Wednesday, December 19, 2007
If you are on a motorway or secondary road and get off to visit a city, look for the signs for "Centrum," or its language equivalent. Aim and go. Skip the maps, the streets, the landmarks. Just get in the middle of it by following the Centrum signs.
Most cities direct traffic to the old town by prominent signs, expecting the new town to be near enough not to require a poster. That works. We aim for the old town sections anywhere. Once there, find any hotel, go in and get a local placemat sized map; and perhaps even stay there. But just get in the middle of it all.
For Dresden, look back at the New York Times "Going to Dresden" in the travel section 10/24/06, at page 13. That is the kind of cartooney map that is the best help when you are starting out. There, the Elbe running through, new town on one side, old town on the other and some bridges. In 2006, the article says that Dresden turned age 800. Nearly fire-bomb flattened in just days, WWII. Think of the history we collectively trashed.
The NYT article says that 300 years ago, a great treasure, known as the Green Vault, was gathered in Dresden by Augustus the Strong, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony- a part of the Holy Roman Empire in its day - see him on his white steed at -www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/AugustII. The treasure included a 41 carat green diamond and diamond-encrusted swords. All stolen after WWII, and just now put back together at the Royal Palace.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. died last week - this is an update 4/07 from earlier 12/06 post. He was that fine novelist-icon who happened to be a prisoner of war in Dresden, underground in a meat locker, and who emerged to find the devastation. He said in a rerun on PBS last week, an interview in the 1980's I believe, that noone benefited from that surprise attack. The war was not cut short by a single minute, no strategic goal had been even set forth, no allied effort was facilitated, and the only one who benefited was himself - Kurt Vonnegut who subsequently wrote his "Slaughterhouse Five." See www.vonnegutweb.com/sh5/index
"Dresden Lives" was on numerous street posters when we were there.
For pictures of Dresden, do an images search in Google for Dresden bomb fire.
An overview of the Baroque buildings still standing is at www.pbase.com/bauer/dresden.
Dresden, Germany. Square.
Here is the larger photo of the large square. The Dresden area is a UNESCO World Heritage site, on the Elbe River. See whc.unesco.org/en/list/1156.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Lili Marleen- Small History of a WWI War Protest Song, Defused By WWII and Marlene Dietrich, Idealizing Love in War
The original message of "Lili Marleen," the one we do not hear, was a protest against war, from WWI. Lili Marleen, the song, was originally written by a German soldier headed for the Russian front in World War I, as a "plea for sanity in World War I." See ://www.ingeb.org/garb/lmarleen.
But, over time, as parts of the world revved up for war again, for nationalism, the theme of the message of Lili Marleen was changed from war protest, to presenting a dreamy reverie about love in war. See the changes as they evolved at the ingeb.org site. Parallel verses.
1. The torch rendition. Check your own knowledge. Are you most familiar with Lilli Marleen as a misty torch song. "Lilli Marleen" was sung so memorably that way during World War II, by Marlene Dietrich see FN 2, and Edith Piaf, among others. A steamy soft agony song. A separated by war song. A longing song.
Those froggy voices. For Dietrich, the slouchy hat. The slouch. Hear it now at eri.ca/refer/marlened.MP3. Take advantage of internet audio.
Do an images search for "Marlene Dietrich Lili Marleen." Or Lilli Marleen. Put the two names together. Picture the lamp post, the girl in the mist draped around it, the throaty voice of WWII radio and stage. Both genders, relationships all ways, and always, in important ways, all just humans. Look into the lives of our icons.
2. The Panzer martial march rendition. You may also know it as a German marching song. Hear a Panzer Division sing it. See the Nuremberg stadium as its backdrop here at ://126.96.36.199/dvd/pic1/Lili.Marleen.jpg.
3. The world making it its own. Hear many renditions at the Lili Marleen website, at ://www.ingeb.org/garb/lmarleen. Hear it in Hungarian, Finnish and Dutch.
