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Wuppertal | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Wolfgang Holzem




Wuppertal is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia in the northwestern part of Germany.


It is a result of a 1929 merger of the erstwhile independent cities Barmen and Elberfeld. Despite the young age of the city, the history of the settlement along the river “Wupper” goes back to 1161. “Elberfeld” was first mentioned in official documents as an estate of the archbishop of Cologne and received its town charter in 1610. “Barmen” was charted in 1808. Barmen is also notable as the birthplace of Friedrich Engels, best friend, financier and confidante of Karl Marx (who was born in Trier) and co-author of the communist manifesto. While some other city mergers in Germany haven’t gone over well with the locals, the parts of Wuppertal feel much like a coherent whole these days, in part aided by the suspension railway (“Schwebebahn”) that serves both parts and predates the merger.

Coronavirus since Reopening

Germany | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak
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Get in

By plane

The closest airports to Wuppertal are either Düsseldorf airport or Cologne/Bonn airport. Lufthansa’s (and by extension Germany’s) main hub airport Frankfurt is worth considering when arriving from across and ocean as it is not that far away and well connected through the FrankfurtCologne high speed mainline.

Cheap Flights to Dusseldorf

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Venice 28.05.2021 30.05.2021 Tickets from 129

By train

  • Wuppertal Hauptbahnhof. 

Wuppertal is only 30 minutes away from Cologne by regional train (RE/RB), with departures several times an hour.

The “ICE” (Inter City Express, the German high-speed train) stops only at the Wuppertal Hauptbahnhof (HBF), the main station in Wuppertal. S-Bahn (Schnell-Bahn) and RE (Regional Express) trains stop at several train stations in Wuppertal, although the main station is probably the most convenient for most tourists.

By foot

Walking down the L357 will take approx 6 hours. This is not advisable but if time is your friend then this might be an alternate option.

Get around

An attraction in itself, the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn is the world’s oldest monorail system, dating back to 1901. The suspended trains run for 13.3 kilometers across the city in about 30 minutes, mostly above the surface of the river Wupper, and features in the movie Der Krieger und die Kaiserin (The Princess and the Warrior), which is set in and around Wuppertal. On special occasions, the original Kaiserwagen, used by Emperor Wilhelm II at the inauguration in 1900, is still used. Trains run every 4 minutes on Monday-Friday, 6 minutes on Saturday, 8 minutes on Sunday. Single trip tickets are €2.70, VRR tickets accepted.

What to see and do

Wuppertal as a whole – as opposed to its constituent parts Barmen and Elberfeld – is probably best know for its pioneering urban transit system, the Schwebebahn which its designer Eugene Langen tried to sell around the world but had few takers outside Wuppertal. A much shorter route exists in Dresden and was also built during Langen’s lifetime.

  • The Schwebebahn, the world’s oldest monorail system, and its Kaiserwagen (1900)
  • Die Hardtthis is a nice wide park located on a Hill in the heart of Wuppertal. On the park area there is also the Botanischer Garten (botanical garden).
  • Wuppertaler ZooHubertusallee 30.
  • Historische Stadthalle Wuppertal (the historical city hall). Nowadays the Stadthalle is a concert hall, host to many cultural events. 
  • Engels HausFriedrich Engels is perhaps one of Barmen’s most famous sons. He was not born in this house (the actual birth house some 100 meters away did not survive the war) but he did grow up here and his father was born here. While Trier has learned to make their native son Karl Marx into a tourism attraction, the co-founder of Marxism and Marx’s long-time financier and best friend does not have the name recognition (it’s not “Engelsism”, after all) and Wuppertal has thus far failed to really market its connection to the son of a cotton manufacturer born in 1820.
  • Museum für Frühindustrialisierung (Museum for Early Industrialisation), Engelsstr. 10-18 1Even though it costs money to get in (€4 for adults), it’s worth a visit because they let one help operate one of the antique machines. The signs are only in German, so if you don’t speak it, you might want to bring a native speaker or see ahead of time whether they have audio tours, or English speakers working at the museum.
  • A performance by the Pina Bausch dance company. Since the late choreographer Pina Bausch (1940-2020) came from Wuppertal, her troupe often stops by in the city to show her work. Performances are held most of the time in he Wuppertaler Theater.

What to do

  • Lange Tafel (the long table). The Lange Tafel is an outdoor event where several Wuppertal cafes and bars offer their beverages and food lined up in a long row under the Schwebebahn. 


If you want to go shopping, then the Old Town or now center of Elberfeld will probably be the best place to go, since it offers the widest range of different stores in Wuppertal.

  • Vohwinkeler Flohmarkt (fleamarket).


