Press release of the »Abolish Nonviolent Action GÜZ« from October 20th: War opponent defends anti-militarist occupation in court
On Tuesday, an opponent of the war was sentenced by the Bonn District Court to a fine of 100 euros. As part of the non-violent campaign to abolish the GÜZ, she entered the combat training center (GÜZ) Altmark last summer to disrupt the practice. In front of the court, supporters protested against the war exercises of the Bundeswehr and the imposition of fines on activists as part of a vigil with corona distance.
Julia Weise, 23 year old student of cultural studies, argued in court: »We entered the Altmark Combat Training Center of the Bundeswehr with 25 people. In doing so, we did not cross pacification. Still, I knew what I was doing at that moment: I was entering a military security area. And for several reasons. 1. This is the place where war is practiced. According to the Bundeswehr, all soldiers who are deployed abroad are in training here beforehand. War causes suffering. 2. Wars in violation of international law are being prepared. 3. This place is rented out. Profit is made here with war. 4. The Colbitz-Letzlinger Heide is located in a nature reserve. The fired ammunition runs the risk of polluting the groundwater. «(…)
Julia Weise demanded in court: “If there is going to be a conviction, then I would like to work off the fine in a social organization. Then at least fractions of the money will not flow into the military budget ”. In the judgment, the fine was reduced from 200 euros to 100 euros. (…)
For the occupation of the Altmark military training area in August 2019, 25 activists have received fines of between 200 and 500 euros in the past few months.
The Verdi regional district of Berlin-Brandenburg announced on Tuesday about the warning strike by 4,000 workers in Berlin:
On October 20, over 4,000 employees of the BSR, Vivantes and Charité, the pension insurance and numerous other federal institutions were on a warning strike in Berlin. For example, the garbage disposal and parts of the city cleaning department were on strike. The BSR recycling yards will remain closed all day. Several hundred strikers took part in decentralized rallies at Fehrbelliner Platz (pension insurance schemes, job centers, employment agencies), Alex (Charité and Vivantes) and a silent vigil in front of the Federal Ministry of Finance (employees of federal institutions). (…)
»The offer from the employers’ side that has been available since Friday has very disappointed many of our colleagues. I see that the bargaining parties are still very far apart in this collective bargaining round. One thing is clear: if there is no agreement in the negotiations, which will resume on Thursday in Potsdam, the Berlin workers will still be ready to strike! «Said Frank Wolf, Verdi district manager Berlin-Brandenburg. (…)
In the current collective bargaining round, Verdi is calling for salary increases of 4.8 percent, but at least 150 euros a month. In addition, the increase in the apprenticeship remuneration by 100 euros as well as regulations for taking on apprentices and adapting vacation leave to the level of the employees are required. The negotiations will continue on October 22nd and 23rd in Potsdam. (…)
The Magdeburg State Chancellery received an unusual visit on Tuesday. While the cabinet of Saxony-Anhalt around Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) held its weekly routine meeting inside the house, the operators of various clubs and discos of the state gathered in front of the entrance door. They put down a coffin with a wooden cross and disco balls to draw attention to the precarious economic situation of the dance halls – the coffin was supposed to symbolize the feared club death. Discos have been closed since March due to the corona pandemic – and they will probably stay that way for a while.
Because during this unusual action something sensational, albeit predictable, happened in the interior of the State Chancellery: the state government withdrew the decision made in September to reopen smaller clubs and also the large discos from November 1st due to the sharp rise in the number of corona infections . In the past week this was already indicated, now it is officially off the table.
“We will postpone any further openings that were planned until times permit,” Haseloff said at the press conference after the cabinet meeting in the large ballroom of the State Chancellery. In view of a difficult to predict corona event in winter, he did not give a specific date. According to Health Minister Petra Grimm-Benne (SPD), there will be a new assessment of the situation at the beginning of January.
Originally, the state government wanted to support the clubs, which were particularly hard hit financially by the corona crisis, with a hygiene concept: A capacity utilization of a maximum of 60 percent of the permitted number of visitors as well as attendance lists and minimum distances should make it possible to reopen the dance halls. Saxony-Anhalt would have been the first federal state to officially allow dancing and partying again.
For a long time, the manageable number of new infections spoke in favor of this. In the summer months there were hardly any infections nationwide. That’s enough of that. The Robert Koch Institute reported 49 newly infected people in Saxony-Anhalt on Tuesday morning and a 7-day incidence value of 15.8. This is the lowest rate nationwide, but with the Jerichower Land, the first district reached the critical incidence value of 35 new infections per seven days and 100,000 inhabitants on Monday. From this value, additional protective measures are necessary, the federal and state governments agreed on this last week. Haseloff was therefore forced to keep the disco doors closed.
The club industry, however, does not agree with this decision at all. In the run-up to the cabinet meeting, the operators of a total of 24 discotheques in Saxony-Anhalt had turned to Haseloff with an open “fire letter”. It states that she made the decision to take it back in the middle of the preparations for the reopening and “also because of its short-term nature” was very surprising.
Despite the higher number of infections, the operators continue to speak out in favor of the opening: “Only legal club operations guarantee a controlled and professional celebration culture, which otherwise shifts to the private or illegal area and thus represents a much greater danger.” The lack of prospects “is now pushing clubs and discotheques that have hitherto been economically healthy to the brink of economic abyss”, since previous support programs for immediate and bridging aid were only partially usable and would not have been sufficient. The operators are demanding, for example, the assumption of 100 percent of the operational fixed costs and compensation for lost sales due to the operating bans.
Haseloff, however, in view of the fact that the climax of the »second wave« does not yet seem to be in sight, will not allow himself to be changed. However, Minister of Economics Armin Willingmann (SPD) announced an aid program for those affected. The aim is to help those companies that had planned to open on November 1st – primarily clubs and discos – as unbureaucratically as possible. For example, Willingmann wants to install a so-called entrepreneurial aid for the months of November and December and increase the bridging aid. However, the Minister of Economic Affairs still has to coordinate – especially with Finance Minister Michael Richter (CDU).
Unspecific allegations, bitter hostility: The Magdeburg administrative judge Klaus Friedrichs concluded on Wednesday in a disciplinary hearing against Regina Blenkle, the mayor of the Bördekreisstadt Haldensleben, who has been suspended since 2017. He wants to put her back in office, but fears that this will not work. The opposing majority in the city council consisting of CDU, SPD and Die Linke will probably challenge the judgment again. “Then it will go on forever until her end of office in 2022.” The judge council chief Guido Henke (Die Linke) and city attorney Christian Rasch urged them to give in. Henke promised to let the local parliament vote. But this takes time. Friedrichs postponed the hearing to mid-November.
