Archive for the 'central europe' Category

The Polish Documentary Movement

May 13th, 2008

My brother Michael, over here.

Ferenc Puskas, RIP

November 17th, 2006

Long before he published his fine book about football in Eastern Europe, Behind the Curtain, Jonathan Wilson was writing for The Voice of the Turtle (currently in hibernation). Here’s his review of Puskas on Puskas: The Life and Times of a Footballing Legend, from 1999.

UPDATE [2.30pm]: I see that Jonathan also supplied something of an obit for tehgraun.

Fraternal Greetings…

September 21st, 2006

… to my brother Michael’s new blog, Closely Watched DVDs, devoted to the world of Czech cinema.

Hurry over there now to learn the handy Czech phrase, “Tomorrow I’ll wake up and scald myself with tea”*, and do remember to go back every day in January, when he’ll be presenting his Jan Å vankmajer blog-retrospective.

[* The only Czech phrase I can really remember from the time I tried to learn the language is the equally handy, "I think there's going to be a revolution in the West soon."]

Remember, Remember the Ninth of November

November 10th, 2005

Norm reminds us that yesterday was the anniversary of Kristallnacht. Someone pointed out to me the other day just how many key dates in twentieth century German history fell on November 9 (or, as we might say, the European 9/11). Stupidly, I hadn’t noticed this pattern before:

1918: The abdication of the Kaiser and the proclamation of the Republic.

1923: The failure of the Beer Hall Putsch.

1938: Kristallnacht.

1989: The fall of the Berlin Wall.

It’s a remarkable sequence.

His Foreign Jail Hell

July 31st, 2005

Here’s Denis MacShane, writing in this week’s New Statesman about his brush with the Polish authorities:

“It happened in 1982 when I was picked up by the Polish police after smuggling $10,000 of European trade union funds to the underground Solidarity union. I vaguely remember tearing up and swallowing the address of the contact in Warsaw to whom I had given the cash, but my main memory is of being taken from a prison cell after a few days to meet the diplomat from the British embassy paying me a consular visit. He assured me my case was being reported on the BBC, that a good lawyer had been hired, and that if I looked polite and sorrowful, the court would not impose a jail sentence. To cheer me up he gave me the standard Foreign Office survival kit for politically incorrect Brits banged up in communist prisons. It was a small Harrods carrier bag containing three apples, a tiny jar of Marmite, a packet of Ryvita and two copies of Country Life.

I wonder what you get these days.

Welcome Estonians!

May 1st, 2004

And Latvians, Lithuanians, Maltese, Cypriots, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Hungarians and — last but certainly by no means least — Slovenians!

(To the EU, that is.)

Cleese Weighs In

April 26th, 2004

“To say all Germans are Nazis is probably less true than to say all newspaper proprietors are complete monsters”. [Via.]