A Vacina Lübeck Anti-Covid-19 In Portugese language

A Vacina Lübeck Anti-Covid-19                      

 

baseia-se num antigénio recombinante trivial que pode ser fácil e barato de produzir num Relatório. Induz elevados níveis de anticorpos neutralizantes de vírus em 97% dos vacinados e não causou quaisquer efeitos secundários graves nos primeiros cem pacientes.

Os antigénios recombinantes fornecidos externamente, tais como os utilizados aqui, já provaram há muito o seu valor, por exemplo na vacinação contra a hepatite A e B, e a vacinação é praticamente isenta de riscos. A vacinação é realizada com um peptídeo já sintetizado; não há risco de infecção como no RNA microencapsulado, vírus atenuados ou mortos ou vírus vectoriais. Uma vez que a produção do antigénio da vacina tem lugar fora do corpo, não há necessidade de temer a disseminação descontrolada de informação genética introduzida no organismo humano.

A vacina Lübeck Anti-Covid-19 raramente provoca reacções alérgicas, certamente não ao polietilenoglicol, que é utilizado pela empresa Biontech para microencapsular o mRNA, e ao contrário das vacinas já aprovadas na Alemanha, nenhuma das mais de uma centena de pessoas vacinadas declarou estar doente, mas continuou a trabalhar sem interrupção. Qualquer médico pode dar legalmente a vacina no seu consultório médico.

Três vezes 15 microgramas de RBD recombinante (domínio de ligação dos receptores, Arg319-Phe541) da subunidade S1 da proteína spike são inoculados por pessoa. O Alhydrogel da InvivoGen serve como aditivo. A vacina pode ser facilmente produzida em grandes quantidades. Excelente para a vacinação em massa. Um único reactor de 2000 litros pode produzir 35 g de antigénio por dia, o que seria suficiente para 1 milhão de pessoas. Um sistema de cultura de alta densidade pode produzir cinco vezes mais do que essa quantidade. No prazo de um quarto de ano, a vacina para 80% da população alemã poderia ser produzida num laboratório de tamanho médio.

A vacina é enviada em estado liofilizado à temperatura ambiente e armazenada no frigorífico a 4°C no consultório do médico. Ao contrário das vacinas baseadas em m-RNA, o antigénio de Lübeck não precisa de ser completamente congelada.

Esperamos encontrar em breve um fabricante que ofereça o antigénio ao público – afinal de contas, ainda não é uma vacina que ele teria de aprovar. Porque a aprovação levaria demasiado tempo, certamente anos na Alemanha. Mas na actual situação catastrófica, não há necessidade de longos ensaios em dupla ocultação para resolver com precisão as diferenças de eficácia. Vacina-se as primeiras mil pessoas do teste (melhor com o procedimento de Lübeck), e tornam-se imediatamente imunes. Se isso correr bem, dez mil pessoas recebem-no, e depois os restantes.

 

 

Ilustração: A construção antigénica utilizada, enriquecida com quatro novas mutações importantes.

Lübeck Immunisation against Corona

 

In the past, an extremely powerful research & development division was built up in the Company Euroimmun under my direction, which is also involved in the diagnostics of infectious diseases. Our scientists were among the first to develop reagents for the identification of a whole range of newly emerging infections, often in close cooperation with specialists from international research institutes for infectious diseases, for instance in Germany the Bernhard-Nocht Institute (Hamburg) and the Robert-Koch Institute (Berlin): Crimean Congo, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, usutu, dengue, chikungunya, mayaro, MERS corona, zika, SARS 1, ebola.

Based on the extensive experience in the development of reagents used for the diagnostics of viral infections, we created and produced, in a fast and targeted manner, a recombinant antigen construct for reliable detection of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. The construct is based on a receptor-binding domain (RBD, Arg319-Phe541) in the S1 subunit of the spike protein used by the virus to bind to receptors of the target cells. It was pretty clear for me that vaccination with this protein would provide protection from in the infection.

Some vaccinations have a large and some a very low risk potential. It makes a difference whether a healthy human being is injected with an attenuated virus or virus RNA or with a tiny inconspicuous recombinant protein that cannot cause much harm in the organism, except for specifically stimulating the immune system. For decades, recombinant antigens genetically engineered in culture cells have been used for vaccination against infectious hepatitis A and B. In earlier times, the vaccination antigen had been extracted from blood collected from persons with past hepatitis; the recombinant antigens, however, are artificially designed, easy to produce and do not harbour any infection risk – a great step forward. I myself have vaccinated thousands of my employees with this kind of vaccines. However, it is important to perform three injections in the first quarter and to determine the antibody titre every five to ten years, followed by a booster, if necessary.

This uncomplicated vaccination scheme, which has proven itself over decades and uses a readily available trivial antigen, would have been the order of the day in the case of Covid-19. To adopt completely new approaches, for instance, of introducing virus RNA into the body of vaccinees whose organisms first have to synthesise the vaccination antigen, may be effective but many people are scared because they fear that the virus RNA will take on a life of its own and cause unexpected harm their bodies. For this reason, lengthy vaccination studies had to be carried out, while the virus could spread like wildfire. Moreover, the vaccine is hard to produce, requires an unbroken cold chain from the manufacture to the application, many people have allergic reactions to the additive polyethylene glycol that is necessary for stabilisation and half of the vaccinated persons have to take sick leave after the second shot. Above all, however, the manufacturing requires years until the need is met and every single person is vaccinated. During this time, scientists are able to make their mark and patent owners can make very good money, while millions of humans are dying because they could not be vaccinated in time. “But woe to him who, hid from view, hath done the deed of murder base”! Who will follow hard upon his heels, I ask?

Similarly, coronaviruses  produced in culture and inactivated thereafter are outdated as vaccination antigens in my opinion. With respect to hepatitis, they have long become obsolete. Why should they be used for corona? Similarly, nobody needs to be infected with vector viruses to introduce virus antigens into the body. I, for my part, use the ready-made, extracorporeally genetically engineered antigen, which carries virtually no risk. Until today, none of the one hundred persons I vaccinated in this way have become ill or had to take sick leave.

Some resistance has developed against my approach. People are unable or unwilling to recognise the great potential in the vaccination method that I suggested, although it is virtually risk-free, based on a dead vaccine, can be transported uncooled and stored in the fridge, does not introduce any scary genetic information of the virus into the body, does not contain an attenuated virus, does cause virtually no allergic reactions, and especially not against polyethylene glycol, can be administered in a doctor’s practice, is nearly risk-free and would therefore be much better accepted by the population. It can also be produced in large quantities, which makes it extremely suitable for mass vaccination. The first vaccination was rather trivial than heroic. There was no vector, no RNA, no inactivated coronavirus, but only a tiny peptide.

Take three times 15 microgrammes of recombinant RBD of the S1 subunit (Arg319-Phe541) for one person. As adjuvant I used alhydrogel from InvivoGen. Shake thoroughly and take up 200 microlitres of the mixture with a tuberculin syringe. Take up 10 millilitres of sodium chloride solution? with a larger syringe and add the 200 microlitres, mix well. Take 500 microlitres of the mixture per shot and mix with a portion of the antigen. Make sure everything is sterile.

With a single 2000-litres reactor, 35 g of antigen can be produced per day, which would suffice for 1 million persons. Using a high-density culturing system, five times as much can be yielded. Within half a year it would be possible to produce enough vaccine for 80% of the population in Germany in a medium-scale laboratory.

I have asked the Paul-Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which is the German Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines, for permission to carry out this simple vaccination as soon as possible with a larger number of volunteers to find out whether it would work as well as with me and my family and whether these volunteers would also remain free of secondary effects, including exposed persons. If the PEI had not opposed to my plan, we would already have been able to put a manufacturer into the position to supply and effectively protect the entire German population.

But instead of agreeing to my suggestion, the PEI coolly sued me. May this was because they felt left out in their divine role – I had already done a trial on five (!) persons (which I am entitled to do as a doctor, being allowed to mix together for therapy whatever I deem right. He, who is so knowledgable when it comes to the law, should know this) – maybe to give an advantage to other applicants to whom they felt obliged? But I do not present myself as a manufacturer of vaccines; I do not have a profit motive. I have immediately gone public with my action on purpose and have not filed a patent application to prevent someone else from claiming this approach for themselves. The only thing I want is to show a safe and simple way of dealing with the pandemic in a quick and effective manner.

An emergency justifies unconventional means. With this pandemic we cannot wait for two years, as with other vaccines, until all doubts have been erased regarding potential secondary effects but we have to act quickly. In this respect, the PEI is found guilty of complete failure. The institute should have foreseen that the delivery of vaccines that they approved will take several years. In this situation, intelligent people would have examined all possible alternatives and supported their implementation. They would have thought immediately of the highly effective vaccination carried out in Lübeck and would have supported the project. By the end of 2021, the whole of Germany could be free of Covid-19! The vaccination of over a hundred patients with recombinant S1 RBD antigen in Lübeck was virtually without secondary effects and very effective. 95% of the vaccinees developed high concentrations of protective antibodies within six weeks.

The regulatory authorities are unable to cope. They can only act according to the book. They are helpless in the face of the catastrophe that they have caused themselves. They could and should have been the first to foresee the wildfire-like outbreak of the pandemic. If they had accepted my proposal straight away to vaccinate the population with such a simple antigen, the disease would have been prevented from spreading very quickly. Hundreds of thousands of people would not have been infected and ten thousands would not have died.

It is unbelievable how the PEI is payed court to, as if they were gods who like to take their time to approve a vaccine by determining, under certain conditions and by a lengthy and thorough examination of every tiny detail, whether every stamp is in the right place and every document is folded correctly, while the social life and the economy are breaking down. For me, these paralysing authorities are as bad as the disease itself and unworthy of carrying the name of Paul Ehrlich, whose achievements would have been impossible in the current environment of increasingly excessive bureaucracy. Entrepreneurial qualities are required instead of debilitating dirigisme and helpless stammering on TV. Our society would benefit from some competition for the PEI, something similar to the German Technical Inspection Association or the DEKRA.

In the current disastrous situation, no lengthy double-blind trials are required to clearly determine differences in the effectiveness. One should vaccinate the first thousand probands (ideally with the Lübeck method), thus making them immune straight away. If this succeeds, the next ten thousand people are vaccinated and, thereafter, the remaining population. But some clinicians always have an eye on their third-party funds, they want to proceed scientifically in the proven way and to first examine thoroughly if a vaccine candidate helps to develop more or fewer anti-covid antibodies. As not every vaccine, such as the one from Lübeck, will be able to induce very high concentrations of antibodies in 95% of patients that eliminate (neutralise) the coronavirus.

It is not necessary to first confirm a long-term effect by a time-consuming process. What is primarily required is to establish herd immunity as soon as possible and, in one or two years, when the pandemic has been largely contained it is decided how to proceed further. It should be mainly examined whether the side effects are within certain limits. This in particular is what takes too much time in RNA-based vaccines and co. With the Lübeck variant this question could be answered within six weeks.

Besides, my suggestion of a fast vaccination using the corona S1 antigen was received with great enthusiasm by several scientists. Others scolded the idea, criticising it without rhyme or reason: those who did not have the idea themselves or possibly get their research funds from (newly) established vaccine manufacturers. Some “scientists” might get so many third-party funds that they need to talk down my simple solution approach so as not to come away empty-handed. The manufacturers will indeed not permit a comparison because they fear that my vaccine might compete with their newly patented substances, making their patents worthless and putting into question their expected turnovers of hundreds of millions of dollars and euros. I do not rule out that our much admired godlike authority is not only hostile to innovation but, in closing their eyes to the simplest of solutions and suing me, might have acted for the account of someone else. And since so much money is at stake, I am even risking my life. “Ye corona victims who sweep through upper air, though hushed be every human breath, the tidings of my murder bear,” the victims of short-sighted “scientists”, cowardly sticklers for the letter of law and bureaucrats.

The claim of the PEI that a positive antibody result in the vaccination certificate should only be recognised if it was produced by an approved vaccine must surely be seen in the same light. Persons with a past corona infection, who have earned their antibodies in earnest, will then also require vaccination, apparently to avoid that the minions miss out on money?. Can someone please sue the PEI?

In order to counter the silly accusation of some of these “scientists” that my self-test has no evidential value, I have yielded to the entreaties of some of my colleagues and friends and vaccinated them according to my scheme in legal manner, as I did with my family last April. As a doctor I am entitled to do this without requiring approval by an authority. During our vaccination series from December 2020 to January 2021, no relevant undesired side effects have been found and we detected very high titres of anti-spike IgG in 60 of 65 patients in our laboratory in Lübeck. Five vaccinees will receive a booster soon and 64 exhibited virus-neutralising antibodies. None of the vaccinated persons had to take sick leave. All of those positive for vaccination-induced antibodies are very happy about their new freedom.

Winfried Stöcker

[SM1]

Rhubarb juice

Rhubarb juice, Garten Eden OL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wash rhubarb sticks carefully, do not peel. Freeze and rethaw after at least 1 day, and squeeze. So easy! One of the many innovations from Garten Eden! The yield is 70%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add 9% sugar, if You mix the juice later 1 + 2 with carbonized mineral water, You have a wonderful fresh spritzer, containing 3% sugar. Additional sieved juice of 2 lemons per liter complete the flavour.

Purists leave sugar and lemons away.

Heat shortly to 95 °C and fill in sterilized glass bottles.

 

 

 

 

Immunization against Covid 19

The force with which corona has hit us requires an unconventional approach. From my point of view, an effective vaccination programme should be started as soon as possible.

 

In the past and under my direction, EUROIMMUN established a very efficient department for research and development, which is, among other things, responsible for infection diagnostics. Our scientists were the first to develop reagents for the diagnosis of various newly emerging infectious diseases (Crimean-Congo, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, Usutu, dengue, chikungunya, Mayaro, MERS corona, Zika, SARS 1, Ebola), which was often achieved in cooperation with specialists from large research institutes for infectious diseases, such as the Bernhard Nocht Institute in Hamburg and the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin.

 

EUROIMMUN has also been the first company to obtain approval for ELISAs and a real time PCR for Covid-19 diagnostics in China despite the fact that China handled the forwarding of patient sera very restrictively and unfairly at the beginning. Among the few Western companies, Roche was favoured. However, this company launched its tests well after EUROIMMUN, contrary to what was said by Mr. Spahn and Mr. Söder.

 

Based on its comprehensive experience in the development of reagents for the diagnostics for new viral diseases, EUROIMMUN was able to develop and produce a recombinant antigen construct in a quick and targeted way, which can be used to reliably detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. The construct is based on the S1 domain of the spike protein, which the virus uses to bind to receptors of the target cells.

 

For me it was clear that immunisation with this protein will have a protective effect against the infection. To save time I started straight away to produce a recombinant antigen on the basis of the EUROIMMUN construct, without waiting for an official approval. I used the resulting antigen, combined with Alum Adjuvant, to vaccinate myself intramuscularly several times.

 

As expected, I developed specific antibodies. These antibodies were able to neutralise the coronavirus in a virus cell culture*. I AM NOW IMMUNE TO SARS-CoV-2!

 

As expected, I tolerated the vaccinations well. Over the whole time I felt well and stayed healthy. Antibodies against the nucleocapsid of the virus, which were analysed in parallel, did not develop. Therefore, the serologically detected anti-S1 antibodies cannot result from an undiagnosed past coronavirus infection during the test period.

 

 

Vaccination scheme

26. March 2020: 13 micrograms S1

2. April 2020: 13 micrograms S1

14. April 2020: 26 micrograms S1

21. April 2020: 39 micrograms S1

 

Serological results

27. March 2020:

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) IgA ELISA neg., ratio 0.5 (normal value ≤ 0.8)

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) IgG ELISA neg., ratio 0.5 (normal value ≤ 0.8)

Neutralization: negative

 

  1. April 2020:

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) IgA ELISA pos., ratio 1.0 (normal value ≤ 0.8)

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) IgG ELISA neg., ratio 0.2 (normal value ≤ 0.8)

Neutralization: 1:40

 

  1. April 2020:

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) IgA ELISA pos., ratio 3.5 (normal value ≤ 0.8)

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) IgG ELISA pos., ratio 6.2 (normal value ≤ 0.8)

Neutralization: 1:40

 

  1. April 2020:

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) IgA ELISA pos., ratio 10.3 (normal value ≤ 0.8)

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) IgG ELISA pos., ratio 12.3 (normal value ≤ 0.8)

Neutralization: 1:160

 

In my opinion, three quarters of the population in Germany or the USA could be vaccinated with S1 of SARS-CoV-2 within 6 months. Until then, strict quarantine measures could be maintained, but lifted thereafter. Many experts will be against this suggestion, but they should at least test the vaccination among a small number of volunteers to determine whether they also remain free of secondary effects and among persons who are specifically exposed to the virus, such as nurses. I am confident that the persons vaccinated will be protected from the infection, in contrast to the unvaccinated individuals!

 

100 micrograms are required per person. With one 2000-litre reactor 35 g of the antigen can be produced per day. This would suffice to vaccinate 350,000 people. Using a high-density culture system, five times the amount can be produced.

 

Lübeck, 8. May 2020

Winfried Stöcker

 

 

* Neutralisation test

The decisive (final) result of my immunisation self-test, which makes me feel relieved and very happy, is that due to the immunisation I produced a high concentration of antibodies and that these are able to neutralise the virus! In the diagnostic test, two cell cultures are infected with coronavirus in a high-security laboratory. To one culture, serum from an unvaccinated patient is added. The cells will get infected and finally die. If, however, serum from a vaccinated person is added – even highly diluted – the culture does not show an infection and the virus is neutralised. Patients who have recovered from coronavirus exhibit these neutralising antibodies, which protect them from a reinfection. In my case, the vaccination is able to protect me from a first infection, which means that I cannot get infected by a person carrying the virus.

Neutralization was tested independently in four different prestigious German laboratories. Although the titres differed considerably, positive results were reported by all laboratories at least on 28.4.2020.

Stay a while! You are so lovely!

To my colleagues from EUROIMMUN AG

Change at the Top of the Company

Winfried Stöcker

30 June 2019

 

 

When, to the Moment then, I say: ‘Ah, stay a while! You are so lovely!’

Then you can grasp me: then you may, then, to my ruin, I’ll go gladly!

Then they can ring the passing bell, then from your service you are free,

The clocks may halt, the hands be still, and time be past and done, for me!

 

First of all: My time is far from being past and done! Even when I am no longer running EUROIMMUN. I am pleased about the discharge and am looking forward to still being involved in the company and supporting it further.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wants to unravel the most fundamental of all mysteries, that of the meaning of life. He lets Dr Faust make a deal with the devil: Spiritual salvation against the correct answer. And Mephisto presented him with a lot of things: women, world journeys, antiques and free drinks – everything that one wishes for in life. But Faust was not happy with any of that. Television and computer games did not yet exist. But he was finally successful in his search: He came upon a region with hard-working people and a prospering economy; they made the land arable and drained the marshland, working together to create new living space:

Let me make room for many a million, not wholly secure, but free to work on.

