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"Lesen macht rebellisch" (H. Böll)

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Roberto Dondi
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oder »Aufbewahren für alle Zeit«

(INTRO) Willkommen im Leben! 1891 Hermann Bahlsen had launched some brand new cookies and started marketing them. Since it was generally good practice to give food products the name of a well known personality, for those butter biscuits our man chose "leibniz" from the most important person living in Hannover, the composer Gottfried W. Leibniz!
This story is not like a fantastic "once upon a time" by Brothers Grimm, but everybody has to know that the live of the German consumers was changing just since then... Truly: marketing and history had never been closer thanks to the German food industry!


Justus von Liebig, who was this other person? At the end of the 1800 Liebig, der große deutsche Forscher, became synonymous to "liquid wellness" by means of the Fleisch-Extract, meat extract, or the magic ingredient sold today as bouillon cubes. Before all German marketers, Liebig used innovative techniques in product promotion, better say of a promotion system, by introducing printed gadgets for customers to collect.
The most amazing and even smallest medium for stimulating the repeating of buy and consume of the same product was the picture card. Indeed the picture cards had been the result of an interested wedding between the cromolitographic print and the advertising needs created by the industrial revolution... The cards were given out by retailers and department stores to involve their customers to go back to the same point of sale.
A golden age of the Liebig cards went on from 1890 to 1910 when 250 million cards were issued. But the complete series will last for about a century until 1975!
Now, while holding back the last time you have been sick in bed, choose the most favorite liquid wellness among the personalities/brands listed here! [Hier können Sie mir eine Mail schicken]
Justus von Liebig
Julius Maggi
Carl Heinrich Knorr
other (eg. Bovril)

As for the collection let's take our album, Illustierter General-Liebigbilder-Katalog, and put in order the precious series of cards to remember the past century by Women and Flowers, Earth-Water Globes, Factory at Fray-Bentos. And bear in mind that...
"Eine Messerspitze Liebig Fleisch-extract kräftig alle Speisen"
The feminine picture was a frequent presence thruout the advertising material that concerns the Liebig brand because the woman is the main buyer of the products needed for cooking. From the beginning both gadgets and messages have been aiming to the Hausfrau, eg. Haushaltungs-Kalender (1904) or Liebig as "the secret of the modern Housekeeper" (1926-32) --Man hüte sich for Fälschungen und Nachahmungen!


The following websites could be visited to get further information on the liquid wellness and the origin of modern enterprise as well --plus something about the wants and needs in today Germany...
    Von Prof. Liebigs Fleisch extrakt zum Carnitin

    Liebig's Company u. Unilever (1984)

    Tomas Liebig, freier Fotograf (NICHT der große Forscher!)

    Entdecken Sie hier die Marke Leibniz

    Deutschkurse in Ihrem Land

    Willkommen im Leben

    Lebenstil für Männer with Anspruch

    Filmen-Archiv, Berlin¹

PS. Trade cards is another definition for the picture cards that even Herr Bahlsen used for his Leibniz biscuits.
"Was ißt die Menschheit unterwegs?
Na, selbstverständlich Leibniz-Cakes!"

Today trade cards are always familiar as stickers; in German Bilder.


Was ist der deutsche Traum? Work, of course, ever pursued and often reached thanks to the effective bridge between school, job centre and real enterprise. And by the acceptance of immigrants and foreign workers from other countries especially from Turkey, Portugal, Italy --a little less if they come from East Europe. But just here we have to continue more precisely...

XL Magazine

»Keine so schlechte Quelle«

1936 Leibniz-Kek production was still raising. Only 1944, because of the reduced permission to use butter, it will break off... doch das ist eine andere Geschichte oder gar nicht?
Before those years another product had had a central role in the distribution of promotional cards, the cigarettes! That was a further boom of trade cards given for free by the producers to consumers whose task was simply asking for the album. Each album could keep on the entire collection made up of 250-300 cards. As for the subject of collection it might vary from the German fairy tales sooner, particularly edited and richy designed by some artists of that age (Max Liebemann), to the German history and culture later...
Indeed 1936 the Ministry of Propaganda started launching several albums and took on the control of the largest publishing company that was producing the cigarette-cards. The company went public to guarantee technical support to the government project of molding the brand new breed... Someone could believe the use of little colored pictures to fast forward what they teached was a sneaky initiative but we won't enter Germany by this secondary way. We are marketers and only want to comprehend how history and industry follow one another during that tragic period!
To the posterity the tough sentence --as one said-- but the story goes that posterity is just about us, so this little tale of cards will be continued here with other frequently asked questions about the relationship between a country and many bordering countries.
What does it mean? Don't worry, der Essay is going to highlight some brands that have developed the card as marketing medium. A common line between the countries around Germany is to be rich on chocolate makers. And the chocolate bars adventure in Europe has always been getting on well with the development of promoting cards. Our gratitude goes to such brand names known as the Swiss Cailler, Suchard, Nestlé - the Dutch Blooker, Van Houten - the Belgian Neuhaus (Côte d'Or). Now we enter Germany really... and get back to those original albums of 1936.
[Deutsche Kulturbilder]
eg. this was completed by pictures of the German civilization including the End of the Middle Ages (1400-1500) and the Age of Technique (1875-1900);
[Bunte Filmbilder]
eg. this was published by Cigaretten-Bilderdienst, Dresden --where was Dresden? and where were you Adam?
[Olympia 1936]
eg. this great sport theme will be reported later and we will be on the fact again...
note: we have to deduct from this short sequence of German flashbacks the trace about a Goose-game found out along with the trade cards legend... it should be treating of the conquer of an economic empire!

