Author Archives: admin

About admin

"Origin, resume - all nonsense! We all come from some small town Jüterbog or Königsberg and in some Black Forest we will all end" (Gottfried Benn) Therefore just a stenogram: Thomas Huebner, born in Germany, studied Economics, Political Science, Sociology, German literature, European Law. Consulting firm in Bulgaria. Lived in Germany, Bulgaria, Albania, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Indonesia and Jordan. Now residing in Prishtina/Kosovo. Interested in books and all other aspects of human culture. Traveler. Main feature: intellectual curiosity

Fundstück (2)

London, den 19. April 1770

...Ich habe in meinem Leben sehr viele schöne Frauenzimmer gesehen, aber seitdem ich in England bin, habe ich mehrere gesehen als in meinem ganzen übrigen Leben zusammengenommen, und doch bin ich nur zehn Tage in England. Ihr außerordentlich netter Anzug, der einer Göttingischen Obstfrau einiges Gewicht geben könnte, erhebt sie noch mehr. Die Aufwärterin, die mir täglich Feuer im Kamin macht und mein Bett wärmt (mit der Bettpfanne, versteht sich, Gevatter!), kommt zuweilen mit einem schwarzen, zuweilen mit einem weißen seidenen Hut…in die Stube, trägt ihre Bettpfanne mit soviel Grace als manche deutsche Dame den Parasol, kniet sich vor dem Bette…mit einer Nonchalance nieder…und spricht dabei ein Englisch, wie es in Euern besten englischen Büchern kaum steht, Gevatter! Wenn Euer Herz etwas aushalten kann, so kommt herüber, ich stehe Euch dafür, Ihr sollt das Englische weghaben, ehe Euch das Bette vierzigmal ist gewärmt worden.”

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg: Brief an Johann Christian Dieterich    

© Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki, 2014-9. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ein bescheidener Vorschlag

Verschiedene Handke-Adepten (darunter auch einige, die ein Eigeninteresse daran haben, etwa weil sie ihre akademische Laufbahn auf dem Werk dieses Autors aufgebaut haben oder Bücher über ihn geschrieben haben) bezeichneten in den letzten Tagen ihre Feinde – das Wort „Gegner“ passt hier wegen des extrem militanten und menschenverachtenden Habitus nicht – mit recht entlarvenden Ausdrücken. Entlarvend nicht für die so Bezeichneten, sondern für die, die ein solches Vokabular benutzen.

Als “windschiefe Gestalten” und “karge Lemuren” – das sind nur zwei Beispiele, man könnte leicht noch viel mehr in diesem Ton finden – werden in der laufenden Diskussion um Peter Handkes Nobelpreiswürdigkeit mittlerweile diejenigen tituliert, die die Frage stellen, ob es wirklich eine gute Idee war, ausgerechnet diesen Schriftsteller mit einem Preis auszuzeichnen, der an einen Autor oder eine Autorin gehen soll, deren Werk in idealistischer Weise herausragend sein soll.

Eine solche hasserfüllte Sprache ist entwürdigend und zutiefst unmenschlich. Wer, wie Handke oder seine Jünger so schnell den guten Ton vermissen lässt – Handke schlägt bei Kritikern ja wohl auch gelegentlich gerne mal mit der Faust zu oder bezeichnet Kritikerinnen als „Westhuren“ -, der sollte nicht arg so empfindlich sein, wenn Menschen Handkes Werk zitieren oder nochmal detailliert Revue passieren lassen, was der Autor gesagt, geschrieben und getan hat.

Niemand von Handkes Kritikern hat gefordert, dass seine Bücher nicht mehr gelesen oder verlegt werden sollen. Niemand von Handkes Kritikern hat gefordert, dass er ausgebürgert werden muss. In der peinlichen Solidaritätsadresse, die jetzt veröffentlicht wurde, wird so getan, als habe Handke seine Existenz aufs Spiel gesetzt, als sei er ein Dissident usw. usw. Davon ist nichts, aber auch gar nichts wahr. Er publiziert, wird gelesen (wahrscheinlich erheblich mehr als ohne seine provokativen Jugoslawien-Texte und die ganze Diskussion darüber), er bekommt Literaturpreis um Literaturpreis. Er ist gut im Geschäft, könnte man sagen. Er gewinnt neue(?) Freunde (Kubitschek & Co.).

Diejenigen, die im Gegensatz zu Peter Handke wirklich ihre Existenz aufs Spiel gesetzt haben, sind die, die Handkes Freunde von den Hügeln rund um Sarajevo über viele Monate beschossen haben, diejenigen, die damit rechnen mussten, dass sie täglich, beim Überqueren einer Strasse in der belagerten Stadt, aus der sie nicht herauskonnten, von einem Scharfschützen ermordet werden. Aber laut Peter Handke war das alles berechtigt, da ja „nur“ Revanche. Oder es hat gar nicht stattgefunden. Oder er hat es nicht so gemeint, falls er es gesagt oder geschrieben haben sollte. Oder er kann sich nicht genau daran erinnern, so was gesagt zu haben. Oder er hat es zwar gesagt, hat es dann aber nicht autorisiert. Oder er hat sich „verhaspelt“ (ein Schlüsselwort für das Wirken von Peter Handke). Und eigentlich wollten diese Leute, die da gemordet haben, seine Freunde, nur Indianer spielen.   

Für diejenigen, die es immer noch nicht verstanden haben: die Kritik an Peter Handke hat er sich verdient. Nicht, weil er „Medienkritik“ übte, wie das jetzt einige Baudrillard zitierende Zeitgenossen behaupten – „Lügenpresse“ zu sagen (und nichts anderes tut Handke), ist keine Medienkritik, es ist dumpfe Propaganda -, sondern weil er seit Jahrzehnten das völkisch-geschichtsrevisionistische Narrativ von Leuten, die buchstäblich Blut an den Händen haben, verbreitet, weil er absolut jede glaubhafte Empathie mit den Opfern der von Serben begangenen Verbrechen vermissen lässt, weil er Täter zu Opfern umlügt.

