25/09/2007

From the Feuilletons is a weekly overview of what's been happening in the German-language cultural pages and appears every Friday at 3 pm. CET.. Here a key to the German newspapers.

Frankfurter Rundschau 25.09.2007

Italian anaesthetist Lina Pavanelli has written an essay in MicroMega magazine outlining her suspicions that Pope John Paul II might have opted for death by euthanasia, Aureliana Sorrento reports. The Pope apparently refused all necessary medical intervention and so accelerated his death. "There is no doubt that the doctors would have informed Karol Wojtyla in plenty of time about the medical necessity of a stomach tube, as well as the consequences if he refused it. But the Pope did refuse – so that he might go "more softly unto the Lord" – as he said in his last hours. For Pavanelli, this is a clear case of euthanasia – according to the euthanasia definition of the Catholic Church. And not least according to the wording of the 'Evangelium Vitae' encyclical which Johannes Paul II himself wrote earlier in his life. So did this Pope, whose beatification process was long under way, treat himself to a softer death that he had denied all to other Catholics?" We have been unable to find the original article online but here is Pavanelli's reply to her critics in Italian.


Die Welt
25.09.2007

The confessional rift in Lebanon is wider than ever, writes Berlin-based Christian Orthodox author Jacques Naoum. The Lebanese are stuck in a proportional religious system introduced by the British, and subject to the arbitrary will of their religious leaders, Naoum writes: "The inhabitants of the Christian enclaves in Lebanon speak French and send their children to expensive French schools, while the Muslims are educated in Arabic in state or Islamic schools. Lebanese Christians have been untouched by Western Enlightenment and secularism. Like the Muslims, they have remained outsiders. In these threatening times, both Muslims and Christians take the gruesome apocalyptic visions of their holy books literally."


Die Tageszeitung 25.09.2007

Isolde Charim speaks with television presenter Birand Bingül on the situation of Turkish Germans, who Bingül feels are in dire need of modernisation. "I was just in Turkey, and was repeatedly asked how things stand with the Turks in Germany, and why they're all a little backward. They've simply conserved the Turkey of the 1960s, because that was the life they knew. They brought it to Germany with them and haven't moved on. These villages were transplanted to German cities, while the villages in Turkey have been developing for the last 40 years."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung
25.09.2007

Gerhard Gnauck reports on the reactions in Poland to Andrzej Wajda's film about the murder of thousands of Polish officers in 1943 by the Red Army in Katyn. "After the premiere there was an oppressive silence in the cinema. But aside from the recognition on the part of the victims' families and numerous politicians, the Polish media also expressed criticism and disappointment. Long sections of Wadja's film were nothing more than a patriotic educational film, was a commonly voiced objection, with all too many woodcut characters. At the press conference after the premiere the director did not shy away from the criticism: the first film about Katyn, he said, had to be clear and woodcut-like. And the film had a clear answer to concerns that the preservation of the memory might be abused as a 'memory against' (Russia). In 'Katyn' Russian actor Sergei Garmasch plays in a Russian officer who tries to save the woman Anna from deportation. A true story – like so much in the film."


Süddeutsche Zeitung 25.09.2007

Gustav Seibt walks to Löpten airfield where parts of the Stauffenberg film "Valkyrie" starring Tom Cruise were filmed. "If you don't cross this part of the world in the car, but on foot or bicycle, if you are not just looking for Prussian sites and Fontane views, you will discover in the areas between Berlin, the Oderland and Lausitz a historical landscape inscribed with traces of horror. There is only one parallel in Europe and that is on the battlefields of the First World War in France, scarred from years of static warfare and covered in endless fields of graves."

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