My German Vacation Journal 3: Beethoven, Porgy and Bess

Meanwhile high above Nova Scotia I’m watching the Salzburg choir and symphony perform a majestic piece by Bach and I’m reminded of a great scene from Band of Brothers illustrating how horror and beauty inhabit the same landscape.

American paratroopers of the 101st airborne are sitting in the bombed out shell of a building observing three German men play an achingly gorgeous concerto and one remarks about how those Germans sure can play Bach to which Captain Nixon rebuts, “That’s not Bach. That’s Beethoven.” The next day while patrolling the woods near the town from which this gorgeous music was played, the Americans discovered a concentration camp.
I just covered 8,000 miles, 2 walking and 7,998 flying and I’m fresh and pampered. Lufthansa means “eat drink and sleep in the clouds” from the old Germanic luft for air and hansa for “pass the bratwurst”. When I wasn’t sleeping or eating, I had a personal tv and concert system. Watched August : Osage County for ten minutes until I “got it”, life really sucks, ok thanks for that, then listened to ten consecutive songs by the Killers finding it more uplifting, “smile like you mean it” and ” I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier”, I don’t know what that means. And I listened to a portion of George Gershwin’s wonderful score from Porgy and Bess.

The guy next to Karen is from Dresden. An IT guy. He showed Karen how to pause her movie “The Hunger Games” so she could eat pasta, strawberries and brownies with whipped cream. I asked him about the fire bombings in World War 2, a horror I’ve viewed on the history channel countless times. He said the core of the city was totally flattened. Nice guy. Germans seem much more friendly than in the movies.

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