The first of their kind

Among jazz musicians on stage

Karolina Strassmayer, 36, saxophonist with the WDR Big Band, Cologne The only woman in the band? that was never an issue for her colleagues. For the audience sometimes already: a woman on the saxophone? "I'm not an alien, I make music like the others too," Karolina Strassmayer says calmly today. But in her early years she often felt that she was "a handicap", being a woman, cutting off her hair and hiding bosom, stomach and butt under a leather jacket and loose jeans. This is past, the musician has long been on stage in elegant female outfits. Where Karolina Strassmayer grew up, in Bad Mitterndorf in Styria, folk music is often played. She herself learned classical music as a child on the Kla-four and on the transverse flute. Jazz, that was a strange world for her. Until she got the legendary album "Kind of Blue" by Miles Davis at the age of 17 and heard for the first time a solo by alto-saxophonist Cannonball Adderley: "Never before had anything approached me as much as this music." A key experience.

"Jazz music, what do you want to do now?" The parents asked doubtfully. Karolina Strassmayer wanted? and soon had the opportunity. Already her first saxophone teacher recognized her great talent and let her play at appearances.

I do what I always wanted to do: play jazz.

Karolina Strassmayer studied at the jazz department of the renowned University of Music in Graz and won a scholarship for New York? and soon prevailed in the local jazz scene. Now she is a member of the WDR Big Band, one of the leading in Europe. And also has success with her own quartet. "What a great woman on the saxophone," it says today when she plays.

As a retiree in the modeling business

Elke Görsch, 64, Dove model, Berlin "Me and advertising?" She said when her hairdresser asked her about a new campaign by cosmetics manufacturer Dove: "They're looking for older, attractive women. Would not that be for you?" At home, Elke Görsch talked to her husband about it and wanted to laugh with him about the idea of ​​starting a late modeling career. But he suggested: "Just call it!" Six weeks later, Elke Görsch flew to New York for a photo shoot with star photographer Annie Leibovitz. She had prevailed against all German competitors. "Show that age is beautiful too? I liked this goal of the campaign," says the Berliner. and raves about her work with Annie Leibovitz: "She is so sensitive and captivating that even the nude photos, which were never mentioned at the beginning, were perfectly fine for me."

By contrast, some German newspaper editors had problems with the photos of the tall, slender 64-year-olds who pay attention to their bodies, do sports and eat healthily? but not lifted. At home, Elke Görsch received headlines such as "Can you make a nude advertisement at this age?". "How a slap" was that, says Elke Görsch? but she does not regret the photos: "Apparently they have caused something, otherwise there would not have been so many reactions to the campaign," she says. "We should finally be more relaxed about the topic of getting older, be more positive and living longer is a gift, and I am very grateful for that."

I want to show that age is beautiful too.

Is she sometimes sorry that she did not start modeling much earlier? Elke Görsch waves down: During her studies in the GDR she had several offers, and she could have used the money well then. But at the time she found advertising superficial and refused. It has everything its time in life.

In the ICE cockpit

Daniela Lubinski, 30, engine driver, Hamburg Her job is the subject of party talks. Train driver? What. And some passengers look twice as they get into the cab of the ICE 2. Why she has just chosen this profession? "I like to travel and I love the speed," says Daniela Lubinski. Therefore, she spontaneously accessed when she learned after the Higher Commercial School in the training advice of the railway: "With us you can also become a driver." So far, only a few women do that. There are only about 300 among the 20,000 train drivers of Deutsche Bahn. Daniela Lubinski was the only one in her training group. Mostly she had it well, she says, as "hen in the basket".

And to this day, she has never regretted her decision to work. Despite sometimes exhausting, long working days and even when they ask questions like, "Why do the trains arrive so often too late?" can not hear anymore. Their best hours are early morning or late evening, when the world just wakes up or comes to rest. Then Daniela Lubinski especially enjoys directing the colossus out of the station, slowly accelerating it to 100, 120, 250 km / h.Meadows, forests, villages fly past, as in slow motion the cars are crawling across the asphalt in the distance. Who knows that in front you can feel the speed much more intense. Does she not get scared at the idea that something could happen? with hundreds of people on board? "No," says Daniela Lubinski. She remembers the night before her first ICE ride to this day.

Moving 400 tons of steel is gigantic.

How she slept sleeplessly in bed? with excitement and anticipation. "Moving 400 tons of steel and glass and plastic is gigantic," she enthuses. The fascination is unbroken. One year ago she got her second child and is now on parental leave. But after that she wants to get back on the tracks. Then maybe with an ICE 3. They can go up to 300 km / h

With the whistle on the football field

Elke Günthner, 43, referee, Bamberg Why is a girl with 14 soccer referee? For Elke Günthner that was the only way to live out her love of football. Because in their hometown Bamberg there was no girl team at that time. And in the long run it was not enough for her just to kick her father and brothers from time to time. What she would expect after the exam, she had no idea. Referees are unpopular anyway. And then one: too young and a girl. "What does this one" or "Women to the stove" mobbed players and fans. Without the support of her father Elke Günthner might have given up. "But why?" She asked herself. "I love football, I know something about it, I have something to say on the pitch." According to the motto "now more than ever", she led as many games as possible, later checking her own decisions. At football matches on television, she paid particular attention to the referees.

All her free time belonged to football. In the main occupation Elke Günthner is now Human Resources Manager at the Bochum Schauspielhaus. A position in which you often benefit from the experience as "impartial". Careers in football are often compressed to a few years. Elke Günthner is one of the first women ever to have a referee's license from the International Football Association Fifa. She has played great games, such as Women's European and World Championships, and in 2005 was "Referee of the Year". "No one is kidding me anymore," she says. The male colleagues and players see it the same way today. Elke Günthner is a Respect person on the course? and has followed other women. Word has gotten out that it benefits the game when a woman watches over the fairness. The players collapse, there are fewer injuries. "One or the other even wants a referee woman among the men in the Bundesliga," says Elke Günthner.

