Posts Tagged ‘Germany’
Reproduction of Picasso’s “Guernica” – homage to civilians killed in 1930′s deliberate air strikes
A collection of 1,500 artworks confiscated by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s has been found in the German city of Munich…
The trove is believed to include works by Matisse, Picasso and Chagall…
Some of the works were declared as degenerate by the Nazis, while others were stolen from or forcibly sold for a pittance by Jewish art collectors.
If confirmed, it would be one of the largest recoveries of looted art…Investigators put the value of the works at about one billion euros, Focus magazine said.
The magazine said the artworks were found by chance in early 2011, when the tax authorities investigated Cornelius Gurlitt, the reclusive son of an art dealer in Munich.
He was suspected of tax evasion, and investigators obtained a search warrant for his home in Munich…There, they found the cache of some 1,500 artworks which had vanished from sight during the Nazi era.
The younger Mr Gurlitt had kept the works in darkened rooms and sold the occasional painting when he needed money, Focus reports…
There are international warrants out for at least 200 of the works, Focus reports. The collection is being held in a secure warehouse in Munich for the time being.
Nazis considered most modern art as degenerate, especially if the artist was Jewish or anti-fascist. Not that the habit of destroying artwork, books or music has disappeared from the repertoire of the hate-filled and ignorant.
This creep apparently considered the cache of stolen art to be his own private trust fund.
The US has been spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone since 2002, according to a report in Der Spiegel magazine…The German publication claims to have seen secret documents from the National Security Agency which show Mrs Merkel’s number on a list dating from 2002 – before she became chancellor.
Her number was still on a surveillance list in 2013…
The nature of the monitoring of Mrs Merkel’s mobile phone is not clear from the files, Der Spiegel says.
For example, it is possible that the chancellor’s conversations were recorded, or that her contacts were simply assessed.
Germany is sending its top intelligence chiefs to Washington in the coming week to “push forward” an investigation into the spying allegations, which have caused outrage in Germany…
A close ally of Mrs Merkel told the BBC that she was personally very hurt by the idea of being spied on by American friends.
The chancellor is said to be shocked that Washington may have engaged in the sort of spying that she had to deal with while growing up in Communist East Germany…
A unit called Special Collection Services, based in the US embassy in Pariser Platz in Berlin, was responsible for monitoring communications in the German capital’s government quarter…
Similar units were based in around 80 locations worldwide, according to the documents seen by Der Spiegel, 19 of them in European cities.
With friends like this, Angela Merkel doesn’t really need enemies, now, does she?
Just for shits and giggles – think about the public relations types, the soothers, smoothers and spin doctors who front for the array of professional politicians infesting what could be a simple federal bureaucracy functioning on behalf of the people of this nation. They’re trying to come up with new excuses every week for the previous week’s lies – because all the crud Ed Snowden walked away with gets another release from one or another of the few newspapers with the courage to print the truth, every week.
Consider that if George W was bugging Merkel’s phone, he certainly agreed to do the same to Gerhard Schröder, then chancellor, and Joschka Fischer, leader of the Green Party. Although it’s always fun to note that American conservatives never seem to trust anyone to be conservative enough – especially them furriners.
And another lie is revealed. And another.
Ancient DNA recovered from a time series of skeletons in Germany spanning 4,000 years of prehistory has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern-day Europeans.
The study…reveals dramatic population changes with waves of prehistoric migration, not only from the accepted path via the Near East, but also from Western and Eastern Europe.
The research was a collaboration between the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA…researchers from the University of Mainz, the State Heritage Museum in Halle, Germany, and National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project. The teams used mitochondrial DNA extracted from bone and teeth samples from 364 prehistoric human skeletons ‒ ten times more than previous ancient DNA studies.
“This is the largest and most detailed genetic time series of Europe yet created, allowing us to establish a complete genetic chronology,” says joint-lead author Dr Wolfgang Haak of ACAD. “Focussing on this small but highly important geographic region meant we could generate a gapless record, and directly observe genetic changes in ‘real-time’ from 7,500 to 3,500 years ago, from the earliest farmers to the early Bronze Age.”
“Our study shows that a simple mix of indigenous hunter-gatherers and the incoming Near Eastern farmers cannot explain the modern-day diversity alone,” says joint-lead author Guido Brandt, PhD candidate at the University of Mainz. “The genetic results are much more complex than that. Instead, we found that two particular cultures at the brink of the Bronze Age 4,200 years ago had a marked role in the formation of Central Europe’s genetic makeup.”
Professor Kurt Alt (University of Mainz) says: “What is intriguing is that the genetic signals can be directly compared with the changes in material culture seen in the archaeological record. It is fascinating to see genetic changes when certain cultures expanded vastly, clearly revealing interactions across very large distances.” These included migrations from both Western and Eastern Europe towards the end of the Stone Age…
Dr Haak says: “None of the dynamic changes we observed could have been inferred from modern-day genetic data alone, highlighting the potential power of combining ancient DNA studies with archaeology to reconstruct human evolutionary history.”
