Has Donald Trump ever been watched yawning
He's been through a lot. Karl Stankiewitz was born in 1928 and is one of the oldest active journalists in Germany. But the Corona crisis also presents the Munich author with many new challenges. His corona diary, which is regularly updated on bayerische-staatszeitung.de, gives exciting insights into life in Munich during the corona crisis - from a very personal point of view.
May 17, 2021
“A country is unlocking again”. "Counteroffensive on the Corona Front". "Schleswig-Holstein is restarting tourism". Something like that sounded like the headlines that lured me to the north of the republic. Apparently MP Daniel Günther wanted to get ahead of his official and union brother Markus Söder with a solitary decision; several times he spoke of a “pioneering role”. For the first time, a federal state lifted the strict lockdown and opened hotels and restaurants to tourism. A daring experiment - despite the lowest incidence values in Germany. I wanted to test whether and how this works for a week between Hamburg and Flensburg.
The large seaside resort of Eckernförde with its almost 3,000 accommodations was, together with the Schleiregion, one of four model regions since April 19. What did that mean? In the city, on the beach promenade and in the shops, protective masks had to be worn and distances had to be maintained. A negative test was still required in the hotel, new every 48 hours. As in 2020, restaurants were only accessible to a limited number of guests and contact forms had to be completed. Most of the kitchens stayed cold. The outdoor catering was freely accessible - cheers; However, when the “bad weather” persisted, the seats were just as empty as cinemas, concert halls, seawater baths, beach chairs. Shops were only allowed to be entered with a quick test certificate. In short: nothing new in the north. Or: no breakthrough without discipline. Or: an escape to the fjord would not really have been necessary.
Stefan Borgmann, managing director of Eckernförde Touristik & Marketing GmbH, is nevertheless satisfied with the pilot project. In the past four weeks, more guests were booked than in the same period before the outbreak of the epidemic. The available beds were 70 to 89 percent full. Borgmann expects success from the sustained advertising effect alone. The land on the Förde and Schlei has made itself known far into the south of Germany through this campaign. “The sea air here is priceless,” enthused a woman who had traveled from Garmisch-Partenkirchen and patiently stood in line in front of the information container. The scientific support also produced a very positive result: the incidence curve fell from the already low level of around 70 to below 50.
The model region project expired on Monday. Schleswig-Holstein is now loosening the rules nationwide. They have not been as strict as in Bavaria, for example, as we noticed on our criss-cross train journey between the seas. Memories in Mürwik, where I was trained as a 16-year-old midshipman in December 1944. While walking with a dog and a walker on the harbor next to the massive and still important school of the German Navy, an old lady tells us why she moved here from Munich. Unfortunately the ferries to Denmark do not operate at the moment; At that time, we cadets had each been given a coin for which we got whipped cream that we had long missed over in Sønderborg.
In Husum, Theodor Storm's “Gray City by the Sea”, people sat happily drinking, mask-free and without any distance on the quay. The neighboring, extremely charming Dutch founding of Friedrichstadt was similarly “free”. A refrain by Erich Kästner comes to mind, referring to a Munich cabaret: "The great freedom did not become, the small - maybe."
Speaking of which: Große Freiheit, the amusement mile in St. Pauli known from a Käutner film, is just as dreary for the time being as the beautiful new warehouse district and the whole cosmopolitan city of Hamburg. In the oversized InterCity Hotel, we are both the only guests with proof of work. At a cheap price, of course, we can expect zero service. Tourism will probably not take place here for a while. Below, however, more or less masked joggers trot through the splendidly blooming Planten and Blomen park in the rain. All very strange. But what's not strange about this war against an invisible enemy?
Karl Stankiewitz's diary in chronological order:
In the SZ I read a short message whose headline consists of three words: "Lung Disease in China". Corona: In Catholic Old Bavaria you might think of the Holy Corona. The 16-year-old Christian from Damascus, who was literally torn apart, is venerated as the patroness against epidemics. Several pilgrimage churches are dedicated to her in this country.
A 33-year-old employee of the auto supplier Webasto in Stockdorf near Munich got infected with SARS-CoV-2 during a training course with a colleague from Shanghai. Later, other employees and their family members are found to be infected. All sick people have to be in quarantine. The company headquarters closes.
Beginning of March 2020
The bad news rushes. Several countries, first and foremost Italy, Israel and the USA, have travel restrictions. First events are canceled: the important world trade fair for tourism, the ITB in Berlin, the international craft fair in Munich or the starter beer festival on Munich's Nockherberg. The hosts of other beer palaces, on the other hand, continue to serve their spring strong beer.
The number of infected people in Munich climbs to a total of 60 cases. The state government decides that no more events with more than a thousand participants may take place. This particularly affects the large Munich theaters, football stadiums and a number of beer houses. Only the preparations for the Oktoberfest continue for the time being.
March 11, 2020
The World Health Organization declares the new SARS epidemic a pandemic, a worldwide epidemic. Bavaria has 558 and Munich 39 infected. From now on, Bayern and Munich will also be hit in quick succession. First schools close. Organizers, travel agencies and hotels report cancellations. Personnel is terminated or sent on short-time work, employees switch to the home office.
15th March 2020
A sunny sunday. Local elections in Bavaria. Early in the morning the voting room in the Kerschenstein school is still empty. All election workers wear gloves. A water basin with soap and a towel is available for the voters. For some of the 775 Munich polling stations, teachers had to be recruited the previous evening because a quarter of the polling workers canceled out of caution. You can also see mouthguards; a mask with a long beak resembles, as a newspaper picture shows - similar to the gruesome plague masks of the Middle Ages.
Despite Corona, we will go to the Oberland after the election. The BOB trains to Bad Tölz are well manned, and rail traffic is not yet restricted. And the sunny forecourts of the cafés on Isarskai are already bursting with visitors in the morning. Someone quotes Goethe: “From the hollow, dark gate a multicolored swarm pushes out. Everyone likes to sunbathe today ... ”On a walk, however, one could also think of another Faust scene:“ The little people never feel the devil, and if they had it on their collar .. ”
By this beautiful Sunday in Bavaria, the diabolical virus had already grabbed over a thousand people. The third death from a retirement home is reported in Würzburg.
March 16, 2020
The disaster applies to Bavaria. The other German state governments will follow in the afternoon. Specifically, this means the immediate and permanent closure of all leisure facilities such as swimming pools, cinemas and clubs. The Christian churches have already stopped their services of their own accord. One is considering making this mandatory for all religious communities. The cathedral is still well attended. Many people in Munich pray and ask to avert the disaster. Candles are burning everywhere in the dark.
In my old town district of Lehel, the usual bustle seems to have subsided significantly on this working day. After all, all schools and daycare centers have been closed since Friday. At the entrance to my bank there is a note with a touching offer from students who offer to help fellow citizens with their purchases.
There is also a note on every second table in my local pub. For hygienic reasons, every table should remain free. Apart from a couple, I am the only lunchtime guest in the large restaurant. The young waitress is a bit more attentive than usual, she asks you to wash your hands at the counter ("You don't have to go to the toilet") and hands you a bottle to disinfect.
Through the radio and computer I am haunted by negative reports all day. All kinds of events have been canceled continuously - my own reading from my book “Munich Milestones” is also omitted. An email spits out rules of conduct. "The virus is not heat-resistant, drink plenty of hot water," said the tip allegedly from an Italian doctor doing research in China. I am forwarding it for information, but I will soon find out that it is one of many fake news. All kinds of crooks are already on the hunt for Corona.
17th March 2020
I actually wanted to listen to Sigmar Gabriel. “More courage” is the name of the book that the sometimes crisis-ridden SPD politician wanted to talk about in Café Luitpold. The discussion has of course also been deleted. But the many artists are much more affected by the prescribed cultural break than the politicians. “In the future, boys like me will have to make money differently,” writes my friend, Willy Michl, an Indian from the Isar. Nevertheless, the "meltdown" does not frighten him. "I have something to offer, and I will survive the intermediate phase, you always have to be in good spirits."
