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Issue 5/2006, March 30 2006 (No. 211)
German version
        
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'We mustn't marginalize anybody.'
The mayor of Bremen 'Jens Böhrnsen talking about his political compass, Bremen as a social-minded community and his Christian faith' . From 'Church Paper for Bremen' December 2006

'By means of the Christmas subsidy the old people in need of care were able to buy little Christmas present or to phone their relatives, in short to participate more in social activities.'
From the article 'The poorest nursing home residents come away empty-handed/ Senate of Bremen cuts Christmas subsidy for welfare recipients' Weser- Kurier December 22 2005

'Cutbacks in aid for handicapped persons/ Transport service for handicapped persons to be cut down/ The nursing home residents come away totally empty-handed'
From Bremen local page of the national paper 'TAZ' on March 31 2006


On March 23 2006 I went to see my family doctor. I sat in the waiting room near to the door. I read the papers. I involuntary looked up, when an about forty-five year old man with Down's syndrome came in. The man stopped in front of me, shook hands with me and said: 'Good morning.' I stood up and replied: 'Nice to meet you. My name is Jan Frey.' The escort of the man said: 'His name is Thomas.'
 
Thomas and his escort sat down. He looked pale. His motions were slow. He slured his speech. I still was able to understand that he told his escort 'Tomorrow is Wednesday:' Once he sang a simple song in undertones.
 
The next day late in the afternoon I went to a meeting by tram. In the East suburb two men boarded the tram. They sat down opposite each other on the seats in front of me. Both were about forty years old. One could tell just by looking at them that they hadn't much money. One could infer from their talk that they had much time and suffered from boredom. They were probably unemployed.
 
 

A waiting room
 
One of them told the other 'I put the face of X out of joint yesterday. His blathering got on my nerves.' Then the other one started to tell 'Y can't lash out heavily no more When he's plastered, he isn't quick enough.no more. He has had his days.'
 
An other man joined them. He wore a very old-fashioned shabby winter coat. His long and straggly hair fell over the collar. His pale cheeks were hollow. The man was obviously an old junkie. One of the thugs asked him' How are you?' The junkie answered 'I feel lousy. Just saw the doctor.' The thug looked at him patronizingly and pitifully.
 
(My wife Christine helped me to translate the text. Thanks.)
(to be continued)

Encounters 5

Encounters 3 (English summary)

Encounters 2 (English summary)

Encounters 1 (English summary)

Comments?
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The next issue 'The Daily Groove'
Thursday, April 13 2006

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