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Poisoned by East Germany

Araştırma: Oliver Fritsch
Translated from German by Charles Hawley and Daryl Lindsey
26. März 2018, 11:38 Uhr

They dreamed of triumph and medals, but thousands of East German athletes were given performance-enhancing drugs without their knowledge. Many are still suffering today.

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--Tümüyle alıntıdır--

Poisoned by East Germany

Araştırma: Oliver Fritsch
Translated from German by Charles Hawley and Daryl Lindsey
26. März 2018, 11:38 Uhr

They dreamed of triumph and medals, but thousands of East German athletes were given performance-enhancing drugs without their knowledge. Many are still suffering today.

//As a young woman, she used to throw the discus here: Katja Hofmann today at the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark stadium in Berlin. © Meiko Herrmann für ZEIT ONLINE///11

Performance-enhancing drugs are taken all the time in sports. Everywhere. But the degree to which they were used in East Germany, at the behest of the state, is unmatched. Often unbeknownst to them, East German athletes were frequently given anabolic steroids, sex and growth hormones and extreme doses of pain medication. For many of those affected, severe health consequences have been the result, some of which are only now making themselves felt. They include heart disease, kidney complications, skin troubles and problems with bones and sex organs. Some suffer from depression and eating disorders or are traumatized. But the issue is hardly ever spoken about: The victims are reticent and those responsible remain silent.

After extensive reporting and numerous efforts to contact victims, five people agreed to talk with ZEIT ONLINE about doping in East Germany. They include a female discus thrower who never found her way to the very top during her career and is seriously ill today; the daughter of an East German canoe racer who believes she too suffers from the performance-enhancing drugs taken by her mother; a handball player from the top East German league, who is one of the few men willing to talk about his health problems; a gymnast who was not only administered performance-enhancing drugs, but also experienced other forms of abuse; and finally, a coach who regrets what she did back then but who also sees herself as a victim. Together, their stories provide a comprehensive look at how the East German doping system worked. And what the consequences continue to be today.

With additional reporting by Stefanie Sippel

Katja Hofmann, 44, Discus Thrower, Dynamo Berlin

I enjoy life, but I know that I won't grow to be very old. I have an incurable illness. If I were to list all my health problems using just keywords, it would take several minutes. Multiple times each week, I go to the doctor and to physical and occupational therapy. I take around 10 pills each day. Unfortunately, my body doesn't tolerate pain medication, so I have to make due without. Pain is my constant companion during the day and wakes me up in the night. Sometimes, it becomes so intense that I have to vomit.

I am actually quite a cheerful person and I try to stay in a good mood. But every week, I suffer from at least one panic attack. It can happen anywhere: in crowds, on the commuter train. My last really bad panic attack happened a few months ago. I was at the cinema watching a movie with my foster child, and as we were leaving the theater, I suddenly couldn't breathe anymore, and my heart started racing. I thought I was going to fall over dead. My child stood completely helplessly next to me. I was lucky because a passerby took care of both of us until I recovered.

Myocarditis with enlarged left ventricle and inflamed interventricular septum
Enlarged heart
Heart arrhythmia
High blood pressure
Thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
Liver damage
Impaired coagulation
Arthritis in the spine, hips, shoulder, ankle and thumb joint
Ganglion cyst on the right ankle
Varicose veins from chronic venous insufficiency
Hypothyroidism with nodules
Several benign tumors and cysts
Anxiety and panic disorder
Burn-out, chronic fatigue and depression
Eating disorder
Virilization: facial hair growth, male-pattern pubic hair growth, elevated testosterone levels
Underdeveloped ovaries and uterus
Pain medication intolerance
Insulin resistance

As a young woman in East Germany, I participated in high-level competitive sports. I was a discus thrower for the sports club Spartakiade 1989 in East Berlin and was the fourth best in the country in my age group. Today, few recognize my name because I never took part in the Olympics and I stopped throwing a long time ago. But my sporting career has followed me, because as I know now, I was given performance-enhancing drugs. Without my knowledge. Again and again. For years.

Katja Hofmann is sitting in a café in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin with a friendly smile on her face. She is very ill. But she's not the only former East German athlete in such poor health. She was doped as a minor without her knowledge. Experts believe that between 10,000 and 15,000 athletes were likewise given performance-enhancing drugs by the regime. In comparison to the rest of the population, doping victims die on average 10 to 12 years earlier and are at a 2.7-times greater risk of falling seriously ill than the general population. Often, these people are not known to the public at large because only very few of them pursued successful sporting careers.

"We were guinea pigs."

Katja Hofmann, 44

In my sports club in Berlin, I would be given packets of powder. I was 13 or 14 years old the first time. The word Dynvital was on the label. I had no choice but to swallow it. My coach told me they were vitamins. She made sure that I always took it and acted as though she was doing me a favor. I trusted her, but she deceived me. I also know that she was only at the very end of the chain of command.

I would love to talk to her today, but I'm not ready for it yet. I also think that she wouldn't want to.

//Katja Hofmann's mother saved this old packet of Dynvital, labeled as vitamins. © privat///12

My mother saved a packet of Dynvital. She wouldn't let anyone touch it; she wanted to save it as evidence.
I loved my sport. As a child, I had an idol. Ulf Timmermann was my role model, and, of course, Katarina Witt. I still have an autograph from her. "We are better than the West," we were always told. It was also constantly said in East German sports that: "Individuals don't matter." We were guinea pigs.

Unable to Travel

I have to live with the consequences today. I would love to work. Up until three years ago, I was still able to work 10 hours a week as an assistant at a medical practice. Now, I can't even do that, and I've been a housewife since February 2015. Even then, I am quickly overcome by fatigue and can hardly concentrate. Just about any kind of housework makes my hands hurt.

I am homosexual. That's not a problem as such, nor is it an issue for my family and friends. But I still wonder if I might have loved men if I had never been given that powder back then.

//The life expectancy of East German doping victims is reduced by up to 12 years///13

The substances female athletes were forced to take made many of them more masculine. Their voices became deeper, hair began growing in unusual places, their muscles grew and their sex organs either shriveled or grew rapidly. Such changes to the body can lead to changes in identity, including one's psychosexual identity.

My illnesses place severe limits on my day-to-day life. Years ago, I flew to Madeira on vacation. That was risky. Because of my blood-clotting disorder and the risk of getting thrombosis, I'm no longer able to take long flights. So, before takeoff, I injected a medication, but the pain during the flight and afterward was still extremely bad.

Isn't it weird? The wall has been gone for more than a quarter century, but East Germany has managed to limit my ability to travel even today.

//Katja Hofmann in 1987. © privat///14

I don't get much help from politicians. But the state should take responsibility and grant us all a special pension. The state, after all, abused our bodies and our souls. We aren't to blame for our fates. It's not normal that you have to constantly go to the doctor in your early 40s like others do when they turn 70 or 80.

The East German doping system was characterized by bureaucracy. It was controlled by the East German secret police, the Stasi, and at its peak, around 3,000 spies were active in the sporting world. The athletes were seen as products "of a real socialist community project." Scientific institutions were directly involved in the system, including the secret Research Institute for Physical Education and Sports Leipzig and the pharmaceutical industry, led by the state-run company Jenapharm, which produced the so-called "blue miracle pill" (Oral Turinabol), an anabolic steroid. Sports groups such as the German Gymnastics and Sports Federation, the National Olympic Committee and the Sports Medicine Service were also involved. The central doping laboratory in Kreischa tested the athletes for one reason only: to ensure that they didn't fail drug tests during competitions abroad. The Health Ministry held political responsibility.

//The Stasi left behind plenty of written evidence. This is an excerpt from a 1985 document that makes it clear that those responsible were aware of the potential long-term consequences.///15State Commissioner for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic

"In conversation, the IMB (Eds. note: informant) made clear that for several years, he has been administering the preparation STS (steroid substance) to the athletes without it ever having been evaluated in accordance with pharmaceutical law.
The preparation in question was developed exclusively for sports and exhibits a weaker effect than the more frequently used Oral-Turinabol.

STS does not produce such manifest physical transformations, but it also doesn't achieve the same results in competition.
Its application takes place under the individual responsibility of the IMB, without knowledge regarding the possible side effects the athletes may experience in 10 or 20 years.
Meeting report IMB "Technik," Nov. 28, 1985"

When I tell my story, I am often confronted with a lack of understanding. Just a few years ago, I went to a doctor in Berlin to get a report that would help me be officially recognized as a doping victim. But he refused to examine me and sent me away. Later, I learned that he had been a sports doctor in East Germany. Sometimes, it seems like I am being victimized a second time today.

The illnesses, the constant pain and the perpetual threat of deadly complications are my steady companions. But I don't want to think about the future, I just want to live. I have known for around 20 years that I am seriously ill, but I have learned to deal with it. My 11-year-old child is my only solace but is likewise chronically ill. I welcome the responsibility of raising a child. It gives me courage and hope that my life won't get even worse.

The Daughter

Doping in East Germany - »We Were Told They Were Vitamin Supplements«

As a young woman, Petra Ostrowski belonged to the canoe division of a Berlin sports club. Unbeknownst to her, she was given performance enhancing drugs. She's a victim of systemic GDR doping and she feels abandoned. © Foto: Christiane Wittenbecher for ZEIT ONLINE

Mercedes Ostrowski, 17, Daughter of Canoe Racer Petra Ostrowski, 53

East German doping has also affected some children of former athletes; they are referred to as second-generation victims. Some researchers doubt that such a thing is possible, except in cases in which the doping occurred during pregnancy. But psychiatrist Harald Freyberger, who has conducted extensive research into the long-term effects of the East German doping system and other, similar victim groups, says that it is possible to pass down physical and psychological symptoms to children.

Mercedes Ostrowski lives with many uncertainties: Does the hair growth she gets in unusual places have to do with the fact that her mother Petra Ostrowski was given performance-enhancing drugs as a child? And if so, what might that mean for her life in the future? She is sitting on the bed in her room in the apartment she shares with her mother, located southeast of Berlin. She speaks openly and maturely about her concerns.

I have to shave in places where most women don't experience hair growth. I am ashamed to be with a boy. I am also afraid that I might be infertile or will become so. But I want to be a mother someday. I am being treated, but the doctors don't know exactly what consequences my mother's doping might have for me. We also don't know what all she was given. What I do know, however, is that my mother and I are suffering.

I didn't experience East Germany.
Mercedes Ostrowski, 17

My mother often talks about what it was like back then. She was a canoe racer in a sports club in East Berlin. She was quite good. They gave her pills to take, but she didn't know what was in them. And then one day, she collapsed. She was 13 years old at the time.

My mother blames herself and I have to comfort her. I always tell her that she's not to blame. The issue of doping dominates our lives, but it also binds us closely together. She also lost a child. Her first daughter, Melina, died at age 10, that was in 1997. She was extremely sick from birth.

//Victims of East German doping fall ill 2,7 times more often than the average population. Their risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease or cancer is up to five-times higher.///16

We love the water. There are a lot of lakes where we live, and we can see one from our balcony. We can almost jump into it. I often go canoeing with my mother and my friends. My mother likes the sound of the waves slapping against the boat.

I didn't experience East Germany. Sports were synonymous with politics, everything was politics in East Germany. The rights of individuals were unimportant. All that has since been suppressed and those responsible don't pay the consequences. We learn about East Germany in school. But we don't learn about what this dictatorship did to the people. When we talk about it in class, many of my classmates sugarcoat the East German regime, as do the teachers frequently. I always voice my opinion.

(Since our interview, Mercedes Ostrowski has turned 18.)

//As a result of the circumstances described, xxxx has decided to cease high-level competitive sports following the Summer Olympics so that, as she said, she wouldn't one day look like the Dynamo athlete xxxx. Thereupon, the TSC club leadership presented her with the choice to either continue with high-level competitive sports or face the revocation of all further support, also with respect to her high school graduation in two years.
Meeting report IMB "Technik," Aug. 4, 1976 This Stasi document proves that athletes were coerced and forced to take part.///17State Commissioner for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic

The Handball Player

//"I live in agony," former handball player Frank Hellmuth says today. © Jacobia Dahm für ZEIT ONLINE///18

Frank Hellmuth, Handball Player, 57, Dynamo Berlin

I was a handball player and I joined SC Dynamo Berlin when I was 19 after playing for Motor Köthen and Halle-Neustadt. It was the club of the East German People's Police and the Stasi. From 1984 to 1986, I played in the East German top division and also took part in the European Championships. In East Germany, we were the hated police club, and the smaller teams made sure we were aware of that. In towns like Aue or Eisenach, spectators would sometimes try to trip us with umbrellas as we ran. After one game in Eisenach, our bus was only able to leave the parking lot with a police escort. As a left-hander, I played in the back-right or on the right wing. I relied on my strong throwing arm. It was a wonderful time.

In East Germany, Olympic medals were state objectives, with the small country winning a total of 755 of them. Stasi files document the systematic administration of performance-enhancing drugs in that pursuit. State Plan 14.25 from 1974, approved by the Central Committee of the SED, the East German Communist Party, contained a secret and comprehensive doping program. Officially, they were referred to as "supportive remedies," but those responsible knew they were violating not just anti-doping rules in sports, but also East Germany's own strict laws on medications. They were also aware of the harm that they were doing. Some coaches and doctors even doped their protegés over and above the amount that had been ordered. It was a compulsory system, and those who didn’t go along with it were eliminated.

I'm 57 today, and I live in agony. I've had five knee operations, my spinal column is damaged, I've had no feeling in my left leg since surgery on a disc and my joints are worn-out. When all these health problems began quite some time ago, I thought: OK, handball is a tough sport and I was often injured. Of course, your bones were going to hurt later.

But there was, and still is, much more to it. Acute hearing loss, tinnitus and then a testicular cancer diagnosis in 2006 followed by prostate cancer in 2016. I've had to have multiple operations and undergo radiotherapy. I'm a prisoner to cancer.

Testicular cancer
Prostate cancer
Receiving psychiatric care for anxiety disorder
60 percent disabled

It's not just my body. I often can't recognize myself anymore. I can't sleep, I have frequent serious panic attacks, I have trouble driving a car and I can barely work. I'm constantly having to negotiate with my employer because I'm too weak for some of the tasks my job entails, and I can only work for two hours at a time. I'm able to manage with medication, but I get easily irritated, which didn't used to be the case. Sometimes, I'm doing well – and then suddenly I'll get sad.

Why didn't you guys ask me back then?
Frank Hellmuth, 57

I know it's all connected to handball. I can still remember it very well. Whenever I or my fellow teammates had a cold or trained more intensely, we were given injections. In addition, we were also regularly given Dynvital, a powder to supplement our diets. I also remember some blue pills. It was never clear to me that these treatments could somehow be related to doping. I wondered about it, but I always trusted the doctors, who said they were vitamins.

Then, two years ago, I was informed about East Germany's compulsory doping program at an event held by an organization that aids doping victims. Since then, I have known that I am a victim and that I need help.

The Doping Victims' Aid Association of Berlin helps connect the victims with therapists and doctors and provides them with information. The group is headed by writer and professor Ines Geipel. The former East German track-and-field athlete's world record in the 4x100 meter relay was ultimately stricken from the record books because it was achieved with the help of doping. "My record was criminal," she says looking back.

I kept going to the annual Dynamo get-togethers until a few years ago. The people who go say they knew nothing. But they must have been aware of everything that was going on. What makes me angry and what I would like to say to the doctors, the coaches and the officials is this: Why didn't you ask me at the time? Then I could have decided for myself if I wanted to go along with it or not.

Not too long ago, I spoke to a friend, a rower, about sports and doping. He said that medals are more important than the truth. There are a lot of people who try to whitewash their lives. Basically, I feel sorry for them.

Battling an Invisible Enemy

//Frank Hellmuth in autumn 2017 at the Lustgarten in Berlin © Jacobia Dahm für ZEIT ONLINE///19

I have moments when my old optimism returns. I have the support of my wife. I have two children and my daughter got married. I'm a grandpa. It's nice. I don't play handball anymore, but I do exercise to keep my illnesses from getting worse. I want to deal with them rationally, to understand them and talk about them.

Before our meeting at a restaurant at Berlin's Hackescher Markt, Frank Hellmuth said on the telephone that it would be difficult for him to discuss his illnesses and his past in sports. He said he couldn't concentrate for longer than an hour at a time. But the interview lasts three hours and he refuses all offers to bring our discussion to a close. He says the next day that even though it took a lot of his energy, it was good for him.

There is something inside of me and I need to get it out. At the beginning, that was a massive hurdle – first I had to admit it to myself and then to others. It was a long journey, telling others about my testicular cancer. It infringed on my sense of self-worth. But I'm not blaming anybody. I am the kind of man who tends to deal with things on his own. I will be fighting against an invisible enemy for the rest of my life.

The Gymnast

//Former gymnast Susann Scheller in front of a café in Hamburg's St. Pauli district. "Some of our coaches were Sadists." © Paula Markert für ZEIT ONLINE///20

Susann Scheller, 45, Rhythmic Gymnast

A short time ago, I found old letters from a friend who was in my training group. She used to be a good athlete, but then she became depressed and weak. She died on new year's eve of 1992 at the age of 19. It's not known what caused her death. The doctors said she had the heart of an 80-year-old. Her letters showed a person who was full of fear and desperation and was also suicidal. I cried a lot when I read the letters because I could recognize myself in them.

When I was in my early 20s, I was going through the same things she was. I was a gymnast in East Germany. You got started very early; I moved away from home when I was nine – from Potsdam to a base in Halle before moving to the national team in Leipzig. I was good and landed a spot on the national team at 15. When I look at the old photos, they sometimes make me cry. We were children, but the looks in our eyes weren't those of children.

Susann Scheller was wounded as a child and, like many other in her earlier training group, she still feels those wounds as a woman. She has reconstructed the details of her past when she was active in the sport and it's something she could spend days talking about. This has made her a kind of spokesperson for the former gymnasts. She has looked into the documents and the archives and has confronted the men and women who knew about it at the time – the perpetrators and those responsible at sports federations – with the information she has compiled. She shows pictures on her mobile phone, showing her doing her freestyle program on the mat or standing on the podium. The photos make it clear that the girls were emaciated, their faces were mostly sad and pale, their gazes cast downward.

Sports are supposed to be fun, but it was torture. We had to practice until we dropped, up to four times a day. We sometimes intentionally injured ourselves so that we could get a day off. I remember hitting the fingers of one fellow athlete repeatedly with a bottle. In the winter, we often stood naked in front of an open window with wet hair so that we would catch a cold.

"We were completely controlled."
Susann Scheller, 45

Some of our coaches were Sadists. One always had us draw a number to determine which exercise we had to do. A girlfriend of mine always, and I mean always, drew the same number – the one corresponding to the most strenuous exercise. The truth is that there was probably only one number. It was fixed.

When we were allowed to go home once every two or three weeks, practice would often go long and we would have to run to catch the train. Sometimes, we would miss it and we would have to wait for four hours at an unfamiliar train station. Eleven-year-olds, freezing and hungry. At times, I didn't have any money to call home or the phone wasn't working. My parents would wait at the train station in vain, worrying. I still don't like traveling by train today.

Susann Scheller, like Katja Hofmann, Petra Ostrowski and Frank Hellmuth, has been officially recognized as a victim of doping. To obtain this status, the athletes had to prove that there was a probable causal link between their illnesses and doping. A law passed in June 2016, which established a fund for doping victims, provided a one-time payment to doping victims of 10,500 euros. But experts consider that amount to be too low and are calling for victims to be provided with a permanent pension. In a first law to help doping victims, passed in June 2002, the German government set up a 2 million-euro fund that was used to make payments to 194 victims. Last year, the federal government rejected calls to provide assistence to the offspring of the athletes who have also been affected by the doping.

And then there was the eating issue. Weight is key in our sport. Anyone who weighed just 200 grams too much would get yelled at. At times, we were forbidden from eating anything, at others, we were forced to. I still remember a girl from my group having her mouth forced open and stuffed with food. We were driven into anorexia.

We were under their complete control. We were given injections and medications whether we were ill or not. Vitamins, we were told. But, of course, it was something else. They also must have included painkillers, because on the free weekends when I didn't take any pills, I experienced a lot of pain.

Painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen were frequently administered in excessive dosages to athletes in East Germany, often prophylactically. The practice improved performance, but it impaired the young athletes' ability to discern physical problems. And the list of possible side effects and long-term consequences is long: liver damage, kidney damage, headaches, fatigue, exhaustion, heart attacks and strokes.

Trauma in the Training Camp
I quit the sport at 16 after suffering from an enlarged heart and cardiac arrhythmia. I just couldn't do it anymore.

Three serious slipped discs with loss of function in arms and legs
Damage to the musculoskeletal system, including arthrosis in both shoulders
Eating disorder

My place of trauma is Zinnowitz. For tourists, it’s a resort on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom. For me it was hell, a six-week training camp. We had even less protection against the harassment there. The pills were set out each morning next to our breakfast plates. Sometimes we were able to throw them away, but most of the times we had to swallow them.

If we went for a morning walk along the beach, the coach would order us to go for a swim in the sea. We stripped naked. Others would tell me later that a man from medical support would sometimes stand and secretly watch from behind the dunes. In the evenings, he would order us to come to him, one at a time. I didn't know why at the time; after all, I didn't have any medical complaints. I can still remember the exact path through the dark gymnasium to get to his room. Then I was alone with him. I had to take everything off, except my underwear.

I don't remember what happened after that – it's covered by a veil. I don't know whether you would call it sexual abuse, but I don't really care. All I know is that it still troubles me very much to this day.

Performance-enhancing drugs can impair brain and memory function, especially when they are administered to young people. Shame and feelings of guilt also impede memory. Some doping victims have difficulty reconstructing their life history. The account given by Susann Schell at a café in St. Pauli shows that she has a sense for the finer nuances in the quest for truth: What is certainty and what is assumption? What is proof and what is just an indication? How reliable is memory? In a television documentary, a gymnast who used to train with Susann Scheller in Zinnowitz also spoke about doping, psychological pressure and sexual abuse. The doctor who was in charge at the time denied the allegations made in the documentary.

"You have post-traumatic stress disorder." That's what someone who is familiar with the disorder told me two years ago. He could see it in me. He opened my eyes and triggered something inside of me. Since then, I've been uncovering my past, one layer at a time.

Without that trigger from the outside, I wouldn't have remembered anything. My memories have been overlaid by the exhaustion I experienced back then. In conversations with athletes I used to train with, we are now reconstructing what was done to us. I can see the pills in my hands. I can also see the tree where we sometimes threw them away. I can't remember where the pills came from, but perhaps I will be able to one day.

Remembering and Speaking

//Susann Scheller, who lives in Hamburg, says: "The worst thing remains the feeling of having been abandoned as a child." © Paula Markert für ZEIT ONLINE///21

When I learned two years ago that I'm a victim of doping, I became obsessed with researching it. I slept very little for four weeks and sat in front of my computer screen reading everything I could find on the topic. I created WhatsApp groups with my friends from gymnastics and spoke on the phone to journalists and researchers – and with the people at the Doping Victims' Aid Association. They helped me a lot. The sporting federations, on the other hand, weren't interested in my story at all, although I asked them for help for quite some time.

Gymnasts can be divas – they need attention from others. Now we're joining forces. Even though we haven't seen each other in decades in some cases, we are now finding out together that we lead similar lives and that we almost all share the same problems. It makes a lot of things easier when you know that you're not alone. When the whole group met up last summer, we sent a picture to our coach where we were all flipping her off. Now, we want to find out who did this to us and who gave us what drugs.

At the Public Health Office in Leipzig, Susann Scheller's group found a document that proves that she was given injections of Actovegin, an extraction obtained from calf blood, when she was 16. It's the same agent once used by cycling professional Lance Armstrong and it's also something that FC Bayern's controversial team doctor Heinz-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt has worked with in the past. Actovegin is not authorized for use as a medication in Germany. Also included in the document was a reference to "oxygen multistep therapy," a treatment from alternative medicine that involves exposing the blood to ultraviolet irradiation, which can damage the immune system.

"I have the right to be very sad."
Susann Scheller, 45

I have since told many other people about my career in sports and about my illnesses – on radio and television. Newspapers have also written about me. It was difficult, but also liberating. It was important to break the silence. I'm not just doing this for myself, but also for those who are unable to.

I used to tell myself it was my fault and I was ashamed for a long time. Now I know I don't need to feel ashamed. I was exploited. And abused by our coaches and doctors on behalf of the state, East Germany. They also did it for themselves. They used us as proxies for dealing with their own issues. But we're not to blame for what happened to us and we expect an apology.

I sometimes get extremely angry about the fact that I was doped and am sick now. But I deal with it. The worst thing remains the feeling of having been abandoned as a child. I have the right to be very sad.

The Coach

//Former East German national team coach for rhythmic gymnastics Elke Stange-Schrempf in a park in the Bad Cannstatt district of Stuttgart © Sebastian Berger für ZEIT ONLINE///22

Elke Stange-Schrempf, 62, Coach

I have a recurring nightmare, it is set in the past: I'm still a coach and I approach my girls who are standing in a row on the mat. I want to greet them, but they refuse to shake my hand. All of them, one after the other.

I suffer from depression; I am psychologically broken. I have been in therapy for years and suffer from back pain and stomach problems. But the greatest suffering I experience is the pain of my girls. I'm not worried about myself, I'm worried about them.

When I say, "my girls," I'm referring to my gymnasts. In East Germany, I was a national team coach in Leipzig. I enjoyed it, and, from a purely sporting perspective, I was surely a good coach.

"I bear a huge amount of guilt."
Elke Stange-Schrempf, 62

Former gymnast Susann Scheller has arranged the meeting with Elke Stange-Schrempf in Stuttgart and is also present. Stange-Schrempf is one of her former coaches, one of the more understanding ones she had, Scheller says, not one of those to whom she would like to send a picture of an extended middle finger. Scheller says it was like a liberation when she transferred from Halle to Stange-Schrempf in Leipzig. Still, she says, the coach is a representative of the former system.

Yes, I bear a huge amount of guilt because I was part of a system that brought significant suffering to many. I never took a close look, I never questioned. I should have seen what was happening, what the doctors or other coaches were doing with my girls. I should have protected them from so much. They were so young.

But my job as coach was more important to me. I was more important to me. I didn't care about anything else. I can't forgive myself for that. I am partly responsible, even if I myself never hurt or wanted to hurt anybody. I never gave my girls anything, no pills, tablets or injections.

Stange-Schrempf says she never gave her athletes performance-enhancing drugs and knew nothing about the doping. Some sports historians think it is hardly possible that a coach at her level wasn't involved in the system, in which at least 400 doctors, coaches and functionaries participated. The vast majority of East German coaches, however, are unwilling to respond to accusations of doping or they deny the problem.

Perpetrator and Victim

I was a victim myself. As a small child, I was a gymnast and as a teenager, my coach sent me to a weight-loss camp. I wasn't sick, but I was supposed to lose weight. I received infusions and at mealtimes there was only soup. After six weeks, my weight had dropped from 50 kilograms to 42. And I had three stomach ulcers. My mother was furious, and she forbade my brother from participating in sports. "I don't want to lose another child," she said.

It may sound strange, but I actually enjoyed life in East Germany, even if our apartment was bugged and my love letters were opened. And despite everything, sports were always important to me. But when I look back on everything, it had nothing to do with humanity or with the reasons why you value sports and participate in them.

//As this document shows, the Stasi knew back in 1977 that anabolic steroids had side effects.///23State Commissioner for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic

"Last week, the track-and-field athlete xxxx from SC xxx Leipzig, was checked into the Erlabrunn Hospital on suspicions of hepatitis.
The examining doctor determined that the liver failure observed was the result of the ingestion of anabolic steroids. According to G.'s statement, she has been taking anabolic steroids since January and also specified the precise dose.Meeting report IMB "Technik," April 25, 1977"

Ultimately, East German sports were a vast lie. I remember with disgust an incident in Kienbaum. We were 15 at the time. There was a directive for our group: We were to go into the sauna with a high-ranking sports functionary. Another example: It was just a couple of days before the 1987 world championships in Bulgaria, and after six weeks of training -- I was a coach at the time -- we were suddenly told we wouldn't be attending, allegedly because of a tiny error in our routine. Presumably, though, there had been a positive doping test during an internal check and they didn't want to risk being discovered in Bulgaria.

Primary responsibility for the doping system is born by Manfred Ewald, who was president of the German Gymnastics and Sports Federation and the most powerful sports functionary in East Germany. In the trials that took place in Berlin in 2000, Ewald was found guilty on 20 counts of aiding and abetting bodily injury and issued a suspended sentence. A doctor formerly with Dynamo Berlin was also found guilty in the court proceedings. Today, he works for a Red Bull training center in Austria.

"I would like to ask everyone for forgiveness."
Elke Stange-Schrempf, 62

The memories weigh on me even today. I haven't been happy for a long time, even though I have a loving husband. I live a life of uncertainty. A few months ago, we drove to the gym. When I saw it from afar, I had trouble breathing and was gripped by anxiety. I thought my heart would stop. I had to stop the car and get out. A typical occurrence.

//Elke Stange-Schrempf with her former gymnast Susann Scheller: "I am extremely thankful to Susann that she still speaks to me." © Sebastian Berger für ZEIT ONLINE///24

The meeting between the former coach and the former gymnast lasted for several hours, though it wasn't the first such encounter. Sometimes, the two would start chatting about old times. Then it suddenly become clear that Stange-Schrempf wanted to unburden herself; that she wanted to talk about her guilt. She began speaking hesitantly and pressed her thumb and forefinger so tightly together that her nails turned white. She swallowed hard and tears flowed several times.

I am extremely grateful to Susann that she still speaks to me. I would understand if she decided not to. I asked her to forgive me. She accepted my apology. It was good for me to see her and talk to her and with the others. I want to ask all of them for forgiveness and tell them that one question will plague me until the end of my life: How could I have failed to notice something back then?

Kaynak: https://www.zeit.de/sport/2018-03/doping-ddr-sport-dopingopfer-kinder-folgen-hilfe-english/komplettansicht

[Edited at 2019-02-07 00:01 GMT]


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Vergiftet von der DDR

Von Oliver Fritsch
Recherche und Mitarbeit: Stefanie Sippel
26. März 2018, 11:57 Uhr 264 Kommentare

Sie träumten von Glück und Medaillen, aber in der DDR wurden Tausende Sportler unwissentlich gedopt. Sie leiden bis heute an den Folgen. Nun brechen sie ihr Schweigen.

//Als Jug
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--Tümüyle alıntıdır--

Vergiftet von der DDR

Von Oliver Fritsch
Recherche und Mitarbeit: Stefanie Sippel
26. März 2018, 11:57 Uhr 264 Kommentare

Sie träumten von Glück und Medaillen, aber in der DDR wurden Tausende Sportler unwissentlich gedopt. Sie leiden bis heute an den Folgen. Nun brechen sie ihr Schweigen.

//Als Jugendliche warf sie hier den Diskus: Katja Hofmann im Berliner Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark © Meiko Herrmann für ZEIT ONLINE///11

Gedopt wird im Sport immer und überall. Das Ausmaß, in dem das in der DDR geschah, zumal auf staatliche Anordnung, ist allerdings einmalig. Sportlerinnen und Sportler bekamen damals anabole Steroide, Geschlechts- und Wachstumshormone sowie Schmerzmittel in extremen Dosierungen, oft unwissentlich. Für viele Betroffene hat das schwere Gesundheitsschäden zur Folge, die sich oft jetzt erst zeigen: an Herz, Nieren, Haut, Skelett oder an den Geschlechtsorganen. Manche haben Depressionen, Essstörungen oder sind traumatisiert. Gesprochen wird darüber wenig: Die Betroffenen trauen sich nicht, und die Täter und Täterinnen schweigen.

Fünf Menschen haben sich bereit erklärt, über das Doping in der DDR mit ZEIT ONLINE zu sprechen. Eine Diskuswerferin, die keine Siege errang und heute schwer krank ist. Die Tochter einer DDR-Kanutin, die die Folgen des Dopings ihrer Mutter an sich zu spüren glaubt. Ein Handballer aus der DDR-Oberliga, einer der wenigen Männer, der über seine Krankheiten redet. Eine Gymnastin, die nicht nur gedopt wurde, sondern auch Missbrauch anderer Art erlebte. Und schließlich eine Trainerin, die ihr damaliges Handeln bereut, sich aber auch selbst als Opfer sieht. Ihre Berichte ergeben ein Bild davon, wie das Dopingsystem der DDR funktionierte – und welche Folgen es bis heute hat.

Katja Hofmann, 44, Diskuswerferin, TSC Berlin

Ich lebe gerne, doch ich weiß, dass ich nicht sehr alt werde. Ich bin unheilbar krank. Zähle ich all meine Krankheiten auch nur in Stichworten auf, brauche ich Minuten. Ich gehe jede Woche mehrmals zum Arzt und zur Physio- oder Ergotherapie. Ich nehme jeden Tag etwa zehn Tabletten. Leider vertrage ich keine Schmerzmittel, die muss ich weglassen. Schmerzen plagen mich am Tag und wecken mich in der Nacht. Manchmal sind sie so stark, dass ich mich erbreche.

Ich bin eigentlich ein fröhlicher Mensch, und ich versuche, meine gute Laune zu bewahren. Doch jede Woche erleide ich mindestens eine Panikattacke. Es kann überall passieren, im Gedränge, in der S-Bahn. Meine letzte, sehr starke Panikattacke liegt ein paar Monate zurück. Es war im Kino, ich sah mit meinem Pflegekind einen Film. Als wir aus dem Saal gingen, bekam ich keine Luft mehr, mein Herz raste. Ich dachte, ich falle tot um. Mein Kind stand hilflos daneben. Ich hatte Glück, eine Passantin kümmerte sich um uns, bis es mir besser ging.

Herzmuskelentzündung mit erweiterter linker Herzkammer und Verdickung der Kammerscheidewand
Erweiterung des Herzmuskels
Thrombose und Lungenembolie
Arthrose der Wirbelsäulengelenke, des Hüftgelenks, der Schulter, der Sprunggelenke und des Daumensattelgelenks
Überbein am rechten Sprunggelenk
Krampfadern bei chronisch venösem Stauungssyndrom
Schilddrüsenunterfunktion mit Knoten
diverse gutartige Geschwülste und Zysten
Angst- und Panikstörung
Burn-out, chronische Erschöpfung, Depression
Virilisierung: Bartwuchs, männlicher Schambehaarungstyp, erhöhter Testosteronspiegel
unterentwickelte Eierstöcke und Gebärmutter

Als Jugendliche habe ich in der DDR Leistungssport gemacht. Ich war Diskuswerferin und bei der Spartakiade 1989 in Ost-Berlin die Viertbeste der DDR in meiner Altersklasse. Heute kennt mich so gut wie niemand, denn ich war nie bei Olympia und werfe schon lange nicht mehr. Doch mein Sport verfolgt mich. Denn wie ich heute weiß, wurde ich gedopt. Ungefragt. Immer wieder. Jahrelang.

Katja Hofmann sitzt in einem Café in Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin und lächelt freundlich. Sie ist sehr krank. Wie ihr geht es vielen ehemaligen Sportlerinnen und Sportlern der DDR. Sie wurden als Minderjährige unwissentlich gedopt. Experten gehen von 10.000 bis 15.000 Betroffenen aus. Im Vergleich mit der Normalbevölkerung sterben Dopingopfer im Schnitt zehn bis zwölf Jahre früher und haben ein etwa 2,7-mal so großes Risiko, körperlich schwerwiegend zu erkranken. Oft sind diese Menschen der Öffentlichkeit nicht bekannt, die allerwenigsten haben Karriere gemacht.

"Wir waren Versuchskaninchen."
Katja Hofmann, 44

In meinem Sportclub in Berlin bekam ich damals Tütchen mit Pulver, das erste Mal mit 13 oder 14 Jahren. Dynvital* stand drauf, damit fing alles an. Ich musste es schlucken. Vitamine, sagte meine Trainerin. Sie achtete darauf, dass ich es immer nahm. Sie tat so, als würde sie mir etwas Gutes tun. Ich habe ihr vertraut, aber sie hat mich betrogen. Ich weiß auch, dass sie nur am Ende einer Befehlskette stand.

Heute würde ich gerne mit ihr reden, traue mich aber noch nicht. Ich denke auch, sie würde nicht wollen. Meine Mutter bewahrt ein letztes Tütchen Dynvital auf. Sie lässt niemanden dran, sie will einen Beweis sichern.

//Dieses alte Päckchen Dynvital, deklariert als Vitamine, bewahrt Katja Hofmanns Mutter auf. © privat///12

Ich habe meinen Sport geliebt. Als Kind hatte ich Idole. Ulf Timmermann war mein Vorbild und natürlich Katarina Witt. Ihre Autogrammkarte habe ich noch. "Wir sind besser als die aus dem Westen", erzählte man uns immer. In der DDR hieß Sport auch: "Der Einzelne zählt nichts." Wir waren Versuchskaninchen.

Nicht reisen können

Die Folgen merke ich heute. Ich würde gerne arbeiten. Bis vor drei Jahren war ich noch zehn Stunden pro Woche als Helferin in einer Arztpraxis. Heute geht selbst das nicht mehr, seit Februar 2015 bin ich Hausfrau. Auch da fühle ich mich schnell erschöpft, kann mich kaum konzentrieren, mir schmerzen bei sämtlichen Hausarbeiten die Hände.

Ich bin homosexuell. Das ist an und für sich kein Problem, auch nicht für meine Familie und Freunde. Dennoch frage ich mich, ob ich heute womöglich Männer lieben würde, wenn ich damals kein Pulver bekommen hätte.

//Um bis zu 12 Jahre ist die Lebenserwartung von DDR-Dopingopfern reduziert.///13

Die Dopingsubstanzen haben viele Frauen vermännlicht. Ihre Stimmen wurden tiefer, ihnen wuchsen Haare an unüblichen Stellen, sie bekamen dicke Muskeln, ihre Geschlechtsorgane verkümmerten oder wucherten. Solche Veränderungen des Körpers führen manchmal zu Veränderungen der Identität, womöglich auch der psychosexuellen.

Meine Krankheit schränkt mich im Alltag stark ein. Vor Jahren bin ich im Urlaub nach Madeira geflogen. Das war riskant. Aufgrund meiner Gerinnungsstörung und der Thrombosegefahr darf ich keine langen Flugreisen mehr antreten. Vor dem Start spritzte ich mir also ein Mittel. Die Schmerzen in der Luft und danach waren dennoch sehr schlimm.

Ist das nicht komisch? Die Mauer steht schon länger als ein Vierteljahrhundert nicht mehr, aber die DDR hat es geschafft, meine Reisefreiheit bis heute einzuschränken.

//Katja Hofmann im Jahr 1987 © privat///14

Von der Politik kommt keine große Hilfe. Dabei müsste der Staat Verantwortung übernehmen, uns allen mit einer Rente helfen. Der Staat beging schließlich Missbrauch an unseren Körpern und Seelen. Wir sind ja nicht selbst schuld an unserem Schicksal. Es ist doch nicht normal, dass man mit Anfang 40 dauernd zum Arzt gehen muss wie andere mit 70 oder 80.

Das Dopingsystem der DDR war von Bürokratie gekennzeichnet. Überwacht wurde es von der Staatssicherheit, der Stasi. In Hochphasen waren im Sport rund 3.000 Spitzel aktiv. Die Athleten galten als Produkte "einer echten sozialistischen Gemeinschaftsarbeit". Eingebunden in das System waren die Wissenschaft, etwa das geheime Forschungsinstitut für Körperkultur und Sport Leipzig, die pharmazeutische Industrie, vor allem der Volkseigene Betrieb Jenapharm, der die "blaue Wunderpille" (Oral-Turinabol) herstellte, ein anaboles Steroid, und die Sportverbände Deutscher Turn- und Sport-Bund, das Nationale Olympische Komitee sowie der Sportmedizinische Dienst. Das zentrale Dopinglabor in Kreischa kontrollierte ostdeutsche Athletinnen und Athleten nur aus einem Grund: damit sie im Ausland bei Wettkämpfen nicht aufflogen. Politisch verantwortlich war das Ministerium für Gesundheit.

//Die Stasi hinterließ viele schriftliche Spuren. Hier ein Auszug aus einem Protokoll aus dem Jahr 1985, aus dem hervorgeht, dass die Verantwortlichen über mögliche Spätfolgen Bescheid wussten.///15Landesbeauftragte für Mecklenburg-Vorpommern für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR

Wenn ich meine Geschichte erzähle, schlägt mir oft Unverständnis entgegen. Es ist erst ein paar Jahre her, als ich zu einem Arzt in Berlin ging. Er sollte ein Gutachten erstellen, das mir bei der Anerkennung als Dopingopfer helfen sollte. Doch er weigerte sich, mich zu behandeln, und schickte mich weg. Später erfuhr ich, dass er in der DDR Sportarzt gewesen war. Manchmal denke ich, ich werde heute zum zweiten Mal Opfer.

Die Krankheiten, die ständigen Schmerzen und drohende tödliche Komplikationen sind meine ständigen Begleiter. Doch ich will nicht an die Zukunft denken, sondern einfach leben. Dass ich schwer krank bin, weiß ich seit etwa 20 Jahren. Ich habe gelernt, damit umzugehen. Trost bietet mir mein Kind. Es ist elf und auch chronisch krank. Ich will Verantwortung für es übernehmen. Das gibt mir Mut und Hoffnung, dass mein Leben nicht noch schlimmer wird.

Die Tochter

DDR-Doping - "Man sagte uns, es seien Vitaminpräparate"

Petra Ostrowski trainierte als Jugendliche in der Kanuabteilung eines Berliner Sportvereins. Ohne ihr Wissen erhielt sie Dopingmittel. Sie ist Opfer des DDR-Dopings und fühlt sich alleingelassen. © Foto: Christiane Wittenbecher für ZEIT ONLINE

Mercedes Ostrowski, 17, Tochter der Kanutin Petra Ostrowski, 53

Das DDR-Doping hat auch manche Kinder damaliger Sportlerinnen zu Betroffenen gemacht, man spricht von Opfern der zweiten Generation. Einige Forscher bezweifeln, dass das möglich ist – mit Ausnahme von den Fällen, bei denen während der Schwangerschaft gedopt wurde. Der Psychiater Harald Freyberger hingegen, der über die Langzeitfolgen des DDR-Dopings forscht und ähnliche Opfergruppen untersucht hat, sagt, dass die Weitergabe körperlicher und psychischer Symptome an Kinder durchaus möglich ist.

Mercedes Ostrowski lebt mit vielen Ungewissheiten: Hat die Tatsache, dass ihr an ungewöhnlichen Stellen Haare wachsen, damit zu tun, dass ihre Mutter Petra Ostrowski als Kind gedopt wurde? Und falls ja, was könnte das noch für ihr Leben bedeuten? Sie sitzt auf dem Bett ihres Jugendzimmers in der Wohnungim Landkreis Dahme-Spreewald, in der sie mit ihrer Mutter lebt, und spricht offen und erwachsen über ihre Sorgen.

Ich muss mich an Stellen rasieren, an denen Frauen normalerweise keine Haare wachsen. Ich habe Scham, mich mit einem Jungen einzulassen. Ich habe auch Angst, dass ich unfruchtbar bin oder werde. Dabei will ich doch später Mutter werden. Ich werde behandelt, doch die Ärzte wissen nicht genau, welche Folgen das Doping meiner Mutter für mich hat. Wir wissen auch gar nicht, was man ihr alles gegeben hat. Was ich aber weiß: Meine Mutter und ich leiden.

"Die DDR habe ich nicht erlebt."
Mercedes Ostrowski, 17

Meine Mutter erzählt oft, wie es damals war. Sie fuhr Kanu in einem Verein, der dem Betriebssportverein EAW Treptow angegliedert war. Sie hatte Talent. Sie gaben ihr Tabletten. Sie wusste nicht, was drin war. Bis sie eines Tages zusammenbrach. Da war sie 13.

Meine Mutter macht sich Vorwürfe. Ich muss sie trösten. Ich sage ihr immer, dass sie nichts dafür kann. Das Thema Doping bestimmt unser Leben, es bindet uns aber auch eng aneinander. Sie hat schon ein Kind verloren. Ihre erste Tochter, Melina, starb im Alter von zehn, das war 1997. Sie war von der Geburt an sehr krank gewesen.

//DDR-Dopingopfer sind 2,7 Mal häufiger krank als Durchschnittsbürger. Ihr Risiko, an Herz-Kreislauf-Problemen oder Krebs zu erkranken, ist deutlich höher, teilweise um das Fünffache.///16

Wir lieben das Wasser. Wo wir leben, gibt es viele Seen, von unserem Balkon blicken wir auf einen. Wir können fast reinspringen. Mit meiner Mutter und meinen Freunden fahre ich oft Kanu. Meine Mutter mag das Geräusch der Wellen, wenn sie ans Boot schlagen.

Die DDR habe ich nicht erlebt. Sport war Politik, alles war Politik in der DDR. Das Recht des Einzelnen zählte nichts. Das wird alles verdrängt, die Schuldigen kommen davon. Wir behandeln die DDR in der Schule. Was wirklich passierte, was diese Diktatur mit den Menschen machte, jedoch nicht. Reden wir im Unterricht darüber, beschönigen viele meiner Mitschüler die DDR, oft auch die Lehrer. Ich sage dann immer meine Meinung.

(Mercedes Ostrowski ist seit dem Zeitpunkt des Gesprächs 18 Jahre alt geworden.)

//Diese Notiz der Stasi belegt, dass Sportlerinnen und Sportler zum Mitmachen genötigt und gezwungen wurden.///17Landesbeauftragte für Mecklenburg-Vorpommern für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR

Der Handballer

//Der ehemalige Handballer Frank Hellmuth sagt heute: "Mein Leben ist eine Qual." © Jacobia Dahm für ZEIT ONLINE///18

Frank Hellmuth, Handballer, 57, Dynamo Berlin

Ich war Handballer und bin 1979 mit 19 Jahren über Motor Köthen und Halle-Neustadt als Leistungssportler zum SC Dynamo Berlin gekommen, dem Verein der Volkspolizei und der Stasi. Von 1984 bis 1986 spielte ich in der DDR-Oberliga, auch im Europapokal. In der DDR waren wir der verhasste Polizeiclub, die kleineren Vereine haben uns das spüren lassen. In Aue oder Eisenach bekam man schon mal beim Laufen von den Zuschauern einen Regenschirm in die Beine gehalten. Nach einem Spiel in Eisenach konnte unser Bus den Parkplatz nur unter Polizeischutz verlassen. Als Linkshänder spielte ich im rechten Rückraum oder als Rechtsaußen. Ich habe immer von meinem festen Wurf gelebt. Es war eine wunderbare Zeit.

In der DDR waren olympische Medaillen Staatsziel, das kleine Land gewann insgesamt 755. Stasiakten belegen, wie systematisch dafür Dopingmittel zum Einsatz kamen. Der Staatsplan 14.25 aus dem Jahr 1974, beschlossen vom Zentralkomitee der SED, enthielt ein geheimes und umfassendes Dopingprogramm. Offiziell sprach man von "unterstützenden Mitteln", aber die Verantwortlichen wussten: Sie handelten gegen die Antidopingregeln des Sports, auch gegen das strenge Arzneimittelgesetz der DDR. Sie wussten auch, welche Schäden sie anrichten. Manche Trainerinnen und Ärzte dopten ihre Schützlinge sogar über die angeordnete Dosis hinaus. Es wurden sicher auch viele gedopt, von denen man eigentlich wusste, dass sie keine Medaillen gewinnen werden. An ihnen konnte man aber die Wirkung der Substanzen testen. Es war ein Zwangssystem. Wer nicht mitmachte, wurde aussortiert.

Heute bin ich 57, und mein Leben ist eine Qual. Fünf Knieoperationen, Schäden an der Wirbelsäule, mein linkes Bein ist nach einer Bandscheibenoperation taub, meine Gelenke sind abgenutzt. Als das vor langer Zeit anfing, dachte ich: Na gut, Handball ist ein harter Sport, ich war oft verletzt. Da tun die Knochen später halt weh.

Aber da war und ist noch viel mehr. Hörstürze, Tinnitus, dann 2006 die Diagnose Hodenkrebs, 2016 Prostatakrebs. Ich musste mich mehrfach operieren lassen und einer Strahlentherapie unterziehen. Der Krebs hält mich gefangen.

Angststörungen in psychiatrischer Behandlung
60 Prozent schwerbehindert

Es ist aber nicht nur der Körper. Vielmehr erkenne ich mich oft selbst nicht wieder. Ich finde keinen Schlaf, mich überfällt große Angst, immer wieder. Das Autofahren fällt mir schwer. Ich kann kaum noch arbeiten. Ich muss mit meinem Arbeitgeber ständig verhandeln, weil ich für manche Tätigkeiten zu schwach bin und nur zwei Stunden arbeiten kann. Mit Medikamenten komme ich zwar über die Runden. Doch ich bin schnell reizbar, das war ich früher nicht. Manchmal geht es mir gut – und ganz plötzlich werde ich traurig.

