east germans


“Moin” is a German greeting from Ostfriesland, Southern Schleswig, North Frisia, Flensburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Kiel, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, parts of the Netherlands, and Southern Denmark, meaning “hello” and in some places “goodbye”. It’s also used in the Danish dialect Southern Jutish and some Finland Swedish dialects, where it’s spelled “mojn”. Moin is used at all times of day, not just in the morning. The reduplicated form moin moin is often heard, although some locals regard it as tourist usage. Etymology: Although many people think that moin derives from (Guten) Morgen, the word actually comes from the Dutch, Frisian, and Low German word mo(o)i, meaning “beautiful” or “good”. Similar forms in Low Saxon are mooien Dag, mooien Abend, mooien Mor(g)en. Moin is semantically equivalent to the Low Saxon (Plattdüütsch) greeting Dagg and has now replaced it in many areas. Unlike Guten Morgen, moin can be used 24 hours a day. In Southern Jutish, mojn is used for hello and good bye, but mojn mojn is solely used for good bye. The double form is also used as a greeting in the Swedish region of Scania. 

General Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck (20 March 1870 – 9 March 1964).

Starting in 1914, he led a relentless guerrilla campaign in German East Africa that is considered  one of the most effective in military history.

With a force that never exceeded 14.000 men (many of whom were non-front line units and local porters), he managed to keep in check a force of over 300.000 British soldiers.

In November 1918, still oblivious to the Armistice that had been signed 2 days before, he captured the town of Kasama and kept advancing towards Katanga, to the south-west of his position. On the way he met a local British magistrate, who informed him of the Armistice. He then decided to surrender.

He had virtually never been defeated on the field since the beginning of the war.

Königsberger Klopse

Königsberger Klopse, aka Soßklopse, are a Prussian specialty of meatballs in a white cream sauce with capers. They’re named for the Prussian city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) and are a highlight of East Prussian cuisine. In the former DDR/East Germany, the dish was called Kochklopse to avoid any reference to its namesake city, which in the aftermath of WW2 had been annexed by the Soviet Union. The German inhabitants were expelled, and the city was repopulated with Russians and renamed after Mikhail Kalinin, a close ally of Joseph Stalin. Königsberger Klopse were jokingly referred to as Revanchistenklopse. Traditionally, they’re made from finely minced veal, though less expensive beef or pork is often substituted, like in this recipe. Serve with boiled potatoes or rice and lemon. 

250 g Hackfleisch vom Schwein - 250 g Tatar - 1 Brötchen - 2 Eier - 1 Schalotte - 1/2 EL Sardellenpaste - 1/2 TL Majoran - 40 g Butter - 40 g Mehl - 1/2 Liter Rinderbrühe - 3-5 EL Kapern - 100 ml Wein, weiß - 1/2 Zitrone, den Saft - Salz und Pfeffer - 1 TL Zucker - 2 Eigelb - 1/8 Liter saure Sahne

Hack, eingeweichtes, ausgedrücktes Brötchen, Eier und geriebene Zwiebel vermischen. Mit Sardellenpaste, Salz, Pfeffer und Majoran abschmecken. Aus der Masse Klopse formen. Rinderbrühe zum Kochen bringen, und die Klopse darin in etwa 15 Min gar ziehen, aber nicht mehr kochen lassen, sonst zerfallen sie! Wenn sie oben schwimmen sind sie gar. Man kann nun die Klopse aus der Brühe nehmen und die Brühe absieben, um sie für die Soße zu verwenden. Für die Soße Butter oder Margarine erhitzen, und das Mehl darin andünsten. Nach und nach unter Rühren die Fleischbrühe hinzufügen. Die Soße aufkochen und ein paar Minuten kochen lassen; anschließend mit Wein, Zitronensaft, Zucker, Pfeffer und Salz abschmecken. Die Kapern nun ebenfalls zufügen. Eigelb und Sahne verrühren und unter die Soße mischen. Nun nicht mehr kochen lassen und Klopse in die Soße geben. Die Menge ergibt ca. 12 Klopse.

