Montreal is basically bombarded with snow. Last winter was one of the snow-richest ones, this year is one of the coldest winters in the last twenty years.
In good ol’ Vienna, they come with mediocre trucks and pile the minimal load of snow somewhere on the side of the street. Here, it is not uncommon to see huge exapmples of the Canadian hit show “Pimp my Excavator”.

These excavators, usually used to dig earth, are modified in that sense that to the huge arm there is a plow attached, transforming the engineering vehicle into a snow plow. Usually in the morning or the night, these roaring monsters of snow management go through major streets and push the fast falling snow aside. One may ask: Where do they push the snow?
Well, on the sidewalk there should be enough space to walk, and pushing the snow into parked cars is usually not a good idea either. The solution: Into trucks. Trucks filled with the precious white good, operating at times when people are snoring and don’t care what happens to the beautiful winter wonder land.

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Naomi, Chris and me go to another high school presentation; this time, it is an all-jewish high school.

The school is in the North of Montreal, and as we arrive there, I see where the snow goes: To huge empty spaces that get gradually filled up. I witness trucks arriving every minute at this huge parking-lot like venue, which has two snow-plows/excavators pushing the freshly unloaded snow up a three-story high, 100m long, 30m deep hill. Maybe it was bigger. Every single minute a new truck loaded to the very top with brownish snow. It’s fascinating to watch the hill grow.

Back to the school: These kids are already well-informed about Holocaust and Second World War, so our main focus is on media influence in identity building. We show the kids disgusting pictures of female body builders and magazines propagating this is the way to be a fit, strong and sexy woman. We show them pictures from the Austrian National Day where the army presents itself in a glorious manner on the Viennese Heldenplatz. We show them podcasts offered by the United States Army. Weight loss magazines. And neonazi homepages.

At the end, we get interesting questions, I’ll list those I got in the recent past and stayed in my memories:

  • Were your grandparents involved / did they tell you about it?
  • Are you proud to be Austrian after everything that happened in your country?
  • What is being taught in Austrian schools / do they try to cover something up in education?
  • What made you go abroad and choose this kind of service?
  • Do you miss Austria? Do you like Canada / North America?
  • What do you do in your free time?
  • I heard the following about Hitler: […] – is this true?
  • How is Austria like?
  • How about black people in the Holocaust?
  • How is the life of Jewish people in Austria/Germany nowadays?

These kids actually put a video camera in the room, so probably we will get a version of the take, and of course it will be available on this blog.

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Tobias Deml and Chris Schauer documented with an iphone holding their Fact, Fiction, Propaganda presentation.

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