Bill and I had a very annoying drive from Wiesbaden down here to Tübingen, because there was a shit ton of traffic, a lot of construction, and plenty of accidents. But we made it down here in the afternoon and checked into our hotel– La Casa, which used to have a nice restaurant, but they had to close it last year. The lady who checked us in said there was no one available to staff the hotel on Monday and Tuesday, so they were going to close those days, but because we booked an apartment, we can stay and self cater. It’s going to be weird, because there won’t be anyone else staying here, except those who might also be in an apartment.
Our apartment really looks like maybe it was a suite. We have two tiny bathrooms, two mini fridges, two TVs, a small bed, and a tiny kitchenette. But it’ll do until Tuesday, I think. It’s nice to be back in this town, which is a very special place for us. We have great weather, and there’s always something to see here.
Noyzi was very happy to be dropped off at the Hundepension, too. He loves that place. So I think we’re in good hands until we head to Czechia on Tuesday. I just wish I’d brought a card reader for my computer. I left it at home. I’ve used my digital camera to take some photos that I would like to upload. Maybe we’ll stop by the PX and see if I can find something suitable there. Otherwise, I’ll upload them when we get home next Tuesday.
Anyway… I don’t have much else to report. Maybe tomorrow, there will be a rant of some sort. 😀
Featured photo is of the Market Square in Tübingen. I took it this evening.
Last night, after Bill left for his TDY to Bavaria, I was left watching YouTube videos. Because I felt a cold coming on, and my stomach was bugging me, I decided to eat some bland leftovers and drink sparkling water. Then, once it got respectably late, I figured I’d go to bed.
Because of the nature of the videos I ended up watching, my mind started wandering to dark places. When you watch a lot of cop videos, you see people in varying states of mental, emotional, and physical distress. Some cops are really good at helping people in crisis. They treat people with basic respect and decency. Some are even kind and empathic. Other cops are rude, dismissive, or just plain mean.
I watched one video last night that I had seen before. It involved a police officer named John Kovach, Jr. from Lorain, Ohio, whose 18 year old daughter, Katlyn, was dating a guy he didn’t like. Katlyn’s boyfriend, at least circa spring 2018, was Makai Coleman. Because her dad didn’t want his daughter dating Coleman, and Katlyn was by then a legal adult, she decided to leave the family home and stay with friends. She refused to speak to her dad, which was her legal right.
Below is the video of the subsequent confrontation that got John Kovach, Jr. fired from his long held job with the Lorain Police Department. I’m sure it also didn’t do much for his relationship with his daughter, at least in 2018. I don’t know if they’ve mended fences since then.
One of the many troubling things Kovach said as he started to arrest Coleman, for no apparent reason, is that he’d be “making shit up” about Coleman’s “charges” as they headed to jail. But then, once he saw his daughter hiding in the back of Coleman’s car, John Kovach, Jr. decided to turn Coleman loose and force Katlyn into his police car. Clearly, it was inappropriate, as Katlyn is his daughter, and he’s not exactly objective about this situation.
But as John Kovach, Jr. was making his adult daughter get in the back of the squad car, he justified “arresting” Katlyn, because he claimed she was “suicidal”. He said she’d made a comment indicating suicidal ideation the day prior. Katlyn, who was by then screaming and crying, reminded him that he wasn’t with her the day prior, as she had rightly escaped his home to be with more rational people.
According to an article by the Washington Post:
Kovach said that when he spoke with his daughter on the phone, she said, “If I can’t be with him, I don’t want to be here anymore.” He told investigators that he believed his daughter was threatening suicide.
Kovach said he intended to take Katlyn to the hospital for a “psychiatric evaluation”, since she was “suicidal”… which she obviously wasn’t. He just wanted to exert control over her. There were other claims made about how Kovach had threatened to make Makai Coleman’s life difficult. The young man had wanted to join the military, and Kovach said he’d be talking to the lad’s recruiter and otherwise abuse his authority to threaten and harass Coleman.
