When is an end a beginning?

beginning and end

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God ..."

"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I hereby open the special session ..."

"Once upon a time there was a king who had three daughters. One day ..."

"From the moment I had a crush on me, I had the feeling that I was filled with a thirst for discovery, with a thirst for adventure, with a lust for life, I suddenly had the feeling that all my senses were extended and that is something I hadn't even known until then have. "

"The word beginning actually describes it very well, because: It really is an absolute cut, with the little person you brought into the world, so to speak, you also become a new person."

"We always wanted to go into business for ourselves, you just have to jump in and think, either it will work now or it will not work."

"For our country, ladies and gentlemen, a hope was fulfilled on October 3rd, 1990. At the same time, on October 3rd, we got a unique opportunity to start over."

"And there is a magic inherent in every beginning.
Who protects us and who helps us to live. "


"Turns in emptiness, without coercion or need
free our lives, always ready to play
but secretly we thirst for reality
after conception and birth, after suffering and death. "


World Cup 1954 "Off, off, off, off, the game is over!"

"Used together: seasons, books and a music.
The keys, the tea bowls, the bread basket, sheets and a bed.
A dowry of words, of gestures, brought along, used, consumed. (...)
I haven't lost you
but the world. "


Ingeborg Bachmann.

"The masters of the first rank make themselves known by the fact that they know how to find the end in a perfect way, be it the end of a melody or a thought, be it the fifth act of a tragedy or state -Action."

Friedrich Nietzsche.

Alpha and Omega - Big Bang and Doomsday

"I am the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, says the Lord God."

The idea of ​​beginning and end is a pillar of Christian-Jewish, our Western thinking. Professor Ulrich Dehn, theologian and religious scholar at the University of Hamburg:

"" Nowadays we basically assume that the monotheistic religions have a rather linear conception of time, which develops and continues, while the Eastern religions, from the Indian and Chinese areas, tend to have a cyclical conception of time, for example with the concept it is worked that people are born again, in which no explicit further development is intended. This is actually not a future-oriented, but rather an event-oriented way of imagining the future, conceived from birth to birth. However, we also have this conception of the world ages in Hinduism, which, however, extends over many centuries and is in principle also intended as a cycle. So one day there will be people who experience the end of this age and have the chance to start all over again. "

"The god of time hurries, a horse with seven reins,
He never ages and sees with a thousand eyes.
The wisest get into his chariot
And all beings are good for him as wheels. "


... it says, for example, in the hymn to the Hindu god Kala from ancient Indian scriptures.

Islam, on the other hand, occupies an intermediate position: the concept of time is neither strictly linear-progressive nor cyclical here. The Koran sees life as a collection of moments in which a person must behave correctly at all times, because in the end - as with Christians - there is the last judgment that decides on each individual.

The following applies to all monotheistic religions: More important than the "where from", than the question of the beginning, is the "where to", the eschatology, the "thinking about the last things". This basic attitude is emphasized differently in the three religions:

On the one hand there is the concept of the Messiah, i.e. the expectation of a redeemer who is also a heroic avenger, who ends the sufferings of people, destroys enemies and thus prepares the time of salvation. This vision is most pronounced in the Jewish religion

"In Judaism there is of course the hope and confidence that the scattered people of Israel, which practically did not exist from the destruction of the temple until the middle of the 20th century, will finally gather together again, and again as the people of God will exist, in a paradisiacal state practically realized on earth. Otherwise, there is still the idea in traditional Judaism that we have from the Old Testament, i.e. from the Hebrew Bible that we share with Judaism, with apocalyptic ideas of the resurrection, the there are of course shared. "

"Then I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it.
I saw the dead standing before the throne, the great and the small. The book of life was opened. "


The Last Judgment in the Apocalypse of John.

"And death and the underworld gave up their dead that were in them. They were judged, each according to his works."

Apocalypse actually only means "revelation, revelation", but is mostly understood by Christians, Jews and Muslims as a religious representation of the end of the world. Apocalyptic texts describe the millennium - that means here: a kingdom lasting for a thousand years - as a kind of transition stage to the final judgment of the world and the resurrection of the dead, with paradise and above all with hell.

"Wherever I look, wherever I look
and wherever I turn.
Coarse-grained hail, snow and cloudy water
falls restlessly through the dark air. "


From Dante's "Inferno".

