Germany Quiz Nr. 4: The Answers to the Questions about Lower Saxony

Can you guess what this building is? It's located in Brunswick in Lower Saxony. Photo taken in February 2015

There was a request by one of the readers asking for just some interesting facts about Germany and some of the states instead of the Q & A that has been posted to date. My response is by taking the Q & A away, it will take the art out of finding out the most interesting facts about states, like this one: Lower Saxony.   😉   Admittedly there is so much to write about that even some questions had to be left out of this Quiz on Germany. But admittedly, the questions are a challenge and for those wanting the answers to the facts about this rather populous northern German state and their people, here they are below. Please note, the highlighted names contains links with additional information for you to click on and look at:

🙂

Variety Pack Questions:

  1. Eight German States and the Baltic Sea border Lower Saxony, making it the most bordered state in Germany. True of False?

False. Counting the enclavement of Bremen, Lower Saxony is bordered by NINE states (Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Pommerania, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, Hesse, Bremen, and North-Rhine Westphalia), plus the NORTH Sea. It also shares a border with The Netherlands to the west. Now that’s a LOT of states. 

2a. Lower Saxony was officially established after World War II in 1946 and consisted of the mergers of four former kingdoms. Name two of the four kingdoms.  Hanover, Schaumburg-Lippe, Brunswick and Oldenburg

2b. Of the four kingdoms, which one was the largest? Hanover  

Note: It was suggested that a state of Hanover was created through the British Zone, but inspite of debates and protests, all four of the former kingdoms merged to become the state and was subsequentially renamed Lower Saxony. Today the names exists but as part of the 38 districts that exist in the state.

  1. Put the following cities in order based on population from largest to smallest:

Oldenburg    Brunswick (Braunschweig)   Stade    Wolfsburg    Hannover   Lüneburg   Uelzen   Emden  Osnabrück

ANS:  1. Hanover (518,386); 2. Brunswick (247,227); 3. Oldenburg (159,610); 4. Osnabrück (156,315); 5. Wolfsburg (122,457); 6. Lüneburg (73,581) 7. Emden (49,790); 8. Stade (45,317); 9. Uelzen (33,269)

  1. Lower Saxony is ranked SECOND in size behind Bavaria and FOURTH in population behind Bavaria, North Rhine Westphalia and Hesse, but is the state that is the most dense population of Germany.  True or False (just the points in cursive and bold print)

Lower Saxony is ranked fourth in population behind Bavaria, NRW and BADEN-WURTTEMBERG (ans. for 1st part is false)

But the state is the most densely populated in all of Germany. (True)

  1. Which rivers flow through and/or in Lower Saxony? Name three of them.

ANS: Elbe, Oker, Ems, Weser, Aller, Seeve, Aue, and others

  1. Braunkohl is a German vegetable that is well known in Lower Saxony and can be served with a local sausage. True or false?

TRUE: Never mistake this term with Braunkohle (brown coal) that you can find in the Ruhr River region and near Zittau in the Black Triangle Region. Both this rare cabbage type and the local (curry) sausage are a tasty combination.

  1. At Steinhuder Lake,located west of Osnabrück, you will find eels. True or false?

FALSE: True there is a Steinhuder Lake and the eels are easy to find (and delicious when eating them), BUT the lake is northwest of Hanover. 

  1. Das Alte Land, located in the vicinity of the Elbe River north and west of Hamburg is Germany’s fruit garden. Name three fruits that grow there annually.  Apples, Pears, Cherries, Berries, and other fruits. 

Multiple Choice:  Choose the correct city to answer the questions.

  1. Which city is home of one of the three automobile manufacturers in Germany. Choose the city and fill in the blank regarding the car brand. (Hint: Fahrvergnügend is still the most popular car brand in the world.)

a. Wilhelmshaven          b. Wolfsburg         c. Celle       d. Lüneburg      e. Hannover

The car brand?  If you don’t know the car brand VOLKSWAGEN, Das Auto, then there’s something seriously wrong with you. 😉 

  1. Which city in Lower Saxony does not have a college or university?  How many colleges and universities does the state have?  ANS HERE: 26; six of them are in Hanover.

a. Hildesheim     b. Göttingen     c. Hannover    d. Cuxhaven     e. Emden

f. Vechta      g. Bremervörde

  1. In this town (A), you can try a drink with a spoon (B), but don’t forget to say your blessings first. 😉

A:

a. Bad Zwischenahn          b. Bad Brahmburg      c. Leer        d. Norden

e. Bad Oldesloe     f. Brunswick

B:

a. Braunschweiger Mumme      b. Löffeltee      c. Ammerländer Löffeltrunk

d. Angler Muck     e. Toter Bruder

LINK: AMMERLÄNDER LÖFFELTRUNK

  1. Which city in Lower Saxony is not located in the Harz Mountains? (!: There are two different answers)

a. Goslar           b. Clausthal        c. Wenigerode        d. Osterode      e. Salzgitter       f. Braunlage