4. See how the words changed with the times. There are two sites we used:
a. ://ingeb.org/Lieder/lilimarl.html. This has all three versions -
a.1 with the 1915 German, identified as Hans Leip;
a.2 then a 1998 translation of that by "Frank;"
a.3 then a 1944 evolved version translated by "Tommie Connor."
b. Then see the WWI words at www.jazzprofessional.com/report/Norbert%20Schultze.htm#english, as translated by the jazz trumpet player, Ron Simmonds.
5. The World War I.
1913, sometimes told as 1915 (soldier, Hans Leip, lyric, see http://ingeb.org/Lieder/lilimarl.html) for the three parallel versions.
We like the Ron Simmonds at www.jazzprofessional.com/report/Norbert%20Schultze.htm#english. The occasion for resurrecting the original was the death of Norbert Schultze, 10/14/2002, composer and protector of performing rights. Ron Simmonds died recently. See the coverage of the Schultze tributes, at www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=7762.
Scroll down to the English translation, and you will see the words that mean as much now as they did in 1913, written incorporating the name of the soldier's girlfriend, Lili, and perhaps the name of a mysterious nurse in the mist, Marleen. The Ron Simmonds version of the original, included at that website, reads like this, with line breaks added: Scroll down to the very bottom.
There is a lantern in front of the barracks,
And the big gate, still there.
It does not and cannot figure out what is happening,
"As did once Lili Marleen!"
Is it pride or power
That brings us "out of our senses?"
However we try to get away,
We will be judged.
"Some day, Lili Marleen!"
The dead on sand or beach,
Who buries or counts?
How much more pain
Until we see how stupid and senseless this is.
"Oh God, Lili Marleen!"
And, since copyright permits "fair use," see www.bitlaw.com, this little excerpt is just as it is --
"From the quiet rooms,
From the earth,
There rises before me as in a dream
Your deathly pale mouth. [the other translation avoids that and says, "hale' mouth -see ://ingeb.org/Lieder/lilimarl.html]
Before the swirling mists clear,
Let war and hate come to an end - now,
Toggling back and forth between the translations, we think these are close.
1944: Then go to how the song was later used, and changed to meet the needs of both sides in World War II. It became a song of longing - see www:// ingeb.org/Lieder/lilimarl. By 1944 it was a love song. And Marlene Dietrich synonymous with it.
Amen. We have Edith Piaf singing it.
FN 1. Bump Bump-a Dump Dump
Bump-a Dumpy Dump.
(BBCDBCBCFD. AABCDFEDCB - now. The rest yourself.)
Bump Bump-a Dump Dump
Bump-a Dumpy Dump!
Bump Bump-a Dump Dump
DUMP DUMP DUMP
A-Dump Dump Dump
A-Dump Dump Dump
A-Dump Lili Marle-e-en
A-Dump Lili Marleen.
etc. Sometimes written as Lilli Marleen.
FN 2 See network channels 3/28/07 - the news word is that Marlene Dietrich, who vanted to be alone, had a letter-writing and perhaps more relationship with Ernest Hemingway. See ABC news, 6:30 eastern daylight time.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Go ahead. Take your name, hunt around, then go wherever you find a connection and enjoy. May be no connection at all, but fun is in the process. Don't worry about spelling differences. Even our folks in Canada added the "e" in the earliest 1900's just to make it easier for the postmaster.
Joke on uncle. Old name his:
See Nuremburg, at Germany Road Ways, Nuremburg posts, Altotting post: fountains. In Munich, look up and see some sculptural figure teetering outside the the 5th floor at the corner - just for fun. Imagine the money fountain in Nuremburg - a broad flat slow whirlpool down the center drain, and around the perimeter, the rich pass money between themselves and hide it behind their backs, the poor reach out their arms and never get anything, a man and boy go fishing, the man with some, but fishing for more. You go around and around it, looking more closely, drawn in yourself to the expressions and you think, yes, this is a true universal.
So, today, to German ingenuity. See the marriage carousel fountain, also in Nuremberg, the puppet fountain, and the plague memorial fountain in Altotting. Check the site references for more pictures of them.
