3 Things You Should Not Do on Good Friday in Germany

Social Media in Germany is full of debates again about our Good Friday (Karfreitag) rules, and what we can do and not do. In general, Good Friday is just one of a few public holidays, when silence needs to be observed. See Wiki for a list of ‘Quiet Holidays in Germany’.

The quiet days vary from state to state, and the state of Berlin seems to be the most relaxed about its Feiertagsruhe.

The following public places will be closed to observe this rule of silence:

Discos, clubs, sport events, open markets, circuses, fairs, theatres, opera houses, game centers, promotional events;

On a personal level, you may not:

  1. Dance to any kind of music in the public
  2. Wash your car
  3. Move to another location

… and if you are in Bavaria, you should most definitely not air out your bedding on Good Friday.

On a personal note, many years ago, we had traveled to northern Bavaria to visit my side of the family. We stayed at my brother’s house, and I saw the need for a good shake of the bedding which had not been used for many months. A neighbor chided me from across the street, “Maria, das macht man doch nicht am Karfreitag! Das bringt den Tod ins Haus!” (Don’t do this on Good Friday, it will bring death into your home!) I gave the bedding a final shake, and brought it in.

This was so strange after having just moved here from a country like Japan, where so many things are 24/7, and religious beliefs become a medley on holidays anyway.

There is little more contradictory than superstitious beliefs from pious country folk on Good Friday.

List of Expensive Verbal Insults for Drivers in Germany

So you think your German is not good enough to insult others, well, your hand gesture (the middle finger, e.g.) might be enough for you to be fined by the authorities.

Against common belief, there is no difference in whether you insult a police offer or any other person on the street, the charges remain the same. The charge only differs based on the offender’s income and social standing.

For example, a few years back, a famous German soccer player was fined € 10.000 for calling someone an ‘Arschloch’. An average worker would have gotten away with a much lower fine.

This is a shortlist of the most common insults, which come with a €1.000 fine:

  • “Arschloch”, “Drecksau”
  • “Wichser”, “Scheißwichser”
  • “Blöde Schlampe”, “alte Schlampe”
  • “Schlampen, ihr elendigen!”
  • “Sie haben den totalen Knall”
  • Sie sind “blöd im Kopf”
  • “Verbrecherin”, “blöde Kuh”
  • “Arschloch” plus showing the middle finger

Insults are not a trivial offense, but a criminal one, based on German law. This can lead to hefty fines or imprisonment.

On the other hand, the statements/name calling listed below remain free of charge:

  • “Sie können mich mal …”
  • “Oberförster”, “Wegelagerer” oder “Komischer Vogel” to a  police officer
  • “Leck mich am Arsch!” (if used around the Stuttgart area)
  • “Das ist doch Korinthenkackerei” (when arguing about a parking ticket)
  • “Parkplatzschwein” to a person parking in a non-parking zone.

Source: German ADAC – March 2019

Avoid road rage (lovely long German term: im Straßenverkehr ausbrechender Jähzorn), and keep cool.

Rights of School Age Children in Germany

Over the years, I have been questioned about several issues related to minors’ rights in Germany by ex-pat parents and students alike.

Here is a short summary:

  • Germany has a compulsory school attendance law, which requires all children between the ages of six to fifteen to attend school.
  • Germany is a member of the Global Conventions Act, that protect the rights of children. This entitles them to a childhood free of emotional, mental, and physical abuse. *
  • Children under 15 may not be employed. Exceptions are made for minor jobs such as newspaper delivery routes, babysitting, taking care of pets, or other tasks which are not dangerous.
  • At the age of 14, when in presence of parents or guardians, minors are allowed to consumer beer and wine.
  • At the age of 16, minors are allowed to buy and consume beer and wine.
  • At the age of 18, they are of legal age. Therefore, they can buy and consumer beer, wine, and distilled liquor.

*More about this at Children’s Rights: Germany

Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. My blog Pension Sprachschule assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents on the service.

Camp King Oberursel and the Berlin Airlift 70th

On 3 Feb 2019, our Camp King research group invited the public to a presentation about the ‘Berlin Airlift’ in commemoration of its 70-year anniversary.

It was held at the Kinderhaus at Camp King in Oberursel, and had a good number of visitors. All the chairs were occupied.

Mr. Manfred Kopp, also known as Mister Camp King, opened the event with a few insights of how a couple of ladies at Camp King at that time helped trigger the Berlin Airlift.

Ms. Sylvia Struck talked about the launch, logistics, costs, and impact of the Berlin Airlift.

Sylvia Struck

Ms. Maren Horn explained the connections between Camp King and the Berlin Airlift.

Maren Horn

Towards the end, Mr. Andi Andernacht (center) interviewed two contemporary witnesses, Mr. Beilfuss and Mr. Albrecht. Both had been in (and around) Berlin during the time of the Airlift.

Contemporary witnesses Erwin Beilfuss (left) and Günter Albrecht (right)

The local newspaper Usinger Anzeiger published the following article: Die Berliner Blockade und was Oberursel damit zu tun hat.

Rolls Royce Factory Museum in Oberursel

A friend of mine inquired about the Rolls Royce Museum in Oberursel, and because of my last post dating back to 2015, I checked for any changes to their days and times of operation.

Update Feb 2019: The Rolls-Royce-Museum is open every last Friday of the month from 3pm – 6pm (free of charge), and special arrangements can be made for groups (then there is a small fee of € 2,50 per person).

For more information in German, visit: Rolls Royce Werksmuseum

I had taken this photo on a flight to London a couple of years ago. I looked out of the window and had the Rolls Royce logo right in front of me (we live in Oberursel).

A bit of trivia:

  • Worldwide, Rolls Royce is the oldest air plane engine factory still running.
  • The most expensive single part sold online was for a Gulfstream V Jet with a Rolls Royce engine. This was purchased by an American for 40 million US Dollar in 1999.
  • The U.S. Army (Motor Pool) used the factory for eleven years after the end of WWII.

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