SunBird American/German Club News

Frank Nechvatal

Here we are beginning an new season for he club. Our first meeting was Tuesday, September 27, 2016 in the Lakeview Room. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the planned Oktoberfest dinner with accordion player. It is being planned for Monday, October 17, 2016 in the Horizon Room at 6 PM. The menu is Chicken Schnitzel, mashed potatoes, veggie and a dessert. The cost will be $15.00/person payable in advance to the Vice-President Barb Valentine. We began the meeting with pizza and then moved into the business meeting portion.

Reminder membership dues will be $10./person, new members will be $10. plus a $5. initiation fee.

Our November Meeting will return to its normal 4th Tuesday date (Nov. 22, 2016). Following the business meeting we will show a DVD on the Fall of the Wall that divided East Germany from West Germany.

With historical review of Germany we left off with surrender of Germany to end WWII. Following the war Germany was occupied by the Allied Forces. East Germany and East Berlin was overseen by the Soviet Union. West Germany was divided into three zones controlled by Great Britain, USA,

France/Belgium. The territory east of the Oder and Neisse Rivers was given to Poland, Lithuania and Russia. In 1949 the four occupied zones were given their “Independence”. The west zones came together to form the Bundes Republik of Deutschland (United Republic of Germany), the east zone or communist sector became the the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic). The DDR remained under close scrutiny of the Soviet Union. The East German culture was shaped by Communism/Stalinism. East Berlin became the DDR capital while Bonn became the capital for the BRD. West Germany enjoyed economic growth through the 1950’s seeing industrial production double. The East German DDR did not fair as well. In 1961 the DDR erect a wall in Berlin to cut off the loss of skilled workers who crossed the border to work in West German industry. The “Wall” was soon extended along the border of West and East Germany. West Berlin ended up cut off from West Germany. The Wall lead to the creation of the Cold War Term the “Iron Curtain”. In November of 1989 the DDR began to allow open travel between East and West Berlin as well as East and West Germany. Shortly thereafter in 1990 the “Wall” was demolished. The demolition was completed by 1992. October 3, 1990 marks the formal reunification of East and West Germany. This gave rise to the Federal Republic of Germany, the Germany we know today.

Next time the years after reunification. Auf wiedersehen.