Du Tust Mir Weh

26.6.12 0

'Du tust mir weh' is German for 'you cause me pain/you're hurting me'. 

 The Americans say that if you tilted their country then everything loose would roll towards 'Cali'. In Europe though the scum and jetsam tend to rise to congeal in Hamburg. More lost souls on the Reeperbahn than in Purgatory and the ambiance is similar-burn Baby burn.

I ended up dossing in Hamburg one summer, back when I was 17. A mate let me crash in the house he'd bought and was renovating. He had gutted it back to what Germans call the 'raw' and I had to flush the toilet bowel he'd quickly jerry rigged in with a bucket. I slept on a pile of brick dust and old newspapers. Wasn't warm but it was dry.

The house lay on the Wilhelm Raabe Way. To my shame the only reason I even recall the name of the road isn't because of Herr Raabe's fame but simply because 'Raabe' is almost the German word for 'raven' and that was one of the few German words I knew....having admired the street sign and figure on Hamburg's 'Old Raven Street' a few days before. Raabe Way itself runs along side Hamburg Airport and was separated from it by a simple metal fence for security- back when German Terrorists were both German and also had no religious scruples about wearing tight jeans...so the fence probably didn't need to be all that high.

There is always some remnant of Evil waiting to ruin your day.  

One of the few things I dislike about Germany is that there is always something lurking in the deep dark pine forest of recent history. The troll of genocide turned to stone yet still imbued with all its evil and waiting....Cthulhu like...not dead but not simply asleep.
So long story shortened, this morning I went on google streetview to try and find the house I stayed in back then when I still had hair.Found I recognised the road still but all the houses have been renovated and turned into flats, painted white and had extensions built. My memories aren't accurate enough to allow me to recognise the few original features left. Oh well, it means at least I don't need to bother making another one of my 'Pilgrimages'-revisting the places of my youth.

While I was on Streetview though I clicked 'photos of the area' and found this page and this post's picture of a 'shed' off Wilhelm Raabe Way.

The photographer has labeled it 'Zwangsarbeiterbaracke' which means Forced Labour Barrack ie where the forced labourers of the Nazi Era had to live...if the word 'live' can be used at all.I then practiced my photoshopping skills on to make it look like it came from an old newspaper....because even though run down the 'shed' still had a slight feeling of "gaudy gypsy musicians painted on the side of a windowless bus" such as the Nazis used as mobile Gas Chambers.

Now I don't know if the shed in the picture is really one such surviving stationary Cattle Truck. The photographer may have been making any number of political points about the labour used in the last major overall of the Airport in 2005ish or modern German Immigration policies but there are reasons for me to think it may really be a vestige of the worst part of German history.

The history of Hamburg Airport during the Nazi years was conveniently *cough* 'lost'...a fire supposedly.What is known is that it was totally remodeled, thousands of trees planted, huge mats of vegetation as camouflage against the Allied surveillance flights. The Nazis did everything they could to make it look a scene of North German bucolicalness-they probably even had herds of cows grazing- and as Hamburg Airport was untouched by the bombing that flattened the City otherwise it seems to have worked.

All that tree planting and earth working would have required labourers and military style barracks would have given the game away so its entirely credible to my mind that the shed was built to resemble the traditional German country style of half timbered wattle 'n daub.

It looks like it has been used since the war as someone's allotment house and tool shed. No doubt someone somewhere,who grew up on Wilhelm Raabe way after the war, has happy childhood memories of playing there.


"It's A Bright June Afternoon..."

17.6.12 0

.."lets play in the park"

Or not.

A 'designated Smokers (Lepers?) zone' in the middle of a cliff top park that is so well ventilated by the North Sea From-Siberia-With-Love wind that the trees grow a tilt and they are erecting a huge windpark out at sea just to the right of the picture?! 

Actually it's probably just a case of the council reusing event fencing to screen off renovation work -cos that shelter contravenes the 50% exposed-to-the-elements law for smoking shelters!
◄ Free Blogger Templates by The Blog Templates | Design by Pocket