberg.

Accommodation: There is relatively little choice along the hiking route. In Molchow, the “Luisenhof” also welcomes you with family-friendly holiday apartments, from 80 euros for the first night, 60 euros the next night, plus ten euros per night and person when occupied by more than two people, luisenhof-molchow.de. The “Hotel Boltenmühle” is located in the forest near Gühlen-Glienicke, double rooms with breakfast from 89 euros, boltenmuehle.de. In Rheinsberg, the “Gasthof Endler” with in-house butchery also offers family rooms, double rooms with breakfast cost from 42 euros per person, gasthof-endler.de

Leisure: Ruppiner Fahrtouristik carries out trips in the covered wagonette, from 60 euros / hour for up to seven people, kremserhof.com. Fishing permits are available from Fischerei Zeuschner in the Angel-Point shop in Neuruppin, angelpoint-ruppin.de

Information desk: reiseland-brandenburg.de

Ruppiner Switzerland in Brandenburg

Source: WORLD infographic

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Brandenburg: If you want to explore the Spreewald by paddling, you can rent a boat in various places

World tour through Germany

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Money back – now or never (neue-deutschland.de)

The Brandenburg student council (Brandstuve) is running out of patience. For years, former students have tried all legal channels to get the reimbursement of the re-registration fees levied between 2001 and 2008 at the universities in the country. Without success. The state government persistently refuses to repay them even a cent. Now it is time that the ex-students take action against it, says Brandstuve. Together with the Education and Science Union (GEW), the union of student representatives from Brandenburg universities is now preparing mass lawsuits against the state.

“Nothing at all is happening in the Ministry of Science. With the mass lawsuits, we want to significantly increase the pressure again, “says Brandstuve spokesman Jonathan Wiegers to” nd “. Because it is also clear, according to Wiegers, that the clock is ticking. According to Brandstuve, the limitation period for repayment claims is imminent on December 31. That is exactly what the house of Science Minister Manja Schüle (SPD) is banking on. “There one tends to just sit out the problem.” But that would correspond to “the practice of recent years,” said Wiegers, also referring to Schüle’s predecessor Martina Münch (SPD). “Everything was blocked.”

Consequential ruffle from Karlsruhe

Particular annoyance is caused by the fact that, from the point of view of Brandstuve and the GEW, the case seems to have long since been decided by the highest court – in favor of the fee payers concerned. After all, the Federal Constitutional Court had already declared the 51 euro obolus per semester to be illegal in January 2017. At the time, the judges in Karlsruhe came to the conclusion that the fee was only charged to cover the processing costs according to the legal situation in force until 2008. However, they would have actually only amounted to around 20 euros, the 51 euros that are pocketed every six months are in a »gross disproportion«.

The position of the state government and the universities has remained unchanged to this day: It may be that the re-registration fees were “unconstitutional,” said Minister Schüle in the state parliament at the end of August. A reimbursement is only possible if an action has been taken in due time. And on-time means here: by 2013 at the latest. Anyone who has missed this by then was unlucky. The claims are simply barred.

Student representatives and trade unions deny this vehemently – and, based on the Karlsruhe judgment, refer to December 31 of this year as the statute of limitations. Fred Albrecht from the GEW pulls out heavy artillery. According to him, the cabinet’s delaying tactics shattered “confidence in the rule of law.” “The fact that the state government illegally withholds 20 to 30 million euros and provokes the statute of limitations shows that the SPD-led science ministry does not take the legitimate claims of those affected seriously,” said Albrecht, the Brandenburg GEW board member responsible for higher education, research and further education responsible is.

Realistic chances of success

At least 200 plaintiffs would have to take part in the concerted legal mass action, says student representative Wiegers. With an online survey initiated by Brandstuve and GEW and running until Tuesday, it is currently being determined how many affected persons are willing to take legal action. The dispute could be settled via a litigation cost financer, who would withhold part of the amount won if the lawsuit is successful. Meanwhile, support for the mass lawsuit campaign comes from the university-political spokeswoman for the left-wing parliamentary group. When it comes to repayment, it is “a matter of principle,” Isabelle Vandre said on Friday. The lawsuits are “the last chance to be able to claim the repayment right.”

Jonathan Wiegers believes that this is exactly what will happen: “In any case, we are very optimistic.”

