Of Blood and Beauty

The Evergreen State College

Last Stop- Dresden

After leaving Nürnburg, my next, and last stop before returning to Berlin, was Dresden. This phrase may be over used, but it applies so perfectly here that I must insert it: I saved the best for last. Dresden was gorgeous! The entire city, of course only from what I saw, was so photogenic. I wish I could stay here longer, but I guess leaving now will make me thirst for more in the future. Like pretty much every German city, there is a new town and an old town. The old town is where the big beautiful buildings are that people visit throughout the day. But I stayed in Newtown, and what a good stay it was. Dresden has one of the best young scenes that I have come across. Every night, the entire Newtown is filled with people, most of whom are roughly my age, walking through the streets, sitting and talking and having a great time. Dresden, more than anywhere else I have been, reminds me of Olympia, in a good way of course. There are so many small unique restaurants and stores, as well as murals and street art, that I found myself stopping in my tracts over and over again just so I could appreciate what I had seen. Just north of this area is a large grass park too that, thankfully when I went, was a great hangout spot for tons of people into the night.

I only spent two nights here, like in Núrnburg, but one of the days, me and two other hostelers  took the city by storm and tried to see as much of it as we could in one day. We walked far and covered most of the ground we set out to accomplish. By the end of it a huge rainstorm came blowing through and forced us to retreat onto a tram and head back to the hostel. By the way, Dresden has tons of trams. No u-bahns to my knowledge, but my goodness their tram game is strong.

It is hard to leave this place, especially since the sun is shining so brightly and it is a glorious day. But I must return to Berlin. Tomorrow we present our projects that we have been working on throughout our stay, and so I will get to see my classmates again after almost three weeks of being on my own. So long Dresden, you were wonderful. And thus my wanderbondage has come to an end. Now it’s time for business. Last Stop- Dresden Last Stop- Dresden Last Stop- Dresden Last Stop- Dresden Last Stop- Dresden Last Stop- Dresden Last Stop- Dresden Last Stop- Dresden Last Stop- Dresden Last Stop- Dresden Last Stop- Dresden


I spent two nights in Nürnburg at a hostel quite close to the HBF. This theme seems to be recurring. I seem to want to not have to travel very far to get to my hostel after arriving in the city. However things turn out from here on, I know that this hostel was a great choice. First, the people I met there were very fun and unique to other places I have been. Again, though, the hostel game is heavily dominated by traveling Americans. Every once in a while though, you meet someone from somewhere you wouldn’t expect. For instance I met Ricardo, from Brazil. It didn’t take long after meeting him before I realized most of our conversations were going to be football oriented. We had many a long chat on this topic; he suggested to me a couple games from past years that would be worth rewatching, and I told him my perspective on the Champions League final, which had just been played.

Aside from the people, the city itself was gorgeous, especially when you knew where to look. Nürnburg is more developed and touristy than I was lead to believe. The cit is in fact huge, and all the traditional areas are drenched in modern stores. It is hard to find anywhere that really remains untouched by this. For the most part I spent my time in the middle of the city, inside the old town. This area is surrounded by an amazing wall that, I’m assuming, used to be the border of the city. Inside this area area the main tourist hotspots. Since I wasn’t going to be there long, I decided to hit these. There are a couple large prominent churches inside this area, as well as a river, Pegnitz I believe, and some beautiful bridges. The crown jewel of the city though is the castle in the back of the walled area that overlooks the whole city. From the ramparts here, one gets a free view of the entire south side of Nürnberg, this was probably the main highlight.

Althoug my time was short there, it was very good and informative and I now can say I know a little bit more about Nürnberg. Nürnburg Nürnburg Nürnburg Nürnburg Nürnburg Nürnburg

Moin moin!

Lebensvoll an der Strand der Elbe, Hamburg

Moin moin!

Also found here is der Alte Schwede,

Moin moin!Moin moin!

An erratic granite boulder, migrating to Hamburg 400,000 years ago from Småland, south Sweden. Found in 1999 while dredging the Elbe, it’s been deemed Germany’s oldest immigrant,  achieving official citizenship in 2000.


And after walking the tightrope, that Reeperbahn in St. Pauli, dizzying –  glitz, filth and seduction all at once, to wind up and away through the cobbled streets of St. Pauli was a retreat into yet another underworld, the heartland of the dis/mis/interested and the de/re/generate, a hearty punk mecca.

