Saturday, December 22, 2018

Kurt Tucholsky and the Hereafter

On December 21 in 1935, Kurt Tucholsky, the famed German Jewish satirist, journalist, poet, author, and playwright took his own life in Swedish exile. Tucholsky had left Germany for France, then Sweden even before the Nazis came to power, knowing that they would be after him and that their rise would lead to dictatorship and war. He had tried to defend his editor Carl von Ossietzky who was persecuted for treason, but to no avail. His books were among the first to be burned at the Opera Square in Berlin.

But the acid critic also had a whimsical, spiritual side, and we experience it in the book "Hereafter. We Were Sitting on a Cloud, Dangling Our Legs". "Hereafter" was originally a loose series of humorous short stories. Tucholsky wrote them between 1925 and 1928, while he was on assignment in Paris for his paper, Die Weltbühne (The World Stage). This is the first time these stories are collected in a book — adorned with pictures of little angels from Berlin's cemeteries —, and also the first time they are translated into English.

In these stories, Tucholsky imagines himself after he died, sitting on a cloud, and watching earth from afar. Right from the start he finds a friend who shows him around in heaven; clouds one can mess with and crumble, floating spirits and grumpy ghosts, masquerade balls on lunar satellites, quivering astral lights, meteors flying by and twinkling stars, with an avant-garde Earth Cinema, a Mountain of Laughter with "cascades of laughter, snickering streams, bleating laughter and the gleeful laughter of children, and trickles of laugh-tears dripping by," and a sanatorium where the water itself is being cured. And, of course, "He" is invisibly present, a pedantic God who counts everything uses the weather to punish people and invites interesting new souls to receptions. Tucholsky's Alter Ego and his newly found friends also talk a lot about the life they left behind, and how it was when they still had it. It sounds like this:

“The strangest part is,” I said, “to think that you did this thing or that for the last time in your life. One of those times had to be the last time. One year on February fourteenth was the last time you got into a car …And no one knows, of course. Only operas have finales. You get into a car, comfy, drive, get back out, and never know that’s the last time. Because then maybe your illness sets in, your long confinement in bed …no more cars, ever. Last time in your life you were eating sauerkraut. Last time making a phone call. Last time making love. Last time reading Goethe. Maybe even years before your death. You never know.”
“But it’s good, not knowing,” he said, “isn’t it?”
“Maybe,” I said. “But every time you do something, you should think, ‘Do it well. Savor it. It might be the last time.’”
In Tucholsky's heaven, souls can have a second chance and be reborn if they want to — they should just not forget to have their memories wiped out. Seventy years later, they will come back, somewhat embarrassed and wiser. For their angelic friends on the cloud, bathing in the sunlight, waiting for them, the time has not passed.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Advent, Advent! A Place They Called Home is Finally Out!

Event at the Leo Baeck Institute Today

Final Reminder. Today at 6.30 pm, our book A Place They Called Home will be introduced at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York, at 15 W 16th St (near Union Square). Leo-Baeck-Director Bill Weitzer will be speaking, and also Yale historian David Sorkin and the editor of the book, Donna Swarthout. Donna, as well as a half dozen authors in the audience will be available for questions during and after the Q & A that follows the panel.

If you can't make the event, the book is now for sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and at independent book stores (and faster than the Amazon page implies). It can also be purchased as an ebook for all formats and readers. The retail price for the 208 pages hardcover is $19.95, respectively $9.99 for the ebook. The book has twelve pictures and also includes a background chapter on the citizenship law.

