Tag Archives: Germany

Abortion in Europe


Abortion laws in European countries are often
more restrictive than those in the United States

Andorra, Malta and San Marino do not allow abortion at all. Monaco and Liechtenstein allow it only when a woman’s health or life is at risk.

Fifteen European countries, including Italy and Spain, require a mandatory waiting period. In 12 countries, including Hungary and Germany, women must undergo mandatory counselling or receive mandatory information from their doctors before the abortion.

In Germany, abortion can only be done within 12 weeks of conception.

Expanding the family tree


It is always fun and exciting expanding the family tree. I have talked with cousins from around the world, from Australia to Germany. That is often thanks to this very blog. People find my notes on so-and-so, and then write to me.

Recently I learned about a man named Milczewski — Zygmunt Milczewski. It is such a rare surname that I am sure he is a distant cousin, so I am working on learning more about him and his work.

I have a Google Alert set up for that name. Every time the Google bots find something with that name included, I am alerted via email. I highly recommend using Google Alerts.

I am particularly interested in the ethnic diversity of where my ancestors lived in Germany, near the Polish border. There were many Jews, Poles, and Kashubians living among the Germans, or Germanized people, in the Bütow area, where my great-grandparents lived before emigrating to America.

One of the questions I want to answer: Is the Milczewski name German or Polish? I am guessing that it is Slavic and that through the years some with the name became more and more Germanized, including a few of my ancestors.


Catastrophic consequences


One hundred and fifty years ago, on January 18, 1871, the German Empire was proclaimed in Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors, which the troops of the German states had just captured in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71.”

“The choice of January 18 for the proclamation that marked Germany’s birth as a unified nation was not accidental: it was the anniversary of the coronation in 1701 of the first king of Prussia.”

Tsar Alexander II of Russia warned Wilhelm, the Prussian king, that if the Germans forced France to concede long-held territory it would instill “a hatred between peoples that will have no end and know no borders” with “catastrophic consequences for all of Europe.”


one of the most advanced countries in the world

“We need to change our image of the old militaristic Germany.”

Germany before the world wars and the rise of the Nazis “was one of the most advanced countries in the world, and certainly no less democratic than Britain. Its workers were better treated than any on the Continent, with sickness insurance and old age pensions, and its trade unions were the strongest in Europe.”

Just about everyone could read.

“A country of readers with a 99 per cent literacy rate, it was also the land of Thomas Mann and Richard Strauss.”

And it was a land of opportunity, according to Dominic Sandbrook of The Times, reviewing a book by a young native German named Katja Hoyer who lives in England. It is her first book. Ambitious!

“If you were Jewish in the year 1900, there were few more welcoming places than Germany. And if you were born poor, few countries on Earth promised you a better future.”

I have always been wary of the obsession among some Americans, particularly the diplomat class, of “Prussian militarism” and the need to break up the territories in the East known as Prussia. American policy resulted in continued human suffering after the Second World War, including the expulsion of so many civilians from what had long been established as German communities and the emerging dominance of the Soviet Empire on Eastern Europe.

It was a diplomatic disaster. By the so-called experts.