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« Disconnected and Reconnected in Germany | Main | Meckler Nailed – the 'evidence' is in »

18 October 2010


Dixie Redfearn

Fun to read! Thanks for the history lesson...

Kim Pruett

Great photos George. Thank you for sharing.

Todd Juvinall

Great stories George!

Michael Anderson

I was poking around with some online maps and it looks like Route 66 goes between the towns of Babenhausen and Fulda. Bet you spent a lot of time on that road in the 1960s.
Thanks for sharing your trip down memory lane, it was a great read.

Christel Rauber

George, in Germany it is very desirable even for very good educated people to become a teacher at a public school. Teachers at public schools are civil servants (Beamte). That means they cannot be dismissed for their whole working live. Moreover their salary is high above average! Their 3 months' vacations p. a. are fully paid. When they are ill or sick they still get their salary and only if there is no hope for them to return to work again they can retire and are then paid a very good "pension", again much more than an average employee gets.
Most of the schools still have (unfortunately) only lessons during morning time i. e. from 8 a.m. to 1 or 2 p.m. That means that the teachers can go home and have "free" afternoons. Of course they will have to do some work to prepare their teaching lessons and to do corrections of pupils' works at home. But they now can do this work whenever they want to do it during the day or at night. This is especially desirable for young mothers! Another much more important fact is that the state pays for their health insurance: For a single person that is 50 % so that the person only has to pay the other 50 % for his insurance. For the children of the civil servants the state pays even 80 % for their insurance and father or mother only have to finace the remaining 20 %. This health care for the civil servants is better than the health care of a normal employee. We say they are "privat versichert" versus the others are "gesetzlich versichert". "Privat versichert" means they are better treated by doctors and hospitals because those
can charge higher fees than for the "gesetzlich Versicherten".

George I also want to say something about the regulations for retail selling: All 16 countries in Germany (i. e. "Bundesländer")have their own regulations! In Hessen where Erbach belongs to shops and stores can be kept open from Monday to Saturday 24 hours a day. Moreover there are 4 Sundays p. a. where shops also can be open. Also there are numerous exceptions. In touristical attractiv regions one can also open a shop on Sunday. Gas stations can sell food and other stuff 24 hrs every day. Baker's shops and flower shops can sell their goods on Sundays during certain hours etc. That in Erbach most of the shops were closed on that Saturday you were there for a visit is due to the shop owners' opinion and not due to "regulations limiting retail selling on weekends". George, please excuse my English but the last English lesson I had was in 1975! All the best Christel Rauber, Germany

George Rebane

Christel, it's wonderful hearing from you. I'm sorry we missed each other while we were in Babenhausen. Thank you for the expansions and clarifications. On the operating hours in Erbach, I was informed of those by the owner of the restaurant where we ate in Erbach. Your English is wonderful, and much better than my German would be for an equivalent dissertation. Hugs from Jo Ann and me. [For RR readers, Christel was our teenage babysitter for our firstborn while we lived in Babenhausen. She is now a mature woman with strong green convictions who was traveling in America while we were in Germany. We have stayed in touch over these 45 years.]

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