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  • Friday, December 01, 2023 2:35 PM | Anonymous

    Fröhliche Weihnachten! The DANK Haus Collections and Archives stores several Christmas and winter holiday-related objects, such as these German Christmas greeting cards. Unfortunately, neither of these cards are dated. The Weihnachten card featuring a smiling Santa alongside animals, however, has a message from a Heir Schaefer, which reads, “Ein frohes Weihnachtsfeir und alles Gute im Neuen Jahr.” 

    The DANK Haus archives also holds a collection of German records and albums, including some Christmas-themed ones, like “Fröhliche Weihnacht,” a record printed in Austria that features Christmas songs in German like “Stille Nacht, Helige Nacht” and “Träume unterm Christbaum.” 

    In addition to German records, our collections catalogs music programs from German-American choirs in Chicago, including concerts from the Deutsch-Amerikanischen Kinderchoir, such as this program from the 57th Weihnachtskonzert that took place in 1992 at the Irish-American Cultural Center in Chicago. The first Deutsch-Amerikanischen Kinderchoir Weihnachtskonzert was in 1935.

    Lastly, the DANK Haus archives is home to many German toys and games, some of which could have been given as Christmas gifts, like these two small plastic dolls, or the game “Mensch ärgere Dich nicht,” which is described as a “klassische Familienspiel,” or classic family game for two to four players. 

    Interested in learning more about the DANK Haus archives or visiting our museum? Contact Museum Director Sarah Matthews at


  • Wednesday, August 31, 2022 11:11 AM | Anonymous

    What is our staff loving this month? Let us tell you!

    Our Office & Events Assistant Stephanie Dal Porto returned from Berlin and is in love with the döner! Not heading to Berlin anytime soon? No worries! Order locally from Dönermen in Chicago.

    Toni Erdmann is one of our Summer Language School Marketing Intern, Max Peckman's, all-time favorite movies. A hard-working woman reluctantly agrees to spend time with her estranged father when he unexpectedly arrives.

    Watch the trailer here!

    Have you checked out any of our staff's recommendations? Let us know what you thought!

  • Tuesday, June 07, 2022 4:13 PM | Anonymous

    It's been a few months since our last set of staff picks, but we're back with more recommendations for you! 

    The sun is out - it's high time to get outdoors again. For tips all around running, jogging, hiking, and more, our language school director Carina recommends the magazine "Running - das sportliche Laufmagazin."

    Are you looking for some more things to do right here at home? Our Marketing & Events Director recommends following @bored_in_chicago - a TikTok account that checks out various spots in the city. You can even spot a familiar place in this video!

    Have you tried out one of our recommendations? Let us know what you thought about it!

  • 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 to let us know what you think!

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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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