The way Kovach behaved on that day in 2018, though, was totally beyond the pale. Soon, he’d gone from overprotective father to abusive cop. It was absolutely right that he was fired from his job for behaving in such an unhinged way. Kovach also harassed Coleman’s sister and mother, threatening them with jail and fines for trying to intervene. Meanwhile, Katlyn was screaming and crying, while her father went into creepy control freak mode, barking at her to “knock it off.” I don’t know if he actually took her to the hospital, but it seems like it would have been a real waste of time and resources on many levels.
After I watched that video, I started thinking about life in Germany, wondering if the Kovach family drama might ever happen here. Then I started Googling. I already noticed on YouTube, watching any video that mentions the word “suicide” prompts a notice in German– “Du bist nicht allein…” (you are not alone). Yeah, you can say that again. Big brother is always watching!
I’m kidding, kinda. I mean, it’s good that they have resources for dealing with people who are mentally or emotionally shaky. The YouTube prompt was a link to a page where there are volunteers standing by, willing to talk to someone who feels alone, either by phone or chat. That’s a good thing… although it does kind of lead one to wonder why someone would do that in their free time. I know there are caring and kind people out there who do it because they genuinely want to help people. Those people save lives. But then there are also people like Ted Bundy, who answered suicide hotlines for awhile before he became a notorious serial killer. Ted Bundy reportedly did save some people from offing themselves. He even worked on the suicide hotline with the late true crime author, Ann Rule, who later wrote an excellent book about him. She verified that he ended some lives, but he also saved some.
One thing I do think is enlightened about the German hotlines is that they don’t just address the suicidal. They have nine hotlines that are designed to address a host of issues, everything from abuse to supporting others who need help. They even have a dedicated help line for Muslims.
I got more curious about this topic as the evening wore on… remember I did study this stuff in school, sorta. So I dug a little deeper, and soon found myself on Toytown Germany (a discussion site for English speakers in Germany). In 2006, someone had posted about a someone they knew who had attempted suicide. The person went to an emergency room, was treated for a couple of days, then released. The original poster was shocked, but other people soon chimed in on the subject– some of whom were shockingly insensitive. One person said that they knew someone who had spiked his vodka with dishwasher tablets. The guy was similarly treated and released. The Americans on the forum were saying that in the United States, the person would get a 72 hour hold at least.
Some people were making ignorant comments about suicide and suicidal threats. Realizing that the thread was started in 2006, I realized that things have only gotten worse since then. People are pretty jaded these days. Then someone mentioned that an attempt would probably warrant a “stay at Haar”. That made me curious, so I went searching for information on that.
I discovered that Haar is a psychiatric clinic near Munich, and it gets pretty horrible reviews on Google. I’m sure there are other psych hospitals in Germany. Maybe some of them are helpful… but then, you have to consider the source of such reviews. They’re typically written by people who are in crisis and the crisis isn’t necessarily solved by a stay in a hospital. In some ways, it may get even worse after medical and psychiatric “help”, especially if one ends up with a doctor who is an insensitive asshole or something. On the other hand, I realize that it’s not easy for providers, either. Mentally ill people can be very challenging to deal with, especially when they are non-compliant or apathetic. Mental health providers are human, too… and sometimes, that kind of work can lead to burnout.
Actually, watching YouTube videos of American cops and paramedics is a pretty good study in burnout. I’m sure a lot of people initially decide to go into police work or emergency services because they are kind and caring, and just want to help. Some people want to feel useful or powerful… or they want to make a difference somehow. Some of those folks never tire of the work or become insensitive or impatient.
On the other hand, some people do that work simply because it’s a job and there’s always a need. I think of the man who worked as an emergency medical technician in Brooklyn, New York and hit my friend, Matt, with a borrowed Rolls Royce. Matt died of his injuries, and the so-called paramedic never even stopped to render the most basic of aid. He just let him die, while he sped off in the luxury car. This man was an EMT, but he didn’t care about Matt. Now he’s in jail, but he’ll be out before Christmas. Matt, on the other hand, is gone forever.