"Warum habt ihr mich damals nicht gefragt?"
Frank Hellmuth, 57

Ich weiß, das alles hat mit Handball zu tun. Ich erinnere mich gut. Wenn meine Mitspieler und ich erkältet waren oder mehr trainierten, erhielten wir Spritzen. Außerdem bekamen wir regelmäßig Dynvital, ein Pulver zur Nahrungsergänzung. Ich erinnere mich auch an blaue Pillen. Mir war nie bewusst, dass es sich um Doping gehandelt haben könnte. Ich wunderte mich, vertraute den Ärzten aber, die sagten, dass das Vitamine waren.

Dann, vor zwei Jahren, wurde ich auf einer Veranstaltung des Doping-Opfer-Hilfevereins auf das Zwangsdoping der DDR aufmerksam. Seitdem weiß ich, dass ich ein Opfer bin und Hilfe brauche.

Der Doping-Opfer-Hilfeverein Berlin berät und informiert Dopingopfer seit rund zwei Jahrzehnten, vermittelt sie an Therapeutinnen und Ärzte. Vorsitzende ist die Schriftstellerin und Professorin Ines Geipel. Die ehemalige DDR-Leichtathletin ließ ihren Staffelweltrekord über 4 x 100 Meter aus den Annalen streichen, weil er durch Zwangsdoping zustande gekommen war. Sie sagt: "Mein Rekord war kriminell."

Vor ein paar Jahren ging ich noch zu den Traditionstreffen von Dynamo. Die, die dorthin gehen, sagen, dass sie von nichts gewusst haben. Aber man muss das alles mitbekommen haben. Was mich wütend macht und was ich den Ärzten, Trainern und Funktionären sagen möchte: Warum habt ihr mich damals nicht gefragt? Dann hätte ich entscheiden können, ob ich mitmache.
Es ist noch nicht lange her, da habe ich mit einem befreundeten Ruderer über Sport und Doping gesprochen. Der sagte, Medaillen zählen mehr als Wahrheit. Es gibt viele, die ihr Leben schönreden. Im Prinzip tun sie mir leid.

Kampf gegen einen unsichtbaren Feind

//Frank Hellmuth im Herbst 2017 im Berliner Lustgarten © Jacobia Dahm für ZEIT ONLINE///19

Manchmal kommt mein Optimismus von früher heute durch. Meine Frau gibt mir Halt, ich habe zwei Kinder, meine Tochter hat geheiratet, ich bin Opa – wie schön! Handball spiele ich nicht mehr, dafür mache ich viel Fitness, damit meine Krankheit nicht noch schlimmer wird. Ich will rational mit ihr umgehen, will sie verstehen und über sie reden.

Vor dem Treffen in einem Restaurant am Hackeschen Markt in Berlin hatte Frank Hellmuth am Telefon gesagt, es werde anstrengend sein, von seinen Krankheiten und seiner Vergangenheit im Sport zu erzählen. Er könne sich nicht länger als eine Stunde konzentrieren. Dann wird es doch ein dreistündiges Gespräch. Angebote, es abzubrechen, nimmt er nicht an. Es habe ihn sehr viel Kraft gekostet, wird er am nächsten Tag sagen, ihm aber auch gutgetan.

Da ist etwas drin in mir, das rausmuss. Am Anfang war das eine riesige Hürde – erst mal sich das selbst einzugestehen und dann anderen. Es war ein langer Weg, Fremden von meinem Hodenkrebs zu berichten. Das greift mein Selbstwertgefühl an. Aber ich erhebe keine Anklage. Ich bin ein Mann, ich mache vieles mit mir selbst aus. Den Rest meines Lebens werde ich gegen einen unsichtbaren Feind kämpfen.

Die Gymnastin

//Die frühere Sportgymnastin Susann Scheller vor einem Café im Hamburger Viertel St. Pauli: "Manche unserer Trainerinnen waren Sadistinnen." © Paula Markert für ZEIT ONLINE///20

Susann Scheller, 45, Rhythmische Sportgymnastin

Ich habe vor Kurzem alte Briefe einer Freundin aus meiner Trainingsgruppe entdeckt. Sie war mal eine gute Sportlerin, dann wurde sie depressiv und kraftlos. Silvester 1992, im Alter von 19 Jahren, starb sie. Woran genau, weiß man nicht. Die Ärzte attestierten ihr das Herz einer 80-Jährigen. Aus ihren Briefen sprechen Angst, Verzweiflung, Lebensmüdigkeit. Als ich die Briefe las, habe ich viel geweint, denn ich hab mich in ihnen wiedererkannt.

Mir ging es mit Anfang 20 genauso wie ihr. Ich war Sportgymnastin in der DDR. Da fängt man früh an, mit neun zog ich zu Hause aus. Von Potsdam zum Stützpunkt nach Halle, dann zur Nationalmannschaft in Leipzig. Ich war gut, mit 15 kam ich in die Nationalmannschaft. Doch wenn ich mir die Bilder von früher ansehe, muss ich manchmal weinen. Wir waren Kinder, aber unsere Blicke waren nicht die von Kindern.

Susann Scheller wurde als Kind verletzt, und sie ist eine verletzte Frau geblieben, so wie viele aus ihrer früheren Trainingsgruppe. Sie hat Details aus ihrer aktiven Zeit rekonstruiert, sie könnte tagelang erzählen. Dadurch ist sie zu einer Art Sprecherin der Gymnastinnen geworden. Sie recherchiert in Dokumenten und Archiven und konfrontiert die Mitwisserinnen und Mitwisser von damals, die Täterinnen und Täter, aber auch die Verantwortlichen aus heutigen Sportverbänden mit ihren Informationen. Sie zeigt auf ihrem Handy Bilder von früher, als sie auf der Matte ihre Kür vorführte oder auf dem Treppchen stand. Die Fotos zeigen: Die Mädchen waren abgemagert, meist waren ihre fahlen Gesichter traurig und nach unten gerichtet.

Sport soll Spaß machen, doch er war eine Qual. Wir mussten trainieren bis zum Umfallen, bis zu viermal am Tag. Wir verletzten uns manchmal mit Absicht, um einen Tag Pause zu haben. Einer Trainingskameradin schlug ich mit einer Flasche immer wieder auf ihren Finger. Regelmäßig stellten wir uns im Winter nackt und mit nassen Haaren ans offene Fenster, um uns zu erkälten.

"Wir waren unter totaler Kontrolle."
Susann Scheller, 45

Manche unserer Trainerinnen waren Sadistinnen. Eine ließ uns ständig losen, welche Übung wir machen mussten. Meine Freundin zog immer, wirklich immer, das Los mit derselben Zahl, nämlich mit der, die die anstrengendste Übung bedeutete. Wahrscheinlich gab es in Wahrheit nur diese eine Zahl. Es war ein falsches Spiel.

Wenn wir alle zwei, drei Wochen am Wochenende nach Hause durften, wurde unser Training oft überzogen. Dann mussten wir zum Zug rennen. Manchmal verpassten wir ihn, dann saßen wir vier Stunden an einem fremden Bahnhof. Elfjährige, frierend und hungrig. Manchmal hatte ich kein Geld, um zu Hause anzurufen, oder der Fernsprecher funktionierte nicht. Meine Eltern warteten am Bahnhof vergebens, machten sich Sorgen. Noch heute fahre ich ungern mit der Bahn.

Susann Scheller ist wie Katja Hofmann, Petra Ostrowski und Frank Hellmuth ein anerkanntes Dopingopfer. Um diesen Status zu erreichen, müssen die Sportlerinnen und Sportler nachweisen, dass es einen wahrscheinlichen ursächlichen Zusammenhang ihrer Krankheiten mit dem Doping gibt. Das zweite Dopingopfer-Hilfegesetz vom Juni 2016 (DOHG) sieht eine einmalige Zahlung von 10.500 Euro vor. Expertinnen und Experten halten das für zu wenig und fordern eine dauerhafte Rente für Betroffene. In einem ersten DOHG vom Juni 2002 hatte die Bundesregierung einen Fonds von zwei Millionen Euro zur Verfügung gestellt. Damit wurden 194 Opfer entschädigt. Hilfe für die Opfer der zweiten Generation lehnte die Bundesregierung im Vorjahr ab.

Und dann die Sache mit dem Essen. In unserem Sport ist das Gewicht entscheidend. Wer 200 Gramm zu viel hatte, wurde angeschrien. Essen wurde uns mal verboten, dann wurden wir dazu gezwungen. Ich sehe noch vor mir, wie einer aus meiner Gruppe der Mund aufgerissen und das Essen hineingestopft wurde. Wir wurden in die Magersucht getrieben.

Wir waren unter totaler Kontrolle. Ob wir krank waren oder nicht – wir bekamen Spritzen und Medikamente. Vitamine, hieß es. Aber natürlich war das was anderes. Es müssen auch Schmerzmittel darunter gewesen sein, denn an freien Wochenenden, als ich keine Tabletten nahm, tat mir vieles weh.

Schmerzmittel wie Paracetamol und Ibuprofen wurden im DDR-Sport manchmal in Überdosen und prophylaktisch verabreicht. Diese Praxis verschob die natürliche Leistungsgrenze nach oben, beschädigte aber unter anderem die Körperwahrnehmung der jungen Sportlerinnen. Weitere mögliche Nebenwirkungen oder Langzeitfolgen: Leberschäden, Nierenschäden, Kopfschmerz, Müdigkeit, Erschöpfung, Herzinfarkte, Schlaganfälle.

Trauma Trainingslager

Mit 16 hab ich mit dem Sport aufgehört, weil sich mein Herzmuskel entzündete und ich Herzrhythmusstörungen bekam. Ich konnte nicht mehr.

drei schwere Bandscheibenvorfälle mit Ausfallerscheinungen der Beine und Arme
Schäden am Bewegungsapparat, unter anderem eine Arthrose beider Schultergelenke
gestörtes Essverhalten

Mein traumatischer Ort ist Zinnowitz. Für Touristen ist das ein Ostseebad auf Usedom. Für mich war es die Hölle. Trainingslager, sechs Wochen. Da waren wir den Schikanen noch ungeschützter ausgeliefert. Da lagen die Pillen und Tabletten schon jeden Morgen neben dem Frühstücksteller. Manchmal gelang es uns, sie wegzuwerfen. Meist mussten wir sie schlucken.

Liefen wir morgens am Strand, ordnete die Trainerin an, im Meer schwimmen zu gehen. Wir zogen uns nackt aus. Andere erzählten mir später, dass ein Mann aus der medizinischen Betreuung manchmal hinter der Düne stand und heimlich zuschaute. Abends bestellte er uns zu sich, einzeln. Mir war damals nicht klar, warum, ich hatte keine Beschwerden. Ich erinnere mich genau an den Weg durch die dunkle Turnhalle, dort hatte er sein Zimmer. Dann war ich allein mit ihm. Ich musste mich bis auf die Unterhose ausziehen. Was dann passierte, weiß ich nicht mehr, darüber liegt ein Schleier. Das belastet mich bis heute sehr.

Dopingsubstanzen können Hirn- und Gedächtnisfunktionen beeinträchtigen, gerade wenn sie in jungen Jahren verabreicht wurden. Scham und Schuldgefühle erschweren die Erinnerung zudem. Manche Dopingopfer können ihre Lebensgeschichte nur mühsam rekonstruieren. Susann Schellers Schilderungen beim Treffen in einem Café in St. Pauli zeigen: Sie hat ein Gespür für die feinen Unterschiede der Wahrheitssuche: Was ist Gewissheit, was Vermutung? Was ist Beweis, was nur Indiz? Wie verlässlich ist Erinnerung? In einer Dokumentation des NDR sprach eine Gymnastin, die früher mit Susann Scheller in Zinnowitz trainierte, ebenfalls über Doping, psychischen Druck und sexuellen Missbrauch. Der Arzt, der damals verantwortlich war, bestritt die Vorwürfe in dieser Dokumentation.

"Sie haben eine posttraumatische Störung." Das sagte mir vor zwei Jahren jemand, der sich damit auskennt. Er konnte es an mir ablesen. Er hat mir die Augen geöffnet und etwas in mir ausgelöst. Seitdem lege ich meine Vergangenheit frei, Schicht für Schicht.

Ohne diesen Impuls von außen hätte ich mich an nichts erinnert. Meine Erinnerungen sind überlagert von den Erschöpfungen der damaligen Zeit. In Gesprächen mit Trainingskameradinnen rekonstruieren wir nun, was uns damals angetan wurde. Vor meinen Augen sehe ich die Tabletten in meiner Hand. Ich sehe auch einen Baum, wo wir sie manchmal entsorgten. Woher die Tabletten kamen, weiß ich nicht mehr. Vielleicht kommt das eines Tages noch.

Erinnern und sprechen

//Susann Scheller, die in Hamburg lebt, sagt: "Am schlimmsten ist noch immer das Gefühl, als Kind allein gelassen worden zu sein." © Paula Markert für ZEIT ONLINE///21

Als ich vor zwei Jahren erfuhr, dass ich ein Dopingopfer bin, hab ich wie besessen recherchiert. Vier Wochen habe ich kaum geschlafen, saß vor dem Computer, las alles zum Thema. Ich eröffnete WhatsApp-Gruppen mit meinen Freundinnen aus der Gymnastik, telefonierte mit Journalisten, Wissenschaftlern, den Leuten vom Doping-Opfer-Hilfeverein. Der war mir eine große Hilfe. Sportverbände hingegen interessierten sich lange nicht für meine Geschichte, obwohl ich lang um Hilfe bat.

Gymnastinnen sind prinzessinnenhaft, sie brauchen die Aufmerksamkeit von anderen. Jetzt tun wir uns zusammen. Gemeinsam stellen wir, die wir uns teilweise Jahrzehnte nicht gesehen hatten, fest, dass wir ähnliche Leben führen, fast alle die gleichen Probleme haben. Es macht vieles einfacher, wenn man weiß, dass man nicht alleine ist. Als wir uns im vorigen Sommer mit der ganzen Gruppe trafen, schickten wir unserer Trainerin ein Foto, auf dem wir ihr alle den Mittelfinger zeigten. Nun wollen wir rausfinden, wer was mit uns gemacht hat, wer uns welche Medikamente gegeben hat.

Im Gesundheitsamt Leipzig fand die Gruppe um Susann Scheller ein Dokument, das bewies, dass man ihr Actovegin, Kälberblut, intravenös spritzte, als sie 16 war. Der Radfahrprofi Lance Armstrong nahm es, der Arzt des FC Bayern, Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt, arbeitete in der Vergangenheit damit, bis heute ist Actovegin in Deutschland als Arzneimittel nicht zugelassen.

"Ich habe das Recht, sehr traurig zu sein."
Susann Scheller, 45

Inzwischen habe ich vielen anderen von meinem Sport und meinen Krankheiten erzählt. Im Radio und im Fernsehen, Zeitungen haben über mich geschrieben. Das war anstrengend, aber befreiend. Wichtig war, das Schweigen zu brechen. Ich tue das nicht nur für mich, sondern auch für die, die das nicht können.

Früher ließ ich mir Schuldgefühle einreden, lange habe ich mich geschämt. Heute weiß ich, dass ich mich nicht schämen muss. Ich wurde benutzt. Und missbraucht, von unseren Trainerinnen und Ärzten, im Auftrag des Staats, der DDR. Sie taten das auch für sich selbst. Sie haben ihre Störungen an uns abgearbeitet. Wir sind nicht schuld an unserem Schicksal und erwarten eine Entschuldigung.

Dass ich gedopt wurde und krank bin, macht mich manchmal wütend. Aber damit komme ich klar. Am schlimmsten ist noch immer das Gefühl, als Kind allein gelassen worden zu sein. Ich habe das Recht, sehr traurig zu sein.

Die Trainerin

//Die frühere DDR-Nationaltrainerin der Rhythmischen Sportgymnastik, Elke Stange-Schrempf, im Stuttgarter Kurpark Bad Canstatt © Sebastian Berger für ZEIT ONLINE///22

Elke Stange-Schrempf, 62, Trainerin

Ich habe einen wiederkehrenden Albtraum, er spielt in der Vergangenheit: Ich bin noch Trainerin, gehe auf meine Mädchen zu, die in einer Reihe auf der Matte stehen, will sie begrüßen. Doch sie verweigern mir den Handschlag. Alle, eine nach der anderen.

Ich habe Depressionen, bin psychisch kaputt, seit Jahren in Therapie, ich leide unter Rückenschmerzen und Magenproblemen. Aber das größte Leid für mich ist das Leid meiner Mädchen. Um mich geht es mir nicht. Es geht mir um sie.

Meine Mädchen, das sind meine Gymnastinnen. In der DDR war ich Trainerin in Leipzig, Nationalmannschaft. Ich habe das gerne gemacht, und bestimmt war ich, rein sportlich gesehen, eine gute Trainerin.

"Ich habe große Schuld auf mich geladen."
Elke Stange-Schrempf, 62

Die ehemalige Gymnastin Susann Scheller hat das Treffen mit Elke Stange-Schrempf in Stuttgart arrangiert und ist selbst dabei. Stange-Schrempf ist einer ihrer früheren Trainerinnen, eine der verständnisvolleren, sagt Scheller, also keine, der sie heute ein Foto mit gestrecktem Mittelfinger schicken würde. Scheller sagt, sie habe es als Befreiung empfunden, als sie von Halle zu Stange-Schrempf nach Leipzig gewechselt sei. Dennoch stehe die Trainerin für das damalige System.

Doch ich habe große Schuld auf mich geladen, denn ich war Teil eines Systems, das vielen großes Leid zugefügt hat. Ich habe nie genau hingesehen, ich habe nie hinterfragt. Ich hätte doch erkennen müssen, was da passierte, was die Ärzte oder andere Trainerinnen mit meinen Mädchen machten. Ich hätte sie vor so vielem schützen müssen, sie waren doch noch so jung.

Doch meine Position als Trainerin war mir wichtiger. Ich war mir wichtiger. Alles andere war mir egal. Ich kann mir das nicht verzeihen. Ich bin mitverantwortlich, auch wenn ich persönlich niemandem direkt schadete oder schaden wollte. Denn ich habe meinen Mädchen nichts gegeben, keine Pillen, keine Tabletten oder Spritzen.

Stange-Schrempf sagt, sie habe ihre Athletinnen nicht gedopt und überhaupt davon nichts gewusst. Manche Sporthistoriker halten es für kaum denkbar, dass eine Trainerin ihres Ranges nicht in das System involviert war, an dem mindestens 400 Ärzte, Trainer und Funktionäre beteiligt waren. Die allermeisten DDR-Trainerinnen und -Trainer sind nicht bereit, sich zu Dopingvorwürfen zu äußern, oder leugnen die Probleme.

Täterin – und auch ein Opfer

Ich war auch selbst Opfer. Als kleines Kind war ich Turnerin, als Jugendliche schickte mich meine Trainerin zur Abmagerungskur. Ich war nicht krank, sollte aber Gewicht verlieren. Ich bekam Einläufe, zum Essen gab es nur Suppe. Nach sechs Wochen blieben mir von 50 Kilogramm noch 42. Und drei Magengeschwüre. Meine Mutter war entsetzt, anschließend hat sie meinem Bruder Sport verboten. Sie sagte: "Ich will nicht noch ein Kind verlieren."

Es klingt kurios, doch eigentlich habe ich mich in der DDR wohlgefühlt, auch wenn unsere Wohnung verwanzt war und meine Liebesbriefe geöffnet wurden. Und der Sport war mir trotz allem immer wichtig. Doch wenn ich das alles im Nachhinein betrachte, hatte er mit Menschlichkeit und dem, warum man ihn schätzt und treibt, nichts zu tun.

//Bereits im Jahr 1977 wusste die Stasi, das zeigt diese Notiz, dass Anabolika Nebenwirkungen haben.///23Landesbeauftragte für Mecklenburg-Vorpommern für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR

Letztlich war der DDR-Sport eine einzige Lüge. Mit Widerwillen denke ich an ein Erlebnis in Kienbaum, da waren wir 15. Es gab eine Anordnung für unsere Gruppe: Wir mussten mit einem hochrangigen Sportpolitiker in die Sauna. Anderes Beispiel: 1987, da war ich Trainerin, wurden wir nach sechs Wochen Vorbereitung ein paar Tage vor der WM in Bulgarien kurzerhand ausdelegiert, durften also nicht mitmachen, angeblich wegen eines minimalen Fehlers in unserer Kür. Vermutlich jedoch hatte es bei einer internen Kontrolle bloß einen positiven Dopingbefund gegeben, und nun wollte man nicht riskieren, dass wir in Bulgarien erwischt werden.

Der Hauptverantwortliche des Dopingsystems war Manfred Ewald, der Präsident des Deutschen Turn- und Sportbundes und mächtigster Sportfunktionär der DDR. In den Berliner Prozessen im Jahr 2000 wurde er wegen Beihilfe zur Körperverletzung in 20 Fällen zu einer Bewährungsstrafe verurteilt. Schuldig gesprochen wurde damals auch ein ehemaliger Arzt von Dynamo Berlin, der heute ein Trainingszentrum von Red Bull Österreich leitet.

"Ich möchte alle um Verzeihung bitten.
Elke Stange-Schrempf, 62

Mich belasten die Erinnerungen bis heute. Ich bin schon lange nicht mehr glücklich, obwohl ich einen lieben Mann habe. Ich führe ein Leben in Unsicherheit. Vor wenigen Monaten fuhren wir im Auto zur Turnhalle. Als ich sie von Weitem sah, bekam ich Atemnot und Panik stieg in mir auf. Ich dachte, mein Herz bleibt stehen. Ich musste anhalten und aussteigen. Eine typische Begebenheit.

//Elke Stange-Schrempf mit ihrer früheren Athletin Susann Scheller: "Ich bin Susann sehr dankbar, dass sie mit mir spricht." © Sebastian Berger für ZEIT ONLINE///24

Das Treffen der ehemaligen Trainerin und der ehemaligen Gymnastin dauert mehrere Stunden, es ist nicht das erste dieser Art. Manchmal geraten die beiden ins Plaudern über früher. Dann plötzlich ist Stange-Schrempf anzumerken, dass sie etwas loswerden, über ihre Schuld reden will. Ihr Erzählfluss stockt, sie presst Daumen und Zeigefinger ihrer Hand so fest zusammen, dass die Nagelplatten weiß werden. Sie schluckt. Mehrfach kommen ihr die Tränen.

Ich bin Susann sehr dankbar, dass sie mit mir spricht. Ich würde es verstehen, wenn sie es nicht täte. Ich habe sie um Verzeihung gebeten. Sie hat das angenommen. Es tut mir gut, sie zu sehen, mit ihr zu reden, auch mit den anderen. Ich möchte alle um Verzeihung bitten und allen sagen, dass mich eine Frage bis an mein Lebensende quälen wird: Warum habe ich damals nichts gemerkt?

*In der ursprünglichen Version hieß es irrtümlicherweise, Dynvital enthalte Steroide. Wir haben dies korrigiert.

Kaynak: https://www.zeit.de/sport/2018-02/doping-ddr-sport-dopingopfer-kinder-folgen-hilfe/komplettansicht

[Edited at 2019-02-07 01:32 GMT]


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
Tag (2007 óta)
német - török
+ ...
~ Feb 7, 2019


"Her partinin belediye başkan adayı bu yazıyı önüne koymalı"

Yazı: Mustafa Kaymakçı - 07.02.2019 21:09

//Foturafları netten buldum///785


*-*127 (2)








Kimileri, yerel seçimler öncesi her parti belediye seçimlerini kazanmak için çaba harcarken “Başkan Adaylarının Mevsimlik İşçilerin Dramından Haberleri Var Mı?” yazısı gündemdeki konumuz olabilir mi diye sorabilir.

Ancak geçtiğimiz Ocak 2019 ayının son günlerine medyada “Hortumun vurduğu Antalya’da yaşamını yitiren 13 yaşındaki Berivan, ailesine yardım etmek için mevsimlik tarım işçisi olmuş!” ve de “Antalya’da mevsimlik işçiler kaza yaptı: 4 ölü” gibi haberler ile canınız yanarsa olabilir.

Dilerseniz, önce bir soru soralım.


Türkiye’de her yıl, Adana’da örtü altı sebze ve narenciye toplama; Antalya’da narenciye toplama; Afyon’da kiraz toplama; Düzce’de fındık toplama; İzmir’de kiraz toplama ve kurutmalık domates kesme; Konya-Aksaray’da pancar çapası; Ordu’da fındık toplama; Samsun’da sebze hasadı; Urfa’da pamuk toplama ve Yozgat-Nevşehir’de pancar çapası gibi işlerde istihdam edilmek üzere Urfa, Mardin, Diyarbakır gibi ağırlıklı olarak Güneydoğu Anadolu Bölgesi’nden mevsimlik işçiler getirilir.

Mevsimlik tarım işçisi aileleri Mart, Nisan ve Mayıs aylarında evden ayrılırlar, daha çok Eylül, Ekim ve Kasım aylarında evlerine dönerler.

Yapılan bir araştırmaya göre mevsimlik işçilerin(*);

• Yüzde 80’i memleketlerinde şehir ya da kent merkezinde oturmakta. Köyde oturanların oranı sadece yüzde 20. Yüzde 40’ı daha önce bir yerden bir yere göç etmiş. Bu göçlerin çoğunluğunu kırdan kente göçler oluşturmakta. Göçün en önemli nedeni “ekonomik zorluklar”,bir başka deyişle topraksızlık ya da az topraklılık.

• Kente göçenlerin arasında daha önce herhangi bir araziye sahip olanların oranı son derece az. Ailelerin sadece yüzde 7’sinin köylerinde tarım arazileri var ve bu arazilerin ortalama büyüklüğü 10 dönümden küçük.

• Görüşülen ailelerin yaklaşık yüzde 50’sinden fazlası 16 yıldan daha uzun bir süre mevsimlik tarım işçiliği yapmış. 20 yıl ve daha fazla bir süredir mevsimlik tarım işçiliği yapan ailelerin oranı yüzde 30. Bu durum, ailelerin büyük bir kısmının ana geçim faaliyetinin mevsimlik işçilik olduğunu göstermekte.

• İş için ulaşım masraflarının yüzde 81’i kendileri; yüzde 9’u dayıbaşları ve yüzde 5’i işveren tarafından karşılanmakta.

• Dayıbaşılık (elçilik, çavuşluk) kurumunun mevsimlik işçilerin ilişkilerini ve para alışverişini yürüttüğü, elinde tuttuğu güç nedeniyle sömürünün derinleşmesine ve emeğin bağımsızlaşamamasına neden olduğu gözlemlenmekte.

• Yüzde 80’i çadırda yaşamakta; yüzde 56’sının elektriğe erişimi yok; yüzde 62’sinin içme suyunu çeşmeden temin etmekte ve zor banyo ve tuvalet koşullarında yaşamlarını sürdürmekte.

• Radyo-tv ve buzdolabı kullananların oranı yüzde 10’un altında, çamaşır makinesi, bisiklet ya da bulaşık makinesi kullanan aileler neredeyse yok.

• Mevsimlik işçilerin, yüzde 45’’i 9-11 saat arasında, yüzde 45’i 11 saatten daha fazla çalışmakta.Bunun yanında hiç tatillerinin olmadığı belirtilmekte.

• Ailelerin yüzde 65’inin borcu var. Güvencesiz ve kayıt dışı piyasada işçi olarak çalışan ailelerin ve bireylerin sosyal güvenceleri yok. İşsizlikten ve toplumsal-kültürel nedenlerle borçlandıkları ve borçluluk döngüsünden çıkamadıkları yaygın olarak gözlemlenmekte.

• Göçebe tarım işçilerinin çocukları okula düzgün olarak gidememekte, sağlık sorunlarına da çözüm bulunamamakta.


Sorunun kökeninde, bölgenin feodal yapısı ve geri kalmışlık sorunu var.

Bu durum, işsizlik ve de yoksulluğu yaratıyor. İşsizlik, topraksızlık, toprak yetersizliği ve bölgedeki sanayi ve hizmet sektörünün eksikliğinden besleniyor.

Yazıyı şu sorularla bağlayalım;

• Güneydoğu Anadolu Bölgesi’nde var olan sorunun temelinde ekonomi olduğunu, sorunun ayrılıkçı hareket tarafından istismar(kötüye kullanmak) edildiğini görmek gerekmiyor mu?

• Bölgede işsizlik sorununun çözümü için öncelikle toprak reformunu dile getirmek şart değil mi?

• Toprak reformu ile birlikte çiftçilerin kooperatif örgütlenmesini egemen kılmak gerekmez mi?

• Bölgede kamu yönlendiriciliği ve egemenliğinde tarımsal sanayinin kurulması zorunlu değil mi?

Gelelim konunun yerel yönetimlerle bağlantısına.

Yerel yönetimler mevsimlik işçiler için neler yapabilir?

· İskan edildikleri yerlerde sağlıklı barındırma olanakları sağlayabilirler.

· Ulaşım hizmetleri ve sağlık sorunlarının çözümü için yardımcı olabilirler.

· Çalışma koşullarını kamu ile düzenleyebilir ve çocuk emek sömürüsünü engelleyebilirler.

· Çocukların düzenli okula gitmelerini sağlamak için kamu ile işbirliği yapabilirler.
(*) Hayata Dernek Desteği. Mevsimlik Gezici Tarım İşçiliği Araştırma Raporu

Yazının alındığı yer: https://odatv.com/her-partinin-belediye-baskan-adayi-bu-yaziyi-onune-koymali-07021949.html


ADO_YORUM: Türk aydınları, siyasileri halka karşı öteden beri süregelen bir "yabancılaşma" ve tepeden bakma sorunu yaşamakta. Mevsimlik işçi deyip geçmemek lazım. Koşulları çok zordur böyle yaşayıp para kazanmanın... Nereden mi biliyorum? 50'li-60'lı yıllarda Avrupa'ya işçi göçü öncesinde toroslardan çok sayıda mevsimlik işçi göçü hareketi olurmuş yurt içinde... Rahmetli babamın anlattıklarından biliyorum. Yine halk arasında "İzmir" yöresine gompile "Aydın" denirdi Toroslarda o zamanlar (eski idari yapılanmadan olsa gerek). Erkek nüfus o yıllarda Ege-Çukurova gibi iklimi kışın çalışmaya uygun yerlere işlemeye gidermiş... Artık ana iş yükünü yukarıda anlatılan insanlarımız çekmekte ve soframıza gelen yiyeceklerde onların emekleri var.

Asıl dikkat çekmek istediğim mevsimlik işçilerin çocuklarının eğitim sorunu. Yahu arkadaşım koskoca Rusya coğrafyasında hem de çoktandır Ruslar bu işi de çözmüş. Farklı halk grupları izlediğim belgesellerde çatır çatır Rusça konuşmakta. Geyikli göçebelerin çocukları bile düzenli eğitim olanaklarına sahip...

Niyet meselesi. Her yere beton bina dikmekle kalkınma olmuyor işte... İnsani kalkınmışlık önemlidir... Bu insanların tüm sorunlarına ve özellikle çocuklarının eğitimlerine bir çare bulunmalı. Toprak reformunu başarıyla yapan, eğitim sorununu çözen devletler var. Onlardan bari gopye çekin ey bürokratlar, ey siyasetçiler, ey kamu yöneticileri olma mı.


--Resimler netten alıntıdır--

Rusya'nın "ücra" yerlerinden eğitim foturafları:









[Edited at 2019-02-08 12:31 GMT]


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
Tag (2007 óta)
német - török
+ ...
~ Feb 9, 2019


"Dışişleri'nden Çin'e çağrı: Kapatmaya davet ediyoruz"

AA 09.02.2019 - 20:04, Son Güncelleme: 09.02.2019 - 20:50

//Bu AA'dan///1çö

Foturafları ve üst yazılarını aldığım sayfa: https://supchina.com/2018/08/22/xinjiang-explainer-chinas-reeducation-camps-for-a-million-muslims/

//"Re-Education Camps In China’s ‘No-Rights Zone’ For Muslims: What Everyone Needs To Know"///10k

//"This picture, the only known image of an opening ceremony of a Xinjiang re-education camp, was posted by the government in Korla, Xinjiang, in June 2018, and quickly picked up by international media. On the left, the partially obscured words for “Transformation Through Education Center” (教育转化中心 jiàoyù zhuǎnhuà zhōngxīn) can be read directly behind the man in the white shirt."/// 14j

//"From the print story, here’s how one camp in Kashgar expanded over the last year. The first image is from when the “de-extremification” campaign was beginning in April 2017"///17b


//"The outside of a newly built internment camp in Turpan, Xinjiang. Picture by Wall Street Journal reporter Josh Chin."///çö4


//"Omir Bekali, a Kazakh Muslim who was one of the first to provide an on-the-record, named eyewitness account of the Xinjiang camps, told the Associated Press that the psychological stress he was forced to endure was so extreme, he wanted to kill himself after 20 days."///800

Dışişleri Bakanlığı Sözcüsü Hami Aksoy, "Çin makamlarını, Uygur Türklerinin temel insan haklarına saygı göstermeye ve toplama kamplarını kapatmaya davet ediyoruz." dedi. "Uygur Türk'ünün toplama kamplarında ve hapishanelerde işkence ve siyasi beyin yıkamaya maruz bırakıldıkları artık bir sır değildir" denilen açıklamada uluslararası topluma ve BM Genel Sekreterine de çağrı yapıldı.
Sözcü Aksoy, Uygur Türklerine yönelik ağır insan hakları ihlalleri ve halk ozanı Abdurrehim Heyit'in vefatına ilişkin soruya yazılı yanıt verdi.

Sincan Uygur Özerk Bölgesi'ndeki Uygur Türklerinin ve diğer Müslüman toplulukların temel insan haklarını ihlal eden uygulamaların özellikle son iki yıl içerisinde ağırlaştığına ve uluslararası toplumun gündemine taşındığına işaret eden Aksoy, özellikle Ekim 2017'de "Tüm Dinlerin ve İnançların Çinlileştirilmesi" siyasetinin resmen ilan edilmesinin, Uygur Türklerinin ve bölgedeki diğer Müslüman toplulukların etnik, dini ve kültürel kimliklerinin tasfiye edilmesi hedefi doğrultusunda atılmış yeni bir adım olduğunu vurguladı.


Aksoy, açıklamasında, "Keyfi tutuklamalara maruz kalan bir milyondan fazla Uygur Türk'ünün toplama kamplarında ve hapishanelerde işkence ve siyasi beyin yıkamaya maruz bırakıldıkları artık bir sır değildir. Kamplarda alıkonmayan Uygurlar da büyük baskı altında bulunmaktadır. Yurtdışında yaşayan Uygur asıllı soydaş ve vatandaşlarımız bu bölgedeki akrabalarından haber alamamaktadır. Binlerce çocuk ebeveynlerinden uzaklaştırılmış, yetim kalmıştır. 21. yüzyılda toplama kamplarının yeniden ortaya çıkması ve Çin makamlarının Uygur Türklerine yönelik sistematik asimilasyon politikası insanlık adına büyük bir utanç kaynağıdır." ifadesini kullandı.


Sincan Bölgesi'nde yaşanan trajediyle ilgili görüşlerinin Çin makamlarına her düzeyde dile getirildiğini aktaran Aksoy, "Böyle bir ortamda, bir bestesi yüzünden 8 yıl hapse mahkum edilen değerli halk ozanı Abdurrehim Heyit'in hapishanedeki ikinci yılında vefat ettiği haberini derin teessürle öğrendik." değerlendirmesini yaptı.

Sözcü Aksoy, "Bu elim hadise, Türk kamuoyunun Sincan Bölgesi'ndeki ağır insan hakları ihlalleri konusundaki tepkisini daha da kuvvetlendirmiştir. Bu haklı tepkinin Çin makamlarınca dikkate alınmasını bekliyoruz." çağrısında bulundu. "Abdurrehim Heyit'i ve Türk ve Müslüman kimliğine sahip çıkmak uğruna hayatını kaybeden tüm soydaşlarımızı rahmetle anıyoruz." ifadesini kullanan Aksoy, şunları kaydetti:

"Bu vesileyle, Çin makamlarını Uygur Türklerinin temel insan haklarına saygı göstermeye ve toplama kamplarını kapatmaya davet ediyoruz. Uluslararası toplumu ve BM Genel Sekreterini de Sincan bölgesindeki insanlık trajedisinin sona erdirilmesi için etkin adımlar atmaya çağırıyoruz."


Uygurların tarihini ve kültürünü yansıtan şarkılarıyla tanınan ünlü ozan Abdurrehim Heyit, 1964'te Sincan Uygur Özerk Bölgesi'nin Kaşgar vilayetinde dünyaya geldi. Kaşgar'daki bir Güzel Sanatlar Okulunda eğitim gören Heyit, iki telli çalgı aleti dutarıyla seslendirdiği şarkılarıyla kısa sürede dünyaca tanınan bir ozan olan oldu. Heyit, aynı zamanda çok sayıda Uygur şarkısının da bestecisi olarak biliniyor.
Türkiye'de de pek çok kişinin tanıdığı ve "Uçraşkanda" (Karşılaşınca) adlı halk türküsüyle bilinen Heyit, 2015'te Gazi Üniversitesinde bir konser vermişti.
Çin'de hakkında herhangi bir suç isnad edilmediği halde 2017'de Urumçi'de gözaltına alınan ve 8 yıl hapse mahkum edilen Heyit, hapishanedeki ikinci yılında vefat etti.

Ünlü ozan Heyit'in, sözleri şair Abdurehim Abdullah'a ait olduğu bilinen Atılar (Atalar) adlı şarkıyı seslendirmesi nedeniyle daha önce Çin polisi tarafından birkaç kez sorgulanmıştı.


Çinli insan hakları kuruluşları, Sincan'da milyonlarca Uygur'un "yeniden eğitim" gerekçesiyle toplama kamplarında tutulduğunu bir süredir uluslararası toplumun gündemine getirmeye çalışıyordu.

BM Irk Ayrımcılığının Ortadan Kaldırılması Komitesi'nin Çin'de ayrımcılığa uğrayan topluluklarla ilgili İsviçre'nin Cenevre kentinde düzenlediği toplantıya katılan insan hakları kuruluşları, Sincan Uygur Özerk Bölgesi'nde yerel yöneticilerin siyasi olarak sakıncalı tutumlar içinde olduğunu iddia ettiği bireyleri siyasi eğitim merkezlerinde alıkoyduğunu öne sürmüştü.

Örgüt temsilcileri, toplantıda yaptıkları sunumlarda, herhangi bir yargı kararına dayanmadan hürriyetinden alıkonulan kişi sayısının 3 milyonu bulduğunu iddia etmişti.

İnsan Hakları İzleme Örgütü (HRW) bir süre önce yayımladığı raporda, son iki yılda Sincan Uygur Özerk Bölgesi'nde çok sayıda kişinin "önleyici polisiye tedbiri" adı altında suçsuz yere alıkonulduğu ve siyasi açıdan tehlikeli olarak değerlendirilen bireylerin herhangi bir yargı kararı olmaksızın "siyasi eğitim merkezleri" denilen gözaltı merkezlerine gönderildiği iddialarına yer vermişti. ▄

Kaynak: http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/disislerinden-cine-cagri-kapatmaya-davet-ediyoruz-41111567

Konu hakkında ayrıntılı yazı ve foturaflar burada: https://supchina.com/2018/08/22/xinjiang-explainer-chinas-reeducation-camps-for-a-million-muslims/

Huzur içinde yat aslan gardaşım...
Abdurehim Heyit - Uçraşkanda (Karşılaşınca) -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--EGgVZR0Vg


ADO_YORUM: İnsan hakları, İnsan hakları, İnsan hakları, Batı neredesin, Batı neredesin, Batı neredesin, Çin ile ticaret şahane, Çin ile ticaret şahane, Çin ile ticaret şahane...

O bişey değil de Turancılıkla da suçlandık ya vaktında Sanki TR'de Turancı olmak suçmuş gibi. Kaşgarlı Mahmut nereli?? Çinli mi yoğusam... "Turfan'da sebze" mi yoksa Antalya'da yeşillik mi? Bi yerde "Türk" geçince "aha ırkçılık-turancılık" yapıyorsun diyenler dünyaya "batı" penceresinden baktırılıp onların tanımlamaları ile öğrettirilen, eğitim gördürtülen, düşünce sömürgeciliğine, kültür emperyalizmine uğratılmış insanlardır genelde. Onlardan TR'de gani gani varrrr hem de. Çok da tın.

Kimi sevip-sayacağıma izniğizle ben karar vereyin. USAlı olmak isteyen yeterince insan var zati Türkiye'de.

[Edited at 2019-02-10 11:00 GMT]


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
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~ yalnızca Almancalarını bulabildim. Feb 15, 2019


"Zahlen seit 5000 Jahren"

Yazı: Florian Freistetter 13.01.2019


Mathematik ist eine der ältesten Beschäftigungen der Menschheit, aber die komplexe Natur mit logischen Ordnungsregeln erfassen zu wollen, reicht weiter zurück.

Werfen wir einmal einen Blick auf diese Formel:

Konkrete Zahlensysteme

Sie sieht kompliziert aus. Und so etwas in einem modernen Lehrbuch der Mathematik zu finden, würde vermutlich niemanden überraschen. Aber tatsächlich hat die in der Formel beschriebene Rechenvorschrift eine lange Geschichte.

Betrachten wir dazu dieses sehr einfach zu verstehende Problem: Jemand beschäftigt einen Arbeiter 30 Tage lang. Für jeden Tag, an dem auch tatsächlich gearbeitet wird, wird ein Lohn von 6 Pfennig gezahlt. Wird aber gefaulenzt, werden 4 Pfennig pro Tag vom Lohn abgezogen. Am Ende der 30 Tage ist keiner dem anderen etwas schuldig. Wie viele Tage wurde tatsächlich gearbeitet?

Solche Rechenaufgaben sind typisch für Bücher des deutschen Rechenmeisters Adam Riese aus dem 16. Jahrhundert. Darin beschrieb er auch, wie dieses spezielle Problem zu lösen ist. In »Rechenung auff der linihen und federn« (1522) heißt es: »wird angesetzt mit zwei falschen Zahlen, die der Aufgabe entsprechend gründlich überprüft werden sollen in dem Maße, wie es die gesuchte Zahl erfordert. Führen sie zu einem höheren Ergebnis, als es in Wahrheit richtig ist, so bezeichne sie mit dem Zeichen + , plus, bei einem zu kleinen Ergebnis aber beschreibe sie mit dem Zeichen –, minus genannt. Sodann ziehe einen Fehlbetrag vom anderen ab. Was dabei als Rest bleibt, behalte für deinen Teiler. Danach multipliziere über Kreuz jeweils eine falsche Zahl mit dem Fehlbetrag der anderen. Ziehe eins vom anderen ab, und was da als Rest bleibt, teile durch den vorher berechneten Teiler. So kommt die Lösung der Aufgabe heraus. Führt aber eine falsche Zahl zu einem zu großen und die andere zu einem zu kleinen Ergebnis, so addiere die zwei Fehlbeträge. Was dabei herauskommt, ist dein Teiler. Danach multipliziere über Kreuz, addiere und dividiere. So kommt die Lösung der Aufgabe heraus.«

Diese alte Sprache klingt fast noch verwirrender als die mathematische Formel. Es ist aber recht einfach zu verstehen: Adam Riese erklärt, man solle zuerst einfach raten, wie die Lösung aussehen könnte – und zwar zweimal. Beide dieser »falsche Zahlen« überprüft man und sieht nach, wie groß der gemachte Fehler ist. Wenn wir zum Beispiel vermuten, der Arbeiter in unserem Beispiel könnte 10 oder vielleicht auch 15 Tage gearbeitet habe, ergibt sich im ersten Fall ein Fehlbetrag von 20 Pfennig (10x6 – 20x4 = -20). Bei 15 Tagen liegen wir um 30 Pfennig daneben (15x6 – 15x4 = +30). Nun sollen wir, so Ries, »über Kreuz« multiplizieren – also die eine falsche Zahl mit dem Fehlbetrag der anderen und umgekehrt und davon die Summe bilden (10x30 + 15x20 = 600). Das müssen wir durch die Summe der Fehlbeträge dividieren (20 + 30 = 50) und erhalten als Ergebnis 12. Und tatsächlich sind bei einer Arbeitszeit von 12 Tagen der Lohn (12x6 = 72) und der Lohnabzug (18x4 = 72) identisch.

Sowohl die reine Rechenvorschrift von Ries als auch die komplexe moderne Formel beschreiben das gleiche mathematische Verfahren, das »Regula Falsi« (ein einfacher Interpolationsalgorithmus) genannt wird. Natürlich ist Rieses Regel bei Weitem nicht so komplex und auf so viele unterschiedliche Fälle anwendbar wie die moderne Iterationsvorschrift. Aber man sieht daran gut, welch lange Geschichte die Mathematik hat.

Die Methode des doppelt falschen Ansatzes zur Lösung von Problemen können wir schon im 3. Jahrhundert vor unserer Zeit in indischen Schriften lesen. Wir finden sie im China der Zeitenwende ebenso wie im europäischen Mittelalter. Riese, der sich mit seinen auf Deutsch geschriebenen Rechenbücher an eine breite Öffentlichkeit wandte, verbreitete das Wissen weiter. Und heute verwenden wir moderne Formen davon in komplexen Computersimulationen. Gute Mathematik wird nie alt!

Florian Freistetter ist Astronom, Autor und Wissenschaftskabarettist bei den »Science Busters«. »Freistetters Formelwelt« ist seine regelmäßig erscheinende Kolumne auf »Spektrum.de«.

Kaynak: https://www.spektrum.de/kolumne/freistetters-formelwelt-die-zeitlose-welt-der-zahlen/1617592



"Was Unordnung mit uns macht"

Yazı: Corinna Hartmann 14.02.2019

Auf Netflix hilft die japanische Ordnungsberaterin und Bestsellerautorin Marie Kondo derzeit Menschen beim Ausmisten. Doch warum fällt es uns überhaupt so schwer, Besitztümer wegzugeben? Und was passiert mit uns, wenn wir im Chaos leben?


Auf Netflix reduziert der Mittdreißiger Mario gerade seine Sneaker-Sammlung von stolzen 150 auf immerhin noch 45 Paar. Die Aufräum-Ikone Marie Kondo hilft ihm dabei. Ihre Methode: sämtliche Besitztümer auf einen Haufen werfen, jedes Teil einzeln in die Hand nehmen und sich ganz ehrlich fragen: Bringt mir das Freude? Nach ihrem Bestseller »Magic Cleaning« folgte 2019 eine Reality-Serie, in der Kondo bei US-Familien für Ordnung sorgt. Dabei fließen in so mancher Folge Tränen, am Ende gibt sich der Aufräum-Patient geläutert.

Die westliche Welt ertrinkt im Überfluss; unsere Wohnungen sind vollgestopft mit Konsumgütern. Ratgeber übers Ausmisten haben deshalb gerade Konjunktur. Das Problem: Es macht Spaß, Schuhe zu kaufen. Und Kinderspielzeug. Und Kaffeetassen. In einer Studie der kanadischen University of British Columbia durften Studenten für 20 Dollar aus dem Forschungsbudget einen Gegenstand ihrer Wahl erwerben oder den Betrag in ein Erlebnis investieren. Kurz nachdem sie das Geld ausgegeben hatten, waren sie in beiden Fällen ähnlich glücklich. Nach einem Monat hatte sich die anfängliche Freude über den neuen Besitz allerdings stärker abgenutzt als die über das Erlebnis – ein neuer Quell der Freude muss also her!

Auf diese Weise häufen viele Menschen auf der Suche nach dem nächsten Shopping-Kick mehr Zeug an, als ihnen lieb ist. Manche Konsumkritiker haben deshalb bereits begonnen, diesem Trend mit extremen Maßnahmen entgegenzuwirken: Sie reduzieren ihren Besitz auf das Allernötigste und verkaufen ihre Häuser, um in winzige, liebevoll gestaltete Wohnwagen, so genannte »Tiny Houses«, zu ziehen. Die Idee vom Minimalismus ist dabei nicht neu. Bereits im Sommer 1845 zog der Schriftsteller Henry David Thoreau in eine Blockhütte in den Wäldern von Massachusetts und verfasste mit seinem Roman »Walden« ein Manifest für ein Leben in selbst gewählter Einfachheit.

Gestresst in den eigenen vier Wänden

Dass eine vollgestopfte Wohnung durchaus zur Belastung werden kann, zeigt etwa eine Studie von Psychologen der DePaul University in Chicago aus dem Jahr 2016. Die Forscher rekrutierten ihre Versuchspersonen über das Institute for Challenging Disorganization, eine gemeinnützige Organisation für Leute, denen ihr Hab und Gut über den Kopf wächst. Sie bestätigten, was viele ahnten: Wer in Unordnung lebt, fühlt sich in seinem Zuhause weniger sicher und geborgen und insgesamt unglücklicher. Die Untersuchung erfasst jedoch vor allem Extremfälle. Die Erkenntnisse lassen sich deshalb nicht zwangsläufig auf Menschen übertragen, die keine Beratungsstelle aufsuchen, merken die Forscher an.

Eine Untersuchung, für die die Psychologinnen Darby Saxbe von der University of Southern California und Rena Repetti von der University of California 60 US-amerikanische Mütter und Väter baten, mit einer Kamera bewaffnet eine Führung durch ihr Haus zu geben, weist aber zumindest in eine ähnliche Richtung. Nach der Roomtour analysierten die Forscherinnen die Wortwahl der Probanden in den Videos. Wie oft hatten die Teilnehmer ihr Zuhause als zugestellt oder unfertig beschrieben, wie oft verwendeten sie positive Worte wie »gemütlich« oder »friedlich«?