  1. Which city does not have a premier league sports team?

a. Buxtehude     b. Hannover      c. Brunswick      d. Emden       e. Oldenburg

  1. The New York Lions in the German American Football League is actually located in which city?

a. Hannover     b. Bremen        c. Brunswick       d. Göttingen     e. Celle

  1. Germany has the only true transporter bridge in left the country. It is located in Lower Saxony in which community?

a. Ostende      b. Hannover     c. Wilhelmshaven     d. Stade     e. Brunswick

LINK: TRANSPORTER BRIDGE AT OSTENDE

  1. The only combination cantilever-suspension-swing bridge left in Germany (and perhaps on European soil) is located in Lower Saxony. Where exactly is this bridge?

a. Göttingen    b. Wilhelmshaven    c. Lauenburg    d. Stadland   e. Hannover         f. Wattenscheid

LINK: WILHELMSHAVEN SWING BRIDGE

  1. Which town in Lower Saxony will you most likely find in the US?

a. Emden    b. Bergen     c. Hanover     d. Oldenburg    e. Berne    f. Uelzen

FACT: There are 19 towns in the US that carry the name Hanover, as well as 23 townships. The largest of them is Hanover, New Hampshire, where the state university is located. That one has 11,800 inhabitants.

Celebrities and Birth Places: Determine whether these statements are true or false. If false, correct the statements

  1. Maria Furtwängler, an actress who plays Charlotte Lindholm in the Tatort-Hannover series originates from Hanover.

ANS: False. She was born in Munich and belongs to one of the most powerful dynasties that still exist in Germany today. 

  1. Heiner Brand, head coach of the German National Handball Team, was born and raised in Brunswick.

ANS: False. Brand was born in Gummersbach in North Rhine Westphalia. He is the only German handball player and coach to have won the World Championship both as a player (1978) and a coach (2007). He was coach of the German National Handball Team from 1997 until his resignation in 2011, taking the team all the way to the World Cup Championship in 2007.

  1. In the film the Inglorious Bastards by Quentin Tarrantino, there were no German actors/actresses.

ANS: It would not be typical of the well-cultured producer and director to not have native-born German actors/actresses in a film, whose setting was in Nazi Germany. At least 25 people, including Daniel Brühl and Til Schweiger were casted alongside Brad Pitt in this film. This included Diane Kruger, who was born in Hildesheim (near Hanover) and played Bridget von Hammersmark in the film. A well-thought film produced by a well-known name, but the answer to this question is clearly FALSE!

  1. Gerhard Schröder, the successor of Chancellor Angela Merkel, was born in Mecklenburg-Pommerania but grew up in Lower Saxony.

ANS: False. He was born and raised in Lower Saxony and even started his career in politics during his university days in Göttingen, thus paving a path to chancellorship, which he ruled Germany from 1998 until his landslide defeat in early elections in 2005, into the hands of the country’s current chancellor, Angela Merkel.

  1. Herbert Grönemeyer calls Göttingen home. No wonder because he was born there.

ANS: True. Yet he was born there because his mother brought him into the world through a specialist in a very unusual way (read more here). He however was raised in Bochum in North Rhine Westphalia.

  1. The band The Scorpions was established in Hanover with the lead singer originating from there.

ANS: True. Klause Meine originated from Hanover. Together with Rudolf Schenker (who was born in Hildesheim), the band was founded in Hanover. It is the longest running band in Germany and second longest in the world behind the Rolling Stones, having been in business for over 50 years.

  1. The Creator of English for Runaways originally came from Emden.

ANS: False. Heinz Heygen was born in Frankfurt/Main.

  1.  Chris Barrie, a Hannoverer  who starred in the Tomb Raider movie, grew up in Northern Ireland.

ANS: True

  1. Prince Ernst Augustus of Hanover was born in Hanover.

ANS: It is logical that the Prince, who is married to Princess Caroline of Monaco, and has his residence in Hanover, must be naturally-born Hannoverer. Hence, True. 🙂

BONUS QUESTION: Can you guess what that building in Brunswick is?

The building is the site of the Tauch Center, located across the Oker River from the campus of the Technical University. When it was built and other details is unknown, but you are free to add some information in the comment section if you wish to do that.

FF 25 Logo

Bayern Munich has doped it way to the top!

