2015年10月29日 星期四

Munich 6: Between Heaven and Hell?(慕尼黑. 6:天堂與地獄之間?)

After visiting the Residenz, it was quite  close to 6 p.m.

On the way back to the hotel, I passed by the Hugendubel ( in business since 1893), a famous chain bookstore with branches all over Germany, more or less like Barnes and Noble in America, now selling all kinds of books for young and old and CDs and DVD's and E-books, including even English books. Like Barnes and Noble in America and Eslite in Hong Kong, it has a part of its premises specially set aside for beverages so that book lovers can take a sip of tea or coffee whilst browsing over their favourite kind of book. Germany is a country of avid readers and its annual Buchmesse (Book Fair) in Frankfurt is the largest in the the world.

Germans love to eat, especially candies, dried fruit and nuts. And there are 82 million of them, the richest consumers in the Europe. Everywhere you go, you find food stalls like this on the roadside.

They like to eat all kinds of nuts, walnuts, chestnuts, hazel nuts, Brazil nut, dried apricots, raisins etc.

 Mixed nuts and beans

Figs with mixed nuts stuffings, probably of Turkish origin.  There is sizeable Turkish community in Munich, about 43,000 according to figures from 2007, followed by 30,000 Albanians, 25,000 Croatians, 24,000 Serbian and 22,000 Greeks out of a population of 1.35 million in the city area.  There are more than 1.5 million Turks in the whole of Germany. They are the largest ethnic minority in Germany, with a total population of 62 million.

The pedestrian street in the evening with a security truck right in the middle, presumably to escort the removal of consumer cash to banks at the end of the trading day

At the end of the day, all the fruits are gone: peaches, mandarin oranges, apples, kiwifurit, strawberries, grapes, bananas etc.

There's a small church devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary,  the Marianische or the The Sodality of Our Lady (or the Blessed Virgin Mary (in Latin, Congregationes seu sodalitates B. Mariæ Virginis), is a Roman Catholic Marian Society founded in 1563 by young Belgian Jesuit, Jean Leunis (or Jan), at the Collegio Romano of the Society of Jesus. The Ignatian lay group, Christian Life Community, traces its origins to the first Sodality. Although first established for young school boys, the Papal bull, Superna Dispositione, Sodalities for adults, under the authority of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, were allowed to be established (as aggregates of the Sodality at the Roman College). Later on, Sodalities would be established for particular groups in society, such as Priests, Noblemen and Women, Merchants, Labourers, Clerks, the Married, the Unmarried, Soldiers, Street Sodalities (ad infinitum). Each of these groups would be affiliated with the 'Prima-Primaria Sodality' of the Roman College. This is is established for the men of Munich.

Jesus praying at the Garden of Gethsemane. The devotional practice of stopping at, meditating and praying at each of "14 stations of the Cross" was first started by St. Francis of Assisi ( the Franciscan friars were charged with the duty of guarding all the holy places in Jerusalem alleged by tradition to be associated with the life of Jesus). The 14 stations are respectively
1. Jesus is condemned to death; 

2. Jesus carries his cross; 
3.  esus falls the first time; 
4. Jesus meets his mother;
5. St. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross; 
6. St. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus;
7. Jesus falls the second time; 
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem;
9. Jesus falls the third time; 
10. Jesus is stripped of his garments; 
11. Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross 
12.   Jesus dies on the cross; 
13.  Jesus is taken down from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation) and 
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb. 
In  answer to their petition in 1686, in, Pope Innocent XI granted to the Franciscans the right to erect stations within their churches. In 1731, Pope Clement XII extended such a right to all churches provided that a Franciscan father supervised them with the consent of the local bishop and fixed number of station to 14. Then in 1857, the bishops of England were given such  rights without having to have a Franciscan priest and in 1862 such a right was extended to all bishops anywhere. Now, there are stations of the cross in all major churches and chapels and Catholics all over the world are encouraged to follow this devotional practice in Lent , the period in liturgical year before Easter and especially during the Holy Week, on Good Friday, the day tradition supposes to be the day of the week when Jesus died on the cross. But such a practice has also been adopted by a number Anglicans, Lutherans and Methodists.