It is true that Blenkle violated official duties in some cases, “and that not insignificantly,” said Friedrichs. Nonetheless, the other side, which wants to obtain impeachment, “contributed significantly to the disrupted communication in the town hall”. The allegations are “permeated by character attributions that paint the image of a completely neglected and unsuitable mayor, but have no place in it.” He advocated a mild disciplinary punishment, such as a 20 percent pay cut.
Blenkle was elected mayor in May 2015 and replaced her predecessor Norbert Eichler (CDU). As a city councilor, she had previously often quarreled with parts of the cooperating parliamentary groups from the CDU, SPD and Die Linke. Blenkle left the PDS, the predecessor of the latter, more than 20 years ago. That is why, she believes, she was reviled. Their applications, for example for a social passport, have always been rejected together with Christian and Social Democrats. When she took office, her opponents began to collect misconduct and publicly raise awareness. In 2016, the city council initiated disciplinary proceedings. Saxony-Anhalt’s interior minister, Holger Stahlknecht (CDU), personally assigned an employee to investigate. Blenkle has been suspended since February 2017. 26 allegations are lined up in the application. “They want to get rid of me,” she told herself jW convinced.
Judge Friedrichs rejected most of the allegations as “vague”. The lack of cooperation with the city council is “a question of evaluation.” When recruiting staff, she used “her room for maneuver”. The claim that she unlawfully dismissed a department head from the city is also wrong. This was even determined by the labor court. She also did not delete any digital data, but merely moved it internally. The fact that she allegedly wanted to set a fine for illegal parking against her “does not indicate the situation,” said Friedrichs.
However, Blenkle really violated their obligations by changing the guidelines of the municipal housing association. In addition, shortly before her suspension, she had documents removed from the office of her deputy Sabine Wendler, who has been in charge of Blenkle’s official business since 2017. Blenkle explained to the other jWthat she wanted to secure this against unauthorized access, as she had done in the past. The judge assured her that she was entitled to do so. But she should have clarified the matter immediately. Because the documents were considered to have disappeared for months, the public prosecutor was investigating. This could not determine a criminal act, the files are back. “But she did not report it immediately, and that is a very serious violation.”
Blenkle is convinced that Saxony-Anhalt’s CDU under Stahlknecht is taking targeted action against them and is using “the provincial clique” for this purpose. The Union could “probably not cope with the fact that I ousted them.” Blenkle’s lawyer Enrico Besecke still had a “last glimmer of hope of reason,” he told the other jW. The city council is “ultimately also committed to the will of the voters and not an end in itself.” After all, Haldensleben has “been ruled by an unelected official for years”.
The pressure could hardly be greater: 1. FC Magdeburg has been sporting downhill for two years. Now, after the first three game days, the team has reached the bottom of the third division with only one point. And now there is also a big East Derby. The FCM will meet SG Dynamo this Saturday in Dresden. The relegated from Saxony also did not start satisfactorily, but has already scored three points more in twelfth place and of course does not want to say goodbye to the role of promotion favorite.
Mario Kallnik remains calm. Also because the season goal of the FCM is not that ambitious. “We want to get 46 points as quickly as possible. We can build on this foundation if there is still enough time, «said Magdeburg’s managing director and sports director in an interview with» nd «. He explains the bad start to the season as follows: “After the cup game against second division Darmstadt, which we only lost in extra time, we had eight injured players. A little later it was ten. So the team sets itself up on its own. And if players have to play in positions that they are not familiar with, that doesn’t help stabilize them. “
Actually, after relegation to the second division in 2019, 1. FC Magdeburg wanted to be further than just keeping an eye on relegation. “We want to establish ourselves in the third division in the first year so that we can be back in the second division in three years.” This is how Kallnik outlined his plan for “nd” in the summer of 2019. Now, looking back on the past season, he says: “It was a turbulent season. Our goal was to develop the team further. We didn’t make it. She wasn’t strong enough on the inside either, not a real team. In the end, we still managed to prevent relegation. «In order to make up for the lost year, a lot has to fit together in view of the strong opposition. The team, which was rebuilt with 14 newcomers and two of their own, believes Kallnik is at least “competitive”.
Two unsuccessful years have left behind even more profound traces than just sporting ones at FCM. Mayk Probst, member of the association’s economic council, questioned Kallnik’s work on Monday: “We have been discussing for months whether his abundance of power is good for the association. And our supervisory bodies such as the executive committee and the supervisory board are silent. «Kallnik himself does not see this as a power struggle at 1. FC Magdeburg. But what else should it be when such serious words are deliberately circulated in public? Probst had chosen the route via the daily newspaper »Magdeburger Volksstimme«.
“Criticism is legitimate and okay if it is not mixed with insinuations and falsehoods. In this case, the opinion of two people was declared to be the opinion of the committee, ”explains Kallnik“ nd ”. Similar to Probst, the chairman of the ten-member economic council, Andreas Müller, had made a statement. Above all, it was criticized that Kallnik is both managing director and sports director. “In principle, it’s nothing new, it’s old and tested, but it’s presented differently,” says Kallnik, adding: “From 2012 to 2018, I was already responsible for finance and sports at the same time. Within this structure, 1.FC Magdeburg moved up from the regional league to the third division and later to the second division. “
The success of 1. FC Magdeburg in recent years is closely linked to the name Kallnik, and not just the sporting one. When the now 45-year-old started his work eight years ago, the club was almost insolvent and has been debt-free for three years. And that the FCM, as a third division team, will remain stable in the Corona period is further evidence of sustainable development work. »We have had and currently have an immense amount of work. In the area of ticketing, for example, you still have to work flexibly from matchday to matchday. However, our employee structure is so solid that we managed to do everything well and will do so in the future, ”says Kallnik.
As a manager, he naturally has to take responsibility even in bad times. The renewed takeover of the position of sporting director from Maik Franz, who had held this position since summer 2018, was a first step, according to Kallnik: “When last season threatened relegation and only eleven games remained, we decided to be successful for a long time practiced structure to secure relegation. «Since reaching this goal on the penultimate match day, Kallnik sees the downward trend of the FCM stopped. The bare figures of the new season in the result sport soccer don’t prove him right. And despite public support from the presidium and the supervisory board of the association after the criticism of Kallnik from the economic council, the following applies: As long as the team doesn’t win, things will remain restless in Magdeburg. Success in the prestigious derby in Dresden would be a good start.
Dampf rises from the wet meadows, thick drops fall from the trees. The rain has detached the petals from the roses, forming a white carpet on the floor. The thunderstorm has just passed, but the first bumblebees are buzzing again through the herb garden of Michaelstein Monastery. It smells of lavender and curry herb, thyme and oregano.
Glass herb and pimpinelle, elephant and lantern flowers grow in front of the field stone wall that surrounds the garden. Fern sprouts from an old well, ripe medlars lie in the grass. Herb beds are lined up: on the right dye plants for ink and fabrics, next to them aromatic herbs such as sweet umbels or savory. And aromatic herbs are grouped in the middle.