If you want to go out, then the Luisenviertel is probably a nice place to go. The Luisenviertel is part of the Old Town of Elberfeld and hosts a wide range of nice cafes and some restaurants. The most famous one is Katzengold.

  • KatzengoldUntergrünewalder Straße 3.
  • Wuppertaler BrauhausKleine Flurstr. 5Daily 11 AM-11 PM or laterTry the Wuppertaler Brauhaus-Fritten and the spare ribs. Also the Pork Knuckle is superb if you like dark pork meat. Look in the “from the oven” section of the menu. Wash down with the in-house ‘Dunkel’ or Brauhaus Weisen. The atmosphere here is superb, there’s live music most nights. The building itself is the old 19th century swimming pool (hall). You’ll need hollow legs to eat their mixed grill!
  • Odysseus GrillGathe 67, 42107 W.Elberfeld (5 min.walk from the city center towards Morianstr.) ,   17:30-24:00 Daily. Monday closedA nice cosy Greek tavern with good food and friendly staff 10-15pp.


Like most German cities, Wuppertal brews a local beer exclusive to the city. The Wupper Hell and the Wupper Dunkel can only be enjoyed in the Wuppertaler Brauhaus, a former swimming pool converted into a modern brewery in Barmen, close to the city center.

Where to stay in Wuppertal

  • Jugendherberge (youth hostel), Obere Lichtenplatzer Straße 70.  one of the cheapest places to stay. Most of the time a little breakfast is included in the price for staying overnight. Especially during the busy season, reservations should be made in advance.
  • Hotel AstorSchloßbleiche 4-6.
  • City Partner Hotel CentralPoststraße 4.

Hotels Wuppertal: Popularity

Hotel Stars Discount Price before and discount Select dates
Vienna House Easy Wuppertal ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
ibis Wuppertal City ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
also-Hotel an der Hardt ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Appartements am Kleeblatt ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Amical Hotel ★★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Residenz Hotel Wuppertal ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
City Hotel ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
apartmondo Ferienwohnungen Wuppertal View Isaan Hotel Deals
B&B Hotel Wuppertal ★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals
Fachwerk Hotel Wuppertal ★★★ View Isaan Hotel Deals

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Former founder of and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu. Now based on Mallorca, Spain.


Wirecard : How Jan Marsalek Friend Henry O’Sullivan became “Corinna Müller”




Henry OSullivan

The Briton Henry O’Sullivan is regarded as the dazzling puller of many Wirecard deals and friend of Jan Marsalek and internal emails show how big his influence was in the company.

Henry O’Sullivan celebrated his 40th birthday in paradise. He invited lawyers, managers and high-ranking executives from Wirecard to the lonely dream island of Benguerra off the coast of the East African state of Mozambique. Board member Jan Marsalek and his girlfriend should also come.

As a souvenir, the host wanted: pens for the school children in town and champagne for the party weekend.

The luxury resort Azura Retreats, which O’Sullivan rented in November 2014, had cabins right on the beach, palm trees, and a beach. On arrival, the guests would have to wade through knee-deep water as the British businessman’s assistant warned a month before the celebration. That wasn’t a problem for Jan Marsalek. He preferred to travel by helicopter anyway, according to an email from his secretary.

The extravagant birthday plans reveal a lot about two of the central key figures in the Wirecard scandal. Jan Marsalek (40) and Henry O’Sullivan (46) are close confidants who worked together on big deals far away from the headquarters in Aschheim. Now the judiciary is asking whether millions have been diverted. Wirecard is insolvent and Marsalek is on the run.

O’Sullivan does not answer inquiries. At the beginning of 2020, he only wanted to talk to the examiners from KMPG and EY under certain conditions but then he was no longer available to them.

The beefy Brit was known for his dissolute lifestyle. In Singapore he often dined in a top restaurant on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, with a view over the harbor. To save time on business trips, he preferred to travel short distances by helicopter instead of taxi and in the meantime he lived on a yacht in Monaco.

Marsalek had O’Sullivan flown in in 2014 to celebrate with him at the Munich Oktoberfest. A year later they flew through South Africa in the Learjet 45XR. And when the Briton wanted to meet the Wirecard executive board in Jakarta in 2014, he asked an Indonesian employee by email about a hotel that would tolerate the “type of spring break business trips”.

Beyond its luxury life, only fragments of O’Sullivan’s businesses are known. The Briton did not hold an official position at Wirecard. Many consider him a “phantom” in the background, a member of the mysterious clique around Marsalek.

It was stored in the Wirecard address book with an external e-mail address for freelancers – his profile photo showed Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug lord: another bad joke by Jan Marsalek, as insiders suspect.

As much as O’Sullivan was on business trips, he was always careful to be discreet. This is also shown by an episode from spring 2020, when the Wirecard world was already falling apart and auditors examined the opaque third-party business for which Marsalek was responsible.

