With the death everywhere, seen as a curse from God, and their black and scary appearance, they were the symbol of the dark ages of History such as Middle Age. While it is true that Plague Doctors were “normally either second rate doctors who had not been particularly successful in their practice or young doctors trying to establish themselves” (Cipolla, “Doctor” 65), these were individuals who did not flee at the first sign of pestilence, unlike private practitioners who, in most cases, abandoned the cities, and did not treat the disadvantaged even under optimal non-epidemic conditions (Byrne 168). Refracted through the pandemic lens of 2020, the Plague Doctor has become an oddly comforting sight, a moment of anachronistic jocularity in an overwhelming wave of frightening viral panic. However, many plague doctors were not quite so fortunate, and ended up being victims of the plague themselves . Skeleton Lake: Ancient Remains Frozen in Time in the Himalayas, The Caledonian Dream: A Scottish Colony’s American Nightmare, Dumbarton Castle: Ancient Stronghold and Symbol of Scottish Defiance, European Standing Stones: The Mute Witnesses of Forgotten Times, Homer’s Iliad Casts Doubt on the Aegean Location of Troy, Unearthing The Baby Burning Witches Of Bochnia, Poland, King Philip’s War: 17th-Century Hostility Between The Wampanoag and The Pilgrims, ‘White Gold’ Seabird Guano Sustained Life in Ancient Atacama, Researchers Find Elusive 19th Century Alaskan Fort, Ancient Anomalous Human Skeletons: Humanity Could be Much Older Than We Think. Canes were employed as a tool for maintaining social and medical distance, a means of examining buboes, feeling a patient’s pulse, and perhaps a potential weapon for keeping desperate patients at bay. Plague doctor tattoo designs are for all the fans of Middle Age era, gothic culture but also for the horror and the somber part of our history. Folks in beaked masks wandered onto live on-location newscasts. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. These were European physicians who specialized in treating victims of the plague, the best known example being the Black Death . The entire piece of clothing was coated with suet, which, according to one hypothesis, was based on the belief that it would either repel the plague from the doctor, or draw it away from the victim . 51, no. 57, 2003, pp. In using the term giants, I am referring to persons at least 7 feet (2.1m) and up to 13 feet (4m) in height. The Plague Doctor’s haunting costume abides a creepy symbol of death and the unknown and is used to depict the Black Death that stirs instant fear. 95, 1972, pp. Plague doctors were public servants hired by villages, towns, or cities when a plague struck . Plague Doctors easily integrated themselves back into cultural consciousness because while Yersinia pestis’s grip on human history was loosened with the advent of antibiotics, the evocative Doctor did not fade. GomerBlog, a medical satirical site, sports the Plague Doctor as their emblem. (1897). 3 Problems to Remember When Trying to Find Atlantis, The Black Death: the Plague that Sowed Terror and Death in Medieval Europe - Part 1, The Plague that brought down mighty empires is thousands of years older than thought, The Black Death: the Plague that Sowed Terror and Death in Medieval Europe - Part 2, The mystery behind the plagues that have killed millions, belief that it would either repel the plague, Scientists Revive Ancient Plague to Learn Clues About Epidemic that Wiped Out Half of Europe, Study of Black Death skeletons reveals plague may have been airborne, ended up being victims of the plague themselves. The character has various masks, appearing with white, black, and brown beaks, gloves, robe, and either a wide-brimmed hat or black cowl. Later, to forget the fear they created, people used to dress like them, especially in carnival. The mask also coded the Doctor as an individual set apart, since those bearing the masks were known to plague-ravaged cities as individuals “hired by an infected town or village in time of an epidemic, who were responsible for the treatment of the plague patients only and had to refrain from intercourse with the rest of the population” (Cipollo, “Doctor” 65). See what PLAGUE DOCTOR (subjectdeltabio2) has discovered on Pinterest, the world's biggest collection of ideas. Jul 27, 2020 - Explore Michelle Sullivan's board "Tattoos - Plague Doctor", followed by 222 people on Pinterest. The plague doctor is arguably one of the most enigmatic figures to have emerged from the Middle Ages. Pona, Francesco. The beak of the Plague Doctor’s mask was stuffed with aromatic herbs to prevent the doctor from inhaling the putrid stench