Hans Bonfigt
Friday February 17th, 2017

(Deutsch) Etwas außerhalb der Legalität

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

2 Kommentare zu “(Deutsch) Etwas außerhalb der Legalität”

  1. Chris Wood (Monday February 20th, 2017)

    Of course, we can almost all agree about the stupidity of thinking to expel a schoolboy for writing this unorthodox essay. But I wish to add a few comments.
    The essay subject was badly chosen.
    „was Schmidt damit gemeint haben könnte “.
    I assume the teacher meant:-
    „was Schmidt damit gemeint hat “.
    The subjunctive mood is often used inappropriately in German, as it was in England 150+ years ago. It is interesting to consider what an obscure poem could mean. But with Schmidt or any other serious politician, what he did mean is interesting, and should be taken seriously.
    Being uncreative, I would have written that Buback’s job put him in the judicial structure of the state, of which a small, but significant piece was thus being attacked.
    But Hans wanted to be clever and pedantic. He took the chosen essay subject at face value. In this spirit, given enough time, I would have written several possible meanings. The above meaning would perhaps have been the first. It assumes that Schmidt was a nice man, who told the truth as he saw it, (and was reasonable). He disliked murder. His concept of the judicial system was much wider than the constitution. The constitution is anyway vague and not to be taken too seriously. The state is not entirely secular. What is this “Würde” that everybody should have, and that should not be touched? To exactly whom does it apply?
    Then come Hans’ two cases, but modified. A clever pedant should recognise that only Schmidt’s words are directly relevant. He might agree or disagree with what Buback had said, or perhaps he had forgotten it. He did not refer to it.
    There are a few other aspects of German that I find inappropriate. Often “nicht befor” is used, where the “nicht” just confuses. Czech, Slovak, French and sometimes German use double negatives for emphasis. English recognises that two negatives make a positive. (But perhaps my German is too bad for me to comment. Please correct me).

  2. Hans Bonfigt (Thursday February 23rd, 2017)

    @Chris Wood:
    The essay suject given was “was Schmidt geneint hat” and not, “was Schmidt gemeint haben könnte”.

    One of the distinguished, not to say exclusively distinguished characteristics of Helmut Schmidt was:
    He meant, what he meant.

    So the essay was comletely unnecessary. And it was not our teacher’s idea, but from the central school department.
    I did not like these ‘essays of confession’ and so, as a boy of 16, I clearly tried to write the opposite to what was expected.

    So you’re completely right: A clever teacher should have written, “You missed the Point – you shoud have examined Schmidt’s words and not Buback’s.

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