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Ideas for the post-coal era (neue-deutschland.de)

And facing the future: Workers at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Schwarze Pumpe combine in August 1955

Foto: akg-images / picture-alliance

In the Schwarze Pump industrial park on the Brandenburg-Saxon state border, Lausitz is to receive a boost in innovation. On this Monday, in the presence of Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU), the “Dock³ Lausitz – Competence Center for Founders and Businesses” will be opened in the Saxon part of the traditional energy location. The municipality of Schwarze Pump itself is part of the Brandenburg town of Spremberg (Spree-Neisse). According to nd information, the state of Brandenburg will be represented by its Lausitz representative, Klaus Freitag. The construction of the center was completed in June, 15 months after the start of planning. In addition to numerous Brandenburg project partners, the Free State of Saxony and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy contributed to the construction costs of 7.8 million euros.

The center contains office and conference rooms, a co-working space and a flexible workshop. The building owner of Dock³ Lausitz is the Zweckverband Industriepark Schwarze Pump, which in turn has been commissioned with the operation of the business development and project management company ASG Spremberg. ASG – that stands for settling, strengthening, operating. “In the Schwarze Pump industrial park, the location of Dock3 Lausitz, companies are already working on future-oriented topics such as sustainable energy management, sector coupling, 5G, autonomous driving, sensor applications, hydrogen applications and industrial water,” says the new center’s website. The Dock³ should be a building block in the course of structural change in the Lausitz. In an industry-related environment, founders and companies could work on new ideas and business areas as well as innovative products and technologies.

Project manager Michaela Nuck welcomed the first tenants to the handover in June and recruited them: »The proximity to the industrial park with over 120 companies and the know-how of the ASG business development agency are the most important location advantages of Dock3. We want to promote founders here and bundle and keep innovations in the region. “

Black Pump, with the former gas combine and around 40,000 employees, the most important location for the lignite processing industry in the GDR era, is still one of the largest industrial areas in East Germany. Around 125 companies with a total of 5,100 employees have now settled on the 720 hectare site of the industrial park – and a mix of industries, from power generation to steel construction, paper production, electrical engineering, the plastics and chemical industries to logistics. Lausitz Energie Bergbau AG is represented here as well as Siemens, the plant manufacturer Actemium BEA, Knauf Deutsche Gipswerke, Dunapack Spremberg or Veolia Umweltservice Ost. And the industrial park continues to grow. In 2023/24, for example, the construction of a demonstration plant for a hydrogen-based storage power plant is to start as one of several projects in the energy sector.

The new competence center is intended to make it much easier for young companies to settle in here. “The combination of office building and factory hall offers the unique opportunity to go beyond the idea phase and to test and implement it in the factory hall”, advertises the operator.

For decades, Lausitz was the heartland of the East German lignite industry. But the coal phase-out agreed by the federal and state governments poses major economic challenges for the region. In Brandenburg, power generation from lignite should be history by 2038. All in all, according to trade union information, around 8,000 jobs are directly affected in opencast mining here and in neighboring Saxony and a further 12,000 indirectly in the field of electricity generation and at the suppliers.

To accompany the structural change, a special committee of the state parliament was set up in Brandenburg at the end of September under the chairmanship of the Lausitz representative Wolfgang Roick (SPD). In addition, almost two weeks ago, the Lausitz Economic Region Cooperation Group started its work on shaping structural change. As State Chancellor Kathrin Schneider (SPD) announced on this occasion, an overall concept should complement major projects already underway, such as the railway works in Cottbus and medical training in Lusatia. The implementation of the Structural Strengthening Act will be supported from November 1st by the opening of a Lausitz office of the Brandenburg State Investment Bank in Cottbus.

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Low blow for tourism (neue-deutschland.de)

Schlossgut Altlandsberg – the renovated manor house is an urban meeting place

The tourism industry in Brandenburg is disappointed that the ban on accommodation for visitors from Corona hotspot regions such as Berlin remains in force. The state government announced on Thursday that, like most of the other federal states, it was committed to maintaining the ban until the beginning of November. At the beginning of October, the tourism world in Brandenburg seemed to be halfway in order. With a view to the coming autumn holidays, Tourismus-Marketing GmbH (TMB) reported a “very good demand” for tourist offers. “We have been recording increases in demand for months, and this trend will continue in autumn,” said spokeswoman Birgit Kunkel in view of the reduced number of centralized celebrations in the state capital due to hygiene reasons. Apartments and holiday homes are in great demand, and offers for families are particularly popular.

