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HERALD UNION Special Edition

Living in Germany - October 2017

Learn to speak

GERMAN Experience the magic of

Living in Germany

Ideas for seven day trips from Wiesbaden Plus: nThings to do nDining out nShopping

LIVING in GERMANY Special edition October 2017 U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Command Garrison Commander Col. Todd J. Fish Garrison CSM Command Sgt. Maj. Chad L. Pinkston

Newspaper staff Public Affairs Officer Jacob Corbin, DSN 548-2001 Deputy Public Affairs Officer Anna Morelock, DSN 548-2002 Editor Emily Jennings, DSN 548-2004

HERALD UNION published by

The Herald Union, printed exclusively for members of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, is an authorized, unofficial Army newspaper published under the provisions of AR 360-1. Contents are not necessarily the official views of, nor endorsed by, the U.S. government or the Department of Defense. The editorial content is the responsibility of the USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs Office. No payment is made for contributions. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for sale, use or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user or patron. This is a biweekly newspaper published by AdvantiPro GmbH and printed by Oggersheimer Druckzentrum. Circulation is 6,000 copies. For display advertising rates: call Jaqueline Samad at civ (0631) 3033 5537, email; Editorial offices are in Building 1205 on Clay Kaserne. Address: USAG Wiesbaden, Herald Union, Unit 29623 Box 60, APO AE 090059623; Telephone: mil 548-2002; civ (0611) 143-548-2002; Email: army.; Home page:

Cover photo by Karl Weisel, 2011 Photo illustration by Emily Jennings

Wiesbaden Christmas Market

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ACS welcomes newcomers Story and photos by Karl Weisel USAG Wiesbaden Family and MWR Marketing

Helping newcomers adjust and feel comfortable in their temporary home overseas is the primary mission of Army Community Service’s Relocation Readiness Program. “We try our best for newcomers to have a good first impression upon their arrival in Wiesbaden,” said Gigi Wilson, ACS Relocation Readiness Program manager. “We want them to be happy to be here.” With a host of special programs designed to ease the transition and to assist wherever possible, Relocation Readiness serves as the gatekeeper within ACS, Wilson said. All Family members are invited to take that first step by joining the weekly Host Nation Orientation, held on Tuesdays and starting at the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center. During the daylong orientation, participants learn about German culture, how to use public transportation and other aspects of life in Wiesbaden. The class includes a short walking tour downtown in the afternoon whereby newcomers get to experience that first-hand — with the expert guidance of a Relocation Readiness instructor. “It’s the way we introduce them to their new location as shared by the locals,” said Wilson, explaining that the German instructors bring a local flare to the experience. “It’s their venue for making newcomers comfortable in their new environment.” People who are new in the community can sign up for the orientation by stopping by ACS in Bldg. 7790 on Hainerberg or calling (0611) 143-548-9201. Registration is required. The ACS Lending Closet, located in the same building, is another helpful resource for those having just moved to Wiesbaden, Wilson said. “The Lending Closet provides them with temporary household items while they are waiting for their household goods to arrive. It helps save them money

Participants tour the city of Wiesbaden and learn about using public transportation and other aspects of daily life during Host Nation Orientation. by avoiding additional financial obligations.” Besides kitchen kits and children’s booster seats, the Lending Closet also has GPS and pay-as-you-go cell phones that can be borrowed for two weeks, according to Ines Hermantin, Lending Closet assistant. The Relocation Readiness Program also offers local walking tours, including visits to restaurants and shopping centers and local points of interest, the Spouse Sponsorship program, translation assistance, English as a second language and German language classes, and an introduction to the various public transportation systems available in Germany. “We have tours that will let people experience dining out in a local restaurant, browse through a German menu and learn how to order (in German),” Wilson said. “It’s an informal, low-pressure way to help newcomers feel comfortable in exploring what their new home has to offer. “We see ourselves as a onestop shop — once they discover ACS, they will not feel left out. This is their Family away from home,”Wilson said, explaining that with a mix of Germans, Americans, paid professionals and volunteers, the Relocation Readiness staff is well-versed

LIVING in GERMANY - October 2017

Maurice Walter (left), Army Community Service Spouse Sponsorship coordinator, and Ines Hermantin, ACS Lending Closet assistant, look over inventory at the Lending Closet in Bldg. 7790 on Hainerberg. Military families can find a host of items available for borrowing, including kitchen kits, booster seats, GPS gear and more. The Lending Closet also has items to give away, Hermantin said. For more information about the Lending Closet or volunteering, stop by ACS or call (0611) 143-548-9201. in addressing the challenges newcomers might face during their relocation. “While we do not offer official translation services, we can assist our clients with such things as German phone and utility bills, consumer information and making inquiries in the local economy,” she added. “Our goal is to provide them with the tools they will need in their new environment,” Wilson added. “Everything we offer at ACS is free.” “This is what we live for — to serve our customers — service members, civilians and their Family members. That’s our

goal,”said Wilson, adding ACS always welcomes feedback, which is then used to enhance programs and services. “Communication is the key,” she said. “Always keep ACS in mind. If we do not have the answers, we will reach out to our community partners, which will give you the correct information.” For more information about the ACS Relocation Readiness Program and the rest of the ACS programs, visit wiesbaden. or stop by ACS in Hainerberg, across from the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center.


Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Find resources on post Emily Jennings USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs

Even though Germans are known for being able to speak English, learning to speak their language can greatly enhance your experience living in Wiesbaden. Sure, you can get by in Germany (and probably most places) without speaking the language, but for those who will be here a while, being able to confidently order food, buy a bus ticket, read signs, ask for directions or just chat with the locals can make for a more enjoyable time. Many resources can be useful even before moving to Germany, such as online videos, mobile phone apps and software programs, all of which have the advantage of being available at the time or location of the user’s choice. Once here, community members have access to garrison resources, such as the Wiesbaden Library, Army Community Service conversational classes and

USO programs, as well as The University of Maryland University College. The Wiesbaden Library offers language resources in a variety of formats including audio CDs, books and online learning through Mango and Rosetta Stone, said JoAnn Ogreenc, supervisory librarian. One thing she recommends is putting what you’ve learned into practical use, whether that be out at a restaurant or at the grocery store. “You have to go out and talk to people in German.” Those interested in the online learning software should set up a user account with the library; then their language database can be accessed at any time, from anywhere in the world. For more information, call (0611)143-548-9821 or visit the library in Bldg. 1029 on Clay Kaserne. A husband and wife volunteer team hosts free conversation-based classes at ACS. Registration is mandatory, and the classes fill up quickly, said Gigi Wilson, Relocation Readiness Program manager.

Classes are held Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Bldg. 7790, Room 22 on Hainerberg. Call (0611)143-548-9201 to register. Another resource is the USO Discover Germany program, built to help orient newcomers to their new home. The program offers German cooking classes, help in using public transportation, and lessons on German language and history, said Haley Steidinger, assistant to the director, USO Rhein Main Area. Community members can also learn more about using the bus, taking trips by train, culture and tradition and everyday things such as how to order food in German. “We’re here to tell you about all the little things that you wouldn’t notice. We’re here to help you discover Germany,” Steidinger said. Those interested can register at the Clay Kaserne or main Exchange USO locations, call (0611) 7120-2890 or email For more

information, follow the USO at The University of Maryland University College, located in Bldg. 1023 East, Room 12 on Clay Kaserne offers Elementary German I and II and Intermediate I and II. German certificates are also available, said Anna González, program and National Test Center coordinator with UMUC Europe. “Soldiers can use their tuition assistance to pay for this Foreign Language Area Studies Certificate. Usually, TA cannot be applied if a Soldier has not been out of AIT for over a year,” she explained.“But,TA has a separate pocket of funding designated for host nation language certificates and will pay for the courses that fall under the certificate even if the Soldier graduated from AIT under a year ago.” For more information, visit their office, call (0611)143-548-1316 or email

Quick reference German guide Hello: Hallo Good morning: Guten Morgen Good afternoon: Guten Tag Good evening: Guten Abend How are you doing?: Wie geht es ihnen/ Wie geht es dir/ wie geht’s Fine, thanks: Gut, danke And you?: Und ihnen?/ Und dir? Please: Bitte Thank you (very much): Danke (schön) Goodbye: Auf Wiedersehen Bye: Tschüss Yes: Ja No: Nein Excuse me: Entschuldigung How much does this cost?: Was kostet das? Where is the restroom? Wo sind die Toiletten? What is your name?: Wie ist ihr Name?/ Wie ist dein Name?/ Wie heißen sie?/ Wie heißt du? My name is…: Mein Name ist… Where are you from?: Woher kommen sie?/ woher kommst du? I’m from the United States: Ich komme aus den USA (Pronounced: oo es ah) I’m American: Ich bin Amerikaner Where do you live?: Wo wohnen sie?/ Wo wohnst du?

I live in Wiesbaden: Ich wohne in Wiesbaden Can you speak slowly please?: Können sie etwas langsamer sprechen? I don’t understand: Ich verstehe sie nicht/ Ich verstehe dich nicht I don’t know: Ich weiß es nicht My German is not good: Mein Deutsch ist nicht gut Large/medium/ small: groß/ mittel/ klein Today: Heute Tomorrow: Morgen Yesterday: Gestern NUMBERS 1: null 14: vierzehn 1: eins 15: fünfzehn 2: zwei 16: sechzehn 17: siebzehn 3: drei 18: achtzehn 4: vier 5: fünf 19: neunzehn 6: sechs 20: zwanzig 7: sieben 30: dreißig 100: hundert 8: acht 1000: tausend 9: neun 10: zehn 1.000.000: Eine Million 11: elf 12: zwölf 13: dreizehn Eine Milliarde

DINING OUT We would like a table for (2,3,…) please: Einen Tisch für (2,3,…) bitte What would you like to drink? Was möchten sie trinken? Are you ready to order?: Möchten sie bestellen? Coffee: Kaffee Tea: Tee Water: Wasser Salt: Salz Pepper: Pfeffer Sugar: Zucker Milk: Milch Lactose-free: Laktosefrei Enjoy your meal: Guten Appetit Did you like your food?: Hat es ihnen geschmeckt?/ Hat es dir geschmeckt? I’d like the to have the check please: Ich hätte gern die Rechnung, bitte DAYS OF THE WEEK Monday: Montag Tuesday: Dienstag Wednesday: Mittwoch Thursday: Donnerstag Friday: Freitag Saturday: Samstag Sunday: Sonntag LIVING in GERMANY - October 2017