“Almost only historically documented plants grow here,” says Sabine Volk. The gardener from Michaelstein Monastery made the planning of monastery gardens the subject of her diploma thesis as an engineer for land maintenance. Twenty years ago she laid out a vegetable garden with everything that was common on the medieval monk’s table. “I drew the time limit in 1492,” says Volk. So there are no potatoes, no tomatoes, no peppers in the garden.
The 50-year-old relied on the Sankt Gallen monastery plan, an ideal garden layout from the 9th century with a Kreuzhof, herb, vegetable and orchard as well as precise information on the selection of plants. At that time, Charlemagne also laid down in the crown property ordinance “Capitulare de villis” which plants were to be grown in the Carolingian region.
“Only the topic of magic herbs really has no place in a monastery – but they are also part of the Harz Mountains,” says the gardener. In the Middle Ages people believed in herbs and their smoking as a remedy against witchcraft and the devil. “Valerian, dost and dill – the hex can’t do what it wants,” was a popular saying. “For visitors, the symbolic, the downside, is always very exciting,” says Volk.
Examples of horticulture in Saxony-Anhalt
The gardens at Michaelstein Monastery are part of the “Garden Dreams” network that Saxony-Anhalt set up 20 years ago. Its 50 selected garden monuments are exemplary of the horticultural art of the state: baroque, palace and monastery gardens, extensive landscape parks. Many anniversary events were canceled due to Corona, but new ideas emerged: Sabine Volk became a YouTuber with garden videos from Michaelstein.
There are 14 of these garden dreams in the Harz Mountains alone – and most of them are mainly women. For example in the Roseburg in Quedlinburg, where a gardener regularly leads through the sometimes wildly romantic, Italian-style garden. At Wernigerode Castle, a young custodian is responsible for the terrace gardens, from which the view extends to the Brocken.
The palace gardens, which had been sleeping since the 1920s, were renovated with funding after the fall of the Wall, as was the baroque pleasure garden in Wernigerode. “During the GDR era, film screenings and workers’ games took place here, but a large part of the park remained overgrown,” says Lydia Seiler, who leads through the extensive grounds in a flowery summer dress and a straw hat. In addition to an orangery, it has baroque terraces and Germany’s northernmost chestnut grove.
The renovation was a project close to the heart of the landscape architect. It was only with the help of a photo with Seiler as a toddler on it that the most beautiful viewpoint over the city was found in the thicket. Gardens have long been Seiler’s theme of life: In the Wernigeroder Bürgerpark, the now 70-year-old planned ten themed gardens – from terraced houses to villas and metal gardens. She also takes care of growing her own vegetables.
Drübeck Abbey has one of the oldest gardens in the Harz Mountains
Only a few minutes’ drive from the Lustgarten is one of the oldest places where women worked in gardens in the Harz: Drübeck Abbey. Founded in the 10th century, it served as a Benedictine monastery and Protestant women’s monastery over the ages.
Around 1737 only five noble canons and an abbess lived here – each with their own garden that they could cultivate. “Drübeck Monastery is a millennia-old spiritual place. A lot can be felt here that cannot be learned from books, ”says Margrit Hottenrott.
The architect lives on the monastery grounds herself and undertakes meditative garden walks with her guests – on the trail of mysticism with her focus on holism. “All people experience primal experiences in nature and in places of power,” she says. “That is not esoteric, but based on experience.”
Walnuts as a symbol of fertility
The symbolism already begins in the walnut avenue at the entrance: Here walnuts welcome visitors – as a symbol of fertility. In the abbess’s garden, gnarled yews have formed a meter-high dome.
The yew was already considered an ancestral tree by primitive peoples. “The plant species were chosen very deliberately,” explains Hottenrott. For example the mullein, which stands for the scepter of Christ. Lilies and roses create a connection with Mary.
The garden guide repeatedly advises immersing himself in details of the gardens intuitively and with gut instinct: “Every time something appeals to us – a place, a tree, a plant – we should take the time to listen to the message. Some people grew up and can do it, others suddenly discover it. And many have a longing for it – especially in the last few months. “
The tour ends in the heart of the monastery, where a linden tree is more than 300 years old. Wrinkles and cracks, scars and holes cover its trunk, two of its large branches rest like tentacles on the ground.
“Our relationship with trees is very special. What he ‘exhales’, we breathe in. Its strength lies in the invisible roots, similar to that of humans, ”says the garden guide. Then she leaves her guests behind, some pensive, others in a spirit of optimism – for the journey to the next dream garden.
Tips and information
Getting there: The gardens in the northern Harz between Ilsenburg, Wernigerode and Quedlinburg can be reached via the A36, from the south via the B244 and B27.
Spend the night in the garden: You can enjoy a lot of peace and quiet and direct access to the garden in the “Abbess House”, the “Domain Barn” or in the “House of Silence” in Drübeck Monastery, a double room with breakfast costs from 88 euros (kloster-druebeck.de). The comfortable “Schlosshotel Blankenburg” is located in a barracks from 1848. Double rooms with breakfast from 97 euros (schlosshotel-blankenburg.de). A holiday apartment on three levels in a fortified tower in the Blankenburger Berggarten has a particular charm, the double room costs from 125 euros (prinzessinnenturm.de).
Events: There are regular tours, concerts, workshops and markets, such as the meditative garden tour in Drübeck Abbey (September 27 and October 25) and a “garden workshop” in Michaelstein on October 10 (gartentraeume-sachsen-anhalt.de).
Information desk: sachsen-anhalt-tourismus.de
Participation in the trip was supported by the Investment and Marketing Company Saxony-Anhalt. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit.
In the fight against the corona pandemic, the federal states can largely decide on their own responsibility about restrictions or the relaxation of requirements.
Here is the current status in the countries in selected areas of life. Important: The regulations are subject to conditions such as distance and hygiene regulations. In addition, the nationwide mask requirement in trade and local transport continues to apply.
Fine for disregarding the mask requirement
Baden-Württemberg: For those who refuse to wear a mask, for example in shops, the fine of at least 50 euros agreed between the federal states and the Chancellor applies. From Wednesday on, restaurant visitors also have to wear a mask when they are not at the table. The mask requirement then also applies in amusement parks and amusement facilities in closed rooms and in waiting areas. Violations of the mask requirement on buses and trains are at least 100 euros. Anyone who does not wear a mask on the school premises – outside of the classrooms – can face a fine of at least 25 euros.
Bayern: A mask is mandatory for all passengers aged six and over in public transport. Exceptions are only possible for health reasons and with a medical certificate. The standard fine rate is 250 euros in a one-off case and up to 500 euros in the case of repeated violations. As soon as the limit of 50 new infections in a region in seven days per 100,000 inhabitants is exceeded, there should be a mask requirement in heavily frequented public places.
Berlin: In the case of a violation of the mask requirement on buses and trains in Berlin, a fine of 50 to 500 euros will be levied.