About the Book

"Donna Swarthout has collected personal stories reflecting a quite unexpected phenomenon: descendants from formerly persecuted German-Jewish families are reclaiming German citizen­ship. These men and women have moved forward from their tragic past though they carry the pain and grief of their parents and grandparents with them. They trace their roots back to the country of Goethe and Einstein, recapturing family legacies and discovering a new Germany. Will present-day Germany become ‘a place called home’ for these individuals too? The answer is left open."
–Julius H. Schoeps, chair of the Moses Mendelssohn Foundation

"Inspiring and gut-wrenching. These deeply personal accounts of a modern Jewish generation struggling to re-establish family roots in a new Germany while paying honor to their martyred forebears tell a timeless tale of human redemption—the homecoming."
–Ralph Blumenthal, journalist and author of  Miracle at Sing Sing

"Donna Swarthout’s book opens minds to a difficult history while tugging at your heartstrings.”
–Eugene DuBow, Founding director of the AJC Berlin

"This book offers the reader a compelling view of a better and hopefully more peaceful future between Germans and Jews."
–Sharon Adler, publisher at

"An important facet of the history of the special relationship of Jews to Germany."
–Lorenz S. Beckhardt, author of  Der Jude mit dem Hakenkreuz

Book Details:
Title:              A Place They Called Home
Subtitle:         Reclaiming Citizenship. Stories of a New Jewish Return to Germany
Editor:           Donna Swarthout
Publisher:      Berlinica Publishing LLC
Distributor     IPG / Small Press United
Format           Hardcover / Ebook
ISBN:             978-1-935902-65-2 

LCCN:           2018952729
Pages:            208 / with 12 bw pictures / 1 chart
Dimensions:   6’’x 9’’
Release:         December 10,  2018
Sugg. Retail:  $19.95 (HC) / $ 9.99 (ebook)


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Advent, Advent — This Day, We Think About Ernst Reuter, the Face of Berlin in the Cold War

Advent, Advent! On December 8 in 1948, Ernst Reuter became the first Mayor of West-Berlin, the man, who steered the city through the grip of the blockade, the airlift, and the beginnings of the Cold War. He became the face of Berlin and appeared on the cover of Time Magazine.

This is somewhat ironic since Reuter had started his political career as a Communist, joining the Bolsheviks after he was captured by the Russian army in WWI. When he returned to Berlin, he fought for the revolution of 1919. But after a fallout with Lenin, he was expelled from the party. He joined the Social Democrats and, in 1926, became commissioner in the City government. When the Nazis came to power, they rounded up all Communist and Social Democratic politicians. Reuter ended up in the concentration camp of Lichtenburg. After his release, he fled to Turkey, where he spent the war, teaching at the University of Ankara.

After World War II, he returned to Berlin, joined the city government again, and was elected Lord Mayor in 1947. The Soviets, however, did not accept him. The blockade finally split the city politically. Reuter became famous for his speech in front of the burned-out Reichstag on September 9, 1948, where he appealed to the world not to abandon Berlin, in front of a crowd of 300,000 people. Two months later, he was elected Mayor and remained on this post until his early death in 1953. His funeral was attended by more than a million people.

This picture of Ernst Reuter is from our book Berlin in the Cold War. The Battle for the Divided City, by Thomas Flemming.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Advent, Advent —Here is Your St. Nikolaus Present From Berlin!

Advent, Advent! Are you still wondering how you can stuff your loved one's stockings, when St. Nikolaus comes, with Krampus in tow? Sure, there is that piece of coal Krampus will, or also, a bar of chocolate that comes with St. Nicolaus. But if you need something really special—and something from Berlin—here is your Bruce Springsteen, Berlin Wall postcard: A picture of Springsteen himself, giving his famed concert in 1988 East Berlin with an authentic piece of the Berlin Wall attached!

How do I know it is authentic? Those cards were manufactured in a Berlin location in Tegel, the part of town where the airport is located. The family that runs the plant has managed to secure a whole bunch of former Wall slabs, and they were huge! Tons of concrete! They have cut them down to tiny (and not so tiny) pieces, and are putting them up for sale. Yes, I have visited the factury and have seen the making of the cards myself! So, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Advent, Advent — A Song You Can't Hear Often Enough!