In diesem Zusammenhang mache ich einen bescheidenen Vorschlag hinsichtlich des Literaturnobelpreises 2020:

Der Schwedischen Akademie schlage ich vor, nächstes Jahr Paul Goma mit dem Literaturnobelpreis auszuzeichnen, der ebenfalls ein geschlossen völkisch-revisionistisches Weltbild hat. Und wenn Goma den rumänischen Holocaust als Rache an den jüdisch-bolschewistischen Kommissaren entschuldigt oder sogar rechtfertigt, Opferzahlen herunterrechnet und Täter-Opfer-Umkehr betreibt, folgt er dem gleichen Muster wie Handke. Am Ende waren die Mörder die armen Opfer und wenn sie was Schlechtes getan haben, muss man für die Armen doch Verständnis haben, es war ja allenfalls überzogene Notwehr oder Vergeltung, also eigentlich menschlich verständlich und irgendwie gerechtfertigt. Und dann die schlechte Presse – wie unfair, über diesen Genozid (war es denn einer, werden Gomas Verteidiger fragen) – so einseitig zu berichten. Dahinter steckt bestimmt eine amerikanische PR-Firma. Eine solche Auszeichnung an Goma ist wahrhaft „idealistisch“, wenn ich die Schwedische Akademie richtig verstanden habe. Und im übrigen: Holocaustrelativierung hin oder her – man muss doch Autor und Werk immer schön auseinanderhalten… Wer das dann kritisieren wird, ist “hasserfüllt”, eine “windschiefe Gestalt” oder zählt zu den “kargen Lemuren” (die ja eigentlich keine Menschen sind.). Und mit solch minderwertigem Gesindel müssen sich wahre Humanisten und Idealisten wie die Freunde von Handke oder Goma in Stockholm und anderswo nicht abgeben.

(Sarkasmus-Taste „Aus“)

© Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki, 2014-9. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fundstück (1)

“Kunst war nie ein Mittel, die Welt zu ändern, aber immer ein Versuch, sie zu überleben.”

aus: Thomas Brasch, Eulenspiegel (abgedruckt in: Kargo. 32. Versuch auf einem untergehenden Schiff aus der eigenen Haut zu kommen, Suhrkamp 1977)

© Thomas Brasch
© Suhrkamp Verlag
© Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki, 2014-9. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Transylvanian Speaking Exercise

Poetry is a genre that is rather neglected by the book blogging community. And I think that’s a real pity. Therefore I didn’t want to let this year’s edition of German Literature Month pass without including one or two posts about German-language poets.

One of the best German poetry books I picked up in the last years is the collection Transylvanian Speaking Exercise (Siebenbürgische Sprechübung) by Franz Hodjak. The book collects the best poems of several previous poetry books by him and includes also a few that were published in journals only. An instructive afterword by the poet and editor of the volume Werner Söllner gives additional valuable information on the author and his background.

Hodjak was born 1944 in Sibiu (Hermannstadt) in Romania and lived later for many years in Cluj (Klausenburg). Transylvania and the Banat are home to a German-speaking minority since hundreds of years; also a Hungarian minority lives there. The number of native German speakers is dwindling, migration to Germany has reduced the minority considerably in the last decades. Especially in the villages very few Germans have remained until today and it is not clear if this minority will survive as such the next generation, despite the fact that the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, is a prominent member of this ethnicity.

Romania has had a thriving German-language literary scene until recently; Herta Müller is the most prominent author among these, but there are plenty of other important writers. In Communist Romania there was a period from the mid 1960s to approximately the mid 1970s when Romanian literature written by ethnic Hungarians and Germans was promoted, and the censorship was for a few years relaxed to a certain extent. During this period, Franz Hodjak published his first poems and worked as an editor in a publishing house that would publish also Romanian-German literature. Hodjak, who publishes also prose, is additionally a congenial translator of Romanian literature. In 1992 he emigrated to Germany. He lives in Usingen near Frankfurt am Main. 

Below you can read two of his poems in the original German and in my translation. Hodjak is an author whose work I like a lot and I am publishing this post in the hope to make a few more people aware of this poet who deserves to be read and also published in other languages. I would love to see a collection by him in English translation or any other language one day.

small elegy 

ignorant were even then 
those who went along. snow dug them in  
or a blooming torrent of words.  

the socks are hanging on the balcony, it 
is march. 

up in the cemetery,  
the blackbirds are conferring. 

is there a death that grants death   
a meaning? 

posterity beckons from the train. 


kleine elegie 

unwissend waren schon damals 
die, die mitgingen. schnee grub sie ein 
oder blühender wortschwall. 

die socken hängen auf dem balkon, es 
ist märz. 

oben, im friedhof, konferieren 
die amseln. 

gibt es einen tod, der dem tod  
sinn verleiht? 

die nachwelt winkt aus dem zug. 




Kelling 3

about ten die per year,
eleven wander off to the city,
twelve drive off to the brother.

the acacias, small and crippled, bloom
with the courage of despair.


Kelling 3 

zehn etwa sterben im jahr, 
elf wandern weg in die stadt, 
zwölf fahren zum bruder. 

die akazien, klein und verkrüppelt, blühn 
mit dem mut der verzweiflung. 

(Kelling/Câlnic is a village near Alba Iulia.)

Franz Hodjak: Siebenbürgische Sprechübung, Suhrkamp 1990

© Franz Hodjak
© Suhrkamp Verlag, 1999
© Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki, 2014-9. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

      


Death of a Poet

Everyone has their own way of dealing with the death of a friend or relative. I am very quiet on such occasions, turned inwards, and want to be left alone with my mourning. And certainly, the idea to exhibit my friendship and emotional closeness with a recently deceased by posting about it in social media is something alien to me, something I cannot understand at all.

Now that the news has become known that a very talented Bulgarian poet, Nikolai Atanasov, has died at the age of 41 years only, dozens of my FB friends expressed their grief and shared poems. But many also wrote very detailed personal reminiscences, anecdotes, descriptions of experiences, the respective person has had with the deceased, analyzing his life, his poetry, his health, his sexual orientation, his character, and what not.

What struck me and made me infinitely sad: out of everything what the friends of the deceased wrote, one thing became clear: here someone had died, who for a very long time was very sick, poor and socially completely isolated, someone who had practically no emotional support, according to many of his friends, someone who over the years showed clearly signs of poor and deteriorating physical and mental health. I would have wished that among those who claimed to have been friends with the deceased only one would have proved to be a true friend, and would have done something to save the poet from the abyss in which he now obviously perished. Maybe he would be still alive.

But that’s the way it is: once an artist or poet has died in misery, those who have let him/her down and who didn’t extend a helping hand when it was desperately needed, celebrate themselves and their “great friendship” with the dead post mortem. I wonder if at least one of these friends feels ashamed?!

© Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki, 2014-9. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Magic Hoffmann

West Germany, a short time before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Fred, Nickel and Annette are three young people from the South Hessian provincial town of Dieburg. They dream of the big wide world, more specifically of Canada. They do not have any real ideas about this distant country, only that there everything is much nicer and more interesting than in their godforsaken hometown. Fred “Magic” Hoffmann, the one of the three who has a reputation of being a prankster, wants to plant an apple orchard there and produce apple wine (Eppelwoi), the signature drink of their home region – a project that seems almost as realistic as growing pineapples in Alaska.

