Letters from Berlin | the Prussian Ideal

First off, I love this town! It is so vibrant, alive, and exciting! Being a history geek, I did of course visit every piece of Prussia’s glory days. Following these visits, it occurred to me how the picture of this state has been distorted by Hollywood and mainstream literature. Despite popular belief, Prussia was not a militaristic, war-mongering country. It fought mostly defensive wars and never imposed harsh treaties on defeated nations. It was also the first country on earth where people had the freedom to follow the religion of their choosing, the right to freely move, and the power to file complaints against excessive taxation or mistreatment by the bureaucrats. All of this happened more than 60 years before the French Revolution!

What does this have to do with bodybuilding?

Good question. The Prussian ideal was always one of understatement: “Mehrseinalsscheinen” or “To be more than you let on”. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to model gym behavior according to this motto! No need for chest beating after a 300lbs. Bench Press; you didn’t cure cancer. Instead, take the responsibility that comes with a better physique and be courteous and helpful to those who want to learn.

Off to the gym,
Maik Wiedenbach

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