70 years ago today, the Arandora Star
was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Ireland by Commander Günther Prien
, famous for sinking the HMS Royal Oak at Scapa Flow. Prien had taken its grey livery to mean the Arandora Star was an armed merchant ship. Instead, it was carrying Italian and German internees to be held in Canada for the duration of the war. [more inside]
posted by Dim Siawns
on Jul 2, 2010 -
Since the Middle Ages, German craftsmen have gone 'auf der Walz'
(taken to the road) as part of a kind of working-pilgrimage that artisans make after completing an apprenticeship with a master craftsman. These travels are meant to teach them about work and life and takes precisely three years and one day; they are not allowed to return home before this time. The trip can take these young craftsmen and women (all must be under the age of 30) halfway around the world (and often does
) and they are allowed only a small rucksack. Other than that, they can bring along their uniform (a simple black and white affair that almost defies description
), their tools, undergarments, a sleeping bag, a book and their trademark walking stick.
Although today this is a dying tradition, and is often more traditionally known as being a Journeyman
today, it still exists and has inspired some to write about the strage travellers they see on the road
. Indeed, perhaps the most famous work this tradition inspired is Australian poet Banjo Patterson
, whose work Walzing Matilda
is believed to have been inspired
by this fascinating yet waning custom.
posted by Effigy2000
on Dec 14, 2006 -
represents an emerging Russo-German culture. He is a DJ
spinning Russian wild ska-punk club music, he is a radio talk-show host, the author of several best-selling books depicting the life of Russian immigrants in Germany, and a sort of good-humored emblem of the emerging hybrid culture of Berlin. In a fascinating interview
, he reveals post Soviet Russia, and Russian lives and literature in the West; you can read his stories, Paris Lost,
and Animal Transport,
and the usual overview of his works and of his significance,
in the NYT Books
posted by semmi
on Dec 24, 2004 -
Interesting article on The Loneliness of Being German
: "Germans have turned their back on the arrogance of nationalism.. But if nationhood is obsolete then so is identity. It would mean that there is no such thing as being German and that they possess no individuality." Meanwhile, far right wing party growing support in German elections
: "It's a great day for Germans who still want to be Germans" -- Holger Apfel, NPD leader in Saxony. Germany's government has described the NPD as a latter-day version of Hitler's Nazi party.
posted by stbalbach
on Sep 21, 2004 -