Sunday, September 27, 2009

Brot statt Biosprit - Jean Ziegler

"Brot statt Biosprit"

Tritt jetzt ein, was Think Tanks wie der "Club of Rome" bereits vor 30 Jahren prophezeit haben? Ist die wachsende Angst vor der Globalisierung begründet? Der Ernährungsbeauftragten der Vereinten Nationen, Jean Ziegler, sieht angesichts der globalen Agrarkrise ein "organisiertes Massensterben" kommen: "Wir beteiligen uns an einem Verbrechen an der Menschheit, wenn nichts unternommen wird." Neben der Zahlung von Soforthilfe fordert er "Brot statt Biosprit" - auch in seinem Buch "Das Imperium der Schande - Der Kampf gegen Armut und Unterdrückung". Denn nicht nur höhere Energiepreise, Spekulationen mit Getreide und die steigende Nachfrage nach Lebensmitteln wie Fleisch- und Milchprodukten verursachen die Preisexplosion. Auch der subventionierte Biosprit treibt durch seinen Bedarf an landwirtschaftlichen Anbauflächen die Preise in die Höhe.


Jean Ziegler: Das Imperium der Schande. Der Kampf gegen Armut und Unterdrückung, Pantheon. Quelle: Pantheon

Das Imperium der Schande

Der Kampf gegen Armut und Unterdrückung
von Jean Ziegler
Pantheon Verlag
ISBN-10: 3570550192
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Hatred for the West - What YOU can do NOW

Jean Ziegler: .This World Order is not only murderous: it is absurd..

Translated Tuesday 18 November 2008, by Jonathan Pierrel

Sworn opponent of world imbalances, in La Haine de l.Occident (Hate for the West), he pleads for a new world social contract based on solidarity and dialogue between the South and the West.

Former United Nations Special representative for the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler is now member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. His last book, La Haine de l.Occident (Published by Albin Michel) is an indictment of .global capitalism and of the cannibalistic order that it imposes on the planet..

HUMA: The debate over the nature of the crisis is ongoing. Some consider that it as something more than a crisis of the financial system that needs to be corrected: a multi-dimensional crisis that some even qualify as civilisational. Do you share this opinion?

ZIEGLER: Yes. The jungle capitalism is losing its mask. There is, on one hand, the suffering of American workers: 25 million families evicted from their houses since last March, to which you can add 10,000 tenants evicted each day since September. Thousands of pension funds disappeared into thin air. Unemployment is rising quickly in France. Social budgets are going to be cut. One has to weigh the importance of these disasters. At the same time, we witness an extraordinary event: the masks of neoliberalism have fallen. Theories legitimising current capitalism are shredded into pieces; namely: market self-regulation, the free transfer of capital, services and merchandise, the privatisation of all public sectors, the claim that economic laws are laws of nature, slander against the national State and its normative strength. This ultraliberalism that renders workers powerless is now at bay. The real player, the .invisible hand,. against which we were said to be powerless, has become visible: the predators, the speculators, the oligarchies of the stock market that know only greed, cynicism and an obsessional lust for power. This unmasking opens onto a path of awareness of the actual nature of globalised capitalism and of the cannibalistic order that it imposes on the planet.

HUMA: According to you, have we realised the impact that this crisis has on countries in the South?

ZIEGLER: .When the rich lose weight, the poor starve to death,. goes a saying. Hunger in the world is increasing dramatically. A child under ten dies from starvation every five seconds, and 100,000 people die from hunger or its immediate effects every day. 923 million people . that is, more than one in six . are constantly, seriously under-nourished. This daily hunger massacre is intensifying. At the same time, President Nicolas Sarkozy has massively reduced public development aid. In Africa, projects have been postponed.

The UN has identified eight tragedies to eradicate as a matter of priority. These are the objectives to accomplish by 2015: suppress extreme poverty and hunger; enable all young children to acquire basic schooling; promote sexual equality and women.s autonomy; reduce infant mortality; improve mothers. health; fight against AIDS; guarantee the safe-guarding of the environment; establish a world pact for development. These objectives. cost is estimated at 82 billion dollars per year over five years. Since 2000, the West says that there is no money. Yet, last October 12, at the Elysée, 27 countries of the European Union have liberated 1,700 billion euro in three hours and a half for interbank credit and to increase the lower limit of bank.s actual capital by 3 to 5%. To eliminate the eight tragedies that strike third-world countries, only 1% of these 1,700 billion would be sufficient. This world order is not only murderous: it is absurd..

HUMA: the G20 summit in Washington aims at elaborating solutions to this worldwide crisis. We know it: countries from the South will be the most notable absentees. Doesn.t this exclusion risk increasing this .reasoned hate. from the South for the West that you mention in your last work?

ZIEGLER: Absolutely. .They took off their helmets, but, behind it, their heads remain colonial,. said Régis Debray. The West has suicidial policies. For five hundred years, the whites, who represent only 13% of the world population, have dominated the world through successive oppression systems: the genocide of native Americans with the conquest of America, the triangular slave trade to loot raw material; the deportation of 400 million African people; then, colonial occupation and massacres; and, finally, the globalised capitalism.s world order. Edgar Morin wrote: .The domination of the West is the worst of human history in terms of duration and worldwide influence.. The hate for the West has two sources. First, this mysterious and tremendous memory revival that no one expected. Slavery was abolished one hundred and twenty-five years ago. The last country to do so was Brazil in 1888. Colonialism too, about fifty years ago. Yet, it is only now that people are becoming conscious of this wounded memory, this memory of horrors undergone. It becomes a claim for reparation and a claim for repentance. Think about this extraordinary scene of December 2007 when Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Algeria to sign several contracts. President Bouteflika tells him beforehand: .First, you must apologize for Sétif,. the massacre of May 8, 1945, when thousands of Algerians, women and children, were executed by the French army when they were only peacefully demonstrating. Nicolas Sarkozy replies that he hasn.t come for the .nostalgia.. Bouteflika retorts: .Memory before business.. And the agreements won.t be signed. There is an irruption of a radically new strength in history: the claim for memory. In Bolivia, in 2006, the democratic election of an Indian to the presidency for the first time in five centuries is the pure fruit of this claim for memory. The second source is the complete refusal of globalised capitalism, capitalism of which the people from the South are the victims. The rebirth of memory and the complete refusal of this last system of oppression are the causes of this reasonable hate.

HUMA: You state in your book that .the people from the Southern hemisphere have decided to hold somebody responsible.. To whom will they address themselves?

ZIEGLER: To the West, of course. But the West remains deaf and blind to the memory claims of the South. Look at the outrageous speech from Sarkozy in Dakar in July 2007, or the failure of the World Conference on Racism in 2001.

HUMA: By considering the West responsible, doesn.t it come down to absolving the governments of countries in the South from their own responsibility?

ZIEGLER: Yes, the horrifying example of the Nigerian regime, which I talk about at length in my book, shows it. Nigeria is ranked number eight in oil production in the world, and number one in Africa. With 147 million inhabitants, it is the most populated country of the continent. Life expectancy is of only forty-seven years. More than 70% of the people live in extreme poverty. Undernourishment is constant. There are no schools, no sanitary services. All this because of the endemic corruption of military dictators that succeeded one another since 1966. The link of trust between the citizens and the State has been broken by corruption and plundering.

But both sides are responsible. Oil companies that exploit the great wealth of the country . Shell, ELF, Exxon, Texaco, Repsol . . actively take part in this process with those generals. Oil companies favour corruption because it helps them. When you negotiate the share of wealth and goods, it is infinitely more favourable to face corrupted people than a democratically-elected government that protects the public interest. I condemn corruption. Generals from Abuja are crooks, but, at the same time, it is proper to see the origin of this scourge and the way those accomplices maintain the crooks into power.

HUMA: You affirm that the capitalistic barbarism shows its true face. What could be the consequences of this?

ZIEGLER: The common consciousness is going to be part of a process of learning and analysis. The social riposte is going to get organised. We are now going through a period favorable to this movement. France certainly is socially unfair, but she is a live democracy. The word is spreading. The freedom of the press is guaranteed. So, the analytical reasoning can start. Relocations, for example, find their origin in social dumping. Against this, workers. reaction has often been mere resignation: .We can.t help it. The market decides.. There was a very deep alienation of the working classes against this .invisible hand. of the market. Many workers ended up buying the inevitable idea of unemployment, market-place deregulation and flexibility. Meanwhile, over the last ten years, workers. social protection dwindled away. Now, these lies have collapsed. The invisible hand has eventually become visible: it.s the one of the predators. How will this social riposte organise itself? We don.t know yet, but this is a major issue.

HUMA: Among the emergency actions to take facing the crisis, is it possible to install a regulation of fiscal paradises?

ZIEGLER: They should be entirely eliminated. It.s one of the most urgent measures to take. The banking secret must also be abolished and the pre-eminence of the public sector must be re-established when we deal with public services: reverse privatisation, impose a strict normativity on capital, prohibit relocation and regulate the stock market to prevent speculation. There is no doubt that financial oligarchies that work exclusively with maximisation of profits must be subjected to the normativity of the State. Free-trade is noxious when the State loses its normative strength. Social justice, right to life, a progressive tax system ensuring a redistribution of the national income, the absolute priority of job security to fair distribution of resources and to social democracy - these constitute the country.s interest.

