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Death and it's Relationship to Neo-political Attitudes in Bratislava

Moz

Senior Member
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841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
It is true that all things die. They die in a variety of ways and none so lingering as to die whilst attending a political rally in Bratislava. Bratislavan rallys are not like our Western rallys wherein people race about in souped-up cars sponsored by politically-controlled companies, no indeed not. These are rallys wherein very dull people get together and discuss the merits of Kerouac and Marx and their relationship to societal norms and post-grandism allegories of Latin phrases relating to the Greek options regarding the allocation of demographic principles of Latvian and Polish post-communist laws. This is notwithstanding the unofficial use of Argentine otter-skewers of which Bratislav, second-chamber, civil servants have no knowledge -- no, this relates to things being dull, unintelligible pieces of crap of which this missive mostly consists. I suspect that if anyone has bothered to read this far I will probably win the trophy for the least return visits to a thread ever. I thank you for your absence. Mart
PS I think this font is too big and interesting
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
697
This thread is long overdue. Some of the issues you arise were explored also by Josef Skvorecky, a writer at one time banned in Czechoslovakia, in The Bass Saxophone[/I. Skvorecky won the 1980 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the Canadian Governor-General's 1985 Award for Fiction.

Skvorecky clearly uses the mournful sounds of the bass saxophone to describe Czechoslovakia's unhappy position in the early 1940s allegorically. One thing he neglects to make clear in his book was how he was able to obtain bass saxophone reeds in wartime and, indeed, what strength they were.

I hope that people will contribute prolifically to this thread.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
During the WWII shortages Czechoslovakia was mostly under Nazi control. German scientists working in Kraslice produced ersatz reeds using flax fibres and a solution of cellulose in acetone (dope) developed for aircraft use. These reeds proved to be shrill, leading to the Nazis banning saxophones as instruments of degeneration due to the poor sound qualities - and not, as is commonly believed, because of the sax' association with the african-american musical movement originating around New Orleans, Chicago and Memphis in the pre-war years.

The soviet led invasion of Czechoslovakia was in retaliation to a juvenile Kenny G playing a Czech made sopranino sax on a self-customised ersatz contrabass WWII reed for the then soviet popularist leader, Leonid Brezhnev. His near death experience (aka aural-torture, since banned along with other popular KGB pastimes such as waterboarding) led him to vow vengeance, and he used the liberal mores in Czechoslovakia as a cover for his tank led assault on the peace loving Bohemians. The bass sax references mentioned above are incomplete - the entire stock of Czech bass saxes was commandeered by the leader of the tank corps and used (unsuccessfully) to mask the sound of the soviet tanks' main guns.
 
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jonf

Well-Known Member
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Betelgeuse
Not since Half Man Half Biscuit penned Trumpton Riots as an allegory for anti-Thatcherite demonstrations have I seen such an elegant and profound description of wider political actions.
 

jadoube

Member
Messages
150
Location
Fleet, Hampshire
Capitalism and death in Bratislava.

When an American citizen dies in Bratislava, the U.S. Embassy should be notified as soon as possible. Upon notification, the Consular Officer's subsequent actions will depend on the circumstances of the death and on decision made by the next-of-kin. (see Emergencies.)

In such cases, the American Embassy in Bratislava issues a Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad. This document serves as an official document for use in the Unites States. The Slovak Report of death, the medical report containing the cause of death and the deceased’s U.S. passport will need to be presented to the Embassy.

Local burial: the basic cost is approximately $1200 and may be more depending on specific items and services selected or required (type of casket, headstone, location of site, etc.).

Local cremation: the cost begins at about $900 and may be more depending on the type of casket and urn selected. Shipment of an urn with ashes to the eastern seaboard of the U.S. typically costs around $430, but may be more depending on weight, packaging, express service, and final destination.

Transportation of remains: the basic cost is approximately $4200 for transportation of a typical casket and container to New York from Bratislava. Actual cost may be more, depending on weight of the casket/container selected, initial location, and final destination within the U.S. Embalming costs and the cost of the casket/container are additional.

Embalming of the deceased is possible upon request of the Next-of-Kin. Embalming is usually mandatory in cases of international shipment of remains. Requests for embalming must be made at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Sasinkova St., 811 08 Bratislava, tel: 00421-2-5292 1974 or 5292 1975. Approximate cost is $1000.

Caskets, Containers, and Urns

The prices of caskets suitable for local burial or cremation range from $180 to over $1600.
The prices of urns range from $75 to $600.
The prices of caskets and containers suitable for international shipment range from $400 to over $1,600.


