Daily Host Nation Stories for May 28, 2020
Böblingen hunting tunnels presentable again
The renovation of the cultural monument of special importance is completed. For decades, the walls were left to deteriorate because no agreement could be reached on how to finance the construction work.
The chore for staff from the Böblingen District Office sounds really weary: the presentation of the renovated hunting tunnels planned for the opening must unfortunately be cancelled in view of the current situation, it says. “The freshly renovated underground hunting trails of Duke Carl Alexander could really be worth seeing,” the district authority says. Last October, the restoration of the cultural monument began. Exactly 163,000 euros have been invested in the almost 300-year-old walls, which belong to the federal government and are located on the training grounds of the U.S. armed forces.
Only a fifth of the once 635 meters long hunting trails is still preserved. In some places there was even a danger of collapse because the federal government as the owner had delayed restoration for years. The fact that the City of Böblingen took over the sponsorship of the project and also the future maintenance brought the breakthrough. As a result, subsidies from the State Office for Monument Preservation and the Monument Foundation became possible. The district of Böblingen also contributed money. “I am very pleased that, together with all those involved, we have succeeded in securing such an important cultural monument for posterity,” says District Administrator Roland Bernhard. The restoration was important, he says, in order to secure the remaining parts. The mayor of Böblingen, Stefan Belz, also emphasizes that it was a great concern for everyone to restore the hunting areas. “It was important and the right thing to stick with it,” he explains in the announcement.
As a result of the renovation, the stalking paths can now be walked along the entire remaining length. In large sections, the restoration company even exposed the historic sandstone slabs. In addition, wall and vault surfaces were cleaned and partially re-grouted. A memorial plaque has also been restored on the northern portal of the complex. Peter Rothemund, Managing Director of the Baden-Württemberg Monument Foundation, explains the financial commitment of the Foundation by saying that the Böblingen stalking trails are “an unprofitable but indispensable document of the hunting history of Württemberg.” For decades, the State Office for Monument Preservation had repeatedly reminded all those involved of the importance of the monument and the duty of preservation and had lobbied for financing possibilities, emphasizes its representative Ulrike Plate. Only in Thüringen is there a comparable facility, which is much better preserved.
In the future, guided tours should be possible. Even if the coronavirus prevents the official opening at the moment, the prospects are nevertheless good: In the future, there should be guided tours through the stalking grounds again, just like 17 years ago. However, since these are located on the U.S. Army’s training ground, unlimited access is not possible. Nevertheless, the city of Böblingen is currently working on an agreement with the Americans that will enable events for 30 to 40 people to be held on the historic grounds four times a year.
“The many authorities involved in the restoration project have done a great job in restoring the hunting tunnels to its original condition,” said Larry Reilly, Public Relations Officer for the US Armed Forces in Stuttgart. “The US Army is happy to assist the city in its guided tours of the hunting tunnels.” (Stuttgarter Zeitung, May 28)
Merkel warns pandemic is just beginning
In the face of ever new debates on relaxation, Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for joint action by the federal and state governments in the corona crisis. “I very much agree that everyone should work within their own areas of responsibility,” she said on Wednesday after a video conference with the heads of government in the east. “However, this also means that it is important to me, as chancellor, and the entire Federal Government, that we agree on fundamental issues.”
Merkel said that a common protective framework was necessary, which the federal and state governments had also agreed on. “This means a minimum distance of 1.5 meters, i.e. mouth-and-nose protection in local public transport and where the 1.5-meter distance cannot be maintained,” she said.(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 27)
Swimming pools to open as of June 6, subject to conditions
The first swimming pools in Baden-Württemberg are to be able to open again as of June 6. However, due to corona, this is only possible under strict hygiene regulations and on the basis of a detailed operating concept, the working group of the State Government announced in Stuttgart on Thursday. “Among other things, this must include regulations on the maximum number of swimmers in the entire pool as well as in individual pools, and compliance with hygiene and distance regulations. This also applies to swimming lakes with access controls; medicinal, hotel and thermal baths; and saunas. Normal swimming operation will not be possible this summer. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 26)
City postpones planned closure of Greek restaurant’s outdoor area
The fact that during the pandemic, the municipal building rights office threat to withdraw the concession from the Greek restaurant Ilysia is making a big splash and causing many angry comments on the net. The Sakellariou innkeeper’s family in Stuttgart’s Vaihingen district was happy to finally be able to welcome guests outside again after the compulsory break. But then mail came from the town hall. If the restaurant at the Wallgraben were to start operating the covered outdoor restaurant, the operators would lose their concession because the pavilion was not approved and did not comply with the development plan, the letter from the town hall said.
Building mayor Peter Pätzold reacted to the report in our newspaper and assured in a press release that the host family can use the roofed outdoor area for catering until the end of August. At the same time, he made it clear that the pavilion “cannot be approved” because it violates several legal requirements, such as planning law, but also fire protection. “This is a building law case that has been going on for years and has nothing to do with the corona crisis. There has been a deconstruction order against the pavilion, which was built without permission and is not permitted under building law, since 2015,” Pätzold said. The Regional Council shares this opinion. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 28)
Arson suspected, protester assaulted in Stuttgart
May 16 won’t be forgotten quickly in Stuttgart, and not only because that Saturday thousands of people protested against the corona measures of politics at the Cannstatter Wasen. The day represents a turning point, bBecause all around the demonstration there are attacks on participants, the likes of which the city has never seen before. At the end of the day, one man’s life is in danger, several others are injured, and vehicles go up in smoke.
