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February 2011 - Nr. 2
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief

Dear Reader

As I am writing this we are awaiting the biggest snowstorm in years, or so the weather gurus proclaimed on TV. This prompted us to chose the front page with a snowy pictures of two cats, ours, waiting for spring. Cold and disappointed they came back into the house with a disgusted look on their faces. Cuddling up in a feather bed was next on the agenda. I confess I would love to join them with a good book and some hot chocolate, and I will, as soon as I am finished with this pleasant chore of sharing my thoughts with you.

Not much happened in January. You might say that it was a slow month for news in our community. Outside of the many calls in respect to the levied taxes on pensioners from Germany in Canada nothing noteworthy happened. I feel for the people that have to deal with this annoying situation. Our call to the President of the Canadian German Congress was answered with the data that the German Consul General Mrs. Sabine Sparwasser, suggests putting in protest. This makes much sense to me. Perhaps the last word has not been spoken on this subject. It appears to be a bit muddled as to why a foreign nation can demand records that have nothing to do with their own country and to demand money for many years in retrospect from people who can largely ill afford to pay such sums.

While we are continuing to monitor that situation we are pleased to announce the publishing of an interesting story, namely the early life experiences of Werner Bogdahn. The time has come to tell more of our stories, the ones that illustrate a more complete picture of what happened those 60 and 70 years ago for which so many people on all different sides paid so dearly for in many different currencies, especially emotionally. To reconcile the past with the present and in order to create a better future all stories have to be told. It is not enough to give only one sided accounts of events. Realities differ depending where people were and what they experienced.

It is only fitting that we start this story-telling in the month of February, when we celebrate the pleasant custom of Valentine’s Day. A little loving sentiment goes a long way. Perhaps we can look at history with a more compassioned eye then with those of the victor or victim; after all, I read somewhere that there is a big difference between having been in an accident and having caused one. I feel the same goes for historical occurrences.

Besides Valentines’ Day we also have a bit of Carnival or Mardi Gras to celebrate. This was once a big affair in our community but it has shrunk to only a few smaller venues. I am looking forward to a bit of tomfoolery and hope to see some of you around these remaining events like the Kappenabend in the Hansa House. Put on a fancy hat, decorated with some outrages items, and perhaps you win a nice little prize. In any event, I am sure you will have some good and honest fun.

Hopefully, when we speak again in March, spring is knocking on our doors with milder temperatures and lots of sunshine.

Until then I bid you Happy Valentines’ Day

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.

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Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Werner Bogdahn, editor, editor-in-chief of Echo Germanica, comments, cultural, artistic, political, daily events, German-Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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