That’s another things I’ve noticed, too… A lot of people, at least in the United States, act like total barbarians when they get arrested. Some of them do go to prison for a long time. Others, in spite of being totally awful, get their charges dropped or a slap on the wrist. It seems to me that involvement with the police is kind of the same as involvement with hospitals. You never know what you’re going to end up paying in the long run. It depends on who you are, what your coverage is, and which state you’re in when the event happens. You can go to an emergency department and get charged varying amounts, since there’s no regulation of fees. And you can get arrested and end up with any number of penalties, depending on the cop or the jurisdiction… or, again… who you are.
Anyway… this was just one of the darker rabbit holes I’ve been down. Unfortunately, I’m in kind of a bad mood today. I caught a cold somewhere over the weekend, plus my stomach hurts. I’m sitting here with a runny nose, scratchy throat, and a dull ache in my gut, wondering if I may need to call for help myself, at some point. But my guess is that I’ll just be grouchy and thirsty, as I always am when I catch a cold. I think I’ll close today’s post and get on with the day, so I can go back to bed. I’ve got to walk Noyzi and practice guitar before it’ll be time to fall back down the emergency services abyss and see what else I can dig up to discuss. 😉
It’s Monday again. Ordinarily, that might be bad news, since Monday means the end of the weekend. Today, it’s not so bad, because it means we’re halfway through the latest eight nights of TDY for Bill.
I generally hate it when Bill is gone on a trip and I’m stuck here alone. However, it’s not one hundred percent awful. I tend to get things done when he’s gone, because I try to fill up my time. I watch movies and TV shows I’ve had queued for viewing, read books (although my latest one is taking longer than I’d like), and go to the grocery store on my own, which means I end up buying stuff I like on a whim.
This morning, I went to the local Rewe (our grocery store) and bought cookies that looked interesting. We almost never buy cookies. We usually make them ourselves, mainly because having store bought cookies around means we’ll be eating things we shouldn’t be eating. But I saw some in the Rewe that looked interesting, so I got some. There are only six to a package, so I figured I was safe.
I was craving sweets in a terrible way today. I bought ice cream and pudding, too. And I bought some bread and a few healthier staples. I don’t know why I want sweets so much today. I haven’t had a period since January, so I don’t think it’s PMS. It could be because I’ve been on the wagon for the past few days. I can’t even say I’ve even really missed drinking that much. As long as I don’t start, I don’t really feel the need to have a drink. Once I get started, then I have a tendency to get into trouble… as long as I’m at home and don’t have to drive anywhere. I’m more disciplined when I’m out and about.
While I was waiting in the line at the store, I noticed the woman in front of me needed something from behind the counter. The cashier went and got it for her. It turned out to be a pregnancy test. I didn’t realize that they were kept under lock and key here. Actually, I’m surprised they sell them in the grocery stores in Germany. Most health related stuff has to be purchased at the drugstore, where the apothecary will be obliged to offer advice, even if you don’t want or need it. I will admit, of course, that they can be very helpful when there’s a need. But sometimes, all you need is an antacid or something.
Anyway, I realized the lady in front of me must have been a lot younger than I am… it’s been a long time since I last needed a pregnancy test, which I actually didn’t need, because I’ve never been pregnant. It occurred to me that she might have bought it because she thinks she’s pregnant, which, of course, would be a momentous occasion for her. Imagine… here I am, an American, standing in line at a German grocery store, witnessing a woman buying something that could notify her that her life is about to change forever. If you think about it, it’s kind of exciting.