In no other country were the fountains such fun, and so true to human nature. Others' fountains may be grander, but they don't tell a story that goes deep inside.
Berg or burg? Nothing ever ends.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
hum diddle diddle diddle hum diddle i
What makes a war criminal. War criminals are not only the wielders of the electric shock wire or other technique; war criminals by law are the leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices. Common Plan or Conspiracy law applies.
See the law arising from the 13 Nuremberg trials at law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/nuremberg/NurembergIndictments. Better, go to the Nazi Documentation Center at Nuremberg itself, by the stadium that still stands. Or see Leni Riefenstahl's 1930's film, "Triumph of the Will," - look it up. Watch, transfixed.
1. Here is a small fair-use excerpt from the umkc.edu website, spacing changed for clarity: note that not only the immediate actors are the war criminals, but also the leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices.
"The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:
"(a) Crimes against Peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a Common Plan or Conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
"(b) War Crimes: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
Our issues, given our leadership and those who are expected to follow:"(c) Crimes against Humanity: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war,14 or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country where perpetrated."Leaders, organizers, instigators, and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a Common Plan or Conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan."
2. Can or will a soldier or officer refuse to obey. When.
Educate yourself. See, for example, www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/57JQ7H - "Superior Orders and the International Criminal Court." Look up our human vulnerability to following authority, and in so doing, believe ourselves guiltless. See The Milgram Study, and here is a paper written about it and its acting out in police work, }Obedience to Authority and Unjustified Police Violence," by David Coady at this Police Ethics site, at ://www.utas.edu.au/philosophy/cape/WORD%20FILES/Police_Ethics.pdf/
Coady's thesis is roughly this: That the "selfish" man is far less a danger to society than is the "integrative" man, the one who surrenders his identity to the leader, or group -
- political party,
- another cause,
3. On what grounds can a country decide it will be not subject to that? Again, educate yourself.
We have an officer, Watadi, who refused as to Iraq, now a mistrial. See, for supportive overview, www.thankyoult.org/. ABC news says this:http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=2857628. How do those match up with the standard we applied at Nuremberg? And wasn't there a Japanese commander held responsible for atrocities committed far away from his presence as well? Need to keep the consistency going if we are to have a chance.
Update January 2009. Mr. President Obama. Laws cannot be flaunted, or laws fall down. Prosecute. For all our sakes.
Lighten up perhaps a little because this is so hopeless. Have to. Compelled. A frivolous alternative to hanging is to generate a Shakespearean insult. See william-shakespeare.org.uk/a1-shakespearean-insults-generator.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
The place once spanned by a vital bridge.
Shakespeare's Antony spoke of the dreadful consequences of the dogs of war, in "Julius Caesar:" "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war." Question here: is atrocity another of the dogs of war, that we - as well as our "enemies" - fall prey to, or intentionally indulge in?
That cry, to havoc, signified the shift in old military campaigns from conquest to pillage - to be given permission to cross the fine line that holds back the dogs, and that then the dogs only need only be allowed to "slip" - an almost inadvertent act. Just let them slip. Nobody really responsible.
1. Earlier post, we think, was wrong.
The focus of an earlier post 10-6 criticized the tape recording, at the bridge base, that claims that allies committed atrocities against German prisoners. This apparently is part of the exhibit at the museum that had closed by the time we got there, so we put the coin in the slot for the recording instead. It sounded, at first, unfair, and misrepresentative of what happened.
2. We now believe there may be truth in the German tape at Remagen, there that we simply ignore.
With knowledge now that our own government tortured at Guantanamo (this is a further update January 2009, Obama now president), we look back further.
Explore with us more on that issue.
We looked up
- Andersonville, the prison during the Civil War operated by the Union; see the Angelfire site at ://www. angelfire.com/ga2/Andersonvilleprison/; and
- Vietnam My Lai, see hnn.us/roundup/entries/5285,
- Iraq and Abu Ghraib, and other instances in Iraq. Look up your own news on that.