HUMA: Do you think it would be possible to have a common front with the people from the South and the West?

ZIEGLER: I.m positive that this process will result in a new worldwide social contract. The opposite of a self-regulated market is law. Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in The Social Contract: .Between the weak and the strong, it is freedom which oppresses and law that liberates.. I.m absolutely convinced that the people from the West will understand that the inhumanity inflicted on others will destroy the humanity that lies within themselves. We are endowed with moral imperatives, with identity consciousness. This cannibalistic order of the world, this predator rule, recognisable from the daily hunger massacre, is no longer acceptable for the citizens of the West. It has been proven, with the mobilisation of colossal funds for banks, that there is a huge availability of wealth to mitigate the gross exploitation and the unfathomable misery of so many peoples from the South. A new contract of solidarity and dialogue between the South and the West is going to be established by peopled freed by their alienation.

HUMA: The risks that this crisis wouldn.t deepen the already-existing inequalities or that it wouldn.t be favourable for a reaction are real. But isn.t this showing an exaggerated enthusiasm?

ZIEGLER: I know the argument. The stock market crash of 1928 and the world economic crisis gave birth to fascism in several European countries. But fascism was born from the humiliation of a defeat, Germany.s from the outcome of the First World War, a desire for revenge. The Western winners let it happen, preferring fascism to bolshevism and to revolution, of which the middle-class elite were frightened. The world was still predominantly colonial then. The situation is completely different now. Today.s threat, if the West doesn.t wake up, is the pathological hate of small groups from the South and violent racism developing in the West. But dangers can be averted. In the Talmud of Babylon, there is this mysterious sentence: .The future has a long past.. The west must first welcome the South.s memory resurgence, acknowledge the crimes committed, and practice reparation. And more importantly, it must agree to dismantle the world cannibalistic order, move away from capitalism to civilisation. Barack Obama has come to power in an aggressive empire, an over-armed power proclaiming the military, economic and political hegemony of the planet. Will he be able to dismantle the imperial structures and to inaugurate international policies based on reciprocity, the equality of the peoples . in other words, policies subject to the norms of the international right? I doubt it. The mobilisation of social forces in Europe and in the South and the resistance to jungle capitalism will be essential for a humane civilisation to be born on our planet. But the formidable Afro-American memory resurgence that allowed Obama.s victory to happen already constitutes hope on its own.


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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Schleimpilze - Slime mold

Als wären sie nicht von dieser Welt. - Der unmögliche Lebenswandel der Schleimpilze
  • Schleimpilze (Rechte: WDR)
  • Schleimpilz-Forschung (Rechte: WDR)
  • Schleimpilze (Rechte: WDR)
  • Schleimpilze brauchen Feuchtigkeit. (Rechte: WDR)

    Schleimpilze brauchen Feuchtigkeit. Sobald es regnet quellen sie aus Ritzen und Löchern und ziehen los auf Futtertour.

  • Schleimpilze vermehren sich über Sporen in Fruchtkörpern. (Rechte: WDR)

    Schleimpilze vermehren sich über Sporen in Fruchtkörpern

Schleimpilze sind Außenseiter der Evolution: Als hätten sie eine Zauberformel parat, pendeln sie zwischen den großen Reichen des Lebens - dem Reich der Tiere und dem Reich der Pflanzen. "Lebenswandel" scheinen sie wörtlich zu nehmen. Seit über 20 Jahren stellt Karlheinz Baumann diesen Wunderwesen nach. In den Nebelwäldern Kanadas, in den Kaiserlichen Gärten Tokios oder im Wald vor seiner Haustür. Baumanns Kamera führt in eine ebenso fremde wie abenteuerliche Welt, die unseren Sinnen weitgehend verborgen ist: Da schrumpfen Tage auf Sekunden zusammen und Winzlinge aus dem Mikrokosmos wachsen zu bedrohlichen Riesen.
Eine neue, elektrisierende Meldung kommt aus Japan: An der Universität von Sapporo haben WissenschaftlerInnen einen Intelligenztest für Schleimpilze entwickelt. Der Film dokumentiert den Verlauf - und das unerwartete, fast beängstigende Ergebnis.

Es ist schwierig, sich der Faszination dieser fremdartigen Wesen zu entziehen - nicht nur für WissenschaftlerInnen. Schleimpilze besitzen eine Fangemeinde rund um die Erde. Mancher von Ihnen hält sich Hunderte in seiner Wohnung - in Dosen und Schächtelchen verpackt. Dort ruhen die "Aliens" im "Dauerschlaf". Doch jederzeit könnten sie erwachen und wieder ins Leben treten - ein Leben, als wären sie nicht von dieser Welt.

Physarum polycephalum ist ein echter Schleimpilz (Protista/Myxomycetes). Sein natürliches Verbreitungsgebiet sind Waldgebiete in den mittleren Breiten. Dort kann er bis zu 1 m2 große, gelbliche Riesenzellen (Plasmodien) bilden. Diese stellen die aktive Phase seines Lebenszyklus dar. Sie bilden am Ende dieser Phase Sporen, mit denen sich Physarum vermehrt und verbreitet.

Als Plasmodium ist Physarum ein Synzytium, eine einzige Zelle ohne unterteilende Zellwände, die aber viele Millionen Zellkerne besitzt. Im Inneren dieser Zelle ist eine rasche Zellplasmaströmung unter dem Mikroskop erkennbar. Die Strömung sorgt für eine gleichmäßige Verteilung von Nähr- und Botenstoffen, die durch die Größe der Zelle durch Diffusion allein nicht mehr gewährleistet ist. Durch Kontraktionen der Plasmamembran und unterschiedliche Viskosität wird das Zellplasma durch ein vernetztes System von Adern gepumpt. Daran sind maßgeblich Aktin und Myosin, zwei Proteine des Zytoskeletts beteiligt. Diese wirken zusammen mit ATPase und sind vor allem für die Kontraktion der Plasmamembran, sowie für den Transport von Vesikeln in der Zelle verantwortlich.

* PhysarumPlus
* Messung der Cytoplasmaströmung von Physarum polycephalum mit einem Beispielfilm
* Pilz im Roboterhirn - Forscherteam entwickelt Maschine, die von einem Schleimpilz gesteuert wird

download movie documentary runterladen dokumentation avi

Der unmoegliche Lebenswandel der Schleimpilze - Als waeren sie nicht von dieser Welt GERMAN DOKU-DiV

Ein Synzytium (Plural: Synzytien), auch Coenoblast oder Coenocyt, bezeichnet eine mehrkernige (polyenergide) Zelle. Ein Synzytium kann durch Verschmelzung von mehreren Einzelzellen oder durch Kernteilungen ohne anschließende Teilung des Zytoplasma entstehen. Als funktionelles Synzytium werden Zellen bezeichnet, die morphologisch voneinander getrennt, deren Zytoplasma aber über Gap Junctions miteinander verbunden ist.

Einige Definitionen bezeichnen als Synzytien nur polyenergide Zellen die durch Fusion entstanden sind. Zur Abgrenzung werden Produkte unvollständiger Zellteilung manchmal als Plasmodium (Plural: Plasmodien) bezeichnet.

Eine Energide (Plural: Energiden) bezeichnet einen Zellkern und den ihn umgebenden Plasmabereich eines Synzytiums.

Physarum polycephalum
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Physarum polycephalum

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Amoebozoa
Phylum: Mycetozoa
Class: Myxogastria
Order: Physarida
Family: Physaridae
Genus: Physarum
Species: P. polycephalum
Binomial name
Physarum polycephalum

Physarum polycephalum belongs to the supergroup Amoebozoa, phylum Mycetozoa, and class Myxogastria. P. polycephalum, often referred to as the “many-headed slime,” is a slime mold that inhabits shady, cool, moist areas, such as decaying leaves and logs.

This protist may be seen without a microscope; P. polycephalum is typically yellow in color, and eats fungal spores, bacteria, and other microbes. P. polycephalum is one of the easiest eukaryotic microbes to grow in culture, and has been used as a model organism for many studies involving amoeboid movement and cell motility. Most organisms receive mitochondrial DNA from their mother, but it is not known from where P. polycephalum receives its mitochondrial DNA as it is currently not possible to distinguish between male and female.

Life cycle

The main vegetative phase of P. polycephalum is the plasmodium (the active, streaming form of slime molds). The plasmodium consists of networks of protoplasmic veins, and many nuclei. It is during this stage that the organism searches for food. The plasmodium surrounds its food and secretes enzymes to digest it.

If environmental conditions cause the plasmodium to desiccate during feeding or migration, Physarum will form a sclerotium. The sclerotium is basically hardened multinucleated tissue that serves as a dormant stage, protecting Physarum for long periods of time. Once favorable conditions resume, the plasmodium reappears to continue its quest for food.

As the food supply runs out, the plasmodium stops feeding and begins its reproductive phase. Stalks of sporangia form from the plasmodium; it is within these structures that meiosis occurs and spores are formed. Sporangia are usually formed in the open so that the spores they release will be spread by wind currents.

