Jochen Gruber

E-Mail Address: Joachim.Gruber(at)

My Curriculum Vitae

My son Michael, April 1974, and some of his hobbies 35 years later, perhaps a consequence of his having played
with the LECTRON electronic kit starting at about 4 years of age.
Video: Gerhard Richter, Abstrakt ab 2005
Audio: Anton Bruckner - Symphony no. 8 - III (1/4), Bernhard Haitink conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam.


My personal annual reports:

  • 2009 (english, deutsch),
  • 2010 (english, deutsch)
  • 2011
  • 2012 (english, deutsch)
  • 2013 (english, deutsch)
  • 2014 (english, deutsch)
  • 2015 (english, deutsch)
  • 2016 (english, deutsch)
  • 2017 (english, deutsch)
  • 2018
    • In these YouTube videos set "Quality" to 720p (HD) by clicking on the little tooth wheel in the lower right corner: english, deutsch or
    • download the (english or deutsche) slideshow-pdf (without sound) and -after opening the pdf with Adobe Acrobat Reader- scroll through the series of viewgraphs.
  • 2019
    • Und nun
      wollen wir glauben an ein langes Jahr,
      das uns gegeben wird,
      neu, unberührt,
      voll nie gewesener Dinge,
      voll nie getaner Arbeit,
      voll Aufgabe, Anspruch und Zumutung;
      und wollen sehen, daž wirs nehmen lernen,
      ohne allzuviel fallen zu lassen von dem,
      was es zu vergeben hat, an die,
      die Notwendiges, Ernstes und Grožes von ihm verlangen.
      Leben wir hinein
      - ein jeder von uns
      in seinen eigenen Neujahrsmorgen!

      (Rainer-Maria Rilke, 1. Januar 1907)

      Für Zeiten der Muße hänge ich mein traditionelles Jahresrätsel an, dessen Interview-Teil ich auf einer der wöchentlichen Julian-Assange-Mahnwachen vor der US-Botschaft verteilt hatte, als ich noch in Berlin war. Diese 30- bis 80-köpfigen Mahnwachen finden dort (mit ganz wenigen Ausnahmen) jeden Mittwoch von 19 - 21 Uhr statt.

    • And now...
      we want to believe in a long year,
      that is given to us,
      new, untouched,
      full of never-before-seen things,
      full of never-ending work,
      full of task, demand and imposition;
      and want to see us learn to take it,
      without dropping too much of that,
      what it has to offer, to them,
      who demand of it what is necessary, serious and great.
      Let us live in it
      - everyone of us
      in his own New Year's morning!

      (Rainer Maria Rilke, 1 January 1907)

      For possible times of leisure, I'm attaching my traditional annual puzzle, the interview part of which I distributed at one of the weekly Julian Assange vigils (with 30 - 80 participants) in front of the US Embassy while I was still in Berlin.

  • 2020 (english, deutsch)
  • 2021 (english, deutsch)
  • 2022 (english, deutsch)

My Hobbies

  • In the late 1990s I started
    • rebuilding a farm house on the border of the Müritz National Park (this project is almost finished now, in December 2016).
    • 60 years from now our oil and gas reserves will have been used up. Also, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  has stated that a reduction of the energy use in private households to 30 % of the present level is one of the requirements to keep the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere at its present level.
      Therefore, any heating system that relies on these has no future, much like a "gas guzzler" automobile.

      To get an impression of the beauty of this National Park, start on the web site of the Tourismusverband Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and navigate to the page describing the "Mecklenburgische Schweiz".

    • working on our glass house, for the roof panels of which I use paintings by Piet Mondrian (1872 - 1944, see e.g. Yve-Alain Bois, Joop Joosten, Angelica Zander Rudenstine, Hans Janssen: "Piet Mondrian", Benteli Verlag, Bern, 1995). Those of you who visited Frank Lloyd Wright's (1869 - 1959) School of Architecture Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, will probably see who inspired my design of the tilted roof. The floor I intended (but eventually gave up) to decorate with sections of Stuart Davis's (1894 - 1964) abstract paintings (see e.g. Karen Wilkin: "Stuart Davis", Abbeville Press Publishers, New York, 1987).
  • I am enthusiastic about the Clinton Administration's initiatives for the youth (America's PromiseSummit Action Youth

Läuten der Freiheitsglocke im Schöneberger Rathaus von Berlin. Sie ist am 24.10.1950 der Stadt übergeben worden als Geschenk der USA mit einem Bekenntnis von 17 Millionen seiner Bürger zur Freiheit:

"I believe in the sacredness and dignity of the individual. I believe that all men derive the right to freedom equally from God. I pledge to resist aggression and tyranny wherever they appear on earth."
Sie läutete damals das erste Mal. Daran wird im Deutschlandradio Kultur jeden Sonntag um 11:58 Uhr mit einer Übertragung erinnert.