“At ease, sailor”



Denkmal zur Erinnerung an die Bücherverbrennung

In another case of absence and presence, I visited the memorial to the book burning that took place during the Third Reich. The one most well known happened on May 10, 1933 in the Opernplatz —where this memorial is sited—four short months after Hitler became chancellor. A meter square window of plexiglass placed level with the cobbles looks down into a room of white, empty bookshelves, large enough to fit the 20,000 books that were burned on that day. The statement is blunt and unforgiving, coming along with a lack of information similar to many of the other Denkmäler I have seen in Berlin. One of the horrors of these remembered events is their perpetration by the students attending Humboldt University, which stands right across the street.

Denkmal zur Erinnerung an die Bücherverbrennung

In another case of absence and presence, I visited the memorial to the book burning that took place during the Third Reich. The one most well known happened on May 10, 1933 in the Opernplatz —where this memorial is sited—four short months after Hitler became chancellor. A meter square window of plexiglass placed level with the cobbles looks down into a room of white, empty bookshelves, large enough to fit the 20,000 books that were burned on that day. The statement is blunt and unforgiving, coming along with a lack of information similar to many of the other Denkmäler I have seen in Berlin. One of the horrors of these remembered events is their perpetration by the students attending Humboldt University, which stands right across the street.

A note on the Trümmerbergs

It was a blustery day upon my visit to Tuefelsberg, a large hill made of rubble from the clean up after the end of WWII. Due to the wind, there were a large number of people flying kites or simply enjoying the view. It was a strange experience to be standing in relatively bucolic space physically made of the debris of war. A friend of mine mentioned that all you have to do is dig past the thin layer of top soil and hit the brick and concrete produced by the leveling of the city. If one doesn’t bring a shovel to do some real digging, this imagined space of the ruins is a strange production, an experience that requires a caption of information to produce itself. Upon seeing Seigessäule (the Tower to Victory) oft in the distance, I remembered thinking, “Oh, look! A hill in Berlin.” Actually going to this hill, to stand upon what I had previously failed to know the contents of, was a touch surreal to say the least.

Leaving Munich

My time in München has come to an end, unfortunately. I spent four great nights in the beer capital of the world, three of which were at the home of Natalya through Airbnb. This Russian girl from Ukraine, who has been living in Germany for 14 years struggled with her English, so we each to advantage of the opportunity to learn from one another. I can confidently say my German has at least become better during my time in Munich, more so than some other places anyway. Together we attended a party in the same apartment building she lived in, we went to Nymphenberg Palace, ate amazing traditional Bacarian food and went to a her favorite beer garden, these amongst other things. If anyone comes through Munich, I highly, highly recommend Nymphenberg Palace; however, if you can, attempt it on a beautiful, sunny day. I know that’s out of your control for the most part, but it is worth it if you guess right.

Now I begin my trek back to Berlin. First I will spend two nights here in Nürnburg. I’m not sure what all I will do here yet, but I’m sure I can figure something out. Next comes Dresden, but I’ll get to that later.

Leaving Munich Leaving Munich Leaving Munich Leaving Munich Leaving Munich Leaving Munich Leaving Munich Leaving Munich Leaving Munich

All About Allianz Arena

For my second Psychogeography experiment I decided to go on a tour of Allianz Arena, home of FC Bayern Munich! Like many of the places I have been to while on this wanderbondage, this is a place I never thought I would get to go to. This stadium opened up in 2005, which is very new considering the history of stadiums in this country, so it is built using all kinds of state of the art architecture and designing. Before using this stadium, Olympic Stadium was where Bayern played its matches. This is peculiar considering both the rich history behind this club as well as the fact that this field wasn’t designed for football but rather Olympic sporting events, so it still has the track that goes around the field, which both players and fans do not appreciate. One of the most prominent features of this new stadium is that is is capable of lighting up at night, in different colors, depending on who is playing there. If Bayern is playing, the stadium lights up red, if TSV Munich (from the 2nd league) is playing, the stadium turns blue, if the national team is playing there, white, and apparently on St. Patrick’s Day it turns green. My tour guide also informed me that recently, for a match against Italy, the stadium lit up with the colors red, black and gold, to symbolize the national Deutsch colors.

