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Subject: soc.culture.german FAQ (posted monthly) part 3/6

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Archive-name: german-faq/part3 Last modified: 2001-09-02 Posting-Frequency: monthly URL: http://www.watzmann.net/scg/ Version: 2001-09
This is part 3 of the ASCII version of the FAQ list for soc.culture.german. Find the WWW version at <http://www.watzmann.net/scg/index.html>. The FAQ is posted on the first of every month. Table of Contents for Part 3 ============================= 8. Electronic Language 8.1 Dictionaries (and Word Lists from the Net) 8.2 Encyclopedias, Lexika 8.3 Translation Programs 8.4 Spell Checkers; Thesauri 8.5 Tutorial/Educational Software 8.6 Computer Terminology Dictionaries 8.7 Alphabetizing German Words 8.8 German Fonts 8.8.1 Page comments 9. Genealogy 9.1 How do I Find Out About my Family Name? 9.1.1 Online info 9.1.2 The old fashioned way 9.2 Where is Famous ... Buried? 9.2.1 Page comments 10. Phone System 10.1 Some recent history 10.2 Public Phones / Phone Cards in Germany 10.3 Nation-Wide Phone-Numbers (Emergency, Information) 10.4 Getting Phonenumbers via Internet 10.5 Importing Phone/Modem/fax to Germany? 10.6 Adapters 10.7 Calling Germany Collect from Abroad? 10.8 Using US Phone Cards in Germany? 10.8.1 Page comments 11. Political Life 11.1 National Anthem 11.2 The Federal Flag 11.3 Text of the Grundgesetz 11.4 Government resources on the net 11.5 Political Parties Represented in the Bundestag 11.6 Elections and election dates 11.6.1 Page comments 12. History, Law -- Internet Resources 12.1 History 12.2 Law 12.3 Immigration matters 12.3.1 Getting a work permit The "Green-Card" 12.3.2 Aufenthalts what? 12.3.3 What about studying in Germany ? 12.3.4 Page comments 8. Electronic Language There is a huge list of quotes <http://www.freunde.imperium.de/gansel/> of the strange kind. 8.1. Dictionaries (and Word Lists from the Net) German word lists German word lists and German-English dictionary word lists are available via ftp from the sites listed below. Note that the dictionary at U Ulm <ftp://ftp.uni- ulm.de/pub/misc/dict/english_german.tar.gz> made by Juergen Dollinger) comprises a cleaned up combination of many of the others. Much redundancy removed. This project has just been updated and is now also available as a straight zip file <ftp://ftp.uni-ulm.de/pub/misc/dict/eng_ger.zip> for dos-users. An alternative directory to find these files is ftp://ftp.stud- verwaltung.uni-ulm.de/pub/dict/ <ftp://ftp.stud-verwaltung.uni- ulm.de/pub/dict/>. 1997-01 FTP sources in Europe o U Ulm <ftp://ftp.rz.uni-ulm.de/pub/misc/dict/> 1995-10 o TU Munich <ftp://ftp.informatik.tu- muenchen.de/pub/comp/doc/dict/> o U Cologne <ftp://ftp.uni-kl.de/pub2/packages/doc.tum/dict/> o TH Darmstadt <ftp://ftp.tu-darmstadt.de/pub/dicts/german/> o U Muenster <ftp://ftp.uni-muenster.de/pub/dict/german/> o WU Wien <ftp://nestroy.wu-wien.ac.at/pub/lib/info/dict/> o TU Wien <ftp://ftp.vlsivie.tuwien.ac.at/pub/8bit/dicts/deutsch.tar.gz> FTP sources west of the Atlantic o from Purdue University <ftp://coast.cs.purdue.edu/pub/mirrors/ftp.funet.fi/dictionaries/> WWW sources Also check out: Forwiss, U Passau <http://www.forwiss.uni- passau.de/~ramsch/bookmarks/english.html> 1997-02 Oh yes, and then there's Munich! <http://dict.leo.org/> and the comprehensive services from TU Chemnitz <http://www.tu- chemnitz.de/~fri/cusi/cusi.html> 1996-05 Travelang has set up a very general translator <http://www.travlang.com/languages/> and also a mirror <http://www.travlang.com/GermanEnglish/> of leo's service. 1996-10 ispell U Kiel <ftp://ftp.informatik.uni-kiel.de/pub/kiel/dicts/hk- deutsch.tar.gz> 1994-11 CD-ROM For general mail order places selling CD-ROM's look at `Questions and Answers!' The following companies might have CD-ROM versions of Collins German-English Dictionary: o Bibliographisches Institut & F.A.Brockhaus AG, Dudenstr. 6, 6800 Mannheim 1, tel +49(621)3901 -81, fax -389 1994-11 o EBP - Electronic Book Publishing, 52 Monmouth Street, GB-London WC2H 9EP, tel +44(71)2404-292, fax -138 1994-11 o Harper Collins Publishers, Electronic Reference, 14, Steep Lane, Findon, Worthing, West Sussex, BN14 0UF, U.K., tel +44 (0)903-873-555, fax -633, Compuserve: 100317,1372 Collins themselves have different kinds of electronic bilingual dictionaries. They are only available on floppy disk (they intend to issue a CD-ROM in the future) o Collins On-line v2.20: >40,000 references; >70,000 translations; >1.5Mb disk space;#59 +VAT. o Collins Series 100 v1.1a: >75,000 references; >110,000 translations; >2MB hard disk space; #69 +VAT. Both versions are supplied for use in windows and DOS. I was told that the main difference between the two versions is that although the Series 100 is larger, it does not allow you to add your own entries, whereas the smaller On-Line is not fixed. 1994-11 Languages of the World quotes There is also a CD-ROM, originally put out by Sony in 1989, called Languages of the World. This disk was in DOS and cost US$800 back then, but now it's available for Windows with a better interface for about US$40, has German, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese (with limited character output), Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish. You can go from any one to any other, but since mostly English-Other Lan- guage dictionaries are the base it is best to and from English. The dictionaries are decent student paperback type works, not the quality of the Oxford English Dictio- nary. For German specifically, it has Harrap's Concise, which I have found to have just about everything I have looked up (and I'm a German major), and Brandstetter's Science and Technology dictionaries. Again, it's top rate, and it can run as a TSR so you can pull it up in any other program, such as a word processor. 1995-3 8.2. Encyclopedias, Lexika Bertelsmann Universal Lexicon Available on CD-ROM, which can be ordered one from o totronik Torsten Droste, Rotebuehlstrasse 85, D-70178 Stuttgart, tel +49(711)6271980, fax +49(711)616218 o Asix Technology GmbH, Postfach 142, 76255 Ettlingen, tel +49(7243)31048, fax +49(7243)30080 The cost is about DM 150, and they take major credit cards. Airmail shipment arrived within a week. They carry a number of other CD-ROM's also, and a catalog on 3-1/2inch disk is available. 