Some of my Scientific and Political Interests

  • The Future of Civic Engagement in a Broadband-Enabled World
    The digital revolution that brought us Facebook, Twitter and YouTube could help revive participatory democracy in the U.S., says Eugene J. Huang. He unveils the FCC's plan for providing broadband access to every American, and describes how its recommendations could spur more open government and greater civic engagement.
  • Mathematical modeling of biological/medical processes, e.g. the immune response in neuroborreliosis.
  • With the help of several friends I have been running a website on Lyme disease.
  • Until the mid 2000s I was worried about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction from Germany.
  • One of my favourite essays is Oliver Sacks' review of the book "Bright Air, Brilliant Fire" by Gerald Edelman. In his book G. Edelman presents his Theory of Neuronal Group Selection (Neural Darwinism).
  • A Princess in Berlin by Arthur R.G. Solmssen

    To me this is a fascinating and colorful story about some rather relevant differences between the American and the German culture, e.g. the interpretation of human rights in the United States and how immensely satisfying it is to incorporate this practical, loving approach in our (German) lives. The author's view of our German culture has helped me assess the problematic sides of my background and set free a most welcome energy towards active participation in shaping my social environment.
    I am confident that the "Princess" will gradually contribute to a change in general attitude towards, understanding of, and cooperation with the world in which we live - and thus with the New World as well..

    Summary (German Summary)

    Berlin 1922.
    Pandemonium reigns in the capital of Germany after the Allied victory in World War I and the fall of Kaiser Wilhelm II (in the Weimar Republic). The proletariat have swarmed out, waving the red banners of Communism; private armies of unemployed, disaffected veterans - Freikorps- roam the streets thrashing the Communists. An explosion of radical music, theater, and art manifests the seething rancor and nervous energy of the people. The most insane, paralyzing inflation the world has known makes life a misery for the hungry, desperate populace. Although the flower of their kind lie buried in Flanders fields, a few aristocratic families preserve their privileged, even exquisite lives: boating parties at summer palaces, chamber music in great townhouses on Sunday afternoons.

    This is the rich backdrop of "A Princess in Berlin", a social novel in the grand tradition of e.g. Theodor Fontane in the Germany of the 19th century.

    Into this feverish society comes Peter Ellis, a young American from Philadelphia who was an ambulance driver on the Western Front. In Paris, given a year by his Quaker family to get over his shell shock, Peter encounters a former German officer, Christopher Keith, whose life he saved at Verdun. Christoph is shepherding the young Bobby von Waldstein, a family of Berlin bankers, once Jewish. At their urging, Peter agrees to come to Berlin, to study painting. There Peter is ushered into the Waldstein milieu, where he meets Max Liebermann (who will in 1933 say "Ich kann garnicht soviel essen, wie ich kotzen möchte!") (see also  1) and Walther Rathenau (see also 2,), then foreign minister of the German government. Princess Helena, a daughter of the Waldstein family, is a good friend of his, and through her and her brother, Peter realizes the sadness with which (the hated and despised Jew) Rathenau tries to moderate politics and social life in Germany.

    Peter lives part of his life in Neukölln, where he studies painting with Fritz Falke, a former student of Liebermann, and with Fritz he experiences the misery in Berlin, which the Quakers, and Susan Boatwright in particular, try to alleviate. Berthold Brecht's songs in Kneipen (pubs) and on parties reveal the dark and dangerous side of the German character, the "anger, bitterness, sullenness and discontent" (J. Robert Oppenheimer about Germans in 1927).

    Peter is dragged into attempts to sabotage the murder of Rathenau, in the aftermath of which Helena and Christoph are murdered and Peter hardly survives.

  • Alexander's Feast by Arthur R.G. Solmssen (my foreword)

  • Here are some of my proposals for TV-productions (in German).
  • more about my background.

Originally created around 1998
Latest version: 25 July 2023
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