I talked about German politicians with a British friend of mine today. We agreed that Germans are usually not drawn towards charismatic politicians and definitely not to loud, screaming ones (we made rather bad experiences with that kind). My friend said: “I think Germans want their politicians to be unobtrusive and just get their job done” and I agree. We don’t consider showy people to be efficient. There is another kind of politician we don’t accept – a morally ambiguous one. The only thing worse than a morally ambiguous one would be a morally despicable one. You know, the kind that plays down right-wing terror groups. Or one who sympathizes with them or is backed by them.
In Frankfurt, about half-way between Konstablerwache and Eschenheimer Anlage you’ll find a small square, peaceful, a bit nondescript. Box hedges encircle four plain white stone benches which also form a circle. In the centre of that circle stands an angel statue – the Frankfurt Angel, a memorial to the crimes committed against homosexuals in the Nazi years. It is a place of quiescence, of remembrance, and it is the only street or square in Frankfurt named after an outed homosexual: Klaus Mann. The square was named Klaus-Mann-Platz in 1995 and because of this late name-giving, none of the adjoining houses has “Klaus-Mann-Platz” as a postal address. As in life, Klaus Mann wasn’t given quite the full deal.
Many German towns have a Friedrich-Ebert-Street. There is also a number of schools, even a foundation, named after Friedrich Ebert. So who was this man whose name is remembered so widely?
In short – the first man to ever be head of a German democracy. But of course there is far more to tell. Continue reading “Famous Germans – Friedrich Ebert”