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Thread: Katarina Witt in "Hot Water"

  1. #1
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Exclamation Katarina Witt in "Hot Water"

    Here is the latest about Katarina Witt.

    Figure skater Katarina Witt triggers controversy with TV show

    Canadian Press

    Wednesday, October 01, 2003

    BERLIN (AP) - Figure skater Katarina Witt has come under fire for using symbols from the former socialist East Germany's youth organization to publicize her new television show.

    The two-time Olympic gold medallist reportedly wore a blouse from the youth organization FDJ, or Free Democratic Youth, on the show. Television station RTL denies this, saying the clothing was only used to publicize the show.

    German politician Guenter Nooke, once part of the resistance movement against the socialist government, has called for a ban on symbols from the German Democratic Republic being shown on television.

    "When figure skater Katarina Witt wears a FDJ blouse on television, it represents symbols of an organization hostile to the constitution," Nooke said.

    Nooke called it illegal, saying he could imagine the day coming when a program showed normal people wearing Hitler Youth clothing.

    West Germany did put a law on the books in the 1950s, during the height of the Cold War, forbidding FDJ symbols. But in recent years, a craze for East German things has swept the country. Younger Germans can be seen on the streets wearing bright blue FDJ T-shirts with its radiating sun.

    Germany has been hit by a trend called "Ostalgie," a word derived from mixing German words for east and nostalgia. Everything from the country's sparkling wine called Rottkaeppchen (Red Riding Hood) to the cute man who turned green or red in traffic lights - used as anything from key chains to magnets - have become fashionable.

    The trend was triggered in part by the recent film Goodbye Lenin, one of the country's top 10 selling films of all time.

    Witt's show is called the "DDR show" after the German acronym for the socialist state. It promises to be a "time trip" through the former country.

    Many attribute the new fondness for the former East Germany to a backlash against the early days of German unification. Everything from the west was considered superior, with all things East German vanishing overnight.

    "For a long time people suppressed their fond memories. Now people are finally talking about them," said Witt, who won her 1984 and 1988 Olympic golds for the former East Germany.

    "Not everything was great, but we had a lot to laugh about too."
    © Copyright 2003 The Canadian Press

  2. #2
    Alexei he's my MAN Panther2000's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Nothing suprises me about her anymore. Yeah, it is just a piece of clothing. But, I belive that she knew what she was doing. & was doing it to bring publicity to her TV show. She needs the publicity. Her skating career is almost non-existence. Remember the Playboy Skin Pics. She did that when her career 1st started to go down hill. She got a little publicity about that & it put her back on the may again( for a little while). But, Then again you never really know with her. There was alot of stuff that came out about her when THE WALL came down. I even remember seeing an interview by her back in the day. When they asked about the political division of the country & also on how the Althelets were treated better by the government along with payment also by the governments.. & She was all for it, & she said that she totally agreed 100% & was looking down her nose at the everyday men & women. After watching that Interview with her. I never liked her at all. Yes, I do belive that she was young & did not know better. But, smug look always about her. But, back on track.

    I just think that this is another gimick of hers to bring attention to herself. She is Also 20 Years removed from her 1st medal. She won't go into the background with out a fight

  3. #3
    In the void
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    Hmm...

    It's really strange to read articles like the one above from international press. As a (West btw) German there is not much to talk about that show and what Katarina Witt did. Apparently she wore the uniform - which most of the East German youngsters wore in their younger years - just for about 15 minutes in the introduction of the show. And that "incident" was no-where (!) mentioned in German press - simply because it's nothing that strange after all. They do some shows these days about 30 years of East German culture which is in fact more than just the political system - why not? I'm not a particular fan of those shows (boring for me) but I don't watch Big brother and other "modern" tv shows either.....

    Katarina Witt was invited to do the show (co-moderator) cause she's still quite a celebrity in Germany. And I'd say the only figure skater - still! - normal people on the streets would recognize.... which is far more sad for me than what kind of "historical" clothes she wears in some boulevard tv show.....

    Just to explain - I find it sad cause German public doesn't get much information about figure skating these days at all - not because Katarina Witt is still kind of a celebrity.

    Edited to add that this guy "Nooke" must be a real nobody - perhaps he's the one to search for publicity cause he certainly is never mentioned on Germany media anyway... perhaps he has just some connection to some journalists, but that's about it.
    Last edited by tdnuva; 10-02-2003 at 08:41 AM.

  4. #4
    Gone with the wind windspirit's Avatar
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    Thanks for offering your perspective, Tdnuva. I had a feeling it was blown out of proportion. It's funny how every single thing from the old times in countries that have such history is now considered EVIL. Btw, I can totally see people like that Nooke guy preaching against "EVIL WEST" some years back...

  5. #5
    TriGirl Rinkside
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    The article seems like uproar over nothing to me. I've read about Ostalgie in newspapers here (in San Francisco), and we have an 'East German' bar. If reminiscing about the East is a fad, Witt's actions seem related to that and nothing more.