1994-1 Meyer's Lexikon - das Wissen A-Z An experimental online version of Meyer's Lexikon. <http://www.iicm.edu/Cref.m10;sk=7B925F31> 8.3. Translation Programs For MS-DOS Translation by Timeworks Inc. For both Macintosh and MS-DOS Power Translator (PT) Cost in US: about US$120. Requires: Mac II or better, 31 MB of disk space, 2 MB RAM, System 7. Note: There is also a Professional version (untested, about US$475) for which subject dictionaries are available. A user of Power translator said PT is designed for producing rough draft translations, whereas (GA) provides reference tools in addition to translation. PT translates several times faster than GA. PT can (barely) be used as a bilingual dictionary, but GA's dictionary is much, much better. PT provides only a single word translation, while GA has multiple definitions and phrases as one would find in a real dictionary. GA also has a useful verb conjugation tool and grammar help. Generally speaking, in this price bracket the software translations range from poetic to horrible. 1995-4 Language Assistant (GA) Made by Microtac Software. Cost in US: about US$50 Requires: Mac II or better, 6 MB of disk space, 3 MB free RAM, System 7. Note: Comes with 90 day money back guarantee directly from company. 8.4. Spell Checkers; Thesauri For Macintosh o Excalibur: For German on the Macintosh, look for Excalibur. This is a spell-checker designed to work with LaTeX documents, but does also handle plain text very well. Communication with just about any editor via clipboard is possible! There are German, Dutch, French, Italian, and many other dictionaries available. (about US$0). ftp://ftp.rrzn.uni-hannover.de/pub/info- mac/text/excalibur-221.hqx <ftp://ftp.rrzn.uni-han- nover.de/pub/info-mac/text/excalibur-221.hqx> For both MS-DOS and Macintosh o Word, WordPerfect and the like offer special modules for several languages, not only German. One can get spell checking and thesaurus modules for German. (about US$100) 1994-2 o Claris' International Language Packs include spellcheckers, dictionaries, thesauri and more. Available also in German and Swiss German. Claris Corporation, Box 526, Santa Clara, CA 95052-9870, +1(800)544-8554 US$50 1995-10 For MS-DOS Accent 1.0 Multilingual Word Processor Over 30 different languages. Needs IBM 386 with Windows, 6 to 25MB. Spellcheckers: 17 languages, Thesaurus: 9 languages, Hyphenation: 12 languages, Berlitz(R) Interpreter(TM) (5 language translation tool) Accent file filters allow you to import and export documents to other standard Windows software you are using including: Lotus, Ami-Pro, Excel, Word, Wordperfect, RTF, and ASCII text. The accentwm.zip file <file://ftp.cica.indiana.edu/pub/pc/win3/demo/accentwm.zip> is 1.2MB. Send email for more information. <mailto:info@accent.co.il> 1994-4 8.5. Tutorial/Educational Software For MS-DOS If you have an MS-DOS platform, an interesting place to look at might be the Simtel Software Repository at oak.oakland.edu <ftp://oak.oakland.edu/> and its mirrors, directory: SimTel/msdos/langtutr/ <ftp://OAK.OAKLAND.EDU/Simtel/msdos/langtutr/> There is free/shareware German, Spanish, Afrikaans, and other language software in this directory: o GERM1-23.ZIP <file://OAK.OAKLAND.EDU/Simtel/msdos/langtutr/germ1-23.zip> and GERM2-23.ZIP <file://OAK.OAKLAND.EDU/SimTel/msdos/langtutr/germ2-23.zip>. Cover German language topics (mainly verb CONJUGATION and vocabulary exercises.) o VOCAB217.ZIP <file://OAK.OAKLAND.EDU/Simtel/msdos/langtutr/vocab217.zip> Has basic vocabulary for several different languages. o GPLUS30.ZIP <file://OAK.OAKLAND.EDU/Simtel/msdos/langtutr/gplus30.zip> German Plus v3.0 is a language tutorial featuring review and exercises of over 500 nouns, adjectives, and verbs conjugated in the four major tenses. The program contains a look-up feature for use with the database. (about US$0) o GI-ZERTI.ZIP <file://OAK.OAKLAND.EDU/Simtel/msdos/langtutr/gi- zerti.zip>. Basic vocabulary German. The official list of the Zertifikat Deutsch als Fremdsprache (ZDaF) of the Goethe Institutes <http://www.goethe.de/> and the Deutscher Volkshochschulen <http://www.vhs.de/>-Verband. You will find all the basic vocabulary with example sentences that show you how to use these words in a context. Very useful for beginners. About 2000 words in hypertext . The program can be loaded resident. Features help, search, index, print and color options. IBM-compatible. (Shareware) o GI-LEHRW.ZIP <file://OAK.OAKLAND.EDU/Simtel/msdos/langtutr/gi- lehrw.zip> List of teaching materials of German. Helps students and teachers of German to find all kind of information about teaching materials of German. In hypertext . IBM- compatible. The list is the official Arbeitsmittelliste fuer den Deutschunterricht von Auslaendern 1994 of the Goethe Institutes <http://www.goethe.de/> including prices and publishers. (Shareware) o GI-DLAND.ZIP <file://OAK.OAKLAND.EDU/Simtel/msdos/langtutr/gi- dland.zip> More facts about Deutschland (Germany.) Helps students and teachers of German to find information about all kinds kinds of political, economic or social issues of German reality. Hypertext . IBM-compatible. o GI-ADRES.ZIP <file://OAK.OAKLAND.EDU/Simtel/msdos/langtutr/gi- adres.zip> 10,000 addresses of German institutions. Helps students or teachers of German to find addresses in Germany by name, location or any other key word. Hypertext . IBM- compatible. 1995-3 Several German instructional software programs at this Washington gopher site. <gopher://isaac.engr.washington.edu:70/11/software/> No idea what it is, though. There are text descriptions for each you can read before down-loading. (about US$0) Gertwol An interactive morphological analysis system <http://www.lingsoft.fi/cgi-pub/gertwol> for German. 1995-4 Berlitz Conversation Course (on CD-ROM) (Speak s.c.g-readers:) HyperGlot's Berlitz Think and Talk German package consists of 9 CD-ROMS containing a (rather simple) 10,000 word dictionary, the German text for 50 conver- sations (scenes), and an instructional program. The scenes CD-ROMs are compatible with audio CD players, so you can play them on your stereo, walkman, or com- puter. They range from the basic Das it ein Wagen, to the complex discussions similar to business discus- sions. The Berlitz method to teach German consists of 4 steps: 1. Listen to the scene, 2. Read the scene, 3. Write the scene, 4. Think and talk about the scene. The program seems to be designed for beginner speakers of Ger- man. List price is $149.00, but it should be available for less than $90 via mail order. 