3. An invitation. Help find out. We want to quantify facts to see what might be true about the Remagen tape recording.
- How many German soldiers were captured and in allied POW camps.
- Then ask how many were returned.
- Ask what happened in between.
- How are the deaths accounted for? Should not be that difficult. But it is.
Sites: Disappearing Atrocities.
4.1. Start at nizkor.ort/hweb/people/b/bacque-james/ambrose-.001 (from"Ike and the Disappearing Atrocities", New York Times Book Review, February 24, 1991, on James Bacque's 'Other Losses', a Review by Stephen E. Ambrose).
At this website, claimed atrocities (active and passive death-dealing of prisoners) by the allies are addressed, resulting in the deaths of perhaps hundreds of thousands of German prisoners.
Early numbers about the gap were huge, later numbers were far less - or denied altogether. And the issue is carefully counter-argued. But it still does not go away. In this era of spin and cover-up being the norm, satisfy yourself on your own.
4.2. Then go to Niall Ferguson's War of the World, see review from Amherst college's journal, The Inicator, at halogen.note.amherst.edu/~theindicator/articles.php?date=12072006&page=13.
Or search for Niall Ferguson War of the World. The TV series based on it is outlined at www.channel4.com/history/microsites/H/history/t-z/warworld.
From a fast overview, I understand that German prisoners preferred being caught by British rather than Americans, because word had spread that their survival with Americans would be far less likely.
Wonderful. Who are we serving when we pretend/turn away/deny, so that each generation of soldiers marches in anew, with an unrealistic view of what they, good folks like us, may well become, when faced with the dogs of war.
5. Now, you take it from here.
Now we have Gitmo and the pattern continuing - laws of atrocity apply to others. Will President Obama follow along?
Do we serve the next generation by hiding reality, and so continue in enabling war; or is war such an inevitable part of life that we must hide its reality (say, in over-stressing the heroism and patriotism) in order to dupe impressionable young soldiers to go to war for us at all.
The real "war of the world" may be against untrammeled testosterone.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Updates: Perspectives on events -- irreconcilable differenes. See New York Times 4/17/2011 includes Week in Review, Op-Ed by Lizabel Monica, Bay of Pigs, Cuba. differing views between US and Cuba as to significance, implementation and errors at Bay of Pigs, Cuba. See also Germany Road Ways, Update to Remagen.
The bridge over the Rhine at Remagen - the last access to Germany in World War II's closing days. Allies managing to hold it, deflect/otherwise neutralize enough explosives so the bridge stood long enough for equipment and soldiers to cross.
We found alone piper down the promenade. This is not "the bridge." The bridge itself is gone, leaving just bulwarks on both sides of the river, long expanse of gap between. Remagen, at least the name, may be familiar - go to the movies: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bridge_at_Remagen; stories.
But at the bulkhead at this side, there is a little museum and, when you get there after hours and it is closed, you put in a coin and hear a little presentation. The presentation begins with the atrocities of the Allies against German prisoners at the end of the war. Reaction: No, no, can't be. What are the Germans doing, at this site, where Allies were heroic, and the Germans to blame for the War - think we. This is manipulative, propagandistic revisionism at its worst, think we.
And in the town, at a square, a vicious sculpture (fountain also? not sure) of a sleeping, benevolent German soldier, and monstrous, leering allies in fatigue hats and with knives in their mouths, sneaking up on him. Should have taken a picture, but the perceived"revisionism" was so repulsive to me at the time, that I did not even show it to Dan.
The museum and the sculpture may be right in some ways, maybe not. Either way, worth pursuing. They raise the old issue -- what is unleashed in battle. "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war." A history of that phrase, beginning with the medieval battle cry signifying the line between attack and now go ahead and pillage, to Shakespeare (Antony's speech in "Julius Caesar"), is at phrases.org.uk/meanings/105600. Then do an images search for "dogs of war" and Europe, for the moving poster from World War I. Some with that theme are at the Perrone WWI museum in France, at the Somme area, see France Road Ways. What really are the dogs of war - we see them loosed in others, and point fingers, and deny (Swiftboat) those people who point them out in ourselves.
