SUMMER NEWSLETTER 2017
I was sorry to miss the AGM and the talk by Eddie Vickers. Eddie
was a BBC Berlin Correspondent and he spoke about growing up in post war
Germany where his father was the British Governor of
Spandau Prison and reporting from the divided city during the height
of the Cold War. I had lots of very good feedback about Eddie’s talk and it
would be good to hear further adventures in the near future.
We had another very good season between
September 2016 and May 2017 with 70 members and some extremely interesting and varied events.
(Sommer am Strand, Rügen)
The committee has worked hard to organise the
programme for next season and we hope members will join again. It would be a great help if you could pay for your subscription before the September session as there is always a big queue to pay on the first evening. Have a look at the “Contact us” page for details of how to pay.
Although it is the end of the season, we are carrying on with the Conversation sessions. Do come along to the Boston Tea Party sessions if you want to practise German in a relaxed informal way and the advantage in summer is that it doesn’t involve going out in the dark. The Everyman group continues as well on the first Thursday of each month. See the events page or look out for “German Club” emails.
Our annual "Sommerspaziergang was a success. See Sue's report below. Also more photos on the Photo Gallery page.
Our new season begins with a talk by David Clarke who many of you will know from previous seasons. He will talk on the Economy of the National Socialist Party in 20th century Germany.
Drinks will be available and if you haven’t already done so,
you can pay for your 2017-18 subscription. Our new Schatzmeister Richard
Woolley will be pleased to take your money. It is very helpful if you are able to pay by cheque. If you have already been a member let us know if any details have changed. If you are new members, please let us have your contact details.
Unfortunately I’m away in September but save your pennies and you can stock up on second-hand German books at the October event. You will need some books for the darker evenings.
Ich wünsche Ihnen einen schönen Sommer.
Below: Sommer in den Alpen.
Am 5. August haben einige Mitglieder der Deutschen Gesellschaft einen
angenehmen zweistündigen Spaziergang in der Nähe von ‘Sudeley Castle’ gemacht.
Es war das zweite Jahr in Folge, dass die Gruppe dort wanderte und wie im letzten Jahr
genoss die Gruppe die schöne und
ruhige Landschaft in der Nähe von Winchcombe.
Foto: Mike Phillips
Am Vormittag war das Wetter sehr unbeständig und laut Wettervorhersage wurden starke
Regenfälle und Gewitter erwartet. Um 13:00 Uhr hat es schwer geregnet und es blitzte aber
zum Glück um 14.00 Uhr schien die
Sonne, als sich die Gruppe im Parkplatz des Schlosses Sudeley versammelte.
Der Spaziergang war ein bisschen länger als im letzten Jahr (fast 6km) da wir eine andere
Route genommen haben.
Ein paar zusätzliche elektrische Zäune waren auf dem Weg, seit Greg und Sue die Streckegetestet hatten aber mit guter Teamarbeit und ein bisschen Akrobatik meisterten die
glücklichen Wanderer diese Hindernisse ohne zu viele Probleme.
Angesichts des Regens vorher war es am Boden etwas nass und rutschig, aber jeder war für
das Wetter gekleidet. Wie Greg schon gesagt hatte– „es gäbe kein schlechtes Wetter, sondern
nur unpassende Kleidung“!
Im Besucherzentrum genossen alle ein Getränk und plauderten zusammen über
eine Reihe von grammatikalischen Problemen wie „ob es DER Schloss oder
DAS Schloss ist“ oder sogar ganz intellektuelle Dingen wie, zum Beispiel „was ist
Und diejenigen, die die leckeren Kuchen probieren wollten, taten so in dem
Wissen, dass sie über 400 Kalorien schon verbrannt hatten (nach Sue‘s Fitness-Tracker!).
Übrigens, den Spaziergang findet man auf der Webseite: ’Winchcombe Welcomes Walkers’
(Spaziergang 6 - unser Spaziergang war jedoch kürzer, weil wir unsere Wanderung bei der
Burg begannen und nicht in Winchcombe) zusammen mit einigen anderen Spaziergängen in
der Gegend – ist dort vielleicht etwas Neues für nächstes Jahr!
Website für ‘Winchcombe Welcomes
Andere Fotos und Text von Sue Moos
Tipps zum Lernen
- Presse und Sprache
I’m finding this newspaper which we follow in our U3A group very useful and it’s quite „günstig”.
Click onto Deutsch als Fremdsprache
Tube „Easy German“
Ideal for listening to up to date German as spoken by normal people. Kari and her husband and the other presenters are pleasant and most of the topics are interesting. The German is normal everyday German at normal speed but it is subtitled in German and English and can be rewound.
3. Krimis - Spaß beim Lernen , well if you like detective novels. Ask for some at the second hand book sales. I don’t look words up very often as it spoils the flow but so long as I get the gist it’s OK.
Generally up to date German, good for vocab., cases, word order, etc.
Graham has let me know that you can find the German film “West” on i-Player.
Do send me any more good ways of learning the language
Thanks to Jenny Elliott who has sent us some more tips.
She says: My best tips are...
Revise all the work you previously did, if you kept your notes. If you are a beginner, try the Memrise app.
Use an app to improve vocabulary.. I have one from WLingua.
Follow something of interest on Twitter like a German newspaper or university. You can see the headlines, and if you find an interesting article, read more.
Join a conversation group!!
Get a vocabulary translation app.
Get text books: I have the AQA AS textbook and the extra vocabulary book Wort für Wort.
Get your favourite novels, in German. You can get order them online or download them in iBooks for example.
