January 19, 2011
From some tangential historical background in an article about the War-on-Terror gulag, by JoAnn Wypijewski for the latest subscriber edition of Counterpunch:
In photographs, those [World War 2] POWs are always bareheaded, facing the camera, in shirt-sleeves, often picking crops or felling trees, or standing in groups in a gymnasium. Back in the 1990s I came upon a plaque in Aliceville, Alabama, touting the arrival of the German prisoners there as the impetus for a sports arena and playing field, a theater, bakery, and other appurtenances of bustling society. A museum displays specimens of the Germans’ pottery, mementos of their productions of Faust, their concert performances of Wagner and Beethoven, their newspaper, Der Zaungast.Literally "fence guest", zaungast refers to people who watch concerts and shows for free by peeking over the wall around the venue. By extension it means those who observe situations over which they can have no possible influence. Which is to say, the Germans have a word for everything.