Advent, Advent! On this day in history — yes, it is still December 4 — Horst Buchholz was born in Berlin, in 1933. He became a beloved actor, dubbed "the German James Dean". In America, he is mostly known for "One, Two, Three," the Billy Wilder-movie and the ultimate Cold War parody. Sadly, the movie bombed at that time because when it came out, the Berlin Wall had just gone up. Just to cheer you up in these tough times, here is Horst Buchholz being interrogated by the Communists fighters against antifascism everybody remembers so fondly. 

And, on a more serious note, here is out book on the Cold War!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Advent, Advent! — The First Day of Hanukkah

Advent, Advent! Today is the first day of Hanukkah, so we will post a pic of the lighting of the Menorah in Berlin, at the Brandenburg Gate (from our book "Jews in Berlin," by Andreas Nachama, Julius Schoeps, and Hermann Simon). Happy Hanukkah!


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Welcome to our Advents Calendar!

Advent, Advent! As every year, Berlinica will have an Advents Calendar, starting on December first and running all the way to December 24 — Christmas Eve — with a picture, a video, or a poem! This is your picture for today, from our upcoming book "Hereafter. We Were Sitting on a Cloud, Dangling our Legs." This is Kurt Tucholsky musing about the afterlife, but, this being Tucholsky, in a funny way. When will the book be available? Soon!

Hardcover, 96 pages, 25 Photos
Dimensions:: 5 '' x 8 ''
ISBN: 978-1-935902-89-8
Suggested Retail $14.95
Release: December 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A Place They Called Home — Children of Holocaust Survivors gain German Citizenship

Our book A Place They Called Home will be out on Monday, December 10. On this day at 6.30 pm, there will be an introduction at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York, at 15 W 16th St (near Union Square). Leo-Baeck-Director Bill Weitzer will be speaking, as well as Yale historian David Sorkin and the editor of the book, Donna Swarthout, a writer with a graduate degree in political science from UC Berkeley who lives in Berlin.

A Place They Called Home. Reclaiming Citizenship: Stories of a New Jewish Return to Germany is a story collection by twelve children and grandchildren of Jewish Holocaust survivors, the majority of them Americans, who have become German citizens. Among them are Rabbi Kevin Hale, a Massachusetts-based Sofer engaged in the writing, restoration and appraisal of Torah scrolls, Yermi Brenner, an Israeli-American and the grandson of Alice Licht, the companion of a blind Berliner who saved hundreds of Jews, Sally Hess, an award-winning Ballroom dancer and former Instructor in the Arts at Princeton who lives in New York, and Pippa Goldschmidt, an Edinburgh-based scientist and writer known for The Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space.

The book is a 208 pages hardcover that also comes out as an ebook. It includes a background chapter on the citizenship law. It is available at independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble and The suggested price is $19.95.

Hardcover, 208 pp
Dimensions: 6‘‘ x 9‘‘
ISBN 978-1-935902-65-2 
Suggested Retail $20 / ebook $9.99

Friday, November 23, 2018

Yes, Victoria, There is a German Thanksgiving!

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and wish you a joyful start to the holiday season!

Although Thanksgiving is widely known as an American tradition, other countries have similar occasions to give thanks and celebrate a harvest. Germany has a so-called Erntedankfest, which roughly translates to “thanks-for-the-harvest-festival”. Although it is not as widespread as American Thanksgiving, the Erntedankfest is a religious holiday celebrated in the Catholic and Protestant churches, often in rural areas.

The Erntedankfest is often celebrated during the first Sunday in October, but the date may vary and can take place much earlier or later. This year, the festival took place on October 6. During this celebration, churches decorate their altars with sheaves of wheat and fruits of the harvest. Some regions may have a small parade, music, dancing and a country fair. People sometimes choose to decorate with an Erntekkrone (“harvest crown”), which is a wheat wreath built up on a pole and decorated with ribbon and paper flowers. This harvest festival is less common in big cities and usually consists only of a church service.

