Review: Future Quest: Building an Awesome World Future (Satis Shroff)

Sedlmayer, Albert, Future Quest 2012 Aurora House, Sydney, Australia

ISBN 978 0987304032, 488 pages, Paperback

futurequest:building an awesome world future now

Can you write about world peace and how to change the world? There have been politicians who’ve had a vision or a dream of a change in the society and set about achieving their goals. The author Albert Sedlmayer mentions that his Dad was a natural problem solver. ‘Genetic predisposition,eh?’ you might ask.


He was his mentor and intrigued him with how he’d study a problem, walk away; then come back with a solution and a broad grin.He passed that ability to his son. In the Forward Martin van Kalmthout, a prof from Netherlands, mentions the importance of the human factor involved in decision-making at different levels, and their interrelationship. The author supports the assumption that all endeavours to promote world peace should start at the psychological level. Depending on the integrity of the person or persons involved.


In the case of the Crimean crisis, Putin is an ex-KGB man and the President of Russia. President Obama cuts a better figure with his academic credentials. World change can be achieved on an individul scale, when the individual is ready to change within, says Sedlmayer. World change is individual change. That brings us to the state.


What is a state law? A decision made by a group of people who have the same thought is turned into a law in print. It’s the human factor that links many The written world rules over citizens throughout the world. All this preceded by the thoughts of individuals who wanted to form a decision. It’s the human factor that links many disciplines and lines of thought together.


This book gives practical tips to help the reader avoid being bogged down with theoretical discussions. A valuable book, a book worth its money, for those who are concerned with decision-making about the future of mankind. The author has a deep, empathic insight which has enabled him to write Future Quest, a book that provides supportive arguments that a great, sustainable world-future is achievable through the implementation ofthink-alike mentors as multiplicators. Sedlmayer has a good idea, so why not help spread it?


Sedlmayer also says: if people avoid you, why, you’ve overdone it. He mentions that ethical philosophy should be compulsory in the curriculums of schoolkids or you should teach your child yourself, after the principle: what you do is more important than what you say. If you’ve made a mistake? Apologise. That’s exactly what Dale Carnegie also says in his book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ The church has been preaching this but some bishops remain adamant, for instance van Teberts in Bavaria. Are you involved in a confrontation? Be diplomatic and humble. Whether this will really help as in the case of the Crimean conflict is another matter. But a policy of deescalation does get better results than sabre-rattling.


Sedlmayer urges you to become a mentor by keeping good company and being a role-model (Vorbildfunktion) and says what you do is do is important, especially when you have young people looking up to you. That’s general psychology and common sense, you might retort. Dale Carnegie devotes a chaptergeyou

on ‘give a dog a good name’ and treat ex-jailbirds as humans, with respect and they’ll take up the challenge and behave well. Likewise mentors should admit their mistakes for they are humans and thus fallible. Much like Carnegie, he says self-disclosure is a gesture of good will and confidence. It works wonders and disarms the other person and leads to a good, hearts relationships and cooperations in life with other human beings.


In a chapter on Orientation he writes about the dream, just what is reality anyway? He defines the task at hand and talks about thinking in circles, cycles and spirals. The entire book has a navy architecht’s stategic approach. He designs the structure and shows the steps to attain it. Then he moves to Man, the individual and the threats to his existence, coexistence, talks about the sanctity and value of friendship, values, consolidating your values and not your valuables, emotions, perceptions and core identity. Sedlmayer moves on to cultures, countries, collectives, and arrives at groups, and speaks of colonisation in today’s context. War and peace, national identity, protection—all play a big role. He explains the three R’s: reading, writing, arithmetic and adds responsibility to it. And hoovers around mentorship, devoting a section to humanity. As you can see, a many faceted opus magnum.


I remember that a NY socialite and novelist of Indian descent named Bharati Mukerjee, who has on an academic visit to Freiburg (Germany) asked me, ‘How does it feel to be a writer and poet in Germany? How do you get along with the Teutons?’ In Albert Sedlmayer’s case it was difficult as the son of a pair of World War II survivors who had to endure ‘defeated foe-taunts’ as German immigrants in Down Under at the hand of the Aussies. He describes it as a brutal era as a kid and vainly expresses his hope that somebody’d fix it someday. But as he grew up in Adelaide, he realised that conflicts were an everyday issue throughout the world; it developed into a life-long questioning interest on how they could be resolved. As a man with experience in counseling, he sat down to write this book to ‘fix the brutality’ in this world, as he puts it. He quotes Margaret Mead, the cultural anthropologist, aptly: ‘Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world, it is the only thing that ever has.’


Albert Sedmayer was born in war-ravaged Germany in 1946 and went to Australia with his family when he was six.


This non-fiction book reads like a first-person narrative on the future of mankind and shows the way with practical tips that help you when you’re dissatisfied with theoretical arguments in the fields of psychology, philosophy, business, law, finance, management, politics and democracy, all linked together by the human factor. The book has an impressive bibliography with 342 books and papers on diverse themes that culminate in his postulation that peaceful, sustainable humanity is possible. He shows you how you can participate in attaining the goals set in FutureQuest wherever and whoever you are ‘without compromising your identity or your religious or ideological convictions (sic).’


The author quotes Sir Francis Bacon’s ‘Knowledge is power’ (Wissen ist Macht) and emphasises the importance of communication, explaining it in terms of electricity. If communication is weak, power can’t flow between person to person and nation to nation. On the chapter on Communication he cites Martin Luther King, Jr:


‘People don’t get along because they fear each other,

People fear each other because they don’t know each other,

They don’t know each other because they have not properly

communicated with each other.’


The chapter on Information Technology explains how easy and cheap the internet has become and even India’s farmers can negotiate a fair price through the use of mobile phones by enabling direct links with the consumers.


The fact that the author spent life-periods immersed in the diverse cultures and attitudes of different countries has led him to attain a high level of intercultural competence, and the ability to solve complex and difficult problems. He has a good insight towards humanity, and is of the opinion that a great, sustainable world future is available. He has used information-age-power in writing FutureQuest after years of soul and data searching.