1995-10 The Rosetta Stone For the early stages The Rosetta Stone was recommend. It's an interactive windows program by Fairfield Language Technology. Comes on CD-ROM and amply uses its multimedia to your advantage. (US$350) 1995-05 Transparent Language For both MS-DOS and Macintosh version 2.0, tel +1(800)332-8851, email 70541.3626@compuserve.com principle: don't memorize -- get involved in a story! main window shows story in original language, (French, German, Italian, Latin, or Spanish) three other windows explain correct meaning of word in context, meaning of sentence, and notes on grammar/root words/etc. You get only three stories for free, additional stories are US$15-35; they have 17 different German stories as of now, adding about 4 every year. Readers from soc.culture.german have reported positive experiences, esp. good for not absolute beginners. But the stories tend to be on the serious side. (Kafka didn't have much fun, either!) List price is US$99 -- but mention that you heard of the promotional US$30 price! A number of soc.culture.german readers have already saved good bucks and paid only US$29.95 + 8.00 S&H. 1994-4 Herr Kommissar(R) 1.5 For Macintosh -- a language-learning software with a difference. tel +1(717)296-2517, tel +1(800)262-3791 A free demo <http://www.agoralang.com:2410/amber.html>. Rather than drill-and-practice or canned lessons, Herr Kommissar teaches intermediate German vocabulary and grammar by immersing learners in a (simulated) conversation in the living language itself. (A vacationing American police detective attempts to help German colleagues in solving a murder mystery.) On-line assistance in vocabulary, spelling, and grammar. Optimized to handle the productions of beginning learners; Herr Kommissar's core syntactic/semantic engine also covers most of more advanced grammatical constructions, such as relative clauses, coordinate sentences, and the passive voice. RAM: >1Mb, System: almost any (US$100), 1995-10 German Tutor A self-paced tutorial in German grammar fundamentals. On error the program analyses the mistake and automatically generates a review exercise based on the mistake. Online help, list of all possible answers, glossary, and grammar references. RAM: >1Mb, System: >6.0.5, (US$29), 1995-4 MacLang 4.5 Create computer-assisted language learning exercises. Possible exercise types: vocabulary, fill-in-the-blank, paragraph, multiple choice, jumble, multi-. Use English and any one of the following German simultaneously. (Also good for a variety of other languages.) RAM: >1Mb, System: >6.0.5, (US$25), 1995-4 8.6. Computer Terminology Dictionaries Woerterbuch der Datentechnik / Dictionary of Computing by Vittorio Ferretti. Available from Springer's office in NYC. <http://www.springer-ny.com/> 1997-06 Universalwoerterbuch der Technik CD-ROM version published by Routledge <http://www.thomson.com/routledge.html>. 1997-06 Fachausdruecke der Informationsverarbeitung Woerterbuch und Glossar, Englisch-Deutsch, Deutsch-Englisch (current status unknown). IBM Form GQ 12-1044-1, approximately 1700 pages, copyright 1985, no ISBN # IBM Deutschland GMBH, Postfach 800880, 7 Stuttgart-80 Complete Multilingual Dictionary of Computer Terminology " English - French - Italian - Spanish - Portuguese 900+ pages, (1984); ISBN: 0-8442-9108-0 Passport Books, Trade Imprint of National Textbook Company, 4255 West Touhy Avenue, Lincolnwood, Illinois 60646-1975, 1995-3 8.7. Alphabetizing German Words About the intricacies of constructing good algorithms for alphabetizing international languages have a look at Hans Christophersen's article <http://www.rostra.dk/alphabet/alpha_dt.htm> on the subject! 8.8. German Fonts Fraktur Steve Tischer, Kontex International, Box 8898, Atlanta, Georgia 30306, USA, tel:404-874-4164 fax:404-874-4169 email stischer@netcom.com Traditional Fraktur Fonts Series includes four fonts for either the Mac or Pc including Regular, Medium, Medium Lang and a fat version. Both PostScript Type 1 and TrueType for- mats are shipped for each platform. 1996-02 Three more fonts can be found the Yamada font collection <http://babel.uoregon.edu/yamada/fonts/germanic.html> 1996-07 Script Find German Suetterlin script fonts (like the Walden Font, (c) Oliver Weiss) and many other Fraktur fonts at www.waldenfont.com <http://www.waldenfont.com/>. P.O. Box 871, Winchester, MA 01890, USA tel +1(800)519-4575, email walden@waldenfont.com <mailto:walden@waldenfont.com> 1997-05 8.8.1. Page comments View/add comments <http://www.watzmann.net/comments/list.php?page_id=12> 9. Genealogy Tracing yours and others' ancestry 9.1. How do I Find Out About my Family Name? 9.1.1. Online info The world and your family history is at your finger-tips ... Newsgroups Read the newsgroups soc.genealogy.*; in particular soc.genealogy.german or get their FAQ list <http://www.genealogy.net/gene/faqs/sgg.html>. German genealogy web sites Try the German genealogy server in Kerpen <http://www.genealogy.net/gene/> and its mirror site in Giessen <http://www2.genealogy.net/gene/> and in Clovis, California <http://german.genealogy.net/gene/>.1999-08 Other web sites The two biggest world-wide genealogical databases are RootsWeb <http://www.rootsweb.com/> and GenWeb. <http://demo.genweb.org/gene/genedemo.html> 9.1.2. The old fashioned way Sometimes, very old information can not be found with very new technology. That's when you actually have to get off your butt and leave the house. In the USA you may want to... go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS.) and visit one of their Family History Centers (FHC) and run a computer check to see if your family name appears on the International Genealogical Index (IGI.) This may provide you with the general kingdom, duchy, province, (whatever) where your family name appears. It is then up to you to contact the genealogical association from that area. 1995-4 Be sure to check all available U.S. sources: local church records, citizenship papers, census reports, passenger lists, social security files, war records (civil, WWI, WWII, etc) which may list the origin of birth. 1994-11 Deutsche Zentralstelle fuer Genealogie Kaethe Kollwitzstr. 