1st Floor: Erdgeschoss 2nd Floor: 1. Etage/ 1. Stock I need a doctor: Ich brauche einen Arzt I need help: Ich brauche Hilfe Call an Ambulance: Rufen sie einen Krankenwagen Call the police: Rufen sie die Polizei FORMAL/INFORMAL “YOU” „sie“ and „du“ Any statement containing “you” in English can take the formal or informal form in German. The formal is usually used for anyone you don’t know and you assume is adult or any professional environment unless you are told otherwise. Informal is used for family, good acquaintances, friends, teenagers or children. People have different ideas of when it is acceptable to use the informal form; for some it takes a day, others take several years, and some may never want to be addressed that way. Compiled by U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Public Affairs Intern and native German speaker Eric Wilke. Herald Union

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LIVING in GERMANY Restricted items 1. Animal products

7. Prescription medication and recreational drugs

What: All meat products — smoked, cured, vacuum-packed, canned, dried or otherwise —are prohibited by German Customs. This includes pet food and temperaturesensitive dairy products, such as soft cheeses and eggs, and untreated animal products, including game figurines, furs and bone or wood ornaments. Why: German Customs Regulation No. 206/2009

What: Foreign-produced prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications are heavily regulated by German Customs. Authorized variations of medication are available at military medical treatment facilities, commissaries, AAFES and German pharmacies. Recreational drugs and other controlled substances are strictly prohibited. Why: German Medicinal Products Act and AE Regulation 550-175

2. Perishable items

8. Firearms

Here’s the APO’s list of prohibited items for shipment to Germany.

Before ordering items online or having Family members ship items to an APO, make sure the items aren’t prohibited.

Meds, food and fakes not welcome at Army Post Office Robert Szostek U.S. Army Europe Customs Public Affairs Office

German law bans many items from being imported into the country.These banned articles could be things you order online or by mail order, or that relatives and friends mail to you. Counterfeit items, medications, food, guns and endangered species are some of the products banned, no matter whether they are bound for an off-post address or your Army Post Office box. “German and U.S. Army Europe postal and customs inspectors conduct random checks at APOs throughout Germany to spot unauthorized items,” said Fred Evans, chief of Services at the USAREUR Customs Executive Agency. German customs may seize and destroy any illegal imports, and violators will face disciplinary action under German law and U.S. regulations. Counterfeits of trademarked items are one example of things barred from the mail. “Trademark violations are the illegal use of signs, names, logos and business names that brand manufacturers use to distinguish their products,” Evans explained. Many producers of DVDs, CDs or designer goods such as

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purses, shoes or clothing have registered their trademarks with customs who inspect the mail for fake products. Evans added that people should not buy medications, diet pills or nutritional supplements by mail order because the importation of those items is also forbidden. Even items like vitamins or ginseng in highly measured doses may be subject to restrictions. A news release from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center has more information on this complicated subject and is available online at Food products are also tricky due to animal and plant health regulations. “Meat or meat products like beef jerky, game or ham are banned from the mail, as are canned meats, soup mixes or pasta containing meat.”Caviar from sturgeon is forbidden due to the endangering of all species of sturgeon. There are further restrictions on potatoes, milk products and eggs. Firearms and ammunition are also restricted items that should only be mailed to Germany if you have the required German permits. Evans added that some types of paintball guns and air soft rifles available stateside are more powerful

than German law allows and so people should consult customs before ordering these kinds of weapons. Endangered species products are another area of concern. People buying these products add to the risk of animals and plants becoming extinct, and customs can confiscate the goods and fine offenders. Reptile skins are often used in watchbands, handbags, belts, wallets and shoes. Most crocodile, lizard, snake and all sea turtle products are prohibited too. Customs will also stop ivory and whale teeth decorations (known as scrimshaw and netsuke) as well as many plants such as cacti and orchids. “Using the APO to import any item for resale, a business or volunteer organization is banned too,” Evans stated. “You should also remember that coffee, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages are still rationed in Germany and may not be mailed via the APO,” he continued. He explained that if you want to import commercial items or coffee, liqueurs and cigars, you must have them delivered to your German home address and pay any import duty and tax due. If you don’t, you are violating the law and U.S. military regulations by evading taxes.

LIVING in GERMANY - October 2017

What: Foods that easily spoil and perishable biological substances are forbidden. Non-perishable food items, such as candy and chocolate are allowed. Why: German Customs Regulation No. 206/2009

3. Plant products

What: Plants, live seeds and untreated wood products may not be shipped into Germany. Importation of dried, factory-sealed culinary herbs is allowed, however. Why: German Customs Regulation on Plant Protection

4. Coffee, alcohol and tobacco products

What: Rationed or duty-free items, including coffee, alcohol and tobacco products, are not permitted. Liquor, wine, beer, alcohol-based candy and perfumes, cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco and packaged coffees are illegal. Why: AE Regulation 550-175

5. Kinder Surprise Eggs

What: Kinder Surprise Eggs are considered a serious choking hazard to children in the U.S., and exportation from Germany is illegal. Importation within Germany and the European Union is permitted, however. Why: U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection

6. Nutritional supplements

What: Nutritional supplement products, including vitamins, medicinal herbs, protein powders, amino acids and dietary pills, are closely regulated in Germany . In general, only authorized products in Germany and the European Union are permitted. These items are available on the economy and on European websites. Why: German Medicinal Products Act

What: Ammunition, firearms and imitation rifles, including airsoft, paintball and replica guns, are forbidden. Shipment of privately-owned firearms is allowed with the proper permits. Why: German Customs Law on Weapons and Ammunition and AE Regulation 550-175