The Lake District Oder-Spree in the east of Brandenburg is one of the largest tourist regions in the state, restaurants, hotels, guest houses and campsites, but also municipalities and counties have invested a lot of money in the development of the tourist infrastructure. The outbreak of the corona pandemic in March and the subsequent lockdown hit them all hard and brought numerous providers to the brink of ruin. But many of them have found a way out thanks to creative business ideas. One of them is the “Schlossgut Altlandsberg” (Märkisch-Oderland), which, together with three other companies, was awarded the Brandenburg State Tourism Prize on Wednesday.

The castle estate goes back to a complex that was laid out between 1658 and 1673 with a baroque castle and a hall church. Extensively renovated, the brewery and distillery as well as the castle church have been in operation again since 2016, and the manor house had already been expanded into a meeting place. Schlossgut managing director Stephan Ruebsam had offered a cinema in the castle church once a month. “When Corona came, we moved the first cinema events outdoors in March,” he tells the “nd”. “After a short period of getting used to it, people accepted it very well. In the course of the season we played up to three times on weekends and there were always a lot of people, up to 90 people, a lot of regular audience. Even if we play in church again now, we want to continue next year, «says Ruebsam. The brewery restaurant had to be closed for reasons of space, but the entire open-air operation went well.

According to the motto “We’re going out”, at the beginning of the corona pandemic, Schlossgut Altlandsberg moved its entire offer outside, it was said to justify the award. “This meant that the company did not have to cut any jobs and was also able to secure and, in some cases, even expand its cooperation with its partners from the event industry and local associations.” can use the rooms free of charge. “The team handled 150 events during this difficult time.”

“This year we honored companies and projects that have come through the crisis with particularly creative approaches and are thus exemplary for the entire industry,” said Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) at the award ceremony in the Potsdam State Chancellery. Many vacationers from Germany, who would probably have traveled abroad in non-Corona times, would have discovered Brandenburg as a vacation destination. “That was only possible because our tourist actors did not bury their heads in the sand, but developed ideas on how they can give the guests good hours even in these difficult times,” said the minister.

Many tourism providers had bet that it would stay that way. Especially since Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) advised against long trips, especially in risk areas, and recommended staying at home at the beginning of the month because of the corona pandemic. “The second best option is to take a vacation in Brandenburg,” he emphasized. The ban on accommodation in Brandenburg on October 9th had alarmed the industry, and the Brandenburg tourism network had warned of a “wrong symbol at the wrong time”. “The current situation can hardly be conveyed,” said TMB managing director Dieter Hütte on Tuesday. And the Brandenburg State Tourism Association also questioned the ban.

Stephan Ruebsam benefits from Altlandsberg’s outskirts of Berlin. “Around 80 percent of our guests come from the area and can go home again in the evening,” he says. But the ban has just unsettled many Berliners. In any case, it is bad for him and his colleagues.

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Money from the defense budget for historical image (neue-deutschland.de)

Behind the base of the garrison church stands the portal facade of the long stable.

Photo: Soeren Stache / dpa

Is the Federal Ministry of Defense trying to influence a politically highly controversial building project? Does the Federal Armed Forces want to have a say in the view of the history and future use of the Potsdam Garrison Church or of its current copy? In any case, the “Peace Coordination Potsdam against Militarism, Nationalism, Racism and War”, an action alliance in which local democratic networks, organizations, parties, associations and individuals advocate a consistent peace policy, warns in a letter that is available to the “nd” . It states that, according to media reports, the Bundeswehr is interfering “financially in the controversial project” to rebuild the garrison church. The new permanent exhibition in the tower of the former military church is to be financed with 350,000 euros from the defense budget of the Federal Ministry of Defense.

As Michael Meixner, spokesman for the alliance, told the “nd” on Wednesday, Norbert Müller, a member of the Bundestag for the Left in Potsdam, came across this process while researching. Shortly afterwards, a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Defense confirmed to the Evangelical Press Service (epd) that the Bundeswehr wanted to fund the permanent exhibition planned in the new garrison church tower with 350,000 euros. A corresponding amount is included in the draft budget for 2021, it said. Whether, in what form and in what amount the funds can be paid is still open and depends on an outstanding application from the Garrison Church Foundation to the Ministry of Defense and ongoing discussions on the subject.

The exhibition is to deal with the history of the historic site on an area of ​​300 square meters. The fact that ideas about what should be the focus of such an institution quickly drift apart was shown in September at the exhibition “Right-wing inscriptions” opened by the Martin Niemöller Foundation’s “Learning Location History” in the art and creative house computing center right next to the church construction site. , which triggered severe criticism from the chairman of the scientific advisory board of the Garrison Church Foundation, Paul Nolte. On the part of the place of learning, it was pointed out that the historic garrison church had also “served as a place of identification for right-wing extremists many years before the ‘Potsdam Day’ in March 1933”. On that day there was the infamous handshake between the NSDAP leader and Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler and the German Reich President Paul von Hindenburg in front of the church.