With wars and military conflicts, communal hatred erupting around the globe, and the climate change discussions, Sedlmayer’s book is like a lighthouse in a stormy sea warning the ships to keep off the treacherous cliffs. His idea is to start tentatively a Goodwill Register within the Un framework, akin to the UN Global Compact, with the possibility of adding new registered, charitable, non-prophet and non-profit organisation, possibly with the blessing of the UNO. All members ‘will periodically be peer-audited to maintain membership, an attempt to keep out the black sheep. What the author offers is a ‘cheaper and easy to administer’ version of the UN Global Compact. Savvy membership?



Social Engagement: Men’s Choir Kappel sings for Syria’s Refugee Children (Satis Shroff)

The men’s choir ‘Liederkranz’ from Freiburg-Kappel will be singing on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 7pm in the Kurhaus Kirchzarten, Dietenbach Street 22. The whole sum collected at the charity concert will be handed over to the UNICEF for the refugee children of Syria. The entry is free but it would be wonderful if you’d contribute for these war ravaged and traumatised children and mothers who have been suffering such a lot in the past, and even today. The Kurhaus hall will be open 6pm. It’s possible to reserve your seats under the telephone no. 07661-908 4400 or per e-mail: syrienbenefiz@gmail.com. For your gastronomic delights we’ve arranged delicious finger-food. Martin Schley (SWF 4) will be moderating and also entertaining you. The Kirchzartener Children’s ballet ‘Next Step’will be performing at the beginning of the programme, as well as the Soul-family. The men’s choir (MGV-Kappel), conducted by Johannes Söllner, will be singing the following hits: Evening Rise (the German version of a Native American song), Moskau (Dschingis Khan, arrangement JS 2012), Weit, weit Weg (an Austrian song composed by Hubert von Goisern, arrangement JS 2012), Durch’s Wiesetal gang i ( a folksong from the badischen Black Forest), Banua (a song from Africa), 42nd Street (Harry Warren, Al Dubin), Ich war noch nicht in New York (Udo Jürgens, Michael Kunz) and Heaven is a Wonderful Place.

Soziales Engagement: MGV-Kappel: Unicef Benefizkonzert zu gunsten syrische Kinder (Satis Shroff) Der Männergesangverein-Kappel “Liederkranz” singt wieder am Donnerstag, dem 20. März 2014 um 19:00 in das Kurhaus Kirchzarten, Dietenbacherstrasse 22. Der ganze Reinerlös geht zugunsten UNICEF für die syrischen Flüchtlingskinder. Der Eintritt ist frei, aber es wäre schön, wenn Sie spenden würden. Saaleinlass ist ab 18:00 Uhr. Reservierungen sind möglich unter Telefon: 07661-908 4400 oder per E-Mail: syrienbenefiz@gmail.com. Für ihre Gaumen ist eine Gastronomie angeschlossen. Martin Schley wird moderieren und sorgt auch für Unterhaltung. Die Kirchzartener Kinderballet “next step” wird auch am Anfang dabei sein, sowie die Soulfamilie. Der Männergesangverein-Kappel, unter der Leitung von Dirigent Johannes Söllner, wird folgende Hits singen: Evening Rise (Native American Lied), Moskau (Dschingis Khan, Arrangement J.S. 2014),Weit,weit Weg (Hubert von Goisern, Arrangement J.S. 2012)Durch’s Wiesetal gang i (Volkslied aus dem badischen Schwarzwald), Banua (Afrikanisches Lied), 42nd Street (Harry Warren, Al Dubin)Ich war noch niemals in New York (Udo Jürgens, Michael Kunze) und Heaven is a Wonderful Place

What Moves the Schauinsländer Berggeister in Kappel? (Satis Shroff)

<b>Höllenzunft News:</b> The Fifth Season has arrive and it’s time for merry-making in the Vale of Dreisam. The knaves, or Narren as we call them,are everywhere. have overtaken the village and town councils and built new governments, and passed new laws (Narrengesetz). The mayor are obliged to turn over their offices to the masked knaves, witches and all sorts of motley coloured fighures and ghouls that make their way to government seats in a spirit of merriment and joy, a state of emergency has been declared. If you can’t fight this motley crowd, why, then join ‘em. That’s your only way out if you want to stay in your village, town or city. Your only other option is to make for the open spaces or the mountains like the Venetians do when it’s carvevaltime in the city of lagoons, when the costumed visitors go looney.I, on my part, am heading for the North Sea Isle of Sylt to enjoy the fresh, salty air and the cold gusts from the sea. I’m on a wellness trip, and say bye-bye to my cyber-friends for a few weeks ( till the fasnet madness is over,eh?).

After all, every knave has his or her rights. Not only have the keys handed over to the masked and motley-clad figures but also the cash-boxes. The freedom of the knaves isn’t allowed to be ill-spent with work. The pedestrian traffic is obliged to take the form of costumed procesions. Everything will be regulated in a case-to-case manner; what remains unchanged is the law concerning youth (Jugendgesetz). Enjoy the fifth season or ‘närrische times’ as we call it, till Ash Wednesday. This order has to be followed without a second thought. Every person who is nabbed for not following these rules, will have to forsake of his or her närrischen honorary rights.

Proclaimed in Kirchzarten on ‘schmutzige ‘ (dirty) Thursday, 27. February anno Domini 2014.

Signed by the clique council of Höllenzunft Kirchzarten.

Fasnet or Fastnacht (the night of fasting) is carnevaltime in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, a time to wear new costumes, throw confetti at passersby and eat sweet ‘leckerlis’ from the many German and Swiss bakeries such as fasnet’s cute, small cakes, Berliners with marmalade fillings and fried sweet-meat, ‘Mutzen’, Nautzen or Mäuschen (little mice, not real ones).

During the procession on Rose Monday you get to see the cheerful side of the Alpine and Teutonic people along the Rhine, the Black Forest, the Baar, the Ortenau and the Wiesen Valley, where the Hansele, witches, demons, vampires, mountain spirits, animals-mask wearers greet you. In Schramberg (Schwarzwald) you even get a Brezel-blessing if you sing the song of the clique he or she belongs to.