What distinguishes this youthful dropout fantasy from many others is simply that the three go one step further than many peers in a similar situation. They are planning a bank robbery, which should give them the necessary seed capital. And they are not stopping at the planning phase: astonishingly, their robbery of a bank branch in a neighboring village is successful; the 600,000 marks, are not a gigantic sum, but enough to build an existence in Canada. But Fred gets caught – planning and executing the bank robbery is dealt with in the novel in a few lines only – and sentenced to four years in juvenile jail, which he does with stoic patience and without betraying his partners in crime – finally he has one goal: when he gets out, his share of 200,000 and his friends are waiting for him, and then: off to Canada! (After all, he uses the prison time to teach himself some English, which he then uses in every appropriate and inappropriate opportunity in his dialogues.)

How great is his surprise when his friends do not pick him up at the prison gate and their postal addresses turn out to be no longer correct. It must have come something in between and the friends also did not want to make themselves suspicious and therefore had little contact with Fred during his detention. Finally, the unsuspecting Fred finds out that his friends are now living in Berlin and he is soon on his way to meet them there. But in Berlin he experiences one surprise after another, and most of them are not at all pleasant …

We are in the novel Magic Hoffmann (that’s the title in the German original) by Jakob Arjouni, who has become famous for his books about the German-Turkish private detective Kemal Kayankaya. If you expect Kemal to appear here as well, you will be disappointed; however, what works quite similar to the Kayankaya novels is Arjouni’s art of developing a character, his often witty dialogues, his eye for the absurdity of certain things and situations, and his unsentimental view of Germany in the late 1980s and early 1990s, his seemingly cynical remarks and his sympathy for his main character, who, despite everything, is quickly taken to the heart of the reader.

The book is also largely a Berlin novel – whereby the city’s description pleasantly differs from many works that want to sell us the old-new German capital as the navel of the world. When Fred comes to the city for the first time, he is quite disappointed: Berlin looks the same way as Frankfurt, Darmstadt or Wiesbaden, except that the Berlin people obviously do not understand Fred’s special kind of humor; Berliners are regularly rude and unfriendly in this novel, a fact with which Fred has difficulty to cope with. And then there are things that are completely new to Fred: the reunited Germany, the frequent talk of the nation, the anti-Semitism, the presence of violent neo-Nazis in the subway, the police, who are not too eager to do their job and to protect the law, Russians who are doing all sorts of illegal business behind a legal cover, petty criminals and extortionate taxi drivers to watch out for, young people like Nickel and Annette, who think of themselves as progressive and hip, but who behind this façade, often have reactionary opinions and extremely conservative ideas about their aims in life. And everywhere it smells bad and the sky is gray in this city. Berlin can not really impress a Magic Hoffmann. Maybe it’s because he’s just passing through.

He realizes that his friends have changed a lot. Nickel studies to become a teacher, he has a family and the money of the robbery well-hidden in an investment scheme in Luxembourg. Fred has a lot of patience with him, but then he has to use some serious pressure to get his share. And Annette works on film projects that never get beyond the planning and discussion stage, otherwise she lives in her bubble of pseudo-artists who are looking down on someone like Fred with contempt; it is telling that both of them are very surprised when Fred asks them when they will be leaving for Canada, since neither for Nickel nor for Annette, this has been ever a serious plan.

But luck seems to embrace Fred nevertheless. He encounters the freaky dancer Moni, who does not bother with his completely unfashionable clothes, his strange look or his crime “career”. The two are getting closer and Fred is forging plans for a life together with Moni in Canada before fate is striking mercilessly.

A great novel in my opinion: it has a high pace, interesting characters and dialogues, it has wit and it allows the reader to take an unusual but very revealing look at the reunited Germany. Unusual because the reader identifies very quickly with the main character Fred Hoffmann. Fred is a modern literary relative of Eichendorff’s Good-for-nothing; he is an outsider for various reasons: bank robber, small town boy, traveler, a person without exaggerated artistic or intellectual ambitions, he is everything that would be described in Berlin as the opposite of hip. But unlike his fake friends, Fred has remained true to his dreams and ideals, with a mixture of naivety and mother wit that makes him very likeable.

The German edition of the novel I read has almost 300 pages; I read the book in one sitting. Highly recommended! What a great loss that Jakob Arjouni died relatively young!

Jakob Arjouni: Magic Hoffmann, Diogenes 2012; Magic Hoffman, Old Castle 2000, No Exit Press (Tr. Geoffrey Mulligan)

© Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki, 2014-9. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

“My address is: Sarreguemines”

Alfred Döblin has left a huge literary oeuvre: novels, stories, essays, autobiographical and literary theoretical writings, and more. His importance as a writer has been emphasized by many of his contemporaries (Brecht, Benn, Tucholsky, Feuchtwanger to name a few) and some authors of the post-war generation. His work is available in German in several editions, including two paperback editions. In 1979, Günter Grass donated the Alfred Döblin Prize, which has become one of the most important literary prizes for German-language literature, and in 1984 the International Alfred Döblin Society was founded, which is intensively involved in the exploration of Döblin’s work.

Nevertheless, Döblin is not a very popular author in the German-speaking countries. The mostly read work is undoubtedly Berlin Alexanderplatz, a book that is frequently compared with Ulysses or Manhattan Transfer in terms of its literary importance. Despite this fact, it is a book that is not easy to digest, and it is hardly suitable for a cozy reading in bed. The impression this book left on many readers may have prevented them from discovering other translated works of this author. This lack of interest also applies to Döblin’s reception outside the German-speaking countries; only a fraction of his work is available in translations and here, too, at most Berlin Alexanderplatz receives some attention. (Translated works available in English are: The Three Leaps of Wang Lun, November 1918, Tales of a Long Night, Men without Mercy, Journey to Poland, or Destiny’s Journey; Manas and Mountains Oceans Giants will be released in English translation in 2020 by Galileo Publishers.)

In his text On My Teacher Döblin Günter Grass addressed in 1967 some of the reasons why Döblin could not really catch up with the German reading public after the Second World War:

“Döblin was not trendy. He was not popular. He was too catholic to the progressive left, too anarchic to the Catholics, he denied solid theories to the moralists, he was too inelegant for the night program, he was too vulgar for the school radio; neither the ‘Wallenstein‘ nor the ‘Giant‘ novel could be digested easily; and the emigrant Döblin dared to return home in 1945 to a Germany that would soon devote itself to consumerism. As for the market value: the asset Döblin was and is not listed on the literary commodity market.” (Translation T.H.)

And for many, one might add, this converted Jew, who returned from exile to Germany wearing a uniform of the French occupiers, was simply suspect – one who didn’t belong here and whose presence was rather embarrassing, for reasons that have also to do with a deep-rooted anti-Semitism that didn’t disappear just like that after 1945 but that only went into hiding for a while.

This year, Berlin Alexanderplatz is the subject of a readalong in the context of German Literature Month and I hope that this will increase the interest in Döblin. Personally, I have decided to discuss another work, which seems to be rather marginal, but which nevertheless makes it possible to contribute to the better understanding of this author. I am talking about the book “My address is Sarreguemines” (“Meine Adresse ist: Saargemünd“), a work that explores Döblin’s significant relationship with the French-German border region near the Saar, with Lorraine and the Saarland. (The book is available in German, as well as in a French translation.)

