Category Archives: In the News – Aktuell

October 3rd, Germany celebrates “Tag der Deutschen Einheit” – The German National Day

Today Germany celebrates its National Day, the “Tag der deutschen Einheit” !

Today Germany commemorates the reunification of Germany. After WW II Germany got divided into East and West Germany. A fortified wall made sure that interaction between these two Germanys was limited and especially controlled .

Many Germans never believed that they would ever witness a unified Germany again, but November 9th, 1989 should catch them by surprise.

On this fateful day in history the East German government declared that all East Germans were free to go to the West and visit West Germany and West Berlin. Germany and the world went wild! Impactful, dramatic images of that day still captivate us today.

So why don’t we celebrate our German National Day on November 9th after all?

November 9th happens to be a day for a variety of  historical events in Germany, and not all were such that they should be honored or remembered positively on a day that shall celebrate the National day of Germany .

November 9th was the day on which the German republic was proclaimed in 1918, and it was also a November 9th when Hitler’s first coup in 1923 was defeated. This ominous date however also marks the anniversary of the Reichskristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) in 1938, the day of the first large-scale Nazi-led pogroms against Jews.

November 9th therefore did not seem an appropriate date for the German National Day.

October 3rd was chosen instead since this was the day in 1990 when the formal reunification took place.

October 3rd replaced the date of June 17, which used to be the date for “The Day of German Unity” during the days of the BRD ( The Federal Republic of Germany).

Images: Pixabay.com

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5 Ways Elections in Germany are Different from US Elections

5 Ways Elections in Germany are Different from US Elections

by Kate Müser

Last year I had to register to vote in the state of New York, since that was the last state I’d voted in, which felt odd since I only lived there for 10 months. But given the absurd campaign in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, filling out my absentee ballot became all the more important to me.

I held out hope that some miraculously competent third-party candidate would pop up on the ballot – that is, until it turned up in my mailbox.

In Germany, politics are not like grocery shopping: Germans apparently appreciate choice, and, anti-Aldi-style, there are more political parties than the average German could name without googling. Admittedly, I had lost touch with just how few choices there are in the US.

Nearly a year later, it’s Germany’s turn to head to the polls. The result will eventually be the most powerful person in Europe and – considering the current global political climate – potentially even the world.

But Americans might be shocked to find out that no chancellor candidates will appear on Germans’ ballots, since the chancellor is chosen later by the ruling coalition formed post-election by the leading parties.

Instead, national elections consist of a local candidate for the federal parliament, the Bundestag, and a nod to a party of their choice. It seems fairly unspectacular for a vote that will help shape the future of Europe.

In fact, “unspectacular” can apply to elections in Germany in general. There is no mudslinging, no late-night Twitter rants, practically no merchandising, no big televised rallies – and only recently have the top chancellor candidates started holding debates.

Germany’s big 2017 election on September 24 is only weeks away, but if you were to visit Germany now, you’d be hard pressed to notice it.

In this video, I’ve gone into 5 big ways that German national elections are different from those in the US. Both systems have plenty of pros and cons – but not much in common.

©KateMüser

Image: Pixabay.com

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Kate Müser, who grew up in Pleasanton, California, was surprised to discover that she feels even closer to her home state now than she did when she first moved to Bonn, Germany, over 13 years ago.

She is the creator of the successful YouTube series #thoseGermans and the portrait series #germany24. Visit Kate’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/katemuser and her website, justkate.de.

For over a decade, Kate has been a TV, radio and online journalist at Deutsche Welle, where she currently hosts the video series Meet the Germans with Kate and the TV show PopXport.

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German Summer Camps 2017 in California – A Retrospective

As summer vacation draws to an end, we wanted to take a look at some of the German summer camps that were offered this year throughout California. The variety of camps is growing each year, and expat parents now have plenty of choices for their offspring to perfect their German language skills right here in California.

From sleepaway camps to science camps to unique camps like ‘Innerweaving’, we are sure you’ll find your favorite. Enjoy our compilation of a select group of German summer camps in Southern California & Northern California!