Spores can remain dormant for years if need be. However, when environmental conditions are favorable for growth, the spores germinate and release either flagellated or amoeboid swarm cells (motile stage); the swarm cells then fuse together to form a new plasmodium.

Streaming behavior

The movement of P. polycephalum is termed shuttle streaming. Shuttle streaming is characterized by the rhythmic back-and-forth flow of the protoplasm; the time interval is approximately two minutes. The forces of the streaming vary for each type of microplasmodium.

The force in amoeboid microplasmodia is generated by contraction and relaxation of a membranous layer probably consisting of actin (type of filament associated with contraction). The filament layer creates a pressure gradient, over which the protoplasm flows within limits of the cell periphery.

The force behind streaming in the dumbbell-shaped microplasmodia is generated by volume changes in both the periphery of the cell and in the invagination system of the cell membrane.


Physarum Polycephalum demonstrates a surprising amount of intelligence for a single-celled creature.


A team of Japanese and Hungarian researchers, writing in the journal Nature , claimed to have found the slime mold Physarum polycephalum is capable of finding the shortest way through a maze. Pieces of the slime mould were enticed through a 30-square-centimetre (five-square-inch) maze by the prospect of food at the end of the puzzle. The researchers concluded that the creature was exhibiting a kind of primitive intelligence.

Normally, the slime spreads out its network of tube-like legs, or pseudopodia, to fill all the available space. But when two pieces of food were placed at separate exit points in the labyrinth, the organism squeezed its entire body between the two nutrients. It adopted the shortest possible route, effectively solving the puzzle.

Event anticipation

Biophysicist Toshiyuki Nakagaki of Hokkaido University and colleagues manipulated the environment of Physarum slime-mold amoebas. As the cells crawled across an agar plate, the researchers subjected them to cold, dry conditions for the first 10 minutes of every hour. During these cool spells, the cells slowed down their motion. After three cold snaps the scientists stopped changing the temperature and humidity and watched to see whether the amoebas had learned the pattern. Indeed, many of the cells throttled back right on the hour in anticipation of another bout of cold weather. When conditions stayed stable for a while, the slime-mold amoebas gave up on their hourly braking, but when another single jolt of cold was applied, they resumed the behavior and correctly recalled the 60-minute interval. The amoebas were also able to respond to other intervals, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes.


Andrew Adamatzky at the University of the West of England in Bristol, outlined how it is possible to precisely point, steer and cleave plasmodium using light and food sources. Since plasmodia always react in the same way to the same stimulus, Adamatzky says they are the "ideal substrate for future and emerging bio-computing devices".


1. ^ Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Hiroyasu Yamada and Ágota Tóth (2000). "Intelligence: Maze-solving by an amoeboid organism". Nature 407: 470. doi:10.1038/35035159.
2. ^ Barone Jennifer (2008-12-09). "Top 100 Stories of 2008 #71: Slime Molds Show Surprising Degree of Intelligence". Discover Magazine. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
3. ^ Andrew Adamatzky (2008-08-06). "Steering plasmodium with light: Dynamical programming of Physarum machine". arXiv. Retrieved 2009-08-10.

* Gawlitta,W, KV Wolf, HU Hoffmann, and W. Stockem. 1980. Studies on microplasmodia of Physarum polycephalum. I. Classification and locomotive behavior. Cell Tissue Res; 209(1): 71-86.
* Cellular memory hints at the origins of intelligence - The learning and memory potential of Physarum polycephalum
* slime mold - Slime shown negotiating a maze

Schleimpilze, auch Myxomyceten (Eumycetozoa), sind eine Gruppe von heterotrophen Organismen. Etwa 1000 Arten sind bekannt. Ob Schleimpilze als Einzeller oder Vielzeller anzusehen sind, ist schwer zu beantworten. Auch ist man sich nicht einig, ob Schleimpilze den Tieren, Pilzen oder Pflanzen zuzurechnen sind. Innerhalb der Biologie wird die systematische Erforschung der Schleimpilze durch die Botanik betrieben.

Schleimpilze bilden ein Plasmodium, eine Plasma-Masse mit vielen Zellkernen bzw. amöboiden Zellen. Das Plasmodium ist ein vielkerniger, amöboid beweglicher, ungegliederter Organismus. Es ist ein Entwicklungsstadium der meisten Schleimpilze. Die Plasmodien von Schleimpilzen ernähren sich meist durch Phagozytose. Dabei werden zumeist Bakterien, aber auch Sporen, Pilzhyphen und Anderes von ausfließendem Plasma umflossen und inkorporiert.

Auffällige Plasmodien der Schleimpilze tragen oft volkstümliche Namen: Blutmilchpilz (Lycogala epidendrum), Hexenbutter sind die Plasmodien der Lohblüte (Fuligo septica), als Drachendreck oder Wolfsblut werden weitere Plasmodien bezeichnet.

Die meist diploiden Plasmodien der Schleimpilze werden morphologisch in drei Gruppen eingeteilt:

* Protoplasmodien sind mikroskopisch klein und unverzweigt. Meist wird nur ein einziges Sporokarp gebildet.
* Aphanoplasmodien sind anfangs so klein und wie Protoplasmodien gebaut, werden aber größer und verzweigen sich. Sie sind ohne auffallende Pigmentierung und hyalin (= durchscheinend). Es werden viele Sporokarpien gebildet.
* Phaneroplasmodien können mitunter sehr groß werden und Flächen von bis zu 1,5 m² bedecken. Sie bilden rasch ein umfangreiches Netzwerk. Die Plasmastränge sind oft auffällig pigmentiert. Es werden viele Sporokarpien oder ein einziges großes Aethalium gebildet.

Bei den meisten Schleimpilzen, den Myxomycota, ist das Plasmodium nicht in Zellen gegliedert, enthält keine Zellwände, aber sehr viele Zellkerne. Diese Plasmodien können sich in einzelne amöbenartige Zellen (Myxamöben) aufteilen, die sich wieder vereinigen können. Andere Schleimpilze, die Acrasiomycota, bilden Plasmodien, die in amöboide Einzelzellen gegliedert bleiben und sich ebenfalls wieder in einzelne amöbenartige Individuen aufteilen können. Plasmodien können sich wie riesige Amöben bewegen und durch Phagozytose ernähren, aber auch feste pilzartige Fruchtkörper bilden. Einige Arten bilden wie echte Pilze chitinhaltige Zellwände. Einige Schleimpilze bilden Geschlechtszellen mit Geißeln, ähnlich denen von Braunalgen und den Spermien von Tieren.

Myxomycota, z. B. Physarum polycephalum, wandern im Jugendstadium als vielkernige Riesenzellen zur Nahrungssuche auf dem Substrat umher, bei Reife erstarren sie zu feststehenden Fruchtkörpern. Verschiedene Arten kommen ausschließlich während der Schneeschmelze im Frühjahr im Gebirge vor. Sie brauchen eine mehrmonatige geschlossene Schneedecke zur Entwicklung. Bekannt ist vor allem die gelb gefärbte Art Physarum polycephalum, ein amöboider Myxomycet, bei dem das Plasmodium einer einzigen vielkernigen „Zelle“ mehr als 2 m² Fläche bedecken kann. Sie ist auch im Labor kultivierbar. Junge Plasmodien, die im Inneren von abgestorbenen Bäumen leben, zeigen eine Bewegung in Richtung niedrigerer Beleuchtungsstärke (negative Phototaxis). Ältere Plasmodien zeigen positive Phototaxis und wandern vor der Sporenbildung nach außen zum Licht. Sie besitzen lichtempfindliche Farbstoffe, die insbesondere auf blaues und UV-Licht reagieren.

Viele Schleimpilzarten können auf Rinden gezüchtet werden. Wird die Rinde in einem geschlossenen Gefäß auf Zellstoff gelegt, erscheinen meist nach wenigen Tagen bis Wochen die Fruchtkörper. Die meisten Arten allerdings kommen während der Vegetationsperiode an verschiedenen Substraten vor, wie zum Beispiel Totholz, Gras, abgestorbenen Pflanzenteilen und Moos.

Manche Arten können extreme Mengen an Calcium und anderen Metallen ansammeln. So wurde für Fuligo septica ein Calcium-Gehalt von bis zu 11 Gewichtsprozent ermittelt. Auch die Gehalte an Mangan, Zink und Barium waren hoch.

Manche Schleimpilzarten werden auch von Menschen gegessen, z. B. Plasmodia von Fuligo septica und Aethalia von Enteridium lycoperdon in der Gegend von Veracruz in Mexiko. Dort sind sie gegrillt, unter der Bezeichnung „caca de luna“, als Delikatesse bekannt. In der Medizin werden Schleimpilze als Modellorganismen genutzt, z. B. bei der Erforschung der Legionärskrankheit.

Eine ähnliche Lebensweise wie die eukaryotischen Schleimpilze haben im Bereich der Prokaryonten die Myxobacteria entwickelt, ein Beispiel für konvergente Evolution.

Slime mold is a broad term describing fungi-like organisms that use spores to reproduce.[1] They were formerly classified as fungi, but are no longer considered part of this group.[2]

Their common name refers to part of some of these organism's lifecycles where they can appear gelatinous (hence the name slime). However, this feature is mostly seen with the myxomycetes, which are the only macroscopic slime molds.

