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St. Pancratius, Neuenfelde


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Hi all.


This is disturbing. Herr (Mr.) Karl Bernhardin-Kropf (organist of Neuenfelde, Hamburg) has added this to his website. The money-grabbing ..... at Airbus are at it again,




"....we knew that peace would not last very long. The City of Hamburg has lost the fight for getting land, needed to extend the runway of Hamburg’s Airbus plant, by means of expropriation, based an a newly constructed law.

So they failed on the legal path, but then they tried two new things: First was to offer giant amounts of money (in all 24.000.000 Euro for just 400.00 m2 of orchard land). But most of the owners resisted, as did the parish, which also owns part of that land.


The next step, much more effective, was to create a deadline. Airbus France has announced a deadline of 31 October. Until that day they want to have a clear decision if the extension will come or not. Otherwise Airbus would cancel the installation of a delivery center for the new Super Airbus A380 in Hamburg - the planes would then being delivered entirely from Toulouse, France.


But this agreement - to build not only production facilites, but also a delivery center in Hamburg - was the base for the factory extension to the mudwater flats in the west (see image above) two years ago! So Airbus is going to break its deal aranged with the City of Hamburg.


So there is heavy pressure on the City, which redirects it to Neuenfelde. The resisting farmers and the parish in Neuenfelde are being declared as enemies of industrial growth and economical benefit of the of Hamburg and whole Germany. Supported by some papers, the public is raging.


Work here in the parish has changed. We synchronize the music/hymn lists and the content of the sermons with all possible misunderstandings which could happen to journalists who attend our services (But be sure, we do not adapt our principles to them).


As being the organist, I have up to three TV dates a week to present the instrument to the media and to explain our point of view. Hard times, but maybe this publicity will help funding the next restoration of our Schnitger organ.


So far the information. Let’s see what the future will bring.


Yours, Karl-Bernhardin Kropf"


[added: 24.10.2004]




Airbus won't give up, will they. As far as I am concerned, Airbus can go and bung their Hamburg extension where the sun doesn't shine. INZENSO won the last round so lets hope they win this one as well.


Airbus should 12.gif and realise that they can not win.


INZENSO: dergroesste.gif so go for it!


Go INZENSO, and good luck, Herr Kropf. Everyone on this forum: get behind Kropf and join the crusade against the Airbus expansion. Another round of letters to the powers that be might help, I think.


Dave Harries,


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Well, it might help. But then again it might not. The most important sentence in Charlie Kropf's article is one which a non-resident of Germany might possibly overlook - "the public is raging". Airbus promise up to a quarter of a million new jobs - and a parish refuses to give up its church or its land! The thoroughly unecclesiastical Germans do not understand this at all. The issue makes the national news on a regular basis, and the words "organ" or "Arp Schnitger" are not uttered. And if they were, who would care? Not the unemployed, except possibly unemployed organists.


Hamburgs Lord Mayor has threatened simply to expropriate everything without legal regress if the parties concerned do not sell. And Airbus has extended the deadline by, if I remember correctly, two years. We can do what we can. But I fear that the future is no longer in our hands.


Cheers from not so very cultivated Germany


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After 25 years work with two "big players" Ltd, I wonder when we shall understand the "jobs" these hegemonic companies do condescend to create (and still by far less than promised) are simply junk jobs. Mind you, "they" do the same in Belgium. Night flights must be allowed over Brussels and Liège, or "they will go in Germany, France, whatever..." (where they present the people with exactly the same threats).

I would not trade a Schnitger in for that.


Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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Hamburgs Lord Mayor has threatened simply to expropriate everything without legal regress if the parties concerned do not sell...

Well if he does that then he is a complete ...... and the purchases could be challenged in the courts. If he does go ahead without legal regress and Herr Kropf challenges then the Lord Mayor can expect to loose.


And if he is an elected Mayor then the public can say what they think next time it comes to choosing another Mayor. If the Lord Mayor of Bristol does what the Mayor of Hamburg proposes to do then he would be voted out.