9. Explosives, aerosols and flammable liquids What: Explosives, aerosols and flammable liquids, including most perfumes, colognes, deodorant sprays and nail polishes, are not permitted. Why: German Customs Law on Fireworks and International USPS Regulation

10. Counterfeit products

What: Products illegitimately carrying logos, business names and signs cannot be imported into Germany. This includes fake designer purses and illegally-derived DVDs. Why: German Customs Law on Counterfeiting and Piracy

11. Endangered species

What: It is illegal to import products containing components of endangered species. Ivory, reptile skins, sea turtle products, whale tooth decorations and caviar from sturgeon are all examples. Why: German Customs Species Protection Law

12. Items intended for resale or homebased business

What: It is illegal to order any products for a home-based business. Why: AE Regulation 210-70

13. Pornography

What: Distribution and possession of obscene and pornographic materials is forbidden by the U.S. military. Why: U.S. Postal Service APO Mail Regulations


Golf course offers greens with a view Story and photos by Karl Weisel USAG Wiesbaden Family and MWR Marketing

Newcomers to Wiesbaden will be happy to discover Rheinblick Golf Course ranks among the best in military courses overseas. With two golf pros on staff and an app, the course is also ready to meet the present and future needs of both beginning and more advanced players, according to Edward Galvan, Rheinblick’s business manager. “We’re 21st Century Rheinblick,” said Galvan, explaining that this year saw the hiring of two professional instructors — during the Rheinblick’s 60th anniversary. “Having two new golf pros on staff starting this year is really positive; we look forward to next year’s programs to be enhanced. Plus, the club’s mobile application can be used for live scoring, the electronic leaderboard and for players to find their way around the course using the GPS unit while playing golf.” “This course appeals to everyone. With four sets of golf tees, it’s like having four golf courses out there,”Galvan said. “It has a reputation of being in the best shape among courses.” It also provides a decent

share of challenges for all golfers, said Jerry Beierschmitt, Rheinblick Golf Course superintendent. Set high over the Rhein River Valley in the forest above the town of Frauenstein — just down the road from downtown Wiesbaden — the Rheinblick Golf Course features breathtaking views, challenging greens and something for every taste. “This is one of the prettiest golf courses that you’ll find in Germany,” Beierschmitt said. “It’s one of the best-kept secrets,” he said, adding that while seasoned players may be familiar with the course, U.S. military newcomers may be unaware of all that Rheinblick has to offer. Seasonal tournaments, lessons, high school championships, equipment rental, a pro shop and a menu-rich golf restaurant are all features. Youth can launch a lifelong appreciation of the sport by taking part in the PGA Sports Academy — regular professional lessons held during the spring, summer and fall months. Adults are invited to learn the game with fellow newcomers to the sport in the Get Golf Ready program which offers a series of valuepriced lessons starting at vari-

A golfer works on his swing on the Rheinblick Golf Course’s driving range.

People enjoy a cool drink while admiring the view from the balcony of the Rheinblick Golf Restaurant. ous times throughout the year. Units, private organizations and other authorized patrons are invited to join together for special group outings at the Rheinblick Golf Course. “It’s a good place for that,” Galvan said. “We have capabilities for conferences with video conferencing availability. Groups can start off by getting their business done and then migrating to the driving range or taking part in a clinic with a golf pro. It’s a nice setting for that and tailor made for team-building.” “The beauty of military golf is that we’re really here for the active duty service members and their Families,” Galvan said, adding that anyone eligible to use MWR facilities is welcome. “Regardless of skill level, we have everything you need to enjoy the game, including club rentals, instructors and a beautifully developed course. We’re the experts in the sport and our efforts are built around the military community in Wiesbaden — they’re the reason we’re here, and we invite service members and Families to join us today.”

50 Years in business

COLLISON CENTER We at Auto Hollmann would like to invite you to stop by and visit our Collision Center. We have seven collision/paint technicians with a combined experience of years which enables us to fix your vehicle right the first time. We at Hollmann feel that our employees are our strongest asset so we work very hard to keep up to date with our training standards. Our techs are factory trained along with various accomplishments from the major paint manufactures.

Direct repair shop with most major insurance companies.

Climate controlled paint booth and prep station. Drive-on frame and unibody straightening rack for both full frame and custom made vehicles. We have our own paint mixing system to match even the toughest colored vehicles. We offer a complete line of repair including alignments. 24 hour towing at 0171-6538059

(USAA 5 Star Shop) + We offer repairs on all makes and models + Lifetime warranty on all workmanship + Inexpensive transportation/loaner vehicle + Accurate Measuring System + All OEM Parts shipped directly from USA (US Warranty) Deliveries each week + We offer many more services + We work for all major insurance companies

Call or swing by Monday to Friday from 7 am to 7 pm or look us up on

Hochheimerstrasse 111 55246 Kastel/Kostheim  Phone 06134-3381

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Beware of auto-renewing phone contracts Wiesbaden Legal Center

One of the first things you probably did when you arrived in Germany was sign a cell phone or internet contract. Although some cell phone service and internet providers give you the opportunity to sign a month-to-month contract, most customers choose to go with a 24-month contract because the monthly fees are lower and sometimes offer a reduction in the price of a new cell phone. However, when customers sign their contracts, most do not realize in Germany 24-month contracts last for at least 24 months, and sometimes even longer. Although they are referred to as 24-month contracts, they do not automatically end after 24 months. The term of the contract is considered the minimum duration; these contracts automatically extend for another 12 months if you forget to cancel them in time. The cancellation notice is usually required at least three months prior to the end of the contractual term. Many customers are not aware of that automatic renewal clause because it may be

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Many German contracts include auto-renewal. Make sure to read the fine print before signing up for services, and ensure you know how to cancel your contract before leaving Germany. in the fine print; however, these clauses are considered valid under German law. Customers often say it is unreasonable and unfair to be forced to pay for a service they can no longer use, but they need to understand the only reason phone companies offered such a low-priced contract in the first place is because the company was relying

LIVING in GERMANY - October 2017

on receiving payments for at least 24 months. Such a cancellation needs to be in writing, and the customer has the burden of proving the contract was canceled. This means it is not sufficient to walk into the shop and verbally give notice of cancellation. You need to make sure you get a receipt or written confirmation

stating the contract is canceled as of a certain date. It is advisable to send a cancellation letter by registered German mail, so you can prove the company received the letter on a particular date. Additionally, it is important to recognize that German cell phone contracts have no military clause, which allows you to cancel your contract early in the event of a deployment or a PCS move. However, you still might want to give it a try as some providers may be kind enough to let you out of the contract early (although they still might require you to pay a penalty). Although the automatic renewal clauses are a well-known problem when it comes to phones and internet, they are not the only types of contracts that contain these clauses. Other examples include BahnCard, ADAC, and gym memberships. If you have any questions or concerns about a contract please contact the Wiesbaden Legal Assistance Office to schedule an appointment with German attorneys on staff at (0611) 143-537-0664.


Know what to do if you get pulled over Emily Jennings USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs

Driving on the roads in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language fluently can be nerve wracking enough. But imagine getting pulled over by police. That’s what happened when Tony Muñoz, a Department of the Army civilian living in Wiesbaden, was on his way back from a trip to the Netherlands. Muñoz was pulled over just across the border in Germany by an unmarked car that pulled in front of him and flashed signs that read “Polizei” and “Bitte folgen” (Please follow). He knew right away what to do and found a safe place to stop. Muñoz said the officers who pulled him over were very polite and spoke English. “They asked me a few general questions, such as where I live, where I had traveled to, how long I stayed in the Netherlands and if the car was mine or rented.” Police also searched Muñoz’s bag and looked in the trunk of his car and underneath the hood. He followed their instructions and was sent on his way. “As I made my way back to the Autobahn,” he said, “I noticed they were already after another car. To me this was a reminder to always carry your documents when going outside of Germany.” Law abiding drivers who are pulled over by police in Germany should have no problems and will likely be sent on their way promptly, as was the case with Muñoz. But

it pays to know what to expect and what documents to have on hand to make the process go as smoothly as possible, police said. A lot of people see the blue lights and panic, said Sgt. Joseph Onessimo, a traffic officer with the Directorate of Emergency Services. But police officers want to emphasize the importance of slowing down and focusing on safety. “We want people to stop at the next possible safe location,” Onessimo said. Polizeihauptkommissar Stefan Heinz, an instructor at the HFPV (University for Police and Administration) said that while getting pulled over in Germany is a bit different from the U.S., what drivers should do once they stop is the same; turn off the engine, remain inside the vehicle, keep hands visible on the steering wheel and wait for instructions before looking for documents or taking any action. Polizei officers will identify themselves and state the reason for the traffic stop. It is important that drivers let the officer know right away if they do not understand German. The vast majority of officers will be able to communicate in English, Heinz said. It may be helpful, however, to keep the garrison military police phone number on hand in the rare case that communication is limited or a driver feels their rights are being violated. All police in Germany have their respective contacts at each garrison, said Thomas Fink, former Wiesbaden Police Directorate deputy director.

Drivers can ask for proof that a police officer is who they say they are. This is an example of what their ID card looks like.

Document checklist

Any time Department of Defense personnel stationed here leave Germany in their POV, they should carry the following: • Registration • U.S. Forces Certificate of License (USAREUR license) • Stateside driver’s license • DoD ID card • Passport with accompanying SOFA card or leave form • International driver’s license

So Polizei will be able to get in contact with Military Police, if necessary. If a person identifies themselves as a police officer, but they are dressed in civilian clothes, drivers can ask for identification to show proof they are who they say they are, Heinz said. The officer will then check the driver for proper documents and may do a quick inspection to ensure lights are working and the driver is in possession of a safety vest, warning triangle and first aid kit, he said. “Keep the proper documents with you in your car, and as long as you follow the proper rules of the road, there’s really nothing to be worried about,” Onessimo said. Another thing to note about traffic stops in Germany is that two officers typically ride in a car. One officer will communicate with the driver and the other will stand watch to keep the situation secure and may have a weapon, Heinz said. Certain routes are known criminal routes, so drivers may be pulled over simply for being on that route, he said. And police may use drug- or money-sniffing dogs. The thing to remember is that when drivers cooperate, even if they have violated a law, things will go much more smoothly, Fink said. “Let police take the lead, relax and follow instructions.” This article was originally published on March 29 at www.

LIVING in GERMANY - October 2017

Images courtesy of Hessen Polizei

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Learn to properly sort recyclable waste Eric Wilke USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs Intern

Recycling is a big deal in Germany, much bigger than it is in the U.S. Everyone is expected to separate trash at home. The first system for recycling trash was implemented in Germany in 1991, and an industry developed around the concept has been growing steadily since then. Almost all paper and glass is being recycled, reducing the amount of raw material required by German production companies immensely. A large-scale refund system for most bottles and cans is in place, ensuring they can be cleaned and reused, ensuring that as little packaging as possible is wasted. Recycling isn’t just good for the environment, but also for the economy, not to mention it’s the law. Trash bins with different

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colored bodies or lids may vary from state to state, but the basics are usually the same. Plastic, aluminum, tin foil and paperboard containers, such as milk cartons, go into the yellow bin. Houses usually have an extra bin for clean paper and cardboard that should be blue. A green or brown bin is for compostable garbage and the black bin is for residual waste. Most bottles and cans are refundable — you can take them to most grocery stores to get some of your money back; so don’t just throw them away. You don’t necessarily have to take empty bottles and cans back to the store you bought them from — most other stores will accept them too. Non-refundable glass bottles go in special glass containers. Most glass bottles are refundable, though only for 8 cents apiece. If you don’t want to

LIVING in GERMANY - October 2017

carry them all back to the store, disposing of them properly in a glass container is fine too. Some items don’t belong in the trash at all. Electric devices have to be discarded at special recycling centers, free of charge. Batteries and energysaving bulbs can be brought to any shop that sells them. For furniture or construction wood there are several options: they can be brought to the recycling centers and discarded for a fee, donated to social services and upcycling organizations or given to household trash removal services. The household trash removal service for Wiesbaden picks up any large trash items for free up to four times a year. It can be reached by calling (0611) 319700 or ordered online at Eric Wilke lives and attends college in the Wiesbaden area.

Trash separation quick reference

Paper and cardboard Books Brochures Cardboard (flattened) Catalogues Magazines

Newspaper Office paper Paper packaging Writing paper

Packaging materials Aluminum foil Beverage cans Plastic bottles and cups Plastic bags

Bio waste

Coffee grounds with filter paper Tea bags Food leftovers Eggshells, bones, hair

Plastic foils Styrofoam Tetra packs Tins and cans

Fruits and vegetables Leaves and grass Tree and hedge cuttings Paper towels/napkins

Bulk trash items, such as untreated wood, clothing, shoes, electronics, furniture, household batteries, etc., can be dropped off at the reclycling center on Clay Kaserne or with the city of Wiesbaden. For more information and on-post trash pickup schedules, visit the garrison website at:


Understanding the VAT form process

SOFA holders get refunds on sales tax Erin Gavle Special to the Herald Union

It can come as a surprise to newcomers in Germany that a 19 percent tax is included in the price of most products and services. In other words, the price listed for an item already includes sales tax, as opposed to the United States, where sales tax is added to the price at the time of purchase. However, Soldiers, civilians and dependents living in Germany are exempt from paying this tax.They must simply bring a special form to the business in which they would like to avoid paying taxes and have the cashier fill it out. The Value Added Tax (VAT) Relief Program can be used to obtain a tax refund when purchases are made on the economy, but in order to enjoy the full benefits of this program it’s important to understand the process for acquiring and using the forms. The first step is going to the VAT office. Staff at the VAT office will go over a briefing with people when they first come in to get VAT forms, said Clifford Wix, program coordinator for the VAT and Utilities Tax Avoidance Program office. The briefing goes over the general processes for the forms, and also the few things they cannot use the forms for, he said. Sponsors must be present for this step, as they are ultimately responsible for any outstanding forms once they start out-processing. Two types of VAT forms are available. The NF-1 form costs $5 and can be used for purchases up to €2,499.99. Only 10 of these forms can be checked out at a time, but once you return one, you are eligible to take out a new one. The NF-1 form is commonly used for purchases like train tickets, short hotel stays, groceries and clothing. Multiple purchases from the same vendor can be put onto a single form.

The other document, the NF-2 VAT form, costs $65 and is for purchases of €2,500 or more — like a car, for instance. Before an NF-2 can be issued, certain requirements must be met. “We need a quote showing what’s being purchased and how much it would cost without the tax,” Wix said. The buyer also needs to show they are capable of making the payment in full, he said. That can be done one of two ways; either with a cashier’s check or with a letter of intent, or a loan letter, showing that they are approved to finance the full amount without tax. Only one NF-2 form can be issued at a time, and it does not count against the 10 outstanding NF-1 forms. The agreement between the German and American governments doesn’t force all stores to offer tax relief. “They can accept VAT forms, but there’s no law requiring shops accept them on the German side. It’s voluntary based on the vendor,” Wix said. “I have seen situations where one vendor one day said ‘yes’ and then another Family went back the next day, and because they got a different cashier, they said ‘no.’” The VAT office provides newcomers with a list of local vendors who will usually accept the forms. Even at VAT friendly stores, you may run into some confusion, according to Wix. “If it’s a big box store like IKEA, MediaMarkt or Real — anywhere where you have multiple registers, usually the cashiers aren’t trained on how to fill these out, so the general procedures at most of those stores is you go through the register, just as you normally would, and then go to the customer service desk once you’re done with the purchase to get your tax refunded.” Other vendors are more comfortable with the VAT process. “If you go to a small mom and pop shop or somewhere where there’s maybe one or two cashiers at most, usually they’re just going to fill the forms out at the register, and they will not charge any taxes on the purchase,” Wix explained.

Each VAT form has several sheets of carbon copies, which must be properly processed. The vendor keeps one copy of the form; the shopper should keep two copies; one for their personal records and one to turn in at the drop box located just outside of the VAT office. While there is no specific due date for the drop box copy to be returned,the sooner the better,in case there are any mistakes with the purchase or documentation. Confirming that a form is completely filled out at the time of the purchase is a simple way to avoid confusion and ensure you are saving what you can. Forms are good for two years when they are issued, and are no longer valid after the date printed on them. If you return an expired form to the VAT office, you can’t get a full refund,as the document has personal information on it and can’t be reused. However, The Value Added Tax Relief Program can save SOFA card holders a substantial amount you can receive a $2 return credit of money when purchasing itesm on the economy. that goes toward a new form, if returned within 30 days. The documents don’t work retroactively. “If you bought something yesterday and didn’t have the VAT form, you couldn’t get a VAT form today and get the tax off for the day before,” Wix explained. “You cannot pay or negotiate before (you have) the VAT form (and still receive tax relief ),” he said. “You can get a cost assessment, but if you put down any money at the time — (if you) pay one penny down — then we can’t issue that VAT form.” Because of this, any home renovations or repairs need to be approved with the office in advance. Tax relief is a benefit to military living overseas; however, violating the VAT rules can result in a loss of money, and in more extreme cases revoking your VAT privileges. The VAT office aims to prevent the latter. “When in doubt about when you can or cannot use a VAT form, call this office. We have the regulations here in the office on a lot of the grey areas.” The U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden VAT office is located in Bldg. 1023 East, Room 151, and can be reached at (0611) 143-548-9107.

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Register pets with VTF to avoid fines later Emily Jennings USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs

Anyone who’s brought a pet overseas has already jumped through several hoops — making sure they’re microchipped and vaccinated, obtaining a health certificate and complying with airline regulations. But once here, there are still some things pet owners must take care of and some laws of which they should be aware. Pet owners living on post or off must register their pets at the Veterinary Treatment Facility on Clay Kaserne within two weeks of arriving in Germany, said Capt. Melissa Dugan, DVM, officer in charge at the VTF. Failure to register with the garrison could potentially result in hundreds of euros in overdue registration fees if caught. The good news is, it’s free to register pets with the garrison and it only needs to be done once at the duty station where the pet resides. Pets must have been vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days before arriving in Germany, regardless of age, Dugan said. This applies to pets even from another country within the European Union. A pet purchased outside of Germany in the EU will need a pet passport with current rabies vaccine and microchip information. Airlines may have additional requirements. The VTF is open to all DoD ID card holders, however, services are limited at

Know the rules in Germany

Anna Morelock

The Veterinary Treatment Facility should be one of the first stops for those bringing pets to Germany. this time. Personal pets are secondary to the military working dog mission. The VTF can administer vaccines and health certificates, but does not do surgeries or boarding. The facility has a very limited number of openings for dental and sick call appointments, but the goal of these types of procedures is for the Veterinary Corps officers and military technicians to maintain their clinic proficiency. The VTF provides an in-briefing for pet owners, which includes information on off-post veterinarians, boarding, grooming, obedience training and other services. The clinic is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Wednesday. They are closed federal holidays, the last working day of each month and as needed for training and special events.

Some German laws differ from American laws: 1. The use of electrical devices for disciplinary purposes is not allowed. 2. A dog may only be kept in a kennel a maximum of two hours per day. 3. Dogs up to 50 cm tall need a minimum of six square meters of floor space, 50 to 65 cm need eight and more than 65 cm need 10. 4. Tie-stalls must allow a dog to move at least six meters, five meters side-to-side, and be attached so that the dog may go to its dog house, lie down, turn around and move freely without risk of injury. Only wide harnesses or collars that do not tighten themselves can be used.Tie-stalls are prohibited for dogs younger than 12 months, ill or pregnant. 5. If a dog is kept outdoors, it must have a dog house made of thermally insulating material. The dog house must be big enough so the dog can turn around and lie comfortably and keep the shelter warm with its own body heat if there is no heating. 6. At least twice a day, a dog must have at least two hours of contact with its owner or care provider, such as play, walking or dog school.

7. Twice a day for one hour, dogs must have a chance to run freely, if kept in a kennel otherwise. 8. Dogs must be kept on a leash inside developed areas at all times. Outside developed areas, dogs must automatically be put on a leash if other people are approaching.Violating this rule may be punished by fines up to 5,000 euros. 9. Owners must dispose of pet waste properly 10. During quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., dog owners must ensure neighbors are not disturbed by barking, whining or howling. Outside these hours, dog owners must ensure dog noises do not last longer than 10 minutes in a row, or exceed 30 minutes cumulatively per day. 11. Pets are not allowed to run free. The owner may be held liable for any bodily injuries or property damage that the pet may cause. German law imposes strict liability on the owner for damages, regardless of whether the pet is in the possession of the owner. Therefore, it is recommended that pet owners obtain liability insurance.