Döblin, who had a doctor’s practice in Berlin, volunteered for military service in 1915 and was assigned to Sarreguemines. The French town of Sarreguemines is now located directly on the German-French border, but between 1871 and 1918 Lorraine was part of the German Reich (it had been annexed after the victory in the Franco-German War in 1870/71). The volume “My address is: Sarreguemines”, which collects various texts that illuminate Döblin’s relationship to the German-French border region, begins with letters from this period (1915-1918), which he sent from Sarreguemines and later from Hagenau in Alsace (he had been transferred there briefly before the war after a conflict with a superior over the provision of food to the patients.)

It is interesting to see how Döblin’s attitude regarding the war changed over time. While he hailed in an early letter – although already ironically broken – a victory at the eastern Front, he becomes more and more disillusioned and skeptical about the war and its futility as the slaughtering is dragging on for years. Privately he may have spoken even more openly but due to the existing censorship Döblin was not elaborating on this topic in his letters from that period.

Most important for the reader, who is interested in Döblin’s literary work, are in the period between 1915 and 1918 his letters to Herwarth Walden. The journalist Walden – he was first married to Else Lasker-Schüler – was a close friend of Döblin since their youth. At the same time Walden was the publisher of the magazine Sturm, which became the preferred publication platform of many expressionist and modernist authors. In addition, Walden operated the Sturm Gallery and under difficult conditions made a contribution to the popularization of many expressionist artists that can hardly be underestimated. (Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, for example, exhibited at the Sturm Gallery, illustrated the first book by Döblin and later also painted his portrait).

Döblin, at the time a published (two volumes with stories and numerous contributions in magazines), but moderately successful author, used the Sturm during this time as the most important organ for the publication of his stories. With Walden he talks about book projects – his first novel The Three Leaps of Wang Lun and another book with stories are being published during this period, two more novels are almost completed or in preparation – but also occasionally on reading experiences that are often disappointing (e.g. he expresses complete disappointment over a novel by Heinrich Mann). In his letters to Walden, Döblin also describes his difficulties with his literary work in Sarreguemines. This is partly due to his work as a doctor – Verdun is about 100 km away, and the cannon thunder from there can be heard in Sarreguemines. For the work on a historical novel (Wallenstein will be published after WWI), that requires access to secondary literature, Sarreguemines is not a good location; only rarely can he get some of the books he needs urgently from the library in Strasbourg.

In addition, Döblin has financial worries (which get better later); he suffers from cramped living conditions, narrow-minded colleagues and superiors and his health is not always the best. Although he is vaccinated, he is contracting typhus and has severe necrosis, which necessitates several stays in German spas. As if that were not enough, Döblin also has a fling with one of the female doctors at the hospital; the young lady is being transferred to Berlin shortly before the arrival of Döblin’s family. (Walden, to whom Döblin confides these details, receives the Berlin address of the lady from his friend, with the cryptic remark that this may come in handy for him one day…)

Döblin’s feeling regarding the arrival of his wife and children who will live with him, are ambiguous. He is happy to have his growing family around him (his wife will bring their two sons to Sarreguemines, a third son will be born there, a fourth son in the post-war years; Döblin also has a son from an extramarital relationship whom he secretly supports financially). On the other hand, the noise at home, the frequent quarrels with his wife are obstacles that lead to a slowdown of his literary production. (Döblin’s marriage to his wife Erna, a trained physician, was extremely turbulent, but it lasted until his death. Döblin’s propensity to marital infidelity may have been one of the reasons for the frequent quarrels of husband and wife.) The situation only improves after the family moves to a slightly bigger flat in which Döblin is “smartly” (as he writes to Walden) arranging a spatial separation: while he is living upstairs, wife and children stay downstairs and don’t disturb him when he is working or needs a rest.

A little peace and relaxation Döblin finds during this time on occasional visits to Saarbrücken. By far the largest city in the region, it offers the urban life, a more open, cultured atmosphere compared to the Lorraine garrison town of Sarreguemines that he misses so much. However, the confrontation with his superior also takes place in Saarbrücken, which ultimately leads to his punitive transfer to Haguenau. (This event happens coincidentally at exactly the spot where the hospital in which I was born is located.)

After the end of the war and demobilization Döblin returns to Berlin (he later used these experiences in the first of his four-volume work November 1918). The twenties and early thirties are the time of Döblin’s greatest productivity and success as an author; he and his family can for the first time live without financial worries, if only for a few years.

Döblin didn’t burn the bridges to the Saar region, which was from 1920 to 1935 not a part of Germany but under International Administration by the League of Nations. He corresponds with the essayist Arthur Friedrich Binz from Saarbrücken who is publishing in 1924 an essay Alfred Döblin und das Saarland (Alfred Döblin and the Saarland); Binz mentions also that two of Döblin’s wartime stories are playing in the German-French border area: Der Geist vom Ritthof (The Ghost of the Ritthof) und Das verwerfliche Schwein (The reprehensible Pig), two grotesque ghost or horror stories still written in the spirit of Expressionism. (The essay of Binz is reprinted as well as the two stories by Döblin in the book.) Döblin also wrote at least two more texts, which were then published in Saarland media. And he campaigned for the publication of the first novel by Anton Betzner, an author that lived at the Saar region for many years; the then still very young author proved later to be a very important supporter of Döblin after WWII.

A drastic deterioration in living and publishing conditions began for Döblin in 1933. As a Jew and leftist, he had to flee; in France he worked for some time – together with the scholar Robert Minder, a professor for German literature – in the Ministry of Information (Minister: Jean Giraudoux). After the invasion Döblin had to flee again under adventurous circumstances. Via Portugal he finally arrived in the USA, where he was initially working as a scriptwriter at MGM; later, he and his family lived on the financial support of various aid organizations. Döblin’s conversion to Catholicism also falls into the period of his American exile.

In 1945 Döblin returned to Germany via France; he entered his country of birth as a French citizen and in the uniform of a French Colonel. Firstly in Baden-Baden and later in Mainz, he worked for the French Military Administration on the reconstruction of literary institutions; he also founded the literary magazine Das goldene Tor (The Golden Gate), which was to play an active role in the democratic transformation of Germans; it became a platform for new talents and authors that had remained in Nazi-Germany but had kept a distance to the regime; also exiled authors were published. Döblin was supported in this task by Anton Betzner, whom he could win as editor for the magazine. In addition, Döblin completed various of his own works. Radio broadcasting became an important publication channel for him. The letters to Betzner from the years 1946-1953 that are included in the reviewed volume reflect the editorial work in the magazine Das goldene Tor. But the letters show also an increasing disappointment of Döblin: despite Betzner’s efforts and publishing contacts Döblin can not secure a publishing contract for his Hamlet novel for many years; and he despairs more and more with the restorative tendencies in the post-WWII West Germany. (Betzner proves in the decades to come one of the few who on many occasions promoted Döblin’s literary oeuvre by essays and radio features.) Only occasionally Döblin’s sharp wit seems to be revived. But these last years are also a period of various health ailments for Döblin – he has an infarct and is struggling with progressive Parkinson’s disease. After West German President Theodor Heuss (himself a writer and author of several essay collections) intervenes in favor of Döblin in the financial compensation proceedings, the author finally receives a settlement, and is able to buy a tiny apartment in Paris. There he lives with his wife – apart from frequent visits of his friend Robert Minder – almost completely isolated from 1953 on. Döblin dies during a spa stay in Emmendingen in 1957, already forgotten by most of his contemporaries. His widow will take her life a few months after his death.

