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  • Tuesday, March 01, 2022 9:39 AM | Anonymous

    Sachertorte, Kaffee und Geschichte? All of this can be found in Wien, Austria. But, we can't always be there, so our language program director Carina recommends to take Wien on a walk, with the Podcast "Erzähl mir von Wien." Servus!


    You can find so many German music playlists online! Our staff member Samantha is still a Beginner when it comes to German, but she enjoys putting on German playlists while working or when out for a walk. In the last few months, she has been able to recognize more words! Her favorite playlists on Spotify are Top 50 - Germany, Best of German Music, and NDW - Neue Deutsche Welle.

    Have you tried any of our staff suggestions? Let us know what you thought!

  • Wednesday, February 02, 2022 1:55 PM | Anonymous

    We're back with another round of staff suggestions!

    Interested in learning about what life is really like in Germany? Samantha recommends checking out DW's Meet the Germans. She especially loves their Instagram, where the hosts dive into everyday life in Germany!

    Do you need a minute to just laugh about life? Our language program director Carina recommends "Helga und Marianne" who discuss world issues across their Gartenzaun (fence between two yards). Simply search for "Helga und Marianne" on YouTube!

    Rosa recommends the WDR app (or browser streaming). It has several stations, like 1LIVE (pop music) and WDR5 (news and some kids programs).

    Have you tried out any of our staff's suggestions? Let us know! We'd love to hear what you thought!

  • Thursday, January 13, 2022 2:55 PM | Anonymous

    From cell phones to credit cards, and even some IDs, smart cards can be found all over! But did you know that you can thank a German for this powerful technology?

    In the late 1960s Germans Jürgen Dethloff and Helmut Gröttrup imagined a way to place an integrated circuit (IC) chip onto a plastic card as way to provide a secure, tamper proof form of identification. Acting like a key, the first use of this technology was intended to release the tapping mechanism at unmanned gas stations. 

    Since that first conception, there have been many changes, improvements, and additions to this

     technology. The first widespread use of the smart card didn't come until 1983 when a smart telephone card was created for payment in French payphones.

    Today you can find smart card technology nearly everywhere you look. SIM cards, public transit cards, credit and debit cards, ID cards, and more - we have this secure technology thanks to Germans Dethloff and Gröttrup!

  • Wednesday, January 05, 2022 4:12 PM | Anonymous

    This month Rosa suggests the book Ich bin dann mal weg: Meine Reise auf dem Jakobsweg, the true recollection of German comedian Hape Kerkeling, who completed the 800 km (500 miles) Camino de Santiago pilgrimage hike. Kerkeling humorously tells about his interesting fellow pilgrims, sleeping badly in hostels on the route, and connected to his spirituality.

    Our language school director Carina recommends Kim Schmidt's "Local Heroes" comics/caricatures about the North of Germany and its people.

    What are you reading, watching, or listening to this month?

  • Friday, December 24, 2021 8:01 AM | Anonymous

    On December 24th, 1818 priest and poet Joseph Mohr approached composer Franz Xaver Gruber and asked him to create guitar music to his lyrics for what would become Silent Night ("Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht" in German) for that evening's mass. Mohr was searching for alternative music, as flood waters had damaged the church's organ and it was woefully in need of tuning. Mohr had written the poem in 1816 following the Napoleonic Wars. The song was performed that night and quickly became a holiday favorite. Over the years Mohr's name has often been forgotten and the song has been attributed to many famed composers including Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. This is not the case in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, where the song was first performed. There, in the Silent Night Chapel, Mohr and his holiday contribution are memorialized. The church features stained glass windows depicting Mohr, framed copies of the poem, and even houses Mohr's skull interred behind the nativity scene. 

    Today, Silent Night has been translated into more languages than there are countries in the UN and has become one of the most popular Christmas carols even today.

  • Thursday, December 02, 2021 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    Are you an intermediate or advanced German speaker looking for an intellectually engaging podcast? Museum & Development Director Rosa recommends Lage der Nation. The two hosts (a Deutschlandfunk reporter and a law scholar) talk about current events (mostly German news, some global). Occasionally they have a guest on. They often have healthy disagreements with that classic German bluntness.

    Sami's recommendation is to follow Feli from Germany! Recently we had the pleasure of visiting with Feli, a German youtuber and social media influencer living in the Midwest! She has a whole host of channels you can follow her on - YouTube, Instagram, and even TikTok! Check out her podcast, "Understanding Train Station." Hear her talk about Germany, and her experiences as a German living in the American Midwest! Sami really enjoys Feli's TikTok account and her podcast!

    Our language school director Carina recommends Latte Igel und der Wasserstein for readers and listeners 6+: There's no more water in Latte Igel's forest, and so he sets out to find the water stone that will fix it all. But he has to steal it back from... well, find it out yourself! Available through most major bookstores.

  • Monday, November 01, 2021 10:49 AM | Anonymous

    Looking for a good German movie? Carina recommends to try

     theTelescopefilm Website! This site lets you filter for genre, decade, language and more, and also tells you where you can stream it!

    Are podcasts more your taste? Rosa recommends the podcast Gemischtes Hack, a comedy podcast where two German guys shoot the breeze: comedian Felix Lobrecht (from Berlin) and author/moderator Tommi Schmitt (from Cologne). "One of our DANK Haus teachers suggested it and it's hilarious! They discuss a range of topics in a stream-of-consciousness way. It's also funny to hear how they integrate American words into their slang," says Rosa.

