Living in Germany For Members

Living in Germany: Pushback on dual citizenship plans, university 'buddies' and Stollen

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Living in Germany: Pushback on dual citizenship plans, university 'buddies' and Stollen
Local bakers cut a giant Stollen on Saturday in Dresden for the city's famous 'Stollenfest'. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sebastian Kahnert

From possibly the most German-sounding university introduction ever, to a heated ongoing debate about dual citizenship, here are the latest talking points about life in Germany.


Pushback on citizenship plans

The German coalition government’s proposals to relax citizenship laws are in the spotlight once again this week - but not for a positive reason. In a last-minute debate called by the opposition conservatives (CDU/CSU), emotions ran high as politicians clashed on the proposals that would see naturalisation legislation changed to allow multiple citizenship and remove hurdles of becoming German.


Imogen Goodman wrote in her report that CSU politician Andrea Lindholz called the plans “irresponsible” and “unprofessional”. “I’m convinced that everyone that wants to become German should give up their previous citizenship,” Lindholz said, in response to the idea of allowing people in Germany to hold more than one nationality. The row has thrown doubt onto the changing legislation.

On our Germany in Focus podcast, Julie Schäfer, a citizenship lawyer and dual French-German citizen based in Düsseldorf, said she hoped the laws would be passed. Schäfer said the reforms “would be a great benefit”. “Especially because many people are seeking dual or even multiple citizenship because they still want to be part of their original country, where they were born or where they grew up. They do not want to lose their identity.”

Tweet of the week

The award for the most German-sounding thing this week (or possibly ever?) has to go to this tweet by a student. 

Where is this?

snow in Erfurt

Photo: DPA/Michael Reichel

There’s a real winter - and Christmas - feel in the air across Germany, with lots of snow forecast in the coming days. A coating of snow had already reached Erfurt, Thuringia, on Friday as seen here in this photo next to the central Christmas market. 

Did you know?

Stollen is a traditional Christmas snack in Germany. But did you know that it dates all the way back to the Middle Ages? During that time it was considered a fasting pastry in monasteries during Advent season. The recipe used to have very little ingredients (no butter, for example) and was a bit dry. It was only later that Pope Innozenz VIII allowed butter into the recipe. Nowadays, the cake contains dried candied fruits such as lemon or orange peels.


Some also have marzipan, and raisins. Another favourite twist on the recipe is filling Stollen with poppy seeds, which gives the dough a black, moist colour. These are all loaf-formed and covered in powdered sugar. The name of the cake is thought to come from miners who would take it with them underground as a food supply. In German mining tunnels are called ‘Stollen’.


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