Watch the one minute news video that is on zdf.de
Listen to poetry or passages of scripture on YouTube.
Do you know what Futterneid is?
Have a look on this website. German has a number of words to explain important sensations which would need several words in English. Such as “Futterneid”, something I often suffer from. Or how about “Erklärungsnot”, “Verschlimmbesserung” and “Ringrichterscham”?
Find out what these words and others refer to on:
Sue Zuckerer now has a German passport and she sent me the following link about the many British people who are applying for German passports.
Mehr Briten als jemals zuvor in Deutschland eingebürgert
Nach der Brexit-Entscheidung hat die Zahl der Einbürgerungen von Briten in Deutschland einen Rekordwert erreicht.
Read about it on:
A message from Jo Dean
“At the annual Arts Council Awards ceremony held on 23rd March 2017, Jo Dean, a former Secretary of German Club, received an award certificate for her service and dedication. She had been nominated by Cheltenham German Club, Cheltenham Italian Society, and Cheltenham Twinning Association. In addition, the Arts Council, considering the ten nominees, unanimously agreed that the Joyner Cup be conferred on Jo as the most outstanding candidate. In making this decision, the Arts Council committee was impressed by the wide range of work she had undertaken to promote European language-related activities and to further Cheltenham’s European cultural ties.
her sincere thanks to German Club for her nomination and especially to all
those who attended the ceremony: “Your support meant a lot to me and helped me
get through it without too much stumbling up the steps or over my speech.
I had not realised I keep the cup for a year (I thought it stayed in a
glass case in the Municipal Offices) and I felt a bit conspicuous taking it
home on the number 10 bus. Again, my warmest thanks. “
…And more from Richard. Another of his experiences of living in Germany.
How do you Du?
One of the greatest pitfalls that German language and custom prepare for the unwary is the correct form of address. Whether it is nobler to ‘Sie’ or to ‘Du’. When first being taught the language we learn that ‘Sie’ should be the normal form of address with ‘Du’ being reserved for children, animals and close friends – a strange combination. In parallel with the subjunctive, the ‘Du’ is hardly taught until more advanced status is reached.
Children and animals are fairly easy to understand, but what is a close friend and how does the relationship evolve to the point of the irrevocable ‘Du’? I can only write of my own experience with this conundrum. In conjunction with being per ‘Du’, the use of forenames is an equally perilous hazard. I am told that things may be a’changing but when I was living and working between Germany and Switzerland the formalities were still being rigidly observed.
I recall one meeting at which the jovial MD of a Swiss Company (yes!) declared that as there were English people present we would break with convention and use forenames. We then had to go around the table declaring them. The Swiss contingent was clearly immeasurably embarrassed by this reckless folly. When it got to the turn of the Finance Director he forced himself to spit out his name. His lady assistant sitting next to him with whom he had worked for many months if not years declared herself to be a Helga. “That’s very interesting”, said her boss, “I never knew your name was Helga”.
The general rule seems to be that to address someone as ’Du’ or even to use a forename you not only have to know them well but to have forged a close relationship that goes well beyond simple acquaintanceship. Once declared ‘Du’ there is no going back to ‘Sie’. That would be a huge insult. Only forgetful foreigners perhaps may be forgiven. The invitation to be per ‘Du’ must come from the older person to the younger one. It would be a grave breach of etiquette vice versa.
The husband of a couple we knew in our German village just across the Swiss border was known as a stickler for convention. I was told that his wife’s eminent boss had invited them out to dinner during which the boss graciously offered the husband the ’Du’. The husband declined. In his view it was much too early. Hugely insulting to the offerer. Immensely embarrassing for the wife. The couple were later due to come to us for dinner. I had heard the story. My wife was already per ‘Du’ with the wife whereas I was still only at ‘Sie’ level with them both. I envisaged some weird conversations. My wife advised that I, the older, offer the husband the ‘Du’. The ‘Du-ing’ of the wife presumably automatically followed. I said that I was not going to do that as there may be a repeated refusal and I would then feel obliged to throw him out. It was sorted out during the meal. To my immense surprise, the husband turned to me and invited me “despite my being the younger of the two” which I thought was a bit unnecessary, to be ‘Du’ together. Problem solved. Perhaps they had earlier wrestled with the same perplexity and decided on the need for a one-off violation of convention.
Working for my Swiss company was not easy for the first two of the almost five years I was with them there. It started badly as unbeknown to me I had negotiated a deal that placed me on a par with the directors. Understandably there was huge resentment. Life was made quite unpleasant. Had we not so loved living in Germany, I might have quit. I stuck it out and things slowly improved. After about two years, one Friday evening after work one of the stalwarts of the ‘Get Woolley Out” campaign came and invited me to join a group that met each Friday evening in a local pub. I joined them and was surprised to be bought a drink and then suddenly invited to address them by their forenames whilst permission was sought for them to use mine. I uttered words to the effect of “What’s brought this on?” To which the simple reply was “But Richard, you are our friend” I refrained from making the obvious retort involving feathers and the supine posture and accepted graciously..
In the German Club we do Du each other without compunction. Maybe that is because either the atmosphere is such that, without going through the formalities, we do already regard one another as good friends or simply we do not want to be the one inviting the Du thereby automatically admitting one considers oneself to be the older.
Yes, I think it makes it easier when we use Du and Ihr, at least at the “Stammtisch” and I think I read somewhere that on an occasion like a club meeting, Germans can use Du and maybe even go back to Sie when in a different situation. Is that so? (Greg)
More on this topic on Deutsche Welle
DIE HOCHZEIT LUDWIG THOMA
John May has sent me news of a film to watch and if you like Bavaria, I’m sure you’ll be interested. It’s good that John takes an interest in the club even though he’s unable to join us at the meetings now. He writes:
Dear Club Committee and Members
I'm grateful to Greg Arnold for keeping me on the Club e-mailing list, so I can follow your news and programme details.