But whether you’re celebrating German Erntedankfest, American Thanksgiving, Canadian Thanksgiving, Argentina’s Fiesta Nacional de la Vendima, Swaziland’s Incwala, the message is the same: give thanks for what you have and celebrate with loved ones.                  

Nicole Glass, The Week in Germany


Monday, November 19, 2018

Letters to Santa — You Can't Start Early Enough!

Christmas is just over a month away, which means you should start writing your letters to Santa soon! Where should you send them? Well, some people send their letters to the North Pole. And others send them to Himmelpfort.

The tiny German village of Himmelpfort is located 60 miles north of Berlin. Although it has a population of only 500, it has one of the busiest post offices in Germany (relative to its population, at least). For the last 34 years, the town has been receiving letters to Father Christmas.

This year, the Himmelpfort post office has already received more than 12,000 letters to Santa. Hundreds of thousands of letters come in every holiday season – so this is just the beginning. Father Christmas and his 20 volunteers in Himmelpfort promise to personally answer every letter that arrives before December 16.

But why are these letters arriving in Himmelpfort in the first place?

It all began in 1984, when a few children mistakenly sent their Christmas wish lists to Himmelpfort. The translation of the village’s name is “Heaven’s Gate”, and they kids assumed that this is where Father Christmas lives. When the local postwoman saw the letters, she decided to send back a reply “from Santa”. Once the children received a response, more children excitedly started to send letters to Himmelpfort, starting a trend that continues to this day.

Today, the Deutsche Post (the German Post Office) sets up an official Christmas Post Office in Himmelpfort for two months each year, bringing in volunteers to answer letters from children in 16 different languages. If you or your children would like a response from Santa, don’t send a letter to the North Pole - send it to Himmelpfort instead!

Nicole Glass, The Week in Germany

Friday, November 9, 2018

Herr Wendriner Under the Dictatorship / 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht

Today is the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or, as it is also called, Pogromnacht that happened on November 9 1938 in Nazi Germany. The famed Weimar writer Kurt Tucholsky gives you an early glimpse of these times in this piece from 1930, printed in Die Weltbühne.