"The soil stinks that absorbs such a mixture,
and Cerberus, the beast beyond compare,
his eyes are red and his beard black and greasy,
the belly swollen, the hands clawed;
he scratches the ghosts, torments and tears them to pieces. "


"This idea that the world is actually moving towards an end is not really a current belief, but it is traditional in these religions. Well, we have the idea in Christianity but also in other monotheistic religions that time is on Something is running up, which is already described in the Old Testament as the resurrection of the dead bones, that is in principle the core of Christian, but also Jewish vision of the future of an overall human development towards the general resurrection, which, however, basically only remains so in this topicality is kept alive in the respective fringe groups. "

In fact, today it is fundamentalist sects who are promoting the imminent, terrible end because they suffer from cosmophobia, a psychological term for "fear of the world". Crises, increasing crime and natural disasters are seen as "signs" of the approaching end of the world. Already in antiquity and even more so in the Middle Ages, the prophecies were provided with concrete dates. The religious scholar Ulrich Dehn advocates the following thesis about their meaning:

"These attempts to precisely predict the end of the world are usually an attempt to instrumentalize these predictions for certain things that should happen in the religious communities, for any matters that should be done up to the end of the world and possibly also at the end of the world Forcing good behavior and so on and so forth. "

If the "mega-meltdown" predicted to the exact day fails miserably - as for example at the millennium border 2000 - sectarians will quickly find a new date.

Now we can fear the downfall on December 21, 2012, because the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the cosmos for this day. Hollywood director Roland Emmerich has already made the film to ruin as a precaution - with the title "2012".

The apocalyptic scenarios are basically visually stunning and also fascinating. This is how all possible human fears are used.
"Destruction of the earth by aliens, the planet disappears."

"People do it themselves. The world is perishing due to machines that they have developed themselves - robots, artificial intelligence."

"Much worse: a nuclear war or the climate catastrophe with its unstoppable consequences."

"Unless a large comet hits or an asteroid collides with the earth beforehand."

"It is also possible that a volcanic eruption with smoke and ash lowers the temperature on our globe so much that all life perishes."

There are no limits to the imagination when it comes to horror.

Even if sect gurus and religious zealots - above all the Christian creationists - do not want to admit it: For centuries, churches and science have agreed that the origin and possible end of the world cannot be read literally from the Bible.

Science proves that the universe came into being due to physical developments and not through directed creation. There was the Big Bang about 15 billion years ago, but this does not mean a giant explosion. Rather, everything - matter, space and time - has expanded extremely quickly to a considerable size in a fraction of a second, initially as a hot, opaque pulp, then soon cold and pitch black. Only gradually, in a few hundred million years, did the first stars form from hydrogen and helium gas, which were created during the Big Bang.

"Everything is predetermined, beginning and end, by forces over which we have no control."

Albert Einstein, who became clear with increasing knowledge and age that not all secrets can be wrested from nature.

"Human beings, plants or dust, we all dance to a mysterious melody that an invisible player in the far reaches of the universe strikes."

Beginning and end - this is not just a global scientific and philosophical topic. Everyone has experiences like the end of a relationship, leaving work, losing a loved one - experiences that are difficult to cope with.

And the beginning, a birth, marriage, a new job? At least that could go hand in hand with unadulterated joy. The psychoanalyst Eva Jaeggi:

"There is now the famous saying from Hesse" Every beginning has a magic "- that is not always true. Of course there is, the beginning of a love relationship, also the beginning of a career, that can be very exciting and beautiful, but precisely these threshold situations , that can lead to the fact that the problems that someone has had for a long time, but somehow managed to cope with, suddenly become very acute and even lead them to therapy. "

Every beginning is difficult

"" I would say that everyone who writes, regardless of the medium, knows that, you always have some thoughts, you know roughly what you want to write, but really putting it on paper, formulating it, that's always the crux of the matter The phase before putting the pen on the paper for the first time can take a long time, yes, every housework suddenly becomes very attractive, and then it really is completely different every time. It is often the case that you first start writing randomly, trying to describe associations or a character that you have in your head or a storyline or a scene, a mood, but it is almost constantly rewritten, changed, discarded and revised again. ""

Johannes Disselhoff studied at the Munich Film School, writes scripts, works as an assistant director and makes his own films. What he describes here is not only typical for novelists or film authors, but for everyone who sets out to do new things. There are hopes and opportunities in every beginning, but the beginning also means: you have to act. And that means venturing into the unknown, risk, the possibility of making mistakes. Both curiosity and fear accompany the beginning.

