What I Did On My Christmas Break

31 12 2018

Your Blogmeister’s German Desk

A short business trip in what was the week between Christmas and the New Year.

My three stops were: Würzburg, Hof and Nuremberg.

The first two were brand new to me, and Hof and the Vogtland also gave me the opportunity to make a brief diversion to the town of Gefell, which allowed me to clinch the German state of Thuringen (“Thuringia”), and also return ever so briefly to the former East Germany, my first time doing so since the summer voyage, and the first time since moving here. Meaning the only state I have yet to visit is Mecklenburg-Vorpommen (“Mecklenburg-Pomerania”), which I will most likely do in February, as part of my Warsaw trip. Gefell also has the Mödlareuth Museum, which contains a preserved section of the physical section of the Iron Curtain, on what was then the East-West Germany border, now the border between the states of Bavaria and Thuringia.  The ‘Curtain itself actually divided the very tiny village of Mödlareuth.

I’ll probably eventually come back to Thuringia, specifically to the state capital of Erfurt for one reason or another in the relatively near future. Erfurt is the only Luther themed city I didn’t visit over the summer, mainly because it was kind of out of the way. Erfurt, of course, being the home of Martin Luther’s academic alma mater.

Vogtland was once its own potentate, but nowadays is just a general area, split between the modern day German states of Bavaria, Thuringia, Saxony, and a little bit of it extends into the Czech Republic, also meaning that the Iron Curtain once split it. Similar to how most of the defunct Franconia is now in Bavaria, and most of the defunct Swabia is now in Baden-Württemberg with a little bit in Bavaria. Incidentally, both Würzburg and Nuremberg are historically and culturally Franconian cities that happen to be in the current Bavarian state. Bavaria being way bigger than its historical norm, largely because of Napoleonic-era military-politics.

Würzburg is the native city of one Dirk Nowitski, the last white man to win NBA MVP (2007), and also one of his young teammates on the Dallas Mavericks this season, Max Kleber.

As for Nuremberg, (please, no Burt Lancaster puns), during the summer voyage, we had to give Nuremberg short shrift and only see it superficially, because of a fortuitous circumstance in the western Czech Republic;  those of you who know me already know the circumstances. So the two days in Nuremberg and surrounding cities this week allowed me to fill in those gaps. Nuremberg was, and still is to an extent, a hardware CSIT-STEM city in the modern era, but it has lost a good chunk of that industry in very recent years.

Close to Nuremberg is what by all rights on the maps appears just to be an “ein-pferd-stadt,” if the German language used that as an idiom, that being Herzogenaurach. In reality, Herzogenaurach has the world headquarters of both Adidas and Puma. Two brothers cofounded Adidas, but later had a bad falling out, one walked out, and started Puma. For a long time, Herzogenaurach was split down the middle between the two. Eventually, after the two original brothers died, the ice thawed between the separate sides of the family and their vassals. Still, the two firms remain fierce rivals today, and various sides of the same extended family are still involved with them to this day.

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4 responses

1 01 2019
UlricKerensky

“Eventually, after the two original brothers died, the ice thawed between the separate sides of the family and their vassals. ”

Patron-clientele still exists north of the Alps.

Happy New Year!

5 01 2019
notsam

Lived in the Wurz for 2 military years. Always wanted to return for a visit. Don’t think I’ll make it.

6 01 2019
countenance

Bonus: After the neujahr in the latter part of this week, I had a quick trip to Magdeburg, a place I’ve already seen from the summer, but I took a side diversion north along the Elbe to visit Schönhausen, Bismarck’s native town and his museum, and across the Elbe to visit Stendal and the Feuerwehrmuseum (German firefighting museum, the uncle would have been proud).

15 01 2019
The Best a SJW Can Get | Countenance Blog

[…] (2) I used to use Gillette, but their planned obsolescence antics and their ridiculous prices for refill blades got on my last nerve, and I switched to Harry’s several years back, and haven’t regretted it for a moment.  And moving to Germany won’t hurt that, because Harry’s is based in a small Thuringian town right along what used to be the Iron Curtain, but not the one I went to after Christmas. […]

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