Slime molds have been found all over the world and feed on microorganisms that live in any type of dead plant material. For this reason, these organisms are usually found in soil, lawns, and on the forest floor, commonly on deciduous logs. However, in tropical areas they are also common on inflorescences, fruits and in aerial situations (e.g., in the canopy of trees). In urban areas, they are found on mulch or even in the leaf mold in gutters. One of the most commonly encountered slime molds, both in nature in forests in the temperate zones of the earth as well as in classrooms and laboratories is the yellow Physarum polycephalum.

Most slime mold are smaller than a few centimetres, but the largest recorded reached an area of up to thirty square metres,[3] making them the largest undivided cells known (although one could argue that slime molds are made up from individual cells). Many have striking colours such as yellow, brown and white.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Diary of Phenomena for 2010

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Astronomical Events
Diary of Phenomena for 2010
from The Astronomical Pocket Diary
Copyright Norbert Haley 2009 <<>

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January 2010

Jupiter in the evening sky

d h m UTC
1 18 Pollux 7degN of Moon
1 20 Moon closest to Earth
3 0 Sun closest to Earth
3 11 Moon 7degS of Mars
4 5 Regulus 4.1degN of Moon
4 19 Mercury in inferior conjunction
5 7 Mercury 3.4degN of Venus
5 12 Mercury closest to Earth
6 18 Moon 8degS of Saturn
7 10 40 Last Quarter
8 1 Spica 3.4degN of Moon
11 13 Antares 1.1degS of Moon
11 20 Venus in superior conjunction
13 12 Moon 7degS of Pluto
13 16 Moon 4.6degS of Mercury
13 16 Venus furthest from Earth
14 18 Saturn stationary (retro)
15 7 11 New Moon ANNULAR ECLIPSE - longest until 3043
maximum duration 11min Africa 6h India SEasia 8h gmt
15 15 Mercury stationary (fwd)
17 2 Moon furthest from Earth
17 22 Moon 3.6degN of Neptune
18 9 Moon 4.6degN of Jupiter
20 10 Moon 6degN of Uranus
23 10 First Quarter
24 14 Venus at Aphelion
25 11 Pleiades 0.01degS of Moon
26 6 Aldebaran 9degS of Moon
27 5 Mercury furthest west from Sun 25deg
27 18 Mars closest to Earth
27 19 Venus opposite of Mars
29 5 Pollux 7degN of Moon
29 19 Mars at opposition
30 6 18 Full Moon
30 8 Moon 7degS of Mars
30 9 Moon closest to Earth
31 15 Regulus 4.1degN of Moon
February 2010

17 Februray Jupiter and Venus

d h m UTC
3 2 Moon 8degS of Saturn
4 8 Spica 3.4degN of Moon
5 23 49 Last Quarter
7 18 Antares 1.1degS of Moon
7 22 Venus 1.1degS of Neptune
9 19 Moon 7degS of Pluto
12 5 Moon 2.3degN of Mercury
13 2 Moon furthest from Earth
14 2 51 New Moon
14 23 Neptune in conjunction (17h)
15 1 Moon 6degN of Venus
15 5 Moon 5degN of Jupiter
15 13 Neptune furthest from Earth
16 19 Moon 6degN of Uranus
16 21 Venus 0.58degS of Jupiter
21 19 Pleiades 0.09degN of Moon
22 0 First Quarter
22 14 Aldebaran 9degS of Moon
25 16 Pollux 7degN of Moon
26 5 Moon 5degS of Mars
27 5 Mercury 1.8degS of Neptune
27 22 Moon closest to Earth
28 3 Regulus 4.1degN of Moon
28 10 Jupiter in conjunction (12h)
28 14 Jupiter furthest from Earth
28 16 38 Full Moon

March 2010

In late March Jupiter becomes morning star
(in the east, befor sunrise)

d h m UTC
2 10 Moon 8degS of Saturn
3 18 Spica 3.3degN of Moon
3 22 Venus 0.68degS of Uranus
6 10 34km asteroid Anastasia
occults 2.5mag star Nevada bajaC
7 1 Antares 1.3degS of Moon
7 15 42 Last Quarter
7 19 Mercury 1.2degS of Jupiter
7 22 Mercury furthest from Earth
9 3 Moon 6degS of Pluto
11 9 Mars stationary (fwd)
12 10 Moon furthest from Earth
13 15 Moon 3.8degN of Neptune
14 13 Mercury in superior conjunction
15 17 Mercury 0.8degS of Uranus
15 21 1 New Moon
17 6 Uranus in conjunction
17 11 Moon 7degN of Venus
18 5 Uranus furthest from Earth
20 17 33 Equinox
21 0 Pleiades 0.32degN of Moon
21 20 Aldebaran 9degS of Moon
21 22 Saturn closest to Earth
22 0 Saturn at opposition
23 11 First Quarter
25 0 Pollux 7degN of Moon
25 13 Moon 4.4degS of Mars
27 13 Regulus 4.1degN of Moon
28 5 Moon closest to Earth
29 17 Moon 8degS of Saturn
30 2 25 Full Moon
31 9 Mars at Aphelion
31 4 Spica 3.1degN of Moon
April 2010

Beginning of April, Venus and Mercury in the
evening sky on the western horizon after sunset.

d h m UTC
3 10 Antares 1.6degS of Moon
5 11 Moon 6degS of Pluto
6 9 37 Last Quarter
7 1 Pluto stationary (retro)
8 21 Mercury at Greatest Elong: 19.3deg EAST
9 3 Moon furthest from Earth
10 0 Moon 4.1degN of Neptune
11 22 Moon 6degN of Jupiter
12 14 Moon 6degN of Uranus
14 12 29 New Moon
15 22 Moon 1.4degN of Mercury
16 12 Moon 4.1degN of Venus
17 6 Pleiades 0.52degN of Moon
18 2 Aldebaran 8degS of Moon
18 10 Mercury stationary (retro)
21 6 Pollux 8degN of Moon
21 18 First Quarter
22 9 Moon 4.5degS of Mars
23 20 Regulus 4.3degN of Moon
24 16 Pleiades 3.6degN of Venus
24 21 Moon closest to Earth
25 23 Moon 8degS of Saturn
27 14 Spica 3.1degN of Moon
28 12 18 Full Moon
28 16 Mercury in inferior conjunction
30 20 Antares 1.7degS of Moon

May 2010

Venus brilliant evening star (in the west, after sunset)

d h m UTC
1 10 Mercury closest to Earth
2 19 Moon 6degS of Pluto
4 3 Aldebaran 6degS of Venus
6 4 15 Last Quarter
6 22 Moon furthest from Earth
7 9 Moon 4.4degN of Neptune
9 17 Moon 6degN of Jupiter
10 1 Moon 6degN of Uranus
10 23 Mercury stationary (fwd)
12 16 Moon 8degN of Mercury
14 1 4 New Moon
16 10 Moon 0.09degN of Venus
Venus occultation in Indonesia
18 12 Pollux 8degN of Moon
20 9 Moon closest to Earth
20 11 Moon 5degS of Mars
20 23 First Quarter
21 2 Regulus 4.6degN of Moon
23 4 Moon 8degS of Saturn
24 21 Spica 3.1degN of Moon
26 5 Mercury furthest west from Sun 25deg
27 23 7 Full Moon
28 4 Antares 1.8degS of Moon
31 16 Saturn stationary (fwd)
June 2010

Venus brilliant evening star (in the west, after sundown)

d h m UTC
1 2 Neptune stationary (retro)
3 16 Moon furthest from Earth
3 18 Moon 4.6degN of Neptune
4 22 13 Last Quarter
6 11 Moon 6degN of Uranus
6 11 Moon 7degN of Jupiter
6 14 Regulus 0.9degS of Mars
6 18 Jupiter 0.47degS of Uranus
9 10 Pollux 4.8degN of Venus
9 12 Pleiades 6degN of Mercury
10 22 Pleiades 0.57degN of Moon
11 2 Moon 5degN of Mercury
12 11 15 New Moon
14 19 Pollux 8degN of Moon
15 7 Moon 3.9degS of Venus (nice view!)
15 15 Moon closest to Earth
16 2 Aldebaran 4.6degS of Mercury
17 8 Regulus 4.7degN of Moon
17 18 Moon 6degS of Mars
19 4 First Quarter
19 10 Moon 8degS of Saturn
21 3 Spica 3.2degN of Moon
21 11 29 Solstice
24 3 Pluto closest to Earth
24 11 Antares 1.8degS of Moon
25 18 Pluto at opposition
26 9 Moon 6degS of Pluto
26 11 30 Full Moon -- PARTIAL ECLIPSE
gmt10h17-11h38-12h59 australia W-america
28 11 Mercury in superior conjunction
29 18 Mercury furthest from Earth

July 2010

Venus brilliant evening star (in the west, after sundown)
Mars and Saturn!

