Public sector strikes are threatening to ground Germany to a halt. They could be the biggest strikes since WWII and union leaders are demanding a king’s ransom. Unfortunately Germany does not have a king. I hope they knock on the door of the Prince of Hanover with the collection plate, though any contribution that requires cutting into his drinking money will likely draw naught.
I feel for the German people with long commutes and no public transportation and those with life threatening impairments requiring immediate surgery. I hope all are enjoying the unseasonable high temperatures with leisurely pursuits involving lederhosen, beer, sausages and lots of singing instead of the daily grind, or impending death.
Germany and Norway share a long and glorious history, if you overlook the occupation of Norway during the Second World War, and the introduction of the plague, which is rightfully attributed to the English. The evidence of the Hansiatic League is still a vibrant part of Norway today, though many Norwegians have traded in their sea faring duties for government jobs.
I tried to contact my German cousin von Bibermund to get an eye witness report from the ground. I could not get through. It is possible the telegraph operators have also joined the strike. I will try the post but fear they may strike as their chief has recently been outed as a tax evader. This is a terribly un-socially democratic Schadenfreude and it has shocked the nation.
To add insult to injury, I wake to the disturbing news that Nazi slave labour built my German car, or at least a predecessor. It would appear I am driving a latent model of Hitler’s staff car. I wish the best of luck to the crack American legal team seeking retribution on behalf of the surviving victims though I recommend they start with the German government and allow the targeted companies to contribute voluntarily.
My cousin von Bibermund would surely agree. We cannot blame him or his generation of captains of industry for the crimes committed by his grandfather’s generation under a demanding totalitarian regime during times of war. Anyway, his graduating class have their hands full with allegations of expense account sex (big car company), systematic bribery (big electronics company), and sub-prime abuse (big state banks).
I desperately seek news of the strife in Germany and resort to Google. I am caught by the headline ‘German Strikes Spreading Fast’ from the New York Times. I click to find the country is facing total disaster and am concerned for my Teutonic cousins!
My eyes wander to the date in the upper corner of the article. It is November 26th…. 1918!
A 19th century German pundit was once asked where he would like to be when the world ended. His reply caught everyone by surprise when he responded England. When asked why, he casually replied that he wanted to be in England when the world ended because everything happened there 10 years later.
I doubt that is still the case, if it ever was.