June 2005



For the next month and a half I am living in Jena. One of the benefits of this move is the fact that I will be climbing up and down a hill on my way to the office. It should help me lose some weight and get in shape again. I can already feel it in my calves.

Anyhow, I arrived in Jena just in time for a Neo-Nazi rally!

It seems that several thousand Nazis had decided to protest in Jena for some reason and evidence of the counter protesters was obvious as I walked to the office yesterday. Anti-Nazi graffiti and posters were scattered about town and I was glad that I had managed to miss both sets of protesters, although clearly my sympathies lie with the counter-protesters. I just don’t want to get involved.

It isn’t my country, and the Neo-Nazis appear to have no chance of getting anywhere in the near future.

I had taken a taxi up to the apartment and was fortunate enough to get a cute taxi driver who could speak copious English, since I could barely say my address. I live at number 12 on the street, and 12 is one of three numbers I cannot really say (2, 10, and 12) without causing most Germans to laugh. Upon arrival at the flat, I took a shower and went to sleep.

Jetlag has hit me fairly hard on this trip across the ocean.

Today I’ve managed to make significant progress on getting caught up with the work that piled up, although it will be tomorrow before I am completely caught up.

3 comments to Neo-Jena

  • ChrisC

    It’s… Springtime for Hitler and Germany!

    Winter for Poland and France…

  • Chris, My story was basically imcomplete, but what the protests amounted to was this: 400 NeoNazis (wearing court-mandaed slippers instead of steel toed boots), versus 8,000 counter-protesters.

    I don’t think this is winter for France or Poland, unless, of course, you are referring to EU Constitutional matters…. In that case, the season is a bit more difficult to determine.

  • ChrisC

    Actually my comments are from a song in the movie, “The Producers” (1968, starring Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder). This is the same show that has recently been a huge hit on the Broadway stage in New York.

    Here is a link explaining the movie –


    Short version from the website:

    “Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop.”

    In the film the characters Max and Leo produced a Nazi-loving stage production to purposely upset the audience so the show would close after one night. The purpose of producing a flop was a scheme so they could keep the money from the over 100% share of the show they sold to widows and children.

    There was a song called “Springtime for Hitler” as the opening act and the audience sat and watched/listed with their jaws open to their knees in disbelief. The entire first two-thirds of the movie is a set up for the opening of the play. The “Springtime” song, along with the audience reaction, was the punchline to the film length joke.

    The backfire to this joke for the lead characters is the second act which is entirely ad-libbed by the “actors.” The audience that stuck around thought the improv act was hilarious. The show ends up being a success because the audience loves the fun that is being made of Hitler as he is played by a 1960’s style hippie (think of a hippie that isn’t happy he’s on the losing side of a war and what he might say).

    Nazi’s WERE NOT shown positively in the film.

    Anyone that has seen the film would understand the humor behind my initial comment, but my apoligies if I may have offended your German audience as that was not my intent.

    I hope that clears any confusion.