Friday, July 31, 2020

Hermann Brunotte

Hermann Brunotte was born in 1914 in Greiz, Thuringia, Germany.
After being released from American captivity in 1945, he became a student of his older sister Christa, who was an academic sculptor. "I learned everything a sculptor needed to learn from her," he said in about his apprenticeship.
From 1954 to 1958 he attended the city master school for stone sculpture in Aschaffenburg and completed it with the master exam. In 1958 he moved to a concrete bunker in Waldkraiburg.
Later he and his siblings built the house in Troppauer Strasse. Christa had her studio upstairs, brother Karl-Heinrich's ceramic workshop downstairs.
In 1958 Christa and the twin brothers founded the artist-work group siblings Brunotte, in which they inspired each other for many years. Some of the works that can still be seen in the city date from this period.
In 2005, the city of Waldkraiburg honored Hermann Brunotte with the cultural prize that was awarded for the first time. "The award recognizes the life's work of a great artist," said Mayor Klika in his eulogy.
Hermann Brunotte's works were as idiosyncratic as he was. His cubist design language reduced to the essentials.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Guido Keller

Guido Keller fulfilled his dream twelve years ago with his wine trade and started a second professional life. Before starting his own business, he had a solid job, but something was missing …
Keller does not know how many wine bottles are waiting for connoisseurs. "There are around 130 varieties," he says. "But how many bottles, no idea." What is much more important for the 65-year-old Degerlocher: he knows a story for every wine. Because he knows many of the winegrowers personally, he can tell how things are at each winery. "I love wines from the niche of small family businesses," he says.
Guido Keller has owned his beret for twelve years. It doesn't matter where you meet him, he has it on his head. And there is a little story about that too. It is about a wine trip to Italy 12 years ago: the owner of a winery - also called Guido - wore a beret and put it on him. 
Since then, the beret has grown on Guido. In the morning, when he leaves the house, he pulls it up and puts on his clef earring - "and then I'm the Guido". Guido Keller laughs. "I'm just a guy who likes something extravagant." He also says of himself: "I've always been a connoisseur."

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Egon Kuhn

Egon Kuhn (1927 - 2019) was a German local politician, social democrat, and trade unionist.
As a so-called “Lindener Butjer”, he organized historical and cultural projects that were recognized throughout Germany.
When the SPD local association Linden-Limmer was founded on April 16, 1973, Kuhn was elected first chairman.
In the spring of 1995, Kuhn and other trade unionists founded the Senior Citizens Academy Otto Brenner Hannover eV, which would later become the Otto Brenner Academy, a trade union-oriented, self-organized and intergenerational educational institution, which he himself led up to two years before his 90th birthday.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Leo Gundermann

The photo studio Gundermann was founded by Konrad Gundermann in Würzburg in 1874 and appointed court supplier to the Bavarian court on March 2, 1899.
The photo studio made a name for itself in portrait photography the making of postcards. Leo Gundermann (the “Man with the Beret”) took over the management of the company in 1912 and his son Heinz Gundermann in the early 1960s.
After 134 years of existence, the family business closed in late 2008 due to a lack of potential successor and the development of digital technology.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Juozas Aleksynas

There have been a number of posts on this blog that I didn't necessarily like publishing, but did so for the simple reason that I am a self-appointed chroniqueur of everything beret. 
The video below is an oral history document that I found hard to watch. However, like the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (the copyright holder of this fragment), I believe in the importance of keeping (this) history alive.
Juozas Aleksynas was born in Makrickai, Lithuania, in 1914. During World War II, he was a soldier in the Lithuanian 12th Self-Defense Battalion. While serving as an auxiliary to German forces, Aleksynas participated in several massacres of Jews in Belorussia in the autumn of 1941. Here Aleksynas describes participating in mass shootings of Jewish parents and their children.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Monica Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky’s beret became famous during the Bill Clinton scandal in the late 1990s. But she says she started wearing it before she gained all the attention.
 “The birth of my wearing berets didn’t actually begin in Washington, D.C.,” Lewinsky told a largely Jewish audience in Manhattan. “It was at my brother’s bar mitzvah, where I sang ‘Sim Shalom’ on the bimah.”
Lewinsky was speaking at the 30th anniversary dinner of Project Kesher, a group based in New York City that works with Jewish women in the former Soviet Union to promote Jewish identity and women’s empowerment and health.
Lewinsky, who has become an anti-bullying activist in the decades since the scandal, treated the crowd to what she called “Monica Lewinsky Jewish trivia.”
Lewinsky described the pain of being hounded and having her life torn apart during the investigation and impeachment of Clinton. She compared the ordeal to an age-old Jewish story about a man who gossips maliciously about someone in a village. When the man seeks to repent, the local rabbi tells him to cut open a feather pillow and strew the feathers in the wind. The lesson is that taking back gossip is as impossible as collecting all of the feathers.
“It’s really important for me for you to know you can survive it and you can insist on a different end for your story,” she said. “We can all lead one another to a more compassionate, more empathetic place.”