O’Sullivan was very knowledgeable about third party business and a strange company purchase in India in 2015. He was therefore a sought-after discussion partner for the annual auditors from EY and the special auditors from KPMG. O’Sullivan apparently managed to convince the supervisory board of a special protective measure.

A sought-after discussion partner for EY and KPMG

O’Sullivan demanded at the end of April or beginning of March 2016 that his name should not be recorded in the “final report” or in any other correspondence with Wirecard. “These papers have a habit of appearing in public,” he wrote to an assistant at Marsalek. He assumes that “everything that is written will ultimately be read by others” and he therefore insists on being given a pseudonym.

This is how Mr. O’Sullivan became Mrs. Müller. On March 4, a legal advisor to the Supervisory Board wrote to Wirecard management: “As discussed yesterday, a code name should be used for all further e-mails and other references. Proposal: ‘Ms. Corinna Müller’. ”On the same day, EY agreed not to use the name in communication with Wirecard international.

According to supervisory board circles, however, it was clear: There should be no special treatment in the confidential internal audit report, and O’Sullivan’s real name would have been mentioned here.

How those involved initially adhered to the language regulation became apparent on March 4, 2020. When O’Sullivan allegedly canceled an appointment in Monaco due to Corona entry regulations from Singapore, Marsalek’s assistant wrote to the auditors at KPMG: “Ms. Müller is herself aware of the time pressure and has agreed to contact us tomorrow with a short-term alternative. “

But it did not get to that. According to the “Wall Street Journal”, the special auditor KPMG was cross: O’Sullivan had also made the condition of their auditors anonymous. When they refused, he refused to speak.

He could tell so much in the process. In the ten years before the bankruptcy alone, Wirecard acquired companies for 1.2 billion euros, according to insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé. In his report, Jaffé writes that the deals were one reason for the “enormous consumption of liquidity in recent years”. The public prosecutor is investigating former executives on suspicion of fraud and breach of trust.

O’Sullivan was involved in numerous Wirecard deals. His name is linked to one of the largest and most dubious deals the payment service provider has done in recent years: the takeover of the Indian Hermes group in 2015. Wirecard bought the companies from the Mauritius-registered fund Emerging Markets Investment Fund 1A (EMIF 1A) for 326 million euros. The amazing thing: the fund had only acquired the same company and assets a few months earlier for around 35 million euros and it is still not clear who was behind that deal

Marsalek stated in an interview with Handelsblatt at the beginning of 2020 that he had not checked the background. But insiders report that O’Sullivan and Marsalek were the ones who planned the deal and who ultimately benefited from it. In any case, the original Hermes sellers now feel cheated. They filed a lawsuit that revealed that it was O’Sullivan who negotiated the sale to the EMIF 1A fund for € 35 million.

O’Sullivan also appears at another important point in the Wirecard network, the so-called third-party business. Wirecard achieved a large part of its sales with it, at least according to the balance sheet. Essentially, three companies provided the supposed income: Pay Easy from the Philippines, Al Alam from Dubai and Senjo from Singapore.

The central figure in Senjo was also O’Sullivan, even if he did not hold an official position. A PR consultant for the British company stated in 2019 that her client worked for Senjo. That’s only half the story. In practice, O’Sullivan is said to have been the one in charge of Senjo. In Singapore, the authorities are now investigating for falsification of accounts in the vicinity of the group of companies.

How hard Marsalek worked internally at Wirecard for his party friend O’Sullivan is shown by a short-term lending business from 2016, which several Wirecard board members dealt with. Ascheimer Wirecard Bank AG granted Cottisford Holdings Ltd, a generous credit line of ten million euros from O’Sullivan, for which Wirecard AG guaranteed as internal emails and documents prove this.

“Today the supervisory board formally approved the loan retrospectively, but was not ‘amused’ about it,” wrote the then board member Rainer Wexeler of Wirecard Bank AG on March 2, 2016 to Marsalek. He complained that the panel had been poorly informed. Wexeler asked: “Can you please give me the private address of O’Sullivan and some key business data about his business, his connection to Wirecard AG, etc.?”

Wirecard credit for companies in a tax haven

Marsalek did not reply in writing, but less than a month later he informed him why O’Sullivan’s company had not paid the money back on the agreed date. “The delay resulted from an unexpected complication in the distribution of dividends from one of its holdings.” O’Sullivan believes that the problem “will be resolved in the next few days,” wrote Marsalek.

Wexeler was evidently unsure of the loan. He asked: “It would still be important to know how the money that we made available to him was invested.” There is no answer to this, but that Marsalek suddenly advocated the loan “just days later” long-term “.