Station 1: Pontius Pilate washing his hands of his part in the condemnation of Jesus as a Roman rebel leader when the latter was chosen by the Jews not to be reprieved by the Roman governor, sealing his fate to die on the cross.

Station 2: Jesus taking up his cross

Station 3: Jesus falls for the first time.

Station 4: Jesus meets his mother

Station 5: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross

Station 6: St Veronica helps to wipe Jesus' face with her veil

Station 7: Jesus falls for the second time

Station 8: Jesus talking to the women of Jerusalem

Station 9: Jesus falls for the third time

Station 10: Jesus is stripped of his clothes

Station 11:  Jesus is nailed to the Cross

Station 12: Jesus dies on the Cross

Station 13:  Jesus is taken down from the Cross

Station 14:  Jesus is laid in the tomb

A devotional service being carried on at the small chapel

An altar to the Blessed Virgin Mary with infant Jesus

A visitor lighting up a candle in front of a station of the cross.

The tomb of Father Rupert Mayers (1876-1945), a Jesuit. 

The Holy Mother on the wall to the first floor church

The small church

Its altar with bronze sculptures

Bronze reliefs above the altar

 Part of the ceiling

The organs at the church

Another statue at the church

A third statue of the Holy Mother and Child

The Germans love music. You can find signs like this advertising concerts everywhere in Munich.  This one is by the Odeon Ensemble of Munich with Mozart's arias, symphony and Serenade to be conducted by Michael Hartmann

A life-size model in a sex shop in the street near to my hotel

Another such model

Sexy undergarment to tempt men

Another outfit

a dildo in glass!

An Eros Center in Frankfurt which I would next visit

Crazy Sex in Frankfurt

A open sign directing clients to the Eros Center there

A prospective client or just curious  tourist attracted by the Eros Center in Frankfurt

A bar offering something  more than just alcohol.

The entrance to the Eros Center

Rooms for rent for a brush with love

Entire building devoted for one purpose: with life-size models on the balcony

A Club-Bar with table dance

Not shy about what they're offering

A show center

A whole building, one color only

The small foyer to what it is all about

According to an article in the Wikipedia on prostitution in Germany, prostitution in Germany is legal, and so are brothels. Prostitutes may work as regular employees under an employment contract, though the vast majority of them work independently. Brothels are registered businesses that don't need any special brothel licence but if they wish to offer food and alcoholic drinks, then they need to get the standard restaurant licence, just like other bars and restaurant. German prostitutes do have to pay income taxes and charge VAT for their services. but in practice, they work on a cash basis and don't always pay their taxes, though enforcement has recently been stepped up eg. the Länder North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden Württemberg and Berlin have initiated a system whereby prostitutes have to pay in advance a set amount of taxes deducted and collected by their employer who would  be liable to account for such tax to tax authorities, eg. 25 Euros per day per prostitute in North Rhine-Westfalia,  30 euros in Berlin. In May 2007 authorities were considering plans for a uniform country-wide system of charging 25 euros per day.

Mary  Madeleine was a prostitute and faithful follower of Jesus Christ, very close to Jesus. She was one of the few women who tried to remove the body of Jesus from the tomb on the third day after his death but found the body gone. According to Jewish customs, only the closest relatives would be involved in such an intimate activity. In fact, historically, prostitution has never been outlawed in Germany: since the 13th century,  a number of German cities already had brothels (known as Frauenhäusers or "women's houses" because prostitution was considered a necessary evil, even by Saint Augustine (354-430) and the municipalities actively encouraged it and even considered prostitutes their honored guests as they helped maintain domestic order and lessen the risk of adultery and rape. Emperor Sigismund (1368–1437) thanked the city of Konstanz in writing for providing some 1,500 prostitutes for the Council of Constance which took place from 1414 to 1418. But starting with the Reformation in the 16th Century, with the appearance of syphilis, brought to Europe from Spanish America, prostitutes were more vigorously persecuted..

Starting 19th century, prostitutes in many cities had to register with police or local health authorities and submit to regular health checks to stop the spread of VD. In Imperial Germany (1871–1918), the policy concentrated on regulation rather than abolition, eg, in the port city of Hamburg, detailed rules were set out for the mode of dress and conduct both inside and outside of brothels. It is estimated that by 1900 , some 50,000 women were working as prostitutes in Berlin alone.

