Thursday, June 10, 2010
Goethe Institute Promotes German Culture and American relations
Washington, DC—In our world politics and governments may change but people and their cultures remain the same.
As a young man and Army draftee I was part of the post World War Two military occupation that was still around 23 years after the war ended. I saw some amazing things in Germany. They were still repairing war damage but the smiles and friendship the people offered me was immeasurable to this Chicago boy so far from home. Serving in Germany was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Germany had joined NATO and we were all part of the common defense against the totalitarian Soviet regime. In thousands of homes were pictures and tapestries of our President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy endeared himself to the German people with his famous, “Ich bin ein Berliner!” speech.
The German people accepted me as one of them. I went out of my way to learn and think in the German language. My host country shared their food, culture, hopes, dreams and lives with me. Fun was going to a night club were a rock group would perform the latest American hits, but with a German accent!
Too many of my fellow soldiers stayed among themselves missing a fabulous experience. In retrospect I could have stayed in Germany. The Germans had a special love for life perhaps as a direct result of the war and deprivation they experienced. Germany has been enjoying its freedom and liberty since the war ended in 1945. Germany has been rebuilt and has never looked better!
There’s nothing like a German summer lunch at an outdoor cafe or perhaps some wine a cheese on a short river cruise on the Rhine or Main. At night there’s lots of music and dancing under the stars in this exceptional country. Okay I must admit I’ve found the German women to be fascinating and beautiful to say the least.
Many German people have come to live and work in the United States as our globe has gotten smaller thanks to the jets that move us around so quickly.
A little slice of Germany exists at the Goethe Institute where you can mix and network or simply make friends. If you’re lucky enough to be doing business in Germany you will get lots of assistance making your stay there an enjoyable and even life changing experience.
Enjoy a short video of my dear friend Andrea bringing me to the 20 year Berlin Wall Falling Fest. Because of the crowded event we took the subway from the Spandau neighborhood to the center of the event at Potsdamer Platz. (The subway entertainment is provided by Eastern European musicians that are a product of the fall of communism.)