of death and disease (Manget, quoted in Blanchard 589-90) while the glass goggles prevented the miasma from reaching the doctor’s eyes. “Face Masks to Prevent Transmission of Influenza Virus: a Systematic Review.” Epidemiology and Infection, vol. l’Orme’s protective suit consists of several elements that are easily recognizable. The hat and gloves are also made of the same skin… with spectacles over the eyes” (quoted in Mussap 672-3, his translation and insertions), a description which matches the undated plague mask displayed in Ingolstadt’s German Museum for the History of Medicine (Figure 2). In this way, the historical Doctor, armed only with their cane and beakful of herbs, becomes emblematic of all medical quackery. The ASMR sensation raises questions of affect, of the emotional and physical work being done by both patient (viewer) and practitioner (Clemmons) in these exchanges. ( Log Out /  Biscotto, Cláudia Rocha, et al. I wonder if there were any popular characters in the commedia dell'arte that were played by costumed plague doctors, or if the character was more of a stock character. Lynteris, Christos. (2014). A dream of a plague, pestilence, or epidemic, is a forerunner of almost insurmountable difficulties with one’s wife, husband, or lover. The plague doctors of Nijmegen also wore beaked masks. See more ideas about plague doctor, plague, doctor. A 1656 engraving highlighting the Plague Doctor’s outfit. Plaguecore is an aesthetic about plague doctors. Cowling, Benjamin J., et al. Source: Tom Banwell Designs, Dugan, B., 2013. Stretchers used to carry the sick to pesthouses in 1630 Florence were covered with waxed cloth (Catellacci 384) and doctor’s carriages were similarly covered with waxed cloth during the 1656 outbreak in Rome (Savio 117). The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe. The Christ And The Buddha: How Can You Explain the Uncanny Similarities? As a result, the bubonic plague doctors dressed in the most outlandish gear. Special physician clothes for preventing pestilence (Germany, XVII century) at Jena ( CC BY-SA 3.0 ). An Unbreakable Story: The Lost Roman Invention of Flexible Glass. 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(1977). 10, no. De Lorme thought the beak shape of … On the other hand, “Doctor” as a title points to the appearance that we would like to present to the outside world. Out of desperation, cities hired a new breed of physician — so-called plague doctors — who were either second-rate physicians, young physicians with limited experience, or who had no certified medical training at all. ( Log Out /  Symbol of the healing power residing in yourself, which you can trust. Duties of Plague Doctor ranged from applying treatments to sufferers of the plague, counting the dead, and performing autopsies. [Online]Available at: https://plaguedoctormasks.com/history/, Rosenheck, J., 2011. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. The Plague has killed a number of Al-Qaeda that were most likely trying to turn it into a biological weapon. Walking around as surreal figures, locked inside their suits, faces covered, their voice filtered, and their personality non-existent. 5, 2005, pp. Religion Isn’t The Enemy of Science: It’s Been Inspiring Scientists for Centuries, The ‘Dynastic Race’ and the Biblical ‘Japheth’ – Part I: After the Deluge, Petroglyphic Features of Portable Rock Art, The Northern Mysteries Current: Futhark and Mystery Schools of the Viking Age, Floki and the Viking Discovery of Iceland. Il Modo di Preservarsi e Curarsi Dalla Peste. It isn’t easy making one as historically accurate as the example you provided (figure 2). We find the Doctor’s image capitalized upon in television shows, album art, skateboard decorations, plush toys, and, particularly ironically, as air fresheners (Figure 4). In this case the phrase might be form follows efficacy. Bloodhound in Apex Legends starts with goggles and a modified gasmask and can achieve a Plague Doctor mask, while the antagonist Whalers of Dishonored sport goggles and mouth-coverings reminiscent of the Plague Doctor. From the Ancient Myth of the Caesars to the Medieval and Renaissance Tradition: The Practice of Caesarean Section in De universa mulierum medicina by Rodrigo de Castro 9, no. Filagreed metallic beaks, goggled eyes echoing diving bell helmets, and Victorian morning coats provide a delightfully anachronistic melange. Dinner Invitations for Famous People from the Past. Nonetheless, the frightening plague doctor mask found other usage – in theater. Lasco, Gideon. Top image: Plague Doctor Mask, Steno Museum. If the doctors’ costumes and precautions were successful in protecting them from plague, it was because the outfits were repelling fleas, not miasma (Cipolla, “Fighting” 12). These Plague Doctors would go on to become a symbol of death and a powerful image that solemnly reflects this horrifying era. Il Gran Contagio di Verona nel 1630. What do plague doctors have to do with the meaning of Eyes Wide Shut? The masks were stuffed with herbs, flowers, and spices in the beak. A plague doctor walks the cobblestoned--and empty, because of our very own plague!