Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin illuminated black-red-gold
one day after the torrorist attack on the local Weihnachtsmarkt (©AFP)
The year draws to an end and it was full of surprises. For me 2016 was a T-year. No, not Trump; that will be in 2017 and the three following years.

Paris: January 7, 2015
2016 was the Year of Terror. As far as my blog is concerned I changed my profile picture three times. When in spring 2016 Red Baron still remembered the Charlie Hebdo massacre Brussels, the Belgian capital, was haunted by terrorists on March 22.

Brussels: March 22, 2016
July 14, France's National Holiday, was overshadowed by a bloody truck attack in Nice ...

Nice: July 14, 2016
... a tactic that was cruelly repeated in Berlin on December 19. You may read in the November issue of the Internet journal Rumiyah: Trucks are like knives; they are easy to get and are not suspect. This is cynical with respect to the Polish driver murdered by terrorist Anis Amri in his cockpit. Łukasz Urban leaves a wife and a son behind.

Berlin: December 19, 2016
More and more right wing people in my country amalgamate the massive influx of Muslim refugees in 2015 with Islamic state terrorists trying to capitalize politically on these jihadist attacks aimed against our western society and our way of life.

European solidarity: a minute of silence in France's National Assembly on December 20 (©dpa)
Religious fanaticism is a root of evil and misguided fanaticism is worse. In our enlightened "Christian" world we should not forget that in the past "Christian fundamentalists" practiced crusades against Muslims and pogroms against Jews.

And if religion is not the root it is easily used as a pretext. The German historian Golo Mann rightly wrote: With the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War the Bohemian Protestants always claimed that the war was about religion while the Habsburgs continued stating that the war was nothing else than a secular rebellion, with other words a fight for power.

Frequently "leaders" cynically argue with religious ideology to keep the gemeiner Mann (common man) in line and then will send him to fight and die for the leaders' glory. Over the centuries nothing has changed except that nowadays the jihad sends suicide attackers killing "infidels".

On Tuesday, December 20, one day after the Berlin attack we had a precious guest at Freiburg. Red Baron visited the local Weihnachtsmarkt in good company.

We observed an increased presence of cops ...

Frohe Weihnachten protected by the police (©dpa/Patrick Seeger)
... and noted a somewhat subdued mood.

The Reibekuchenbude on Freiburg's Weihnachtsmarkt
When approaching the booth selling Reibekuchen (potato pancakes) we noticed the following commemorative poster.

A minute of silence
After all life continues so we ordered the most delicious freshly made potato pancakes with Apfelmus (applesauce).

More than ever I wish you a Merry Christmas.
May peace be with you and your family.

Birth of Christ (Paris Book of Hours 1410)
Note the sad looks of the holy couple.
In France it is the time of the Hundred Years' War.

No comments:

Post a Comment