She looked like the type of person who would probably be happy to be a mom, so if she wants to be pregnant, I hope she gets that result. On the other hand, maybe she doesn’t want to be pregnant… Or maybe she was buying that test for someone else, like a friend or a sister… She didn’t look old enough to have a daughter who could be pregnant. Maybe this year on Mother’s Day, she’ll get some life changing news…
I wouldn’t have noticed any of this, under usual conditions. I try not to look at what people have in their grocery carts. I think it comes from my time in social work, and the sensitivity I’ve developed toward people who need assistance buying food. I know a lot of people think it’s their business what people buy, especially if they’re using government funds. Personally, I think we should let people maintain their dignity as much as possible. I wouldn’t want people judging me in that way, so I try not to do it to others. Moreover, government food assistance is such a small part of what taxpayers pay for… and I don’t think anyone in the United States should be going hungry.
I’m not sure if Germany has a program like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). They probably do… and they probably run it better than we do in America. In any case, I only noticed the woman’s pregnancy test because the cashier had to get it for her. I thought maybe she wanted cigarettes or another tobacco product. In Germany, the packs are covered in warnings and grotesque photos of what happens to people who smoke. Lots of people smoke here, anyway. So I was wondering if maybe she was going to get a pack of cigarettes showing a person with a stoma or mouth or lung cancer… or, if she’s lucky, a guy who is impotent. That one is almost humorous, if not gruesome. But, given that the lady bought a pregnancy test, I guess impotency is not a problem that she, or her presumed significant other, faces…
After I paid for my groceries and headed out to the parking lot, I noticed that there was a strawberry vendor there. It looked like they had lots of attractive strawberry goods– probably everything from jams to homemade wines. I thought about looking at what they had, but I realized we barely have enough space in the fridge as it is, and while I like strawberries, the seeds have a tendency to get stuck in my teeth. So I skipped the strawberry vendor today… but then when I got home, I realized that I forgot to buy some more half and half. That means I’ll probably be back before Bill gets home on Friday.
We live so close to the store. I really should have just walked there. Maybe next time, that’s what I’ll do… especially since driving means trying to get in and out of our tight parking spot with the Volvo, which has parking assist, but I don’t trust it.
People have been talking about the Rewe lately, because a few months ago, some bandits came in and blew up the ATM that was next to it. The bank has apparently declined to replace the ATM, because they’re expensive, and the bandits will probably just blow it up again. This means that just like pay phones, ATMs are about to be obsolete. That’s pretty crazy, considering that Germany is historically a cash based culture. Right now, thanks to the criminals, people who need cash have to get it at the Rewe after making a purchase. It’s not ideal, especially for poor people or the elderly.
Wow… I’m surprised by how much I gleaned, standing in the checkout line for a few minutes at the Rewe. I really need to get out more. But I won’t be doing that today, because I want to finish reading my book so I can review it. I’m almost done, so I hope to be ready tomorrow. Just a few more days to go before Bill is home. I look forward to his return… and am glad I didn’t need to buy a pregnancy test today.
The featured photo was hanging in our first German landlord’s guest toilet when we moved in. I didn’t understand it then. I do now.
Happy hump day, y’all. It’s already gotten off to an interesting start for me. First off, I was having an erotic dream when I woke up. It was a bit kinky, but the people involved were a married couple (not Bill and me) and very friendly with each other. I probably ought to lay off the Lifetime movies for awhile…
Arran is bright and funny this morning. He will see the vet tonight and probably get a blood test and chemo. Bill told me last night that he has to go on another week long business trip soon, which is worrying for both of us. Somehow, I think Arran will go when the time is just right, but while my instincts are usually right, they aren’t always. I look forward to the day when Bill doesn’t have to do these business trips so often anymore. Or, at least he does them when our dogs are healthy.
But, enough about that. You probably clicked on this post because of the title. I’ll agree; it’s a weird one, even by my standards.
I was interested in Ms. Parkins’ article, because here in Germany, men routinely sit down to pee. There are even signs in some public restrooms addressing this phenomenon. When we moved into our very first German house, there was a postcard in the bathroom that showed a man lying on the floor by the toilet. It read, “Nicht im stehen.” I asked our landlord what it meant, and he said “Not while standing.”
