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Issue #132 September 1, 2018


IMPORTANT NOTE: I plan to change my newsletter provider by the next October issue. This means for you to check your inbox and make sure my newsletter comes through as usual. If not, whitelist my email again, please. Thank you! :-)

The G-ZINE — the Germany Magazine — provides you with news, updates and happenings in and around Germany. While saving you valuable time, this e-zine prepares you and sets you up for an unforgettable Germany experience.

September 2018 Topics

In this issue . . .

  1. Must-See And -Do Events
  2. German Phrase
  3. German Quote
  4. Trip Tip
  5. Good To Know
  6. Next G-ZINE's Preview


From Marcus' Travel Desk...

Shakespeare famous quote of "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." came from the ill-fated love affair between Romeo and Juliet. But, I have to say (write) that, with the name Nestle, sweet definitely comes to mind.

Before you go thinking I'm off my rails, I'm starting this G-ZINE with the Quote of the Month by Henri Nestlé. Yes, I'm aware his name doesn't sound very German—but I assure you, his name was Heinrich Nestle before changing it to sound more French after leaving his native Germany for Switzerland.

However you want to pronounce it, doesn't change the fact that Herr Nestle was born in Frankfurt in 1814; then going on to help produce a breast milk substitute, which eventually led to the production of milk chocolate loved the world over.

By the way, Nestlé Corporation is now the largest food & beverage company in the world. What? Germans love food, evident by the abundance of it at so many of its festivals and events—you know, like our infamous Oktoberfest that kicks off this month in Munich.

And what do you know, Berlin hosts its own Oktoberfest celebration, too. But I'll take the Imperial City Festival in Rothenburg any day of the week. What's not to love? Half-timbered houses, fireworks, and historical reenactments all await.

There's also still time to join the fun at Nuremberg's Volksfest, by the way. This is a fantastic Fair of amusement rides, food, music, and family-friendly entertainment.

While it's easy to enjoy yourself while partying it up at one of these events, it's time for me to get down to business. Time to mention what's down below in the Good to Know and my Trip Tip.

If only I knew what to put there. ;-)

Yes I do. For the Trip Tip it's the Schleswig-Holstein town of Eckernförde, known for its Green Screen Naturfilmfest every September. Of course there's much more to this seaside town on the shores of the Baltic Sea, and well worth a spot in the G-ZINE's Trip Tip.

Last, but not least, the Good to Know. This section finds ways to baffle me, but in the end I prevail. This time what's good to know are some pretty amazing women in German history. Women like Gerda Taro, a name many may not know—and buried amongst more familiar names in the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

In order to let you read more about women like Gerda I'll have to let you read the rest of the G-ZINE. If you don't mind, I'll be off smelling the sweet roses Shakespeare mentioned.


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Must-See And -Do Events

Imperial City Festival

Within the Tauber Valley lies the truly magnificent city of Rothenburg, known for its fairytale half-timbered houses—and every September the modern day city celebrates its historical roots. Among the present day conveniences you'll find scores of folks in historical garb, a charming torch procession, fireworks, and of course lots of regional cuisine. What? All this activity makes me hungry. ;-)

Tag des offenen Denkmals (Heritage Day)

Known in English as Heritage Day, this annual event held on the second weekend of September is a countrywide event opens many of the country's finest historical attractions otherwise closed to the general public. So whether you're in Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony to Saxony-Anhalt, you're able to experience the magnificence of some 7,000 (yes, you read that correctly) sights. The event officially kicks off in Oldenburg, but you'll find experts willing to share their insights just about anywhere.


  • September 21st-October 14th
  • Berlin

The capital city of Berlin isn't an ugly-duckling when it comes to its Oktoberfest celebrations, that's for sure. In grand style the city offers beer (of course), but also amusement rides for the kids (and kids at heart) with discounted pricing on Wednesdays, and also a variety of musical talent. Let's not forget food is also part of the festivities, and you'll certainly find something to nosh while meandering around the fairgrounds.


  • September 22nd-October 7th
  • Munich

Just like the Hamburg DOM, Munich's Oktoberfest will continually make the Must See & Do Events here at the G-ZINE. Not only because of its beer (although for many that's the main draw), but also for its all-around carnival atmosphere. You've got heart racing amusement rides, learning experiences of Oktoberfest's history at the Oide Wiesn, the delicious chicken dishes (vegetarians you'll find something too), and plenty of music that'll keep your feet tappin'. It also seems they're adding some new attractions this year, so even if you've experienced Oktoberfest in the past you'll find something you haven't seen before.

