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• February 2005
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February 2005 Newsletter

INNU MALTI, die Nationalhymne der Republik Malta von Reinhard Popp

Click here to enlargeDie heutige maltesische Nationalhymne hat die historische Entwicklung des Inselstaates seit 1921 begleitet, als die Seele der maltesischen  Inseln ihren musikalischen Ausdruck in einer Kompositon des Dr. Robert Sammut  (1870 – 1934) fand.  Im folgenden Jahr gelangte dieses Musikstück in den Besitz des Schuldirektors Laferla, der eigentlich eine Schulhymne für die maltesischen Grundschulen suchte. Laferla bat den bekannten Priester und Dichter Monsignore Carmelo Psaila, bekannt als Dun Karm Psaila (1871 – 1961), ein für die Schulen geeignetes Gedicht zu den Tönen Robert Sammuts zu schreiben.

Dieses Gedicht entstand unter dem Leitgedanken des Dichters, eine Hymne an Malta in Form eines Gebetes an den Allmächtigen zu verfassen.  In den gebetsartigen Versen wird Gott angerufen, das Heimatland zu schützen; der Text ergänzt sich harmonisch mit der choralartig-feierlichen Musik Robert Sammuts.  Der „L-Innu Malti“ erlebte seine erste öffentliche Aufführung am 3. Februar 1923 im heutigen Nationaltheater von Valletta. 

Im Jahre 1942 ließ Ivo Muscat-Azzopardi , der Gründer der Gesellschaft „Xirka Tixrid Qari Malti u Propaganda“ die Hymne für „piano e canto“ drucken. Dabei wurden die Originalworte von Dun Karm Psaila sowie eine englische Übersetzung von Miss May Butcher verwendet.  Durch diese Ausgabe erlangte das Lied nun in ganz Malta schnell eine große Bekanntheit und Popularität. Später hat dann übrigens die maltesische Regierung eben diese Ausgabe im offiziellen Programm anlässlich der Unabhängigkeitsfeiern verwendet. 

Seit 1945 hat die Hymne den de-facto Status einer maltesichen Landeshymne und sie wurde folgerichtig mit der Erlangung der nationalen Unabhängigkeit am 21.September 1964 in den Verfassungsrang einer offiziellen Nationalhymne erhoben.  Die im Jahre 1974 ausgerufene Republik Malta übernahm das Lied als unumstrittene Nationalhymne des Landes.

                                                Click to listen to the "Innu Malti"




Starting Wednesday, 16th February at 6.30p.m.: A short course “Introduction to Heinrich Böll”

This is a very interesting course running for four consecutive Wednesdays with sessions of 90 minutes each introducing participants to the German poet and writer and Nobel Prize Winner Heinrich Böll.  Short stories of this German author form part of the syllabus of the MATSEC Advanced Level and also of the syllabus of the Third Year students taking German at the University of Malta.  For this reason, apart from the biography of Böll, the one short story prescribed for the Advanced Level as well as some stories pertaining to the University students will be discussed during this course.  Course material will be handed to those attending.

Although the sessions will be conducted in German, explanations in English will be given as well.  The course will be conducted by Ingrid B. Kidder, guest Lecturer at the University of Malta. 
Course fee:  LM 8.00.  Payment can be made at the Circle’s office even on the first day of the course.  The course will not be held unless a minimum of five participants enrol.

Our President writes to Dr Jacobs:

Dr Günter Jacobs who has been conducting on a regular basis advanced conversation and Landeskunde sessions to members of the German-Maltese Circle has informed us that he has reluctantly decided to stop these sessions due to personal reasons.  Dr Jacobs has been giving these lessons on a voluntary basis since 1990.  In a recent letter sent  to Dr Jacobs our President, Mr Albert Friggieri wrote:

“Dear Dr Jacobs, on behalf of the Committee and the members of the German-Maltese Circle, in particular on behalf of the many students who have attended your excellent conversation sessions at some time or another over the years, I would like to express to you our most sincere gratitude and appreciation for all the hours you have so generously dedicated to the Circle.  Not only have you kindly dedicated to the Circle so much of your precious time without ever asking for any remuneration; you have always done this in a most professional way.  The participants of your conversation classes were always full of praise for your dedication, profound knowledge of German culture and your expert and enthusiastic approach.  Although we do understand fully the circumstances which have led you to take this decision, I cannot hide from you the fact that your regular presence at the Circle will be missed by all of us.  Our hope is that you will find the time to honour us with your presence from time to time.  While thanking you once again, I wish you, Herr Dr Jacobs and your dear wife, many more healthy and enjoyable years among us in Malta.”

Dr Günther Jacobs and his wife have donated a DVD player to the German-Maltese Circle as a token of appreciation for the warm welcome extended to them by the administration and members throughout these past years.

Neu in der Bibliothek : KUBUS Nr. 64 

Der Maler und Filmemacher Strawalde wird im ersten Film vorgestellt. Aufgrund seiner von der ‘Norm’ in der DDR abweichenden Arbeiten und Einstellungen wurde er von oben immer wieder angefeindet, gedemütigt und verboten. Heute ist er einer der bekanntesten und hoch geachteten Künstler, ausgezeichnet mit dem Filmband in Gold und dem Bundesverdienstkreuz.

