how it all started

Roots lay in the past

I always loved being in the Alps. As a child  I did my first alpine hikes.  When I was eight years old my brother and I went on ski tours around Vent with my father I’ll never forget the feeling when wi stood 3600m high on Similaun summit.  After we had moved to northern Germany there was not much chance for alpine adventure  In  the 90ties  I discovered new alpine  regions in Switzerland and Italy  pleasure slow travel on long distances,  crossing the alps by bike. Since the first tour I did on my own it was not so much the  sportive  activity but the discovery of slow and intensive experience on this journey. I got curios about diversity  in forms of landscape, climate and  culture. In one valley people talked German in the other Italian.  First time in my life heard Valsertütsch and Räteroman these ancient languages spoken by few people of small population mostly living in isolate valleys in the high alps.

What connects Bremen with the story of Hannibal crossing the Alps?

The answer is colonialism! 

As we know Hannibal’s expedition crossing the Alps heading for Rome is just an episode in history of the punic war,  a war between the Punic and the Roman for supremacy in the mediterranean wold, a war that should guarantee the winner influence, power and natural resources in colonies around the mediterranean sea, a colonial war that lasted several hundred years hunted and destroy civilizations and lead to a rule that probably still has large effect on politic and culture in europe and the world.

Bremen, a harbor town since medieval times served as a gate to the world. As a gate for immigrants it played a role in the colonisation of America and as a gate for goods like spices, coffee, chocolate, and tobacco  its connected oversee colonies with european marked. Beside that there are more facts, persons and activities that point on relations between Bremen and the history of colonialism. The Memorial on victims of colonial war might be seen as an example of changes in Interpretation of that history. The monument in form of an elephant 1932 made of brick-stone inaugurated in the 40ties as a memorial for „the german heroes that died for the heroic fight in german colonies.“ 1986 it was turned to an anti colonial memorial, since 2008 this status is fixed in documents, an Association found in 2009 cares for it and tries to make the monument a place of culture and education in the sense of peace, tolerance, and cultural variety. Thats why I chose to start the telling  of my story here at the Elephant in  Bremen.


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