Während das Verhältnis zu ihrer Wohnumgebung die Männer nicht besonders beeinflusste, waren die Frauen signifikant unzufriedener, wenn sie mit dem Zustand ihres Hauses haderten, wie eine ergänzende Befragung offenbarte. Eine Speicheluntersuchung an drei aufeinander folgenden Tagen lieferte bei den betreffenden Probandinnen zudem Hinweise auf einen ungünstigen Kortisolspiegel, der auf mehr Stress hindeutete. Ihre Laune verschlechterte sich im Lauf des Tages immer weiter, wohingegen sich die Stimmung der übrigen Frauen eher aufhellte.

Unordnung scheint uns nicht nur unzufriedener zu machen: In manchen Fällen beeinflusst sie sogar unser Verhalten. Das demonstrierte etwa der australische Forscher Lenny Vartanian, indem er Probandinnen im Alter von 17 bis 27 Jahren unter dem Vorwand in sein Labor einlud, er wolle ihre Geschmackspräferenzen untersuchen. Dort kredenzte er ihnen einen Teller mit Crackern, Keksen und Karotten, von denen sie nach Belieben kosten sollten. Manche Teilnehmerinnen fanden die Laborküche dabei sauber und ordentlich vor, andere völlig chaotisch: Da waren Berge aus Küchenpapier aufgetürmt, Becher und Besteck lagen kreuz und quer verstreut.

Unordnung macht Appetit auf Kekse

Das Gemüse war insgesamt bei allem Probandinnen weniger beliebt als das Gebäck; Cracker und Kekse lagen in etwa gleichauf. Mussten die Frauen jedoch zuvor über ein unangenehmes Ereignis in ihrer Biografie schreiben, aßen sie im Schnitt doppelt so viele Kekse in der Chaos-Küche wie entspannte Versuchsperson. Die Kombination aus emotionalem Stress und Unordnung ließ die Frauen bei Süßem also vermehrt zugreifen, schlussfolgern die Autoren.

Auch ein Team um die Sozialpsychologin Kathleen Vohs von der University of Minnesota verglich in verschiedenen Experimenten, wie sich Testpersonen in aufgeräumten und unaufgeräumten Zimmern verhalten. Nachdem die Probanden einige Minuten damit zugebracht hatten, Fragebogen auszufüllen, baten die Forscher sie, Geld für einen guten Zweck zu spenden, und stellten sie auf dem Weg nach draußen vor die Wahl, einen Apfel oder einen Schokoriegel mitzunehmen. Hatten die Teilnehmer in einem Raum gearbeitet, in dem Blätter und Bücher verstreut lagen, spendeten nur 47 Prozent von ihnen und gerade mal 20 Prozent wählten die gesunde Kost. Im aufgeräumten Zimmer hingegen waren 82 Prozent der Probanden bereit zu helfen, und die Mehrheit entschied sich für Obst statt Schokolade.

//"Aller Anfang ist schwer | Wer mit dem Aufräumen beginnt, sollte sich zunächst auf einen kleinen Bereich konzentrieren – und sich nicht gleich die gesamte Wohnung vornehmen. So bleibt man länger motiviert."///z8

In einer chaotischen Umgebung verliert man im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes schneller den Überblick. Als die Psychologen James Cutting und Kacie Armstrong von der Cornell University im Bundesstaat New York ihren Probanden Szenen aus Filmen wie dem Justizdrama »Erin Brockovich« oder Stanley Kubricks »Spartacus« zeigten, brauchten diese umso länger, um die Gesichtsausdrücke der Leinwandhelden zu erkennen, je unübersichtlich der Bildhintergrund gestaltet war. Wer sich auf eine Aufgabe konzentrieren will, tut dies also offenbar besser, wenn er visuell nicht zu sehr abgelenkt wird.

Doch ist Unordnung wirklich immer schlecht? Nicht ganz. Es scheint tatsächlich Momente zu geben, in denen wir vom Durcheinander profitieren können. Auch das zeigt ein Experiment von Vohs und ihren Kollegen aus derselben Versuchsreihe. Dabei sollten die Teilnehmer entweder in einem ordentlichen oder in einem unaufgeräumten Zimmer möglichst viele Ideen entwickeln, wofür sich ein Tischtennisball verwenden lässt. Beide Gruppen hatten gleich viele Einfälle, unabhängige Beurteiler hielten die im Chaos entstandenen allerdings für signifikant kreativer.

Kreative Chaoten

In einem anderen Setting sollten sich die Probanden einen Smoothie aus einer Getränkekarte aussuchen. Manche waren dabei als »klassisch« beschrieben, andere als »neu«. Das Ergebnis: Im unaufgeräumten Ambiente bevorzugten die Teilnehmer eher die neuen Rezepturen. Lange nahm man an, dass Menschen per se von einer geordneten Umgebung profitieren. Vohs' Befunde sprechen für eine nuanciertere Wahrheit: Unordnung regt uns offenbar dazu an, von der Norm abzuweichen, uns unkonventionell zu verhalten, und bringt uns so mitunter auf originellere Ideen. Die Autorin merkt in der Studie an, dass viele große Denker wie Albert Einstein ziemliche Chaoten gewesen sein sollen.

Sich hin und wieder zumindest von einigen Besitztümern zu trennen – oder gar nicht erst so viele anzuhäufen –, ist dennoch sinnvoll. Aber warum fällt uns Ausmisten meist so schwer? Das könnte damit zusammenhängen, dass wir oft erstaunlich schnell eine emotionale Bindung zu Dingen aufbauen. Sara Kiesler von der Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science in Pittsburgh zeigte Studenten einen Film, in dem sich geometrische Figuren bewegten und manchmal kollidierten. Ein Teil der Probanden hatte zuvor erfahren, dass ein kleines Dreieck ihnen gehörte. Während Beobachter ohne Besitz das Geschehen eher gelangweilt verfolgten, reagierten die anderen emotional – und bildeten sich beispielsweise ein, »ihr« Dreieck würde von einem größeren angegriffen.

Bei manchen Menschen ist die emotionale Bindung zum eigenen Besitz sogar so eng, dass sie krankhafte Ausmaße annimmt. Psychologen sprechen in diesem Fall auch von »pathologischem Horten«, das 2013 als eigene Diagnose Einzug in das Diagnostische und Statistische Manual psychischer Störungen (DSM-5) erhielt. Betroffene sammeln Dinge, die andere als völlig wertlos erachten – etwa alte Zeitungen oder kaputte Elektrogeräte. Obwohl manche Räume durch den angehäuften Trödel mitunter unbewohnbar werden, sind sie nicht in der Lage, sich von ihnen zu trennen. Viele Wissenschaftler halten das Syndrom für eine Unterform der Zwangsstörung, da Zwangspatienten manchmal ähnliche Symptome zeigen: Sie leiden unter der Vorstellung, dass etwas Schreckliches passiert, sobald sie einen bestimmen Gegenstand wegwerfen.

Unordnung regt uns offenbar dazu an, von der Norm abzuweichen, uns unkonventionell zu verhalten, und bringt uns so auf originellere Ideen

Experten schätzen, dass rund zwei bis sechs Prozent der Menschen in Europa und den USA vom pathologischen Horten betroffen sind. Das heißt im Umkehrschluss aber auch: Für die überwiegende Mehrheit sollte es eigentlich keine unüberwindbare Hürde darstellen, das Chaos in den eigenen vier Wänden in den Griff zu bekommen. Doch wo fängt man am besten an, wenn man den Entschluss zum Aufräumen erst einmal gefasst hat? Zum Beispiel im Schlafzimmer. In einer Erhebung der US-amerikanischen National Sleep Foundation gaben nämlich mehr als die Hälfte der Befragten an, ein sauberes und ordentliches Schlafzimmer sei für sie Voraussetzung für eine erholsame Nachtruhe.

Ist die erste Ecke dann erst einmal auf Vordermann gebracht, fühlen wir uns anschließend oft wie berauscht. Denn wenn wir ein Ziel erreichen oder ein Projekt erfolgreich abschließen, regt sich meist das neuronale Belohnungssystem – und motiviert uns für den nächsten Schritt. Deshalb ist es ratsam, beim Aufräumen zunächst einen kleinen Bereich anzugehen, statt sich gleich das ganze Haus vorzunehmen.

Einen Trick, wie man sich auch von Gegenständen mit sentimentalem Wert leichter trennen kann, kennen Karen Page Winterich von der Pennsylvania State University und ihre Kolleginnen Rebecca Walker Reczek und Julie R. Irwin. Die drei Forscherinnen ließen Studierende, die einen Teil ihres Hab und Guts an eine gemeinnützige Organisation spenden sollten, die betreffenden Besitztümer zuvor fotografieren. Teilnehmer, die solche Bilder machten, konnten sich zusammen von 613 Gegenstände trennen, eine Kontrollgruppe gab hingegen nur 533 Stücke weg. Die Wissenschaftlerinnen vermuten, dass die Fotos als Gedächtnisstütze fungieren und uns dabei helfen, die schönen Erinnerungen, die mit manchen Besitztümern verbunden sind, sowie deren Bedeutung für unsere Identität zu konservieren.

Soll die neu geschaffene Ordnung langfristig halten, wird man allerdings wohl kaum darum herumkommen, seine Einkaufsgewohnheiten zu hinterfragen und zu verändern. Wie geht es wohl mit Mario weiter, sobald Kondo und das Kamerateam wieder abgerückt sind? Ob er beim nächsten Besuch im Schuhgeschäft stark bleiben kann?

Corinna Hartmann hat einen Bachelorabschluss in Psychologie und arbeitet als Wissenschaftsjournalistin in Saarbrücken.

Kaynak: https://www.spektrum.de/news/was-unordnung-mit-uns-macht/1624160



"Riemannsche Vermutung endlich gelöst?"

Yazı: Manon Bischoff 24.09.2018

Abelpreisträger und Fields-Medaillengewinner Sir Michael Atiyah behauptet das knapp 160 Jahre alte Problem gelöst zu haben. Gelang dem 89-Jährigen tatsächlich der Durchbruch?


»Niemand glaubt einen Beweis der riemannschen Vermutung!« Diese kernige Aussage präsentiert der renommierte Mathematiker Sir Michael Atiyah am Montag auf dem Heidelberg Laureate Forum 2018 – während er seinen Beweis eben dieser riemannschen Vermutung auf einer einzigen Folie zeigt. Im Publikum sitzen prominente Abel- und Fields-Medaillenpreisträger sowie junge aufstrebende Mathematiker und Informatiker. Am Ende von Atiyahs Vortrag vernimmt man zunächst nur eines – Schweigen.

Kein Wunder: Die riemannsche Vermutung zählt zu den bedeutendsten offenen Fragen der Mathematik. Und jetzt will sie jemand bewiesen haben? Da ist erst einmal Skepsis angesagt. Sollte der Beweis stimmen, wären die Folgen gewaltig: Er würde die lang ersehnte Verteilung der Primzahlen extrem genau preisgeben. Daneben wäre auch noch ein ganzer Stapel anderer mathematischer Fragen beantwortet.

Aber die Vermutung ist ein harter Brocken: In den vergangenen 160 Jahren hat es nur erfolglose Versuche gegeben, sie zu beweisen. Nun aber glaubt der Brite Atiyah, mit einer radikal neuen Methode einen Beweis gefunden zu haben. »Ich habe gar nicht danach gesucht«, erzählt er in seinem Vortrag, »es kam einfach so heraus.« Kann das sein? Hat der 89-Jährige wirklich den entscheidenden Schlüssel zur Lösung der legendären Frage gefunden?

Ein 160 Jahre altes Rätsel

Bernhard Riemann war einer der wichtigsten Mathematiker der letzten Jahrhunderte, der die Gebiete der Analysis, Differenzialgeometrie und der Zahlentheorie vollkommen veränderte. In seiner 1859 erschienenen Arbeit »Über die Anzahl der Primzahlen unter einer gegebenen Größe« formulierte er seine berühmte Vermutung. Dies war seine einzige Veröffentlichung im Bereich der Zahlentheorie – und dennoch zählt sie bis heute zu einem der bedeutendsten Werke dieser Disziplin. In seinem neunseitigen Aufsatz untersuchte er die Verteilung der Primzahlen und erzielte dabei faszinierende Ergebnisse.

// VORTRAG VON SIR MICHAEL ATIYAH AUF DEM HLF 2018 -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBVy0oOYczQ ///

Da Riemann hauptsächlich auf dem Fachgebiet der Analysis tätig war, die sich häufig mit stetigen oder differenzierbaren Funktionen beschäftigt, wählte er auch einen solchen Ansatz, um die Verteilung der Primzahlen zu studieren. Das wirkte zunächst überraschend, da das Reich der Funktionen, die kontinuierliche Werte annehmen können, auf den ersten Blick nichts mit den diskreten Zahlen zu tun hat, die nur durch eins und sich selbst teilbar sind. Durch Riemanns Arbeit fanden Mathematiker später heraus, dass Primzahlen in kleinen Bereichen des Zahlenstrahls zwar willkürlich verstreut sind, aber asymptotisch (also für Intervallgrößen, die gegen unendlich gehen) regelmäßig erscheinen.

Diese Ordnung spiegelt sich in der von Riemann gefundenen Primzahlfunktion \(\pi(x)\) wider, welche die Anzahl aller Primzahlen bestimmt, die kleiner als eine gegebenen Anzahl \(x\) sind. Die Funktion hängt von der so genannten Zeta-Funktion \(\zeta\) ab, die der Schweizer Wissenschaftler Leonhard Euler bereits 1737 eingeführt hatte, die aber erst durch Riemanns berühmte Arbeit ins Rampenlicht der Mathematik rückte. Die Primzahlfunktion ist nicht exakt – die Verteilung der Primzahlen schwankt um einen Wert, der durch die Nullstellen der Zeta-Funktion bestimmt ist. Anders ausgedrückt: Kennt man all die Werte \(z,\) für die \(\zeta(z)\) gleich null ist, kann man daraus sehr genau auf die Verteilung der Primzahlen schließen.

Riemann fiel bereits in diesem Aufsatz auf, dass die Nullstellen der Zeta-Funktion einem bestimmten Muster zu folgen scheinen. »Hiervon wäre allerdings ein strenger Beweis zu wünschen; ich habe indes die Aufsuchung desselben nach einigen flüchtigen vergeblichen Versuchen vorläufig bei Seite gelassen, da er für den nächsten Zweck meiner Untersuchung entbehrlich schien«, merkt er darin an. Das Muster entdeckte er aber erst, nachdem er die von Euler definierte Funktion erweitert hatte: Anstatt sie nur mit den gewöhnlichen reellen Zahlen zu speisen, setzte er auch komplexe Zahlen ein, die Wurzeln aus negativen Zahlen enthalten. Schnell stieß Riemann auf »triviale« Nullstellen: Er zeigte, dass die Zeta-Funktion für alle negativen geraden Zahlen verschwindet. Allerdings besitzt sie weitere Nullstellen, die alle auf einer Geraden zu liegen scheinen: Und zwar auf \(\text{Re}(z) = \frac{1}{2}.\) Das würde heißen, dass der reelle Anteil einer Nullstelle der Zeta-Funktion immer den Wert \(\frac{1}{2}\) hätte. Diese Beobachtung ging als »riemannsche Vermutung« in die Mathematikgeschichte ein.

In den nächsten 150 Jahren versuchten sich etliche Wissenschaftler erfolglos an einem Beweis dieser These. Als der Mathematiker David Hilbert von der Universität Göttingen im Jahr 1900 am internationalen Mathematikerkongress in Paris seine berühmte Rede zu den zehn wichtigsten offenen Problemen der Mathematik hielt, befand sich darunter auch die riemannsche Vermutung. Hilbert soll gesagt haben, dass seine erste Frage nach einem 1000-jährigen Schlaf wäre, ob das 1859 gestellte Rätsel gelöst sei.

Von ursprünglich zehn Problemen seiner Liste sind inzwischen acht zumindest teilweise gelöst – doch bei der riemannschen Vermutung gab es bisher kaum Fortschritte. Anlässlich des 100. Geburtstags von Hilberts prägender Rede formulierte das Clay Mathematics Institute zur Jahrtausendwende sieben »Millennium-Probleme«, deren Lösung mit jeweils einer Million US-Dollar belohnt wird. Darunter ist auch die riemannsche Vermutung. Das Preisgeld erhält man aber nur für ihren Beweis. Liefert man hingegen ein Gegenbeispiel, das heißt eine Nullstelle, die nicht auf der erwarteten Gerade liegt, geht man leer aus. Neben den gescheiterten Versuchen eines Beweises haben Mathematiker mit enormer Rechenpower bisher mehrere Milliarden dieser Nullstellen berechnet, doch keine wich von der vorhergesagten Geraden ab.

Eine Lösung durch Zufall?

Nun behauptet Atiyah durch Zufall auf eine Lösung der riemannschen Vermutung gestoßen zu sein. Der britisch-libanesische Mathematiker kam 1929 in London zur Welt. Seine bekannteste Errungenschaft ist der nach ihm und Isadore Singer benannte Atiyah-Singer-Indexsatz, den sie 1963 gemeinsam bewiesen. Bewegt sich beispielsweise ein physikalisches Teilchen auf einer gekrümmten Oberfläche, dann setzt der Indexsatz die Form der Oberfläche mit den möglichen Energien der Teilchen in Zusammenhang. Drei Jahre später brachte unter anderem diese Arbeit Atiyah die Fields-Medaille ein, eine Art Nobelpreis für Mathematik, die nur Personen unter 40 Jahren verliehen wird.

2004 erhielt er zusammen mit Singer den Abelpreis, eine weitere hohe Auszeichnung, die meist für das Lebenswerk eines Mathematikers vergeben wird. Anders als viele andere Meister seines Fachs zeigte sich Atiyah stets an den Anwendungen seiner Theorien interessiert und erzielte gerade mit seinem Indexsatz wichtige Ergebnisse in der theoretischen Physik. Insgesamt gilt er in der wissenschaftlichen Gemeinschaft nicht als »Problemlöser«, sondern als »Erschaffer von Theorien«.

Und in der Fachwelt war zuletzt bereits angekommen, was er in Heidelberg präsentieren will. Doch einige Experten äußerten sich im Vorfeld der Konferenz skeptisch. Der mathematische Physiker John Baez von der University of California in Riverside äußerte beispielsweise in einem Tweet: »Ich gehe davon aus, dass [der Beweis] nicht standhalten wird. Atiyah hat in der Vergangenheit schon große Ankündigungen gemacht, etwa dass die sechsdimensionale Kugelfläche keine komplexen Strukturen zulässt, die einer Prüfung nicht standhielten. Jeder, der ihn gut kennt, war zu verlegen, um die Gründe dafür öffentlich zu diskutieren.«

Auch viele der Zuhörer von Atiyahs Vortrag fragten sich, wie der berühmte Engländer in nur 45 Minuten einen vollständigen Beweis der riemannschen Vermutung präsentieren sollte – und, wie er ankündigte, auch noch auf für Mathematikstudenten nachvollziehbarem Niveau.

Umso erstaunter sind alle während des Vortrags, als er die ersten 30 Minuten damit verbrachte, eine Einführung in das Thema zu geben. Doch dann kommt Atiyah plötzlich auf die Teilchenphysik zu sprechen. Anfang 2018 habe er eine Konferenz besucht, wo er sich mit vielen Physikern unterhalten konnte, erzählt er. Dort sei er mit ihnen zu dem Schluss gekommen, dass man endlich die Feinstrukturkonstante verstehen müsse – auch nicht gerade ein kleines Rätsel.

Die Feinstrukturkonstante ist eine dimensionslose Größe, welche die Stärke der elektromagnetischen Wechselwirkung in der Physik angibt. Sie entspricht etwa \(\frac{1}{137}\) und kann bisher nur durch physikalische Berechnungen und Messungen genau bestimmt werden; sie scheint nicht mit anderen mathematischen Konstanten (wie \(\pi\) oder der Eulerschen Zahl e) zusammenzuhängen. Was sollte die Feinstrukturkonstante aus der Physik nun mit der riemannschen Vermutung zu tun haben?

Als Atiyah nach einer rein mathematischen Herleitung der Feinstrukturkonstante suchte, stieß er auf eine Funktion, die der deutsche Mathematiker Friedrich Hirzebruch in den 1960er Jahren eingeführt hatte. Mit der so genannten Todd-Funktion fand Atiyah nach eigenen Angaben zuerst einen mathematischen Ausdruck der Feinstrukturkonstante und ihm gelang anschließend ein Widerspruchsbeweis der riemannschen Vermutung. Indem er voraussetzte, die Zeta-Funktion hätte eine Nullstelle außerhalb der vorhergesagten Gerade, folgerte er aus den Eigenschaften der Todd-Funktion, dass die Zeta-Funktion überall null sein müsse. Da dies offensichtlich nicht stimmt, muss auch die Annahme falsch sein – somit liegen alle Nullstellen auf der Geraden \(\text{Re}(z) = \frac{1}{2}.\) Die einzelnen mathematischen Umformungen nahmen nur drei Zeilen in Anspruch. Damit hatte niemand gerechnet.

So erzählt er es dem staunenden Publikum in Heidelberg. Als ihn jemand im Publikum fragt, wann er sein Ergebnis veröffentlichen würde, antwortet Atiyah, dass die mathematische Herleitung der Feinstrukturkonstante das eigentlich komplizierte Ergebnis sei – der Beweis der riemannschen Vermutung sei vollständig auf seiner Folie präsentiert.

Doch es geht noch skurriler: Er habe seine Resultate bereits bei »arXiv« eingereicht, einem Dokumentenserver beim Physikern und Mathematikern sehr beliebten Server für Preprint-Aufsätze – seine Arbeit sei aber nach eigenen Angaben wegen seines hohen Alters abgelehnt worden sei. Auch wenn Artikel auf »arXiv« ohne aufwändiges Peer-Review veröffentlicht werden, prüft ein Experte des betreffenden Fachgebiets einen Aufsatz und kann diesen dann zurückweisen.

Wie groß ist nun die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass sein Beweis stimmt? Andere Mathematiker haben sich mittlerweile kritisch geäußert. Sie vermuten schwer wiegende Fehler in der Definition und den genutzten Eigenschaften der Todd-Funktion. Ob die riemannsche Vermutung nun wirklich bewiesen ist, ist also fraglich. Es bleibt abzuwarten, was andere Kollegen dazu sagen werden – oder ob auch sie einfach nur schweigen.

Manon Bischoff ist Redakteurin bei »Spektrum der Wissenschaft«, vorrangig für die Bereiche Mathematik und Informatik.

Kaynak: https://www.spektrum.de/news/atiyah-praesentiert-angeblichen-beweis-der-riemannschen-vermutung/1593390



"Dahi Bir Matematikçi: Bernhard Riemann"

Yazı: Ceyda Cevahir 1 Temmuz 2017

//"Bir çok bilim insanının teorisine anlam kazandırmış ve 40 yıllık kısacık ömrüne birçok formül sığdırmış dahi bir matematikçi düşünün; Bernhard Riemann."///122u

Yıl 1854. Bernhard Riemann, 28 yaşında genç bir akademisyen. Doçent olmayı arzulamaktadır. Doçentlik tezi üzerinde 30 ay çalışmıştır. Son aşamada jüri önünde ders vermesi gerekir. Jüri onun beklediği üç konudan birini seçecek ve anlatmasını isteyecektir. Jüri başkanı Carl Frideric Gauss’tur. Gauss daha o devirde Avrupa’da efsane olmuş matematikçidir. Genç matematikçi Riemann çocukluktan beri toplulukta konuşmaktan kaçınan, çekingen bir yapıya sahiptir. Ders gününün korkusunu hissederek konu seçimini yapar, jüriye teslim eder. Seçtiği konulardan ikisi elektrik biri geometri üzerinedir. Elektrikle ilgili konulara daha çok çalışmıştır; çünkü Gauss’un yıllardır fizikçi Wilhelm Weber’le bu konular üzerine tartıştığını biliyordur. Gauss’un ondan elektrikle ilgili bölümlerden birini anlatmasını isteyeceğini tahmin etmektedir. Bu yüzden geometri üzerine daha az çalışır ve bu konuda kendini hazır hissetmiyordur.

Jüriden çıkan karar Riemann için tam bir hayal kırıklığıdır. Jüri, Gauss’un önerisiyle genç matematikçiden “Geometrinin Temelinde Yatan Varsayımlar Üzerine” başlıklı tez çalışmasını anlatmasını istemiştir. Genç matematikçi yanılmıştır; çünkü bilmediği bir şey vardır: Gauss, hayatı boyunca bu konu üzerine düşünmüştür ve bu kadar genç bir kimse tarafından bu kadar zor bir konunun nasıl inceleneceğini merak ediyordur.

Riemann şaşırmıştır, üzüntülüdür, karamsardır. Çalışmalarındaki fizikle ilgili bölümlere o denli yoğunlaşmıştır ki vereceği konferansın konusunun “geometri” olduğunu öğrendikten sonra bile, tutkuyla bir süre daha elektrikle ilgili araştırmalarından kendini alamamıştır. Ama kısa bir süre sonra toparlanıp “Geometrinin Temelinde Yatan Varsayımlar Üzerine” başlıklı çalışmasını 7 haftada tekrar ele alarak tamamlar ve artık beklenen gün gelmiştir.

1854’ün 10 Haziran’ında Gauss ve jüri üyelerinin karşısındadır. Heyecanla, çekinerek başlamış olduğu konuşması bittiğinde, salon sessizliğe bürünmüştür, anlatılanlardan jüri başkanı dışında kimse pek bir şey anlayamamıştır. Riemann’ın düşüncelerindeki derinliği gören Gauss, şaşkınlık ve hayranlık içindedir. Bu konuşma onun beklentilerinin çok üstündedir. Riemann’ı dinledikten hemen sonra fakültede katıldığı toplantıda, bir kimseyi kolay kolay övmeyen Gauss, Wilhelm Weber’e Riemann’ın sunumunu “Verimli, mükemmel, yüce bir yaratıcılık” sözleriyle anlatmıştır.

Matematik tarihinin çizdiği yoldan ilerleyip Riemann’a ulaşmaya çalışan bir kişi, ilk olarak, yukarıda kısaca hikayesini anlattığımız Riemann geometrisi adıyla bilinen kuramla karşılaşacaktır. Onun 1854’te ortaya koydukları 60 yıl sonra bile tam olarak anlaşılamamış, sonrasında Genel Görelilik Teorisi’ni mükemmel bir şekilde haklı çıkarmıştır. Bu tarihi ders, sadece matematikte değil, fizik ve evren bilim dallarında da devrim niteliğinde sonuçlara yol açmıştır. Albert Einstein, “Riemann’ın bu çalışmasından haberim olmasaydı görelilik kuramını hiçbir zaman geliştiremeyecektim” demiştir.

Riemann’ın 1854’te tam hazırlanmadan (!) vermiş olduğu bu ders, bilim tarihinin dönüm noktalarından biri olarak kabul edilir. Bu tarihi konuşmayı şair, yazar Tarık Günersel kurgulayarak anlatmıştır: Genç matematikçi sunumu bitirirken profesör kahkahayla alay ediyordu. ‘Böyle geometri olur mu?’ Riemann onlara aldırmadan Gauss’a baktı. Koltuğu boştu. Demin çıkmıştı demek. Peşinden koştu. Koridor. Gece. Dahi matematikçi yıldızlara bakıyor. “Nasıl buldunuz üstad?” “Benim devir kapandı. Ona üzülüyorum. Yeni bir çağ başladı.” Kırk yaşında öldü Riemann, 1866’da Katkıları Einstein’a görecilik teorisinde matematik imkan sağladı.

Aile Yapısı, Kişiliği ve İlk Yılları

Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann 17 Eylül 1826’da Hannover’in küçük bir köyünde dünyaya gelir. Babası Friederich Bernhard Riemann yoksul bir Lüteryan papazıdır, Napolyon savaşlarında savaşmıştır. Charlotte Ebelf ile evlenir. Altı çocukları olur. Bernhard, ailenin en büyük ikinci çocuğudur. Ama anne çocuklar ergenliğe ulaşmadan ölür.

Riemann, on iki yaşına kadar babası ve özel ders öğretmenleri tarafından eğitilir. On iki yaşında ortaokulun ilk iki sınıfını atlayarak doğrudan üçüncü sınıfa yazılır. Matematik dışındaki derslerde başarılıdır ama olağanüstü değildir. İçine kapanık yapısı arkadaş edinmesini engeller. Kendi üzerine dikkat çekmekten nefret eder. Topluluk önünde konuşmayı sevmez. Konuşmak zorunda kalacaksa söyleyeceği sözleri önceden hazırlamaya çalışır. Bu çabası kimi biyografi yazarlarına göre onda mükemmeliyetçi bir kişiliğe yol açmıştır. Gauss da aynı görüştedir, öğrencisinin eserlerindeki mükemmelliğin onun kişilik özellikleriyle ilişkili olduğunu belirtmiştir.

On altı yaşında Lüneburg Lisesine yazılan Riemann, o dönemin en zor konuları olarak kabul edilen İbranice ve teoloji eğitimi alır, ama bu konular hiç ilgisini çekmez. Matematik yapma tutkusu bu alanda da kendini gösterir, Allah’ın varlığını kanıtlamak ister! Ama Kurt Gödel kadar bile başarılı olamaz! Ömrünün sonuna dek dinine bağlı kalır, ama hiçbir zaman dindar olmaz. Onun yaşam öyküsünü kaleme almış olan arkadaşı ünlü Alman matematikçi Richard Dedekind şöyle yazmıştır:” Riemann için asıl olan nokta, dinin günlük vicdan sınavından ibaret olmasıdır.”

Bir Kitaptan Tarihi Bir Hipoteze

Lise müdürü, Bernhard’ın matematik yeteneğini görerek ona kişisel kütüphanesini açmıştır. Riemann, müdürün önerdiği matematik kitaplarını incelemeye başlar. İlk okuduğu kitap Legendre’nin Sayılar Teorisi Üzerine Bir Deneme adlı kitabıdır. Yüksek seviyedeki sekiz yüz küsur sayfalık bu kitabı altı günde okuyarak idare eder. Müdür, “Nereye kadar okudunuz?” diye sorunca Riemann, “Mükemmel bir kitap, onu tamamen anladım.” diye yanıtlar. Daha sonra yapmış olduğu çalışmalar, okul müdürüne verdiği yanıtın doğruluğunun kanıtı gibidir.

Riemann, asal sayıların gizemli dünyasına Legendre’in kitabıyla adımını atar. Legendre’in kitabıyla adımını atar. Legendre, verilen bir sayıdan küçük asal sayıların sayısını aşağı yukarı hesaplamaya yarayan bir formül öne sürmüştür. Riemann, yıllar sonra bu problemin genel çözümünü yapmak için uğraşır. En parlak çalışmalarından biri de bu konu üzerinedir.

Riemann, yukarıda sözünü ettiğimiz problemle uğraştığı sırada asal sayıların tüm doğal sayılar içindeki dağılımını incelemeye başlar ve karşısına bugün Riemann zeta fonksiyonu olarak bilinen bir seri çıkar. Riemann, asal sayıların sıklığının bu fonksiyonun davranışına çok bağlı olduğunu gözlemler ve bugün Riemann Hipotezi olarak bilinen ve hala daha çözülmemiş olan bir sav ortaya atar. Bu hipotez, Riemann otuz üç yaşındayken Berlin Üniversitesi’nin aylık notlarında yayımlanmıştır.

Riemann Hipotezi’nin bugün matematikte çözülemeyen en önemli problem olduğunu söylemek yanlış olmayacaktır. 1 milyon dolar ödüllü üç beş sorudan biridir. Genel çözümünün yapılabilmesi halinde asal sayıların dağılımıyla ilgili çok önemli bilgilere ulaşmak mümkün olacaktır.


Ali Nesin- Ali Törün, Matematikçi Portreleri, sf: 153-167

Yazının alındığı yer: https://www.matematiksel.org/dahi-bir-matematikci-bernhard-riemann/

[Edited at 2019-02-16 09:21 GMT]


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
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német - török
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~ Feb 15, 2019


"Der schrille Zwangspensionär"

Yazı: Theodor Kissel 27.01.2019

Jahrzehntelang saß der deutsche Exkaiser Wilhelm II. im Exil, hackte Holz und fantasierte wie besessen von der Rückkehr nach Berlin. Bloß wollte ihn dort keiner mehr.


Es steht nicht gut um die Demokratie im geschlagenen Deutschland. Und nicht wenige wollen schon bald ihren »alten Kaiser Wilhelm wiederhaben«, wie es seit Ende des Kaiserreichs in einem alten Gassenhauer zur Melodie des 1893 komponierten Fehrbelliner Reitermarsches, auch Kaiser-Wilhelm-Marsch genannt, gesungen wird. Wilhelm II., am 10. November 1918 ins holländische Exil geflohen, und egozentrisch bis über beide Ohren, hört es mit Wohlgefallen. Und – wie so oft – nicht richtig zu. Denn im Lied heißt es weiter: »Aber den mit'm Bart, mit'm langen Bart.« Dass damit nicht er und seine Oberlippenzier gemeint sind, sondern sein Großvater Kaiser Wilhelm I. (1797-1888), bekommt er nicht mit. Eines der vielen Missverständnisse im langen Leben des vor genau 160 Jahren am 27. Januar 1859 geborenen Monarchen.

Standhaft weigerte sich Wilhelm II., des Reiches oberster Kriegsherr, den Weg freizumachen zu einem Waffenstillstand, den die alliierten Siegermächte nur mit einem demokratiewilligen Deutschland zu schließen bereit waren. Aus diesem Grund schickte der neue Reichskanzler, Prinz Max von Baden, am 1. November 1918 den preußischen Innenminister Bill Drews ins Große Hauptquartier im belgischen Spa, um dem Kaiser den Thronverzicht nahezulegen. Doch der wies das Ansinnen brüskiert von sich: »Ich danke nicht ab: Es würde dies mit den Pflichten, die ich als preußischer König und Nachfolger Friedrichs des Großen vor Gott, dem Volke und meinem Gewissen habe, unvereinbar sein […]. Vor allem verbietet mir auch meine Pflicht als oberster Kriegsherr, jetzt die Armee im Stich zu lassen. Das Heer steht in heldenhaftem Kampfe mit dem Feinde. Sein fester Zusammenhalt beruht in der Person des obersten Kriegsherrn. Geht dieser fort, so fällt die Armee auseinander und der Feind bricht ungehindert in die Heimat ein.«

In völliger Verkennung der tatsächlichen Situation lehnte Seine Majestät auch in den darauf folgenden Tagen eine Demission kategorisch ab: »Ich denke gar nicht daran, wegen der paar 100 Juden und der 1000 Arbeiter den Thron zu verlassen.« Noch am 8. November 1918 kanzelte er telefonisch aus dem Großen Hauptquartier seinen Kanzler ab: »Werdet ihr in Berlin nicht anderen Sinnes, so komme ich mit meinen Truppen und schieße die Stadt zusammen.« Die starken Worte eines Mannes, der längst verspielt hatte. Denn die Militärs waren sich einig: Der Kaiser musste auf den Thron verzichten, um die Monarchie zu retten.

//"Der Kaiser bei der Lagebesprechung | Kaiser Wilhelm II. (Mitte) im Großen Hauptquartier in Pleß während einer Lagebesprechung mit der Heeresleitung. Links Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg, rechts General Erich Ludendorff. Von beiden (und nicht nur von diesen) fühlte sich der Wilhelm nach der Abdankung verraten."///2p

Unklarheit herrschte bei den Militärs nur in einem Punkt: Wohin mit dem hohen Herrn? Allein das neutrale Holland konnte man von Spa aus einigermaßen risikolos erreichen, und Eile war geboten. Man rechnete mit einem »bolschewistischen Angriff« aus dem Raum Aachen. Schließlich bröckelt auch bei Wilhelm II. der Widerstand. Voll Selbstmitleid seufzte er am Abend des 9. November, als ihn die Nachricht erreichte, die deutsche Republik sei ausgerufen worden: »Das Beste wird schon sein, ich schieße mich tot.« Aber dann willigte er doch in Fluchtpläne ein, weil seine Getreuen ihn davon überzeugen konnten, dass ein Christ nicht einmal mit dem Gedanken an den Freitod spielen dürfe. Auch Holland war ihm recht. Das oranische Königshaus, mit den Hohenzollern versippt und verschwägert, würde kaum einen Vetter ausliefern.

Die Alliierten hatten nämlich keinen Zweifel daran gelassen, dass sie Wilhelm vor Gericht stellen wollten. Ob das kleine Holland den nötigen Schutz bieten konnte? »Kaiser Hosenvoll«, wie der Publizist Maximilian Harden den flüchtigen Kaiser verächtlich nannte, fand zunächst Unterkunft beim Grafen Godard van Aldenburg-Bentinck in Amerongen und wälzte – für den Fall der Fälle – mit seinem Stab die abenteuerlichsten Fluchtpläne, falls Den Haag doch noch schwach werden sollte. Doch so weit kommt es nicht, weil die Siegermächte Ende 1918 ganz andere Sorgen haben: Der Waffenstillstand muss umgesetzt und Friedensverhandlungen in die Wege geleitet werden.

So gerät der letzte deutsche Kaiser zunächst aus dem Blickfeld der alliierten Siegermächte. 18 Monate – viel länger als es dem Grafen Bentinck lieb sein mochte – verbrachte der Kaiser mit seinem Minihofstaat aus letzten Getreuen im Wasserschloss Amerongen. Dort schmiedet der kaiserliche Asylant nicht nur Pläne für seine Rückkehr, sondern rechnet auch rigoros mit jenen ab, die er einst in ihre Ämter berufen hat. Schon in Amt und Würden nicht um markige Sprüche verlegen, zog Wilhelm auch im Exil kräftig vom Leder: Hindenburg (der ihm zugeredet hat, ins Exil zu gehen), Prinz Max von Baden (der eigenmächtig seine Abdankung bekanntgab) und Ludendorff (der nicht mehr weiterkämpfen wollte) seien allesamt Verräter. »Dreißig Jahre habe ich meine ganze Kraft fürs Vaterland eingesetzt. Dies ist nun der Dank. Nie hätte ich geglaubt, dass die Marine, mein Kind, mir so danken würde. Nie hätte ich es für möglich gehalten, dass meine Armee sich so schnell zersetzen würde. Alle haben sie mich im Stich gelassen.«


Als im Mai 1920, nach langem diplomatischen Hin und Her, sicher war, dass Holland den Exilkaiser nicht ausliefern würde, zog der 61-jährige Wilhelm nach Haus Doorn nahe Utrecht um. Ebenso fürstlich wie die neue Bleibe war auch die Abfindung, welche die »Saurepublik von Weimar«, so der geschasste Kaiser über die verhasste Regierung, ihm zur Führung eines standesgemäßen Unterhalts hatte zukommen lassen. Im ersten Jahr des Exils belief sich diese auf rund 66 Millionen Reichsmark, nach heutiger Kaufkraft rund 30 Millionen Euro. Und im Mai 1921 forderte Wilhelms Hausminister Graf August zu Eulenburg weitere 10 Millionen Reichsmark aus der Staatskasse an. Im Vergleich zu seinen gebeutelten ehemaligen Untertanen konnte der Zwangspensionär ein Leben in Saus und Braus führen. Am 1. September 1919 gab der preußische Finanzminister die für die Einrichtung der Wohnung des ehemaligen Kaisers und Königs bestimmten Möbel und sonstigen Einrichtungsgegenstände frei. Mehr als 50 Eisenbahnwaggons rollten mit dem kaiserlichen Umzugsgut nach Holland. Darunter auch ganz persönliches Inventar aus dem Familienbesitz der Hohenzollern, wie etwa ein Krückstock des Alten Fritz, etliche Marschall- und Admiralstäbe oder der Sattelstuhl, auf dem Seine Majestät schon im Berliner Stadtschloss am Schreibtisch gesessen hatte, der nun im Turmzimmer zu Doorn einen neuen Standort fand.

Dorthin folgte ihm auch Freiherr Sigurd von Ilsemann (1884-1952), Wilhelms ergebener Flügeladjutant, der über die gesamte Exilzeit (1918-1941) minuziös Tagebuch führte. Dank der Aufzeichnungen des ehemaligen Generalstabshauptmanns sind wir heute in der Lage, das Leben des letzten deutschen Kaisers im niederländischen Exil nachzuvollziehen. Vor allem geben sie Aufschluss darüber, dass der abgesetzte Monarch bis in seine letzten Tage hinein fest mit seiner Rückkehr auf den Hohenzollernthron gerechnet hat. O-Ton Willi II: »Ich bin der Einzige, der die Fähigkeit hat, Deutschland wieder aus dem Dreck herauszuführen.«

»Ich brauchte nur zu pfeifen, dann hätte ich Zehntausende hinter mir«
(Wilhelm II.)

Wie schon seinerzeit in Amt und Würden unterliegt der kaiserliche Zwangspensionär auch im Ruhestand zahlreichen Fehleinschätzungen. »Wilhelm unverbesserlich« ist fest davon überzeugt, dass bald seine große Stunde schlägt. So unerschütterlich ist sein Glaube, dass Gott ihn eines Tages auf den Thron seiner Väter zurückrufen wird, dass er auch weiterhin – und das bis zu seinem Tod – seine Briefe mit IR (Imperator Rex) signierte.

Holzfäller im Exil

Zwischenzeitlich vertrieb sich der Kaiser im Unruhestand die Zeit mit Rosenzüchten, Altertumskunde und Holzfällen. Besonders auf letzterem Feld entfaltete der Exkaiser bald eine hektische Betriebsamkeit. Fast täglich rückt der rastlose Zwangspensionär am Morgen zum Sägen aus und lässt dort seinen zigtausendsten Baum fällen. Mit der Besessenheit eines Bibers verwüstet der Kaiser die Parks und Wälder in seiner Umgebung. Angeblich aus Gründen der Fitness, doch stecken wohl eher Allmachtsfantasien und aufgestaute, ziellose Gestaltungswut dahinter. Alle müssen mit anpacken, auch die Damen. Ilsemann: »Der Kaiser hält den Baum, die Gräfin Elisabeth (Hofdame der Kaiserin) und ich sägen, und die Kaiserin legt die abgeschnittenen Stücke auf einen Haufen zusammen.« Nur sonntags und bei besonders schönem Wetter wird nicht gesägt.

Längst geht es Wilhelm nicht mehr um die Gesundheit, sondern um Rekorde. Stolz meldet er seinem Gefolge Tag für Tag das Ergebnis seines Tagewerks. Durch Ilsemanns Tagebuch ziehen sich die Meldungen über des Kaisers Hobby wie eine Heimsuchung. Bald hatte Seine Majestät seinen 13 000. Baum gesägt. Und als dem umtriebigen Waldarbeiter die Roderei zu langsam ging, schaffte er sich eine Motorsäge an. Schon im November 1920 notierte Ilsemann: »Der Park wird immer kahler, ein Baum nach dem anderen fällt.«

Abenteuerliche Rückkehrpläne

Doch bei aller Passion für die Waldarbeit, sein Ziel, auf den Hohenzollernthron zurückzukehren, verliert er zu keiner Zeit aus dem Blick. Spätestens seit er weiß, dass sein Gastgeberland ihn nicht an die Alliierten ausliefern wird, schöpft er neuen Mut. Mit dem Wegfall des politischen Drucks, kam auch der alte, nassforsche Wilhelm wieder zum Vorschein. Schwärmerisch malt er sich schon die neuen »herrlichen Tage« aus, denen er das Reich nun entgegenführen werde, freilich erst, nachdem er den »Saustall« in Berlin gründlich ausgemistet hat: »Wenn ich zurückkomme«, poltert er in gewohnt kraftmeierischer Manier, »wird das deutsche Volk mit der Rute regiert.« Und, so der Säbelrassler weiter: »Wenn ich erst wieder zu Hause bin, fliegen aber die Köpfe!«

Als im Frühjahr 1920 schwere Kämpfe zwischen den Polen und der Roten Armee gemeldet werden, sehnt Wilhelm den Einmarsch der Bolschewiken in Deutschland herbei. In der dann fälligen Volkserhebung will er sich an die Spitze der Truppen stellen und im Triumph auf den Thron zurückkehren. Noch näher sieht er sich seinem zweiten Reich, als wenig später der ostpreußische Generallandschaftsdirektor Wolfgang Kapp mit Freikorps gegen die junge Republik putscht und Berlin besetzt. Wie bei einer Siegesnachricht jubelt Wilhelm und ordnet an: »Heute Abend gibt es Champagner!« Und als noch im selben Jahr Kämpfe zwischen deutschen Freikorps und polnischen Aufständischen aufflackern, lässt er Vorbereitungen zur Abreise treffen: »Ich kehre jetzt nach Deutschland zurück, und wenn sie mich dort nicht als Herrscher wollen, übernehme ich ein Korps oder ein sonstiges militärisches Kommando; aber ich kann nicht länger zusehen, wie mein Volk ganz zu Grunde gerichtet wird!«

Hochzeit mit Hermo

Am 11. April 1921 dämpfte der Tod der herzkranken Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria Wilhelms Rückkehrfantasien. Der Kaiser war tief betrübt. In den Kriegsjahren war er seiner Frau nähergekommen, als je zuvor in ihrer langen Ehe, und nun, im Exil, fühlte er sich gänzlich verlassen. Wie seine Mutter es einst bei einem Trauerfall in der Familie getan hatte, ließ er das Zimmer seiner toten Frau abschließen. Alles blieb so, wie sie es verlassen hatte. Solange er lebte, besuchte Wilhelm jeden Morgen den Raum und beugte den Kopf in stillem Gebet.

Die Einsamkeit, die über Haus Doorn lag, sollte jedoch bald vorbei sein. Knapp ein halbes Jahr nach dem Tod der Kaiserin ging der rüstige Witwer auf Brautschau. Schließlich hatte Auguste Viktoria selbst kurz vor ihrem Tod den Wunsch nach einer Wiedervermählung des Kaisers nach ihrem Ableben geäußert. Das war auch ganz im Sinn von Wilhelms Leibarzt Dr. Alfred Haehner, dem die zunehmende Vereinsamung seines Patienten Sorge bereitete. Mehrere Damen wurden in der Folgezeit im Haus Doorn vorstellig, darunter eine hellseherische finnische Ärztin und eine 25-jährige lungenkranke Baronesse. Schließlich entschied sich der kaiserliche Witwer für die 39-jährige, ebenfalls verwitwete Prinzessin Hermine (Hermo) von Schönaich-Carolath, eine geborene Prinzessin Reuß ältere Linie und Mutter von vier Kindern.

//"Kaiserliche Familie in Doorn | Mit seiner zweiten Ehefrau Hermine, genannt Hermo, und deren Töchtern aus erster Ehe, Hermine Karoline und Henriette, lebte Wilhelm in Doorn."///25w

Argwöhnisch beobachtete Ilsemann die über 20 Jahre jüngere Besucherin und holte Erkundigungen über sie ein (»Die Fürstin Castell sagte, dass die Prinzess in Deutschland als falsch und männertoll bekannt sei«). Und er war traurig, weil er an die gute Kaiserin denken musste. Schon am ersten Abend des Hermo-Besuchs änderte Wilhelm, der sonst nie ins Bett fand, seine Gewohnheit: »Schon um 10 Uhr zog der Kaiser sich mit ihr in ihre Gemächer zurück.« Wie die höchst agile Brautanwärterin Wilhelm für sich einzunehmen wusste, mag dahingestellt bleiben. Fakt ist, dass schon am 5. November 1922 die Hochzeitsglocken läuteten. Hierzu ließ sich Seine Majestät in der Uniform des 1. Garderegiments fotografieren und bat Ilsemann, er möge auf etwaige Anfragen nach dem Grund erklären, »dass ich mich noch im Krieg befinde, dass ich deshalb meine Kriegsuniform, mit der ich seinerzeit hier über die Grenze kam, weitertragen werde«.

Gewehr bei Fuß

Wilhelm schwebt auf Wolke sieben. Mit dem privaten Glück wächst auch wieder sein Verlangen, möglichst bald zu Hause die Macht zu übernehmen. Ungeduldig steht der Exilkaiser Gewehr bei Fuß und deutet nahezu jede politische Veränderung als sicheres Anzeichen für seine baldige Rückkehr. Im November 1923 sorgt sein einstiger Feldherr Ludendorff gemeinsam mit einem gewissen Hitler in München für Aufruhr. Wieder ist Wilhelm wie elektrisiert: »Die Ereignisse zeigen aufs Neue, dass eben nicht wieder Ruhe und Ordnung kommt, bis sie wieder ihren Kaiser in Deutschland haben.« Voller Erwartung schreibt er seinen Generälen: »Wenn Ihr mich braucht, ruft mich, ich bin jederzeit bereit, zurückzukehren.«

Es ruft aber keiner. Im Gegenteil, zum Leidwesen des Exilanten konsolidiert sich die Republik. Und schuld daran ist ausgerechnet sein »treuer Eckart«, Feldmarschall von Hindenburg. Dieser sei für seine Flucht verantwortlich, habe er ihn doch damals zu dem verhängnisvollen Schritt überredet und maße sich nun eine Stellung an, die doch nur ihm, dem gottgewollten Monarchen, gezieme. Denn der Sieger von Tannenberg hatte sich 1925 zur Kandidatur für die Nachfolge von Reichspräsident Ebert bewegen lassen und die Wahl triumphal gewonnen. Als »Ersatzkaiser« gelingt es Hindenburg, viele Menschen mit der Republik zu versöhnen. Für den »richtigen« Kaiser grenzt das an Hochverrat. Die Beteuerungen seines einst höchsten Offiziers, er stehe treu zu seinem »kaiserlichen Herrn«, ignoriert Wilhelm.

