Preserve Fehmarn: A Public Service Announcement by Beltretter

Fehmarn Bridge Supporter

In connection with the campaign to save Fehmarn Island from becoming a construction zone, caused by two tunnels connecting Germany and Denmark, the umbrella group Beltretter produced a public service announcement, talking about the affects of the island and the Belt region if the tunnel was built. You can see the video below:

More information on the project you can find here, and if you want to help with the campaign, click here to see how. The Flensburg Files and sister column The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles are proud supporters of this campaign to preserve the island for future generations to come.

What’s lost is now found

Here’s a question for you readers, as well as those who would like to use this as a warm-up for a conversation class:

  1. Have you ever lost something that you held dearly to your life- something very valuable and inseparable until one day you discovered it gone? Did you ever find it again?
  2. Have you ever found something valuable in an empty place, like an abandoned house or railcar, like the one above? If so, what did you do with it?

Many of us have lost a very valuable item that we could never get by without. Sometimes it could be someone that you admired dearly or even loved for one time, only to ghost you in the end for unknown reasons. There are just as many of us who happen to find something very valuable in abandoned places, with a third of us having claimed it, another third returning it to its rightful owner (via police) and the rest having left it is is.  I remember a time where we were at an abandoned house and I discovered a large black and white picture of a small train station, dating back to the late 1800s. My first impression was to claim it and keep it somewhere. But being raised in a region where Lutheranism  is predominant, and having been raised to be honest and not a thief, I decided to leave it as is, in hopes that the person will reclaim it someday. A couple years later, the house was reoccupied, and the picture eventually made it in the hands of another owner.

The reason behind these two questions is in connection with the most recent event involving a dead man and his violin. The most interesting behind this was the fact that the violin was stolen, disappeared for 35 years, rediscovered one day while cleaning house and was subsequentially returned to its rightful owner.  The violin: a 1734 Stradivarius owned by world renowned violinist, Roman Totenberg. The incident: a student named Philip Johnsson stole his violin in 1980, hid it in a place unknown, and maintained a straight face of innocence of saying “I didn’t do anything,” right up until his death of cancer in 2011, at the age of 58. Roman died a year later without ever seeing his violin again. He was 101.  How was it found: The ex-wife of Johnsson and his boyfriend found the violin while cleaning house. What happened afterwards, click on the link to follow the story.

While the violin has now been returned to the daughters of Roman, Amy, Nina, Jill and Melanie, it shows how civil courage can play a role in bringing home something that is deeply valuable to someone who missed it like he missing an important member of the family. We see this rarely these days because we always have this mentality “What’s mine is mine!” This especially applies to items like this one.  Sometimes if an object of that value is found, one has to decide what is the best course of action. Many times it just makes sense to report the lost item to the authorities in hopes what is lost is eventually found.

So when finding an item like a violin, think about who it belongs to instead of having that greedy mentality of “Finders keepers, losers weepers.” After all, that object might belong to the person who has been missing it for quite some time. Would you claim something as valuable as this violin below, made in 1734 by Antonio Stradavarius? Think about it….

The front view image of the Antonio Stradivari violin of 1703. Picture taken at the Musikinstrumenten Museum, Berlin Link: