tagged w/ East
BERLIN — Once the much-mocked symbol of drab communist East Germany, Trabant cars are revving up for a dramatic rebirth as electric cars -- 20 years after they drove through the fallen Berlin Wall to freedom.
A team of German firms is developing the "new Trabi" or Trabant NT, a revamped version of the famously unreliable and unattractive cars, and is aiming to unveil a prototype at the Frankfurt motor show in September.
And in contrast to the old model, whose noisy two-stroke engine sent a polluting cloud of burnt oil and petrol into the air as it chugged slowly through the streets behind the Iron Curtain, the new 21st century Trabi could hardly be greener.
"It will be an electric car with a solar panel roof, designed for the city and small trips," said Ronald Gerschewski, head of IndiKar, the East German auto firm that originally made the Trabant and is now plotting its return.
"Inside, there will be connections for a sat-nav, mobile phone and iPod," Gerschewski told the regional press in Saxony, where the company is based.
However, the company insists it is not looking to capitalise on so-called "Ostalgie", the German word meaning nostalgia for the artefacts of the communist era.
"It will not be a retro model," IndiKar said, but a "green and refreshing novelty."
Whatever the motives, there is no doubt the Trabant still commands a place in Germans' affections, two decades after the Berlin Wall was pulled down in a peaceful revolution.
When the proposal of relaunching the Trabant was first mooted in 2007 at the Frankfurt motor show, a snap poll of 11,500 people showed that 93 percent were in favour, with many saying they would be prepared to buy one, said IndiKar.
And the idea itself of a full-blown Trabant rebirth was sparked by the enormous success of miniature models made by IndiKar's partner Harpa, which has sold hundreds of thousands of tiny Trabis to nostalgics.
Meanwhile, enthusiasts hold Trabi rallies and tourists queue up for a chance to ride one around the old communist sights of East Berlin.
It is a far cry from the time when it was the East Germans who had to queue up to get a prized Trabi. The difference is that under communist rule behind the Iron Curtain, the waiting queue could last up to 15 years.
Having saved up a year's salary and counted down the years, the lucky East German could choose a Trabant in any colour he pleased -- as long as it was garish -- mustard yellow, pink and peppermint green were all possibilities.
The bodywork was made of plastic mixed with paper or cotton fibre to save on steel imports, the back windows did not open and its top speed was a laughable 120 kilometres (75 miles) per hour.
But that is not to say the East Germans were not proud of their motors. Considered as one of the family, the cars were often bestowed with pet names such as "Micha" or "Bert."
The last Trabant, a candy pink model, was produced in 1991, 34 years after the first of around three million rolled off the production line of the VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau in Saxony.
However, while the idea of Trabis put-putting around the streets of Berlin once again may appeal to many, it is by no means guaranteed.
IndiKar and Herpa are aiming to produce the Trabi commercially from 2012 but are on the hunt for investors.
They are counting on the Frankfurt show to unearth someone to help with finance to get the all new eco-friendly Trabis off the drawing board and once again gracing the streets of the former East Germany.BERLIN — Once the much-mocked symbol of drab communist East Germany, Trabant... more
Montreal captain Alex Kovalev won the most outstanding player award and a Honda vehicle after scoring the first goal in a shootout to give the East a 12-11 victory over the West in the 57th NHL All-Star game last night in Montreal. Kovalev also scored twice and had one assist in regulation.Montreal captain Alex Kovalev won the most outstanding player award and a Honda... more
Tillie Black Bear is the Ex. Dir. and a founder (31 years ago) of the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc. (WBCWS) serving the Lakota Sioux Rosebud Reservation in Mission, SD
She spoke to the Northern Michigan University 2008 Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity (UNITED) Conference on Sept. 23, 2008.
With traditional sage burning, Black Bear sings as she and the crowd face the four directions - West, North, East, South and honor the Sky and Earth. Her visit was coordinated by the NMU Center for Native American Studies and the non-profit Turtle Island Project (TIP) in Munising, MI. The TIP has held several concerts and other events to raises funds for the WBCWS. TIP Dir. Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard travels several times a year to the Rosebud Reservation. Black Bear was greeted by Dr. Judith Puncochar, NMU Professor & an organizer of the annual UNITED Conference. Tillie Black Bear was introduced by Grace Chaillier, an NMU Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Center for Native American Studies and registered member of the Sicangu Lakota band of the Rosebud Sioux.
Black Bear is a member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation/Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a leading expert on violence against women and children. She's a founding mother of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and a founder of the South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SDCADV&SA). She's the first woman of color to chair NCADV and is on the SDCADV&SA Board of Directors.
Black Bear is on the advisory board of National Sexual Assault Resource Center, Pennsylvania and a past member of the professional advisory board of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Austin, TX. Black Bear received the 1988 U.S. Department of Justice award for work with crime victims and is one of President Bush’s 1989 “Points of Light”.
Black Bear is one of 10 people recognized as a founder of the domestic violence movement in the U.S. at the 1999 Millennium Conference on Domestic Violence in Chicago, IL; received an Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 2000 by President Clinton and was a recipient of the first annual LifeTime Achievement Award from LifeTime Television. She is one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century award by Women’s eNews in 2004. She received a 2005 award from NOW & is retired from Sinte Gleska University as a part-time instructor in Human Services; Casey Foundation as a licensed foster parent. She's a teacher of 13 years including a course on cross-cultural ministry at Catholic Theological Union through Shalom Ministries in Chicago, IL. Black Bear and colleague Sally Roesch Wagner, Ph.D. have completed a poster series on Lakota women elders on each of the nine Dakota/Lakota Nations in South Dakota entitled: Lakota Women – Keepers of the Nation. She organizes workshops on issues of Racism and Cultural Diversity, is a therapist, certified school counselor, administrator, college instructor and comptroller. She holds a Master of Art (1974) from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD; Bachelor of Science (1971), Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD. She has served on the St. Francis Indian School Board of Directors, St. Francis, SD; and Sinte Gleska University Board of Regents, Mission, SD. Black Bear is single mother of 3 girls, grandmother of thirteen and survivor of domestic violence.
NMU Center for Native American Studies
April Lindala, Director
Grace Chaillier, NMU Professor
Javier H. Alegree, WBCWS Public Relations Specialist
Rosebud Sioux Tribe Sicangu Lakota
Turtle Island Project Munising, MI
Co-founders Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard, Rev. Dr. George Cairns
TurtleIslandProject@charter.netTillie Black Bear is the Ex. Dir. and a founder (31 years ago) of the White Buffalo... more
Warning the pictures you are about to see are real and gritty. There are images of dead bodies and burned out hulks and buildings. There are pictures of suffering and pain.
Do not look at these pictures if you do not want to be reminded that war is not glamorous and is not pretty. There is no glory in war, only a reminder of death and the follies of man.
Proceed at your own risk.Warning the pictures you are about to see are real and gritty. There are images of... more