During the Nazi era, street prostitutes were seen as "asocial" and "degenerate" and were often sent to concentration camps, especially to the Ravensbrück camp but they did not entirely disapprove of prostitution. Instead, the Nazis installed a centralized system of city brothels, military brothels (Wehrmachtsbordelle), brothels for foreign forced laborers and for  concentration camps. Between 1942 and 1945, camp brothels were installed in ten concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Himmler intended these as an incentive for cooperative and hard-working non-Jewish and non-Russian inmates, in order to increase productivity of the work camps. Initially the brothels were staffed mostly with former prostitute inmates who volunteered but soon other women were pressured to work there. None of the women who were forced to work in these concentration camp brothels ever received compensation, since the German compensation laws do not cover persons designated as "asocial" by the Nazis, but they also used brothels for espionage.

After World War II, the country was divided into East Germany and West Germany. In East Germany, as in all countries of the communist Eastern Bloc, prostitution was illegal and according to the official position it didn't exist. However, there were high-class prostitutes working in the hotels of East Berlin and the other major cities, mainly targeting Western visitors; the Stasi employed some of these for spying purposes. Street walkers and female taxi drivers were available for the pleasure of visiting Westerners, too.

In West Germany, the registration and testing requirements remained in place but were handled quite differently in the various regions of the country. In Bavaria, in addition to scheduled STD check-ups, regular HIV tests were required since 1987, but this was an exception. Many prostitutes did not submit to such tests. A study in 1992 found that only 2.5% of the tested prostitutes had a disease, a rate much lower than the one among comparable non-prostitutes.

In 1967, Europe's largest brothel at the time, the six-floor Eros Center, was opened on the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. An even larger one, the twelve-floor building now called Pascha in Cologne was opened in 1972. The AIDS scare of the late 1980s was bad for business, and the Eros Center as well as several other brothels in Hamburg had to close. The Pascha continued to flourish however, and now has evolved into a chain with additional brothels in Munich and Salzburg. But "promotion of prostitution" (Förderung der Prostitution) remained a crime until 2001, even after the extensive criminal law reforms of 1973. This put the operators of brothels in constant legal danger. Most brothels were therefore run as a bar with an attached but legally separate room rental. However, many municipalities built, ran and profited from high rise or townhouse-style high-rent Dirnenwohnheime (literally "whores' dormitories"), to keep street prostitution and pimping under control. Here prostitutes sell sex in a room that they rent by the day. These establishments, called "Laufhäuser" in popular language are now mostly privatized and operate as Eros Centers.

Even before the 2001 reform, many upmarket prostitutes operated in their own apartments, alone or with other women. Luxurious country houses, called "FKK-Sauna-Clubs" are the top end of the scale. There, women and men pay the same entrance fees that range from about 50 to 100 euro and usually include meals and drinks and the prostitutes negotiate their deals with the clients individually, thus avoiding the appearance of pimping ("Zuhälterei"). Illegal variations on that business model, like "Flaterate-Clubs" and "Pauschalclubs" also exist and advertise openly in daily newspapers and the Internet. These establishments charge an "all-you-can handle" fee of about 75 to 90 euro.

Before the 2002 prostitution law, in which the German Government sought to improve the protection of the rights of sexual workers, the highest courts of Germany repeatedly ruled that prostitution offends good moral order (verstößt gegen die guten Sitten), with a number of legal consequences: any contract  considered "immoral" is null and void, so a prostitute could not sue for payment and prostitutes working out of their apartments could lose their leases and finally, bars and inns could be denied a licences if prostitution took place on their premises. But that was changed in 2002 when 
a one-page law sponsored by the Green Party was passed by the ruling coalition of Social Democrats and Greens in the Bundestag regarded prostitute as workers, entitled to an employment contract, just like other workers, and can claim unemployment and other social benefits and the general prohibition on furthering prostitution was removed. The law's rationale stated that prostitution should not be considered as immoral anymore. In 2001, the compulsory registration and testing of prostitutes was abandoned. Since then, anonymous, free and voluntary health testing has been made available to everyone, including illegal immigrants. Many brothel operators require these tests
However, in 1999, Felicitas Weigmann lost the licence for her Berlin cafe Psst!, because the cafe was being used to initiate contacts between customers and prostitutes and had an attached room-rental also owned by Weigmann. She sued the city, arguing that society's position had changed and prostitution no longer qualified as offending the moral order. The judge conducted an extensive investigation and solicited a large number of opinions. In December 2000 the court agreed with Weigmann’s claim. This ruling is considered as a landmark and was an important factor in the realization of the Prostitution Law of 1 January 2002. Only after an appeal process though, filed by the Berlin town district, was Weigmann to regain her café license in October 2002..