Another friend, Dietmar Holzapfel, is a little less relaxed - although he, “Munich's rainbow regent”, had already experienced similar interventions in his private life during the AIDS epidemic, which was decried as a “gay epidemic”. The fact that he has now locked his restaurant Deutsche Eiche does not make him quite as “very sad” as the ban on visiting his mother in the old people's home. "When the end comes and there is no relative, would you like to leave the world like that?"
My own granddaughter Tania doesn't want to visit me either until further notice. As a flight attendant for Lufthansa, who keeps 700 of her 723 planes on the ground, she was in contact with many foreigners, and now she has a lot of free time.
March 18, 2020
Now the beer gardens and the streets, which were previously full, are becoming increasingly empty. Few passers-by, obviously tourists from Asia, wear a bandage over their mouth and nose. At the Viktualienmarkt there is a sell-out. There is a 60 percent discount on fish dishes, for example. The world famous Hofbräuhaus has already closed; some traditional houses will soon follow suit, although they should stay open until 3 p.m. The Augustinerwirt estimates that around 80 percent of all restaurants in the old town will close in the next few days. It's just no longer worth it, especially since a maximum of 30 guests can be entertained at the same time, each 1.5 meters apart.
The majority of small dealers also want to lower the blinds. Some hope to get through the crisis through online sales or short-time work. Others require credit cards instead of cash. The people of Munich shop like crazy in advance.
This compulsion to buy reminds me of an even worse time. In autumn 1946, when Munich was starving, my mother often took me to “hamster”. With a spoon in hand we had toured farms in the area, were happy and grateful for a chunk of butter or a bag of flour. We couldn't offer anything for such small donations. Others brought carpets or silver plates with them to the country.
Disinfectants are becoming rare. A pharmacist mixes them himself. No bottleneck, everything in stock, assures my pharmacist. As the only customer, she is more friendly than usual and passes the prescribed medication to me under a brand new wall made of synthetic glass.
March 19, 2020
In Großhadern, one of the first virus patients has been wrestling with life since February 29; the 65-year-old was infected while skiing in Ischgl. Three doctors, six nurses and a medical student have also been infected.
Incidentally, the medical service in the city is evidently going on as usual. I learn that my eye surgery scheduled for tomorrow has by no means been canceled. A large part of the medical staff has been doing voluntary overtime for days. Many doctors are available to test suspected cases, as the two drive-in test stations set up by the health department are already overcrowded. Karl Steffen Gerhard, for example, parked the minibus, which he usually takes on vacation, in front of his practice in order to offer compromises. This has the advantage that the test person does not even have to enter a waiting room and can pass any viruses on to other patients.
In front of a wine shop in Lehel, a pack of not even very young women and men stand under the midday sun, quite happy as if in a party mood and quite close together. “Social distancing” seems to be unknown to them. My companion says it doesn't have to be. The waiter from the nearby eatery, always in a good mood, calls out to a young woman that she shouldn't get too close, "because of Ebola". It's supposed to be a joke. Later, in a TV show, the Söder word "character test" is circulating.
In order to prevent the "warehouse fever" that is feared with the home office, the media come up with all sorts of ideas. The Evening News brings tips for the unfamiliar life “at home”, which, although supported by celebrities, offer little more than card games and crossword puzzles. The MunichMercury Follows up with König Ludwig questions and recipes to strengthen the immune system. Those of the seem more meaningful to me Süddeutsche Zeitung listed cultural performances that run on various streaming channels, and the new column “Alles zu, Zeitung auf”. She wants to entertain the children who stay at home every day with puzzles, a joke duel and other odds and ends
There are now 10,999 virus carriers in Germany, with a high number of unreported cases being expected.
March 20, 2020
The president of the leading Robert Koch Institute soberly predicts: "The number of deaths will continue to rise." Just recently three of my friends died, if not because of some viruses. The Horst in Berlin, the Franz in Bad Feilnbach and the Oskar in Munich. In those hours when death suddenly emerges from the background, one ponders. With my 91 years of age, high blood pressure and previous illnesses, I belong to the high-risk group. Involuntarily I click the sound title “My Testament” and hear the wonderful song by Reinhard Mey with the comforting ending: “This is my last will, but I very much hope that the will that I write will not be the last be ... ”However, the epidemic even hits the dead. Hugging, holy water and throwing earth are expressly forbidden in Munich's cemeteries. “Condolences online” is recommended.
Incidentally, today is "World Day of Happiness". In addition, the 200th birthday of Friedrich Hölderlin should be celebrated. So it fits well that booksellers who only sell online should post the encouraging poet's words: "But where there is danger, what can be saved also grows."
The danger is everywhere. No wonder that the streetscape is now clearly thinned out. Few cars, few cyclists, even fewer passers-by. And fewer patients than usual in the eye clinic. "The The level of anxiety varies, ”explains the anesthetist for the cancellation of appointments. My macular procedure is quick and easy. "Shit business," scolds the taxi driver, who puts me in the back seat. His business was reduced to four locations in the city.
And again Bavaria is pushing ahead in the Corona war. "We do not close the country, but we shut down public life completely," explains crisis commander Söder. That means: leaving the apartment only if there are “valid reasons”, alone or accompanied by people from your own household.
I let Master Martin cut my hair quickly, as short as possible, because there is no new appointment in sight. The last time I looked like this as a pimp in the Hitler state. In general, some things now remind me of those dark times: the regulation, the dependence on official orders, the fear of uncertainty. When the first British fire bombs fell in Munich in March 1940, a dangerous spring flu was also rampant.
March 21, 2020
A gray, wet and cold Saturday. Nevertheless, clusters of unsuspecting, uninhibited and foolish people are still driven out onto the empty streets. By noon, the police had already reported ten violations of the new rules at 60 controls. The total number of corona patients in Munich exceeded the thousand mark for the first time.
March 22, 2020
The city now seems to have died out completely. And freezes. I don't meet a soul on the way to St. Anna Square in the morning. Maybe it's because of the freezing cold. Our large parish church is open, but deserted. A few candles flicker. A decree by Reinhard Cardinal Marx is on display, according to which all public services in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising are canceled until April 1st. Likewise, house communion, anointing of the sick and even funeral masses. But the churches should be open to personal prayer. The holy water fonts are empty. The St. Matthew Passion has been "postponed". An attack sounds comforting: "We are there - right now".
How about, it occurs to me, in this time of monotony, when all museums have to be had, to visit some of the art treasures in Munich's churches that are otherwise not so much noticed? One could also remember earlier catastrophes that are documented in many places of worship, in the old Haidhauser Kircherl, for example, during the cholera epidemic of 1836 with 2994 deaths.
At 10 o'clock the bells of all Catholic churches in the disused city ring. They call to prayer and probably also to commemorate the 21 dead of the corona pandemic in Bavaria. This Sunday, the first man from Munich, a 56-year-old man who had a previous illness, dies in the Großhadern Clinic.
March 25, 2020
Daily life levels off at a low level. City on the back burner. Life at the limit - life light. In official German this means “reduction of social contacts”. People sneak past one another shyly, avoiding each other so that the required distance of 1.50 to two meters is maintained. Some smile at each other, but hardly speak. A similar picture in the wholesale market: waiting until distance becomes possible, picking up goods from the shelf and paying - everything with thin gloves if possible. Even so, the salespeople remain exposed to some risk. Heroes behind the cash register, praises a newspaper.
But we old people can do little with the word “heroes” when they think back to the war years, when people called “national comrades”, quietly and naturally, did their damned duty.