Brandenburg: In Brandenburg, deliberately not using a corona mask costs at least 50 euros fine, up to 250 euros for “notorious mask refusers”. Anyone who inadvertently does not wear a mouth and nose cover and immediately follows the obligation should not have to pay a fine.
Bremen: Anyone who travels in shops or on buses and trains without a mouth and nose covering must expect a fine of 50 euros.
Hamburg: Anyone who is caught without a face-to-face mask in public places, such as in shops, faces a fine of 80 euros. In Hamburg’s buses or trains, a contractual penalty of 40 euros is still due, but this can now be increased by a fine of 40 euros, so that a total of 80 euros would then also be due.
Hessen: Anyone who does not wear a mouth and nose cover on buses and trains in Hesse must pay 50 euros without prior warning.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: The minimum fine for mask refusers in local transport and retail is 50 instead of 25 euros. The upper limit for mask violations is 150 euros.
Lower Saxony: In Lower Saxony, mask refusers have to pay up to 150 euros, the maximum amount for violations is 10,000 euros.
North Rhine-Westphalia: Anyone who does not wear a mask in supermarkets, for example, has to pay a fine of 50 euros. In the local public transport even 150 euros are due – without additional request.
Rhineland-Palatinate: Anyone who does not adhere to the mask requirement must pay 50 euros in Rhineland-Palatinate.
Saarland: Up to 100 euros must be paid for violations of the mask requirement; the authorities can leave it at a warning fee of 50 euros for the first violation.
Saxony: Violations of the mask requirement in local traffic and in shops will result in a fine of 60 euros.
Saxony-Anhalt: Anyone who violates the mask requirement in Saxony-Anhalt should not have to pay a fine in the future.
Schleswig-Holstein: Schleswig-Holstein asks mask refusers on buses and trains to pay a fine of 150 euros.
Thuringia: In Thuringia, mask refusers are fined 60 euros.
Baden-Württemberg: Public meetings, congresses, trade fairs and smaller sporting events with up to 500 people are allowed. Large events such as folk festivals, at which hygiene measures can hardly be enforced and contacts cannot be traced, remain prohibited until at least the end of the year.
Bayern: The hosts of pubs and discos are allowed to rent out their rooms for private and cultural events. Professional or business-related events such as conferences or congresses are permitted under the same conditions as cultural events – that is, with assigned seats with up to 400 guests outdoors and 200 indoors. Without an allocation, the upper limit is 200 or 100 people. Markets without a folk festival character, such as smaller arts and crafts markets or flea markets without large numbers of visitors, are permitted outdoors subject to certain conditions. To curb the infections, the government is placing restrictions on residence in public spaces. If the incidence value rises steadily above 50, only people from a maximum of two households, close relatives or groups of up to five people should be able to gather. This should also apply to meetings on private property or meetings in privately used rooms.
Berlin: The maximum number of participants allowed at trade fairs, conferences and commercial leisure activities indoors is 750, from Thursday 1000 will be possible. Up to 5000 people are allowed to gather outside at such events, previously it was up to 1000. Innkeepers who do not take care of recording the names and telephone numbers of their guests face fines. Depending on the severity of the violations, up to 5000 euros can be due.
Brandenburg: Events can take place with up to 1000 people, including church services and concerts. Distance and hygiene rules as well as regulated access outdoors and sufficient fresh air in rooms and the collection of personal data must be guaranteed. Large events with more than 1000 people are generally prohibited until the New Year 2021. For drive-in cinemas or similar events, there may be exceptions from the health authorities in individual cases. Brandenburg now allows more than 1000 fans in large stadiums and halls. With a capacity of more than 5000 seats, 20 percent may be occupied by spectators. There is also a ban on alcohol. The regular upper limit of a maximum of 1000 people applies below 5,000 places.
Bremen: Events with up to 250 people indoors are allowed. Up to 400 people can come together for an event in the open air. The prerequisite for such gatherings is a concept that shows, among other things, that the guests can keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from one another. The organizers must record the names of the participants. Larger events and trade fairs are also possible under certain conditions. Instead of the Freimarkt folk festival, a temporary amusement park will be organized this year – with conditions and without alcohol.
Hamburg: Events with up to 1000 participants outdoors and 650 participants in closed rooms are permitted subject to certain conditions. From now on, more than 1000 spectators are again admitted to the soccer games of Hamburger SV and FC St. Pauli as well as to other major sporting events. The prerequisite is that the so-called seven-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants at the venue is less than 35 and the infection rate can be clearly delimited. The space capacity can be used to 20 percent.
Hessen: In principle, events with up to 250 people do not have to be approved, but hygiene and distance rules apply. Spectators at amateur sporting events are generally allowed up to the upper limit of 250, provided a hygiene concept is in place and three square meters are available to each spectator.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: A maximum of 200 people may participate in rooms, 500 for outdoor events. In exceptional cases, up to 400 people can be allowed in rooms and up to 1000 people outdoors. After a decision, more spectators can come to professional sporting events. The permissible upper limits should be based on the respective venue. Folk festivals remain prohibited.
Lower Saxony: There is an upper limit of 500 visitors for indoor and 1000 for outdoor events for events in the cultural sector. Changes will be made in October at the earliest.
North Rhine-Westphalia: Events with more than 1000 guests must be coordinated with the state – the municipalities are no longer allowed to decide on this alone. For events with more than 500 people participating, stricter requirements apply: Among other things, the organizer must ensure that travel to and from the event can take place in compliance with infection control. Under certain conditions, more than 300 spectators may come to sports events. At large events with more than 1000 sports fans, only a third of the seats may be occupied. Special regulations apply, for example, to the Bundesliga: according to an agreement between the federal states, only 20 percent of the places may be occupied. Stricter requirements apply in the cities of Hamm and Remscheid because the number of new infections there has recently been very high.
Rhineland-Palatinate: Up to 250 people can gather indoors at events, including trade fairs or markets. Events with up to 500 people are possible outdoors, provided the distance is maintained and contact details are recorded.
Saarland: Events in the open air are permitted with up to 900 people, in closed rooms with up to 450.
Saxony: Large events with more than 1,000 visitors are allowed again, but only if the number of new infections in the region of the event location does not exceed 20 per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days. Concerts can take place in jazz clubs or other smaller venues. Up to 1000 visitors can watch games and competitions under certain conditions. For major events with more than 1000 visitors, such as football matches, stricter regulations apply: contact tracing must be guaranteed and there must not be more than 20 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the region.
Saxony-Anhalt: At professionally organized events such as specialist conferences, club meetings or party meetings, up to 1,000 people are allowed in the open air. In closed rooms the number of participants is limited to 500, from November 1st it can be 1000. Professional sports and cultural events could be possible with significantly more participants after special approval by the health department and the Ministry of Health. Clubs and discos can reopen from November 1st. You may not let in more than 60 percent of the maximum number of visitors. Attendance lists must be kept and minimum distances must be observed. Prostitution sites are also allowed to reopen.
