Archive for the 'History' Category

Happy Hannukkah

Friday, December 15th, 2006

Happy Hannukkah! Frohes Lichterfest! Get your dreidels out and fry some latkes: Today at sundown Jews began to celebrate the eight days of Hannukkah. The holiday was called Hanukkah meaning “dedication” because it marks the re-dedication of the Temple after its desecration under Antiochus IV. Spiritually, Hanukkah commemorates the Miracle of the Oil. According to […]

Schicksalstag

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

November 9 has been a fateful day in German history. The März revolution was started, the emperor was dethroned and the Berlin Wall fell on that day. During the night of that fateful day in 1938 German Nazis damaged or destroyed “1574 synagogues (constituting nearly all Germany had), many Jewish cemeteries, more than 7,000 Jewish […]

Truth

Monday, September 11th, 2006

The reason why many crave to know the truth is that without some level of truth, there can be no freedom and dignity. A people blinded by lies becomes a weak people, exploited by its elites, and ultimately doomed as a society. Truth is an elusive mistress and a tough teacher. Truth is not a […]

Fastest diesel ever

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

350.092 MpH (529km/h) – that is the new land speed record for a diesel-powered vehicle. Andy Green, a British RAF officer set this new landmark this morning with the JCB DieselMax. The vehicle is powered by two 4-cylinder diesel engines that deliver a peak power of 750hp and torque of 1500Nm at 2000 RPM. The […]

Hiroshima Day

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

Sixty one years ago 140,000 residents of the city of Hiroshima died when the United States Air Force dropped a nuclear bomb on the city. Three days later, the Americans bombed Nagasaki with another nuclear weapon, killing another 74,000 people. We may debate over the role of these bombings in WWII, but we shall never […]

Audi diesel wins 24-hours of Le Mans

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

As of last weekend TDI does not only stand for outstanding fuel economy but also for “superior racing platform.” The Audi R10 TDI of Joest Racing made history with the first-ever win of a diesel-powered race car at the 24-hours of LeMans – one of the toughest and most prestigious races in motor sports. The […]

Truth and reconciliation in Greensboro?

Friday, May 26th, 2006

The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission last night published its final report on the events of Nov. 3, 1979 in Greensboro, NC. That day, five people were shot to death during a confrontation between a leftist, black worker’s rights demonstration and a caravan of white-supremacists. The picture the report paints is of two groups ready […]

Twenty years after Chernobyl

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

I remember quite well the days after April 26, 1986, when human error and the lack of any disaster preparedness planning led to the worst nuclear accident in the short history of this horrific technology. When reactor no. 4 of the V.I. Lenin Memorial Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station melted down 20 years ago, it released […]

No freedom for Holocaust deniers

Monday, February 20th, 2006

The infamous Holocaust denier David Irwing might have to do hard time in Austria. It was, and is, perfectly illegal in Austria to publicly state that the Holocaust was only a figment of the imagination of six million Jews, three million Soviet POWs, and millions of Poles, Roma, French, Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gays, handicapped […]

First Indio president in South America

Monday, December 19th, 2005

Looks like another South American country is taking a left turn: Bolivia seems to have handed a clear victory to Aymara Indian candidate Evo Morales, a socialist and admirer of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez: Several polls give him 42-45% of the vote ahead of his nearest challenger, former President Jorge Quiroga who, the polls […]

History or current events?

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

Both are depressing: Kanzlerin Sauerkraut climbs behind the wheel of that stalling, choking, smoking dumptruck that Germany is these days. Good luck, you’ll need it. 53 members of the Bundestag from her own “coalition” voted against her. I give this arrangement no more than 2 years. This government will probably fail not so much over […]

Wilma makes history

Monday, October 17th, 2005

Tropical Storm Wilma is the 21st named storm of this season, making this the busiest hurricane season ever. Considering that this season included one of the worst natural disasters on the US mainland (Katrina) and one of the 30 deadliest hurricanes (Stan), as well as one of the easternmost hurricanes ever (Vince), this is a […]

Holocaust mass grave at Stuttgart airport

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

During the years I lived in Stuttgart, I remember several occasions when construction workers found unexploded bombs from WWII. But this recent discovery of a piece of Nazi-era legacy is uniquely horrifying, and within an easy bike-ride from where I lived: Remains believed to be from some 30 Jews forced into labour by the Nazis […]

Simon Wiesenthal has died

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

Remembering a tireless fighter for justice and human dignity: Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Nazi Hunter has died in Vienna at the age of 96, the Simon Wiesenthal Center announced today (September 20th). “Simon Wiesenthal was the conscience of the Holocaust,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the International Human Rights NGO named in […]

A Moment of Silence

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

Lots of talk today. Silence and reflection would be better …

NC pops the cap

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

A toast to the efforts of Sean Wilson and Julie Bradford and all supporters of the Pop the Cap effort here in North Carolina. This weekend the NC Governor Mike Easley signed House Bill 392 into law. It is now on the books as S.L. 2005-277 and it raises the cap on alcohol content for […]

The Berlin Wall – August 13, 1961

Saturday, August 13th, 2005

Early in the morning on August 13, 1961, workers began tearing up the cobblestone and asphalt along the sector boundaries across Berlin. They began erecting concrete pillars and barbed-wire barricades, while units of the the Volkspolizei – the People’s Police – kept the angry people in the eastern sector in check with machine guns. The […]

Hiroshima Survivor Recalls Devastation

Saturday, July 16th, 2005

“I saw that everybody looked so terrible, just like they came from hell,” she said. “No one was talking. No one was screaming.” Hiroshima Survivor Recalls Devastation The Washington Post, July 16, 2005 (quoting Hiroshima survivor Shigeko Sasamori, 73) 60 years ago today, the first nuclear explosion began the age of the atom bomb. On […]

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

It’s about time. Germany is finally ready to dedicate a major memorial to the victims of the Nazi regime: the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe today joins Yad Vashem and the United States Holocaust Museum and many other places of remembrance. In plain view of the Reichstag building, where the German parliament deliberates […]

The unconditional surrender of Germany

Sunday, May 8th, 2005

When I left Germany 11 years ago I spent the last night at my Grandfather’s. He lived near Frankfurt and my flight left early in the morning, so he was going to drive me to the airport. My grandfather was of old Prussian stock, stubborn, proud and very conservative. I had never heard him talk […]