“Echoes From Shadows” Reviewed: Communication With Your Inner Voice

One of this year´s highlights in terms of performances in Goerlitz was Echoes from Shadows where Lucien Zell showcases a mixture of music, poetry and something that is not quite easy to define.

The setting is dark. The music appears and so does Lucien´s voice. It becomes more of a resonance of what starts moving inside of us from the moment we are emerged into his world. A world that allows us to hear our deeper thoughts while the echoes from outside answer questions and mention thoughts and feelings that not only apply to our inner self but also reveal answers so simple, yet so never-heard-of before.

Poetry is like cocaine: you do it in lines, it gets you high, and if you do the good stuff, you’ll be addicted for life.

It is almost as if we feel that our bad experiences need to be evened out by good ones owed to us when we believe that the energy of the world is on our side. And comparing the simplified “wisdom” we hear on a daily basis to what might motivate us to do the things we do, there is a sense of acceptance the body of listeners is overcome by towards oneself and the audience as a whole.

The audience feels a sense of empowerment that it is not only ok to have many of the thoughts we all secretely have … it is also ok to express them.

Your work is not what gives you your food. It is what gives you your hunger.

Contradictions towards what society “teaches” us and teaching us who we are seems to be the subtle theme of the event capturing our own imagination and keeping the outside world as a safe distance, as if the world we live in was standing at a stage far away to be examined without anybody interested in approaching it during the hour of Zell´s performance.

Echoes from Shadows is a performance driven by intuition. The constant quest for answers and the need to share when something comes clear. We are reminded of who we are and what it is we are truly looking for.

Love is a color only the blind can see.

Maybe it is us who are the blind ones. Maybe we see too much of what keeps us from finding and regaining the peace we have lost on the outside.

Lucien Zell´s tour continues. When and if we have him back in Goerlitz, is hard to say.

But for now, his performance is still echoeing through Goerlitz. And maybe the next person inspiring you will do so, because of the inspiration drawn through this event.

Life is a circle. And Echoes from Shadows gets us one step closer to completion.

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Lucien Zell performs in Goerlitz October 18th

International poet, artist and musician Lucien Zell will be in Goerlitz for one night only
Tuesday, October 18 at 7 PM – 10 PM performing
Echoes of Shadows – Performance/Lesung/Musik
on Brüderstr. 3.
If you can make only one event this year, make it this one!

For more information on Lucien Zell, visit his official website Howling Eye.

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The Greeks of Goerlitz 1916-1919

This video deals with the content of the book with the same title.
The IV Army Corps was established by Royal Decree on 23 December 1913 (O.S.) at Kavala, East Macedonia, during the reorganization of the Hellenic Army following the Balkan Wars. When East Macedonia was occupied by Bulgarian and German forces during World War I, the entire Corps, under its commander Col. Ioannis Hatzopoulos, demobilized and forbidden to offer resistance by the government in Athens, was carried by rail to Görlitz, Germany, as “guests” of the German Government, where they remained for almost three years.