So that we, the risk group, are not exposed to the viruses that may be rampant in supermarkets, the Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter has called for seniors to have their own shopping times. My Asian guy over there even delivers complete “to go” menus in the evenings, and he has raised the price slightly. From now on, my exits are limited to getting food and breathing, as the Chancellor recommended. Little difference to jail and barracks. Gradually you actually feel a bit trapped when you sit “at home” in one go.
“What worries me most about the crisis is the forced isolation,” Gerd, my old friend from the, writes to me Evening News. “We bow to all requirements that cut deeply into our privacy because we see no better protection against the invisible, but terribly recognizable threat. I'm talking about the victims who lie in their deathbeds gasping for breath, about night truck convoys with corona corpses on their way to the collection point. About our fearful crawling into the last private protection zone, our own home. "
Gradually you actually feel a bit trapped when you sit “at home” in one go. You feel isolated or, if in quarantine, even stigmatized. In some families, crammed into small apartments, doing nothing seems to develop into a kind of holiday grant. Social workers fear that domestic violence could increase.
March 26, 2020
“If you don't have a house now, you won't build one anymore. Anyone who is alone now will stay there for a long time. "Rilke's elegiac" Autumn Day "comes to mind when I see these people on a spring walk on the Isar: a group of homeless people with miserable" household items "are looking for shelter at their traditional campsite the kiosk with its protruding mushroom roof. Yes, if you don't have a home now and are alone, it hits you particularly hard. Where can they get something to eat now? Where should they wash themselves? How are they supposed to sleep in freezing temperatures at night without snuggling up to each other and warm? Restaurants, soup kitchens, tables and even emergency shelters are closed.
In front of the evangelical Lukaskirche I meet Toni from Fürstenfeldbruck, 60 years old, disheveled, shaggy, friendly. He accepts the banknote with a little thanks, but not the sturdy shoes. You are too small. The gate is opened at 2 p.m. sharp. Toni pushes the shopping cart with his belongings up the stairs and disappears into the dark church. After a bad night, he wants to lie down a little longer. He is not afraid of Corona.
March 27, 2020
Basic services are becoming more and more of a practical problem not only for the homeless, but also for single seniors like me (and six million German citizens). In the much too narrow aisles between the shelves of the small Edeka branch, people are still anxiously crowding one another and past the still unprotected cashiers. In other quarters, the shop assistants are already shielded by hastily built crates covered with cling film.
"Even the adhesive strips with the one and a half meter distance markings that are visible everywhere will possibly be retained in the future," says Gerd, my old colleague. He also noticed "that time and again particularly zealous people, in good old block warden fashion, draw their fellow citizens' attention to compliance with the propriety rule, and that makes me feel the 68 comb again."
I'll have to look for a bigger store or a delivery service. My son Thomas still provides me with the essentials today, who uses his free time as a photographer without orders to sort and digitize ancient negatives or kill them to death.
"EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE. WE STAY AT HOME ”was painted by a child on paper that they decorated with a rainbow and hung in the window. Following the much-vaunted examples in Italy, the 28-year-old choirmaster Kilian Unger has also begun to get his neighbors in the mood to sing along or make music from house to house in Munich's Glockenbachviertel. The defiant court concert began on Sunday with “Joy, beautiful spark of the gods”; it was followed by the Beatle song "All you need is love".
The number of infected people in Bavaria passed the magic mark of 10,000 today.
March 28, 2020
Again wonderful weather for excursions. “Sport and exercise in the fresh air” are expressly allowed, even if only alone or at a reasonable distance from household members. So I am considering the possibility of visiting one of the Bavarian Corona churches. The closest is said to be near Sauerlach, only 22 kilometers by train from Munich Central Station. But: How full are the wagons, will you be able to keep the necessary distance in them? Do BOB trains run at all after the timetable has been heavily thinned out? Can you walk to the chapel in the forest? Is she even up? Thank goodness the inscription that hides that chapel can also be found on the World Wide Web: “Tired hiker stand still, take a break at Saint Corona. You piously recommend yourself in prayer when you have some ‘grief and worry." How up-to-date old church boards can be!
So I prefer to skip the trip. I just want to enjoy the spring sun this weekend on the balcony of my home. And reading.
Down on the Isar, I have a less disturbing, whimsical perception: Much more joggers than usual are trotting through the green. The Chancellor's message to keep moving seems to have reached at least younger citizens.
In the evening the lights shine out of all apartments, because everyone is at home. Although the Birth rates will increase early next year? I'm looking for a little ray of hope in the official daily report, but I'm disappointed. Again there are 293 newly infected people in Munich, the total number increases to 2080 cases.
March 29, 2020
Well, since it is Sunday, a little detour to a quiet, independent villa suburb. At the entrance to Planegg, there is a sign on the fence, clearly visible to all drivers and cyclists, with the request: “Stay at home”.
April 1, 2020
Strange how the disease is obscuring current politics. Corona from early to late, Corona here, Corona there. The Chancellor Question, was it still the headline yesterday? To forget. The share prices? Ridiculous. Even the exciting results of the Bavarian local elections have been pushed into the background. It goes without saying that the popular movers and shakers of the big parties and their followers were favored and the populist bad guys were slowed.
This is the hour for efficient and decisive politicians. You all deserve respect and thanks for your tireless efforts on the Corona front with little sleep. Patience, bravery, empathy but also among the people, with young and old. "I work on design projects and do a lot of sport, otherwise I lose social contacts," writes my granddaughter Tania on a painted card, who no longer wants to visit me because of contagion, has to do without her service at Lufthansa and practices yoga at home . Niece Elsa reports from Mexico, who had to break off her work at the Swiss embassy.
The 2000 limit for infected people has been exceeded in the city. And to make matters worse, two more Munich residents, both over 66 years old, succumbed to the cruel plague. Munich now has a harder grip on them than any other German city.
But the people are showing a new, different face. “Be nice to each other,” was a slogan given in Hamburg. Really, you are noticeably “nice” to each other, I notice that especially with the women in my neighborhood. Without being asked, the manager of my laundry gives me a real face mask, one with an air filter and a bulge for my nose.
I put this thing on when I go for walks and go shopping. And realize that I am still almost the only one far and wide who is masked like this. Which may be because these masks are not yet easy to get. Many doctors are said to have closed their practices and Munich hospitals had to get thousands of respiratory masks from China.
Second, I notice that some passers-by look at me shyly, almost fearfully, like a ghost. Which may be due to inadequate education. About the fact that these people think that they are only infected or that they have to cover their faces in this way. Austria has already made masks compulsory for purchases. In any case, with or without a face mask, I want to keep paying attention to the two-meter distance.
A neighbor's idea of the "Easter basket" is really nice. In several shops, anyone can purchase a voucher for gift baskets that are to be given to staff in Munich's hospitals and nursing homes as a small thank you. Perhaps, however, the hard-pressed helpers should be adequately equipped with protective items first.
April 2, 2020
What to do "at home" when you are not banned from working from home? Christian Ude finally wants to read the books “that were given for free throughout the year”. Like our former Lord Mayor, who strived for culture, many of those trapped should now rummage through their shelves, Spitzweg's "bookworm" sends his regards. Yesterday I was looking for readings that describe or even explain life in a state of emergency and came across three novels, all of which have caused a sensation at one point or another.
Even today, these three thrillers might convey more fear than facts: The plague by the French Albert Camus, Center of horror by the Englishman Graham Green and Hot zone by the American Richard Preston. "Deadly viruses from the rainforest", so the subtitle. On page 343 I read: “They sit on door handles and telephone receivers, books and beds, banknotes and coffee cups, crouch on shoes and fingertips, lie in wait for animals and plants, float on water and in the wind. In myriads they populate the entire globe ... "
Is it time for literature? An author reads her poems to her fans on the phone. Other writers use streaming channels as transport routes. Booksellers recommend their favorite books in print or online; if necessary, they can bring customers' orders personally to their homes. Editor-in-chief Kurt Kister from the South German reports today from his "home office" about a sinologist in Lower Bavaria who not only emails him almost every day, even translated, Chinese poems related to the present.