In 2007, I didn’t know that German men are trained by the women in their lives to sit when they urinate. And I know some might call me sexist for putting it that way, but seriously, when I finally encountered an explanation about this particular cultural phenomenon, that was kind of how it was put to me. This was the comment posted on Toytown Germany in June 2008, which was when we were living in that first German house.
Stehpinkeln has been a big topic on my mind of late. Through watching day time TV I have come to realise that a vast majority of people (mainly German women) are disgusted by men who pee in standing.
I can understand that it can make a mess sometimes (I am not a man, thusly, I have no personal experience) but is it such a terrible thing? Am I the only one who seems to think that it’s OK for men to stand and pee into a toilet?!
This was such a mind blower for me in 2008. Apparently, it was for other people in that forum, because the thread went on for 445 posts and 23 pages. The last post was dated January 2015. I’ve seen a couple of other posts about it on that forum. I also read and reviewed a book about it a few years ago. Seriously, there is a book titled German Men Sit Down To Pee And Other Insights Into German Culture. I gave it a favorable review.
So anyway, last night, I was reading Brianna Parkins’ article about men sitting to pee. She writes that sitting to pee is also common in Japan, another country where a lot of American men work for the US military. Actually, given how fancy Japanese toilets can be, I can see why men don’t mind sitting down to do their business. They even have a fancy video for potty training kids.
But the German word for a man who sits to pee, Sitzpinkler, is used negatively, to imply unmasculine behaviour, “something like ‘wuss’ in English”, according to the Guardian. So that newpaper’s well-reasoned arguments for having a seat while taking a slash will have made men question their core beliefs: they had to ask themselves if a standing wee is just a byproduct of toxic masculinity.
It caused women to ask ourselves how men – them lot who can’t aim their pee in the toilet without it getting on the ground – ended up in charge for so long. The mind boggles.
Seeing the success of men adopting practices formerly considered “women’s business”, here are some other ways men could benefit by becoming more like women.
It probably won’t surprise some readers that Bill sometimes sits when he pees. He says he mainly does it that way at night, since it’s easier to sit down than turn on the light and blind himself. We do have a new Toilight, which is a stocking stuffer I bought at Christmas time. It senses motion and turns on a night light, which makes going to the bathroom safer and easier in the dark. But it doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to. Bill’s habit of sitting down when he pees at night predates the Toilight, too. He’s always been considerate that way.
I had a look at the comment section, figuring the Irish would be “taking the piss”, so to speak, about this article. I wasn’t disappointed. Quite a lot of Irish men were offended by Ms. Parkins’ article, which they probably didn’t even read, since it’s behind a paywall. I saw a number of comments indicating that men who sit down to pee are “emasculated” somehow. It seems to me that peeing is mostly private business, unless you’re into golden showers or something.
It’s a pity those men didn’t read Ms. Parkins’ article, which I found delightfully snarky and funny. And you know, she’s right. Not only does sitting while peeing make less of a mess, but sometimes listening to people who have been educated about things like, say, medicine, is a good idea. Apparently, a lot of men in Ireland are averse to doing that. So is being less homophobic and enjoying some friendly skin on skin contact with other men, other than when they play contact sports.
At the very end of the article, Ms. Parkins’ real agenda comes out, and it’s a good one. She writes:
But that one’s not going to change the world. The one that would really count, just off the top of my head, would be getting men to inflict less violence, both sexual and physical, on women.
In Ireland, Women’s Aid has registered 256 violent deaths of women since 1996. Of the 200 cases that have been resolved, 87 per cent of the victims were killed by a man they knew. In Australia, where I grew up, five women have died from violence allegedly committed by a man in the first month of the year, according to Counting Dead Women Australia. In 2022, 56 women there suffered the same fate.