In Kappel it’s the tradition among the Schauinsländerberggeister to recite a prosepoem about the local gossip that’s making the rounds in the Stammtisch of the taverns. Each prosepoem has a moral at the end. Here are a few:

A man in Kappel, we hear it everywhere, tries to keep fit by jogging around our fair village. Sometimes he walks like a pedestrian, our villahe mayor. He moves such a lot of things at our place, goes to meetings here and there, and when it comes to saving money, he outdoes Uncle Ebenizer.However, it didn’t work once, on Christmas it was, as every child knows. He used to play music to the tune of Herrn Preis, the men’s choir sings to it, a concert and the hall is full. The village mayor also attends it, that’s very clever but the route was too far. He thinks it’s better to do it by car from Hagematten. Ah, it’s difficult to park your car, for the place is full. ‘I’ll park it in ‘Zwei Linden,’a tavern with two trees. But does it make any sense, it’s just a few metres to the place. People have often noticed he doesn’t walk or run as expected and takes his car, even though his destinations aren’t afar. It would have been good for his figure and belly, the gain in time, instead of jogging.

The moral of this story: a walk doesn’t damage your health. <i>(A Cautious Citizen)

<b>Tree in a House-On-Wheels</b>

Our mater-of-ceremonies has no problem,
His caravan can remain at the Nussi all the while,
For he works there the whole time.
But misfortune is on its way already,
On a windy, stormy day.
The tree made a hole suddenly,
As it fell on the caravan near the foyer.
The door caved in, the kitchen hung,
There was no place to cook a dish.
He can make it clear,
And wrings with words.
Without scorn and without rage,
He told his tale.
The moral at the end of the song?
He had to bring his caravan now to Oberried.

* * *


<b>The First Fire Brigade Excursion</b>

The firebrigade undertakes an excursion, that’s clear,
To Hamburg by train this early year.
In the journey there was a problem:
Two men wanted to smoke very badly.
But in the train there was no smoking compartment,
No wonder they muttered and complained.
Great minds think alike: they had an idea.
And went together to the loo.
The conductor caught them in flagranti,
And wanted to throw ‘em out at full speed.

* * *

<b>Kindergarten Reconstruction</b>

I wanted to bring my small child
In January to the Kindergarten.
There were enough places, I was told.
But when I arrived it was a lie.
It wasn’t finished yet.
You can’t get in so fast.
They blame each other,
And the parents have no peace at home.
The crane stands still,
And the workers sit around,
I hope it doesn’t go on for long.

* * *


<b>The Hausmättle is not harvested</b>

Jokes aside,
In Kappel it’s easy,
As a farmer to get rid of your own grass.
Instead of leaving it,
To make hay as the sun shines,
They throw grass into the green container.
It’s loaded into the front-loading tractor.
When the green container’s full,
Don’t worry about it.
You can always get rid of your green cuttings
At the mountain farmer’s meadow.


<b>Baking Spring-Forms</b>

The hard-working Kappeler housewife
Wanted to bake a fine cake,
It can only be the Christmas-tree baron’s daughter,
She thought muffins can be baked speedily.
Ha! It might be fun,
And the dough was made,
Exactly after a recipe.
She used a modern spring-form,
Made of silikon.
With it things ‘ll be better,
And a good result is the reward.
The form was filled fast,
Put into the over at 200 degrees.
After an hour it was brown above
And thoroughly baked.
Oh, the creation has to be tasted,
There’s no doubt about it,
But it crunched between the teeth,
As though it was sand.
She noticed that something was wrong
With the spring-form.
That’s the way it is,
When the daughter uses her sandform.

* * *

<b>Ominous Dimdig Valley</b>

The Kappeler went to ski in Switzerland
Since years its been cool.
A lot of things happened again,
What the Kappeler actually do.

The hunter had cursed,
For he was looking for his green crogs.
He didn’t find it.
They were at home under his bed.

Dela wanted to go to the ski slope,
But her handbag wasn’t there.

The way we know Ella,
She went down in the snow,
Like a wild hen.
They couldn’t find her for a long time.
Riesterer had taken her to Sanemöser.

The old boy wanted to go to bed late,
Went to the cellar,
Drank with his boy a couple of rounds.
Arthur then locked the door,
And the boy stood all night outside.
They thought about it long,
And even woke up Rita Löffler.

The moral of the story?
Don’t hide yourselves from Athur.

* * *

<b>Prowin Pizza</b>

Last night the bathing-mater’s son came home,
Was hungry and shoved a pizza in the oven.
He turned on the oven and wondered,
What a strange foil seemed inside.
Takes it out and puts it in.
In 10 minutes the pizza fro Prowin is ready.

The next morning Mom gets a shock,
Who’s done this silling thing?
The oven cleaner from Prowin
Was still in the oven.
He hadn’t noticed it,
For he’d been high on alcohol,
And eaten the whole pizza.

                                                           Satis Shroff with the Bundespresident Dr.h.c. Joachim Gauch and the Landesvater Hr. Kretschmann with the delegation from Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart during the Central Celebrations of the Day of German Unity)

Zusammen Einzigartig I (Satis Shroff)

Ich habe mich gefreut als ein Brief von der Staatsministerium bekam mit der Text: ‚Herr Minister Winfried Kretschmann würde sich sehr freuen, wenn Sie unser Bundesland als Mitglied der diesjährige baden-württemburgischen Bürgerdelegation bei den Feierlichkeiten zum Tag der Deutschen Einheit von 2. bis 4. Oktober 2013 in Stuttgart vertreten wurden.

Das Programm lautete eine offizielle Begrüßung durch den Ministerpräsidenten des Landes Baden-Württemberg, Herrn Winfried Kretschmann und Frau Gerlinde Kretschmann, Rathausplatz. Anschließend gemeinsames Maultaschenessen; Führung durch das Mercedes-Benz Museum, und einen Empfang, gegeben von Präsidenten des baden-württembergischen Landtags, Herrn Guido Wolf. Ausklang im Baden-Württembergischen- Zelt auf der festliche Ländermeile.

Es war mir eine große Ehre diese Einladung zu bekommen. Ich und die anderen von der Delegation wurden von Frau Jasmin Harz freundlichst in Maritim Hotel, Seidenstrasse 34 empfangen. Ich habe es nicht versäumt zu sagen, dass ich aus ‚Green City Freiburg’ kam. Der Freiburger BZ war vertreten mit Marlena Maerz 19, und Der Spiegel mit Nicole. Beide hatten es vergessen sich für die Security Check anzumelden (Akkreditierungsantrag) und waren Zaungäste, da Stuttgart wie eine Festung war mit uniformierten Bewachungsmänner und Frauen, Bundesgrenzschutz und örtlichen Polizistinnen.

