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German Club

Talks will usually be given in German but there will be regular reprises in English, so we hope people of all levels of fluency are encouraged to come along.

Membership of the 3Ls Association is a requirement at a cost of £10 per annum and then you are welcome to join the German Club itself for which the subscription is £10 per annum.

 

President: Daniel O’Sullivan

Email:  dosullivan@dinger.demon.co.uk

Tel:  01360 319630

2019-20 German Programme

 

14th February 2020

Nationale Minderheiten in Deutschland

Today, the German Club had the pleasure of listening to Sabine Schlueter, Depute Director of the Goethe Institute in Glasgow, who gave us a presentation on Minorities in Germany.

Daniel O’Sullivan (Club President) and Sabine Schlueter

There are four official minorities: Danes, Sorbs, Frisians, and Sinti or Roma. Sabine started by defining the five criteria for minority status:

  • German Nationals
  • Own language, culture, history, and identity
  • Maintains this identity
  • Long time German residents (centuries, usually)
  • Traditional settlement areas

Legal status is based on the framework convention for the protection of national minorities and the European charter for regional and minority languages. Interestingly the four minorities have more than four languages: Danish, Upper and Lower Sorbian, North and Saterland Frisian, and Romani.

The history and culture of the minorities was described by Sabine and she highlighted differences of the cultures in terms of their dress, use of their own language, and in traditional activities, all of which help to strengthen their sense of identity. The Danes in Schleswig-Holstein and the Frisians on the North Sea coast of Lower Saxony are active in this way with efforts to perpetuate their culture by having their own language kindergartens and schools, and in traditional activities for children.

Traditions

In the past some minorities, for example the Zorbs, who have been in Germany since the 7th century, have suffered persecution, particularly in the 19th and early 20th century. In recent times the Romas have also suffered discrimination and persecution.

Sabine finished by giving examples of Germans from the minorities who have made significant contributions to the cultural and political life of Germany. This was followed by a question and answer session and the discussion continued through to coffee and biscuits.

After talk discussions

Tea, coffee and biscuits