American/German Club News

Frank Nechvatal

Our German Club finished the 2021-22 season with a Patio Party. The club purchased fried and roasted chicken for club members. Members brought side dishes to share, and we all dined together. Music was played in the background. Fun time.

Plans for next season (2022-23) were presented, including the meeting date shifting to the fourth Thursday of the month from September through April.

In the continuing saga of the German States, we will turn our attention to Hamburg. This city/state is the second largest city in Germany, Berlin being the largest. Hamburg is a sheltered natural harbor off the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. As such, it developed as a seaport and a hub for commerce. The city in its early history was destroyed several times. The Vikings attacked the city in 845 with 600 Viking ships and destroyed the city. In 1030 the King of Poland attacked the city and burned it down. In 1201 Valdemar II of Denmark invaded and captured the city. Yet the greatest tragedy for Hamburg was the Black Death of the Medieval period, which killed 60% of the population. Hamburg continued to grow and to become the major seaport that it is today.

In 1529 Hamburg embraced Lutheranism, and the Catholic influence dwindled. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, Hamburg became a sovereign state. As Germany moved toward unification, Hamburg retained its importance as a city of trade and commerce. During World War II, Hamburg became a target for Allied bombing raids. On July 23, 1943, the Allies conducted a firebombing of the city, and the end result was a firestorm that spread through the city, nearly destroying the entire city. The bombing raids are thought to have killed over 42,000 civilians. Following the war, Hamburg was rebuilt into the city it is today.

Today, Hamburg is made up of a diverse cosmopolitan population. Besides the seaport commerce, the city is home to 40 theaters, 60 museums, and 100 music venues. From the educational standpoint, Hamburg has 32 public libraries and 19 universities that serve over 100,500 students.

Auf wiedersehen