On the traces of Jewish life

A walk with Josef Wißkirchen in Pulheim-Stommeln

The 20 or so curious visitors who joined Josef Wißkirchen on a summer Sunday afternoon in search of traces of former Jewish life in the village of Stommeln had to bring along a little imagination. The stables of Josef and Johanna Heidt’s agricultural business in Berlich have long since given way to a multi-storey residential building. One has to imagine the graffiti on the façade, which their son Julius and his wife Elisabeth branded: “A Jew lives here with his whore”.

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Rhenish carnival in total failure?

On Rose Monday

My niece Milena sent me an “Alaaf”, namely as a greeting from her Cologne fridge. She describes the finest, cold “Kaiser Wetter” at the door, but far and wide no fete in sight. So it was probably the day before yesterday in the carnival stronghold of “Wieverfastelovend”, after about a year Covid-19.

I’m not really a big friend of the carnival. Nevertheless, I am uncomfortable in view of the total failure of the Rhenish cheerfulness.

But I found in daily news messages about “Weiberfastnacht” on the Friday after. It said that it had not been quite so quiet in the city on Thursday. At least 40 reports and calls were investigated by the Cologne Police Department.

Neighbours have mostly given hints of non-Covid-19 regular gatherings of celebrating people, sometimes loud music has been played. That neighbors blacken their neighbors makes thoughtful, virus back and forth. “Kölle, du bes e Jeföhl” and “mer stonn zesamme”, the special feeling of warmth and togetherness get quite nasty to the farce.

Carnival total failure? Or has something happened?

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Funkamateur Heinz Schlagheck overcomes "Social Distancing" worldwide

Silent Keys from France

The world of wireless telegraphy has been marked by many abbreviations since the beginning of the 20th century.Even in today’s digital age, everyone still knows the sequence of numbers “SOS” as an emergency call.With “CQ” usually starts a dialogue, it is the abbreviation for “Come Quickly” and is the world-famous call to all radio operators who are able to receive the sent signal to respond quickly.

The abbreviation “SK” means “Silent Key” in the radio language. “SK” attached to the internationally unique phone number of a radio amateur tells other radio operators about his death, says Heinz Schlagheck.

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Nicholas in a sleigh, on tugs, wagons and as a drive through

Not the right time for the “Hillije Mann” inside the house

He has never been such an “open-air Nikolaus”, says Bruno Gronenborn, and for many, many years he has already represented Nicholas in the kindergarten “Fliester Schreihäls”. At the Johnen family farm in Fliesteden on Saturday, he climbs into a white carriage for the exit through the village.There he takes a seat next to a large basket with chocolate nicotine lice and an even larger loudspeaker box, from which “Last Christmas” already resounds. Slanted opposite there is still room for Jaqueline Beyenberg, an angel all in white, with mouth/nose protection.

Nicholas does not have much time to practice his role. “How does a Nikolaus actually beckon?” he ponders.

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Digital Christmas calendar with a chance to win

Photo by Jürgen Maria Waffenschmidt

The tourism experts Hannah Grob, Alina Schwalb and their apprentice Marie Hermanns promise an “inspiring and digital discovery tour” with a digital advent calendar. They want to put a small smile on the lips of brühlers and also people beyond the city limits of Brühl. Every day, a digital door can be opened, behind which a special experience opportunity is concealed, says the young team for tourism in the department for culture, partnerships, tourism and event management of the city of Brühl. With excursion tips, they prepare for the next Brühl visits. They are recommendations for winter walks in the Rheinland Nature Park or the presentation of previously little-known tourist attractions and accommodation establishments. Behind some windows, for example on weekends and on 24 December, visitors can take part in the raffle of prize vouchers for “special two-person experiences”.

“Hello from our absolute lockdown (light)”, as the Brühler Kornkammer reports in an e-mail

Concert dates as tight as “concrete pillars” still tipped

Maggi and Rüdiger Tillmann from the event location Kornkammer report an almost complete loss of sales since mid-March 2020 and there is “no prospect of improvement”. As recently as the autumn, they had talked about events for the winter, as firmly anchored in the schedule as “concrete pillars”. They had expected further restrictions on the operation of concerts at that time, but not with a further complete closure of the hall to the public in November and beyond.

And so they now announce: “Everything is cancelled.” But need is notoriously inventive and so they have come up with something.

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On www.corona-2020.eu, the author Barbara Siefken collects stories

A family photo with Charlotta, Olaf, Barbara, Karolina Siefken and dog Balu was recently taken by a friend.

The Incredible Happens

The majority had only heard of Corona from the news when the pandemic had already arrived in her personal environment for Barbara Siefken. On March 9, 2020, her internet blog begins with the description of her cousin Cessi: “All the men stand in the parking lot at our GP and get tested!”Just from Ischgl, the partner of the cousin, her brother-in-law and some friends had come home, Barbara Siefken explains.

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