From the Sports Arena

4-0 for Bayern Munich! If you add the blow-out against Barcelona during last night’s first game of the Champions League semi-finals in European Soccer to the blow-out games of four or more goals in the entire season so far in the golden anniversary season of German Soccer known as the Bundesliga, in 10 games, the Bavarian Texans from the south blew away eight teams by a score of 55-6! Two of the teams were right in FC’s Visier twice, including Hanover 96, which in two games were destroyed by a total of 11-1, including a 6-1 pasting last Saturday! Hamburg was the unfortunate victim of a 9-2 demolition a few weeks ago. Even Nuremberg was not safe.  One would think that after out-competing the teams enroute to their 24th season title with six-games left in the season that it would be enough, right?

Wrong!  Add a key player, like Mario Götze who decided to leave Dortmund for Munich after this season and a scandal involving Uli Honess, the team’s president for tax evasion and smuggling money in Switzerland, and we could see something unfolding in a fashion which makes Lance Armstrong’s confession to his doping escapade look like a dwarf!  And Armstrong was a professional cyclist before being defamed for his actions, setting up the stage for many cyclists to fall after him, like a domino effect.

In the era of pursuing people evading taxes and creating tax oasis, the news involving Honess is huge, for he had been touted as the man with morals, being straight and honest. Many players made a career at FC Bayern Munich, riding their way to many international cups and German Bundesliga championships, adding them to their resumès. Götze is looking at that particular opportunity that Dortmund had had last season when the team won the season title in Germany and is the other team competing with Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.  But the tax scandal has raised many questions of whether FC Bayern Munich has other skeletons in the closet. After all, a team that has almost always sat on top of the throne did not do it the hard way. Something is a bit fatty there.

Perhaps one should have someone like Charlotte Lindholm, the police commissioner from Hanover who is also a Hanover 96 fan check it out. After all, like the other teams in the Bundesliga and those being promoted in the elite league, like Hertha BSC Berlin in the upcoming soccer season, Hanover 96 is trying to find ways to figure out whether FC Bayern’s successes were real or flawed. If the latter is the case, then even though it will not create defame in a degree similar to Penn State University’s college football program because of the child molestation scandal that was revealed in 2011, Lindholm’s first and foremost character will be Honess. Even if he was to resign to save FC Bayern’s face, both he and the team are not safe from the potential backlash that could come out of this scandal, one of possibly many that may come from the deep south of Germany.

Flensburg Files Fast Facts:

1. Commissioner Lindholm is from the German TV Krimi Series Tatort, which provides viewers on Sunday night with a new case from one of over 20 different cities, each of which has two detectives on the case. Lindholm is played by Maria Fürtwangler, who ironically originates from Munich.

2. FC Bayern Munich set the season record for winning the German soccer regular season title in the earliest fashion possible- with six games left in the season- two weeks ago. The team is on course to win the Triple Crown, which includes the Champions League Title and the German Cup (DFB Pokal). The Files will keep you posted on whether they will achieve this- also a record in itself.

3. Yet Uli Honess is feeling the pressure of stepping down as President. Both German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as the majority of the German population (63% in one poll) would like to see him resign and face tax evasion charges. Whether this will happen remains open at this time. However, speculation may exist that the soccer team may have some other flaws that have been stuffed away for some time but will eventually be made open to the public. More on the tex scandal here.

4. For those who did not know: Penn State Nittany Lions football was sanctioned after reports of a sex abuse scandal forced Joe Paterno to step down in November 2011. He died the following January. Jerry Sandusky, Paterno’s assistant football coach pleaded guilty to sexual abuse and was sentenced to life in prison in October 2012. Three other men involved are awaiting trial for covering up the scandal. The football team was forced to vacate all its wins between 1998 and 2011, plus its football titles and recruitment scholars and is facing a four-year ban from post-season competition, known as the Bowl Games. This was the worst scandal in sports history as of present…..

Flensburg Files Haliburton Guessing Quiz:

In connection with an upcoming article on Munich, how many towns in the United States carry the name Munich? And where are they located? I know one for sure and it will be the focus of an article on German-named villages in the US. Stay tuned! 🙂

Kiel finishes perfect season in……

HANDBALL!!! Each professional sport has its celebrity teams, no matter where you go. In the US, we have the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers in American Football, while in basketball, we have  the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Boston Celtics, just to name a few. In Germany, we take pride in our household and globalized sport, soccer. There we have the likes of Bayern Munich, 1899 Hoffenheim, Mainz and Frankfurt. But we also have another sport that has been gaining popularity in the last decade and has recently made news because of a feat that is unthinkable, but was accomplished. That sport is handball, and the team that has made headlines recently was one located in the far northern part of Germany is Kiel. A capital of Schleswig-Holstein and located one hour by train southeast of Flensburg, Kiel is famous for its city center and Horn harbor, where ships from Scandanavia and the UK come to dock. The city is also famous for its handball team, the THW Kiel Zebras. Established in 1904, the team had won 17 German Handball Premere League Titles, seven German Cup championships, and two Champions League titles (2007 and 2010). Apart from its northern rival, the SG Flensburg-Handewitt, it also has rivals in the Berlin Foxes and the SV Hamburg team.

