Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Monday, September 26, 2005

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Link to a great site about Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)
For both the novice and conoisseur alike!
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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

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Simon Wiesental 1908-2005

This revered old Gentleman became known all over the world as "the Nazi hunter of Vienna"
He was born in the Ukraine before the Russian revolution in 1917, and as a survivor of the Holocaust (which killed 89 members of his family) he dedicated his life to tracking down Nazi war criminals, especially those associated with the Concentration camps.

His list of catches grew long over the years and included Adolf Eichmann, who was caught by Israeli intelligence officers after Wiesenthal informed them he was hiding in Argentina. He explained that the driving force behind his work was not revenge, but simply the desire to make sure these crimes were not forgotten and that justice would be done, and he added: "When I die and have to stand before all the murdered people from the camps, I want to be able to say: I didn't forget you.."

Wiesenthal's work was however not always welcome if it interfered with the more important issue of The Cold War where many former employees of The Third Reich were put to good use by both the Eastern and Western governments. One man he never caught was Josef Mengele, who had been the head of medical experiments on human beings in the concentration camps. Hiding in South America for many years. Mengele died from a stroke in 1979 and although no evidence exists that Mengele worked on science projects after the war, this was not the case for another interesting German man of medicine: Hubertus Strughold.
Strughold was captured after the war and taken to America where he became one of the top figures in the American Space programme (led by Wernher von Braun who had headed the Nazi V2-rocket programme) Strughold spent many years working for NASA, which earned him several awards and honours plus the title of "Father of Space Medicine"
The unpleasant fact was that much of his knowledge about how the human body performed under high air pressure and in weightless condition, came from experimenting with inmates from concentration camps and mentally retarded people before WWII.
Some of his subordinates and collaborators were trialed at Nuremberg and later imprisoned or executed for their contributions to science and medicine, but people like Strughold and von Braun were appearently way too important for that.
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Sunday, September 11, 2005

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One of my rare visits to Clubland™ last night in the company of my friend Henrik Astrup.
And things were indeed nice at Culturebox, a newish addition to Copenhagen clubbing, but still this old fart can't help asking himself: Why- oh why, does everything always have to be so dark and murky in these places? I thought people went out to be seen? well, maybe this crowd come only for the music, which was fine as it included the high quality DJ's from the legendary Hardwax label de Berlin.

But kids: My newspaper informs me that you are *The Happy Generation*, time to lighten up...
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Saturday, September 10, 2005

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Danish artist and writer Michael Witte made the headlines in the early eighties when he produced a poster which was an exact replica of a poster for a Danish pig export firm, the only difference was that Witte had written "Danish pigs are healthy, they are strutting with penicillin" on it.
This earned him a stint in court, sued by the Danish Co-operative Butcheries who felt their business had been harmed and wanted the poster banned. Eventually they lost the case and Witte went on to produce several other posters and books. He also has this quite funny story to tell:

Growing up in Flensborg, close to the German border in the southern part of Jutland, the young Witte would daily walk past a small square with a statue of a naked Roman soldier. One night somebody, in uplifted spirits no doubt, had decided to cover the soldier's penis and testicles with red paint. This greatly upset the local citizens, and a group of communal workers were dispatched to scrub off the paint and restore the gallant pride of the warrior. Unfortunately the good men only cared to use their rags and cleaning utentials on the overpainted parts and not on the rest of the statue, which was matted and grey from years of exposure to the elements. The result was that afterwards the statue stood in its usual eroded grey, but now also displayed a highly visible set of gleaming metallic genitals, shining brightly every time even the smallest ray of light hit them.
A sight to be seen.
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