Postcard from... Eisenach
The Wartburg is an imposing 11th-century castle perched on the edge of a 1,350ft precipice that overlooks the east German town of Eisenach.
The place is steeped in history. Martin Luther was given sanctuary there in the 16th century after he was excommunicated by the Pope. In 1817 Germany’s emerging student “ fraternities” gathered at the Wartburg for the first time to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon. They still exist but over the past two centuries have changed radically. Once they were a movement for political freedom but are now seen as a reactionary far-fight group. Their 10,000 members are famous for sporting semi-military uniforms, beer drinking, and for scarred cheeks obtained from fencing without face protection. But they are no longer seen as mere eccentrics.
Two years ago they hit the headlines over a dispute about a member from Hong Kong who was not considered “Aryan” enough. They subsequently tried to introduce a compulsory “Aryan pass” to ensure that all members were pure German. Recently one of their leaders denounced a famous wartime anti-Nazi activist as a “traitor”. This week, the fraternities had been hoping to hold their annual meeting at the Wartburg. But the trust which runs the castle has decreed their presence is “no longer acceptable”.
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
- 5 Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants kill 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
Ryan Gosling granted temporary restraining order against a woman 'convinced she was his twin flame'
Jennifer Lawrence sings in new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1 clip on YouTube
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...