From the point of view of the Potsdam Peace Coordination, the offer of the Federal Ministry of Defense stands in clear contrast to the promises and assurances made by the reconstruction foundation that the garrison church will only be rebuilt with voluntary donations and that the history of the building will be dealt with neutrally, comprehensively and without prejudice. “With funding from the military, the members of the Potsdam Peace Coordination and other peace policy-makers in the state capital Potsdam see the limit of neutrality again well exceeded,” they say in the letter. And in the name of the action alliance, reference is made to the fact that in the past few years high-ranking military officials such as the right-wing conservative Max Klaar from the traditional community of Potsdamer Glockenspiel or the former Bundeswehr general and later Brandenburg Interior Minister Jörg Schönbohm (CDU) have campaigned for the reconstruction of the Garrison Church. They also complain: “So far, neither the Foundation for the Reconstruction of the Garrison Church nor the proponents of the reconstruction project have faced a comprehensive, unbiased and above all neutral analysis of the history of the former court and garrison church. Instead, as in previous centuries, close alliances with the military are being sought again. “

For these reasons, the Potsdam Peace Coordination Office demands that no further public funds be allowed to finance the reconstruction and the permanent exhibition of the Potsdam Garrison Church. In addition, all previous and future financial resources and donations are to be disclosed. The history of the former Potsdam court and garrison church must be dealt with comprehensively and without prejudice by a neutral commission of historians, peace initiatives, the Evangelical Church and the city of Potsdam.

The work on the tower on Breite Straße is making progress. Sandstone sculptures have just been placed on the balustrade above the western staircase. But the controversies about the project split the city even after years.

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Berlin should have a say in Lausitz (new-deutschland.de)

The relationship between Berlin and Brandenburg – to put it in a friendly way – can be expanded, says Volker Hassemer, Chairman of the Berlin Future Foundation. There is certainly joint state planning and cooperation in various areas, said Hassemer on Monday at a press conference of the foundation in the Potsdam state parliament palace. But these have their limits. Often there is a lack of commitment and, for many questions, a responsible contact person is simply lacking.

Hassemer, once a CDU Senator in Berlin, pointed out the cooperative relationships between Munich, Hamburg and Bremen with their respective surrounding areas. Before every decision is made, the other side is heard and their point of view is included. That is different between Berlin and Brandenburg. “Our hearts bleed that this is not happening between our two countries,” said Hassemer quite theatrically. After the failed merger a quarter of a century ago, common issues “fell into a deep hole”. The development since then would force Berlin to recognize “that it is facing a self-confident and competent municipal level.”

Against this background, the Berlin Foundation is preparing prominent discussion rounds with eight partners “at eye level” on the topics of transport policy and transport axes, housing requirements, digitization, resource distribution, such as water, and relationships with distant regions of Brandenburg.

Scientific lead region as a goal

The cycle will begin this Friday with the topic “Cooperation between science and business in the region” at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam. The heads of Potsdam University, the Technical University of Berlin and the Cottbus Chamber of Commerce and Industry have registered. Speakers include Berlin’s ex-Senator for Education, Klaus Böger, and Brandenburg’s State Chancellor Kathrin Schneider (both SPD).

With 50 universities and 40 scientific institutes, the region has a unique density of top-class research institutions, said the chairman of the Einstein Foundation Berlin, Günter Stock. He spoke of a “wonderful” opportunity to supplement the respective scientific profiles in both countries. There are already cooperation relationships across national borders. Expanding and deepening these is a prerequisite for »becoming a lead region again«.

It is not enough that joint meetings of the Senate and the state government occasionally take place. According to Stock, Berlin should, for example, have a say in shaping the economic upheaval in Lusatia. “Lusatia is one of the really big challenges that lie ahead of us.”

The former head of the Verdi district of Berlin-Brandenburg, Susanne Stumpenhusen, complained about “completely different regulations” that would make cooperation in the areas of police and fire brigade more difficult in the two neighboring countries. If, for example, Berlin implements construction projects in Treptow-Köpenick up to the state and at the same time local border of Erkner in Brandenburg, then this would have serious effects on the community in the east. Greater Berlin was created 100 years ago through resolute incorporations. Now the city is once again faced with the question of having to coordinate extensively with growing peripheral communities.