82 Germany 1113 The Center won't provide you with your family tree, but promises to answer specific questions (the more specific, the better your chances of success!) Their collection includes 100,000 personal documents and 16,000 church registers (dating back to the sixteenth century) and basic information on more than 1.4 million people is available. The Conference of Americans of Germanic Heritage P.O. Box 20554 +1(408)995-6545 fax +1(408)268-9535 email GERMNHERTG@AOL.COM 1994-7 1995-4 9.2. Where is Famous ... Buried? For burial sites of famous Europeans pick up a copy of the Handbuch der Grabstaetten: 1. Aubert, Joachim; Handbuch der Grabstaetten beruehmter Deutscher, Oesterreicher und Schweizer. 2. Ed.; Muenchen; Dt. Kunstverlag (1977); ISBN 3-422-00335-5 2. Adler, Josef; Die Grabstaetten beruehmter Europaeer; Muenchen, Berlin; Dt. Kunstverlag (1986); ISBN 3-422-00782-2 1996-1 9.2.1. Page comments View/add comments <http://www.watzmann.net/comments/list.php?page_id=13> 10. Phone System The German phone system used to be operated by the Deutsche Telekom <http://www.telekom.de>, only (then government-operated, now privatized). The German phone market was demonopolized in January, 1998. Since then, more than 100 new phone companies have sprung up and the phone rates are under fierce competition. In the less than two years, for example, the rate for calls to the USA has dropped from 3 DM to less than 0.15 DM per minute. So, as they always say in those great ads, how do you get these fantastic rates ? Look at one of the web sites that offer rate comparisons. Billiger Telefonieren <http://www.billigertelefonieren.de/> and teltarif.de <http://www.teltarif.de> are two sites that offer rate comparisons and the latest news around all things telephone. Heise Verlag <http://www.heise.de/ct/ttarif/> maintains a rate calculator, too. Officially, every phone, fax or modem you connect to a phone line needs to be approved by the German telekom. Approved appliances have a special sticker with a BTZ number on the back. Although it is illegal to connect appliances without a BTZ number, e.g., your favorite low- price phone from your last USA trip, violations are rarely prosecuted or punished - as long as your unapproved appliance doesn't bring down everybody else's phone connection. Area codes in Germany all start with a 0. To dial an international call, you dial 00 and then the country code. Area codes and phone numbers in Germany are variable length: the bigger the city, the shorter the area code, so that 089 is Munich, but 07252 is some small town somewhere. You can tell that a number is toll free if it starts with 0800; older toll free numbers might still use the 0130 prefix, which will be abandoned for the internationally more common 0800. On older coin phones without an LCD display, you might have to insert 20 Pfennige to place a toll free call. Don't worry, you get it back after the call. Look at the de-telefon-faq <ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by- group/de.comm.misc/de.comm.misc_FAQ_Fragen_und_Antworten_rund_ums_telefonieren> for more information. Defunct ?1999-11 10.1. Some recent history It used to be, in the good old days (before 1995) that the phone system was operated by a government owned monopoly, the Bundespost. They had all the advantages of a government monopoly: phone calls were expensive, their service was outrageously unfriendly, and hooking up a new phone could take up to six weeks. But they had very pretty yellow phone booths. Deutsche Telekom was split off Bundespost and turned into a public company on January 1, 1995. In November 1996, they sold a first packet of shares to the public and have by now around 2 million shareholders. In their monopoly days, the Deutsche Telekom based their rate not on per minute fees, but instead sold one unit to a fixed price and varied the length of time on the phone one unit would get you depending on how far away you were calling and on the time of day and day of the week. A big mess. By now, rates are usually quoted on a per minute basis, although you can sometimes still find quotes for 1.5 or 4 minutes. So always make sure the rate you got quoted is really for the amount of time you think it is. The Deutsche Telekom <http://www.telekom.de/> lets you explore all the intricacies of their pricing scheme with their Tarifrechner <http://www.telekom.de/untern/tarife/tarifrechner/index.htm>. Bring some Aspirin. 10.2. Public Phones / Phone Cards in Germany In the good old days, phone booths were bright yellow, a real eye-sore but easy to spot if you needed one. The new phone booths are almost all glass with some gray and a pink trim, trendy but not as easy to spot as the old ones. If you are in an urgent need for a public phone and can't find one, ask in a restaurant, they usually let you use their phone for a quite usurious price (like 50 Pfennige per minute or so). Public phones in Germany work more or less like everywhere else, except for the differences: Most public phones by now are card phones. Unlike American card phones, they use debit cards. German phone cards can be bought at any post office, most money exchanges at major train stations and many newspaper stores. They have a given value, for example 12 DM for 60 units or 50 DM for approx. 260 units, which works out to something like 0.20 DM/unit. Once you have used up this value you must get a new card. It is not that easy any more to find a public coin phone, even though they still exist. You usually have to insert 20 Pfennige, the minimum price for a call. In airports, train stations and some of the more touristy places you often find credit card phones, too. 10.3. Nation-Wide Phone-Numbers (Emergency, Information) There are two nation-wide emergency telephone numbers: o 110 -- Police o 112 -- Ambulance and/or the Fire Fighters The numbers are toll free, in the modern public card-phones you should be able to dial them at any time, without the need for change or a card. If you don't know what kind of emergency you have at hand, call 110. The fire fighters will send you nasty bills if you call them unnecessarily. 1999-11 In some older pay-phones, though, you may have to insert coins first, but they will be returned after the call. In some phone booths you will find special emergency switch boxes which can be used by simply pulling a lever. 