Bei der offiziellen Begrüßung durch den Ministerpräsidenten des Landes Baden-Württemberg  am Schillerplatz waren plötzlich viele Stuttgart 21 Protestler mit Trillerpfeifen, Posters und Anti-Kretschmann Sprüche anwesend. 23 Jahre nach der Wiedervereinigung leben wir in einem Land in dem Demokratie und Solidarität miteinander eine Tradition geworden ist. Obwohl wir den Tag der Deutschen Einheit, eine Bundesveranstaltung und nicht eine Landesveranstaltung feierten, haben die unangemeldeten Demonstranten vorlaut versucht die   Feier zu stören. Dabei sollte es ein buntes und vielfältiges Fest mit dem Motto „zusammen einzigartig“ werden.

Am Schillerplatzwaren die langen Tische geschmückt und Frau Jasmin Harz kam strahlend zu mir, übergab mir eine kleine Fahne und sagte: „So Herr Shroff, hoffentlich habe Sie nichts dagegen eine Fahne von Sachsen zu tragen. Wir holen zusammen den Ministerpräsidenten ab. Gesagt, getan. Die Protestler wurden lauter neben der Bühne und auf der Bühne präsentierte Frau Gerlinde Kretschmann ihre schwäbische Kochkunst. Die lange Spaziergang zu der Schillerplatz war ein Odysee für den Landesvater. Auf einem Flugblatt von der Burgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität war es ironischer Weise zu lesen was Friedrich Schiller hat es gedichtet, und Ludwig van Beethoven in seiner 9. Sinfonie komponiert hat:

Alle Menschen werden Brüder,

Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt,

Brüder überm Sternenzelt

Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen.“

Arme Landesvater, dachte ich. Schillerplatz in dessen Mitte stand das Denkmal des dänischen Bildhauers Betel Thorvaldsen. Der Dichter Schiller war von 1773 bis 1780 Schüler der Hohen Karlschule in Stuttgart. Beim Maultaschen essen und im Hotelfoyer sprach ich mit anderen Delegationsmitgliedern, die wahre Heldentaten geleistet hatten. Thorsten Ahl (Deutsche Lebensrettungsgesellschaft) war auf Hochwassereinsatz auf der Elbe und hatte Leute gerettet aber bekam einen Schlaganfall nach der Einsatz. Er erzählte mir: „Ich habe die Sprache verloren.“ Da war er jetzt, und sprach ruhig und kontrolliert. Eine andere Wolfgang Käßmeyer hatte eine 20jährige Frau gerettet. Wolfgang Urban, ein robuster Akademiker (Theologe), der neben mir saß, sagte über Herren Kretschmann: „Als junger Mann hat er Blätter von den Maoisten verteilt.“ Dann sagte er scherzend: „Ich bin auch von den Bergen. 850m hoch. Schwäbische Alb“ und lachte herzlich. Unter den Delegationsmitgliedern waren auch zwei Pfadfinder in voller Monteur. Sie kannten fast alle andere Pfadfinder, die Spalier standen in der Kirche.

Satis Shroff with the Landesvater Mr. Kretschmann (Green)

Es war ein „Familientreffen“ mit dem Landesvater, trotz Demonstranten. Der Himmel über Stuttgart war strahlend blau und Herr Kretschmann nahm sein Platz und wir wünschten uns gegenseitig ‚Guten Appetit!’ Die Maultaschen haben  gut geschmeckt. Es war dennoch ein Kunst zu essen und dabei nicht zu sehen wie die Polizei mit den Demonstranten um jede Zentimeter Platz um uns herum schubsten. Ich habe zu Herrn Kretschmann gesagt: „ In Nepal, wo ich ursprüngliche her komme, isst man auch Maultaschen. Sie werden mit Hackfleisch aufgefüllt und werden Momos genannt.“

„Ischt, wahr?“ sagte er mit einem lächeln. Später sagte mir eine Beamtin vom Staatsministerium, dass er eigentlich Krank sei. Für einen Kranken Staatsmann, konnte er die Fragen von den Demonstranten aber gut parieren.

Zuvor waren wir zu einer ökumenischer Gottesdienst in der Stuttgarter Stiftskirche eingeladen worden, wo einen roten Teppich ausgelegt war. Wir müssten lange warten bis die VIPs Kretschmann (Grüne), Bundespräsident Gauck und Kanzlerin Merkel (CDU) eintrafen. Als der Bundespräsident rein kam, hörte man die Kirchenglocken. Alle sind aufgestanden als der Nationalhymne gespielt wurde. Das Deutsche Anthem sollte eine große Rolle spielen an diesem Tag auch in der Liederhalle. Es gab ein Einzug mit Orgelimprovisation. Das erste Lied war „Nun singt ein neues Lied dem Herren“ mit Text von Georg Thurmaier 1965 und Musik: Genf 1543, Loys Bourgeois 1551. Landesbischof Dr. h.c. Frank Otfried Luly begrüßte die Kongregation. Dann folgte ein Musikuraufführung von Kay Johannsen „In deinem Lichte sehen wir.“

Die Stuttgarter Kantorei mit musikalische Unterstützung von Stiftsphilharmonie Stuttgart sangen:

„Bei dir ist die Quelle des Lebens

Und in deinem Lichte sehen wir has Licht.“

Ein wunderbares Lied.

Unter der Titel „Zeugnisse“ tanzten die blonde Stephanie Roser und Levent Gürsoy. Das nächste Thema war „Erfahrungen mangelnder Solidarität,“ gefolgt von „Nicht alle Jugendlichen haben heute gute Perspektiven“ unterstützt von Klaus Sommer und Anja Olbrich und die Mädchenkantorei an der Domkirche St. Eberhard.

„Menschen mit Behinderung wollen mitten in der Gesellschaft leben“ würde präsentiert von Bernd Schatz und Sandra Walther, unterstützt mit Gesang von der Freiburger Domsingknaben (Erhöre mich).