Women from other European Union countries are now allowed to work as prostitutes in Germany but those from other non-EU countries can only obtain three-month tourist visas for Germany. However,  they are not permitted to work as prostitutes, because  their  tourist visa does not include a work permit.The opposition claimed that after visa issuing policies of German consulates were liberalized between 2000 and 2003, that led to an increase in human trafficking and the illegal entry of  prostitutes from East Europe, especially from Ukraine. The episode led to hearings in 2005 and is known as the German Visa Affair 2005. In 2004 the Turkish gang leader Necati Arabaci was sentenced to 9 years in prison for pimping, human trafficking, assault, extortion, weapons violations and racketeering. His gang of bouncers controlled the night clubs in Cologne's entertainment district, the Ring, where they befriended girls in order to exploit them as prostitutes. After Arabaci's arrest, informants overheard threats against the responsible prosecutor, who received police protection and fled the country in 2007 when Arabaci was deported to Turkey.

In 2004, the large FKK-brothel Colosseum opened in Augsburg. The police suspected a connection to Arabaci's gang, which owned several similar establishments and was supposedly directed from prison by its convicted leader. After several raids, police determined that the managers of the brothel dictated the prices that the women had to charge, prohibited them from sitting in groups or using cell phones during work, set the work hours, searched rooms and handbags, and made them work completely nude (charging a penalty of 10 euros per infraction). In April 2006, they charged 5 men for pimping but the court quashed the charges, arguing that the prostitution law of 2002 created a regular employer-employee relationship and thus gave the employer certain rights to direct the working conditions. Colosseum remained in business

In 2007, the authorities in Berlin began to close several apartment brothels that had existed for years. They cited a 1983 court decision that found that the inevitable disturbances caused by brothels were incompatible with residential areas. Prostitutes' organizations and brothel owners fought these efforts. They commissioned a study that concluded that apartment brothels in general neither promote criminality nor disturb neighbors.  The earlier the same year, the German government issued a report on the law's impact in January 2007, and concluded that that few prostitutes had taken advantage of regular work contracts and that working conditions had improved only very slightly, if at all. Perhaps, to improve their image, the brothel "Pascha" in Cologne announced in March 2007, that senior citizens above the age of 66 would receive a discount during afternoons; half of the price of 50 euros for a "normal session" would be covered by the house. Earlier, in 2004, a 20% discount for long-term unemployed had been announced by a brothel in Dresden.

The economic downturn of 2009 has resulted some changes in brothel practices: they reduced prices, giving rebates, introducing all-inclusive flat-rates, free shuttle buses, discounts for seniors and taxi drivers. and "day passes." Some brothels reportedly included loyalty cards, group sex parties, rebates for golf players but still the numbers of clients dropped.  and the same year, the Bundessozialgericht ruled that the German job agencies are not required to find prostitutes for open positions in brothels. The court rejected the complaint of a brothel owner who had argued that the law of 2002 had turned prostitution into a job like any other but the judges ruled that the law had been passed to protect employees, not the owners of the sexual services business enterprise

In March 2006 the campaign "Responsible John. Prostitution without compulsion and violence" was started by the government of Berlin. It provides a list of signs of forced prostitution and urges prostitutes' customers to call a hotline if they spot one of those signs. Studies in the early 1990s estimated that about 50,000–200,000 women and some men worked as prostitutes in Germany. The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality, published in 1997, reported that over 100,000 women work in prostitution in Germany. A 2005 study gave 200,000 as a "halfway realistic estimate". The prostitutes' organization Hydra puts the number at 400,000, and this number is typically quoted in the press today. A 2009 study by TAMPEP also gave the Hydra estimate of 400,000 full or part-time prostitutes, with 93% being female, 3% transgender and 4% male.The same study found that 63% of the prostitutes in Germany were foreigners, with two thirds of them coming from Central and Eastern Europe. In 1999 the proportion of foreign prostitutes had been 52%. The increase was attributed to the EU enlargement. From other studies, it is estimated that between 10% and 30% of the male adult population have had experiences with prostitutes. Of those 17-year-old males in West Germany with experience of intercourse, 8% have had sex with a prostitute.