Filmfest Hamburg

  • September 27th-October 6th
  • Hamburg

The love of the cinema has spanned centuries—almost like books you're transported back to centuries long gone, or cheer for characters you just adore. And it's film festivals like this one in Hamburg where you'll find cinematic features running the gamut of genres, finding something for everyone to love in a handful of languages. While films aren't given a Golden Bear, winners of the Douglas Sirk Award have been big names in films like Jodie Foster, Clint Eastwood, and Tilda Swinton.

Rheingau Wine Festival

Frankfurt is a vibrant and vivacious city, but for just over a week it seems things are a bit more subdued for its Rheingau Wine Festival. Maybe that's not quite the right word for it, but whatever descriptive word you choose there's no denying the hundreds of varieties of wine are sure to delight everyone. You'll find a wide assortment of local dishes and other culinary delights to keep you from getting hungry. Also, as with any other drinking festival it's best to leave your vehicle parked—and with Frankfurt's great public transportation you'll get right to the heart of it all.

Deutsches Weinlesefest (German Vintage Festival)

To be honest, I'm not sure how well drinking wine and amusement rides bode well together on an average day; but here at the Weinlesefest in Neustadt it seems to coexist pretty smoothly. And it's more than just wine and rides that'll catch your attention—there's a Wine Queen to be crowned, various dishes to sample, and even coffee to be drank. As if this isn't enough to keep you busy and well-fed, there's music to keep you entertained. Oooh, and don't forget to keep your camera handy since Neustadt offers up some charming half-timbered houses. :-)

Volksfest Nürnberg

There's still (roughly) a week-and-a-half left to enjoy all the frivolity at the twice-yearly Volksfest here in Nuremberg. Ladies' Night brings on the male dancers, but running through the rest of the event has amusement rides, guided tours, fireworks, and even speed dating. This is touted as one of the safest festivals in Germany, so make sure you follow the rules—and then everyone will have a fantastic time. OK?

International Literature Festival

Let me begin by saying advance sales of tickets begin for this September event start August 18th. That being said, I can only get excited at the thought of all those wonderful books—filled with stories that'll take you from days of Ancient Pharaohs to the far reaches of another galaxy, alternate universes, and characters so loveable you could only hope they were real. Book Lovers, wouldn't you agree there's something magical about the paper, the smell of the ink? And whatever genre of book you love (and written in just about any language), you'll find it right here at the Literature Festival. Now go order those tickets, this is a widely anticipated annual event.


German Phrase of the Month

  • English: When does class begin?
  • German: Wann beginnt der Unterricht?
  • Pronounce: Van beh-gient dare ounter-rihkt?


German Quote of the Month

"There is no place for belief in modern science. What we do not know is a blank sheet, which we must try to fill in."

—Heinrich Nestle


Trip Tip

In 1985 a British Band named The Dream Academy had a song titled "Life in a Northern Town." And while the lyrics of said song don't exactly fit for the Schleswig-Holstein town of Eckernförde—the title definitely came to mind (and got stuck in my head).

Life in this Northern German town for sure offers up something even the most picky and discriminating traveler will come to love. Offering up those charming strandkorbs along kilometers of sandy beach, the freshest of seafood delights, historical architecture, a never-ending assortment of outdoor recreational fun, and plenty of cultural activities and events.

But, where to start? Well, how about we start with the Green Screen Naturfilm Festival held every September. This year's event runs from September 12th to the 16th, with films held in various venues across town. And Eckernförde is easy enough to get to from places like Kiel, located just 30km away.

The nature side of Eckernförde isn't limited to just what's onscreen, the Hüttener Berge Nature Park offers up everything from hills to lakes, and even meadows to meander around. Add that to some 350km of cycling trails, you're sure to fall in love with its countryside.

So what if riding bike isn't for you? No worries, Eckernförde has horseback riding, 18-hole golfing, tennis, and a great number of hiking trails that'll have you enjoying that Baltic Sea air.

I'd join you, but relaxing on the beach is just my tempo right about now. What? I'm conserving energy for events like the Jazz im Kurpark (August), the Weinfest (also August), and the ever fun Piratenspektakel (Pirate Spectacle).

Funny, a few hundred years ago people would flee at the sight of pirates—these days it's an all-around Jolly Roger good time.

Oh c'mon, that's a good joke. ;-)

Eckernförde's festivals don't stop there, as there's the Beach Festival (July/August), and its Christmas Market, the Aalregatta at Whitsun.

For something a bit more subdued, how about visiting its 12th century Borby Church—where services are still being held all these centuries later. And in the Old Town the Sankt Nicolai Kirche (with its stunning Baroque altar) await. There's also the Altes Rathaus, a 15th century Old Town Hall housing the local museum.

If you think the Middle Ages are old, there have been megalithic tombs found in the village of Strande. Yup, I'd say that's much older.

