At our January meeting, we had a video presentation of a Tour Around Oberammergau. This is the site of the Passion Play put on every 20 years at Eastertime. This is a tradition that occurs every 10 years as a thank you for the village being spared from the Bubonic Plague in the Middle Ages. We talked about the coming Lenten time before Easter that starts with Ash Wednesday. This is also the time for Fasching (Mardi Gras), the celebration before the fasting period of Lent. The club will plan a Fasching party for our February meeting.
News from Germany: Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, in her New Year Address to the nation announced that in 2019, Germany will turn its attention to the issues of Climate Change, Migration and International Terrorism. Additionally, Germany will work to make the European Union robust and more capable of making decisions and protect the close partnership with Britain. Germany has also assumed a rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council. In this role, Germany will help manage and prevent conflicts around the world. The German government has stated that it will prioritize the following: Climate and security policy, the women, peace and security agenda, strengthening the humanitarian system, improving the application of international humanitarian law, injecting fresh impetus into the issue of disarmament and arms control and, lastly, addressing human rights violations. This will be quite an undertaking for Germany.