1999-11 o 19222 -- gets you an ambulance in many cities. This number is not prioritized, though. Use 110 or 112 in emergencies. o 19410 -- cab and taxi services. o 19444 -- city-netz (see `Transportation') o 19419 -- railway travel information (see `Railways') o 19433 -- touristic information (see `Tourism') 10.4. Getting Phonenumbers via Internet There is now a service available for the yellow pages <http://www.gelbe-seiten.de/NSAPI/Anfrage?SPRACHE=EN> by Deutsche Telekom which allows you to search the contents of the CD-rom <http://www.gelbe-seiten.de/> Gelbe Seiten fuer Deutschland. 1997-01 For searching white pages: That has recently become available; for example at o www.teleinfo.de <http://www.teleinfo.de/> o www.teleauskunft.de <http://www.teleauskunft.de> (English <http://www.teleauskunft.de/NSAPI/Anfrage?SPRACHE=EN> French <http://www.teleauskunft.de/NSAPI/Anfrage?SPRACHE=FR>) are operated by Deutsche Telekom <http://www.telekom.de/> If you are looking for an Austrian phone number, you can use the following BTX-gateway <http://www.tu-graz.ac.at/> or this telnet connection <telnet://etb@fiicmds06.tu-graz.ac.at/> For Swiss numbers you may use the following telnet gateway. <telnet://etv@etv.switch.ch/> 1995-3 10.5. Importing Phone/Modem/fax to Germany? You may own any phone but you may not connect it to the public system unless it has a BZT number (Old phones: ZZF). You may not own radios or cordless phones which are not approved. The number is usually found on a sticker at the back of the case. Tone dial and pulse dial are available everywhere. Problems are possible with Hong Kong or British pulse dial phones because the pulses there are not exactly the same as in Germany. But the phone system is very tolerant and with most of these phones you can switch to the other system anyway (same for modems). Cordless phones are a real problem. In Germany, cordless phones operate on different frequencies (900 MHz) than in most other countries. In the bands that many foreign phones use (80 MHz for cheap US-phones) are a number of official channels (police, emergencies, radio, TV ...). It is punishable to own and use an illegal cordless phone! Therefore, use only approved cordless phones !!! or they will get you !!! On a lighter note: it is possible, for more money, though, to obtain a 900 Mhz phone abroad. In the US, for instance, these are about twice as expensive as the 80 MHz phone; however, you may expect to still cut a deal, compared to German prices ;-) 1996-1 The wall outlets for phones in Germany have a different shape than the usual modular plug. Adapters are available in Germany (from 2.50 to 20 DM). These adapters are no problems with phones. But legal and illegal things might not work together on the same line. Fax machines usually work in Germany, too. Typically you'll need a new power adapter, though. 1995-3 Since local phone calls in Germany are usually billed by the minute, a speedy Modem is not only convenient but can also be a real money- saver. By now, both ISDN connections with 64 kbit/s and v.90 modems with up to 56 kbit/s are widely available. An ISDN hookup, which provides up to ten phone numbers and two simultaneous lines, is not only faster but also cheaper than two seperate conventional lines. 1998-05 Watch out for the 16kHz timer signal, which the telekom sends to allow for your own tracking of billing periods. This is an additional account feature, costs 99 Pfennige per month and is pretty useless with the newer rate structures anyway. But if you have it and if the modem doesn't filter this signal you might lose connection every 90 seconds (or at multiples thereof.) 1999-11 Teleadapt (http://www.teledapt.com) has a device called TeleFilter, which filters the Accounting signal used in the german phonesystem, useful for modems that do not have the filter built in (e.g., most non-german modems). The same device is also sold by Blackbox (http://www.blackbox.com). 1998-04 Mobile/cell phones (called "Handy" in the local vernacular) are operated on one of four networks: D1, D2, E+ and E2. If you want to do international roaming from your home country, it should work, ask your home provider about that. You will need a GSM900 phone for the D-networks or a GSM1800 phone for E- networks. US GSM1900 phones will not work! Note that the D networks have far better coverage outside the bigger cities, they work nearly everywhere, including forests and such. 1999-11 10.6. Adapters There are cheap(!) adapters available (between 2 and 20 DM.) To build one yourself is most likely not cost efficient. Be aware of possible legal conflicts. Your phone is more likely to be illegal than the homemade adapter. Connection scheme: American plug German TAE-F or TAE-N plug +------------- ----- | * yellow 4 / / | * green 3 4 // 3 | * red 2 / / | * black 1 // 2 +------------- / / // 1 / / ----- them to the two wires that come into your house (if you can make out which they are) yellow/black are for data transmission devices. impedance is no problem. 10.7. Calling Germany Collect from Abroad? The most convenient way for German tourists to call home is the Deutschland direkt Line. You can reach it toll-free from the US at o 1-800-292-0049 o 1-800-766-0049 o 1-800-927-0049 From Canada it is o 1-800-465-0049 Note that this service is very expensive. The cost is supposedly around DM 2.10 per minute, plus a flat fee of DM 3.00. Collect calls are possible. It is also possible to use a special phone card and password. Ask your local 'telefonladen' for details. 1995-3 If you want to call a German '130' number from the US, you need to call either the above mentioned service or your long distance operator. '130' numbers are Germany's version of the US have to pay the usual fee for operator assisted long distance calls. Some of the German '130' numbers are linked to US '800' numbers so you can actually call them for free in the US. It is also not possible to reach US '800' numbers from Germany. You will have to use an operator. If you own a US phone card use one of the numbers listed (see `Using US Phone Cards') Otherwise use the German long distance operator. 