You may be interested to know that I recently discovered, by chance, a truly wonderful film, while looking at biographical information on the Bavarian 'vernacular' authors Ludwig Ganghofer and his contemporary Ludwig Thoma.
This film was made in 1983, in the pre-digital era, but has recently been 'digitised' and is available from YouTube.
To view it, just type YouTube Ludwig Thoma Die Hochzeit into your browser, and it will come up.
This film comprises 2 individually selectable Parts: 2 continuing immediately as 1 ends, but there is no need to view both in one session. I am not usually much interested in films, but this one is a masterpiece! It was made for the Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR). The colour-rendering has suffered slightly in the 'digitisation' process, but there is no loss of viewing and listening quality, thanks to brilliant photography, a captivatingly appropriate musical score, and the efforts of a cast of very well-matched actors and actresses, supported by an entire 'Traditional Dress Society' (Trachtenverein)!
The story describes the Bavarian socio-legal system whereby the ownership of property, particularly farms and land, was (and to some extent still is) passed from generation to generation. Thoma describes how this system functioned, without any of the sugar-coating that spoils most 'heimatfilms', such as the ghastly 'Sound of Music', but just as things were, and to some extent still are. An oldest son takes over the farm when old age forces his parents to retire into their adjacent 'Austragshäuschen', and ownership of the property passes to him. The same applies if there is 'only' an oldest daughter. In either case, if the ownership of the farm is to continue into the next generation, the son has to have, or obtain, a wife who will bear him at least one child, preferably a son (!), and I think that the same may apply to an oldest daughter if she has no brother. The question of so-called 'love' does not arise, thank goodness, at least in the first instance! My former 'Lebensgefährtin' (Rheinländerin but wannabe Bayerin) always claimed that the 'candidate bride' was more or less equivalent to a prize cow! In fact, Thoma hints at this as well, since he makes it clear that young Emerenz, the 'candidate', has to conduct herself very submissively, at least until she and her future mother-in-law begin to gain respect for each other, while the father and the future bridegroom hardly ever even give her a glance, except when discussing her money! A younger son or younger daughter, however, will not enjoy such rosy prospects, as if he or she wants to avoid ending-up as a 'Bote', 'Dirn' or 'Knecht' (servant/labourer) for life, as could have happened to Emerenz, he or she must try to find and marry a suitably endowed partner.
One remark by Thoma describes how little respect was had for a 'candidate bride': as the future bridegroom leaves a 'fixer' after the two of them have agreed that, without her knowledge, Emerenz be selected because she will be 1000 Marks cheaper than an alternative candidate, the narrator, who represents Thoma, says that the 'fixer' will now have to inform her of her future happiness - ihr künftiges Glück verkünden!
This is the background against which Thoma constructed his story, setting it in 1899-1900, in Oberbayern, but not near the voralpine Oberland. It seems long ago. but my Mother was born in 1901. The village where the wedding takes place is called Pelham (as marked on a blue and white striped signpost) and it can be found on the map, just North of Dachau.
Thoma's text is brilliant: cleverly describing these pious yet superstitious people and how they behaved. We have, therefore, the crooked 'fixer', whom Thoma calls a 'Schlitzohr', a sympathetic but implacable Court Bailiff, the 'locals' in the pub, where the serving girl was surly because she disliked the 'fixer', the awful village gossip, the Pfarrer and his poor Köchin (perpetual butt of jokes - I heard a disgusting one on the BR only last week!), the Notary, the 'Wedding Inviter', the young solo singer, carrying the 'Herrgott' that will be presented to the married couple and then be hung up in their living room. They are all there, as well as cows, lovely horses (obviously enjoying their participation) and, at the very end, a cat!
I know that many people will be quite unable to understand more than the odd word of the heavy dialect that is spoken by many of the characters, but the general sense is usually quite clear! Moreover, Thoma, the narrator, provides a near-continuous commentary, in Hochdeutsch, while several important characters also have no more than an accent because they represent 'gebildete Leute', examples being the Pfarrer, the Notar and the 'Hochzeitslader' (wedding-inviter!), a splendid chap who leads the wedding procession (nach alten Bräuchen geregelt - like everything else, of course!).
You should watch the whole film without worrying about being unable to understand much of the dialect dialogue, but if one wants to dig more deeply, watch it again and again while using your computer to jump back and forth, so as to hear tricky expressions and words several times. Doing this, I began to understand more and more, but I have the advantage of having a 'Lexicon der oberbayrischen Sprache' and having lived for 5 years in the Achental, South of the Chiemsee, and much of what I absorbed there is coming back.
You may also be interested to see the tank engine that features in two shots. It used to belong to the Bayerische Staatsbahn, and I once saw it, pulling some vintage coaches, at a celebration commemorating the centenary of the opening of the branch line from Traunstein to Waging am See in 1902, 35 years after the main line from München to Salzburg via Rosenheim, Traunstein and Freilassing had been opened. Like most German steam locomotives, its underframe, wheels and 'motion' are painted red. Because of the gradient down to Waging, a diesel locomotive was placed in front of the old tank engine, in case its brakes were to fail! Exactly as in 'Die Hochzeit', the people attending the celebration spent most of the time consuming mountains of grilled meat and sausages, washing them down, as always, with the usual Weißbier. I do not know when the line running North from München and through Dachau was built, but it could be older than the one through Traunstein.