Weil ihm Deutschland in den Goldenen Zwanzigern nur wenig Stoff für seine Rückkehrfantasien bietet, müssen entlegenere Ereignisse herhalten. Als im Juli 1927 der rumänische König stirbt, sieht Wilhelm wieder einmal seine Stunde gekommen. »Das bedeutet ein zweites Sarajevo«, verkündet er. Aus sicherer Quelle will er wissen, dass die Engländer bereits mobil machen gegen Moskau und daher ein Durchmarschverlangen an die Reichsregierung richten. »Deshalb werde ich gezwungen sein, einzugreifen. Ich will mir ja nicht schmeicheln, aber wenn die Engländer sehen, dass ich die Zügel der Regierung wieder ergriffen habe, werden sie mehr Respekt bekommen.« Doch nichts passiert.

Bald gibt ihm jede auch noch so fantastisch anmutende Gelegenheit Anlass für neue Rückkehrhoffnungen. Statt auf Adel und Offizierskorps setzt er nun auf die deutschen Arbeiter, jene Gesellschaftsgruppe, die er wenige Jahre zuvor noch als Schweinebande bezeichnet hatte: »Ich brauchte nur zu pfeifen, dann hätte ich Zehntausende hinter mir«, verkündet er vollmundig. Und als auch die Massen sich nicht rührten, spekuliert der Emigrant darauf, dass ihn einer ganz gewiss heim ins Reich holen werde: Adolf Hitler.

Unheilvolle Allianz

Als die Weltwirtschaftskrise die Saat des Nationalsozialismus aufgehen lässt, keimen auch die Hoffnungen im Haus Doorn. Getreu dem Motto, die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt, setzt das Kaiserpaar nun auf die braune Karte, wobei die Initiative in diesem Fall mehr von Hermine ausgeht. Hermo oder I.M. (Ihre Majestät) – Spitzname Giftspritze – knüpft Kontakte zu Hitlers zweitem Mann, dem hochdekorierten Weltkriegsflieger Hermann Göring. Ihn holt sie am 17. und 18. Januar 1931, dem 60. Jahrestag der Versailler Kaiserproklamation 1871, nach Doorn. Inzwischen setzt auch Wilhelm große Hoffnungen in den Gast aus Berlin. Wieder notiert Ilsemann: »Der Kaiser hat aus allen Äußerungen Görings entnommen, dass er für seine Rückkehr arbeiten wird [...]. Auch Ihre Majestät, die Kaiserin, ist sehr stolz auf ihren Erfolg mit Göring und spricht nur noch von ›dem treuen und anständigen Menschen‹.«

//"Haus Doorn | Üppige Zuwendungen aus der republikanischen Staatskasse erlaubten es dem Exilanten, ein einigermaßen standesgemäßes Leben zu führen. Heute ist das kleine Schloss nahe Utrecht ein Museum."///325q

Was Wilhelm II. dazu bewegt, trotz aller immer wieder geäußerten Bedenken den Pakt mit den Nationalsozialisten zu suchen, ist eine offene Frage der Geschichtsforschung. Für den deutschen Historiker und Publizisten Volker Ullrich ist der Fall klar: Es war »ein trübes Gemisch aus illusionären Restaurationshoffnungen und antidemokratischen Ressentiments«, das zu der unheiligen Allianz zwischen dem Royalisten und den Braunhemden führte. Ob auch Wilhelms strammer Antisemitismus die Nazis attraktiv machte, lässt sich nicht eindeutig sagen. Auf jeden Fall aber hegte Wilhelm II. bereits während seiner Regierungszeit Ressentiments gegenüber Juden. Und diese haben im Exil zugenommen, wie der englische Historiker John C. G. Röhl dank akribischem Aktenstudium nachweisen konnte.

Kaum im Exil angekommen sei Wilhelm »in einen paranoiden Alptraum versunken, durchdrungen von der Vorstellung, dass satanische Mächte am Werk gewesen seien, um ihn und alles Edle zu vernichten, wofür er zeitlebens ritterlich gekämpft habe«, schreibt Röhl. Im fatalen Einklang mit den Strömungen der Zeit verfiel Wilhelm der fixen Idee einer jüdischen Weltverschwörung gegen die deutsche Monarchie. Die Novemberrevolution, so der »rachsüchtige Exilant« (Röhl), sei ein »Verrat des von dem Judengesindel getäuschten belogenen Deutschen Volkes gegen Herrscherhaus und Heer« gewesen.

Am 2. Dezember 1919 schrieb er dem allertreuesten seiner Generalfeldmarschälle, August von Mackensen: »Die tiefste und gemeinste Schande, die je ein Volk in der Geschichte fertiggebracht, die Deutschen haben sie verübt an sich selbst. Angehetzt und verführt durch den ihnen verhassten Stamm Juda, der Gastrecht bei ihnen genoss. Das war sein Dank! Kein Deutscher vergesse das je und ruhe nicht bis diese Schmarotzer vom Deutschen Boden vertilgt und ausgerottet sind! Dieser Giftpilz am Deutschen Eichbaum!«

Übelster Antisemitismus

Auch im weiteren Verlauf seiner Exilzeit tat sich Wilhelm im kleineren Kreis mit übelsten antisemitischen Äußerungen hervor. Im März 1921 legte er seine krude Weltanschauung bei einem seiner allabendlichen Tischgespräche dar: »Wenn wieder einmal andere Zeiten in Deutschland kämen, müssten die Juden gehörig dran glauben. Etwa 80 Milliarden seien von ihnen ins Ausland verschoben worden. Die müssten sie wieder ersetzen […]. Alles müssten sie hergeben, ihre Sammlungen, ihre Häuser, jedweden Besitz. Aus allen Beamtenstellen müssten sie ein für alle Mal entfernt werden, sie müssten vollkommen zu Boden geworfen werden.« Er rief nach einem »regelrechten internationalen Allerweltspogrom« als »die beste Lösung«. Und am 15. August 1927 notierte Ilsemann: »Die Presse, Juden und Mücken sind eine Pest, von der sich die Menschheit so oder so befreien muss. Das Beste wäre wohl Gas.« Von einer solchen Auffassung war es nicht mehr weit zum Holocaust.

»Ich will das nicht ohne die Nazis erreichen, der Nazischwung muss mitbenutzt werden«
(Wilhelm II.)

Vorrangig scheint Wilhelm jedoch in den Nazis die Steigbügelhalter für seine Rückkehr nach Berlin gesehen zu haben. Sein Gast Göring aber denkt nicht daran. Er interessiert sich mehr für einen funkelnden Hohenzollern-Orden, den er sich an die Brust heften will. Mehr als unverbindliche Bekundungen kommen dem späteren Reichsmarschall nicht über die Lippen, auch 16 Monate später nicht, als der »treue und anständige Mensch« erneut in Doorn aufkreuzt und zum Entsetzen der Kaiserlichen in Pumphosen bei Tisch erscheint. Nein. Man muss wohl Hitler selbst gewinnen, und da ist die früher scharf kritisierte SA-Mitgliedschaft von Kaisersohn August-Wilhelm auf einmal ganz angenehm.

Doch letztlich hilft alles nichts. Denn Hitler sieht in der Monarchie nur eine konservative Verfallserscheinung. Wieder schätzte Wilhelm die Situation falsch ein. In der Hoffnung, bei Hitler zu landen, gibt er den großen Weltstaatsmann und spart nicht mit gönnerhaften Ratschlägen für das Vorgehen gegen die seiner Meinung nach abgewirtschaftete Republik. Den Legalitätskurs Hitlers hält er für viel zu zaghaft: »Er hätte mit 50 000 Nazis nach Berlin marschieren sollen, Hindenburg nach Hause schicken und selbst die Macht nehmen sollen.«

Als dann Hitler anders ans Ziel gelangt, rechnet Wilhelm stündlich mit der Rückberufung. Doch es kommt der 21. März 1933, der »Tag von Potsdam«. Wilhelm muss aus der Ferne miterleben, wie sich Hitler von Hindenburg »den Mantel Friedrichs des Großen umhängen« lässt – so sein Lamento über den Festakt mit dem symbolischen Händedruck, den der Reichspräsident als Repräsentant der preußischen Tradition mit dem neuen Reichskanzler tauscht. Für Seine Majestät ein ungeheuerlicher Akt.

Doch selbst jetzt wirft Wilhelm, inzwischen 74 Jahre alt, die Flinte nicht ins Korn – und hält sich auf Abruf: »Sie machen bereits so viel Unsinn«, konstatiert er, »dass es höchste Zeit wird, dass ich eingreife, vor allem auch, um zu verhindern, dass ein Nazi-Staat kommt.«

Irgendwie aber ist auch ihm klar, dass das Volk gewonnen werden muss und das Gottesgnadentum, auf das er sich zeitlebens beruft, allein nicht mehr als Legitimationsgrundlage für seine Herrschaft genügt: »Ich will das nicht ohne die Nazis erreichen, der Nazischwung muss mitbenutzt werden.« Doch diese Welle reitet der Exkaiser nicht mehr. Als der greise Hindenburg am 2. August 1934 stirbt, schlagen die Nazis dessen Empfehlung zur Wiedereinführung der Monarchie in den Wind. Statt auf Wilhelm II. wird die Reichswehr auf den »Führer und Reichskanzler« in Personalunion vereidigt.

Wilhelm straft »Das Dritte Reich« fortan mit Verachtung, nennt es eine »Mostrich-Republik« – braun und scharf. Das hindert ihn freilich nicht daran, Hitlers Erfolgskurve fasziniert zu verfolgen. Mit kindlichem Eifer fertigt er Lagepläne vom Geschehen im spanischen Bürgerkrieg und im beginnenden Zweiten Weltkrieg an. Er, der sich noch in Amt und Würden am liebsten hoch zu Ross in Paradeuniform im Manöver zeigte, musste nun seine Auftritte notgedrungen ins heimische Wohnzimmer verlegen. Dort spielte der »Sandkastenstratege« die Schlachten in abendlichen Strategiesitzungen nach. Akribisch trug er dabei die jeweiligen Truppenbewegungen in eine Karte ein und markierte die feindlichen Armeen mit unterschiedlichen Farben. Augenzeuge Ilsemann: »Die Meldungen über den Einmarsch deutscher Truppen in Polen trug er sofort in ein Atlas-Blatt ein. Nun hat er also wieder einen Kriegsschauplatz, den er mit blauen und roten Einzeichnungen versehen kann.«

Hingerissen vom Siegeslauf der Wehrmacht, begräbt Wilhelm seinen zwischenzeitig gehegten Groll gegen die braune Regierung und kommentiert mit Begeisterung die militärischen Erfolge Hitlers, die er »als eine willkommene Fortsetzung seiner eigenen Hegemonialbestrebungen sah«, wie der Historiker Röhl schreibt. Anlässlich der Kapitulation Frankreichs im Juni 1940 lässt sich Wilhelm sogar zu einem Telegramm an den »Anstreicher« hinreißen, in dem er Hitler »und die gesamte deutsche Wehrmacht zu dem von Gott geschenkten gewaltigen Sieg« beglückwünscht. Nicht ohne jedoch unerwähnt zu lassen, dass die siegreichen Generäle aus »Meiner Schule kamen und unter Meinem Befehl schon im [Ersten] Weltkrieg als Leutnants, Hauptmänner und junge Majoren gekämpft hatten«.

Dass Wilhelm da schon so gut wie unter Hausarrest steht, höheren Offizieren der Umgang mit ihm untersagt ist und SS-Wachen vor Doorn aufziehen, stört ihn nicht. Noch auf seinem Totenbett am 4. Juni 1941 schwärmt er: »Unsere herrlichen Truppen!«

Theodor Kissel ist Historiker, Sachbuchautor und Wissenschaftsjournalist. Er lebt im Raum Mainz.

Kaynak: https://www.spektrum.de/news/der-schrille-zwangspensionaer-kaiser-wilhelm-ii-im-exil/1620228


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
Tag (2007 óta)
német - török
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~ Feb 15, 2019


"Atatürk'ün Türkçe'ye çevirdiği şiir"

Odatv - 15.02.2019 20:55


Yazar, Emekli Tümgeneral Osman Pamukoğlu’nun yeni kitabı “Devrimlerin Efendisi” İnkilap Kitabevi tarafından yayımlandı.

Osman Pamukoğlu, “Devrimlerin Efendisi” adlı kitabında ulu önder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’ün yaptığı devrimlere yer verdi.

Kitapta, 20’inci yüzyılın başlarında Atatürk ve silah arkadaşlarının Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’ni kurmada hangi değerleri sahiplendikleri anlatıldı.

Osman Pamukoğlu, “Devrimlerin Efendisi”nde Atatürk’ün çevirisini yaptığı şiiri de okuyucuyla paylaştı.

İşte kitapta yer alan Atatürk’ün çevirisini yaptığı o şiir:

“Mustafa Kemal Sofya’da iken, Verlaine’den Serenat adlı şiirin Fransızcadan çevirisini yapmış ve arkadaşı Salih Bozok’a göndermiştir:

Hayat Kısadır

Biraz hayal

Biraz aşk

Ve sonra allahaısmarladık.

Hayat boştur

Biraz kin

Biraz ümit

Ve sonra allahaısmarladık

Mustafa Kemal”

Kaynak: https://odatv.com/ataturkun-turkceye-cevirdigi-siir-15021934.html

[Edited at 2019-02-16 04:52 GMT]


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
Tag (2007 óta)
német - török
+ ...
~ Feb 16, 2019


"Effects of large herbivores on tundra vegetation in a changing climate, and implications for rewilding"

Çalışma: Johan Olofsson and Eric Post
Published:22 October 2018 https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2017.0437


In contrast to that of the Pleistocene epoch, between approximately 2.6 million a
... See more

"Effects of large herbivores on tundra vegetation in a changing climate, and implications for rewilding"

Çalışma: Johan Olofsson and Eric Post
Published:22 October 2018 https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2017.0437


In contrast to that of the Pleistocene epoch, between approximately 2.6 million and 10 000 years before present, the extant community of large herbivores in Arctic tundra is species-poor predominantly due to human extinctions. We here discuss how this species-poor herbivore guild influences tundra ecosystems, especially in relation to the rapidly changing climate. We show that present herbivore assemblages have large effects on tundra ecosystem composition and function and suggest that the effect on thermophilic species expected to invade the tundra in a warmer climate is especially strong, and that herbivores slow ecosystem responses to climate change. We focus on the ability of herbivores to drive transitions between different vegetation states. One such transition is between tundra and forest. A second vegetation transition discussed is between grasslands and moss- and shrub-dominated tundra. Contemporary studies show that herbivores can drive such state shifts and that a more diverse herbivore assemblage would have even higher potential to do so. We conclude that even though many large herbivores, and especially the megaherbivores, are extinct, there is a potential to reintroduce large herbivores in many arctic locations, and that doing so would potentially reduce some of the unwanted effects of a warmer climate.

This article is part of the theme issue ‘Trophic rewilding: consequences for ecosystems under global change’.

1. The Arctic herbivore species assemblage

Herbivores are known to be important components of Arctic ecosystems, and many species like the large reindeer and caribou herds, and high densities of voles and lemmings during peak years, are well known to exert large effects on the ecosystems when they feed on the plants and serve as food for predators [1,2]. Despite their importance, the diversity of herbivores is low in the Arctic. About 50 species of mammalian herbivores are found in the Arctic as a whole, and most regions have a local species richness of mammalian herbivores below 10 [3]. Most of these herbivores are small- or medium-sized rodents, and only six large mammalian herbivores occur in the Arctic [3]. Four of these six herbivores have narrow distributional ranges and are only found in marginally Arctic habitats (moose, Dall's sheep, Siberian bighorn sheep and American bison). This means that the only two large herbivores with wide distributional ranges are caribou/reindeer (Rangifer tarandus; hereafter ‘caribou’, unless used in reference to the domestic or semi-domestic sub-species) [4,5] and muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) [6]. The species richness of large herbivores in the Arctic thus varies between 0 and 2 species in most Arctic regions. The most widespread of the two herbivores, caribou, are also domesticated in many of these regions. We will here explore how this low species richness of large herbivores influences the vulnerability of arctic ecosystems to climate change, especially warming. We also discuss implications of the fact that only domesticated herbivores exist in many parts of the Arctic.

In contrast to current conditions, during the Pleistocene, most of the Arctic was covered by a vast, productive graminoid- and forb-rich biome commonly referred to as the mammoth steppe, grazed by large herds of a diverse assemblage of large herbivores, including woolly mammoth, woolly rhino, steppe wisent, wild horse, wapiti (elk), wild ass, snow sheep, camel, Saiga antelope, helmeted muskox, muskox and caribou [7,8]. Between 10 000 and 50 000 years before present, almost all of these megaherbivores were extinct in the Arctic, as well as the rest of the world outside Africa [9]. The relative influence of humans and rapid climatic warming during the Pleistocene–Holocene transition in this mass extinction has been widely debated. The extinction of large- and slow-breeding animals strongly implicates human hunting in such extinctions, although it is plausible that rapid climate changes during the same period also contributed [9–11]. For at least two formerly abundant Pleistocene large herbivores, the steppe bison and woolly mammoth, paleoecological evidence and bioclimatic envelope modelling suggest that human expansion into the far north probably coincided with rapid warming in the demise of such species [12,13]. It is thus clear that human hunting has at least contributed to the large-scale extinction of large herbivores, and contributed to large vegetation changes and shaping the presently species-poor tundra.

Another way humans have influenced the Arctic herbivore assemblage is through the domestication of reindeer [4,14]. Domesticated reindeer are today found throughout the Eurasian Arctic [4] and are the only large herbivore present in many areas today. On the other hand, in large parts of the Arctic, domesticated reindeer still migrate according to their traditional migration routes, and there is no empirical evidence that effects of reindeer on tundra vegetation differ substantially from effects of caribou [15].

We will in this paper present different perspectives on how extant large herbivores in the Arctic influence these ecosystems. We will discuss how large herbivores are likely to interact with climate to shape future ecosystems, and if their low richness reduces their ability to do so. Finally, we will consider paleo-ecological state shifts in a discussion of the role of herbivores in the state shifts occurring in the Arctic today, especially the expansion of trees and shrubs, and the disappearance of the mammoth steppe at the end of the Pleistocene. The conceptual models presented above serve as the basis for understanding how reintroduction of large herbivores in a rewilding context will influence the structure and function of arctic ecosystems. Finally, we briefly review the potential to reintroduce large herbivores in the Arctic and present conclusions about the potential consequences of rewilding the arctic herbivore assembly.

2. Effects of large herbivores on tundra vegetation

Throughout the Arctic, large herbivores are well known to influence plant community structure [15–17], and ecosystem processes and functions [18–21]. It is, however, difficult to quantify the magnitude of these effects. In areas where natural experiments allow long-term and large-scale comparisons, the effects can be considerable. On islands where reindeer have been introduced, dramatic changes in the vegetation have been observed, especially dramatic declines of lichens and deciduous shrubs [22,23]. Reindeer also have large effects on tundra vegetation in studies using reindeer management fences that have separated different grazing regimes for decades. The dramatic decline of lichens and deciduous shrubs is also the most prominent effect here [24,25], but strong effects of reindeer on tree recruitment and densities of larger trees [26] as well as dramatic vegetation shifts to graminoid-dominated vegetation [25,27] have been observed.

In contrast to the large effects recorded in these long-term natural experiments, the vegetation responses to excluding large mammalian herbivores are often much smaller. In the most recent meta-analyses of reindeer exclosure studies, it was concluded that effects of reindeer on lichens were negative, while the effects on forbs, graminoids, woody species and bryophytes were weak or non-significant [15]. Although no similar meta-analyses exist for muskoxen, the results would probably be at least comparable to the effects of reindeer. For instance, in Western Greenland where caribou and muskoxen coexist, a multi-annual field experiment revealed that the most prominent effects on tundra plant community composition, species richness and community dynamics were more strongly related to muskox exclusion than to caribou exclusion [28,29]. However, in that location, caribou density is far lower than is typical of densities maintained through reindeer herding. In high arctic Greenland, where muskoxen are the sole species of large herbivore, they have been estimated to remove only 0.04–0.17% of aboveground plant biomass during the summer months [30]. One reason for the partly contrasting results in these different types of studies could be that the response of Arctic vegetation is slow, and that the response of vegetation in the exclosures after a decade or two is still only transient, while the responses in the natural experiments, where the different grazing regimes have been prevailing for several decades or centuries, are closer to the equilibrium state. Another explanation could be that increasing and decreasing herbivore densities have very different effects on the vegetation [31]. When herbivores are excluded, plants that cannot tolerate grazing will not be present to begin with. It will thus be the plants that are present to begin with and thrive best in the absence of herbivores that will increase in abundance. If no species are present in the grazed system with the potential to grow tall or accumulate biomass, these species have to colonize the area before dramatic changes can be expected [32,33]. The ungrazed vegetation might be difficult to invade, because the vegetation gets denser and gaps suitable for regeneration from seeds are decreasing [34–36]. Increased herbivore densities in areas with historically low herbivore densities can, on the other hand, rapidly change the vegetation because grazing intolerant plants will quickly be eradicated, and grazing tolerant species can colonize in the gaps [32].

3. Herbivores constrain vegetation responses to climate warming

In a warmer climate, arctic tundra plants may be expected to grow earlier and faster, and increase in abundance [37,38]. This has been recorded as an increase in shrub abundance [39,40] and greening of the Arctic recorded from satellite-derived vegetation indices [41] in most of the Arctic. As herbivores are well known to reduce vegetation density of shrubs in particular [42], a higher density of herbivores will be expected to at least partly counteract these responses to a changing climate [28,29]. Concomitantly, any constraint imposed by large herbivores on shrub expansion in response to warming in the Arctic may also constrain the carbon uptake response of shrubs to warming. For instance, in addition to constraining the positive abundance response of dwarf birch and grey willow to experimental warming at a low arctic site in Greenland [28], large herbivores are estimated to reduce the carbon uptake response to warming of the vegetation in the same area by a factor of four [18]. A special aspect of herbivory in the Arctic is that the effect of herbivory appears to be especially strong on species that are expected to be favoured by warming. In a warming Arctic, we expect thermophilic species to invade and increase in abundance [37,38,42]. To grow fast and to be able to compete for light in denser vegetation, these species are typically taller and have higher N concentrations, shoot : root ratio and specific leaf area [33,34]. The same traits will also make the plants more susceptible to herbivory [43]. Experiments have shown that thermophilic species invading the tundra are indeed more sensitive to herbivory than the local plant species [44,45]. Reindeer and caribou are thus expected to constrain the vegetation changes that are projected to happen in a warmer climate [44,45]. A more diverse herbivore assembly would probably be even more effective in constraining projected vegetation changes, and rewilding of the herbivore guild might thus be a tool to preserve arctic vegetation in a warmer future.

4. Herbivores and woody vegetation

The ecotone between areas covered by erect woody vegetation (trees and tall shrubs) and open tundra heath or grasslands is one of the most obvious vegetation boundaries in northern ecosystems and often used to define the extent of the tundra. The distribution of trees and shrubs are, to a large extent, controlled by climatic conditions. High altitude treelines, defined as the highest occurrence of groups of trees greater than 3 m, are globally associated with a seasonal mean ground temperature of 6.7°C [46]. Moreover, paleoecological records [47] and contemporary studies [47] show clearly that treelines have moved to higher or lower altitudes in response to a changing climate.

Although the observed treeline changes are linked to increases in temperature, they also reflect changes in land use and herbivore pressure, at least at regional scales and decennial time scales. At treelines across different geographical regions, studies have demonstrated that herbivory can exacerbate or constrain climate-driven distributional shifts in tall shrub and tree species [26,43,48–54]. The large mammalian herbivores present in the Arctic today do not damage large trees that have been able to grow above browsing height. However, a recent study demonstrated that where reindeer are present in high enough densities, they can prevent small shrub ramets from becoming tall and abundant. Where reindeer densities were above a threshold of approximately 5 animals km−2, shrubs were kept in a browse trap, and shrubs in grasslands were at low height and low abundance. At reindeer densities below this threshold, shrubs were taller and more abundant indicating reindeer were no longer in control of the grassland state [55] (figure 1b). Since reindeer can severely hamper the regeneration of mountain birch stands by limiting regeneration from basal shoots and re-establishment of individual trees from saplings [26,57], similar threshold densities are expected for tree regeneration and treeline expansion. Although reindeer do not damage large trees, to understand their potential to cause transitions between vegetation states dominated by erect woody vegetation and open tundra, it also must be considered that recurrent disturbances like insect outbreaks [58], fires [59] and avalanches [60] occasionally wipe out the larger trees in treeline forests. If reindeer prevent trees from regenerating, these areas can be deforested.

//Figure 1.
"A conceptual framework for how herbivores influence vegetation (trees and shrubs). (a) Reindeer browse palatable shrubs that are within their physical range, and shrubs and tree density can thus be kept low by herbivores independent of climatic conditions if herbivore density is high enough (modified from Bråthen et al. [55]). Although reindeer do not browse large trees, the wood encroachment could still be reversible following disturbances like insect outbreaks, fire and avalanches. (b) The effect of extant herbivores is expected to be stronger on palatable plants than on unpalatable plants (modified from Christie et al. [19]). (c) Which plants that are palatable or not depends on the herbivore present. With a diverse assemblage of herbivores including megaherbivores present, few species will be unpalatable to all herbivores, and trees cannot grow out of the browsing zone (modified from Bakker et al. [56])."///fid 111

The capacity of herbivores to regulate tree and shrub abundance has been proposed to be linked to the palatability of the trees and shrubs present [19,61]. Especially willow and birch species at Scandinavian treelines are highly palatable to herbivores, and this could be one reason that reindeer, albeit a comparatively poor browser, are able to keep these tundra ecosystems open [26,54,62]. Globally, most of the Arctic and alpine treelines are formed by evergreen conifers that are relatively unpalatable, at least for reindeer [63]. The strong effect of reindeer at treelines might thus be specific to Scandinavia, or other sites where palatable deciduous shrubs form the treeline. However, because extant reindeer densities also reduce the establishment of less palatable species like Siberian larch, Scotts Pine and Norwegian spruce [57], reindeer might still be able to preserve open tundra in areas with less palatable tree species, but they will be far less efficient in doing so.

The palatability of trees and shrubs is not only a function of plant chemistry, but also a function of the herbivore assembly [63]. In Arctic ecosystems dominated by only reindeer, or reindeer and muskoxen, many plants might be unpalatable and the potential for present herbivores to reach densities where they can keep the trees in a browsing trap might be low. However, with a more species-rich herbivore assemblage, consisting of a range of herbivores with different feeding preferences, fewer species would be unpalatable to the whole herbivore guild. Moose, for example, feed preferentially on Scott's pine [64], even though it is avoided by reindeer [65]. Moreover, if the herbivore guild also contains megahebivores that could browse higher up in trees and even damage large trees, trees can no longer grow out of the browsing zone. African elephants have, for example, a strong effect on woody plants due to their physical strength and height, causing damage by feeding high up in tree crowns, but also by pushing them over [66], and mammoth and mastodonts are expected to have done the same. As stated above, during the Pleistocene, the herbivore assemblage was much more diverse than today, and included both megaherbivores, grazers and more specialized browsers. The ability of such a diverse herbivore assemblage to drive state transitions between forest and open tundra is expected to have been much stronger than what is observed from the depauperate herbivore assemblages of today. We could thus expect present species-poor herbivore assemblages to, in most cases, only reduce the abundance of palatable trees, but only have small effects on the position of the actual treeline in systems where unpalatable species are present. However, if more specialist browsers and megaherbivores were present, tree species unpalatable to the herbivores present today could be palatable for another herbivore species and thus also be expected to be trapped in browsing traps [56] (figure 1c). Rewilding the herbivore guild by introducing more herbivore species would thus have a potential to slow down the rising treeline and the increase of woody plants currently occurring in the Arctic in response to a warmer climate.

5. The mammoth steppe

To understand how the tundra would be influenced by a diverse herbivore assembly, we have to look back to the Late Pleistocene and its diverse herbivore assembly. One of the most controversial hypotheses about the influence of large herbivores on arctic tundra vegetation is that human extinction of megaherbivores, rather than climate, drove the disappearance of the so-called mammoth steppe vegetation [7]. The importance of understanding this process today is accentuated by the fact that it also suggests that soil carbon storage decreased by more than 1000 Gt during this vegetation shift [67], and that the expected massive loss of soil carbon in the face of a warming Arctic could be inhibited by restoring megaherbivores that would reduce permafrost thawing [68]. During the Late Pleistocene, the mammoth steppe was probably the Earth's most extensive biome [69], and a diverse set of megaherbivores existing at high densities grazed these extensive graminoid-forb plains, much like the African savannah today. The densities of large herbivores inhabiting the mammoth steppe in Alaska and northeastern Siberia have been estimated to have been as high as 105 kg ha−1, [68], which is more than an order of magnitude greater than present herbivore densities. For a comparison, domesticated reindeer in Scandinavia today rarely exceed 3 kg ha−1. Zimov et al. [7,67] proposed that this high density of herbivores resulted in the graminoid dominance of the mammoth steppe, which in turn contributed to a high nutrient availability both by providing high quality litter that decomposed quickly and by maintaining a high rate of transpiration which resulted in dry oxygenated soils, further contributing to a high nutrient mineralization rate and nutrient availability. So, when megaherbivores were driven extinct, presumably by human hunting or its interaction with climatic warming, the system shifted to one dominated by chemically defended dwarf birch and moss, with wetter and colder soils and low litter quality, resulting in reduced nutrient availability [67] (figure 2a).

//Figure 2.
"A conceptual framework for how herbivores drive vegetation state shifts between moss and shrub tundra and grassland. (a) During the Late Pleistocene, the extinction of megaherbivores has been proposed to cause a vegetation state shift from productive grasslands with a high nutrient cycling to lowly productive tundra with a slow nutrient cycling (modified from Zimov et al. [67]). (b) Reindeer are today causing reversed vegetation transitions close to management fences where they are found in high densities, and the effects on nutrient cycling follow the conceptual figure presented in (a). (c and e) Historical reindeer herding also caused similar shifts in tundra vegetation centuries ago, and the productive grassland state is still maintained a century after active use ceased. (d) This can be illustrated by a ball representing an ecosystem that can be pushed by a herbivore into different points of attractions and remain in these different states even after the herbivores are removed (adapted from Egelkraut et al. [35])."///fig 222

One way to evaluate this hypothesis is to investigate the timing of the megaherbivore extinction, vegetation shifts and human colonization. This work has already been reviewed in detail [69,70], and the best data available today seem to indicate that megaherbivores declined first after human population had increased, and the mammoth steppe changed from grasslands to heathlands at least partly as a consequence of megaherbivore extinctions. For example, analysis of megafaunal herbivore abundance from dung spore abundance may suggest that megaherbivore abundance, including mammoth, declines well before final extinction and major floral reorganization [71]. It is thus plausible that human extinction of megaherbivores contributed to the vegetation shift characteristic of the Pleistocene–Holocene transition at high northern latitudes.

A complementary way to evaluate this hypothesis is to investigate whether contemporary studies support the notion that herbivores can indeed drive such state transitions (figure 2b–e). The high density and species-rich large herbivore communities of the African savannahs are indeed today contributing to maintaining the productive graminoid-dominated savannahs by promoting nutrient cycling and primary production [72,73], in a corresponding way to how Zimov et al. [7] proposed that megaherbivores shaped the mammoth steppe during the Pleistocene. The critical question is, however, whether herbivores could drive such vegetation shifts in the climatic conditions found in the tundra today. Early work [7] and more recent reviews [74] indicate that herbivores can drive vegetation shifts from moss- and shrub-dominated tundra to graminoid-dominated vegetation. Since then, numerous studies have added support for the notion that herbivores can indeed drive these types of regime shifts in arctic tundra. Numerous studies have shown that reindeer can drive vegetation shifts from moss- or shrub-dominated tundra to graminoid-dominated vegetation both when concentrated by fences [25,27] and elsewhere [75–78]. A striking example that herbivores can cause graminoid expansion at large spatial scales is the introduction of caribou to herbivore-free islands off the coast of Alaska. Fifty years after introducing the caribou, graminoid biomass had more than doubled across the islands [23]. Moreover, studies using historical Sami reindeer herding sites (historical milking grounds) show that when these grasslands are created, they can be stable for centuries [35]. Modern ecological studies question if we should refer to the mammoth steppe as grasslands, because ancient DNA metabarcoding suggests that it was rather dominated by forbs until the appearance of moist tundra dominated by woody plants, and that both forbs and graminoids were important parts of the megaherbivores diet [8]. This does not contradict contemporary data, because the grazing-induced grasslands close to management fences [25] (figure 2b) or historical milking grounds [35] (figure 2c–e) both have high densities and richness of forbs.

Another aspect of this hypothesis that can be tested by contemporary data is whether herbivores support a higher primary production via increased summer soil temperatures and increased nutrient cycling (figure 2a). Studies of Svalbard reindeer [77,79,80], as well as domesticated reindeer in Fennoscandia, clearly show that reindeer grazing increases summer soil temperatures by reducing the insulating capacity of the moss- or dwarf shrub layer [27,81,82], litter quality [83], nitrogen mineralization rates in the soil and primary production [27,81]. As well, graminoid density and tissue nitrogen concentration are greater on intensely grazed swards on caribou summer ranges in Alaska than on lightly grazed swards [84]. Contemporary studies also indicate that urine and faeces are important nutrient sources for tundra plants, and that the nutrients are often taken up by plants before it reaches the organic soil horizon [85,86]. Caribou and reindeer can thus, at least at a local scale, drive state shifts similar to the one that occurred in the Late Pleistocene. Moreover, a more diverse herbivore guild including large megaherbivores would probably have even greater potential to drive vegetation state shifts (figure 2c).

One crucial unknown, however, is how this herbaceous vegetation state could support the high density of herbivores. Although individual studies have reported that herbivores can cause a 10-fold increase in productivity (cited in [7]), only modest increases in productivity have been recorded in most studies [20,27,35,87,88]. So, even though contemporary data suggest that the diverse herbivore guild grazing the mammoth steppe could drive these kinds of vegetation shifts, it remains an open question whether the present tundra vegetation could be shifted to an herbaceous mammoth steppe under current climate if a diverse assembly of herbivores were introduced.

6. Implications for rewilding of tundra ecosystems

The Arctic tundra is one of the biomes on Earth that is least influenced by humans. Nonetheless, human exploitation has resulted in a species-poor assemblage of large herbivores that probably has had large effects on the structure and function of Arctic ecosystems. Part of this process is irreversible using methods available today, because most species of megaherbivores that once inhabited the tundra have been extinct for millennia, including woolly mammoth, woolly rhino and mastodon. Even though the potential to clone these species has been seriously discussed [89], current rewilding efforts must rely on the species that are extant.

Since the current Arctic large herbivore assembly is so species-poor, the potential to increase the diversity is substantial. Both reindeer [22,23] and muskoxen [90] have been introduced to many places in the Arctic during the last century. Some of these introductions have been successful and resulted in large stable populations like muskoxen on eastern Greenland or caribou on parts of Svalbard. However, in other sites, introduced populations have crashed [22], and introductions have failed. It does not, to our knowledge, exist any systematic evaluations of the introduction of reindeer and muskoxen in the Arctic, so presently the eventual success of such introductions must be based on our knowledge of the basic requirements of these animals. It is difficult to identify any additional herbivores that are suitable for rewilding the Arctic herbivore assembly in general. Most of the Arctic specialists, including megaherbivores, are extinct and the remaining large herbivores occasionally found in the Arctic are predominantly boreal species, and many of them have restricted distribution. Introducing these species to new places will surely involve ethical concerns of spreading invasive species [91]. However, in most of the Arctic, there are locally large herbivores present that could be used in rewilding efforts. In Scandinavia and parts of Russia, moose can be found in the open tundra predominantly along streams, and American bison is present in and close to the tundra in many places in North America. Both these species could be suitable targets if there is a wish to increase the diversity of large herbivores in the Arctic. There are numerous other extant herbivores that could be suitable in this context as well. Horses, ass and camels are still common in a global context, but probably not genetically similar to the ones historically grazing on the tundra. Large-scale introductions of these herbivores would require biological and ethical considerations outside the scope of this paper. Identifying potential herbivores invading the Arctic in the future and species suitable for introduction programmes is an important future research task.

The most ambitious rewilding effort in the Arctic is the Pleistocene Park founded by Sergei Zimov. The Pleistocene Park is a nature reserve on the Kolyma River south of Chersky in the Sakha Republic, Russia, where large herbivores are reintroduced to restore the Pleistocene mammoth steppe and save the large amount of permafrost stored in the yeodoma permafrost soils. In an area of about 1600 ha, herbivores including horses, moose, reindeer, muskox, wapiti and bison have been reintroduced. The exact success of all these introductions are not evaluated scientifically, but at least it is reported on their webpage (http://www.pleistocenepark.ru/en) that all these herbivores survive in the park. Although such ambitious rewilding efforts are clearly controversial, and surely going to be restricted to isolated efforts, the potential gains in protecting the carbon stored in the permafrost [68] and increasing the albedo [82] might potentially motivate extreme action.

A remaining question is also how certain we can be that a rewilding of the herbivore assembly will provide the ecosystem services that we have discussed earlier in this paper. There is solid evidence that herbivores will reduce the abundance of shrubs and that higher densities and diversity of herbivores will be more efficient in doing so. There is also solid evidence that this reduced shrub abundance will result in a higher albedo [82]. The effects on the carbon storage are, however, uncertain. As stated above, it has been proposed that the high herbivore densities preserved the permafrost and the carbon stored in it at the Late Pleistocene by reducing the insulation of the soil especially during winter [68]. Although this is plausible, several contemporary studies have recorded warmer soils during summer in areas grazed by reindeer [82,83]. Reindeer also reduce the gross primary production in the short term by reducing the abundance of shrubs [18], and a neutral effect of reindeer on carbon storage have been recorded in several studies [27,35]. Moreover, permafrost collapsed after shrub removal experiment and turned the tundra into a carbon and methane source [92]. More research is needed to understand how a rewilding of the herbivore assembly would influence soil carbon storage in the Arctic.

Çalışmanın alındığı yer: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2017.0437

[Edited at 2019-02-16 07:27 GMT]


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Local time: 10:18
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német - török
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~ Feb 17, 2019


"Convicted Killer Linked to 90 Murders
FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program Connects Cases to Prolific Serial Killer"

FBI - November 27, 2018


A 78-year-old man sitting in prison in Texas may be among the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history, FBI crime analysts report. According to the Texas Rangers, Samuel Little has confessed to 90 murders to date, and the FBI is working with the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Texas Rangers, and dozens of state and local agencies to match Little’s confessions with evidence from women who turned up dead in states from California to Florida between 1970 and 2005.

Little’s run-ins with the law date back to 1956, and there are clear signs of a dark, violent streak among his many shoplifting, fraud, drug, solicitation, and breaking and entering charges. But law enforcement has only recently begun unraveling the true extent of his crimes.

Little was arrested at a Kentucky homeless shelter in September 2012 and extradited to California, where he was wanted on a narcotics charge. Once Little was in custody, Los Angeles Police Department detectives obtained a DNA match to Little on the victims in three unsolved homicides from 1987 and 1989 and charged him with three counts of murder. For these crimes, Little was convicted and sentenced in 2014 to three consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole.

In all three cases, the women had been beaten and then strangled, their bodies dumped in an alley, a dumpster, and a garage. Little asserted his innocence throughout his trial—even as a string of women testifying for the prosecution told of narrowly surviving similarly violent encounters with Little.

In the early 1980s, Little had also been charged with killing women in Mississippi and Florida but escaped indictment in Mississippi and conviction in Florida. He had, however, served time for assaulting a woman in Missouri and for the assault and false imprisonment of a woman in San Diego.

When Los Angeles got the DNA hit on Little, they asked the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) to work up a full background on him. The FBI found an alarming pattern and compelling links to many more murders.

ViCAP reached out to the Texas Rangers with one clear connection. “We found a case out of Odessa, Texas, that sounded very much like him, and we could place him passing through the area around the same time,” said ViCAP Crime Analyst Christina Palazzolo, who worked on the cases with Department of Justice Senior Policy Advisory and ViCAP Liaison Angela Williamson. “We sent that lead out to the Texas Rangers, who were eager to follow up on the long-cold case.”

When Palazzolo and Williamson accompanied Ranger James Holland to California to interview Little in the spring of 2018, the convicted murderer was hoping to move prisons. In exchange for a move, Little was willing to talk.

“The biggest lesson in this case is the power of information sharing. These connections all started in our database of violent crime.”
Kevin Fitzsimmons, ViCAP supervisory crime analyst
“Over the course of that interview in May,” said Palazzolo, who was sitting down the hall combing through data with Williamson, “he went through city and state and gave Ranger Holland the number of people he killed in each place. Jackson, Mississippi—one; Cincinnati, Ohio—one; Phoenix, Arizona—three; Las Vegas, Nevada—one.” In total, Little confessed to 90 killings, and Palazzolo and Williamson have been working to match up evidence to as many confessions as they can. Thus far, the team has confirmed 34 killings with many more pending confirmation. There are still a number of Little’s confessions that remain uncorroborated.

Williamson and Palazzolo say Little remembers his victims and the killings in great detail. He remembers where he was, and what car he was driving. He draws pictures of many of the women he killed. He is less reliable, however, when it comes to remembering dates. Little’s uncertain timeline has created a verification challenge for the ViCAP team, along with the issues stemming from the victims Little targeted, his methods, and how much he moved around—features of his crimes that begin to explain how he got away with murder for decades.

From the time Little dropped out of high school and left his Ohio home in the late 1950s, he lived a nomadic life. Palazzolo and Williamson said he would shoplift and steal in a city or town to gather the money to buy alcohol and drugs, but never stayed in one place for long. He would drive from New Jersey to California in a matter of days, reports Palazzolo, and when he had his many run-ins with police, they often just wanted to shoo him out of town.

Little chose to kill marginalized and vulnerable women who were often involved in prostitution and addicted to drugs. Their bodies sometimes went unidentified and their deaths uninvestigated.

Little’s method of killing also didn’t always leave obvious signs that the death was a homicide. The one-time competitive boxer usually stunned or knocked out his victims with powerful punches and then strangled them. With no stab marks or bullet wounds, many of these deaths were not classified as homicides but attributed to drug overdoses, accidents, or natural causes.

In addition, DNA evidence was often not available or could not provide a clear link back to Little. A large number of the killings occurred in the 1970s and early 1980s, before DNA profiling was part of the law enforcement toolbox. After DNA analysis came into play, the victims’ work as prostitutes complicated the ability of police to gather telling physical evidence.

After Holland interviewed Little, he was indicted for the Odessa homicide and extradited to Texas a few months later. He remains in the custody of Odessa, but has been housed in Wise County for some time to be closer to Holland, who has been conducting nearly daily interviews to create the most accurate accounting possible of Little’s crimes. Palazzolo and Williamson have continued to gather new information from these interviews and are examining every tie they can find, from mortuary records and death certificates to cold case files.

“The biggest lesson in this case is the power of information sharing,” said Kevin Fitzsimmons, ViCAP’s Supervisory Crime Analyst. “These connections all started in our database of violent crime.”

Palazzo and Williamson said the cases that were recorded in ViCAP made for early and easy connections. The absence of data on so many others is what has made confirming Little’s accounts difficult and is perhaps part of what allowed his crimes to continue for so long.

“A Jane Doe who turned up dead in an alley in New Orleans may look like an isolated event,” stressed Fitzsimmons. “But when entered into the ViCAP database and examined with other mysterious deaths or missing persons, patterns emerge. That is the value of ViCAP. “

Little is in poor health and will likely stay in prison in Texas until his death. The goal now is to identify his victims and provide closure and justice in unsolved cases. ViCAP is also hoping this case will serve as a reminder to every jurisdiction of the importance of consistent violent crime reporting.

For more information or to report potential case links to Samuel Little, contact ViCAP at 800-634-4097.

About ViCAP

Established by the Department of Justice in 1985, the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program serves law enforcement agencies across the nation by providing a free repository for behavioral and investigative information related to the following solved and unsolved violent crimes:

- Homicides and attempts that are known or suspected to be part of a series or are apparently random, motiveless, or sexually oriented
- Sexual assaults that are known or suspected to be part of series and/or are committed by a stranger
- Missing persons where the circumstance indicate a strong possibility of foul play and the victim is still missing
- Unidentified human remains where the manner of death is known or suspected to be homicide

ViCAP’s services include crime analysis; the creation of maps, timelines, and matrices; information dissemination; the facilitation and coordination of communications between agencies; task force assistance; and the development and maintenance of ViCAP Web.

VICAP Web is a state-of-the-art behavior-based crime analysis tool structured to address the violence crime problems impacting law enforcement agencies today.

ViCAP Web is available to law enforcement agencies nationwide through the FBI’s Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP).

Samuel Little’s Confessions: Murder Locations and Victims

These incidents are either linked to victims who have not yet been identified (Jane Does) or to murders described by Samuel Little that have not yet been definitively corroborated by law enforcement (unmatched confessions). The information depicted when selecting the pinpoints on the map (also available in text form below) is based on interviews with Samuel Little; they are his confessions and recollections, and dates are approximations.

February 12, 2019 Update: Since this information was first published on November 27, 2018, eight cases have been removed from this map after being confirmed or matched to open cases, and one formerly unmatched confession has been matched to a Jane Doe. Sixteen recent drawings by Samuel Little based on his memories of his victims have also been added to the corresponding map pinpoints and in the text below.

Kaynak: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/vicap-links-murders-to-prolific-serial-killer-112718



"The Serial Killer and the ‘Less Dead’
The only reporter who’s talked to Samuel Little tells how he was caught — and why he almost got away."

By Jillian Lauren DEC. 20, 2018

//"Little’s drawings of his victims, made in prison. Illustration: Samuel Little"///

California State Prison, Los Angeles County, is located roughly 70 miles northeast of the palm tree-lined boulevards of Beverly Hills, but it may as well be 70 million. The prison is an ecosystem unto itself, where more than 3,000 men live sandwiched between the sunbaked terrain and a wide, unforgiving sky. In the middle of a summer day, when temperatures regularly reach 105 degrees in the shade, and the desert wind blows so hot it feels like it could sear the eyebrows off your face, the landscape conveys an almost biblical feeling of punishment.

On the morning of August 18, 2018, after waiting seven hours for my number to come up, I faced the prison’s iron security gates, but I kept setting off the metal detector. I wound up having to pry the underwire out of my bra with my teeth because there were no sharp objects available. “Gnaw that shit out,” said one of the other visitors watching me in the bathroom. “You got this.”

Nearly ten months before, I’d interviewed LAPD Homicide detective Mitzi Roberts — the model for the Michael Connelly character Renée Ballard — and asked her what case she’d been most proud of in her career. “I’m proud of them all,” she said, “but I did catch a serial killer named Sam Little once. That was pretty cool.”

I’d gone home and learned that Samuel Little, a.k.a. Samuel McDowell, had been convicted in Los Angeles in 2014 for strangling three women to death in the late 1980s. Roberts told me she suspected him of many more killings across the country, and after she got him, she figured other police departments would start connecting him to their own unsolved murders. To her frustration, that never happened. She thought maybe it was because Little preyed on the “less dead,” people who live on the margins of society and whose murders have historically tended to be not as thoroughly investigated as those of their wealthier, whiter, and perhaps more sober counterparts. Roberts had recently heard through the grapevine that Little, who was 78, was in poor health. “Who knows how many families will never know what happened,” she told me.

For reasons part professional and part personal — I’d had my own run-ins with drugs and violent men and felt lucky to have gotten away relatively unscathed — I decided I’d try to get Little talking. Unbeknownst to me, a Texas Ranger named James Holland, who was passionate about cold cases and had caught wind of this evasive drifter’s suspected killings, was also plotting to get Little to confess. The two of us would end up converging on him just a few months apart.

While waiting for a visitor clearance, I exchanged letters with Little, throughout which he staunchly maintained his innocence. That first day I went to see him, I brought only a clear plastic bag full of quarters, per prison rules, which I used to buy him Funyuns and a package of Little Debbie Honey Buns. I put them on the table between us as I sat down.

“Hello, Sam,” I said.

Little was wheelchair-bound, suffering from diabetes and a heart condition. He wore standard prison-issue shapeless denim pants, a blue T-shirt with CDC printed on the back, and a pair of white orthopedic sneakers due to a toe amputation. The tail end of a baby-pink heart-surgery scar the size of an earthworm peeked out from the top of his tee. He had a thinning pelt of white hair and a beard to match. Age spots discolored his skin, giving him the appearance of a molting lizard. But I could see the evidence of the man he once had been: a six-foot-three powerhouse with catcher’s mitts for hands. I could still make out the strong cheekbones, pale-blue-green eyes, and handsome face that might once have put his victims at ease. The sound of children, chatter, and vending machines bounced off the room’s cinder-block walls. Little wagged a finger at me.