Remagen, Town, Bridge, Polarized Recollections
The heritage of Remagen. The spin depends on the spinner. In the town, children are credited with putting up that monument to the "victims" of the Remagen Bridge. We all spin our histories. I cannot find that statue on the internet. Go look. Not in the town center, off to the side.
So - this is Remagen, famous for its bridge - now only two hulk shapes on either side of the river. More about the 1969 film at www.imdb.com/title/tt0064110/. One German soldier wrote that the loss of this Bridge in WWII, and the loss of Trier, were the two greatest catastrophes of the war. See www.militaryhistoryonline.com. Best to read direct accounts.
Now: with that negativity out, go back to a nice photo gallery by a tourist in 2004 - all of Germany - at www.pbase.com/hosmer/germany_2004. We missed the Scallywag Fountain that I later read about in Remagen - a fountain where a boy spits on passers by at random.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
First, an update to ourselves, this in 2008.
We recently learned about an ancient people called the Vends, the Vendic culture, in Slovenia and eastern and central Germany. Not only did the Vends or Wends thrive, with rulers in the line of succession being male or female, no discrimination or prohibition (the Slavica Lex), but many traditions and names survive - including the Maypole.
See what we found at Germany Road Ways, Vends, Ancient Culture; and in the land known as Carantania (Slovenia now, we believe, but boundaries were fluid) at Slovenia Road Ways, Expunged Ancient Dynasty of Carantania.
May and its high poles go back a long way.
May 1 is May Day- a public holiday since 1889. www.germanculture.com.ua/library/weekly/aa042601a.
Maypole, Germany, Schwabisch Hall
The Maypole with the dangles is at Schwabisch Hall, as we recall. See Schwabisch Hall post here. We arrived just after May Day, but many of the maypoles were still standing. No reason to take them down.
Maypole, Germany, Munich
Some Maypoles are the oldest traditional type- a real evergreen tree, tall tall, with all branches stripped except for the top five feet or so.
Much of Europe used to be forested with trees of this height - taken for centuries for ships and building.
Maypoles have a long history.
Read about the deep roots of the Maypole at http://www.lewrockwell.com/barnhart/barnhart11. And details and more details at german.about.com/od/holidaysfolkcustoms/a/mai. See http://www.art.com/asp/sp-asp/_/pd--12412179/sp--A/
Maypoles also are in England, see www.otleymaypole.org.uk/history. This site connects the English maypole with the Saxon invasions, see www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usmi&c=words&id=11291. Scroll down about 8 paragraphs, or do a little "find" for "maypole." Read the site if you don't mind things about pagan, or wicca, origins. I think all information is interesting. The site connects the Saxon use of red and white ribbons with "healing bandages," and the barberpole. It says some maypoles in Germany are 1600 years old.
The witchvox site also credits the origin of the maypole custom with the Basques and ancient Greeks. Must find out more.
Find out about other German holidays, so you can time your trip to see them, at www.germany.info/relaunch/culture/life/G_Kids/holidays.
Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera
A town we did not see; a person of interest we did not know at the time. Noone ever told us. We put the two together afterwards, however, and look how these trips end in unexpected places. We have found a possible-strained-possible-maybe connection between ancient Germania and ancient Israel. See the Roman historian, Tacitus, on the topic, but he is not unbiased, at www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/tacitus1.html/.