Schleswig-Holstein: Outdoor events are allowed for up to 500 participants, in closed rooms for up to 250.
Thuringia: For public events in closed rooms, the contact details of the participants must be recorded. Events such as folk, village, city, rifle or wine festivals, sporting events with spectators or festivals are possible with the approval of the respective health authority. The districts and independent cities can issue general orders depending on the infection rate. After an increase in new corona infections in the Weimarer Land district, public festivals and meetings with the exception of meetings of local parliaments are initially prohibited until October 4th.
The salsify on René Thielicke’s farm grow where lignite was mined 100 years ago. A street nearby is called “Am Tagebau”; the “Biophilja” farm, which René and Sabine Thielicke run on the edge of Halle, is located on the “Miners’ Road”. When the pit was filled, soldiers practiced on the area. Now it’s arable land and grassland. Not a good thing yet: the meadows are poor; the land value of the fields is 30 and not 100, as in the Magdeburg Börde. But at least: They are virtually newly developed agricultural areas.
The usual way is the other way around: agricultural land is disappearing; under streets, factories, settlements. In Saxony-Anhalt the area used for agriculture has fallen by around 12,000 hectares since 2015. At the same time, the demand for fields is increasing immensely – worldwide. In 1970 global agriculture had to feed 3.7 billion people, today almost eight billion. In addition, field crops such as grain are in demand for energy production. Farmland is becoming more and more valuable – and interesting as an investment. Funds, large corporations and private investors buy land in the well-founded hope that their money is more securely invested than in stocks or gold.
Business founders like Thielicke feel the consequences. His parents run a farm near Halle as resettlers. But he first studied mechanical engineering before he decided to become a farmer and grow organic vegetables on his own farm. To do this he needed fields – which he did not own. In 2011, his wish seemed to come true: When buying a piece of land, he acquired the option of two hectares of adjacent arable land. Agreed price: one euro per square meter, i.e. 10,000 euros per hectare. A year later, Thielicke wanted to take the option, but the previous owners gave him the cold shoulder – even when he offered 1.50 euros. He can only speculate about the reasons. The prices for agricultural land were already rising at that time, which seemed seductive to the owners: “Many speculated that it would go up.” And it was. The expectation was not wrong. The Ministry of Agriculture does not publish separate figures for the urban area of Halle, where Thielickes Hof is located. In the neighboring Saalekreis, one hectare of arable land cost an average of 8,500 euros in 2010. Six years later it was 20,000 euros, today the price is 24,000 euros. It can vary depending on the location and the quality of the soil. The most expensive arable land, which changed hands in the state in 2019, was sold in the Salzlandkreis – for 82,900 euros per hectare; more than eight times what Thielicke wanted to pay in 2011.
This is a serious problem for all farmers and farms who need new land. Although banks would give loans for the acquisition of arable land without any problems, says Thielicke: “That is a safe investment.” It is much less certain whether the purchase price can ever be earned.
For usable land, prices are now being demanded “that will pay off for farmers in 150 years,” says Kerstin Eisenreich, agricultural policy spokeswoman for the left-wing parliamentary group in the state parliament: “That is absurd.” -Anhalt, sees land prices as the »biggest sticking point« for start-ups in the industry. They are also a problem for established companies – in addition to others such as the low income from agricultural products and the effects of climate change such as persistent drought. Since the founding of his farm three years ago, Thielicke has constantly struggled with drought; without expensive irrigation, its vegetables would wither.
The fact that this farm exists is the result of time-consuming searches, compromises in terms of the concept – and ultimately the luck and goodwill of a colleague. Thielicke was looking for suitable areas nationwide that would be connected to a farm and also be close to the city. Because the land market is not transparent, he drove into villages and spoke to the owners: “There is no stock exchange for the small areas we need.” privatized in East Germany and has sold 150 400 hectares in Saxony-Anhalt alone since 1992.
But even if, according to a ruling by the European Court of Justice in 2015, the state is not bound by the highest price bid, the BVVG is now calling for prices that are too high for start-ups like Thielicke. In view of this, he said goodbye to the hope of being able to buy land and looked for leasehold land. At times he had reduced his claims to a house with a large garden. He owes it to the operator of a large organic farm who leased him land: five hectares of arable land, 15 hectares of grassland. The contract runs for 20 years. “We still have 17 of them ahead of us,” says Thielicke. And hopes for an extension.
Thielicke can earn the rent agreed for his land – because the crops extracted in his business are labor-intensive, but productive and profitable. The »Biophilja« farm is managed according to the principles of permaculture: beds are optimally used for growing a wide variety of vegetables – from potatoes to soybeans and pumpkins to aubergines; the soil is improved by constant mulching, as well as manure from chickens and goats. There are no large, expensive machines, but there are 360 laying hens in mobile stalls on the poor meadows. Vegetables and eggs are sold in organic shops and in markets in Halle, in vegetable boxes or in the farm shop. This gives Thielicke income from which he can support his family, pay three employees fairly and finance the lease. This is more difficult for other businesses, especially since rising land prices affect the rents. For one hectare of arable land in Saxony-Anhalt, an average of 411 euros per year is due today, in the Börde 523 euros. Many companies have problems generating more than 350 euros, says Haby. The AbL managing director thinks this development is grotesque. Traditionally, the fields should provide food for the people. In fact, they were now used more for investment purposes; on the land market there is “pure, unbridled capitalism.” The development is fueled because speculative interests have long allowed people outside the industry to invest on a large scale, such as insurance companies or discount grocery stores. One gateway is the purchase of shares in agricultural companies. Such a so-called share deal recently caused a stir in Thuringia. There, of all people, the ex-head of the farmers’ association sold shares in an agricultural holding company to a family foundation owned by Aldi. There has never been such a spectacular sale in Saxony-Anhalt. But there, too, in 2018 and 2019, a total of 2000 hectares went to “non-agricultural investors,” the Ministry of Agriculture said at the request of the left.
Politicians have recognized the problem, but have not yet found a solution. As early as 2014, a working group from the federal and state governments set the goals of distributing agricultural property widely, giving farmers priority when purchasing land and, above all, limiting the rise in prices. So far, this has not even begun to succeed. In Saxony-Anhalt, the coalition of the CDU, SPD and Greens resolved to draft a law in the coalition agreement in 2016 that would “especially” bring about price containment. In November 2019, the SPD politician Jürgen Barth admitted in the state parliament that the matter was complex, especially with “share deals”; one does not want to have the draft “torn to pieces in court by the lawyers of large companies”: “Give us a few more days!” Ten months later there is still no law. The electoral term ends in June 2021.