Ah, die Domsingknaben und der schlanke Domkappelenmeister Boris Börmann oben auf der Empor evozierten Heimatgefühle in mir, da meiner Kinder auch in der Chor sangen. Ach, die Kinder wachsen so schnell.

Danach wurde es politisch versöhnlich mit Frankreich und Deutschland: Die Grenze als Trennung“ vorgetragen von Alfons Ruf und Helga Walbaum. Eine Schülerin von der Deutsch-Französisch Gymnasium sprach von Miteinander und Hoffnung in ihre Bilingualschule. Die Rede war auch von den schwierigen Zeiten nach dem Ende der Weltkrieg und das Leben in Saarbrücken und dennoch die Tatsache, dass man in Frankreich viele Menschen Wertschätzung erfahren haben, und nicht nur Bitterkeit.

Die Freiburger Domsingknaben sangen ein Lied von Frederick W. Faber (1814-1863) „Es ist weite in Gott’s Gnade.“

„Deutschland und Frankreich: Von Versöhnung zu Freundschaft“ folgte danach mit der Stuttgarter Kantorei: Herr, deine Gute.“

Was mich persönlich beunruhigte ist die Erkenntnis, dass Französen, Deutschen und Briten haben in den beiden Weltkriegen sich gegenseitig umgebracht haben und als der Krieg vorbei war, sie beteten denselben Gott in den Gräbern von den getöteten Militärs und Zivilisten. Das selbe gilt für Hindus (Indien) und Muslims (Pakistan, Afghanistan), Muslims untereinander (Sunniten und Schiiten), Israelis und Paläsinenser.

Die Gemeinde sang:

„Herr, deine Güte reicht so weit der Himmel ist,

und deine Wahrheit so weit die Wolken geh’n.“

Es folgte ein Gebet von Otfried July (Landesbischof). Die Mädchenkantorei an der Domkirche St. Eberhard sang: „ Ich bin der Hüter meines Bruders,“ gefolgt „Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten“ (Gemeinde) mit Text und Melodie von Georg Neumark (1641). Erzbischof Dr. Robert Zollitsch mahnte die Gemeinde, die Deutsche Einheit nicht als selbstverständlich zu betrachten. Was authentisch Klang bei den Zuhörern waren die Worte von Erzbischof Zollitsch: „Als ich 6 Jahre alt war, ich habe gesehen wie 16 bis 60 jährigen Menschen umgebracht worden sind. Ich wuchs in einer Vernichtungslager mit meine Oma. Wir haben es zusammen geschafft nach Ungarn zu eine evangelischen Gemeinde zu fliehen. Wunde brauchen Zeit zu heilen, dennoch bleiben die Narben. Um eine Europa gemeinsam zu bilden brauchen wir Kraft. Die Erfahrung hat uns gezeigt, dass Gott uns hilft. Es waren Menschen, die die Vereinigung in den zwei Ländern brachten und wir müssen lernen an Gott zu glauben. Wir müssen Solidarität zeigen und mit den anderen schaffen. Friede durch Miteinander und Gott mit uns.“

Die Freiburger Domsingknaben sangen: „Wir glauben Gott im höchsten Thron“ mit der Gemeinde und der Stuttgarter Kantorei. Es gab Fürbitten, gefolgt von „Vaterunser.“ Die Zeichen des Friedens wurde ergänzt mit Musik von J.S. Bach (1685-1750): „Dona nobis pacem“ aus der h-Moll Messe und danach Sendungswort mit Kollektansage und Segen. „Nun danket alle Gott“ mit Melodie und Lyrik von Martin Rinkart (um 1630).

Draußen schien die Sonne als wir langsam die Kirche verließen begleitet von einem Orgelspiel mit Auszug von Virgil Fox (1912-1980). Danach wurde ein Bad in der Menge angesagt für Deutschlands VIPs Merkel, Kretschmann und Gauck. Frau Merkel sagte, dass es 23 Jahre nach der Vereinigung noch zu große Unterschiede zwischen Ost und West Deutschland geben wurde. Ihre Meinung nach gibt es ‚einiges zu tun.’ Herr Kretschmann meinte, dass der Bund müsse allen Ländern die Mittel geben um die finanzielle Aufgaben erfüllen zu können. Aber wie sollen die Geberländer nicht permanent überlastet werden? Da gibt es auch Griechenland und die EU.


Zusammen Einzigartig II (Satis Shroff)

Zusammen einzigartig: Unter diesem Motto stand der Tag der Deutschen Einheit 2013 in Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg). Wir führen zu der Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Liederhalle, wo der Ministerpräsident des Landes Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann eine Ansprache hielt. Danach übergab er symbolisch den Staffelstab an den niedersächsischen Regierungsoberhaupt Stefan Weil (SPD), dessen Amtszeit im November 2013 beginnt.

Die Ansprache des Bundespräsidenten Joachim Gauck begann mit der Geschichte von einem zusammenwachsen von zwei Deutschen Nationen im Osten und Westen, die ein gemeinsames Kulturgut und Geschichte hatten und leider getrennt wurden aus Machtpolitischen Gründen. Bis zusammenwachsen konnte, was zusammengehört, bedürfte es Ausdauer, Widerstand und Durchhaltevermögen. Die Mühen haben sich gelohnt: 23 Jahre  nach der Wiedervereinigung leben wir in einem Deutschland in dem Demokratie und Solidarität groß geschrieben werden. Sowohl aus der deutsch-deutschen als auch aus der baden-württembergischen Geschichte wissen wir, wie bereichernd es ist, wenn aus mehreren Teilen ein Ganzes wird.

Während der Zentrale Feierlichkeiten zum Tag der Deutschen Einheit wurde das Motto „zusammen Einzigartig“ lebendig mit Reden und Theater und Multimediale Darbietungen überall in Stuttgart. Die Zuschauer in der Liederhalle erlebten eine multimediale Collage Präsentation mit szenischen Einspielungen und tänzerischen Einlagen präsentierten die deutschen Länder in ihrer Vielfalt im Jahr 1990 ein einzigartiges, schönes, reiches, modernes Land.