d h m UTC
1 1 Moon 4.6degN of Neptune
1 10 Moon furthest from Earth
3 20 Moon 7degN of Uranus
4 0 Moon 7degN of Jupiter
4 14 35 Last Quarter
6 0 Uranus stationary (retro)
6 11 Sun furthest from Earth
6 18 Pollux 4.9degN of Mercury
8 7 Pleiades 0.56degN of Moon
8 21 58 51km asteroid 472 Roma occults
Ophiuchus 2.7magnitude star
visible Benelux France Bask country
- duration 5 seconds ***
9 3 Aldebaran 8degS of Moon
10 2 Regulus 1.1degS of Venus
11 19 40 New Moon -- total solar eclipse
Cook Is Tahiti 18h30 Easter I. 20h10gmt
13 0 Moon 4.1degS of Mercury
13 11 Moon closest to Earth
14 15 Regulus 4.7degN of Moon
15 1 Moon 6degS of Venus
16 4 Moon 6degS of Mars
16 19 Moon 8degS of Saturn
18 9 Spica 3.2degN of Moon
18 10 First Quarter
21 17 Antares 1.8degS of Moon
24 4 Jupiter stationary (retro)
26 1 37 Full Moon
27 23 Regulus 0.31degN of Mercury
28 7 Moon 4.6degN of Neptune
29 0 Moon furthest from Earth
31 2 Moon 6degN of Uranus
31 9 Moon 7degN of Jupiter

August 2010

Mercury Venus Mars and Saturn nicely visible!

d h m UTC
1 19 Mars 1.9degS of Saturn
3 4 59 Last Quarter
4 16 Pleiades 0.63degN of Moon
5 12 Aldebaran 8degS of Moon
7 0 Mercury furthest east from Sun 27deg
8 14 Pollux 8degN of Moon
10 1 Venus 3.1degS of Saturn
10 3 8 New Moon
10 18 Moon closest to Earth
10 21 Venus opposite of Jupiter
12 1 Moon 2.3degS of Mercury
13 7 Moon 8degS of Saturn
13 12 Moon 4.5degS of Venus
13 17 Moon 6degS of Mars
14 16 Spica 3.1degN of Moon
16 18 First Quarter
17 23 Antares 1.9degS of Moon
19 19 Moon 6degS of Pluto
19 19 Neptune closest to Earth
20 2 Venus furthest east from Sun 46deg
20 4 Mercury stationary (retro)
20 9 Neptune at opposition
23 21 Venus 2.5degS of Mars
24 11 Moon 4.5degN of Neptune
24 17 5 Full Moon
25 6 Moon furthest from Earth
27 7 Moon 6degN of Uranus
27 11 Moon 7degN of Jupiter
31 14 Mercury closest to Earth
September 2010

Venus and Mars...

d h m UTC
1 0 Pleiades 0.8degN of Moon

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Guilt - German educated Nazi Monsters TALK

Watch the VIDEO:

(Video courtesy of Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Sunday 20 September 2009

Download Audio - 20092009

Guilt About the Past

Bernhard Schlink was born in 1944 near Bielefeld, Germany, to a German father and a Swiss mother. He grew up in Heidelberg and studied law in Heidelberg and Berlin. He is a professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law and the Philosophy of Law at Berlin's Humbolt University and a justice of the Constitutional Law Court in Bonn.

Drawing from his latest book Guilt about the Past, Schlink will examine whether fiction can be used to deal with emotive historical subjects without trivialising the tragic. Are some subjects too sensitive and traumatic that they can only be documented? Or can a fictional retelling create a truer experience for an audience? Citing examples of films and novels including The Reader (which was later adapted for the big screen and garnered no less than five Oscar nominations this year, and won Best Actress for Kate Winslett), Schlink will discuss how the arts can traverse this minefield of tense emotion, and why it should endeavour to do so.

This is an Out of Season Sydney Writers Festival event


Title: Guilt About the Past
Author: Bernhard Schlink
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
ISBN 978 0 702237 14 0

Bernhard Schlink on forgiveness and reconciliation -, 28 August 2009 10:00

Do the descendents of those who commit atrocities inherit their guilt? And how important is it for subsequent generations say "sorry"? These are questions Australians have considered in relation to the Apology to the Stolen Generations, and they also resonate in other countries. Delivering the keynote address at the Melbourne Writers Festival last week, the German author of the novel "The Reader", Bernard Schlink, lectured on the role guilt plays in societies, and how contemporary Germany is still trying to come to terms with the Holocaust.

Bernhard Schlink is a writer and professor of public law and legal philosophy. He has also served as a judge at a German constitutional law court. He currently teaches at Humbolt University in Berlin and Benjamin N Cardozo School of Law in New York. His career as an author started when he published his first crime novel in 1987. "The Reader", his first novel to be published in English, was made into a feature film starring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet. It won a selection of awards, including an Oscar for Winslet's performance and a nomination for best Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published. He has since published a number of other works of fiction and recently a collection of essays titled "Guilt About The Past", which considers Germany's recent past and the idea of collective and individual guilt, forgiving and forgetting. 32mB 222mB

I have a saved version: big_ideas_SCHLINK-RadioAustralia----bia_20090920.mp3

Bernhard Schlink (born 6 July 1944 in Bielefeld) is a German jurist and writer. He was born in Bethel, Germany, to a German father and a Swiss mother, the youngest of four children. Both his parents were theology students, although his father lost his job as a Professor of Theology due to the Nazis, and had to settle on being a pastor instead. Bernhard Schlink was brought up in Heidelberg from the age of two. He studied law at West Berlin’s Free University, graduating in 1968. [1]

Schlink became a judge at the Constitutional Court of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1988 and in 1992 a professor for public law and the philosophy of law at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. In January 2006 he retired.


Schlink studied law at the University of Heidelberg and at the Free University of Berlin. He has been a law professor at the University of Bonn and Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main before he started in 1992 at Humboldt University of Berlin. His career as a writer began with several detective novels with a main character named Selb—a play on the German word for "self"— (the first, Self's Punishment, co-written with Walter Popp being available in the UK). One of these, Die gordische Schleife, won the Glauser Prize in 1989. In 1995 he published The Reader (Der Vorleser), a novel about a teenager who has an affair with a woman in her thirties who suddenly vanishes but whom he meets again as a law student when visiting a trial about war crimes. The book became a bestseller both in Germany and the United States and was translated into 39 languages. It was the first German book to reach the number one position in the New York Times bestseller list. In 1997 it won the Hans Fallada Prize, an Italian literary award, and the Prix Laure Bataillon for works translated into French. In 1999 it was awarded the "WELT - Literaturpreis" of the newspaper Die Welt. In 2000, Schlink published a collection of short fiction called Flights of Love. A January 2008 literary tour, including an appearance in San Francisco for City Arts & Lectures, was cancelled due to Schlink's recovery from minor surgery.[citation needed]

In 2008 Stephen Daldry directed a film adaptation of The Reader.

Schlink currently divides his time between New York & Berlin.[2]


Literary Works in German

  • 1962 Der Andere
  • 1987 Selbs Justiz (Self's Punishment; with Walter Popp)
  • 1988 Die gordische Schleife (The Gordian Knot), Zurich: Diogenes
  • 1992 Selbs Betrug, Zurich: Diogenes
  • 1995 Der Vorleser (The Reader), Zurich: Diogenes
  • 2000 Liebesfluchten (Flights of Love), Zurich: Diogenes
  • 2001 Selbs Mord, Zurich: Diogenes
  • 2006 Die Heimkehr
  • 2008 Das Wochenende

Other Works in German

  • 1976 Abwägung im Verfassungsrecht, Berlin: Duncker und Humblot
  • 1980 Rechtlicher Wandel durch richterliche Entscheidung: Beitraege zu einer Entscheidungstheorie der richterlichen Innovation, co-edited with Jan Harenburg and Adalbert Podlech, Darmstadt: Toeche-Mittler
  • 1982 Die Amtshilfe: ein Beitrag zu einer Lehre von der Gewaltenteilung in der Verwaltung, Berlin : Duncker & Humblot
  • 1985 Grundrechte, Staatsrecht II, co-authored with Bodo Pieroth, Heidelberg: C.F. Müller
  • 2002 Polizei- und Ordnungsrecht, co-authored with Bodo Pieroth and Michael Kniesel, Munich: Beck
  • 2005 Vergewisserungen: über Politik, Recht, Schreiben und Glauben, Zurich: Diogenes

Titles in English

  • 1997 The Reader, translated by Carol Brown Janeway, New York: Pantheon Books
  • 2001 Flights of Love: Stories, translated by John E. Woods, New York: Pantheon Books
  • 2005 Self’s Punishment, Bernhard Schlink and Walter Popp, translated by Rebecca Morrison, New York: Vintage Books
  • 2007 Self’s Deception, translated by Peter Constantine, New York: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
  • 2007 Homecoming translated by Michael Henry Heim, New York: Pantheon Books
  • 2009 Self's Murder, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • 2009 Guilt about the Past, University of Queensland Press, 9 January 2009[3]

External links

  • Guaranteeing truth, and avoiding it an extract from Schlink's book, Guilt About The Past, in the Sydney Morning Herald SEE BELOW
  • VIDEO Bernhard Schlink delivers the keynote address at the 2009 Melbourne Writers Festival on ABC FORA
The truth … Auschwitz II-Birkenau's "gate of death" - the main guard house and railway that was the last stop for Jews to the death camp.
The truth … Auschwitz II-Birkenau's "gate of death" - the main guard house and railway that was the last stop for Jews to the death camp.

anuary 10, 2009

Should some subjects - such as the Holocaust - be off-limits to writers and filmmakers? The German author Bernhard Schlink looks at the rules for fiction when dealing with the past.