"That there is both the desire to do something new, to explore new territory, and the fear of it, I think, is very clear, it is just very unevenly distributed among the individual individuals."

... says the therapist Eva Jaeggi from her many years of experience.

"There are people who are enthusiastic at every beginning, get involved immediately and float on cloud nine, regardless of whether it is a new love or a new job, and there are those who approach everything with great hesitation and who are rather anxious, who do not trust themselves too much, whose self-esteem is not very high, and in the best case this can be someone who thinks things over very carefully, in the worst case it's just the eternal hesitants and hesitations, and the environment desperate then when no one can really make up their minds. "

Countless life coaches and coaches are now making a lot of money with these descendants of Hamlet, and there are hundreds of guidebooks for a bold new start.
In addition, it is often not the individual that stands in their own way, but the collective expectations that can lead to a false start. The psychoanalyst and theologian Dr. Dorothee von Tippelskirch:

"There are so naive ideas: the birth of a child is something really great, the beginning of a new job is something wonderful, but the burden that is placed on the beginners that everything should be wonderful now, and that As a rule, people do not want to know how much hardship this might go along with, including this pink picture of marriages, how many fears there are, and they are quite justified, and most of the time the others tend not to hear it. So that the beginners are often left alone with their fears, and that is not good for the beginning. "

But the pressure also arises because the beginning is so important for everything else. Or, with Goethe:

"If you miss the first buttonhole, you won't be able to manage buttoning it up."

A good example of this: the successful beginning of the film. Johannes Disselhoff:

"The most important goal is that it must somehow reach you immediately. Your attention, be it through curiosity, be it a surprise or a familiar feeling that you like to feel, somehow it must really reach the viewer in this case, and if possible Very quickly interested and bind to what's coming next. At the film school I once had a lecturer who always said: "use exposition as emunition", that is, the exposure, the introduction, be it of characters, of locations, as Use ammunition, so start a firework with it. "

You can do that without words.

"The first ten minutes there is practically no speaking. You only see and hear creaking doors, drops of water, a squeaking wind turbine, a crowing rooster, cracking finger joints, a fly on the unshaven face of a villain, then an approaching train. Music accompanied by three Men in hats and long coats occupy a small train station and lock up the station attendant to wait for the man with the harmonica. "

Sure: Everyone is probably thinking of a different, "perfect" beginning of a film or novel.

In 2007 the "Initiative Deutsche Sprache" and the "Stiftung Reading" put a vote on the most beautiful first sentence in German-language literature. In first place "Der Flounder" by Günther Grass - just three words:

"Ilsebill added salt."

And it is also clear: a good beginning does not guarantee a good end. But a bad start makes the rest of the way at least more difficult. This is all the more true if the beginning and the end cannot be clearly distinguished from one another.

The Zero Hour

"I was a kid back then, I was thirteen, and we really all fell around our necks because we just couldn't believe what we had been through in the past and that it should all be over now. And we went out and then it was, as it is sometimes in the film, then we went to the village street, and the tanks were already there and the Americans were there, and they gave us chocolate and it was especially paradise for me , and I knew: now I can live. "

Charlotte Knobloch, the former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, was hidden from the Nazis in a cellar by a farming family in Middle Franconia.

On the other hand: Marga Becker-Ambrock, later a broadcaster at RIAS Berlin. She was 15 years old in May 1945.

"In my case, as an evacueee, the dissolution began, you could hear the thunder of cannons from the Oder front for weeks, so the war was practically on the doorstep, or the war was over; then this eternal fear, what are the relatives doing? Exists The apartment still? Nobody knew how things would go on, I don't know how to believe in a future there. I had no more belief in the future, but my mother, she always said, 'You have to think further and I'll tell you in 20 Years ago ', - said my mother -' everything will be different here, there will be lights in the houses again '. "

The end of the war in 1945 is an example: Sometimes the end and beginning coincide. Europe is in ruins, the absolute end for 56 million dead and murdered.The survivors, however, perceive it very differently depending on what they have experienced: as captured soldiers or war returnees, as persecuted or surviving concentration camp prisoners, as raped women or as displaced persons.

