“¿Dónde está mi tribu?” de Carolina Olmo

Me he encontrado este libro de casualidad en la Libraría de la piscina de Fontanars y, además de sentirme muy identificado con la autora (su hijo nació también en Lavapiés y solo 2 años antes que Julia), me parece que hace un análisis tremendamente realista, lúcido y sereno de lo que implica ser padre en estos tiempos que nos ha tocado vivir.

Investigando un poco he encontrado este blog donde hay un artículo muy detallado sobre el libro y en los comentarios está este video:

Y YouTube me ha llevado esta entrevista:

Berlin Wall Scrapbook

“Life behind the Berlin Wall | Thomas Hoepker”: Photographs & narration by Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker.

…they represent at least a try of what mankind could do but failed bitterly and brutally. In some aspects it was a dream which was shattered, people believed in socialism for a while and so many were disappointed.

Before the rise of the Berlin Wall in 1961, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin, from where they could then travel to West Germany and other Western European countries.

List of deaths at the Berlin Wall – Wikipedia

Great 3D recreation of the wall (please ignore the annoying audio):

I did not know about this “classic” quote by the, then, head of the DDR. The quote is from 15 June 1961 at a press conference in East Berlin. The construction of the wall started less that a month after that:

“Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten.”
“Nobody has the intention of bulding a Wall”

Walter Ulbricht – First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany

East Berliners stormed the STASI headquarters to prevent files from bring destroyed.

According to Anna Funder, there was panic at Stasi Headquarters in Berlin-Lichtenberg:

Stasi officers were instructed to destroy files, starting with the most incriminating–those naming westerners who spied for them, and those that concerned deaths. They shredded the files until the shredders collapsed. Among other shortages in the East, there was a shredder shortage, so they had to send agents out under cover to West Berlin to buy more. In Building 8 alone, the citizens’ movement found over a hundred burnt out shredders.[120]

According to William F. Buckley, Jr., “In the weeks after November 9, Stasi offices were stormed in various cities around East Germany. Stasi commissars in three of those cities committed suicide. But not one was lynched or executed.”[121]

Erich Mielke – Peaceful Revolution – Wikipedia

Erich Mielke’s famous live TV appearance in front of the Volkskammer on 13 November 1989: As his speech was broadcast live, Mielke began by using overly bombastic, flag-waving language, saying “We have, comrades, dear assembly members, an extraordinarily high amount of contact with all working people” (German: “Wir haben, Genossen, liebe Abgeordnete, einen außerordentlich hohen Kontakt zu allen werktätigen Menschen.”). To his shock, the Volkskammer responded with boos, whistles, and catcalls.

His face grief-stricken and pale, Mielke then tried to defuse the situation, “Yes, we have such contact, let me tell you-let me tell you why. I am not afraid to stand here and to give you an honest answer” (German: “Ja, wir haben den Kontakt, ihr werdet gleich hören – ihr werdet gleich hören, warum. Ich fürchte mich nicht, ohne Rededisposition hier Antwort zu stehen.”). Mielke continued, speaking of the “triumph” of the socialist economy, continuing all the while to address the members of the Volkskammer as “Comrades” (German: “Genossen”). In response, Volkskammer member Dietmar Czok of the CDU, rose from his seat and raised his hand. Volkskammer president Günther Maleuda interrupted Mielke, and allowed Czok to speak.

With his voice dripping with contempt, Czok told Mielke, “As a point of order, let me remind you that there are more people sitting in this House than just your Comrades!“. In response, many in the chamber burst into applause, cheers, and shouts of “We are not your Comrades!” (German: “Wir sind nicht deine Genossen!”)

Trying to appear magnanimous, Mielke responded, “This is a natural, Humanist question! This is just a question of formality.” (German: Das ist doch nur ‘ne natürliche, menschliche Frage! Das ist doch nur eine formale Frage!”), leading to further shouts of displeasure from the chamber. In a last ditch effort, Mielke “raised his arms like an evangelist,” and cried, “I love all – all Humanity! I really do! I set myself before you!” (German: “Ich liebe – Ich liebe doch alle – alle Menschen! Na liebe doch! Ich setze mich doch dafür ein!”).

Everyone in the room, including staunch SED members, burst out laughing. John Koehler later wrote, “Mielke was finished.”

Mielke’s address to the Volkskammer remains the most famous broadcast in the history of German television. Anna Funder has written, “When they think of Mielke, East Germans like to think of this.

Erich Mielke – Televised Humilliation – Wikipedia

Coda: Although I may not necessarily agree with their conclusions, these two videos provide A LOT of raw data, and an alternative viewpoint.

Connections (TV series) – James Burke

Connections is a 10-episode documentary television series and 1978 book (Connections, based on the series) created, written, and presented by science historian James Burke. The series was produced and directed by Mick Jackson of the BBC Science and Features Department and first aired in 1978 (UK) and 1979 (USA). It took an interdisciplinary approach to the history of science and invention, and demonstrated how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical world events were built from one another successively in an interconnected way to bring about particular aspects of modern technology. The series was noted for Burke’s crisp and enthusiastic presentation (and dry humour), historical re-enactments, and intricate working models.