--streets of Prague at night while your personable host tells you historical tidbits about how the people of this beautiful city dealt with the bubonic plague in centuries past. Sin, Maria Shun Ying. Yersinia pestis, a gram-negative coccobacillus easily spread by rat fleas, was at this point hundreds of years from being identified or understood. Generations of Plague. “Behind the Mask. Rabbit hunting, and having shot flea infested rabbits I was shocked to see the fleas abandoning the dead host almost as soon as its heart stopped beating. To wear the mask was to accept isolation. The character in these contexts is entertaining, but ultimately anodyne – there is little dread associated with encountering the doctor at a modern pageant or dangling from the rear-view mirror. They wore face masks shaped like bird’s beaks. The neckline of this overcoat was tucked behind the plague doctor’s mask and extended all the way down to the feet. Missing Doctors. 37, no. The purpose of the masks was to protect them from airborne pathogens and putrid air. Given that pre-modern man was significantly shorter on the average than we are today. Ancient Origins © 2013 - 2021Disclaimer - Terms of Publication - Privacy Policy & Cookies - Advertising Policy - Submissions - We Give Back - Contact us. History of Black Death. Plague doctors were usually well-educated, well-paid, well-liked, well-known, and … “Masks and the Semiotics of Identity.” The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, vol. In the last week or a plague doctor has played prominantly in my dreams, meditations and journeys. Journey Through an Epidemic: Some Observations of Contrasting Public Health Responses to SARS.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. This tool could also be used to indicate to his helpers or the family members of a victim how and where to move the patient or the deceased. Paul Fürst, engraving, c. 1721, of a plague doctor of Marseilles However, though the beak mask has become an iconic symbol of the Black Death, there is no evidence it was actually worn during the 14th Century epidemic. 20, no. Asked about the inspiration for his costume, Scurll admitted “it was just an album cover I saw one day…. “Plague Masks: the Visual Emergence of Anti-Epidemic Personal Protection Equipment.” Medical Anthropology, vol. 855-6. An alternative hypothesis is that the suet served to keep bodily fluids from sticking to the coat. The plague doctor costume looks like a cross between a steampunk crow and the Grim Reaper, and has come to represent both the terrors of the … The Last of the Siberian Unicorns: What Happened to the Mammoth-Sized One-Horned Beasts of Legend? Ingrid the Plague Doctor comic: https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/ingrid-the-plague-doctor/list?title_no=329453, Figure 4: Marseille’s Remedy®: Traditional Marseille’s Remedy Oil (https://marseillesremedy.com/product/traditional-oil/), Figure 5: Marty Scrull image by Scott Lesh (https://twitter.com/ScottLesh724/status/1073856494314102785), Figure 6: (A) Plague Knight (Shovel Knight), https://shovelknight.fandom.com/wiki/Plague_Knight, (B) Plague Doctor (Darkest Dungeon) https://darkestdungeon.gamepedia.com/Plague_Doctor, (C) Dr. Corvus Dunwich Clemmons (Ephemeral Rift), screen capture from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4WY_ZLgG-Y, Figure 8: (A) The Doctor (Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood) https://assassinscreed.fandom.com/wiki/Doctor_(Animi_Avatar)?file=Char_doctor.png, (B) Eileen the Crow (Bloodborne) https://vsbattles.fandom.com/wiki/Eileen_the_Crow, (C) Overhaul (My Hero Academia) https://bokunoheroacademia.fandom.com/wiki/Kai_Chisaki, (D) Bloodhound (Apex Legends) https://apexlegends.gamepedia.com/File:Bloodhound.jpg, (E) Reaper Plague Doctor Skin (Overwatch) https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=767348991. To start, a hat was worn on the plague doctor’s head. Their robes, leggings, hats, and gloves were made of Morocco leather. The plague doctor mask is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Black Death. In France, a brotherhood that is over 800 years old is helping to bury the dead during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plague