According to observations by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the protests against the restrictions are being infiltrated by right-wing groups and are thus becoming targets. The police consider it likely that the attacks were carried out by the left-wing extremist scene. “The left and right scenes keep an eye on each other. Tangible confrontations between political opponents have always existed. But not in this form. This is a new phenomenon,” says the Stuttgart State Security Service.
The spiral of violence began to turn early in the morning in Untertürkheim. Shortly after half past two, three vehicles are set ablaze on the premises of an event technology company. A tractor-trailer, another truck and a loudspeaker truck intended for the demonstration on the Wasen were destroyed, with material damage in the tens of thousands. Later on, participants on their way to the site were repeatedly attacked and car tires slashed. In the evening, a group in Bad Cannstatt was attacked, recognizably coming from the demonstration. They took refuge in a pizzeria.
The most serious incident, however, occurred on Mercedesstrasse. On the way to the rally, a 54-year-old man and his two companions were attacked by a large group of black-dressed and hooded perpetrators. They viciously attack the man, who is supposed to be a works council member at Daimler and allegedly belongs to the right-wing group Zentrum Automobil. He was critically injured and is still in critical condition. Investigators found two brass knuckles at the scene. They assume a targeted assault and are investigating for attempted killing. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 27)
Bars and pubs should soon be allowed to serve guests outside
Bars and pubs can, according to a decision of the Administrative Court (VGH), serve their guests outside again earlier than planned by the state. The complete closure since mid-March contradicts the principle of equality, as operators of restaurants and bars are now allowed to operate outdoors. There is no objective reason for this distinction, the VGH announced in Mannheim on Wednesday.
The dis-inhibitory effect of alcohol consumption with the consequence of higher risk of infection, which the state had argued against opening bars, was equally possible in the outdoor areas of bars and restaurants. From May 30, bars will be allowed to serve their guests outside. The country allows the complete opening of pubs and bars under hygiene conditions from June 2. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 27)
Almost one in ten people tested in Tübingen have corona antibodies
Dirk Biskup was one of the first corona patients in Tübingen. His wife, Saskia, was also infected by him. Fortunately, the founders of the biotech company Cegat only had mild symptoms. “We were involved relatively early on,” said Dirk Biskup. This also applies to the antibody test that the company has developed and which can be used to detect surviving coronavirus infections. Cegat has been offering the test for 25 euros for a good two weeks. The necessary blood samples can be taken directly on the company premises. There is also a mobile team that can take blood samples on site – for example at home or in companies.
According to an evaluation available on Wednesday, the company tested a total of 6,776 people between May 11—15. Antibodies against the coronavirus were found in the blood of 596 test persons – about 8.8 percent. According to Biskup, many of the test persons had previously experienced symptoms of infection or had temporarily stayed in risk areas. This is, therefore, not a representative survey. “That is why you cannot extrapolate the figures to the entire population,” said the company founder. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 27)
Oak Processionary Caterpillar in Sindelfingen area
Currently, the caterpillars of Eichenprozessionsspinners (EPS), or Oak Processionary Caterpillar, can be observed in the city area. They are looking for suitable food and nesting places before they pupate in their nests. EPS caterpillars form very fine stinging hairs, which can be seen in long chains on the ground, on lower tree trunks and the branch roots. They form very fine stinging hairs that break easily when touched and release the toxins; there is an explicit warning against touching the hairy caterpillars. (City of Sindelfingen press release, May 28)
Police seek witnesses of attempted rape
An unknown man tried to rape a woman in Stuttgart on Wednesday night. According to police reports, a 34-year-old woman was sitting on a park bench in Königstraße at about 0:30 a.m. when the suspected perpetrator sat down next to her. The woman stood and wanted to leave, but the man apparently held her down and touched her indecently. The woman broke free and fled into a parking garage, but the perpetrator followed her. He pulled her to the ground, tore off her clothes and choked her before she escaped to Königstraße and attracted the attention of passers-by who called the police. Police are asking for witnesses. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 27)
Kripo investigates homicide
An unusual case is occupying the Stuttgart Criminal Investigation Department homicide squad. A 53-year-old man surrendered to police on Tuesday and admitted to having killed his former brother-in-law. The 45-year-old victim was missing since Saturday. The body was found in a garden plot in the Freiberg district. An arrest warrant was issued against the suspect on Wednesday.
The course of the crime, the motive, the scene of the crime are unclear at the moment. The ex-wife reported the victim as missing on Saturday evening after he didn’t show up to pick up children for care Saturday morning; the victim was considered very reliable. Police began search measures in and around Stuttgart, but could initially find no trace of the missing person.
On Tuesday, the 53-year-old brother of the woman appeared and declared that he had killed his former brother-in-law last weekend. He also gave the officials the location where the killed man would be found. Police found the body in a garden plot on Tuesday. Forensic investigations revealed that the body of the missing man. The 53-year-old suspect appeared before a judge on Wednesday at the request of the public prosecutor’s office, who sent the accused to pre-trial custody. The investigation is still in progress. (Stuttgart Nachrichten, May 27)
Police seek witnesses for indecent exposure incident
An unknown man exposed himself to two 13-year-old girls in a bus between Ludwigsburg and Bietigheim-Bissingen. According to police reports, the youths got on bus line 551 in the direction of Bietigheim at the Tammfeld bus stop. At the next stop in the area of a shopping center, at about 4.35 p.m., a man entered the bus and sat down opposite them. The man put a black leather jacket on his lap and allegedly masturbated under it. Shortly before Bietigheim, the suspect exposed his genitals, whereupon the girls moved to the back of the bus and got off at the next stop on Berliner Straße in Bietigheim, and immediately informed a relative. The police searched for the man at the Bietigheim train station. Investigations are in progress regarding the sexual abuse of children. The police ask passengers for further assistance. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, May 27)