This year, the Zebras wrote the history books in handball. The team went undefeated in regular season play, winning its 18th German Premere League Championship, finishing well ahead of second place Flensburg-Handewitt and third place Berlin. That was completed with its final game against Gummersbach, winning the match 39-29 to win its 34th game on 2 June.  This followed its eighth German Cup Championship a month earlier on 5 May, narrowly defeating Flensburg-Handewitt 33-31 in a hard fought match that ended in a complete 3-game sweep of its northern rival.  And finally, at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne on 27 May, Kiel defeated Athletico Madrid (Spain) 26-21 to win its third Champions League Title.  No other handball team has ever won the triple crown up until THW Kiel’s accomplishment of the impossible. However, the Zebras join other teams in German and European sports in the ranks of the Triple Crown winners. For instance in soccer, both FC Bayern Munich (men) and FFC Frankfurt (women) have won the triple three times on three separate occasions, but the Glasgow Rangers in Scottish soccer has won the Triple in men’s soccer seven times, the last time it happened being in 2003. More interesting is the fact that Kiel’s feat surpasses even the failed attempts of any German basketball team to win the Triple. Maccabi Tel Aviv has won the Triple five times, the last time being in 2005.

This leads to the question of what the triple crown is. If a team wins a triple, like Kiel has done this past season, then it means that the team won the regular season championship, the national cup and one championship on an international level. This is only applicable in sports that receive international recognition, which are soccer, basketball (in Europe), volleyball, ice hockey (in Europe) and now handball. It does not apply to any American sports, although it did host the internationally popular Lewis Cup in professional soccer from 1925 until its last championship in 1963. There, Fall River Marksman (Massachusetts)  and Brookhattan (New York) won Triples consisting of the Lewis Cup, the National Cup and the American Soccer League Championship in 1930 and 1945, respectively.

With Kiel entering uncharted territory, the next task is to go for a repeat of the Triple, which is next to impossible to do. Teams that have fallen to the Zebras in all three competitive championships are gearing up to take revenge on the team, including its northern rival from Flensburg, which might give the team its first defeat since SC Magdeburg defeated them on 4 May 2011, 30-24. But nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how Kiel will defend all three titles and make history even further, perhaps even eclipsing the soccer teams of Bayern Munich and FFC Frankfurt.

 

The Flensburg Files would like to congratulate the two Schleswig-Holstein handball profis on their successful 2012 run- SG Flensburg-Handewitt for its second place finish and most importantly, THW Kiel for its perfect season. Since both have qualified for the Champions League in the coming season, we would like to wish them best of luck in the international competition and all the best in the next season.

For those wanting to know more about handball, here is a simple guide to the game, which you can click on.

 

Fined for saying too little; fired for saying too much

I’m a big sports fan on both sides of the pond. Over here in Germany, I usually cheer for the local teams, like the soccer team Rot-Weiss Erfurt or Carl-Zeiss Jena, teams that can take down perrenial powerhouses, like the handball teams Flensburg-Handewitt and Kiel or the basketball teams in Bayreuth and Bamberg, and any team that can cut the Bundesliga soccer conquerers FC Bayern Munich down to size, like Mainz 05ers and 1899 Hoffenheim. In the US, apart from being a convert Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I usually rute for the teams originating from my homestate of Minnesota. That means, I cheer for the women’s basketball problem children of the WNBA the Minnesota Lynx, the rugrats of the men’s basketball team the Minnesota Timberwolves, the athletically enriched baseball team the Minnesota Twins, the college powerhouse to be types, the Minnesota Gophers, and lastly the (un-)professional football team, the Minnesota Vikings.