It actually looks like literature is tracking down new dimensions with the help of new media in this time of a “closed society” (Sartre). However, I do not believe in long-term profit. Aside from the idea of my new book Munich milestones fell victim to the virus last Friday, all these “streams” seem to me initially only as emergency or escape routes, at best as fields of experimentation for the manufacturers and dealers of books.
A publishing director from “temporary exile” tells me that the situation is extremely threatening, especially for those involved in culture. Whole pallets come back from wholesalers. Currently not for sale. You can almost only sell it through the super corporation Amazon, which my publisher calls "crisis profiteer". The former concentrates his book deliveries on everyday goods. Another publisher mentions a drop in sales of currently 80 percent. For him, travel guides and “titles on distant destinations” have very bad prospects. A small publisher asks me desperately: "Who could say these days that they have even come close to understanding this 'biblical plague' and its consequences?"
Today's news that the PEN Club is demanding that the bookstores reopen immediately sounds funny. The reason: "Man does not live on bread and toilet paper alone, he also needs spiritual nourishment!"
It is good that the periodical media do not reveal any restrictions. Newspapers, radio and television are experiencing a boom, because the news material is truly not diminishing, nor is the interest of readers, listeners and viewers.
Of course there is only one topic. This is summarized in the late afternoon as a short message from the health department: Within 24 hours 173 newly infected people in Munich and 2002 in Bavaria, which now has the most corona cases among the federal states, of around 80,000 pretty much a quarter.
Söder recognizes a "slightly positive trend", but this is not yet sufficient to loosen the restrictions.
April 3, 2020
Every day - like Thomas Mann with his dog Bauschan - I pull myself up for walks on the Isar with a bandage in front of my mouth. They are now ritualized. Once on the right and once on the left along the river bank, over one of the bridges, through the facilities over there and back on another bridge. I walk more slowly than before. The low water has formed gravel tongues that are occupied by the first sun worshipers. Every day the buds open a little. Spring is here.
And the organ grinder is back. What fun it was when a man appeared down in the courtyard with a barrel organ or a squeezer and played folk songs until well into the gray war time. The mother then wrapped a ten or more in paper, which we threw down from the balcony for the court musician or musicians. God bless you, they thanked you. Yesterday there was an apparition from the past. In the courtyard of some old people's homes, the Munich Showmen Association, which has just turned 100, had an old fairground organ pushed and played. What a change for the old people who are no longer allowed to be visited.
The public jokers themselves are suffering badly from the crisis. All traditional appointments are canceled; the spring festival in April, the Dult in May, the Magdalenenfest in July. And even the Oktoberfest in September, which has always put an enormous burden on the city, but also brought it a lot of money and freed millions of people from their everyday lives, is threatened with end. In order to provide a little help to the stallholders, amusement rides and other operators as well as the market women, the city today announced a “Dult is cult” campaign. For nine euros you can buy vouchers that can be used for a value of ten euros at any future fair. Sometime, somewhere in Munich.
April 4, 2020
A sunny weekend lies ahead of us.We want to use it again through permitted walks. Initial experiences showed: the English Garden, the city parks, the Isar promenades - everywhere “a colorful swarm of colors is pushing out”, as did Master Faust on his Easter walk noticed. That is why we direct our steps into the dead-silent forest cemetery. We find Frank Wedekind's grave. At his funeral in 1918 - when the Spanish flu hit Munich - our scandal poet had caused a scandal for the last time; In the presence of famous mourners such as the Mann brothers and the young poet Brecht, the young author Lautensack set out to jump into the open grave.
On Saturday, the number of newcomers in Munich fell to 145, only to rise to 195 cases on Sunday.
April 6, 2020
The Easter holidays would begin today, but after Bavaria had rushed ahead, the school gates have been closed for three weeks. Nevertheless, teaching was carried out with the teachers conveying the prescribed material via email or WhatsApp. Working without "social contacting". In this area too, new Anglicisms such as “homeschooling” or “homelearning” have enriched the German vocabulary. It's just the good old “homework”.
Even when I was at school, lessons in the school building were often canceled. First of all, because one educational institution after another fell into ruins. So a real hiking school developed. When the war then - it was exactly 75 years ago! - came to an end, so did school attendance. We were practically "retrained" to become forced laborers, the only way to get food stamps. I “enjoyed” the summer of 1945 in a Munich jam factory and on two Upper Bavarian farms. This emergency vacation was only over in September and I was allowed to prepare for my Abitur in the grammar school, as the upper secondary schools were now called.
April 7, 2020
Munich now has 16 corona deaths. Every day and precisely, all media report the newly infected as well as the total number of identified virus carriers, those who have recovered and those who have died, sometimes also those of the tested and intensively cared for patients. But I would like to stop displaying these statistics myself, because the numbers are becoming a tangle of numbers. The reports are compiled, extrapolated and marked by colored curves from several institutes for different periods of time based on different criteria - from Munich, Bavaria, Germany and the world.
Gradually the medical problem becomes a math problem as well. In any case, it is an arithmetic problem with many unknowns for the layperson. He can do little with these new values, such as the “base reproduction number”. So you can find out every day the period in which the newly confirmed infections are doubling here and there, which is ultimately what should decide about the contact block. This reminds me of the ominous "half-life" that applied to radioactive air particles in atomic bomb tests and reactor disasters.
It is not the statistics, but the human factor that finds our everyday interest. Earlier, my old friend Hans N. called me from the retirement home. He feels well taken care of and doesn't get bored at all, he assures us. It's just that his children are no longer allowed to visit him. And if the pharmacy brings him his medication or if he needs a handyman, he has to call a nurse when the doorbell rings, who then opens the door with gloves. As a travel journalist, Hans was once at home all over the world.
April 8, 2020
When reading over the local pages in the newspapers, it is not only the changing, usually growing and quite different number of cases that has recently become irritating, but also the police measures taken against it be seized. Apparently, new slogans are issued almost every hour by the police headquarters and the Ministry of the Interior, which differ in details and sometimes even contradict each other.
The uniformed inspectors are therefore constantly questioned by half-informed walkers: Can I actually rest on a park bench and for how long and with how many companions? Can I lie on the meadow or even unpack the snack there, which is probably part of the “daily need”? Can I just stand for a while or do I have to go without a break? The main question is: what are good reasons, please?
The reactions are as varied as the pronouncements. Most of the time you are instructed in a friendly manner, sometimes you get tough, sometimes you get cashed. One can easily get the impression that the police are subject to a certain arbitrariness. It is already hailing nasty letters to the editor from people who are reminiscent of the GDR, or even of the Nazi era, when the police were forbidden to walk on the lawn.
My companion, however, expresses understanding for the unexplained predicament from a distance of one and a half meters: “Better to watch out for a bit z'vui than a little.” At least that should apply to those contemporaries who, despite repeated admonitions and a temporary arrest, keep repeating their seven things spread in the English Garden because he is concerned with freedom.
Side effect: the audience's attention has shifted a little from the patient numbers to the public parks, from the beds to the benches.
April 9, 2020
75 years ago today, the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was murdered in the Flossenbürg concentration camp. The Evangelical Youth of Bavaria has organized an unusual commemoration: Young people across Europe have uploaded the great song that the doomed man wrote in the cell: "WONDERFULLY BORROWED BY GOOD POWERS; WE EXPECT TO COME; WHAT MAY COME". Today the song should be sung, spoken or made music together, with many voices and in several languages, and broadcast via social media.
If the ceiling of the living room threatens to fall on your head after three weeks of “house arrest”, then there is only one escape route: out into the open. Open air is still waiting for us with so much of the beauty that poets proclaim: the twittering of birds, gentle breezes, blue skies, spring green. And because Good Friday is approaching, we are drawn from gray city walls back to a cemetery, the one in Penzberg. Here, too, we have to remember an event 75 years ago - the terrible end of a political epidemic.