Alfred Döblin and his wife are buried in the small village of Housseras in Lorraine (approximately 500 inhabitants), where his son Wolfgang (Vincent Doblin is the French version of his name), who died in tragic circumstances, is also buried. Döblin, who after his return to Europe found out that several of his closest relatives had been murdered in Auschwitz, had lost contact with his son Wolfgang (Vincent) during the war, who served as a soldier in the French army. Wolfgang, who was a highly gifted mathematician, had some conflicts with his father in his youth, who had always hoped during the time of the separation during the war to reconcile with his son one day. But this reconciliation could no longer take place, Wolfgang had died during the war, as the shocked parents learned in March 1945. Afterwards Alfred Döblin apparently suffered greatly from feelings of guilt. Döblin and his wife decided to be buried later at the side of Wolfgang.

The book reviewed here gives further details about the circumstances of Wolfgang’s death. To avoid imminent capture by German troops, the desperate young man had shot himself on a farm in Housseras. After he had been buried in a mass grave, he was later exhumed and buried in a solitary grave. The house where he died carries today a memorial plate with the note “mathématicien de génie”, and his grave plate mentions that he died for France (“mort port la France”). (Photos and further information can be found also in this interesting French-language article.)

A sealed envelope, which Wolfgang had sent to the French Academy of Sciences, was opened in 2000. The envelope contained a significant unpublished mathematical manuscript on stochastic processes Sur l’équation de Kolmogoroff, which anticipated findings of the Japanese mathematician Itō Kiyoshi. On Wolfgang Doeblin’s life and work there is an interesting book by Marc Petit, which I refer to at the end of the article.

The last text by Alfred Döblin in the volume reviewed here is his speech in Saarbrücken about the New Europe (Saarbrücker Rede über das Neue Europa). It was Döblin’s last public address and a powerful statement for a strong, peaceful and united Europe:

“Europe! [….] The current state […] is actually unworthy of the men and women who live here, in fact we are all Europeans, whether we speak German, French or Italian. But it doesn’t matter, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, we have to confront each other again, because the border runs like this and the other runs like that, and we would have to put ourselves on this side or on that [….] The old state systems have lost their meaning, Europe is the reality of today [….] Show them that behind the old rusty reality there is a young and splendid new one. Show the power you have to tear down the old structure. Team up! No small slogans. The just fight, the true fight, the only fight. ” (Translation T.H.)

It would be the right time today to remember this encouraging call for peace and unity in Europe!

The reviewed volume is excellently edited. It contains a long and instructive afterword by Ralph Schock, the editor of the book, as well as references and a bibliography. Particularly noteworthy are the many historical photos from German and French archives; they make the numerous connections of Döblin to the German-French border region also visually tangible. The book has a hard cover with dust jacket, a bound-in book sign and is carefully bound and printed on good, acid-free paper. It was published in a series “Spuren” (Traces) of a regional small publishing house (Gollenstein), which illuminated the literary references of significant authors to the Saar region in outstanding editions. I have for example discussed a volume of Joseph Roth’s journalistic work in the past that was published in this series; other volumes are dedicated to Hermann Hesse, Philippe Soupault, Ilya Ehrenburg, Theodor Balk, Francois-Régis Bastide, or Harald Gerlach. It is a pity that the publisher has now disappeared from the scene without a trace.

Admittedly, this was a contribution that went well beyond the average length of my usual book reviews. This is mainly due to this really beautiful book itself, which I read with particular interest not least because of my own origin from this region. In addition, I learned many details from the life of Alfred Döblin, that were previously unknown to me. Although an English translation of this volume is very unlikely, I still hope that especially Berlin Alexanderplatz readers may find this article useful. And maybe a few readers will try one of the other translated, but rarely read books by this author. Döblin’s oeuvre is full of surprises; in any case it is worth discovering this interesting author!

Alfred Döblin: “Meine Adresse ist: Saargemünd”, Gollenstein 2009; Je vous écris de Sarreguemines, tr. Renate and Alain Lance, Serge Domini Editeur 2017

Marc Petit: L’équation de Kolmogoroff. Vie et mort de Wolfgang Doeblin, un génie dans la tourmente nazie, Ramsay 2003, Folio 2005; Die verlorene Gleichung. Auf der Suche nach Wolfgang und Alfred Döblin, Eichborn 2005

© Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki, 2014-9. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Abschaffen!

“Den Nobelpreis sollte man endlich abschaffen.”

Das sagte Peter Handke im Jahr 2014, und ich stimme in diesem Fall vollkommen mit ihm überein. Mit der Verleihung des Literaturnobelpreises an diesen Autor ist dieser Preis endgültig obsolet geworden.

Mit dem literarischen Schaffen Handkes konnte ich nie viel anfangen; und wenn er jetzt von manchen als “genialer Stilist” gefeiert wird, habe ich den Eindruck, das solche Leute nicht viel von ihm gelesen haben werden. Das Preziöse und Gestelzte seines Stils sollte doch wohl jedem, der auch nur ein Buch von ihm gelesen hat, aufgefallen sein. Und ein tiefer Denker ist Handke sicher auch nicht, mehr als einmal schrieb ich “Schwafler!” oder “Dampfplauderer!” an den Rand – zugegeben, manche halten solche Stellen offenbar für “poetisch”. Und die Dialoge, die Handke für Wim Wenders’ Der Himmel über Berlin geschrieben hat, strotzen nur so von Stilblüten und grandiosem Kitsch.

Ich will hier aber keine Stilkritik betreiben, sondern vielmehr ein paar Beobachtungen mitteilen, die ich im Zusammenhang mit der öffentlichen Debatte um Handkes Aussagen zu Serbien und seiner Rolle in den Jugoslawien-Kriegen gemacht habe.