I now have one less team to cheer for as of last night- the unprofessional team, the Minnesota Vikings. Picked as contenders to win the Super Bowl, the team is completely in turmoil after losing to New England 28-18, falling to 2-5 with nine games left in the season, and a hometown favorite and high octane caliber player booted off the team just because he criticized the head coach’s play. That act is just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to unprofessionalism. Now the head coach is in the hot seat for not telling the owner about it earlier, and the players are poised to embarass him next Sunday by letting themselves get embarassed by the lowly Arizona Cardinals, in an attempt to have the now heavily disfavored coach sacked from his post. Not surprising if you see how he and another star player-the quarterback- are not getting along at all. Who are the people I’m mentioned here?  Randy Moss, who was given the shaft and Brad Childress, who dumped him right after the game.  Normally, I keep sports out of my column but this one was too irresistible to comment as I want to look at why Randy Moss, one of the best athletes to play the game got the shaft.

We all know that he was a very charasmatic and voicestrous player who lit up the Metrodome in Minneapolis for his high-flying performance and his antics that excited many fans and angered many. He was raw with regard to his conduct off the field when he was with the Vikings but matured when he went first to Oakland and then to New England. How he ended up back to Minnesota, where his career started still remains a mystery to many. Perhaps it was because of his outburst over Tom Brady’s hairdo, which Moss claimed he looked like a girl. Perhaps it was because of a need of a new environment or the need to return to where he started his career and his fans. Or perhaps he was part of Bill Belichick’s little scheme to obtain some valuable info on the opponent in order for the Patriots to win.  None of these theories made sense, nor did it make sense to boot Randy off the team where he started his career- the Minnesota Vikings- just because he was “lacking in performance” in the latter half of his one month stint, or lashed out at the food that was served to him the Friday before the last game as a Viking, or praised his former team for its performance. In either case, he was silent as a Viking, not taking any questions from the media and getting fined for it. And when he did speak, it costed him his job as a wide receiver, the one who broke record after record during his first seven year stint with Minnesota.  So what is up with the guy?  Why is he insociable, which was definitely not his style- at least not the style that he stood for during his first seven years in Minnesota?

We all know that he is getting up there with age. Not surprising that at the age of 33 he is in the twilight of his career and is  thinking that perhaps enough is enough in terms of his career. But as one can see with Brett Favre’s playing abilities at the age of 41, anything is possible if you make it happen. There is no way the Moss will hem and haw over his career like his former colleague quarterback did, which irritated Green Bay and the New York Jets respectively. If Moss was to go, he would go out with a bang, a Super Bowl ring, and an on-and-off -the- field record that is 2 kilometers long, but he would disappear from the limelight forever, never to be heard of again except in the record books.

Perhaps it is because he is missing that Super Bowl ring and he felt it would be beneficial to rejoin his former team to help Favre and his teammates get that ring, which would also coincide with the team’s 50th anniversary. Not surprising that the last Viking that accomplished that act with the same purpose was quarterback Fran Tarketon, who played for the Vikings from its inaugural season 1961 until he was traded to the New York Giants in 1966 and again from 1972 until his retirement in 1978.  Both players went to the Super Bowl- Tarketon three times in the 70s with the Vikings, Moss in 2008 with the Patriots. Both were defiant of the coach’s orders and tested their agility to their limits. However, both came up empty-handed with no Super Bowl rings. The difference between the two is the fact that Moss did have a chance to get the Vikings and himself that missing trophy. Now, he is no longer a Viking because of differences between him and Childress that made the two incompatible when it comes to communicating with each other and with the team. And this although he still has some years in him, or does he?

Perhaps he is at the crossroads now, trying to decide which path to take with his life, even if it means sacrificing his career as a football player. Finding something in life that a person enjoys does take a lot of time and painstaking effort to accomplish. But it is doable. If one feels that a career he has is not very awarding, then he looks around for something that does make him feel much more at home.  With the current trend he’s in, it would not be surprising that Randy Moss is at the crossroads and will do what I just mentioned above…. walk away and disappear, never to be seen again. In either case he cannot be a football player forever, and if he is tired of the press, perhaps there is another avenue to take where he can be himself and not take the heat from the media, let alone from the football league NFL for not taking on any interviews.

In either case, we will never know what led Randy Moss to come to Minnesota and stay for only a month, before Brad Childress gave him the boot, which leads to the last theory of him getting along more with his former coach Belichick than with Chilly, who is currently in hot water with owner Ziggy Wilf for doing that. We do know that he does have his fans and friends in Minnesota, who still support him despite all that is happening right now with the Vikings football team. We just don’t like the way the team is functioning as one big unit, which we can understand his dissatisfaction from start to finish. We just need to know why he was untypical during this last stint with the Vikings and what happened in this already weird and wild year in the NFL. Perhaps when he is ready for an interview from someone who is curious about it but not for the sake of money and fame, he will spill the beans. But time will tell when he will go unplugged and tell the truth. In the meantime, we can only wish him the best in whatever he wants to do in his life.

That’s a wrap from the Files. Until next time, folks.