The new The US American: the new crown of creation?
Last September, we visited the Land of Promise. And at the same time we took advantage of the last opportunity for the time being to float across the Atlantic as passengers of the air at twice the speed of sound. But the great expectation was followed by bitter and deep disappointments. That the Concorde had to creep along halfway like a normal airliner because of an engine failure and had to drop us off at the first airport on the east coast because of fuel shortage, we accepted without grumbling. Also the rude sergeant tone of the border official at the entrance to the USA and the unfriendly reception in the hotel, where we, six hours too late, had to carry our suitcases ourselves over a high, representative staircase long after midnight. But wherever we went, we were given the feeling that Germans are not particularly welcome in America at the moment and that the land of unlimited opportunity has stooped to unbelievable arrogance.
A great punitive action against Old Germany seems to have set in since Gerhard Schröder chickened out on the Iraq issue to win his election. Our excuses have been of no use: we would have voted against him and we would not have taken part in the Second World War. In the newspapers, the existence of Germany is currently hushed up - the only thing we could read about Germany in these ten days in the New York Times, but in all breadth, was the report on an attack in Munich planned by neo-Nazis, but thwarted by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. In Madame Tusseaud's waxworks, apart from a racing driver, hardly any Germans were immortalized, not even Konrad Adenauer, Willi Brandt or Helmut Kohl, whom no American politician could have held a candle to in terms of greatness.
In the New York hotel, the culture fairy sent us to a musical on purpose, where it was about the hackneyed topic of the persecution of the Jews in Germany, illustrated by the example of a fruit merchant ("Herr Schulz Frucht"). One has to ask oneself why the old stuff is warmed up again and again, art today could easily do without this hackneyed theme. The performance of this musical is part of a permanent concerted action. From New York, for example, the ostensible discussion about compensation for forced laborers was steered, half a century after the end of the Hitler dictatorship. When nobody wanted to hear about it anymore, they started with the Nazi gold. Before a break, a new Holocaust film is conjured out of the hat. Or the paint for the memorial stelae is not kosher.
One must look closely at what is behind it - who would still have something from the compensation today, and the reparation would be disproportionate to the injustice suffered. It seems that the press in New York is dominated by eternal prickers who want to take late revenge on Germany by constantly and lengthily broaching the subject of long-past guilt. If our government had a little more sense, it would not respond to them and would not fall into the same trap again and again with every attempt to defend itself.
My generation and our children, we had nothing to do with the employment of forced laborers, nor did we steal any gold. We do not need to be blamed by anyone in these matters because we are free from any guilt. That is why we do not want to pay taxes for compensation. If companies that existed at that time still have to pay something, that is not our business. Already in Konrad Adenauer's time, binding agreements under international law were concluded and all outstanding accounts were settled.
In Washington one undertakes round trips with special buses and can be driven to all places of interest: White House (currently being restored and painted by the German company Leimfarben, because they still produce the best silicate paints - the order for the Pentagon was recently canceled), Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, where Kennedy and his wife are buried, Kennedy Center, Georgetown, Washington Memorial, Capitol, several museums, including the National Gallery of Art and the Space Museum with the originals of many space capsules. Here also stands (still) a replica of the German wonder weapon V2 (an original of the prototype of all space rockets can be seen in the German Museum in Munich). Among all these jewels, the city guide and the bus driver also pointed out a museum whose theme is a major German contribution to world history: the Holocaust Museum. The picture in the guidebook showed the well-known slogan from the entrance of the Auschwitz concentration camp: "Arbeit macht frei".
The Americans' image of Germany seems to be limited to the Third Reich (otherwise they know only some German car and beer brands and the Munich Oktoberfest). The past 59 years are obviously left out of the consciousness of these distant earthlings. During a guided tour through Lübeck, a scientist from Canada, standing on the Petri-Tower, asked me the first and only question, if all those houses down there had been destroyed during the war. He was amazed that they had already been completely rebuilt, so soon after the war. So we immediately took him to the Hamburg Opera House and gave him an example of our now peaceful culture. The performance was so outstanding that he had not yet experienced it in Vancouver.
One should find ways to direct the one-sided and apparently interest-group-driven selective perception of Americans to the diversity of German and European cultural potential. Couldn't one build an alternative museum in Washington, presenting great German achievements, of composers, poets, philosophers (that won't interest most Americans so much), as well as of German discoverers and inventors. Above all, one should show that Germany has now developed into a reliable modern country whose present inhabitants (except for a small remnant) have nothing to do with the aberrations of the Third Reich.
I would also like to set up a second museum: One illustrating all the follies of Americans in the last century, without which there probably would have been neither the Third Reich, nor the Cold War, a Korean and Vietnam War, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and the land grab in Palestine. U.S. political action has been characterized by arbitrary unilateralism. Due to their geographically predetermined size and delimited position, they could, without endangering themselves significantly, intervene everywhere at will in the course of the world and decide the outcome of many conflicts, proceeding more or less amateurishly in each case, always with the good feeling that not much could happen to them at home. After the completion of their ingenious unilateral actions, they have withdrawn again and left the conflicting parties to their own devices. Without intending to do so, they have perfectly fulfilled the role of the "Great Satan", which is attributed to them from other, equally unsympathetic sides.
