Mittwoch, 2. Dezember 2015
Two projects on the bench-and some musings on the fiercer aspects of the German psyche
Germany is entering into the so-called "War On Terror". This means we´re fucked. I recently read the musings of one strategy specialist on a dpa press site about a ground offensive. He went into detail with strategems here and strategems there and spilled out tactical information that, had they been genuine would NEVER have found their way into the internet. But what was made abundantly clear is that the leaders of the German army don´t have an inkling what to do against terrorism. If we engage into a ground offensive in a conventional way we will lose many lives and we will never be able to end this war. Children will be born, grow up, grow old and die in this war, and we will be defeated in the end. We have several options left, however. The first one is assuming Muslim belief and modifying it over time as Christianity has done with pagan festivals. The second one is to nuke every Muslim country ten metres below ground zero, as Russian nationalists so aptly suggested. But the we have to be so thorough that we will eventually wipe out ourselves, too. The other is "good" old genocide. By the way, this is not my personal opinion, but one possible option. Along the sickening lines of this stratagem we had to extinguish any Muslim in the world as we Germans tried in the Third Reich, not an option to me at all, but possibly the only path that will be left, maybe in combination with the former option. We talk about the extinguishing of some millions of people. Since this, as I said, can´t be an option, but actually IS an option to the enemy, we have already lost.
But maybe not.
Often people from outside think Germans are quite easy to understand. After losing the war, we have become accepted members of the Western community. The goods we sell are still famed for their quality, the things we engineer and develop often have a stand-alone quality of innovation. We are famed for our social welfare (even though we are working on that to finally, finally, become the 51st state of America or at least America´s cherished lickspittle. Please do not take offence in that, you know well I know the differences, but I work together with entrepreneurs who really covet the Rockefeller style of capitalism, and this is what I criticize). Then there are Lederhosen and Gemütlichkeit and whatnot.
But there is an aspect of our culture that is fiercer than the lickspittle, and in a sick and perverted manner it shows in the deeds of Nazi terrorists like the DVU and PEGIDA. Sensible Germans are seldom patriotic in public. But I have the strong suspicion that there is a bit more of a spine in people than is shown everydays.
Let me put it this way. I live in the Sauerland region of Germany, in North - Rhine - Westfalia. The name Sauerland goes back to an Old German "Siuerland/Thiudaland". The word "Deutschland" goes back to "Diutisk land", from Old German "Theudo", people. So it can be argued that this region can for now stand pars pro toto for the whole. Now think about the missionary war that Charlemagne led with the Old Saxons, the "people", whose name was given because of the weapon they made famous, the "sahsa", (seax). The Saxons were defeated, their holy tree chopped down, and on blocks made from the tree´s wood they were beheaded after having been granted forgiveness if they gave up their weapons and swore the oath "tunaer ende seaxneath luginari" (Thunderer and Seax-wielder/fighter (are) liars). But it is said at least in local legend, that their leader, Widu-chind (Forest-Child) escaped and went into hiding applying a hit-and-run tactic, a guerrilla warfare. They could not be routed by the Frankish regular host, and hired assassins did not come back from the murky, misty woods.
Legend or no, there are still genuinely pagan customs in our region, from the maypole and oak to the existence of "Spökenkieker" (*spákonskaikari, those who meet the seeress, or, in a more modern connotation, seers in their own right) up to today. Charlemagne was very thorough in his genocidal mission, but simply did not manage to succeed to rout Saxon belief at all. Of course, the people were Christians up until 2000 or so, when Mammonism became the secret religion of state. But still there are seaxes made all over the world. Saxons contributed to British culture, and British culture influenced the founding of America, at least partly.
What I want to say is, you can aggravate a German a very long time until he gets angry. It takes a lot to make us furious, for we like to have our Gemütlichkeit. We are a bit like the hobbits in LOTR. We like good food, and a beer and an "Ollen Kloaren" (vintage barley schnapps). We don´t say much.