doctors were like pathologists working in an open lab. By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. The organic appearance of these media demonstrates the Plague Doctor’s powerful juxtapositions: the image is historical yet current, sinister yet welcome, celebrating life yet embodying death. The mask replaces the bearer’s face, creating an inscrutable boundary. The robe had to be hooded and the doctors had to visit the patients with the head covered and wearing spectacles” (Pona 30). Plague doctors are a symbol of fear amongst many, their presence often denoting the coming of disease and grim duties. In theory, the primary duties of a plague doctor were to treat and cure victims of the plague, and to bury the dead . 208, 1897, 379-91. The spike in face-mask purchasing and crafting in response to COVID-19 fears is not surprising. We can, however, view the manifest symptoms and sufferings of the victims as well as the increasingly important symbol: the mask. Although the hat served a symbolic function, it has been speculated that it may have provided some protection by keeping some bacteria away . 4, 2015, e0122970. These representations are effective entertainment, playing upon common fears of obscured identities and illness. When working in the city of Vianen, they came across an enigmatic mass burial. 581-97. Overwatch’s Reaper (outfitted with a Plague Doctor skin) aims to kill his former comrades to fuel his own desire for revenge. And yet, more contemporary popular cultural appearances of the Plague Doctor have become ever more ominous in nature. Marseille’s Remedy, an essential oils blend, is branded with Fürst’s Plague Doctor. The beak stuffed with aromatics might also have repelled fleas that attempted to enter the garment of the doctor. Pollock, Donald. Anthropologists have explored the imagery of disease-repelling face masks as “potent symbols of existential risk” (Lynteris 442), while Lasco explains that motivations including “cultural values, perceptions of control, social pressure, civic duty, family concerns, self-expression, beliefs about public institutions, and even politics” might make an individual cover their face. “The Plague Doctor of Venice.” Internal Medicine Journal, vol. The mask also had a utilitarian function, as the beak was packed with strong, pleasant smelling substances, such as ambergris, mint, or rose petals. AMS Press, 1979. Therefore, the use of such a mask may have stemmed from the belief that the disease could be removed from a patient by transferring it to the garment. 442-57. The study has revealed varying levels of physical hardship across lower classes. ( Log Out /  TikTok stars like Dr. Miasma (@plaguetimes) reminded a rapt online audience to wash their hands. Archivio della Societá Romana di Storia Patria, vol. Change ). The people of Oran deal with this meaningless suffering in various ways. Using props gathered for teaching undergraduate anthropology courses on infectious disease, and being an extrovert trapped in social distancing mode, I myself started a daily photo series featuring a Plague Doctor encouraging creative pursuits and self-care while self-isolating. Their masks had the long beaks on them because they were filled with herbs, spices and dried flowers to combat the fictitious idea that you could catch the plague through the air. Pop culture examples of the Plague Doctor navigate the tension between life and death by commonly characterizing the figure as either a healer or a hunter, though the boundaries are sometimes blurry. [Online]Available at: https://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-medieval-plague-doctors-and-their-methods/melissa-sartore, I am a university student doing a BA degree in Archaeology. Clemmons discusses medical treatments and body modifications, while engaging the viewer with tapping, scratching, rustling, and whispering, practising a particular brand of medicine for his ASMR patients. Settle in with a drink and learn new things! #53, 6 Sept. 