Why did the USA intervene in the First World War and play the gods of fate? To them our brave grandfathers owe their great defeat and our parents the blessings of National Socialism. Why did the USA allow the Palestinians to be deprived of the land they had inhabited for thousands of years! If today a foreign nation would come and push us out of Dresden, Berlin and Lübeck: I, too, would plant bombs and blow up skyscrapers! One has thought, one can do it with the Arabs like before with the Indians in North America.
At the end of World War II, Stalin and the Soviets, who invaded Poland at the same time as Hitler, should also have been eliminated. Instead, Roosevelt and Truman abandoned half of Europe to the murderous Soviet devil and brought the world to the edge of the abyss. By the way, the foreseeable danger of a big nuclear war was again faced by everybody else but the Americans themselves. And that such a war (so far) has not been fought (the unpredictable Russians still have a huge nuclear arsenal), we owe perhaps only to chance?
150 years ago the Americans still killed millions of Indians and robbed them of their land. They were not inferior to Hitler and Himmler. Even far after the end of the Second World War, Americans treated their black fellow citizens as second-class people; killing one of them was considered a trivial offense until recently.
If one observes the U.S. president and his compatriots today, one finds many more parallels to the Third Reich: they call themselves an elite nation and treat the other countries from above (the former foreign minister Shulz said: "America and the rest of the world"). A brochure from Empire State Building uses the phrase "The Capitol of the Capital of the World." However, I do not recall any free election in which New York was chosen as the capital. American soldiers are the best in the world: the model for this saying comes from Adolf Hitler, whom no one in our country wants to take as an example anymore. With proud gestures they conspire by putting their right hand, although not extended, to their chest. The music plays "God bless America," which means something like "America above all. In Western Europe, we have long since shed this exaggerated national pride; in Germany, only a few sick brains still strike such notes. Yet there is no developed industrial nation with so many socially endangered livelihoods as the USA. In America, the power goes out for weeks, houses collapse at the slightest impact, and many cities are dirty and run-down. One can be glad to live in Germany.
One should be careful not to go too far toward the U.S. and become too scientifically and economically dependent on it. Nobody counts on the virtues of justice, good nature and charity of this nation, just as one should not have counted on the peacefulness of the Soviets. The USA will, wherever it can, abuse its power for its own benefit and at the expense of others and make them dance to its tune. Especially after my recent observations, the submissive behavior of many Germans seems very naive to me. It reminds one of a boy who makes every effort and humiliates himself in every way to please his big brother, while the big one makes fun of the little one, takes advantage of him and leaves him on the left. The attempt at ingratiation is clearly shown by the betrayal of one's own mother tongue: Doesn't the fine society of Old Fritz's time cause offense today, which didn't want to speak German and only communicated in French in the upper circles? In reality, this behavior served solely to signal an alleged superiority. The same can be found today among many scientists and industrial managers who take every opportunity to brag about their knowledge of English, for many decades also among the youth, who, however, can be forgiven this silliness even more easily.
In me, it evokes indignation when one person arbitrarily elevates himself above another. For me, there must be no superiority legitimized by class or gender or nationality. Every single person must be granted equal rights in the world. No country may determine the fate of the other. In this light, the striving of some second-rate politicians for a two-speed Europe or for a core Europe (which also takes the affairs of the small ones into its own hands) also appears to me as intolerable arrogance (former Chancellor Kohl over Schäuble). The kicks are passed on as if by law from top to bottom. Must there always and everywhere be people and peoples who want to rise above others and make rules for them?
The countries of Europe should unite and find their natural strength, putting aside outdated national interests, so that our continent will not one day be completely dominated by the arrogant America. In doing so, we would not necessarily have to count on England, which we might have to be as wary of as a Trojan horse. I am proud to be a European (and not an American)? This is neither true nor important: I am proud to be working together with my colleagues in the service of people all over the world in the field of medicine!
For EUROIMMUN, the past year was again characterized by extremely positive developments. Examples of this in the scientific field are significant advances in the diagnosis of lupus erythematosus and inflammatory bowel disease, where, among other things, a diploma thesis succeeded in establishing standardized diagnostics for ulcerative colitis based on immunofluorescence, ELISA and blot techniques, resulting in a patent application. EUROIMMUN, in collaboration with the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin and several other research institutions, developed and launched the first diagnostic for serological detection of SARS, which is now used by all major centers dealing with this disease and may help prevent new outbreaks. Two utility models for blot technology have been registered, a new fully automated system (EUROLineScan) for the evaluation of Western blots and line blots has been created, and software for the organization of the serological laboratory has been developed, enabling ourselves and our users to enter results evaluated on the microscope directly into the computer - the pencil is to be abolished altogether (EUROLabOffice; as an internationally active company, we also use many terms in English wording, without betraying our native language). Our construction, electronics and information technology divisions, which have provided us with the most complicated production machines and will now come up with new technologies for user-related analytics, are becoming increasingly important - new drawing cards for further continuous upswing.
EUROIMMUN AG's sales revenues increased to 19 million euros in 2003, up from 16 million euros in 2002. Net income after taxes was 928,601 euros, up from 481,347 euros in 2002. The economic situation is stable and favorable. The participation of friends and employees in the company has contributed significantly to this.