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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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GermanSchool Campus in Newport Beach

“Earth-Water-Air-Fire” was the motto for GermanSchool campus’ adventurous STEM Science Camp right on the Newport Bay in the beginning of July. The weeklong German immersion camp took young language learners out on the Newport Bay in sail boats and kayaks to learn about wind and solar energy first hand. When not aboard a vessel, the children explored the various environments, learned about sustainability, recycling, clean air solutions, wind power and much more. In cooperation with the Newport  Sea Base, GermanSchool campus put together a camp around a field that is gaining on popularity throughout the world. To help retain the new vocabularies learned, the children received a folder with all pertinent information in German and took a variety of day trips to manifest the theoretical knowledge by experiencing the real thing. Trips to a Newport hatchery and the Back Bay Science Center rounded off a week full of science adventures.

The next STEM Science Camp is planned for the beginning of July 2018. Please contact the school by April 2018 to find out more about the details.

GermanSchool campus starts its regular academic school year Monday, August 28th. The open enrollment policy makes it possible to join anytime during the year. New this year is the Vorschul-Klasse, that introduces the German language to the 4-6 year olds with the help of music, rhythm, and role-play and incorporates Carl Orff’s music education. You can register for the 2017/18 academic year here. You can also contact the school at PH: (949)  285  0829 or email at principal@GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com



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GASA – German American School Association of Southern California

GASA Summer Camp 2017  – A time travel through Germany awaited the children when they arrived at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center. 67 children aged 7-14, 6 teachers, 4 volunteers and our leader, participated at this year’s summer camp and spent an exciting time together at this 5-day overnight camp. Throughout the week children had German lessons in the mornings. The general theme was “Time Travel through Germany” with several interesting topics, such as: “The Knighthood in the Middle Ages”, “The German Fairy Tale Route with the Bremen Town Musicians”, “German Inventions”, “The Twenties in Germany” among others. In the afternoons the children enjoyed activities like archery, swimming, zip-lining, fishing or baking, or worked on painting the stage for the theatre play that was set to perform the last day of camp. The last day was marked by a visit to the local zoo and was rounded off by the theatre play and a cozy evening around the camp fire with s’mores and camp songs.

GASA’s summer camp is planned to partake again in June/July 2018.

During the regular school year GASA offers German language classes with a curriculum that stresses language skills, culture, art and music on all levels. The youngest students learn German primarily through songs, rhymes, games while writing and reading is added at the beginning elementary school level with the addition of grammar as the students advance in their studies.  The regular school year starts September 16, 2017.  For further information contact the school. Phone: 562-693-0223 or office@gasaschool.org and our website: www.germanschool4kids.org



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WanderKind PRESchool in Los Angeles

WanderKind Preschool offered its first language immersion day camp for children ages 3-8 this July. Children got together to read, sing, play and create amazing art projects, all while building new vocabulary and understanding in German. “We even got a chance to head out into nature at Brand Park, which is located across the street from the school. Families got together for a German movie screening, as well as a splash party and BBQ.”

The camp will be expanded and offered again in June 2018. Please call the school for more information.

During the school year WanderKind Preschool offers a German Immersion Nature Preschool Program for 2-5 year olds. Children spend half of their time outdoors, enjoy time set aside for free play and get creative in a curriculum rich with arts and crafts. The highly qualified staff nurtures the whole child, supporting social and emotional development in a small mixed-age group. Please sign up now for classes to start in September. Contact Dr. Franziska Reff at 415-812-6675 or wanderkindschool@gmail.com .



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German Pacific School San Diego

Kids at German Pacific School in San Diego (GPSSD) had the choice of 4 different camp weeks in July. 2017 marked the school’s fourth year of summer camps.  The youngest campers traveled back in time to learn about dinosaurs, the medieval ages, princesses, knights, and dragons. They hand-built and hand-painted an almost life-size pirate ship while the 10-12 year-old campers learned quite a bit about movie-making this summer – from the first idea to the final cut. “During the four weeks of camp we went on to two field trips. We visited NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and went on a tour (in German) at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.”  The highlight of this year’s summer camp was the production of the musical “Ritter Rost” (Rusty Knight). In addition to their regular language classes, the school offers different enrichment programs, and organizes events for the whole family with the goal to bring the German community together.