Der zweite Film zeigt fünf Filmstudenten aus Potsdam, die drei Monate mit lettischen Filmstudenten in Riga arbeiten. Jeder von Ihnen soll in dieser Zeit einen Film realisieren, dessen Thema die lettische Geschichte oder Gegenwart sein soll. Die Filme geben einen Einblick in die Stimmung des Landes. 

Tritratrallala – Police Puppet Theatres

Tritratrallala are the opening words of the “Polizeikasper” or “Verkehrskasper” or simply “Kasper” when he enters the stage.  Kasper is a puppet and resembles Punch or a Joker. Fifty years ago the first police puppet theatre of Schleswig-Holstein was established. Now there are around 80 all over Germany. They visit Kindergarten and schools to educate children especially regarding traffic rules and on the danger of traffic. He is very popular not only amongst children but it seems also among adults. When the Ministry of Home Affairs of Schleswig-Holstein announced their decision to close their theatre because of financial constraints there was so much protest that the decision had to be revoked! 


Renate and Paul Guillaumier - Collaborators of the German-Maltese Circle since its inception
Interviewed by Ingrid B. Kidder

Renate and Paul Guillaumier can be observed and are most welcome guests at practically every Maltese - German event and often enough they even take part in the respective organising activities. Paul, a Maltese from Hamrun and Renate who was born in Westphalia in north-west Germany live a happy so called ‘mixed marriage’ for everybody to see. How did they meet? I wanted to know.

Well, forty seven years ago the very young and adventurous Renate came with her sister with an exchange group from Bielefeld to Malta to improve her English. They travelled by train through half of Europe to Syracuse and boarded the “Star of Malta” (some readers might still remember the ship), eventually entering the Grand Harbour of Malta. The girls lived with a Maltese family in the latter’s summer house in Bugibba. It was situated opposite to the islet reputedly the place where St. Paul was shipwrecked in the year 60A.D. This house had no electricity but was equipped like all typical Maltese houses with a balcony.  And - wall to wall there was another summer house also with no electricity and also with balcony, on which a serious-looking young eighteen year old boy named Paul sat reading even at night by the light of a paraffin lantern. Sensing my quest for romance, Paul felt obliged to explain something and uttered: “This was the way we were making each other’s acquaintance”… Alas, after Renate’s return to Germany the relationship slowly went out of steam. 

However, in 1958 Paul participated in the First International Bible Contest in Jerusalem, and he remembers very clearly, how on the flight home, he decided that the following year he would go and see Renate in Germany. He did so according to plan and he proposed to her there and then – to which she accepted. Yet, like in a slow motion picture, she first wanted to finish her studies and to write her Erstes and Zweites Staatsexamen (first and second teaching examination) to become a primary school teacher (Volksschullehrerin). She also qualified as an English Language Teacher. Paul returned to Malta and the engaged couple communicated by postal letters and tapes until they eventually got married in 1966. Before this, in 1963, Paul had bought their dream house in Rabat, which had to be altered and refurbished to their liking. As a result they could only move in five years later.

Renate settled very well in her new Maltese surroundings, learning Maltese mainly from her mother-in-law, as well as by simply listening to and mixing with the people in the neighbourhood and shops. The locals referred to Renate as “Il Germaniza tal-kantuniera” – the German lady from the corner house. She quoted her father’s good advice as to how to learn a language: “If you want to learn a new language, you either fall in love with somebody who speaks it, or else read a thriller in that language”. Well, she chose the first option – and incidentally so did Paul!  

In addition to learning continuously from Renate and her family during his visits to Germany, Paul took a three months’ intensive course in German with Herr Lenicker. Moreover, whenever he happened to be visiting Germany, Paul watched German television. Within a few years he gained a working vocabulary, which gave him a practical knowledge of the language. At the outset, he also enquired his father-in-law: “Dr. Wegner, what must I do to understand the German culture?”  The reply was: “Read Goethe and Eckermann’s conversations with Goethe”. And Paul’s love for Goethe remains to this day, owning Goethe’s complete works in German and an English translation.

Paul's young life became somewhat traumatic, when it was explained to him, that after finishing his secondary education in 1956, he had to join his father’s company which he did in 1957. Until then he had occupied himself with reading for Advanced Level English Literature, Economics, Economic History and European History. Paul also developed a liking for Biblical Studies, i.e. Old and New Testament Archaeology and Theology, in addition to Ancient and Classical History.  His dearest dream had been to enter the University of Malta taking as many historical subjects as possible.  However, he reluctantly had to drop all these studies (at least during the day!) since he opted to join his father’s glass and mirror and later, also aluminium business, which took him often for months to building sites in North Africa and the Near and Middle East. His biggest interest though remained the Biblical Studies, into which he continued and continues to delve in to this very day. 