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Well, of course he is. He's a politician. Don't forget that the city of Hamburg is a state on it's own (like Bremen and Berlin), so the Mayor is what would be called the "prime minister" in any of the other how-ever-many-it-is states. I don't think it's as clear as all that that he would lose in court, since the legal provision for expropriation after a certain number of offers to buy is fairly clear. Pierre is right of course; these jobs tend not to materialise after the fact, at any rate not in the numbers in which they were promised, but somehow the phrase "Well, we'll just have to do it all in Toulouse then" works every time.

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Hello, Listmembers - thanks to JPM for notifying me that there is a Neuenfelde thread on this forum...


Barry, you are very right in justifying the power balances of that conflict!

We (the parish of Neuenfelde and myself) currently do not push the organ into the spotlights.

The reason is: We charge our opponents (The City of Hamburg and - on the second place - Airbus) that they are argumenting falsely or hiding the truth - we do not want to make the same.

Our "problematic" truth is: In short term there is no serious danger visible to the organ itself - the most stressing thing for that instrument is currently the organist playing too fast or is the choir entering the loft, which consists of wooden beams and framework.

But the 500tons A380 passing by at a horizontal distance of 250 meters and in a height of 60-70 meters during landing, and 150-200 meters height during takeoff, MIGHT generate a lot of noise, possibly hitting resonance frequencies of the churchbuilding (very sorry that testing out this issue has not been made possible), WILL generate heavy wake vortices (small horizontal tornadoes with high speed in their core, already acknowledged by airbus experts), but will not affect the organ DIRECTLY.

[Well, Airbus was already ordered to save our roof and to pay its enhancement, if the runway extension in its present plan would have become reality.]


So, even if the broad public would have any interest in historic organs, even then our base of argumentation would be weak. Just talking about a village to be heavily damaged (others say: destroyed) - may it be the former home of Arp Schnitger, J. W. von Goethe or Simon Petrus - would not really bother anybody here, as long as there is a faint glow of helping out at unemployment rates, no matter if it is a realistic solution or just a dream. (Typical german? I'm a foreigner myself...)

Recently we had one or another journalist asking: Well, what about your organ and the initiative around it? There was so much rumor two years ago? And indeed, the next "organ only topic" interview will be made in 10 days [with the "tageszeitung", the leading, though small, "left party" paper, which makes that effort even more remarkable...!).


Even if Hamburg politicians would loose at court, it would take too much time to see that. In the meantime they would have been allowed by the same courts to start building to prevent the loss of the projected goal, if they would win finally (but too late).

Currently we have still ammuntion to fight in the battlefield of justice, law, economy, environmental issues. We will see the outcome in two or three years - "they" will never give up until the fight against the Toulouse Airbus plant is finally lost...


So, what to do for the organ enthusiasts out there?

Btw.: It is VERY good to know, that you are with us! The local church authority and "civilians" are always impressed and touched when I tell them that several hundred experts from four continents signed our appeal to prevent this organ from damage, many of them with very emotional and strong personal words.

So, your efforts have been very, very important for the people in Neuenfelde, at least for feeling better in times of trouble.


But to help the organ into the future, which might let it be be situated in a church, which will be situated at the border of a large runway, missing (parts of?) its surrounding village, the best would be:

Keep it alive by visiting it! Keep it in perfect shape by helping us restoring it! More about it on our website www.schnitgerorgel.de, which will soon be updated with a new page about this project.

This is what I humbly want to give as inspiration when you ask how you can help. Be with us, watch the situation, enjoy our instrument and its sisters here in the region, and if you are capable, help us saving it for the next generations.


Best wishes for 2005 (not too late to do that) and greetings


Karl-Bernhardin Kropf


Organist of Neuenfelde, faculty member of Luebeck Music Conservatory,

spokesman of the Initiative for the Preservation of the Neuenfelde Schnitger-Organ [iNZENSO]

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