‘A new religion has arisen in the trenches, a faith much more akin to Mahomet than to Christ. It is a fatalism of action. The soldier finds his salvation in the belief that nothing will happen to him until his hour comes, the idea being that it does no good to worry — is his rock of ages. It is a curious thing to see poilus — peasants, artisans, scholars — completely in the grip of this philosophy. The real religion of the front is the philosophy of Mahomet. Death has been decided by Fate, and the Boches are the unbelievers. After all, Islam in its great days was a virile faith, the faith of a race of soldiers.’

WW1 American ambulance driver’s notes near the front, in France - History of the American Field Service in France, ʻFriends of France", 1914-1917; The ambulance sections – Field service haunts and friends


Phoebe’s Band-Aid simile (s01ep05 / s08ep02)

In der DDR hat man von mir eine Weltanschauung verlangt, ohne dass ich die Welt anschauen durfte.
—  Manfred Krug (1937-2016) was a German actor, singer & author. Born in Duisburg/West Germany, he moved to East Germany (DDR) at age 13. By the late 1950s he had had several film roles; in 1976 the DDR government forbade him to work as an actor and singer because he participated in protests against the expulsion and stripping of DDR citizenship of Wolf Biermann. Krug requested to leave the DDR. As soon as he got the approval, he left for Schöneberg in West Berlin. He soon got new roles as an actor but very rarely sang in public for a long time. In 1978, he appeared as a male lead in the action-drama tv series “Auf Achse”, and continued the show until it ended in 1995. He also starred in the popular “Tatort” tv crime series, and other shows. He died on 21 Oct 2016 in (now reunited) Berlin.

Keith Haring painting a mural on The Berlin Wall. October 23, 1986. Photos by Tseng Kwong Chi.

Keith Haring had been invited by the Director of the Checkpoint Charlie Museum to paint the mural. He began shortly after 10 A.M., Since the first six feet of land on the Western side belong to the East, he was not just defacing property of the East German Government, he was entering that country without a visa. A West Berlin policeman used a megaphone to warn him of the fact. But Haring continued, sporadically leaping back onto Western soil when East German border guards looked as if they were about to arrest him.

After 90 minutes, he had completed a third of his mural. He painted an interlocking chain of red and black human forms on a bright yellow background. The colors were those of the East and West German flags.

The artist gave interviews to West German television and radio reporters as he worked and signed autographs. “It’s a humanistic gesture, more than anything else,” said Haring, who called his work “a political and subversive act - an attempt to psychologically destroy the wall by painting it.’‘Asked whether the event was merely a publicity stunt to draw attention to himself, he said, ’'The main objective here is that it is not an insignificant act that goes unnoticed. The entire world should know that it happened, reinforcing its political significance.”

Haring completed the mural shortly after 4 P.M., He denied that it was aimed specifically against East Germany. “It’s for people and it doesn’t matter which side of the wall they’re on. It’s about both sides coming together.”

By the next day, however, someone painted large sections of the mural grey and quickly, other artists painted graffiti on the hundred-metre section that Haring had used. Within months there was very little left to see.  

(Source: New York Times)


Königsberger Klopse-Rezept by Bea

Random person’s video for one of the most popular German dishes. Königsberger Klopse, aka Soßklopse, are a traditional Prussian specialty of meatballs in a white sauce with capers. The dish is named for the city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad), it’s one of the highlights of Prussian cuisine. In the DDR/East Germany, it was called Kochklopse (boiled meatballs) to avoid any reference to its namesake city, which, in the aftermath of WW2, had been annexed by the Soviet Union. German inhabitants had been expelled as the city was repopulated with Russians and renamed after Mikhail Kalinin, a close ally of Stalin. Königsberger Klopse were jokingly referred to as Revanchistenklopse.

All politics aside, they are absolutely delicious and you should try them. :) For those who don’t want to make them from scratch, I recommend the ready-made version in a can from the ERASCO brand, which can be found in any German supermarket. Make sure you get those, I have tried many and have concluded they’re the best of the factory-made ones. I serve them over white rice.