There are people who were not heard or not seen and who want their truth acknowledged, traumatised people who want their trauma respected, people deprived of a dignified life who want their dignity restored. Their expectations come to the fore whenever someone writes about the past they experienced.

Can these wants be dismissed or must they be honoured?

What is truth in fiction? Is it that the facts that fiction presents happened, or at least could have happened? But what if fiction does not claim to present facts? What if the story is clearly a fairytale, a satire, a comedy, which by definition does not limit itself to what happened or could have happened?

Are authors allowed to craft fairytales, satires or comedies about anything? Even about the Holocaust?

Adorno's 1951 statement that to write a poem after Auschwitz is barbarian covers poems about Auschwitz and, to be sure, any Auschwitz comedy or satire. Are there events so serious and awful that they can only be documented, or at best fictionalised so that they present what happened or what could have happened?

I have heard and read affirmation of this position more than once, but I don't think it is meant to be taken literally. A fairytale, satire or comedy can open one's eyes to truth as effectively as a documentary can; and fiction presenting what happened and only what happened can create a veneer of truth that distorts by omitting what also happened.

It seems what lies behind the refusal to fictionalise an event such as the Holocaust, or to reject its representation in certain ways, is the fear that the full truth might disappear not only through the imaginings and fabrications of well- or ill-intentioned authors but also through true but singular and misleading aspects of what happened.

Even if there might have been a funny moment in Auschwitz, even if there might have been a decent concentration camp guard, even if there might have been a fairytale element in someone's rescue from horror, couldn't a novel, a play, a comedy about this make the reader or viewer forget that the full reality was profoundly different?

It's understandable how this fear gives way to the demand that an event like the Holocaust should be documented but not fictionalised or only fictionalised in a way that makes the full truth visible. A good documentary that can make us understand the full truth and fiction is able to do the same; it can represent single moments and episodes in a way that makes us aware of the large picture. Think of Primo Levi's or Imre Kertesz's work. And it can fail. I, at least, could not find the whole picture in Benigni's comedic movie Life Is Beautiful about a Jewish father and his son being deported into a concentration camp where the father manages to present everything to his son as a complicated game.

But to turn that fear into a demand for only certain types of representation reveals too much and too little faith. The demand that artistic representations of the Holocaust be presented so that the whole picture becomes visible shows too little faith in an audience's ability to create the whole picture for themselves. Now that such a multitude of books and articles, plays and films have come out, whether individual works show only certain aspects of what happened matters much less. The whole picture is present anyway. The demand that the Holocaust not be presented in a comedic or otherwise reductive way, on the other hand, shows too much faith in the power of social norms - excluding any other type of norm for the moment. The norm would not succeed and would even be counterproductive.

More than anything else it would trigger the wish to come up with something provoking and scandalising.

Germany has a norm against reductive representation of the Holocaust that is also codified as a legal norm in the penal code that makes Holocaust denial a criminal offence. The law signifies that our society is united in its willingness to accept its past and deal with it. One unintended effect of the norm is that those who set out to deny the Holocaust don't do it bluntly any more. Rather they minimise what happened in a skilled, subtle manner. The vice-president of my university once gave me an internet article that minimised the Holocaust; it had been sent to him anonymously and he had given it to police, who couldn't do anything because the denial was too subtle.

Instead of any blunt Holocaust denial, it asked questions like: the graves of all the great massacres of the last century have been found, why is it that the graves of Jews murdered by Germans found in Eastern Europe don't by far add up to the 4 million victims that are the official number? I read this with my students and, even though they had been taught extensively about the Holocaust, they found it far from easy to counter its arguments. Here the effect of the norm is not a will to provoke, since a provocation would be punishable, but something else similarly undesirable: a distortion of the truth that is not easy to detect and refute. There is always a social price for norms that limit what one is allowed to say.

A common version of the demand on fiction to show the whole truth demands that it be representative.

If a movie shows the sufferings of a Jewish family it should not end with an unusually lenient fate for them. An SS officer in a story about persecution and annihilation should be the typical SS officer, and a book about a German helping a Jew should make it clear that such help was exceptional.

I agree that an atypical character or a non-representative situation may be presented in a way that distorts the truth. Yet there may still be good reasons for liking those stories. Take Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's film The Lives Of Others, set in the waning years of the German Democratic Republic. In it, a Stasi officer assigned to spy on a playwright comes to admire his life and sees the value of freedom. He recognises what he does is evil and helps the playwright whom he is supposed to denounce. The film distorts the truth; the Stasi officer is a fairytale figure.

But the film was widely praised; the fairytale reconciled the divided East and West Germans. Its healing message that there is always some good in the bad was irresistible.

Often enough it is not the presentation of an atypical character that distorts the truth but the creation of an overly typical one. Where the typical character simply doesn't exist, creating a stereotype is a distortion of the truth.

It is what propaganda movies do. In Veit Harlan's 1940 film Jud Sü*½, a Jew who finances and ruins a German state in the 18th century is presented as the quintessential Jew and the Germans, decent and patient until they are finally driven to stand up and fight, as the quintessential Germans.

The danger of creating stereotypes can be even greater than the danger of not paying tribute to what's typical.

In his novel The Kindly Ones, which was praised and criticised as provoking and scandalising, the French-American-Jewish author Jonathan Littell presents an SS officer's career and inner life because, as he has said, he wanted to find out what evil is from the inside. But there are as many insides of evil as there are evil people and there isn't that much to find out about them.

Once an SS officer or soldier has crossed the line from being a fighter to being a murderer every additional murder is just an additional number. And they crossed the line for all kinds of reasons. The psychological predispositions that enabled them to enjoy crossing the line or to want to obey orders or not to care were as manifold as the reasons for doing so. To create the typical evil-doer is as simplistic and misleading as creating any other stereotype.

I was often criticised for depicting Hanna, the woman protagonist of my novel The Reader, a former concentration camp guard who committed monstrous crimes, with a human face. I understand the desire for a world where those who commit monstrous crimes are always monsters. We don't easily talk about people looking beautiful and being awful, looking warm and being cold, looking cultured and being amoral.

But the world is full of this tension. Not seeing its multifaceted nature is simplistic and misleading. Maybe I insist on this point so strongly because my generation experienced again and again that someone whom we loved and respected turned out to have done something horrible during the Third Reich.

I remember the nights that I worked in a factory as a student in the 1960s. My impressions of my fellow workers, who had all fought in the war, were of nice, decent, helpful people. But between 2am and 5am they sometimes talked about the war and in what capacity they had been involved. They didn't talk in detail, but it was clear that some had been involved in evil things that they could neither forget nor repress. And I remember the professor whose class I attended at law school and through whom I came to understand that studying law is more than studying articles and paragraphs; that it includes history and philosophy and is a rich intellectual universe.

After my exam I started reading the legal literature from the Third Reich that, during my years of study, had been locked away in the so-called poison closet and had become available only as a concession to the rebellious students of 1968. And there they were, his writings on the totalitarian state and its necessary homogeneity and exclusion of the other, the Jew, the enemy.

No, sticking with what appears typical is no guarantee for truth: nor is avoiding it. My impression is that the demand for fiction to be representative by presenting typical characters and situations doesn't come out of a concern for the truth but rather for keeping up a precious image of events. It arises from the fear that writing about Germans as victims might damage the image of Germans as perpetrators; that writing about collaboration in the German-occupied countries might relativise German responsibility; that writing about the Judenrate, the Jewish councils required by the SS to govern affairs within the ghettos, might damage the image of Jewish suffering, and so forth.

I understand the impulse. Yet I don't believe in avoiding or suppressing the tension that reality holds for us. Germans were perpetrators and victims, the people in the occupied countries were suppressed and also collaborated, Jews suffered and were also involved. Since the tension is already there, an image free of tension couldn't be upheld in the long run even if it served a noble cause. What can and should be upheld and strived for is not a reduced but a complete image where the involvement of the Judenrate is not suppressed but explained, where the fact that Germans were victims is not meant to insinuate any excuse, and where collaboration is shown as a companion to each and every occupation - as is, in one form or other, resistance.

The atypical is also part of the truth - as long as it is presented as being atypical.

I understand the impulse to defend a precious image of events. It is similar to the impulse to tell and preserve myths and fairytales. They can serve good purposes; The Lives Of Others was, for my still-divided country, the right film at the right moment. Legends can inspire and encourage us, and founding myths can hold nations together.

But they can do so without pretending to be the whole truth? We don't have to fear that they will lose their power in the bright light of truth.

This is an extract from Guilt About The Past, by Bernhard Schlink (University of Queensland Press), available from today. Schlink is also the author of The Reader, Homecoming and Flights of Love
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Neufchateau Anti Bunkerwaffe

Fort Aubin Neufchateau Belgium

11 days of incredible noise, pain and bloodshed ...

years of experimentation with bunker-busting projectiles

fort exterior

fort exterior

battered concrete

battered concrete

Belgien – Fort Neufchateau

Waffenerprobungsstelle für Röchlingbetongranaten

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Roechling R�chling projectile

This image is copyrighted. See MAIN INDEX PAGE for info.