It was at the same time the beginning of the division of Europe and a temporary end to the common German history. For many, a new beginning meant consciously suppressing the past. It was not until the student movement from the sixties onwards that memory and admission of guilt demanded. Most Germans, however, continued to speak of the "day of the collapse". Richard von Weizsäcker put an end to this trivializing view of history.

"May 8th was a day of liberation. It liberated us all from the inhuman system of the National Socialist tyranny."

... finally officially indicated the end of the war - on the 40th anniversary - a Federal President.

"For the sake of this liberation, nobody will forget the serious suffering that many people only began to suffer on May 8th. But we must not see the end of the war as the cause of flight, expulsion and lack of freedom. Rather, it lies in its beginning and in Beginning of the tyranny that led to the war. We must not separate May 8, 1945 from January 30, 1933. There was no zero hour, but we had the chance of a new beginning. We used it as best we could we have put democratic freedom in the place of bondage. "

The social debate about a "zero hour" or its significance, about defeat or liberation, was not yet over. It also flared up again in historical studies, and rightly so, at the latest with reunification, when GDR citizens brought in their completely different experiences. On one point, however, the fascism researcher Professor Wolfgang Wippermann from the Free University of Berlin took a very clear position during a discussion.

"For many Germans it was a day of defeat, but for many it was a day of liberation, in the concentration camps, the resistance fighters, all of them have been liberated. And now the question is how do we weight these different perspectives and the different memories And if we say that the Holocaust was the central event of this time that shaped the epoch, then the end of the Holocaust is in this respect a liberation. And whoever denies that it was a liberation, then also denies the epochal significance of the Holocaust, and we have to put a stop to it. "

At the same event, Manfred Görtemarker, Professor of Modern History from the University of Potsdam, added a differentiation.

"You really have to differentiate between the developments in the western zone of occupation and in the Soviet zone of occupation. The great majority of the East Germans not only experienced the day of liberation as a day of liberation, which it was, they also saw it as the beginning of a new one Dictatorship experienced. And that is the double tragedy of German history, which we cannot discuss away. And in this respect I would go so far as to say that the GDR was an intermediate phase in this historical development, and this time is actually only 1989 / 90 came to an end through the self-liberation of the GDR from the shackles of communism. And only now do we as a reunified country have the chance to find our own future anew. "

"
(Kohl) The first thing I want to say to you all is a warm greeting from your fellow citizens in the Federal Republic of Germany

(Schabowsky) Uh - permanent departures can take place via all border crossing points from the GDR to the FRG. As far as I know, this occurs immediately, immediately.

(At the border) It's so moving, I can't help it, so I'm done. It's a feeling in the soul, yes, I can't even say how you feel.

(Momper) Last night the German people were the happiest people in the world.

(Brandt) Much will now depend on whether we, we Germans, prove to be equal to the historical situation here and there.

Germany 1989 - in the news worldwide. What happened here was undoubtedly a turning point in world history. But it was also experienced very differently.

Bergmann-Pohl) "The People's Chamber declares the accession of the GDR to the area of ​​application of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany with effect from October 3, 1990. 294 MPs voted yes (cheers)

(Gysi) Madam President: Parliament has just had nothing more and nothing less than the downfall of the German Democratic Republic on October 3, 1990 (goes down in jubilation) "

Bitterness and disappointment soon mingled with the rejoicing of the union. Because while there was at least an apparently unbroken continuity of history in the West, the people on the East German side experienced a deep break that called all previous life into question. In his speech on the 20th anniversary of German unification, Federal President Christian Wulff tried to highlight the positive aspects of this situation as well:

"Many were finally able to realize their hopes - travel wherever they wanted, study and read what they wanted, discuss what and with whom they wanted, freely choose a career or set up their own ideas. Others spent years around struggled a personal new beginning, some to this day. Certainly what was worth preserving has also been lost. But infinitely valuable was gained: the experience of people that with their courage to change, they were able to shape their own lives in freedom are to be mastered, for personal happiness as well as for our cohesion. "

Mastering a new beginning well - politically as well as personally - also means being aware of the end, says psychotherapist Eva Jaeggi.