Green fertile fields, where men and herds may gain swift comfort from the new-made earth.

Quickly settled in those hills’ embrace, piled high by a brave, industrious race.

And in the centre here, a Paradise.

 

Our company EUROIMMUN is filled with this kind of spirit, a paradise which we have created together. We sought and found technical solutions and scientific knowledge in the area of laboratory medical diagnostics to heal patients. Everyone envies us our working conditions. You, my dear colleagues, have not worked under me, but with me at eye level. We strived together for the same goal and no one was exploited. Without you I would not have achieved anything. I hope that you felt how grateful I always was that you turned my plans into reality and contributed so many of your own ideas.

 

In my concept for the company foundation I wrote at that time: “The company should guarantee its employees a free professional development and secure their livelihood.” 20 years ago I could already announce that this had, to a great extent, been achieved: “Anyone who visits our company is amazed at the many friendly faces, the trusting cooperation and the positive mutual good will. Every person is supported and makes a significant contribution. Women are not discriminated against and reach high positions in the company. And after having children, mothers are not forced to take a long professional break, but they can continue to work and bring their children to our kindergarden”.

And at a celebration 12 years ago I realised: At the current size and in over twenty individual departments we make a successful strike every week – an antigen is identified, a diagnostically potent protein is recombinantly produced, a new analytical principle is realised, a laboratory wing is opened, a loan commitment is obtained, another genius has signed a work contract with us, the building permit for an already completed project is approved, the kitchen has developed a new recipe, a key customer has switched to our Borrelia blots, or so many good friends are coming to the birthday or anniversary.

Yes, I’ve surrendered to this thought’s insistence, the last word Wisdom ever has to say:

He only earns his Freedom and Existence, who’s forced to win them freshly every day.

Childhood, manhood, age’s vigorous years, surrounded by dangers, they’ll spend here.

I wish to gaze again on such a land, free earth: where a free race, in freedom, stand.

Then, to the Moment I’d dare say: ‘Stay a while! You are so lovely!’

 

Free earth: where a free race, in freedom, stand. And seize freedom every day! This command is more relevant today than ever before! In the parallel world, the ideologists are trying to restrict our freedom where they can. With regard to food it starts with trying to convince us to abstain from eating a meat dish once a week. They appeal to our conscience. Later, two meat-free days a week will be demanded, and when they have us under their control there won’t be animal products any more.

 

We are excluded from many parts of our homeland so that amphibians and vermin can multiply undisturbed. It is fine to establish nature reserves, but these should be in regions that are less densely populated. Instead we are deprived of our own cultivated landscape, for instance, around Lübeck. The protection of the hazel dormouse, bat, blue throat and hermit beetle is taken as a pretext to hinder large building projects in the whole of Germany. The ideologists should not be accommodated too much, otherwise nothing will be able to be done without their agreement any more. But Germany does not belong to them alone.

A blinded clique make the decision over our heads that our homeland should once again be populated by wolves – since there is apparently not enough room for them in Siberia. Indeed it is generally known that wolves only want to play, but some “problem wolves” take lambs and other large prey. You can no longer send your children to collect mushrooms in the woods, in the evenings here in Rennersdorfer Kreppel, or let them swim in the blue lagoon of the Berzdorfer See. It’s as if someone has sway over you and can shut a fierce dog in your garden. And you have to put up with it! One person’s freedom ends when the freedom of their neighbour is restricted without need. Our constitution is seventy years old, long may it live! It should not be constantly meddled with by dilettantes.

Now the ideologists elevate themselves once again with the aim of reforming the people. Anyone who doesn’t join in is branded as unmoral. Apparently they need entertainment after the fall of the iron curtain. That Germany cannot accommodate a hundred million people from Africa and Asia, on this topic most people in the country are now closer to my point of view, even if politicians beat around the bush with regard to this subject, so that they don’t have to admit their past mistakes.

I hate the regulatory mania of the politicians, always quoting the rules of the European Union. A young pupil wants to do an internship at EUROIMMUN and is asked to read, understand, and sign 15 densely printed pages on data protection first. She is pushed into lying, since she will not read this trash. This is the same with all the bits of paper that you have to sign if you have the misfortune to need treatment in a hospital.

I also hate the indoctrination with which the German language is violated, meaning to always also use the female form so as to not offend anyone. This persistent pushing for gender fairness does not help any woman to gain expertise! And people get into top positions who are not able to handle the task. I cannot bear this gender nonsense any longer, and the majority of the population agrees with me (Heike Schmoll, FAZ, 1. April 2019, “Ungeliebter Stern” (unloved asterisk)), even though the media are painting a different picture. Rather let women become priests and popes and let them keep their maiden names. This way, we could accomplish more. At EUROIMMUN, it makes no difference whether a woman or a man does the work. Everyone is paid the same for the same skills and performance. And this works, without narrow-minded watchdogs, a socialist dictate or the silly gender asterisk.

Our countryside is full of rape fields, over-fertilised and impregnated with insecticides, to produce a poor petrol substitute, at the expense of biodiversity, bird populations and the tax payer. And corn for artificial fuel? The wild boar is delighted and moves on to reproduce! And he spreads the African swine fever virus! Windmills are importunately placed into the landscape, as can be seen in Rennersdorf from the idyllic Kreppel site. Photovoltaics are highly subsidised, but this technique should be applied where the sun shines a lot. Solar heat plants should be built in the desert and the electricity brought to Europe via low-loss 1000 kilovolt pipes. Until these are established, the safest nuclear plants worldwide should be continued to use and new ones built, such as those developed in Germany. Instead, other countries all over the world set up hundreds of poorly built reactors like those in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

This is the consequence of the arrogance of the red-green politicians. Every mistake that can be made is made! The nuclear waste would only give us a share of the worry that the increase of CO2 means for the world climate. To get this insight, naive hysteria is misplaced. Expert knowledge is required instead. However, this knowledge is not gained by skiving off school, even though this is so enthusiastically applauded by the narrow-minded public.

You can use desert electricity in order to produce environment-friendly synthetic petrol and you don’t even need a gram of fossil energy sources any more. The call to equip all cars with batteries which are harmful to the environment is one of politics’ worst stupidities. Once again, the closest option is snatched at! We will pay for it when, in five years’ time, batteries worth 10,000 to 20,000 euros per car have to be replaced after they do not work anymore. Quidquid agis, prudenter agas et respice finem.

But then again– what else to expect? The politicians are badly paid and chosen rather by their gender than expertise. They have now understood what works best. In Bavaria and Berlin, the Greens have replaced some boring people by young attractive ones. Now they have been elected, even though they don’t have anything else to offer than empty words, such as “Garantiesicherung” (Robert Habeck, Chairman of the Greens) and half-baked ideas. The Liberals just copy them.

In China, people are photographed everywhere in order to permanently observe them. Also outside of their country, they are monitored, as I have seen in Paris in the Moulin Rouge two months ago. The watchdogs took photos and notes. And all Chinese are asked to report any unduly behaviour of their neighbours. I always scolded my children for telling on others. The system is much more effective than that of the Stasi in the former GDR, since everyone can work as an informant, earning extra points on their account. Citizens who park in a wrong spot, who drive too fast, visit a casino or otherwise behave against the rules are subtracted points and might lose their jobs or not get an apartment, or even get one with 24/7 monitoring. My family fled from the former GDR because they wanted to get away from the ruling party’s dictatorship and the spying. But where to end up? A new dictatorship is in the making!

My dear colleagues! Nip this in the bud! Use your common sense and don’t participate in every nonsense! Do not let simple-minded politicians and journalists contaminate you with their hysteria. Resist with reasonable arguments, don’t remain indifferent, and convince your fellows! He only earns his Freedom and Existence, who’s forced to win them freshly every day. You can achieve this best by using your common sense! Lead a self-determined life, don’t let others patronise, exploit or bully you – neither the state, nor the church, your spouse, or employer.

Anyway, the state is there for us, not vice versa! And do not believe the promises of the church! You will not float on a cloud in heaven, nor suffer in hell. These are stories some grandma might like to hear, but no intelligent person still believes in. And every spouse should make the same effort in a share household and make concessions! This is something some still need to improve! Free yourself from anyone who restricts you!

And with respect to your employer, I hope that my successors will preserve our paradise in all its splendour.

Good luck! Winfried

 

 

 

EUROCantat-Weihnachtskonzert 2018

EUROCantat-Weihnachtskonzert 2017

EUROCantat-Weihnachtskonzert 2016

The art of granite joints

We are building a new production site in Tianjin. The facade of the two buildings will be covered in natural stone. We will use the same grey granite as we used to cover our floors in other EUROIMMUN buildings.

If you have a look around, you often see dirt in the joints of natural stone facades, no matter whether these are filled with plaster or silicone or are open. This is due to dust accumulating on the upper edges of the stone plates which is then washed down by the rain. This causes ugly “adornments”, most often as irregular bands running downwards, but also sometimes upwards and towards the sides due to diffusion.

 

 

 

 

 

In Tianjin, we are trying out something new. The granite plates are cut in an angle so that no dirt can collect on the upper edge. The joints point downwards from the building at an angle. They do not have to be filled with plaster or silicone since the rain runs out and downwards. This “new openness” also leads to a good rear ventilation of the facade and no humidity builds up in the masonry. We expect our facade to remain clean for a long time and our approach to serve others as an example.

 

Furthermore, applying these stones according to the present invention leads to an especially consistent and beautiful pattern of the joints. Whether this method actually serves the purpose remains to be seen. We will let dust, rain and frost have their effect for two or three years and then present the result.

Innovations for the pathohistochemistry

In the area of histology, EUROIMMUN has a unique expertise. The company’s Business Division Immunofluorescence deals with serological autoantibody diagnostics using tissue sections and is specialised on the fully automated processing of these analyses. The respective test systems are used worldwide, their share of the company’s total revenues (240 million euros in the year 2016) amounts to approximately one third.

In pathohistochemistry, one of EUROIMUN’s new focuses, however, it is not the serum that is analysed on the basis of tissue sections, but the tissue itself: The properties of histological samples and their reactivity with defined antibodies or other reagents are analysed and microscopically evaluated.

The EUROTide incubation technique and the BIOCHIP technology enable us to modernise or revolutionise pathohistochemistry. These technologies are unique features of EUROIMMUN. They are supplemented by an arsenal of further new developments, which, in combination with EUROPath, will be groundbreaking for diagnostics. We want to become a worldwide leader in this area, just as in the field of autoimmune diagnostics.

EUROPath is based on several proven inventions in whose development EUROIMMUN employees played an essential role: the TITERPLANE technique, MERGITE!, EUROTide, BIOCHIP technology, chemical activation of the slide surface, and Computer-Aided Immunofluorescence Microscopy (CAIFM). Moreover, several new strategies are applied in EUROPath, for example: the fully automated dyeing platform EP-Dx, recombinant production of substrates for function control of the reagents, EUROPath microscopy and EUROPathOffice as a special version of the established EUROLabOffice software used in serological laboratories, crypto-coding for BIOCHIP glass foils, laser perforation of slides (predetermined breaking point), mounting by using cover glasses coated with synthetic resin paint or by means of well-known techniques of the BIOCHIP production.

THE STATE OF THE HISTOCHEMISTRY AT EUROIMMUN

The first patent application of EUROIMMUN’s founder was for the TITERPLANE technique. It uses two flat analysis plates with opposite hydrophilic reaction fields for histochemical or other reactions in liquid. Samples or reagents are pipetted onto reagent trays and subsequently, slides are placed from above into the spaces of the reagent trays, so that the tissue sections or other substrates facing the fields of the reagent tray come into contact with the droplets. As the fluids are confined in a closed space, there is no need for a conventional humidity chamber. The fact that the reactions start simultaneously helps to standardise analytics (1).

MERGITE! (Dive in!, 22) completes the concept which started with the TITERPLANE technique. The slides which are incubated upside down are not turned over in the washing process. They are positioned in racks, with the reaction fields facing upside down. The frame features stalagmite-like appendages, whose plane surfaces lie opposite the reaction fields at a distance of one third of a millimetre. PBS streams out of the centre of these appendages at a slow rate. The PBS moves by laminar flow over the substrates to the outer edges and runs down, without the liquids of neighbouring samples in the reaction area mixing together. One wash step only takes 15 seconds! The surface of the slides outside of the reaction fields remains dry. Beakers, cuvettes and kilometres of paper towels are now obsolete! MERGITE! can also be integrated in a fully automated workflow. This was actually the last hurdle for immunohistochemistry. Today, the technique is able to compete with the many other immunobiochemical analysis techniques.

EUROTide is a further development of the TITERPLANE technique. Solid phase substrates are arranged on oblong adhesion surfaces of a slide and, from above, brought into contact with the fluids which are in the channels of the reagent tray, exactly opposite the adhesion surfaces.

 

During the incubation, the arrangement is constantly tilted form one side to the other at a slow pace, which causes a strong convection in the fluids, thus resulting in a very effective mixing of the reactants (13). Diffusion gradients are permanently reduced and the reactions are quicker and stronger. Without movement of the liquid, a colour crystal needs several hours to dissolve. With EUROTide, however, it only takes a few seconds. In autoimmune diagnostics, tenfold higher titers are obtained with EUROTide than with the conventional incubation (28). The reactivity of each substrate is more consistent over the whole surface than with the former state of the art. If several samples are analysed separately next to each other, the arrangement prevents the fluids from adjacent samples from mixing during the incubation.

The fact that in TITERPLANE, EUROTide and MERGITE! the tissue sections are immersed from above into the liquid samples or reagents enhances the analytical quality.

  • Reagents or patient sera are often contaminated with crystals, bacteria and dirt particles. During the incubation with conventional techniques, these fall and drop onto the tissue sections, where they cannot be completely removed by washing, and interfere with the microscopic evaluation. We know this problem very well from autoimmune diagnostics. If you want to present decent photos without interfering background, the tissue sections must be immersed into the droplets from above during the incubation. In this way, you obtain clear images and results
  • The tissue sections remain humid during the incubation and the washing procedures, and the fluids do not run off at the sides. With conventional incubation, disturbing factors may sometimes occur due to the drying process. The salt concentration in the remaining liquid increases, sometimes extremely, and the cells of the tissues are osmotically drained so that their content is partly released into the environment. Sometimes salt crystals form in the tissue or the cells, which destroy the morphology.
  • With conventional incubation, it can also occur that tissue is squeezed by surface tension, or disturbing particles accumulate when the surface of the liquid is lowered into the tissue (Something similar can be observed when having a cup of tea. Often the tea is covered by an extremely fine film which sticks to the inner wall of the cup, when it is tilted. This build-up cannot be removed by washing, and can only be mechanically eliminated, which is not possible in immunohistochemistry).

The invention of the BIOCHIPs was the commercial basis for the company EUROIMMUN, founded in 1987 (Stöcker, 3, 7 and 10). BIOCHIPs are used in autoimmune diagnostics by means of indirect immunofluorescence test, but are also suitable for diagnostics in the pathohistochemical laboratory. Tissue sections are brought onto thin glass foils and then cut out, together with the glass, as a whole or in fragments (BIOCHIPs). These are then glued on to slides.

The chemical activation of the glass surface which is nowadays common in every pathohistochemical laboratory is also based on one of our inventions: The tissue sections are fixed in the glass by covalent bridges, so that they adhere a hundredfold better. They do not float away during the incubations and the structures are preserved better (4). For mass production we nowadays apply a plasma treatment to the slides and covalently couple different agents to the glass surface.

EUROIMMUN innovations include LED-equipped calibrated light sources for fluorescence microscopy (9), with which the company equipped thousands of Zeiss microscopes that are now used worldwide. These replace the mercury vapour lamps as they are cheaper, have a life-time of 40,000 instead of 100 hours, do not emit UV radiation, only develop little heat, can be controlled, and only cost some cents, and not a hundred euros.

Previously, in automated microscopy, it was necessary to switch from fluorescence excitation to white light for every image during the focusing to the image level in order to prevent the bleaching of the fluorochrome (11, 14). Today, the focusing only takes a split second and requires an extremely little amount of light, so that this step can be omitted.

Computer-aided immunofluorescence microscopy (CAIFM) is another important contribution of EUROIMMUN to autoimmune and infection diagnostics. The incubated slides are transported subsequently from a magazine with 50 or 100 ten-field slides and placed under the objective of a microscope, the images are taken digitally and are automatically evaluated by a pattern recognition software. Optionally, the user can operate the microscope interactively from the desk and evaluate the reactions displayed on the screen without having to move. A dark room is also no longer required (12).

For the exact identification of every single one of the slides to be investigated and for the description of many characteristics which are important for analytics, such as sort, lot, expiry date, and others, they are labelled with a specific code (15). In case the slides are still visually evaluated, the results can be recorded by language recognition or shortcuts.

With respect to microscopy techniques, EUROIMMUN has made huge progress in recent years which can also be applied in pathology (17, 18, 25). In a cooperation with Prof Martinetz from the University of Lübeck and his colleagues, the best microscope worldwide for autoimmune diagnostics, which is selling extremely well.

THE EUROPATH TECHNOLOGY

EUROPath reagent trays and EUROTide

The EUROTide function and the BIOCHIPbased handling of tissue sections for histochemistry are the main features of the EUROPath Technology.

The EUROPath reagent tray has a flat concave base. By placing a slide on the tray (with the tissue sections facing downwards), an incubation chamber is formed, which is largely closed and does not allow any noteworthy evaporation. Steady tilting, preferably in the longitudinal direction permanently causes a strong convection (EUROTide, alternating high and low tide). This accelerates the reactions, intensifies the signals and shortens the incubation time. The required amount of reagents is reduced to a third (26)!

The forced convection in EUROTide delivers excellent dyeing results. The arrangement does not require any complicated coating of the slides with oil for the incubation (in the Roche system (Ventana) this is done to prevent the fluid from drying, while an air stream is applied to cause waves in order to create movement in the preparation).

Slide and reagent tray remain joined together from the start of the incubation to the last washing step, but the incubation area can still be accessed via channels. In the washing procedure, liquid is added and sucked off in a timesaving manner, simultaneously or alternating in quick succession. EUROPath reagent trays are temperature-stable up to 110ºC, resistant against dyes and solvents, and easy to clean.

With EUROTide, both BIOCHIP carriers and normal standard slides with conventionally produced tissue sections of different, arbitrary sizes can be used.

BIOCHIPs

The BIOCHIP technology provides the option of focusing on the diagnostically relevant parts of histological samples: Tissue sections are fixed on glass foils and, in this composition, fragmented into BIOCHIPs. Only those structures which are important for the analysis are cut out of the tissue sections and then incubated according to the EUROTide principle.

In this way, only the actually required amount of tissue is analysed, space and reagents are saved, and no time is lost by investigating the unnecessary parts under the microscope. Complete, large tissue sections can by analysed as well as small ones.

