1649 – The Old Bridge

Today was a surprisingly sunny and warm day. We made a trip through Carinthis’s lower east, the part of the country that was disputed twice between Austria and Yugoslavia, a conflict that was intertwined with the repression of the Slovene population in those parts, first by German Nationalist Austrians, and then immediately before and during WWII by the Nazis. Violence on both sides hurt many families, and the quarreling has never really stopped.

This really is what war does to people. Everybody knows some victims, everybody can recount a tale where the “other side” was wrong, simply because it’s always true. Go into a war and you’re doomed to create injustice and harm. There is no clean or just war.

Everybody knows some victims, and that’s the reason for a hate that lives on, often for many generations after the real reasons for the conflict have vanished. Austria is now a part of the European Union and so is Slovenia, that fraction of former Yugoslavia south of Carinthia, just on the other side of the mountains. Europe is one big country now, even though its peoples have not yet fully realized it. And still: the pain and the hate live on. So they tend to flame up in the US, even 150 years after the Civil War, and so it is everywhere. The same instincts, that made us survive as a species, are in the way of rationality and constantly keep us from striving for and finally achieving global peace. But then, it’s Spring, here’s another round, maybe we do better this year 🙂

This old bridge over river Drau/Drava is in Lippitzbach, a place where a small creek runs into the river. The constant water level of the creek was used during early industrialization, reaching back to the 1770s. For those of you able to read German, Lippitzbach has a web site and there you find a complete historic account.

The Song of the Day is the “Bridge Song” from the 1970 Incredible String Band theatric multi-media performance “U”. Hear it on YouTube.

3 thoughts on “1649 – The Old Bridge”

  1. I unfortunately have have to agree completly. I’ve just been to Dubrovnik, and you see and feel the ghosts of the recent past everywhere.

    Whether things are going to improve this year? Ah well, let’s enjoy the warm spring and let’s be naive for a while.

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