I am not proud of the history of the Third Reich, not at all. But German soldiers as individuals were feared and respected in WWI and WWII. The Werwolf units struck terror into the allies a long time after the war had ended ("Every friendly German civilian is a disguised soldier of hate. Armed with the inner conviction that the Germans are still superior ... [they believe] that one day it will be their destiny to destroy you. Their hatred and their anger ... are deeply buried in their blood. A smile is their weapon by which to disarm you ... In heart, body and spirit every German is Hitler."(Armed Forces Radio), and while ideologically this is not at all acceptable, this could and should be a way out. Yap, this war would bring us as low as that, but in order to survive we should do everything we could.
It´s funny, but the Muslim inhabitants of our country seem to stay away from the woods. At least I seldom meet any in the forest, and, having talked to some of them, young and old, it seems that they fear the woods or at least they are not that comfortable around them. The woods are still vast and sometimes prosperous, and we are the ones who know them.
It was in 2004 when on a trip to Solingen, the famed bladesmithing city in our vicinity, I went to see Mr. Broch, an experienced and somewhat mythical bladesmith in Solingen;-) and a nice guy to boot. he showed me a lot of tricks of the trade, and I owe him a lot. Not the least I owe him is that he showed me round his "garage", a right treasure trove of historical knives, and amongst them I found these untempered blades, a trench knife (right) and an infantry knife 42. It was Matthias Zwissler who taught me how to quench them and how to estimate the carbon content by spark analysis, and we tempered them in his smithy. And in the lake where I lived besides then I found the gunstock of an old 98K carbine that the soldiers that were fighting on the FLAK stand near the dam disposed of when the capitulation was at hand in 1949 by throwing it into the lake. I will make knives out of these blades, with a feeling of regret, but determined to preserve my roots.
But it will be not purely out of hate that I do this, but out of a furious love and respect, for the life of that old bladesmith, for Matthias, for the love of my old home and the woods and the world I grew up in. The love of my country, not a vague concept portrayed by lying politicians still not admitting we are at war. And not out of any propaganda reasons, but the sun gilding my beloved grove.
I fear for the future, but I love with a fierce passion the hills and trails and misty, murky thickets of my home. I fear for my loved ones and, for my own life, and my heart. I don´t want to kill. I don´t want to be the ugly German, and I will cling to talking as long as possible. Talking to people with different beliefs and showing them we don´t want to pose a threat for their religion, but "Gemütlichkeit" for all of us, Christian, Pagan, Muslim. Talking of how we can build a world together, for the world is still round, and still a ball of dirt swirling madly through the void on a rollercoaster ride to hell, for it will no less explode in some 3.000.000.000 years by hitting the sun. What good is trying to extinguish each other before that? I will fight for pluralism by talking. And asking. And respect.
But when the talking´s over I am ready.
It has been a while coming, and it drove me mad somehow. That knife was sitting on the bench and I just could not make up my mind how t...
This is part of my not exactly tiny collection of German hunting knives, representatives of a very distinct and ancient style of knife. Y...
Once upon a time, in a time that was not a time, in a place, that was not a place, far back in a history that was a story told by the w...
Jagd und Hund Expo 2015 is over, and this time it was a very intense experience with very mixed feelings. The magic troll had warned me ...
Night closes in, and as I wander through the twilight, shadows lurking behind every tree and bush spring alive, and dreams come and go of ...
On request I am doing a personal evaluation of a very classic bushcraft combination. The famed Roselli hunter and carpenter´s knife. I pur...
At my recent visit to Solingen I also dropped by the Otter knives booth. Now they were very persuasive;-) and I got this beautiful tradit...
Sometimes, when i am at the ironforge, the door is open, and while I always hear that eerie cry of the woods in my heart and in my soul, ...
This is a local legend of the Ennepetal, and the locals tell it for ages... traded it is from grandfather to grandson and in the long tim...
Now this is it again. Many of you have waited for one of those posts and the related pics. Jagd und Hund exposition in Dortmund is one bi...