If you ever find yourself in Germany in November 1st you will find that all stores and office buildings are closed, and instead, people are spending their day at the graveyard honoring their loved ones that have passed away.
It is the night when witches, and ghouls, and ghosts alike run amuck; the night when “trick-or-treat” can be heard up and down the street; the night when everything is just a little bit spookier; it’s the night of Halloween!
Imagine life in Germany 500 years ago. The population was at about 14 million and multiple cities in the country were seeing a rise in their economy, including Augsburg and Nürnberg. A little less than 500 km North east of Augsburg was the city of Wittenberg; today it is knows as the Lutherstadt, Luthercity in English, but 500 years ago it was the birthplace of Lutheranism.
Lutheranism is a branch of the Christian religion which traces it’s beginnings to October 31st, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the University of Wittenberg’s chapel door as a critique towards Pope Leo X newest round of indulgences.
Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483 in Eisleben, a small city in Saxony-Anhalt. At age eighteen he entered university in Erfurt where he would get a master of the art in Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric and Metaphysics. Thus, putting him on his way to becoming a lawyer. But, in 1501 Martin Luther had a life changing experience which put him on a new path to becoming a monk and later the dean of theology at the University of Wittenberg.
Today, October 26th, is Nationalfeiertag, which is also known as Austrian National Day! We at the German-American Heritage Foundation want to acknowledge and celebrate this holiday due to our goal of promoting the cultural heritage of all Americans of German-speaking ancestry. So, Happy Austrian National Day!
Austrian National Day emerged from political developments after World War II. After the war ended, the country was occupied by the Allied Forces (the Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain, and France). However, on October 26th, 1955 (ten years after the end of the war), the Austrian Parliament passed a law that stated that the country would have permanent neutrality and this put an end to occupation by Allied forces. Because of this, the idea of neutrality has become a big part of Austrian Culture and is why Austrian National Day exists.
The latest edition of The Ambassador with important information about our upcoming 31st Council of 1000 Award and Fundraising Gala,
an introduction of the candidates for the Nov. 18 GAHF board elections, and other Foundation news is now available.
We at the GAHF would like to wish you a happy Labor Day!
Labor Day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. This does not exclude members of the German-American community who represent 15.2 percent of the US population and have played a major role in labor reform in the United States. Germany has a similar holiday, Tag der Arbeit, which is celebrated on the first of May.
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