Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘Leipzig’

IHolocaustdenkmal, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: observations from Germany

Primo Levi, Italian-Jewish author, chemist, and Auschwitz survivor, delivered a set of essays about life and survival in Nazi extermination camps in his 1986 book “The Drowned and the Saved”. Levi wrote:

… For us to speak with the young becomes even more difficult. We see it as a duty and, at the same time, as a risk: the risk of appearing anachronistic, of not being listened to. We must be listened to: above and beyond our personal experiences, we have collectively witnessed a fundamental, unexpected event, fundamental precisely because unexpected, not foreseen by anyone. It took place in the teeth of all forecasts; it happened in Europe; incredibly, it happened that an entire civilized people, just issued from the fervid cultural flowering of Weimar, followed a buffoon whose figure today inspires laughter, and yet Adolf Hitler was obeyed and his praises were sung right up to the catastrophe. It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say.

On 27 January 1945, Soviet Red Army troops liberated the Nazi concentration and extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in south-central Poland. Over 1 million men, women, and children were murdered.

The United Nations declared January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day; the designation came during the 42nd plenary session of the United Stations when resolution 60/7 was passed on 1 November 2005.

Accepting and openly stating responsibility are critical first steps, but spending time, money, and effort to ensure the simple motto of “never again” is also an ongoing reality that isn’t solely up to the citizens of Germany. It’s a collective responsibility that we all should have to remain vigilant; that we all have to recognize and bolster actions which encourage and strengthen the universality of human rights, and reject the erosion and withdrawal of those rights.

I believe responsible tourism also includes paying appropriate respect at a memorial, especially the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. It’s my view this important memorial is not (supposed to be) a playground.

And yet, there’s something to be said about what it means to have freedom in the early 21st-century, allowing people to laugh and frolic in the public space, an undulating sculpture of featureless massive grey cement blocks, a testimonial to the systematic murder of millions of people.

Naturally, you have the freedom to play here, take selfies, and have a grand time. But it doesn’t mean I’m gonna laugh with you; for example: Yolocaust art project (DW 2017).

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Petrikirche, Taufkirche, Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Tracing Martin Luther’s steps in 16 German cities

Above/featured: “Luther war hier. // Luther was here.” Eisleben, Germany – 27 Oct 2016.

In pre-teen years, I attended a Catholic elementary school by weekday, and a missions-oriented Protestant church by weekend. I already had multiple questions running around my pre-scientist brain, like electrons appearing and dissipating in a fuzzy halo. When various disparate elements began to settle with few satisfying answers, I left behind the churches and their respective religions. But one thing that’s remained is my love of history. History has never been boring, because I carry the past (as offspring of immigrants), and I’m determined to bring history’s lessons into the present.

Even in youth, I had to ask: why was one set of churches called “Protestant”? What was under protest? How did one man help spark a movement that would help merge and create a version of a language that continues today, that would bring accessible means to literacy for the public, and that would begin to change rule by religion to rule by law?

Martin Luther (‘Luder’, at birth)

From his birth in Eisleben; to formative years in Mansfeld, Magdeburg, and Erfurt; to the bulk of his working and teaching years in Wittenberg; to his death in Eisleben, Martin Luther set upon a course that helped change language, education, culture, religion, and governance. In many ways, Luther had much to thank Jan Hus for the latter’s efforts to reform the Catholic Church in Bohemia one hundred years earlier.

Every year on the 31st of October, a number of cities, regions, and federal states in Germany mark an important event in this movement. It’s widely understood Martin Luther walked up to the Castle Church in Wittenberg and pinned his 95 Theses to the church doors on 31 October 1517. Even if direct evidence Luther actually posted papers to the doors is debatable, what’s not is that 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Germany.

Martin Luther, Reformation, German Reformation, Wittenberg, Marktplatz, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

The illuminated Luther memorial stands tall in front of Wittenberg’s town hall at Market Square. As UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town hosts 4 sites: Luther House, Melanchthon House, St. Mary’s Town Church, and the Castle Church. 2017 is the 500th anniversary of Luther’s Reformation in Germany. Various German federal states, regions, and cities will mark the quincentenary throughout the year. Photo at Wittenberg Marktplatz on 30 Oct 2016.


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Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt, Christmas market, Markt, Leipzig, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: A Christmas star shines on Leipzig

It’s time once again for the Christmas markets, and in Leipzig, I found this beautiful illuminated star at the Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt at the city’s market square. Leipzig has continued the tradition of a Christmas market for the last 500-plus years (since 1458). It’s a reminder for me to find the nearest market and get me some Glühwein. You can read much more about the Leipzig Christmas Market (in English) here.

I made the photo above on 2 December 2014 with Canon EOS6D, EF 24-105 zoom-lens, and the following settings: 1/1000s, f/5, ISO10000, and 58mm focal length. Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH (LTM) hosted my visit on 2-4 December. Access to public transport was kindly provided by LTM and the MDV Mitteldeutscher Verkehrsverbund regional transport authority. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-7aj.

Spinnerei, Leipzig, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Leipzig Spinnerei: from cotton mill to arts centre

The Leipzig Spinnerei is a former cotton mill (Baumwollspinnerei) in the western industrial suburb of Plagwitz. The massive site at an area of 10 hectares (over 1 million square feet) with rows of factory buildings began operation in 1884 and eventually became the largest cotton mill in Europe with thousands working and living on-site. After the site ceased to produce spools of cotton thread shortly after reunification, artists took advantage of the cheap empty space, and transformed the area into studios, galleries, and exhibition halls. Much has been written about the impact and examples of art and space on Leipzig as the “new Berlin” as well as the “New Leipzig School.” The site as art and culture space opened its doors in 2005.

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Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt, Christmas market, Marktplatz, Leipzig, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt – Leipzig Christmas Market

After tracing the likes of The Peaceful Revolution, Martin Luther, Bach, and Mendelssohn in Leipzig, the sparkle of bright lights and the promise of mulled wine beckon. Emerging from the Markt S-Bahn train station, the sounds of the underground give way to the din of crowds. The city’s central Marktplatz (Market Square) is home to the Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt (Leipzig Christmas Market) and people are out en masse despite the cold bite in the evening air.

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