April | 2020
It is a challenging time for all of us. As we all try to keep up with the constant developments regarding the COVID-19 outbreak here is some resources that can provide information and assistance: 

For the State of Alabama:

The Alabama Department of Commerce have, in collaboration with state and federal partners, assembled a comprehensive list of resources related to the COVID-19 response to assist Alabama employers and workers.

AlabamaWorks, a network of interconnected providers of workforce services, including all of the governmental, educational, and private sector components that train, prepare, and match job seekers with employers, is actively engaged with state agencies and business and industry throughout Alabama to be a resource for employers, employees and those who may now be unemployed. 

The Alabama SBDC Network, a statewide resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs, is hosting frequent webinars and providing technical assistance to small businesses regarding SBA’s Disaster Loan program and the new Paycheck Protection Program. Upcoming and On-Demand webinars are posted at the top of the website.

List of Federal Resources:

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

US Department of Labor

US Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Small Business Administration – Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

For German Nationalities in Alabama:

For emergency services for consular matters – please the German Consulate General (Atlanta) via email info@atlanta.diplo.de or call (404) 659-4760. All public access is suspended.
Or the Honorary Consul for Alabama, Michael Johnson via email: mhjohnson@bakerdonelson.com  or call  ( 205) 250.8335.

AlabamaGermany Partnership:

You can continue to reach us by phone: (205) 341-7880 or email:  director@alabamagermany.org . We are NOT open for appointments.

Dankeschön to our PATRON Members:
Important Message from Honorary German Consul
In case you missed the message we shared last week on behalf of Michael Johnson, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany for Alabama:

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I send you this message because of your role in the German community in Alabama and the southeastern region of the US.  Please find  here the pdf-version of a letter to all German nationals  who are registered in the German Consulate’s elefand-system. On behalf of the German embassy and consulates in the USA, we ask that you kindly share this letter within your community.
Regarding flights: there are still possibilities; the majority require transit in Canada (eTA is definitely required), France, the Netherlands and UK or do not depart within our district. The most reliable connection appear be Lufthansa from New York or Chicago.
Our clear message to all non-residents (such as tourists and students who’s semester will be over before the summer): take a flight now! Long-term residents (especially if they are well established and have proper health insurance etc.) should simply follow any shelter in place orders.

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Temporarily Halt Production
By Birmingham Business Journal
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International will temporarily halt production at its plant in Tuscaloosa County, beginning, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The automaker, which is one of Alabama's largest and most critical employers, said the halt will start gradually next week at its plant in Vance and will last for an initial period of two weeks.It is also temporarily halting production at its plant in Charleston.

"The employees’ health and safety has top priority at Mercedes-Benz. Therefore, the halt of production and administration as a measure to ensure this and to further contain the spread of the pandemic. Wherever essential work is necessary, the company will continue operations in coordination with the respective authorities. All appropriate precautions to prevent the infection of its employees will be taken," the company said in a statement.
The company said its 3,800 team members will be paid for a portion of the time, and employees will use vacation or personal time to cover the rest.

The GACC South Names Matthias Hoffmann as New President and CEO
By German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S. (GACC South)
The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S. (GACC South) is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthias Hoffmann as their next President and CEO. Hoffmann worked for the German-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce for more than ten years and brings with him an array of experience as project manager and director from his various roles in Greece. He will officially join the GACC South on April 1, 2020.

“We are extremely pleased to present a new CEO who combines a clear understanding of our members’ needs with a global background and contact network that will assist him in achieving our goals. With Matthias, the board feels confident that the GACC South will be even better positioned in the future to tackle the challenges that lay ahead” says Klaus Zellmer, GACC South Chairman of the Board of Directors and President & CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Inc.

Hoffmann received his Business Administration and Management degree from Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg in 2007. He was selected by the DIHK in Germany and the GACC South’s Board of Directors. He will be leading an organization that comprises eleven states, five regional chapters as well as Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and U.S. Virgin Islands.

“I am excited to take over such a venerable organization with a professional and dedicated team to support the German-American business community. The GACC South has always been the benchmark in our network and it is a great honor that the Board of Directors has chosen me to continue the exceptional work the team has done” says Hoffmann.

Matthias Hoffmann will succeed Stefanie Ziska after three years as the CEO.
Greetings from Berlin - Alles in Butter
Many of you might have met Hannah Mattil last year. A very active AGP Young Professional and also active participant in our AGP Stammtisch in Birmingham. Hannah started out the new year by moving to Berlin in Germany. Follow her journey here!

Highlights: Stuck in Turkey, Battling the Bureaucracy, Making Pralines and Getting a Job

Hello friends! I've been in Berlin for a month now and want to send you an update. If you were to ask me how I'm doing, I'd say, "alles in Butter!" (Keep reading to find out what that means!)