Today, EUROIMMUN has different devices for the optical recording of tissue structures (scanners) as well as fully automated BIOCHIP fragmenting and assembling devices which have been developed in-house and produced by our own engineering department (29).

If only little tissue is available, e.g. after biopsy, it can be first completely processed into tissue sections and brought on to glass foils. Afterwards, the tissue is fragmented into BIOCHIPs together with the glass foil and glued onto slides. This is done in such a way that as many individual substrates as possible containing the relevant structures are obtained. The remaining coated glass foils are sealed in bags or packed in blister and preserved in liquid nitrogen.

In order to produce tissue arrays, each tissue sample is cut individually and processed separately into BIOCHIPs, which are then combined to BIOCHIP mosaics. A maximal amount of usable substrate can be obtained even from the smallest biopsies, which is a large advantage when there is not much tissue available. If the tissue contains individual nests with interesting structures, it is possible to extract them and to evaluate only the relevant parts at the microscope.

Only perfect BIOCHIPs are used and every mosaic is qualitatively perfect, a large advantage compared to the conventional “mortadella” preparations, where tissue pieces combined in paraffine blocks are cut with the microtome (Poschmann et al. 5, Stöcker et al. 6, Thorns et al. 8).

Unlike with the paraffine sections, there is no feasible alternative for comprehensive tissue arrays from frozen tissue sections to BIOCHIP Mosaics. It is possible to freeze several organ pieces together and cut them as a package into frozen tissue sections in the cryotome (“mixed tissues”). However, this conventional technique is limited since the tissues have different characteristics when cut. For example, each organ has its own optimal temperature or sometimes, the cutting thickness must be adjusted if the stability of the tissue varies or the cutting level used for each organ need readjusting, which is difficult in mixed tissues. If every organ is cut individually and processed to BIOCHIPs, a significantly higher amount of usable substrates is obtained and it is possible to be flexible if arrays with different combinations are required (according to the requested analyses or time point).

The BIOCHIP technology also allows to conveniently and systematically extract microsections from tissue sections. For example, BIOCHIPs with an edge length of 0.1 mm were used in polymerase chain reactions in order to determine genetic characteristics in certain cell groups.

After completion of the incubations, all the differently stained and treated BIOCHIPs from one patient are combined together on a slide and treated with mounting medium. This makes the evaluation at the microscope much easier for the pathologist. For comparative analyses, BIOCHIP Mosaics can be produced combining tissue sections from a hundred different tumours.

For secure identification of each individual BIOCHIP, a sufficient number of codes can be engraved 40 μm underneath the surface of the carrier glass using a CO2-LASER, so that each BIOCHIP has at least one ID which is resistant to solvents and which the microscope can read automatically (crypto code, 21).

The tissue sections are brought onto cryptocoded carrier glasses, the relevant structures are identified, the fragment size defined, the relevant BIOCHIPs cut out automatically and made available for histochemical analysis.

Fully automated dyeing platform EP-Dx

The fully automated dyeing platform “EUROPath Analyzer EP-Dx” is an essential element of the EUROPath technology. It is based on the EUROTide incubation technique and is characterised by brilliant staining, a low consumption of reagents and secure sample identification. This device is versatile and will bring a breath of fresh air to the diagnostics in the pathological institutes (19, 20).

EUROIMMUN’s engineers were able to benefit from a large pool of experience when they developed EP-Dx. In the past, they invented and launched over 70 different analysis instruments and production devices, amongst them all fully automated systems for the production of BIOCHIPs (10, 29), a large random-access instrument for bead-based immunotests (24), the fully automated system EUROTide for indirect immunofluorescence and micro-immunoblots, the pipetting device EUROLabLiquid- Handler, and, derived thereof, a fully automated “Workstation”, hundreds of which will soon be used in the largest laboratories worldwide, and, last but not least, the MERGITE! system for fast and reproducible washing of slides.

Several EP-Dx prototype generations are currently being throroughly tested at the EUROIMMUN subsidiary in Dassow. Up to 1000 tissue samples can be analysed next to each other, at one station by using up to 50 different staining protocols and within less than three hours per analysis. In comparison to the conventional processing, EP-Dx causes stronger reactions and only requires a third of the (often very expensive) reagent. EP-Dx is flexible and open, the user can apply their own antibodies for immunohistochemistry.

EP-Dx is a modular system based on EUROIMMUN’s EUROLabLiquidHandler. The working area is completely closed, the exhaust air is filtered and controlled and it does not smell of organic solvent as is usually the case in pathological laboratories.

The EUROTide function is achieved by the tilting modules, which the reagent trays are placed on. The loading of the individual rockers with the patient samples is monitored by a digital reader system. The washing is performed with up to ten different wash buffers.

The reagent racks are loaded into the platform in a defined grid pattern via a rail system. The reagents carry ID codes and are automatically identified by a scanner during the loading procedure. The loading of the device is supported by different optical displays and is designed to avoid mix-ups.

A 5-needle pipetting module transfers the liquids by highly precise aspiration and dispensing processes and also produces dilutions. Each needle is controlled separately and each channel has a capacitative liquid level detection. The needles are effectively cleaned from the outside and the inside after each pipetting step. Both organic as well as aqueous solvents are used in the washing. Inflammable liquids are safely stored in an actively ventilated safety cabinet. Toxic waste is collected separately.

The dyeing device is operated via a software with an intuitive user interface and touch screen and is suitable for random-access technology. The user is guided through the planning of the work list, the loading procedure, and the subsequent run by Support graphic displays. The required master data and assays are saved in a database. The software works independently, but can also be connected with other laboratory software for the transfer of protocols and results.

Recombinant control substrates for verifying the functioning of the reagents

In pathohistochemistry, it must be confirmed that the techniques were correctly applied and the reagents used for staining worked correctly. This is done by including human control substrates in each incubation. Authentic human material, however, is not available everywhere and its use is sometimes considered as not legitimate. In EUROIMMUN’s molecular biological laboratories, the respective antigens are produced recombinantly for BIOCHIPs or readily assembled slides.

Different expression systems have been established at EUROIMMUN, based on baker’s yeast, insect and mammal cells. Especially for the production of authentic autoantigens, the use of human expression systems is an important prerequisite. We benefit from this expertise in the determination of autoantibodies against components of the brain. Here, EUROIMMUN has gained an excellent reputation throughout the world (23, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32).

EUROPathOffice

EUROIMMUN’s organisation software EUROLabOffice, which is well-established in serological laboratories, is customised to the requirements of pathohistochemistry in order to facilitate work processes and to standardise diagnostics. Many conservative pathology institutes are still lagging behind significantly in this field.

Histopattern (Pathohistochemical pattern evaluation)

Microscopic images are increasingly recorded, processed and archived by automated microscopes. In cooperation with the University of Luebeck, EUROIMMUN is working on methods of pattern recognition which shall allow, among other things, to virtually bring differently stained serial sections into alignment. An enormous auto-didactic three-dimensional software shall provide fully automated microscopy for pathologists in the near future (33, 34).

Other systems similar to EUROPath – state of the art from the competitors

The market leader Roche/Ventana offers several devices for pathology automation: “Symphony” deparaffinises and offers automated HEoverview staining and special stains. Moreover, scanners and a software for the pathology laboratory are available (tele-pathology).

Roche/Ventana uses the so-called “Liquid Coverslip” technology: The incubation preparation is coated with oil to avoid drying, controlled air streams move the surface, and, in this complicated way, create convection.

In the technology applied by Leica, a “Covertile” is exactly fitted to create a capillary gap as a reaction space in order to avoid evaporation of the reagents. Heat treatment is difficult, the distribution of the incubation solutions is irregular and there is no convection.

The “Xmatrx System ULTRA“ and “Xmatrx ELITE“ from Biogenex are fully automated dyeing systems for IHC, ISH, fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH), in situ PCR and special stains on slides.

ThermoFisher sells automated embedding systems and automated systems for removal of paraffine and antigen re-production for IHC. The “Labvision Autostainer“ performs IHC and special stains and can process a large number of slides in parallel.

The instrument “Omnis“ from Dako encompasses IHC and ISH on one device with removal of paraffine, and counterstaining. There is another device from Dako exclusively for IHC. The “Hybridizer“ performs fluorescence and chromogen in situ hybridisation (FISH, CISH). “Artisan-Link“ enables fully automated special stains. However, only defined processes are possible, similar as in Thermo- Fisher’s “Gemini” system.

Leica Biosystems offers the fully automed staining device “BOND-MAXe“ for IHC and ISH. Moreover, slide printers and cassettes are offered, as well as tissue infiltration devices, embedding systems, different microtomes, microscopes and scanners, software for digital evaluation and documentation. A so-called “Workstation” carries out automatically dyeing and embedding.

Sakura Finetek offers the so-called “SMART Automation“ – for cutting of tissue sections, draining, dyeing, and embedding. Several cuts and stains are displayed next to each other on the screen.

All these technical automation approaches have in common that devices, reagents and consumables are altogether more expensive than in the manual methods. The savings in personnel costs are opposed to high acquisition costs and operation expenses.

References

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  28. Lemcke S, Sokolowski S, Rieckhoff N, Buschtez M, Kaffka C, Winter-Keil A, Schaller C, Rottmann N, Sadik CD, Stöcker W, Zillikens D, Schmidt E. Automated direct immunofluorescence analyses of skin biopsies. J Cutan Pathol 43(3): 227-235 (2015).
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  30. Miske R, Hahn S, Rosenkranz T, Müller M, Dettmann IM, Mindorf S, Denno Y, Brakopp S, Scharf M, Teegen B, Probst C, Melzer N, Meinck HM, Terborg C, Stöcker W, Komorowski L. Autoantibodies against glutamate receptor δ2 after allogenic stem cell transplantation. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 3:e255 (2016).
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  34. W. Stöcker. Histopattern. Angemeldete Marke, 12.5.2017 (2017)

Transfer of EUROIMMUN to PerkinElmer

Robert Friel (CEO, PerkinElmer, left) and Prof. Winfried Stöcker (CEO, EUROIMMUN, right) signing the contract.

 

Dear customers!

I am fine, I feel ready to tackle anything. Nevertheless, during the past two years, I have reflected much on the future of EUROIMMUN after the end of my active professional life. How is it possible to lead the company into a secure future? Looking at the circle of our inventive and motivated executives, who, with all their diligence and creativity, have established a variety of technologies and such an ingenious spectrum of products, and who lead our fresh-minded, bright, talented and friendly colleagues, I need not fear about the distant future – provided that EUROIMMUN does not fall into the wrong hands after my retirement.

There is a risk that EUROIMMUN will once becoming prey to financial investors who are not the least interested in diagnostic products and medical advance, and who might not have an eye for the interests of the employees or the regions where our subsidiaries are located. EUROIMMUN is highly regarded worldwide and several other companies have a great interest in a takeover. A competing company would try to gain a majority and then let individual large divisions of the company die off – just to eliminate a fellow competitor. The company might also be filleted by picking out the most profitable sections and abandoning the remainder – especially research, development and corporate culture.

I would therefore prefer to entrust the company to proven experts, who, according to my assessment, are capable of ensuring the continued existence of what we have successfully built up over the past 30 years. We have found these experts in PerkinElmer, a renowned company of global significance, which is headquartered in Boston, USA, but has also some prosperous divisions located in Germany. PerkinElmer was founded in 1931 and has been known to me since my doctoral dissertation (1971 to 1975) as a sound, technology-oriented enterprise. It has 9,000 employees and generates an annual revenue of 2.1 billion dollars. PerkinElmer focuses on laboratory diagnostics and is, for example, market leader in the field of newborn screening for metabolic disorders.

As there is no competitive situation between PerkinElmer and EUROIMMUN, one need not fear that the corporate merger will entail the closure of individual departments. In addition, we have identified many projects allowing us to cooperate for our mutual advantage. In particular, PerkinElmer would like to benefit from our engineering skills, because there is nothing comparable in the world. The production sites will also be maintained, not least those in China, and not a single job is subject to negotiation! Likewise, we will strive to retain our established network of proven distributors.

I expect that the diagnostics which we have implemented, will be maintained, our ideas won’t be forgotten and our employees will continue to fulfill their tasks in Germany and at our international sites on a long-term basis, including creative research, development, production and sales.

For my part, I will keep my job as CEO for a few more years and, in parallel, continue to run (independently) our diagnostic laboratory (Clinical Immunological Laboratory Prof. Dr. Winfried Stöcker). A nice successor is currently becoming acquainted with this work and might someday replace me, but only in a few years’ time.

Sincerely,

Prof. Dr. med. Winfried Stöcker

 

Strawberry jam, quince pulp and raspberry/blackberry jelly

Strawberry Jam:

10 kg strawberries (only Senga sengana), remove 5 kg of water using a rotary evaporator. Optionally, puree 10% to 20% of the strawberries and mix them with the others. They need not to be cut.

500 g refined sugar

50 g pectin

5 g ascorbic acid

Juice of 10 limes

50 ml Grand Marnier

 

Thoroughly mix the pectin, sugar and ascorbic acid to avoid lumps, then add lime juice and Grand Marnier and bring to the boil. Keep at 90 °C for 15 min until the pectin has dissolved completely. Heat the strawberries to 100°C in the convection oven, add them to the mix and heat to 95°C. This procedure helps to avoid long heating times and a loss of quality in the cooking pot. The heat should be spread evenly in the pot (stir!). The mass is allowed to arise briefly but it should not boil with bubbles for four minutes – this would result in a nightmare with a sea of froth. Stir one last time and fill into sterilised glasses. The fruits will be everywhere in the glass, instead of only in the upper half, with the head of the family having to content himself with the jelly on the bottom after the tasty bits have been enjoyed by the rest of the family.

 

 

Quince Pulp:

22 kg quinces, yield 15 litres of juice, reduced to one third: 5 litres of concentrate

250 g refined sugar

25 g pectin

5 g ascorbic acid

10 limes

 

Pick the quinces in time, before they fall down. They should not be too ripe and have no brown patches inside. Wash the fruits and rub off the fuzz. Do not peal them. The core should remain, only remove black or rotten areas. Cut them in half and place them into a strainer with the cut facing down. Place the strainer into a collecting tray. Cover and steam in the convection oven for four hours at 100°C to 130°C. Do not use excess pressure. This will result in too runny juice. Keep the drained (thick!) juice, remove the solid parts by centrifugation and boil down the liquid supernatant to one quarter together with the first portion. If there is no centrifuge available, the juice can also be squeezed. The final droplets are always the best. Thoroughly mix the pectin, sugar and ascorbic acid to avoid lumps, and add the sieved lime juice and 10% of the quince juice. Heat to 90°C for 15 min until the pectin has dissolved completely. Mix the remaining juice, heat to 95°C and fill into sterile glasses. Do not boil, since this will result in too much froth. If a pot with outlet and stopcock at the bottom is at hand, the hot pulp can be tapped without bubbles! My grandmother used to cut the quinces into pieces and boil them in water. The flavour was gone due to the dilution effect. There is no comparison with this quince pulp.

The jelly can be used as a sandwich spread or as a tasty addition to gravies. Normal consumption is one glass per breakfast!

 

 

Raspberry and Blackberry Jelly:

10 kg berries

1 kg refined sugar

100 g pectin

10 g ascorbic acid

Juice of 20 limes (sieved)

100 ml Grand Marnier

 

Put the berries into a juice centrifuge at room temperature. Centrifuge the seedy mass several times until almost dry. Press the juice through a sieve to remove the seeds completely. Thoroughly mix the pectin, sugar and ascorbic acid to avoid lumps. Then add 10% of the berry juice, the sieved lime juice and Grand Marnier and heat to 90°C for 15 min until the pectin has fully dissolved. Mix the remaining juice, heat the whole to 95°C and fill into sterile glasses. Do not boil since this will result in too much froth. If a pot with outlet and stopcock at the bottom is at hand, the hot jelly can be tapped without bubbles!

EUROCantat-Weihnachtskonzert 2015

Aufgenommen am 11.12.2015

 

Appeal for the downfall of Chancellor Merkel

Prometheus mocks the inhabitants of Olympus, but he meant the God of Christians. For if Goethe had openly challenged the clergy, his career would have come to an end and we would have been deprived of a whole stack of literature. Nowadays it is again increasingly perilous to openly state one’s opinion. For this, people are defamed and ruined, or just murdered, like the critical cartoonists from Charlie Hebdo and many other innocent assassination victims. Or one has to fear for one’s life and go into hiding like Salman Rushdi. In Germany the threat is also now increasing, the more our culture is overrun by foreign peoples and religions.

Goethe had every reason to be contemptuous of Christianity, which again and again transgresses the commandment of charity. As witness to this are the ashes of heretics and witches, the victims of the crusades against Palestine, or the addressees of the Christian missionaries in Africa and South America: millions upon millions were enslaved and killed. And where they act charitably, Christians always manage to cause damage: they are the power which would do good constantly and mostly does evil – a further, this time inversely used citation from Goethe. A current example is offered by the German Chancellor and President – a pastor’s daughter and a pastor, both from the former GDR. From the end of last year they have generously invited, out of Christian conviction and at our costs, all deprived people from the world to come to Germany and Europe. The criminal smuggling industry is thanking them, and thousands of poor souls who follow their call drown in the Mediterranean every year. The right to asylum knows no limits. Consequently, our nobleness will finally cause a disaster of unmanageable extent.

It does not appear to interest Merkel and the flock of trusting Christians that the United Kingdom and France face difficulties with their banlieue residents who originate from former colonies like India and Algeria. Hundreds of years ago Kosovo was predominantly populated by Serbs, but within a few decades they were suddenly overtaken and replaced by Muslims: this will now happen to Germany. Africa threw out the Europeans, to their detriment, but they all want to come to Europe – along a one-way street. The British Prime Minister, the French President and lots of other European politicians are laughing at the naive Chancellor behind her back. Why should they lie in the bed that Mrs Merkel has made? And also outside of Europe, for example in China, Germany’s missionary fervour meets with incomprehension and ridicule.

It is a deceitful lie that we need immigration, a subterfuge to palliate the hitherto inactivity of the West in crisis regions. Above all we do not need any charity recipients – few of the millions of persons entering illegally at the moment will be capable over the decades of doing skilled work here. Most of them do not have any realistic perspective here and will cause us trouble, many as simple criminals, some as fanatical killers. Those precisely who have a decent education should not be recruited by us, but should be encouraged to use their skills to develop prosperity in their home country. Our help, moreover, must go directly there, instead of financing migrant ghettos in Germany.

Of course persecuted persons, first and foremost women and children, but not economic migrants, must be given temporary humanitarian protection, within the scope of our capabilities and only as long as the danger exists and not a day longer. But according to the Geneva Refugee Convention, only individual persons have a right to asylum – if they are persecuted because of race, religion, nationality, political conviction or because they belong to a particular social group. It should not be applied de facto across-the-board to entire foreign peoples, as is unconstitutionally practiced at the moment. And who said that entire nations should be evacuated when only some regions are affected?

