Romy Nagy of Salut Salon Dies at Age 42

Romy Nagy (far right) with the members of Salut Salon. Source: mopo.de/ Salut Salon website

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HAMBURG/ BERLIN- The music world is reeling after a world-renowned string quartet lost a key player to illness. Romy Nagy, a cello player for the group Salut Salon,  passed away on Saturday in Berlin after a battle with cancer. She was 42. She is survived by her husband and two children.

In a statement from their websiteIt was love at first sight when we met Romy in December 2017 and she became a cellist for our quartet. Since then, we’ve been touring Europe with her, enjoying every moment with her, the musician and friend. She faced life in her own way, able to accept all aspects of reality.

Ms. Nagy was born in Gera (Thuringia). At a young age, she attended the Belvidere Music School in Weimar before studying music in Frankfurt/Main and Berlin. She was a member of many orchestras in Berlin as well as a strings group Staatkapella in Weimar. Before joining Salut Salon at the end of 2017, she had several musical roles for TV-series and films as well as for concerts led by Till Brönner, Robbie Williams and the rock music band Disturbed, having played several genres in the process. Apart from solos, she produced several duets with Andreas Wolter and was one half of the duo group Thalia Two, with Katja Schott.  More on her biography can be seen here.

Some examples can be seen below:

Ms. Nagy joined Salut Salon in December 2017, replacing long-time member, Sonja Lena Schmid and for a short time traveled throughout Europe with the group, with pieces like this:

 

Her last performance was in March 2019 with Salut Salon in Oldenburg. They had been working on a new musical project to be presented in 2020. Her passing resulted in the cancellation of a pair of concerts by the quartett. No word yet on who will replace Ms Nagy, and how the group will approach the project without her. The loss of a cellist great has been felt not only throughout the group but also by other musicians and fans in Germany as well as beyond. She will be an asset that will be missing- her successor will have a big challenge filling her shoes.  For more details on the latest, click here to the Salut Salon website.

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Berlin Writes History in Soccer

The Stadium Altere Försterei, where FC Union Berlin plays at home. Photo taken by Christian Liebscher via wiki-Commons 

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FC Union Berlin advances to the German Bundesliga for the first time ever after ousting VFB Stuttgart in the Relegation Round.

BERLIN- In the end, only the strongest survived. The strongest in terms of nerves but also in coherency. The strongest is the one that makes history. This was done last night with FC Union Berlin. After a 2-2 draw against VFB Stuttgart, who had been sitting in 16th place during almost the entire 2018/19 Bundesliga season, all the iron men could have done is put the iron curtain in place- literally in front of goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz  and let Stuttgart fire their shots- to the left, to the right and right into the goalie’s hands. And while the offense was on autopilot, a 0-0 tie was enough for Berlin to make history.

For the first time ever FC Union will play in the premier league this upcoming season, competing with the likes of Bayern Munich- fresh off its seventh consecutive title but poised to lose its top two players in Frank Ribery and Ariel Robben- the Robbery Duo- similar to the Killer Bs of the Pittsburgh Steelers in American football before Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown left the team after the 2018/19 season and its lone B- the quarterback, Ben Rothlisberger. It will be facing other teams with multiple years of experience and armed with deep pockets for 1st class players, such as Frankfurt, Dortmund, Hoffenheim and Bremen. And while Freiburg, Cologne and Augsburg may be push-overs, like it was with Hamburg SV during its time in the second tier (winning 2-0 and tying 2-2), Union Berlin will have two rivalries to contend with:

  1. Inner-City Rivalry: FC Union Berlin will have to contend with Hertha BSC Berlin, which has been in the premier league for all but two seasons since 1997. While FC Union Berlin has had many soccer rivalries in the German capital, even during the Cold War era, this one will be the battle of the iron fists that will attract tens of thousands, and whose victories will be very close. While FC Union lost a close one 2-1 on 3rd September, 2012, the two teams finished tied at 2-2 on 11 February, 2013, the last time the two played. When the rivalry continues this upcoming season, it will be the first inner-city derby in the Bundesliga since the 2010/11 season with Hamburg vs St. Pauli.
  2. East German Rivalry: Apart from its western city rival, FC Union will have to contend with Leipzig. But not the Leipzig that many soccer historians are accustomed to. While Union and VfB Leipzig’s rivalry attracted thousands of fans during the 1980s and 90s, the Leipzig they will be facing is one that will have a new (and fiery) head coach and a talented group that is regrouping after losing the 2019 German Cup to Munich and finished third in the regular season- meaning RB Leipzig. Even they have played three games, FC Union has yet to beat Leipzig, having lost two and tied one- but all in 2015 and 2016.

FC Union Berlin will be the sixth East German team to be in the top league in almost three decades- the others were Dynamo Dresden, Hansa Rostock, VfB Leipzig (now FC Lok), Energie Cottbus and Hertha. It is the 56th team in history to reach the top tier. And after years of toil and disappointment, the team has entered chartered waters bound to make history. The team has the largest fan club in German soccer and its culture is implanted in Berlin soccer, with a stadium that has hosted soccer games, Christmas events and concerts and crowds that come to enjoy the game and not rampage it, like in some cities. This was noticeable with last night’s relegation game with Stuttgart- it ended in celebration and with no incidences! One could blame Stuttgart for its shortcomings, which will land them in the second league for the first time in three seasons, but the timing of FC Union Berlin’s rise to the top could not have come at a better time. All it needed was unity and the team got it.

