Spoonfuls of Germany


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The missing, and the silent

Oscar Rosen and his wife Rachel Rosen, née Kesler, on their engagement in Metz, France, February 1936.

A few months ago, I watched a German TV program about Niklas Frank, the youngest son of Hans Frank, who as governor-general of occupied Poland in World War II was responsible for the murder of the Polish Jews and other war crimes and crimes against humanity. Talking about the right-wing German party AfD and its claim that the years between 1933 and 1945 were merely a “stain” in Germany’s “glorious” history, Niklas Frank said, “Someone who really loves Germany (…) first and foremost carries the pain about those 12 years.” Continue reading


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American professor in Philadelphia adds gusto to German-American friendship

Sausage vending machine in Hanover, Germany, 1931 (Wikimedia Commons).

This is my last blog post for The Year of German-American Friendship. Over the past thirteen months I have profiled people in the US from very different backgrounds and professions: a butcher, a miller, a gingerbread baker, a candy maker, a German food truck owner, the two founders of a döner restaurant chain, a food historian, and a fruit grower – all with a link to Germany.

I am wrapping my series up with Elliott Shore, who epitomizes German-American friendship and is professor of history emeritus at Bryn Mawr College. Shore is an American academic who combines in-depth study of Germany with a strong personal connection to the country. Continue reading


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My grandmother’s Black Forest Cake is both pink and German

Black Forest Cake is traditionally snow-white and decorated with a circle of cherries. Not my grandmother’s Black Forest Cake – hers was pink. She always made it that way, and I have never baked a Black Forest Cake using any other recipe. Whether my grandmother shared my aversion to candied cherries, or they were an expensive, unnecessary and probably hard-to-find ingredient in post-War Germany, I don’t know. As she did, I decorate my Black Forest Cake with only shavings of dark chocolate. For special occasions such as a birthday, I might reach for the pastry bag and decorate the cake with whipped cream rosettes. Continue reading