Countries bordering on the crisis area must be supported financially, so that they can maintain refugee camps, and the refugees accommodated there do not have to come to us due to a shortage of money, but rather can support the liberation and rescue of their country from there.

And we should not let ourselves be influenced by this integration spectacle and desperately try to offer to everyone who has arrived here the chance to stay for good. We should rather take the chance and offer these people training and enable them to create a democratic, secular state in their home country and to defend it. Now half of the German people with supposedly higher moral standards (how pretentious!) demands the definite integration of many millions of Arabs into the German society, a demand which is outrageous since the other half of the population thinks the current situation is a nightmare and completely unbearable. Our society could get back to a consensus if the government clarified right from the start that the refugees will later have to return to their home countries just as it was the case with the refugees who came to Germany twenty years ago because of the Yugoslav Wars. In this way the CDU members would no longer in large numbers go over to the AfD.

The Chancellor wants to play her role for as long as possible. In order to avoid making enemies she follows every folly, instead of independently shaping Germany’s future with ingenuity and pursuing worthwhile goals. So it is the herd of simple sheep who determine the direction and not the shepherd. As I am writing these lines I am travelling for business through sunny California. I am impressed by how new technologies are taken up and used here, and it rankles me to see how Germany cowardly throws away its opportunities and leaves our talent for top research lying fallow. Modern travel projects like magnetic levitation trains or the “Saenger” projects (supersonic passenger aircraft with Mach 4 at an altitude of 40 kilometers) were abandoned, the extremely lucrative red and green gene techniques, with which California earns hundreds of millions of dollars every year, are demonised and thwarted in Germany. We are running behind the Americans and the Chinese in terms of information technology. Why is there no German Google? The Chancellor tries to gain votes for herself by stoking the public’s fear of these modern developments and then playing the guardian angel. In order to oblige the Green party, she prevents us from establishing secure nuclear reactors in the whole world, instead leaving this field to Russia and Japan, where safety is apparently not a top concern. Nuclear power must be replaced as soon as possible by efficient solar power stations or energy plantations (developed by us) – producing “inexhaustible” or “infinite” energy (to not use the stupid expression “renewable energy”).

Furthermore, the recent German nuclear power phase-out, completely rushed and expensive, served only to help the Chancellor ingratiate herself with the voters because of the Fukushima incident. She prefers instead to fritter away the resources with ineffective wind turbines and photovoltaics in sun-deficient Germany and to pollute the air with fumes from power stations generating electricity from coal and oil. This goes down somewhat better with the red-green procrastinators ̶ let us all just suffocate on CO2 ̶  and Mrs Merkel can carry on governing for an eternity. Because of this, the West pays the Russians and the Arabs immense sums for oil and gas, which they are now using in other ways to put the heat on us. A bit of nuclear waste can be managed better than an angry, rocket-loaded Putin or the caliphate primed with our money.

And now let us just recall what the ambitious Dr Merkel said in 2003 at the CDU party congress in Leipzig ̶  between 1998 and 2005 the CDU and the FDP were in the opposition and she badly wanted to be in government again: “Some of our opponents cannot refrain from putting us in the extreme right-wing corner in the immigration discussion, just because we point out the danger of parallel societies connected to immigration. This, dear friends, is the height of dishonesty, and such hypocrisy will collapse like a house of cards before the people. Therefore, we will carry on promoting regulated control and limits on immigration.”

In the meantime she has made it to Chancellor. Today, however, she is dependent on the SPD to keep her job. This required yet again a U-turn of 180 degrees, as the SPD needs the asylum seekers as puppet voters in order to be on a par with the CDU. Our Angela Merkel parries subserviently. Germany follows her delusions, not for the first time, and plunges into demise! We would have been spared this madness if the FDP had made it into the government in the last election – a party which is still of sound mind.

The asylum actions of the current government are, by the way, meant to distract from the fact that they are shying away from their actual duty: together with other Western countries to create stability in countries afflicted by tyranny and to disarm the maniacs there; importantly with the assistance of the men, for example from Syria and Afghanistan, who are denying their sisters, wives, and children protection and hiding here instead of liberating and bringing peace to their homelands. In their place should perhaps our sons sacrifice their lives again? But here Mrs Merkel has already wetted her index finger and held it up: which way is the wind blowing? The majority of the so peaceful inhabitants of Germany would not back such an operation. It is easier to close one’s eyes and pretend it’s nothing to do with us that the Middle East and countries in Africa are falling into the hands of murderous religious fanatics and that the Taliban are taking hold in Afghanistan again, mocking the sacrifices that our soldiers made there. In order to live in peace, you sometimes have to act. Now a quote from Schiller from Wallenstein’s Camp: For if your own life you’re not willing to stake, that life will never be yours to make! The Christians stood by and watched during the Holocaust, in Cambodia and in Burundi, and today it is no different. At least, Germany is now sending reconnaissance aircrafts. The dangerous work, however, is yet again left to the others.

To straighten out the Middle East, the West must reach an agreement with Russia and get the necessary leeway with concessions to Russia – we cede them the predominantly Russian populated eastern Ukraine and Crimea, which they hold and will keep anyway. But Merkel and Steinmeier are miscast here: politics is not for dreamers, but for realists. It is not what you wish for, but what can be achieved. Above all you have to fathom the options of the opposition, take into account Putin’s huge support in his country and also his dangerousness. A predator attacks when it is surrounded. It is embarrassing how unsuccessfully Steinmeier and Fabius travel around the globe and let themselves be shown up by Russia, the Arab countries, or Greece. But Mr Steinmeier probably gets the toothless arguments for his mock battle whispered to him by Mrs Merkel. The Merkel system is the same as the deceitful, semi-governmental company Volkswagen: nobody dares to stand up to the authorities since they do not want to lose their positions.

Two egomaniacal public idols nearly succeeded in destroying Germany during the last century: an imperial aristocrat who wanted to show the world that a war could be won even with a stunted arm, and an unemployed artist without any qualifications, subsequently a leader who was greatly admired by the vast majority, although later on every one claimed to have had nothing to do with him. After both world wars Germany could at least be rebuilt, a process to which EUROIMMUN has contributed significantly with the establishment of highly specialised technology platforms, to the envy of the lauded America. But now a new idol has emerged, a luminary with whom the Germans have again miscalculated. Under Angela Merkel’s government Germany and Europe are being struck by mass migration, such that our homeland will soon no longer be recognisable. Sir, my need is sore. Spirits that I’ve cited, my commands ignore.

Mrs Merkel claims in Christian innocence, disregarding her official oath, that there should not be an upper limit to asylum. She will consequently be magnanimous to the host of African refugees, who are waiting in the queue and who will follow the example of the over two million asylum seekers from the year 2015. Or to many millions of Indians and Pakistanis, who will continue to fight each other here. The Chancellor will not be able to extract herself from this situation and should therefore be forced to resign immediately, so that we can finally counter steer – this is “what we must do”. Her oath states: “I swear that I will dedicate my efforts to the well-being of the GERMAN people, promote its welfare, protect it from harm, uphold and defend the Basic Law and the laws of the Federation, perform my duties conscientiously, and do justice to all. So help me God.” A perjury.

Anyone who fights against the asylum insanity is excluded by the protagonists of current politics. Thus, the General Secretary of the SPD said on the 24th of October 2015 in Augsburg that the followers of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident) are “Biedermeier arsonists and rabble rousers” and must be “pursued with the full force of the police and the law”. The lady did not pay attention in school lessons; the protagonist in Max Frisch’s play is called Biedermann. And the second mistake: the true arsonists are in Berlin and not in Dresden, their Christian delusions are antagonising Germans against each other, providing the right wingers with arguments and provoking ugly defensive reactions. We do not want to give up our democracy, our freedom, our peace, our right to self-determination, the dignity of women and our homeland for illusions. To call people like the peacefully demonstrating citizens in Dresden xenophobic because of their opinions and to complain that they do not join in with the foolishness of naive politicians and journalists demonstrates pathetic simple-mindedness and a lack of understanding of democracy and in the case of many journalists, with their one-sided reporting, dishonest demagogy. I feel sorry for the poor police, who have to deal with the militant counter Demonstrators.

And Biedermann missed the time point at which the disaster could have been stopped. The comrade could not have used a better citation. Therefore my plea: engage the emergency brakes, do not let us slide further into catastrophe, it’s high time! The General Secretary is not a Biedermeier, but rather a clever clogs who should first study our constitution. She would then realise that it is the government that is violating it and should be pursued by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. She is just as arrogant and impudent as her dignified colleague Gabriel, who when questioned on the refugee catastrophe lapses aimlessly into the most awkward stammering and dares to label decent people a pack. Also this Mr Gauck, who brands people like myself as from the “dark Germany”, but fits this profile best himself, said this.

Lübeck, 6th December 2015

Prof Prof hc Dr Winfried Stöcker – not a xenophobe or racist, but a philanthropist, who is still of sound mind, and therefore, just like million others, losing sleep due to the Chancellor’s folly.

Chilled rhubarb soup

Peel two bundles of rhubarb, wash and cut into 2-cm long pieces. Cut any thick pieces in half lengthways first. Wash three limes and three lemons, halve and press. Use the juice another time. Boil the skins with eight cinnamon sticks in 1.5 litres of water for 10 minutes. Add a little salt and sugar, but not too much. Add the rhubarb pieces and stir. Leave to boil until the rhubarb is soft (but not disintegrating), then remove the saucepan from the heat and add 1 litre of cold water (rapid cooling prevents the rhubarb becoming too soft. Note: rhubarb can overcook very quickly, therefore don’t leave the pan and pay attention!). Leave the pan to cool at room temperature and then place in the fridge.

For each plate break a rusk into small pieces. Throw away the crumbs. Cover with a spoonful of the cold rhubarb compote, add a dollop of cream or vanilla sauce or even better crème fraîche, and serve.

If a young bachelor treats his guests to this tasty dish, he won’t stay single for long!

“Ideological repression” in the debate on immigration and

The immigration and asylum policy is nowadays a much discussed topic which splits our German society into two camps. Quite unexpectedly, I have now found myself in the line of fire because I dared to express my opinion on this matter in public.

In December 2014, an organisation wanted to hold a charity concert for asylum seekers in my department store in Goerlitz, Upper Lusatia. Some friends there complained about this since some of the invitees were from countries that are officially classified as safe. I followed their concerns and therefore made use of my rights as proprietor and stopped the concert from taking place. Afterwards, I was asked to explain my decision in the regional newspaper. In the interview, I wanted to express the views of the silent majority on the current German immigration and asylum policies and initiate a sensible discussion on this matter. I did this in order to assume my social responsibility as citizen and private person.

Unfortunately, my answers were a little short and provocative and were therefore misunderstood. The press in Goerlitz and Luebeck, rather inclined towards the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) (1) twisted the statements and turned it into a sensation. As a result, many readers were outraged about my comments (in Luebeck, the topic is further journalistically exploited). However, many people understood that there is a sensible and constructive idea behind every statement of this interview, and no heartless xenophobia or racism whatsoever. These people wrote to me in serious and extensive replies to thank me for my courage, claiming that I took the words right out of their mouths.

Of course and without any reservation I agree that Europe should temporarily receive people who have fled from war, especially women and children, but only as long as there is an emergency situation and they cannot be received in their neighbouring countries. In any case, we should make sure the refugees are not exposed to any danger during their journey and become victims of reckless people traffickers. At the same time, the world community needs to make a continued effort to pacify the conflict regions so as not to let criminal gangs take over.

I spoke about the pogrom in Rwanda. Out of consideration for the pacifists of the free world, an open war was avoided and the world silently watched several million defenceless people being killed before taking action. It is high time that the international community stipulates binding rules on how to proceed in such cases with short-time military enforcement if necessary. This should not be undermined by the pacific “public opinion” which is blind to the reality. The powers which will do good eternally do evil.

They have also turned a blind eye on other internecine conflicts, for example in Srebrenica, where the Serbs killed 8,000 people. When Saddam Hussein was ready to flee abroad, “pacific” German chancellor Schröder decided to opt out of the alliance, in this case out of electoral reasons, and thus encouraged this criminal to stay the course.

The generosity towards economic refugees, including those who deliberately bring themselves into life-threatening situations to get into Europe, is not fitting. They undermine our legal system which stipulates the necessity of a visa for legal immigration. More than half of the German population sees this as an abuse of the system and does not support it. In Germany, these proactive refugees stand rootless and without a job, and in their home countries they leave a vacuum which leads to further deterioration of the national economy (2). We should do everything possible to encourage them to stay in their homelands, and, rather than spending so much money on their living and accommodation in Europe, partly in ghettos made up of housing containers, we should help them to build up an existence in their home countries. The Samaritans, however, should not act again as if they were colonial masters, this model is outdated. And they should not try to transfer our conditions 1:1 to the other countries. If, for example in agriculture, large fields are prepared, small farmers would be deprived of their existence; if used clothes are sent for charity, this inhibits the foundation of small textile factories.

The idea of Germany opening its borders without any restrictions is rejected by many citizens. Our government yet again wants to “do it all better”! Better for example than the governments of the USA, Australia, Switzerland, and many further countries which limit the influx of immigrants more effectively. Or better than former German governments. The USA built a fence between Texas and Mexico because they could not handle millions of illegal immigrants. For one year now, the current government of Australia, which has the international reputation of being an open, tolerant, and friendly continent, has been efficiently shielding the country against economic refugees who arrive by sea without visa. In this way, nobody risks their life anymore to get into the country. This new restrictive immigration and asylum policy is supported by the majority of the Australian population, in the same way as most German citizens agree with my proposals which head in the same direction.

The latest Christmas sermon of the German president and the New Year’s speech of the German chancellor who is always concerned with the maximum consensus have, in part, lead the people to demonstrate – supposedly the dumb and egoistic type of person. In reality, however, they are normal citizens who are worried that Germany will gamble its heritage away if the gates are opened without reservations. Everything that our ancestors gained in the past centuries seems to be jeopardised due to foreign influences – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right of self-determination, equal rights for women, suffrage, and jurisdiction that is independent of religion. This today becomes obvious in areas of high population density, for example Berlin Neukoelln (2). The newcomers bring their conflicts to us, we have seen this before.

The momentous decision on whether we really should receive millions of immigrants at once should not be taken by the government, but by the German parliament, and by two-thirds majority, as it is required in the case of constitutional amendments. The matter should be considered from all angles and charity should not be seen as the sole maxim.

Hereby, any discussion on whether the immigrants are religious and which God they believe in is unnecessary. Nowadays, Islam belongs as little to Germany as Christianity does. In the name of both, much injustice has been done. I think that there is no space for any of the two in the mind of an enlightened person, but in any case, faith is a private matter, also the belief in the Easter bunny and Father Christmas. Religion and politics are to be strictly separated.

If today it is dictated to the German population that they may need to receive half a million economic refugees, many of them feel betrayed. If their calculation is right, two millions more will come next year, due to the same reasons as the others. If our generous Samaritans were to act consistently, we would also need to receive these two million. But where would this lead us? If immigrants from India and Africa succeed in improving their economic situation by settling in Germany, the Sorcerer’s Apprentices of immigration will not be able to handle the influx any more; there are billions of people in Africa waiting to leave their countries (2)!

And what seems to be a good deed for some philanthropists is the starting point of new animosity and injustice. The more foreigners come and settle here, the more hostile will be the attitude of a large part of the population. This is, by the way, normal human behaviour, and it is utopian to think it could be changed. Has the time come for a new experiment in Germany? German communism has already failed! It made life miserable for several generations of people and brought death to a hundred million. If today’s moralisers win and their welcome doctrine is implemented, our children and grandchildren will be the ones to pay for it!

There has always been moderate migration in Germany and Europe. People from different countries have settled here and assimilated within two generations. And many Germans have emigrated. Immigration and emigration were balanced for a long time. At the end of the past century, however, the share of foreign citizens in Germany has surged from one or two percent to over ten percent. If this development continues, it is to be feared that we will gamble away a heritage of more than two thousand years within the time span of just one generation. Those with nothing to lose will not be bothered. However, a farmer for example, who inherited a farm and wants to pass it on to his children, will think differently. Should the “stateless fellows” be allowed to generously give away half his property to strangers?

With such a fast and sustained integration of too many refugees and asylum seekers, we also risk falling behind other nations in international comparison and losing our worldwide top-ranking position in science and technology. Our life style and standard will inevitably more and more resemble those of the migrants’ countries (3). It could be difficult to maintain the standards in the educational system, not only in the subject “German”. Those who have always lived in Germany would have to communicate in English with the new ones. But we are at home here and want to speak German.

When the Turkish statesman Erdogan visits Germany and claims in a football stadium that the assimilation of Turkish nationals in Germany is a crime against humanity, many Germans are alarmed. They do not want a state within a state (4), but that the citizens of Turkish descent integrate. With respect to one of my statements in the interview about Goerlitz, however, I must correct myself since there has been a change in the last years. My concerns of many years, that the majority circumstances will change within a few decades due to the massive influx of Turkish nationals as it occurred in the nineties, and that German citizens might soon be a minority in our country, are being dispelled. The influx from Turkey has now significantly decreased. In 2013 and 2014, as many Turkish people moved back to Turkey as came to Germany. I hope that this tendency will not reverse again.

My suggestion from the interview that Turkish nationals should voluntarily move back to Turkey as it was successfully initiated by former German chancellor Kohl in his time, was recently raised as well by the Danish government, as stated in the German-Turkish newspaper Deutsch-Türkische Nachrichten from 25.9. 2014. There is a concern all over Europe about the development of parallel societies where European law does not apply, and rather than German judges implementing justice, “justices of the peace” use Islamic mediation practices. In his current book “The Other Society”, the mayor of Neukoelln Heinz Buschkowski, describes this problem, narrating his own experiences (3).

Many of my colleagues of Turkish descent were born in Germany and are fully integrated here. We trust each other and I appreciate them a lot. I would personally regret it if they left us. However, some of their relatives hardly speak their new homeland’s language after ten or twenty years. I think language competence is the key to integration. If, for example I had not been able to read the patent literature in my mother tongue, German, I would not have achieved many of my inventions. So if German citizens of Turkish descent speak Turkish half of the time when at home, I think they fall behind when it comes to educational and professional qualifications. Due to lacking language skills they perform worse in school than their German classmates, not only in German, but also in other subjects. Then they are underestimated and thus seldom encouraged to go to secondary or grammar school or to study at university. University graduates of Turkish descent still constitute an exception in Germany. Here, Turkish nationals rather run fruit and vegetable shops and drive taxis, where they compete with the Kurds. They are rarely found in leading positions. This is very different in Turkey: there, people with the same opportunities become engineers, teachers or GPs, in a similar ratio as in Germany. It will not be in the genes as suggested by Thilo Sarrazin. Of course you will find many biographies which differ from this depiction. In our company, we want to pay more attention to specifically supporting our Turkish colleagues, for example offering language courses or giving them more responsibility. They are our friends!