2. The person: Pantera
3. The juxtaposition: Pantera, a father of note?
* Details for the fearless interested: The father of Jesus. Facts add to faith, do not defy it; and simply refine what has to be taken on faith. Is that right? Overviews on most topics are also at Wikipedia, or other online encyclopedia, so I also went to see the non-Christian writings, other sources from the period and what agendas they may or may not have, to see what they said at the time, if anything, and discussion at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus/temp#Non-Christian_writings. Look for the agendas of any writers first, then see what persuasion techniques might be used in order to get their viewpoint accepted - or is it (surprise) a neutral compilation, for you to make your own conclusions.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Park below the cliffs. Take the people-elevators up. This has been the place of theologians and thinkers for centuries - join them. Paul Tillich at thinkexist.com/quotes/paul_tillich/, Rudolf Bultmann at www.theology.ie/theologians/bultmann.htm, Martin Heidegger at www.philosophypages.com/ph/heid.htm, Martin Luther at www.educ.msu.edu/homepages/laurence/reformation/Luther/Luther, Hannah Arendt at www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/arendt. A place of genius.
Also a place of spaetzle, up the little cobbled streets. Make some: www.aaltonet.com/spaetzle/recipes. Add bacon, the thick, hefty smoky slabs or cubes, not out skinny deprived strippies.
More blogs about Germany Road Ways.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Burg Eltz Castle, Germany
Burg Eltz Castle, in the hills near the Moselle River that flows into the Rhine, dates from 1157. The Eltz River used to flow around three sides. It stands after centuries of wars around. See ://www.great-castles.com/eltz. Here the powerful Electors met to elect the next ruler. As years passed, various branches of the family set up housekeeping in various towers, and now the "Lion Or" branch owns it all.
The family managed, we were told, because they were master diplomats, able to bridge any dispute; and minimize conflict. The same family has owned the castle for all that time, and ongoing. In the 14th Century, one powerful Elector, Balduin, nephew of Emperor Charles IV, wanted to enforce peace in his Electorate. However, the free knights of the Holy Roman Empire objected. They wanted to retain their rights to private warfare. The Eltz family joined with the free knights group to keep rights of private warfare, and Balduin set up a siege tower on a hill around, and you can see where they lobbed boulders over the walls, and finally cut off the castle's supplies.
The French in the later 30 years' war destroyed many German castles, but this survived. See http://great-castles.com/index.pl?eltz.html/.
There are original furnishings in many rooms; and little windows with little window seats carved out for children.
2. Getting to the castle:
Cars can only go so far, to a distant lot. Then, visitors walk down the longish winding road to the castle, with views at the switchbacks. Fine photo gallery at http://www.pbase.com/sandpiper/burg_eltz.
3. The place of the Rosette. History of rosette symbolism.
There is a rose symbol above a door in the imposing council room. That rosette shape means confidentiality: what is said here, stays here, a custom stemming (ahem) from Roman times. For more on sub rosa, see http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-sub1.
This site traces the rosette symbol as meaning royalty, and the connection goes back to the Near East, the Hittites in Anatolia, and the Assyrians in Mesopotamia -- 14th Century BCE to 7th Century BCE. See magazine Biblical Archeology Review )BAR), Royal Rosettes from Far-Flung Cultures, Sept-Oct 1997 vol 23 no.5, see home page at http://www.bib-arch.org/bar/. I see no access, however, to online archives. What do these dates mean? Roughly, Bronze Age was 3100 BCE in the Middle East, the first Iron Age was 1200-1000 BCE, the second Iron Age was 1000-586 BCE, the Babylonian and Persian Periods were 586-about 400 BCE, and the Hellenistic Period was 332-37 BCE. Then enter, after all that, Romans etc. See BAR site at p.34.
In early times, see BAR site, the rosette symbolized the sun god on the seals used by the rulers, perhaps to suggest the incarnation of the sun god in the king. See photos of winged rosettes, also on burial stele, on jewelry worn by royal women and on their thrones at the king's funeral, p.53. Rosettes are on kings' crowns, particularly the Ammonites; rosettes festoon Assyrian officers, horses, servants. They also came to symbolize the Judahite monarchy, 8th-7th Centuries BCE.
We may be more familiar with the now-commercialized uses of rose traditions, for example, this site from a florist: www.northsideflorist.com/The%20Meaning%20of%20Roses.
An English speaker who does not want to wait for an English tour to gather, gets a laminated card with the information that is being given in the other languages. A read-along. Works fine.