Didn’t I tell you not to talk so loud? There are storm troopers outside the cinema… can’t you see? Get out now. How much is it? I guess it’s not going to rain, it’ll hold up. Come on in. And shut your mouth now! Oh, I beg your pardon… Be quiet now. Where are our seats… ? First row… wonderful. All right—put your coat down over there, now your… give it to me.
“Previews. That’s only a preview. We’ve seen that one anyway—it’s… Regierer! Say, that’s a good one! What are you doing here? What, in the boxes? Oh, well, the upper crust. hee, hee.… Oh, on passes. No kidding? Say, Regierer has two extra tickets he couldn’t use. Welsch is coming too. Let’s join them in the box. Wait, we’ll come and join you… here… take your coat for a second… . Ah! Here we can talk at least.
“That was the newsreel. Parade in Mecklenburg. Big crowd, huh? Plenty of militia in here—you know, it actually feels like something is missing when they’re not around. It does. You get so used to them. Fine looking fellows, some of them. Hell, I think it’s kind of nice, come to think of it. Isn’t it, Hannah? There’s something festive about it. Sure there is. Well, Regierer, what’s with you? What do you say? We’ll see? That’s what I always say. You know, things don’t look so bad to me. When did I see you last? Two months ago… in September… . Well, there you are. Remember what a panic that was? You can’t help feeling relieved because it’s over… now at least you know what’s what. Some atmosphere we had then… my wife put me to bed for four days, that’s how run-down I was. Who would have thunked? Here on the Kurfürstendamm there wasn’t a sign of anything. Say, look—that’s Gebühr, Otto Gebühr. They say he had an offer from France a while back; they wanted him to do Napoleon. He wouldn’t do it. He says the only part he’ll take is Dr. Goebbels or perhaps Frederick the Great. Good actor. Real big right now. Big time for me, too! I… I voted Staatspartei that time because somebody had to take responsibility… and the party had the right outlook. That’s right. Did Welsch really vote Centre? Meshuggeh. I’ll ask him later. Anyway, things aren’t so bad. I‘ve been talking to a businessman from Rome and he says, compared to Rome, this country is positively free. You’ve got your yellow pass, haven’t you? Sure, we’ve got our yellow pass. Ten years? I’ve been living in Berlin for over twenty years, so they gave it to me right away. Intermission now. Shush! Say, take a look at that dark-skinned fellow down there! Some Polish Jew, I’ll bet… lemme tell you something, with kikes like that there’s a reason for anti-Semitism. Take a good look at him. Disgusting fellow. What surprises me is that he’s still around; why don’t they kick him out?… Well. I can’t complain. On our street everything’s in perfect order. We’ve got a very nice storm trooper on the corner, a real nice fellow. When I go to work in the morning, I slip him a cigarette—he salutes as soon as he sees me coming; salutes my wife too. What did they do to you? What is Regierer saying? They knocked his hat off? How’d that happen? Well, in that case, my good friend, you’d better raise your arm! The way I feel about it is, if that flag’s our national symbol you’ve got to salute it. Shush! Powder keg? I guess so. Do you think I feel quite safe? Every morning my wife rings me up at the office to see if anything is wrong. So far nothing has happened. Say, that was good just now, did you see it? The fellow pretended to be blind when he’s actually deaf. Well, lemme tell you something… you shouldn’t speak his name out loud… I’ll tell you. About this H.—even if he does come from Czechoslovakia—he sure knows the German mind. At any rate, we have order. That’s one thing we’ve got. As long as you’re a citizen and got your yellow pass, nothing happens to you… you’re under the protection of the state… they’re very logical about these things. One thing you’ve got to admit: they know how to put on a show. Fantastic! What? Like the other day on Wittenbergplatz. The way they came marching up with their flags and all that music. Under the Kaiser it was no bett… . Welsch! You’re a little late! Half the picture is over. Sit over here. No, not on my hat! Sit on Regierer’s hat… it’s not so new.
“Nu, Welsch, what’s what? Let’s have a look… now I can see you better. You look fine. Say, is it true you voted Centre? Here come two from Security. Shush!… It is true that you voted Centre? Meshuggeh. Sure, the Centre did have Karewski on its list, but that’s Jewish business. We… not so loud! Keep your voice down, that’s all I ask. Don’t get me into trouble—times are too serious for that. After all, they’re perfectly right in expecting us to maintain a certain decorum in public. Perfectly right. It’s starting again. That’s Kortner—see, they let him act. I’m telling you, it’s really not so bad. Don’t you agree? Of course you do. Cute little number—take a look! We were just talking about H. With him at least you know he isn’t going to break into your safe. With the Communists I don’t know. Or rather… I know too damn well. Yes, right now they can’t move a muscle; they’re out flat. Serves them right, too. My dear Welsch, a politician’s business is to be successful; otherwise he’s no politician. The same goes for a businessman. That’s realpolitik. Let one handle politics and the other the realities. Am I right?
“Newsreel again? Well, why not? Shush! When they’re showing those pictures, you shouldn’t talk. Let them have their fun—it’s not so bad. Anyway, it’s good camera work; the other day we saw him from quite close; he was standing there with his lieutenants… No! Goebbels is out… Didn’t you know that? Yes, sure he’s very popular. Maybe that’s why. H. keeps his eyes open. Goebbels wanted to speak in the Wintergarten… but they wouldn’t give him a permit.
“Today it was a little weaker. A little weaker. Why? With the stock exchange, it’s no use asking. The stock exchange has a nose… don’t ask why. Those fellows have a flair; when things go well they don’t say a word and make money, and when things go wrong they drive everybody meshuggeh. Afterward they’ll tell you they knew what was going to happen all along. Charming picture, take a look! Say, did you see that? Those French soldiers running in all directions… ? No, that couldn’t happen in Germany. What was I saying? Well, even if some people are beefing, if you ask me, the thing has its good side. How so? What do you mean? What has that got to do with the war? What has the Young Plan got to do with the war? Go on! Did we start the war? All we did was cheer. And when it was over we didn’t have any butter. Aw, don’t tell me. Since when does a nation have to pay for losing a war? It’s bad enough we lost it; the other side won, let them pay for it! My dear Welsch… I have… I am… shush!
“I expected… my dear Welsch… I expected certain things just the same as you did. All right. And now that I see it isn’t the way I expected, I’ve got to admit that this system has its good side too. I mean, it has its historical justification—go on! You can’t deny that. It has its… that is, I mean, the city does look different. And the foreigners will be back soon enough, out of curiosity. You’ve got to hand it to them: those boys have something. I don’t know what it is, but they sure have got it.
“That’s the end. So let’s go home. Oh yes… the Horst Wessel song first. What are you gonna do—you’ve got to take part in it. The English sing their national anthem after the theatre, too, so we Germans sing a different song… . Marschiern im Geist in unsern Reihen mit.… Oh well.
“Beg your pardon… tsk, tsk, tsk… it’s raining. So, it’s raining after all.
“Wait a while… maybe a taxi will come along. You wait under the marquee; I’ll watch for a taxi. That’s not a Sturmtruppführer, it’s a Gauführer… .
“I know the insignia. Get out of the rain. When it rains you should take shelter. Do we have to get wet? Let other people get wet. Here comes a taxi.
“Shush! Get in.”