“You!” he said. “You’re my angel come to visit me from Heaven. God knew I was lonely and he sent me you. You want a story? Oooooeeeee, do I have stories.”

He spoke in a soft, cryptic patois, a mash-up from his origins in Georgia and his years growing up in the Ohio steel town of Lorain. To understand him, I had to lean in and then lean in again, until I was approximately a foot from his face.

We talked that first day about our childhoods, about my kids, about his family tree, which he claimed includes Malcolm X. We talked about his teenage mother abandoning him as an infant by the side of a dirt road. We talked about his late long-term girlfriend, Jean, who’d been a master shoplifter and supported them that way for years. We talked about how he liked to travel. We talked about his art. He had learned to draw during his first prison stay — three years for robbing a furniture store in Ohio in his 20s — and it was still his preferred pastime.

“What do you like to draw?” I asked.

“Oh, girls. I mean women. I mean ladies,” he said, seeming to search for the term I’d find least offensive. I wondered if the real answer was “victims.” “I can draw anything. Paint, pencil, whatever I can get. I can do all the light and dark. Just like I see you right now.”

Little studied me, and I felt acutely self-conscious. What was he seeing? What had he seen in them? How do you find someone simultaneously worthy of the kind of deep attention it takes to draw them and also so completely expendable.

“I live in my mind now. With my babies. In my drawings,” he said. “The only things I was ever good at was drawing and fighting.”

We discussed his hero Sugar Ray Robinson and the prizefighting career Little almost had; he was a light heavyweight who’d been called “mad” for his speed and fury. The Mad Daddy. The Mad Machine. The Machine Gun. I sat with him for hours that day and returned the next.

After about six hours total of talking, he lingered on a story about a woman he’d once known in Florida, then his eyes turned opaque. He veered off the subject, as he was wont to do.

“I want a TV,” he said.

“Okay. I want things too,” I replied.

He gazed at me with a flat, reptilian expression. It was a side of him I hadn’t seen. I instinctively shifted back in my seat.

“You going to buy me that TV?”

“I don’t know, Sam. Am I?”

He laughed and drummed his half-inch-long dirty fingernails on the table. “Okay, okay. You got me! What do you want to hear about for your story, Little Miss? You want to hear about the first one?”

I dug my toes into my shoes — was this really going to happen? It was.

“She was a big ol’ blonde,” Little said. “Round about turn of the New Year, 1969 to 1970. Miami. Coconut Grove. She was a ho.” Then he corrected himself: “A prostitute. She was sitting at a restaurant booth, red leather, real nice. She crossed them big legs in her fishnet stockings and touched her neck. It was my sign. From God.”

And with that, he began to tell me about the women he’d killed. He thought he remembered 88, give or take a few, he said. He told me about a couple dozen of them in astonishing detail as, over the next month and change, I sat with him for hours every weekend while he took me back through his past — when the road was his home, and the back alleys and underbelly bars of cities across the country offered a feast of low-hanging fruit, women whose eyes were half-dead already. Women who Little believed had only been waiting for him to show up and finish the job. He imagined himself as some sort of angel of mercy, divinely commissioned to euthanize. At least sometimes he did. Other times, he told me, he believed he was the devil.

//"A self-portrait of Little. Illustration: Samuel Little"///1pflrl

The outskirts of Odessa, Texas, don’t look that different today than they did 25 years ago, when Little killed Denise Brothers — one of the women whose murders he described to me and whose story I decided to investigate myself. The town is surrounded by a dust-caked moonscape studded with oil derricks and drilling rigs. At night, the oil fields appear to be lit from within, casting an unearthly glow into the dark expanse of West Texas sky.

Follow the railroad tracks into Odessa proper and you pass megachurch after megamall after megachurch before reaching rows of modest, well-tended brick houses familiar to any watcher of Friday Night Lights, the show famously based on the town’s high-school football team.
These houses include the one in which Brothers, who was born in 1956, grew up.

When she was killed, at age 38, Brothers didn’t live in her childhood home anymore, but her middle two boys, 9-year-old Dustin and 14-year-old Damien, resided there with her parents. Her oldest, Dennis, had long since moved to Miami, and by the time her youngest, Derreck, was born, she was too far gone on heroin to parent him and he’d been placed for adoption.

On the night Denise died, Dustin and Damien were probably tucked into their beds. As Damien told me when I visited him in Odessa this summer, he would often read a comic book under the covers with a flashlight, waiting up, listening to see if his mother was going to try to break in again like she did on Christmas, stealing whatever presents she could carry. He wanted to catch her in the act, he said. Or maybe he just wanted to see her face.

Damien knew she felt guilty, he said, because she’d told him over and over. It didn’t stop her from doing it again.

“You get hungry enough, baby, and you do what you need to do. As long as there’s a tomorrow, there’s always another chance. I’ll get back those gifts,” she’d assured him. She usually did get the gifts back. And they usually forgave her, especially Dustin, whose life would spiral downward after the loss of his mother. He was shot to death outside a strip club at age 21 by a still-unknown assailant.

Just a few days before Denise’s murder, the boys had ridden their bikes through the rain to visit her. She held their wet faces in her hands and kissed their cheeks, but they could tell they’d arrived when a mean jones was setting in. They were intimately aware of her addiction, having numerous times witnessed her stabbing herself with a needle, searching for a vein. She sent them out for a loaf of bread and a pack of cigarettes.

“You’re supposed to take care of us, you know, not the other way around,” Damien told her before they left, his arm protectively around his little brother. When the boys returned from their errand, the door was locked and nobody answered their knocks.

Flipping through a stack of Polaroids on Damien’s kitchen table, I could see that, in her day, Denise had been a head-turner. Based on her report cards, her school performance was spotty, but she’d had the talent of simply being herself: fashionable, creative. She’d made her own too-short dresses that she paired with matching go-go boots and blue-glitter eye shadow she’d shoplifted from the pharmacy.

Denise got married at 15 to a man both violent and vain, at least judging from the tales her children later heard about him. She was stumbling out of that marriage when her second husband, Ron, caught her. Ron was square jawed and broad shouldered, with a theatrical mustache and a defiant glint in his eye. He’d been a roofer, and from the outside, with their well-kept home and two beautiful little boys, it seemed as though all was well — until the day Denise found him shooting up in the bathroom. She packed a bag and walked out the door, but she returned and eventually developed her own addiction. There were two more husbands and what probably felt like a lifetime between first getting hooked on heroin and stepping out into that cold, clear January night.

A sliver of moon hung over the sad industrial stretch she was about to stroll. The motel where Denise stayed was a shithole, according to Damien, but he also said his mom was scrupulous about keeping her room clean and tidy. At some point before she went out that night, she buttoned the waistband of her newly shoplifted Gitano jeans, maybe ran her hands over her sharp hip bones. She pulled a Bedazzled D T-shirt over her head. D for Dennis, Damien, Dustin, Derreck. D for Denise. She was headed to see her pimp, who stayed at an even crappier motel nearby.

From what Little told me, Denise made it only half a block before he approached her in his boxy white Cadillac with the blue fabric top. The car idled. Hunched and shivering inside her down coat, she gestured for him to pull over.

He slouched in his seat, partially in shadow. I imagine a tiny flicker of misgiving fluttered in Denise’s gut, that she paused for a moment before she yanked open the passenger-side door. But there’s no way to know what she felt or thought that night, because she is no longer here to speak for herself. All I know is from the coroner’s report, detective interviews, and what Little recounted to me.

In short, he said he bought a bunch of crack and black-tar heroin for Denise and her pimp, who’d joined them to get high. Afterward, the pimp cheerfully patted Denise on the ass and left her with Little to pay the bill in trade.

Little is a talented storyteller, his tales imbued with rich detail. Every time he began to tell me about another murder, I found myself illogically hoping that maybe this one would have a different ending. Maybe this victim would be the one who got away. But I already knew the ending to Denise’s story. I had visited her grave and that of Dustin, buried close by.

“What did you say to her?” I asked.

“I told her I was an artist. She was a spicy one. I told her I could draw her so pretty, like van Gogh!” He cracked himself up with that one. “I told her she was beautiful. I said, ‘I love you.’ ”

He told them all he loved them, he said. I wonder how it sounded to them, coming from this trick they’d just met. Maybe it had sounded strange and sad but also sort of sweet. Or maybe they just wanted him to shut up and get it over with already.

He then pulled into an alley, he said, and as she prepared to give him a blow job, he grabbed her by the throat and tossed her over the back seat like a doll, where he strangled her with one hand while masturbating with the other. When she fought, he fought back harder.

Because killing was synonymous with sex for him, Little said he made the encounters as “long and slow as possible,” often letting his victims repeatedly regain consciousness. The last time Denise came to, her head was in his lap, her eyes “big as marbles.”

“Big as your eyes are right now,” he said to me, smiling. “I told her, ‘I own you. You’re mine forever.’ ”

She cried, and he kissed the tears from her face. Then he squeezed the life from her.

“Why do you feel you need to own women?” I asked.

“I wanted their helplessness. All I ever wanted was for them to cry in my arms.”

“Denise cried,” I said. “If it was all you wanted, why didn’t you let her live?”

“Well, you got me there,” he said. “Maybe it wasn’t all I wanted.”

//"Denise Brothers, shown at left at age 15, was killed by Little in 1994, when she was 38."///ss

Three weeks later, when Detective Sergeant Snow Robertson arrived at a vacant lot at 2700 Van Street, Denise was lying half on her side, face to the sky, arm wedged under her at an odd angle. A truck driver had found her body and called the police. Though her skin had begun to slip from its contours, Robertson still recognized her. Denise was familiar to local law enforcement.

The medical examiners pulled in behind him, but when they approached, he held out a hand to stop them. While many detectives aren’t eager to investigate the often hard-to-solve cases of the less dead, Robertson was the exception. He told me he’d wanted to make sure Denise was done right, so he walked the scene himself, photographing what needed to be photographed, tagging the evidence. He bagged her hands, zipped her into a black body bag, lifted her up and placed her gently into the back of the coroner’s van.

From vaginal swabs, Denise’s pimp and another man were identified as suspects in her murder, but both men denied it and Robertson believed them. Yes, they were both complete scumbags, but Robertson’s intuition told him someone far more nefarious had killed Denise. So the detective sergeant put his back into it. He called in the Texas Rangers, an assisting organization with extensive investigative resources and multi-jurisdictional capability. He questioned every single prostitute brought in on other charges to see if they had heard anything. He sniffed out Denise’s associates and hit only wall after wall.

Not long after Robertson got Denise’s case, he arrived home an hour and a half late and dove for the phone to call his 9-year-old son, who lived with his former wife. It rang and rang. No luck. These homicides always made him desperate for the sound of his son’s voice. He tossed his briefcase under the desk off the kitchen that served as an office in his two-bedroom apartment, and he settled in.

A couple of nights a week, Robertson generally spent a few hours filling out forms on his homicide cases past and present and mailing them to ViCAP — the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program — which is both an FBI unit and an information-sharing database, begun in 1985. The database enables local cops like him to enter detailed findings about violent crimes that can then be compared with other cases nationwide. ViCAP works in tandem with local and federal DNA databases, but, while widely celebrated for solving numerous crimes over the past decade, DNA alone isn’t of much use in many cold cases, which number up to 240,000 in the United States since 1980. Physical evidence either never existed in these older cases or has been degraded or destroyed. ViCAP facilitates more traditional investigations. The rub is that entering a case into the system is voluntary. A pattern can’t be detected if police officers don’t take it upon themselves to commit a case to ViCAP.

But Robertson believed in its still-underused and underrecognized capabilities. He imagined a U.S. law-enforcement system that was more than a scattered network of haphazardly connected jurisdictions and instead a single organism working toward a common purpose: getting the bad guys.

He pulled out a ViCAP booklet and began to fill in the information he’d collected about his latest case:

Date: February 2, 1994

Agency: Odessa Police Department

Victim: Denise Christie Brothers

Case Type: Homicide

Offender: Unknown

Someone in the future will see the pattern, Robertson thought. Someone will find the missing piece.

//"Little after attending a pretrial hearing in late November in Odessa, Texas. Photo: Mark Rogers/Odessa American via AP"///mcxhfd

During my visits with Little, I got used to waking up at four in the morning on weekends and driving the hour and a half to the prison while the dusty-rose dawn broke over the desert. I got him a Coke and some Lay’s potato chips from the vending machines, and we chatted.

He told me that no one could understand how much love was in his heart for the women he killed, his “babies.” Even though he said he felt bad about the pain he put his victims through, thinking about them was the only thing that made him feel alive in his dank cave. So day after day, he lay alone and replayed the killings, drawing his babies from memory when he could get his hands on a pencil.

“How did it feel to kill them?” I asked.

“Oooeee, it felt like heaven. Felt like being in bed with Marilyn Mon-roe!”

Marilyn Monroe. A cartoon woman. I didn’t point out to Little that in bed wasn’t where he ever wanted to be with women, despite his insistence on how he loved women, worshipped them even. He said when he was a child he didn’t realize they were humans who ate and slept and shat. He thought they were angels.

“You wouldn’t be the first man to be disappointed by the humanity of women,” I said.

“That’s my smart baby,” he said, tapping two fingers to his temple. “You got the psychology.”

When he talked about the murders, he lit up like a kid on Christmas morning, becoming animated and performing an elaborate pantomime. He hugged himself and made kissing noises. With one outstretched arm, he demonstrated just how much force it took to crack a hyoid bone.

“I had my own hard days, you know,” I told him. “I’m glad I never met up with someone like you one dark night.”

“But I never killed nobody like my smart baby here,” he protested. “I never killed no senators or governors or fancy New York journalists. Nothing like that. I killed you, it’d be all over the news the next day. I stayed in the ghettos.”

“How did it feel to finally get caught?” I asked.

He went into what was a standard rant about being set up by the LAPD. He still hadn’t confessed to me about the L.A. murders.

“But you did kill those women?”

“You think you know me? You think you in here sparring with Mr. Sam, now?”

I never killed no senators or governors or fancy journalists. I stayed in the ghettos.
He laughed and shadowboxed, throwing mock punches an inch from my cheekbone. He liked to scare me a little when I stepped out of line, reminding me that he was in control of the conversation. I flinched and flinched again.

“I like to think we know each other a little by now,” I managed to say. “And yes, I think you killed them.”

“Well, you’re right about that, Lil’ Miss,” he said. “But they still set me up.”

“What do you feel you deserve?” I asked.

“What’s that question?”

“We live in a society that has rules. And one of those rules is that you don’t go around killing people for fun. So what I want to know is, what do you think you deserve for what you did?”

It was the wrong question. I’d moved too quickly. He slipped into some other world; when he looked back at me, it was with utter blankness.

Los Angeles detective Mitzi Roberts began to put together the puzzle of Sam Little in 2012, 18 years after her Odessa colleague had entered the information about Denise Brothers into ViCAP, though Roberts was still unaware of the connection. Working under a grant from the National Institute of Justice, the LAPD had instituted the Cold Case Special Section, tasked with screening DNA evidence from cases long since considered lost causes.

Los Angeles had thousands of cold-case homicides lining its shelves, many of them committed during the 1980s and 1990s in and around South Central. Ravaged by the crack epidemic and the Reagan administration’s subsequent War on Drugs, South Central became a playground for predators. During that era, up to seven sexually motivated serial killers — including Lonnie Franklin, Chester Turner, Michael Hughes, Richard Ramirez, Louis Crane, and Samuel Little himself — operated with near impunity in the area, according to local law enforcement and community activists.

One morning in April 2012, a ripple of excitement moved through the hallways of headquarters. Of the hundreds of cases screened through the federal database, there had been a case-to-case DNA match: Genetic information connected the murders of Audrey Nelson in August 1989 and Guadalupe Apodaca a month later to a man named Samuel Little, whose DNA had been retrieved in the mid-1980s when he’d pleaded guilty to assault in San Diego.

Little had left DNA fingerprints when he ejaculated on Apodaca’s shirt and when Nelson fought for her life and secured his skin cells under her nails. With these matches, the chances that the genetic material could belong to someone other than Little were one in 450 quintillion in the U.S. African-American population. Still, it was only a start. A match indicates that the suspect was with the victim at some point, but it often isn’t enough to arrest anybody, especially if, like these women, the victims were prostitutes with multiple DNA profiles present on their bodies.

Roberts and her partner, Rodrigo Amador, were assigned to the case. A veteran homicide detective with intelligent brown eyes and legendary tenacity, Roberts was confident that Little was her guy. What she didn’t know yet was how to prove it. And what she really didn’t know was where to find him.

Roberts pulled toward her the first of two stuffed four-inch binders, case files commonly referred to as “murder books.” “Opening a cold case is like opening a good book,” Roberts told me. “The story is in there somewhere, if you know how to work backwards from the end.”

That day, she learned that Apodaca’s story ended in an abandoned garage in South Central Los Angeles. A 9-year-old boy kicking a soccer ball against the wall of the building had peeked into one of its glassless windows and spied a naked pair of women’s legs. When the patrol unit showed up, they found 46-year-old Apodaca wearing only a half-torn buttercup-yellow men’s shirt, one tarnished silver earring, and, on her middle finger, a silver ring set with a large square of turquoise. When the coroner’s investigator turned her over, the curtain of dark hair that had been obscuring her face fell back, revealing white roots. Apodaca was no longer young, and she had a look about her of someone who might never have been.

Roberts studied the map in the binder and thought about how, 15 years earlier and right around the corner from where Apodaca was found, the kidnappers of the young white heiress Patty Hearst had been gunned down in front of the hungry eyes of an entire nation. Apodaca’s killer had slipped off into the night, in front of the eyes of nobody.

It was hours before Roberts pulled the second book toward her to meet Audrey Nelson, born August 27, 1953. The high-school photo of a pretty if somewhat bewildered-looking blonde was unrecognizable as the emaciated, broken body wearing only a red sweatshirt when she was found curled into a fetal position in a dumpster behind a Chinese restaurant. On the knuckles of her left fist were stamped the letters T-R-U-E. The next angle revealed their counterpart, L-O-V-E. Nelson’s body was a road map of beatings, burns, and stark black tattoos: a tarantula on the side of her neck, a heart on her breastbone, and a cryptic symbol with an arrow at its center on her hand. An arrow pointing to Sam Little, Roberts thought.

She and Amador began working up a dossier on him, aliases Samuel McDaniel, Samuel McDowell, Willie May Clifton, and Willie Lewis. The detectives ran rap sheets and arrest records, pulled prison packages, did vehicle searches. When the results began to pile up on her desk, Roberts’s unflappable cool gave way to astonishment, even anger. The question wasn’t where he’d been hiding all these years. He hadn’t been hiding — he had been committing crime after crime in plain sight.

He’d done three months for assault and rape. He’d done three years for robbing a furniture store.
Little’s arrest history begins in 1956 with the theft of a bicycle, for which he was sent to the brutal Boys’ Industrial School in Lancaster, Ohio. Over the next six decades, he was repeatedly arrested in Ohio, Maryland, Florida, Maine, Connecticut, Oregon, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, California … the list goes on. Charges include burglary, breaking and entering, assault and battery, assault with the intent to rob, assault with a firearm, armed robbery, assault on a police officer, solicitation of prostitution, DUI, shoplifting, theft, grand theft, possession of marijuana, unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, resisting arrest, battery, false imprisonment, assault with great bodily injury, robbery, rape, and sodomy.

Roberts did the math. For all of this, he’d served just ten years altogether. Where could she even begin? She decided to start by examining the most violent crimes in his voluminous record.

In September 1976, Little was arrested in Sunset Hills, Missouri, for the rape, assault with great bodily injury, and robbery of Pamela K. Smith. She’d shown up hysterical on a stranger’s doorstep after escaping Little’s car and running nearly naked through the night, her hands bound behind her with cloth and electrical cord. Little had strangled, bitten, beaten, and sodomized her. He was convicted of the lesser charge of assault with attempt to ravish and served three months.

Roberts had to read that twice: three months for assault and rape. He’d done three years for robbing a furniture store. And what the hell was “attempt to ravish,” anyway? It sounded like something out of a romance novel, not a police report.

She went on. In September 1982, the nude, strangled body of 26-year-old Patricia Mount was found in Alachua County, Florida. Witnesses identified Little as the man last seen leaving with Mount in his brown Pinto station wagon. Hairs found on the victim were similar to Little’s. He was tried for the crimes, but due to a lack of definitive physical evidence, the jury acquitted.

The following month, the remains of 22-year-old Melinda LaPree were found by a groundskeeper in a cemetery near the small Gulf town of Pascagoula, Mississippi, three weeks after her boyfriend had reported her missing. A disarticulated hyoid bone and fractured cricoid cartilage indicated strangulation. Witnesses identified Little as the man with whom LaPree had been seen getting into a brown Pinto station wagon. Two prostitutes interviewed during the investigation, Hilda Nelson and Leila McClain, revealed that Little had assaulted and strangled each of them, though only Nelson had reported the crime; each provided eyewitness identification. Little was arrested for LaPree’s murder, but the charges were ultimately dismissed owing to lack of physical evidence and a vague rumor of witness tampering.

In October 1984, Little was caught by San Diego patrol officers in the act of beating and strangling Tonya Jackson in the back seat of his black Thunderbird. He was charged with rape and assault with great bodily injury. The San Diego police connected him to a September 1984 attack on Laurie Barros, who had lived to tell the tale by playing dead after being strangled and left by the side of the road. The cases were tried together, with added charges of false imprisonment. Little pleaded guilty to two counts of assault with great bodily injury and one of false imprisonment. He received a four-year prison sentence and served only a year and a half before being paroled, in February 1987, after which he traveled 125 miles north to his old stomping grounds of Los Angeles. There, he shacked back up with his long-term girlfriend and continued his rampage of theft by day, murder by night.

Over and over they had him, Roberts thought. How could this have happened? How it happened was that a judge in Missouri thought three months was an appropriate sentence for rape and assault. How it happened was that he chose to dispose of victims society already considered trash.

Roberts spent her days with a phone glued to her ear, talking to investigators in Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, and Texas. This guy was slippery as a greased pig. He had no address, no registered car, no credit card. Her sense of urgency grew daily as she pushed against her lieutenant’s threat to release a wanted flyer. She worried Little would see it and disappear forever.

She located an outstanding 2007 narcotics warrant, and the DA agreed to extradite Little if Roberts could only find him. Finally, Robbery-Homicide Division detectives turned up a lead, a prepaid Walmart card on which Little’s Social Security payments were being deposited. It had last been used in Louisville, Kentucky. The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force jumped in, locating Little at Wayside Christian Mission in Louisville and arresting him on the minor drug charge. He was extradited and sat in a California jail, refusing to talk, probably confident of being freed yet again.

They had him, but could they keep him?

Roberts entered her cases into the ViCAP system, which now had far more sophisticated technology than when Detective Sergeant Robertson had used it years earlier. She thought — she knew — there were more. Where were they?

In late November, seven months after her pursuit of Little had begun, Roberts got what she needed: another DNA hit. Little’s genetic material had been detected on the bra and fingernail kit of 41-year-old Carol Alford, who’d been found strangled in a residential South Central alleyway in July 1987. It was the tipping point. In January 2013, Assistant District Attorney Beth Silverman filed three charges of murder against Samuel Little.

Roberts and her new partner, Rick Jackson, traveled to Pascagoula to talk to a pair of Little’s living victims, former prostitutes Nelson and McClain, and perhaps persuade them to come to L.A. to testify. The two black women were skeptical — nothing had happened the last time they told white cops about what Little had done to them — but they eventually began to take Roberts, Jackson, and a local police officer named Darren Versiga back to 1982, when they’d lived and worked in a now-razed area of town called Carver Village. Located directly across the street from the projects, it was known as the Front — McClain described it as a “small California.” If you wanted it, you could find it in Carver Village: booze, girls, uppers and downers called T’s and blues, guns, dope, and boosted goods sold cheap. It was a world under a bell jar, a world so ignored by law enforcement that the prostitutes who prowled the neighborhood had a pact to check on each other if anyone went missing for too long. This pact had saved Nelson. Her best friend had knocked on the door to Nelson’s apartment, and when that didn’t produce an answer, she had come around and screamed through the window, and Little had run.

Next, McClain told them a by-then-familiar story about a man approaching her on the street, offering her $50 for a date, and charming her into his car. “The way he came around with that hand. Pop! Pops you in the head somewhere right there that just — it will either wake you up or knock you out,” she said. “I woke up.” She scrapped with him so fiercely she managed to break from his grasp and run half-naked across four lanes of heavy traffic.

Nelson had reported her assault with no result; McClain hadn’t even bothered until she was approached by detectives during the LaPree investigation. When Roberts asked why she hadn’t gone to police, McClain replied, “Ain’t nobody cared until that white girl turned up dead a year later.
Didn’t nobody care about a black prostitute in Mississippi. No, ma’am, they didn’t.”

Sergeant Versiga, who had arranged the interview, seconded McClain: “It wasn’t really possible to commit a crime against a black prostitute. It just wasn’t a crime.”

Despite the two women’s ambivalence and the layers of armor they’d built up over years of being demeaned and dismissed by law enforcement, they agreed to testify at Little’s trial.

Months later, when McClain entered the courtroom to face her attacker, she was visibly shaking. She wore a pink suit and seemed to be shrinking into it with every step. Halfway to the witness stand, she sank to the polished hardwood floor, sobbing. Nelson and Versiga lifted her by the elbows and led her out.

In the hallway, Nelson — who’d known McClain for 30 years, ever since she’d sold her a pair of patent-leather pumps from the trunk of her car — held her friend upright. “Look at me,” Nelson said. “You don’t gotta be scared of him anymore. I know we didn’t come this far for you to fall apart now.”

“I’m not scared,” she said, meeting her friend’s eyes. “I want to kill him. I want to kill that motherfucker.”

“You don’t gotta do that,” said Versiga. “You just go in there and tell the truth.”

With that, all five feet three inches of McClain reapplied her lipstick, squared her shoulders, and headed back in.

On September 2, 2014, after weeks of testimony from criminalists, expert witnesses, pathologists, police officers, and living victims, plus an inspired closing argument by Silverman, a jury of Little’s peers convicted him of three counts of first-degree murder, for which he was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences. Roberts picked a red M&M out of the bowl in front of her at the prosecutor’s table and winked at Little.

He glanced at his public defender, Mike Pentz, who’d entreated him the whole time not to engage, not to stare at Prosecutor Silverman’s ass, not to go off on a rant. Fuck it now, Little thought. But he told me later that all he could think to do in that moment was wave good-bye to Roberts. So he did. Then he raised an impotent fist in protest as he was wheeled from the courtroom.

The next time Little faced Roberts, it was early this fall, through a camera in the Wise County sheriff’s office in Decatur, Texas, about 70 miles northwest of Dallas, where red-tailed hawks make lazy circles over rolling fields dotted with cattle. In May, three months before I first visited Little, Texas Ranger James Holland had gotten him to officially admit to the murder of Denise Brothers. Eliciting confessions from serial killers is an unexpected specialty for this affable six-foot-three guy wearing a tall hat and silver badge and sporting a 1911 ivory-handled pistol on his double-rig belt — “Some kind of cowboy from Mars,” as Little described him to me.

Holland had heard about Little after speaking at a homicide-investigation conference this past February, when a Florida cold-case detective approached him with suspicions about a murder in his jurisdiction. Holland’s interest was piqued, but he needed a Texas case to get involved. He reached out to FBI ViCAP crime analyst Christie Palazzolo and Department of Justice ViCAP liaison Angela Williamson, both of whom enthusiastically leaped into the investigation, locating not one but three possible Texas murders, including Brothers’s. The information Detective Robertson had painstakingly entered 24 years earlier finally surfaced.

To get the Brothers confession from the guy L.A. cops called the Choke-and-Stroke Killer, Holland played on the fact that Roberts was the person Little most loved to hate. “What can I tell you about Sam?” she’d told Holland the day before this first visit. “He loves peanut M&M’s, he hates women, and he really fucking hates me. Oh yeah, and don’t call him a rapist. He’s way more sensitive about that than being a killer.”

Holland had begun with the familiar routine of establishing a rapport: in-jokes and nicknames, ribald profanity, heartfelt revelations on both sides. Above all, hovering between them was Holland’s suggestion that secrets are fun but they’re even more fun to share.

They agreed to be “Sammy” and “Jimmy,” even though Little insisted no one had called him Sammy but his immediate family; Holland assured him no man had called him Jimmy, ever.

In exchange for the initial confession, Holland had agreed to move Little away from Roberts and the prison in the middle of the infernal desert to a facility in Texas, where they might share some local barbecue and a chocolate milkshake. He promised to fly him in the Rangers’ fancy private jet — an adventure. And as part of the deal, Little had vowed that he would continue to admit to murders across the country.

And now, on a late-September morning, that was about to begin: Gathered around a shaky video feed in a room adjacent to the one where Jimmy sat across from Sammy, were Roberts, her partner Tim Marcia, L.A. prosecutor Silverman, and ViCAP specialists Palazzolo and Williamson.

Little knew he had an audience. Everyone he’d ever met had seemed to him like an actor in the personal movie of his life. But what’s the point of a movie no one ever gets to see? Now the moment had arrived … but wait. As Little told me later, if Jimmy and Roberts really thought he was going to give up his secrets for a lousy milkshake and a plane ride, they had another thing coming.

Little turned to face the camera positioned in the upper corner of the room. Spittle gathered in the corners of his mouth, and he pounded a fist on the table. He reared up and spat, the top half of his body seeming to inflate like some shadow-world version of the Incredible Hulk.

“Those dogs. I ain’t saying shit. This is bullshit. I ain’t telling you fucking nothing. Those lying bastards. Fucking cops. They think I did it, so they set me up. They know I did it, so they set me up. It was the Mexican Mafia killed that bitch — I can’t even pronounce her name.”

Roberts watched, stone-faced. There you are again, old buddy, she thought. I almost missed you, you fuck.

I’d seen this terrifying rage rise in Little only once. He was telling me about a little girl with red ringlets in his third-grade class who had stared at him with wide green eyes and touched her neck. Not even he knew it yet, but somehow she sensed it was his weakness and she’d taunted him.

“Must have made you angry,” I said.

“No, no,” he replied in his genial way. “I don’t get angry at girls. Unless they have a very poor disposition.”

“What do you get angry at, then?”

“Bullies,” he said, his eyes turning to cartoon pinwheels. “Men.” He leaned forward, digging his nails into the table, his voice dropping to a growl. My eyes sought the guard, calculating the distance between us, estimating how long it would take him to reach me.

When Little went dark in the Wise County interview room, Holland shifted just slightly in his chair so the handle of his pistol was a few inches farther from the reach of this man who had turned on a dime from courteous to menacing. Holland wasn’t so much worried about his safety, but he certainly had an icy jolt of panic that he might be about to preside over the biggest near-miss serial-killer case of all time.

But Jimmy brought his friend Sammy back, talking about girls, kids, and football, employing a more professional version of the approach I’d stumbled upon: giving Little a window with a view into what it might be like to feel fully human. Sammy calmed. He began to confess.

Soon after, Holland started contacting law-enforcement officials from dozens of far-flung jurisdictions, from California and New Mexico to South Carolina and Kentucky, capitalizing on the work of Palazzolo and Williamson. When Little would say he’d killed a woman in Arizona, for example, the pair would scour databases and reach out to police in the county or city where a murder seemed to match his description. Holland would then summon them to Decatur to sit with him and interview Little, who sometimes drew his victims as he detailed their demises.

So far he has described 93 killings, 39 of which have been confirmed by the available evidence — like those of Rosie Hill, killed in 1982 in Marion County, Florida; Daisy McGuire, killed in 1996 in Houma, Louisiana; Nancy Carol Stevens, killed in 2005 near Tupelo, Mississippi. Little’s first murder — the first one he told me about, of the blonde woman in Miami — was recently confirmed, but her name hasn’t yet been released.

The day I drove to Wise County from the Dallas airport in October, a freezing rain turned the world around me into a white screen. I’d come here for what I suspected would be my last visit with Little.

“I always told you I wasn’t here to judge you. I just wanted to understand why,” I said. I’d spoken to him for three hours that night, after a long flight and a frightening drive. I was exhausted and ready to leave, but I tried not to yawn or shift.

“Do you?” he asked.

“No,” I said. Maybe my shoulders folded. Maybe he took pity on me.

“I ask God the same question all the time,” he reassured me. “You go on and get some rest. When you figure it out, write Mr. Sam a letter and let me know.”

Kaynak: https://www.thecut.com/2018/12/how-serial-killer-samuel-little-was-caught.html
*This article appears in the December 24, 2018, issue of New York Magazine.



"Massenmörder Samuel Little
Im Geständnisrausch"

Von Jürgen Schmieder, Los Angeles - 5. Dezember 2018, 10:52 Uhr

//"Ich bewege mich in meiner Welt, dort kann ich tun, was immer ich möchte": der 78-jährige Samuel Little. (Foto: AP)///1jh

Schon vor Monaten begann der in den USA zu lebenslanger Haft verurteilte Mörder Samuel Little, von weiteren Taten zu berichten. Mittlerweile hat er mehr als 90 Morde gestanden - seine Vernehmung läuft noch immer.

Es sind die Details, die den Ermittlern in einem Bezirksgefängnis von Los Angeles versichert haben, dass es sich bei den ausführlichen Erzählungen von Samuel Little nicht um die Prahlerei eines überführten Psychopathen handelt. Sondern um das Geständnis des möglicherweise schlimmsten Serienmörders in der Geschichte der Vereinigten Staaten.

Samuel Little ist 78 Jahre alt, er ist wegen drei Morden in den 1980er-Jahren erst im Jahr 2014 zu lebenslanger Haft ohne Aussicht auf Bewährung verurteilt worden. Er leidet an Diabetes und einer Herzkrankheit, und er hat vor ein paar Monaten zu gestehen begonnen - seine Vernehmungen, die längst zu einem regelrechten Marathon geworden sind, dauern noch immer an, wie das Gefängnis auf Nachfrage bestätigt. Seine einzige Bedingung: Er wollte vom Gefängnis in Los Angeles nach Texas transferiert werden, damit seine Krankheiten besser behandelt werden können.

"Sein präzises Gedächtnis ist erstaunlich und schauderhaft zugleich, er erinnert sich an Dinge, die vor Jahrzehnten passiert sind und die nur der Täter wissen kann", sagte Bezirksstaatsanwalt Robert Bland der New York Times. Gary Ridgway, der sogenannte "Green River Killer", wurde im Jahr 2001 wegen 49 Morden zu lebenslanger Haft verurteilt; er gilt bislang als der schlimmste überführte Serienmörder in der Geschichte der USA.

Little spricht nun von mindestens 90 Opfern, die er zwischen 1970 und 2005 in verschiedenen Bundesstaaten getötet haben soll. Er berichtete zum Beispiel von einer jungen Frau, die er im Januar 1996 in einer Kleinstadt im Bundesstaat Louisiana erwürgt haben will. Er beschrieb das Opfer nahezu perfekt und erwähnte einen Pekannussbaum hinter einem Friedhof mit kleiner Kirche. Die Beamten ermittelten, und sie fanden einen ungeklärten Mordfall aus eben diesem Monat in eben dieser Stadt - und das erwürgte Opfer unter einem Pekannussbaum hinter einem Friedhof mit kleiner Kirche.

Ein Täter redet nur, wenn er dem Beamten vertraut, der ihn vernimmt

Die Geständnisse erschüttern die USA seit Wochen, weil sie zeigen, dass einer offenbar über Jahrzehnte hinweg durch dieses Land reisen und Menschen töten konnte, ohne erwischt zu werden. Nicht einmal 60 Prozent aller Morde in den USA werden aufgeklärt, und offenbar hat Little seine vermeintlichen Opfer explizit so ausgewählt, dass er immer weiter töten konnte, weil die Aussicht auf intensive Ermittlungen jeweils gering gewesen sei. Es seien allesamt junge Frauen gewesen, abhängig von Drogen oder Alkohol, er habe sie auf der Straße aufgelesen oder in Spelunken angesprochen, in Städten, in denen er davor nicht gewesen sei. Er hatte gehofft, dass kaum jemand diese Frauen vermissen würde und dass die Beamten jeweils schnell aufgeben würden, weil sie keine heiße Spur finden und das Verschwinden auf Drogenmissbrauch zurückführen würden. "Ich bewege mich in meiner Welt", soll er gesagt haben, "dort kann ich tun, was immer ich möchte."

Dass Little überhaupt im Gefängnis sitzt, ist einigem Ermittlerglück zu verdanken. Er war immer wieder verhaftet worden, wegen Raubüberfällen, Vergewaltigungen oder Entführungen, und die Ermittler hatten stets geglaubt, dass Little auch Menschen getötet hatte; sie hatten ihm jedoch nichts nachweisen können. In Florida war er sogar wegen Mordes angeklagt gewesen - und wurde wegen Mangels an Beweisen freigesprochen. Vor vier Jahren dann konnten die Ermittler einen DNA-Test von Little in einem Obdachlosenheim im US-Bundesstaat Kentucky aus dem Jahr 2012 mit Mordopfern aus den 1980er-Jahren in Los Angeles in Verbindung bringen. Im darauf folgenden Prozess wurde er schließlich wegen dreifachen Mordes verurteilt.

Im Sommer dieses Jahres nun hatte ein Beamter das Vertrauen von Little gewonnen - und ihn mit der Aussicht auf die Verlegung in ein besseres Gefängnis zum Reden gebracht. So ist das meist bei derartigen Vernehmungen: Ein Täter redet nur, wenn er dem Beamten vertraut, der ihn vernimmt, nicht selten kommt es gar zu persönlichen Beziehungen zwischen Ermittler und Täter. Auch in Deutschland gab es immer wieder ähnliche Fälle, wenngleich die erschütternde Dimension des Geständnisses von Samuel Little natürlich kaum vergleichbar ist.

"Es passiert nicht häufig, dass man als Polizist einem Menschen begegnet, der einfach nur böse ist"

Gleich mehrere Beamte von "Cold-Case"-Abteilungen reisen nun immer wieder nach Texas, um mögliche Zusammenhänge von Littles Erzählungen zu ungelösten Mordfällen zu prüfen; die Beamten müssen ausschließen, dass Little in seinem Geständnisrausch Morde erfindet. Bislang ist es offenbar gelungen, Little bereits mit mindestens 30 Morden in 14 Bundesstaaten in Verbindung zu bringen - auch deshalb gebe es keinen Grund, am Wahrheitsgehalt der Aussagen von Little zu den anderen Mordfällen zu zweifeln, heißt es aus dem Gefängnis.

Little soll, so ist zu hören, seine Morde ohne Reue gestehen. Er wolle weder sein Gewissen beruhigen, noch hoffe er auf Absolution, er habe aus reinem Egoismus wegen seiner Krankheit und der Aussicht auf bessere medizinische Versorgung zu reden begonnen und erzähle nun wie einer, der von seiner Reise durch die Staaten berichte. Er zeichne erstaunlich präzise Bilder seiner Opfer und erwähne die Zahl seiner Opfer so, wie andere Reisende die Anzahl der Hotels während einer Rundfahrt erwähnen würden. Jackson im Bundesstaat Mississippi: ein Opfer. Cincinnati, Ohio: ein Opfer. Phoenix, Arizona: drei Opfer.

"Es passiert nicht häufig, dass man als Polizist einem Menschen begegnet, der einfach nur böse ist", sagt Tim Marcia am Telefon, der an den Ermittlungen gegen Little wegen der Morde in Los Angeles in den 1980er-Jahren beteiligt gewesen ist. "Ich habe diesem Menschen in die Augen gesehen und mit ihm gesprochen. Er ist abgrundtief böse."

Kaynak: https://www.sueddeutsche.de/panorama/usa-massenmoerder-samuel-little-1.4238918



Samuel Little

Samuel Little (* 7. Juni 1940 in Reynolds, Georgia, USA), Alias-Name: Samuel McDowell, ist ein US-amerikanischer Serienmörder. Im Jahr 2014 wurde er wegen der Ermordung von drei Frauen im Zeitraum zwischen 1987 und 1989 in Kalifornien angeklagt. Nach seiner Verurteilung gingen die kalifornischen Behörden zunächst davon aus, dass Little ab 1982 in neun Bundesstaaten Menschen getötet haben könnte. Ermittler glauben später, dass er 34 Morde begangen haben könnte. Little selbst behauptet, ungefähr 90 Menschen getötet zu haben.[1]

Little wurde nach nicht gesicherten Angaben während eines Gefängnisaufenthaltes seiner Mutter geboren. Er selbst meinte, seine Mutter sei eine „Lady der Nacht“ gewesen. Bald nach seiner Geburt zog seine Familie nach Ohio. Er wuchs in Lorain auf und wurde hauptsächlich von seiner Großmutter erzogen. Er besuchte die Hawthorne Junior High School, wo er bereits sozial auffällig wurde. 1956 wurde Little noch während seiner Schulzeit zum ersten Mal wegen eines Einbruchs in Omaha, Nebraska, verhaftet und verurteilt. In den späten 1960er Jahren zog Little nach Florida, wo er bei seiner Mutter lebte. Er arbeitete als Rettungsassistent und als Friedhofsangestellter. Der sehr kräftige Little nahm während der Gefängniszeit am Boxtraining teil. Nach der Highschool brach er die Ausbildung ab, verbrachte den größten Teil seiner Zeit auf der Straße und lebte von kleineren Diebstählen und Gelegenheitsjobs.

1961 wurde Little verhaftet und zu drei Jahren Gefängnis verurteilt, weil er in ein Möbelgeschäft in Lorain eingebrochen war. Er wurde 1964 freigelassen, verließ Ohio und lebte in den folgenden Jahren in verschiedenen US-Bundesstaaten, in der Hauptsache von Raub und Diebstahl.

1975 wurde Little in elf Bundesstaaten 26-mal verhaftet, unter anderem wegen Diebstahl, Überfall, versuchter Vergewaltigung, Betrug und Angriffen auf Polizeibeamte. 1982 wurde er in Pascagoula, Mississippi, festgenommen und wegen Mordes an der 22-jährigen Prostituierten Melinda LaPree in Untersuchungshaft genommen. LaPree war im September 1982 vermisst gemeldet worden. Eine Grand Jury lehnte es jedoch ab, Little wegen des Mordes an LaPree anzuklagen. Während der Ermittlungen wurde Little nach Florida verlegt, um wegen Mordes an der 26-jährigen Patricia Mount, deren Leiche im Herbst 1982 gefunden worden war, vor Gericht gestellt zu werden. Zeugen identifizierten Little als die Person, die die Nacht vor Mounts Verschwinden mit dieser verbracht hatte. Da sich Zeugen in Widersprüche verwickelten, wurde Little im Januar 1984 vom Mord an Mount freigesprochen. .. (yer yetmedi -> -> devamı ve kaynak -> http://www.wikizero.biz/index.php?q=aHR0cHM6Ly9kZS53aWtpcGVkaWEub3JnL3dpa2kvU2FtdWVsX0xpdHR


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~ Feb 20, 2019


"Sexual selection, phenotypic plasticity and female reproductive output"

Çalışma: Rebecca J. Fox , Lutz Fromhage ve Michael D. Jennions
Published: 28 January 2019 https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2018.0184


In a rapidly changing environment, does sexual selection on males elevate
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"Sexual selection, phenotypic plasticity and female reproductive output"

Çalışma: Rebecca J. Fox , Lutz Fromhage ve Michael D. Jennions
Published: 28 January 2019 https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2018.0184


In a rapidly changing environment, does sexual selection on males elevate a population's reproductive output? If so, does phenotypic plasticity enhance or diminish any such effect? We outline two routes by which sexual selection can influence the reproductive output of a population: a genetic correlation between male sexual competitiveness and female lifetime reproductive success; and direct effects of males on females' breeding success. We then discuss how phenotypic plasticity of sexually selected male traits and/or female responses (e.g. plasticity in mate choice), as the environment changes, might influence how sexual selection affects a population's reproductive output. Two key points emerge. First, condition-dependent expression of male sexual traits makes it likely that sexual selection increases female fitness if reproductively successful males disproportionately transfer genes that are under natural selection in both sexes, such as genes for foraging efficiency. Condition-dependence is a form of phenotypic plasticity if some of the variation in net resource acquisition and assimilation is attributable to the environment rather than solely genetic in origin. Second, the optimal allocation of resources into different condition-dependent traits depends on their marginal fitness gains. As male condition improves, this can therefore increase or, though rarely highlighted, actually decrease the expression of sexually selected traits. It is therefore crucial to understand how condition determines male allocation of resources to different sexually selected traits that vary in their immediate effects on female reproductive output (e.g. ornaments versus coercive behaviour). In addition, changes in the distribution of condition among males as the environment shifts could reduce phenotypic variance in certain male traits, thereby reducing the strength of sexual selection imposed by females. Studies of adaptive evolution under rapid environmental change should consider the possibility that phenotypic plasticity of sexually selected male traits, even if it elevates male fitness, could have a negative effect on female reproductive output, thereby increasing the risk of population extinction.

This article is part of the theme issue ‘The role of plasticity in phenotypic adaptation to rapid environmental change’.

1. Introduction

Sexual selection favours traits that are often exclusively expressed or only exaggerated in males, such as weapons and ornaments, which increase mating or fertilization success when there is competition for mates or fertilization opportunities. In contrast, natural selection favours economically efficient traits that are usually similarly expressed in both sexes, which improve foraging ability, predator evasion, disease resistance and so on. In general, therefore, natural and sexual selection are in opposition. There is a trade-off between a longer life or a faster mating rate (but see [1,2]). It might therefore seem slightly paradoxical that researchers have asked whether sexual selection on males can increase the rate at which females adapt to a novel environment [3–7]. This is akin to asking if sexual selection on males elevates the mean absolute lifetime reproductive output of females (i.e. population mean fitness (definition modified from [8]; see also [9])), thereby increasing the maximum population growth rate and decreasing the likelihood of population extinction. In a similar vein, researchers studying phenotypic plasticity, especially those motivated by conservation concerns arising from climate change, industrial-scale agriculture and urbanization, have asked whether plastic responses to rapid environmental change reduce the likelihood of population extinction (‘plastic rescue’ sensu [8]) because phenotypic plasticity increases population mean fitness [10].

Surprisingly, these two research questions are rarely combined. Researchers studying plastic rescue mostly ask whether plastic responses of naturally selected traits to a changing environment are broadly adaptive (i.e. elevate male and female absolute fitness). It is rare for them to instead ask whether adaptive plasticity of sexually selected traits in males (i.e. those that increase relative mating or fertilization success) will increase the mean absolute lifetime reproductive output of females. Before proceeding further, we should acknowledge that mean female lifetime reproductive success (LRS) is an imperfect proxy for the realized growth of a population and its effective population size (the two key demographic parameters that influence extinction risk (review: [11]; see also [12])). We are essentially assuming there is ‘hard’ rather than ‘soft’ selection on female LRS (see [13]) such that absolute differences in female LRS between a population with and without sexual selection translate into differential recruitment rates. This is a simplification, but one that is widely used when investigating so-called ‘population fitness’ (e.g. [8]).

Many factors select for different levels of expression of sexually selected traits by males (review: [14]). For example, the sonic and light environment affect the transmission of acoustic and visual courtship signals respectively (review: [15]); and the local predator and parasite community determine the costs of investing in attractive traits that increase a male's vulnerability to predators, or capacity to tolerate parasites. The benefits of investing in sexually rather than naturally selected traits also depend on the strength of sexual selection, which can covary with the operational sex ratio, density of competitors and mate encounter rate [16–18]. Perhaps the most important and widespread form of phenotypic plasticity in sexually selected traits relates to the availability of resources. Many sexually selected traits show ‘condition-dependent’ expression, being smaller when food is limited. All of these factors should select for males that detect appropriate environmental cues and show an adaptive plastic response in their investment into sexually selected traits.

In this review, we explore how plastic responses by males to a changing/novel environment could influence the mean absolute LRS of females, and hence the likelihood of population extinction. We focus on plasticity in males rather than females because theory suggests that sexual selection mainly acts on males [19–21]. This claim is widely supported empirically by greater male weaponry and ornamentation [22–25], and by a stronger relationship in males than females between mating and reproductive success ([26]; but see [27,28]) (for examples of sexual selection in females see [29,30]).

Terminology: We define phenotypic plasticity as a genotype producing different phenotypes depending on the environment in which it is expressed. This is broadly synonymous with individuals (whose genotype is constant) showing a plastic response. The response is adaptive if it increases fitness compared with continued expression of the phenotype produced prior to the environmental change of interest. When referring to the degree of plasticity expressed by a genotype we refer to its reaction norm (the function relating the expression of the focal trait to an environmental parameter). Selection for an adaptive plastic response is synonymous with selection for an appropriately shaped reaction norm. Evolution of plasticity can only occur if there is additive genetic variation in reaction norms (i.e. gene-by-environment (G × E) effects). We should note that individual plasticity is not strictly synonymous with G × E, despite individuals having different genotypes, because individuals might vary phenotypically across focal environments for purely non-genetic reasons (e.g. a good start in life might increase their ability to adjust their phenotype (permanent environment effects: see [31])).

