Christmas Letter

We wish all our friends a Merry Chrismas and a Happy New Year 2012. Below you will find some information about us and our year 2011. Hovering your cursor over pictures will show captions. You may find some of our 2011 pictures on subsequent pages (Pictures of 2011)

Provence - Mordor New Zealand - Sarasota
Syrah und Daphne in der Provence bei Hugues Mount Mordor of the Lord of the Ring Saga or Mt Ngaurahoe Open air discussion with Andrée, Hugues, John and Dietmar Dietmar am Chateau Tongariro Hotel at Mt.Ruapehu Happy New Year 2011. (Hand colored monotype by Heide-M.Wittmann, 2011) Dietmar am Chateau Tongariro Hotel at Mt.Ruapehu Family lif in New Zealand Lunch in Maussane Inauguration of the new hous in SRQ

Our year 2011

We wonder if the enthusiasm for a serene 21st century as expressed in our Fin de Siècle Christmas letter in Dec, 1999 was justified, we wonder after a bad first decade of political instability and vanishing general prosperity. Extreme capitalism in America seems to come to the end just like it was predicted by the philosopher from Trier. On the other side of the ocean, however, - in the old world - it seems things are turning to the good and we experience the rise of manageable political systems. There is so much hope for the democratization of the Arab world. This may be a most welcome benefit of the free and unlimited flow of information in this new aera?. But as Thomas Friedman just wrote in and NYT article there is little chance of any Arab country going from Mubarak to Jefferson without going through some Khomeini. When we look closely at the Jefferson land, however, it becomes clearer that his rules were stellar for the first 200 years but became a menace in modern world. The outdated American constitution needs desperately revision to improve mutual understanding and respectfulness of others and abandon a flawed legal system. This country needs to start providing justice to all justice in its basic meaning and keep human selfishness to a minimum.

Shall we continue to be enthusiastic for this century? Looking at the Arab world : yes, looking at Europe: also yes, because there is the incredible chance for Europe to completely overcome the infamous recent and not so recent past, and unite for a better overarching fair and just political system while disregarding selfish and short sighted ambitions of those in Europe trapped in the past.

Sorry, our political/philosophical excursion went so far. Nevertheless, Dietmar feels better having said this. Now let us report events that shaped our personal life. 2011 was the year where Heidi and Dietmar's health returned to normal. Coherently, our life returned to normality too. We traveled, spent time in theaters and concert halls, we visited surgical and art meetings, had many guests, and we enjoyed the progress of the younger family members here in Sarasota, in New Zealand and in Hamburg.

Watching our grandchildren walking barefoot in the schoolyard, being intellectually challenged by the New Zealand schools was pleasure added to the natural beauty of this impressive island nation to which John and Anna seem to contribute their little share. Nevertheless, Information age shapes their world too which we were able to experience hands on and of course we could not keep up with Syrah and Daphne.

Mark, after returning from his sabbatical year in Leipzig and subsequent aspirations to transfer to a German hospital as Chief, resettled in Sarasota for a short period and then moved into his and Lisa's dream house with access to the Sarasota Bay in Cherokee Park. The three girls Fritzi, Sabine und Meike, with their broad mind and outstanding cognitive ability are a pleasure to watch growing, albeit too much from distance. They differ quite a bit from each other and all seem to develop to great characters, doing the right things and making good choices.

One highlight of this year was our visit in Europe in general and Dietmars visit together with Annemarei, John and their children at Dietmar's youth friend's house in Maussane-les-Alpilles in Provence. Go to our Website where we post pictures. Heide stayed some days with the Rantas in Heidelberg where Anna passed a mini sabbatical in stroke ultrasonography. Hugues and Andrée have been extraordinary host to the extent that Dietmar started contemplating of spending the rest of our days there.

We naturally visited also our families in Hamburg, spent time with Volker und Jutta, Liliane and Holger und learned later that Malou got accepted to study medicine in Hamburg. Congratulation, we are all proud of our fifth doctor in the immediate Family. Dietmar's mother in Hamburg tells everybody that she has never been as healthy as in these days about to reach the golden age of 95. She enjoys her new LCD TV and watches Photos on CD-ROMs and misses her PC that she used to play Skat.

Last but not least there are two more important events: In July we welcomed a new family member. Her name is Sassie-Milou. She is the granddaughter of our beloved late Milou and thus the nice of our Struppi. They get along well and are a constant joy for both of us. In December, Heidi was invited to present her monotypes and hand colored nature prints at the Casey Key Art Show and was highly praised by all for the beauty and uniqueness of her art. Dietmar is quite proud of her and inspired her to do the illustration for this Christmas mail that turned out to be the wreath that we share with all of you.

We wish you all a good year 2012, and much more consensus for all of us with little more respect for the other opinion


Dietmar und Heidi