Saturday, July 25, 2020

My Bro the Beret Spy (62)

It has become a yearly event on the 25th of July, for the past 62 years - the birthday of my Bro the Beret Spy. Heartfelt congratulations and thank you for all the good spy-work!
Some highlights:

Friday, July 24, 2020

Big Moustache

A bereted guard in Hyderabad tells how to grow Big Mustaches. Alas, not in English but still, an impressive sight. 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Jean-Marie Arrus

Jean-Marie Arrus was a comedian, famous in his native Alsace and Haut-Rhin department.
Arrus was born in Colmar, in an Alsatian dialect speaking family. Early on in life, Arrus knew he wanted to be a clown, fascinated by the world of entertainment.
It was in 1989 that he managed to get noticed by succeeding, among 250 candidates, the selections for the television program "La Classe" on FR3.
He created the Colmar Laughter Festival, which later became the Colmar Humor Festival. His show "Que des Histoires" was a comic one-man show  aimed at an Alsatian-Mosellan audience, where he successively pitched a gallery of Alsatians caricatured characters, such as "Berry" the "Bür" (Alsatian peasant), "Madame Ida" the cleaning lady, and others. His sketch on the "Alsatian Breathalyzer" has been viewed over a million times on Youtube.
Jean-Marie Arrus died on Wednesday August 22, 2018 at the age of 62 at the Strasbourg Civil Hospital (France, Bas-Rhin).

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Florian Yuriev's UFO

Florian Yuriev is Ukrainian artist, architect, composer and critic, born in Siberia in 1929. Yuriev graduated from the Irkutsk College of Arts, Kiev Art Institute and the Moscow Printing Institute.
One of his creations is what the residents Kiev affectionately call the "Flying Saucer". During construction, Yuriev was told by the construction workers that it was impossible to build such a building that it would collapse. 
Florian Yuriev overlooking the building of the shopping mall, surrounding the UFO
He did it anyway. Now a shopping center is said to grow from the pit next door. The Ufo is said to become part of the mall without Juriev's approval: it will bite his creation...
Now the UFO is taking second place from Levi's and snack billboards. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Gehirn Verdunkelungs Mütze ("Obscure the Brain Cap")

Following yesterday's post on The Art of Wearing a Beret and the revelation of the German word Gehirn Verdunkelungs Mütze ("Obscure the Brain Cap"), I looked for further material relating to brains and berets.
Apart from the many intellectuals and artists wearing the beret, I didn't make any field using either the German description or it's translation in English.
The closest I got is this collection of beret-like hats with a certain resemblance to our brain...
If interested, check on Etsy or Amazon (no, definitely not at South Pacific Berets).

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Art of Wearing a Beret

An interesting article explaining the origins of the beret; how to wear the beret; how your way of wearing your beret explains your personality, your mood and your place in society.
A bit tongue-in-cheek, but with some very interesting observations. New to me was that Frenchmen from Alsace and the Mosel region, occupied by Germany during WWII, were forbidden to wear the beret, it being considered a symbol of French patriotism. 
The Germans had a beautiful word for the beret too: Gehirn Verdunkelungs Mütze ("Obscuring the Brain Cap").
You'll never see a Gascon wearing his beret the "military way"; the Gascon being by nature resistant to any form of authority.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Le Trou normand

Crazy for Love (French: Le Trou normand) is a 1952 French comedy film directed by Jean Boyer and starring Bourvil and, in one of her first appearances, Brigitte Bardot.
In a small village in the North of France, Hippolyte Lemoine is known to all: a somewhat naive thirty-something who has done little in his life. Then he inherits a restaurant "Le trou Normand" when his uncle dies. There is however one condition to this legacy: Hippolyte must pass his school exam.
Things get complicated when his aunt, sister-in-law and mistress of the deceased, jealous of her nephew, tries everything to make him fail. But Hippolyte can count on his friends: the mayor, the teacher and the daughter of the latter with whom he falls in love ...

Friday, July 17, 2020

Bill Millin, the ‘Mad Piper’

William Millin (1922 –2010), commonly known as Piper Bill, was personal piper to Simon Fraser, commander of 1 Special Service Brigade at D-Day.
Millin played in the pipe bands of the Highland Light Infantry and the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders before volunteering as a commando and training with Lovat at Achnacarry along with French, Dutch, Belgian, Polish, Norwegian, and Czechoslovak troops.
Millin played the pipes whilst under fire during the D-Day landing in Normandy. He played "Highland Laddie" "The Road to the Isles" and "All The Blue Bonnets Are Over The Border" as his comrades fell around him on Sword. Millin states that he later talked to captured German snipers who claimed they did not shoot at him because they thought he had gone mad.
Millin's action on D-Day was portrayed in the 1962 film The Longest Day. Millin was played by Pipe Major Leslie de Laspee, the official piper to the Queen Mother in 1961.