10.8. Using US Phone Cards in Germany? If you have an American phone card you can get connected to an English speaking operator from any phone by dialing: o AT&T Direct: o 0130-0010 (operator) o 0130-0011 (phone cards) o 0130-850 058 (customer assistance) o MCI Direct: 0130-0012 o US Sprint: 0130-0013 o Canada Direct: 0130-0014 The following countries offer an equivalent service by dialing: 0130-800-### (### is the international access code. For two digit access codes dial 0##. Example: Australia 0130-800-061) Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Rep. of Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Denmark Many other international long distance companies provide the same service. Ask your long distance carrier for the right number. 10.8.1. Page comments View/add comments <http://www.watzmann.net/comments/list.php?page_id=14> 11. Political Life I am gladly a patriot, but first I am human, and where the two are incompatible, I always go along with the human. (Hermann Hesse, 1877-1962) 11.1. National Anthem The origins of the German national anthem -as well as of the official banner- date back well before the revolution of 1848. The Lied der Deutschen was composed by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben on the island Helgoland in 1841, based on a melody by Joseph Haydn. The melody, the so-called "Kaiserquartett", a quartett for strings in C-major, op. 76,3. was composed 1797 at the request of Count von Saurau, the imperial High Chancellor of the Hapsburg empire. The hymn was first sung on the birthday of Kaiser Franz II 12. Feb 1797. Haydn later set the melody with variations as the slow movement of the string quartet. The melody was based on a Croatian folk song, "Vjutro rano se ja vstanem." It was the national hymn of Austria before it was adopted as the German one. 1997-06 The first stanza begins with Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles -- which in the light of that time (Germany was split into a patchwork of many small states) has to be interpreted as an expression of the desire to employ the best forces and emotions towards a unified Germany. After the first world war the first President of the Weimar Republic, Friedrich Ebert, proclaimed the Lied der Deutschen national anthem. However, in the course of history particularly the first stanza was frequently misconstrued. And after world war II, in 1952, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and President Theodor Heuss --while confirming the Lied der Deutschen as the national anthem of the Federal Republic of Germany-- declared only its third stanza to be sung at official occasions. With the event of the re-unification of Germany the subject was reconsidered. In their correspondence of August 1991 President Richard von Weizsaecker and Chancellor Helmut Kohl acknowledged the tradition of the Lied der Deutschen, noting that --as a document of German history-- all three stanzas form a unit; however: The third stanza of the Lied der Deutschen by Hoffmann von Fallersleben with the melody by Joseph Haydn is the national anthem for the German people. The lyrics of the national anthem of the Federal Republic <http://www.government.de/ausland/country_people/anthem.html> are: Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit fuer das deutsche Vater- land. bruederlich mit Herz und Hand. und Freiheit sind des Glueckes Unterpfand. Blueh' im Glanze dieses Glueckes, bluehe deutsches Vater- land. 1995-4 11.2. The Federal Flag Article 22 of the Grundgesetz states that The federal flag <http://www.government.de/ausland/country_people/flag.html> is black- red-golden. This stems back to the early 19th century; among the many forces fighting in the 1813-1815 wars that raged through Europe to end the Napoleonic government the Luetzower Jaeger were particularly popular. The numerous students from Jena in this group continued wearing their uniform -- black and red, with golden ornaments -- even at school. When in 1817 students from all over Germany assembled at the Wartburg, those from Jena prevailed with their colors taken to symbolize the Allgemeinen Deutschen Burschenschaft (the head fraternity). By 1832 (Hambacher Fest) black-red-golden had become generally accepted as the (revolutionary) German colors. The 1848 federal assembly (in Frankfurt) declared black-red-golden as federal colors. (During the 1848 revolution the colors were often meant to signify gunpowder- black, blood-red, and future-golden.) The official German colors changed through history, however, a number of times. In 1871 the German Reich choose black-white-red as national colors; the Weimar Republic again opted for black-red-golden and Nazi- Germany re-instated black-white-red. Finally, both parts of after- WWII Germany decided (in both cases) to use black-red-golden. 1996-04 11.3. Text of the Grundgesetz The Grundgesetz (Basic Law) is the constitution of Germany. You can access it on the web in various languages: German Available from compuserve.de <http://www.compuserve.de/bc_recht/gesetze/> or from U Saarbruecken <http://www.jura.uni-sb.de/BIJUS/grundgesetz/> English Avaliable from spies.com <ftp://wiretap.spies.com/Gov/World/germany.con> or from U Wuerzburg <http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/law/gm__indx.html> French Available from U Saarbruecken <http://www.jura.uni- sb.de/BIJUS/grundgesetz/> 11.4. Government resources on the net Germany is a federal republic. The Bundesregierung <http://www.bundesregierung.de> (federal government <http://www.government.de>), headed by the Bundeskanzler <http://www.bundeskanzler.de> (chancellor <http://www.bundeskanzler.de/kanzlerenglisch/home.html>) is the main part of the executive branch. The main legislative chamber is the Bundestag <http://www.bundestag.de>, elected every four years by general, free and secret ballot. The second legislative chamber is the Bundesrat <http://www.bundesrat.de> whose members are appointed by the state governments. You guessed it by now, Bund is the German word for federal. For the whole scoop on how the political system works and what the Bundespraesident <http://www.bundespraesident.de> does for a living, have a look at the federal government's site on the constitutional bodies <http://www.bundesregierung.de/tatsachen_ueber_deutschland/englisch/buch/03/index.html>. There are nice collections of links about politics and on-line political organizations at the Universitaet Koeln <http://www.uni- koeln.de/themen/politik/> and at Dr. Doeblin Wirtschaftsforschung <http://wp-online.f1online.de/workshop/politik.htm> 