"In many ways you will see things that you had to end or that someone else ended as a failure, but in this failure you can very often find something that is very important, namely: things have to be brought to an end Many things, many relationships, many behaviors, many ways of life have their time, and if you try desperately to hold onto them, then you are living in a wrong world. "

... and if you want to make a beginning successful, you should definitely mourn the previous end.

"Grief over the end is an essential part of human existence, and it is difficult to start something new unless you have gone through this process of grieving. The new things are done quickly by some people so that you don't feel the grief I have to ask, but it usually does it very badly. The new beginnings will not turn out right either. "

"Only those who are ready to set out and travel,
may unravel the crippling habit. "


Hermann Hesse: "Levels of Life".

"It may also be the hour of death
To meet us young in new spaces,
life's call to us will never end ...
well then heart, say goodbye and healthy! "


Farewell and loss - when everything seems to be over

"(Father Bernhard) The end also means that I have to leave things behind, just say goodbyes.

(Unemployed) Well, you knew exactly, from 8 a.m. to - what do I know - 5 p.m. you are at work, and this structure suddenly disappears. And many, many contacts or friendships at work break up at once; and then maybe it's your own feelings of shame and guilt,

(Köhler) I hereby declare my resignation from the office of Federal President. With immediate effect.

(Father Bernhard) Perhaps it is sometimes the small death in everyday life that can teach us to take the great death seriously.

(Tagesschau) Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Millions of people said goodbye to Princess Diana in London today. "

Compared to death, other ensuing situations may be less dramatic: temporary farewells, permanent separations, leaving the job, the end of the year. But there is always a little sadness or sadness, perhaps because each end also touches on the limitation of our existence, on the "finiteness" according to the Christian-Occidental conception of time:

"Human life is biblical, Christian, one that begins, one that also ends, with all the joy that is inherent in the beginning and with all the sadness, the pain that may connect with the end."

Since the psychologist Dorothee von Tippelskirch is also a theologian, she certainly does not deny that survivors in particular can find consolation in faith. However, she considers the claim that in the past people generally took death more easily because they believed more in the afterlife to be wrong:

"I think that's a naive idea that it should have been so completely different in previous generations, the painfulness of finite life, which has certainly always been felt that way. One difference could be that there was a lot more experience in previous generations So that child mortality actually played a completely different role in families with many children, Freud at the beginning of the last century still counted the loss of one among the grief situations occurring in certain stages of development of human life, loss situations for the young woman as a matter of course of their children at birth, and it often seems to me that we have become very naive because it has all become unimaginable for us. "

"I never go to bed without thinking that maybe - as young as I am - I won't be the other day ..."

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was only 35 years old.

"And of all those who know me, no one will be able to say that I am grumpy or sad to deal with."

At that time people were probably more aware of death. Fittingly, the idea of ​​immortality was more of a nightmare than a wishful thinking. The psychotherapist Eva Jaeggi:

"There is a wonderful chapter in the book" Gulliver's Travels ", there is an island, so that's where the Gulliver comes in, and that's an island, there are always old people in some street corners embittered, and somehow you get the feeling that they are it's very bad, and they have a mark on their forehead. And that mark means that they cannot die. And every mother is terrified that her child could be born with such a mark, because everyone knows how terrible it is not being able to die and having to live indefinitely. "

Some still perceive this as horror - not least with regard to the situation of old people, for example in nursing homes. But when the final end actually comes, it will be experienced more than ever as a shock, because many people no longer want to prepare for this natural part of life. Rather, our generation is fascinated by scientific efforts in the search for immortality, for "eternal youth":

Normal cells in the human body divide again and again, but their chromosomes get shorter and shorter at the ends - this is how the cells age and eventually die. In the case of cancer cells, however, the ends are not shortened, so that they continue to grow. The 2009 Nobel Prize for Medicine went to US researchers Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak. They discovered the enzyme in cancer cells that leads to their "immortality". The genetic researchers were interested in advances in cancer therapy. But there is also speculation whether these findings will make it possible to keep body cells young for longer, i.e. to extend human life.

As long as something like this is not possible, for some there remains at least the hope of infinity after earthly existence.
It is different for a person than for society as a whole: If it pretends - as if life is infinite - then from a theological, but above all psychological, point of view that is not a good development.