Fascinating stuff. Work which wouldn’t have been at all practical a decade or so back in time.
My personal pleasure was taking part in an early National Geographic DNA track of my patriarchal DNA from Africa through the steppes of Central Asia to Scotland – perfectly in line with the research of Gerhard Herm and his anthropological history of “The Celts”.
Capabilities are advanced enough that I may try an updated go-round with NatGeo.
More than half a billion German Reichsmarks were discovered in a time capsule from 1930 hidden inside an organ in Norway.
According to a note found in the time capsule, it was placed in the organ by August Sieber, an organ builder from Bavaria, on January 8, 1930, The Local.no reported Friday.
It was then recently found in the organ at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway, while the organ was being restored.
“The letter and the money weren’t even discovered in 1962, when people from Steinmeyer were in Trondheim to move the organ from the north transept to the west transept, Per Fridtjov Bonsaksen, who is overseeing the restoration, told Adressavisen.
Twelve banknotes were included in the capsule, including one for five hundred million Reichsmarks.
The note was “a bitter and emotional greeting,” Bonsaksen said, warning future generations of hyperinflation.
The report did not say what the money would be worth today.
Nice illustration of the differing cultural/historic reasons for diametrically opposed approaches to working a nation out of the bowels of recession. After World War 1 the Weimar Republic in Germany experienced inflation so severe it wasn’t uncommon for someone to need a wheelbarrow to carry sufficient money to go grocery shopping.
Now, the factors are sufficiently different from anything experienced then, context as well as causes, to give many of us in the New World pause and consider Angela Markel and her peers a little nutso. Still, this find certainly shows what her grandparents, perhaps her parents went through. And never forgot.
Deny or lie – your choice
Germany canceled a Cold War-era surveillance pact with the United States and Britain on Friday, the first concrete action taken by Berlin in response to revelations by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden about those countries’ alleged electronic eavesdropping operations.
Chancellor Angela Merkel had raised the issue of alleged National Security Agency spying with President Barack Obama when he visited Berlin in June. But with weeks to go before national elections, opposition parties had demanded clarity about the extent to which her government knew of the intelligence gathering operations directed at Germany and German citizens.
Government officials have insisted that U.S. and British intelligence were never given permission to break Germany’s strict privacy laws. But they conceded that an agreement dating back to the late 1960s gave the U.S., Britain and France the right to request German authorities to conduct surveillance operations within Germany to protect their troops stationed there.
“The cancellation of the administrative agreements, which we have pushed for in recent weeks, is a necessary and proper consequence of the recent debate about protecting personal privacy,” Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement…
The official said Germany was currently in talks with France to cancel its part of the agreement as well…
A natural – and principled – result of the strategy which seems to be the style of the lawyer in the White House. If you can claim a distorted “legal” basis for corruption it’s OK. The flunkeys around you will agree. Congress won’t ask any questions – even if the German Parliament will.
Act surprised when others disagree.
Turkey’s chances of a breaking a three-year stalemate and relaunching its bid to join the European Union look like being dashed because of the government’s ruthless response to three weeks of street protests amid worsening friction between Ankara and Berlin.
The foreign ministry in Berlin summoned the Turkish ambassador to Germany on Friday to explain the harsh language directed at the chancellor, Angela Merkel, by Egemen Bağis, the Turkish official in charge of negotiations with the EU.
Merkel had said earlier this week that she was “appalled at the very tough” response by the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in ordering riot police to clear central Istanbul of thousands of protesters last weekend.
Bağis accused the chancellor of playing domestic politics, said that anyone using Turkey for political purposes would suffer “an inauspicious end” and warned of severe retaliation if the negotiations were called off.
Turkey opened negotiations to join the EU eight years ago, at the same time as Croatia. While Croatia joins next week as the 28th member, Turkey’s bid has been frozen for three years…Merkel and the German centre-right remain firmly opposed to Turkey joining. Her Christian Democrats’ draft manifesto for the general elections in September states: “We reject full membership for Turkey because it does not meet the conditions for EU entry…”
Negotiations were supposed to resume next week after a long hiatus because the French president, François Hollande, lifted the block imposed by his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, as a gesture of goodwill. Talks were to take place on regional development, an issue that could have influenced Ankara’s policy towards parts of the south-east populated mainly by Kurds who have long been campaigning for greater rights and more devolved government.
But Germany and the Netherlands are refusing a green light for next week’s resumption, triggering a European debate over the most sensible response to the turmoil in Turkey.
Discussions about how to respond to the turmoil in Turkey have nothing to do with either the causes of the turmoil or core reasons for the refusal of admittance. The turmoil results from a populist government trying to cure every modernist problem it sees with the hammer of suppression.
Rejection of Turkey’s membership in the greater economy the EU affords is a twofold reaction to a government in Turkey led by a liar and hypocrite. The years of Erdoğan’s populist government have been characterized by his wink and a nod to a goal of crushing modernism, secular freedoms central to Turkey’s constitution. He’s given the wink to his rural religious supporters and nodded assent to the constitution – while plotting its demise.