Regular classes will resume in September, at four different locations throughout the greater San Diego area (classes in La Jolla, Clairemont, Carmel Valley and Poway).

New this year is that Saturday classes will meet at La Jolla’s beautiful campus of SDFAS, the French-American School. Most of the GPSSD students come from bilingual families or have visited German schools in other countries. They have therefore a very good understanding of the German language already. GPSSD is an accredited school to prepare for the various German exams all the way to the ‘Deutsches Sprachdiplom’. Find more information on the upcoming school year at germanpacificschool@gmail.com,  Ph: (858)-461-9118 or visit the website: www.gpaas.org



NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

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German-American School of Palo Alto (GASPA)

GASPA held its annual Summer Camp from June 19th through July 15th on the Campus of ALTO International School in Menlo Park. The 65 campers were ages 3-12 and from all over the San Francisco Bay Area.

The ever popular camp is a full immersion camp and not only is it about learning German, but about doing everything in German! This summer did not disappoint! Among other things tree-house caves were built, songs were sung, buffets cooked, costumes sewn, screenplays were written, movies were made, artwork was drawn and painted, experiments conducted, cucumbers pickled, metal was forged, juices squeezed and pressed, boats were sailed in, pinball machines were built, Stockbrot was grilled, Zumba was danced and of course, Fussball was played.

This fall, our Saturday School Program gets underway on September 9th. Next to our tried and true program for children ages 3 to 18, we are pleased to expand our program this year to include a “Parent& Me” toddler group for children ages 0-3 and a class for adults.  Registration is currently open and ongoing. All program details can be found at www.gaspa-ca.org 



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GISSV – German International School of Silicon Valley in Mountain View

The GISSV (German International School of Silicon Valley) Saturday School in Mountain View had a 4-week-long full-day German Immersion Camp in June/July for students age 6-16. Students had academic German language classes in the morning, and participated in different fun afternoon activities each week. Extended Care was also available. Afternoon activities included yoga, soccer, cartooning, science experiments, music, international cooking, and much more! Everything was taught in German.  The GISSV summer camp is open to both full-time GISSV students and students from the community ranging from total language beginners to native speakers.  This year we had over 80 students joining us!

New this year was the KinderCamp for younger students. Based on the GISSV Kindergarten program, the KinderCamp gave a loving introduction to the German language through songs, crafts, and nature experiences–also all taught in German.

Based on demand, GISSV considers offering an additional two weeks of camp in June/July 2018 (for a total of 6 weeks). The weeks will be again packed with challenging/rewarding language classes as well as new and favorite afternoon activities for school children, and engaging immersion activities for preschoolers.  2018 Camp Dates are not yet set. Registration will open in early February. Dates will be announced on our website when available: www.gissv.org/saturdayschool



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INNERWEAVING – ARTFUL GERMAN SUMMER CAMP IN MARIN COUNTY

The first Innerweaving German Summer Camp “Deutsch lernen mit Spass, Kreativität & Naturerfahrung” for 4-11 year old children was held from July 5th-6th this year. The camp at Fairfax/Marin County offered a playful, effective German experience based on fun nature explorations, sparkling creations of weaving art, wood craft and mixed media collage. “Throughout the Camp we talked German and introduced language based on nature and craft activities.” At the end of the final day, family members got the unique opportunity to attend the children‘s craft presentation.

Innerweaving projects: – Nagel-Fadenbild/String Art – Wünschelstab/Talking Stick – Gewebte Naturkunst/Woven nature creations – ‚Schatzsuche‘/ Treasure hunt – Fluss-Zoo-Landschaft/Land-art . The camp was facilitated by Silvia Schroeder, Founder of INNERWEAVING Coach and Counselor for Experiential Learnings http://www.innerweaving.com .

