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St. Martin's Day in Germany, November 11
Germany's children bring light and music to a typical Sankt Martinstag. St. Martin's Day. Candle lit lantern processions, children singing, a "Weckmann" eaten by an open fire. Beginning with church services in his honor and often ending with "Martinsgans" - Martin's Goose.
Germany's Garden Gnomes
Gartenzwerg are another of Germany's many 'inventions', the Gnomes who disappear in the fall, re-appear when spring arrives and spend the summer months protecting German gardens. Kitsch, folklore, good luck symbols, and for a protector about as far from frightening as it is possible to be.
Friedrich Nietzsche, 19th Century Philosopher
Born in the mid 19th Century, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s timeless quotations have made him a present day sage, but there was a complex man behind quotes such as 'That which does not kill us makes us stronger'.
Friedrich Nietzsche Philosopher, Quotations
Written for a completely different world of the 19th Century, nevertheless German born Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical quotations can be as relevant now as they were then.
Forest Schools, Germany's Waldkindergarten
Waldkindergarten, nature's pre-school for children, where fresh air, the natural world and exploration replace classroom walls. A system of education which began in 19th century Germany and has become increasingly popular throughout the country.
East Berlin, a Pre-Unification Memory
Crossing to East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie could be a rather complicated experience in pre-unified Germany, especially if there was only one person but two accompanying passports.
German Wine and Vineyards
Grapes arrived in Germany via the conquering Romans, and ancient traditions surrounding hillside vineyards with huge sundials and the annual harvest continue. But the German wine industry has changed, and is returning to producing high quality wines so Liebfraumilch is on the way out.
Federweisser, Zwiebelkuchen and Treberwurst
"Federweisser" might look like grape lemonade but it's young wine with a strong "kick" and short season, however its traditional harvest time accompaniments, a rich onion pie "Zwiebelkuchen" and "Treberwurst", sausages marinaded with grapes and fried, can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
The Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945, Book Review
Life, revolutions and war changed Marie (Missie) Vassiltchikov’s predestined comfortable and privileged future, that of a beautiful and spirited "White Russian" princess in Tsarist Russia.
Green Germany, and a Non Nuclear Future
German nuclear power plants were to have all been phased out by 2021, but the situation changed and not all Germans were in agreement. However a nuclear reactor accident in Japan not only restored the status quo, the date for phasing out nuclear power was moved forward.
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