If anybody has a question, or wants more information, he/she is welcome to phone me on 01453 839455
Führ dich Gott!
Some members may have known Roger Jones who sadly died in February.
Jo Dean has written the following about Roger:
Roger died in Botswana in mid-February whilst on holiday with his brother, Lord Jones of Cheltenham, who was MP for Cheltenham for many years.
Roger's death will leave a gap in many aspects of Cheltenham life – music, Civic Society, Local History Society, and the Minster (formerly St Mary's). He joined German Club in 2011 and was a very enthusiastic member. He had read German at Oxford and helped a lot by doing town walks with me when German visitors were over. He was a very cheerful, optimistic, person who wore his learning lightly. Between us we could usually dredge up words for things like ' an archery competition' or 'entablature' or 'coat of arms'. As for his sonorous voice: it boomed wonderfully over the traffic noise.
I shall miss him very much. We had both had to give up some activities for health reasons, but had had a long chat at a recital at Park House in January.
If you enjoyed Christian Schulte-Loh's visit in January, maybe you'd like to read his book.
Zum Lachen auf die Insel: Als deutscher Komiker in England Taschenbuch – 3. April 2017
von Christian Schulte-Loh
Wie bleibt man gelassen, wenn man zum hundertsten Mal freundlich mit »Heil Hitler!« begrüßt wird? Oder wenn man auf der Bühne nach den ersten Worten (»I am a German comedian«) entweder ausgelacht oder beschimpft wird? Christian Schulte-Loh ist seit Jahren als deutscher Komiker in England erfolgreich und berichtet von seinen Auftritten vor volltrunkenen britischen Hafenarbeitern oder steinreichen Lords. Er erklärt uns die (meist) feine englische Art oder warum sich Londoner freuen, »nur« 360.000 Pfund für eine Garage zu bezahlen. Trotz Brexit findet er, der Franzose Jacques Chirac hatte Unrecht mit den Worten: »Man kann Menschen nicht vertrauen, die so schlecht kochen.«
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Christian Schulte-Loh wurde zwar 1979 am Rande des Ruhrgebiets geboren, sieht aber aus wie ein Engländer. Auf der Insel ist er nun seit acht Jahren als Komiker erfolgreich, tritt im legendären Londoner Comedy Store auf und immer wieder als Gast bei der BBC. Das britische Publikum feiert den Wahl-Engländer als »einen der subversivsten Acts aller Zeiten« (The Spectator). Bekannt ist er auch aus dem deutschen TV (»Quatsch Comedy Club«, »Markus Lanz«, »Night Wash« u.a.).
When my eldest son was still a baby we planned to have him baptized at St Winifrides in Kew where we then lived. At the same time his German cousin was due for the same ceremony. However her parents had opted out of payment of the German Church tax and their local Catholic church refused to baptise the baby. Our church was not bothered by such things and so we had a double ceremony in England.
If you purport to belong to one of the main religions in Germany you have to pay a state enforced church tax. In our day it was an additional 8% of whatever income tax you were already paying. It could amount to a substantial sum. Income tax is already quite high in Germany. Many struggling young people in Germany are not pious enough to want to pay this extra burden and so they opt out. But opting out means cutting yourself off entirely from the benefits of belonging to the church of your choice or upbringing. In the case of Catholics, that means the sacraments.
Soon after our arrival in Germany, our first visit to the Wasserschloss was then to opt out of paying this church tax. The whole thing is very formal with much form signing and “are you really sure’s”. The outcome is that you are completely excommunicated. You are expected never again to darken the doors of your church. I did not take this whole thing very seriously. Having been brought up in the understanding that once baptized into a certain religion, that was it for life. You may lapse but you would always still belong. So we continued to attend the church as if nothing had happened. We did refrain from receiving communion as that might be seen as pushing it a bit.
In our family we have long believed in the existence of MABOC. In whatever church you go and wherever it may be, there are always the good parish men at the rear of the church willing and able to show you to pews and to take around collection plates.. We have always felt they must belong to an organisation probably called MABOC. (Men At the Back Of the Church). Internationally it would have to be IF I MABOC. (International Federation of Itinerant MABOC).
These days it is more likely to be WABOC.
So it did come as a bit of a shock to discover that the very Wasserschloss official, to whom we had exposed our deeper selves, was in fact a fully functioning member of MABOC. There he was, scrutinising everyone who came in and went out. We are talking here about an extremely conservative church in which it was customary for the men to occupy the right hand pews and the women the left hand even though few of the ladies of the parish could have been recognized as the lustful distraction from piety such an arrangement presumably existed to avoid. As a family we had already blotted our copybook by ignoring the rule and sitting amongst the women. Those same good ladies would walk slowly home afterwards in large immovable groups, deeply in conversation and blocking the narrow roads thus creating what we used to call a Frau Stau. If you were driving you just had to follow slowly and wait for a gradual dispersal. I think the men must have adjourned to a local Lokal.
The main man in the parish apart from the priest himself was a youngish guy who also led the local pop group racily called Piccadilly. I used to bring him appropriate mugs back from London. He played guitar in the church too. Although the tones of his guitar could not be faulted, his understanding of English language lyrics may have needed a certain tuning up because on one occasion the reverend people of Inzlingen shuffled up to communion to the strains of The House of the Rising Sun.
