Ersatz Barcelona

In which Germans play foreigners and a foreigner plays a German.

An experiment on a bird in an air pump (1768).

An experiment on a bird in an air pump (1768). Image: Joseph Wright.

Es lebe die Liebe (“Long live love”; 1944): the revue is almost there, but German star Manfred (actually the dastardly Dutchman Johannes Heesters) has buggered off to Barcelona (a Prague studio), and to a cabaret to see the Spaniard Manuela del Orta (the adorable Austrian Lizzi Waldmüller): I should be able to embed this video cue. Juanita (Maria Loja, Hamburg) makes a decent fist of her Spanish lines, and earns her cigar moment. And so on.

The plot is terrible, and the music’s not particularly sophisticated at times, but the radio valves used to house the band as Manfred describes his radio transmitter heart (Mein Herz müßte ein Rundfunksender sein) make for a memorable image, given what was going on down the road at Theresienstadt.

Here’s an embeddable clip of the song:

… and here’s the whole film:

I still read a genteel sufficiency of German and translate the odd thing, but haven’t spoken or written it for a good decade and rarely listen. However, Franconia calls, and so you’ll probably have to put up with more of this crap.

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Last updated 01/08/2019

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1): An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump is a 1768 oil-on-canvas painting by Joseph Wright of Derby, one of a number of candlelit scenes that Wright painted during the 1760s.

Kaleboel (4307):

Vacuum tube (1): In electronics, a vacuum tube, an electron tube, or valve or, colloquially, a tube, is a device that controls electric current flow in a high vacuum between electrodes to which an electric potential difference has been applied. The type known as a thermionic tube or thermionic valve uses the phenomenon of thermionic emission of electrons from a heated cathode and is used for a number of fundamental electronic functions such as signal amplification and current rectification.


  1. They were always wheeling Heesters out on German tv in his dotage.
    Franconia! always a mistake.

    Your site requires impossible tasks to post a comment, and by the time you’ve solved them, it eats the comment and you have to start again. It also says ‘Document Expired’.

  2. Apologies, I’ve removed one barrier. Maybe Akismet means none are theoretically necessary, but I can imagine the volume of spam climbing steeply.

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