Die Anlagen Battice und Neufchateau dienten dem deutschen Militär als Erprobungsstellen für die neuentwickelten und streng geheimen Röchlingbetongranaten.

Uneinigkeit besteht in der Frage wer der erste Erfinder des Unterkalibergeschosses ist. Man kann davon ausgehen das nicht nur Deutschland an der Idee gearbeitet hat. Die ersten brauchbaren Versuche wurden jedenfalls bei den Skoda-Werken in der Tschechoslowakei durchgeführt. Die Erfindung wurde 1935 in der Tschechoslowakei und 1936 in Frankreich zum Patent angemeldet.

Die deutsche Entwicklung wurde in Feucht bei Nürnberg vorangetrieben.


Roechling R�chling

Auf die technische Details möchte ich nur kurz eingehen, dafür bin ich zu wenig Fachmann:

Bei den Röchlinggranaten handelt es sich um flügelstabilisierte Geschosse in einer Länge bis 3,6m. Die Geschosse konnten aus Rohre verschossen werden deren Kaliber größer war als der Durchmesser des R-Geschosses. Auch dadurch bedingt erzielte das Geschoß eine enorm Hohe Anfangsgeschwindigkeit.
Die Projektile drangen in den Boden ein, durchstießen den Kreideboden bis ins Hohlgangsystem. Weiterhin wurden auch die oberirdischen Werke damit erfolgreich beschossen.

Problematisch war die Streuung der Geschosse, es stellt sich die Frage, wieviel Geschosse man für die erfolgreiche Bekämpfung eines Ziels hätte einsetzen müssen.

In Neufchateau wurden 21 -und 34cm-Röchling-Granaten erprobt.
Es ist nicht bekannt das jemals ein Geschoß im Einsatz war. Jedoch wurde die Munition für den Einsatz produziert. Offiziell wurde die Anwendung aus Geheimhaltungsgründen untersagt.

Die Weiterentwicklung der Röchling-Granate wurde unter dem Namen "Peenmünder-Pfeilgeschoß" bekannt.

Röchling-Granaten Offiziell eingeführte Kaliber -
1 21cm-Rö.Gr.42Be für 21cm-Mörser 18
2 21cm-Rö.Gr.44Be für 21cm-Mörser 18
3 34cm.Rö.Gr42Be für 34cm-K.W. (E) (f)
4 35cm-Rö.Gr.42Be für 35cm-Mörser M1

Beschädigungen im Hohlgangsystem

Dieses Geschoß befindet sich im Museumsbereich Neufchateau




Projektil steckt im Boden des Hohlganges



Beschädigungen im Hohlgangsystem
Aufnahmen aus dem Jahr 2006















Quelle que fut la route prise par l'armée allemande pour envahir un pays voisin, elle devait se heurter à des fortifications de béton: la position fortifiée de Liège, la Ligne Maginot, les fortifications tchèques en furent des exemples bien connus.

En 1914, les Allemands avaient produit la "Grosse Bertha", obusier Krupp de 420 mm, pour bombarder les forts de Liège et de Verdun.

En 1940, le rythme des opérations allait être beaucoup plus rapide, ce qui signifiait que l'on aurait besoin d'armes ayant une plus grande mobilité. Dans ce cas, pour venir à bout du béton, il fallait quelque chose de plus "scientifique" que la simple force des obus de 420 mm de 1914. La technique appliquée lors de la prise du fort d'Eben-Emael était exceptionnelle: elle ne pouvait convenir en toutes les circonstances. De plus, elle relevait d'une ruse de guerre assez facile à parer dans l'avenir.

Malgré ce spectaculaire fait d'armes et bien que la Ligne Maginot eût été contournée, l'armée allemande poursuivait ses recherches en vue de perfectionner son artillerie, de façon à pouvoir détruire les objectifs les plus résistants (1).

(1) II est toutefois intéressant de signaler qu'un régiment a été engagé du 12 au 28 mai 1940 contre les forts de Barchon, Battice, Aubin-Neufchâteau, Evegnée et Pontisse. Son artillerie comprenait entre autre la batterie n° 820 (1 mortier de 420). Cette batterie, située en territoire néerlandais, probablement aux alentours d'Eisden, tirait des obus de 1003 Kg, alors qu'en 1914 les obus de 420 mm type M tirés sur les forts de Pontisse et Loncin ne pesaient "que" 800 Kg. Cette batterie de 420 fut envoyée en France pour hâter la reddition de la Ligne Maginot, elle tira dans le secteur fortifié de Haguenau sur les ouvrages du Four à Chaux, Hochwald et Schoenenbourg.

Les origines

Les aciéries, Röchling de Düsseldorf (dans la Ruhr) étudiaient par ailleurs le moyen de vaincre le béton et l'acier par des tirs de canons, ce qui les avait amené à reconsidérer le problème à partir de ses données fondamentales en tenant compte des connaissances récemment acquises.

L'obus type anti-béton était alors un projectile à tête conique, fabriqué en acier résistant à une pression d'environ 7 T/cm² et contenant assez peu d'explosif à haut rendement, ce dernier étant allumé par une fusée de culot. Afin d'améliorer ses qualités aérodynamiques, la tête conique était coiffée d'une fausse ogive en acier. C'était en fait un dérivé de l'obus anti-blindage dont il différait surtout par la forme de son nez et par sa charge explosive un peu plus puissante.

Le principe de base était simple : concentrer le maximum d'énergie explosive dans la pointe du projectile. Suivant l'expérience acquise, la force de pénétration devait augmenter de ce fait dans la proportion de P/D³, P représentant le poids de l'obus et D son diamètre. Cependant, tant que le projectile était tiré par un canon rayé classique et tournait donc sur lui-même, son poids était limité car son diamètre était déterminé impérativement par le calibre du tube; sa longueur ne pouvait dépasser cinq à six fois son diamètre sans risquer des oscillations dans sa rotation, ce qui se traduirait par une trajectoire instable et imprécise.

Röchling résolut le problème en dessinant un obus très long, stabilisé sur sa trajectoire par des ailettes fixées à son extrémité. Prévu pour l'obusier standard de 210, cet obus n'avait qu'un diamètre de 170 mm, mais sa tête, très dure, était munie d'un manchon de 210 mm correspondant au calibre du tube. Un manchon semblable entourait son extrémité, enserrant les ailettes en acier ressort. Lorsque l'obusier faisait feu, les deux sabots étaient éjectés de l'obus. Au moment où celui-ci sortait de la volée, les ailettes se déployaient et maintenaient le projectile sur sa trajectoire. Cet obus avait une longueur de 2,59 m, -soit 15,25 fois son calibre, et pesait 193 Kg, de sorte qu'arrivé au but avec une trajectoire finale presque verticale (le projectile atteignait la stratosphère), son énergie cinétique était d'environ 32.000 T/m, soit près de 70 T/cm².

Les essais

En 1941, des essais furent entrepris dans le plus grand secret sur le fort de Battice. Les projectiles étaient tirés par un obusier de 210 mm monté pour la circonstance sur chemin de fer, situé a Merkof près d'Aubel. Ceux-ci, sans explosif (puisqu'il s'agissait d'essais), avaient une force de pénétration si considérable qu'ils traversèrent en moyenne 30 m de terre et de craie, le toit de la galerie, le radier de celle-ci pour s'arrêter finalement à 5 m sous celui-ci. Des essais eurent lieu à trois reprises et à chaque fois une équipe spéciale ramassait et emballait les morceaux et éclats de ces obus tandis qu'était effectuée la réparation des dégâts afin qu'ils ne fussent plus visibles.

Aujourd'hui, en faisant très attention, on peut encore repérer les traces de passage de ces projectiles. Par exemple :

- dans la grande galerie des 120 entre B Nord et B Sud,

- au local à munitions de l'A Nord (réparations au toit du local, aux trois étagères, au sol du local).

- au sommet du bâtiment V, deux réparations, l'une suite à l'enlèvement de la cloche d'observation du bloc, l'autre là où est entré l'obus.

Les essais furent alors déplacés sur le fort d'Aubin-Neufchâteau, la zone de Battice ne pouvant être bloquée éternellement, car étant située sur un axe de circulation important.

La caserne souterraine fut prise pour cible. Les résultats furent très impressionnants, les voûtes des locaux furent trouées de part en part, les plafonds effondrés, le sol bouleversé. Une fois les essais terminés, une équipe entreprit la réparation des dégâts mais elle abandonna vu leur ampleur.

Leurs utilisations

Quelque 8.000 de ces obus furent fabriqués et stockés, très peu furent utilisés. On pense que quelques-uns d'entre eux furent tirés sur la forteresse de Brest-Litovsk, lors de l'avance allemande en Russie (1941). On ignore cependant quels résultats ils permirent d'obtenir.

