How to learn out of war?

  Der Platanenhof /Michael Barrax

Since Monday 17th of January 2000 the Apokalypse on Michael Barrax is getting more and more obvious. So after one weekend of a sonic celebration of Punk, Techno and psychedelic Trance a miracle happened.

Monday morning a work of art closed the only entrance to the former military place.

Now they are expecting a lots of troubles, because the place has been sold by the city of Frankfurt. The new investors(Nassauische Heimstätte) want to tear down the houses neclecting the ideas of the tribe living here and the protection of historical monuments .

So the women of the families came together and have the demand : "Father State", the government of Germany, should give the Land of Michael Barrax ,which always has been a theatre of war, back to Mother Earth, represented by women and children of the project. This is an revolutionary experiment! No more war pigs!

  Stories and thoughts:

1.The Michael Barrax at Platanenhof is a multicultural meeting point and project, an innovative alternative project giving living, working and celebrating space for experiencing and creating new forms of living together in Frankfurt/Main Germany.

We are 70 people from all over the world living together and learning in a hard process how to create peacefull understanding and respect out of war inside and outside of ourselves. After the American army left this former military base in the beginning ninties, der Platanenhof became a meeting point for creative people, and travellers, so there were various parties, underground concerts, theatre and circusprojects, juggling and playgrounds, jam sessions, freemarket and at the same time it was also a place of living sleeping and thinking...

After many up and downs and many people coming and leaving (sick of living together with so many people, opinions and social problems) now this impressing story of love, sex, crime and politics finally comes to an violent end, because money rules in EURO Bank-furt more than feelings and learning processes.

We are a crowd of quite normal people, but no we are getting more and more crazy, because we dont know where to go here and we love the place...In general there are not much possibilities for alternative projects around Frankurt and in South Germany any more. Instead of legalizing or supporting selforganisation the state and the city of Frankfurt just cleans away alternative projects,that dont fit into the clean image of moneymaking... After many senseless hearings with politicians and business people of 'aggressive' companies (which are half town and half private, only founded to sell the empty military bases in Frankfurt) and vain promises for a new place, that were not more than a fake, we are sick to let them drive us more depressed and crazy.

It is really hard here in Germany because the state structures here are holy for many older people, who still are under the shock about what has happened in the Nazi time and how it could happening that out of peacefull people became ignorants and murders.So ist hard to do selforganized projects,because these fights between fear, hope, desperation kills the creativity of the projects and handicaps the human ability of visionary thinking a lot.

We know out of our history, that physical and mental violence is the most terrible thing, but also part of birth and life, and the stress affects the people over many generations and creates a his-story of addictive behaviour. It makes us crazy and makes us do always the same violence behaviour and thinking again and in the end the most radical ones lead the politics. It is one of this really impressing experiences you can do in German projects, that call themselves autonom. But in the end it always depends on the single persons and if they find a way of understanding, communication, and trust for giving their projects a future.

As in the Michael Barrax more and more people from different kind of scenes and cultures have met each other, real interesting learning processes happened during the last years.

The state is still strong controlling learning processes in schools and universities that create personalities quite depending on authority, state system and traditional work. So the “Führer” is still inside of us, but fortunately more and more people starte to loose the interest in the false shows on the stages of politics, rock n roll and TV and start to learn how to move ourselves (for example on technoparties), to get creative and therefore more independent and selforganized.

People seem slowly to wake up and drop their political Gods to see whats happening behind the surfaces of politics,institutions and laws written down by male hand.

  2. Hisstory

The Michael Barrax who also are called Platanenhof is a lovely place consisting out of 9 old and colourfull buildings set around a big space and magic circle of trees in Frankfurt Höchst, a little town that is famous for it's chemical industry..

It was built up in 1927 after world war Nr 1 for the French army together with a another big Barrax looking like a castle with nearly 400 rooms, that until now could not be sold, because itīs to expensive and too big. After the french soldiers left, the Germans came back,but did not use it for civil affairs, as the building was also meant for, but for preparing the next war, world war Nr 2 to show the world, how heal themselves from violence by discrimination and killing (by the way a typical male rite of initiation). So now we are interested in how to heal ourselves by respecting life forms as they are born by female body power on their own will and how to create relationships of learning from each other and how to create partnership between man and woman and between cultures.

After the nazis abused this place and mystic culture and shamanism in general for an idiology of separating and killing, the Americans soldiers came to show the "Germans" ( that always have been mixed tribes) how to do Rock n Roll (Elvis Presley, Terence TrentdArby...) and used the Michael Barrax for private living and spionage affairs. The American Army finally left in 1990 and around 1992 the first groups of people came to this place,that now was a free space for various projections about a brave new world.

This is also an aesthetical phänomenon, because the big plane trees the middle of the houses create really a peacfull puicture and therefore a big energy, that's of course completley different impression compared with what is happening in the mind of the people growing up in a spirit of bureaucratic functionalism and big business, which are working together here quite well.