All About Allianz Arena

This stadium can hold 75,000, so by definition, it is the second largest stadium in Germany. Dortmund’s home stadium, Signal Iduna Park, can hold upwards of 80,000. However to counter this, one could argue that it is what happens on the stadium, not around it that matters. And certainly no other teams in this country, in many countries can claim dominance over the domestic leagues like Bayern Munich can. Just recently, they finished wrapping up their 25th Bundesliga title, the next closest would be Dortmund with 5. This level of dominance has grown to aggravate many. FCB had won the last 4 league titles in a row, which has never been done before. True fans of the sport relish the competitive nature of the league and love to see underdogs thrive. Now however, it seems everyone except FCB and Dortmund are underdogs. While many may be disappointed with how the shift of power has been tilted, there is no doubt that the people of this city love seeing their team win over and over again. Because this stadium was built so recently, it allowed a special section to be allowed specifically has a museum dedicated to the history of FCB. How many clubs can claim this?

All About Allianz Arena

FCB was formed in 1900, when a group of 16 men decided to break away from the local gymnastics club, who saw football as a barbaric English game and would not support it in their institution. So, these men formed their own club and it has kept the name ever since. The club was an immediate success, winning all of its first games against opponents by scores of 5 or 6 to zero, I sign of things to come I’d say. In its early years, the club also went through many political ‘advancements’ (for lack of a better word). Problems such as field times and spaces  were hard to come by as the sport in general was only just beginning to gain success. In fact Bavaria as a whole was rather slow to catch on to the football bandwagon as places like Berlin and Dortmund saw prominence in the sport many years earlier. One problem found a solution and FCB partnered up with the local (organization, I forget who, which is disappointing as this is rather important) in 1906 and were able to play at more regular intervals. In order for this to happen though, the club would have to wear red shorts instead of the traditional blue and white. Blue and white are the colors of Bavaria as I have found out after spending a couple days in Munich, so I had wondered why FCB famously wore red all the time, and now I had my answer.

All About Allianz Arena

In the first couple decades of FCB’s existence, much of their success was due to the coaching and organizing of two Jewish men, Richard Dombi and Kurt Landauer. So when the Nazi movement began to gain momentum, and both of these men were forced into exile, the club naturally suffered in its efficiency. All of War War 2 however, naturally took its toll on both FCB and football throughout the country as well. Many players were soldiers and many did not come home. In response to this, after the war, Kurt Landauer returned and helped guide his side once again, but ticket prices were also severely reduced. The equivalent price of a ticket at the time was something like 50 cents. The club wanted to give the people something to cheer for after  the devastation that WW2 had brought. And it worked, attendance slowly increased more and more throughout the years, and the fan base grew so passionate that when FCB made it to their first German Championship, which was played in Nürnburg, thousands of fans rode their bicycles hundreds of kilometers to the game. FCB rewarded this loyalty with free tickets and refreshments at every resting point along the way home, (after they had won of course).

All About Allianz Arena

FCB has always had a reputation for trying to connect with their fans. A shining example of this is the fact that in the stadium, they have their very own beer garden. Beer in Deutschland, and especially in Munich, is a national treasure that they take very seriously. And they always have! Munich was in fact founded by monks, hence the name, who often brewed their own beer. Inside the halls leading to the beer garden, there are several pictures of players, dressed in the traditional Bavarian cloth known as Lederhosen, drinking beers with each other. There was in fact also a team picture, with everyone dressed this way, with beers in hand.

All About Allianz Arena All About Allianz Arena

In the late 60’s and 70’s FCB boasted the names of incredible German legends in their lineup. Names like Beckenbauer, Muller and Maier, who all played for the national team as well. The national team of West Germany, that is. With significant contributions from these players, some of the greatest of all time, Germany won the highly public education and exciting World Cup of 1974, defeating a powerhouse Dutch squad captained by Johan Cruyff. The the trophy in Germany, and all the star players coming from Munich, FCB saw a decade long stint of dominance that set the modern trend for their reputation in Deutschland. Many claim that this squad, with these players, was the best they have ever had. Even better than the team who famously won their first treble in 2013. The treble is winning the league title, the domestic cup and the European championship (Champjons League) all in the same year. These incredible names have certainly added to the club, however, make know mistake, every player is remembered. In he stadium, there is a hall of fame with a face and name for every player that has ever played for FCB. If you came through their ranks, you were acknowledged. This type of respect for the players claims its source for the fans, who essentially idolize the players of their team, and consider them part of their Bavarian family.