2. How can sexual selection affect female reproductive output?

Regardless of whether or not phenotypic plasticity in sexually selected traits is adaptive for males, it seems unlikely on the face of it to affect the likelihood of population extinction in a rapidly changing environment. This is because the expression of sexually selected traits simply determines which males mate. Does this have any bearing on how many females there are, how often they breed, and the success of each breeding attempt? Sexual selection on males will only influence population extinction if it affects these three key demographic parameters. We therefore first address the role of sexual selection in determining female LRS before we consider additional compounding effects of male plasticity. Naively we might assume that males cannot affect mean female LRS because females are rarely limited in their ability to acquire a mate, but this conclusion would be wrong [32]. Males can affect mean female LRS for three main reasons.

There is a positive genetic correlation because successful males transfer genes that elevate their daughters' LRS (rG) [33,34]. This is most likely to occur when there is additive genetic variation for naturally selected genes that determine condition, and male sexual traits are condition-dependent (see §4). Conversely, there could be a negative correlation if successful males transfer sexually antagonistic genes that elevate their sons' mating success but lower their daughters' LRS [35,36]. A negative inter-sex genetic correlation (rMF) for fitness has been documented in several species [37–41], but this is not strictly equivalent to a negative genetic correlation between male sexual competitiveness and female LRS. For example, even in the absence of sexual selection, a negative rMF could arise if natural selection favours different genotypes in each sex, which is likely given sex-specific life histories (e.g. [42–44]). Strictly speaking it is necessary to measure the genetic correlation (rG) between male and female fitness that is attributable to sexual and natural selection respectively. This correlation is likely to vary predictably depending on the environment in which it is measured [45,46] (see §5). It should also be noted that a positive rG is not equivalent to female choice for genetic quality (‘good genes’), as this refers to a sire's effect on mean offspring fitness (i.e. daughters and sons) [47–49].

There is a phenotypic correlation (rP), between a male's mating success and his mate's LRS because male sexual competitiveness covaries with: (i) traits that determine the level of sexual conflict over mating and sperm use (e.g. seminal toxins, traumatic damage to females) [50–52]; (ii) the likelihood he passes on sexually transmitted infections [53,54]; (iii) the quantity and/or quality of resources transferred (e.g. parental care, nuptial gifts) that improve a female's ability to rear viable offspring [55–57]; and, (iv) his daughters' LRS due to his rate of ‘offspring provisioning’ (e.g. food intake when young, or access to breeding resources as an adult) (e.g. [58,59]). When calculating the contribution of successful males to a population's reproductive output we need to determine how many daughters they sire compared with the average male, and if their daughters are of above average fecundity [60]. In general, however, there is only weak empirical evidence that sire attractiveness affects the offspring sex ratio [61].

Even if we ignore the issues of which males mate, male–male competition leads to the coevolution of sexually selected male traits and corresponding female traits (e.g. mate choice, mating resistance) that generally reduce female LRS below the level that would occur in their absence [62]. First, investment into sexual traits lowers males' parental investment, reducing the mean output per breeding event [21]. Second, intense sperm competition can cause sperm depletion, which lowers fertilization success, reducing the output per breeding event. This is most common when only a subset of males acquire mates [63,64]. Third, sexual conflict that arises when females evade and resist males tends to increase the interval between breeding events, and lowers female fecundity owing to energetic costs, lost foraging time and allocation of resources to defensive traits instead of offspring [65–67]. Sexual conflict can also kill females, reducing the number of breeding females in a population [68,69].

3. The net effect of sexual selection on mean female reproductive output

For all of the scenarios covered in §2(a,b) there are both theoretical models and empirical data suggesting that mating with more successful (i.e. competitive) males can have either a positive or negative effect on mean female LRS, depending on contingent factors. For example, the proportion of genes with sexually antagonistic effects tends to be lower when populations are in a novel or changing environment (e.g. [70–72]) (§5). Consequently, there is no consensus as to how variation in male mating success due to sexual selection affects the likelihood of population extinction. In contrast, all of the sexually selected processes in §2(c) reduce mean female LRS. The net effect of sexual selection on mean female LRS, hence population extinction risk, is therefore uncertain [3–7], although it seems on balance to be beneficial.

First, sexual selection is positively correlated with lineage diversification (speciation minus extinction rates) across many taxa ([73,74]; but see [75,76]). If this relationship is partly driven by lower extinction rates, it is plausible that sexual selection has a beneficial effect on mean female LRS. Second, a recent study of ostracods found that persistence in the fossil record (i.e. time to extinction) was shorter for species assumed to have more intense sexual selection on males [77]. Third, numerous experimental evolution studies have created breeding lines in which sexual selection is either present (females have access to many males) or absent (enforced monogamy). The two types of lines often evolve differences in female fecundity, lifespan, offspring viability and other traits (review: [78]). Sexual selection clearly elevates components of female LRS in some studies (e.g. [79–81]) but not others (e.g. [82–84]). Intriguingly, a few studies have directly shown that sexual selection lowers the rate of line extinction [85–88].

4. Environmental drivers of plasticity in sexually selected male traits

In §2 we noted that sexually selected male traits can vary in the costs they impose on female LRS (e.g. ornaments versus seminal toxins). A key challenge in understanding how plasticity affects population extinction risk is therefore to predict how males plastically allocate resources into different sexually selected traits as the environment changes. We defer discussion of this topic to §6. In this section, we simply introduce three key factors that induce plasticity in sexually selected traits: environment-dependent resource availability, the social environment and the signalling environment. We emphasize the benefits to males of these plastic responses with the implicit understanding that whether they are adaptive or not also depends on the costs of developmental/cognitive mechanisms that allow for plasticity, the capacity to detect environmental cues, and the likelihood of misinterpreting these cues [89–92]. See [10] for a more complete discussion of the costs of plasticity in the context of adaptation to novel environments.

(a) Condition-dependence traits: a plastic response to resource availability

‘Condition’ is defined as the acquired resources that an individual can strategically allocate to life-history traits [93]. Condition is a simple concept invoked in numerous sexual selection models [49,94,95], but it is notoriously difficult to measure [96,97]. Nonetheless, it is often stated that most sexually selected traits are strongly condition-dependent [98–100]. This claim is based on trait expression positively covarying with environmental variation in resource availability, and this covariation being stronger for sexually than naturally selected traits [97,101] (e.g. a greater change in sexually than naturally selected traits when diet is manipulated). It remains unclear to us whether other key life-history traits (e.g. immunocompetence, female fecundity) are, in fact, less condition-dependent than sexually selected male traits (reviewed by [98]; but see [99,102]). Nonetheless, phenotypic plasticity in sexually selected traits attributable to environmental variation in resource availability is often high. This is consistent with a zero-sum game in which success at competing for mates and eggs is largely determined by a male's relative investment in attractiveness, fighting ability and sperm competitiveness [103,104].

Variation in condition among individuals arises owing to contingent external factors (e.g. season of birth, which affects resource availability in the environment) and direct effects of many naturally selected traits that determine the ability to acquire or assimilate resources (e.g. foraging ability, immune function). Strictly speaking we cannot treat condition-dependence as synonymous with phenotypic plasticity. Why? Plasticity involves a change in trait expression for a given genotype due to the environment. In contrast, condition-dependence could reflect differences in the resources that can be allocated to a trait that arise solely from genetic differences among individuals rather than environmental factors. However, we think it is biologically sensible to assume that phenotypic variation in condition-dependence traits arises owing to both genetic and environmental variation. In addition, we assume that condition-dependence is almost always associated with G × E interactions (hence additive genetic variation in reaction norms) when considering large environmental changes, because when the environment changes in unexpected directions it seems likely that only some of the existing standing genetic variation will yield phenotypes that improve an individual's fit to the environment and thereby increase condition.

Crucially, variation in condition among males is ‘revealed’ in condition-dependent, sexually selected traits. So male mating success is potentially correlated with additive genetic variation for naturally selected traits that benefit females, thereby making rG positive if condition-enhancing genes elevate both male mating success and female LRS. Phrased slightly differently, condition-dependent traits provide a mechanism whereby sexual selection can eliminate deleterious alleles from a population, regardless of whether they arise owing to mutations, gene flow between locally adapted populations [13,105,106], or mismatch due to environmental change ([5,107]; but see [108]). The existence of condition-dependent, sexually selected male traits might therefore seem likely to elevate mean female LRS because of the genetic benefits to females of mating with males in good condition. Unfortunately, this conclusion is premature because many condition-dependent traits also damage females as a by-product of conferring an advantage to males when there is sexual conflict over mating (e.g. [109]). This makes it crucial to know how males allocate resources to different condition-dependent traits as resource availability changes owing to the environment (see §6).

(b) The social environment: the response to cues of sexual competition

Males could benefit from plastic responses of sexually selected traits to the number of competitors, the sex ratio, and other social factors that affect the compound probability of obtaining a mate and their sperm achieving fertilization. The most common plastic responses are shifts in sperm production, ejaculate size, and rates of courtship or aggression [63,110–114]. Studies that examine plastic responses to the social environment by males rarely quantify the effect on female reproductive output ([115,116]; but see [117]). Instead, researchers usually extrapolate from effects of male traits on females in other studies to predict how male plasticity will alter female LRS. For example, male Drosophila that perceive higher rates of sperm competition mate for longer and stimulate higher rates of egg laying [118]. All else being equal, this implies that male plasticity might elevate female LRS, but this is obviously contingent on the mortality costs to females of a male-induced increase in productivity (e.g. [119]). In other studies, male plasticity seems likely to reduce female LRS. For example, dominant males in domestic fowl mate more often and produce more sperm than subordinates but, unlike subordinates, ejaculate quality decreases over successive copulations [120]. Greater investment into sperm in a more competitive social environment could therefore lower female LRS if it reduces egg fertilization rates.

Our understanding of how plastic response of males to social cues affect female LRS is limited. In some cases, we can use theory to reliably predict plastic responses in specific male traits (e.g. strategic ejaculation [113]). In other cases, the plastic response is not in the predicted direction. For example, there were no consistent effects of perceived future mating opportunities on investment into either pre or post-copulatory sexual traits by guppies [121]; nor did male mice adjust their ejaculates to the number of potential mating opportunities, although they did so in response to the perceived risk of sperm competition [122]. These anomalies might arise because the marginal benefits of allocating resources to different sexually selected traits depend on the level of mating and fertilization competition [114]. Again, this means it is crucial to be able to predict how males allocate resources to different traits if we want to relate male plasticity to female LRS (§6).

(c) The signalling environment

There is good evidence, especially in species where males call to attract females, that males adjust their signals to the transmission properties of the environment. These are often textbook examples of adaptive plasticity. For example, studies show that anthropogenic factors, such as urban noise and artificial lighting, impose direct selection on sexually selected male traits [123,124]. Numerous studies have further reported differences between urban and rural populations in sexually selected traits, such as bird song ([125,126]; review: [127]). Many of these differences are in the direction predicted by functional considerations about signal transmission efficacy [128]. It seems improbable that selection on male genetic variation in song imposed by urban noise is responsible for urban–rural population differences (but see [129]). Given the recent origin of cities, these differences instead implicate plastic responses due to learning, and even cultural evolution. In general, it seems unlikely that male plasticity in response to the signalling environment will affect mean female LRS. It might, however, reduce female mate search costs by increasing males' conspicuousness; and it could make it easier to discriminate between potential mates, which would increase the strength of sexual selection which can then affect female LRS (§5).

5. Male plasticity and female reproductive output due to the genetic correlation (rG)

So far, we have broadly discussed how sexual selection might affect female LRS (§§2 and 3), and then described the main types of plastic responses of male sexual traits (§4). Next, we ask how male plasticity affects mean female LRS, hence population extinction (§1), driven by the genetic correlation (rG) between non-random male mating success due to the expression of sexually selected traits and female LRS. We mainly emphasize the role of condition-dependence (i.e. plasticity when due to the environment) in male sexually selected traits.

In general terms the observed phenotypic response to selection (R) of a trait in a two-trait system is


where h2 = VA/VPhenotype = heritability, and S = selection differential.

Here we can think of x = female LRS, y = male mating success, so rxy = rG (equations 11.6 and 19.3 in [130]). If the genetic correlation (rG) between female LRS and male sexual competitiveness is positive then non-random mating due to sexual selection on males hastens the fixation of genes that improve female LRS above that due to natural selection on female LRS. The magnitude of rG depends on the additive genetic variation (VA) in male mating success and female LRS and their covariation (r = covar(x, y)/√[var(x)var(y)]), while the correlated response to selection on male mating success on female LRS due to a non-zero rG also depends on the heritability of male mating success. If sexual selection is weak (i.e. variation in mating success is mainly due to chance) then there is little difference between mean male mating success and the mating success of those males that breed, so S for mating success is small; and the heritability of male mating success is also low because there is no effect of genetic variation in sexual competitiveness on male mating success. In the absence of sexual selection, a positive rG has no effect on female LRS. Simply put, if females mate randomly they do not disproportionately mate with males with genes that elevate female LRS, even if rG = 1.

Given condition-dependent expression of sexually selected male traits, theory suggests that rG is more positive in a novel or rapidly changing environment, as both sexes tend to have phenotypes that are similarly displaced from their selected optima (figure 1a). Genes under natural selection in males are therefore likely to benefit females because they will equally move females towards their new optimum. If so, the inter-sex genetic correlation for fitness (rMF) is positive [45,46]. More specifically for rG, some of the VA in condition-dependent, sexually selected male traits that determine male success is due to genes that otherwise improve naturally selected traits (§4). As such, more competitive males carry genes that tend to elevate mean female LRS if natural selection acts concordantly on both sexes; hence rG > 0. In contrast, in a stable environment, genes that are under consistent selection in both males and females (e.g. genes for condition) tend to reach fixation. The VA in condition is then reduced so that a greater proportion of the standing additive genetic variation in LRS and male mating success is attributable to sexually antagonistic genes; hence rG < 0. Studies that compare rMF (often, but not always, identical to rG; see §2) between populations that are either well or poorly adapted to the local environment suggest that rMF is more positive in novel environments ([34,70,131]; but see [132–134]), although a full meta-analysis is still needed. Of course, several key assumptions underlie the claim that rG is more often positive in novel environments [34,46,108].


//"The likely change in the intersex genetic correlation for fitness (rMF) in a changed environment. In the original environment, phenotypic values for males (solid blue) and females (solid orange) are distributed around sex-specific fitness optima. Owing to opposing selection, and in the absence of sex-limited gene expression, the mean phenotype is likely to lie between the two optima. In a novel environment (E′), trait optima for each sex shift and, following selection, phenotypic values are eventually distributed around the new optima for males (dashed blue) and females (dashed orange). (a) Shows the ‘classic’ case in which both sexes are displaced in the same direction and by the same amount (Δm = Δf). Genes under natural selection in males are therefore likely to benefit females and the inter-sex genetic correlation for fitness (rMF) is positive. In (b) the novel environment causes the new trait optima for each sex to shift in opposite directions (here Δm = Δf, but with opposite signs), resulting in greater intra-locus sexual conflict, i.e. rMF is negative. Finally, (c) represents a case in which the new sex-specific optima are displaced in the same direction, but by different amounts (here Δm < Δf), such that rMF, while briefly positive, becomes more negative the further the mean trait value in the population surpasses the new male optimum."///

First, if additive genetic variance changes owing to gene-by-environment (G × E) interactions [134], this can affect rG or rMF in unexpected ways. To take an extreme case, rG = 0 if there is no additive genetic variation in male mating success in a new environment where chance alone determines which males mate. For example, consider what happens in the case of a sexually dichromatic cichlid fish with female mate-choice based on male colour that lives in clear water if the environment becomes highly turbid [135–137]. Even if condition still determines male coloration, bright males do not have higher mating success and the link between condition, which still elevates female LRS, and male mating success is broken. Second, sex-specific optima in a novel environment might be associated with greater intra-locus sexual conflict. For example, consider a population with a mean phenotype for a naturally selected trait that is intermediate between the male and female optima. A standard assumption is that, in the novel environment, the trait optima are displaced in the same direction for both sexes [138] (figure 1a). If, however, they are displaced in opposite directions then the potential for intra-locus sexual conflict will increase (figure 1b; see also fig. 1 in [134]). Even if the new sex-specific optima are displaced in the same direction, if they are further apart in the novel environment then rG will tend to be more negative once the population mean trait exceeds the new optimum of one sex (figure 1c). Third, even if sex-specific optima are minimally displaced, there could be greater sexual antagonism in a novel environment owing to sex-specific G × E interactions. For example, a genotype beneficial to both sexes in the original environment could produce a phenotype that is displaced much further from the female than male optimum in the novel environment. This is plausible given that a novel environment might affect sex-specific life histories (i.e. the sexes differ more in the particular traits that increase their condition owing to, for example, greater sex differences in the available prey types). The interested reader is referred to [108] for a useful summary of other ways in which rMF, rG (and S) might be affected by a changing environment.

So what role does male plasticity play in increasing the extent to which sexual selection on males increases female LRS in a novel environment? Unfortunately, most theoretical studies of how sexual selection facilitates adaptation implicitly assume that sexually selected traits are condition-dependent. This is because it is the only obvious mechanism to link the process of females disproportionately mating with males with greater investment in sexually selected traits (usually modelled assuming female choice) to genetic benefits that elevate female reproductive success [13,45,46,106]. However, this approach precludes answering the broader question of whether rG is more positive, sexual trait heritability (h2= VA/VP) is higher, or S is larger in a novel environment if sexually selected traits are phenotypically plastic instead of fixed in expression (i.e. whether they increase the value of rxyhxhySy in equation (5.1)). We can, however, still ask how sexually selected male traits being condition-dependent might affect the values of these three key parameters when the environmental changes. It is worth noting here that each of these terms incorporates elements of the other so they are not independent (e.g. VA affects the value of rG and h2male mating; and h2male mating incorporates an element of S, i.e. if S = 0 then h2male mating =0).

(a) Plasticity and the heritability of male mating success

Condition-dependence implies that the environment affects phenotypic variation in sexually selected male traits, hence sexual competitiveness, and mating success. The degree of phenotypic displacement of the average male from the naturally selected optimum in a novel environment is likely to affect the distribution of male condition, hence VP ([102], fig. 1 in [134]). Males will generally be in poorer condition, and the resultant decline in mean condition is likely to be associated with greater variation in condition (see [108,139]). This implies that male mating success has lower heritability in a novel environment owing to the larger VP, but heritability (VA/VP) also depends on VA. Additive genetic variation in condition, hence sexual trait expression, is likely to change in unpredictable ways in a novel environment simply because of G × E interactions. This makes it unlikely that we can predict how condition-dependence will affect heritability. There is, however, some evidence from meta-analyses that heritability is lower in less favourable environments, although this is contingent on the type of trait being measured [140]. One explanation for lower heritability of condition in less favourable environments (i.e. when extractable resource availability is lower owing to maladaptation) is that there is a minimum threshold below which individuals die, which reduces VA for condition among surviving males.

(b) Plasticity and the strength of sexual selection

The strength of sexual selection affects both S and h for mating success in equation (5.1). The heritability of male mating success depends on non-random variation in mating success due to sexual selection on males (because this creates the necessary link between VA in male sexually selected traits and mating success). We therefore need to know how a novel environment changes the types of males that females choose, and what factors determine which males win fights, or have greater sperm competitiveness.

Initially, greater VP for male condition in a novel environment seems likely to increase the strength of selection S because the contrast between high and low condition males is exacerbated. But this need not be the case. For example, the extent to which choosy females discriminate between males based on ornament size might decline when the mean ornament size is smaller owing to males being maladapted and in poorer condition. This could occur if females use size-based threshold rules to determine which males are suitable mates: if most males fall below the threshold, they will be equally (un)attractive as mates. More generally, phenotypic variance in traits depends on how resources are allocated to different sexually and naturally selected traits. The relationship between the mean condition of males and how males allocate resources to different condition-dependent traits is hard to predict (§6). Plastic shifts in allocation, even if only among sexually selected traits, could lead to unexpected outcomes. These include males in better condition being less successful because plastic responses are maladaptive in the novel environment. This is plausible because these responses have evolved based on females' behaviour in the original environment. For example, greater investment into ejaculate size by males in better condition might be disadvantageous if females in a novel environment do not mate multiply. In sum, condition-dependent changes in allocation could alter VP in key sexually selected traits in ways that change the proportion of variation in mating and fertilization success that is attributable to VA in condition, thereby reducing the variation in male mating success, which also increases female LRS. Similar adverse outcomes for female LRS could arise when males plastically respond to cues about the social, or even signalling, environment that alter covariation between VA in condition and male mating success.

Another way that male plasticity could weaken sexual selection is if males respond to social cues by ‘specializing’ in increasing their success at certain stages of reproduction (e.g. mate acquisition versus fertilization). Here we note that, for ease, we previously treated sexual selection as synonymous with variation in mating success in equation (5.1). Strictly speaking we should refer to ‘variation in fertilization success that arises from the combined effects of female mate choice, cryptic choice, the intensity of sperm competition, and how winning male–male contests elevates mating and fertilization success’. For brevity we do not. Specialization can reduce variation in male reproductive success under sexual competition if males make the ‘best of a bad job’ (e.g. small males or those in low condition sneak rather than court [141]). More generally, when males plastically adjust their investment in sexually selected traits to take advantage of information about individual females, this can reduce variation in male fitness. For example, males can plastically adjust ejaculate size based on cues about a female's previous mating history or the likelihood that she will re-mate [113].

Conversely, plasticity could increase VP in male reproductive success under sexual competition. For example, a lack of detectable variation among males in one trait in a novel environment could favour females that shift their attention to assessing males using another trait ([135]; see also [142]). If males plastically adjust their investment into sexual traits that are still detectable by females [143], this could increase (or decrease) the variation in attractiveness among males depending on the ease with which females can discriminate among males for different trait–environment combinations. In general, although many studies have documented that plastic responses affect which males mate or sire offspring, far fewer studies have quantified how this affects the net strength of sexual selection on different male traits.

(c) Plasticity and rG

To recap, rG depends on VA in male success under sexual competition, VA in female LRS, and their covariation. We have already discussed how condition-dependence might affect VA in male success via the heritability (VA/VP) of male success. However, we glossed over the possibility that the proportion of VA in male success attributable to condition changes across environments. This will affect the covariation between male success and female LRS. For example, if most VA in male success is due to sexually antagonistic genes then rG will be negative. A major consideration is therefore how male plasticity, other than that due to condition-dependence, affects the proportion of VA in sexually selected traits attributable to sexually antagonistic genes. To our knowledge, few empirical or theoretical studies have explored this question. For example, does plastic expression by males of sexually selected traits in response to changes in social cues, such as lower population density in a novel environment, decrease the likelihood that male sexual traits are associated with genes that elevate female LRS?

6. Direct effects of males on female reproductive output

Males with greater expression of certain sexually selected traits can either elevate or depress the LRS of their mates (via rP) §2(a,b). For this to affect mean female LRS there must be sexual selection so that some males have higher mating success than others. More generally, sexual competition among males can affect female LRS irrespective of which males end up mating §2(c). Any effect of male plasticity on mean female LRS therefore depends on how it affects the strength of sexual selection and which male traits increase males' success (i.e. are they those that increase or decrease female LRS?). We have already discussed the strength of selection in §5 so we now focus on plastic changes in selected male traits.

First, it seems self-evident that the mixture of plastic responses by males to social cues, the signalling environment and the total resources they acquire and assimilate (i.e. condition) owing to being in a different environment makes it almost impossible to predict how resources will be allocated to different sexually and naturally selected traits. Less obvious, however, is the fact that it is still difficult to make predictions even if we only consider adaptive allocation of resources to different condition-dependent traits [95]. The adaptive response to an increase in condition driven by greater resource acquisition is to allocate these additional resources to the trait with the greatest marginal fitness gains. (In a novel environment, where fewer resources are available, we can treat this as a question of reduced investment into the trait where there will be the smallest marginal decrease in fitness.) This suggests that additional resources will be allocated exclusively to a single trait with the highest gain, such that only a single trait exhibits positive condition-dependence. There are, however, general reasons to believe that marginal fitness gains will not consistently differ among traits as a male's condition changes. First, investment into a trait often yields diminishing fitness gains. For example, whenever a trait increases the probability of a particular outcome, such as detection by potential mates, it cannot be increased beyond its maximum value of 1. Second, the marginal fitness gains from different traits are rarely independent. Fitness gains depend on the current values of other traits, and traits tend to function most efficiently if they are ‘balanced’ so that an individual operates as an integrated unit. For example, a longer tail ornament might be favoured by female choice, but it will eventually become so long that investment into larger wings to maintain the ability to fly is likely to be more advantageous than a further increase in tail size. This should lead to plastic responses with increased expression of multiple traits in environments where males have access to more resources. Third, some traits might become more efficient (hence have greater fitness gains) when expressed at a higher absolute level (e.g. [144]). If so, better condition could induce a shift in allocation that manifests as an increase in the focal trait, alongside a decrease in other (fitness-enhancing) traits [95]. This is one reason why both acquisition and allocation are themselves sometimes described as condition-dependent (e.g. [145]).

Clearly, the sheer number of possible plastic responses by males to a change in condition that arise from being in a novel environment makes general predictions about plasticity in specific sexually selected traits problematic. There is no guarantee that greater condition leads to equal increases in all condition-dependent sexually (or naturally) selected traits. Broadly speaking, optimal condition-dependent allocation depends on the shape of the multivariate function that links traits to fitness. This function depends on species-specific details, such as morphological integration, the ecological context and, in the case of sexually selected traits, how the intensity and type of sexual selection (e.g. mating versus sperm competition) change with the environmental availability of resources that affect male and female condition. Consequently, when sexually selected traits vary in their effects on female LRS (e.g. a reduction in male song rate is unlikely to damage a female, while investment into seminal toxins is likely to induce female mortality), it is hard to determine whether condition-dependent plasticity will elevate or lower female LRS when males are in a novel (usually more stressful) environment.

When there are social cues about the level of mating or sperm competition there is often a clear theoretical prediction about how male investment will change for specific traits; and empirical studies typically report plastic responses in the predicted direction (i.e. greater investment in ejaculates as sperm competition increases) (review: [111]). However, as noted for condition-dependence, it is a challenge to predict the adaptive response when sexual selection acts on multiple traits. Specifically, the social setting could cause the marginal benefits of investment into different traits to change because of shifts in the relative importance of different sexual selection processes (e.g. courtship versus sperm competition). Even when models make predictions about optimal investment into testes versus weapons/ornaments in different social contexts (e.g. [94]), they are hard to test because: (a) there are simplifying assumptions about the constancy of natural selection that do not apply if the social setting affects naturally selected traits; (b) most models predict evolution due to changes in gene frequencies, rather than the optimal plastic response, but the two outcomes are not necessarily in agreement (§8); (c) there is within-population variation in condition. All these factors makes it harder to predict the optimal plastic response for each individual (for a similar problem see [95]).

Given no clear prediction about how males will allocate resources to different traits depending on their condition, determining the allocation patterns that are likely to arise in nature is chiefly an empirical matter. Even then, the relative amount of variation in acquisition versus allocation among individuals affects the observed population level correlations between traits ([146]; review: [145]). The two main areas with relevant data are: (a) whether condition-dependent male sexual signals are honest indicators of parental care, and (b) whether males with greater investment into sexually selected traits (preferred males, or males that win fights for access to females) benefit or harm their mating partners compared with the average male.

A ‘good parent’ model suggests that condition-dependent sexual traits honestly signal parental care, while ‘differential allocation’ models predict that sexual selection on males lowers parental care owing to the resource trade-offs that males face [147–149]. This is why the relationship between condition-dependent male sexual signal and paternal care is unclear, and both outcomes seem possible [150]. However, the fact that female mating preferences might evolve in response to the direction of the relationship would appear to favour males being ‘good parents’, which could even lead to the evolution of male-only care [151]. But the enduring challenge is to explain why attractive males provide more care when mating precedes caring. In general, there must be inherent constraints on preferred males, perhaps owing to the social setting (e.g. strict monogamy [149], or because early mate desertion by females increases the value of male care [152]), such that males gain more by providing the ‘advertised’ care than redirecting resources to pursue additional mating opportunities (see also [56]). The extent to which such constraints are associated with plastic male responses to condition due to environmental variation is an open question, but it is one way in which plasticity could facilitate the process of sexual selection increasing mean female LRS. In general, there is high variation among species in the link between male sexual trait expression and how it affects female LRS through parental care, fertilization success, or other factors that influence female fecundity (e.g. nuptial gifts) [55].

It seems unlikely that females would prefer males that lower their LRS, but this occurs in some species, and presumably reflects an on-going ‘arms race’ between seduction and resistance that males are currently ‘winning’ (e.g. [50,51,153]). Mating with males who are more sexually competitive can still increase a female's fitness even if it lowers her LRS if the costs of mating resistance are higher than accepting such males as mates. However, selection on females could lead to the evolution of the ability of females to reduce mating costs [154]. The net effect is that sexual selection on males can lower mean female LRS. But, to what extent does male plasticity influence this process? First, condition-dependent expression of damaging male traits might magnify the harmful effects of mating with more sexually competitive males. Intriguingly, however, we know of no systematic review that determines the extent to which, for example, experimental manipulation of male condition is associated with increased expression of specific male traits that appear to harm females, such as seminal toxins and genital structures (but see [155]). There is, however, evidence that social cues of the intensity of sperm competition lead to plastic responses in ejaculates (e.g. protein content and sperm count) that lower female LRS [122,156]. In addition, recent studies suggest that greater relatedness between competing males can result in phenotypic responses that reduce the extent to which males lower female LRS when competing for fertilizations (e.g. [157,158]).

7. Plasticity and females

We have emphasized sexual selection on males but, of course, sexual selection also acts on females (e.g. female–female competition for breeding opportunities and male mate choice) (reviews: [30,159,160]). What effect do sexually selected female traits have on mean female LRS? Clearly, mean female LRS must decline if there is any fitness trade-off with naturally selected traits [161]. If females simply used a lottery rather than expended resources on competition to determine contested breeding opportunities, then the ‘winning’ female could invest more in reproduction. Of course, the same is true for males, but a key difference is that the mean LRS of breeders is likely to be more strongly affected by which females, rather than males, breed. This claim is based on the assumption that there is greater variation in female fecundity and parental investment than in direct male effects on female LRS §2(b). A more interesting question is: to what extent does plasticity in sexually selected female traits increase the realized fecundity of breeders when breeding sites and/or male mates are a limited resource? If female investment in sexually selected traits is condition-dependent, but the proportion of resources invested is smaller for females in better condition (so that they remain more fecund), then plasticity might increase the mean LRS relative to that observed if females stochastically acquired breeding opportunities. To our knowledge, the circumstances where condition-dependence of female sexually selected traits elevates mean female LRS have not been formally modelled. We refer the reader to [161] for an extensive review of female ornament evolution.

Female plasticity is mainly studied by asking how it affects male-imposed costs, or how it allows a female to choose males that increase her LRS or the fitness of her offspring. We consider both. First, recent models examine in detail how plasticity affects sexually antagonistic selection [162,163]. Specifically, they ask how it affects the conflict load (fitness reduction compared with a hypothetical best-case scenario) of individuals involved in pairwise interactions, when each party controls an antagonistic trait that decreases the other party's fitness. The focus is on a situation where plasticity is unilateral, i.e. only one party shows a plastic response, while the other's strategy evolves owing to differential success of genotypes. An illustrative case in which females are the plastic party is post-copulatory sexual conflict, where males commit to a strategy by transferring seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) that females then respond to plastically. The general finding is that plasticity, compared with neither party showing plasticity, always reduces the conflict load of the non-plastic party, but that of the other party can either increase or decrease [162,163]. The intuitive reason is as follows. There are two directions in which an individual of party P (for ‘plastic’) might adjust its antagonistic trait p when faced with a mutant of party N (for ‘non-plastic’) with a slightly deviant antagonistic trait n. If p is adjusted in the same direction as the change in n (i.e. less antagonistic mutants elicit a less antagonistic response), then plasticity selects for lower antagonism in N. By contrast, if p is adjusted such that more antagonistic mutants elicit a less antagonistic response, then plasticity selects for greater antagonism in N. Thus, depending on the direction of the plastic response, plasticity × selects for either more or less antagonism in N, either increasing or reducing P's conflict load. In contrast, N's conflict load always decreases because N always evolves in the direction that elicits a less antagonistic response. This is an intriguing result, but its applicability to post-copulation sexual conflict probably depends on biological details. For example, if SFPs elevate the oviposition rate, but females can restore a nearly optimal rate with a plastic response, the evolution of more SFPs need not increase the conflict load for females. Instead, regardless of the absolute amount of SFPs transferred, the females' conflict load might reflect only the extent to which they are actually manipulated. Similarly, regardless of the absolute magnitude of a ‘female resistance trait’, a male's conflict load might reflect only the extent to which his mate's oviposition rate deviates from his optimum. There is no compelling reason why this deviation will necessarily be smaller when females exhibit a plastic rather than an evolved response.

Second, many studies have investigated plasticity in female mate choice. Empirical studies have shown that choice is plastically adjusted to external factors, such as the energetic costs of mate sampling, and that shifts in the threshold for acceptable mates occur based on the type and rate at which prospective males are encountered [164]. There is also good empirical evidence that female mate choice is often condition-dependent [165]. It is reasonable to assume initially that these are mainly cases of adaptive plasticity because the inherent costs of mate choice suggest that selection favours random mating if choosiness provides no benefits [49]. The genetic benefits of choosing certain males as mates are small or absent in many species [166], so adaptive mate choice implies that plasticity is likely to elevate female LRS. It should be noted, however, that while plasticity might increase female LRS in the short-term, it could favour the evolution of male traits that lower female LRS. An obvious example is that greater mean female choosiness due to plasticity selects more strongly for coercive male traits that tend to lower females' fecundity or longevity [62].

If natural selection acts similarly in both sexes there is a scenario in which condition-dependent female choice can elevate mean female LRS. The opening premise is that local adaptation is reduced when natural selection differs among populations and there is gene flow (migration). The rate of local adaptation is increased if females prefer locally adapted males, thereby reducing gene flow. In general, female mating preferences lead to local adaptation if they favour males in good condition (i.e. locally adapted) (but see [13] for complexities). This general idea was modelled by Veen & Otto [167], who developed a simple model with two patches that differ ecologically and two evolving traits: an ecological trait and a female mating preference. The strength of the preference for males in good condition was contingent on the female's ecological fit to the local patch (i.e. her condition). In this case, condition-dependent female preferences facilitate local adaptation: the costs of choice tend to slow the spread of a mating preference, but with condition dependence these costs are disproportionately borne by poorly adapted females (who are in worse condition), thereby lowering their fitness relative to that of better adapted females.

8. Do adaptive plastic responses mirror the direction of evolution?

It is tempting to assume that adaptive plasticity will produce a phenotypic shift in the same direction as selection on genotypes for fixed traits. This assumption is not universally justified. For example, Kahn et al. [168] modelled sex allocation decisions where mothers can re-allocate parental resources to produce more offspring when some die during the period of parental investment. They examined the effect of environmental stress that increases the mortality of sons during the period of parental investment. Although the adaptive plastic response of mothers is to produce fewer sons when only some mothers experience this stress, the population as a whole will evolve to produce more sons when the stress applies globally. This pattern arises because a locally-favoured trait (i.e. producing daughters) faces negative frequency-dependent selection at the population level, so it is not universally advantageous. Opposing directions of adaptive and evolved responses could occur in many other frequency-dependent selection scenarios.

More generally, game theory often predicts the coexistence of alternative phenotypes under negative frequency-dependent selection in a mixed evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) [169]. A mixed ESS can manifest either as a genetic polymorphism or probabilistic expression of phenotypes (at the same frequencies as fixed phenotypes). However, if heterogeneity in local factors makes one phenotype slightly advantageous, then selection might favour a plastic response to produce the locally favoured phenotype. For example, in some spiders a mixed ESS is predicted whereby males are either monogynous (mate with one female only) or bigynous (mate with two females) [170]. If the mortality risk of mate-searching varies among males, then males with a below-average risk should plastically exhibit bigyny [171]. But, depending on the adult sex ratio, greater mortality costs of mate searching at the population level can either increase or decrease the frequency of bigyny [170]. Whether or not adaptive plastic responses match the direction of evolution of fixed differences in response to the same environmental cues depends on details that do not readily permit generalizations. However, mismatch hinges on negative frequency-dependent selection, and many adaptations are frequency-independent (e.g. temperature tolerance). If selection on a trait is frequency-independent, we suggest that it will usually be true that, following an environmental change, adaptive phenotypic plasticity and selection on mean trait values will shape phenotypes to evolve in the same direction.

9. Summary

Whether sexual selection hastens female adaptation to environmental change, and thereby reduces the likelihood of population extinction, is unresolved [5,11,13]. The extent to which male phenotypic plasticity further enhances or diminishes the effect of sexual selection is even harder to discern. We focused on female LRS rather than, as is standard in sexual selection models, mean offspring fitness. We mainly concentrated on a few ideas. First, sexual selection changes the likelihood of population extinction if it affects which males mate and this influences how many females breed and their mean LRS. Second, although a range of environmental cues induce plastic responses in sexually selected male traits, the condition-dependence of these traits is the factor most likely to affect female LRS in a changing environment. This is because, under such circumstances, sexually competitive males are more likely to transfer genes that elevate female LRS than to have sexually antagonistic effects. Third, condition-dependence is important when the environment changes because it can alter the strength of sexual selection, affect who mates, and change the allocation of resources to different sexually selected traits that vary in the extent to which they benefit or harm females.

We conclude that there are no general rules determining whether plasticity of sexually selected traits will reduce or elevate the risk of population extinction. This unsatisfying, but almost inevitable, conclusion concurs with inferences drawn about the effects of phenotypic plasticity on eco-evolutionary dynamics [172]. There is, however, a glimmer of hope. Recent theoretical models of sexual conflict over mating [162,163], offspring sex ratio adjustment based on sire attractiveness [60,173], and whether plastic maternal effects are more likely than plastic responses by offspring to generate adaptive outcomes [174] all show that there is the potential to make predictions about the extent to which different forms of phenotypic plasticity in sexually selected and allied traits facilitate adaptive evolution. The challenge now is to produce models that explicitly incorporate phenotypic plasticity, in order to ask questions about the role of sexual selection in facilitating population persistence in the face of rapid environmental change (see [175]).

Kaynak: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2018.0184

[Edited at 2019-02-20 18:47 GMT]


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
Tag (2007 óta)
német - török
+ ...
~ Feb 20, 2019


"Lügen für ein paar Dollar
Mindestens jede zehnte Versuchsperson macht falsche Angaben, um an einer bezahlten Studie teilnehmen zu können."

Yazı: Christiane Gelitz


Es liegt eigentlich auf der Hand: Manche Versuchspersonen geben eine falsche Auskunft, um die Teilnahmebedingungen für eine bezahlte Studie zu erfüllen. Wie viele sich dazu verleiten lassen, hat ein interdisziplinäres Team von der University of Pennsylvania jetzt in einem Experiment untersucht. Ergebnis: Mindestens jeder Zehnte dürfte eigentlich nicht teilnehmen.

Die Medizinethikerin Holly Fernandez Lynch und ihre Kollegen luden in Kooperation mit dem Marktforschungsunternehmen GfK eine zufällig ausgewählte repräsentative Stichprobe von 3800 Erwachsenen in den USA per E-Mail zu einer Umfrage zum Thema Impfungen ein. Den letztlich 2200 Probandinnen und Probanden wurden 5, 10 oder 20 Dollar in Aussicht gestellt, wobei die Kontrollgruppe den Betrag ohne weitere Bedingung versprochen bekam. Eine zweite Gruppe durfte jedoch nur teilnehmen, wenn sie in den vergangenen sechs Monaten eine Grippeimpfung erhalten hatten, und eine dritte Gruppe, wenn das nicht der Fall war.

In der Kontrollgruppe, die keinen Anlass zum Lügen hatte, bejahten 52 Prozent die Frage nach der Grippeimpfung. Entsprechend müssten die anderen beiden Gruppen in etwa dieselbe Impfrate aufweisen, so die Annahme der Forschenden – sofern die gestellte Bedingung keinen Einfluss auf das Antwortverhalten hatte. Doch wie vermutet fanden sie einen Unterschied: War die erfolgte Impfung das Kriterium für die Teilnahme, so behaupteten 62 bis 63 Prozent, eine Impfung bekommen zu haben. Ging es hingegen darum, nicht geimpft worden zu sein, sank die Impfquote je nach Betrag auf 42 bis 47 Prozent. Umgerechnet bedeutet das: War das Geld an eine Bedingung geknüpft, bestätigten mindestens 10 bis 23 Prozent Versuchspersonen fälschlich, dass sie die Bedingung erfüllten.

»Dieses Verhalten untergräbt nicht nur die Integrität einer Studie und ihrer Ergebnisse«, sagt Holly Fernandez Lynch in einer Pressemitteilung. »Die Kriterien sind auch dazu da, Teilnehmende zu schützen«, zum Beispiel in klinischen Studien, die für manchen ein Risiko darstellen könnten. Doch nicht nur darin liegt das Problem: Die »falschen« Probanden können auch bei vergleichsweise harmlosen Umfragen die Ergebnisse verfälschen, etwa indem sie ihre Antworten auf stereotype Vorstellungen an Stelle eigener Erfahrungen stützen.

Ein höheres Honorar zog in dieser Studie zwar nicht mehr falsche Angaben nach sich als ein niedrigeres. Allerdings lag der höchste Betrag hier bei 20 Dollar. »Ein triftiger Grund, solche Forschung auch im klinischen Kontext durchzuführen, wo die Bezahlung und andere Vorteile wie der Zugang zu fortschrittlicher Medizin oft noch gewichtiger sind als in der Umfrageforschung«, schließen die Forschenden. Die vorerst beste Lösung sei, objektive Zugangskriterien zu definieren. Auf Honorare zu verzichten, hält Koautorin Emily Largent für keine gute Idee: »Eine Bezahlung kann die Teilnahmebereitschaft steigern; außerdem verdienen die Teilnehmenden eine Kompensation für ihre Zeit und Mühe.«

Christiane Gelitz ist Diplompsychologin und Redakteurin bei »Spektrum.de«.

Yeri: https://www.spektrum.de/news/luegen-fuer-ein-paar-dollar/1625148



"Kann man Sprache aus dem Gehirn »auslesen«?"

Çalışma: Christian Wolf

Locked-in-Patienten müssen mühsam buchstabieren, wenn sie sich verständigen wollen. Künstliche neuronale Netze sollen künftig gleich ganze gedachte Wörter hörbar machen. Wie weit ist die Forschung auf diesem Weg?

//"EEG-Wellen auf Papier"///7m

Eigentlich will er nur ein einfaches »Hallo, wie geht's?« sagen. Doch der Mann ist von Kopf bis Fuß gelähmt. Statt seine Sprechmuskulatur zu gebrauchen, blickt er daher auf Reihen von Buchstaben auf dem Bildschirm. Jede Reihe flackert in einer anderen Frequenz – eine mit sieben, eine andere mit elf Hertz. Nun konzentriert er sich auf eine Reihe mit dem Buchstaben »H«. Sein Gehirn reagiert und zeigt als Resonanz in stärkerem Maß eine Frequenz, die der Frequenz der anvisierten Buchstabenreihe entspricht. Auf seinem Kopf trägt der Mann eine Kappe mit Elektroden, die die registrierten Hirnfrequenzen an einen Computer weiterleiten. Das Computerprogramm weiß nun zumindest schon mal, aus welcher Reihe der von dem Patienten anvisierte Buchstabe stammt. Allmählich kreist die Software das »H« ein, das der Patient als ersten Buchstaben will. So entsteht mühsam erst das »Hallo« und dann der ganze Satz.

Sind Menschen mit dem Locked-in-Syndrom nach einem Schlaganfall vollständig oder fast vollständig in ihren Körper eingeschlossen, stellen solche Computer-Hirn-Schnittstellen oft die einzige Möglichkeit dar, mit der Außenwelt in Kontakt zu treten. Aber die Kommunikation ist äußerst mühsam. Wie der »Buchstabierer« aus unserem fiktiven Fallbeispiel ringen die meisten Nutzer schon damit, auf diesem Weg mehr als 10 Wörter pro Minute von sich zu geben. Zum Vergleich: Im Durchschnitt strömen rund 150 Wörter pro Minute aus dem Munde eines gesunden Sprechers – und das ohne größere Anstrengungen.

Wie sich Hirnsignale in Sprachlaute übersetzen lassen, variiert von Mensch zu Mensch
Für Patienten würde daher ein Traum wahr, könnte man die Wörter und Sätze, die in ihrem Gehirn mit eingeschlossen sind, direkt »auslesen«. Forscher kommen diesem Ziel allmählich näher. Eine besondere Herausforderung ist dabei: Wie sich die Hirnsignale in Sprachlaute übersetzen lassen, variiert von Mensch zu Mensch. Computermodelle müssen individuell trainiert und auf die Patienten zugeschnitten werden. Und dafür brauchen sie möglichst genaue Daten. Denn das Sprechen erfordert eine extrem präzise Orchestrierung. Eine Vielzahl von Organen des Sprechtrakts wie Zunge oder die Lippen müssen äußerst fein im Bereich von Millisekunden aufeinander abgestimmt werden.

Solche Daten in der gewünschten Präzision zu bekommen, heißt daher leider auch: Man muss den Schädel öffnen. Verschiedene Forscherteams haben nun unabhängig voneinander eine seltene Gelegenheit genutzt. Denn wenn bei Epilepsiepatienten eine OP ansteht, versucht man per Elektrokortikografie den Ursprung der Anfälle zu lokalisieren. Zu diesem Zweck legt man den Patienten im Rahmen eines chirurgischen Eingriffs Elektroden auf die Gehirnoberfläche und registriert die elektrische Aktivität der Denkzentrale. Elektrokortikografie bietet eine hohe räumliche Auflösung im Bereich von Millimetern und eine hohe zeitliche Auflösung im Bereich von Millisekunden. Außerdem deckt sie eine große Breite von Hirnarealen ab – nicht ganz unwichtig, wenn man bedenkt, dass beim Thema Sprache weit verteilte Netzwerke zum Zuge kommen.

Eine solche eher rare Gelegenheit machte sich etwa ein Team um den Informatiker Nima Mesgarani von der Columbia University in New York in einer Studie zu Nutze, die 2018 auf dem Preprintserver bioRxiv erschienen ist. Mittels Elektrokortikografie registrierten die Wissenschaftler die Hirnmuster bei fünf Epilepsiepatienten, während diese verschiedenen Kurzgeschichten lauschten. Anschließend trainierten sie ein tiefes neuronales Netzwerk (deep neural network) mit Aufnahmen vom auditorischen Kortex: Den Patienten hatte man Elektroden über der primären Hörrinde und zudem über dem superioren temporalen Gyrus implantiert.

Letzterer ist Teil des Temporallappens und beheimatet unter anderem das Wernicke-Areal, das entscheidend dafür ist, dass wir Sprache verstehen. So vorbereitet rekonstruierte das tiefe neuronale Netzwerk letztlich gesprochene Zahlen allein anhand der neuronalen Daten. Als ein Computerprogramm daraufhin die Zahlen in gesprochene Sprache umsetzte, konnten Versuchspersonen das Gehörte im Schnitt zu 75 Prozent verstehen.

Der Psychologe Jonas Obleser von der Universität Lübeck sieht das Potenzial des Ansatzes von Mesgarani und seinem Team vor allem in einer Sache: »Man könnte den Ansatz und vorgespielte Sprache nutzen, um bei Locked-in-Patienten intakte Hirnfunktionen, die gehörte Sprache verarbeiten, noch genauer einzugrenzen, als das bislang möglich ist.« Den Einsatz im Rahmen von Computer-Hirn-Schnittstellen zur Kommunikation betrachtet er eher skeptisch. Schließlich gehe es da um Sätze, die die Patienten nicht hören, sondern selbst gedanklich erzeugen. Mehr erwartet Obleser daher von Forschergruppen, die einen Schritt weitergehen und Sprache rekonstruieren, die von den Patienten selbst stammt.

Diesen Weg ging das Team um die Informatikerin Tanja Schultz von der Universität Bremen: Es griff für eine ebenfalls 2018 vorab veröffentlichte Studie auf die Daten von sechs Patienten zurück, denen man wegen einer bevorstehenden Hirntumor-OP Elektroden implantiert hatte. Die Elektroden sollten den Chirurgen dabei helfen, Bewegungs- und Sprachareale zu lokalisieren und bei der OP unangetastet zu lassen. Für die Studie nahmen Schultz und Kollegen per Mikrofon die Stimme der Tumorpatienten auf, während diese größtenteils einsilbige Wörter vorlasen.

Ein tiefes neuronales Netzwerk lernt, Zusammenhänge zwischen Hirnaktivität und Sprachaufnahmen zu finden
Die Elektroden registrierten die Aktivität von Arealen, die an der Sprachplanung beteiligt sind, sowie von motorischen Gebieten, die Befehle an den Sprechtrakt senden. Das Team um Schultz trainierte nun ebenfalls ein tiefes neuronales Netzwerk darauf, Zusammenhänge zwischen der Hirnaktivität und den Sprachaufnahmen zu finden. Anschließend rekonstruierte das Netzwerk Wörter allein anhand von Hirndaten, die es im Training nicht vorgesetzt bekommen hatte. Zwischen den Original- und den rekonstruierten Sprachdaten gab es eine Korrelation von bis zu rund 0,7, eine durchaus beachtliche Übereinstimmung.

