EAt the betting shop we trusted, we had actually staked everything on a quiet end of the year, also because the odds for that were the highest. But shortly before the end, the calm was over again. As usual, we wanted to have our wishes sent by telegram on New Year’s Day, but Deutsche Post said that was not possible. The telegram service will be discontinued at the end of the year.
It’s a shame, because we loved chatting with the lady from the office and asked us to recommend decorative sheets with titles such as “champagne glasses”, “flowers” or, if we really wanted to let it rip, “muffin with candle”.
The thing about the young lady was of course a hoax, because telegrams had been sent online for some time. 160 characters for a mere 12.57 euros! But the postman will deliver it personally! E-mail and SMS don’t come close. The end of the telegram is also particularly bitter news for Reich citizens, who are thus deprived of the basis for communication by the post office.
In the areas of East Thuringia that were once administered by the aristocracy, there is already talk of the Reussenschlag. But if you use a mobile phone in the countryside, if you count the connection interruptions as +++ stops +++, the telegram feeling is quite close again.
East Germans are experienced in renaming
After all, the name Telegram lives on as a messenger service, if only with an m. But saving signs is important today, at least as much as setting signs. For example by renaming. But the federal government, for example, remains surprisingly inconsistent. Annalena Baerbock, for example, renamed the Bismarck Room in the Foreign Office the “Hall of German Unity”. But she forgot the Bismarck herring. If she (attention, tabloid colleagues! headline!) doesn’t choke on it!
The GDR, where the Politburo of the SED once met in the aforementioned Bismarck room, but of course the room did not bear the name of the old Reich Chancellor, had renamed the fish named after him “delicacy herring”. As with Bismarck, this name had nothing to do with actual taste. “Hering of German Unity”, on the other hand, would probably have more of a future in the camping than in the refrigerated section, although the name is likely to trigger discussions in stores about the stability of the fastener.
What can be said is that East Germans are very experienced when it comes to renaming, but are also overburdened. Some have not found their way home since the wave of renaming after 1990 and have been wandering around their cities ever since, which is misinterpreted in the West as demonstrations against the system. Depending on the political climate, East addresses had changed several times before 1989 without the owners having moved.
But now Marx, Engels and Lenin, Breitscheid, Dimitroff and Thälmann also had to give way to their predecessors or new names. But that also remained inconsistent, because the question that quickly arose as to whether Haupt was not a communist because the stations all kept their names remained unanswered.
“Feel is everything, name is smoke and mirrors”
The Prussian file, which is pending resubmission with the Minister of State for Culture, has had a similar experience so far because she sees the same term in red. She decreed that the foundation preserving the cultural heritage of the forbidden state could no longer be called Prussian. The name was “not cosmopolitan” enough, but Ms. Roth did not suggest a new one.
Possibly because the coalition is once again not green on the issue. Perhaps the foundation could be named after Bismarck, at least temporarily, i.e. the herring, which – albeit unmarinated – is at home in the world’s oceans.
However, nothing and no one is immune to renaming, because it is (already) less a question of reason than of overflowing emotions. But that’s nothing new either, as we know from Goethe’s “Faust”, where it says: “Feeling is everything, name is smoke and mirrors.”