Christmas Tree Pick-up for Recycling in Germany

The time has come for our Nordmanntanne (Caucasian fir) to get picked up by the tree collection truck on Monday, 16 January.

We apartment dwellers will just dump it over the balcony. The Hausmeister will go around, and pull them over to the sidewalk.

Our fir has been resting on the balcony ever since we took off its decorations. This is usually done by Epiphany, 6 January.

In Germany,  about 22 million households have a Christmas tree, with a third of them getting decorated the day before Christmas Eve.

When I was a child, the tree got decorated about an hour before the gift-giving on Christmas Eve. The tree had to be a secret, so my folks had to wait till the last moment. It was Christkind who brought the presents and decorated the tree as well.

Some other fun facts:

  • 135.000 children send a wish list to the Christmas post-office in 51777 Engelskirchen (near Cologne).
  • The tradition of eating goose on Christmas Day probably comes from England.
  • 30% of all Germans hope for a white Christmas.
  • 91% of all Germans exchange gifts on Christmas eve.
  • Parents spend on average euro 78 for presents per child.

Life at the Motor Pool and Swimming Pool in Oberursel, Germany in the 1950s

These pictures have been contributed by Jack Stites, a former U.S. Army soldier and now a retired police officer, who was stationed in Oberursel at the Motorenfabrik (Motor Pool) from January 1954 to January 1955.

This photo shows Jack in front of the Motor Pool, Oberursel.

I pass this building, now Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd. & Co. KG, every time I take the U-Bahn into town. The outside hasn’t changed.

Motor Pool Oberursel 1954/55

Jack and his buddies went to the Oberursel swimming pool in their free time.

Oberursel swimming pool in the 1950

On 6 June 1937, Gauleiter Mr. Sprenger, (a political head of a district in Nazi Germany), officially opened the Oberursel Freibad. After the war, the pool was confiscated by the U.S. Forces. In 1953, the pool could be used by the locals on two days a week. By 1954, the pool was turned back to the city of Oberursel.

German Lesson: der Schießstand

Many German learners have a difficult time differentiating the sound difference between the diphthongs ‘ie‘ and ‘ei‘. If the learners have an Anglo or ESL background, I advise them to read only the second diphthong vowel in English. That way, it comes out as the proper German pronunciation.

The word ‘Schießstand’ [ʃiːs] means shooting range.

If mispronounced as ‘Scheißstand’ [ʃaɪz], then you are talking about a shitting range. Whatever that means.

Schießstand

Schießstand

This sign is in Oberursel, pointing towards the shooting range, and if you proceed, you will also get to the animal shelter in the forest.

Quote of the Day

I am not a teacher, but an awakener.

~ Robert Frost

Quote of the Day

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

~ Albert Einstein