All About Allianz Arena All About Allianz Arena

FCB also claims one of the most efficient academy systems in the world. I have discussed earlier about the option of young kids, as early as age 7 being picked out for football with the idea that they each have the potential to become the next best players the world. However, what sets FCB apart is their commitment to building these kids up to be good people first and foremost. This is what I respect. They have a three part system of personal, academic and sporting development. Like any school team, they claim that personal and academic come first. This gives off the notion that kids will be successful in life here,  no matter if they play football professionally or not. Of course, what they really want is to keep winning trophies, make money and have the best players, but that doesn’t sell to they out has well. In the end, football in Deutschland starts with the youth. These kids, decades from now, may or may not have played ball, but it will have been so integral in their lives that they will always love it, watch it, play it when they can, and come together with friends and family through it.

All About Allianz Arena


Berlin 2016-05-27 14:34:37

Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart

Spent a day at this former 19th century train station in Mitte, the first terminal style station in Berlin, currently a gallery for modern art and temporary storage for a substantial portion of the art of the Nationalgalerie during its renovation. I meandered through two extraordinary exhibitions, the first, a breadth of Carl Andre’s works, from sculpture, “concrete poetry” and “dada forgeries” to photography and a full catalogue of mail art. The second exhibit, the draw, was the Neue Galerie: The Black Years, Histories of a Collection: 1933–1945, which “features works from the Nationalgalerie which were either created between 1933 and 1945, acquired by the collection during this period, or seized by the National Socialist regime.”

The exhibit includes an incredible diversity of artists, including those who collaborated with the Nazis to implement their visions of the “Aryan ideal” and uphold the mythology of the German bloodline, as well as artists who underwent an “inner migration” and continued to produce art under the auspices of Reich Chamber of Fine Arts merely to maintain their practice, as well as those who worked in exile, in secrecy or in bold defiance of the regime.

The history of each piece is given in detail, including the location of the production of the work, original owners and exhibitions/galleries it may have been shown in or belonged to, to its trace during the Nazi era – whether it was deemed degenerate and shown as a part of a degenerate art exhibition, stashed away, or sold/stolen by Nazi officials – either by official dealers commissioned by the NS to divest confiscated works to fund the Reich or by lone figures such as Goebbels and Goering for personal gain/prestige.

I stood before a painting by Edvard Munch titled “Melancholy” to re-enact the captivated-aura psychogeography assignment, though in reality I basked in suspension before all of the paintings and sculptures, and only made a decision about this work at last. This piece, selected for this exhibit not for it’s relevance to degeneracy, subversion or controversial history, was an example of the categorical inconsistencies within the National Socialist party as to what “degenerate” art appears as. Melancholy is wildly expressionist, with the figure of a woman in a red plume of a dress sitting at a bench, her upper torso doubled forward as her blue hair cascades over her head and into the sea. All figures and landscapes are suggested, the sea, a sea-stack, the horizon, the sun, a cityscape – all sweeping and vivid gestures, without definition at first glance.  The work was painted in 1906/7, prior to any major war. Goebbels, upon seeing the piece, deemed Munch the “Nordic father of Expressionism”, before appropriating the work in 1937 and selling it to a dealer in Oslo. The brushstrokes and errant drips are sweepingly powerful, exact by suggestion; the aura is in the movement of the strokes, the vivaciousness of the color and the forlornness of the figure are in a harmonized tension, a tense harmony. An excess of blue paint is left where free to fall and stain without distraction, but rather to emphasize the movement of the work – it is an untold mark of beauty. In some corners the tweed of the material used for a canvas is left exposed, further emphasizing not heedlessness, but an intensity of focus on aspects disinterested in perfection – indicating that the skill and precision of this work is not the immediate technique or form, but what the work reveals in its expression.

There are many other pieces in this collection with complicated histories and impossible “auras” – from the “Isle of the Dead” by Arnold Boecklin, to famous works by Dix, Kirchner, Picasso, Kollwitz & Klee, to canvases that conceal secrets of a double past and others that make for subversive interpretations.

Definitely worth the visit!


Erwin Hahs – Great Requiem, 1944/1945






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