Noch etwas weiter gingen der Neurochirurg Edward Chang von der University of California in San Francisco und seine Kollegen. Ihnen gelang es, ganze Sätze aus der Hirnaktivität rekonstruieren. Ihre Grundidee: Der Sprung von Hirndaten zum Sprach-Output ist ziemlich groß. Warum dann nicht eine ganz natürliche Zwischenstufe einschalten? Schließlich steuert das Gehirn nicht direkt das Endprodukt, den Sprachstrom, der den Mund verlässt, sondern die Bewegungen und die Artikulation im Sprechtrakt.

Deshalb zogen die Forscher nicht nur die Hirn- und die akustischen Daten von drei Epilepsiepatienten heran, die ganze Sätze vorgelesen hatten; sie griffen auch auf Daten zu den Bewegungen des Sprechapparats zurück. In einem ersten Schritt »übersetzte« dann ein tiefes neuronales Netz die Tätigkeiten von Arealen wie dem sensomotorischen Kortex in physiologische Signale des Vokaltrakts. Erst in einem zweiten Schritt wandelte ein weiteres Netz diese Daten in hörbare Sprache um. Diese »gesprochenen« Sätze setzte man in einem Onlinetest mehr als 160 Freiwilligen vor, die den jeweiligen Satz aus einem von zehn möglichen auswählen sollten. Im Schnitt lag die Trefferquote bei über 80 Prozent. Selbst mit Hirndaten, denen nur lautlose »Sprache« zu Grunde lag, konnte das Computermodell die betreffenden Sätze bis zu einem gewissen Grad rekonstruieren.

Auch die beiden letztgenannten Ansätze seien natürlich bei Locked-in-Patienten noch nicht anwendbar, sagt der Lübecker Psychologe Jonas Obleser. Schließlich könnten diese ja nicht selbst sprechen. Aber so funktioniere Wissenschaft: »Ich baue auf dieser Basis ein Modell, das möglichst nah an dem ist, was wirklich gesprochen wurde. Und gehe dann davon aus, dass es bis zu einem gewissen Grad auch bei Menschen funktioniert, die nicht mehr sprechen können.«

»Die Studien sind im Grunde nichts Neues, außer dass die ›deep neural networks‹ ein bisschen besser arbeiten als die bisherigen Algorithmen«
(Niels Birbaumer)

Niels Birbaumer, in Sachen Computer-Hirn-Schnittstellen Pionier der ersten Stunde, zeigt sich wenig beeindruckt. »Die Studien sind im Grunde nichts Neues, außer dass die ›deep neural networks‹ ein bisschen besser arbeiten als die bisherigen Algorithmen.« Tatsächlich haben die Teams um Mesgarani, Schultz und Chang kein komplettes Neuland betreten. Schon vorher hatten Forscher Sprache aus der Hirnaktivität rekonstruiert. Doch war die Qualität des Sprach-Outputs zu schlecht, um von Menschen verstanden zu werden. Insofern sind die neuen Ansätze durchaus ein Fortschritt.

Den wundesten Punkt der Studien benennt auch Birbaumer. Hier werde nämlich nur rekonstruiert, was man vorher ohnehin schon ausgesprochen habe. »Ob das bei völlig eingeschlossenen Patienten wirklich funktioniert, ist fraglich.« Aber immerhin, man könne es verstehen. »Würden Sie sich dafür die Schädeldecke aufmachen lassen?«, fragt Birbaumer.

Dass die rekonstruierte Sprache nun tatsächlich verständlich ist, findet der Neurowissenschaftler Gerwin Schalk vom National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies at the New York State Department of Health in Albany ermutigend. Es gebe jedoch noch eine Reihe von Hindernissen zu überwinden. Im nächsten Schritte müsse man ähnliche Ergebnisse erzielen, wenn Menschen sich Sätze bloß vorstellten. »Dieser Schritt ist konzeptionell sehr schwer zu realisieren«, so Schalk.

Erste Versuche in diese Richtung gibt es auf jeden Fall bereits. Einer stammt aus dem Jahr 2014 von Wissenschaftlern um die Ingenieurin Stéphanie Martin, die heute an der Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in der Schweiz forscht. Sie machten Aufnahmen des Gehirns von Epilepsiepatienten, während diese Kurzgeschichten vorlasen, und fütterten mit diesen Daten ein Computermodell. Es konnte daraufhin nicht bloß die laut vorgelesenen Sätze rekonstruieren, sondern sogar Sätze, die die Probanden nur still »im Kopf« lasen und damit gewissermaßen innerlich sprachen. Das war möglich, weil der menschliche Hörkortex beim inneren Sprechen ebenfalls aktiv ist.

Die Rekonstruktion des still »Gesprochenen« fiel allerdings deutlich schlechter aus als die der hörbaren Worte. Die Forscher verglichen auch bei den Durchgängen des stillen Lesens die aus den Hirndaten rekonstruierten Sätze mit den laut gesprochenen aus den ersten Durchgängen. Denn beim stillen Lesen gab es natürlich keinen eigenen Sprach-Output, den man hätte aufnehmen und mit der Rekonstruktion vergleichen können. Und darin besteht eine der größten Herausforderungen: Beim inneren Sprechen fehlt der Sprach-Output, mit dem man ein Computermodell trainieren kann. Martin und ihren Kollegen ging es vor allem um eines: zu zeigen, dass sich die neuronalen Grundlagen von äußerlichem und innerlichem Sprechen zumindest teilweise überlappen.

Ein weiterer wichtiger Schritt hin zu Computer-Hirn-Schnittstellen, die Locked-in-Patienten eine komfortablere Kommunikation als bisher ermöglichen, steht noch bevor: der Übergang von invasiver zu nichtinvasiver Technik. »Die per Elektrokortikografie registrierten Signale in den genannten Untersuchungen stammen direkt von der Hirnoberfläche«, sagt Jonas Obleser. Sie hätten damit eine Qualität, die man mit EEG-Ableitung außerhalb des Schädels nicht erreicht. »Aber wenn wir wissen, wonach wir suchen müssen, können wir sicherlich auch mittels EEG durch den Schädel hindurch die für Gesprochenes relevante elektrische Aktivität ableiten.« Das mühsame Buchstabieren von Wörtern per Computer-Hirn-Schnittstelle könnte dann endlich der Vergangenheit angehören.

Christian Wolf ist promovierter Philosoph und Wissenschaftsjournalist in Berlin.

Yeri: https://www.spektrum.de/news/kann-man-unsere-sprache-aus-dem-gehirn-auslesen/1620920



"»Wir vermiesen vielen Schülern die Mathematik«"

Söyleşi: Jan-Martin Wiarda - 19.02.2019

Jürgen Flachsmeyer, Mathematikprofessor im Ruhestand, ist überzeugt: Bei den meisten Menschen kann mehr Verständnis für Mathe erreicht werden. Wie, erklärt er im Interview.


Herr Flachsmeyer, Sie haben seit vielen Jahren eine Mission: Sie wollen zeigen, dass bei den meisten Menschen mehr Verständnis für Mathe erreicht werden kann. Warum ist Ihnen das so wichtig?

Es ist doch widersinnig: Die Mathematik und ihre junge Schwester Informatik sind mit unserer Geisteskultur, ja mit unserer gesamten aktuellen gesellschaftlichen Praxis aufs Engste verflochten, und doch empfinden viele Menschen den beiden gegenüber Abneigung oder, noch schlimmer, sogar Angst. Das kann mich als Mathematiker nicht kaltlassen.

Woher kommt denn diese Distanz zur Mathematik?

Der wichtigste Grund liegt meines Erachtens darin, dass die meisten Menschen der Welt vorwiegend emotional gegenübertreten und sich erst in zweiter Linie rational analytisch mit ihr auseinandersetzen. Bei diesem zweiten Schritt ist die Mathematik als die allgemeinste Strukturwissenschaft mit ihrer Methodik der eigentliche Kernpunkt. Ihre Verwurzelung im Abstrakten hat nur leider für viele Menschen von sich aus keine natürliche Anziehungskraft, sondern im Gegenteil sogar Abstoßungspotenzial.

//"Bunte Geometrische Körper aus Papier gefaltet"///2m

»Formschöne Gebilde eröffnen die Bereitschaft zur geistigen Verarbeitung«, | sagt Jürgen Flachsmeyer, 83. Der inzwischen emeritierte Mathematiker war mehr als 30 Jahre lang Professor für Geometrie und Topologie an der Universität Greifswald.

Auch weil viele das Gefühl haben, schon immer eine Niete in Mathe gewesen zu sein.

Das sind Schutzbehauptungen. Sicher: Der Umgang und die Vertrautheit mit der Mathematik erfordern eine strikte Ausbildung und einen gehörigen Aufwand. Gleich den Künsten, die ebenfalls ein großes Übungspensum abverlangen. Doch das wäre für die meisten zu schaffen – wenn nicht die Unterrichtskultur für die Mathematik und die Naturwissenschaft in der Schule unter einem ernsthaften Mangel litte.

Wie würden Sie diesen Mangel beschreiben?

Wir müssen uns stärker um das Verstehen bei den Schülern bemühen, weil nicht Verstandenes abgewiesen wird. Doch viele Mathematiklehrer nehmen zu wenig Rücksicht auf die unterschiedlichen Denktypen. Langsame Denker werden fälschlich als weniger begabt eingestuft; man unterstellt ihnen eine geringere Leistungskraft. Mein Doktorvater war ein Beispiel für solch einen international sehr erfolgreichen, aber langsamen Denktypus. Er hatte Glück, gefördert zu werden, doch die meisten Schüler erfahren nicht diese Beachtung, sie erleben Misserfolge und wenden sich von der Mathematik ab. Der ausufernde Nachhilfesektor ist ein beredtes Zeugnis vom Scheitern unseres Matheunterrichts.

Ist das nicht einseitig negativ dargestellt? Es gibt doch viele engagierte Mathelehrer, die hervorragende Arbeit leisten!

Ja, die gibt es. Aber im Kern vermiesen wir vielen Schülern die Mathematik und vergeuden noch dazu wertvolle Talente. Es gibt zahllose Familien, die unter den finanziellen Kosten der Nachhilfe leiden. Der gesellschaftliche Verdruss über die Mathematikschwäche junger Menschen ist groß. Die Bildungspolitiker müssten ernstlich aufgeschreckt sein.

Sind sie doch auch. Neulich hat zum Beispiel eine Kommission im Auftrag des Hamburger Bildungssenators umfangreiche Reformvorschläge für den Mathematikunterricht vorgelegt – mit bundesweit großer Beachtung.

Das ist ja sehr lobenswert, auf die praktische Umsetzung darf man gespannt sein. Doch auch wenn ich den Hamburgern natürlich Erfolg wünsche: In den meisten Ländern ist eher Verdrängung als Verarbeitung angesagt, und nicht nur die Politiker agieren so, wir alle tun es. Seit Jahrzehnten stellt beispielsweise die Bruchrechnung in Deutschland einen großen Stolperstein dar. In einer Talkshow machte sich neulich ein bekannter Moderator darüber lustig, dass man beim Teilen von zwei Zahlen den Schülern Widersinniges beibringe, weil 30 geteilt durch ½ das Resultat 60 ergibt. Es sei doch klar, dass beim Teilen von Quantitäten das Ergebnis einer Teilung kleiner als die Ausgangsgröße werde. »So etwas Unvernünftiges wie 30 : (½) = 60 kann ich natürlich nicht erklären! In Mathematik war ich schon immer schlecht«, verkündete er, und was machten die Zuschauer? Sie klatschten frenetisch.

In der Tat ist es gesellschaftlich salonfähig, seine schlechten Mathekenntnisse zum Besten zu geben. »Ich konnte noch nie richtig schreiben«, so kokettieren Prominente dagegen selten.

Der Schriftsteller, Lyriker und Kulturkritiker Hans Magnus Enzensberger hat einmal mit Esprit die Kluft zwischen den großen Kulturleistungen der Mathematik und der herrschenden Mathematikignoranz in der Gesellschaft beschrieben und sah selbst bei gebildeten Leuten »eine Art intellektueller Kastration«. Man kann sie den Leuten vorwerfen oder sich fragen, wie sie mit unserer Lehrerbildung zusammenhängt. Ich habe zum Beispiel in meiner Forschung Mathematiklehrer der gymnasialen Unterstufe befragt, und die konnten oft auch nicht richtig erklären, wieso die Bruchrechnung zu dem eben zitierten Ergebnis kommt. Ich lasse an dieser Stelle noch mal Enzensberger sprechen: »Der Unterricht fördert letzten Endes den mathematischen Analphabetismus.«

Kleiner Exkurs: Wie würden Sie denn die Lösung der Rechenaufgabe erklären?

Wenn a gleich 1 ist (aufgefasst als ein Ganzes) und b eine natürliche Zahl, so bedeutet der Stammbruch 1/b, dass man das Ganze in b gleich große Teile zu zerlegen hat. Damit kommt man durch Vielfachbildung zu den Brüchen a/b für die natürlichen Zahlen. Hingegen hat man das Teilen der Zahl a durch b im Falle, dass b kleiner als a ist, so aufzufassen: »Wie viel mal steckt b in a drin?«. Der Ausdruck »geteilt« kann also nicht immer im Sinne des Feststellens von Teilstücken aufgefasst werden! Im Grunde kommt es darauf an, dass man fleißig übt. Dass die Lehrkräfte einem dafür die Zeit lassen. Und eine Portion Kopfrechnen sollte man auch noch beherrschen, selbst im Zeitalter der Computer.

Ich gebe zu, die Erklärung muss ich mir auch noch mal in Ruhe durch den Kopf gehen lassen. Aber zurück zum Matheproblem unserer Gesellschaft. Ist das typisch deutsch?

Von wegen. Neulich bot ich im Rahmen einer Hochschuldidaktik-Tagung einen spontanen Workshop »Lebendige Mathematik« an, und es kam nur ein einziger Teilnehmer. Der war Professor an einer amerikanischen Universität und berichtete, dass dort ebenfalls die meisten Grundschüler die Mathematik mit Argwohn betrachten. Unsere Gesellschaft ist halt so: Man möchte mehr locker plaudern als konzentriert nachdenken. Das war zwischendurch mal anders.

Wann genau?

Nach dem Sputnik-Schock Ende der 1950er Jahre. Als der sowjetische Satellit Sputnik im Orbit piepte, legten die Vereinigten Staaten vor Schreck ein groß angelegtes Mathematikprogramm auf. Erstrangige Forscher der Mathematik und mustergültige Pädagogen etablierten mit großem staatlichen Engagement eine tief greifende Neuordnung des Schulunterrichts. Dieser Enthusiasmus schwappte auch nach Europa. Leider hat man es damals übertrieben, so dass irgendwann die Überforderung einsetzte.

Und die führte wozu?

Der Mathematikunterricht kehrte zur alten Oberflächlichkeit zurück. Der Schulstoff in Mathematik sei heillos überladen, schimpfte zum Beispiel vor einigen Jahren ein bekannter Pädagoge bei einem Vortrag. Einer seiner konkreten Vorschläge lautete damals: Auf den Lehrsatz des Pythagoras über das rechtwinklige Dreieck könne man verzichten. Das stieß bei den anwesenden Eltern auf Zustimmung. Ich habe dagegengehalten.

Was haben Sie gesagt?

Ich sagte: Wir haben alle heute Morgen das elektrische Licht eingeschaltet. Damit wir das können, brauchte es ingenieurtechnisches Können und Wissen. Und die Schulen müssen die Grundlagen dafür legen, zum Beispiel indem sie die komplexen Zahlen vermitteln, die für die Berechnung von Energie und Schaltkreisen nötig sind. Doch müssen komplexe Zahlen in der Schule gar nicht mehr behandelt werden. Besagter Pädagoge erklärte, für solche Dinge hätten wir doch »unsere Spezialisten«. Aber auf welchem intellektuellen Mistbeet sollen die denn heranwachsen, bitte schön? Dazu braucht man eine gewisse Geisteskultur in der Gesellschaft und auf so einer elementaren Stufe wie dem Pythagoras keine Aussonderung von Spezialisten. Nicht jeder kann alles durchschauen, aber der Pythagoras ist ein Angelpunkt für die Ausmessung der Welt.

Das brauchen wir später nie wieder, ist tatsächlich so ein Satz, mit dem Schüler allzu komplexe Mathematikoperationen ablehnen.

Das mag ja sogar stimmen, doch in der Schulzeit brauchen sie es zum geistigen Training. Man muss später immer wieder objektiven Zwängen richtig begegnen können. Die erfordern ein logisch stringentes Vorgehen. Dieses muss man an konkreten, noch leicht überschaubaren Geistesdingen üben, ganz entsprechend wie im Sportunterricht. Dort übt man zum Beispiel Hochsprung, den man später in seinem Leben auch meist nicht mehr ausübt, aber man hat seinen Körper vorher zur allgemeinen Leistungsfähigkeit trainiert.

Inzwischen stößt die Digitalisierung in immer mehr Lebensbereiche vor. Welche Folgen muss das für den Mathematikunterricht haben?

Mathematik und Informatik müssen zum Allgemeingut einer guten Schulausbildung werden, sonst werden sich viele Menschen letztlich auf die Software ohne rechten Einblick verlassen und der Autorität der Computer blindlings vertrauen. Welche schädlichen Folgen das hat, können wir schon beim Umgang vieler Schüler mit ihrem Taschenrechnern beobachten. Der wird schon bei simplen Multiplikations- und Divisionsaufgaben herangezogen, und was dann auf dem Display steht, wird auch nach falschem Tastendruck in apodiktischer Gewissheit akzeptiert. Dabei würde oft eine einfache Überschlagsrechnung reichen, um misstrauisch zu werden.

Sie haben am Anfang gesagt, das Vermittlungsproblem der Mathematik liege in ihrer Verwurzelung im Abstrakten. Was könnte guter Mathematikunterricht dagegen tun?

Wir müssen die Schüler mit neuen Formen der Veranschaulichung gewinnen. Ein praktisches Beispiel ist die Verquickung von Origami, also traditionellen japanischen Papierfalttechniken, und der Mathematik. Auch die Verbindung von Gotik und Kreisgeometrie kann für Schüler spannende Einblicke bieten, motivieren kann sie, dass wir den Zusammenhang der Kunst von Leonardo da Vinci oder Albrecht Dürer mit der Elementargeometrie aufzeigen. Wir zeigen, wie die Mathematik konkret in unserem Kulturleben und in unserer Geschichte und Gegenwart wirkt und wie ästhetisch sie sein kann. Leider finden derartige Vorschläge in den Kultusministerien kaum Interesse.

Erklären Sie bitte das Origami-Beispiel noch etwas genauer.

Meine Grundhaltung ist: Durch mehr Verstehen kommt mehr Lernfreude, durch mehr Lernfreude kommt mehr Erfolg! Wie erreicht man mehr Verstehen? Durch die eigene Hand! Es gibt eine passende chinesische Weisheit: »Ich höre und vergesse, ich sehe und erinnere mich, ich tue es und verstehe.« Das ist es. Wir müssen die Schüler zu Mithelfern im Lernprozess machen, und das gelingt zum Beispiel mit Origami. Form- und farbschöne Gebilde, die durch eigene Hände entstehen, schaffen Freude und eröffnen die Bereitschaft zur geistigen Verarbeitung. Schon vier Jahre alte Kitakinder können dessen Grundtechniken erlernen. Mit dem Schuleintritt müsste die handwerkliche Tätigkeit des Papierfaltens systematisch angepackt werden. In Japan ist dem so. Dort und in Israel setzt man Origami sogar für therapeutische Zwecke bei Inklusionskindern ein. Origami-Objekte sind flache und zugleich räumliche Figuren. In der fünften Klasse kommt dann die Mathematik der Figuren hinzu. Die Verquickung mit dem Papierfalten macht manchen Schüler zum kleinen Entdecker. So kann aus der Pflicht die Freude quellen.

//"Wie man mit Faltungen die Invarianz des Flächeninhalts gegen Formveränderung veranschaulicht"///

Wer bekommt mehr Schokolade? | Sind das blaue Quadrat links und das blaue Dreieck in der Mitte gleich groß? Die Antwort wird dank einer Hilfslinie leicht erkennbar.

Sie fordern mehr Geduld mit den Schülern, mehr Zeit zum Üben und Wiederholen. Woher soll diese Unterrichtszeit kommen?

Die übliche Unterrichtszeit bietet in sich einen gewissen Vorrat, weil man bei Erfolg nicht mehr gegen so viel unverstandenes Wissen und unbeherrschtes Können anrennen muss. Außerdem öffnet sich eine Brücke zur Nachmittagsbeschäftigung und zu den Eltern, weil auch die nicht mehr so sehr vom mathematischen Tun der Schüler abgeschreckt werden, sondern zu einem Teil selbst mittun können. Noch mal zum Origami: In Japan ist das Papierfalten eine moderne Haus- und Familienkultur.

Führt mehr Tiefe, die Sie fordern, nicht zu noch mehr Druck und Abneigung gegenüber der Mathematik?

Nein! Besseres Verstehen mindert den Druck.

Wie lange forschen Sie schon zum Thema Mathematikabneigung in unserer Gesellschaft?

Das bewegt mich schon seit meiner ganzen Berufsausübung und jetzt im Ruhestand.

Wie engagieren Sie sich persönlich für ein neues Verständnis von Mathematik und Matheunterricht?

Ich reise zu Kongressen und Tagungen, aber viel wichtiger ist das praktische Engagement: Meine Frau und ich besuchen noch immer regelmäßig den Matheunterricht nahe gelegener Schulen. Eine von Origami inspirierte Aufgabe, die ich den Schülern dann zum Beispiel stelle, geht so: Zuerst sollen sie ein Origami-Blatt zweimal nacheinander parallel zu den Kanten falten. Das Blatt hat, wenn man es wieder öffnet, vier kongruente Quadrate. Dann sollen die Schüler ein zweites Blatt nehmen und diagonal falten, wieder zweimal, so dass das wieder geöffnete Blatt in vier kongruente rechtwinklige und gleichschenklige Dreiecke unterteilt ist.

Das klingt jetzt noch nicht so lebenspraktisch.

Abwarten. Nun sollen sich die Schüler vorstellen, dass wir zwei quadratische Tafeln Schokolade so aufgeteilt hätten. Wäre das fair? Hätte jeder der Schüler, an die eins der acht Stücke verteilt wurde, die gleiche Menge Schokolade bekommen? Mathematisch gesehen läuft die Frage darauf hinaus, ob alle Stücke den gleichen Flächeninhalt aufweisen. Das erscheint auf den ersten Blick nicht so, weil die dreieckigen Teile einen größeren Umfang haben. Aber in Wirklichkeit ist der Flächeninhalt tatsächlich gleich. Und das lässt sich sogar ganz leicht beweisen mit dem Verfahren »Siehe!«. Man zieht eine Zusatzlinie im Dreiecksteil und im Quadratteil. Dann sieht man, dass beide Teile jeweils aus kongruenten Teilen bestehen. Sie waren gewissermaßen nur anders zusammengelegt. Damit hat man den Schülern die Invarianz des Flächeninhaltes und auch automatisch die Invarianz des Volumens, der Masse gegen Formänderung dargeboten. Die Schüler haben das an diesem Beispiel sofort intus. Und solche Erklärungen bietet das Origami haufenweise!

Sie sind über 80 Jahre. Was motiviert Sie, weiterzumachen?

Ich bin seit 2000 im Ruhestand und damit am Lebensabend meines Daseins. Ob mein Wissen noch für die Jugend genutzt werden kann? Das Entstehen einer Interessengemeinschaft von Eltern, Pädagogen, Studenten und Bildungsforschern in Sachen Mathematik via Origami ist mein Wunschtraum.

Der Artikel erschien ursprünglich im RiffReporter-Projekt »Der Bildungsforscher«.

Jan-Martin Wiarda ist studierter Volkswirt und Politologe und arbeitet als Journalist in Berlin.

Yeri: https://www.spektrum.de/news/wir-vermiesen-vielen-schuelern-die-mathematik/1624514

[Edited at 2019-02-21 05:44 GMT]


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
Tag (2007 óta)
német - török
+ ...
~ Feb 24, 2019

--Tümüylen alıntıdır--

Ünlü yazar Ata Erad, Odatv'ye konuştu "Bu işin kaymağını yiyen ne İranlılar ne de Türklerdi"

Şiirin, öykünün ve resmin yünle buluşarak büyüleyici bir sanata dönüştüğü İran halıları zamana direnmeyi sürdürüyor…

Yazı: Yusuf Yavuz - 24.02.2019 13:29

Halı dokumacılığı Türklerin en eski sanatlarından biri. Bugün "Orta Asya" olarak anılan coğrafyaya ge
... See more
--Tümüylen alıntıdır--

Ünlü yazar Ata Erad, Odatv'ye konuştu "Bu işin kaymağını yiyen ne İranlılar ne de Türklerdi"

Şiirin, öykünün ve resmin yünle buluşarak büyüleyici bir sanata dönüştüğü İran halıları zamana direnmeyi sürdürüyor…

Yazı: Yusuf Yavuz - 24.02.2019 13:29

Halı dokumacılığı Türklerin en eski sanatlarından biri. Bugün "Orta Asya" olarak anılan coğrafyaya geçmişte Türkistan deniliyordu ve biblo gibi zengin kentleriyle ünlü bu geniş coğrafyanın en önemli dokuma ürünlerinden biri de halıydı. Asya bozkırlarının ve verimli otlakların koyunculuğa elverişli olması halı dokumacılığı için en önemli ham madde olan yün üretimini kolaylaştırıyordu. Türkistan’la birlikte Asya’nın en önemli halı üretimi ise bugünkü İran coğrafyasında gerçekleştiriliyordu. Geçmişte Ahameniş, Sasani, Samanoğulları gibi İrani devletlerin kontrolünde olan bu büyük kültür coğrafyası, 11. yüzyıldan itibaren Selçukluların bölgeyi ele geçirerek bugünkü Tahran’ın eski yerleşimi olan Rey’i başkent yapmasıyla Türklerin egemenliğine girdi. Selçukluların dağılmasıyla Karakoyunlu, Akkoyunlu, Safevi, Avşar ve Kaçar gibi Türk kökenli hanedanlıkların yönettiği İran topraklarının baskın kültürü her zaman canlı ve ayakta kalmayı sürdürdü. Bir bakıma bölgeyi yöneten Türkler, bu köklü ve derin kültürün içinde büyük ölçüde eriyip dönüştüler. Ancak bu zengin kültür harmanından bugüne ulaşan ve İran coğrafyasında halen canlılığını sürdüren el dokuması halıcılık en önemli ortak değerlerin başında geliyor.


Türkiye geçmişten gelen bu büyük kültürü ne yazık ki hızla yok etti. Bugün yaşanan birçok toplumsal sorunun temelinde yer alan kırsal yoksulluğa bağlı göçün önlenmesinde en önemli etkenlerden biri olan halı dokumacılığının yok olması köyleri boşalttı. Isparta, Konya, Niğde, Gaziantep, Malatya, Kula, Uşak, Gördes, Yaycıbedir, Sındırgı, Karapınar, Kırşehir, Avanos, Döşemealtı, Ladik ve daha onlarca irili ufaklı yerleşim adını bir düğüm tekniğine veren Türk halıcılığının ve kilim dokumacılığının kalbinin attığı kentlerdi. Küçük aile ekonomisinin çarklarını çevirirken aynı zamanda köklü bir kültürü de sürdüren bu büyük üretim modeli son 30 yılda kayboldu. Ancak halıcılık kültürü Anadolu’ya gelirken uzun süre soluklandığı coğrafyada halen canlılığını sürdürüyor. İran’ın en büyük üçüncü kenti ve önemli bir ticaret ve kültür merkezi olan, Türk nüfusun yoğun olarak yaşadığı Tebriz, el dokuması halıcılığın nabzının attığı yer.


El dokuması halı İran’da adeta bir külçe altın ya da hazine bonosu gibi. Başınız sıkışınca, salonunuzda serili olan halıyı bir halıcıya gidip kısa yoldan nakde dönüştürebileceğiniz bir değer. İran’ın birçok kentinde halıcılık üzerine yaptığımız izlenimlerin ardından başkent Tahran’da halı ticareti yapan ve halıcılık kültürünün nabzını tutan Ata Erad ile buluştuk.


Çevirmen, şair ve yazar olan Ata Erad, aynı zamanda bir halı uzmanı. Ailesinden kalan işyerinde İran halıcılığını yaşatmayı sürdürüyor. Binlerce el dokuması halının süslediği Tahran’ın merkezindeki işyerinde buluştuğumuz Ata Erad ile İran halılarını ve halıcılık kültürünün toplumsal ve kültürel işlevini konuştuk. Türkiye’yi de yakından tanıyan ve çeviriler yapan Erad, daha önce Tolstoy’un Hz. Muhammed kitabını Türkçe baskısından Farsça’ya çevirmiş. Sezai Karakoç ve Mevlana İdris’in kitapları da çevirileri arasında. En son Fuad Köprülü’nün İslam Medeniyeti Tarihi kitabını çevirmiş. Yeni çeviriler yapmak istediğini ancak zaman bulmakta zorlandığını anlatıyor. Tablo gibi halıların doldurduğu iş yerinde sözü edebiyattan halılara getiriyoruz ve Ata Erad’la İran ve Türkiye’deki halıcılığı konuşuyoruz…


- El dokuması halı denilince bugün tüm dünyada İran'ın adı öne çıkıyor. Bize İran'daki el dokuması halıcılığın ilk ne zaman başladığını ve tarihsel gelişimini anlatır mısınız?

- Öncelikle okurlarınıza ve Türk dostlarıma ve kardeşlerime selam ederek sözlerime başlayarak Türk milletinin önünde saygıyla eğiliyorum… Sorunuzu yanıtlamak için çok eski zamanlara gitmek gerekiyor. Sanat, İran tarihinde her zaman önemli olmuş, hatta diğer ülkeler ve kültürler arasında bir köprü işlevi görmüştür. Halıcılık da İranlıların en önemli sanat dallarından biri olmasının yanında ekonomik bir önem de taşımıştır. Günümüze ulaşan en eski İran halıları 16. ve 17. yüzyıllara aittir ve bu halılar dünyanın önemli müzelerinde sergilenmektedir. Bunların başında Victoria ve Albert Müzesi ile New York ve Paris’teki müzeleri sayabiliriz. Şeyh Safi (Safiyüddin Erdebili) halısı, Şikargah halısı veya Chelsia halısı bu müzelerde sergileniyor ve yıllardır tüm bakışları üzerlerine çekmeyi sürdürüyorlar. Ancak halıcılık sanatına hakkında antik döneme ait somut bir örnek yakın geçmişe kadar bilinmiyordu. 1940’larda Rusya’nın Sibirya bölgesinde buzlar içinde (Pazırık Kurganında) bulunan bir halı bu durumu değiştirdi. Yapılan karbon testleri ile 2600 yıl öncesine ait olduğu ortaya çıkan ünlü Pazırık halısı, bugün St. Petesrburg’da bulunan Hermitage Müzesinde saklanıyor. Bu halının üzerinde Ahameniş imparatorları, köşe süslemelerinde ise bazı hayvan figürleri yer alıyor. İran halıcılığının tarihi kısaca böyle…


-Pazırık halısının düğüm tekniğinden dolayı tamamen Türk halısı olduğunu savunanların yanı sıra, İran’da dokunup Altaylara ihraç edildiğini savunanlar da var. Ancak bu tartışmaları bir yana bırakırsak, Pazırık Halısının iç içe geçmiş her iki toplumun tarihi ve kültürünün dokuma sanatında somutlaşmasını göstermesi bakımından da önemi çok büyük… Biz yine bugüne dönersek; geçmişte İran ile birlikte Türkiye de önemli bir el halısı üretim merkeziydi ancak Türkiye son 20-30 yıllık süreçte bu kültürü ne yazık ki kaybetti. Binlerce yıllık el halısı dokumacılığı makine halısına yenildi. İran bu kültürü nasıl koruyabildi, bundan çıkartılacak dersler nelerdir size göre?

-Efendim bu sorunuz benim için üzücü bir anımsatma oldu. Türkiye’deki el dokuması halıcılığın yok oluşuna gerçekten çok üzülüyorum. Bakınız, bizde de bu sanatı korumak için hiçbir bilimsel çaba yok. Ancak İran halkı halıcılığı bırakmıyor, bırakamıyor. Zira halı bizim kültürümüzde hayattır, yaşamın kendisidir. Halı kazanç demektir, ekonomidir ve ondan vazgeçilemez. Bizde bilgisayar ya da otomotiv sanayisi yok. Halkımızın elinden çıkan gerçek bir değer olarak sadece halı var. Köylü halıyı dokur ve satar. Bundan para kazanır. Şehirli ise halıyı alıp ve muhafaza eder, saklar. Paraya ihtiyacı olduğu vakit halıyı satar ve nakde dönüştürür. İran nüfusunun yaklaşık üçte biri halı sektöründen ekmek yiyor. Halı, petrolden sonra İran’ın en önemli ihraç ürünüdür. Türkiye maalesef bu sanatı hemen hemen kaybetti. Zira devlet bu önemli ekonomik üretim modeline sahip çıkmadı ve iktidara yakın olan makine halısı üreticileri bu sektörün ölümünü zevkle seyrettiler.


-İran ve Türk halılarının özellikle Avrupa ve Amerika pazarına ulaşmasını sağlayan en önemli girişimlerden biri de 19. yüzyılda kurulan İngiltere merkezli 'Şark Halı Kumpanyası' The (Amalgamated Oriental Carpet Manufacturers ) şirketi oldu. Bu girişim özelde İran halıcılığını nasıl etkiledi; modeller, üretim ve sosyo-ekonomik olarak nasıl bir etkisi oldu İran'a?

-Çok enteresan ve önemli bir soru. Sadece bu soru için bir kitabı dolduracak kadar konuşabilirim Yusuf Bey! Bakınız… İran'da başka bir firma bu misyonu üstlendi. Bu şirketin ismi ‘Ziegler’di. Aslen bir İsviçre firmasıydı ve İngilizlerle sonradan ortaklığa girdi. Ne yazık ki bize has olan el halıcılığı bile yabancıların, Batılıların isteği ve zevkiyle ilerledi ve güç kazandı. Yani kısacası bize özgü bir sanat bile yabancılara ve Batılılara endeksli hale geldi. Yabancılar halı almazsa bizler üretemeyiz. Ambargolarla ihracatımız engellenirse sektör yok olmaya yüz tutacaktır. Sorunun asıl yanıtına dönersek… İşte Ziegler firması, adını daha sonra Şark-Londra (Şark Halı Kumpanyası) diye değiştiriyor ve İran halılarının ihracatına başlıyor. İran’dan başlatılan halı ihracatı, Anadolu’ya, Türk topraklarına uzanıyor ve Londra’ya kadar devam eden bir ticaret yoluna dönüşüyor. Batıdaki gösterişli ve lüks konutlar İran halılarıyla dekore edilerek güzelliğine güzellik katılıyordu. Osmanlı’nın son dönemlerinden itibaren de özellikle Uşak halıları Avrupa ve Amerika’ya ihraç ediliyordu. Tabi ki bu işin asıl kaymağını yiyen ne İranlı sanatkarlar ne de Türk ustalarıydı…


-İran halılarını Türk halısından ayıran en önemli ayrıntılardan biri de düğüm tekniği ve desenleri değil mi? Bize düğüm, dokuma tekniği ve desenleriyle İran halılarını anlatabilir misiniz?

-Tabii ki, memnuniyetle efendim… Düğümler ikiye ayrılır. Evvela Türk düğümü ve daha sonra Farsi düğüm. Türkiye'de tüm halılar ‘Türki’ (Türk düğümü) veya diğer adıyla Gördes düğümüyle örülür. Farsi düğüm (İran düğümü), Türk halılarında görülmez lakin İran halılarında her iki düğüm de kullanılır. Örneğin Nain, İsfahan ve Yezd gibi Farsi bölgelerde İran düğümü kullanılır. Bunun yanı sıra Azeri bölgesinde Erdebil halılarında Türk düğümü kullanılır… İran halısı grafik ve desen bakımından bir ansiklopedi gibidir. Halılardaki renk ve desen o kadar fazladır ki, bunları saymak ve anlamak için bir kitabı okumak kadar zamana ihtiyaç vardır. Önemli halı tarihçilerine göre tüm göbekli ve kenarlı desenler Tebriz halılarından tüm dünyaya yayılmıştır. Edwards Cecil* bu konu hakkında çok çalışmıştır ve değerli bir eser olan İran Halıları (Persian Carpets) kitabını yazmıştır. Mesela mihraplı desen, Anadolu ve Türk desenidir ve İran halı motiflerine buradan girmiştir. Aynı zamanda çoğu Bünyan ve Konya Ladik halılarında da Tebriz göbekli kenarlı desen tercih edilmiştir.


-Sizin iş yerinizde de gördüğümüz halılarda, her kentin kendi adıyla anılan bir halı tekniği ve renk özellikleri var ama İran'da en çok öne çıkan bölge sanıyorum Tebriz... Tebriz halıcılığı neden bu kadar önemli ve kendini hep hissettiriyor?

-Haklısınız… Tebriz halısı İran halılarının içinde bambaşka bir yere sahiptir. Tebriz halısı dünyada adından en çok söz getiren, en çok ses getiren halıdır. Öncelikle Tebriz halısının dokuyucusu tüm dokuyuculardan farklıdır. Zira dakikada attığı düğüm sayısı ile diğer halı dokunan bölgelerden en az iki kat daha öndedir. Bu asgari bir istatistiktir. Örneğin İsfahan’daki usta bir halı dokumacısı dakikada 50-60 düğüm atıyorsa bu sayı Tebriz’de dakikada 120 ila 130 düğüm arasında değişir. Bu, inanılmaz bir rakamdır. Tebriz halısı ayrıca dünyanın en fazla halı deseni üretilen kentidir. Tebriz halılarında renk ve desenin sınırı yoktur. Tebriz’deki desen ustaları her gün yeni bir desen üretirler ve Tebriz veya Tahran’daki pazara sunarlar. Hiçbir halı ustası buradaki desenleri daha önce görmemiştir. Ben 37 yıldır el halıları ile uğraşıyorum, Tebriz halıları beni bile şaşırtıyor. Bu yüzden Tebriz halıları tüm dünyada ünlüdür ve kendini naz ile sattırır. Ayrıca geçmişte ticaret yollarının üzerinde bulunan Tebrizli tüccarların ortak akılla davranıp işbirliği yapmaları bu kentin halı ticaretinde daha çok öne çıkmasını sağlamıştır.

Tebriz'de dokunan tablo halılar olağanüstü bir sanatı yaşatıyor...


-İran'da halı gündelik hayatın önemli bir parçası olmuş durumda. İran halkı hangi durumlarda halı satın alıyor?

-Halı İran'da bir kültürdür. Havadır, sudur, gururdur… Tabii ki aynı zamanda bir zenginlik göstergesidir. Birisi öldüğü zaman yere halı serilir. Aynı şekilde doğum sırasında da yere halı serilir. Düğünde, hüzün meclisinde de halı göstermek misafire saygıyı simgeler. Bir ailenin kızını istemeye geldiklerinde eğer evde iyi bir halı yoksa komşudan ya da akrabalardan güzel bir halı ödünç alınır ve yere serilir. Zira halı bir saygı göstergesi ve güzellik simgesidir. Kızların çeyizlerinde ilk sırayı halı alır. Gelin ve damada verilebilecek en iyi hediye halıdır. Halı bir sermayedir ve her istediğiniz zaman paraya çevirebileceğiniz bir üründür. Halı döviz gibidir ve fiyatı her zaman yükselir. Bu yıl belirli bir tutara iki tane Tebriz halısı alabiliyorsanız, seneye aynı parayla bu iki halıyı alamazsınız. Kısacası İran’da halı her şeydir. Diğer yandan İran’da bir kişi halı satın aldığında bir hayır işlemiş olur. Zira bir halıda yüzlerce kişinin el emeği vardır. Çobandan tutun da halıcı dükkânına kadar herkes bu işten ekmek yiyor. Halı İran’da büyük bir sektördür ve el halıları İranlılar için gurur kaynağıdır.


-Halıcılık denilince ilk akla gelen ipliğin ana malzemesi olan yün ve pamuk. Geçmişte İran'ın önemli bir yün tedarikçisi ülke olduğunu biliyoruz. Bugün yün ve pamuk ihtiyacını tam olarak karşılayabiliyor mu? Örneğin dünyada yün tekeli ülkelerin başında gelen Avustralya gibi ülkelerden yün ithalatı yapılıyor mu?

-İran, bir zamanlar dünyanın en iyi yün kalitesine sahip ülkesiydi. Fakat zamanla bu özelliğini kaybetmese de yün üretimi o kadar azaldı ki artık yünün kalitesinden söz etmek boş ve anlamsız kalacak. Tebriz bölgesine bağlı bir kent olan Maku yünü iyi bir kaliteye sahiptir ve bu yün ile dokunan halılar yıllarca sağlıklı ve sağlam olarak babadan oğla, dededen toruna yadigâr kalırdı. Bugün çok fazla yün ihtiyacı olmasına rağmen iç üretim ihtiyacı karşılamaya yetmiyor maalesef. Dediğiniz gibi İran mecburen bazı ülkelerden halı üretimi için yün ithal ediyor ve Avustralya yünleri bunların arasında en iyilerinden sayılıyor. Zira bildiğiniz gibi Merinos koyununun yünü iyi kalitededir. Gönül isterdi ki bu yünü kendimiz yurt içinde üretebilseydik lakin görünüşe göre bu mümkün değil.


-Halı dokumacılığı İran toplumu için ne anlama geliyor. Örneğin İran halkının önemli bir kısmının gelir kaynağını oluşturuyor diyebilir miyiz?

-Kesinlikle efendim… Halı İran pazarının en önemli ekonomik ürünü sayılır. Halısız bir İran ekonomisi düşünülemez. Halıcılığın elden gitmesi, çoğu insanların aç kalması demektir. Daha önce de söylediğim gibi halı, hayattır. Halı İranlılar için ailenin bekası demektir. Hem para, hem sanat, hem de kültür ve emek anlamına gelen halı, İran’da petrolden sonra en fazla ihraç olan üründür.


-Bir de İran'ın neresine gidersek gidelim duvar halıları ya da tablo halılar görüyoruz. Adeta bir ressamın fırçasından çıkmışcasına ince ve albenili renklerle ipeğin sanata dönüşmesi ve bunun oldukça canlı bir kültür olarak yaşatılması hakkında neler söyleyeceksiniz?

-Dünyada sadece dört veya beş ülkede halı üretilir ve bu ülkeler de tabii ki herkesle aşina ülkelerdir. Bu ülkeleri sayarsak, Türkiye, Çin, Hindistan ve Afganistan ve tabii ki İran. Lakin İran'dan başka hiçbir ülkede adeta profesyonel bir ressam gibi halı dokunmuyor. Bu sanat sadece İran’a, İran’da da sadece Tebriz’de sürdürülüyor. Tebriz’e sadece 5 kilometre mesafede yer alan Serdrud kentinde yaşatılıyor bu sanat. En klasik İran resimlerinden tutun da en batılı tarzdaki resimlere kadar inanılmaz güzellikte halılar elle dokunuyor Serdrud’da. İranlılar bu tablo halıları birer güzellik objesi olarak evlerinin odalarına asarak devamlı olarak bunlardan zevk alıyorlar. Ayrıca bu tablo halıların en iyi müşterileri arasında Arap ülkelerini de sayabiliriz.


-İran halılarında dikkatimizi çeken bir başka ayrıntı da geleneksel edebiyatın yansımaları oldu. Özellikle Firdevsi'nin Şehname'si başta olmak üzere Leyla ile Mecnun öyküleri ve kadim Pers kültürünün mitolojik kahramanlarının evlerden iş yerlerine, çarşı-pazardan kamu kurumlarına kadar birçok yerde halıların adeta ikonografik bir kültürel aktarım ürününe dönüşmesini nasıl yorumluyorsunuz?

- İran, bildiğiniz gibi bir edebiyat ülkesidir. İran bir kaç mevzuda belki dünyada söz sahibidir ve bunlardan gurur ve kıvanç duyar. Bu gurur kaynaklarından birisi halıdır. Diğeri de tabii ki edebiyattır. Bu iki güzel kültürün güzelliği birbirini beslemiş ve halı üzerinde bir araya gelmiştir. Çoğu eski ve yeni halılarda özellikle de halıların borderlerinde, metinlerinde Hafız, Sadi, Firdevsi ve Hayyam’ın şiirlerini görebilirsiniz. Çoğu Kuran hikâyeleri, özellikle de Hz. Yusuf’un hikâyesi İran halılarının üzerine işlenmiştir. Leyla ve Mecnun hikâyesi ve bununla birlikte birçok yaşanmışlık hikâye ya da şiir tarzında halılarda yer almıştır. Hayat dersleri, felsefe, dervişlik ve özellikle de maddiyata karşı özdeyişler şiir formunda İran halılarını süslemiştir.

İran edebiyatının geleneksel öyküleri halılarda yeniden canlanıyor...


-Son olarak İran halıcılığının geleceğini nasıl görüyorsunuz? Modern üretim teknikleri ve endüstriyel üretimin daha ucuz ve "kullan at" ürünleri İran halıcılığını ne ölçüde tehdit ediyor ve bu konuda yetkili merciler ya da kanaat önderleri bir tedbir alıyor mu? İran'ın bu güzel halıları geleceğe nasıl aktarılacak?

-Evet, halıcılığın geleceğini maalesef çok parlak ve iyi göremiyorum. Zira İran devleti birçok başka sorunlar gibi bu konuya da ciddiyetle eğilmiyor. Bu kadar önemli ve İran memleketinin şah damar meselesi olan halıcılık üzerinde hiç bir çalışma, devlet yardımı ve desteği görünmüyor. Hatta ve hatta devlet var olan destekleri bile azaltmak veya kaldırmak yolunda hareket ediyor. Halıcılık sektörü, yalnızca halı işçileri, tamirciler, dokumacılar, yıkamacılar, ip üreticileri ve bu alandaki diğer küçük üreticilerin yüreklerini ortaya koyarak canla başla çalışıp çabalarıyla ayakta kalıp nefes alabiliyor. Makine halıları reklam ve propagandalarıyla insanları her gün daha fazla kendine çekiyor. El halılarının yanında daha ucuz görünen makine halıları yavaş yavaş meydanı kapmaya, el halısını piyasanın dışına itmeye çalışıyor. Devlet ise el halıları açısından yaşanan bu kötü gidişatı engellemek ve mantıklı bir yolla yönetmek yerine sadece geçici çıkarları kollamakla meşgul oluyor.

-Birbirinden güzel halıların arasında İran çayı eşliğinde yaptığımız bu güzel sohbet ve verdiğiniz değerli bilgiler için çok teşekkür ediyorum.

-Ben de sizi İran'a geldiğiniz için kutluyorum. Gerçek gazeteci ve aydın olarak biz İranlıları gururlandırdınız. Sizin aracılığınızla Türk kardeşlerime ve dostlarıma selam gönderiyor, Türkiye için de Allah’tan barış ve bereket diliyorum…


*Arthur Cecil Edwars (1881-1953). İzmir merkezli İngiliz Şark Halı Kumpanyası şirketinin kurucularından biri olan James Baker’in yeğeni olan Edwars, daha sonra bu şirketin Türkiye sorumlusu oldu. 1911’de İran’ın Hamedan kentine taşınan Edwars, burada kendi şirketini kurdu. İran’da kaldığı dönemde Pers kültüründen derinden etkilenen Edwars daha sonra Şark Halı Kumpanyasının yönetimini devraldı ve üretim maliyetini azaltmak için halıcılığı Hindistan’a taşıdı. Edwars’ın yaptığı araştırmalara dayanan Pers Halıları kitabı, İran halıları konusundaki en kapsamlı çalışmalardan biri kabul ediliyor.