Karlheinz Geißler sees what is "unholy" in the dream of infinity - for the individual and society. The emeritus professor for business education is a co-founder of the "German Society for Time Policy". He has been warning of the consequences of our non-stop society for years:

"I think it's a development that started after the build-up phase, after the war began. On the one hand, it dissolves this structure from the beginning and the end, because it is massively self-accelerating and has no more time, a beginning On the other hand, there is of course a principle in a global economy, that is "always-and-everywhere." That is, if I am always and everywhere, then I have my highest profit the trend that arises from a global economy, the stock exchanges, the corresponding businesses and so on run around the world and around the clock. "

This pathetic attempt to create infinity actually only leads to the fact that people lose their rhythm - that is, nothing more than additional stress. Our day no longer takes place between sunrise and sunset.

"The farmer said: My program is given by the natural cycles and the daily rhythms, of course. We can no longer say that."

There are - historically speaking - several reasons for this.

"One thing is that in these centuries trade flourished more and more, and longer distances had to be covered, and there had to be more forms of coordination that required a different time model than just orienting time to natural processes. And at the same time then developed the wheel clock, which made exactly that possible, that time could be measured and structured relatively independently of natural processes. "

And today, a few centuries later? Even those times are over when the family gathered every evening to end the working day with dinner and the "Tagesschau" and to ring in the end of the working day. In the age of cable TV and hard disk or DVD recorders, we can stare whatever comes to mind around the clock: no beginning, no end, just switch on and off. Long shop opening times and shopping opportunities on the Internet also do not allow breaks. A full ending is not provided for in today's progress model. The new is hectically replaced by the even newer, again and again.

"What we have done in our society is a de-rhythmization in favor of the introduction of clocks. Machine clocks, time clocks of the Federal Railway, so organizational forms that are not based on rhythm, but on some goals such as economy or profit or loss or what Whatever. We get a lot of offers at different times. "

This form of tactlessness has another negative consequence, says economics professor Karlheinz Geißler, who now heads an institute for time consulting called "times-and-more". Because the individual and society as well, above all need caesuras, deliberate degrees and beginnings.

"Caesura, where he thinks about what was; and what will be in the future, because otherwise people are just driven, driven by themselves or others, and do not come to themselves. I just need places and places where I look back and let go of something, and where I look forward to be able to grasp something I want. "

Caesuras are therefore not just breather, but meaningful "interim times" - filled with rituals, for example - especially when it comes to rather sad situations, about farewells.

The ICE is parked at the station, pointing like an arrow into the future, only one minute is allowed to board, and people disappear in the super train like in a black hole. The mirrored, tinted windows do not allow a longing look, the windows cannot be opened, no leaning out until the train has finally left the station, no waving. One of them heaves his suitcase on the shelf, the other crumples the handkerchief in her hand, embarrassed, holding it to himself. "

What remains is a feeling of emptiness, with no comforting ritual. Perhaps you do without it out of fear of the pain, which supposedly becomes even greater if you also celebrate the moment of separation. But mostly the opposite is the case. For example, even with funeral rituals, the old folk wisdom of healing "shared suffering" applies. And at least the non-final ends have an inkling of infinity - or of a new beginning, in a new guise, in a different shape.

The Chinese philosopher Laotse, the "old master", says:

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the rest of the world calls the butterfly."

Ending happy, all good.

"This makes Sebastian Vettel Formula 1 world champion! The miracle has come true: Sebastian Vettel has made it. Cheers

A whole country celebrates the rescue of the miners and not least itself, because it has succeeded in making the impossible possible. The miracle of Chile is done.

Kate Middleton and Prince William are finally getting married. The good news also sweetened the day for British Prime Minister David Cameron. There was great jubilation, we hit the tables. "

"... and they lived happily ever after". Just kitsch? There is also this fairy tale ending in life, the happy ending of a long professional effort or sporting drudgery, the miracle of Lengede or Chile, the working love story. It is not without reason that the term "happy ending" has moved from film to common parlance.