    Do you find yourself scrolling hours away on TikTok? Samantha, who is still a German language beginner, recommends following @easygerman for bite size German videos that will help you with your listening skills and put your scrolling to good use!

    If you check out any of these resources, let us know! Tag us on social media or send us an email at dank@dankhaus.com to let us know what you think!

  • Thursday, October 28, 2021 10:37 AM | Anonymous

    It’s Halloween week and you know what that means? CANDY! But did you

    know that you can THANK A GERMAN for a festive fall favorite? That’s right, we’re talking about Candy Corn! 

    According to the National Confectioners Association and oral history records, Candy Corn was first invented by George Renninger, an employee at Wunderle Candy Company in Philadelphia. While many companies at the time were creating mellowcreme candies in various shapes, the corn kernel with its layered colors was new. In 1888 Wunderle became the first company to produce and sell this sweet treat, but it was the Goelitz Confectionery Company that really popularized candy corn.

    The Goelitz Confectionery Company was founded in 1869 by Gustav Goelitz, a 24 year old German immigrant. In 1894 the family candy making tradition continued when Goelitz’s sons took over the company. In 1898 the brothers acquired the candy corn recipe and began to make history. Initially marketed as “chicken feed,” candy corn was produced alongside many other mellowcreme shapes including pumpkins, chestnuts, turnips, and more. Though it had the same taste and ingredients as other mellowcreme candies, candy corn was unique and widely recognized for its three bright colors.

    Today we associate Candy Corn with fall and Halloween, due to its seasonal popularity and the harvest color theme, but it wasn’t always that way. Candy Corn was initially offered as a “penny candy,” cheap candy that could be bought in bulk. As trick or treating became more popular and Halloween became a time to hand out individual packages of candy, Candy Corn became more strongly associated with the spooky season. 

    The Goelitz company continued to create sweet treats for generations and is still active today. Though you may know them by a different name...does Jelly Belly ring a bell? The Jelly Belly Candy Company, once the Goelitz Confectionery Company, still produces Candy Corn today, though Brach’s, another company founded by a German immigrant, has emerged as the primary producer of this “chicken feed” candy!

    October 30th is National Candy Corn Day - Thank a German while you enjoy this sweet treat!

  • Monday, October 11, 2021 11:19 AM | Anonymous


    Not a classical music buff? No need to be. Chances are you’ve probably heard of Mozart whether you’ve realized it or not.

    This Austrian composer is heralded as one of the most influential musical prodigies of all time. He authored operas, concertos, symphonies, and sonatas with poignant emotion and remarkable sophistication. 

    Born in 1756 in Salzburg, Austria, it was clear from a young age that Mozart was destined for a life in music. His teacher was his father, Leopold, who quickly picked up on Mozart’s extraordinary gift for music and worked to refine his son into the musical genius we know him to be. By 5, he had already taken to composing. He was a brilliant pianist and violinist from an early age, and as he started traveling for performances, soon all of Europe agreed. 

    Despite achieving acclaim and financial success, Mozart found himself in financial strains during the mid-1780s. He was known for his lavish tastes and extravagant lifestyle. Eager to start earning more money, Mozart set his eyes on a court appointment. In 1787, his ambitions were realized. Emperor Joseph II awarded Mozart the position of “chamber composer” in 1787.

    His financial situation, however, did not improve. He was forced to move his family and himself into a more affordable part of Vienna. His lavish spending did not change, prompting Mozart to borrow money from friends. The 1870s were a difficult period for Mozart, finding himself in depression and prolonged financial troubles.

    Although the early 1790s proved a creative, productive, and somewhat lucrative period for Mozart, he saw his mental and physical health coming apart. On December 5, 1791, Mozart died from what is speculated to be some sort of fever. He was 35 years old.

    Written by DANK Haus intern, Kat M.

  • Friday, March 19, 2021 3:33 PM | Anonymous

    We look forward to a Wiedersehen with our first-ever Development Intern, Sara Gooding. Here is what Sara had to say about her time on our team, January–March, 2021:

    "The last three months have flown by as I interned for the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, a Chicago cultural organization that seeks to preserve and promote German and German-American culture. I spent my time at the DANK working in the Development Department, helping manage donor software as well as finding and applying for additional funding from outside sources.

    Interning during a global pandemic was definitely an eye-opening experience. My internship was completely virtual, which definitely meant that I was unable to experience parts of what could be considered a 'normal' internship experience, like interacting with fellow coworkers or working in-person fundraising events. However, while I missed out on some things, I was able to experience many new opportunities that would not have been possible otherwise.

    The reality of the pandemic changed how non-profits and other institutions operated, including how they received and utilized funding resources. This internship was my first time experiencing how non-profit institutions like the DANK receive funding and develop their donor network, and I was able to watch in real-time as the DANK’s development methods evolved to match their current needs.

    It was definitely out of my comfort zone at first, but I have learned so much in my time here. I learned how to utilize different membership and donor software, such as Wild Apricot and Bloomerang, to manage and keep track of donations to the DANK Haus. In addition to learning donor software, I also researched grant proposals that the DANK could utilize for potential funding. My goal for this internship was to increase my skills in non-profit management and get an intimate feel for an individual museum. Mission accomplished! Thank you DANK Haus and Rosa!"

    Best wishes on all your future endeavors, Sara! We know you will be a great success!



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DANK Haus
German American Cultural Center 

4740 North Western Ave. 
Chicago, IL 60625

DANK Haus German American Cultural Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


DANK Haus German American Cultural Center does not discriminate based on race, color, sexuality, national origin, sex, disability or age.

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Email: dank@dankhaus.com

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