Germany? Germany!
Satirical Writings:The Kurt Tucholsky Reader.

By Kurt Tucholsky
Translated by Harry Zohn
Foreword by Ralph Blumenthal

Friday, October 5, 2018

Kurt Tucholsky and His Adventures in Heaven

Very exciting news: We will have a new book out by famed Weimar writer Kurt Tucholsky; Hereafter. We Were Sitting on the Cloud, Dangling Our Legs. It is a charming little hardcover about how Kurt Tucholsky, then living in Paris, imagined heaven, debating philosophy with his fellow angels, watching meteors, flying to the mountain of laughter, meeting Gandhi at God's parties, and thinking about what he left on earth. The preface is by esteemed author William Grimes.

So, the book is near-finished, but not quite, and this is how you come in! We have two sets of headlines, and we are not sure which one is the best. If you want to participate in a poll, email us at info (at) berlinica (dot) com, and we will send you both versions to judge. In addition, we will send all volunteers a free ebook as soon as it is available. Let your voice be heard!

Your publisher, Eva C. Schweitzer

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

70 Years of the Berlin Airlift

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the Berlin Airlift of 1948 and 1949, which is widely considered a turning point in the German-American relationship.
After the end of the Second World War, Germany was divided into the American, British, French and Soviet occupation zones. Although Berlin lay within the Soviet occupation zone, the city itself was also divided into four sectors. In 1948, the Allied nations created a single new currency – the Deutsche Mark – for their occupation zones. The Soviets were displeased with this move, fearing that this new currency would devalue the Reichsmark they were using in the East. As a result, they began a blockade of West Berlin, hoping to starve the western powers out of the city. Without the intervention of the Allies, there would have been a humanitarian disaster and many people would have starved to death.
In response to the blockade, the Western Allies had to come up with a plan to provide food and supplies to the people of West Berlin. They launched the Berlin Airlift – an initiative consisting of more than 270,000 flights that brought up to 8,893 tons of supplies to West Berliners each day. After several months, the Soviets lifted the blockade in May of 1949.
This airlift saved many lives and was the start of a long-lasting friendship between Germany and the US. The German people are eternally grateful for the help they received from the US and the Western Allies during the blockade.
This past week, the German Embassy in Washington held several events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, including an event at the Air Force Memorial that featured a flyby of the C-54 Skymaster (the type of plane used in the Airlift), the A400M of the German Air Force and a C-17 of the US Air Force.
Our special guest was Colonel Gail Halverson, a veteran of the Berlin Airlift who was often called “Uncle Wiggly Wings” for dropping chocolate bars from his “candy bomber” plane.
“Colonel Halverson, we owe you and your comrades a great deal – the German people will always be grateful!” said German Ambassador Emily Haber at the Air Force Memorial on Sunday. In addition to attending the commemorative event, Halverson also spoke to school groups on Monday at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
“The airlift was a turning point in the relations between our countries,” Ambassador Haber continued. It also “marked a strategic battle in the beginning of the Cold War. The United States and its allies won this battle. They saved the freedom of Berlin. And they won the hearts and minds of the German people.”
This is a contribution of Nicole Glass, Editor of The Week in Germany

