Es macht meinem Wiener Kollegen Olaf Brockmann Spaß, sich zu erinnern. Und er hat ein gutes Gedächtnis, kann viel erzählen, viel schreiben.
Kürzlich war er wieder in Sachen Leichtathletik unterwegs, besuchte das zweite Meeting der Diamond League, einer Serie von Meetings rund um die Welt. Diesmal ging es nach Schanghai (so wird es im Deutschen geschrieben, im Englischen schreibt man Shanghai).
Und noch vor den Wettkämpfen erinnerte er sich, daß er schon vor 42 Jahren in Schanghai weilte. Und er war gerade dort, als der Staatsführer Mao Tse Tung gestorben war. Wie hat er das erlebt?
Olaf Brockmann hat das Folgende so auf Facebook veröffentlicht, und dabei, wie meistens in Englisch. Warum in Englisch? „Weil ich so viele Kollegen und Freunde in der Welt habe, die eher englisch als deutsch verstehen“. Und deshalb bringe ich seine Geschichte auch, entgegen meiner sonstigen Geflogenheit, in Englisch:
„Back to Shanghai! It’s already 42 years ago that I have been for the first time in this crazy city where this Saturday, May 12 the IAAF Diamond League will be held. Back in September 1976 I was working as a young journalist for the Düsseldorf news agency Sport-Informations-Dienst (sid) and had accompanied the German table tennis team (coach my friend Christer Johansson) to a friendly tournament in Shanghai. We just arrived in China when Mao Zedong had died on September 9, 1976. Because of the mourning ceremonies for Mao which we were able to experience in Shanghai, the tournament was postponed by a week. On the day that ceremonies for Mao were held across all of China, we were not allowed to leave the hotel. From the roof terrace, we saw the procession of millions of people streaming to the main square.
We were politely requested to follow the ceremonies on TV for nearly the whole day (with simultaneous translation for us) and also to bow three times before Mao.
A day or two before that, we had laid a wreath and signed a book of condolence in a park that had been decorated with large wreaths and a portrait of Mao. Communications with abroad had essentially been shut down, the borders were closed. With some luck, I was eventually be able to send my reports from a telex in the hotel to a colleague from Reuters, who forwarded them to Düsseldorf. After the tournament, we had to stop in Beijing where we waited for a flight back. There we stayed near Tian’anmen Square, and we found ourselves standing in front of the Gate of Heavenly Peace, the main entrance to the Forbidden City, which was also decorated with a portrait of Mao.”
Soweit die Erinnerung von Olaf Brockmann.