Written by Harold Wilson
At 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, a special and unusual event occurred in the Ballroom. Falcons Landing resident Marly Wilson, who grew up in Fulda, Germany, presented ― A Bit of Germanic History, Culture, And Experience ― to a crowded, standing-room-only audience.
Marly labeled this event A Kaffee Klatsch, and she immediately advised all the residents and guests that in Germany, at 3 o'clock every day, all work and activities stop, coffee and cake are shared, and it is time for discussion. To everyone's delight, in honor of this unique Kaffee Klatsch, Marly had prepared an assortment of German traditional cakes. One or two bites of the homemade treats and everyone was automatically in love with Germany and their cakes (and Marly)!
The presentation by Marly of the history of Germany began in the BC and Roman Empire Period with the migration of Celtic Tribes going north and the Germanic Tribes moving south from the Scandinavian and Baltic Regions, thus forming the Germania Magna. She discussed how a Cherusci tribesman, Arminius or Hermann who was trained as a Roman Warrior, returned to his homeland and eventually defended it against the Roman legions. Rome's troops suffered terrible losses as they tried to move their boundaries east of the Rhine River; in each instance, the Germanic Tribes prevailed. The famous battle of the Teuteburger Wald is the occurrence that marked once and for all the determination to keep the Romans out of the Germania Magna. As Marly trekked through the history, she explained the events that led to the First, Second, and Third Reich — factual information that was intriguing, even compelling.
Over half of the audience raised their hands when asked who had been posted in Germany while in the military. The rest of the audience, save one, smiled and responded when asked who had visited Germany. Many attendees related anecdotes regarding some of their experiences while in this beautiful country. There were laughs and cheers as the stories unfolded.
An important point, not scheduled on the agenda, occurred when a resident asked about the CARE packages that were sent to Germany by Americans immediately after the war. Several German-born members of the audience who had lived in Germany at that time explained how important and appreciated those packages were to the German citizens. In many early instances, those CARE packages were the difference between life and death.
It was truly an interesting, informative and fun Kaffee Klatch. Everyone in attendance gained a pound or two and learned a lot of interesting cultural and historical facts about one of our favorite European countries.
Please, Marly, let's make this an annual event!