(source: Embassy of the United States, Bratislava)
 

jadoube

Member
Messages
150
Location
Fleet, Hampshire
Truth, fiction and a musician

findagrave Bratislava

Originally a teacher, Mr. Kubala entered into politics after the creation of the first Slovak Republic. While he headed the national guard, Kubala was very active in organizing collaborationist activities. He was arrested and sentenced to death after the war.

Slovak politician, leader of the "Prague Spring" in Czechoslovakia, in 1968. This movement was suppressed by Russian army, along with military forces from Poland and East Germany – the Warsaw Pact,in August 1968. After the change on 1989, Dubcek was, till his death, the president of parliament in Czechoslovakia.

Memorial to a German convoy with political prisoners that was erroneously bombed by US Air Forces on its way from Bratislava to Mauthausen. 28 prisoners died, while others escaped.

Slovak novelist, journalist and politician. Mr. Minac participated in the Slovak National Revlot in 1944 against the Nazis, and survived Mauthausen and Dachau.

Cause of death: Murdered by Slovak and German secret service

Prime minister of the first Slovak Republic. Sentenced to death for collaboration with the Germans during World War II.

Music composer. Led the orchestra of the Slovak National Opera in Bratislava.





PS

My boss has just asked why I'm googling death in Bratislava? :confused: Any suggestions for a sensible answer?
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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3,626
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Rugby UK
During the WWII shortages Czechoslovakia was mostly under Nazi control. German scientists working in Kraslice produced ersatz reeds using flax fibres and a solution of cellulose in acetone (dope) developed for aircraft use. These reeds proved to be shrill, leading to the Nazis banning saxophones as instruments of degeneration due to the poor sound qualities.

Kev, I'm amazed that you found reference to these ersatz reeds! I know that the reeds were heard by the "Forest Brothers" of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (Resistance fighters). They raided the Kraslice factory and successfully stole all the vats that the liquid reeds were stored in and replaced it with a poor quality cardboard pulp, which incidentally looked and smelt exactly the same as the ersatz reed mixture!
The Forrest Brothers then managed to smuggle the vats across Europe and with the help of friendly German guard, named Gruber Grubertmund III, they smuggled the secret mixture into Stalag III. Made famous by "The Great Escape"
The reason for the need for this mixture was it's incredible strength! At only three millimetres thick, it could be molded into some complex and amazing shapes and had a tensile strength equal to steel!
Well the prisoners found this material to be of great value during the making of the three tunnels named Tom, Dick and Harry! As you may well know, Stalag III had been built specifically to house the repeat escapees and so the Germans built it in an area that was almost entirely sandy soil. This made tunneling very hard as the tunnels continually collapsed on the workers.
What the tunnelers would do to prevent these cave ins was to shore up the tunnels with the boards that made up the bunk beds. Unfortunately this made the beds very uncomfortable and unstable!
One of the Pilots who was being held in Stalag III was a Czech flyer from Kraslice, who had experience of the ersatz reads due to the fact that he played the sax. So with his expertise, they put him to work immediately making up incredibly strong bed boards to replace the ones being taken to shore up the tunnels! Ingenious!
 
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Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
697
Bratislava, by the way, was a place where life and death was a fact of life. . . I think this is an amazing story.
 
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OP
Moz

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
This post needs correcting on one point only, in that the initial posting also should have the apostrophe removed from its title, as it's superfluous (the apostrophe, not the title).
Actually the title probably is too.

Arrgh, I am unmasked as a grammar terroris't [sic]. But then since the whole thread is a bit of fun I dont' [sic] care. This descent into trivia makes me sic [sick]. :)))

Mart

PS Just in case anyone thinks this thread is serious about death and things, it isn't. Well death is, but the thread isn't. :):):)
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Sadly, the only connection with Bratislava is that his grandfather's second cousin, three times removed, best friend's uncle was born in that City. Following the introduction, did you know that Dylan Thomas's mother pronounced his name in the correct Welsh way, that is Dull Anne rather than Dill An.

Any theories about why he became an alcoholic transvestite?
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
Any theories about why he became an alcoholic transvestite?
Yes, Welsh miners, renowned for their poor eye sight due to the coal dust becoming clogged in the tear ducts, would think he was a beauty from the valleys and get him pi.. er.. drunk and try to have their wicked way with him.... I mean her! In fact they used to call her, I mean him, Dull Anne, cos she, I mean he, was so boring in the sack!
Simples ;}



Just when you thought this thread had died it natural death :)))
 
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