The next German Innerweaving Summer Camp will take place in August 2018. Please contact Silvia Schroeder for details at coaching@innerweaving.com .

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Images: Copyright ©All Images are property of the respective schools, GermanSchoolCampus, GASA, Wanderkind, GPSSD, GASPA,GISSV, Innerweaving


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Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS now open at CaliforniaScienceCenter, Los Angeles

BODY WORLDS’ new exhibit PULSE has opened at the California Science Center and will be on display until February 2018. The exhibit is “a convergence of aesthetic anatomy, health and wellness”. Visitors can learn and actually see how a body reacts if a person lives an unhealthy lifestyle versus a healthy one. They can for example visually witness how the body inside gets impacted by certain lifestyle choices, like excessive smoking; or what obesity can do to our bodies’ health.

Gunther von Hagens and ‘Plastination’

A special plastination technique invented by controversial German anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977 makes it possible to dissect a body to show various structures and systems of human anatomy in a way that, to date, has not been possible otherwise. Originally von Hagen’s technique was used for medical purposes only. He did however became very controversial when he was preparing his first ‘Body Worlds’ show in Japan in 1995, in which he showed full body specimen in lifelike poses. The exhibition ‘Body Worlds’ has stirred many intense emotions and opinions ever since, but has also opened up a revolutionary scientific understanding of our bodies. Despite all its controversy, ‘Body Worlds’ has attracted  37 million visitors in its exhibitions all over the world.

In 2015 ,after many legal battles, Dr. Gunther von Hagens opened his own museum in Berlin, MeMu – MenschenMuseum.

An exhibition of immense educational value

In the past ‘Body Worlds’ has even been called a freak show, but over time people have come to realize  what revolutionary insights ‘Body Worlds’ is offering us all into our own functioning of our bodies. “Body Worlds: Pulse will bring together anatomy and the latest health and wellness findings in a visually compelling and highly entertaining and informative exhibition. ”

More than 200 plastinated specimens will be on view at the California Science Center — including whole bodies, body configurations, translucent slices, and organs, as well as 3D displays . The exhibition is curated and presented in galleries that feature the various systems of the body.

Tickets can be purchased online at:  https://californiasciencecenter.org/body-worlds-tickets

To get an idea of what visitors will experience, we encourage to watch KTLA‘s video of the exhibition in Los Angeles:

 

Credits:KTLA, California Science Center.      Image: By Pattymooney (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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“FUTURE OR PAST? CLIMATE POLICY AS DRIVER FOR MODERN ECONOMIES” – Environmental Forum with Barbara Hendricks at Stanford Woods Institute

Please join the Stanford Woods Institute Environmental Forum with Barbara Hendricks, the German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

Hendricks Flyer

Barbara Hendricks has been Germany’s Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety since December 2013. Before that she served as the federal treasurer of the German Social Democratic Party. From 1998 to 2007, she was a Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Ministry of Finance. Since 1994, Barbara Hendricks, who has a doctorate in history, has represented her home district of Kleve in the German Bundestag.

Reception to follow.

More information can be found at: https://woods.stanford.edu/news-events/event/woods-environmental-forum-future-or-past-climate-policy-driver-modern-economics

For questions, please contact Mollie Field at mfield1[AT]stanford.edu.

DATE AND TIME

Wed, May 17, 2017 at 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM (PDT)

LOCATION

Encina Hall, Bechtel Conference Center, 616 Serra Street, Stanford, CA 94305

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment is working toward a future in which societies meet people’s needs for water, food, health and other vital services while protecting and nurturing the planet. As the university’s hub of interdisciplinary environment and sustainability research, the Stanford Woods Institute is the go-to place for Stanford faculty, researchers and students to collaborate on environmental research. Their interdisciplinary work crosses sectors and disciplines, advancing solutions to the most critical, complex environmental and sustainability challenges.

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