For something fresh, head to one of Eckernförde's many farms, butchers, or local seafood joints for some delicious eats. This is a charming fishing village, so you're bound to get locally caught delights.

Another place to grab some local specialties would be Eckernförde's Weekly Markets, held at the Rathausplatz and Kirchplatz on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7am-1pm, and Tuesdays 8am-1pm on Wilhelmstraße. This is in addition to the Fish Market at the Harbor held May to August on the first Sunday of the month.

From where I'm sitting, life in the northern town as wonderful as Eckernförde will have you singing The Dream Academy's tune right along with me.


Good To Know

It was a simple fluke with the click of the mouse that gave me an idea for this issue's G-ZINE. I inadvertently caught a snippet of an article on woman by the name of Gerda Taro. A name that doesn't sound very German, but turns out she was born in Stuttgart in 1910 (she also lived in Leipzig).

Now you know, my faithful readers, there's always a method to my madness—and it got me to thinking about women in German history who were leaders and pioneers in a time when women were expected to do nothing more than stay home taking care of the household.

Well, the women like Gerda, born Gerta Pohorylle, was the first female war photojournalist killed in her efforts—so she certainly wasn't home hanging the laundry. She put herself in harm's way during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930's, and died having been crushed by a tank in 1937—all in an effort to bring the atrocities of war to the forefront. That's powerful stuff, wouldn't you say?

Ms. Taro, as she was professionally known, sadly suffered from the sexism of her day as it's believed that much of her work was published under her partner's name, Robert Capa. Her work during the Spanish Civil War has been shown in both the United States and Germany even some eighty-plus years after her death.

Eight decades seems a lifetime ago, but Hildegard von Bingen died over eight centuries ago—and truly deserves (more than) a mention of amazing German women. Born in Bermersheim vor der Höhe in 1098, Hildegard was truly an extraordinary woman—even by today's standards.

She was an abbess, a writer, a composer, a mystic, and considered to be the "founder of scientific natural history in Germany." Oh, she's also been given the designation of a Roman Catholic Saint, and been named a Doctor of the Church—only one of four women (and only German woman) in history ever given that title.

St. Hildegard has been called a polymath, someone who's considered to be an expert in a wide range of subjects. A sexist term for this is a "Renaissance Man," but Hildegard came centuries before da Vinci and Galileo, also polymaths.

Hildegard von Bingen died in 1179, and along with her relics found in the Church of Eibingen, she even has her own scenic route—the 137km Hildegardweg. (Nowadays, Eibingen is part of Rüdesheim.) The Eibingen Abbey is a UNESCO Site, plus over five dozen of her compositions survive from the 12th century.

One more thing worth mentioning that survives centuries after her death: St. Hildegard believed in treating the whole person, not just the symptoms that bothered her patients. It was a holistic approach to her scientific and medicinal practices—forget New Age, she was a Medieval Medical Marvel.

Another German woman with a long list of "professions" is Rosa Luxemburg, who really wasn't German. C'mon, you know how this works—while Rosa might've been born in Poland in 1871, she married a German in order to stay in the country during one of its most tumultuous political time periods.

No matter how she got to Germany, or stayed here, she was Marxist, an economist, an anti-war activist, and a Doctor of Law. She was a member of the Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands), which was eventually outlawed for a time by Hitler in the 1930s. She also helped found the Spartacus League with the likes of Clara Zetkin, and founded Die Rote Fahne, a newspaper designed to help the Spartacus League's agenda.

Rumors had it she engaged in a love affair with Frau Zetkin's son—but also reputed to have a contempt for Prussian men. My guess that said Prussians who imprisoned her for over two years for her political beliefs probably didn't help that thought process.

Adding insult to injury, Rosa was executed and tossed into Berlin's Landwehr Canal in 1919. She was just 47 years old. But what she managed to do in less than five decades was speak three languages (Russian, Polish, and German), speak out against the Imperialism of her day, and work towards a social revolution.

Just as a side note, there's a U-Bahn Station on the U2 known as the Rosa Luxemburg Platz and a Square in the Berlin-Mitte region named in her honor.

These women were pioneers for all the amazing women (German and otherwise) that followed after them, and there's plenty more German women who accomplished amazing feats against the ruling classes, aristocracy, and the sexism of their day.

I think that's certainly Good to Know, and hope you do too.


Next G-ZINE's Preview

Short 'n sweet, here's what's coming up next in Germany — a preview of the next G-ZINE:

  • A New Newsletter Provider--Do Check Your Inbox!
  • Onions Won't Make You Cry
  • Maybe Medieval Meersburg
  • Halloween With Frankenstein


Published by Marcus Hochstadt

Albert-Schweitzer-Str. 3
68723 Schwetzingen, Germany

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