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GA English on Sunday : News in Brief from Bonn and the region

GA English on Sunday : News in Brief from Bonn and the region

GOP variety theatre reopening in July, children’s clinic completes move to new premises at Venusberg, 75th anniversary of end of WW2 commemorated in Bonn, and protests held in Cologne against corona regulations - here is our news in brief on Sunday.

GOP theatre to reopen

BONN. In NRW theatres will be allowed to open again from 30 May, provided that the necessary safety and hygiene regulations are observed. The GOP variety theatre plans to reopen with a new show in July. But this will not be a return to normality: the number of seats will be reduced, and breaks will be cut out.

In an interview with GA, Kevin Grote, managing director of GOP explained: “We had hoped for such a decision, but we did not expect it. In view of the lead time of around four weeks needed for advertising, ticket sales, show planning and much more, we had always aimed for a reopening in July”. But even then, the GOP will still be far from normal operation. Safety and hygiene measures will mean reducing the number of seats down to around 190 to 200, and probably foregoing a break to keep the shows compact and the contact between the staff, artists and spectators to a minimum. One of the major challenges for GOP is how to deal with its culinary offerings, which generate around half of the income for the venue.

Grote is confident that they can manage to combine enjoyment and art with the need to protect the audience. The distancing rules make it difficult at times on the stage, however Grote explains that many of the artists live together in shared houses as a large community; “in this respect they really should also be allowed to interact with each other on stage”, he says. “Our goal is to start with our planned Beethoven show which will be showing only in Bonn,” Grote promises. “I'd say we'll be able to do about 90 percent of that.”

(Original text: Thomas Kölsch)

Bonn children’s clinic completes move to Venusberg

BONN. The final patients from the old children's clinic on Adenauerallee have arrived safely at the Venusberg. The haematology (school for blood) and oncology (school for cancer) departments of the University Hospital (UKB) in Bonn have now completed their move to a new modern clinic at the Venusberg, which was officially inaugurated in January this year. The 112 million Euro building has a sophisticated air system which, among other things, uses airlocks to keep the risk of infection for the patients as low as possible. The parent-child centre at the new clinic will accommodate 164 patients and combines all disciplines of paediatrics and obstetrics under one roof. It is connected to the adjacent gynaecological clinic by a bridge.

According to the UKB, the move will eliminate around 20,000 patient trips a year between the B9 and Venusberg. Bonn University is to take over the site of the former children's clinic on the Adenauerallee and is planning a new campus at the optimal location on the Rhine, which will act “as a hinge between the university and the UN campus”, explained university spokesman Andreas Archut. An interface for sustainability research between science, the United Nations and other international institutions is planned.

(Original text: Philipp Königs)

Bonn remembers the victims of National Socialism 75 years after the end of WWII

BONN. Friday 8 May marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the second world war and the National Socialist tyranny in Europe. In memory of the victims from Bonn and the region, employees of the Bonn NS Documentation Centre together with Bonn’s Mayor Ashok Sridharan laid flowers at the memorial on Kaiserplatz. The Mayor spoke out in favour of peace in Europe. “On this day, we would like to commemorate the victims of war, and also the victims who died or were killed here in Bonn and the region during National Socialism," said Sridharan.

Astrid Mehmel, Director of the memorial and of the NS-Documentation Centre called on the people of Bonn to join in laying down flowers at memorials and monuments. “Even though the war was ended in Bonn by the US Army on March 8, 1945, our association will also lay flowers on other memorials and the graves of forced labourers at the Nordfriedhof and the cemeteries in Beuel and Duisdorf as a sign of gratitude and remembrance,” Mehmel explained.

In the late afternoon left-wing groups also gathered at the same place on the Kaiserplatz. “We have been meeting annually at the memorial since 1995 to remember the Bonn victims of National Socialism," Jürgen Repschläger reported. “It is important that the discourse continues to be promoted and that the day of remembrance is also filled with content”, said the left-wing city councillor. “We are making our contribution in achieving this.” Repschläger also supports the initiative of making the day a public holiday in Germany. “Especially with the strengthening of the right-wing fringe and growing anti-semitism, May 8th should become a national holiday, provide information and promote discourse. Besides the liberation, it is also about “the objective reappraisal of the events.”

(Original text: Niklas Schröder)

Protests in Cologne against corona regulations

COLOGNE. On Saturday afternoon in Cologne, several hundred people according to police demonstrated against the corona protection measures. Without adhering to social distancing rules or wearing facemasks and even sometimes accompanied by their children, the protestors walked from the main shopping street Schildergasse to Neumarkt, on to Rudolfplatz and over the Ringe to end up in front of the main train station and on Roncalliplatz by the cathedral at about 5.15 pm.

“A large majority of the demonstrators repeatedly asked uninvolved people to remove their face masks and to enter the shops without protection,” said police commissioner Uwe Jacob. “Obviously these people have still not understood that this is not only about their health, but also about the lives of other people,” he said. Jacob understands that the current exceptional situation is not easy for all Cologne residents to cope with, “but deliberately endangering your own health, your children’s and that of others does not make it any better.” The police commissioner made it clear that anyone who senselessly jeopardises the latest loosening of the rules is encouraging a renewed and rapid increase in the number of infection cases.

Around 7pm the demonstration by the cathedral slowly disintegrated and the participants moved off in different directions. During the operation, police officers were able to identify the suspected leader of the unregistered event among the demonstrators and took down her personal details and those of her escorts on the podium by the cathedral. The task forces have initiated investigations into violations of the Corona Protection Ordinance, the Assembly Act and the Infection Protection Act.

Similar protests against the corona restrictions were also held in other German cities such as Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart. On Wednesday, federal and state governments had announced far-reaching relaxations of the corona regulations, which will come into force at different times and to different extents depending on the federal state. The Robert Koch Institute reported on Saturday that the reproduction rate of corona-infected persons in Germany is now back above one. Ten infected persons infect on average eleven people.

(Original text: afp)

(Translations: Caroline Kusch)