Connections (TV Series) – Wikipedia

Marcin Januskiewicz – Toledo


A lith print is a photographic printing process that uses standard black-and-white photographic paper with lithographic developer (often heavily diluted standard developer) to produce a print with dark shadows and soft, bright highlights.

The effect has been described as “creamy highlights and hard shadows, an appearance not unlike a charcoal drawing”

Lith print – Wikipedia

Marcin Januskiewicz – Toledo
Lith prints
2013

Please see the complete collection on Marcin’s gallery.

El País, being silly.

Sillier than usual, that is.

The most important (ok, most read) newspaper in Spain, El País, is telling me that they will decide on how I must use my browser to visit them, and which add-ons I can and cannot use.

I hardly ever visit this silly website anyway, but I do not like people telling me how to use my stupid browser. Specially if they are going to get all silly about it. Here is what I got today:

Please, disable your adblocker, subscribe or fuck off.

Yours silly, El País.
There is not even the faintest attempt to explain why I should agree or go along with this, hence the «fuck off» part.

I know what you are thinking, trying to prevent access using a silly modal window is kind of silly, right?

I thought that too, and decided I would see how long it would take me to remove that modal window. About 3 minutes, all this while discussing Matilda with Julia.

We only need to hide that modal window and to re-enable vertical scroll. Two CSS rules, that’s all. I added them using this Chrome addon:

Silly CSS rules are rather silly, indeed:

/* Hide silly modal window */
.fc-ab-root {
  display:none;
}
/* Re-enable silly vertical scroll */
html {
  overflow-x:auto
}
And there you go, you can now read all about Les putes silly Fallas in Saudi Arabia.

This is silly. El País, please stop being silly.


Update: as I just found someone who had thought of this first, as it always happens:

Source, here.

(function() {
  "use strict";
  $(document).ready(function() {
    function antiwall() {
      $(".fc-dialog-container").fadeOut();
      $(".fc-dialog-overlay").fadeOut();
      $(".fc-whitelist-root").remove();
      $(".fc-ab-root").remove();
      $(".salida_articulo").css("overflow", "visible");
    }
    setTimeout(antiwall, 1400);
  });
})();

Berlin: The Downfall 1945

In February 1943, a Red Army officer taunted a group of German prisoners in the ruins of Stalingrad. “That’s how Berlin is going to look!”
Antony BeevorStalingrad (1998)

I just finished listening to Antony Beevors’ Book Berlin: The Downfall 1945. I had finished listening “Stalingrand” (also by Beevor) around a month ago and had started with this book right after.

Beevor provides minute day-to-day details an anecdotes from everyday live which can convey a lot more meaning that any data, troop movements, or grandiose speeches.

The book devotes spends a bit of time describing “indecent events” the Red Army. This is even more appalling in those cases where rape victims were jews, German communists or even liberated Russian forced labourers.

Photo credits: Monovision.

I headed to wikipedia after finishing the book and found out, somehow unsurprised, that the book had been contested by many, especially in Russia.

The book encountered criticism, especially in Russia,[4] centering on the book’s discussion of atrocities committed by the Red Army against German civilians. In particular, the book describes widespread rape of German women and female Soviet forced labourers, both before and after the war. The Russian ambassador to the UK denounced the book as “lies” and “slander against the people who saved the world from Nazism”.[5]

Oleg Rzheshevsky, a professor and the president of the Russian Association of World War II Historians, has stated that Beevor is merely resurrecting the discredited and racist views of Neo-Nazi historians, who depicted Soviet troops as subhuman “Asiatic hordes”.[6] He argues that Beevor’s use of phrases such as “Berliners remember” and “the experiences of the raped German women” were better suited “for pulp fiction, than scientific research”. Rzheshevsky also stated that the Germans could have expected an “avalanche of revenge” after what they did in the Soviet Union, but “that did not happen”.[7]

Beevor responded by stating that he used excerpts from the report of General Tsigankov, the chief of the political department of the 1st Ukrainian Front, as a source. He wrote: “the bulk of the evidence on the subject came from Soviet sources, especially the NKVD reports in GARF (State Archive of the Russian Federation), and a wide range of reliable personal accounts”.[8] Beevor also stated that he hopes Russian historians will “take a more objective approach to material in their own archives which are at odds to the heroic myth of the Red Army as ‘liberators’ in 1945”.[9]

UK historian Richard Overy, from the University of Exeter, has criticized Russian reaction to the book and defended Beevor. Overy accused the Russians of refusing to acknowledge Soviet war crimes, “Partly this is because they felt that much of it was justified vengeance against an enemy who committed much worse, and partly it was because they were writing the victors’ history”.[7]

Wikipedia: Berlin, the Downfall 1945, 4.Reception
Photo credits: Monovision.

I am planning on reading his book on the Spanish Civil war this summer, but I need some buffer and a change of subject first. I think I will reading The Parrot’s Theorem to clear up the air a little.


Update: While looking for images for this post I came across a “Battle for Berlin battle-set” with metal models:

I understand that in time all wars become just a date on History Book, but the 5 Hitler youth models were particularly unsettling, but life goes on, I guess.