Just Out

This publication includes previously unpublished first-hand accounts of conditions in Germany between September 1944 and May 1945.

A new book about my father Jupp Kappius and Operation DOWNEND has just been finished and is now available on Lulu. Bernard O’Connor, with whom we had the pleasure a few years back already, dived into primary and secondary sources to lay out the ins and outs of Operation DOWNEND in book format.

Last time, when he was researching the Tempsford Academy, we had very little help to offer, but this time around we could be of a little more assistance and help out with a little bit of translation and some odds and ends here and there. It is always to interesting to deal with primary sources, and this book even contains previously unpublished first-hand accounts of the situation in Germany during the last nine months of WWII, the kind of report that my father and the other ISK members wrote and sent to their ISK leadership in London, that is, to Willi Eichler who was exiled there at that time.

One little correction may be allowed here: On page 6 in the 4th paragraph, Mr. O’Connor mentions our website about Jupp Kappius and that it was built by Jupp’s granddaughter Anne Denney. While that surely makes me look younger, it is a casual error as I am, in fact, Jupp’s daughter. 🙂

Classical Sunday: Schütz’s Schwanengesang

Beautiful, and somewhat haunting.

Heinrich Schütz: Schwanengesang – Hilliard Ensemble

Opus ultimum (Der Schwanengesang)

Track Listings

  1. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 482: I. Wohl denen, die ohne Wandel leben (Aleph und Beth)
  2. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 483: II. Tue wohl deinem Knechte (Gimel und Daleth)
  3. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 484: III. Zeige mir, Herr, den Weg deiner Rechte (He und Vav)
  4. Der Schwanengesang, Op 13 – Psalm 119, SWV 485: IV Gedenke deinem Knechte an dein Wort (Dsain und Chet)
  5. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 486: V. Du tust Guts deinem Knechte (Thet und Jod)
  6. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 487: VI. Meine Seele verlanget nach deinem Heil (Caph und Lamed)
  7. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 488: VII. Wie habe ich dein Gesetze so lieb (Mem und Nun)
  8. Der Schwanengesang, Op 13 – Psalm 119, SWV 489: VIII Ich hasse die Flattergeister (Samech und Ain)
  9. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 490: IX. Deine Zeugnisse sind wunderbarlich (Pe und Zade)
  10. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 491: X. Ich rufe von ganzem Herzen (Koph und Resch)
  11. Der Schwanengesang, Op 13 – Psalm 119, SWV 492: XI Die Fursten verfolgen mich ohn Ursach (Schin und Tav)
  12. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 100, SWV 493: XII. Jauchzet dem Herren alle Welt
  13. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Deutsches Magnificat, SWV 494: XIII. Meine Seele erhebt den Herren

The Hilliard Ensemble
Knabenchor Hannover
London Baroque

Heinz Hennig direction

Heinrich Schütz (1585 – 1672) was a German composer and organist, generally regarded as the most important German composer before Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as one of the most important composers of the 17th century. He is commemorated as a musician in the Calendar of Saints of some North American Lutheran churches on 28 July with Johann Sebastian Bach and George Friedrich Händel.

Cover: Asen’s Fortress in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria

(Neo-) Classical Sunday: Braveheart – Sound of Freedom

Braveheart is a 1995 American epic historical fiction war film directed and co-produced by Mel Gibson, who portrays William Wallace, a late-13th-century Scottish warrior. The film depicts the life of Wallace leading the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England.

Braveheart – Sound of Freedom

A Soundtrack-Mix of the film Braveheart.

45 Years Ago Tonight

And every man knew, as the Captain did, too, / T’was the witch of November come stealing.

On the night of 10th November 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank about 17 miles northwest of Whitefish Point located along Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. All 29 crew members on board the ship tragically lost their lives.

Edmund B. Fitzgerald in front of the ship named after him, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.

Remembering Our Ancestors: The Small Things

There is so much to know about our ancestors, and the small things are often the most wonderful.

Recently, I was gifted a bunch of old family pictures, in digital format. Wonderful! Here are two that seem particularly noteworthy.

Haven’t you also found that when it comes to genealogy, it’s the little things that tell you the most? Oh yes, there is lots to glean and surmise (and imagine) from census data and other collections of dates and places, and we have done so countless times. But the two pictures below have told me more about my father than any data: Jupp and Aenne loved little feisty dachshunds. The more, the merrier, it seems. How wonderful.

This must have been around 1950.
The smile on his face…

Short Story: July

And thus they rise.

The local library had a short story contest again this year.  The theme was fairy tale- and fantasy-related:  Imagine Your Story.  As an additional prompt, the stories for the contest were supposed to contain the author (that is, me!) in some way or another.  Length was again limited to 1,000 words.  I like writing prompts and I like fantasy and fairy tales, so here is my entry for this year.  It’s just under 800 words long.  Let me know what you think.


 

July

 

There they are again, rising from the grass in the dusk. Not far, not yet. Little specks of light all along the grape arbor and in the adjacent meadow. Against the backdrop of the ever darkening forest they shine, but never for long. A glow here, a glow there. Over there another, and another just next to it, glimmering for a moment, gone again, then glimmering again a little further. So here I sit and watch, evening after evening, enchanted.

Just last night, the last rays of the sun shone through the July green and created a golden circle right there where the yard ends and the wilderness begins. That’s where they all live, I thought then. It’s their palace, that golden circle in the last spotlight of the setting July sun. And I imagined how from there, they all emanated at that moment, spreading out along the grape arbor and through the yard, unobserved, only to rise and shine as soon as the sun had set and their light would suddenly count. So here I sit and watch, evening after evening, enchanted.