Als musikalischer Leitfaden durchzog die Melodie des zweiten Satzes von Joseph Haydens „Kaiserquartett“ die Inszenierung das August Hoffmann von Fallersleben als musikalischen Grundlage seines „Lieder der Deutschen“ diente. Der Bundespräsident Gauck sagte: „Wir müssen glauben, was wir können, und wir können was wir glauben.“ Er hat von der künftigen Bundesregierung mehr Einsatz in einer Welt voller Krisen und Umbrüche gefordert. Denn laut Herren Gauck unser Land keine Insel sei. Er verlangte, dass Deutschland müsse sich stärker an der Lösung politischer, wirtschaftlicher und militärischer Konflikte beteiligen. .

Review: The World Beyond the Mountains (Satis Shroff)

Byron Farwell: The Gurkhas, Penguin 1985, London, 317 pages, ISBN o-14-007569-0



‘The Gurkhas’ is a history of the finest infantrymen in the world who come from a country where ‘It is better to die than to be a coward,’ and where most bear the name Bahadur, which means ‘courageous,’ and who carry out their mission with the help of the deadly, curved kukris.


Ayo Gurkhali!’ Here come the Gurkhas! Is a battlecry that makes their enemies in battle wince, and sometimes abandon their weapons to save their dear lives. Younghusband marched unopposed into Lhasa on August 3, 1904 with his Gurkhas. During the Falkland War the Argentines fled when they realized that they were being outflanked by the Gurkhas.


Byron Farwell narrative about the Gurkha battalions and their military engagements are enhanced by citations from the books on the same, making it a jolly reading material. The readability score is good and the book is studded with historical photographs of the Gurkhas’ acts of gallantry.


Farwell served as an officer in North Africa and Italy in the Second World War and later also in the Korean War. He has travelled more than a hundred countries. His other books are: The Man Who Presumed, a biography of Sir Richard Burton bearing the title ‘Burton,’ Prisoners of the Mahdi, Queen Victoria’s Little Wars, the Great Boer War, and a social history of the Victorian and Edwardian Army with the title ‘For Queen and Country.’ In 1986 Viking published his ‘Eminent Victorian Soldiers’ and he’s a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1964.


Farwell’s book is a comprehensive history of the lives and achievements of the Gurkha soldiers of Nepal in the Indian and later British Gurkhas after India gained its independence, and about the extraordinary relationship which existed, and apparently still exists between the British officer and Johnny Gurkha. Since the author served as an officer in the North Africa and Italian campaigns in the Second World War, it’s only natural that he enthuses about the cheerful, stocky hillmen of Nepal.


As to the sources used by the author, he has relied much on regimental histories and the autobiographical works of officers who served with the Gurkhas. Farwell has used the Indian Army’s English annual journal called ‘The Gurkha.’Besides that he used ‘The Khukri,’ a similar journal published by the British Brigade of Gurkhas and interview with some officers. It might be mentioned that not all acts of bravery were noted in the past. Citing an item on a Gurkha from the Third Battalion of the 8th Gurkha Rifles, he mentions: ‘Particular mention must be made of the courage of 86600 Rifleman Punaram Pun. Unfortunately he died. We never know how Pun distinguished himself.


The book has 29 chapters devoted to war and peace in Nepal, the role of the Gurkhas in Delhi, made famous by Attenborough’s ‘Gandhi’ film. The chapter on Character and Characteristics deals with how Johnny Gurkha ticks. There are chapters devoted to Gurkhas in Afghanistan in the olde days, the North East Frontier, how Gurkhas are recruited, the role of the Nepalese warriors in World War I (France), Gallipoli, Suez and Mesopotamia. A chapter on Gurkha officers, relationships, Nepalese festivals (Dasain and Tihar), home, family, preparing for battle (World War II), the North African War in the Second World War, South East Asia, Italy, retreat from Burma, Chindits, India’s independence and partition, the savage wars of peace, Borneo, reduction of force and retirement. The role of the Gurkhas today and tomorrow. The book has a four-point appendix and the last one is about the Gurkha tribes.


In the aftermath of the Falklands, the author stated, ‘there will continue to be a place for these Nepalese mercenaries in the British Army. In a world unwilling to abandon war as a means of settling disputes the Gurkhas will always play a role as warriors or as peace-keepers.


The steadfast, stocky, courageous Gurkhas have never deserted their British officers. But two Brit officers Major Boileau and Captain Butcher who deserted their Gurkha soldiers at the Residency, were court-martialled and cashierd.


The first edition of the book was published by Allen Lane in 1984 which was after the Falkland war. Farwell writes:’Mercenaries have been in bad odour in recent years, but the trade is an ancient and enduring one. He cites A.E. Housman who had praise for them in ‘Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries:


What God abandoned, these defended,

And saved the sum of things for pay.’


In his book Farwell is conspicuous for his branding the Gurkhas as ‘mercenaries’ throughout the text. During the Falkland War the British MoD was politically embarrassed by the Argentinians at the UNO that the Brits were using ‘mercenary Gurkhas’ for the battle in the Malvinas. This made the Brit government declare with emphasis that the Gurkhas ‘were an integral part of the British Army. If that was so why did Johnny Gurkha receive only half the pay of a Britsh Tommy all these years? Why weren’t the children of the Gurkhas allowed to go to British schools to earn their GCE ‘A’ levels? Generations of Asian schoolkids domiciled in England have been passing the exams and studying in British colleges and universities. Why not the Gurkha school-kids? When you ask such questions you either get a diplomatic silence or some silly excuse about a British-Nepalease Treaty dating back to 1816 forgetting that we’re in the 21 century, in here and now in the UK.   


The sad part of the Gurkha-story is that the Brits never intended to integrate the generations of Gurkhas, who served in Britain’s Army and fought its wars, into the British society. This issue has always been taboo in British military circles. The Gurkhas should die serving the Queen and the Union Jack but they should return to Nepal when their service contract was over, much like Helmut Kohl’s Turkish guest-workers who were invited to Germany to run the factories for the German males had died in the war or were crippled and couldn’t work. Kohl hoped that the Turks would return to their homes. The Turks, Italians, Spaniards and Portugese weren’t obedient, disciplined and loyal like the Gurkhas. They knew what democracy was and that they had rights to live in Germany. The Brits sent the Gurkhas home to Nepal whenever there was disagreement. You could court martial a Gurkha for disobedience, but the so-called Gastarbeiter (guest-worker) in Germany weren’t soldiers and nothing could subordinate them. They fought for their rights, like the second generation of workers’ children who were born in Britain. The Gurkhas were left alone. Not one Brit officer came forward to fight for the cause of their oh-so-heroic Gurkhas because there were scared stiff that the MoD would fire them. It was a strange ‘special’ relationship between the Gurkhas and their officers. Not a single officer worth his grain opened his mouth. It took a Joanna Lumley, a woman, to corner a minister about the Gurkha Issue with a running camera.