Dabei wurde von denjenigen, die glauben, Handke habe den Nobelpreis wegen dieser Rolle nicht verdient, geltend gemacht, dass er sich bewusst und über Jahre hinweg zum Apologeten des aggressiven serbischen Nationalismus und Chauvinismus gemacht habe, dass er die Nähe von Kriegsverbrechern gesucht habe, sich mit Karadžić und Milošević getroffen und ihnen Texte gewidmet habe, dass er muslimische und kroatische Opfer und ihre Familien verhöhnt und entwürdigt habe, den Völkermord in Srebrenica erst in Frage gestellt, dann relativiert und entschuldigt habe, und einiges mehr.

Diejenigen, die die Auszeichnung Handkes für gerechtfertigt halten, verweisen auf seine angeblich überragende Bedeutung als Autor; die von seinen Gegnern beanstandeten Punkte werden entweder geleugnet, als vereinzelte, nicht relevante “umstrittene” Aussagen, die aus dem Zusammenhang gerissen wurden heruntergespielt, oder es wird auf die angebliche Trennung zwischen literarischem Werk und Autor hingewiesen, die man beachten müsse. Etwaige umstrittene Aussagen des Autors seien für die Beurteilung seines Werks unerheblich und würden dieses nicht beschädigen. Der Nobelpreis sei ein Literaturpreis und kein Preis für die politischen Auffassungen seines Autors. Ferner wurde den Handke-Gegnern generell unterstellt, sie kennten sein Werk nicht und würden eine Hetzjagd auf ihn betreiben. Vereinzelt wurde geäußert, Kritik an Handke sei “widerlich” bzw. einzelne Kritiker, die so etwas sagten seien “einfach nur widerlich”.

Die zum Teil scharfe Kritik an Handke kam für mich nicht überraschend. Als jemand, der 5 Jahre in Ex-Jugoslawien gelebt hat und viele Menschen verschiedener ethnischer Gruppen dort und deren Leidensgeschichte kennt, habe ich das umfangreiche Werk Handkes zum Thema Serbien (es taucht in wenigstens 6 seiner Werke als Hauptthema auf, außerdem gibt es Erzählungen, Essays, Interviews – er hat sich geradezu obsessiv an diesem Thema abgearbeitet.) über viele Jahre mit zunehmendem Unbehagen verfolgt. Die an Handke jetzt gemachten Vorwürfe treffen aus meiner Sicht vollkommen ins Schwarze.

Zum Argument, der Literaturnobelpreis sei nur ein Literaturpreis und Handkes umstrittene Aussagen irrelevant, muss darauf hingewiesen werden, dass das so nicht stimmt. Der Literaturnobelpreis ist nach dem Willen seines Stifters ein Preis der dem Autor verliehen werden soll, der „das Vorzüglichste in idealistischer Richtung geschaffen hat“. Worin die “idealistische Richtung” von Handkes Serbien-Werken liegen soll, konnte mir bisher leider niemand erklären. Aber vielleicht kommt das ja noch.

Die angebliche Trennung von Autor und Werk – nun ja, der Autor hat ja das Werk produziert, es gibt also wohl das wieder, was er denkt und glaubt. Handke ist ja nicht der erste Autor, der Dinge gesagt oder geschrieben oder getan hat, die vollkommen unakzeptabel sind. Aber weder ein Celine noch ein Pound haben den Nobelpreis bekommen, und zwar aus gutem Grund. (Dass das Nobelpreiskommitee aber auch schon in der Vergangenheit unakzeptable Autoren ausgezeichnet hat, muss man allerdings auch festhalten. Man denke nur an Pablo Neruda, ein Mann der viele Jahre lang Teil der stalinistischen Mordmaschinerie war.) Und Handkes umstrittene Aussagen stehen ja in mindestens einem halben Dutzend seiner Werke, ein nicht ganz belangloser Teil seines Werkes.

Nachdem die Auseinandersetzung in den Medien nunmehr schon seit Wochen andauert, sollte hier vielleicht auf zwei Artikel aufmerksam gemacht werden, die ganz gut das zusammenfassen (mit ausführlichen Textzitaten von Handke), was es an seinen Serbien-Texten zu beanstanden gibt.

Einige der Handke-Befürworter machen in dieser Phase leider einen wenig angenehmen und intellektuell oft nicht gerade redlichen Eindruck. Nachdem erst behauptet wurde, die Handke-Kritiker kennten sein Werk nicht, wurden jetzt, insbesondere nachdem Michael Martens (FAZ) und Alida Bremer (Perlentaucher) umfangreiche Nachweise für das chauvinistisch-revisionistische Engagement Handkes geliefert haben, weinerlich behauptet: “Nennen Sie das eine intellektuelle Debatte, mir einfach so Zitate vorzuhalten!” (Ein bekannter Handke-Biograph äußerte sich so sinngemäß auf Twitter.) Jetzt heißt es: “Hetzkampagne, wie unfair!”, und “Der arme Mann!”.

Nein, werte Handke-Verehrer, das Zitieren und leidenschaftslose Analysieren der Handke-Texte ist keine Hetzkampagne. Es ist unangenehm für den Genozid-Relativierer Handke, der in dem Licht seiner eigenen Texte gezeigt wird. Wenn es an der ganzen Angelegenheit etwas Widerliches gibt, sind es die Texte Handkes, nicht das Sich-ins-Erinnern-Rufen dessen, was er seit vielen Jahren gesagt, geschrieben und getan hat.

Was mich bei der Diskussion um Handke besonders schockt, ist etwas wozu ich ein wenig ausholen will. Geschichtsrevisionismus und extremer Nationalismus, der auch vor der Vertreibung und Ermordung ganzer Völker nicht haltmacht, sind ein grosses Problem in ganz Osteuropa. Über die versuchte Rehabilitierung einer faschistischen und antisemitischen Organisation, für die sich ein bulgarischer Schriftsteller kürzlich einsetzte, habe ich an anderer Stelle berichtet. In Rumänien, wo der Antisemitismus unter Intellektuellen immer besonders stark ausgeprägt war, macht der Schriftsteller Paul Goma seit vielen Jahren Stimmung gegen die Juden. Die Juden seien nun mal die Erfinder des Kommunismus und der Völkermord der Rumänen an den Juden im 2. Weltkrieg – den er abwechselnd mal leugnet und dann wieder zugibt, aber relativiert – sei daher als Racheakt zu sehen, und sei daher gewissermaßen verständlich und entschuldbar.