My adventure began on Saturday, February 8th, at the Atlanta airport. After a stop in Boston and long flight to Istanbul, my final flight to Berlin was delayed 8 hours due to a storm named Sabine. I ended up with a Turkish visa, some new friends and 2 hour stay in a hotel before being picked up at 1 am to return to the airport. (I’ll spare you the much longer story as to why this made more sense than simply staying at the airport, but just trust me, it did.) The positive side is I got to see Istanbul at night, I made lots of really nice friends and we helped each other get through the rather difficult experience. I even got to help translate information into German for some of the other passengers. 
Early Monday morning I reached the Berlin airport, where Max was waiting for me (what a sweetie!) We took the U-bahn to drop my stuff off at the apartment and then I went across town to interview with a company. The 5 hour interview went well, despite not having slept for a day and a half, and the good news is I got the job!

Dankeschön to our SUSTAINING Members:
German National Baseball Team Looking for Players
The German Baseball and Softball Federation (DBV) is looking to add professional players or outstanding college players to its national team program – in order to strengthen the team and our program for the upcoming international tournaments:

  • Olympic Games
  • World Championships
  • European Championships

The requirement for participation for Team Germany in these tournaments is German citizenship, meaning the player needs to be a German passport holder or become one until the last day before the tournament. 

When does a player qualify for citizenship? 
  • For players with German ancestry, as a general rule of thumb regarding the requirements for citizenship can be stated as follows: 
  • A kid with German parents will receive a passport.
  • When the grandparents were German, the important aspect is the nationality of at least one grandparent at the time of the birth parent.
  • If the grandparents were naturalized after their child was born, a passport highly likely.
  • For ancestry further removed, in general, the same principles apply. 

World Baseball Classic, is an international tournament organized by Major League Baseball for national teams. But for this tournament players don’t need a German passport.

In order to be eligible to be considered to play for the German Team you have to be 
1. If you have a German Passport
2. Or, if you don’t have a German Passport, but you were born in Germany
3. Or, one or both of your parents were born in Germany
4. Or, one or both of your parents have a German passport
5. Or, if you are a permanent resident of Germany

All ancestry needs to be documented and authenticated. The German Federation will gladly assist with the application process for any player interested in joining our program. 

For more information, contact Steve Janssen , Manager of German National Baseball Team.
Deutscher Gottesdienst per Zoom
On Sunday, April 6, 2020, at 11:00 a.m., you will for the first time ever be able to attend the German worship servic e, First Pres Deutsch, via Zoom.

The German Worship services are led by Reverend Thomas Herwig on the first Sunday of each month at 11:00 a.m. in the Westervelt-Warner Chapel at the First Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa but as all services has been cancelled to take place at the church, Reverend Herwig will be offering the service (in German) via Zoom.

Join them:
Deutscher Gottesdienst
per Zoom
Sonntag, 5. April 2020, 11:00 Uhr

ID: 447-723-741

For more information contact:

Pfr. Dr. Thomas Herwig, Parish Associate
Tel.: 205-391-0904
Cell: 205-765-3183
 email: tsherwig@ua.edu

German Movies and Books
Many of us are spending a lot more time at home. How about exploring the many options for bringing German-American friendship into our living rooms and onto our TV screens?

If you are not ready for 100% German, start out with Netflix's new  original series Unorthodox, based on Deborah Feldman's memoir. The series follows her pursuit of self-determination and her immigration story, moving from New York City to start a new life in Berlin. Check out the trailer here !

On Netflix you can also catch the lighthearted German baking program Nailed It! Germany . German amateurs try to re-create fantastic sweets; model Angelina Kirsch hosts alongside chef Bernd Siefert.

Or the dark German crime series Freud . While investigating several disappearances and murders in Vienna, young Sigmund Freud and a psychic medium become entangled in an occult conspiracy. Check out trailer!

On Amazon you can catch "You are Wanted" (German but also available in English). Lukas Franke (Matthias Schweighöfer) finds himself a victim of hacking attack, his online information altered to implicate him as having masterminded a cyber-attack on Berlin resulting in a city-wide blackout.

Fun German (with English subtitles) family movie Shiverstone Castle can be found on Amazaon .
Eleven-year-old outsider, Stephan, arrives at Castle Schreckenstein, an all-boys boarding school, where he soon finds himself in a 'pranks-competition' the boys are currently fighting against the neighboring girls of Castle Rosenfels. When the girls have no choice but to move after a failed prank, life at school is suddenly nothing like it used to be.
Prefer to read? No problem! Get inspired from the list of 100 German must reads (German or English) from Deutsche Welle. Enjoy!
Stay Connected