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Living in Germany: Newsreader's giggles, your go-to German word and German Unity Day

Rachel Loxton
Rachel Loxton - [email protected]
Living in Germany: Newsreader's giggles, your go-to German word and German Unity Day
Tagesschau newsreader Susanne Daubner launches into a fit of giggles on air. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/ARD-aktuell

In this week's roundup we talk about a German newsreader's fit of giggles, your 'comfort' German word, Oktoberfest and why German Unity Day could have been scrapped as a weekday public holiday.


Living in Germany is our weekly look at some of the news and talking points in Germany that you might not have heard about. Members can receive it directly to their inbox on Saturday.

Why we love German newsreaders 

The news is a serious business, but things lightened up this week thanks to German newsreader Susanne Daubner’s laughing outburst. In what was a very relatable moment, Susanne, from ARD’s Tagesschau, was trying to report on a summit being held on the chemical industry in Germany, but found something her colleague Sven Lorig said so funny that she launched into giggles - known as a Lachflash in German - and couldn’t stop. Susanne said after that she “couldn’t really explain” what happened. She said she was engrossed in her news report but heard her colleague in the background talking and thought: “Oh dear I’m already on air.” She added: “And then I just had it to laugh. It felt like it lasted forever.” The moment went viral on social media, with many saying it made them laugh out loud.

It reminded us of the moment last October when another ARD German newsreader Annette Dittert sparked a roar of laughter. When Dittert was reporting on the chaotic incidents that happened in the run up to former British Prime Minister Liz Truss’ resignation, she used strong English swear words - something which would be extremely unusual on anglo TV. While describing the chaotic scenes in the House of Commons, Dittert said that the former PM’s deputy whip Craig Whittaker vented his frustration by saying he was "f**king furious and I don't f**king care anymore" (without blanking out the swear words). Who said Germans don’t have a sense of humour?

Tweet of the week

What’s your go-to German word to ensure you sound engaged in a conversation?


Where is this?


Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Peter Kneffel

We couldn’t resist sharing another photo of Oktoberfest with you. Revellers at the Wiesn have enjoyed blazing sunshine since the festival started on September 16th. It runs up until October 3rd - and just under a week later, on October 8th - Bavarians will go to the polls to vote on their new state parliament. Our columnist Brian Melican this week reported from the Wiesn and gave a fascinating overview of the uneasy political situation in Bayern. And for all those in Hesse - which is voting on the same day - check out our guide to the elections here.


Did you know?

This Tuesday, October 3rd, marks 33 years since reunification and almost 34 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is a public holiday for people in Germany. Because it falls on a weekday this year, it means most people get the day off work and shops and businesses will be closed while Germans spend time with their loved ones or simply take a day of relaxation. But did you know that former German Chancellor (and the now disgraced) Gerhard Schröder tried to remove the Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Unity Day) as a national holiday in 2004?

 He wanted to move it to a Sunday to give fewer people the day off. In a letter defending his plan, Schröder wrote: “the holiday should not be abolished, but moved to the first Sunday of October every year.” Citing economic reasons, he explained he was committed to reducing the number of national holidays. Unsurprisingly, this wasn’t a very popular suggestion, and it remained on October 3rd. We wish you a wonderful German Unity Day!


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