And should this unity continue in the upcoming Bundesliga season, then FC Union Berlin will be making even more history as it climbs in the rankings at the expense of those who have been there for years. Seven years ago, one wondered whether professional soccer will return to the east. With first Leipzig and now Berlin, that question has been answered.

 

Congratulations to FC Union Berlin on making it to the big leagues! 🙂

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FC Union Berlin won the relegation based on the “Goal Away from Home” rule. This means the team that has scored more goals “away from home” wins, if the total goals scored by each team are otherwise equal. This is sometimes expressed by saying that away goals “count double” in the event of a tie. In this case, Berlin won against Stuttgart based on that rule by a score of 2-0 because of the 2-2 draw in Stuttgart. 

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President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, marking the 70th anniversary of the German constitution on Wednesday, expressed regret at the low level of awareness of its contents among the population. “The Germans know too little about their own constitution,” Steinmeier said in remarks released ahead of an event at his official Berlin residence, Schloss Bellevue. He cited a […]

via Germans know too little about constitution, German president — The Herald Nigeria

On May 23, 1949, the Grundgesetz, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany came into effect. By the way, I myself was born 5 days later and I am happy and proud having lived for all these years under this Basic Law which is widely regarded as one of the best constitutions in world. […]

via Happy Birthday German Grundgesetz — Lothar Birkner

From the Attic: Bonn- the Birthplace of the German Constitution 1949

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BONN- On this day 70 years ago, the German Constitution was ratified, thus ushering in the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland). It was the first democratic government since the Weimar Republic, which was created in 1919 but lasted only 14 years. It also brought in its first chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who until 1998, became the longest tenured chancellor in modern German history, having served from 1949 until his resignation in 1963. Bonn was its capital until 1994, when it was moved to Berlin, five years after East and West Germany reunited. Since 1999, all federal Offices and the German parliament are conducted in Berlin.

While Germany has some Milestones to celebrate, it is interesting to see how the West German government ratified the Constitution, which still remains in use and is discussed to this day (See the previous article on it here.). Two “Exemplars” on its ratification can be found in this article below; the first produced by the British channel Pathé, the other in German by Zeitzeuge Portal, which includes interviews with historians and political scientists in German. In either case, they are both interesting to see the reaction to the creation of West Germany from local and outsider perspectives.

Enjoy! 🙂

Pathé (UK):

 

Zeitzeuge Portal:

 

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Germany at 70: The Constitution

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May 23rd, 2019. On this day 70 years ago, the West German government, together with the western allies of the US, France and Great Britain ratified the German Consititution, a set of basic laws that are binding and foster equality, freedom of speech and Democracy. The basic laws were the basis for establishing a democratic state, the first since the Weimar Republic of 1919. And unlike the Republic, which was dissolved with the rise of Adolf Hitler, who ushered in the era of Naziism 14 years later, the German Constitution has become the solid rock, one of the examples of how Democracy works even to this day, despite going through the hardships in the sense of politics, society and the economy.  This was even adapted by the former East German government in 1990 as part of the plan to reunify the country.

While there are booklets in many languages that have the Basic Law of Germany, there are some questions that are still open as to how it works in comparison to those in other countries, the US included. This documentary, produced by a bunch of American scholars, gives you an in-depth coverage and discussion to the laws that exist. Albeit Long, one can skip to some of the laws discussed or just simply play it in ist entirety. For those wishing to live in Germany in the future, even temporary, this is rather useful.

Enjoy the documentary! 🙂

 

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About nine out of ten respondents believe that the German constitution has proven itself. Citizens are less satisfied with democracy. Article 3 of the Basic Law on equality before the law. © Jens Kalaene / dpa Just before the 70th birthday of Constitution According to a poll, the vast majority of people in Germany are […]

via Germans are satisfied with the Basic Law | TIME ONLINE — Archy Worldys

Sparnberg Bridge: Swinging Between Border and Crossing?

The Bridgehunter's Chronicles

60543169_2487496021269356_7034162429386817536_o Sparnberg Bridge and Mill. Photos taken in May 2019

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SPARNBERG (THURINGIA); GERMANY- Approximately 1-2 kilometers west of the Rudolphstein Viaduct and the Motorway 9 between Berlin and Munich is a small village that has slowly but surely become the forgotten or even lost one. Sparnberg is located on the River Saale. Founded in 1202, the village used to have a population of over 400 inhabitants at the end of World War II. Today it has only 160. The town today is characterized by its small church and market square, a dam and mill that was created in 1999, a park that is just off the Saale Bike Trail and other hiking trails that careen the steep woody hills, and the key crossing between Thuringia and Bavaria- the Sparnberg Bridge.

60831355_2487501947935430_5515844232725659648_o The bridge and a piece of the wall that once stood- now a memorial

To understand the…

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