Whereas Byron Farwell doesn’t look at the Gurkhas from the anthropological view, he does compare the Gurkhas among themselves in terms of tribes and clans, which is typical of colonialists out to seek the best of Mongolian hillmen from Nepal and to turn them into obedient, loyal fighting-machines. In this process he quotes from the sources listed on the last few pages of his book. What emerges is a Gurkha profile as an ideal rifleman who’s brave, tough, patient, adaptable, skilled in fieldcraft, proud of his military record and unswerving loyal towards their bread-givers: the MoD in London and Delhi.


It is said that the Gurkhas can stand hardships and anything, except abuse.


And yet they have been abused by both the Nepal Durbar and the British Ministry of Defence, despite the Gurkhas’ ‘selfless devotion to the British cause, which can hardly matched by any race to another in the whole world history of the world. Why they should have thus treated us is something of a mystery.’ It was General Francis Tuker who said that. Farwell adds: ‘Indeed; and a mystery which needs to be explored, for while the Brits undoubtedly had enormous affection for the Gurkhas, they failed in the event to match their loyalty.’


The author’s purpose in this book was to bring in a historical account of the Gurkhas from Nepal and how and where they fought under the Union Jack from Queen Victoria’s times till the Falkland War, for that’s where the book ends. The reader learns a great deal about the Gurkha regiments and Brigades in British India, independent India and the Gurkhas in Britain and Hong Kong, along with the role of the Gurkhas in Britain’s skirmishes around the world. Since this book was published in 1984 an up-to-date sequel is imperative to keep the readers abreast with new developments. Nevertheless, the author has done a good job in presenting the Gurkhas to readers around the globe for they have fought Britain’s wars in France, Gallipoli, Suez and Mesopotemia in the First World War and in almost every front in the Second World War from Singapore to Italy and North Africa.


What does it mean to a Gurkha to be refused at a Gurkha recruiting depot? It means an anticlimax and shame to a prospective soldier. Most young men bid farewell to everyone they know in their villages in a solemn ceremony. The mother presents him a handful of coins which he distributes to his girl-friends who’re waiting along the path. Failed recruits don’t wish to return home. I knew a young man, a school drop-out, who went to the British Camp in Dharan (Nepal) was rejected, and instead of returning home in shame and ignominy, he chose to work as a school-teacher in a local school in the hills, and a year later passed the recruitment test to join the British Gurkhas. He returned home after two years with lots of presents for his family and relatives, and wore immaculate Hong Kong tailor-designed suits, and went for walks much like the elderly veterans in his hometown. According to Farwell ‘every young man who set off for the recruiting depot was confident of acceptance.


In reality the story of the Gurkhas isn’t always courage and glory. In letters home during the First and Second World Wars many Gurkhas wrote to their parents, friends and girl-friends about the loneliness, absurdity and fear in the trenches but these letters were opened, censored and never reached their destinations for they were withheld by the MoD, and now given free for public viewing in the archived of the British Museum.


The Gurkhas as a theme are topical, much like the US Navy Seals and the French Foreign Legion, and the significance of the Gurkhas and their tribulations and woes at the hands of London’s MoD which has, in recent times, led to court cases of the Gurkhas versus the MoD. This book provides a good background of how the Gurkhas, as a cheap mercenary force to fight Britain’s battles in the world fronts, on a hire-and-fire basis. To this end, young Nepalese men join the Gurkhas and are exposed a world of new experiences, depending on whether they are doing guard duty in front of the Buckingham Palace or elsewhere. In order to adapt they had only to do as they were told; the army took care of them.


Were the Gurkhas integrated into British lifestyle? The answer is no. They were confined to their barracks. If they ever fought against against discrimination, they were sent back to Nepal. They lived a parallel life, divided by culture and religion. There has always been a latent racial prejudice in the ranks of the officers and the MoD. British identity was seen in the 1950s in racial terms but in the 1990s Britishness became simply the ability to tolerate different religions, and ethnicity as an affirmation of who they are. Whereas outside the Gurkha barracks, youths of Asian and Carribean origin who were genuine British passport holders, fought for their political and social rights in Britain, and helped to generate political struggles against discrimination by creating bridges across ethnic, racial and cultural barriers, the Gurkhas have always had a ghetto existence in their British barracks, aloof from what went on politically in the United Kingdom. When the MoD came up with cuts in military manpower, the loyal, courageous, cheerful, obedient Gurkhas were obliged to accept it as their fate as ‘mercenary soldier’ who could be hired-and-booted out as the situation demanded. No insurance, no NHS-benefits, no accommodation outside the barracks. No chance to mingle and fraternize with the British civilians. They were kept, and still are, like the asylum-seekers in Switzerland. At 10 pm they have to be in their barracks.


There were always human resources in the hills of Nepal for the next battle anywhere in the world. Despite their sterling qualities, the Gurkhas have been given a raw deal in terms of remuneration in the British Army. Whereas the migration to Britain made central in the curriculum of secondary schools, whereby pupils are expected to learn core ‘Brit’ values such as tolerance, respect, freedom of speech and justice and learn of the shared British heritage, the Gurkhas and their children still feel alienated in Britain, and left out from the bebefits of the civil society. For its fighting force Britain recruits young, enthusiastic men from Nepal but what happens to the Gurkhas who have developed gerontological problems? The NHS turns a deaf ear and the MoD too.


The first migrants landed in Britain in 1948 and integration of Asians from India, Pakistan and later Bangladesh as well as West Indians has partially worked well. The interracial marriage between black-white is high at 40% but Asians prefer not to marry white women and Asian women are married off by their parents with partners from their former home countries or males who’ve grown up in Britain. The West Indians are also well represented in politics (MPs or councellors). Asian children are regarded as being diligent and assimilation in education is good. Education and employment go hand in hand. The hardworking Asians possess business acumen. Underlying racial prejudice still exists in the UK which is regarded as a ‘mind matter’ which no law can possibly change, much like in Germany where neonazis are facing trial for killing migrants who were shop-owners.


The Gurkhas are known for their ability to adapt to different combat environments in the jungle, desert, craggy terrain, and he can also adapt in Britain’s jungle of concrete, given the opportunity by their officers, MoD and Her Majesty’s government. It’s high time the Gurkhas came home to Britain to roost with all the benefits that the British society has to offer for they have been ignored and treated as foster-children for too long. A start has been made by Gurkhas who have appointed solicitors to fight for their rights in British courts. It took long time for the Gurks, as they are fondly called by the Brits, to react in the British society. The Gurkhas are catching on and are absorbing so-called ‘alien, unregimental ideas’ which are democratic, humane and beneficial to them.


Why do the British use Nepal as a human warehouse for its wars? Kalunga (Nepal) has gone in the annals of British Military History as a bloody affair, and the British suffered greater casualty than the Gurkha, even though the latter were outnumbered. Balbahadur lost 520, the British lost 31 officers and 750 other ranks. But in the end Ochterlony defeated the Gurkha General Amar Singh at Jaithak, and once again in a decisive battle at Malaun. What followed was the Treaty of Segauli signed on march 4,1816. Nepal was obliged to give up the provinces of Kumaon and Gharwal, as well as the lower Terai. Moreover, Nepal had to accept a British Resident and the most curious and important clause in the Segauli Treaty was that it gave the ‘British the right to recruit Nepalese subjects.’ What remains of the two battles are two tiny obelisks erected by the Brits at Kalunga (20 km from the India border-town Raxaul) dedicated to General Rollo Gillespie and his British and Indian dead. The other obelisk is dedicated to their gallant adversaries. ‘The love affair’ between the Brits and the doughty little Mongolian hillmen had begun and has lasted 194 years.


Farwell writes: ‘the Gurkhas being mercenaries, enlisted for pay. Indeed the pay, low though it was, seemed attractive to those from a land where there is little hard cash. They also wanted to leave ‘the confined and restrictive life of the mountain village and to see the world beyond the mountains.


A scheme to admit Gurkhas to military institutions of higher learning began in the 1950s. A line boy officer cadet Bijay Kumar Rawat was the best overall officer cadet at Sandhurst.


Ironically enough in recent times the Brigade of the Gurkhas have been deployed in the Hindukush, and a Brit Gurkha officer was disgusted that a Johnny Gurkha took out the head of a Taliban he’d slashed with his khukri. During the World War II the war in Burma was brutal. A patrol of the 4/8th Gurkhas brought back to camp the severed head of a Japanese officer. Lieutenant Colonel Walter C. Walker, the battalion commander, had it nailed to the trunk of a tree near his bunker. The head had a ‘wispy beard and a drooping moustache.’


Byron Farwell speaks of the ‘zest of the Gurkhas in their pursuit of the retreating Japanese has been compared to that of terriers after rats.’ One British commander offered a reward for each head brought in and one Gurkha havildar returned with six bloody ears in his haversack. The commander asked where the heads were. The Gurkha replied, ‘Too heavy to carry, sahib.’

At another skirmish forty Japanese ran into a Gurkha trap  and the Lieutenant Commander McCready of the 1/10th Gurkhas commented: ‘There was a great blooding of khukris and ..no wounded were brought back.’ Lalbahadur Limbu received an immediate award of the Military Cross.

 Are told by veterans in the hills of Nepal. What the Gurkha did in Afghanistan was to re-live one such story he’d heard in his childhood. It was the British officers who encouraged and rewarded such feats and took delight in them and bragged about their men at the mess-halls and officer’s clubs, and they still do it.


Recently, a pensioned old Gurkha was going for a walk and was robbed by a white gang who took away the Rolex watch he was wearing. There’s no human warmth and consideration among the urban gang members, and they’re known to be ruthless and cold. A Gurkha’s past isn’t interesting to them and they don’t care what happens to them. Their cool heroes are Scarface and Goodfellas. Welcome to Britain today. Daylight break-ins muggings and car thefts are common in parts of London. Freiburg (Germany), where I live is known for its bicycle thieves. When it comes becomes dark the police in Brixton are unwilling to go to the trouble spots.


And after April,when May follows,

And the whitethroat builds,

And all the swallows!

(Robert Browning)


 Zeitgeistlyrik: The Schwarzwald in May (Satis Shroff)


Ah, the Black Forest,

Whether you’re in Triberg

Or in Feldberg,

The smell of the lush green grass,

After the April showers,

In the gentle glaciated meadows,

Where the calves and cows

Are grazing peacefully with horses.


Now and then you discern a moo,

Like an Alpine horn,

In the tranquil landscape.

Along the gushing brooks,

The toads and frogs greet you,

With their croaks.

The Spring begins blossom for blossom.

May, the merriest month,

When lusty hearts begin to blossom.

Ah, it’s the sunshine,

The fresh air and the hormones released.




Apple-trees in bloom,

And daffodils flourishing

Alongside wild grass.

The leaves flapping like wings,

As the Höllentäler blows.


I sit in my Schwarzwald terrace,

 With its stone walls,

Hares and birds around me.

As I sip my morning coffee,

A brown squirrel dashes past,

For he’s the new inhabitant

In a blackbird’s nest,

And lives on freshly hatched eggs.


A one-legged blackbird comes by,

Hopping on one leg,

Only to fly away clumsily.

 The brown squirrel isn’t

The only nest-plunderer,

The beautiful feathered jay

Is fond of it too.


Hovering above are

A pair of Mäusebuzzards,

Scanning and scrutunizing

The Black Forest and meadows below,

Searching for even

The faintest movements,

Of mice in the fields.


Above the terrace is a palisade

Of dark pine trees,

With a clearing below the slope.

A solitary deer comes by,

Stoops, relishes, chews and swallows

The wild berries and buds.

The deer is used to humans.

An old, fat fox appears occasionally,

His mouth waters when he espies

The rabbits in thick fur,

On a sunny day in May.

There are humans around,

Perhaps another time,

Thinks the fox and vanishes

In the undergrowth.



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