The 2009 survey identified the following main vulnerability factors for German sex workers (in the order of importance):
    Financial problems, including debts and poverty.
    Violence and abuse by clients, police and pimps.
    No professional identity; lack of self-confidence.
    Stigma and discrimination.
    Exploitative personal dependencies.
In every major German city there are prostitutes who offer their services to procure drugs. This often takes place near the main railway stations, while the act usually takes place in the customer's car or in a nearby rented room. These prostitutes are the most desperate, often underage, and their services are generally the cheapest. Pimps and brothel owners try to avoid drug-addicted prostitutes, as they are inclined to spend their earnings solely or primarily on drugs. Other prostitutes tend to look down on them as well, because they are considered as lowering the market prices. In a unique effort to move drug-addicted streetwalkers out of the city center and reduce violence against these women, in 2001, the city of Cologne created a special area for tolerated street prostitution in Geestemünder Straße: dealers and pimps are not tolerated, the parking places have alarm buttons and the women are provided with a cafeteria, showers, clean needles and counselling. The project, modelled on the Dutch tippelzones, is supervised by an organization of Catholic women. A positive scientific evaluation was published in 2004Regular street prostitution is often quite well organized and controlled by pimps. Now most cities have established "Sperrbezirke" (off-limits zones) and charge the streetwalkers an amusement tax, that in the city of Bonn for instance is paid by the streetwalkers at parking meters, six euro for a period of about eight night hours. The same fee is collected from prostitutes in apartments and brothels, sometimes by municipal tax collectors in person. Some prostitutes have a nearby caravan, others use the customer's car, still others use hotel rooms. With recent economic problems, in some large cities "wild" street prostitution has started to appear: areas where women work temporarily out of short-term financial need. A "sex drive-in", or "Verrichtungsbox", is a facility of structures to enclose cars to provide a safer place for prostitution using cars.

