Bergen-Belsen, during a ceremony in April commemorating the 75th anniversary of the camps liberation Peter Steffen/DPA/Alamy Live News
Swastikas daubed on memorial plaques, bricks thrown through windows, even a bag of explosives discovered this year at a former concentration camp: the list of attacks on sites in Germany that commemorate the victims of Nazism is growing alarmingly long.
In the 75th anniversary year of the liberation of the camps, it is not just the physical damage that presents the people who manage such sites with a disturbing challenge. The threat can be much more subtle: increasingly, right-wing visitors challenge guides portrayal of history or mock the victims, putting the staff on the frontlines of the culture wars.
In one case, two neo-Nazis were photographed making Heil Hitler salutes in the execution room at Buchenwald in 2016. In another, during a tour of the Sachsenhausen memorial site near Berlin in 2018, a member of a group of supporters of the anti-immigration, right-wing Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) party questioned the existence of gas chambers there. And at Bergen-Belsen last year, a prominent extreme-right video- blogger recorded himself heckling a group of schoolchildren, mocking Anne Frank and saying they were being indoctrinated by “the guilt cult”. Frank was one of about 52,000 prisoners who perished at Bergen-Belsen.
In just one week last winter, Jens-Christian Wagner, the director of Bergen-Belsen, reported four separate offences to the police, he says. About once a month, he finds a right-wing comment in the visitors book that contravenes the German constitution. While vandalism at memorial sites is nothing new, these provocations from “groups of normal-looking people” are a recent phenomenon, Wagner says.
Since it was founded seven years ago, the AfD has emerged as a formidable political force, becoming the third- biggest party in Germanys 2017 parliamentary elections. One of the partys main goals is to achieve what Björn Höcke, a leading AfD figure, has called a “180-degree turn in our political culture of remembrance”. Höcke has described the Berlin Holocaust Memorial as a “monument of shame”.
Alexander Gauland, one of the partys founders, has called for more focus “on the positive aspects of German history” and denigrated the “German culture of guilt”. He dismissed the Nazi era as “a speck of bird shit in more than 1,000 years of successful German history”.
The AfDs focus on changing the nations historical narrative by sidelining the Third Reich and the Holocaust coincides with the disappearance of the last generation of first-hand witnesses—a factor in the increasing distance young people feel from the crimes of the Nazis.
“We have experienced an enormous increase in demand for our services since autumn 2017,” says Michael Sulies of Berlins Mobile Counselling Team Against Right-Wing Extremism, which advises staff at Holocaust memorial sites and conducts training. “We see a very clear link to the rise of the AfD. Its the main player in the culture wars and the leading voice of right-wing populism and extremism. It breaks taboos and encourages others to follow.”
Suliess organisation has issued guidelines for memorial sites ranging from how to formulate and display house rules, to which offences to report to the police. For employees, “the most important thing is to be prepared”, he says.
Preparation can include denying certain groups access. The management of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora sites last year ruled that AfD representativesRead More – Source
Michael Apted: TV documentary pioneer and film-maker dies aged 79
Film director Michael Apted, best known for the Up series of TV documentaries following the lives of 14 people every seven years, has died aged 79.
He also directed Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas In The Mist and the 1999 Bond movie The World Is Not Enough.
The original 7 Up in 1964 set out to document the life prospects of a range of children from all walks of life.
The show was inspired by the Aristotle quote “give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man”.
The first 7 Up show was followed by 14 Up at the start of the next decade, which interviewed the same children as teenagers – and the pattern was set right up until 63 Up in 2019.
Throughout all those intervening years ITV viewers became engrossed with the stories of private school trio Andrew, Charles and John, of Jackie who went through two divorces, of Nick who went from jobless and homeless to Liberal Democrat councillor, and of working class chatterbox Tony, whose life ambition was to become a jockey.
Apted’s shows – which won three Bafta awards – have often been described as the forerunner of modern-day reality TV series, giving its participants the time to tell their own stories on screen.
But unlike their modern counterparts, the original Up children tended to fade away from the limelight in the seven years between each chapter.
In 2008, Apted was made a companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the British film and television industries.
Thomas Schlamme, president of the Directors Guild of America, said Apted was a “fearless visionary” whose legacy would live on.
He said Apted, who was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, “saw the trajectory of things when others didn’t and we were all beneficiaries of his wisdom and lifelong dedication”.
ITV’s managing director Kevin Lygo said the director’s six-decade career was “in itself truly remarkable”.
He said the Up series “demonstrated the possibilities of television at its finest in its ambition and its capacity to hold up a mirror to society and engage with and entertain people while enriching our perspective on the human condition”.
“The influence of Michael’s contribution to film and programme-making continues to be felt and he will be sadly missed,” Lygo added.
Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond film franchise, said Apted “was a director of enormous talent” and “beloved by all those who worked with him”.
“We loved working with him on The World Is Not Enough and send our love and support to his family, friends and colleagues,” they said.
A post on the Twitter account of the band Garbage, who performed the theme for The World Is Not Enough, labelled Apted a “delightful, charming soul”.
Composer David G Arnold, who composed the Bond theme and worked with Apted on three other non-Bond movies, said he felt “lucky” to work with him.