In Hollywood, the dream factory, the happy ending was for decades the wisdom and thus the film's ultimate end:

Whatever happened, in the end the lovers had to get one another, the protagonist had to succeed, the perpetrators caught, evil defeated, the world saved. No breakfast at Tiffany's, no mistaken identity and hardly a Hitchcock without a happy ending. 70 percent of the viewers - a film showing with two different conclusions had shown in 1950 - more than two thirds wanted to see a "good" outcome of the story.

Johannes Disselhoff, who writes scripts and makes films himself:

"Because most people go to the cinema, for example, or want to hear or see stories in order to somehow feel good. Nobody does that because they want to feel shit afterwards. Of course, you can do that without a happy ending, you can also have a tragic one Tell the end or a half-open ending and still evoke the feeling in the audience that it was worth seeing or hearing this story. "

... especially since it depends very much on the personal perspective whether the end is good. Good for who

Where the coffee is particularly black, a man is still a real guy and the whiskey is high-proof, in westerns the adored lady is usually left alone. In the end, good wins out in this genre too. But the Lonesome Cowboy has to move on, towards the sun and new, good deeds. For example John Wayne in "The Black Hawk" by John Ford:

"He heroically brought them back, the two white girls kidnapped by Indians. The camera shows the protagonist walking towards a door. Inside, love, home, a home await. But he turns, goes again. Closing fade."

Or many of Chaplin's silent films.

"Charlie, the little melancholy tramp disappears on an infinitely long road, alone - but somehow the viewer has the feeling that the next adventure is already waiting for him over there or there."

"I think the challenge is to tell a happy ending that doesn't look like a happy ending. If everything just ends up being somehow nice and good, it's too implausible, it has to be somehow believable, that's what it is Writing great art at the end, so that you find an end that follows history so far that it is plausible and logical and understandable within the world of history. "

That is why not only is the beginning difficult, but the end must also usually be struggled with - and even if we are still talking about film - it has actually long been about more than fiction. Johannes Disselhoff:

"At least that's the way it is for me, and I think with many others too, that there is an idea of ​​the end relatively early in the head. But that doesn't mean that once you've got there, it's easy to implement it. Often The story took on a life of its own in the course of writing and somehow took on a life of its own, that is, I think, also important that you allow it, this end, what you had in your head, is then often no longer the way it was and you have to reformulate it somehow or find it anew. And that's always the greatest difficulty for me. "

And then it occurs to the scriptwriter and filmmaker:

"When after the end, as a viewer, you have the feeling that the only possible ending was - within this story, and yet you couldn't foresee it or suspect that it would be. Actually, it couldn't be any other way. That makes a great one End off. "

"A foggy evening at Casablanca airport, Rick, that is Humphrey Bogart, hands over two transit visas to Capitaine Renault. Ingrid Bergmann, that is Elsa, is supposed to leave the country with her husband Viktor Lazlo differently than planned."

"(Elsa)" No, Richard, no! - ...

(Rick) Basically, we both know that you belong to Viktor. You are part of his work, you give him the strength to go on. If you don't go with him now, you will regret it. "

"The whole time their faces are very close to each other, then she lowers her head with tearful eyes. Rick lifts her chin tenderly."

"I look you in the eye, little one!"

Finally Elsa gets on the plane with her husband, she cries. Rick and Police Chief Renault stay behind. They bring the matter to an end: Rick shoots the Nazi commander who suddenly appears, Renault does not betray him. Both watch the starting machine and walk into the fog.

"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship."

Undoubtedly one of the most famous final scenes in film history - and in the narrower sense not a "happy ending". Nonetheless, "Casablanca" was named the best romance film of all time by the American Film Institute in 2002.

Perhaps because it fulfills what Eva Jaeggi, after almost 50 years of psychological and therapeutic experience, calls the really good ending, the true happy ending of a story:

"Mostly in the novel, in the film, maybe also in life, the happy end is something where you have fought for a long time, so that is not an end at all, but something that you have aimed for, where you can find yourself Has set a goal, and then it succeeds. It is always pretty clear with the happy ending that something new has to be added to it, that you now have to try something new. "

"(Merkel) Dear fellow citizens: There are already many events that we can look forward to in the coming year.

(Dinner for one) Oh, by the way: The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie? (Laughter) The same procedure as every year, James! - The same procedure as every year, James! Yes, yes.

(Merkel) Our country has already faced completely different challenges. With this in mind, I wish you and your families a fulfilled, happy and a blessed year. "