The story behind the �flat thumb�

The story behind the â�?�?flat thumbâ�?�? The audience at the Aug. 6 Sesquicentennial performance of the Youth Orchestra of Ratingen, Germany, were confused for a moment when Mayor Dan Christopherson unwrapped a gift presented to Vermillion by its sister city. This sculpture, however, makes perfect sense after it was explained by Sara Goerg, a member of the Ratingen's mayor staff, who traveled to Vermillion to help the city celebrate its anniversary. "Dumeklemmer", which means "crushing  thumbs" is a word you may hear in connection with citizens of Ratingen. Legend has it that inhabitants of Ratingen once threw a holy man out of the city walls because the holy man wanted to convert the citizens to Christianity. While throwing him out of the city gate, the thumb of the holy man was crushed in the doors. The legend says that as punishment, all citizens of Ratingen are now born with a "flat thumb." This work of art was presented to Christopherson by Paul Sevenich, the youth orchestra's conductor, and Goerg (right) at the beginning of Thursday's concert. (Photo by David Lias)

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