“A more trusting, funny, friendly and, most importantly, kind, person you’d never meet. So pleased to have known him and so sad that he’s gone,” Arnold wrote on Twitter.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55597263
Liverpool FC anthem singer Gerry Marsden dies aged 78
Gerry and the Pacemakers singer Gerry Marsden, whose version of You’ll Never Walk Alone became a football terrace anthem for his hometown club of Liverpool, has died at the age of 78.
His family said on Sunday he died after a short illness not linked to Covid-19.
Marsden’s band was one of the biggest success stories of the Merseybeat era, and in 1963 became the first to have their first three songs top the chart.
But the band’s other best known hit was Ferry Cross The Mersey came in 1964.
It was written by Marsden himself as a tribute to his city, and reached number eight.
Marsden was made an MBE in 2003 for services to charity after supporting victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
At the time, he said he was “over the moon” to have received the honour, following his support for numerous charities across Merseyside and beyond.
Liverpool FC posted on social media that Marsden’s words would “live on forever with us”.
While Marsden was a songwriter as well as a singer, his most enduring hit was actually a cover of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical number from 1945, that he had to convince his bandmates to record as their third single.
In many interviews over the years, he explained how fate played a part in his band ever recording the song. He was watching a Laurel and Hardy movie at Liverpool’s Odeon cinema in the early 1960s and, only because it was raining, he decided to stay for the second part of a double feature.
That turned out to be the film Carousel – which featured that song on its soundtrack – and Marsden was so moved by the lyrics that he became determined that it should become part of his band’s repertoire.
In a 2013 interview, Marsden told the Liverpool FC website how You’ll Never Walk Alone was adopted by the club’s fans as soon as it topped the chart in 1963: “I remember being at Anfield and before every kick off they used to play the top 10 from number 10 to number one, and so You’ll Never Walk Alone was played before the match. I was at the game and the fans started singing it.
“When it went out of the top 10 they took the song off the playlist and then for the next match the Kop were shouting ‘Where’s our song?’ So they had to put it back on.
“Now, every time I go to the game I still get goose pimples when the song comes on and I sing my head off.”
Sir Kenny Dalglish, who managed Liverpool at the time of the Hillsborough tragedy, tweeted that he was “saddened” by the news of Marsden’s death, and that You’ll Never Walk Alone was an “integral part of Liverpool Football Club, and never more so than now”.
By BBC Radio Merseyside’s Spencer Leigh
Gerry was an entertainer. He loved being an entertainer; he loved people seeing him in the street and asking him for his autograph and the like.
He had a very distinctive voice, and that is terribly important. You knew instantly it was him on those records. He was best on those ballads.
I think he really did them very well indeed. You’ll Never Walk Alone was a big show song that had been around for years and years, and lots of people had done it.
Just before Gerry brought his version out, Johnny Mathis brought his out. If that version had been played on the Kop, I don’t think the Kop would have taken to it because you couldn’t sing along with Johnny Mathis – he had too big a range and too perfect a voice.
But Gerry sounded like everyman and it was absolutely perfect for the Kop. I think it’s the greatest football anthem of the lot.
As well as being a Liverpool anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone has also been adopted by fans at both Celtic in Scotland and Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram posted a tribute on Twitter, saying he was “devastated” by the news.
Marsden’s career began at legendary live music venue, The Cavern Club, where The Pacemakers played nearly 200 times.
The club said on Twitter that Marsden was “not only a legend, but also a very good friend of The Cavern”.
Gerry and The Pacemakers were spotted by Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who gave them the song How Do You Do It, which had been turned down by the Fab Four and Adam Faith, for their debut single.
The band achieved nine hit singles and two hit albums between 1963 and 1965, before splitting up.
Marsden pursued a solo career before the band reformed in 1974 for a world tour.
In 1985, Marsden was back in the pop spotlight when he was invited to be one of the vocalists of a charity version of You’ll Never Walk Alone, which was released to raise funds for victims of a fire at a Bradford City match.
In doing so, Marsden set another chart record by becoming the first person to sing on two different chart-topping versions of the same song.
So when, after the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989, the other Pacemakers classic of Ferry Cross The Mersey was chosen to raise funds for its victims and a group of famous Liverpudlian singers was gathered, Marsden was again included and was back at number one once more for a cause he held dear for the rest of his life.
Marsden was awarded the Freedom of Liverpool in April 2009, an occasion he marked by boarding a ferry across the Mersey and getting out his guitar to sing his famous hit which described the scene.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55524795
Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ dies of Covid-19 complications at 82 Lisa France byline
Dawn Wells, who played the lovable castaway Mary Ann Summers on “Gilligan’s Island,” died in Los Angeles on Wednesday from Covid-19 complications, her publicist Harlan Boll confirmed to CNN.
Tech7 months ago
Search engine startup asks users to be the customer, not the product
Europe4 weeks ago
Covid: Flights shut down as EU discusses UK virus threat
Health4 weeks ago
Spain ‘to register’ those who refuse to have Covid-19 vaccine
Sports4 years ago
Boxing continues to knock itself out with bewildering, incorrect decisions
Sports4 years ago
Phillies’ Aaron Altherr makes mind-boggling barehanded play
Europe2 months ago
45 arrested across Europe and Brazil as authorities seize ‘record haul’ of cocaine
latest news7 months ago
Creepy technologies invade European post-pandemic workplaces
Sports4 years ago
Steph Curry finally got the contract he deserves from the Warriors