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.