New start of the merger unrealistic

A renewed incorporation of surrounding communities into Berlin is not pending, said Volker Hassemer. “That would be ridiculous.” There will be no further merger attempt between the two countries in the foreseeable future. “We have gotten too old to be illusionists.” Anyone who speaks of a merger today “is postponing a better cooperation until never before,” says Foundation boss Hassemer.

The foundation, which is based in the immediate vicinity of the office of the Federal CDU in Tiergarten, sees itself as an “independent forum for civic co-responsibility”. According to the Foundation, more than 500 people work in initiatives with five to 40 voluntary members each.

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The trip by boat from Holland to Berlin will be an adventure

Dhe perfect moment is just under 2000 revolutions per minute, the motor of the boat then turns strong and yet quiet enough that you can almost whisper and hear the birds singing on the bank. The sun rises quickly into a clear blue sky; It is seven in the morning.

Maybe they say something, but maybe they just have the same thought as so often in the past few days. The trip welded them together. Much faster than they thought it would. Behind them the waves are powerful, defined like tense muscles. They only break on the bank, but never on the water.

It’s the ideal speed, the ideal place, in the middle of the canal, right in the narrow channel that doesn’t touch the morning mist over the water on the starboard and port sides. It is the position where the land is so close and yet so far.

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Why bans on accommodation are complete nonsense

It is therefore right and important for the state to take tightened measures to prevent the virus from spreading further. It is wrong if new regulations are adopted in the process that do not make sense. The domestic bans on accommodation for travelers from risk areas are undoubtedly one of them.

Citizens have a keen sense of when something is forced upon them that could in practice be ineffective. Therefore, the current excitement about the overnight stay bans for travelers is understandable. Politicians are slowly beginning to realize that they have made a mistake with this measure. One only has to study the practical implications to realize that a ban on lodging is complete nonsense.

Berlin’s governing mayor Michael Müller (SPD) points out, for example, that hundreds of thousands of daily commuters from Brandenburg drive untested to the capital, while Berliners have to show a negative test in order to be able to spend the night anywhere in Brandenburg. Nobody really understands that.

In addition, the regulation opens the door to denunciation. The short vacation of a Berlin family in Brandenburg called the police in Neuruppin on the weekend: An anonymous whistleblower had reported a violation of the ban on accommodation. In addition: The accommodation bans do not apply everywhere in Germany. Some countries do not even participate.

Politics moves legally on very thin ice

In the face of such absurdities, politics must be careful not to slide into an acceptance dead end from which it is difficult to get out again. It is not sufficient as a justification for Chancellery Minister Helge Braun to defend the regulation as a “real emergency measure” because of the different infection levels in Germany.

Of course, politics doesn’t make its decisions out of the blue. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) provides the basis with its figures. We know that a hotspot or inner-German risk area is a municipality with 50 or more detected infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days. This classification is then sufficient according to the current logic of regulations to theoretically make all residents in these regions travel mad.

Politicians have to put up with the question of whether it is still proportionate if tens of thousands of citizens are put under a kind of general suspicion of corona in this way.

The fact is: the state intervenes deeply in people’s rights of freedom with its bans on accommodation, which also come across as travel bans. He does this on the basis of the Infection Protection Act, which was tightened at the end of March. But not everything that is legally possible is also politically wise or helps to protect health.

Health protection with the crowbar

As far as the restriction of constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights is concerned, the restrictive measures must be suitable, necessary and proportionate. If they are not, they are unconstitutional. When it comes to the ban on accommodation, politics is legally on very thin ice. Because travel outside of Germany is the main problem with the spread of the corona virus. It is more likely that private celebrations or sprawling festivals are contributing to the aggravation of the pandemic. It is not for nothing that stricter regulations also apply here.

But these too must be weighed up to determine whether they are constitutional. It is of no use if the population cannot understand the benefits of corona measures. Health protection with a crowbar is at best suitable for driving citizens into the arms of conspiracy ideologues.

People’s trust in the rule of law is of eminent importance, especially in times of crisis. Those in power should be aware of this. A crisis naturally places the executive at the center of political events. But a crisis must also be the hour of the legislature, the parliaments. When fundamental rights are at stake, that is where the decisions must be made.

Then senseless nonsense like bans on accommodation might not even come about. Now the only thing that helps is damage control. The country leaders should take the measure back if they don’t want to risk losing popular support for their previous corona policy.

More: Which rules apply where for people from Corona risk areas

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