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John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.

Die Lorelei Felsen and Modern Problems

Many times I think of Heinrich Heine's poem and song " Die Lorelei Felsen", which was banned by Adolph Hitler because Heinrich Heine was Jewish. I will write most of the first stanza in English and then tell the rest of the story not in poetic verse.

"I am wondering what it can mean, that I am so sad. A legend out of time that I can't get out of my mind. The air is cool and it darkens, and quietly flows the Rhine. The peak of the mountain gleams in the shining moonlight."

This is the story from early history of a young maiden, who was told by her father to sit on top of the cliff and to comb her beautiful long blond hair. She wore very skimpy clothes as she sat there. Below the cliff the Rhine River had some rapids with many large rocks close to the shore. The sailors would want to get closer to get a view of the nearly topless girl. As they approached the cliff, their boat would be wrecked on the rocks below. The girl's father had an inn at the top of the cliff. As the boats floundered, the girl's father and others would salvage the contents therein. This was a wicked way to make money, but some people seem to know how to do this with no conscience. Afterwards the sailors would realize that they had been duped and somebody had asked Heinrich Heine to write this poem that was put to music.

Did you ever wonder if such people could still exist today? Ask the Milwaukee County Board if this was how they figured out how to get extra money from the County Pension Fund at taxpayer's expense.

This is story of how honest people are treated in this world. The health benefit plans of many Milwaukee companies fall in
this same category. You retire and have the company promise to pay for your health insurance afterwards. The company goes in default and you now have to pay for your own health insurance out of your pocket. Some pension plans have had the same problem. The company goes bankrupt and you are out of luck. You trusted these people to keep their promises. Try to plan ahead before you retire. Take the time to put aside some emergency money in case of such a disaster as this. To all of the people who have already retired, I can only wish you luck.

Next time there is an election, choose the person that you feel you can trust with the job involved. If any politician fails to do his or her job, then you have the right to recall the person from office. Whenever you get reading material on various subjects, read the material and know what is happening around you.

Be alert and also be a good citizen.

Please support the Bay View community.

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