In 1987, Dr. Heinz Warnecke (a German expert on Classical Geography) had written his thesis on “Die tatsächliche Rom-Fahrt des Apostels Paulus” (“The Real Journey of the Apostle Paul to Rome”) in which he alleged that St. Paul was in fact shipwrecked at the Greek Island of Chepalonia. Two years later, the then German Ambassador Dr. Gottfried Pagenstert – a very enterprising gentleman, organised a public debate at Messina Palace to which he invited Dr. Warnecke himself. The panel chaired by the Rev. Prof. Maurice Eminyan, with the late Rev. Prof. Carm. Sant,  Rev. Father John Sammut, and Paul Guillaumier as discussion partners successfully refuted this theory. Subsequently, the panel contributed to a book based on the proceedings of the debate entitled “St. Paul in Malta. A Compendium of Pauline Studies”, edited by Michael Galea and Rev. Can. Ciarlo.  It is recorded that this debate attracted the largest ever audience to the German-Maltese Circle’s premises with people spilling outside the Hall where the discussion was taking place to the stairway and even in the entrance hall!

Paul explained how in fact the Pauline tradition came to Malta in the early Middle Ages when the local Muslim population was being converted to Christianity by the Roman Catholic Church.   Before the Muslim occupation of Malta in 871 A.D., which brought the demise of Christianity in Malta, the Maltese islands had been under the hegemony and rule of the Byzantine Empire whereby the Byzantine rite was practised. Paul Guillaumier is presently studying the theology of the Pauline shipwreck on Malta, as well as the onomastica of Punic and Roman Malta with its Semitic background. 

Renate and Paul have one daughter, Colette, who was born in 1967. She was brought up with the three languages of her parents who spoke mostly English and German to her. Therefore, in order to perfect her Maltese she was sent to a Government school. Colette also followed a course at the German-Maltese Circle which lead her to the Zertifikat Deutsch als Fremdsprache. She was even coached in Advanced Level German Literature by today’s president of the Circle, Mr Albert Friggieri and eventually she studied Clinical Psychology at Konstanz and Tübingen in Germany.

From the very beginning of her life in Malta, Renate Guillaumier was an active member of the St. Barbara Gemeinde (the German Catholic Parish in Malta), which had been formed by the Rev. Father Eminyan in 1966. She has been the lector during mass for the last four decades and serves on the Church Council of which Paul is Chairman. She takes care of all Church activities during the year, may it be Christmas with its breakfast after the Midnight-Mass, Easter, dinners, or the children’s St. Martin procession. Family gatherings and spiritual retreats which used to be held at Mount St. Joseph, a Jesuit Retreat Centre, are also part of her duties. However, her real vocation is teaching German. She began soon after Colette was born, teaching on behalf of  the Emigrants’ Commission, children of German parents, mixed parents, of the staff of the German Embassy and of the Deutsche Welle – then still on the hills of Delimara.  Renate still considers teaching her vocation in which she finds great satisfaction. 

Looking back on his life Paul says:
“I have started my own European Union when I met Renate and we have lived the EU ever since!
Gesichter   -  Spiegelbild der Seele?  von Günther Schlichte

Wie unterschiedlich sie doch sind, wenn du sie aufmerksam und nicht gleichgültig ansiehst. Du versuchst vielleicht zu erkennen, was aus ihnen spricht. Vieles lässt sich in ihnen lesen, so. zum Beispiel die Stimmung,  Zustimmung oder Ablehnung. Es ist nützlich für die eigene Orientierung. Gesichter sind wertvoll.  Sie sagen uns vieles über diejenigen,  zu denen sie gehören.  Das glauben wir jedenfalls. Ihre Unterschiede sorgen dafür, dass „Doppelgänger“ ziemlich selten sind.  -  Gesichter drücken etwas ganz Bestimmtes aus. Der Ausdruck kann sich von einer zur anderen Sekunde verändern. Er ist beeinflussbar, manchmal gegen den eigenen Willen.  -  Nur wenige Menschen haben ein „Poker face“.    Auch vertraute Gesichter können variieren, uns von Zeit  zu Zeit anders erscheinen, als wir sie in Erinnerung hatten. Der Ausdruck des Gesichts verrät in der Regel etwas über die Person und ihre Gefühle.  Ein Gesicht ist schon allein deshalb beachtenswert.  -  Jeder Mensch hat sein ureigenes, unverwechselbares Gesicht. Nicht immer ist es das Spiegelbild der Seele.
 Auch von Günther Schlichte . . . . . . . .

Der Zug:  Der schnellste und wirksamste Zug ist der Durchzug.  Dieser  kann aber leicht zu Erkältungen führen. -  Manche Menschen stellen ihre Ohren immer dann „auf Durchzug“, wenn sie nicht hören wollen. Sie verstehen dann nur „Bahnhof“!

Zwischenmenschliche Beziehungen  und die Antenne:  Es gibt Signale die verschickt werden, den Empfänger aber nie erreichen.  

Begegnungen:  Es ist gut, wenn sich Menschen finden, die sich etwas zu sagen haben, auch wenn sie hin und wieder schweigen. 

Erinnerungen:  Erinnerungen sind besonders wertvoll, wenn sie anregen und nicht aufregen.

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