Time went on. My eldest son was due to make his first communion. In order to see what would happen, we put his name down. This immediately generated a personal house visit from Mr Piccadilly himself to say that because of our ‘situation’ this could not happen. I called it blackmail - the perceived sins of the parents being visited on the children etc etc. He explained that this was the law in Germany and there was nothing that could be done if we did not annul our opt-out. So in the end, they being bigger than us, we relented but normal service could not be resumed until the whole matter had been considered by the bishop of Freiburg and we had been through an element of reinstruction! I’ll bet not many of you have made your Confession in German!!
First Communions in our part of Germany are a big thing. The list of candidates with their addresses is printed in the village newsletter. Then the present giving starts. For a few days the door bell hardly stopped ringing as people whom we often did not know and had never met brought presents for our son. It is very charming and rather humbling. I do hope we reciprocated in other years. I cannot remember. For the rest of our stay in Inzlingen we could relax and enjoy a certain glow in the knowledge that we were again fully paid-up members.
Christina has sent me an article about East German champagne. And I thought Spreewälder Gurken were the only thing that survived reunification!
Rotkäppchen und ich
Rotkäppchen.... es war einmal .... Ein weltberühmtes Märchen. Wir kennen das alle natürlich. Es gibt auch ein Rotkäppchen das sicher nicht so bekannt ist. Es ist der Rotkäppchen Sekt. Sekt ist ein durch Nachgärung gewonnener Schaumwein (der beim Öffnen der Flasche stark schäumt).
Zum Glück habe ich neulich einen Rundgang durch die historische Rotkäppchen Kellerei gemacht. Die Kellerei ist in Freyburg in der Nähe von Jena in der ehemaligen DDR. Im Sommer Kurs vor dem Ausflug wurden wir gut darauf vorbereitet. Die Geschichte der Kellerei ist sehr interessant. Im Jahre 1856 gründeten drei Freunde eine Weinhandlung in Freyburg. Die Verleihung der Großen Preußischen Staatsmedaille trug zum schnellen Wachstum der Firma bei. Erst im Jahre1894 nannte man das Hauptprodukt Rotkäppchen- nach dem roten Flaschenverschluss.
Der alte Lichthof
Wir wurden zuerst in den alten Lichthof geleitet und danach
Man erklärte uns wie 1956 die Filtrationsenthefung eingeführt wurde. Vorher (seit 1856) wurde der Sekt nach dem klassischen Rüttelverfahren hergestellt. Obwohl das Rüttelpersonal bis zu 60.000 Flaschen bewältigen konnte, war die Kellerkapazität nicht ausreichend, und 1958 wurden die meisten Rüttelpulte entfernt und somit Platz geschaffen. Die Produktion von Flaschengärsekt im Transvasierverfahren brachte eine Steigerung der Produktivität auf 180 Prozent.
Obgleich einige Trauben aus der Gegend verarbeitet werden, kommen andere Cuvees aus Frankreich und Spanien. Nach dem Vortrag wurden wir natürlich eingeladen einige Sekte zu probieren, das hat uns sehr geschmeckt!
Seit der Wende liegen die Rotkäppchen Sekte im Wettbewerb mit anderen Sekten der Welt . Wir warten ab, ob man in Zukunft die Rotkäppchen Sekte hier in den Supermärkten sehen wird.
Deutsche Auslandsvertretungen im Vereinigten Königreich / German Missions inthe United Kingdom
Christina Phillips has also sent me this interesting link:
It's full of interesting articles about Germany. Thanks, Chris.
Old pictures of Berlin
Graham has sent a link which has some super pictures of Berlin before the war.
Jürgen Berg has sent me an interesting article about German Clubs in Singapore where he worked for many years.
Deutsche Klubs in Singapur im Laufe der Zeit.
Singapura (Loewenstadt), Das Maskottchen der Stadt: Der Meeresloewe
Deutsche und Deutschsprechende im Ausland suchten sehr oft die Gemeinschaft Gleichgesinnter.
Die Sprache war und ist die Verbindung und je weiter weg von der Heimat, wuchs das Beduerfnis des gesellschaftlichen Zusammenseins. Das war in Singapur nicht anders.
Man setzt sich in der heutigen Zeit in London oder Frankfurt in einen Jumboflieger und steigt ohne Zwischenlandung in 13 bis 14 Stunden in Singapore und anderen FernOst Zielen wieder aus. Das war nicht immer so.
Noch in den 1950ern, mit kleineren Flugzeugen, Duesentriebwerke waren in der Zivilluftfahrt noch die Zukunft, bedurfte es noch eine ganze Reihe Zwischenlandungen und mehr als eineinhalb Tage um nach Fern-Ost zu reisen und noch weiter zurueck, vor 200 Jahren, reiste man per Segelschiff mehrere Wochen um dahin zu kommen. Vor der Eroeffnung des Suez Kanals ging es immer um das Kap der guten Hoffnung.
Die moderne Geschichte Singapurs beginnt mit der East India Company und Sir Stamford Raffles im Jahr 1819. Ebenfalls zu der Zeit waren auch hanseatische Kaufleute aktiv in Sued-Ost Asian und liessen sich an diesem Handelsplatz nieder, wegen der guenstigen Lage und als Transitplatz zwischen den Weltmeeren.
Eine handvoll deutscher Firmen hatte sich um 1850 etabliert und damit der Wunsch der Kaufleute fuer einem Treffpunkt. Es begann mit einer Kegelbahn in einem Hotel und mit dem Wachsen der deutschen Gemeinde wurde Mitte 1856 der CLUB TEUTONIA gegruendet mit einer Mitgliedschaft von nur ca. 21 Personen. Nach der Satzung konnten nur Deutsche oder der deutschen Sprache maechtige Buerger Singapurs als Mitglieder aufgenommen werden.
