SunBird American/German Club news and happenings

Frank Nechvatal

Our club celebrated its Christmas Party on Monday Dec. 9, at 5 p.m. in the Horizon Room. We dined on salad, roast chicken covered with cheese and bacon, mashed potatoes, veggies, and a dessert. Members had a choice of beverages – beer, wine, soft drinks, or coffee. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m. in the Lakeview Room. Save the date.

In our ongoing review of the German states, we will turn to a description of the State of Brandenburg. Brandenburg is a bit unusual in that the state of Berlin is located nearly in the middle of the State of Brandenburg. This area was conquered by the Wends and later became the Margraviate of Brandenburg, a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire after the fall of the Roman Empire. In the 15th century Brandenburg came under the rule of the House of Hohenzollern, who would later rule the Duchy of Prussia. The two areas would later become the Kingdom of Prussia. In the late medieval and early modern times Brandenburg was one of the seven electoral states of the Holy Roman Empire and along with Prussia formed the original core of the German Empire. One of the greatest problems in the area was the large number of Slavic tribes. They continually revolt against German rule until the early 1400’s. Brandenburg became a “Protestant State” in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. Following the Thirty Years War (a war fought over catholic/protestant control of Germany) Brandenburg enjoyed a string of talented rulers. Most noteworthy was Frederick William the “Great Elector,” who expanded Brandenburg and its power. After his death his son, Frederick III of Brandenburg assumed the title of “King of Prussia.” Brandenburg remained at the heart of the Kingdom of Prussia with Berlin and Potsdam as the capitals. After the end of World War II, Neumark, part of Brandenburg east of the Oder – Neisse line, became part of Poland and was ethnically cleansed from its German population. The remainder of the province became a state in the Soviet Zone of occupation in Germany when Prussia was dissolved in 1947. With the creation of East Germany in 1949 the state of Brandenburg was completely dissolved by 1952. The present State of Brandenburg was re-established on Oct. 3, 1990 upon reunification of Germany. Berlin again became the capital of Germany. In 1995 it was proposed to merge the States of Brandenburg and Berlin. However, when submitted to a vote, the proposal was defeated.

Auf wiedersehen!