On April 28, 1945, two days before the Americans marched into Munich and southern Bavaria, 15 men from Penzberg and one pregnant woman were shot or hanged on orders by men of the Wehrmacht and the “Volkssturm” because they had their mine before the demolition wanted to save and arrested several Nazi bigwigs. Their 16 graves are lined up under a hedge, opposite a stone tablet with the inscription: LIVE IN REMEMBRANCE IN FRONT OF OUR TOMB AND KNOW YOURS AS WE DIED IN FAITHFUL HOME.
We drive back to Munich through our Upper Bavarian homeland. All trains and buses run on time, with a maximum of four passengers sitting in the coaches at an appropriate distance from one another. No control, all information friendly, risk of infection is zero. Corona is far away. Cheers to local public transport. "When things go haywire in the rest of the world, you will still have order and hard work in Germany, and that's why you will surely get out of this mess better than others", my sister comforts me in her Easter greeting from Mexico.
April 12, 2020
At Easter I venture a look into the possible future. When this is all over - what then? The standard question that has been circulating for a long time is likely to be the subject of numerous virtual sermons on the feast of the Resurrection, it will probably also dominate family coffee tables and social networks.
Yes, what will be "after Corona"? Previous speculations, based on projections, experience reports and analyzes, range between gloomy fatalism. Exercises of patience and sheer optimism. The overarching answer is: Everything will be different, really everything: the individual, politics, society.
Of all the visions, I particularly like one. The German futurologist Matthias Horx predicts a return to the simple life, which would be overdue anyway. Old cultural techniques and handicrafts would experience a renaissance. One will communicate from person to person again. The physical distance creates a new closeness - which is actually a paradox. "The world looks young and fresh again and we are suddenly full of zest for action." So much for the Horx hymn. That would then be a real cultural revolution, yes, it would be the announcement of a new society that philosophers and ideologues have dreamed of since time immemorial.
Should the Sars Covid-19 cause really be such a spark of gods? My preliminary answer sounds banal: “Nix G'wiß woas ma net.”. Or, to put it in the Bavarian-Chinese mix of a Munich player and thinker: "Look ma moi."
For me, the Easter balance is an occasion to switch to short-time work - like 2.7 billion working people around the world who, according to the International Employment Agency, were affected by the Corona measures on April 8th. This diary should only be continued sporadically.
April 20, 2020
The official mask requirement in Bavaria does not begin until next week, there is still only an official government "requirement", i.e. an urgent recommendation. In any case, more and more people are moving around Munich with masks. Even the simpler models are hardly available for less than 19.90 euros in pharmacies, for example. On top of that, despite the imports and popular company gifts, the mass demand does not seem to have been met by a long way. Masks are still in short supply.
That is why creative people from Munich, especially women, go to work themselves. All kinds of mouth protection cloths are tailored from clothing materials, scarves or even knickers. Many are not as white as diapers, but rather brightly colored. Some ladies have adapted them entirely to their wardrobe. And some men look like pirates or, with black curtains on their faces, like dangerous desert warriors. A traditional costume shop had the likenesses of the fairy tale king Ludwig, the fairy tale empress Sisi and the doer king Markus printed on white and blue checked cloth.
Do all of these people know that one can generally protect others from the devilish particles with such models as the “Community” brand, but hardly oneself? Allegedly only do this High-quality designs and of course the FFP brand nasal and mouth protection made for medical staff, which should not let any viruses through. Anyway, masks have become fashion. And in this regard, Munich is always marching in the avant-garde.
The masquerade desired by the state, however, has a dark background. According to the latest information, one in four of the 142 180 corona infected people known to date in Germany lives in Bavaria, either in the hospital or in quarantine, or is considered to have recovered. Another proportion is even higher: Bavaria mourns 1,271 of the 4,396 dead in Germany. In this neighboring country of Tyrolean virus herds, the first German tested positive three months ago (January 24th), and four weeks ago (March 20th) for the first time - before the rest of the republic followed suit - “public life was shut down”, like Prime Minister Söder had expressed himself clearly.
The picture becomes even darker when you look at the South German Zeitung reads a harrowing report that reports from the hospital in the district of Rosenheim - which is particularly affected because of the proximity to the border: of doctors, nurses and carers who have to do inhuman things, and of corona patients who nonetheless die in agony.
With growing impatience, the announced easing is now expected on all sides. Yesterday, Sunday, I fetched a Bing Crosby song from the Internet that I was very enthusiastic about during the occupation: “Don't fence me in” - don't lock me up.
April 21, 2020
Without exception, all of Söder and Reiter's visibly wistfully announced end for the Munich world symbol, which is called Wiesn and is much more than just great fun, hurts a lot. Epidemics and wars have already prevented this Oktoberfest several times, but now many citizens and those affected had hoped for a miracle up to the hour: that they and the rest of the world would experience all the misery, frustration and fear of the last few months at the largest festival in the world but still be able to “obischwoam” that they can celebrate a new courage to live like the dancing shepherds once did after the plague.
April 27, 2020
Haidhausen has always been the district with many small houses, small people and small shops. The former, the hostels left over from the war and reconstruction, really look like backdrops from the past now that there are no cars and hardly any people in sight. The latter, the stores that have been reopened today, reveal what has recently been called the “new normal”.
From now on it will be normal to wait in front of shops until you are let in - of course only with a mouth guard. Because only one customer is allowed to stay on a floor space of 20 square meters. The business owner faces a fine of up to 5000 euros if he does not pay attention to the corresponding distances. And the customer should pay 150 euros if he does not have at least a scarf tied in front of his face on public transport. It can get complicated.
In any case, Friederike Wagner from the “Buchpalast” in Kirchenstrasse is delighted that she no longer has to deliver her books herself. For six and a half weeks, she brought ordered titles to her customers and rang the doorbell, as agreed by phone or email. What kind of books were in demand? "Some wanted to displace Corona through entertainment, but many asked for extra relevant literature," says the bookseller. Albert Camus' “The Plague” is currently out of print. The “Buchpalast” - an ironically exaggerated company name - will have to do without the popular readings for the time being.
The no less popular Haidhausen Museum on Kirchenstrasse remains closed, while the cemetery a little further up can be visited. Right at the entrance, overgrown with ivy, two memorial stones for the 3,246 dead of the two cholera waves that hit this suburb in particular in the 19th century, and a third memorial with an inscription from 1984: “Before epidemics, war and catastrophes , O Lord, protect us from the destruction of the environment, from unbelief and spiritual confusion. "
My hairdresser Martin is also not allowed to open again yet. He also doesn't like at all. "I do not work. I am renovating. I have respect, ”he wrote defiantly on the door. There are also regulations on how they should apply to the reopening, which is expected in May: customers and hairdressers only wear a mask. Shaving, eyelash tinting and beard grooming are not allowed for the time being. Markings for the "individual movement areas". No newspapers. Disinfection after each visit. The hair stylist vis-à-vis seems to be getting along with the requirements. “Don't panic”, he placard, and he is also looking for “models”.
The Haidhausen-Au district committee still has the invitation to the citizens' meeting that never took place. It would have been more about trivialities such as the traffic light regulation and the purchase of a shovel for the daycare center that has been closed for six weeks. The BA members also took care of the catering in the quarter, for example an extension of the blocking period and the expansion of a bar area. The neighboring Escobar still asks the - no longer present - guests “to stop being so loud after 11 p.m.” Problems that have been pushed aside by a bigger problem.
The business and lounges of the street newspaper BISS are quiet. The last issue that targeted racism is no longer sold. And the memorial service for a seller was canceled. “But all of our people are stable, they keep getting their small salary,” says managing director Karin Lohr outside on the inanimate street. And all the other “citizens in social difficulties” (abbreviated: BISS), the hundreds of homeless people in Munich? "They're doing badly."