Handke argumentiert analog ganz genauso, wenn es um den Massenmord von Srebrenica geht, den er abwechselnd leugnet, dann bezweifelt, dann zwar zugibt, aber relativiert (es waren angeblich “nur” 2000 bis 4000 Opfer, und es war auch kein Genozid, weil die Ermordeten ausschließlich Männer waren(!) – außerdem sei die Tat nur ein Racheakt gewesen für ein angebliches Massaker der “Muselmanen”. Die Täter-Opfer-Umkehr ist etwas, was Handke mit vielen Apologeten seiner Couleur gemeinsam hat.). Die Serben, die jahrelang die Einwohner Sarajevos terrorisierten und Tausende von ihnen durch Scharfschützen ermordeten werden gar mit Leuten, die eigentlich nur Indianer spielen wollten, verglichen! Das ist alles so erschreckend menschenverachtend, so bar jeder Empathie mit den Opfern (denen er im Tod sogar den Opferstatus abspricht – Opfer sind bei ihm die Serben) – dass es mir einfach nur den Atem verschlägt, wenn sich Menschen, die sich als Intellektuelle bezeichnen, sich nicht mit schärfsten Worten von solchen furchtbaren Äußerungen in seinem Werk distanzieren und es sogar begeistert feiern, wenn Herr Handke mit dem Literaturnobelpreis ausgezeichnet wird. Ich finde sowohl die Auszeichnung für Handke, als auch vieles von dem, was seine Verteidiger schreiben, schlicht und einfach zum Kotzen. – Pardon my French!

Wer sich über Strömungen unter serbischen Intellektuellen des 20. Jahrhunderts (darunter auch Ivo Andric) informieren will, in die sich Handke, der Apologet der ethnischen Säuberung einreiht, sei auf die untenstehende Veröffentlichung des Albanologen Robert Elsie hingewiesen, die auch die beiden Denkschriften des Sarajewo- Attentäters Vaso Čubrilović und das Gutachten von Andric zur ethnischen Säuberung enthält. Vieles von dem, was Handke seinen serbischen Bezugspersonen nachplapperte, hat seine Wurzeln in den Denkschriften Čubrilovićs, der in den 1980ern hochbetagt, wiederentdeckt wurde und dessen Plan zur ethnischen Säuberung das Drehbuch zu den Feldzügen der serbischen Militärs und Paramilitärs darstellte.

“Den Nobelpreis sollte man endlich abschaffen.” – Peter Handke hat Recht! (Das Preisgeld wird er aber sicher annehmen!)

Robert Elsie (Hg.): Gathering Clouds. The Roots of Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo and Macedonia, Albanian Studies Vol. 4, Centre for Albanian Studies, London 2015


18% Brown: the downfall of a Bulgarian intellectual (II)

Some time ago I reported on this blog how the Bulgarian author Zachary Karabashliev campaigned for a veteran of the Bulgarian fascist and anti-Semitic “Legions” (in a FB post that he later edited by deleting the reference to the “Legions”) whom he called “a hero”. The same admiration was expressed by Karabashliev in a TV interview. The man in question, Dyanko Markov, has in the past repeatedly made public statements in which he described the deportation of the Jews in the areas annexed by Bulgaria in WWII to Treblinka as “relatively human”, and he even justified this deportation and murder of a “hostile population” in a speech in the Bulgarian Parliament a few years ago. Until today he identifies himself with the “values” of the Legions, an organization, which was created after the image of the German SA.

In my blog post I mentioned that Karabashliev and his fellow supporters, some of whom have been running a campaign for years to rehabilitate the anti-Semite Dyanko Markov and the fascist and anti-Semitic Bulgarian Legions, use a concrete incident described in the article to reiterate their historical revisionist theses on the heroism of the Legions, whose founder and leader Hristo Lukov is a figure venerated by Nazis throughout Europe today.

It is a tactic already applied in the past by a specific supporter of Dyanko Markov, to try to intimidate people who mention some for Markov and his fans uncomfortable facts with abusive words, as well as with the threat of legal action on the grounds of slander. So it was no surprise that Mr. Karabashliev, under the influence of the said person, sent me a formally polite and content-wise outrageous message, giving me an ultimatum of 48 hours to delete my allegedly “defamatory” contribution.

Although I can subjectively understand that – as he writes himself – my previous blog post is very unpleasant for him, I have to tell to Mr. Karabashliev however that he has to look who’s talking here. If he had not made the attempt to portray a man as a hero who – according to the final verdict of no less than three court cases on the exact same matter (Markov et al. vs. Yuliana Metodieva) – can be called an anti-Semite and a fascist – and who until today sticks to the ideals of his youth and propagates the anti-Semitic and fascist “values” of the Legions, while at the same time voicing holocaust apologies and denying the responsibility of the organization of which he was a member in the holocaust, my article would never have been written. And for a word that Mr. Karabashliev has distanced himself in the meantime from the Legions and the anti-Semite and fascist Dyanko Markov I have waited until now in vain.

What Mr. Karabashliev apparently has not understood until today: if a Dyanko Markov had been a member of the Legions and would have distanced himself credibly at some point in his life from the anti-Semitism and fascism of this immoral and inhuman organization, my article would also not have been written. But Markov is still a propagandist for the Legions and their anti-Semitism and fascism, he has participated several times in the notorious Nazi march in honor of Lukov, but Mr. Karabashliev finds him heroic and then begins moaning and whining when someone tells him that he is campaigning here de facto for the rehabilitation of an anti-Semitic and fascist organization, and also for the rehabilitation of a member who has not become in any ways distant to these “values” during his whole life.

Mr. Karabashliev has either committed a stupidity of gigantic proportions or he is sharing Markov’s political convictions and now, after several people have publicly criticized him for this, he seems to believe that the allegation of a lawsuit will cause me to tacitly delete my post. However, Mr. Karabashliev makes a mistake of judgment here. I am not intimidated by his threat.

I hope in his own interest that Mr. Karabashliev is informed by his lawyer that not everything that is personally unpleasant to him is slander. And that I have said something untrue about Mr. Karabashliev, he probably will not want to assert. That would be – because if he claims so, it is obviously not true – indeed slander by Mr. Karabashliev and therefore potentially a criminal offense. He may not realize his very delicate legal position in this case, but of course he, just like any other citizen, can choose the legal recourse to clarify which of the two of us has violated the law by claiming something false with the intention to tarnish the reputation of the other. The result could be quite surprising and even more unpleasant for Mr. Karabashliev than my blog post. In any case, I will continue to report on the activities of certain revisionist circles in Bulgaria, and in the future possibly in front of a larger international public.

Whether Mr. Karabashliev wants to be associated with anti-Semitic, fascist and historical revisionist circles in Bulgaria also in the future, or whether he realizes that he has got himself into something on this matter, which will permanently harm his reputation as a writer and person, I do not know, of course. The damage to his reputation, however, will be far greater and more lasting if he goes to court. The choice is up to him.

PS: Here is a report of the Bulgarian Jewish organization Shalom on anti-Semitism in Bulgaria. On page 8, Dyanko Markov and the Bulgarian Legions are also mentioned.

And here is a report on the three dismissed lawsuits, with which the journalist Yuliana Metodieva should be muzzled unsuccessfully in the dispute over Markov in the past.

© Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki, 2014-9. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

18% Braun: Vom Fall eines bulgarischen Intellektuellen (II)

Vor einiger Zeit berichtete ich auf diesem Blog, wie der bulgarische Schriftsteller Zachary Karabashliev sich für einen Veteranen der bulgarischen faschistischen und antisemitischen „Legionen“ einsetzte und diesen (in einem später von ihm redigierten FB-Post, in dem er den Teil, der sich auf die Legionärstätigkeit dieses Mannes bezieht, löschte) als Helden bezeichnete. Ähnlich äusserte er sich in einem Fernsehinterview. Der Mann um den es geht, Dyanko Markov, wurde in der Vergangenheit mehrfach durch Äusserungen, in der er die Deportation der Juden in den von Bulgarien annektierten Gebieten nach Treblinka als „relativ menschlich“ bezeichnete, und der diese Deportation einer „feindlichen Bevölkerung“ öffentlich in einer Rede im bulgarischen Parlament vor einigen Jahren rechtfertigte, bekannt. Er steht bis heute zu den Werten der Legionäre, der bulgarischen Organisation, die nach dem Abbild der deutschen SA gegründet wurde.

In meinem Beitrag stellte ich fest, dass Karabashliev und seine teilweise schon einschlägig hervorgetretenen Mitstreiter, von denen einige seit Jahren eine Kampagne zur Rehabilitation des Antisemiten und Faschisten Dyanko Markov und der faschistischen und antisemitischen Organisation der Legionäre betreiben, einen konkreten Vorfall, der in dem Artikel geschildert wird, dazu benutzen, erneut ihre geschichtsrevisionistischen Thesen von der Heldenhaftigkeit der Legionäre, deren Gründer und Führer Lukov eine von Nazis in ganz Europa heute verehrte Figur ist, zu propagieren.

Es ist eine schon mehrfach erprobte Taktik einer Mitstreiterin von Dyanko Markov, Personen, die einige für Markov und seine Unterstützer unbequeme Tatsachen erwähnen, mit wüstesten persönlichen Angriffen und Schimpfworten und ausserdem mit einer Klageandrohung wegen Verleumdung bzw. übler Nachrede zu bedrohen. So war es auch keine Überraschung, dass mir Herr Karabashliev, wohl unter dem Einfluss der besagten Person, eine in höflichem Ton gehaltene aber inhaltlich unverschämte Nachricht zukommen liess, die mir ein Ultimatum von 48 Stunden gibt, meinen angeblich „verleumderischen“ Beitrag zu löschen.

Nun kann ich zwar subjektiv nachvollziehen, dass – wie er selbst schreibt – mein Artikel ihm sehr unangenehm ist. Allerdings muss sich Herr Karabashliev hier an die eigene Nase fassen. Hätte er nicht den Versuch gemacht, einen Mann als Helden darzustellen, der – und das ist gerichtlich letztinstanzlich bereits festgestellt (Rechtssache Markov et al. vs. Yuliana Methodieva) bis heute zu den Idealen der antisemitischen Legionäre steht und ihre Werte propagiert, bei gleichzeitiger Holocaustrelativierung und -apologie, ein Mann, den man von Rechts wegen ungestraft einen Antisemiten und Faschisten nennen darf, wäre mein Artikel nie geschrieben worden. Und eine Stellungnahme, in der Herr Karabashliev in der Zwischenzeit geäussert hätte, dass er sich eindeutig von den Legionären und dem Antisemiten und Faschisten Dyanko Markov distanziert – diese Stellungnahme habe ich bisher vergeblich erwartet.

Was Herr Karabashliev offenbar bis heute nicht verstanden hat: wäre ein Dyanko Markov Legionär gewesen und hätte sich irgendwann in seinem Leben glaubhaft vom Antisemitismus und Faschismus dieser amoralischen Organisation distanziert, wäre mein Artikel ebenfalls nicht geschrieben worden. Aber Markov steht bis heute zu den Legionären und ihrem Antisemitismus und Faschismus, hat auch mehrfach am berüchtigten Naziaufmarsch zu Ehren Lukovs teilgenommen, aber Karabashliev findet ihn heldenhaft und fängt dann an zu zetern und zu jammern, wenn jemand ihm sagt, dass er hier eine jahrelange Kampagne zur Rehabilitierung dieser antisemitischen und faschistischen Organisation unterstützt, eine Rehabilitierung eines Mitglieds auch, der überhaupt nicht geläutert ist und der sich nie glaubhaft von dieser Organisation und ihren verbrecherischen Zielen distanziert hat.

Herr Karabashliev hat entweder eine Dummheit von gigantischem Ausmass oder aber eine Überzeugungstat begangen und glaubt nun, nachdem ihn mehrere Personen dafür öffentlich kritisiert haben anscheinend, dass die Klageandrohung mich dazu veranlassen wird, meinen Post stillschweigend zu löschen. Allerdings begeht Herr Karabashliev hier eine Fehleinschätzung. Einschüchtern lasse ich mich nämlich nicht.

Ich hoffe in seinem eigenen Interesse, Herr Karabashliev wird von seinem Anwalt darüber aufgeklärt, dass nicht alles, was ihm persönlich unangenehm ist, Verleumdung darstellt. Und dass ich etwas Unwahres über Herrn Karabashliev behauptet habe, wird er wohl nicht behaupten wollen. Das wäre dann nämlich – da wahrheitswidrig – in der Tat Verleumdung durch Herrn Karabashliev und ergo strafrechtlich relevant. Falls er das nicht einsieht, steht ihm natürlich wie jedem Bürger der Rechtsweg offen, um zu klären, wer von uns beiden hier das Recht verletzt hat, indem er Unwahres behauptet. Das Ergebnis könnte für Herrn Karabashliev durchaus überraschend und noch viel unangenehmer sein als mein Artikel. In jedem Fall werde ich auch weiterhin und in Zukunft wohl auch vor einer grösseren internationalen Öffentlichkeit über die geschichtsrevisionistischen Aktivitäten gewisser Personen in Bulgarien berichten.

Ob Herr Karabashliev Wert darauf legt, auch weiterhin mit antisemitischen, faschistischen und geschichtsrevisionistischen Kreisen in Bulgarien in Verbindung gebracht zu werden, oder ob er einsieht, dass er sich bei dieser Angelegenheit in etwas verrannt hat, was seinem Ansehen als Schriftsteller und Person nachhaltig schadet, weiss ich natürlich nicht. Der Schaden für sein Ansehen wird allerdings ungleich grösser und dauerhafter sein, wenn er den Gerichtsweg beschreitet. Es liegt ganz bei ihm.

PS: Hier ein Bericht der bulgarischen jüdischen Organisation Shalom zum Antisemitismus in Bulgarien. Auf S. 8 finden auch Dyanko Markov und die Bulgarischen Legionen Erwähnung.

Und hier ein Bericht über die drei abgewiesenen Klagen, mit denen die Journalistin Yuliana Metodieva in der Auseinandersetzung um Markov erfolglos mundtot gemacht werden sollte.

© Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki, 2014-9. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and Mytwostotinki with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.