Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Operation Last Chance: "Late, but not too late"

"Spät, aber nicht zu spät" is the claim of a poster campaign called "Operation Last Chance" which is in these days all over Berlin.

On the striking poster is a black and white photograph of the notorious "Gate of Death" at the Nazis' Birkenau extermination camp with the train tracks leading up to it.

The campaign is launched by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, named after Simon Wiesenthal, a Jewish-Austrian Holocaust survivor who became famous after World War II for his work as a Nazi hunter.

Wiesenthal spent all his life after the war to hunt the Nazis and he took part on locate Adolf Eichmann, one of the major organizers of the Holocaust, who was found guilty and executed by hanging in 1962.

After his death in 2005, the Center continues the hunt for suspected Nazi war criminals, but today its primary activities include Holocaust remembrance, education, and fighting antisemitism.

The new campaign is made to bring remaining Nazi war criminals to justice by offering financial rewards for information leading to their arrest and conviction; up to 25,000 euros for valuable information contributing to the punishment of Holocaust perpetrators, under the following conditions:
5000 euros for an indictment;
5000 euros for a conviction
100 euros per day in prison for the first 150 days in jail, up to an additional 15,000 euros.
Maximum: 25.000 €

The idea behind is to bring the remaining Nazis, which are still alive, to jail, before they die.
"I don't imagine 60 people will be brought to justice but every single one is a victory. It may be two or three or five and there is no reason to forego these." - Efraim Zuroff, head of the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told Reuters.

It's hard to understand if this campaign arrives too late, if is necessary or not, if it will help the fight against neo-nazi (a too long underestimates problem in Germany). Although for some Germans this topic is still a bit a taboo, it is also understandable how most of the younger Germans would like to mark a line between their history and their future.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Vladimir Lenin Shipyard - Solidarnosch (Danzig / Gdansk)

The historical relationships between Germany and Poland are very deep and very old, so that is not very far from my research to go in Poland time to time. At the beginning of World War II, nearly a quarter of the pre-war Polish areas were annexed by Nazis and placed directly under German civil administration, while the rest of Nazi occupied Poland was named as General Government.
After the war, boosted by heavy investment in the development of its port and three major shipyards for Soviet ambitions in the Baltic region, Gdańsk became the major shipping and industrial center of the Communist People's Republic of Poland under the name of Vladimir Lenin Shipyard.
In December 1970, Gdańsk was the scene of anti-regime demonstrations, which led to the downfall of Poland's communist leader Władysław Gomułka. During the demonstrations in Gdańsk and Gdynia, military as well as the police opened fire on the demonstrators causing several dozen deaths. Ten years later, on August 31, 1980, Gdańsk Shipyard was the birthplace of Solidarnosch , the Solidarity trade union movement, whose opposition to the Communist regime led to the end of Communist Party rule in 1989, and sparked a series of protests that successfully overturned the Communist regimes of the former Soviet bloc. Solidarity's leader, Lech Wałęsa became President of Poland in 1990.
So the Fall of the Berlin Wall is itself a consequence of Solidarnosch.
Unfortunately, the Shipyards today are going to be removed, cause a new shipyard has been built and there's not enough work for this old wonderful giant iron monsters.

More infos: WIKI (solidarnosch) and WIKI (gdansk)

All images are under CC Creative Commons (Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works), please refer to " darioj laganà | "

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Breaking the Circle: Dahme/Mark

After Brandenburger An der Havel, Kremmen and before Jüterborg, Dahme/Mark is the next small city south east of Berlin in our Breaking the Circle section.
Through the city flows the river of the same Dahme , which rises near and in Berlin-Köpenick in the Spree flows. Dahme was the first time in 1186, then through the century it arrived to be part of Prussia and have its actual name Mark, cause it was already a city called Dahme.

The city itself is small an nice, with a medieval city center and the Castle/Schloss is now without roof but still visible.

More infos: WIKI (german)

All images are under CC Creative Commons (Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works), please refer to " darioj laganà | "