Mothers: A Source of Strength

By Darlene Fuchs on Email

What is America’s greatest source of strength and inspiration?  According to the U.S. Congress, its American mothers. Stay-at-home moms, Congress declared, are “doing so much for the home . . . and [for] religion,” which leads to “good government and humanity.”  Congress used these facts in 1914 when it created …

Darlene Fuchs

Mother’s Day in Germany and the United States

By Darlene Fuchs on Email

Mother’s Day in Germany Mother’s Day has been celebrated in Germany since 1923, since 1917 in Switzerland, 1918 in Finland and Norway, 1919 in Sweden and in Austria since 1924. The day is a holiday in honor of mother and motherhood. In Germany, Mother’s Day was finally established by the …

Darlene Fuchs

Book Review: auf Wiedersehen

By Darlene Fuchs on Email

auf Wiedersehen – World War II Through the Eyes of a German Girl Book by Christa Holder Ocker ///   Christa, an outgoing 7 year old, tells the story of her family’s evacuation during the collapse of the Third Reich towards the end of WWII and their eventual immigration to New …

Darlene Fuchs

Easter in German Speaking Europe

By Darlene Fuchs on Email

The Easter celebration goes back to the earliest days of the Christian church, but the date of this festivity has been controversial from the very beginning. Even the origin of the name of the most important celebration in the Christian calendar is unclear. The origins of the German Easter traditions …

Photo by maxmaria

Darlene Fuchs

Some Say April Fools Day Originated In Germany

By Darlene Fuchs on Email

Could it be that April Fool’s Day, sometimes called All Fools’ Day, originated in Germany? On April 1, 1530 a meeting of lawmakers was supposed to occur in Augsburg, Germany in order to consider various financial matters. Because of time considerations, the meeting did not take place. But numerous speculators, …

Darlene Fuchs

Did German Almost Become the Official US Language in the 1770’s?

By Darlene Fuchs on Email

The legend usually goes something like this: “In 1776, German came within one vote of becoming America’s official language instead of English.”  It is a story that Germans, German teachers, and many other people like to tell. But is it true? At first glance it may sound plausible. After all, …

Darlene Fuchs

“German Chocolate Cake” Fact or Fiction?

By Darlene Fuchs on Email

Many of my friends and colleagues over the years have questioned the absence of “German Chocolate Cake” at the many German events they attend.  I would like to once and for-all quell the misconception that this cake has anything to do with Germans. In 1780 Dr. John Baker began producing …

Darlene Fuchs

Bratkartoffelverhältnis: The Fried Potato Relationship

By Darlene Fuchs on Email

Bratkartoffelverhältnis literally translated means, “fried potato relationship” or one could say an “on-off relationship,” which does not have to be short-lived, just a casual arrangement of mutual convenience.  The idiom, “Er hat ein Bratkartoffelverhätnis mit ihr.” translates into “he only see her because she provides water and food for him.” Even …

Darlene Fuchs

Fasching or Karneval… Is There a Difference?

By Darlene Fuchs on Email

There are two main words used in German for Carnival or Mardi Gras, the pre-Lenten celebration that ends on Ash Wednesday (Aschermittwoch): the Germanic Fasching and the Latin-based Karneval. Fasching is the most common word used for Mardi Gras in southern Germany, Bavaria and Austria. This Germanic word dates from …

Darlene Fuchs

Alaaf or Helau

By Darlene Fuchs on Email

A very important regional distinction in Germany is the Carnival Salutation. Around Cologne this is “Alaaf”, and almost everywhere else it is “Helau”. One must be sure to never shout “Helau” in Cologne, or “Alaaf” in Mainz! “Alaaf” comes from “Cöllen al aff”, which means “Cologne on everything”. This phrase …

Darlene Fuchs