Puis Hitler, ayant appris de quelles performances ces obus étaient capables, en interdit l'emploi sans son autorisation personnelle et formelle: il craignait, en effet, qu'un projectile non éclaté tombât entre les mains des Alliés, qui auraient pu en copier les particularités pour en faire usage contre les défenses allemandes. Comme les commandants répugnaient à demander une telle permission, ces obus tomberont petit à petit dans l'ou bli et ne furent jamais utilisés.

Matériel de tir

l. Les obus Röchling

image004.jpg (10871 octets)

Il semble en effet que deux. types d'obus furent produits

1. 21 Cm Rö Gr 42 Be

poids: 192 Kg

longueur: 2591 mm

charge explosive; 2,85 Kg

pouvoir perforant: 4 m de béton

portée maximum: 11.275 m

2 21 Cm Rö Gr 44 Be

poids; 113 Kg

longueur: 1677 mm

charge explosive: 8 Kg

pouvoir perforant: 2,2 m de béton

portée maximum: pas d'indication

comme le montrent les caractéristiques ci-dessus, il s'agit d'un obus comparable au 21 Cm Rö Gr 42 Be, plus court avec une charge explosive plus importante mais ayant un pouvoir de pénétration plus faible.

Obus Röchling grenade 21 Cm Rö Gr 42 Be

a) pointe très dure (carbure de tungstène

b) bague de guidage avant

c) bague de guidage arrière

d) logemen t des ailettes

e) pièce de fond

f) fusée de culot à retard

g) corps de l'obus contenant l'explosif

II. L'obusier

Il s'agit du 21 Cm Mörser 18 (21 Cm Mrs 18 "Brummbär").

C'est un obusier assez peu connu dont la production commença en 1939 pour s'arrêter en 1942, II fut construit par Krupp et destiné à remplacer le "Lange Mörser de 21 Cm" toujours en service en 1940, qui était la version remaniée de l'obusier Krupp de 21 Cm type 1911, qui avait mis à mal les forts belges en 1914.

II utilisait, avec certaines modifications dues au tir courbe, l'affût à double recul du canon Krupp de 17 Cm (17 Cm K 18 Mrs Laf "Matterhorn"). Cet obusier fut monté pour les essais sur un wagon de chemin de fer, probablement afin d'en faciliter le déplacement et d'en augmenter la stabilité.

image006.jpg (29871 octets)

calibre : 211 mm

longueur du tube : 6070 mm

culasse : à coin horizontal

pointage en élévation : de 0 à +70°

pointage en direction: 16°

poids total : 16.700 Kg

portée maximum : 16.700 m


Les armes secrètes allemandes, in Collection Les documents Hachette.

German Artillery of World War Two, Arms and Armour Press.

HOGG (I. V.) Fortress History of military Défense, Londres, 1975.




Whatever the route taken by the German army to invade a neighboring country, it would run into walls of concrete: the fortified position of Liege, the Maginot Line, the Czech fortifications were well known examples.

In 1914 the Germans had produced the "Big Bertha" Krupp howitzer of 420 mm, to bombard the forts of Liege and Verdun.

In 1940, the pace of operations would be much faster, which meant that they would need weapons with greater mobility. In this case, to overcome the concrete, it needed something more "scientific" than the mere strength of shells of 420 mm in 1914. The technique applied in the capture of Fort Eben-Emael was exceptional: she could not agree in all circumstances. Moreover, it was part of a ruse of war fairly easy to deal in the future.

Despite this spectacular feat of arms and although the Maginot Line had been bypassed, the German army continued its research to improve his artillery so as to destroy the toughest targets (1).

(1) It is interesting to note that a regiment was hired May 12 to 28, 1940 against the strong Barchon, Battice, Aubin-Neufchateau Evegnée and bridges. His artillery consisted among other battery No. 820 (1 mortar 420). This battery, located in Dutch territory, probably in the vicinity of Eisden, fired rounds of 1003 kg, while in 1914 the shell of 420 mm M-type fired at the forts and bridges Loncin not weighed "only" 800 Kg This battery of 420 was sent to France to hasten the surrender of the Maginot Line, it took in the fortified area of Haguenau in works of lime kilns, and Hochwald Schoenenbourg.

Mills, Röchling Düsseldorf (the Ruhr) also studied the means of overcoming the concrete and steel by firing guns, which had led to reconsider the problem from its fundamentals in the light of knowledge recently acquired.

The shell-type anti-concrete was then a projectile conical head, made of steel resistant to a pressure of about 7 T / cm ² and containing relatively few high-yield explosive, the latter being ignited by a rocket base. To improve its aerodynamic qualities, the conical head was wearing a fake warhead steel. It was actually a derivative of the anti-armor shells which differ mainly by the shape of his nose and his explosive charge a little more powerful.

The basic principle was simple: concentrate the maximum explosive energy in the tip of the projectile. Following the experience, the penetration force was thereby increase in the proportion of P / D ³ P represents the weight of the shell and D its diameter. However, as the projectile was fired through a rifled classic then turned on himself, his weight was limited because its diameter was absolutely determined by the size of the tube length could not exceed five to six times its diameter without risking oscillations in its rotation, which would result in an unstable and uncertain path.

Röchling solved the problem by drawing a very long shell, stabilized on its trajectory through fins attached to its end. Scheduled for a howitzer standard 210, this shell had a diameter of 170 mm, but his head very hard, was fitted with a sleeve of 210 mm corresponding to the size of the tube. A similar sleeve around the tip, enclosing the finned steel spring. When was the howitzer fire, both shoes were ejected from the shell. When it came to the fly, the wings are deployed and maintained the projectile's trajectory. The shell had a length of 2.59 m, is 15.25-times its size, weighing 193 kg, so having arrived at the goal with a near vertical final trajectory (the projectile reached the stratosphere), its kinetic energy was of about 32,000 T / m, about 70 T / cm ².

In 1941, tests were undertaken in utmost secrecy on Fort Battice. The projectiles were fired from a 210mm howitzer mounted for the occasion on the railway, located near Merkof Aubel. These, without explosive (as it was testing), had a penetrating power so great that they crossed an average of 30 m of earth and chalk, the roof of the gallery, the strike of that it finally stopping at 5 m below it. Trials were held three times and each time a task force gathered and packed the pieces and fragments of the shells while and made the repair of damage that they were no longer visible.

Today, being very careful, you can still find traces of the passage of these projectiles. For example:

- In the great gallery of 120 North between B and B South

- The local Ammunition A North (repairs to the roof of the premises, three shelves, the floor of the room).

- At the top of the V building, two repairs, one following the removal of the bell observation block, the other where the shell came.

The tests were then moved to Fort d'Aubin-Neufchateau area Battice can not be blocked forever as being located on a major road.

The underground barracks was targeted. The results were very impressive, the vaulting spaces were pierced through and through, the ceiling collapsed, the ground upset. Once finalized, a team began repairing the damage but abandoned because of their size.
Their Uses

About 8,000 of these shells were manufactured and stored, very few were used. It is believed that some of them were fired on the fortress of Brest-Litovsk during the German advance in Russia (1941). It is not known yet what results they achieved.

Then Hitler, having learned what performances these shells were capable prohibits employment without his personal approval and formal: he feared, indeed, a dud missile fell into the hands of the Allies, who could have copied the features for use against German defenses. As commanders were reluctant to request such permission, those shells fall gradually in the BLI or were never used.
Material Range

l. The shells Röchling

image004.jpg (10871 bytes)

It seems that two. types of shells were produced

1. 21 Inches Rö 42 Gr Be

Weight: 192 Kg

Length: 2591 mm

explosive charge; 2.85 Kg

penetration power: 4 m concrete

Maximum range: 11,275 m

2 Rö 21 cm Gr 44 Be

weight 113 Kg

Length: 1677 mm

explosive charge: 8 Kg

penetration power: 2.2 m concrete

maximum range: not indicated

as shown by the above characteristics, it is a shell comparable to 21 Inches Rö Gr 42 Be, shorter with a larger explosive charge but with a penetrating power weaker.
Röchling grenade shells 21 Inches Rö 42 Gr Be

a) advanced very hard (tungsten carbide

b) guiding ring before

c) guiding ring back

d) t quarters fins

e) number of background

f) rocket base delay

g) body of the shell containing the explosive

II. Howitzer

It is 21 Inches Mörser 18 (21 cm Mrs 18 "Brummbär").

It is a little known howitzer whose production began in 1939 and stopped in 1942, It was built by Krupp and to replace "Lange Mörser 21 Inches" still in service in 1940, which was the revised version of Krupp howitzer 21 Inches type 1911, which had undermined the Belgian forts in 1914.

He used, with some modifications due to fire curve, looking down the double barrel Krupp 17 Inches (17 Cm K 18 Mrs. Laf "Matterhorn"). The howitzer was mounted for testing on a wagon train, probably to facilitate the movement and increase stability.

image006.jpg (29871 bytes)

Size: 211 mm

Tube length: 6070 mm

breech: Horizontal Wedge

pointing in elevation: from 0 to +70 °

Pointing direction: 16 °

total weight: 16,700 kg

Maximum range: 16,700 m

The German secret weapons, in Collection documents Hachette.

German Artillery of World War Two, Arms and Armor Press.

Hogg (IV) Fortress Defense of Military History, London, 1975.


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