New normal also on Wiener Platz. All kiosks are still closed, they are not small shops, but gastronomic establishments. But the Hofbräukeller has opened its iron gate, although All tables and chairs in the beer garden have been cleared away. More than half a century connects me with this Bierburg. In 1944, military doctors examined us high school students to see whether they were fit for war. Soon after the end of the war, the US occupiers arranged the first pop concerts for young people in Munich in the same still intact ballroom. It seemed to us like a final act of liberation after a long gagging.
Then I sat there for many summers with my spies under the chestnuts, we had fun with the old woman with the bread basket and the same saying: “Fresh pretzels, nice gentleman.” Until recently, a dance hall lured deep down in the cellar With an exotic name and nostalgic melodies, and one floor below the best Karl Valentin troupe in Bavaria played the Knight Unkenstein and other pieces in delicious new versions.
Besides the memory, what will remain of all of this? Friedrich Steinberg, the landlord, has long been planning for a season that may soon be possible. Unchanged good service with strict hygiene, distance and staff shortages - that should determine the business policy. Steinberg calculates that a third of the current staff, 95 employees, would "break away" and almost half of the 800 seats in the beer garden. After all, the brewery, the state-owned Hofbräu, has generously switched from a fixed to a sales lease, with HB currently selling 40 percent less beer on the German market and almost nothing in other countries.
In order to at least keep his regular guests, tenant Friedrich Steinberg has ten different dishes served at the open counters every lunchtime. Including, of course, that delicacy that his grandfather, the "Chicken King" Friedrich Jahn, once made half the world palatable. All well and good, but where to eat? You are not allowed to stay on the company premises, there is no beer with it anyway. And the benches are quickly occupied on Wiener Platz. So instead of the roast chicken I prefer to buy a can of Saurem Lüngerl, which I will warm up at home.
4th May 2020
"The economy is getting impatient" is the headline today Southgerman newspaper. The impatience not only affects the still influential trade and industry associations, the hard-hit tradespeople from small pubs to the bosses of large corporations. At the beginning of the second month after the first bad news, parts of the hitherto obedient bourgeoisie also become impatient, even restless. Since May 1st, the Munich police have been reporting more and more frequently "stationary events", as they are now somewhat belittling the unannounced, unwanted gathering of citizens.
First there are a few sympathetic friends who arrange to meet for rallies over the network or by telephone. Curiosity then enlarges the circle. At least 320 people from Munich came together in front of the National Theater to protest against the "abolition of basic rights". Apparently Pegida supporters were among them, their battle cry "We are the people" indicated. Around 200 people gathered in front of the town hall. Opponents of the vaccination had their say here and you heard all sorts of conspiracy theories about "secret forces" who are said to have brought the virus into the West, like the refugees recently. There were similar, organized or spontaneous pseudo-demonstrations in other representative squares in the state capital. There, however, the prevailing fears of a permanent cancellation of the freedom of assembly and expression were rather vague.
As a rule, the police are initially satisfied with informing the assembled people and pointing out the distance rules. In some cases, however, there were also reports of violations of the Infection Protection Act. In general, many law enforcement officers do not seem to be very happy about the role of spoilers that has been assigned to them, although they no longer have to intervene against book readers on benches. In any case, Peter Schall, chairman of the police union, was critical of the persistently strict contact restrictions; he even considers a certain opening of the beer gardens to be feasible and justifiable.
After a further, albeit only slight, relaxation of the rigorous restrictions at the beginning of the week - they mainly affect church attendance, sports, meetings and childcare - I continue my exploration in the east of Munich and come to the Klinikum rechts der Isar, the Technical University of Munich - so the official name with the somewhat enigmatic MRI logo. Here, too, there is a strict ban on visits, with the exception of emergencies and urgent operations, of course. 60 Covid-19 patients are currently receiving inpatient care, some of them intensive care.
Several important studies to research and contain the pandemic have just started in the Klinikum rechts der Isar. The “Haidhauser Armen- und Krankenanstalt” founded in 1834 has long since developed not only into a large hospital town, but also into an internationally recognized research center. Their doctors have repeatedly advanced into new areas of medicine. With well-known surgeons I was under the knife myself, mostly after skiing accidents, once after a paraglider crash and in 2019 after two particularly nasty accidents (bike and kayak).
Some of my surgeons also played a role in politics and society. Thomas Zimmermann, who restored my broken shoulder, sat for the CSU in the state parliament. Simon Snopkowski, whose right leg was in plaster of paris for three weeks after a complicated twisting fracture, was President of the Israelite Religious Communities of Bavaria and Senator. Head physician Professor Georg Maurer was an influential CSU city councilor. He became famous while caring for British football stars who were seriously injured in the plane crash in February 1958. Maurer also organized the annual surgeon congress with often sensational topics - and in 1969 fell out with rebellious assistant doctors.
So the outwardly somewhat old-fashioned, repeatedly pieced-up hospital was for me both a station of a kind of survival school and a source of interesting reports on advances in medicine. Now “Rechts der Isar” is once again at the forefront of the global research community in the fight against the global lung disease. Two major studies have started these days.
No fewer than 7,000 volunteer employees of the Haidhauser Hospital and other facilities are to be serologically examined for antibodies that have formed during infection within the next two years. Professors Percy Knolle and Paul Lingor want to find out what risks the hospital staff were exposed to and how long antibodies can protect against re-infection. This work should also be helpful for the development of a vaccine.
Another research project at the clinic, which has been accelerated thanks to donations, is intended to clarify whether monitoring Covid-19 infected people using ear sensors can improve the chances of survival and relieve intensive care units. Sick people over the age of 60 who are in quarantine at home can participate voluntarily. The data measured around the clock should provide information about how well the body can compensate for the effects of the disease. Munich's health officer Stephanie Jacobs promises additional security for the elderly who are ill, who could stay at home with mild symptoms and would not have to be treated in hospital. That would be the great majority, because so far only 13 percent of those infected have symptoms that are so severe that inpatient treatment is required.
May 11, 2020
Suddenly it is there again, the almost forgotten culture. The so-called Bavaria plan of the state government, which lists her next to zoos and botanical gardens under “Leisure”, allows her from today again the opening. Even if only in some areas. Simultaneously with large department stores, golf, sailing and horse riding. After a compulsory break of fifty days, the music and theater department starts on the weekend. However, only with a first small public appearance. Because there is no official opening date for these two areas.
The district administration department has made a piece of Kapuzinerstraße car-free for the event that has been registered. The Urbanauts, who otherwise often argue with the authorities about their Isarlust and Isarbad projects, adhere meticulously to the strict requirements for their event. One person each, if possible from a neighboring “domestic community”, is allowed to stand or hop around on one of the chalk circles painted on the pavement, the prescribed distances are maintained. For the rock band of Dr. Will is even provided a distance of five meters, "because the aerosols from musicians could spray a little further," says head urbanaut Benjamin David. That sounds funny, but it has a serious background.
Not only musicians sweat for a good hour, but also dancers, drummers and a colorful stilt walker for free, open art practice. There is space for a maximum of 50 people in car lanes and sidewalks, the police turn a blind eye. On the balconies, other spectators watch the demonstrative performance, which really fits into the always somewhat alternative Glockenbachviertel. It runs under the motto "Culture Delivery Service". He collects - here too - donations for performances by unemployed artists in front of retirement, nursing and refugee homes.
Even the area of life that Markus Söder now likes to list as “gastro” plays a part in the street spectacle. An Italian ice cream parlor offers gelati in all the colors of the rainbow, while the “Speis Sisters” next door serve food and drink, of course only “take away”. At the edge of the improvised open-air stage, however, the traffic rushes through the intersections at Baldeplatz, and the Isar rushes right behind it. Everything almost as it has ever been.