1862 wurde das erste Teutonia Klub-Haus eroeffnet.
Teutonia Klubhaus 1862 - ca.1900
Es war dann das Zentrum des deutschen gesellschaftlichen Lebens fuer die naechsten fast 40 Jahre.
Aus dieser Zeit ist ein kurzes plattdeutsches Loblied eines Hamburger Segelschiff-Kapitaens erhalten:
Na Nord un Sued, na Oost un West
Wohen ik ook buen reist
In Singapur gefaellt mi best
Da herrscht de beste Geist
Das alte Klub-Haus wurde durch ein wesentlich groesseres, fast schlossaehnliches Gebaeude ersaetzt und im Jahr 1900 eingeweiht. Ein neuer glanzvoller Anfang fuer den CLUB TEUTONIA, inzwischen circa 100 Mitglieder stark.
Teutonia Club, 1900 - 1914
Der erste Weltkrieg machte dann dem CLUB TEUTONIA ein abruptes Ende und wurde 1914 als Feindvermoegen beschlagnahmt. Gluecklicherweise war es nicht das Ende des interessanten Gebaeudes. Es existiert bis zum heutigen Tag und ist Teil des Goodwood Park Hotels, eines der ersten Hotels am Platz.
Zwischen den beiden Weltkriegen gab es keinen deutsche Klub und das kommerzielle Leben begann erst wieder ab circa 1950 mit der Rueckkehr der Deutschen Kaufleute und 1955 entstand ein neuer Klub in sehr bescheidenem Rahmen, einem Bungalo in einer Villengegend, mit dem Namen: Vereinigung Deutsches Haus, was in den 90er Jahren wieder geschlossen wurde. Die gesellschaftlichen Aktivitaeten waren fuer die naehere Umgebung ungeeignet.
Durch die Globalisierung leben heute mehr Deutsche und andere Nationalitaeten in Singapur als je zuvor. Durch die rapide wirtschaftliche Entwicklung der letzten 50 Jahre haben sich auch die Freizeitgestaltungen erheblich veraendert und verbessert und sind heute auf internationalem Niveau. Waehrend in frueheren Zeiten Mitgliedschaft in einem Nationalitaetenklub fast eine Notwendigkeit war, ist heute das Klubleben viel internationaler geworden. Trotzdem gibt es weiterhin ein kleines Deutsches Haus, in einem Vorort der Stadt als Klub fuer die deutsche Gemeinde sowie interessierte deutsch sprechende Singapurianer.
Ricksha und Ochsenkarre, die "Taxen" der Zeit, circa 1900.
Zum Schluss das moderne Singapur: Ein Kasino und Hotel mit ca. 2000 Zimmern. Auf der obersten Etage, quer ueber den 3 Hotelsaeulen, im 57. Stockwerk, ein Hotelklub mit riesigem Infinity-Schwimmbasin sowie Restaurant und Aussichts-Balkons. (circa 2013)
Thanks to Sue Moos for this report on her walk (with help from Greg, Brigitte and Gisela.)
Am Samstag, den 6. August haben sich etwa zwanzig Mitglieder der Deutschen Gesellschaft vor dem 'Sudeley Castle Visitor Centre' getroffen um einen anderthalbstündigen Spaziergang zu machen.
Auf dem Weg gab es einige Zauntritte aber meistens gab es auch ein Tor, so war es nicht zu anstrengend.
Als wir zurück zum Schloss kamen, waren wir bereit für kleine Erfrischungen - dank den Mitarbeitern des Visitor Centre, fühlten wir uns wirklich angenehm betreut. Alle freuten sich zu sitzen, essen, trinken und weiter zu unterhalten!
Following the success of this walk, there is talk of further forays in the area. Let me know if you're interested.
Sprechen Sie Denglisch?
I understand only train station. *
Sheena has sent me some amusing postcards which have a "Denglisch" translation of well-known German sayings. The words are translated literally to create an amusing phrase. Of course finding out what they really mean is the problem. Just translate them literally then if you don't understand the meaning, you can usually find it on the internet.
I actually think it is a good way of learning colloquial phrases as I've remembered the ones I've come across already. Thanks, Sheena. Anything that improves my German!
Feel free to send me some more if you come across any funny sayings can think of any and I'll put them on the site.
*Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof, also nichts.
Answers to Sheena's postcards:
Jetzt haben wir den Salat (So sagt man, wenn sich etwas Unangenehm ereignet hat.
"That's another fine mess you've got me/us into!" - a very useful phrase!)
Müßiggang ist aller Laster Anfang. (Idleness is the beginning of all vices.)
Genieße dein Leben in vollen Zügen. Live life to the full. (Egal wie schwer manche Dinge für Sie sein mögen, Sie sind hier um das Leben voll auszuschöpfen.)
Richard Woolley got back to me on a similar subject. He says, "Reminds me of the Germglish that friends and I used to make up. e.g. Streichholz des Tages - Match of the Day; ein schönes Stück von wie geht es mit deinem Vater - (pretty girl) A nice bit of how's your father. (actually the French versions sound better!) allumette du jour / une jolie pièce de comment va ton père."
Any more funny linguistic stories? Send them, please!
GREG'S GERMANY TRIP
As promised I'm starting a little series about our interesting week in Eastern Germany in May this year. Sorry this first report is in English but next time I'll write in German!
Eine Überraschung in Leipzig
Pat and I were lucky enough to spend a day in the Saxon city of Leipzig guided by friends of my daughter's parents-in-law and we found it a charming and lively city full of interest.