The left has made several advances in the country; among other things, analogous to the rent brake, the price increase for land sales should be capped. A majority did not think so. This Wednesday, an expert opinion will be presented in Erfurt, which the parliamentary groups in the federal and state governments jointly commissioned. Among other things, it suggests that the approval of property sales should be refused if the sales price is 30 percent above the market value. A “dominant position” of owners in regions is to be prevented, the sale of company shares is to be capped and more strictly regulated. According to the paper, the fact that there is a need for action does not seem “to be disputed in the political discussion.” Until that has consequences nationwide, however, many harvests are likely to pass: the states would have to pass appropriate laws. Saxony-Anhalt has been showing how difficult this is since 2016.
Tumults, squeaks, screams. In Leipzig, the writer Anne König meets skins, philistines and Germany fanatics.
I’m scared, scared, scared
Popping rockets, mothers toasting each other, drunks who hoot the Deutschlandlied. In between those with the white hoods. Irritant gas, the masses are drifting apart (Rathausplatz). Some music group has to break off their concert because the white hoods throw bangers on the stage. From the philistine and Germany fanatic who has the black, red and gold wrapped around his beer belly, to a 12-year-old whose dad has put the flag in his hand, attached it to his jacket and parked it in a corner of the passage for a few minutes – a terrifying picture. I startled at every bang, like someone shooting at me. Strange joy on their faces.
Cops with helmets and shields grab the first skins.
A girl with a bicycle shouts in horror: “That can’t be. Pure National Socialism! “
The people from RTL pack their cameras and disappear into their cars.
There is no trace of a solemn atmosphere. This is about bare healthy getting away.
The skins throw bicycles down the Moritzbastei, glass splinters. The troop (no more than 50) turned towards the Gewandhaus. The cops run quietly.
Suddenly I’m standing between skins. C. pushes me up to an RTL car and reminds me to calm down: »Don’t run.« I get weak knees and regret that I was so curious. The guy from RTL looks blankly through his glasses out of the car. We say to him that that would be the material that should be recorded. I get angry with these fucking journalists.
The Gewandhaus is surrounded by the Greens with a plastic shield and helmet. They hit a girl at the Mende fountain. Tumults, squeaks, screams. Onlookers who have stood on flower beds at the edge of the sensational arena will see what is happening.
Honking cars with Germany flags.
Next to me a bald head: “Eh, the woman, how it squealed!”
The cops stand there and watch.
“Germany United fatherland.”
In Leipzig, on the evening of October 2, 1990, around 150 neo-Nazis rioted in the city center, including members of the “New Front” community from Franconia. The Leipzig writer Anne König later describes this scene in the book »Exposing the year 1990«, published by Jan Wenzel, Spector Books.
The police had to accompany us on the way to work. A Vietnamese contract worker looks back on his time in Magdeburg.
At the end of September to the beginning of October 1990, many German residents of different ages and from different social classes gathered in front of and around our house and besieged our dormitory. There were acts of violence such as the following: some youths drummed and hit the front door with hammers and clubs.
We had to get together and stay in our homes to protect our lives. At that point we were not yet unemployed. The police had to accompany us on the way to work.
It wasn’t until later that we understood why Germans did something like this: at the time, many thought that we were taking away their work. Some came to see us out of curiosity, but they did not use violence or do anything against us.
The high point came at the beginning of October 1990. People distributed flyers across Germany and called for people to come to Magdeburg and set our dormitory on fire. The local authorities recognized the danger and sent many police officers to protect our dormitory and other apartment blocks nearby where other Vietnamese contract workers lived. The police informed us of the situation and said that whoever wanted to stay in the dormitory should meet on the upper floors; otherwise we could leave the dormitory and look for protection and shelter ourselves.
The criminal police were in the basement and on the first floor and armed with firearms. She went to the people who were besieging the dormitory, talked to them and advised them to break up the crowd. In the end, the officers blocked the path to the dormitory so that no one could get near it. The racists could not carry out their plan and the next day only a few lone teenagers gathered around the dormitory.
Our life then slowly returned to normal, until we said goodbye to Germany and returned home. I thank the Germans who saved us.
The author of these lines entered the GDR in August 1981 and began a three-year training course after a six-month language course. He then worked at the Ludwigsfelde automobile plant and from 1987 as an interpreter for his compatriots in the clothing factory in Magdeburg. He found the relationship with the supervisors, teachers and colleagues to be positive, as they were nice and willing to help the Vietnamese contract workers. He wants to remain anonymous and now lives in Vietnam again. In the course of researching the project »second october 90« he wrote down his story. It was translated by the German-Vietnamese Friendship Association (DVF) Magdeburg.
In the 80s, more than 200 Vietnamese contract workers lived in the dormitory on Scharnhorstring in Magdeburg-Olvenstedt, who worked in the factories on Mittagsstrasse and Große Diesdorfer Strasse. Hundreds of Vietnamese lived in the neighboring buildings, working in factories such as the Roter Stern Burg shoe factory or the Schönebeck rubber factory.
Reunion drunk. Anetta Kahane looked after an emergency telephone for migrants in Berlin at the beginning of October 1990.
We had finished our preparations just in time on the evening of October 2, 1990, when the great unity celebrations began in Berlin. At that time I was the first and last foreigner commissioner of the East Berlin magistrate – from May to December 1990.
That was a crazy and dangerous time when I had this job: racism broke out everywhere during this time. During the soccer World Cup in June and July of the same year, it became clear that such major events are more likely to lead to attacks on migrants. That’s why we had prepared ourselves well that night: someone had put a sleeping bag on the old sofa next to the work phone. The line with the police departments was in place.
The police were in a desperate state at that time, but we still wanted to call the offices and put pressure on them. Above all, to protect contract workers. We had organized someone with access to a telephone in almost all of the accommodations. It wasn’t easy at all, there weren’t many telephones yet, and a grim porter sat in front of some of them. We tried our best anyway.
The fireworks from the Unity Celebration made distant popping noises when the phone rang for the first time. An emergency call from attacked Vietnamese, which we immediately forwarded to the police. A few more followed, four or five in total. People often contacted us after people had entered their homes. Many people were attacked that night. One of our own employees who came from Iraq was also attacked on the street.
When I arrived in the west with thousands of people tumbling in joy the day after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we were received by Turkish fruit traders. They were happy about the atmosphere and gave away what they had – including bananas. Some of the Ossis took the fruit and shouted at the same time that the Turks could then also leave, because now they are here.
For many of the contract workers from the East it was completely unclear at the time: what would all this mean for them? Racism was simmering everywhere. For many of the East Germans it was difficult to bear that this racism came from the gut of the GDR. It needs out of her, out of the country where it shouldn’t have existed. We had to be particularly careful during this time. Jewish children like me who wanted to draw attention to racism – that was not welcome.
I still remember trying to raise awareness of the problem with the police. They laughed at me. One of them even threatened to hit me. It was a terrible time.
Soon afterwards the first deaths occurred in the united Germany, among them Amadeu Antonio Kiowa.
