philine

12 Feb 2018 104 views
 
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photoblog image "Hummel, Hummel!"

"Hummel, Hummel!"

 

spotted in the Hauptbahnhof /main station Hamburg

 

"Before the local water system was introduced in Hamburg in 1848, Wassertragen (lit. carrying water) was a popular profession. One of these 'Wasserträger' became a famous symbolic figure for the city. He was originally born as Johann Heinrich Bentz on January 21st, 1787, but people called him Hans Hummel instead. Nobody's exactly sure, but historians assume that Bentz got his nickname by moving into the apartment of soldier Daniel Christian Hummel after his death. The real Hummel was much-loved by the kids in the streets for his adventurous war stories.

The same kids then made fun of the new 'Hummel' by yelling at him 'Hummel, Hummel' as they saw him passing by with his filled buckets. Some of them even showed him their naked butts, well-knowing that 'Hummel' couldn't chase them with his heavy load. Allegedly, he therefore just replied by yelling back 'Mors, Mors!' which means 'Kiss my ass!' in a local dialect called Plattdeutsch. Bentz was described as a grumpy person, and very different to the real Hummel who was said to be funny and kind.

Sadly, the water carrier Hummel lost his job in 1848 and died in a poorhouse six years later. But ever since, the phrase 'Hummel, Hummel!' 'Mors, Mors!' has been a popular salute in Hamburg. When HSV (one of the city's two popular football teams) scores a goal, the stadium speaker calls the name of the scorer, then 'Hummel, Hummel!' and the crowd replies with 'Mors, Mors!'

Hamburg used to be home to many colourful Hummel sculptures that were spread all over the city." "Mein lieber Schwan"/ my dear swan from Wagner's "Lohengrin" is a popular phrase of surprise or indignation or warning in Hamburg and North-Germany.

 

 

"Hummel, Hummel!"

 

spotted in the Hauptbahnhof /main station Hamburg

 

"Before the local water system was introduced in Hamburg in 1848, Wassertragen (lit. carrying water) was a popular profession. One of these 'Wasserträger' became a famous symbolic figure for the city. He was originally born as Johann Heinrich Bentz on January 21st, 1787, but people called him Hans Hummel instead. Nobody's exactly sure, but historians assume that Bentz got his nickname by moving into the apartment of soldier Daniel Christian Hummel after his death. The real Hummel was much-loved by the kids in the streets for his adventurous war stories.

The same kids then made fun of the new 'Hummel' by yelling at him 'Hummel, Hummel' as they saw him passing by with his filled buckets. Some of them even showed him their naked butts, well-knowing that 'Hummel' couldn't chase them with his heavy load. Allegedly, he therefore just replied by yelling back 'Mors, Mors!' which means 'Kiss my ass!' in a local dialect called Plattdeutsch. Bentz was described as a grumpy person, and very different to the real Hummel who was said to be funny and kind.

Sadly, the water carrier Hummel lost his job in 1848 and died in a poorhouse six years later. But ever since, the phrase 'Hummel, Hummel!' 'Mors, Mors!' has been a popular salute in Hamburg. When HSV (one of the city's two popular football teams) scores a goal, the stadium speaker calls the name of the scorer, then 'Hummel, Hummel!' and the crowd replies with 'Mors, Mors!'

Hamburg used to be home to many colourful Hummel sculptures that were spread all over the city." "Mein lieber Schwan"/ my dear swan from Wagner's "Lohengrin" is a popular phrase of surprise or indignation or warning in Hamburg and North-Germany.

 

 

comments (16)

  • Ray
  • Not Germany...
  • 12 Feb 2018, 00:11
Thank you, Philine...an interesting anecdote to accompany the images.
Philine: Many thanks, Ray!
  • Martine
  • France
  • 12 Feb 2018, 00:29
J'aime beaucoup le porteur d'eau.
Philine: Merci bien, Martine!
Nice statue...
Philine: Thank you , Larry!
I find this really unusual! Nice photos to illustrate the story!
Philine: Mayn thanks, Elizabeth!
I recognized your water carrier immediately, Philine! In 2005 Donica and I spent 6 hours in Hamburg and found 71 of the 100 carriers there. I'll have to go find all the ones we "collected," but here are a few of them:
http://ginniehart.blogspot.nl/2005/04/hamburgs-water-carrier-whimsy.html
Philine: Oh, this is interesting - ontzettend bedankt, Ginnie, for those pictures!
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 12 Feb 2018, 07:18
And now they are all redundant Philine.
Philine: but not overall in our world. Many thanks, Chad!
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 12 Feb 2018, 07:41
Thank you for the explanation of this interesting piece of Hamburg history Philine. And for the views of this fine looking railway station too..
Philine: Yes, this is a fine railway station. Many thanks, Chris!
What a great story Philine
Philine: only known in Hamburg I think. Many thanks, Bill!
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 12 Feb 2018, 08:21
What a fascinating story. I can just imaging how poplar the expression 'Mors, Mors!' is popular with football fans. I like the entrance canopy to the station.
Philine: Haha! There might be (I am no football fan) some funny and rude expressions during football games, surely in Britain, too. Many thanks, Alan! We have got some snow overnight again.
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 12 Feb 2018, 08:51
How amazing that the same call has continued in to the 21st Century, Philine
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 12 Feb 2018, 11:11
Hummel, Hummel - indeed. Very interesting posting today.
One of the many old types of employment that has long gone, fortunately.
What an interesting story!
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 12 Feb 2018, 17:03
You did a great job with the evening pictures and I love this water-boy...
  • sherri
  • Arkansas USA
  • 13 Feb 2018, 02:34
i especially like the bottom right image
  • Salima I.E.M. Senders
  • Netherlands
  • 16 Feb 2018, 21:16
A very nice story, framed by the beautiful stationbuilding of Hamburg!

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