Holland for my German friends

I have been on my way in Holland again for the last 12 Months. A lot of things happen in this small country where I was born. When I left in 2000 the country was a pretty open society where people were proud to live together with a lot of cultures. Although Holland is still known for its ‘open atmosphere’ the reality has changed since then.

Due to a couple of incidents, most notably the assassination of Theo van Gogh and the planned attacks of the “Hofstad Groep” Holland is struggling big time with its multi-culture values. It seems like a lot of people I meet here have a hard time keeping up the old concept of tolerance, Holland was so proud to have. Things have even become so bad that the right-wing populist Geert Wilders has become salon-fähig.

When I come back home in Germany I often have a hard time explaining what exactly is going on and why I think Holland is changing. The German magazine Spiegel today posted an article about the state of Holland, in which they describe in a very clear way the changes that are happening.


Pictures of Germany during the 20-s

Here is a couple of wonderful photos of Germany in 1929.

These pictures were taken from an old coffee-table book of Germany. Other than two prefaces there was no text: only 304 full-page reproductions of black and white photographs with captions in five European languages.

Below is a nice 1929 picture of Cologne, the town I live in:

Link (via boingboing)


Two pieces of news stoke my attention today. Both arrived on Heise.

First of all: the European Parlament blocked the European Patents. So there will at least be a delay on that front. More information (German) can be found here.

Second: it is still legal to download from allofmp3, but it might be illegal for them to offer their downloads in Germany. So they might have to block German IPs or make you state that you are not from Germany, or whatever. The Heise page is here.