Merkel Fiddles While Hamburg Burns:
Here is one of my photos of the concert hall in Hafen City in Hamburg in the Harbor Area on the Elbe River surrounded by photos of rioters. This is where Trump and Melania Trump attended Merkel’s concert for the G-20 meeting on July 7. We sailed up and down the river four times in 2012 and 2015 and really liked the place. Hamburg looked very modern with all sorts of very neatly kept buildings and lots of greenery lining the streets. The Elbe River was well populated with swimming beaches and beach hotels and houses. There was also a Lion King hall where they kept on playing Disney’s Lion King in perpetuum. We passed the old Cora Verlag Building that used to house the editor I dealt with when publishing 48 books in the Mystery and Mystery Thriller Lines. We even found a fascinating bookstore that specialized in ships and the North Sea and bought a Hamburg calendar and lots of postcards. I wish I could have purchased one of his North Sea calendars, but alas they were too big to fit in my suitcase! We rented a car here twice and returned here twice to board the Queen Mary 2 in Hafen City. The place seemed prosperous and upbeat.
Now we hear how the ambience of the city of Hamburg has been shattered by violent riots in the streets. Policemen are battling with non capitalists. Ever since we left Europe two years ago there have been nothing but terrorist attacks and now this. Melania Trump was apparently trapped in her hotel room by the extreme violence. So was the Australian Prime Minister. You would think that the Germans of all people would be better at keeping order in the streets. It is really shocking and makes me fear that Europe isn’t safe anymore. Tanks in the streets of Hamburg? The army called in? Military helicopters hovering above the conference site? It’s really too much.
I think part of the problem must be Merkel’s immigration policy and all these Middle Easterners wandering around Europe committing terrorist acts. But these rioters run deeper. They remind me of the groups that Hitler was fighting 100 years ago in the streets of Munich, the German communists. I looked up photos of Hamburg on July 7, 2017, and they remind me of World War 1 and World War 2. Absolutely shocking! It rattles me to the core just to look at people tearing about the city we were driving through only two years ago, driving across the bridge out of town and returning to a hotel on the outskirts, Zur Linda, the water wheel restaurant on the edge of town, the Hors Muhle, and then returning to the harbor area. And all Merkel can do is play classical music? Somehow her reaction seems disconnected and ominous like the legendary image of the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
Hamburg plays a role in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War. Hamburg is where Dora and Edward end up at the end of the novel Map Plot before returning to Britain together. It is the farthest expansion point of the Roman Empire into Germany. The Romans were trying to reach the Elbe River in the Cherusci Plot when the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest stopped them. Among them was one of Edward’s ancestors.