    I lived in Germany for a year - in the formed West, and lived in student housing which was a mix of Germans and foreign students. One of my housemates was from the former East. He was a very proud man, yet felt like he had to defend his part of the country because everyone looked down on it. I felt bad for him, so it's nice to hear that the East is a fad these days.

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Much ado about nothing! When I was in St. Petersburg Russia in 2002, I was taken to one of the hippest restaurants in town -- "Sunduchok" (chest, as in treasure chest). It was full of old Soviet memorabilia -- but it was NOT out of nostalgia, it was all in fun. One example -- in the bathroom, next to the regular toilet paper, they had a little thing of torn newspapers with a sign "toilet paper for the old believers". It was hilarious!!! I guarantee that NO patrons of that establishment would want anything like the return to the old times, it was just done in jest. I think Ostalgie is a similar kind of thing. If Kat is riding that trend, than there is NOTHING wrong with that!

    OTOH, I also saw in Russia many who capitalized on the public's dissatisfaction with the current system (especially in the older generation). It is really not so dissimilar to many Ameriacan post-9/11 calls of "Give up freedom for security" -- it's "Give up freedom for financial security". It Kat is among those people than it is really sad.

  7. #7
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    I didn't even hear about her having her own tv show!

  8. #8
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Does anyone have a link to the shirt that is causing so much publicity that she wore?

  9. #9
    Tripping on the Podium
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    In a way is it really fair to Kat to not remember her youth? I mean its not her fault. This is the way she grew up. So she wants to wear something that she wore back then. Its her right. Hhhmm

  10. #10
    Tripping on the Podium
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    ............and her country and her show................

  11. #11
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Has KW responded to all the fuss about the blouse?

    Joe

  12. #12
    Minusaramadad from Arctaroon John King's Avatar
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    Katarina Witt in "Hot Water"

    When news surfaced about Kat spying for the Stasi,many fans,myself included,were willing to give her the benefit of a doubt,eg."Hey,she was under duress",etc.I guess I was wrong.If she really wants to know what life was like under the GDR,talk to the victims of East Germany's Doping program,the hundreds of athletes,many of them female,who were without their knowledge or consent,given steroids in exessive dosages,leaving many with liver damage and other health problems,some even giving birth to deformed babies.

  13. #13
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    In Germany there is no excitement (fuss?) about Witt´s uniform. It was a show about the DDR and this dress belongs to this country. so what? it´s part of the history.

    Edited to add that this guy "Nooke" must be a real nobody - perhaps he's the one to search for publicity cause he certainly is never mentioned on Germany media anyway
    that´s true.

    I think it´s difficult to condemn somebody because of his behavior under a regime without having lived yourself in this country under the pressure, control,....
    Witt was born in the DDR, grown up and educated, it was "her" country .In her book she wrote that she was controlled by the Stasi, if she did herself- who knows it exactly????

    Doping in East Germany- yes, that was a big problem and scandal and it´s not to excuse what they have done to many athletes.
    (there are people who take dope voluntary!!!nowadays - I can´t understand )
    BTW, I lived my whole life in West-Germany and I am still there.
    Alina

  14. #14
    Gone with the wind windspirit's Avatar
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    Re: Katarina Witt in "Hot Water"

    Originally posted by John King
    When news surfaced about Kat spying for the Stasi,many fans,myself included,were willing to give her the benefit of a doubt,eg."Hey,she was under duress",etc.I guess I was wrong.If she really wants to know what life was like under the GDR,talk to the victims of East Germany's Doping program,the hundreds of athletes,many of them female,who were without their knowledge or consent,given steroids in exessive dosages,leaving many with liver damage and other health problems,some even giving birth to deformed babies.
    You see, but this is a black-white thinking. There were very bad things happening in those days, but it was not all bad. She did wear a T-shirt from a youth organization (I'm not very familiar with it, but somehow I don't think it was something like Hitler Jugend), she didn't force-feed anyone those steroids, etc.

    "If she really wants to know what life was under GDR"? Well, I guess she knows, since she lived there at the time. Btw, my mother lived in GDR for a few years, and I visited her there quite a few times. Believe me, the life in GDR was pretty normal. I've noticed that people who didn't live in a country with such a history like to demonize the whole thing a little. Like I said, there were very bad things happening -- no one denies that. But that's not the whole picture.

    Originally posted by Ptichka
    When I was in St. Petersburg Russia in 2002, I was taken to one of the hippest restaurants in town -- "Sunduchok" (chest, as in treasure chest). It was full of old Soviet memorabilia -- but it was NOT out of nostalgia, it was all in fun. One example -- in the bathroom, next to the regular toilet paper, they had a little thing of torn newspapers with a sign "toilet paper for the old believers". It was hilarious!!!
    I think it's pretty hilarious, too (it doesn't mean that I'd want to go back to those times).

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