Musicians with visors to ward off viruses
At the same time, Sabine Rinberger offers a virtual, up-to-date stage in the tower parlor of the Karl-Valentin-Musäum. Well-known folk actors and cabaret artists read - each at their own table - from documents about Munich after the liberation 75 years ago. The quotes make life in Corona times seem relatively bearable. Some things are so far little known, for example the self-pitying confessions of the comedian Weißferdl and the composer Richard Strauss, which the tireless Christian Springer found and sorted.
Meanwhile, the no less creative Christian Stückl is designing a concept in his Volkstheater to help the stage arts get on the boards before the houses are reopened. He wants to remove every second row of seats and every fourth seat in his big house and equip the musicians in the orchestra with virus protection visors. The season, which is actually paused until the end of September, should be brought forward to mid-July. Stückl wants to shorten the time of the five pieces on the schedule, at the risk of "the Corona performances becoming terribly bland".
Dietmar Lupfer and Christian Waggershauser have significantly lower expectations. “Politicians have forgotten us,” complain the managers of Munich's hall culture. Will one ever again be able to accommodate and entertain even remotely such crowds as in the past in the huge Muffathalle and other relics of the old industrial era, whose rededication and maintenance, especially for the benefit of younger citizens, cost the city a lot of money? Is it technically possible to downsize there, including consistent hygiene? Where else to go with the big pop concerts, with poety slams, dance performances, installations, discussions, club evenings? Is a piece of alternative culture just disappearing? In any case, ghost games like in football would not be a solution here.
Exhibition halls and museums, on the other hand, have - in the "new normal" - a future again. First, the House of Art, which has no Monday rest, can open the valve. Crowds would be expected. But first, the specially trained staff is among themselves: the people counter at the entrance, the cashiers behind plexiglass, the masked ushers. The multicolored cotton balls by Franz Erhard Walther lie unnoticed in the large hall, the acoustically animated space capsule called “Zugzwang” by Sung Tieu remains unheard. Perhaps it is the mask requirement that annoys potential visitors to enjoy art, especially when the glasses steam up. In any case, all Munich art houses will start in good spirits over the next few days. Some of the current exhibitions have even been extended. Individual parts of the museum will remain closed, such as the narrow, historic rooms of Villa Stuck. You have to do without the usual snack anywhere.
May 18, 2020
Big alarm because of a big demo. The organizer, a real estate agent, wanted to register no fewer than 10,000 people for Saturday. Only a thousand were allowed, with strict conditions, after a "hygiene rally" on Marienplatz had grown from 80 to 3000 participants. In fact, the entrances are counted precisely and hermetically sealed long before the start of the demo. On a square of the Theresienwiese, from which the Oktoberfest was banned this year, small crosses made of paper are glued to the floor, at intervals of one and a half meters. Friendly young stewards direct those pushing to where they stay well.
Conspiracy preachers and right-wing or left-wing radicals are not in sight, just a few inoculating moths. But tons of corona risk deniers and number doubters, angry citizens of the other kind, many armed with Protest posters against "emergency laws" and the permanent abolition of civil rights. Women are clearly in the majority. One who professes to be Ossi recalls the Hong Kong flu 20 years ago with around 40,000 deaths in both Germanys. At that time, politicians and the media would have done without scare tactics, in contrast to today, since depression and existential fears were systematically generated to an as yet not foreseeable extent. Equally worth considering are the arguments of other speakers.
Large black blocks line the Bavarian ring. Apparently the slogan applies: So many protesters - so many police officers. All hooded up, some on horseback. The emergency services only manage to break up small groups of locked out, unmasked and close-knit onlookers, whose number their boss estimates at 2,500. The dignity of police officers must also be respected, the main speaker warned individual boos. The spectacle, which could be a model for demonstrating in Corona times, ends almost peacefully after a good hour.
The mostly privately organized events commemorating the liberation from Nazi rule 75 years ago are largely ignored. There are some parallels: Just as now one piece of normality returns, so from May 1945 in this "living heap of rubble", as Munich was called by the later Mayor Thomas Wimmer, real life was awakened again, only that it was back then did not go under the slogan "easing": Gradually, authorities, bookshops and banks, churches, cinemas and hospitals reopened. In June there was the first soccer game (FC Bayern versus FC Wacker), in July the tram, post office and the first big concert followed. In the Bürgerbräukeller, which hungry Munich residents and liberated "foreign workers" had just plundered, beer was soon being served again - but only to American soldiers.
19th May 2020
Beer ago - that is the second big topic next to the demos. On Monday, the "free bar areas" are allowed to reopen throughout Bavaria. But the traditional Bavarian desire cannot be realized that easily. At the Viktualienmarktbiergarten, one of my regular bars, I have to queuing to get one of the reduced seats under the chestnut trees. You are also not allowed to eat the pretzel you brought with you at the table, and there is nothing else to eat. That'll make me lose my appetite for a while.
In the meantime, two chairs are just empty in front of the wooden bistro at the city museum. The landlord has meticulously measured his outdoor area. Only after we have entered the name, address and telephone number does the host give us a menu wrapped in foil, which he should then disinfect. He would prefer that you scan and show the QR code at the entrance and that you pay cashless. He raised the prices a little, now the tarte flambée costs 15 euros. The lowering of the VAT will only apply from June 1st, grumbles the boss behind his mask. I would have to put mine on when I went to the toilet. Nothing will change in the beverage prices anyway. Does it help him that nine large Bavarian breweries, as advertised in large advertisements, want to buy a million liters of free beer to "our hosts"?
What remains for the restaurateurs, who have been locked for months, is the somewhat vague promise of the city of Munich to be generous in widening free bar spaces and to tolerate the setting up of kiosks, carousels and other fairground attractions that cannot be used for the time being, for which parking spaces would be suitable. It is questionable whether all of this can even slightly outweigh the hygiene effort associated with additional costs and extra work. One of the traditional landlords in the valley has already thrown the handicraft. And all of us, who we liked to be guests, will have to get used to a new normal in gastronomy for better or for worse.
May 25, 2020
When it comes to mobility, too, we will have to get used to a new normal. At times before the restart of excursion and holiday traffic at Whitsun - but also in everyday city traffic - there are clear shifts on land and in the air. What the Greens in particular aimed at and only partially achieved now seems to be achieved by an invisible microbe. Politicians and planners are faced with multiple challenges.
From my study I can see how the broad Isar cycle path is getting more populated from day to day. That means that more and more Munich residents are switching, swinging on the saddle and pedaling free from the immobility that has been prescribed for so long. The cyclist crossing at Maximiliansbrücke (where I witnessed the invasion of the Americans 75 years ago) has also become dangerous for pedestrians, especially since joggers cross over here and vehicles turn right. As thick advertising inserts prove, bicycle sales, rentals and repairs are booming. New to the range are cargo bikes for errands called cargo bikes. They are reminiscent of the “Red Radler” from Ludwig Thomas “Münchner im Himmel”.
Traffic is only picking up slowly in and around Munich
In contrast, there has been a significant decrease in car traffic, for example on my otherwise very busy Widenmayerstraße, which was to become an urban motorway one day. Little has changed in the slack on the roadways since Söder allowed public life to “start up” again. Even on the autobahns around Munich, the - initially strongly declined - traffic is only picking up slowly, although, as the autobahn directorate South Bavaria reports, many people are "coming back from the home office step by step" and are still avoiding public transport . Deutsche Bahn and private railways will resume regular operations on all southern Bavarian networks on May 18.
"Corona has changed our mobility behavior," says Munich City Councilor Nikolaus Gradl, describing the hardly foreseeable development. His SPD parliamentary group has therefore requested that car lanes on certain busy streets in Radlfurten be converted into so-called pop-up lanes. My district committee Altstadt-Lehel has determined that the center has been “emptied”; At the request of the Greens, he calls for a “reorganization and possible rededication of the street space”. Following the example of Brussels. The final goal of the red-green city government is now a car-free city.
