SunBird American/German Club news and fun facts about Germany

Frank Nechvatal

As we enter the Christmas Season, we have had a successful Oktoberfest; November we celebrated German immigration to Texas in the 1840s b.iewing .ideo. In December, we will have our Christmas Party on Saturday, December 16, in the Horizon Room. Barb Valentine is in charge.

The German Club meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in the Lakeview Room. Any individuals interested in the German culture/heritage are invited to attend our meetings.

The 31st of October has now been designated a national holiday in Germany. This past October 31 marked the 500th anniversary of what is considered the beginning of the Reformation. On that date in 1517, a Catholic monk named Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses.” In this document, Luther condemned a number of practices by the Catholic Church as corrupt and in need of “reform.” His stance put him in direct conflict with papacy and would lead ultimately to the Pope excommunicating Luther as a heretic and stripping him of his position as a priest in the Catholic Church. For a time, Luther had to go into hiding to avoid being executed for his perceived heresy. Luther started a movement in Europe which culminated the rise of Reform or Protestant Christian Churches. The schism which evolved gave rise to many of the churches that we know today as Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Puritan, Amish, Mennonite, etc. While these Protestant churches believe in Jesus Christ, they have developed their own Eucharistic practices and church services that differ from the Catholic mass and the devotion of the Catholics to a Pope. Thanks to Marlene Hamrich for contribution.

We will close with a few more Fun Facts about Germany:

1. Gummy Bears were invented by a German;

2. The Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) originated in Germany;

3. Over 1000 kinds of sausage can be found in Germany;

4. Chancellor Angela Merkel has a Barbie doll made in her likeness; and

5. Historically, Germany has been known as the Holy Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and the Weimar Republic.

Until the next time – auf  wiedersehen.