Discussions on all aspects of Imperial Germany not covered in the other sections.
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While reading a popular wartime account of the German attack on the French fortress of Camp des Romains on 25 September 1914, I ran across the phrase "Heinzelmann-Tätigkeit." It appeared in the following sentence, "Die uns zugeteilten 16. Pioniere begannen bereits am Abend ihre Heinzelmann-Tätigkeit, besonders in dem das ganze Fort umgebenden Gewirr von Drahthindernissen." ("In the evening, the pioneers of the 16th [Pionier Battalion], who were parceled out to us, began their 'Heinzelmann activity', especially in the tangle of wire obstacles that surrounded the entire fort.")
When I conducted an internet search on the phrase, every example of the use of the phrase "Heinzelmann-Tätigkeit" that I could find was, marvelous to say, embedded in the sentence quoted above. Thus, while I discovered a great many instances of plagiarism, I was no wiser as to the meaning of the expression.
I am sharing this post in the hope that one (or more) of the participants in this forum can shed some light on this little mystery.
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Heinzelmännchen are the "house gnomes" of Köln who did worked all night so the people of the city could laze away their day.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018