1999-11 Germany consists of 16 Bundeslaender <http://www.bundesrat.de/Laender/index.html> (english version <http://www.bundesrat.de/Englisch/Laender/index.html>). There are several highest courts, depending on the matter of the case. The Bundesverfassungsgericht <http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de> in Karlsruhe reviews all constitutional cases and its rulings are binding for all other constitutional organs. It is not an appellate court. Everybody can bring a case before it if they feel that their constitutional rights have been violated by a public organ. The highest appellate courts are the Bundesgerichtshof <http://www.rz.uni- karlsruhe.de/~bgh/> in Karlsruhe for criminal and general civil cases, the Bundesarbeitsgericht <http://www.bundesarbeitsgericht.de/> in Kassel for labor disputes, the Bundessozialgericht <http://www.bundessozialgericht.de> in Kassel for matters of social law, the Bundesfinanzhof in Muenchen for tax law and the Bundesverwaltungsgericht <http://www.bverwg.de/> in Leipzig for administrative matters. 11.5. Political Parties Represented in the Bundestag There are quite a few parties that try to get their candidates elected into the Bundestag. Most of them fail miserably to get the required 5% of the popular vote or get three candidates elected directly, the requirement to send any of their candidates into the Bundestag. Currently, these five parties are represented in the Bundestag: CDU <http://www.cdu.de/> Christlich Demokratische Union 1999-02 Die Gruenen <http://www.gruene.de> 1999-02 F.D.P. <http://www.fdp.de/> Freie Demokratische Partei 1999-02 SPD <http://www.spd.de/> Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands1995-8 PDS <http://www.pds-online.de/> Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus 1999-02 11.6. Elections and election dates The Bundeswahlleiter <http://www.statistik-bund.de/wahlen/index.htm> (Federal Returning Officer <http://www.statistik- bund.de/wahlen/e/index_e.htm>) maintains a list of upcoming election dates <http://www.statistik-bund.de/wahlen/termine/wahlterm.htm> (english version <http://www.statistik- bund.de/wahlen/termine/e/wterm_e.htm>). The page also has a well- hidden search function <http://www.statistik-bund.de/cgi- bin/wahlen/wahlSuchService> at the bottom that lets you search for results of past elections, the boundaries of constituencies etc. The only federal organ directly elected is the Bundestag <http://www.bundestag.de>. It is elected every four years by general, free and secret ballot. The state parliaments (Landtage) are elected every four or five years, depending on the state. Elections for local governments, such as mayors and city councils, are also held every four or five years. All the local governments in a state are usually elected on the same date, with sometimes very complicated election procedures (kumulieren and panaschieren will evoke fond memories in anybody who has ever filled in a multipage ballot). 1999-11 11.6.1. Page comments View/add comments <http://www.watzmann.net/comments/list.php?page_id=15> 12. History, Law -- Internet Resources 12.1. History The 2000 Jahre Chronik <http://www.geschichte.2me.net/aaa_001.htm> contains an amazing wealth of information on German history. The Deutsches Historisches Museum <http://www.dhm.de/> provides materials, mainly connected to their exhibitions, online. The Holocaust seems to be one of the all-time favorite topics in soc.culture.german <news:soc.culture.german>, mainly for revisionist nuts. The Nizkor project <http://www.nizkor.org/> maintains a wealth of information related to the Holocaust. The Hochschule fuer juedische Studien <http://www.hjs.uni-heidelberg.de/> (University for judaic studies) and the Zentralarchiv zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland <http://www.uni- heidelberg.de/institute/sonst/aj/> (Central Archives for Research on the History of the Jews in Germany <http://www.uni- heidelberg.de/institute/sonst/aj/englisch.htm>) publish studies on the history of Jews in Germany. The state of Thueringen maintains a nice text <http://www.thueringen.de/LZT/geschddr.htm>, alas in German, on the history of the DDR (German Democratic Republic). For the history of German-Americans, go to German Heritage <http://www.germanheritage.com/> or German Americana <http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/germusa.htm>. The revolution of 1848 <http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/1848.htm> forced many Germans to emigrate to the USA. 12.2. Law Angela Schmidt <http://angela.core.de/> has put out a very impressive collection of many(!) HTML-enhanced German law texts <http://www.compuserve.de/bc_recht/gesetze/>. 1999-04 The Juristisches Internetprojekt Saarbruecken <http://www.jura.uni- sb.de/> has lots of links to legal information <http://www.jura.uni-sb.de/internet/>, among them links to German courts <http://www.jura.uni-sb.de/internet/gericht.html> and links to collections of legal decisions worldwide <http://www.jura.uni- sb.de/internet/court1.html>. The RAVE project <http://www.jura.uni- duesseldorf.de/rave/e/englhome.htm> at the law school <http://www.jura.uni-duesseldorf.de/> of the U Duesseldorf <http://www.uni-duesseldorf.de> provides an extensive database of citations about public international and European law. The same site also provides a catalog of annotated legal links <http://www.jura.uni- duesseldorf.de/call> The Anwaltssuche <http://www.anwaltssuche.de/> contains a directory of attorneys, searchable by location and specialization. 12.3. Immigration matters (-- Large portions of this section have been con- tributed by Wayne Brown and Dirk Brink.