One of the highlights (for me at least) was a surprise as I came into a square and saw "Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum". Now Quizfans who were at the Christmas party will know that this venerable institution is indeed in Leipzig. (Though I admit I had forgotten) and the question was:
Wo wurde in Deutschland das erste noch stehenden Kaffeehaus eröffnet?
The answer was of course Leipzig's "Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum".
Did you get it right?
I think the rest of the party were rather bemused by my excitement and enthusiasm but there it was in front of me.
We also managed to visit some interesting churches, St Thomas' where Johann Sebastian Bach was a cantor and St Nicholas' where the famous Monday Demonstrations took place. Lunch was in the beautiful 16th century Auerbachs Keller with its Goethe connections.
When Goethe was a student in Leipzig he often visited the wine bar here and he made it famous for the place Mephistopheles first took Faust on his travels. The menu was "Wildschweinbraten mit Champignonrahm, hausgemachtem Rotkohl und Kartoffelklößen" Lecker. All around the walls of the cellar are scenes from Goethe's Faust.
So wie Millionen von Gästen vor Ihnen, war auch Johann Wolfgang von Goethe hier! Aber nicht zuerst deswegen ist AUERBACHS KELLER berühmt.
Goethe war hier, weil man schon lange vor seiner Zeit zu sagen pflegte:
"Wer nach Leipzig zur Messe gereist,
Ohne auf Auerbachs Hof zu gehen,
Der schweige still, denn das beweist:
Er hat Leipzig nicht gesehn."
A super day thanks to Brigitte and Wolfgang for organising it and transport and to Thomas and Cornelia for your hospitality and guided tour.
We also tasted the local delicacy Leipziger Lerche Don't worry they don't use real larks any more. Here's the story:
Neben dem Leipziger Allerlei hat im 18/19 Jahrhundert nur noch eine Leipziger Kuchenkreation den Sprung auf internationale Speisekarten geschafft: "die Leipziger Lerche".
Mit den echten Leipziger Lerchen ist es aber schon seit 1876 vorbei. Bis dahin wanderten jährlich Hunderttausende der Singvögel in den Kochtopf. In den Sächsischen Kochbüchernzwischen 1712 und 1850 findet man die erstaunlichsten Rezepte:
Lerchen am Speiß, geschwungene Lerchenbrüstchen mit Trüffel. Die Leipziger Kaufmannschaft machte ein Riesengeschäft. In den Versandschachteln zu je 12 oder 24 Stückwurden die gerupften und gefüllten Vögel aus dem Leipziger Umland in alle Welt, u.a. bis nach Spanien und Moskau geschickt.
Die Tierfreunde Sachsens konnten dem grausamen Spiel 1876 ein Ende bereiten. Dabei half ihnen ein verheerendes Unwetter, bei dem Tausende von Tieren ihr Leben lassen mussten.
Ein Ersatz musste her. Die gewitzen Leipziger Konditoren fertigten unter dem Markenzeichen "Leipziger Lerchen" fortan ein Mürbeteigtörtchen mit Marzipanfüllung ? und erreichten damit einen schwunghaften Handel und großen Umsatz.
Das Mürbeteigtörtchen mit der Marzipanfüllung erinnert entfernt an einen Vogelbalg: Die zwei kreuzweise aufgelegten Mürbeteigstreifen symbolisieren den ursprunglichen faden, mit dem das Tier zusammengehalten wurde.
REPORT FROM ANGLO-GERMAN WALKS
Rosemary Campbell is back from one of the Anglo-German walks and has sent me the following.
The week in Rügen was great and the walking was very easy. The weather was superb and there were about 18 participants. On the first day an interviewer from NDR radio walked with us and I spent a lot of time talking to him in German about various subjects. We were told to listen to the radio on Thursday evening and three of us got our few seconds of fame.... We were never told that they were only interested in our views about a possible Brexit and this was the theme of the radio programme!
(A couple of weeks before I had to speak on French local radio twice a day for four days about the different products for sale in our English Café and Pub and they were more interested on learning how to pronounce the word Worcester:-) Apathy towards the Referendum, because they thought Brexit would never happen!
Back to Rügen. On the third day NDR Radio had contacted NDR Television and a TV crew accompanied us on our walk.
Hier ist der Link für die NDR-Fernsehsendung auf Rügen:
Neil (the organiser) was lucky because this was also good advertising for his walking weeks! As you can see the walks were on almost flat ground and you would easily be able to do them. I think he may even be going to Usedom next year. There is another Rügen week in the near future and he has only 7 participants. When I asked him if it would be possible for more people to take part, he said that the hotel was full.
See the Events page for details of these walks.
THE BAVARIAN EXPERIENCE
Richard Woolley and I tried the long awaited Bavarian Bierkeller on the Bath Road after the Boston Tea Party meeting. No, I haven't drunk several Maß of Erdinger in the photo. As I was driving I had a small non-alcoholic one.
No sign of any Dirndls or Lederhosen but it does have an Oktoberfest atmosphere with the long wooden tables, large beers and decor. The many young people were enjoying the loud music and seemed to have no trouble having a normal conversation with each other. Richard and I found having a conversation more difficult! A few decibels quieter and maybe more traditional Bavarian music would have suited us better. Good range of world beers though. Don't worry; we won't be having our Konversationsabende there!
Some debate as to whether it will last but the young folk were enjoying it.
Badischer Wein - von der Sonne verwöhnt!
Richard Woolley has found a good source of German wine from the Baden area.
He says, "Totally delicious!! Mightily drinkable. The merchant has been very attentive."
Here is the link http://www.badische-weine.de/ He adds, ££70 for 12 bottles delivered from Germany cannot be bad!!