The WIF organisation helped to legalize the whole thing under the stressfull condition that after sale of Michael Barrax most of the people have to leave. So after two years of sensless discussions about how to renovate the place and to adjust the concept to the german social welfare laws 'to the situation and visions of the people living on this place, the roundtablesdid not work any more:Because we refused to accept the plans which involve to tear down the houses and built modern ones for stateorganized social welfaire.

As there were also problems find new investors for this buildings, the project could stay three years, because we always have been paying normal rent, but since 1997 we always had to live with the fear of having to leave within the next three month.With this Damolcles Sword the motivation of getting active and motivated was quite handicapped. Why to invest if you loose it anyway? So we experienced the meaning of apokalyptic living quite well.

While the "Mc Nair Kaserne" is under protection of historical monuments (and still empty since 10 years and systematicly destroyed by leaving windows open and not reparing the roofs)the same protection for the Platanenhof, which belongs also to Mc Nair, came to late, because the plans for tearing down 4 of the houses, and to built new bigger ones were made already. This plans are the result of a law (supporting stateorganizedsocial living) which says, if you built living space for 200 people, you get the place for 2,7 million instead of 5,4 million DM. This is only for students (student can be everybody on a piece of paper, who finished the long german schoolsystem), who is homeless, jobless (living from statemoney and are not allowed to work).

This does not involve selforganized projects, where you have a real integrative social concept of living..

This does not involve selforganized projects, like ours,that is integrative and has grown over the years to a little familie that shares not only this place and but also their social problems together.

  3. Extra :

We say that this law of supporting social welfare living is too old, as it comes from before the wall fell and does not involve, what has happened after the overhasty german east-west wedding.

The support of project like ours do not exist in our laws or system of education because they are too new .So the only chance is to commercial business, but about this there are many different kind of views in the German underground scene..

There is "Reform" pädagogic for children, but there are not many modern social projects of multicultural learning for twens and adult people...So maybe this is a way to sell our project, a modern Reformpädagogic project for adults.

In the state schoolsystem we are learning in a really artificial way far away from practical life and we mostly learn how to fight for degrees (High school is 13 years, at universities you learn theorie for at least 6 years and many more) Then we are left alone in the reality of daily business, where nobody needs these kind of degrees...The traditional ways of working die out but at the same time we dont learn here how to create our own jobs and find out what we love to do, and what our talents really are.

And this is not to beat or kill foreign people or ourselves with drugs, this is just the result of dissappointed hope and desperation, caused by the collision of east and west state organisation.

If private bussiness starts ruling this country than every single person needs possibilities to learn how to do his and her own business. Because we are handicaped in taking over responsibility and doing our own business by the church, the kings, the fathers and the state system.The gouvernment cannot react anymore to what is happening in real life and on the other hand has problems to renovate the education systems because there are many people, who depend on these kind of jobs and institutions, where they have lifelong contracts with the state. They are critical in theorie but practically not interested to reflect what they are doing and to change the systems of education that provides safe jobs for them . And for example the university of educational science in Frankfurt is full of students coming directly out of school and who are just interested do what they get told and to get some papers from stressed authority persons, to go back to school and become teacher again and do it the same ways.


As it is getting more and more obvious how german politicians organize their work and their lifes, we think we have the right to ask, what social laws are worth, if they are only a fake and dont help but keep the people dependant from the state while the big one get bigger and safe their money outside of Germany.

The country of Hessen says, that not only the Mc Nair but also Michael Barrax should be protection because of the european and international hisstory. The big commercial enterprises of Frankfurt were faster in selling and doing plans than people in the institutions and offices in town. This also happened with the rest of old buildings which were left from the war in Frankfurt city, that were destroyed.(Some they rebuilt on the Römer for the tourists!) By the way there is also a great book about the Mc Nair and the Michael BarraX written by Josef Fenzl who did history research in Höchst.

The german gouvernment seems to consist out of corrupt politicians and their disciples at the desks in the offices . They seem to us just interested in money or what their contracts are telling them to do and so they give power to people who do commercial bussiness under the clean (and state sponsored) cover of community wellfairs.

This is not gentleman like! If a lonely traveller is only caring about himself this is understandable. But when somebody pretends to work for the benefit of community but finally only is interested in his own profit and when people like this are working for a town that is only thinks of money to clean the streets and the places to get a nice image for their new job and position within the European Union. So why should we act in a moral way ?What we experience and learn is how to use the structures of politics for our own private interests, because this is what is ruling Frankfurt, the male single,the female career woman and rich working pair with au pair babysitters.

And at University on the one hand they are afraid of private business and better innovating research but on the other hand the yare acting very private in their well-safed possitions as professors. Why do we get degrees for socialtheorie, but not for social acting?

