Helmsman - to the helm!

Introduction: Manfred Kroboth

The following text is very much based on a semantic/etymological theme in the GERMAN language. For English speaking readers the text may seem weird. However in German there is some discrepancy between 'steuern' = to steer and 'lenken' = to drive, here though we used the word 'to guide' for 'lenken' to come closer in meaning to the semantical issue in the German language, even though in English 'lenken' usually means 'to drive'.

Steering and guiding - isn't that the same or at least very similar? - so I thought. But why do we say one guides ('lenken'; in English you would actually say 'drive a car') a vehicle and not one steers- even though one sits behind a steering wheel in a car. And the mechanics which one operates is again called 'guidance' 'Lenkung'; (though in reality in English you call these mechanics 'steering gear').
On boats there are helmsmen - or helmswoman - but no guidingman (literal translation of "lenkmann"), also no handle bar (the German word "Lenker" is "handle bar" in English, but here the writer refers back to "lenkman" = guiding man, when he adds there is no "Lenker"), this we only have at a bike. In the past there were carriage drivers (please note the "lenker" again in "Wagenlenker"= carriage drivers), but those are not around any longer that much.
Then besides the helmsman (German "Steuermann") there is also the tax advicer (German "Steuerberater"), but this one has nothing to do with guiding.

But what is the difference exactly? (between the German verbs "steuern" and "lenken")
Guiding is limited exclusivly for movement on land. Steering is possible in or on water, in the air and with complex  technical issues, but also in economical and social fields. Steering technic is engineering science; and the second meaning of the word TAX (the German word for tax = Steuer, is the same as for 'steering wheel') lets one assume that it is not simply about financing the state but that it is supposed to be about guiding.
When one looks at the word roots unfortunatly one can see that this conclusion is wrong. The word STEUER (steering wheel, or tax) comes from STUETZE (support) and whilst with one meaning it became UNTERSTUETZUNG (des Staates) [support (of the state)], the word root developed on the other hand in the direction ABSTUETZEN, ABSTOSSEN (to prop, to push off). From a long stick  a boat in shallow 

water is pushed off with  and can be guided with,  first a long oar on the right hand side (hence STEUERBOARD = starboard) of the boat has developed and finally the form of the steering wheel in its nowadays ways at the stern has developed. this one can recognize well in Jutta Konjers photo-drawing "Elbruderer..." (Elbe-oarsman).(Schiffers).*

The word LENKEN (guiding) has the same word stem as GELENK, the middle-high-German word lanke which means the
bendable part of the body - the waist, or the hip. Hence 'guiding' (LENKEN) actually means 'to bend', 'to twist', 'to crook'. One bends the path one is on and by that also bends the landscape one is moving in. (Hinweis).
This age-old imagination seems to be still topic. Nowadays we know that it is theoretically possible to twist space to get faster from A to B. (Albers).
It seems that Hans Albers had the ability to crook space alone with his power of though. If he needed a particular drug for that we are no longer able to confirm.
Whilst 'steering' (STEUERN) form its origin includes movement and is not possible without one's own movement, one does not move oneself when guiding (LENKEN) but one's surroundings by bending or twisting oneself. Who does not not have the abilitly to crook space by power of thought is also able to experience this phenomenon out of a moving train or car. So steering and guiding are two diametrically opposite ways of action - the pushing and the pulling - and this duality can also be seen in this exhibi- tion.
And although being so contrary both nevertheless have to do with move- ment and the question how this movement should take place. That is why the helmsman is always closely connected with the navigator - or also astrogator. As soon as one moves around in a landscape - or in space, which does not offer any marks of orientation one needs help.
That is why on the open sea stars were consulted (Sternenhimmel).
They offerd the only possibility to navigate untill the invention of the compass. Even today we navigate with the help of - artificial - stars which have been shot into orbit by ourselves. The navigation by satellites hence is not truly new but it would be beyond the scope of  this event would I want to further explain this subject.
I ask you now to navigate yourself through the exhibition, to guide and to steer - but please especially with the help of the power of thoughts.
Thankyou for your attention.

*The italic terms in brackets refer to acustical examples plaid at that time of the speech.