Kaynak: https://odatv.com/bu-isin-kaymagini-yiyen-ne-iranlilar-ne-de-turklerdi-24021929.html















[Edited at 2019-02-24 23:36 GMT]


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
Tag (2007 óta)
német - török
+ ...
~ Feb 25, 2019


Interview with Football Leaks Whistleblower Pinto

'This Football Mafia Is Everywhere'

February 01, 2019 02:42 PM

//In an interview, Rui Pinto, the Portuguese man who kept the industry in suspense over revelations from Football Leaks, discusses his life in anonymity, the explosive power of his documents and accusations that he is a hacker. Interview Conducted By Rafael Buschmann, Hendrik Maassen (NDR),
... See more

Interview with Football Leaks Whistleblower Pinto

'This Football Mafia Is Everywhere'

February 01, 2019 02:42 PM

//In an interview, Rui Pinto, the Portuguese man who kept the industry in suspense over revelations from Football Leaks, discusses his life in anonymity, the explosive power of his documents and accusations that he is a hacker. Interview Conducted By Rafael Buschmann, Hendrik Maassen (NDR), Yann Philippin (Mediapart), Nino Seidel (NDR) and Michael Wulzinger///1n

//Since a judge ordered his house arrest, Rui Pinto has been forced to wear an electronic ankle bracelet. "This is my new friend," says Pinto, pointing to the monitor.///2u

//Rui puts his mobile phone inside a microwave in the kitchen during the interview to prevent anyone from eavesdropping on the conversation.///33

//Pinto shows some of the antiques in his apartment during his interview with DER SPIEGEL. He says he has received numerous death threats since a magazine in Portugal published a photo of him this past autumn. He also says he is worried that if he is extradited to Portugal, he could face a biased judiciary. If convicted and sent to jail, he fears even worse. "I am afraid that if I set foot in a Portuguese prison, especially one in Lisbon, I will not leave it alive," he says.///17

Budapest, District VII. The massive doorway leading to the courtyard behind an old residential building can only be opened by means of a multidigit access code.The stairwell is drafty and dark; on the second floor, a security gate blocks the final meters leading to the door of John's apartment.

This is where he lives: the whistleblower behind Football Leaks, who has been under house arrest since last week. The man who has severely shaken the football business for the past three years as a phantom using the code name "John."His data has led to some spectacular revelations and resulted in numerous investigations throughout Europe. The whistleblower handed over more than 70 million documents, many of them marked as strictly confidential, to DER SPIEGEL, which shared the material with the research network European Investigative Collaborations (EIC). It is the largest data leak to date.

John's real name is Rui Pinto; his lawyer revealed the identity of the whistleblower after his arrest. The 30-year-old Portuguese national is now awaiting the decision of a Hungarian court. He could face extradition to Portugal, where -- a trial that might threaten his very existence.

Pinto opens the gate. He smiles bashfully.He's wearing slippers on his feet, his trouser leg bulges out around his left ankle. "This is my new friend," says Pinto, pointing to his electronic ankle bracelet. It contains a transmitter; the whistleblower is only allowed to leave his apartment as far as this gate.

DER SPIEGEL has traveled to Budapest together with German public broadcaster NDRand the French investigative website Mediapart. For two days, Pinto will talk about his life as a whistleblower and about the accusations against him. His apartment is tiny, one and a half rooms, with a narrow kitchen and a cramped bathroom. A rickety bed stands alongside the sofa in the living room. This is where Pinto's parents sleep.They have come from Portugal and are giving him emotional support.

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Pinto, are you a hacker?

Pinto: I don't consider myself as a hacker, but as a citizen who acted in the public interest. My sole intention was to reveal illicit practices that affect the world of football.

DER SPIEGEL: Can you tell us how you got hold of more than 70 million confidential and, in some cases, highly sensitive documents from the international football industry?

Pinto: I initiated a spontaneous movement of revelations about the football industry. So, I am not the only one involved. Over time, more and more new sources have been added, who have shared their material with me, and the database grew. This shows that there are many other people preoccupied by that matter.

DER SPIEGEL: The European arrest warrant that a Portuguese public prosecutor issued against you and which led to your arrest accuses you of cybercrime. This has to do with the club Sporting Lisbon and with the publication of confidential emails in 2015. What do you have to say about that?

Pinto: I am ready to explain all of it before judicial authorities when the time comes, but I deny this description.

DER SPIEGEL: In addition, you are accused of having used your inside knowledge to try and blackmail the agency Doyen Sports in the autumn of 2015.

Pinto: The only reason I contacted Doyen was to confirm the wrongfulness of its actions, based on the amount of money they were ready to pay to make the revelations go away.

DER SPIEGEL: That sounds like blackmail.

Pinto: No, I just wanted to see how valuable it was, how important the documents and the information were to Doyen. I thought I could find that out by learning how much Doyen was prepared to pay for my silence. I never had the intention to take the money. I only wanted to expose Doyen.

DER SPIEGEL: You even got a lawyer involved, who was supposed to arrange a deal for you. He met with the managing director of Doyen.

Pinto: I wanted to see what they would offer him. While he was negotiating, I continued to read the documents. As I did so, I told myself: If I allow them to buy me out now, I am no better than this whole business. So, I wrote to Doyen and told them to keep their money. Not a single cent was paid. What I did, was very naïve. Looking back now, I regret it. But I repeat that I deny having committed any criminal offense

DER SPIEGEL: Investigators in Portugal are also said to suspect you of having supplied FC Porto with incriminating emails from their archrival Benfica Lisbon. Did you have anything to do with that?

Pinto: I have not read any statement by the public authorities that finds any connection between me and the Benfica scandal. A magazine released the Benfica story last autumn. It changed my life. My photograph was on cover pages throughout the country. My Facebook account, my email address were subsequently inundated with death threats.

DER SPIEGEL: Have you ever made money using the power of your knowledge about the criminal dealings of the football industry?

Pinto: To give you a clear answer: no, never.

DER SPIEGEL: Have you received offers to sell your data?

Pinto: Several. Once, I received an anonymous email in which I was offered more than half a million euros. I turned them all down.

DER SPIEGEL: The lawyer who negotiated with Doyen on your behalf in 2015 had already represented you some time before in a dispute with the Caledonian Bank on the Cayman Islands. Portuguese media have reported that you stole $300,000 from this bank. Is that true?

Pinto: That is not the true story.

DER SPIEGEL: What is the true story then?

Pinto: I am not allowed to talk about the precise circumstances because I signed a nondisclosure agreement with the bank. One thing is certain: If I had committed a criminal offense, the bank would have taken me to court. The case was never brought before a court and my criminal record is clean to this day, in Portugal and everywhere else in the world.

DER SPIEGEL: Why did you pick a fight with the Caledonian Bank?

Pinto: At the time, banks in Portugal were going bankrupt; people lost their livelihoods from one day to the next. At the same time, more and more money was disappearing from Europe. Everyone could see that something was amiss. I wanted to take a closer look at things. I wanted to understand the offshore system.

DER SPIEGEL: What did you find?

Pinto: Textbook examples of how to move huge sums of money out of the country and transfer them to accounts in various tax havens. The more I looked into it, the greater my sense of injustice.

DER SPIEGEL: That kind of data could be very interesting for tax investigators.

Pinto: I know. That's why I held onto it. That data set has a similar potential to the Panama Papers.It shows how the Cayman Islands were systematically used for money laundering and tax evasion.

DER SPIEGEL: What is happening to that data?

Pinto: I would like to share it with the investigating authorities. The documents clearly reveal the front men, the bankers, the accessories and the aids to the tax fraud.

DER SPIEGEL: Opponents of Football Leaks claim that your documents should not be used because they were obtained by illegal means.

Pinto: Others claim the data has been manipulated, falsified or taken out of context. As a result, they say, it cannot be admitted as evidence in a court of law. I think that's nonsense. The documents are authentic. That is what matters. This and the content.

SPIEGEL: Were you pursuing a particular agenda in procuring your data?

Pinto: I researched who were the key protagonists in the crooked football business, which agents and consultants were most often involved in crooked deals. I wanted to expose those dealings.

DER SPIEGEL: Particularly at the beginning of the Football Leaks research, you had a very large number of documents on Cristiano Ronaldo.Why him?

Pinto: First of all, Ronaldo is my favorite player. I consider him the most complete football player in history. However, his behavior off the pitch needs to be judged entirely differently -- in terms of criminal law.For this purpose, Football Leaks is and has been helpful. It couldn't care less whether our favorite players or our favorite clubs are affected. Football Leaks shows that it acts really unbiased.

DER SPIEGEL: Do you see a difference between a whistleblower and a hacker?

Pinto: I do not consider myself a hacker, just as a normal computer user. In addition, I don't think it makes any difference whether someone passes on incriminating documents from within a company to the public, or whether they do so with material they receive from outside. In the end it is about whistleblowers exposing dealings which would otherwise remain concealed from society: crimes, wrongdoing and misconduct. In the best case, whistleblowers thereby unleash a public debate and trigger investigation proceedings by the authorities.

DER SPIEGEL: Did you ever have the feeling that you were doing something illegal?

Pinto: No, not to this day. Over the years, the European Parliament, media throughout Europe and many investigative authorities have examined my data. I am convinced that what I did was the right thing.

DER SPIEGEL: Did you never have doubts?

Pinto: I did. Especially because I didn't always agree with the outcome. The investigating authorities, in particular, often disappointed me. Take the systematic tax evasion by the football industry inSpain. Here, the investigators were almost always happy to cash in a few million euros, and they never really penetrated the root of the evil. Agents, lawyers, bankers: They all went unchallenged. Yet they are the ones pulling the strings; they were the ones who set up these fraud schemes.

DER SPIEGEL: How did you react?

Pinto: I kept going. I believed that, at some point, something would have to change.

DER SPIEGEL: You once said that your role models were Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Antoine Deltour, the well-known whistleblowers of the recent past. Do you feel that you rank among them?

Pinto: I don't wish to compare myself. I never did all this for my ego, I don't need this attention. It was never about becoming the world's greatest whistleblower, but about exposing as many wrongdoings as possible. Whistleblowers only exist because of the numerous unlawful practices that are perpetrated in our societies.

1. Bölüm - kaynak: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-football-leaks-whistleblower-rui-pinto-a-1251121.html


2. Bölüm: 'I Am Afraid that If I Set Foot in a Portuguese Prison, I Will not Leave It Alive'

DER SPIEGEL: Little has been known about you publicly until now. Where in Portugal did you grow up?

Pinto: I come from Vila Nova de Gaia, a town on the Atlantic, not far from Porto.

DER SPIEGEL: What do your parents do for a living?

Pinto: My father is a pensioner. He was a shoe designer for over 30 years and traveled around Europe a great deal. My mother stayed at home. She died of cancer when I was 11. That was a tough time for me.

DER SPIEGEL: Were you a good student?

Pinto: To begin with, I had a head start over the other children because I could already read and write at the age of four.

DER SPIEGEL: Who taught you?

Pinto: I taught myself. While watching football. I watched lots of games, and I always drew the shirts and scenes from the matches. At some point I started writing down individual words which the commentator had said.Who scored, the final score and the course of play.

DER SPIEGEL: How did your parents react?

Pinto: Everyone was surprised. My father was not particularly pleased. He told me I should not watch football so fanatically, otherwise the game would eventually destroy my life.

DER SPIEGEL: Did you like your time at school?

Pinto: It was OK. I was very good at history. Mathematics, chemistry and physics, on the other hand, were a disaster. I played a great deal of football and was also on my school's futsal team. In addition, I was quite popular because I was kind of a rebel. I often got into lengthy discussions with the teachers when I realized that they were uncertain about something. Sometimes, these debates got out of hand, because I never know when enough is enough. To this day.

DER SPIEGEL: You later went on to study history at university. Where does this interest come from?

Pinto: If you want to understand yourself, the world and your own country, you need to look at history. Because human beings are always making the same mistakes. Always.

DER SPIEGEL: You never finished your history degree. Why?

Pinto: While I was at university, my relationship with Portugal changed.Many of my friends left the country because they no longer saw a perspective for themselves in view of the economic crisis. Politicians and greedy entrepreneurs ruined a once successful country.

SPIEGEL: How did you cope with the situation?

Pinto: First of all, I chose to do an Erasmus term inBudapest.I had never been abroad before, always living with my parents. I came home again after half a year, but I knew that I wanted to return to Hungary quickly. A year later, I emigrated to Budapest.

SPIEGEL: Why Budapest?

Pinto: I love this city.The light, the Danube, the castles and bridges. I would like to stay here forever. I have many friends, and my girlfriend lives here. Also, I have discovered that there is a line of business here for me. My father was very interested in the antiques trade, and I developed quite an understanding of it too. There are lots of treasures in Eastern Europe which no one is paying any attention to.

DER SPIEGEL: You mean old books?

Pinto: And posters. Both can be bought here for very little money, one or two euros, and in some cases sold again for 150 euros or more.

DER SPIEGEL: What gave you the idea in the autumn of 2015 to launch your website Football Leaks?

Pinto: I have been a football fan ever since I was a child, and I already realized around the time of the Bosman ruling that football was developing in the completely wrong direction. The best young players were simply moving to the top teams; the entire competition was shifting to the advantage of the top clubs. The main trigger was the FIFA scandal in 2015. Alongside all the arrests at the international federation, I saw that there were irregularities in numerous transfers within Portugal. That more and more investors were thronging into the market. I started to collect data.

DER SPIEGEL: How did you develop your technical know-how? Did you ever study computer sciences?

Pinto: Never.

DER SPIEGEL: How did you verify the data?

Pinto: I read.I read a great deal.Every day, I spent hours sitting in front of the documents and analyzed them. The more I read, the more shocked I was.

DER SPIEGEL: About what?

Pinto: A great many documents showed how offshore companies were set up, how sports agents hid behind front men, how tax evasion was carried out on a large scale.

DER SPIEGEL: When did you realize that you were making enemies?

Pinto: The company Doyen sent private investigators after me. So, did a powerful club association. Once, a young woman approached me at a party. She flirted with me, but I noticed that something was wrong. She asked me for my number, and I gave it to her. I wanted to see what she was up to.

DER SPIEGEL: Was she a private investigator too?

Pinto: No, she was a tabloid reporter and worked for an English mass-circulation paper.But I only found that out several weeks later. Only when I received an SMS text message: "Hey, we know you are the guy from Football Leaks. I work for a law firm. We are interested in getting documents from you." She wanted to trick me.

DER SPIEGEL: Why did it take the police so long to find you?

Pinto: Good question. I had an apartment here in Budapest all the time. I lived a completely normal life here.

DER SPIEGEL: At our meetings, you told us that you changed your location every two days.

Pinto: I did travel a lot, yes.But on my normal ID card. I did not hide myself.

DER SPIEGEL: You have a Hungarian girlfriend. What did you tell her when you went away?

Pinto: Keeping all this hidden is very tiring. My girlfriend realized that something was fishy, but I never talked to her about the details. I wanted to protect her. When I was arrested, she almost went berserk.

Just a few weeks after the internet platform Football Leaks went online in the autumn of 2015, DER SPIEGEL got in touch with the people behind the site. First by email, and later Pinto also allowed DER SPIEGEL to visit him. Numerous meetings followed in different locations. But Pinto imposed certain rules: He didn't want to be photographed, and his pseudonym was to be "John."

Pinto opted for a life in anonymity. He wanted the public focus to be on the revelations from his data and not him as a person. For investigative journalists, protecting a source is one of the key duties, if not the most important. That's the reason DER SPIEGEL accepted Pinto's rules. And this despite the fact that, to this day, he has never wanted to talk about the details of his work -- neither about how he obtained the data, nor about how many fellow campaigners helped him.

DER SPIEGEL and the EIC investigative reporting network nevertheless decided to work with the whistleblower's documents. Three aspects were decisive: Pinto's data is authentic; it is of strong public interest; and, on top of this, Pinto never interfered with the verification of the documents. He allowed the journalists to carry out their research on the material independently. Journalists, after all, need to be able to independently review which content is in the public interest. Football Leaks included numerous leads concerning very private matters: the sexual orientation of professional football players, adultery, relationships that had gone to pieces. DER SPIEGEL never pursued such leads. They are none of the business of the general public.

In the interaction between DER SPIEGEL and Pinto, the whistleblower, there is a red line that has never been crossed: DER SPIEGEL has never asked Pinto to obtain any documents -- neither by legal nor by illegal means.

DER SPIEGEL: How and where in Budapest were you arrested?

Pinto: It was in the early evening on Jan. 16. My father, who was visiting me together with my stepmother, and I came back from shopping at a supermarket. When we turned down the street in which my apartment lies, two plain-clothes officers approached me. They checked my ID and I had to empty out my pockets and the backpack. Then they showed me the European arrest warrant, everything in Hungarian, and handcuffed me.

DER SPIEGEL: Did the officers also search your apartment?

Pinto: They didn't have a search warrant on them. Nevertheless, they used my key to access the apartment. My stepmother was shocked when all of a sudden nine police officers stood facing her in the kitchen. They told me to pack my things. One of them said: You are never coming back here again.

DER SPIEGEL: Were you able to contact a lawyer during your arrest?

Pinto: They prohibited me from doing so. I said goodbye to my parents and told them everything was going to be fine. Then I was taken to a police station. I was locked into a cell for two. The other guy was OK. But at night, a guard came around every half-hour and switched the light above my bunk on and off. That only happened to me.

DER SPIEGEL: How long did you remain in the cell?

Pinto: Two nights. Then I was taken to the hearing at which the judge ordered me to be held under house arrest.

DER SPIEGEL: Did the Hungarian police confiscate any objects in your apartment?

Pinto: My computer, about 10 hard drives, three mobile phones and a couple of other electronic devices too.

DER SPIEGEL: Is this data relevant to the general public, because it might describe criminal offenses?

Pinto: Yes, definitely.

DER SPIEGEL: What volume of data are we talking about?

Pinto: Ten terabytes, about six of which I have not yet passed on.

DER SPIEGEL: Do you or your fellow campaigners have copies of this data?

Pinto: I cannot answer that either.

DER SPIEGEL: The Portuguese authorities are seeking your extradition. What do you think will happen to the confiscated data if the Portuguese judiciary get ahold of it?

Pinto: The Hungarians ought not to hand over these hard drives to them at all, because the arrest warrant only lists allegations dating back to 2015. I think the Portuguese first want to get their hands on everything that was found on me, in order to prepare further lawsuits against me.

DER SPIEGEL: What are you hoping for?

Pinto: I expect public prosecutor's offices throughout Europe to get together and demonstrate to the Hungarian and Portuguese authorities that my information is of great public interest. That they need these documents for their investigations, so as to pursue crimes, crimes that are considerably more serious than whistleblowing.

DER SPIEGEL: Which European investigating authorities are you already in touch with?

Pinto: With several.I know that my French lawyer, William Bourdon, is in contact with the Swiss and the Belgian prosecutors. But so far, I have only met with the French investigators.

DER SPIEGEL: When did the first meeting take place?

Pinto: At the end of 2018, in Paris.

DER SPIEGEL: At the time, was it only about your assistance as an anonymous witness, or had you already considered revealing your identity?

Pinto: We talked about all the possible options.

DER SPIEGEL: Did you reveal your identity to the French authorities last year?

Pinto: Yes. I told them that I was John.

DER SPIEGEL: Have you already handed over documents to the French authorities, or are the relevant documents among the material that has now been confiscated?

Pinto: The only thing I can say, is that we are cooperating.

DER SPIEGEL: What about the investigations against Cristiano Ronaldo, who is accused of rape by an American woman, which Ronaldo denies?

Pinto: I know very well that there is an investigation, but I don't wish to comment on that.

DER SPIEGEL: Were you approached by the U.S. authorities?

Pinto: Correct.

DER SPIEGEL: What does that mean precisely?

Pinto: It's an ongoing investigation and I really prefer not to comment on that.

DER SPIEGEL: Did investigating authorities already get in touch with you after the first major Football Leaks revelations in 2016?

Pinto: I received a few emails from tax authorities, including one from Germany, from Munich.

DER SPIEGEL: How did you behave at the time?

Pinto: Some of the inquiries were quite brash. The financial investigators from England first wanted to know my name and where I lived. That is crazy for a whistleblower who wishes to remain anonymous; naturally I did not reply. At that time, I had no lawyers. I needed time and a strategy that would guarantee my personal protection. Even at that time, the most credible inquiry came from France.


Pinto: They seemed very determined and professional. They made it clear that they seriously wanted to pursue cases of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion in football. I had the feeling I could trust them, and I needed a strong partner. The French officials are able to launch investigations through Eurojust. I can share my data with them, and they can then pass it on. One contact is enough. I understand that Eurojust is a very useful tool for the authorities from various countries to coordinate their cooperation. If other countries seriously want to carry out investigations, they will have France. And they will have me.

DER SPIEGEL: After the Football Leaks revelations, did any association ever try to get in touch with you?

Pinto: Neither FIFA nor UEFA contacted Football Leaks. This is frustrating. In my interviews using the pseudonym "John," I repeatedly made it clear that I would pass on documents in the interest of shedding light on the facts, if I was given a sign. I never received a single one.

DER SPIEGEL: Why are you resisting your extradition to your home country?

Pinto: I am fairly certain that I will not be given a fair trial in Portugal. The Portuguese judiciary is not entirely independent; you run up against a lot of hidden, covert interests. Of course, there are public prosecutors and judges who take their job seriously. But this football mafia is everywhere. They want to send the message that no one should pick a fight with them.

DER SPIEGEL: Are you afraid of a potential prison sentence in Portugal?

Pinto: I am nervous because I am a target for attacks, especially by fans of Benfica Lisbon. Ever since last autumn, I have been receiving massive death threats on Facebook. When I met with French investigators, I showed them these. They said the threats should be taken very seriously. I am afraid that if I set foot in a Portuguese prison, especially one in Lisbon, I will not leave it alive.

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Pinto, we thank you for this interview.

2. Bölüm - kaynak: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-football-leaks-whistleblower-rui-pinto-a-1251121-2.html


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
Tag (2007 óta)
német - török
+ ...
Madem yukarıda İran halısı denmiş... Feb 26, 2019

--Foturaflar netten alıntıdır--


































*-*large-finely-woven-antique-persian-khorassan-rug-50652-detail.jpg.optimal (1)










1) http://www.tpucarpet.ir/
2) https://nazmiyalantiquerugs.com/antique/persian/tabriz/

[Edited at 2019-02-26 15:37 GMT]


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:18
Tag (2007 óta)
német - török
+ ...
~ Feb 28, 2019


"Vorzeitige Todesfälle"
Das ist dran an der Zahl der Abgas-Toten in Deutschland

Von Julia Köppe und Heike Le Ker - Mittwoch, 27.02.2019 18:47 Uhr

Eine Studie sorgt derzeit für Alarm: Pro Jahr sollen 13.000 Menschen in Deutschland vorzeitig an Autoabgasen sterben. Unter Wissenschaftlern ist die Erhebung allerdings heftig umstritten. Die Fakten.


Feinstaub und Stickoxide aus dem Verkehr sind nicht gut für die Gesundheit - daran zweifelt wohl kaum noch jemand. Wie sehr Schadstoffe allerdings krank machen, ist umstritten und schwer in Formeln zu fassen. In einer aktuellen Studie beispielsweise haben Wissenschaftler errechnet, dass der Verkehr weltweit für 385.000 vorzeitige Todesfälle verantwortlich sein soll, in Deutschland für 13.000 vorzeitige Todesfälle. Die Zahlen stammen von dem umweltnahen Forschungsinstitut ICCT (International Council on Clean Transportation), das im September 2015 den Dieselskandal bei VW aufgedeckt hatte.

Bezogen auf die Bevölkerungsgröße sterben laut ICCT-Studie nirgends mehr Menschen frühzeitig an Verkehrsabgasen als in Deutschland. Je 100.000 Einwohner seien es hierzulande 17 vorzeitige Todesfälle, heißt es in dem Bericht. Diese Sterberate ist laut ICCT dreimal so hoch wie der globale Durchschnitt und liegt knapp 50 Prozent über dem Durchschnitt aller EU-Länder. Einer der wichtigsten Gründe dafür sei der hohe Anteil an Dieselfahrzeugen, die besonders viel Feinstaub und Stickoxide (NOX) ausstoßen, so das Ergebnis der Untersuchung.

Was ist das Problem?

Ein Todesfall gilt dann als vorzeitig, wenn eine Person stirbt, bevor sie ihre statistische Lebenserwartung bei Geburt erreicht hat. Die Einheit sagt nichts darüber aus, wie viel kürzer ein Mensch lebt, ob er oder sie also statistisch betrachtet im Schnitt ein paar Stunden oder mehrere Jahre früher gestorben ist.

In der aktuellen ICCT-Studie haben die Forscher berechnet, wie viel Prozent der Verstorbenen in einem Jahr statistisch gesehen noch am Leben gewesen wären, wenn es die Schadstoffbelastung durch die Autoabgase nicht gegeben hätte. "Wir haben uns in dem Bericht auf vorzeitige Todesfälle fokussiert, weil das für die Öffentlichkeit leichter zu verstehen ist", erklären die Forscher in einem Statement.

Genau das ist allerdings fraglich, denn selbst unter Statistikern ist die Maßeinheit umstritten. "Zunächst stirbt in Deutschland kein einziger Mensch an Feinstaub, sondern an Erkrankungen, die durch Feinstaub (mit) verursacht sein können, es aber nicht sein müssen", kritisierte kürzlich die Statistikerin Katharina Schüller. Damals ging es um eine Studie des Max-Planck-Instituts, die ebenfalls die Maßeinheit "vorzeitige Todesfälle" benutzte. Schüller nannte das Konzept ein "Musterbeispiel einer Unstatistik".

Auch die ICCT-Studie bewertet sie kritisch. Hinter der Ermittlung der vorzeitigen Todesfälle steckten nicht bloß Daten, sondern auch Annahmen über die Realität. Diese seien mit einer Unsicherheit von mindestens 30 Prozent verbunden. "Gravierender ist aus meiner Sicht, dass die Studie eine Präzision und Sicherheit suggeriert, die schlicht nicht gegeben ist", teilte sie auf Anfrage des SPIEGEL mit. Diese Art der Wissenschaftskommunikation sei grob fahrlässig. "Sie führt zu erheblichen Fehleinschätzungen der Aussagekraft von Daten und statistischen Modellen in der breiten Öffentlichkeit", so Schüller.

Das Problem ist, dass die Zahlen offenbar etwas anderes transportieren, als sie meinen. Denn es handelt sich bei den vorzeitigen Todesfällen nicht um klinisch identifizierbare Todesfälle, auch wenn es danach klingt. Auch das Umweltbundesamt (Uba) hatte in einer Studie vorzeitige Todesfälle als Maßeinheit verwendet und war dafür von Wissenschaftlern gescholten worden.

In einer Stellungnahme wies das Uba die Kritik allerdings zurück: Mit der Angabe von vorzeitigen Todesfällen gebe man keinesfalls an - so wie es sich für die meisten Laien liest -, wie viele echte Menschen vor Erreichen ihrer statistischen Lebenserwartung durch Feinstaub und Stickoxide gestorben seien. Viel mehr handele es sich um "Indikatoren für den Gesundheitszustand der Gesamtbevölkerung", sprich: Den Abgasen werden Risiken zugeordnet, die sich ganz allgemein auf die Lebenserwartung der Bevölkerung auswirken, nicht aber einzelne, echte Todesfälle auslösen.

Welche Alternativen gibt es?

Ein anderes Messinstrument für die gesundheitlichen Auswirkungen von Feinstaub und Ozon sind die Lebensjahre, die Menschen durch die Abgasbelastung verlieren (years of life lost, YLL). Als Vergleichsgröße dient dabei ebenfalls die Lebenserwartung, die ein Mensch bei seiner Geburt hat. In der aktuellen ICCT-Studie geben die Autoren an, dass der Menschheit im Jahr 2015 weltweit 7,8 Millionen Lebensjahre durch Feinstaub und Ozon verloren ginge. Verteilt auf eine Weltbevölkerung von damals rund 7,3 Milliarden Menschen sind es demnach etwas mehr als neun Stunden, die ein Mensch im Schnitt verloren hat.

Das klingt zwar schon viel weniger dramatisch. Klar dürfte aber auch sein, dass dieses Maß allein ebenfalls nicht taugt, um die Gesundheitsgefahren durch Feinstaub und NOX sinnvoll zu beziffern - zumindest nicht global betrachtet. Genauer wäre eine Betrachtung wenigstens nach Nationen, besser noch nach Regionen. Denn die Luftverschmutzung etwa in Indien ist zwar größer als in Kanada. Aber auch innerhalb eines Landes gibt es massive Unterschiede: So gilt Neu-Delhi als Smog-Hauptstadt der Welt, im nordindischen Bergland dagegen dürfte die Luft recht gut sein.

Eine Studie vom August 2016 beziffert die verlorene Lebenszeit durch Feinstaubbelastung in Deutschland beispielsweise auf 0,39 Jahre. In einigen afrikanischen und asiatischen Ländern, in denen der Feinstaubanteil in der Luft besonders hoch ist, verlieren die Menschen dagegen demnach im Schnitt bis zu 1,9 Lebensjahre. In der Untersuchung ging es jedoch um die generelle Luftverschmutzung und nicht explizit um die, die durch den Verkehr verursacht wurde.

Eine weitere Möglichkeit darzustellen, wie sehr ein bestimmter Faktor die Gesundheit innerhalb einer Bevölkerung belastet, sind sogenannte Dalys (Disability-adjusted life years). Sie berechnen sich aus der Summe der verlorenen Lebensjahre (YLL) und den verlorenen Lebensjahren durch Krankheit. Die Maßeinheit vermittelt also einen Eindruck, wie sehr ein bestimmter Faktor die Gesundheit zu Lebzeiten beeinträchtigt.

Solche Hochrechnungen stehen allgemein vor dem Problem, die gesundheitliche Gefahr eines einzelnen Faktors richtig einzuschätzen. Ein Beispiel kann das verdeutlichen: Statistisch betrachtet stirbt ein Mensch, der an einer viel befahrenen Straße wohnt, früher als einer, der im Grünen lebt. Die ungeprüfte Schlussfolgerung, die Abgase der viel befahrenen Straße müssten demnach allein verantwortlich für den vorzeitigen Tod sein, wäre aber falsch. Denn andere Faktoren könnten eine viel größere Rolle spielen: Vielleicht lebt der Mensch an der Straße, weil er wenig Geld hat und die Miete dort günstiger ist? Ernährt er sich deshalb auch ungesünder und treibt weniger Sport als derjenige, der sich ein Einfamilienhaus auf dem Land leisten kann?

Es gibt Modelle, mit denen sich solche Faktoren herausrechnen lassen, allerdings sind sie mit Unsicherheiten verbunden. Die Ergebnisse sind deshalb als eine Annäherung zu verstehen und stellen keine klar messbare, real existierende Größe dar.

Wie wirken sich Stickoxide auf die Gesundheit aus?

Stickoxide sind zwei gasförmige Verbindungen, die zusammen als NOX abgekürzt werden. Das ätzende Reizgas Stickstoffdioxid gelangt hauptsächlich beim Atmen in den Körper und dringt bis zur Lunge vor. Ab einer bestimmten Menge kann es die Atemwege reizen und so Brustschmerzen, Atemnot und Husten verursachen. Menschen, die über längere Zeit einer erhöhten Stickstoffdioxidbelastung ausgesetzt sind, haben ein erhöhtes Risiko für Asthma, Atemwegsinfektionen und Herz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen. Besonders gefährdet sind Personen mit Grunderkrankungen sowie Kinder, da sich ihre Atemwege noch entwickeln.

Stickoxide sind neben Ammoniak und anderen Gasen ein Ausgangsstoff für die Entstehung von Feinstaub - der anderen Gruppe von Luftschadstoffen, um die es in der aktuellen Debatte geht.

Wie wirkt sich Feinstaub auf den Körper aus?

Das Problem mit Feinstaub ist: Je kleiner die Partikel sind, desto weiter dringen sie in den Körper vor, wenn sie eingeatmet werden. Feinstaubteilchen mit einer Größe von weniger als zehn Mikrometern (PM10) verbleiben größtenteils in den oberen Atemwegen, also dem Rachen, der Luftröhre oder den Bronchien. PM2,5 (kleiner als 2,5 Mikrometer) gelangen dagegen bis in die Lungenbläschen.

Die ultrafeinen Partikel (UFP) können sogar in den Blutkreislauf übergehen und so im Prinzip sämtliche Körperregionen erreichen und dort Schaden anrichten. Man geht davon aus, dass UFP unter anderem in den Blutgefäßen Entzündungsprozesse in den Gefäßwänden auslösen und damit die Arterienverkalkung sowie das Entstehen von Blutgerinnseln fördern.

Anders als bei den Stickoxiden gilt die schädliche Wirkung des Feinstaubs als eindeutig nachgewiesen. Feinstaub reizt Atemwege und Schleimhäute, damit kann er Atemwegsprobleme wie Husten, Atemnot und Asthma entstehen lassen oder verstärken. Auch an der Entstehung von Lungenkrebs können die Partikel beteiligt sein. Wenn sie ins Blut gelangen, richten sie auch dort Schäden an, das Risiko für Herz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen - Herzrhythmusstörungen, Arterienverkalkung und Infarkt - steigt.


Zusammengefasst: Feinstaub und Stickoxide belasten die Gesundheit. Hochrechnungen, die die gesundheitlichen Schäden mit vorzeitigen Todesfällen beziffern, sind jedoch umstritten, weil sie suggerieren, dass real existierende Menschen an den Folgen von Luftverschmutzung durch Abgase gestorben sind. Tatsächlich soll die Messgröße einen Eindruck des allgemeinen gesundheitlichen Zustandes der Bevölkerung vermitteln. Bezogen auf Deutschland sind also nicht 13.000 "echte" Menschen durch Abgase gestorben. Die Maßeinheit verlorene Lebenszeit vermeidet dieses Missverständnis, wird aber bislang zu selten genutzt.

Kaynak: http://www.spiegel.de/gesundheit/diagnose/faktencheck-das-ist-dran-an-der-zahl-der-abgas-toten-in-deutschland-a-1255358.html



"Four Billion More
What to Do About Massive Population Growth"

By Fiona Ehlers, Bartholomäus Grill, Laura Höflinger and Samiha Shafy - February 15, 2019 06:30
The article you are reading originally appeared in German in issue 7/2019 (February 9th, 2019) of DER SPIEGEL.

The populations in the poorest countries on earth are doubling every few decades. That necessarily leads to conflict over scarce resources such as land, food and work -- and to more migration to Europe. But there are solutions.

//"A crowded market square in central Lagos."///1

All it takes is a half-hour at this intersection in Lagos, the sprawling metropolis in Nigeria, to begin fearing this city. White oil tankers crawl along both on and beneath an overpass on the multilane Apapa Road, making their way out of the Niger River delta. Zipping around them are black-and-yellow rickshaws and minibuses, with sweaty passengers clinging to the doors. Every few meters, a truck hits the brakes with an ear-splitting shriek, the clouds of exhaust mixing with the diesel fumes of the generators. The foul air hangs like a thick blanket over the corrugated metal slums to the right and left of the street. Just 30 minutes at this intersection is enough to make you want to flee this city -- a megalopolis that is growing faster than almost any other place on earth.

In the 1950s, Lagos was home to just 300,000 people. Today, around 20 million live here. And by 2050, that number is likely to double to 40 million. According to projections by the United Nations, Nigeria could have a population of 400 million people by then, which would make it the third most populous country in the world.

Lagos is a prime place to observe the effects of population growth in many developing and threshold countries. Unable to survive in the countryside do to the lack of work and shortages of food and water, people are flocking to the cities. And it isn't difficult to guess that some of them will continue onward to a place where hunger isn't a problem, where it is peaceful and where prosperity is at least a possibility. To Europe. In 2017, migrants from Nigeria represented the fourth-largest group of asylum-seekers in the European Union, after refuges from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2018, they were in seventh place.

Africa is in in the midst of a population explosion that will necessarily lead to a massive wave of migration toward Europe, writes Stephen Smith, an Africa studies professor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, in his soon-to-be-released book "The Scramble for Europe: Young Africa on Its Way to the Old Continent."

Smith, a former Africa correspondent, predicts that as a result of the massive wave of migration, between 150 and 200 million people of African heritage will live in Europe by 2050. He warns of a "stampede" and a "flood" that will reach across the globe, a scenario that plays right into the hands of right-wing populists and their xenophobic message.

Other scientists believe Smith's statistics are nonsense and have accused him of twisting the facts. French migration researcher François Héran, for example, argues that at most, Africans will make up between 3 and 4 percent of the European population. It is also true that the overwhelming majority of Africans simply do not have the financial means to afford the journey to the north.

But Smith does correctly depict a development that Western donor countries and aid organizations have long been playing down: In the next 30 years, the population of the African continent will more than double, from 1.2 billion people today to 2.5 billion. The result will be a population of which 50 percent will be younger than 30 years old and won't have much of a future to look forward to if the continent's economic outlook doesn't change drastically. The threat of conflict over scarce resources, land, food, water and work is very real.

World population growth is a long-term development and so abstract that it is difficult to truly comprehend. Way back in 1968, the American biologist Paul Ehrlich published his bestseller called "The Population Bomb," in which he predicted that hundreds of millions of people would starve to death as a consequence of overpopulation. In 1972, the Club of Rome published a report called "Limits to Growth," outlining the frontiers of economic and demographic expansion. Since then, though, humankind has managed to revolutionize agriculture, introducing industrial methods that have vastly increased harvests. And for the last several decades, the number of people suffering from hunger has been dropping.

The UN believes that population growth will slow by the end of this century and will come to a stop at around 11 billion people, which is welcome news, on one hand. On the other, though, that is 4 billion more people than currently live on the planet -- 4 billion people who will live predominantly in Africa and Asia, in three-dozen countries that are poorly prepared for what is coming because they are already overwhelmed with the situation as it currently stands. A team of DER SPIEGEL reporters set out to explore developments in three countries where the population is growing at a particularly rapid rate: Niger, Nigeria and India.

Liboré, Niger -- At Least 10 Children

Hamidou Moumouni is standing at the edge of his millet field, located not far from the Niger capital city of Niamey, and examining the tiny buds. "A bad harvest again," he says. The last one was also terrible because of a shortage of rain and because the soil is losing its fertility. "The earth has grown tired," says Moumouni, a gaunt 60-year-old. His green boubou, the traditional robes worn in the region, has golden embroidery, a sign of the prosperity that the farmer now fears he could be losing.

Moumouni has been through a lot in his life: droughts, flooding, plagues of locusts. But he says that what is now happening is different, that it is much larger and more threatening. "The weather has gone crazy," he says.

On the Human Development Index, compiled by the UN as a way of measuring prosperity and quality of life, Niger is last on the list of 189 countries. But on another list, the country is right at the top: Niger has the highest fertility rate in the world, with an average of more than seven children born to each woman. Nowhere is it more visible that a lack of development leads to extreme population growth.

Already today, the population needs more food than grows in the country's fields. In periods of extended drought, the government must import up to a million tons of grain. On its own, Niger would be able to feed perhaps 10 million people. But the country is home to 20 million, and that number is set to double by 2035 and reach fully 68 million by 2050.

//"Hamidou Moumouni together with his family"///2

Each year, 240,000 young people in Niger join the labor market and most of them are unable to read and write. The majority of the population scratches out a living from the fields. For men who remain in the country, there are primarily two ways of escaping the misery: They can get involved in smuggling drugs, weapons or migrants; or they can join a jihadist group.

A similar demographic development can be seen across the entire Sahel zone, an arid, barren region just south of the Sahara that is home to around 80 million people. By 2060, the area's population is forecast to be around 400 million.

Hamidou Moumouni heads back into his clay home, where his wife and seven children are gathered in the courtyard. The youngest of the family's four sons, two-year-old Kidirou, is sitting on the lap of his mother Faty, 40. She says she would like to have even more children. "The family," her husband says, "has to get bigger so that we are better provided for in our old age."

How, though, will his sons get by once the 12 hectares of land are divided up between them? Only the oldest son receives the inheritance, says Moumouni. The second son should find a job in government, he says, the third is to become a Koran teacher and the fourth can make his way to Europe.

And his daughters? "They should marry rich men." Nima is 13 and will likely soon be married off. Once that happens, Nima says she wants to have at least 10 children.

A Warning from Paris

"The countries in the Sahel zone are heading toward a massive catastrophe," says French economist Serge Michailof, adding that he has delivered the same message to Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou. The 67-year-old Issoufou is a social democrat who wants to tackle his country's most pressing problem: poverty. Michailof, one of the leading experts on population growth in the Sahel zone, wants to help him in that endeavor. "What we are currently experiencing," Michailof says, "is the most spectacular demographic shift in the history of mankind."

//"Graphic: Projected population growth in select countries."///3

The author of the book "Africanistan: Development or Jihad," Michailof has long been familiar with Niger and lived in the country himself for five years in the 1980s; his apartment in Paris is full of mementos from Africa, including numerous figures carved out of stone or wood. Together with a colleague, Michailof has written a study about the country's economic prospects.

"Issoufou was shocked by the demographic forecasts for the next 30 years," Michailof says. The meeting between the two, originally set to last an hour, ultimately went on for four hours and ended with the president inviting the economist to attend a cabinet meeting.

"There, too, demography was the focus," says Michailof. "But we were never able to say anything because everybody was yelling over each other." Some of the ministers, he says, insisted that children represented the country's future, no matter how many of them families had. Others said that drastic measures were necessary, such as establishing a maximum number of children allowed, like China did. Such an idea is absurd, others said, arguing that devout Muslims in the country would never accept such an arrangement and making enemies with them would be dangerous.

"There was no consensus," says Michailof. "Furthermore, the country's institutions are too weak and they have too few resources to act effectively." Michailof believes that famine will be the ultimate outcome, exacerbated by climate change.

Kano, Nigeria -- The Evangelists of Boko Haram

Isa Hashim, a deputy emir of Kano, is a religion scholar and sharia judge, a powerful and educated 85-year-old. He wears a white turban and his shoes are decorated with ostrich feathers. He receives guests in the emir's palace, with supplicants on the cold marble at his feet.

The deputy emir is also happy to hold an audience with foreigners, acting aloof initially before speaking openly in perfect English about Africa's demographic problems, polygamy and birth control. Such topics were considered taboo here just a few years ago and those who brought them up were suspected of harboring colonialist intentions of destroying the peoples of Africa. Now, though, Hashim has made those issues his own: "Reform must come from within," he says. "We have to change the system. The time has come."

Kano, a city of over 3 million in northern Nigeria, is located in the region where the terror group Boko Haram operates. Just 500 kilometers (311 miles) from here in the city of Chibok, the radical Islamists kidnapped 276 girls in 2014. That reality is one reason why Hashim has now begun speaking openly of the link between poverty and terrorism. And why he grumbles about "selfish men who collect wives like objects, curse birth control but then ask me quietly for the address of someone who can take care of the problem."

Hashim says that all of Nigeria must introduce modern, Western-style education into the country's school system -- a revolutionary message in a region that is so poor and uneducated that extremists have an easy time of recruiting new followers.

//"A family planning workshop in Niger"///4

They can be found squatting in the dust just two kilometers from the palace, boys between the ages of five and 18, writing Koran suras on wooden tablets in black ink and praying out loud. For these children, the madrassa represents their only chance of receiving an education. But it is limited: They learn neither mathematics nor writing in their own language.

In the afternoons, the younger boys go begging while the older ones perform day jobs for their masters, who treat them like slaves. At night, they all sleep together in chambers next to the mosque, until the first call to prayer wakes them in the morning.

The number of these facilities is on the rise, a reality that is beneficial to the terrorists. And listening to Tukur, the 19-year-old son of a farmer with thick, black curls, it becomes clear just how great the danger is. Tukur feels poorly treated by his master, who beats him, and by the neighbors, who berate him with insults. He says he will one day demand what society is currently withholding from him: recognition and power. Tukur then turns around without a word, washes his hands, face and feet and hurries off to the next prayer.

Berlin -- Empowering Women to Save the World

"Before we get completely frantic, there are also countries in the world that have developed much better than expected," says Reiner Klingholz, 65, director of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development. He has a more optimistic view of global development than the former Africa correspondent, Stephen Smith. Vietnam is such an example, says Klingholz, or Ethiopia, the "African wonderland," which for the last 15 years has experienced annual economic growth rates that have at times exceeded 10 percent.

The country has also seen fertility rates drop in the last two decades from around seven children per woman to four, an exception for sub-Saharan Africa. That primarily is a function of the country's economic upswing, growth rates that are among the fastest in the world. Hundreds of thousands of new jobs have been created and harvests have improved. The government invests a huge amount in education and health care.

It is an encouraging development: The number of people living in extreme poverty has been halved. If Ethiopia's development continues and the government maintains its current course, the country could disprove the Cassandras and become a model for Africa.

Or Bangladesh, a primarily Muslim country that was considered to be hopelessly poor and overpopulated in 1971 when it split off from Pakistan following a civil war. Today, Bangladesh is basically on the right path, Klingholz says, in part because there, too, the birthrate has plunged to around 2.1 children per woman. And, he says, because the government has allowed aid organizations, with the support of international backers, to help out with education and health care. Even in the most remote parts of the country, family planning programs have been in place for years, ensuring that women there receive the same care and consultation as in the cities.

"Never has a country anywhere in the world developed without first slowing population growth," says Klingholz. Three steps are necessary, he says, to avoid a demographic catastrophe: The countries in question must first improve health care and reduce infant mortality rates. "If more children survive, people eventually make the decision themselves to have fewer children."

Second, they have to invest in education, particularly for girls. "That is the most effective contraceptive that exists," says Klingholz. In African countries with high rates of population growth, it has become clear that women who have completed secondary school have up to two-thirds fewer children than those who have never attended school. Countries that are doing better today are those that have empowered and educated women.

The third step is the most difficult: A country that wants to slow population growth has to be creative and create jobs. "People need to have prospects," he says. "Otherwise they have no life plan, and without a life plan, there is no family plan."

Bangalore, India -- Three Generations, Three Stories

In a few years, India will take over from China as the world's most populous country. By the middle of the century, it will be home to more than 1.6 billion people, though precise projections vary. It is an almost frightening number, but it doesn't have to be, because India is a country that is doing many things right.

Within 40 years, the birth rate in India has plunged by more than 50 percent to 2.2 children per woman. Assuming the trend continues, the population will continue growing until 2050 -- and will then cease. Some changes can already be seen today, primarily in the south, which tends to be more prosperous than the north and which has a lower birth rate, especially in the cities.

In a district in northern Bangalore stands a house that looks no different from many that surround it: two floors, flat roof and narrow windows. It is home to a large family of nine. They are hardly wealthy, but they aren't poor either. Their story is one shared by many families in the area, and it is one that makes it clear how much has changed. Three generations are sitting in the living room: grandmother Savithri, 74, wrapped in an orange sari; daughter-in-law Alka, 39, dressed in a long robe; and granddaughter Preethi, 18, in tight jeans, her eyes fixed to her smartphone.

//"Three generations in Bangalore: Savithri, Preethi and Alka (left to right)."///5

Savithri married at 19 and had her first child, a daughter, two years later. Two more girls and two boys would follow. When asked if that's what she had wanted, she says: "It wasn't about what I wanted, it just happened."

Her daughter-in-law Alka shakes her head. She, too, married young and also had a daughter at 21. But for her and her husband, having more than two children was out of the question. She hesitates for a bit before saying: "Yes, we used birth control."

Women in India want to have fewer children than they used to, a development that can be seen at all levels of society. Part of the phenomenon has to do with urbanization: the birth rate in Bangalore is 1.6, in Mumbai it is 1.4 and it is 1.7 in Delhi. They are essentially equivalent to the European average, but rural areas in the country exhibit similarly low birthrates.

Savithri went to school for six years while Alka went to university for three years after completing school. Preethi, meanwhile, is still in 12th grade at a private school. Once she finishes, she plans to study business and then work "an office job with a good salary" for two years. She then wants to go back to university -- she calls it her "education plan."

Preethi will have a life much different from that of her mother and grandmother. Her parents, too, will insist on marriage, but she realized early on how the world works: "A woman's education determines her place in society."

An Attempt at a Conclusion

There is no clear prescription for countries facing demographic explosion. A decisive factor will be whether governments finally take the demographic challenges seriously and invest in the education and health-care sectors, in comprehensive sex-education campaigns and in family planning programs. At the same time, they will have to create jobs to provide millions of young people with at least a modicum of prosperity.

That is much easier said than done, particularly given the incompetent and corrupt regimes in many African countries. But a country like Ethiopia is showing one possible path for doing so -- a country that just a few years ago was seen as hopelessly over-populated and suffered from frequent famines. Still, most countries on the continent are far away from the progress that Ethiopia has made. But might the West have a role to play in helping countries confront their demographic time bombs?

Serge Michailof, the government adviser from Paris, has a few ideas. "The countries that are most exposed to the population crisis badly need investment in the agriculture sector," he says. That is true, he says, of those countries in both Africa and Asia in which the majority of the population lives from farming and raising livestock.

They need fair conditions, he says, and a plan for confronting the challenges of global warming. Modernizing agricultural practices, Michailof believes, is the most effective way of combatting hunger and creating jobs.

Furthermore, the adviser says, functioning state institutions are vital: "A credible and disciplined army, a police force that respects human rights and an incorruptible judiciary, so that people don't organize into militant organizations." Because without a minimum of stability, he says, development aid makes no sense. "If the police can't guarantee security, then children won't go to school."

Once these conditions are fulfilled, once children have enough to eat and can go to school without fear, then miracles are possible even in countries where the situation appears hopeless. Miracles such as the one that has taken place in Ethiopia, a country which may have positioned itself to profit from a demographic dividend: fewer births, not too many elderly and a large number of people with jobs. When looked at through that lens, the many young men and women in Africa are not a millstone around the continent's neck, but its hope for the future. They may even be able to disprove the pessimists, assuming they are able to overcome the huge hurdles to development in their countries: terrible governance, the power of tradition and the predominance of the old, male guard.

Kaynak: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/confronting-the-approach-demographic-explosion-in-africa-a-1253189.html

[Edited at 2019-02-28 01:13 GMT]

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