--) Even though not being an immigration country is a bit of a national myth in Germany, there are lots of foreigners living in Germany -- around 8%-10% of Germany's population are foreigners. The immigration laws have been greatly revised; the revised laws go into effect on January 1, 2000. Immigration is regulated by some half dozen laws, the most important of which are the Auslaendergesetz regulating residency of foreigners in Germany and the Staatsangehoerigkeitsgesetz regulating naturalization. Immigration matters are usually handled by the Auslaenderbehoerde of the city governments. The one in Muenchen has an extensive webpage <http://www.muenchen.de/referat/kvr/ala/index.html> with a wealth of information, unfortunately only in German. On the practical dealings with the authorities, Wayne Brown notes that Despite the horror stories I have heard at times, my experi- ence with translating for foreign friends on numerous occa- sions and seeing the authorities up close has been good. I would describe the officials I have encountered as reserved and businesslike. and Dirk Brink says that These people are Bureaucrats, like everywhere else. They have their prejudices like most people do as well. If you are a white European, American, or Japanese, speak half way decent German and show up in a tie they will probably try to be more helpful than if you are from a third world country and the only German you know is the word for Asylum. Always be polite. You will never get anything done by irritating a bureaucrat anywhere in the world. For yet another view, read Gyula Szokoly's account <http://www.aip.de/~gszokoly/germany.html> of his experiences with working in Germany. 12.3.1. Getting a work permit Before you can work in Germany, you need a work permit (Arbeitserlaubnis). If you are a EU citizen, you're lucky: you only need to go to your local Einwohnermeldeamt and ask for a work permit. The whole process should take only a few days, but check with the local authorities. If you are from a non-EU country, thinks are more complicated. You first need to find an employer that is interested in hiring you and can prove that you are more qualified for the position than any German citizens. The prospective employer needs to fill in several forms for you. You take these, a copy of your contract (Arbeitsvertrag) and your passport to the local authorities who will then issue you a work permit, valid for one or two years and renewable, for employment by that specific employer. If you want to change employers, you need to obtain a new work permit. Some large companies take care of all the formalities for their employees. If you marry a German citizen you will get unrestricted, permanent work and residence permits. A foreign employee qualifies for unemployment benefits the moment he starts paying the obligatory unemployment insurance through his employer. I believe an employee has to have worked for at least six months to draw money. If the unemployed foreigner cannot get another job, the authorities will extend his residency permit until he has collected all the money coming to him under unemployment. The payments depend on the employee's salary on termination, length of service and his age. The maximum amount one can draw, I believe, is currently about 370 US dollars a week. The maximum time of such payments is about two years. Unemployment benefits also include free medical and dental care as well as a contribution to rent, if an employed person can no longer pay his rent. If an employee has a private life insurance when he is terminated, the department of unemployment will take over those payments and pay them extra for as long as unemployment is paid. The "Green-Card" In early 2000, Chancellor Schroeder announced that the German government will do something about the shortage of information technology workers in Germany and try to attract foreign IT workers, the talk is mainly about Indians, to Germany. The work permit that should achieve this is imaginatively titled a Green-Card and has very little in common with the permanent residence permits that the USA hands out under the same name. It more resembles a US H1-B visa. Read the federal government's press release <http://www.bundesregierung.de/05/0515/04/sofort_eng.html> about the Green-Card and their FAQ about this topic <http://www.bundesregierung.de/05/0515/05/questions.html>. 12.3.2. Aufenthalts what? To legally reside in Germany, you need a Aufenthaltserlaubnis or Aufenthaltsberechtigung. The former lets you reside in Germany temporarily or permanently, while the latter gives you the right to live in Germany permanently. After the authorities have issued a labor permit, they also issue a residency permit for one year. At the end of a year, the residency permit and the work permit can be extended for another year. After residency in Germany for ten years, an employee can apply for an unbefristete Aufenthaltserlaubnis and an unbefristete Arbeitserlaubnis, in other words unlimited residency and work permits, which seem to be issued without much ado. If a person just wants to live in Germany and not to work, then he goes to the local authorities and applies for a residency permit. He has to show proof that he can support himself (pension statement, bank statement, letter of credit, etc.) and that he has health insurance. Such residency permits are issued for one year and are renewable indefinitely. Aufenthaltsrecht, right to residency, is a different story. A foreigner who has lived in Germany for many years, something around 20 years, can apply for the right to residency, which gives him the right to live in Germany for the rest of his life. Before issuing such a permit, the authorities check with local police that the candidate does not have a police record, that he has means of support and that he has normal living accommodations. 12.3.3. What about studying in Germany ? First, a student should apply for entrance to the university of his choice. Foreigners do not fall under the numerus clausus system introduced some years ago to cope with the crowding at German universities. All German universities have a certain quota for foreign students; therefore, the foreigner can apply where he likes. Once accepted by the university, the foreigner takes the admittance documents supplied by the university to the local authorities (Kreisverwaltungsreferat) and applies for a student residency permit. The student must show that he has means to support himself while in Germany (bank statement, letter of credit, scholarship statement, etc.). The university will advise how much money and what else the student needs to satisfy the visa requirements. The best way, I believe, to get a temporary work permit for a period of practical training is to apply to one of the many programs offered by German companies and to get accepted. Such a company then handles all the formalities connected with the program. 12.3.4. Page comments View/add comments <http://www.watzmann.net/comments/list.php?page_id=16>