The borrower, Cottisford Holdings Ltd., also comes from an island that is likely to be O’Sullivan’s favorite vacation destination, as the British Virgin Islands are a paradise not only for tourists, but also for lovers of lax tax rules.

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Wirecard Scandal claims another Victim – Heike Pauls from Commerzbank




heike paul

It’s not even eight months since Germany’s number one payment service provider imploded: Wirecard had to admit in June 2020 that billions of euros never existed on the balance sheet. As a result, board members had to go to jail or disappeared without a trace. Since then, auditors have been distrusted, and the head of the BaFin supervisory authority has to look for a new job. The youngest victim is Heike Pauls of the German Commerzbank.

Up until a few weeks before the Wirecard scandal burst, several analysts in various banks believed in Wirecard. They unshakably believed that the annual financial statements for 2019, which had been postponed several times, would end well, some experts continued to insist on Wirecard price targets of 180 to 240 euros.

One of the bravest supporters of the scandal group was Heike Pauls from Commerzbank. The analyst was always loyal to Wirecard: She dismissed critical reports about the payment processor as false reports and even a few weeks before the collapse she issued a buy recommendation with a price target of 230 euros for the Wirecard share.

As the Spiegel reported, Pauls had in the meantime also provided the management of the payment processor with sensitive information that it had collected specifically on the capital market. In January Commerzbank had already restructured the research department and relieved the analyst of her duties, now the announcement was made:

“Commerzbank has terminated the employment relationship.”

The Wirecard scandal is far from being dealt with. Further personnel consequences in various economic areas could follow. Extensive claims for damages by investors against the insolvent payment service provider are also examined and the the Wirecard share remains taboo for any investors.


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Wirecard Committee – Doubts about Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s Credibility




Wirecard Committee Doubts about Guttenberg's credibility

Didn’t Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg tell the whole truth when he appeared as a witness on the Wirecard investigative committee? Internal documents that are available to the ARD studio fuel the suspicion. The SPD accuses him of having lied to the committee and in the opposition too, doubts about its credibility are growing.

In December Guttenberg was asked about his role in the Wirecard scandal in the Bundestag. It was also about an article that the former CSU minister published in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” at the end of March 2020. The topic: The role of short sales in the Corona crisis. At the time, Wirecard was targeted by shortsellers, i.e. stock exchange traders who bet on falling prices for a company and Guttenberg had argued against such short sales in the article.

Mail to ex-Wirecard boss Markus Braun

Guttenberg apparently did not want to draw a direct connection to his work for Wirecard, but there are doubts about this representation.

An email to the then Wirecard boss Markus Braun, however, indicates that Guttenberg could very well have had the now insolvent DAX group in mind when he wrote the text for the FAZ. 

In this email of March 20, 2020, the Managing Director of the communications company Edelman, Rüdiger Assion, proposed a “Short Selling Action Plan” to the Wirecard boss. Among other things, this contained the suggestion that Guttenberg could write a guest commentary on the subject of short sales in the newspapers FAZ or “Die Welt”. An argumentation paper with key messages is also attached to the mail. Just six days later, exactly such a guest comment appears in the FAZ. Guttenberg’s argumentation shows clear similarities with the line proposed in the argumentation paper.

SPD speaks of a lie

The SPD chairman in the Wirecard committee, Zimmermann, therefore accuses Guttenberg of not telling the truth on the witness stand. Zimmermann told the ARD city studio: “He (Guttenberg’s note by the editor) lied to the investigative committee and tried to set the wrong track when he denied arguing for a ban on short sales in the interests of Wirecard. A real surprise is this lack of honesty not with him. ” Now it must be clarified whether Guttenberg deliberately wanted to mislead the investigative committee.

CDU defends Guttenberg

Guttenberg is defended by the CDU. The MP Matthias Hauer said that the SPD should primarily devote itself to the question of why the BaFin, supervised by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, imposed the short sale ban on Wirecard. “This should certainly contribute more to the explanation of Wirecard than an article in the name of an ex-politician on the subject in the FAZ.”

But doubts about Guttenberg’s credibility are also growing among the opposition. The chairman of the Greens, Danyal Bayaz, said that Guttenberg’s remarks on his opinion contribution had already been implausible in the committee of inquiry. “Apparently it was part of the advisory service to specifically win over public opinion for a renewed ban on short selling.” That does not cast a good light on Guttenberg’s honesty.

The Linke chairman in the committee, Fabio de Masi, can imagine summoning the former Federal Minister again: “If Mr. Guttenberg was Baron Münchhausen and had said the untruth in front of the committee of inquiry, this would also be criminally relevant, (…) the question is then whether his other statements that he had met the Chancellor privately are also untrue. “


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