I would like to tell Ms. Parkins that men can be victims of domestic violence, too. Unfortunately, I know this because my husband experienced it with his ex wife. Like a lot of abuse survivors, he didn’t realize that was what he was experiencing at the time. It wasn’t until he told me some stories that I brought up the possibility. Many years later, after not having spoken to his daughter for a long time, she actually recognized it and sent him a news article about men in domestic violence situations. So, I wasn’t the only one who easily saw the truth.
It’s too bad some of the Irish men complaining about the article didn’t read it and get the actual main idea, which is that men could learn a lot from women, not just about urination, but also about not being so violent. But I would hasten to add that some women need a few lessons about not being violent, too.
Here are a few comments… obviously, most of the people didn’t read the article. I’ll admit, my own comments were about German men sitting to pee, too. I managed to “piss” off an Irishman, who claimed that he had lived here for over 20 years and that it’s not true that German men sit to pee. I guess he watched them. I mean, yes, there are urinals here. I’ve heard that some Germans even put them in their homes so they can stand when they pee. But I’ve seen a lot of signs requesting that men sit down for the performance.
A hometown friend of mine shared the following post on Facebook. I was not surprised at all.
I decided to click on the original post, to see the comment section. I had a feeling it would be quite an epic shitshow of ignorance and stubbornness, with a dip into hatred toward liberal politics, to boot. I wasn’t disappointed. Lots of people were cheering about this invention, which also is handy for opening beer bottles.
Here are a few comments…
These guys can relax, though, because it seems that this company is a bit scammy. On other posts on that page, as of 2020, many people have complained that they ordered this product and never received it. I guess the people who make it are too busy opening beer bottles to fulfill their orders. Or maybe they’re just hanging out with their labradoodles…
Here’s another area where Germans are probably smarter. It’s illegal in Germany to drive a car with your pet unrestrained, sitting in the front seat of the car. For one thing, an air bag would probably kill Fido if it goes off. For another, Fido might cause you to be distracted and get into a wreck. Pets in Germany have to either ride in a crate in the back, or wear a “seatbelt” harness in the backseat that clips to the seatbelt buckle.
And while I’ve driven with objects sitting on the front seat plenty of times, that’s also not the safest practice. In the event of an accident, that object– just like Fido or a human body– will likely become a flying object that could hit you or any other passengers or bystanders in the head when it becomes airborne. But, as a lot of us know, a lot of Americans aren’t long on common sense or practical thinking. That’s how so many of them thought Donald Trump would be a good president. The same people are ordering this product and getting scammed.
Ah well… if I weren’t married to a man who didn’t turn into Pat Boone any time I tried to skip the seatbelt, I probably would agree with some of the conservative knuckleheads on the Tikit page. But Bill is a total safety geek, so I guess that means I am, too. Just like I can’t sleep after about 5:30am anymore, thanks to my morning rooster…
Well, I think I’ll end this post and go see if my laundry is dry yet. Maybe today, I’ll manage to record some music. Since I retooled my workspace, I’m having some technical difficulties.
I don’t have a lot to write about yesterday’s revelation. I read about it online— a group of 25 Q Anon types in Germany, with designs on violently overthrowing the government in Germany. I am not a German citizen, but Germany has been home to me for ten years of my life. I’m 50 years old, so that’s 20 percent of my lifetime– a pretty good chunk. And realizing that, I figure maybe it really is time I learned the language. 😉 A potential New Year’s resolution, perhaps?
Among the right wing wackos was a descendent of German royalty, 71-year-old Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss. The Local: Germany had a couple of pictures of the prince sitting in the back of a police car, wearing an FFP2 face mask and handcuffs. The Polizei had kindly cuffed the man in front, rather than behind his back. They picked up the prince in Frankfurt, which is maybe a twenty minute drive from where Bill and I are currently living. When I saw the photos of him, I was struck by just how German he looked. It’s clear that Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss is a man of means, just based on his dress. For instance, I think I spotted a kravat around his neck, which matched his blazer, blue shirt, and orange-ish brown pants. He was all “put together” looking… it wasn’t a look I would expect to see on a typical Q Anon type in the United States. I read that he works (or worked) as a real estate developer.