There is more about Baden wines http://www.badischerwein.de/ from the Baden area.
Please note that you have to order on the company email address asking for a quote. The order form on the website does not work for us as it can only be used for orders in Germany.
Member Graham Whitehead has found some lovely old photos of Berlin on Pinterest.
There's a picture of the Café Kranzler. When my wife and I visited Berlin a few years ago we tried to find this famous old Kaffeehaus. Unfornuately it was but a shadow of its former self. I wonder what it is like now.
A new source of contacts for us is the Oxford German Network, a university-led cultural network which was launched in September 2012. By connecting up academic institutions, cultural organisations, businesses, and policy-makers locally, nationally, and internationally, the Oxford German Network fosters an active interest in productive cross-cultural cooperation. Jenny has been liaising with Oxford and Cheltenham German Club now appears on the Oxford website as a Partner and we are also listed on their Lifestyle page.
Steffi Stiebeiner has sent me this link:
Unser deutscher Buchladen ist jetzt in
123 Gloucester Road, London SW7 4TE
Wir freuen uns sehr auf Ihren Besuch!
hopefully you already know about us!
I hope you can visit us when you are in London or can find books to learn and read for leisure on our website.
Sollten Sie Buecher oder Lehrmaterial im Klassensatz benoetigen koennen wir ueber unsere Webseite
reduzierte Preise anbieten.
Mit freundlichen Gruessen
John Sayer has sent me details of his book:
Wolf Graf Baudissin (1789-1878)
Life and Legacy
LIT-Verlag Series: Literatur: Forschung und Wissenschaft
Vol. 33, pp. 276, 29.90 EUR, 29.90 CHF, pbk., ISBN 978-3-643-90646-5
The first English-language biography of the man behind the scenes who made the
German Shakespeare possible and brought Molière's plays to life for the German
stage, amidst the turmoil of European wars and revolution.
Baudissin's life sets a mirror to his age: born with the French Revolution,
spanning from feudal nobility to the age of industry, from Napoleon's Empire
through struggles with Denmark for Schleswig-Holstein to the Germany of
Bismarck, in youth revering Goethe, admiring Mme de Staël, upholding the German Romantics and supporting Tieck, yet at ease with Realists and championed in old age by Freytag; devoted to Bach and the piano, friend of the Schumanns, Chopin, Mendelssohn, his family bridging to Brahms.
From Danish diplomat to dedicated verse translator, committed to his extended
family, to Holstein, and to the flourishing culture of Dresden, his is a legacy of
sheer human goodness.
Explanatory introduction, thirteen annotated chapters, each relating key episodes of European history and cultural movements to the life and works of Wolf Baudissin, to his extended family, his uneasy Danish fealty, Holstein homeland, half a century of translation at the heart of Dresden, and belated recognition. Postscript, detailed bibliographic references, index of persons, illustrations.
Studies in nineteenth century German Literature, Shakespeare in Germany, Comparative Literature, Translation, History of Schleswig-Holstein and effects on Europe, rôle of German nobility, social and cultural life of Dresden.
I have cleared some of the old recommendations so if you have any books about Germany or books in German, maybe something you read from the monthly Bücherverkauf, you would like to recommend, then let me know.
Just read this one. It will be on the bookstall next time. look out for it!
Die letzte Spur by Charlotte link.
Thanks to Eddie for recommending this book which I found easy to read and very moreish so I’ll be reading some more of this author’s work. This book got 75 per cent on Krimi-couch.
This biography is recommended by Graham Whitehead.
PEVSNER – THE EARLY LIFE: GERMANY AND ART
By Stephen Games
"Pevsner" is the first book to explain one of England's first celebrity scholars - a man who, against the backdrop of Hitler and the troubled politics of the 1930s, had to rethink his entire career when England offered him his only refuge.”
Nikolaus Pevsner (in bow-tie) with his students at Göttingen around 1930
I’ve just read “Ossi forever!” a translation into German of Roger Boyes’ account of renovating a Schloss in East Germany and turning it into a Bed & Breakfast. As I’m off to that region in May, I thought I’d read it. The best bit was when he tried to describe the rules of cricket to the locals which made the came sound rather silly and pointless. I always suspected it was!
Anyway, it’ll be back on the table next time so if you want something light, easy and mildly amusing, then greif zu!
DAS SYNDIKAT DER SPINNE, ANDREAS FRANZ
I really enjoyed this Krimi which deals with organised crime in Germany/Europe and is set in Frankfurt. It is one of the Kommissarin Julia Durant series and gets 77/100 on the Krimi-Couch website. I would like to read more of his books even though it’s quite long and took me a long time to read.
Ostfriesen Feuer by Klaus-Peter Wolf
Another one for Krimi-Fans. And another female detective, Kriminalkommissarin Anne Kathrin Klaasen. Set in Norden in Ostfriesland. Again quite long but again I enjoyed it. A bit gruesome in parts.
73 0ut of 100 on the popularity score.
Graham Whitehead recommends this book.
Although in English I have recently bought from PostScript a book by Miranda Seymour
with the above title “The Life of Two Countries, England and Germany, in Many Stories.”
“Noble Endeavours sets out the diverse stories of some of the people who contributed to the building of a house of shared dreams and aspirations, of mutual enlightenment and fruitful exchange. .… All- glimpsed here only at the point where they contribute to the story of England and Germany - have earned their place in a history of the love and mutual admiration that two nations once shared, and that they deserve to share again.”
I am finding it fascinating reading. B & W illustrations.
Simon and Schuster Ltd. (ISBN: 9781847378255)