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1673&v=L6FLf6lIWa4&feature=emb_logo. “Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers Treating Ebola Virus Disease (EVD): Are Facemasks Sufficient to Meet Occupational Health and Safety Obligations? Now that bad karma. Many don’t realise that this process began nearly 2000 years... A gigantic monument at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee, as well as several mysterious structures, including a gigantic stone wheel and a moon-shaped monument, were recently found in northern Israel... Skeletal trauma has been studied in the remains of hundreds of people who lived in medieval Cambridge excavated from three cemeteries dating back to between the 10th and 14th century. For example, a plague doctor could use the cane to examine his patient without touching him or her. Buried Face-Down 400-Years-Ago, But Through A Fear Of Zombies, Or God? They have unearthed up to 20 skeletons that... “I tell you: one must still have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star” (Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zarathustra). University of Wisconsin Press, 1981. This symbolises aspects of a relationship. A plague doctor was a physician who treated victims of the bubonic plague. Scurll admits the challenges inherent in supporting the aesthetic: “when I actually wrestle all I wear is a little pair of trunks, but when I pack to travel I’ve got to take the coats, the umbrella, the hat, the mask, everything.” Scurll adopted the costume as a dramatic gimmick to open his matches, but the subtextual connection of the look with villainy is telling. In another context the Doctor has been imagined as a mummer, a disguised character who visits neighbours’ homes at Christmas, from the mummering tradition in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, as well as parts of Ireland and the UK. MacIntyre, Chandini Raina, et al. If the costume reduced risk of infection or stopped it, then the use of the costume and its effective accountrements spread regardless of whether how they worked was understood. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Plague Doctor appearances tend to peak annually at Hallowe’en, a night of masks and mayhem. Egyptian Blue – The Oldest Known Artificial Pigment, The Evidence is Cut in Stone: A Compelling Argument for Lost High Technology in Ancient Egypt. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Since the plague was spread by the bite of a flea or exposure to the bodily fluids of the infected, the costume might have been more effective than the article supposes. This pandemic resulted in the deaths of 30 to 60 percent of Europe’s population. Everyone fears and respects you at the same time. “Notes Historiques sur la Peste.” Archives de Parasitologie, vol. I’m working on a beaked mask replica for a school project right now, if you would have any advice for me based on your expertise, I’d love to get in touch with you. We watch the Doctors on the silver screen, build them elaborate backstories in Dungeons and Dragons, and tattoo the beaked visage into our flesh. These masks were worn by the Italian doctors back in 1348. Much like the crow belongs to unseen realms, the plague doctor -in my own experience- would come to symbolize that from another realm. In the novel the bubonic plague is a symbol of many things – the harsh, meaningless universe, the human condition, or war – but all of them mean suffering and death. With death being everywhere during these times, no good was to come when a plague doctor was coming your way. In order to protect the lower body from infection, l’Orme designed his suit with a pair of leather breeches beneath the overcoat. Dr. Corvus Dunwich Clemmons (read: CDC), a Plague Doctor character from the Ephemeral Rift YouTube channel, provides ASMR treatments for the viewer, who takes on the role of a patient at the Arkham Sanitarium for Mental Rehabilitation (read: ASMR). Boghurst, William. Finally, a wooden cane was carried by the plague doctor. The mask in these cases is doing semiotic work through obscuring the wearer’s identity. I guess the Wuhan virus and the people wearing masks in response made me think of the "brid mask" costume  I wonder if the masks of today are not more effective than the plague doctor bird mask outfit? Contardo, G.A. Symbolism of the plague doctor. Daily Life During the Black Death. Museo Correr, Venice ( Public Domain ), Although the well-known plague doctor’s costume wasn’t worn during the infamous Black Death, History Answers states that it was often used by plague doctors “during the Plague of 1656, which killed 145,000 people in Rome and 300,000 in Naples.”