I care a lot for the tradition and promotion of the German language. It is our heritage and I do not want any ideological, ignorant, silly people to fool around with it, providing a new word for “negro” every ten years, a word that I use without any discriminatory ideas whatsoever. The liberal politician Happach-Kasan came to my defence against the students from the University of Lübeck in the newspaper Lübecker Nachrichten (25.2.2015): “Wanting to prove that someone has a certain idealogical mindset by the usage of the word ‘negro’ is dogmatic and completely insensitive”. There was no doubt for her that Stöcker leads his company in an open-minded and tolerant manner. And that is exactly what I do! Stöcker also despises the claim to use both the female and the male form when referring to a person, resulting from a petty-minded sense of justice. And everyone uses it since nobody knows whether this form of fanaticism is justified or not. Nevertheless, this will not help women to get into the boards of directors of the large companies. I have a better solution to this problem which I explain further below. When the citizens have come to their senses, they will just forget about this irritating ballast, and I can hardly wait!

In Europe there is an unprecedented cultural diversity, resulting from the history and the characteristics of the single countries. We should preserve this treasure. The French love their wine, food, fashion and romantic adventures, and their Tricolore represents our common ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity. The English love their fish and chips, five-o’clock tea, double deckers and cricket, and they do not succeed in eliminating the anachronistic privileges of the kings and earls. The Russians listen to their balalaika, eat caviar and borscht, drink liters and liters of vodka, and dismantle and rebuild their matryoshka dolls. Italian sings all day long and compose the best operas, they love mozzarella with tomatoes and basil, they eat pasta, pizza and olives, have great tailors and shoemakers, and the best ice cream. The Polish dress elegantly, they produced the best pope of all times, as well as Chopin and Marie Curie, and Poland smoothed the way to overcome communism. The proud Spanish fight bulls, eat tapas and supply us with Jamón Ibérico. Germans are known for being hard workers, punctual, honest and tidy. We philosophise, write poems, and organise. We are the country with the highest music culture, the best cars and machines. We rank at the top of the work in technologies and EUROIMMUN has played an important part in this.

 

The cultural diversity has shaped Europe over the centuries. If everything got mixed up, the number of ways of life and traditions would be lost. If millions and millions of people from other parts of the world came to Europe, who do not identify with the values of their host countries, but only focusing on improving their economic status, everything we stand for would die away and disappear. Most Europeans are against this. Every European country should preserve its identity. This is not about discrimination or xenophobia. I also do not want the Europeans to go and take over other parts of the world as we did in colonial times.

No country should give itself up, but protect its traditions, language and songs, which give its citizens a feeling of affiliation and comfort. We should not try too hard to impress others by copying them. We do not have to curry favour with the Americans and should avoid anglicisms where German words can be used. If our children mostly learn American repertoires in the music classes, as it is the case in some schools in Luebeck, our own songs will fall behind. We should not sing “Happy birthday” here, but much rather German birthday songs. You can show that you are cosmopolitan by other means, if you really think this is necessary. We have lovely German folk songs which we should sing most of the time, and only occasionally the imported ones, not the other way around.

I think Germany should not be seen as an immigration country and Europe not as a continent for immigrations, because we are already populated densely enough, as opposed to America at its time, of maybe today Canada or Australia, or, thousand years ago, Poland. We do not need others’ help to finance our pensions, this is only a cheap excuse. If it was necessary, we could restrict ourselves a bit more, without any problems at all. It would be fairly embarrassing if the new residents had to be exploited for this cause. They would be busy for decades adapting to living here any-way and would be missed in their homelands. We have completely different options.

Let us develop a “welcoming culture” for our own offspring! Entrepreneurs and politicians should help young people to harmonise job and family life! EUROIMMUN has been an example for this for many years: in our company kindergarten, more than 150 employees’ children are taken care of all day, starting from six months of age. The school children are brought back from school by a driver and are looked after at the after-school club, our teachers supervise them doing their homework.

Most of the children highly appreciate the time they spend with their nursery teachers during the week and spending their free time with their parents. Fathers and mothers get back to work only a few months after the baby is born, receive the same salary as before, and the company saves itself the effort of introducing persons to replace the new parents. Anyone who rather wants to take care of their children full time does obviously not have to use this service.

Even though many people might still believe it, the idea that a mother belongs into the kitchen and has to sacrifice half a professional life to the family is outdated. While others follow their career, she is torn out of her job, loses her own income and falls behind. All the competence acquired with so much effort and hard work is unused and lost, she is in a bad mood, and re-entering the job many years later costs her a huge effort, almost as much as a new training, and is often linked to demotion.

I appeal to society’s sense of reason: give both mothers and fathers of all families the chance to freely develop themselves professionally and exercise their learnt profession all their lives, instead of sending one parent into an obligatory break to take care of the children for years! This is also how EUROIMMUN handles the scarcity of qualified staff!

If these measures are applied more often, the boards of managers will automatically fill up with women, and owing to their qualification, not because it is stipulated by the state. Now we would only need to educate men to exercise their equal rights in the household (I personally am a pioneer in this field!). These conditions can encourage people to have children at a biologically reasonable age, i.e. at the start of their professional lives or their university career, and not only when a doctor is needed alongside the husband to become pregnant. Welcome, dear children, you are chosen to finance our pensions!

Shortly after my unfortunate interview had been published, the president of the University of Lübeck, Prof. Hendrik Lehnert felt compelled to announce the following: “Tolerance, open-mindedness and a strong commitment to multicultural thinking and acting are inalienable values of our campus culture. We therefore clearly distance ourselves from the ideas stated by Prof. Dr. Winfried Stöcker in his interview with Sächsische Zeitung.”

That was not fair. The president should have informed himself about the background of that twisted interview in the first place. He knows the company EUROIMMUN in all its facets and we had before conducted a number of scientific projects together. He could not have possibly missed the fact that especially this company and its managing director cannot be outdone when it comes to tolerance and open-mindedness. I have always proved this. Scientists from all over the world are guests in our company. I respect every person, no matter their origin or sex. I care for justice and fair working conditions. Whoever visits this company which I founded and direct, at any of our sites in the world, praises the friendly and familiar, non-discriminatory atmosphere. We have just recently been ranked 7th of 620,463 evaluations of German companies with respect to our treatment of women (5), even though we do not always explicitly use the female German form when we address women.

Since he is scared that this university, which he was recently named president of, might become affected, Prof. Hendrik Lehnert just dropped a renowned scientist and international entrepreneur, who had already done so much for the University of Lübeck like a hot potato when his university medicine was at stake and just recklessly and carelessly delivered me to the press who just seek sensations. His comments only really got the thing boiling, a much appreciated gift to the journalists in the boring time before Christmas. Especially a university should allow a variety of ideas and ways of thinking! And this president does not have an absolute monopoly on the truth.

My Goerlitz interview can also be diametrically assessed. This was proved by several hundreds of replies which reached me afterwards. “I have read your clear and explicit words and would like to thank your very much for this unmistakeable message. If our regional politicians and journalists now claim you have damaged the antique Goerlitz department store, I just think this is a blunt attempt to hinder diversity of opinion, and I more and more see us risking falling back into a state which we really wanted to overcome with the political changes in 1990.” “Mr. Stöcker is right with his statements. He openly says what many citizens think, but keep quiet about”, “My respect, Mr. Stöcker, you have the courage to swim against the stream!”, “After reading your interview, I feel I must ask you to please stay as you are.”, “I completely share your concerns about illegal immigration”, “Our thoughts exactly! We would like to sincerely thank you for your explicit words, as well as for having the courage to speak out an unpleasant truth” and from my laboratories: “We stand behind you!”

Also my customers seem to see me in a better light than the president of the University of Lübeck. They have been loyal to me because they have known me for a long time and know that I am a kind-hearted person and not guided by any perfidious reasons.

These supporters will not let any journalist or politician tell them what to think. Eventually, in a democracy, votes are counted, no matter whether they are “good or bad votes” and if the majority of the German population is not in favour of an unbalanced influx of people from remote countries, politics needs to adapt to this. It does not suit our society that some model democrats want to impose their views on people who have different opinions and label them as morally inferior and discriminate against them as dissidents (6, 7).

Even two months later, Prof. Lehnert taught his students, as quoted in the newspaper Lübecker Nachrichten from 21.2.2015, he was thankful for the situation arisen from the Goerlitz interview as “it helped them to show who we are and what we stand for, for open-mindedness and tolerance”. Classes in Pharisaism – being bothered about trivialites (he said “negro”!) and not wanting or not being able to see the whole context. He forgot about the Christian ideas, such as forbearance and forgiveness.

Mr. Lehnert: I have been standing for all this for years, with all my heart and all my deeds, and moreover for consideration, generosity, reason, vision, and, most of all, democracy and respect for the others’ opinions, but not for smear campaigns against independent minds.

On the occasion of an event at the beginning of 2015, when the legal status of the University of Lübeck was changed to a foundation, a very clever member of the student senate affirmed: “Money can also smell”, and that possible financial help from EUROIMMUN director Winfried Stöcker should clearly be rejected. “Nothing can excuse his racist comments in that newspaper interview”. This statement was published in Lübecker Nachrichten. The best opportunity to show a successful entrepreneur his limits. Also, an affront to my 2,000 hard-working and creative employees who honestly generated the provided funds (amounting to up to nearly one million Euros per year). Nothing could be read about the president of the university objecting to such unmannerly comments. Therefore, one must conclude that he either shares that view or is afraid of the students. And now I would like to make one thing clear: Nostra pecunia non olet. EUROIMMUN will not voluntarily provide further financial funding for the university as long as this president is in charge. He has succeeded with something the regional government could not achieve five years ago: that Luebeck’s leading biotech company will now find another site for expansion and several very successful and exemplary cooperation projects will be cancelled.

 

Remarks:

 

  1. The German print and publishing society “Deutsche Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft mbH” (ddvg) is co-owner of the newspapers Lübecker Nachrichten, Sächsische Zeitung and Nordbayerische Nachrichten. On its website, it describes its task as “professional shareholding management for the proprietary, Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The aim is to economically manage the shares, to increase the substance, and therewith, simultaneously, contribute financially to the work of the SPD.”I think it is a scandal that the SPD has a share in press organs, even alongside its newspaper “Vorwärts”, unnoticed by the public, and therefore has the possibility of secretly influencing the public opinion. Knowing this, it does not surprise that any statements which differ from the “class” point of view, such as made in the Goerlitz interview, are strongly discriminated against that you get the impression the different-minded stands alone. Current polls, however, like the one by German radio channel Deutschlandfunk from February 2015 show that the contrary applies!By such a media fudge, the comrades can achieve what seems to be majorities for some political views which tactically help the party and which help them to make the CDU compliant. Suffrage from 16 years of age, immigration of Turkish nationals to Germany, retirement at the age of 63, minimum wage, setting limits to the rental prices, language mix-up, exaggerated inclusion, etc. Addendum (11.3.2015): Many further daily newspapers are partly or completely owned by the SPD. Inge Wettig-Danielmeier, SPD general trustee, said: “From a participation of 30%, our requirements for coverage cannot be ignored”. And my assumption: every immigrant is an SPD voter!
  2.  David Signer: Eine Bankrotterklärung Afrikas. “The real scandal behind the refugee drama of Lampedusa is not Europe shielding itself, but the indifference of the African governments towards the exodus.” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 28th February 2015.
  3. Paul Collier: Massenimmigration und Zusammenhalt. “Immigration has up to now been a moderate gain. A further increase however should be restricted. Too much ethnic-cultural diversity threatens social cohesion and thus the bases of prosperity.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9th March 2015.
  4. Heinz Buschkowsky: Die andere Gesellschaft (The Other Society), 2014, Ullstein-Verlag, ISBN-10:3-550-08050-6.
  5. In a current, inter-branch data evaluation, the career platform “kununu” has identified the TOP 10 of the companies with best treatment of women, based on 620,463 evaluations of German employers. EUROIMMUN ranks amongst them (rank 7, Vienna, press information, 3rd March 2015)!
  6. Mr. Kretzschmar writes in the Goerlitz newspaper StadtBILD (independent of ddvg) from February 2015: “Whilst media, parties and administrations publicly demand freedom of speech and tolerance, any critiques are met with systemic, inter-linked actions of marginalisation and intimidation, professional discrimination, withdrawal of responsibilities, and denigration. In those who demand tolerance, you rather notice a destructive intolerance. People who think differently are generally classified as mob… hate campaigns against patriots poisen community life”.
  7. Journalist Bettina Röhl says: “The left mainstream is replacing the constitution. Anyone who expresses their opinion (on immigration and asylum policy), which contradicts the politically correct mainstream or which does not go with it, is not physically persecuted. However, they are automatically socially marginalised. They are then called a ‘racist’ or ‘Nazi’. They are automatically a ‘disgrace to Germany’. Sanctions are noticeable.”

Rosemary cocktail cookies

300 g almonds, peeled, roasted (160°C, 16 min) and coarsely chopped

500 g butter

200 g Parmesan, grinded

100 g Gruyère, grinded (this helps to make the cookies a bit firmer, less powdery)

600 g wheat flour 550

2 cups rosemary leaves, washed and chopped (original: thyme)

5 tea spoons sea salt

Almonds, roasted, for decorating

 

Knead the ingredients (except the salt) together by hand. Add the salt in the end. Form a roll and cut off slices (this works better if the dough is chilled). Put a roasted nut (160°C, 16 min) on each cookie (this works better if the dough has room temperature). Put the cookies on a baking tin (use baking paper). Bake them at 160°C for 16 minutes.
Some suggest to leave the cookies at room temperature for an hour for the flour to soak and then half an hour in the fridge so that the cookies bake from the outside to the inside and turn out firmer and less crumbly.

Plum cake

For the plum season I would like to share a very nice but simple cake recipe with you:

Break up a cube of yeast in a mixing bowl and dissolve it in one cup of milk (best using a kneading machine). It is important to use sterile milk since yeast does not interact with normal milk. Do not add cooking salt, which also inhibits yeast activity. Then add four handfuls of wheat flour (no. 405) and half a handful of sugar. Let the ingredients be kneaded as long as necessary by the machine to create a soft dough.

Cover the mixing bowl with a plate and leave to incubate in a heating cabinet for thirty minutes at 28 degrees Celsius. During this time the dough will rise. If it comes out too moist, knead in a bit more flour. Then roll out the dough to give a very thin layer. Turn the dough around every now and then to avoid its sticking to the base. Then place it onto a buttered baking tray and cut off any overlapping rim. Do not bother to bend it upwards. No one likes eating it anyway. Cover the baking tray (with a second tray) and leave to rise for another quarter of an hour.

In the meantime, wash, halve and pit the plums. Use a small and sweet variety of plum (which is easy to pit). These are best bought on the market from September to October. We usually keep a few crates in the refrigeration room and bake one cake after the other until December. You can halve the plums laterally to create two cups. These can be placed onto the dough in such a way as to prevent the juice from running onto the thin cake base and soaking it through.

Remove the baking tray from the incubator. The dough should have risen from three to six millimetres and should be soft and fluffy. Generously sprinkle the dough with ground cinnamon and some sugar. The dough should be well covered all over. Then stack the plums tightly in rows until there is no gap left.

If correctly made, the crumble is the glory of a good plum cake. You should use equal portions of butter, sugar and flour. Mix half a kilo of small, cold bits of butter with the sugar (rather use the coarse type) in a plastic bowl using a wooden or plastic masher until you obtain a homogeneous mass. Then thoroughly knead in the flour. Finally scatter the crumble in coarse bits over the plums. Every now and then, the crumble should be put into the refrigerator for ten minutes to keep it cool until the cake is finally placed into the oven. This will ensure that the crumble is very tender.

First leave the cake to rise at 28 degrees Celsius for five minutes, then increase to 180 degrees and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the crumble turns slightly golden. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool. Do not cut it too soon or the cake will be too moist. It is best after two hours. If the cake is still too firm, leave it to rest for one more day.

Any remaining dough is ideal for pizza. It can be layered with salami, diced bacon, olives, red pepper, mushrooms, tomato and topped with grated cheese (parmesan, Gruyère, Swiss Emmental) or buffalo mozzarella slices.

Guys, with this recipe you’ll win any girl’s heart. Enjoy!

Airport Luebeck, an airport rich in tradition

Today we would like to ask you to support a cause which is important for the future of our company. Support the extension of the Airport Luebeck and prevent it from being shut down due to ignorance or even mischief! The airport has a large potential for the Northern Germany economy, the science sector and tourism ̶ if only it was not permanently hindered.

Luebeck is a worldwide known, attractive city, where people like to make their home. It is first choice among tourists. A huge attraction for Luebeck is also its university, which has produced a novel growth sector: medical engineering. This new sector was able to compensate for the demise of other industrial branches and is the appropriate supplement to agriculture and tourism.

Closing down the Medical University Luebeck would have been foolish, one would have lost trust, driven off companies who are dependent on the university or prevented the foundation of new companies.

A commercial enterprise from the technology sector already has a great disadvantage due to the peripheral position of the city and the low population density of the territorial federal states in Northern Germany. The business partners are not nearby as is the case with our competitors in Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt or Cologne, but widely spread over different regions. Therefore, we are more dependent on motorways (hopefully without speed limit) than the south and we need a sensible connection to the international air traffic to be able to keep pace. For all these reasons we think it would be as foolish to shut down the airport as the idea of closing down the Medical University two years ago.

Large new industrial centres develop with great speed on our globe, particularly in China, India, Brazil and in the Gulf States. At every such hot spot in the world the provision of an airport is one of the most important infrastructural measures. Shanghai, Beijing or Dubai without an airport – unimaginable! For a company that is located far off the beaten track in the north of Germany without good air connections it is very difficult to organise its growth. It is important to quickly reach companies and universities in the south of Germany, attend congresses and visit customers. Otherwise we will be left behind by the south! We have been waiting for a direct flight from Luebeck to the large hubs Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam or Copenhagen for years. We have long since envied our competitors in other cities who are blessed with an efficient airport.

Schleswig-Holstein’s runway is not in Hamburg-Fuhlsbuettel! Also with the new government I miss economic thinking and common sense! I would like an expert from the business sector at the top, not an administrator. Someone who sees the opportunities that the Airport Luebeck would offer if only they let it and not how much money can be potentially saved if the airport was shut down. Someone who does not worry about an initial loss of two million euros per year, since one could later gain hundreds of millions with the airport. Someone who is keen to safeguard traditions and does not ignorantly waste our potential. Some years ago, someone tidied up his attic in Augsburg and discovered an old painting which he brought to a car boot sale. A clever collector saw the painting and bought it. He showed it to an expert, and, surprise! it was actually a real Caspar David Friedrich. The painting was restored by experts and then auctioned by Sotheby’s for 1.5 million dollars.

I would love to see a similar story of success for the Airport Luebeck. That the politicians finally recognise the non-material and the economic value of this traditional airport and properly extend it for the sake of the region.