Of course, there is resistance to such radical changes, especially from the CSU, FDP, Bayernpartei and ADAC. New fronts in the struggle for freedom and civil rights are opening up. Some car fans have apparently blown the fuses. This can be seen, for example, in the fact that the police are increasingly reporting illegal races. Which in turn does not prevent the Federal Minister of Transport from pushing for the sanctions for car lasers to be relaxed. On the same day, two messages in the clarify Evening News, that the nerves after prolonged demobilization are not only bare with frustrated drivers: “Pensioner threatens wife and daughter with gun”. And: "Man aims with a gun out of the window."
Another level of traffic: Franz Josef Strauss Airport. Often and often I have reported about the "monster in the moss", about its painful history, the many problems and great prognoses. After I limited my travels to the Central European area of Munich, I rarely queued at a check-in desk, in front of the security check and outside the gate. And now? I want to take a look around.
May 27, 2020
Spooky: Huge, almost deserted halls that were recently the hubs of the world. Unusual peace and quiet, no hustle and bustle like in the past. Empty counters and shops. The Sparkasse is open, four women sit behind glass, but do not want to reveal how many customers are processed on such a day. The few other shops are also empty. Nothing going on in the Erdinger Moos. All operations are suspended in Terminal 1 and in the new satellite building. Even the visitor park is closed, but should be accessible again at Pentecost; “Tante Ju” even offers food and drinks “to go” there.
Only Terminal 2 is checked in. Theoretically. In any case, passengers or flight attendants are not to be seen. After all, the display board shows a few departures, from Amsterdam to Riga. Pentecost is approaching, usually a great travel time. "At the moment we count around 2000 passengers a day," Ingo Anspach, the press spokesman for Munich Airport, tells me. He holds the position, his team is partly on short-time work. For comparison: Before Corona, 120,000 to 150,000 people flew and arrived here every day.
In March, when the number of passengers had already dropped by 65 percent, more than 38,000 people from all over the world were working for Germany's second largest airport. 13,000 at Lufthansa alone, which now has only 3,000 women and men stationed. A lonely stewardess in civilian clothes hurries by and hopes to be reinstated soon instead of tinkering a logo for the future second main line of the S-Bahn; that too is driving out almost empty at the moment
Lufthansa suffers, despite the billion-dollar deal with Berlin. It now handles a maximum of 50 take-offs and landings a day. Most of the over a hundred aircraft that are parked far away from the tarmac bear the crane logo. Orange-red tarpaulins or foils protect engines and other parts. The machines have to be checked into the hangar on a regular basis. But for June everyone is hoping for a reasonably normal take-off. Of course, large parts of the runways are still torn open - a good opportunity to repair the worn concrete ceiling and the lighting.
The airport management is convinced that “the global mobility demand will increase in the medium term”. The marketing slogan means that air traffic is gaining heights again. After all, the assurance has just come that the largest airline in Europe has chosen Munich Airport as the only location for the largest passenger aircraft in the world - 500 seats on two "floors". All eight ordered copies of the Airbus 380 are to make the cross of the German south shine again in the future. In a circular to the employees, however, the Lufthansa personnel managers estimate that the corona crisis will continue to affect air traffic until 2023.
At the moment, only the Airbräu is halfway in operation at the airport, which is adorned with the statues of Ludwig I and Franz Josef Strauss. At lunchtime, some of the airport staff who remained on site gather in the beer garden, which of course works according to all the rules of hygiene and social distance. The birds are chirping again in the trees. Only the veal sausages, which used to refresh me after every return home from distant destinations, have to be avoided for the time being.
To round off the crisis of mobility: At the moment there is still a lull on Bavaria's excursion lakes. “But we are already assuming,” reported Starnberger Personalenschifffahrt at Pentecost, “that the transport capacities will have to be reduced.” It is also to be expected that the framework conditions will have an impact on the operation of the service. That would mean, among other things, delays and delayed boarding and alighting.
June 2, 2020
Songwriters and jesters, violinists and street musicians, disc jockeys and bartenders, party and event managers - they and many other contributors to the entertainment industry, which is mainly carried out in the evening or at night, have long felt excluded, forgotten by state and municipal care for threatened livelihoods. Isn't it all that important? Small art, small things compared at least with the high art (theater, concert halls and cinemas), which is still closed until June 15? Missed by notorious night owls?
Perhaps, however, other standards apply in a city that has always, sometimes almost obtrusively, boasted of certain traditions (keyword: Schwabing) and its special “leisure quality” and has advertised them around the world. As a correspondent for foreign newspapers, I used to like to take part in this kind of praise myself.
The aid program announced by the Minister of Education Bernd Sibler, which promises Bavarian artists a thousand euros for three months after a justified request, met with little applause. An artist association considers it impractical and discriminatory. The loss of income would have an impact well into next year. Strauss cabaret artist Helmut Schleich calls the opinion of Strauss's successor Söder “outrageous”, saying that there are hardly any restrictions on the cultural scene. Sibler, however, only sees a “concept for a restart of art and culture under changed conditions”.
In the meantime, the small artists have dared to make a new start on their own and under changed conditions. Creativity, courage and even idealism are required. In living rooms, recording studios or on stages, for example in the "Stemmerhof", are becoming more and more common and perfect programs and sometimes broadcast via livestream to the living room with a request for donations or a payment barrier. For this, registration is required, which is always approved by the state headquarters for new media, unbureaucratically and free of charge. Munich's cultural advisor Anton Biebl believes that digital offers of this kind could enrich the cultural scene in the future.
Technical and, above all, legal questions still need to be clarified. Art on request, small artists as broadcasters - how does that work together? Several problems arise. The tiny "Hofspielhaus", which played on Falkenturmstrasse in the Hofbräuhausviertel every evening, had to cancel the program at Whitsun, which had quickly become popular, "because legal clarification of the general conditions is necessary". On the other hand, from now on the “Urbanauts” who had broken the ban on the plague with a street concert like the Schäffler once allegedly (see note from May 8th) are allowed to perform their “culture delivery service” every evening on car-free streets, soon the “Flying Circus”. The only official condition: spectators must both keep their distance and move.
The Schwabing and Munich nights should and could finally get a little lighter again.
June 8, 2020
Marienplatz is full again, people hurry and push like they used to. City tours are also popular again. Four women and two men want to get to know "love, lust and passion" in old Munich. The meeting point is the one donated by the Sparkasse of the sister city of Verona Statue of Juliet. Carmen Finkenzeller from "Stattreisen" distributes chocolate hearts and immediately draws attention to a change due to the time. The bronze breast of Romeo's beautiful bride has clearly darkened and is no longer as golden as it used to be. An indication of the absence of tourists for several weeks, who - according to the myth - could improve their love life by touching this breast.
On the Marienplatz. In the town hall courtyard and in the old courtyard, the city guide tells other “Munich love stories”, each with reference to figures and inscriptions. Beautiful and gruesome stories. But she refrains from further associations with epidemic times, which have little to do with love. After all, the best-known symbol of the plague is on the southwest corner of the new town hall: a dragon spraying poison, and the Black Death appears on the base of the Marian Column, inaugurated in 1638, in the form of a basilica with a cock and snake.
Since the “Stattreisen” and other tours still take place without tourists, Ms. Finkenzeller can present her explanations in real Bavarian without having to translate, as usual. For the time being, the people of Munich stay among themselves. The office informs me that the mood is good. An 82-year-old lady was happy that she could now be “on the move” again. Unfortunately, the hygiene concept does not make face-to-face meetings easy.
“Tour guides are often the only ones with whom visitors to a region come into close contact. They shape the image that guests take home with them. With their expertise, their ability to communicate and their authenticity, they make a decisive contribution to the tourist success of a region. ”This is how the Munich tourist guide association, whose 200 members lead in 30 languages, justified the request for inclusion in the artist aid program in a letter to Prime Minister Söder (see note from June 2nd).
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