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St. Martin's Day in Germany, November 11
Germany's children bring light and music to Sankt Martinstag, St. Martin's Day. Candle lit lantern processions, singing, a "Weckmann" enjoyed by an open fire. Beginning with church services in his honor often the day ends with "Martinsgans" - But who was St. Martin?
St. Nicholas in Germany
There would be no Santa Claus if there hadn't been a St. Nicholas, as his reputation as a secret benefactor and giver of gifts was the inspiration for "Sinterklaas". With St. Nicholas Eve on December 5, and December 6 St. Nicholas Day, "Nikolaus" is a magical time in many regions of Europe.
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.
Strammer Max, Germany's 'Anytime' Sandwich
For generations Strammer Max has been one of Germany's most popular "anytime" meals. Quick, easy and delicious it's an open faced sandwich combination that has regional variations, but always includes an egg, so here are some recipes and all are worth trying.
Streetwise German - Some of Germany's Idioms
"Alles in gruenen Bereich" - "Everything in the green area", does not mean an area/building in varied shades of green but "Everything is under control/OK". Heard every day it is one of many commonly used German expressions that sound bizarre, are fun to know, and have shaped the language.
Struwen, Germany's Fried Yeast Pancake Recipe
Struwen were originally an Easter Tradition, but the delicious and easy to make are fried yeast pancakes are enjoyed throughout the year now. For generations they were a Lenten Fast tradition in Münsterländ, Nordrhein-Westfalen, and eaten only during the Fast, especially on Good Friday.
Summer Solstice and Midsummer Magic in Germany
Many Summer Solstice and Midsummer Eve festivities in German speaking countries were mystic Pagan and pre-Christian festivals, symbolic of renewal, fertility and harvest,and fire still plays a major role in celebrating sun and light's triumph over cold and darkness.
The 18th century Dutch Quarter in Potsdam
Just outside Berlin's three remaining city gates, and far from the Netherlands-German border, is a "Dutch Quarter". Das Holländische Viertel, an 18th century settlement of 134 Dutch styled homes, built for artisans from Holland and set among the opulent palaces and parks of Potsdam.
The Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945, Book Review
Life, revolutions and war changed Marie (Missie) Vassiltchikov’s predestined comfortable and privileged future, from that of a beautiful, spirited "White Russian" princess in Tsarist Russia to aristocratic, but penniless, refugee wandering Europe. Ending in Berlin during WWII.
The Berlin Wall, Germany Remembers
East Germany began building a wall across Berlin on August 13th 1961, and while it existed the Berlin Wall defined the cold war and division of Europe. November 1989 the exits were opened by government decree, and families who had been separated for decades could be reunited.
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