Lumberjacks in the Westerwald
To be a lumberjack is more than a job or a profession. It's a way of life, a philosophy, a religion.
The daily struggle with the merciless, demanding nature of the westerwald sharpens the mind and the senses of the merciless woodmen. The traditional food of beer, beer, beer and potatoes gives the brave heroes enormous strength and a perfect body. The deep attachment with mother nature is the best qualifications for the life with the dangerous beasts and the natural resources of the region.
The graceful, tiny, almost breakable movements of the lumberjacks are highly appreciated by more and more choreographs, when they are casting their worldclass ballets. "Gehankres Bernd", who is shown on this picture, was chosen by F. Forsyth for the Cinderella in his version of "Cinderella and the seven dwarfs". Unfortunately Bernd mixed up the sandwiches and most of the dwarfs at the first rehearsel....
The two most important tools for the westerwald lumberjack are the BB (bottle of beer) and the Fichte-Moped, as these funny men call their chainsaw. Compared to the rest of the known world, the performance of the westerwald lumberjack with the chainsaw is outstanding. This is even more remarkable as most of these guys are not able to get the motor running. Best loved are the machines of Stihl, as they can also be used to open a bottle of beer and peel potatoes.
To ensure that the lumberjacks have an appropriate number of trees to play with, there are millions of trees planted in the wasteland. This is done by hundreds of highly educated, multilingual rangers from Poland. Yes, this is quite expensive (about 200 billion Euro in 2002, according to the world bank statistics), but the fear of what might happen to the world of ballet (and the world population of dwarfs) without these safety measures is simply too great.
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