I noticed the German cops were all wearing ninja looking coverings over their heads and faces. Bill said it was because German cops get targeted for doing their jobs. I haven’t seen many rank and file police officers wearing those hoods, so I guess this is a practice more for the high speed police officers who deal with people planning to harm leaders and violently overthrow the government. This particular right wing group, The Reichsbürger movement, and had plans to storm the parliament with a team of heavily armed militants. According to The Local: Germany, this movement has existed since the 80s and mostly consists of gun enthusiasts, neo-Nazis, and conspiracy theorists. However, the incarnation of the group that had actual plans to storm the Reichstag formed in November 2021, “at the latest.”
From what I’ve read, other members of the prince’s family have distanced themselves from him, because of his increasingly divisive rhetoric. I read that he and the rest of his posse are convinced that Germany is being run by a deep state that was formed after World War I. At this time, the prince is said to be the “ringleader” of the group. He pictured himself to be the leader of the new revolutionary government, if the group had managed to pull off the coup attempt. Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss is a descendant of the the House of Reuß that ruled parts of Thuringia for about 800 years. My guess is that he admires Donald Trump very much and would like him to “hold his beer.”
The Local: Germany reports:
In a notorious speech given at a business summit in Zurich in 2019, Heinrich XIII had referenced the antisemitic conspiracy theory that the 20th century world order had been engineered by the Rothschild dynasty and the freemasons. He also complained that his own dynasty had been “disposessed” after the first world war.
“Ever since Germany surrendered, it has never been sovereign again,” he told listeners. “It has only been made an administrative structure of the allies.”
Obviously, this situation has been stuck in the prince’s craw for a long time. He was ready to do something about it. People in the group he led were trying to consort with Russians. Some members were highly trained military officials. One woman is a lawyer by training and had become very vocal against immigration and was speaking out about conspiracy theories pushed by Q Anon.
I can’t even pretend to know a lot about this situation yet, as it was just reported yesterday. Until then, I was thinking Germany was somewhat more normal than my long suffering homeland is right now. But obviously, there are some dangerous people here, too, and they have big plans. We really are living in interesting times, aren’t we? But it seems that yesterday’s arrests came after some 3,000 police officers conducted early morning raids in over 130 properties. Two of the arrests occurred abroad– in Austria and Italy.
Germany’s domestic intelligence service estimates that there are about 20,000 people involved in The Reichsbürger movement. Of those, about 2,000 are considered violent and potentially dangerous. Last April, the police arrested members of an affiliated group, “Querdenker” (Lateral Thinkers), who were angry about the COVID rules and lockdowns, and were planning to kidnap Germany’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach.
Crazy shit, huh? Anyway, I’ll be watching the news to see what else comes out about this group.
I didn’t mention this earlier, but there was also a fatal knife attack on a 14 year old German girl of Turkish descent this week. She and a 13 year old friend were walking home in the small town of Ilenkirchberg, near Ulm, when they were attacked by a knife wielding 27-year-old man. The 13 year old was injured, but not fatally injured. The 14 year old died at a hospital. The man who allegedly attacked them was picked up at “asylum seekers’ accommodation” near where the incident occurred. The suspect was injured when he was arrested, so he’s been in the hospital under guard. He is an asylum seeker from Eritrea, and this case has already been used by right wing politicians as an example of why they think Germany’s fairly liberal asylum policies should be amended and curtailed.
To their credit, the police have asked people “not to harbour general suspicions against strangers, or asylum seekers in general, or to encourage or support such suspicions.” That’s pretty progressive, isn’t it? But violent crimes like that one are no help in discouraging right wing wackos to feel entitled to try to overthrow the government.
I feel so sorry for those poor girls. One died much too young, and the other will never again be the same as she was. May God help us all.
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