However, she will not experience that as a referee. It will soon stop, comparatively late. Most of her colleagues put the black uniform in their mid-30s forever. Every weekend on the pitch, at least three times a week running and muscle training to keep up with the players, plus the main job? this is not only exhausting. It is also difficult to reconcile with private life. Therefore, Elke Günthner is not sad that her active time is coming to an end. Will she go on holiday with her partner soon? for the first time in the middle of the football season.

As a rabbi in the synagogue

Eveline Goodman-Thau, 73, rabbi and university professor, Jerusalem Eveline Goodman-Thau is used to irritating: as a working mother of five children. As a professor of Jewish religious and intellectual history, who is also committed to women's rights, with teaching assignments in Vienna, Heidelberg, Kassel, Harvard. As the founder and director of the Hermann Cohen Academy for Jewish Religion, Science and Art in Buchen in the Odenwald. Also on the move privately. "I am a revolutionary Gypsy," she says.

Such a woman is not afraid of challenges. That's why Eveline Goodman-Thau said yes when the Reformed Church of Or Chadasch offered her the position of rabbi. So far, there are only a few rabbis in Orthodox Judaism oriented on the strict rules of Jewish law. Eveline Goodman-Thau expected resistance. But she also saw a chance to signal, for example, the rights of the woman. "Rights are not given but taken," she says. Eveline Goodman-Thau also "took" the rabbinical office. This is possible in Judaism: for men and women trained by a rabbi. Eveline Goodman-Thau has found a rabbi who was ready for it. After six months of "apprenticeship" he ordained them in Jerusalem, their adopted home for 50 years. Her brother, who is also a rabbi, might have refused. Because he is ? for all his love for his sister? against women in the rabbinical office.

What she wants to achieve? This woman is always about fundamentals. Only because of fortunate circumstances did she survive the Holocaust. It was not until 1981 that Eveline Goodman-Thau re-entered Germany. "We have to live the unlived lives," she says. And: "God has given people the freedom to Auschwitz.We have the freedom to act differently. Here and today. "Eveline Goodman-Thau is committed to reconciliation, also in Israel, and her heart's desire is for peace to come after 60 years.

At the fire department

Monique Hoffmann, 31, fireman, Hamburg Save people from danger? that's what Monique Hoffmann loves about her job. But can such a job be lovable? Fire, heat, noise and burning smell, the constant alert, the effort? "Of course," says the firefighter. "I would choose that again and again." Started Monique Hoffmann in a classic woman's profession: medical assistant. But there, the sporty young woman was soon dissatisfied: "I wanted a job that demands me, also physically." Where I am on the move, I have to react quickly. " She went as a time soldier to the Bundeswehr? and applied for a training course in a fire station for an apprenticeship.

To be alone among men, in a hard job, that's what she knew by now. Today, many missions are routine for the firefighter. Emergency call from a tenement: An old lady fell in her kitchen. Monique Hoffmann and her colleague René Höber race in the ambulance of the fire station to the scene of the accident. Within minutes, they have the situation under control, the old lady is reassured and is taken to the hospital.

Even if the fire brigade specifically recruits female offspring, did Monique Hoffmann initially have problems with some colleagues? to comments like "She's Asleep" when she's been praised. Today she is popular in her team. The tone has become friendlier since she's here, and that's good, say the men. Sometimes, when they could not help a suicide or an accident, everyone has to give each other support. Despite these shocking experiences, Monique Hoffmann draws strength from the knowledge that she can often prevent worse things. Or her wonderful achieves. Like four years ago, when she was managing a birth with her colleague. "Extreme situations are part of everyday life for me, and maybe I've already experienced more than some of them at the age of 60 or 70," says Monique Hoffmann. The fact that firefighters in use are physically and mentally challenged to their limits has its price. Hardly anyone is older than 65. Does Monique Hoffmann not think that? In a way, I risk my life, but that's part of it. "

Among steel researchers

Anke Rita Pyzalla, 41, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research, Düsseldorf Art history. German literature. Literary studies maybe. When Anke Rita Pyzalla graduated from high school, the girls in their class especially selected such subjects. She opted for mechanical engineering? Women's quota at that time: four percent ?, and an impressive scientific career began. At the age of 37, Anke Rita Pyzalla was a professor at the Vienna University of Technology and taught subjects with bulky names: material usage, joining technology and component testing.

Today, as head of the Düsseldorf Max Planck Institute for Iron Research, the scientist can once again take more intensive care of the research. Her current topic: Under high stress, such as high heat or excessive pressure, metal expands.

Then holes are created, and eventually it breaks. Anke Rita Pyzalla is working to make these changes visible as early as possible? with extremely intense synchrotron rays, which she was one of the first in Germany to use. How does a woman in science get so fast so far? Anke Rita Pyzalla did not think about it. "I never felt like a woman among men," she says. "I wanted to do research, that's all." She remained curious and thirsty for knowledge. Even beyond your subject. A photo on her computer shows the femur of a dinosaur in cross-section. "How could such graceful bones carry such huge animals? I want to know that," says Anke Rita Pyzalla.

First of Their Kind by C.D. Tavenor Book Trailer (OFFICIAL) (March 2023).

WDR, New York, Annie Leibovitz, ICE, Hamburg, Steel, Bamberg, Cologne, Styria, Miles Davis, Graz, Europe, Job Pioneers

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