Sexual Services are offered in Germany in a number of ways:
(1) In bars, women try to induce men to buy expensive drinks along with the sexual services. Sex usually takes place in a separate but attached building. Prices are mostly set by the bar owner and the money is shared between the owner and the prostitute.
Some massage parlors offer sexual services, though this is far less common than in the U.S
(3)  Eros centers, a house or street (Laufstraße) where women can rent small one-room apartments for 80–150 euro per day. Then they solicit customers from the open door or from behind a window. Prices are normally set by the prostitutes; they start at 25–50 euros for short-time sex. The money is not shared with the brothel owner. Security and meals are provided by the owner. The women may even live in their rooms, but most do not. Minors and women not working in the eros center are not allowed to enter. Eros centers exist in almost all larger German cities. The most famous is the Herbertstraße near the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. The largest brothel in Europe is the eros center Pascha in Cologne, a 12 storey building with some 120 rooms for rent and several bars. Brothels of all kinds advertise for sex workers in the weekly female-orientated magazine Heim und Welt.
(4) Many of
apartment prostitution (Wohnungspuffs) which advertise in the daily newspapers. Sometimes run by a single woman, sometimes by a group of roommates and sometimes as "safehouses" for traffickers, with the women being moved around on a weekly basis.
Partytreffs and Pauschalclubs, a variation on partner-swapping swing clubs with (sometimes, but not always) paid prostitutes in attendance, as well as 'amateur' women and couples. Single men pay a flat-rate entrance charge of about 80 to 150 euros, which includes food, drink and unlimited sex sessions, with the added twist that these are performed in the open in full view of all the guests. Women normally pay a low or zero entrance charge.
The FKK Clubs which are houses or large buildings, often with swimming pool and sauna, a large 'meet and greet' room with bar and buffet on the ground floor, TV/video screens, and bedrooms on the upper floor(s), operating from late morning until after midnight. Women are typically nude or topless, men may wear robes or towels. Men and women often pay the same entrance fee, from 35 to 70 euros, including use of all facilities, food and drinks (soft drinks and beer, most FKKs do not allow liquor). Some clubs will admit couples. This form of prostitution, which was mentioned in the rationale of the 2002 prostitution law as providing good working conditions for the women, exists all over Germany and parts of the Netherlands, but mainly in the Rhein-Ruhrgebiet and in the area around Frankfurt am Main. Among the largest clubs of this type are: Artemis in Berlin, opened in the fall of 2005, the new Harem in Bad Lippspringe and the long established FKK World near Giessen and FKK Oase in the countryside near Bad Homburg.
Escort services )
(7) Escort services
(Begleitagenturen), where the customer calls to have a woman meet him at home or at a hotel for sexual services, exist in Germany as well, but are not nearly as prevalent as in the US.
(8)  It may surprise some that there are also sexual services for the elderly and the disabled. The agency Sensis in Wiesbaden connects prostitutes with disabled customers. Nina de Vries somewhat controversially provides sexual services to severely mentally disabled men and has been repeatedly covered in the media. Professional training is available for 'sex assistants'.
(9) A comparatively small number of males offer sexual services to females, usually in the form of escort services, meeting in hotels. The vast majority of male prostitutes serve male clients. In 2007 it was estimated that there were some 2,500 male prostitutes in Berlin alone.The Pascha brothel in Cologne reserves one entire floor for male and transgender prostitutes.
Until 2002, prostitutes and brothels were technically not allowed to advertise, but that prohibition was not enforced.
In July 2006, the Bundesgerichtshof ruled  that, as a consequence of the new prostitution law, advertising of sexual services is no longer illegal. Before the law and more so now, many newspapers carry daily ads for brothels and for women working out of apartments. Many prostitutes and brothels have websites on the Internet. In addition, sex shops and newsstands sell magazines specializing in advertisements of prostitutes (e.g "Happy Weekend", "St Pauli Nachrichten", "Sexy" and many more).

Pimping, (Zuhälterei = exploiting and/or controlling a sex worker) admitting prostitutes under the age of eighteen to a brothel, and influencing persons under the age of twenty-one to take up or continue work in prostitution, are illegal. It is also illegal to contract sex services from any person younger than 18, per Article 182 (paragraph 2) of the Criminal Code. Before 2008 this age limit was 16. This law also applies to Germans traveling abroad, to combat child prostitution occurring in the context of sex tourism.

Every city has the right to zone off certain areas where prostitution is not allowed (Sperrbezirk). Prostitutes found working in these areas can be fined or, when persistent, jailed. The various cities handle this very differently. In Berlin prostitution is allowed everywhere, and Hamburg allows street prostitution near the Reeperbahn during certain times of the day. Almost the entire center of Munich is Sperrbezirk, and under-cover police have posed as clients to arrest prostitutes. In Leipzig, street prostitution is forbidden almost everywhere, and the city even has a local law allowing police to fine customers who solicit prostitution in public.In most smaller cities, the Sperrbezirk includes the immediate city center as well as residential areas. Several states prohibit brothels in small towns (such as towns with fewer than 35,000 inhabitants). This concept has been the subject of a number of legal challenges. In North Rhine-Westphalia a Minden court has ruled against 'Sperrbezirk', as have courts in Hesse and Bavaria.The court ruled that a general prohibition of prostitution infringed a basic right to choose one's occupation, as laid down in the 2002 Prostitution Act.

Regular health checks for prostitutes are not now mandated by law in Germany  but in Bavaria (Bayern), the law mandates the use of condoms for sexual intercourse with prostitutes, including oral contact.

The churches in Germany run several support groups for prostitutes. These generally favor attempts to remove stigmatization and improve the legal situation of prostitutes, but they retain the long term abolitionist goal of a world without prostitution and encourage all prostitutes to quit.

When will Hong Kong legislators learn from the German and treat sexual services as an inherent and irresistible human biological need and stop their hypocritical stand and work to improve the status of our sexual workers?