German/American Club News

Frank Nechvatal

The German/American Club had its February meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. in the Lakeview Room. After the business meeting, we adjourned to have Treva Christensen teach us how to play the dice game Bunco. We broke up into groups of four and played six rounds. We shared the treats that members brought to the meeting and had coffee and ice water from the Horizon Room.

We also introduced a slate of candidates for the offices of president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. We presented plans for our April Potluck Patio Party on Tuesday, April 26, at 5 p.m. on our clubhouse patio.

At our March meeting on March 8, we elected officers for a two-year term. Following the business meeting, we adjourned to play Trivia. Carol Dawley lead us in this fun evening. Prizes went to first, second, and third place winners.

In this article, we will begin to introduce our readers to the German states. Our first state is Berlin. Berlin is not only a state, it is the capital city of Germany (after the reunification of the country in 1990). Berlin is the largest city in Germany, both in population and area. Hence, Berlin is both a state and a capital city. This city/state is a large cosmopolitan area noted for its culture, politic, media, and science. This metropolis is a significant tourist destination and the home to significant industries that include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology, construction, and electronics.

The city is divided into 12 boroughs or districts (Bezirke). Each borough is governed by a council consisting of five councilors. Each borough has a mayor. The borough mayors make up the council of mayors and advise the city senate.

Berlin, being the capital of Germany, or the Federal Republic of Germany, houses the various levels of the federal government. The president of Germany is a ceremonial position under the Germany Constitution and resides in Bellevue Palace. The German chancellor (prime minister) is housed in the Chancellery building (Bundeskanzleramt). The Bundestag, the German parliament, faces the chancellery and is in the renovated Reichstag (burned to the ground in the early days of the Nazi regimen).

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