Dec 28, 2012

Spring 1980: Blood Brothers in German Class: Bravo Magazine

In college, my Second Year German class (1979-80) didn't offer the wealth of adventure boys with boyfriends (Tintin, Spirou, Corentin), nor the buffed Kaliman or the teen pop sensation of Menudo, but Dr. Kraus had a stash of back issues of the  teen magazine Bravo.  It was more risque than its American counterparts, with articles on sex (only heterosexual sex) and nude photos of teen models (both male and female).  She assured us that nudity was commonplace in Deutschland.

 The cover stories were mostly the expected Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, and John Travolta, but there were some surprises.Who was this Tashunke, the young, buffed, shirtless friend of the Indian Winnetou? Some digging (and careful translation) revealed a miniseries, Mein Freund Winnetou (1980), and a series of novels by Karl May about homoerotic "blood brothers" in the Old West.

Muscles for Siegfried!  The blond muscleman Uwe Beyer became completely nude to play the Medieval hero Siegfried fighting the dragon (we watched the 1966 movie in German class).

Roy Black was a schlager singer, specializing in soft, sentimental ballads, like Heintje.   He also starred in some lighthearted anti-establishment comedies, such as Always Trouble with the Teachers (1968) and Our Doctor is the Best (1970).

Hans Jurgen Baumler was an Olympic silver-medalist in figure skating.  He also recorded some schlager songs and appeared on tv, notably on the bulge-heavy Salto Mortale (1969-72), about a family of trapeze artists.

In my junior year, I got Death in Venice


  1. First French, then Spanish, and now German. How many languages do you speak?

    1. I began studying Spanish in 5th grade, French in high school, German and Latin in college, and Italian and Russian in grad school. But now I'm only comfortable in Spanish and French.

  2. Hans-Jurgen Baumler is a game show host now

  3. And they happen to put a real historical figure in Karl May's fantasies. STILL having trouble with a txt-friendly Lakota orthography. Damned nasal vowels! (And ejectives, and aspiration, and palatalization, and either velar, uvular, or pharyngeal fricatives, depending on dialect. Much of this wouldn't be so bad, if not for either phonemic contrast or because of what the most logical letter or digraph having a totally different sound in English.)

    Rant about the lack of a Lakota keyboard on Android aside, the name is clearly a reference to Crazy Horse. To my knowledge he wasn't gay; actually, there was a huge scandal when a man found Crazy Horse under the blanket with his wife. Not that that has stopped academics.


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