. ( Log Out /  The efficacy and culture of masks as personal protective equipment has been investigated for over a century’s worth of diseases, including the 1910-’11 Manchurian plague (Lynteris), influenza (Chuang; Cowling), SARS (Sin; Syed), tuberculosis (Biscotto), and Ebola (MacIntyre et al.). The plague doctor mask is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Black Death. We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives. The Black Plague, as it is also known, has made a comeback from time to time and, during its second major assault on Western Europe, plague doctors adopted the famous robe, mask, and hat-combo that one associates with the plague. This tradition... Mass burials are common remnants of the many plague outbreaks that ravaged medieval Europe . It was only in 1619 that a ‘uniform’ was invented, which became popular amongst plague doctors. Archival documents outlining the contracts paid to Plague Doctors reveal their importance in battling disease in European cities, though their task was herculean, as described by William Boghurst in 1665 (60): “But two or three of the youngest are appointed in plague time to look to thirty or forty thousand sick people, when four or five hundred are too few; and at another time, when there dies but two or three hundred a week, you should have five or six hundred [doctors] hanging after them if they be well lined with white metal [silver]. In these cases, the Plague Doctor is separated from the medical context; the murderous figure could as easily be Jason Voorhees, Ghostface, or Michael Myers. Cipolla, Carlo M. Fighting the Plague in Seventeeth-Century Italy. It was only supposed to be a one-time thing, I did that entrance … people reacted to it … fans would send me drawings of me in the plague doctor mask,” noting that the strong fan reaction to the outfit drove him to incorporate increasingly elaborate elements. The game worlds involve a dizzying medley of industrial Victorian-era elements, subplots concerning plagues, Lovecraftian and Bram Stoker-inspired imagery, and scattered historical elements. The image is clearly employed to legitimize the products with a sense of medical history and tradition; however, the message is muddied as the 17th-century image of Rome is labelled as 15th-century France. As plague doctors were in contact with victims of such a deadly disease, they were at risk of falling ill themselves, and therefore had to take precautions that would minimize this risk. This fraternity, which has its origins in medieval times, continues to assist at burials... Giants were here. Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new posts by email. Memes predicting Spring 2020 fashion replete with black capes, canes, and beaked masks flooded social media in March 2020, as the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases made global headlines (Figure 1). Perhaps you are feeling insecure about a situation. Of Runes And Sacrifice: The Initiation Ritual Of Odin in Norse Myth, Unravelling the True Story of the Legendary Trojan Horse. Furthermore, plague doctors were often summoned to testify and witness wills of the dead and dying. It is likely, therefore, that l’Orme’s invention did little to protect its wearers for the dreaded disease. Now you might think the bird mask was purely symbolic. We know about the same amount about germs today and all of the precautions are not effective. Though the image is iconic the relationship may be a little anachronistic. The Plague Doctor Beak Doctor Schnabel, plague doctor, circa Rome 1656. According to one source, people once believed that the plague was spread by birds. Doctors of the Black Death. about The Birth of the Renaissance: Understanding the Genesis of a New Era. In the time of the Black Death (1347 to 1351) themes such as skeletons, death, and the Dance of Death were very common… Shovel Knight’s Plague Knight is medicine-adjacent as he uses alchemical science to create explosives. [Online]Available at: http://www.doctorsreview.com/history/doctors-black-death/, Sartore, M., 2017. Syed, Qutub, et al. “Masking Fears: SARS and the Politics of Public Health in China.” Critical Public Health, vol. Although we still cannot accurately predict earthquakes, we have come a long way in detecting, recording, and measuring seismic shocks. Loimographia: An Account of the Great Plague of London in the Year 1665. l’Orme’s suit minimized exposure of the skin with a long overcoat. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Plague became endemic in Europe after the shattering Black Death pandemic of 1347-51, leaving subsequent generations to face the invisible foe intermittently. A physician wearing a seventeenth century plague preventive costume. There are many reported human skeletal finds which are in discordance with current evolutionary beliefs dating back to anomalously ancient geological periods in the distant past, way before it is accepted that human beings ever existed. Buried Face-Down 400-Years-Ago, but Through a fear of Zombies, or God these were... Neckline of this overcoat was tucked behind the plague, the historical,. Little to protect its wearer accurate as the example you provided ( figure 8 ) function... To face the invisible foes—bacteria, viruses, parasites—continue to co-exist with and haunt humans today Germany, century! 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