Anetta Kahane co-founded the Amadeu Antonio Foundation at the end of 1998 and has been its full-time chairman since 2003.
They pretty much demolished the hut for us. 19-year-old Ovidio was defending an occupied house in Jena while Nazis ravaging his own
The whole thing only really started after the fall of the Wall. My circle of friends that had existed up until then collapsed. I had a solid group of friends in school and my class up to the tenth grade. We also did a lot. After the fall of the Wall, however, at the first two meetings – so I then, I think, only met them twice – there was always hostility and stupid sayings: whether I “don’t want to go home somehow” or “what I do.” still looking in Germany at all «. That was too stupid for me and I started looking for another group of friends. In a disco in Jena-Burgau I saw people with “Against Nazis” patches. I thought that was good. I talked to the first person who came up and said: “Where can I get something like that?” He invited me to an open plenary session.
At the plenary session, the current situation was discussed, fascist attacks and the turning point: What is happening there anyway? I found that interesting. I also found it very nice that I was not looked at crookedly. It didn’t give a shit how I was dressed or what my background was. I was just given weird looks because of my membership in the Chilean Communist Youth Association. Later I moved into one of the squatted houses.
It was clear that it would pop during the 1990 session. The fascists said quite frankly: “On October 3rd we will storm your houses.” We have prepared ourselves for it, also in the plenary. The police knew about it, but advised us to leave the houses. They didn’t want to protect us. We knew we couldn’t defend all the houses. We had to limit ourselves to preserving important objects for ourselves and not letting anyone in. We simply barricaded other houses.
We communicated by radio with the people who were looking to see where the Nazis were. They have chosen another house. Not what we waited in. It hit the house where I actually lived. The barricades did not last long. They really demolished the hut for us. Actually made almost uninhabitable.
We then went on the offensive in Jena. From 1993, I always say, you could walk through the city center as a punk, gay or anything else without being turned on by a Nazi because we had already punched him away.
Also read: In the turning shadow. Over 1000 neo-Nazis are planning to attack leftists and migrants. Researchers from Jena show that the German unification was accompanied by pogrom-like attacks.
In some authorities in Saxony-Anhalt neo-Nazis obviously enjoy sympathy. In Halle an der Saale, the police department approved a right-wing rally without the knowledge of the city administration – in the middle of the memorial event for the victims of the neo-fascist terrorist attack a year ago. In neighboring Merseburg, the head of the immigration office had to take his hat off because he allegedly used Nazi symbols and harassed an asylum seeker.
The Halle city administration has apparently been wrestling with the police for a long time. As the assembly authority, the latter has repeatedly approved rallies by the neo-Nazi Sven Liebich on the market. In some cases, she did not even respond to the city’s contradictions, reported Halle’s independent mayor, Bernd Wiegand, at a press conference on Tuesday.
On Monday, the city opened an exhibition in the market on the occasion of the first anniversary of the right-wing terrorist attack on the synagogue and a kebab shop. The neo-Nazi Stephan Balliet wanted to »kill Jews« on October 9, 2019 and ultimately shot a 40-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man outside the synagogue after he had failed to break into the building. The Higher Regional Court of Saxony-Anhalt tried him for two murders, 68 times attempted murder, dangerous bodily harm, predatory extortion and sedition. The memorial event had just opened, said Wiegand, when Liebich, a right-wing extremist run by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, came and held a rally. The Halle police station did not inform the city. “That is clearly a mockery of the victims,” said the mayor.
The police were informed that the marketplace would be fully occupied in the next few weeks. Therefore, »I ask the question very clearly: Who is responsible for the fact that the police, as the assembly authority, put a right-wing extremist precisely in the exhibition on the occasion of the anniversary of the anti-Semitic attack?« It is not about restricting the right of assembly, but about the location, said Wiegand clear. He also wants to clarify: “Who is interested in disregarding the city’s right to self-government?”
The town hall chief complained that only in the two largest cities of Saxony-Anhalt, Halle and Magdeburg, the police were on meetings, not the city. The governing coalition of the CDU, SPD and Greens wanted to change this for a long time. “We informed the state government about the case and asked them to implement the coalition agreement,” explained Wiegand. Next week the city council wants to decide on an administrative action against the state of Saxony-Anhalt – specifically the Halle police station. Such attacks are unacceptable, warned Wiegand.
Sven Liebich is known in Halle. He cavorted at neo-Nazi concerts and demonstrations, and for a long time he has regularly registered rallies in the city himself. He was reported again and again. Last week, the Halle district court sentenced him for the first time to 11 months probation and 200 hours of work for sedition, slander and insult.
Last week there was also a scandal in Merseburg in the Saalekreis, 20 kilometers from Halle. The district administration removed the head of the immigration office, Jan Rosenstein, from office. According to reports from regional media, he is said to have used Nazi symbols and harassed a client of his agency. The spokeswoman for the Refugee Council of Saxony-Anhalt, Cynthia Zimmermann, welcomed the decision, but criticized the Rosenstein personnel as only the tip of an iceberg. “For years, refugees in the Saalekreis have been treated particularly restrictively by the authorities,” she said in an interview with jW. This ranges from severe cuts in benefits to overpriced rents for a place in a shared room of up to 500 euros per month. “That is a structural problem,” says Zimmermann. She fears “that the impeachment will not be followed up”.
SSaturday afternoon, in a tributary of the Havel, somewhere in the jungle of the wetlands between Werder and the city of Brandenburg. The journey has come to an end, dock one last time, and then the passengers are back on solid ground.
A slight swaying can still be felt. Is that now due to the waves, which confused the sense of balance last week in the steady, gentle rocking of the stately motor yacht “Galathea”, 14 meters long, with three double cabins, saloon, pantry and two bathrooms? Or does it just show the pleasant confusion after a vacation in a strange world that is in a familiar area but looks like a kind of parallel universe in your own country?
After all, the view of things was different: it was the waterside perspective of the banks of those lakes, rivers, canals, towns and villages in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, southwest of Berlin, which one is actually very familiar with when cycling, jogging or hiking with a dog are.
Mecklenburg Lake District
How big does the Breitlingsee look when you sail on it, how colossal is the Glienicke Bridge, where Russians and Americans exchanged their agents during the Cold War, from below, how majestic and within reach is the Sacrow Church of the Savior on the banks of the Havel, a historical building Icon, inaccessible during the Walling Period, neither from the West nor the East.
But also the industrial areas, the ports for bulk and general cargo such as in Berlin-Spandau, with their huge rolling cranes, can be seen with different eyes from the houseboat. After work, when the crane operator finishes his work and climbs down and you tie up on the quay opposite, for a sundowner on the upper deck and then to sleep, this scenery only looks bizarre and fantastic, but by no means uncomfortable. And there is something special when the sun rises early in the morning while walking through the steel monster skeleton and the coffee smells on the flybridge.
