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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

They need a hero

They need a hero - The National Newspaper: "This autumn marks the 2,000th anniversary of the battle, and Germany is witnessing a new-found interest in all things Hermann. But in a twist on Marx’s famous adage about how history repeats itself, the Hermann cult appeared first as tragedy, and second as a 12-million-euro marketing bonanza. What had been a question of shame has become a matter of kitsch: when I went to Detmold to check out the scene, I found a gift shop stocked with garden gnomes in the shape of a cartoonish Germanic warrior; a thick sausage called “Hermannwurst”; and Thusnelda Beer, named after Hermann’s mythical love interest. And the region around Detmold has pulled out all the stops in promoting the anniversary as a mega-tourist event, including three museum exhibits, plays, tours and festivals.

“After World War II, it wasn’t so easy to talk about German history”, said Klaus Schafmeister, Detmold’s coordinator for Hermann-related events. “But today, we can talk about Hermann in a way that wasn’t possible even 10 years ago.”"

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