In the summer of 1916, the First World War reached the northern Greek border. August 18, 1916, the Bulgarian Army escorted by German officers suddenly invaded in Eastern Macedonia. On the same day the ambassadors of Germany and Bulgaria in Athens gave official notes of their governments about the goals of the attackers. It was assured the invasion was motivated only militarily and directed against the Entente forces in the region alone. Simultaneously it was intended to provide safeguards for the territorial integrity of the country and preservation of local authorities in their posts. Their invading armies were not intended to occupy the cities of Serres, Drama and Kavalla, as it was stated, and their occupation forces would pull-out when no longer any military reasons to remain whatsoever exist. The guarantees given by the Germans to King Constantine of Greece reassured him, so he instructed the HQ of IV Corps to withdraw to the main cities and to remain there waiting for further orders (never to be issued). It is worth mentioning, that a short time before by claim of the Entente, the Greek General Staff had demobilized all the reservists and the Greek Army was segmented. Back in Kavalla, the commanders of the -abandoned to its fate- IV Corp, had chosen voluntarily to surrender his troops to the Germans (as a place euphemistically “hospitality”) at the very last minute, thus avoiding a rather painful Bulgarian captivity. Commander Dimitrios Hatzopoulos, an officer loyal to King Constantine, thought best leading his troops in captivity rather than joining the pro-venizelist “National Defence” troops that followed the Entente. The surrender of the IV Corp to the Germans was the result of intense pressure between the two belligerent sides.The German and Bulgarians from one side and the Entente, with the latter having intervened armed in “neutral” Greece. Greece was dragged with a gun pointed to her head, so part of the pro-royalist military and the Royal Court entourage directed that there would be no armed resistance of any kind. The German town Görlitz was selected by the Staff of the IV Corp and the Germans as the hosting location for the Greek POWs. The population of Görlitz in the German state of Saxony, was 90000 then. The transport from Kavalla to the German town of the 6400 Greek soldiers and officers was held by a series of rail transports. Documents from the Görlitz Council archive, record the special conditions existed in the camp. Among the 170 prison camps of the German Reich at the time, Görlitz has been and still remains unique. It featured an extra-territorial status, his own Greek police patrols with the soldiers permission to move freely in the town. In fact it was a peculiar captivity. Absolutely no one of those Greek POWs had the right to leave the German territory throughout the War. Save for the privileged portion of royalist and pro-German Greek officers, the pro-venizelist officers, a minority in the camp, suffered brutal persecution. By the beginning of 1918, 25 Greek officers were taken to the concentration camp of Verlan in Westphalia, while other 17 in KL Königksberg accused as Venizelist propagandists, the soldiers suffered a long martyrdom of hardship, poor diet and the unbearable cold in the camp barracks, which resulted to the death of approximately 270 soldiers, most of tuberculosis. In April 1918 Colonel Hatzopoulos him self died leaving his soldiers and officers to immense suffering. A representative of Emperor (Kaizer) Wilhelm II attended the colonel’s funeral. After the abtication of the Kaiser in November 1918, German soldiers arriving in Dresden revolutionized the people with massive demonstrations. The Greek royalist officers, fearing that there would be retaliation on their return to Greece, refused to ‘repatriate the Corp to what had become a “Venizelist” Greece. The Greek soldiers in Görlitz along with German workers, sailors and soldiers, revolted joining ranks with the Spartacus movement of Rosa Luxemburg. The Greek commander, Colonel Karakalos, called for the protection of the German Administration. The soldiers chafe by the action of Karakalos, shifted command by electing the popular veteran Colonel Lambros Sinaniotis as their new commander. The Germans trying to protect Karakalos surrounded the camp of the Greeks with machine gun troops and issued an arrest warrant for Sinaniotis but he managed to flee towards Berlin. With Karakalos reinstated to his former position, thousands of soldiers panicked and several even attempted by any means to flee to the border of Bohemia and from there to Greece. The Germans were upset by the disobedience of the Greeks. In their attempt to prevent any more incidents from happening, opened fire, killing five Greek soldiers and injuring others. The frustration of Greeks from the behavior of the Germans was evident. After negotiations with the German Administration, the Greeks were deported and the last 600 soldiers, escorted by American officers, transferred in February 1919 from Görlitz to Rijeka by rail and then by ship to Greece. Their reception in the pro-venizelist Greece was not so friendly. Privates and NCOs were free to return to their homes, but the officers were to be court-martialed as anti-Venizelists. Eight of those were sentenced to death (among them Karakalos) but the sentence was not carried out, while others were imprisoned in Crete and other islands. Venizelos was defeated in the elections of 1920 and when King Constantine was restored, the officers of Görlitz got promoted and were transferred to the front of Asia Minor (experienced of the Balkan Wars but lacking any WW I combat experience defeat was eminent with the well known results…).

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Why is Goerlitz such a great film location?

This video has some of the actors of major motion pictures speak about what makes our city so special and such an excellent background for a great story being told on screen. Bill Murray is one of the people speaking and expressing his gratitude towards the oldest city in Germany during a break from filming Grand Budapest Hotel:

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Goerlitz: The new center of Europe

With its location being the most Eastern city of Germany and half of the city, Zgoercelec being a part of Poland, Goerlitz is the center of Europe, where East and West meet.
If you want to know what Central Europe has looked like 100s of years ago, come to Goerlitz.
One city, 10 centuries and a history covering a multitude of events and eras which Goerlitz unlike other German cities nearby, survived in one piece.
This ZDF documentary is in German, but even if you do not understand everything, you will be able to see great footage of the Altstadtfest and other events where the majors of both parts of Goerlitz, the German and the Polish side open up the festival.
You can watch the documentary here:
Goerlitz, Schatztruhe der Geschichte

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