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BellaOnline's German Culture Editor

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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Caroline Herschel German-British Astronomer
Caroline Herschel, sister of William Herschel and pioneer in her own right, cataloged stars, nebula, and was the first woman to discover a comet. She was also the first woman astronomer to earn a salary, acquire honors, and be accepted into scientific organizations usually open only to men.

Stolpersteine, Stones of Remembrance
Stolpersteine, Stumbling stones, are a memorial built one stone at a time. Small 'memory' blocks embedded in sidewalks in front of homes where victims of Nazism last lived freely, simple memorials bearing their names and documenting their lives with the barest of details.

Germany's Dried Fruit People, Zwetschgenmaennla
Prune Men, or Prune People because Zwetschgenmaennla, dried plum boys, were joined by girls, Zwetschgenweibla, long ago, are traditional German handcrafts and symbols of GOOD LUCK. Given to celebrate everything from New Year to Weddings. Here is the story and an easy DIY "How To" guide.

Christmas Tree Apple, the Paradiesapfel
There is red apple amongst the branches of many German Christmas Trees during Weihnachtszeit and until Epiphany, 'Der Paradiesapfel' - The Paradise Apple. A symbol of 'hope' and 'promise' that something lost will be found, a goal or purpose revealed or achieved.

German Nut Cookie Recipes
For anyone who likes nuts here are two quick, simple and delicious cookie recipes. Classics from "Oma's kitchen" they are favorites found on any dish of German "Weihnachtsplaetzchen", Christmas Cookies, but are enjoyed all year round.

Germany 1946/47, The Hunger Winter
Europe lay in rubble, and the winter of 1946/1947 was the coldest in living memory. Known in Germany as the time of "Weisser Tod", white death, and "Schwarzer Hunger", black hunger, hundreds of thousands died. Weihnachten was different that year, Spring and New Year held no promises.

Hohenschwangau Castle, Schloss Hohenschwangau
"Hohenschwangau Castle" in Bavaria had its beginnings in the 12th century as the Fortress Schwanstein. The childhood home of King Ludwig II who built the "Neuschwanstein" fantasy castle, it is filled with history, treasures and art but has the atmosphere of a home.

German Words Used in English
Where did that word originate? You might be surprised. "Gemuetlich" and "Kindergarten" are at home in English and German, as are many other words which traveled from Germany to international worlds of business, science, technology, history and culture, and there absorbed into English.

Volkstrauertag, Remembrance Day in Germany
November's Volkstrauertag in Germany represents all, military and civilian, who died or were left to mourn as victims of violence brought about by combat or oppression. From Europe's old battlefields to the armed conflicts and struggles in our present-day world.

Birthdays in Germany
It is not a good idea to wish a German "Geburtstagkind", Birthday Child, "Happy Birthday" until the actual day, one minute after midnight but not before, while someone celebrating their 90th needs a very large cake, perhaps even a fire extinguisher. Why? It's "Birthdays" the German way.

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