This is going to be a really image-heavy post, and I noticed in the last post about Stonehenge that a couple of big images can slow down the site. For the moment I’ve batch-resized everything with imagemagick, using this command for future reference:

mogrify -resize 50% -strip -quality 85% *.jpg

The jpeg quality from my phone’s camera is already 85% and I don’t feel much like compressing them any further. That brings the total image size down to 3.5MB from ~14MB. I can live with that. Good quality photos go on Flickr, what ends up here is for illustration purposes only.

So last Sunday I left Evgenia behind in Frankfurt and took the train up to Marburg. I was assured that it was a proper tourist spot, nothing new to explore, nothing to get excited about, except it’s also a university town so it’s got an active student subculture. A bit like Oxford. On Monday all the museums were closed, and the beautiful views of the town were obscured by a thick fog, so in the end the town was pleasantly deserted and I was left to wander around.

Ok so now that you’re done reading the exposition, and all the pictures have finished loading, here’s the stunning vista from the castle battlements overlooking the valley:

at least I saw the spire

At the Eastern end of the battlements is a Hexenturm (literally witches tower), which actually looked quite atmospheric in the fog.

eye of newt, sprig of thyme, etc.

The tower had a numbered door, suggesting someone might live there. Maybe a witch?

This is the old university building, which I initially mistook as being part of the castle:

seriously it looks like a fortress

Walking down from the castle it looks just like your standard little old german town. Wattle-and-daub walls, windy cobbled streets, and… communist graffiti.

medieval houses? check. cute little bakeries? check. graffiti? check. oh wait.

Along the river path there’s an advert for this year’s ‘antifa summer camp’ in north Hesse, organised under the umbrella of the ‘Association of Antifascist Structures’.

holiday goals

I’m curious, I knew antifascist activity in Germany was high but I didn’t know there were camps. It’s not even a locally specific thing either because later on I saw another advert for a similar camp in south Hesse. In Marburg alone I count three separate antifa groups. Seems like this is a vice feature waiting to happen.

Blockupy is still a thing, although now explicitly promoted by the Left Party.

bbbbbblockupie

Everyone talks about the crisis, we have the answer - this not from the real Communist Party, but from a group calling themselves the ‘Workers Association for the Rebuilding of the KPD’.

we have the answer, we do, it's in Das Kapital, somewhere, give it a read yeah?

The history here is badly tangled up, because the KPD was banned twice in its history, first by the Nazis then by the West German government. There are several successor organisations, including one which did claim the KPD name but unfortunately remains relatively obscure. I think I visited their office in Berlin at one point. In any case, as far as I can tell, this group in Marburg are part of another yet more obscure anti-revisionist party which also previously used the name but they don’t anymore.

Moving on to the representation from the anarchists, a modernist submission by the Free Workers Union.

I, oh I wanna beeeee, anarchyyyyy

Next there’s the Free German Youth who were looking for donations to buy an old T-34 tank to go on a procession to Warsaw to commemorate the Second World War.

I wonder what their kickstarter pledges would have been?

This isn’t a joke, I looked it up and they actually did it, they even got a few trucks to accompany the tank. By the looks of it the tank itself wasn’t able to drive because they had to carry it round on a trailer, but still, kudos for the effort. There’s a precedent in Britain, a few years ago the Space Invaders group bought a decomissioned personnel carrier and took it to peace demos in London. I wonder if they’ve still got it.

GRL? Don’t know who these people are. More antifa.

sad eagle

Marburg stays red - you got that Nazis? Keep out of Marburg.

die linke

Spotted this on Pilgrimstein from the Left Party’s student faction.

it's the Lannisters, they're the ones who never paid their debts, in case you don't watch television

Funny and well made, but politically… er, ambiguous? And for that matter, when’s the next season of Game of Thrones coming out?

Kurdistan Workers Party graffiti, vastly improving the university seal and the face of Phillip the Magnanimous.

marburg_streetart_PKK

Youth, don’t wait and fight! Rebellion is justified!

marburg_streetart_youthresist

Zapatista graffiti, along with more Kurdish stuff calling for the release of Abdullah Ocalan.

marburg_streetart_zapatista

Also saw this on a hut just outside the Frankfurt Forest.

how dare you graffiti my graffiti