GA English on Sunday News in Brief from Bonn and the region
Bonn/Region · German Chancellor Scholz and President Steinmeier are to visit the Ahr Valley next week on the anniversary of the flood disaster, peace flag flies at Bonn town hall as part of Mayor for Peace initiative, and historical calculator belonging to Pope Pius IX is now on show at the Arithmeum - here is our news in brief on Sunday.
Chancellor Scholz to visit the Ahr valley
MAINZ/BAD NEUENAHR-AHRWEILER. Next Thursday the Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz is coming to the Ahr Valley on the first anniversary of the flood disaster. The Rhineland-Palatinate state chancellery confirmed on Friday that the Social Democratic head of government will be taking part in the remembrance ceremony in the Kurpark in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. According to the state government, remembrance of the victims is to be combined with a “visible signal for cohesion and starting out together.”
The ceremony beginning at 5pm in the Kurpark is open to the public with space for up to 2000 people to join. The programme will be televised by SWR and streamed live online. Speeches will be made by Minister President Malu Dreyer (SPD), non-party District Administrator Cornelia Weigand and the Mayor of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Guido Orthen (CDU). Local performers will provide the musical accompaniment.
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is also expected in the Ahr valley on the anniversary of the disaster, but not at the remembrance ceremony in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. The President will be in Altenahr and Dernau to report on the progress of the reconstruction work. Discussions with those affected by the flooding, volunteers and local politicians in both communities are also planned. Here he will be accompanied by Minister President Malu Dreyer. Stops are to be made at the Weineck Altenahr wine lounge and guest house, and the cellars or vinothek of the Meyer-Näkel wine estate. Steinmeier will then travel to Euskirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia to attend a memorial service for the flood victims. In Rhineland-Palatinate at least 135 people were killed in the flood disaster on 14-15 July 2021. 134 of these were in the Ahr Valley. Two people are still missing. 49 people lost their lives in North Rhine-Westphalia. (Original text: dpa)
Flying the flag against nuclear weapons at the town hall
BONN. On Friday at noon the peace flag was raised during a rally in front of the Old Town Hall. Bonn is among 500 German towns and cities joining the campaign against nuclear weapons as part of the ‘Mayor for Peace’ network. The initiative to hold a memorial and protest day came ten years ago from the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, cities that were devastated by two atom bombs in 1945. “The victims of these atomic bombings remind us to do all we can to ensure this never happens again,” said Martin Singe from the Pax Christi group in Bonn. The indirect threat of nuclear weapons from Russia in the context of the war in Ukraine shows how fragile the deterrence is, he said. “Nuclear war is possible at any time”, said Singe. “We need an immediate strong initiative from the UN and the west to bring the warring parties to a ceasefire and negotiations.” Bonn’s municipal council had called on the German government to join the UN Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. (Original text: koe)
New historical exhibit in the Arithmeum
BONN. The Arithmeum musuem in Bonn presents the history of mechanical calculating machines in an extensive collection. Anyone using a computer is profiting from the historical mechanisation of calculating which took place over many centuries. 500 years ago, the art of calculating was in the hands of a few well-trained experts. Later, numerous great thinkers and mathematicians devoted their efforts to transforming calculation into a routine action without errors.
The more smoothly the mechanism of a calculating machine worked, the greater the desire to make calculating easier, quicker and more efficient. The latest exhibit in the museum’s extensive collection, the arithmometer belonging to Pope Pius IX, was handed over to the museum on Friday in the presence of the mayor Katja Dörner. French Ambassador Anne-Marie Descôtes gave a laudatory speech in a video message, stating that “the exhibition has now been crowned”.
Professor Bernhard Korte, Director of the Research Institute for Discrete Mathematics, welcomed around 100 guests and thanked Ina Prinz, Director of the Arithmeum: “Ina Prinz has always done her utmost for the Arithmeum. Yes, she is the Arithmeum”. Professor Patrick Rocca was also introduced as the new chief curator. The new exhibition piece goes back to a pioneer: Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar (1785-1870) was the founder of the mechanical calculator industry in Europe. He patented the first mechanical calculator in 1820 at the age of 35, calling it an arithmometer.
After several of his own attempts, he asked the Parisian clockmaker Devrine to perfect his machine. Many technical innovations were made: a handle replaced the pulling ribbon to drive the machine and a ‘memento’ was introduced to keep an interim calculation ‘in mind’. And the biggest innovation according to the Arithmeum was a control lever to change between addition and subtraction. To publicise his ingenious invention, Thomas gave selected potentates of his time presentation copies in particularly impressive designs. The arithmometer for Pope Pius IX has enriched the Arithmeum’s collection with a technically ground-breaking specimen that is both culturally and historically exceptional. For more information about visiting the Arithmeum: https://www.arithmeum.uni-bonn.de/en/arithmeum.html (Original text: Stefan János Wágner) (Translations: Caroline Kusch)