In a boat across Germany’s lakes
Corona times make people look for alternatives when on vacation. The trend towards destinations in the area, in one’s own country, could last for years. Reason enough to get to know the neighborhood anew, to catch a different glimpse of it, to sail across the lakes, rivers and canals.
With the whole family or with friends; Many motor yachts have room for six, or eight adults if necessary, as well as a board dog. There is something for everyone, for holders of boating licenses as well as for newcomers, who after a short introduction are also allowed to drive spacious boats, with minor restrictions (see below).
The east offers the most rewarding inland waters in Germany for a week on a motor yacht or houseboat. The Mecklenburg Lake District is legendary, where nature is still wild and untouched here and there.
The heart of the lake district, the Müritz, is the largest inland lake in the Federal Republic of Germany with over 112 square kilometers – here those who enjoy driving can do a lot of distance. Likewise on the wide Brandenburg water course, the main areas of which are mainly to the west and south-east of Berlin. Mecklenburg, Brandenburg and Berlin together offer over 2000 kilometers of rivers and lakes, this is Germany’s largest networked water sports area.
If you are looking for pure deceleration instead of shoving around, you will be happy in Saxony-Anhalt: In the Central German Lakeland, which was and is still being built in the renatured areas of the former Goitzsche open-cast lignite mine, you will find a nice range of fixed “floating houses” on Geiseltalsee and Großem Goitzschesee . You can go on water excursions here by canoe or rubber dinghy.
Depending on the size of the houseboat, you can survive a week without mooring once: leave the fairway every evening and out with the anchor. Most charter companies have adapted their refrigerators over the decades to the growth of thirst and customer demands. The diesel supply is always generous, water and waste water tanks are also sufficient with economical consumption – swimming instead of showering.
First nature, then a shore excursion to the restaurant
Nature experiences are guaranteed. Once the engine is off, a giant catfish appears from below in a short arc. In the evening, geese move across the sky high up, water lilies bloom and – depending on the season – a frog croaks in the swamp at the back. At most, the show-offs cause excitement as they hit high waves in their speeding Poser yacht and sweep the wine glasses off the table in the bobbing houseboat.
Every now and then, with all the love for distance, you should moor at one of the countless marinas. The chat there with the neighbors is not only entertaining, useful tips are almost always given about the next stage or the best bakery that you can go to the next morning with the bike you brought with you as a precaution.
The thread of the conversation is already tied in the afternoon when mooring, when a helpful hand catches the thrown rope and routinely covers the cleat with a head blow, i.e. the line is secured against unintentional loosening with a kind of sailor’s knot. And if you have picked the right port from the area guide, the shore excursion will be sweetened with a good restaurant, provided you have reserved in time.
Because of Corona, the demand for yachts is high
In the summer of 2020, Corona ensured that the jetties at the charter companies were empty – and those in the marinas were correspondingly full. Anyone planning a boating holiday for the coming year should start looking for a suitable yacht in good time.
Large boats offer a lot of space inside – but cause space problems in the ports. For a boat about 14 meters long, jetties are rare. Anyone who probes by phone after 4 or 5 p.m. must expect rejections rather than promises. Maybe the headbridge is still free at the front. Or the steamboat landing – see you tomorrow morning at seven thirty. Hardly any harbor master wants to reserve.
Public quays are more likely to be found in the larger towns, and they are also often full in the high season. It is easier for nine or penalty yachts. There would also be room for a family there. Here and there sailing yachts are also on the move, but if you want to get to know several lakes, connected by canals and rivers with bridges, you would drive more under motor than under sail, with a horizontal mast.
It is important to plan the stages well
Good planning is everything. More than 30 kilometers a day is uncomfortable. Those who anchor in between, who want to walk through Potsdam’s center, Werder, Babelsberg or Brandenburg and avoid worrying about the evening berth, plan shorter stages from the outset.
Especially important for those who like to travel: At the end of the week you have to be back at the charter port – and very punctually, otherwise it will be expensive. If you only plan the return trip on the Friday before the boat is returned (usually Saturday 9 or 10 a.m.), you should think twice about it, given the time-consuming locks and any hectic pace.
Boats up to 15 HP do not require a license. These are either smaller specimens or houseboat rafts with a rectangular hull, which have become increasingly popular recently, even if some routes are closed to them and they are only making slow progress. Which is why the radius for weekly planning has to be set significantly smaller with them.
Most are booked for day trips because they only offer spartan sleeping places. Sometimes they are also equipped as party boats with booming bass loudspeakers and so make those seeking peace and quiet annoyed.
Locks can be a problem in a houseboat
But there are also real swimming bungalows for newcomers in every comfort and price class, inside with cabin suites, professional kitchens and, if necessary, even with a sauna and wood stove. The advantage of these houseboats: They only have a shallow draft, so they can hardly run aground. While the cabin cruiser captain has to feel his way around at walking pace with a fixed view of the echo sounder where the marker barrels tend to be missing in the shallow fairway, a bungalow like this can – carefully – almost advance to the shore.
The worlds then separate when it comes to the mooring maneuvers or, more clearly, in the locks, where the clumsy newcomer in the houseboat just before the crash has to listen to instructions over loudspeakers, more or less friendly and audible for everyone. So if you like it stress-free, choose a route without locks.
Experienced license holders may prefer a traditional yacht. Many things have become easier for those who may have made the appearance decades ago; bow and stern thrusters, for example, have long been standard. Which is why nowadays nobody can be admired from the jetty while “parking backwards” perfectly. With draft beer later in the harbor bar, there is still enough to talk about. By far, of course.
Tips and information
Houseboat provider: Brandenburg and Berlin: the small landlord mariTeam in Deetz near Werder offers good service, houseboats from 750 euros / week (dialog-charter.de). Kuhnle Tours is based on the Müritz, but also has locations in Berlin and Brandenburg, bungalow boats from 59 euros / night, houseboats from 511 euros / week (kuhnle-tours.de).
Mecklenburg Lake District: Yachtcharter Schulz in Waren an der Müritz has a wide range of houseboats, from 490 euros / week (bootsurlaub.de), as does Müritz Yacht Management, from 649 euros / week (mueritz-yacht.de).
Leipziger Seenland: Seeblick houseboat rental offers fixed houseboats and “floating houses”, for example on the Großer Goitzschesee and Geiseltalsee, from 120 euros / night (hausbootvermietung-seeblick.de).
Requirements: A boating license is often not necessary for many models and areas; more than 900 kilometers can be traveled in East Germany without such a document. Houseboats up to 15 HP are mostly free of license, classified “tourist waterways” are often navigable with boats over 15 HP without a license, a briefing (charter certificate) from the rental company is sufficient. Rules vary regionally and should be requested from the landlord.
Further information: deutschlands-seenland.de; reiseland-brandenburg.de; mecklenburgische-seenplatte.de; blaues-band.de (Central Germany)
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