As for the "liquid wellness", the history and Maslow teach us that the ladder of needs had just changed down during the war period. The feeding of million of people was in danger because of the free market and distribution interrupted for six years. A far long time when not only the Pfefferkuchen von Aachen but even the consommé (Kraftbrühe) was a rare food. On the other hand some practice aiming at prisoners pulled down the image of Germany around the world --I wouldn't like to remember here the composition of the so called "bread for Russian", but I have to do it for respect of criticism: 50% Roggenkleienmehl, 20% Ausschuss-Rübe, 20% Zellulosemehl, 10% Strohmel und Blätter.

»Entfernung von der Truppe«

MiniArt sell miltary miniatures series and the standard box contains small models of five figures, eg. 'German soldiers at work (RAD)' or 'German civilians', see online catalog (
Two items, two not cheap questions to the marketing manager: a) are the miniatures in civilian dress sold as much as the ones in uniform?; b) is 'rad' a shortening for Reichsarbeitdienst?
These pieces of memoirs are a production of MiniArt that is located in Ukraine --the troups in action have been not considered of basic importance by the storyteller (z. Z.).


According to Heinrich Böll, »die Angst der Deutschen und die Angst vor ihnen« derives from the inflation... (in German language, die Inflation).
The picture cards matter again with regards to the economical inflation because a by-product of that same printing technique (in German die Cromolitographie) was Notgeld, aka "emergency banknotes"! Notgeld was printed in Germany during the republic of Weimar to face the temporary lack of active money circulation.
The most interesting pieces for collector are so called Kleingeld, issued until 1922 in some cities like Münster.
(Impressum. The quotation marks are intended to reproduce the sentence written by someone else from the author of this page. Since the author has been studying German for ten years and he's usually thinking what he's writing here and elsewhere, the quotation marks could be intended as his direct speech too. PS. Italic style is used for German words since the page is primarily in English.)


72 After World War II the sport gave impetuously incentive to the modern picture cards: it is today an independent branch of the publishing industry.
Among the personal albums the author would remember the one issued for the XX Olympic Games in Munich (1972). A sky-blue cover to present a collection of 270 picture cards. One of them had to be the picture of a German swimmer... but from which Germany of two?
Roland Matthes war einer der großen olympischen Sportstars der DDR. Von 1967 bis 1975 wurde er insgesamt sieben Mal zum DDR-Sportler des Jahers gewählt. Was that true glory?
The author, taking a walk down memory lane, would say Ja... »because we have to move forward on an earthy wagon (but) by overearthy horses!« --is the author quoting Böll again or does he speak in first person?


Finally: Germany reunited is as always considered the locomotive of the European economy.
And 20 or 40 years ago it wasn't a different story. And this is a factor of no little importance: Germany as our train de> Nobody wants a forced happy end: this essay isn't a fairy tale! But after all, in spite of their different backgrounds, the people in Europe are similar and afflicted by a common question: what is the QR-code used for?
Liebe Deutschen, ihr seid uns ein Rätsel.
  1. CODE IN BANNER: Sie sehen einen Code und möchten gerne wissen, was sich dahinter verbigt? Dann zücken Sie Ihr Smartphone...
  2. SCANNEN: ...und halten es ca. 10 bis 15 cm über den Barcode. Dann warten Sie...
  3. DECODIEREN: ...den die App mit der Sie die Reader-Software heruntergeladen haben, liest den Codeselbständig und decodiert ihn, so dass Sie...
  4. WEBSITE SEHEN: letzen Schritt den Inhalt direkt sehen werden auf ihrem Display. Viel Spaß!
¹) Filmography: "Gruppenbild mit Dame" directed by Aleksandr Petrovic and starring Romy Schneider; "Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum" directed by Volken Schlöndorff and starring Angela Winkler; "Munich" directed by Steven Spielberg; "Train de Vie" directed by Radu Mihaileanu; "Sophie Scholl - die letzen Tagen" directed by Marc Rothemund; "Goodbye Lenin!" directed by Wolfgang Beker.

(OUTRO) In Erinnerung an Heinrich Böll, Nobelpreisträger.

©2012 Roberto
QR-code (banner) • k®ea'ti:v • DonRo •
Issued { Faschingsdienstag/Shrove Tuesday in Feb., 2012 (preview).