American/German Club news

Frank Nechvatal

April marked the end of the 2018-2019 season. We celebrated with a patio party. We will resume our meetings on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, in the Lakeview Room at 6:00 p.m. Please mark your calendars. This meeting will be centered on preparations for the Oktoberfest meeting.

As was stated in the May article, we would begin with the June issue to highlight the states of Germany and their most noteworthy characteristics. The first state is Baden-Wuerttemberg. This is Germany’s third largest state with 11 million inhabitants. The largest city is the state capital, Stuttgart, followed by Karlsruhe and Mannheim. Other cities are Freiburg, Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Pforzhein, Reutlingen and Ulm. Baden-Wuerttemberg is formed from the historical territories of Baden, Prussian Hohenzollern and Wuerttemberg, and also parts of Swabia. After World War II, in 1949, each state became a founding member of the Federal Republic of Germany, with Article 118 of the German Constitution providing an accession procedure. On December 16, 1951, Wuerttemberg-Baden, Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern and Baden voted via a referendum in favor of a joint merger. The result was that Baden-Wuerttemberg became an official state in West Germany on the 25th of April 1952. Most of the major cities straddle the banks of the Neckar River. The Rhine River forms the western border as well as the southern border. Baden-Wuerttemberg shares Lake Constance (Bodensee) with Switzerland, Austria and Bavaria. The Danube River has it source in Baden-Wuerttemberg near the town of Donaueschingen in the Black Forest.

This state is considered as one of the most prosperous and wealthiest regions in Europe. There are a number of well-known enterprises headquartered in the state. Among these are Daimler AG, Porsche, Robert Bosch GmbH (auto industry), Carl Zeiss AG (optics), SAP SE (software) and Heidelberger Druckmaschinen (precision mechanical engineering).

Baden-Wuerttemberg is a popular state for tourism, especially the areas where one can find natural warm mineral springs. Additionally, there are a number of castles and noteworthy universities found here. In the spring and autumn, beer festivals are held such as the Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart. In the fall the Cannstatter Volksfest is the second largest beer fest in the world, second only to the Oktoberfest in Munich, Bavaria.

Some of the oldest universities are found in this state. For example, there is Heidelberg founded in 1386, Freiburg founded in 1457 and Tuebingen founded in 1477. Seven more universities also have their home in Baden-Wuerttenberg.

Two dialect groups are spoken in Baden-Wuerttemberg. They are the Alemanic and Franconian dialects. Within these two groups, one can find a number of sub-groups; however, Hochdeutsch (high german) remains the universal dialect used in schools, science, politics, business throughout all of Germany.

Until the next time – auf wiedersehen.