Several years ago another transportation project had been violently debated: the Baltic Sea motorway A20. The mayor of Gross Groenau and other geniuses predicted that its construction would not be profitable. Today, however, if you look from the motorway bridge near Hornstorf and see the many cars passing by, you can but be glad about the successful new connection between the east and the west of Germany. It has not only alleviated the existing traffic but has caused the exchange between the two federal states in the north to become more intense. The cities have moved together. Two lessons can be learned from the success of the Baltic Sea motorway: First, never listen to pessimists, and second, with respect to the Luebeck airport, it is the supply that determines the demand!

Now we demand some sensible flight connections to be able to travel from Luebeck to all destinations in the world, again opposing the advice of Gross Groenau’s mayor ̶ again evidence of the airport’s good prognosis.

Travellers from Luebeck who wish to catch a plane in Fuhlsbuettel first have to go to Hamburg and then cross the city through its narrow streets. They have to allow for a lot of extra time, particularly when trying to catch an expensive connecting flight in Frankfurt or Munich. They have to get up at five o’clock in the morning and spend half a day travelling in order to catch their afternoon flight to New York at three o’clock. Our brothers and sisters from the neighbouring east have to endure an even greater ordeal. The inhabitants of Wismar or Grevesmuehlen are practically cut off from the great wide world! It is therefore imperative to organise air traffic to several large airports in cooperation with the city of Rostock.

The inclusion of our region in the international air traffic might not be so relevant for a private person or an administrator, who goes on holiday by plane once or twice a year. He can allow for a few extra hours for the detour to Hamburg. However, for a modern commercial enterprise, good flight connections are essential.

The administrator says that our runway is in Fuhlsbuettel. He tries to treat us second best. In any case, Luebeck should not be treated better than Kiel! Of course Luebeck is not the leading cosmopolitan city it was 500 years ago. But that is exactly the point. The more Luebeck gives itself up, the deeper it will sink into nothingness. If you connect two differently sized soap bubbles with a straw, the larger bubble will suck all the air from the smaller one. In Luebeck most of the more exclusive clothes shops have given up. I had to buy my suit for today’s speech in Hamburg. If it is worthwile, Hamburg just helps itself and takes away the wind wheel trade fair away from Husum.

If an ambitious scientist wants to be successful, he or she depends on international networking. A newly appointed professor for gynaecology might move from Luebeck to Frankfurt where he is able to keep in touch with the scientific society much easier. The fact that EUROIMMUN AG has its headquarters in Luebeck is due to historic reasons and not to its position which is out in the sticks: The founder developed the enterprise from the University and was dependent on existing cooperation projects. Moving the headquarters to one of Germany’s economical centres would have affected the continuity and the existence of the company. If a customer, applicant, investor, supplier or sales agent needs to fly to Hamburg and then travel on to Luebeck, this represents a huge disadvantage for ourselves. He or she can reach our competitors who are located in Hamburg much faster, getting there and back in one day is much easier. This is detrimental to our company: We reduce prices, organise transfers and pay the customer or applicant rental cars and hotels. The project Metropol-Region (metropolitan area) is pointless anyway, completely unnecessary, mucho ado about nothing. The federal states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania should rather join forces and found a common Northern state to be able to keep pace. Their interests are very similar, and they would save administrative expenses.

What are actually the benefits that the Luebeck airport might bring us one day? The existence of the airport is not justified by the mere fact that people from Hamburg pay lower prices for flying from Luebeck to their holiday destinations, although this might currently be in the foreground. It might become relevant to keep the airport as a surrogate runway for Hamburg. But this is still written in the stars. First of all, travelling must become more convenient for people from the east of Schleswig-Holstein and the west of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. For this, we absolutely require direct connections from Luebeck to several large airports. This will enable us to promote tourism, in fact in both directions: popular holiday destinations will be reached more quickly and the north of Germany will be opened up to vacationers. From Luebeck, travellers can rapidly board the ferry in Travemuende. The economic potential of regional industry will be strengthened by the facilitation of technical and scientific cooperation. New companies that require airport access will establish themselves in the region. Health tourism to Luebeck will become possible. Specialists from the Medical University of Luebeck will be able to offer their expertise to patients from all over the world (if patients travel via Hamburg, they generally end up in the Eppendorf university clinics).

There are several reasons why the Luebeck airport has not been profitable during the past decade. First, the connection to the road traffic via the new motorway A20 has only recently been completed. Before that, the west of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had practically no proper road access to the airport. But above all, no airline dares to establish new flight connections in Luebeck if the future of the Luebeck airport is uncertain. There are some activists who block all expansion measures by abusing our courts. But the politicians are also constantly questioning the airport’s future. Moreover, the city of Luebeck does not seem to be the right operator for the airport because it denominated a person as head of the supervisory board whose wife is fighting against the same airport in our courts!

It is also very odd and stupid to make the survival of the airport conditional on financing by the city of Luebeck, which has been broke for a long time. Politicians from Kiel assigned an unresolvable task to Luebeck due to the fact that they begrudge their neighbouring town every advantage, regardless of the damage this inflicts to the whole of the federal state. Since the airport is only to a small extent for the benefit of the inhabitants of Luebeck and much more for that of the bordering federal states, it should be organised and paid for by those states and not by the city of Luebeck. Much the same as the regional roads and motorways in this region. As far as I know, the port is also sponsored by the federal state.

Dear politicians in Kiel and Luebeck: Give Luebeck airport a perspective of at least ten years. Fill the supervisory board of the airport association with supporters. Arrange for the court procedures to be concluded. Allow the runway to be extended. Grant two million of state funds per year to the airport’s business operations for a few years. And cooperate with Rostock airport.

If all this is done, airlines will come and organise a regular service. In just a few years the airport will reach break-even point. However, its largest benefit will not become apparent in the airport’s profit and loss statement, but in the economic potential of this region. There are several companies in Luebeck that might be willing to take on a new opportunity and establish a small airline that flies from Luebeck directly to several large German airports to ensure that worldwide destinations are reached quickly from Schleswig-Holstein (east) and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (west). The Baltic states, Poland and north Italy will be included in the schedule to ensure that airplanes are used to their full capacity even outside main flight hours. Precondition for this, however, would be a reliable perspective and reasonable basic conditions. We are also ready to participate as a company, although we make more money out of laboratory diagnostics.

Finally I would like to explain the situation of our company in a more detailed manner: EUROIMMUN produces medical laboratory equipment, we are at the time 1,300 employees, most of whom are employed in Schleswig-Holstein (Luebeck, Groß Groenau) and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Dassow). We are a modern, international enterprise and constantly in contact with customers, business partners and scientists both in Germany and abroad. We are based on research and development, organise more than 25 scientific congresses, and cooperate with over 50 university institutes. Our partners have to come and see us often and we have to go and see them as well. We depend on air travel and have been waiting for a long time for direct connections between Luebeck and several European air traffic hubs.

EUROIMMUN has even employed a taxi driver to fetch 50 guests per month from Hamburg airport and to drive them back. Many visitors hire a car. Hundreds of flights are made by our own employees from Fuhlsbuettel every year. But travelling is so complicated that we have already missed some good chances of cooperation or business, probably more than we know of.

We have grown quickly and doubled our business volume every five years in the past. In the first half of the current year we had a growth in turnover by 25%, at the end of 2012 the turnover will have been of 130 million euros. In five years the capacity of our branches in Luebeck and Dassow will be all used and we will need new additional premises for 600 to 1,000 new employees. I will not open a new subsidiary without any active airport nearby and want to make clear: If the regional government shuts down the Airport Luebeck, we will rather further expand our branch near Dresden.

Source: Published as a nine-part insertion in Lübecker Nachrichten, July 2012.

Should young kids have sweets in between meals? I don’t think so!

Breakfast time has already been over for quite a while and the children slowly start to get hungry again. But giving in to their demands for sweets, chocolate, biscuits or sugary juices now, would start a circulus vitiosus: within a short time the sugar would be resorbed by the intestine increasing the blood sugar level which, due to the physiological regulation, leads to a complete loss of appetite by lunch time. As a result the children pick only half-heartedly at their first portion of food, leaving the rest untouched altogether. The children take no culinary pleasure in their meal at all, they are not able to finish off their plate, leaving their parents to laboriously cajole their children spoon by spoon into eating by inventing all sorts of stories. But the small portion that has finally been eaten does not satisfy the children for very long and soon after the meal their hunger returns and they again resort to sugary delicacies.

If eaten outside of principal meals, goodies interfere with a balanced healthy diet. Sometimes they can even be dangerous for kids (and adults)! Sweets are supposed to increase the zest for life, but consumed untimely they cause eating disorders, tooth damage, addiction and even fatal accidents. In any case, their contribution to a person’s daily requirement of calories is not an adequate alternative for qualified foods.

Deficiency syndromes manifest themselves only in extreme cases, but obesity represents one of the most frequent consequences of thoughtless sweet-eating – caused by an excess of carbohydrates. A second consequence of such a vice is bad teeth: if they have enough time to react, fruit acids from sweets or juices affect tooth enamel. Under the plaque that has been left by pretzel sticks, potato chips and chocolate cookies that is unable to be completely removed even by the good ptyalin secreted from the parotid gland (contrary to the doctrine, ptyalin is probably if anything having the function of an enzymatical tooth brush than helping to assimilate bread and spaghetti) giving the causative agent of dental caries ideal living conditions. Protected by the starchy layer on the enamel and consequently well fed with nutriments, streptococcus mutans et al. quickly proliferate into a powerful destructive armada driving our children straight into the arms of dentists.

The addictive potential of sweet-eating should not be underestimated either: some kids cannot concentrate on their games or homework because they are craving for sweet things every half hour. In due time some of these kids will change over to harder drugs: e.g. alcohol or other intoxicants, with luck, but nevertheless not as harmless as commonly thought, nicotine. In the latter case, they are forced to think of smoking all day, permanently driven by signals from the subconscious mind to light a new cigarette – should or shouldn’t I? I‘ve just lit one. Oh, never mind… From an early age they have been constantly distracted from their activities – they are prisoners of their oral disorder. Even worse are people who have specialised in smoking pipes, who won’t get around to anything because they are constantly busy with preparing their next pipe. A wise staff manager would never offer them a position, although pipe smoke is the most pleasant of all.

By the way, many children have choked because, during play, the respiratory tract has become obstructed by candy. Therefore, children having a sweet tooth should at least sit down at the table when they enjoy goodies. This also prevents them from smearing the flat with sticky fingers and asking for fruit drops or toffees too often.

Hence should children be forbidden to have sweets at all? The answer is a decisive NO again! They may have as much juice, chocolate and sweet stuff as they want, but only at the right time: children must be given three principal meals a day – the servings should be manageable to avoid that our little gourmets give up immediately. They can always have a second helping if they desire more. During meals children should have water and not sugary drinks because the latter suppress the appetite and should therefore be drunk only after meals. The next course should be salad and fruits, and after all this, kids who have eaten up may have as much chocolate or sugar as they wish (but only at the table). At this time, their hunger is almost entirely satisfied and they won‘t greedily stuff down too many sweets. After the meal children should brush their teeth. In between principal meals, in the mornings and afternoons, kids should be given a healthy snack (e.g. apples, bananas, cornflakes or yoghurt) to keep the glucose level at an acceptable level. This time the tooth brush can stay in its holder. If children are thirsty they should only have water or unsweetened tea. If they are asking for sweets they are told to wait until after the next main meal.

As soon as the children have gotten used to this regime, and provided that the parents also keep to these rules to some extent, the children won’t miss anything. They will play undisturbed without permanently begging for sweets (which, in a family with 3 children, can be quite tiresome). The flat and the car will stay free of coke or orange juice stains, the new sofa will not be covered in sticky lollipops or huge crumbs – and the nutritional scientists will be happy and praise us!

Coexistence

Christmas speech 2011

Christmas is fast approaching again. But in this year’s advent season there is no room for peaceful contemplativeness. Half of the Arab world is in revolution. And once again we are all enthusiastic about it, like we were for Iran several years ago. But soon our feet will come back to the ground again. In Egypt, the Muslim Brothers will bring back the Middle Ages. Free development of the individual will become once again a thing of the past for a very long time, and women will remain slaves. Everything will become worse than before. The peoples will jump out of the frying pan into the fire. The world is becoming a powder keg. The free countries, however, are only twiddling their thumbs.

Our newspapers are full of reports on acts of violence against foreign nationals in Germany. The blinded culprits have finally been found and everyone is expressing their sympathy with the victims and their families. Today, such acts of terror are sporadic exceptions in Germany. With respect to such violence, other countries such as India, Afghanistan or Iraq have more to offer. But xenophobia is still widely spread around here. It is not unusual that persons with a foreign passport or a rare skin colour are molested or even heavily beaten.

Reservations with respect to foreigners exist everywhere in the world. There is no country which is immune against it. It is only natural that people form groups and that these groups wish to discriminate against each other. It is even a law of evolution! In my opinion, there is only one solution for our new foreign residents to overcome these reservations: They have to integrate themselves fully into our society. They need to learn our language and they need to assimilate instead of trying to establish their own state within our state. The Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sows violence if he tells his fellow countrymen who have immigrated to Germany that they are first and foremost Turks, and Germans second. I consider the prime minister an irresponsible agitator, who pursues the long-term objective of extending Turkey to Germany. Our formerly Turkish residents, and also the Jewish quota refugees from Russia, should fully take on German identity to be really welcome in our country. They should seek their marriage partners in Germany and thereby become incorporated into German families. Those of us Germans who see through the system consider the one-way road from Anatolia to Germany as an abuse of our confidence.

Dear Turkish collegues, we Germans expect to be treated with fairness by you. Your sons should choose their future wives from our German daughters. There are many beautiful and decent girls among them. Do not believe the mullahs telling you that Allah would be against it. If Allah is a good God, he will be pleased that our blood mingles with yours. According to the customs of our fathers I will make you an offer: Your son Baki will marry my daughter Friederike. Although in this case our grandchildren would still have a migration background of 75 percent, it would probably be less than 50 percent with our great-grandchildren. Celebrate Christmas, the feast of love, together with us – not only as colleagues, but as brothers and sisters.

Lübeck, 2011

Appeal to save of the Lübeck Airport, 2010

Today you can do something for your hometown Lübeck: Stand up for the continuous operation and the extension of the airport which is so rich in tradition!

Lübeck once was the most influential of all hanseatic cities, but was surpassed by cities such as Hamburg and Bremen in the course of the centuries. Today, Lübeck should at least earn points in the competition with Kiel, Wismar, Schwerin and Rostock in order to avoid losing importance, and maybe it should even aim at becoming the capital of a larger northern federal state in Germany. A modern city requires an active airport – it strengthens the economic power, facilitates technical and scientific cooperation and raises the standard of living.

EUROIMMUN’s employees benefit from the good flight connections to London, Stockholm, Gdánsk, Bergamo and Barcelona during their numerous business and private trips. As a modern, internationally networking company, we rely on a further extension of the airport to get in even closer contact with international customers, business partners and scientists and to strengthen business relationships.

I live in immediate vicinity of the airport myself and can watch (and hear) every start and every landing in Blankensee from my house. And I still remember how, twenty years ago, the sports aircrafts caused a permanent background noise like a lawnmower every time when the weather was nice and one could sit in the backyard in the evening and at the weekends. Please help to avoid that the Airport Lübeck is again degraded to a bumblebees’ nest for noisy motorised aircrafts. The sparse flight operations of the regional airport represent a much smaller disturbance.

The airport would already operate economically if its development was not hindered so persistently and militantly and its existence was not questioned. A vociferous minority put obstacles in the way of the airport operator on the pretext of nature protection: turn against this, support the Airport Lübeck!

Source: Released in Lübecker Nachrichten, April 2010.

Life is earnest, art is gay!

New Years Speech

What is a turn of the year without rockets, champagne and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony? The latter was performed in Lübeck’s Music and Congress Hall on 1st January 2008. Afterwards two speeches were held, one of them by myself. It became the new barometer:

Life is earnest, art is gay! There will be more of Friedrich Schiller’s words. Lucky Lübeck to possess a highly prestigious theatre and a music hall offering such excellent sound, two forums of living cultural performance allowing us to escape the seriousness of life for a while. Art leads us to „the good, the true and the beautiful“.

Possibly the “Ode to Joy” by Friedrich Schiller, which we have just heard, has, unnoticed by us, contributed somewhat to our liberation. Perhaps the celestial fashioned flame has sparked a fire amongst the people in Europe. The ode describes the ideal of a society made up of equal and good human beings closely connected to each other by joy and friendship. “Joy, of flame celestial fashioned, daughter of Elysium”. In 1985 the European Community chose this poem set to music by Beethoven as its official anthem. However, a down-to-earth scientist like myself considers its lyrics as too pathetic. Schiller himself did not approve of this piece of his work very much either. He only intended it to be used by a free masonry group in Dresden.

However, the celestial fashioned flame acted upon the whole of Europe when, in December of last year, the Schengen area was enlarged by nine more European states following a resolution by European Ministers of the Interior and Ministers of Justice. Frontier controls at land and maritime borders between Poland, the Czech Republic and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary were abolished on 21st December 2007. “Joy of flame celestial fashioned!” Today we say: “Hurray!” Air borders are due to be removed on 30th March 2008.

The German chancellor Mrs. Merkel celebrated this event at a disused border crossing in Zittau, which is one of the six cities belonging to my home region Upper Lusatia, sheltering the most beautiful low mountain range of Germany. There, pass controls have finally been lifted. The fact that Zittau is usually chosen for such events is due to the city’s location within the „border triangle“, where Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany share borders. The chancellor was therefore saved one more media appearance.

Three years ago, my Chinese wife and I, coming from Prague, stood in Zittau wanting to cross the border to pay a visit to our subsidiary in Upper Lusatia. Two frontier crossing points were located one behind the other, separated from each other by five hundred meters of broad border area, declared to be Polish. My wife possessed a visa for the Czech Republic but not for Poland. The malicious border guard could hardly hide his glee at sending us onto a 70 km detour at night on a narrow street around the Zittau mountain range. Today, I feel a deep satisfaction in knowing that he has lost his job, as several years ago many other guards at the former German-German frontier similarly deprived of good qualities in character also lost their jobs.

Some of you might also have had to endure similar harassment. One of our staff, an apprentice from Upper Lusatia, visited Breslau during a business trip by car. On her return journey the border guard declared that her international insurance card had expired during her stay in Poland. He did not see any possibility of letting her cross the border, although it was more than unlikely that an insured event in Poland was still to occur. She had to leave her car behind, paying a horrendous parking fee and making a detour journey home. Not until two weeks later was she allowed to pick up her car.

Gone are the border guards and customs officers, who were trying to harass us, to get rich at our expenses, snooping around in our personal items, ready to plunder us! Gone are the lorry traffic jams stretching several kilometres, for days on end (It was not the finances and time of frontier officials being spent unnecessarily. Governmental employees do not work flexitime, you know). Let’s celebrate the victory over an insane and useless public authority.