If you want to know more about the Airlift, read:
Berlin in the Cold War. The Battle For The Divided City, by Thomas Flemming.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Annual Steuben Parade on September 15!

The annual Steuben Parade is just around the corner!  On September 15, we will be participating in the parade along New York City’s Fifth Avenue. And it’s one we definitely can’t miss: the Steuben Parade is one of the largest gatherings of German- Americans in the world!
Thousands of participants and spectators attend the annual parade, and we can’t wait to be among them! Let's take a look at who this large event is named after:
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (1730-1794) has long been a symbol of German-American friendship. The Prussian-born military officer fought in two major wars, but is best known for his contributions on American soil. His experience gained during the Seven Years' War equipped him with a wealth of military knowledge that helped the young man rise in the ranks. When he was in his thirties, he found himself in debt, and hoped to find employment in a foreign army to gather funds. In 1777, the young baron was introduced to General George Washington by means of a letter. Soon thereafter, he was on his way to the United States, where he offered to volunteer his services without pay. Arrangements were made so that Steuben would be paid for his services after the war, based on his contributions.
And he did not fail to impress: Von Steuben became inspector general and major general of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and he is often credited as being one of the founders of the Continental Army. In the final years of the war, the Prussian-born military officer even served as General Washington's chief of staff. Finally, in 1784, he became an American citizen.
Today, there are celebrations throughout the US that are named after Von Steuben, including the German-American Steuben Parades in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. There is also a Steuben Society, an educational and fraternal organization that was founded in 1919 to help organize the German-American community. We even have a statue of Von Steuben at the German Embassy in Washington!
As we celebrate German-American friendship, culture and heritage, Von Steuben is a name that we will always remember.

This is a contribution from Nicole Glass at The Week in Germany

Happy Steuben Day Parade from Eva at Berlinica!  

Route and locations.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Happy Easter! And Happy Passover!

For those of you who grew up celebrating Easter, you're surely familiar with the Easter Bunny. Perhaps you woke up to find your backyard filled with hidden Easter Eggs during your childhood!

But did you know that the origins of the Easter Bunny can be at least partially traced to Germany? There are various theories on how exactly the concept of the Easter Bunny arose, but we do know that it came from Medieval Europe and that Germans introduced the concept to the United States. During the Middle Ages, families consumed eggs and www.berlinica.comhares, which were in no short supply in the springtime. At some point in the 17th century, parents began to tell their children that the eggs came from the Easter Bunnies.

When German immigrants came to the United States in the 1700s, they settled in Pennsylvania and brought the concept of the egg laying Osterhase ("Easter Bunny") with them. Hoping to receive eggs on Easter, children would create nests for the eggs to be laid in. Traditions have evolved over time, but today, both German and American families will celebrate Easter with colorful eggs.

On this note, we'd like to wish our readers a Happy Easter! And for those celebrating Passover, we wish you a joyful celebration as well!

This is a contribution from Nicole Glass at The Week in Germany
Happy Easter and Happy Passover from Eva at Berlinica!

Bildquelle:, Lizenz: CC BY-SA 4.0 international


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