***

There it is again, the day walker. Every night when we get our mounts ready for the dance, there it is, watching. I know it can be much bigger, but when I come out, it is always in that place already, short and still. But the Elders are not fooled. This is a day walker, they say, a moving giant, not of the rooted kind that grants us protection and safety, that whispers to us in its ancient voice. This one is not like that. This one moves in the day, everywhere, this one is noisy and unpredictable like all day walkers, it commands fire and water and four-footed creatures. Sometimes it catches us on our mounts and traps us behind invisible barriers. Then giant faces appear close to us on the other side of the barrier, and terrible voices boom while we shake with fear and our loyal mounts glow bravely, undaunted. Many of us have been thus trapped, but only few do not live to tell the tale, so there are many tales of the day walkers. There it is again, watching.

***

And thus they rise. A foot off the ground now, but not for long. Soon they will fly higher, bobbing and gleaming, out of reach, to the top of the lilac, to the top of the maple, way up into the darkness. Above them, the stars appear. Faint at first, then clearer. The Full Buck Moon to the south. Night is wrapping around me like a familiar blanket. Birdsong has ceased. Wish I could make them my friends, these little ones. Look, there is one flying this way.

***

Tonight, I will dare it! I don’t care what the Elders say, will not listen to their warnings and tales of serfdom and imprisonment. Tonight, I will visit the day walker!

***
Maybe it will land on my finger when I hold it out. I wonder if they think at all, the little ones, and what they think about, and if they know they are creatures that, like us, testify to a creator. It is coming closer, glowing brightly over there a moment ago, and already quite close with the next glow. I can see the little black firefly now and not just its light. Come to me, Little One, come and sit with me for a spell. Here, land on my hand. Shine for me, Little One, my heart is filled with wonder. I love your dance. Your lanterns are like stars come down from heaven.

***

I have never felt this small. Never. I do not belong here. Not at all. I hope the day walker does not see me. What a mistake I have made. The Elders are right. Night fliers and day walkers live in worlds that should not meet. Please, brave mount, take me away. What a fool I have been! From now on, I will listen to the Elders. I will stay away from the day walkers as I should. Hurry now, courageous mount, up, up and away!

***

This moment, not quite day anymore, not quite night yet, is such a wonderful and fitting time to meet, don’t you think, Little One? I still don’t know if you think at all, but I wish you would, and were enjoying this moment like I am. Here we are, on the threshold between two worlds. Can you feel it, too? It’s magic!

There it flies off again, glowing its merry good-byes. Goodbye, Little One, join the dance! Thank you for your visit! My heart flies with you, light as a feather and bright as your little lantern. I will join your dance in my dreams! Goodbye!
794 words

Into the Woods: Beech Leaf Disease

Globalization kills.

We are nosy people who love nothing better than spying on our neighbors, observing any change, taking pictures, researching and exploring what is going on with them.  Our neighbor’s don’t mind, as far as we know.  Since we live in a clearing in the forest, the only neighbors we have are trees.  To name just a few, there are maples, various oaks, tulip poplars, horn beams, alders, ash trees, various nut and fruit trees, black cherry trees, willows, tupelos and, of course, beeches.  Only there is a problem with the beeches, it seems.

beech disease gegenlicht
Zebra-striped leaves on beeches: a sign of BLD

Last year we noticed that many beech leaves looked funny, striped, in fact.  Since it wasn’t just one tree or just in one particular spot in the woods, we looked it up and lo and behold!, other people were aware of the problem as well:  Beech Leaf Disease (BLD), they call it quite fittingly, and apparently, it is somewhat of a mystery disease still.  On an Ohio State University website, the following was stated about BLD as early as August of 2017:

“We know that we don’t know what causes it or that if it is caused by a virus or other pathogen what its vectors might be, if any. We do not know how serious it will become or how much more it will spread from one area to others.

We do know that it is not easy to identify its cause; common suspects are not responsible.”

Almost three years later, at least the range of culprits causing Beach Leaf Disease has been narrowed down a bit, and also where it comes from.  Arborjet.com states the following:

Beech Leaf Disease (BLD) is a new disease of beech trees (Fagus spp.) that has been identified and observed in forest areas in Eastern USA and Canada. The cause of this disease remains to be confirmed, but a nematode species, Litylenchus crenatae n. sp., newly described from Japan on Japanese beech, is suspected to be involved in BLD.

They also give you an idea of the symptoms and timeline of the disease, both of which agree very much with what we have been observing around here:

Early symptoms of BLD include dark-green striped bands between lateral veins of leaves and reduced leaf size. Banded areas usually become leathery-like, and leaf curling is also observed. As symptoms progress, aborted buds, reduced leaf production, and premature leaf drop lead to an overall reduction in canopy cover, ultimately resulting in death of sapling-sized trees within 2-5 years and of large trees within 6 years.

The leaf canopy has indeed been reduced substantially nearby, with areas that usually do not get sunlight anymore as soon as the leaves are out being now quite light as the header photo shows.  Here is a little video, taken in the same general area.  Note that the small beeches in the front are just about bare and are only in the light because the old trees behind and above them show much reduced foliage.

Looking at the leaves from above, they are now beginning to look quite dried up and feel leathery as well, which means their ability to photosynthesize is significantly hampered.

beech disease fromabove

In some parts of our woods, there are substantial amounts of beeches and if they were to die off within the next years, it surely would change the forest we live in in ways hard to imagine.

If you wish to read more, here is a longer article with more scientific background on arborjet.com:

Beech Leaf Disease is Continuing to Emerge and all Cultivars in America and Europe are at Risk

VIDEO: Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen Examines Why Progressives Hate Masculinity

EDIT: The original video was removed by Youtube on the grounds of “hate speech.”

Bjorn uploaded a new video to explain the situation.

“The irony is complete.”

 

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