„Life is earnest, art is gay“. This quotation from Schiller’s Wallenstein is regularly twisted by state officials on other occasions as well. Two years ago, my wife and I had to go to the registration office in Lübeck to register our new family member – my sixth child. At the same office as at four earlier occasions I was again asked to present my birth certificate. Having developed a certain degree of stubbornness over the years, this time I refused. We were therefore sent home without having achieved anything. However, we wrote a letter to the director of the public order office. He explained that we had to observe the rules (I hope you do not all think along the same lines), but advised us to register our daughter in Ratzeburg instead. „I’m regent in the land i’th’ Emp’ror’s stead, Who’s smart, learn to be silent and obey.“ This was quoted from Schiller’s William Tell. I had to give up my resistance for this time, for my wife‘s sake and also because we needed the child benefit and required the document. I will continue to bow before Geissler’s hat* as long as the arrogance of state officials does not affect the core of my freedom.

„Life is earnest, art is gay“. This is why I love going to the opera and why I enjoy every good performance and well-staged directing concept. May the Theatre of Lübeck be preserved and continue to prosper. It acts as an important counterbalance to the subculture whose products block 95% of the shelves in music shops.

For instance the Lübeck production of the “Rhinegold” is characterised by impressive music and an entertaining and witty plot, a masterpiece of an opera: The gods are impatiently waiting next to their packing cases at the portakabin of the giants to be allowed into the fortress. But the purchase price has not yet been agreed upon. The Rhine daughters themselves are a feast for the eye and the most attractive swimmers compared to seven or eight other productions I have seen elsewhere.

“An artistic key event in my life”, a thrilled Thomas Mann once said about his visit to the Theatre of Lübeck. Still today this is absolutely true for many theatrical performances in Lübeck, for example the brilliant performance of “Orpheus in the Underworld” by Offenbach, which could be seen yesterday. It is a sumptuous production of world standard, full of delicate eroticism. You see, Mr. Brogli-Sacher, I am trying to beat the big drum for you. We were really thrilled, my wife and I.

During “The Marksman” in Hamburg the hermit offered his services to one of the guests at the wedding, handing over his card, although his “professional group” generally is not keen to have an audience. Later on a second guest asked for the business card of the holy man. And suddenly the hermit was tightly surrounded by the wedding party wanting his cards, so he threw several handfuls of golden cards into the masses until, finally, the precious souvenirs rained from the ceiling.

During the last but one production of “La Bohème” in Hamburg the chief character Rudolf bestowed his beloved Mimi with a yellow bonnet. She was pleased about the precious and fine headgear, which matched her hair so well. But then, all ladies in the café house on the stage wore the same yellow bonnet.

I knew five different versions of Beethoven’s Fidelio and had come to the biased conclusion that text and plot could not teach me anything new and that it was pretty clear from the beginning which characters were fair and which were not. But the production in Hamburg proved us wrong. The prisoners were not presented as innocent victims, but also as active culprits. All prison inmates were accompanied by their own slaves or hostages, who were chained and represented in person or symbolically with puppets or paintings on signboards. An Indian prisoner showed a child working for him, a gentleman with a turban two completely veiled females, a pimp a very attractive women whom he exploited, a judge his poor example and a divorced woman her ex-husband whom she had taken to the cleaner’s. The audience was made to understand that in real life one is not necessarily fully on the side of the friendly protagonists but that both the Good and the Bad exist in every one of us. Gay is the art. We just have to draw the right conclusions. Then we will be able to better accept and tackle the serious side of life. The fiery freedom fighter Schiller would have liked the Hamburg production of Beethoven’s work. Once every two years all employees of EUROIMMUN AG go to the opera or a concert together. I just had to see this Fidelio production with my colleagues. Next time we’ll be in Lübeck, I promise you, Mr. Brogli-Sacher. We’ll require around 600 seats.

“Joy of flame celestial fashioned”: There is a new institution in Lübeck’s cultural life! The idea of international understanding led to the creation of a new non-profit association last October – the European Concert Choir of Lübeck. Together with musicians from various countries the choir rehearses several compositions with renowned vocalists each year, showing the highest possible perfection during its performances in Germany and in the home countries of its partner choirs. Mr. Beck, please do not consider these new activities as rivalling with respect to the musical scene in Lübeck. The European Concert Choir is mainly inspired by the objective of creating friendship among nations. Two or three more brilliant concerts during the time between the summer festivals can surely only please all music-hungry aesthetes.

The choir’s first performance was Brahms’ requiem, which took place four weeks ago in this expensive hall. Choirs from Sweden, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania sang together with singers from Lübeck. I myself participated. The orchestra consisted of Polish and German musicians, 250 all together. The musical direction was in the hands of Prof. Neithard Bethke, who has left his place as conductor at the Ratzeburg Cathedral and continues his tradition of uniting musicians from many nations and bringing about friendship. In this manner, Bethke has brought life to the European idea for 30 years. The next project is the St. Matthew Passion by Bach. The concert is planned for 16th of March, Palm Sunday. Please promote and support the choir’s activities by visiting the concerts or by becoming a sponsoring member of the association!

“Life is earnest, art is gay!” The way a drama on a theatre stage can become deadly earnest can be seen in “The Bajazzo” by Leoncavallo. About how crazy things may affect real life, how self-important people from public authorities play pranks on a committed, innovative company, how they spy on it, narrow-mindedly bombard it with regulations and prevent it from functioning, I could tell you a story or two from 20 years of EUROIMMUN existence. With the extensive abolition of border controls and custom barriers in Europe, one part of the sprawling bureaucracy, which annoyed us, has gone. Millions in our arms we gather! Who that height of bliss has proved, join us in our jubilee! These, for instance, are all the great artists performing on the stages in Lübeck.

„Who has failed, let him with weeping from our fellowship begone!“ This quote applies to the border guards and customs officers. In future it remains essential to further confine the paternalism and bullying by officials and the government. This is worth aiming for in 2008. But a period of a whole year will not suffice. I know that lot inside out! I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Lübeck, 2008

Christmas Speech 2007

„Yes, I want to carry you till old age, and you shall say that I am merciful.“ Dear guests, dear colleagues! That was a choral by Neithard Bethke, with text by Jochen Klepper. The merciful time is upon us, announced by the touching music, which uplifts our spirits and keeps us from frailties – at least as long as we sit still and listen to the melodies. A contribution from our experienced soloist ensembles to wish you a peaceful Christmas festival.

Yes, I want to carry you. The choral focuses on Neithard Bethkes’ inner faith in God – as a sceptical scientist I can only wonder at such innocence and naivety. The music carries us. Apart from that this statement, put into the mouth of a fictitious God, is obviously an empty promise. This God is not merciful and does not carry you: he lets you fall – you can count only on this.

“I thank you great God” the poor souls who jumped out of the burning World Trade Center in New York must have cried – guided safely by eagle’s wings and landing on hard ground only then to be carried away. “God with us” was the motto of the German and the French grenadiers, who cut each other down in the trenches of Verdun in the advent period of 1916. “God bless America” – and the bombs fell on Dresden, Hiroshima and Bagdad. At the start of this advent a mother killed her five children, nearby to us. The Lübeck newspaper gave a detailed report – God be thanked for a sensational topic, welcome excitement for voyeurs and copycats, – and one of the most resourceful pastors of our time and a beneficiary of the quota for women said in Lübeck: “God is with us in despair and need, with his love and solidarity”. He didn’t show much solidarity with the two fathers and the five children as he brought the deed about or let it happen.

The boundless grace of the church does not end with such exhibitions; her apostles are waiting with a further generous promise: Whoever is supposedly abandoned by God or feels he has missed out in this vale of tears will be richly compensated after death, with help from the child from Bethlehem’s stable. So be joyful about every blow of fate and make your life holy from now on, pay church taxes, obey the state, sacrifice your best – your freedom – let yourself be exploited by parents, children and employers, be faithful to a dishonourable partner for life and miss out on thousands of things which are fun – celibacy comes first to my mind, the victims of which wish for an overflow of nectar and ambrosia in the distant future, some of them perhaps featuring a pretty altar boy. But truly, I say to you: every ascetic who abstains from the satisfaction of elementary needs down here to achieve a premier seat in heaven will decay to dust like all others, and no God needs to redeem the promises of the bishop speaker Ms Wartenberg-Potters. There is also nothing left of the terrorists from 11 September, and after their last flight they cannot have an even night of passion with one of the ten promised virgins.

How does the little child, Jesus of Nazareth, who was born two thousand years ago, help us – our salvation, a son given? Truly, this child also does not assist us. In his name there has been so much mischief done and so many crimes committed as never before in world history: think about the crusades, the inquisition, the thirty years war and many other wars, the missionaries and slave trade in Africa, the burning of so many voluptuous blondes at the stake, and with good reason, the ban on basic scientific research through many ages. People steered medical history backwards, Christianity became the motor of evil, the “force that always wants good, and only achieves evil”. And in murder Christians developed into the most successful of any religion. At the moment religious fanatics from another belief are trying to overtake the church, and our politicians leave them in our country wanting for nothing and even finance their crimes.

Is the child Jesus responsible? Nonsense. Millions of virtuous people were murdered before and after the “birth of Christ”, but precisely this legendary figure never walked on the ground of our vales of tears. The Christ legend is only a hypothesis, invented by a couple of story tellers, perhaps on commission from some agitator or demagogue who wanted to destabilise the late Roman Empire. Archaeologists and historians have not been able to find any objective witnesses from those times who can substantiate just one of the Jesus episodes, whereas with every other important event in world history numerous finds have been unearthed and detailed knowledge built up. The legends of the New Testament were invented a few hundred years later since no one could verify the truth with the methods available at that time. For this reason nobody is declared a saint just after their passing, so that their contemporaries cannot blow the whistle on the rascal who has been elevated to the throne.

Many people think as I do, and even most clergymen regard the New Testament as a big fairy tale book, like A Thousand and One Nights. But they do not trust themselves to admit it, so that they do not lose their jobs, and because they do not want to deny the scaredy cats among us, who fear the cold of the deep graveyard earth, their feeling of comfort. We don’t want to hear the truth and we close our eyes tightly against the knowledge of modern scientists, who ridicule every religion and in whose light all transcendental Christian traditions appear as outlandish cock-and-bull stories.

But why do we still celebrate Christmas today? And how can I bring you again into a peaceful advent mood? Every year at home I voluntarily put up a Christmas tree, decorate it and sing religious songs with my family and today with you: We should always take breaks from our career zealousness and ambition to spend time with our nearest and dearest and not neglect or forget them. Once a year we retreat, find time for peace and reflection, and appreciate how lucky we are to have found a focus in our families and our company, to be friends with good people, private and in other domains. Christmas offers the best opportunity to discover such happiness in ourselves, and we can listen peacefully to the lovely invented stories which are entwined in Christmas. We do not need to continually check their truth, we don’t do this with other fairy tales when we read them to our children. We clutch at the altruistic protagonist part and use it as an example.

People have to find a balance between the forces of egoism and altruism – the one force helps us to hold our own in the daily fight for survival, the other is characterised by selflessness, readiness to make sacrifices and protective instinct – from which our still weak children profit. A fighting spirit and a need for harmony are present in all of us, and both must flourish for us to proceed happily through life. One cannot always sing loudly, the heartfelt pianissimo also belongs to the music.

Fight for yourselves and take what you need and what you are entitled to the whole year long, but at Christmas make room for charity. And do not turn the advent period into a hectic chase and battle for presents, otherwise the spirit of advent is turned into exactly the opposite. Do not deploy your elbows at the rummage table at C&A in order to get everything done in time, do not push at every queue, and leave your fist in your trouser pocket when someone grabs the parking place in front of your nose. Do not let yourself be manipulated and coerced into consuming by Lübeck’s shops, who misuse the “name of the Lord”: already at the beginning of November Christmas songs resounded ting-a-ling, they wanted to speak to your conscience: think about the happiness of your children, don’t forget to buy mountains of presents, here they are inexpensive. Listen to me: rather give your children some of your time, give each only one or maximum two material presents and arrange with spouses and friends to forego Christmas presents (half of them we don’t use anyway and the plunder has to be returned in January). In the advent period stay at home a little more often, with coffee and gingerbread cakes, light the obligatory number of candles, decorate the tree on the holidays, sing a few songs, go for a walk, play with the children or read a nice book, perhaps this time not a thriller with ten deaths.

The world is calm, like sleeping in peaceful reverie. You hear no laughs, no weeping. It’s silent like a tree. Heavenly peace is allaying all discord. There’s just sacred love. This is a time for praying. Hear me, o God above!

Lübeck, 2007

The miracle of 17th June

Christmas speech

I feel that the last year has passed more quickly than all of the other years before. It seems to me as if the carols at our last feast have just faded away and we are already coming together again to celebrate Christmas. Why do people have the impression that time passes so quickly? The reason is the fact that so many things have happened since last Christmas that we never really have managed to reflect upon all of them. Thomas Mann made this phenomenon a main subject in one of his novels, The Magic Mountain. In this book he describes a character having the impression that time is dragging on because there is nothing happening in his life. But later, when the character is looking back on his life, he thinks that it has come to an end far too quickly. However, the opposite applies for people who have had many experiences in their lives. In retrospect, they feel that their lives were longer (as long as the whole novel of The Magic Mountain, which takes at least half a year to be read entirely).

In 2005 so many milestones have been set at EUROIMMUN that we will not forget this period too fast. 2005 has been a very successful year throughout. It was also a year which allowed us to profit from the fruits of our work from previous years.

After five years of construction work we moved into our fine new building 5, we finished the extensions in Groß Grönau, created a new technical infrastructure on the Seekamp site i.e. made a fundamental improvement of the electric power supply and established a new heating system, warm and cold water and waste water system – all of which will be the basis for further expansion of our company.

In cooperation with EUROIMMUN electronic engineers and computer scientists the construction department has developed several complicated and sensational machines and devices, among them for example the automated systems for the BIOCHIP production, which are admired by professionals coming from all over the world, an ingenious fully automated optical evaluation system (EUROLINEScan) for Westernblots, which has increased our turnover by millions, and a completely novel illumination device invented by EUROIMMUN for our fluorescence microscope. In terms of the reagents, we have significantly developed our product range. Wherever we present our diagnostic products, we receive many complements and much appreciation for our state-of-the-art product range and for the productivity of our company. By turning our company into a stock corporation and to economic success, our net equity has increased significantly and, in terms of finances, we have therefore reached safe waters.

Many of my dreams have come true. One of them was particularly important to me: the reconstruction of the main building in Rennersdorf, the third building after the spinning hall and the annexe.

We have knocked down and rebuilt a large part of the main building, preserving its time-honoured walls. A week ago we had our topping-out ceremony. The building was built in 1839 – the cloth manufacturer Benjamin Wiedemann had fulfilled his dream to build a nice little manufactory for glaze and wool spinning by taking up a state loan of 1300 Reichsmark. In 1935 the property was then bought by my grandfather Paul Stöcker with the money of my grandmother, which amounted to 26,000 Mark, as far as I know. My grandfather had already spent his own money on his numerous inventions. His manufactory started with small-scale spinning of harvest binding twine.

From 1945 my father continued the manufactory, after returning from the war. He also had a dream. He wanted to start a large-scale production of coarse yarn. He invented a knot crimper which allowed to recycle the ends of binding twine. This twine was considered as waste material in agriculture because it was hardly usable for spinning due to its many knots. The machine invented by my father tore the knots with its two crimpers thus producing the best raw material available in former GDR times – sisal of pre-war quality – when raw material was hard to come by. Thus, Stöcker’s harvest binding twine was the most tear-proof twine you could get in the GDR. The farmers queued up at our manufactory after the war during harvest time and also spoilt us a bit whenever times were bad. We then bought a 72-head spinning machine with all connected teasels and drawing frames. Because of the risk involved in this purchase, my elder relatives declared my father to be crazy. But my father now delivered binding twine all over the country and was able provide best quality. He was even forced to reveal the secret of his knot crimper, which was then copied several times in Karl-Marx-Stadt. The coarse yarn manufactory existed until 1960.

After we had left the country for Upper Franconia in the Federal Republic of Germany, the manufactory was confiscated and included into a textile factory in Olbersdorf. Until 1990 the manufactory in Rennersdorf was nationally owned producing industrial textiles. With some diplomatic skill we were able to repurchase the property from the government for a price which had by then amounted to 175,000 DM. But our investments into the building in the meantime have now already amounted to a double of the purchase price.

The fact that EUROIMMUN now has a subsidiary in Rennersdorf and these buildings have been renovated to offer a workplace for a hundred employees has again a lot to do with dreams. As a child I picked raspberries on the path behind the main building. In summer there were enough to fill several jars. There I dreamed of a large raspberry plantation in Western Germany, where we planned to move to participate in the big economic miracle.

When we came there in 1960, having lost our former social status and without a word of welcome by anyone, the only thing left were the dreams of our former home. At that time I was convinced that I would never see it again in my whole life. But finally first the children, later also their parents, were allowed to visit their relatives in the GDR, in most cases when a member of the family had passed away. Whenever we went there I realised how much the buildings were decaying. One day, in 1966, I was told off after having looked around too curiously during a visit of relatives. After this, I went to my path behind the main building and could only dream of a remote future when that lovely little spot called Kreppel, where I had spent my childhood, would be restored as it was due.

After the wall had come down I sometimes woke up from my sleep, daydreaming about a freshly renovated manufactory surrounded by green trees, contrary to the real situation, for example around 1990 when it was only surrounded by coal heaps und the buildings were just an inch from being sacrificed to the wrecking ball.

We were very lucky that at exactly the right stage, EUROIMMUN had reached a development status which allowed us to get involved in a project encompassing the property. Firstly, we had to expand anyway and needed more space; secondly, we had the confidence of several national banks and thirdly, there was always some profit left to be invested somewhere to avoid taxation. We also used government investment grants, but these did not represent a decisive factor.

As we have always been engaged in renovation work since the founding of our company, we have therefore become more experienced with every project. We have undertaken and successfully completed one construction measure after the other. With all this work we are taking good care to guarantee that all EUROIMMUN employees enjoy their jobs and are not dreading to come to work every day where, after all, they spend a third of their lives. In the past I often suffered from nightmares where I saw the construction work completely differing from my plans and having bad quality. Now these nightmares appear more rarely. Apparently, reality is reflected in my subconscious mind telling me that we are able to meet high architectural requirements – at first by our own efforts, now predominantly with the assistance of professionals from the construction industry.

Our company history has shown that dreams can become reality. This is what distinguishes dreams from illusions, such as socialism or communism, for the attempted realisation of which we had to pay a high price in the past: socialism as it exists in reality was different from what Karl Marx had imagined. It only created ruins, and our Kreppel is the best example. The socialistic planned economy could nothing but suffocate dreams. Planned economy ignored the power of dreams. The date of 17th June 1953, when a big national uprising took place in the GDR, is a symbol for all this. It would have been better to keep this holiday in June than to swap it for the holiday of the German Unification.