  4. So we ask you outside of this crazy country:

What is Hisstory worth? Where is herstory?
To whom belongs the land of the Michael Barrax?
Isnīt it important to open the view and start an open discussion about her-story behind his-story and to start really reflecting about the dynamic of faschism, rassiscm-politics and war?

The Michael Barrax, in front of Frankfurt is a monument, because it is not only a part of German history, there were also French and American soldiers as well, it is generally part of European - and worldwide wars and history.

And whatīs about the work and dreams of all the people coming here after 1992, from Korea, Israel, from many Countries of Southamerica,from Poland, Russia, Spain, France, Pakistan,Bavaria, Turkey...? All this learning, all this stories are they worth nothing?

Donīt they have a right to discuss, what should be the future of Michael Barrax or the Platanenhof?

Why should this piece of land belonging again to the state of germany from one day to the other ??

What is the state government here ? How did it come to exist after world war number 2 ?

Is and has our government, who did the plans for this area to create anew ghetto, not been more than a corrupt system of old man and their dusty house wifes?

What is this city of Frankfurt? A corrupt brotherhood out of the 68 generation only thinking of their business and their groupies (who forgot what their job has been originally) and ambitious business woman...?

Is our learning process of integrative, multicultural living and new ways of communication and understanding not worth to be supported?

This place is a part and a symbol of a big learning process not only for germans but also for many people around the world. Because we are the colourfull world on a small place of world -history. We come from many nations and we live the hate the fears and the fun and we dont only talk about it. The only thing we can say is, there are no nations any more, there are only individual experiencies, relationships and stories.

It is an Experience, old Michael Barrax, that's better than to learn out of books or TV Shows.

We are the better TV and are made to radicals by the Germangovernment,that does not accept the individual life and does not see the worth of subcultural living.

Where should we go in Frankfurt, if we want to find out, who we are, how to create new forms of nonpatriarchal organized families and what we want to do with our lives.? Where to go when you donīt want to live alone or in relationships, that are no real partnerships, if you like the experience living and learning in a mixture of travellers and creative people staying on one place. Isn't this the future?

Learning how to share space and love, having more homes than only one, feeling safe and familiar without possessing the ones we love? Isnīt this the future that woman themselves choose genesmix for the babies, when we want to give birth and who are the really cool ones who we share our daily livimg, thinking,talking with...

We have been creating a meeting point of international learningprocesses by doing arts and music; starting to play with the rules and the roles, learning from each other without hurting each other,finding out new ways of communication and understanding, finding what the cultures have common and where are the differencies and why? And we experience the integrative and inovating potential and developments that comes out of the mixture of variety

We want to have a roundtable with German, American and French politicians and artists, a with people, who lived and worked here before and with people who are interested in social research and the multimedia and press people to dokument this happening.

We dont think we are the better people here, this is freak-city outside of Frankfurt, we are students,artists,musicians,home and jobless people,workers and people, who do their own business, and we feel to have a right to stay here, because we found our ways towards here and we love this place. There are already plans how to renovate the houses and create more space and we have people who help in calculation and money affairs.

  5.Our demand :

The state of germany gives the former theatre of war "Michael Barrax" to the woman and children of the place for seven years of voluntary social and integrative work for ten years. Because what man and woman found out here, is that most stress and violence on the place here is caused by man, because they were educated for this over the last thousand of years.

And we all dont want to have stress, we want to learn how to respect and love each other and for this process, we are looking for people who support us.

The price is one symbolic Euro.

In 2010 there are going to be new discussions about the project and the future of the place.There is going to be a connection in terms of research and documentation to the center of social research (Institut für Sozialforschung) and centre of genderstudies and to the learning centre at Johann Wolfgang v.Goethe University at Frankfurt

And with this perspective we are going get professional creating a multicultural learning center of social behaviour, communication and multicultural understanding.

music and dancing
film and multimedia,
traveling and connecting
documentation,talking and reflection,
exhibitions concerts and parties.
lectures and workshops,
courses for learning language
bibliothek meeting place
private, sleeping and guestplaces.

  The future of Michael Barrax:

A selforganized modern meeting point for the youth to think about the world without religious and state influences just by using their human bodies to have fun. And the world needs people of experiencing fun and flow, learning to experience and speak about feelings coming out of each individual body and mind ,learning to believing in the positive energy and creative intelligence inside of ourselves,that makes us able to respect and love the different forms of life .

Thanx for your attention!

Constanze Maly,
musician and student of education at frankfurt university
United Michael Barrax Women Power
Left Sisters of Hedonism,
who take over responsibility
Who are sick of war, fight and frustrated dreams
killing people inside and outside of Germany

Write to German government, Joschka Fischer Fax 0049 (0) 1888171928 And Magistrat of the City of Frankfurt/Oberbürgermeisterin Fax .0049 (0)69 212377893.

or Mr Wenz Fax 0049 69 21237889

More information:

Tel.: 069/ 30852189



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