In Rennersdorf a ruin has been brought back to life – the national hymn „Risen from the ruins“ which was played at first in the GDR and which was then cancelled, could now well be reintroduced since no one is allowed or willing to sing the other hymn  “Germany above all”. Thanks to a dream, and only because so many people put their diligence, effort and craftsmanship in it, we were able to raise this time-honoured building in Rennersdorf from the ruins.

I wish you all that many of your dreams also come true. If someone, may it be political ideologists, the church, malicious spouses, chauvinists or capitalistic exploiters, wilfully tries to destroy your dreams, get rid of them! Hold fast to your dreams and some day many of them will come true.

Practice what you preach?

Even beyond the Agenda year 2010, the majority of the German population will have to tighten their waistbelts. Which economic measures that are to come and the limitations we are to expect may in future no longer be announced by the functionaries of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) after next September, but rather from the heralds of the other camp. Who will carry the evil tidings and the pleas for moderation from Berlin to duchy Lauenburg from then on?

At a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) meeting at the beginning of June, five men who will be running for office for the next Bundestag introduced themselves. On this occasion they provided information about their political goals, whereas for the most part, more or less insignificant questions were asked and similarly the same was answered. One of the attendees however, seemed to have forgotten the social and political etiquette: He asked if one of the candidates, the great-grandson of the Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, was really the right man to represent the interests of the voters or in fact would really rather re-establish a family tradition and become a politician – but obviously due to his flamboyant lifestyle, would not recognize or have in mind the needs of simple and normal citizens. Among other things he had a permanent quarter for more than two years in one of the most expensive hotels in the world in Berlin next to the Bundestag, there awaiting the move into parliament.

(Count Bismarck lost the last Bundestag election in his district, but nevertheless had a good listing, which opened prospects to move up to the Bundestag as soon as an elected CDU parliament member passed away or in another manner was unable to exercise his seat in parliament. That naturally hurt a bit to have just missed the target. Since the count wasn’t at once granted an official, publicly funded bureau in Berlin, he took quarters (at his own expense) agreeable to his standard in the newly renovated luxury hotel Adlon right next to the Bundestag waiting for the big moment. With the elimination of the German Green Party from the governing body in Schleswig-Holstein this has now come true: Peter-Harry (according to Bismarck, the State Secretary Schlie and the Minister of Finance Rainer Wiegard) has become a member of parliament and thus freed a seat in Berlin for Count Bismarck. According to the German newspaper FAZ of 26th June 2005, the Adlon is the second most expensive hotel in Germany with one night costing on average EUR 237, including the more simple rooms. During his stay there, Bismarck definitely brooded thoroughly over where to cut extra money from the luxurious pensions of our pensioners and how to limit the luxury of the masses of short-term unemployed but still regularly paid miners in the Ruhr basin or how to convince the mass of simple workers to give up some comforts and to familiarize them with the pay scales and working conditions of the Middle and Far East of our nice and globalized world – in order to help balance off the national deficit and to be able to stand up to international competition.)

The host of the meeting could not of course let the count be insulted by the scurrilous affront of the obviously jealousy-complex-afflicted informer: The newly elected Secretary of State Schlie, who even almost became Minister, was obliged to call the shamus to order and “kindly“ requested that he introduce himself and sit down again as quickly as possible. This was heavily applauded from almost the whole audience. Bismarck (and Schlie) first answered in the troublemaker’s direction that the count had only stayed for a short while at the Adlon. But somewhat later Bismarck made the comment that he didn’t have to pay the full EUR 500 per night as he was given a discount. As one can see, these arguments are indeed only made by necessity and arbitrarily, as discounts are normally only given for large quantities or performance and not because someone wants to become a politician. But sometimes these are also granted because one already is a politician. The president before last of the German Bundesbank, Ernst Welteke, and his family will certainly gratefully remember the Adlon. Assisted from Schlie, Bismarck elegantly transformed the concerns of the troublemaker to his advantage and collected hearty applause for his answers.

The author of this editorial can name further examples of the arbitrary behavior of the count from just a short acquaintance: Three or four years ago he had introduced himself in Groß Groenau at the local CDU as “Fürst Bismarck” (Prince Bismarck) (which he is not legally entitled to do, any more than his father, who cleverly shortened his first name Ferdinand to “F”, was.) and as the new candidate for the Bundestag. On the same evening the men’s choir were rehearsing in the hall next door – Bismarck asked if he could also introduce himself to the choir and find out what their uppermost concerns were: Further construction of the airport should not be continued and the German naturalization of the choir director from Bulgaria should be made possible after he had completed his studies at the conservatory in Luebeck. Without contemplating it very long and clearly distant from the position of his party, the candidate agreed to lobby for both concerns and promised to do so. He found approval and, at best, only the small-minded may have said that the would-be politician only wanted to curry the favor of the voting population to accelerate his upcoming career. Perhaps he only forgot his principles for a moment – but one cannot fully exclude that such principles become too inconvenient as soon as they interfere with political development. Members of the Groß Groenau CDU also were against the expansion of Luebeck Airport and the building of the motorway and refrained from supporting these projects openly – blind to the economic necessity of both projects – in order to make themselves popular.

The now muzzled dissident of the Schwarzenbek event could do nothing more than contemplate the situation: In a democracy (and not only there), when filling a vacancy, only appearance or presence in the media are important factors and not strength of character, sedulousness, intelligence and humanitarian visions. Once in the limelight, with a familiar name, all the celebrity needs to do is to say what people want to hear. By admitting the bearer of the princely name to their circle, the CDU sinks as low as the yellow press, which benefits from the tendency of the dull-witted of our nation to admire allegedly higher social classes (a reason why the anachronistic absurdity of nobility cannot be disposed of) or with the mineral water company „Fürst Bismarck“ which, for every bottle label presenting the famous name of his great-grandfather, transfers a certain amount to the account of the count (which is perhaps used to pay the hotel in Berlin). However, with the only few good members who could be presented by the CDU in Schleswig-Holstein during the years after Mr. Stoltenberg and with the personnel available today, one clutches at every straw.

At the meeting in Schwarzenbek however, the troublemaker was cut short and was therefore unable to express all his concerns. But what he could bring up wasn’t that absurd: On several occasions, when talking to a more amiable audience, they mainly agreed with his words. In spite of the conservative attitude in a people’s party like the CDU, there surely still is some tolerance left, at least a small range of opinions. Thus, in a free discussion, a certain percentage of attendees, let’s say 50%, would surely have shared the concerns of the rebel. However, the audience had been told through the suppressive intervention of Mr. Schlie to toe the line (his protégé will remember this in due time and show his gratitude).

Just recently the CDU took the governance in Kiel (euphoric with their victory they quickly forgot the crucial support of the SPD from Berlin). And if their majority situation soon improves a bit more they may decide that the rules of democracy can be disregarded. Then someone who speaks his mind and who stands against the crowd may be risking his life again. For the dissenter, however, no advocate was to be found amongst the new self-proclaimed “archpriests”. As always when there is need for support. They kept silent out of cowardice and fear of the crowd or of worry of losing their position within the party.

During the selection of a political representative it should be possible to speak frankly, without being pressured, unfairly influenced or patronized by the clique. The voters should be able to get a clear picture of the candidates which goes beyond mere appearance. The traditional selection criteria applied elsewhere are not applicable here: No one sees the school grades of the candidates. Job references and other certificates of competence are not presented. The same goes for police records. As if the Bundestag election was merely an irrelevant manning process: It is no wonder that this way of selecting results in unacceptable politics and general stagnation. If EUROIMMUN selected its management in the same careless and incompetent way or with the same nepotism (you scratch my back and I‘ll scratch yours), we could not look back on such a successful company development. At EUROIMMUN every candidate is required to present all of his or her certificates and references and is interviewed by experts and not by amateurs.

This could be a good remedy for democracy to solve this perpetual dilemma of incompetence and to conquer the mediocrity: the representative vacancies will be advertised like leading positions at universities or in industrial firms. An independent committee of experts assesses the quality of all candidates according to fair and impartial criteria, selects several of them and presents them to the voting public before the election.

In Schwarzenbek however, it rather seemed as if the leadership had already decided on their favourite. A couple of alternative candidates who were bound to lose were presented to keep up the forms of democracy. And then someone stood up and unsettled this well planned scenario! One of the five candidates who, like the editor, saw through this evil trickery resigned, withdrawing from his function as alibi.

It is very likely that the troublemaker will turn his back on this circle. He needs to hurry to avoid sharing the blame in case the CDU comes to an arrangement with the real aristocracy and reinstalls the Hohenzoller dynasty: We want the late German emperor Willhelm back! But please not a forceps delivery again: In this case we might as well leave the governance with the SPD and the Green Party.

Lübeck, 2005

The US American: Creations new crowning glory?

Last September we visited the promised land at the same time taking advantage of the probably last chance as passengers to cross the Atlantic with supersonic speed. Unfortunately the great expectations were only followed by harsh and deep disappointment. Even as the Concorde crept along like a normal airliner half way through the flight because of engine trouble and had to drop us off at the next best airport on the east coast as it was also short of fuel, we didn´t complain. Not even as we were confronted with the rude military tone of the customs officer at the border and the unfriendly greeting at the hotel as we arrived six hours too late, long after midnight and having to haul our luggage up the long prestigious stairway ourselves. Everywhere we went, we were always given the feeling that Germans at that time were not especially welcome in America and that the land of unlimited oppor­tunities had apparently become unbelievably arrogant.

It seems as if a huge punishment campaign against Old Germany had been started since Gerhard Schröder had backed out of the Iraq crisis to win his election. Our apologies were of no use: we had voted against him and had also not participated in World War II. The exis­tence of Germany is hardly mentioned in the newspapers. The only article we could read about Germany in the New York Times within these ten days – and in great detail – was a report about a planned attack in Munich by Neonazis, which was defeated by special forces. In Madame Tussaud´s wax museum there was no German eternalized except for a race car driver. Not even Konrad Adenauer, Willi Brandt, or Helmut Kohl, to whom no American politician would be fit to hold a candle to.

The women responsible for cultural matters at the hotel in New York had purposely sent us straight to a musical, which theme was the persecution of the Jews in Germany – port­rayed with a character acting as a fruit merchant (“Herr Schulz Frucht”). One must ask himself, why are these old topics brought up repeatedly, art can do well without this worn-out topic. This musical performance is part of a  permanent concerted schedule. The alleged discussion about financial compensation for forced labourers was for example directed out of New York – half a century after the Hitler dictatorship. As no one wanted to hear about it, they started up with the Nazi gold. And just before the dust settles a new movie about the Holocaust is conjured up or the paint on the memorial steles are not kosher.

One must closely look at what is behind it all – who would gain anything from the com­pensation; the repayment would never be in proportion to the suffered injustice. It seems as though the press in New York is dominated by mockers, who constantly and at length bring up wrong doings long past and seek late revenge. If our government would have a little more intellect, it would not react and would not fall into the same trap with every attempt to defend itself.

My generation and our children, we have nothing to do with the employment of forced labourers and we did not steal any gold. We do not need to be reproached about these things from anyone as we are free of any fault. This is the reason why we do not want to pay taxes for the compensation. Should any existing business of the past still have debts open – that is not our concern. As Konrad Adenauer was in office binding contracts under international law were made and all out­standing balances were settled.

In Washington you can take special bus excursions to see all the important places of interest: the White House (which is currently being restored and repainted by the German company Leimfarben – because they still pro­duce the best silicate paint – the contract from the Pentagon was cancelled just recentl­y!), Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, where Kennedy and his wife were buried, Kennedy Center, Georgetown, Washington Memorial, the Capitol, several museums, among them the National Gallery of Art and the Space Museum with many of the original space capsules. A replica of the German wonder weapon V2 is also here (just), an original prototype for all space vehicles can be seen at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Among all these jewels a museum was pointed out as an essential Ger­man contribution that was made to world history in the city guide and by the bus driver: The Holocaust Museum. The picture in the guide shows the well-known phrase in the entrance of the concentration camp Auschwitz: “Arbeit macht frei”.

The impression that the Americans have of Germans seems to be limited to the Third Reich (other than that most are only familiar with well-known German car and beer brands and the Oktoberfest). The past 59 years have apparently gone by unnoticed by these distant beings. During a recent tour of Lübeck a scientist from Canada asked me as the first and only question while we were standing at the top of the Petri church tower, if all of the buildings below us had been destroyed during the war. He was surprised that they had already been completely restored in such a short period since the war. Therefore, we took him directly to the Hamburg Opera to give him an idea of our meanwhile peaceful culture. The performance was so outstanding, an experience that he had not yet had in Vancouver.

Ways should be found to steer one-sided and apparently by interest groups controlled and selected perception of the Americans to the diversity of the Germans and to the potential of the European culture. Wouldn´t it be possible to build an alternative museum, which would present great accomplished German people, such as composers, poets, philosophers (who wouldn´t interest most Americans) as well as German pioneers and inventors? Pri­marily it should demonstrate that Germany has developed into a reliable modern country, which inhabitants (except for a small number) have nothing to do with the aberration of the Third Reich.

I would also like to build a second museum: One which presents the complete foolishness of the Americans during the last hundred years, which without, a Third Reich, the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam War, the Chinese Revolution, and the taking of Palestine land would probably not have happened. The political actions of the USA were characterized by willed one-sidedness. Due to its geographi­cal size and defined position, it was possible to interfere in the course of the world everywhere ad libitum influencing the outcome of many conflicts without putting themselves into any considerable danger. Whereas each time the USA more or less proceeded like amateurs, nevertheless feeling pretty sure that not much would happen to them at home. After com­pletion of their ingenious one-sided actions they retreated and left the conflicting parties on their own. Without the intention, the role of the ”great Satan” has been fulfilled perfectly that was attributed to them from an equally unfriendly party.

Why did the USA intervene in World War I and play Gods of fate? Our courageous Grand­fathers thank them for the grand defeat and our parents thank them for the curse of national socialism. Why did the USA agree to have the land taken away from the Palesti­nians that had occupied it before for thousands of years! If today someone would want to shove us out of Dresden, Berlin and Lübeck, then I would also plant bombs and blast sky­scrapers into the air! They thought that they could do the same with the Arabians as with the Indians in North America.

At the end of the World War II Stalin and the Soviets, who moved into Poland the same time as Hitler did, should have also been eliminated. Instead Roosevelt and Truman gave the soviet murdering devil half of Europe and brought the world to the brink of disaster. Again, all others and not the Americans, were exposed to the foreseeable dangers of a huge atomic war. Is it just by chance that such a war has not taken place (until now)? The unpredictable Russians still have large arsenals of atomic weapons.

150 years ago the Americans killed a million Indians and stole their land. They are equal to Hitler and Himmler in every way. Even long after World War II the Americans treated their black fellow citizens as second class human beings. To kill one of them was just until recently, still only a trivial offence.

If you observe the US President and his fellow countrymen you find some other parallels to the Third Reich. They call themselves an elite nation and look down upon other countries (the former foreign minister Schulz said: “America and the rest of the world”). A leaflet from the Empire-State-Building uses the phrase “The Capitol of the Capital of the World.” I do not recollect of any election where New York was voted as the capital. American soldiers are supposed to be the best in the world: The basis for this phrase originates from Adolf Hitler, whom no one wants to use as a role model. They pledge with proud gestures, not by stretching out their right hand, but by putting it on their heart with the music playing ”God bless America”. This type of exaggerated nationalism has long been brushed off here in West Europe. In Germany there are only a few sick people that hit that note today. At the same time there is no other industrial country that has so many individuals and businesses that are economically jeopardised. In America a power blackout lasts for weeks, houses collapse at the slightest impact and many cities are dirty and run down. One can be happy to be able to live in Germany.

One should be careful not to overly accommo­date the United States and become scientifi­cally and economically too dependent on them. No one counts on this nation´s virtues such as the sense of justice, good nature, and bene­volence, no more than you may have relied upon the peaceful nature of the Soviets. The USA will, wherever possible, abuse their power for their own benefit and at the expense of others – making them dance to their tune. According to my recent observations, the submissive behaviour of many Germans seems to be very naive. It reminds me of a boy making every effort and humiliating himself just to please his big brother, while the big one makes fun of the little one, exploits and then ignores him. The attempt of ingratiation evidently shows the betrayal of the mother tongue: aren´t we upset about the upper class at the time of Old Fritz refusing to speak German, communicating only in French in their exclusive circles? In reality this behaviour served merely the purpose to signalize supposed superiority. Today, many scientists and in­dustrial managers also use every opportunity to boast about their good command of English, for many decades the youth as well, however, whom one can easier forgive for their silliness.

I am outraged when a human being puts himself above another at will. For me superiority is not legitimate by class, sex, or nationality. Each and every person in the world should be allowed the same rights. No country should be able to determine another country´s destiny. In this respect, I feel the ambitions of some second-rate politicians for a two-speed Europe or a central Europe (also taking care of the “little ones”) as intolerably arrogant (former chancellor Kohl about Schäuble). The kicks are passed down the chain from top to bottom as if they were written in law. Must there always be people and races everywhere that raise themselves above others and dictate?

The countries in Europe should come to an agreement and regain their natural strengths, put back outdated national interests, in order to prevent our continent from being completely dominated by the arrogant United States. We should however, not count on England, which may emerge as a Trojan horse. I am proud to be a European (and not an American)? This is not true nor important: I am proud to accom­plish together with my colleagues outstanding achievements in the field of medicine to the service of humans all over the world!

For EUROIMMUN the past year was again characterized by an extremely positive de­velopment. Some examples are the significant scientific advances made in the diagnostic of Systemic Lupus erythematodes and chronic-inflammatory bowel diseases. Within the scope of a diploma thesis, it was possible for a student to establish standardized diagnostics for ulcerative colitis on the basis of immuno­fluorescence, ELISA and blot techniques, which resulted into a pending patent application. EUROIMMUN has developed and launched the first diagnostic system for the serological detection of SARS together with the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin and several other research institutes, which is currently used by the respective centers dealing with this disease, and which can help prevent new outbreaks. We have put in applications for two utility models for the blot technology, created a new fully automated system (EUROLineScan) for Westernblot and line blot evaluation and developed new software for the organization of the serological laboratory, which enables us and our customers to feed the results obtained by microscopical evaluation directly into the computer – the pencil will thus become obsolete (EUROLabOffice; as an internationally operating company, we also use many English terms without betraying our mother tongue). Our construction, electronics and IT divisions are continuously gaining on importance, where the most complicated production devices have been created and new technologies for the user-related analytics will also soon be finished – new innovative ideas for a continual upward momentum.

EUROIMMUN´s sales revenues have reached 19 million Euros in 2003, compared to 16 million Euros in 2002. The annual profit after tax deduction amounted to 928,601 Euros (2002: 481,347 Euros). The economical situation is stable and favourable, which is mainly due to the participation of friends and colleagues.

Lübeck, 2003