Before adopting, know rules for pet importation to Germany USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs In accordance with German law, there are several items pet owners need to address when importing cats and dogs from another country. Restrictions on pet importation are designed to prevent the spread of rabies. Pets need a blue European Union pet passport to travel within the EU. The pet passport can be issued by an authorized veterinarian and includes the name and address of the pet’s owner; microchip and rabies vaccine information. The earliest puppies can receive rabies vaccinations is at 12 weeks of age, so puppies can only travel to other countries after they are 15 weeks old. Pets coming from outside of the EU, identified as “listed third countries” in the Regulation (EU) 576/2013, need to be identifiable by

tattoo or microchip, have an animal health certificate with proof of vaccination, be accompanied by a person and have a declaration they did not come into contact with animals susceptible to rabies in transit if they passed through non-listed third countries. Listed third countries are: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (the Netherlands Caribbean territories), Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Virgin

Islands, Cayman Islands, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Croatia, Faroe Islands Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Greenland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, The former Yugoslav Malay Republic of Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Federa Zealand, Norway, Russian Federation, San Marino, Switzerland, Singapore, St Helena, St Nev Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St. Martin, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and Grena the Grenadines, Taiwan, Trinidad and Vanu Tobago, Vanuatu, Vatican City,

United Arab Emirates, United States of America (incl. American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Virgin Islands), Wallis and Futuna. Pet owners importing their pets from non-listed third countries have to have blood tests to check for rabies titres, or antibodies, 30 days after vaccination. This test needs to be done three months before travelling. Because of these requirements, animals from non-listed third countries are not able to enter the EU before 7 months of age. For more information about bringing a pet into Germany, visit PetsAndZooAnimals/_Texte/Heimtierausweis.html. For travel to other EU countries, visit the European Commission’s website on the movement of pets at

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Experience German trad at annual Christmas ma anyaivanova/

By Eric Wilke USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs Intern When the sweet fragrance of ginger gingerbread, roasted almonds and various spices drifts through the air, it’s Christmas time in Germany. Those pleasant smells you might be enjoying probably originate from one of the many German Christmas Markets. It’s one of the country’s most important and popular Christmas traditions, and thousands of people visit them every year. Make sure to stop by and enjoy the festive atmosphere of authentic German Christmas. The tradition of holding Christmas markets is based on sales fairs of the late medieval period that usually only lasted for a single day and were intended to give people a chance to stock

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up on meat and other goods essential for the cold season. The first Christmas markets similar to how we know them today emerged in the 14th century after craftsmen such as basket weavers, toymakers and confectioners received the permission to sell their goods on the marketplaces during those fairs. The goods purchased there would then be used as presents for children on Christmas Eve. The tradition spread after this and now every town has its own little story of how the local Christmas Market came to be. At modern Christmas markets you can still find many different stands, but today they sell many more products than in the past. You can buy souvenir mugs, wood carvings, Christmas ornaments, seasonal sweets, candy apples, regional delicacies and much more. Many food stands offer

roasted chestnuts and almonds, French crepes, German Bratwurst, Flammkuchen or the Christmas Market staple: Glühwein (pronounced GLOO-vine). Glühwein is the definitive Christmas market drink.The word literally means “glow wine,” in reference to the heat. It is a variety of mulled red wine that is heated and spiced with cinnamon, cloves, star anise and sugar.The combination of fragrant spices and gently heated regional wine is the perfect combination to fight off the biting cold of a European winter. Christmas markets can be found practically everywhere around the region. Some of the smaller ones will only be open for a day two, have smaller crowds and fewer sales and food stands to visit. The ones in bigger cities will be open for about a month, starting in November.The biggest Christmas markets in

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Christmas Market Listings Frankfurt – Nov. 27 to Dec. 22

One of the oldest in Germany, this Christmas market began in 1393. Frankfurt’s market offers Applewine and almond candies and boasts Germany’s tallest Christmas tree.

Cologne – Nov. 27 to Dec. 23

Seven markets in the city center each have their own distinct atmosphere and program.

Christmas markets can be found across Germany. Far left: Berlin; left: a wind chime in Wiesbaden; below from left to right: Germany’s oldest Christmas market in Dresden, dating back to 1434; Christmas decorations at a kiosk in Nuremberg; and an aerial view of the Frankfurt Christmas market.

Heidelberg – Nov. 27 to Dec. 22

This market is spread across seven areas in the Old Town.

Mainz – Nov. 30 to Dec. 23

This market features a big, brightly lit pyramid of famous figures from Mainz and a nine-meter tall rotating music box with 18 hand-carved angels, nestled in a Christmas village with campfires and wine cask huts.

dition arkets Herald Union file

Rüdesheim – Nov. 27 to Dec. 23

Twelve countries come together for the Christmas Market of Nations along the Drosselgasse area in the historic city center.

Koblenz – Nov. 24 to Dec. 22

A new door opens each day on the Advent calendar at the Town Hall.

Stuttgart – Nov. 29 to Dec. 23

One of the oldest and largest Christmas markets in Europe, with 280 decorated stalls, began in 1692.

he area are in Frankfurt, Mainz, Rüdesheim nd — of course — Wiesbaden. The Twinling Star Christmas Market in Wiesbaden is ne of the most popular Christmas markets n the country and gets its name from the many shining tall lilies that illuminate it. t is located on Schlossplatz in Wiesbaden etween Stadtschloss and city hall, right ext to the bus stop and tourist information. The city of Wiesbaden offers information rochures in German and English. Most of he stand owners also speak English when ecessary, so don’t be scared to visit. Opening dates of the biggest Christmas Markets in the region are Nov. 23 for Rüdesheim, Nov. 27 for Frankfurt, Nov. 8 for Wiesbaden and Nov. 30 for Mainz. Christmas market opening times can be ound online.

Wiesbaden – Nov. 28 to Dec. 23

The Twinkling Star Market is located on the Schlossplatz, where the farmers’ market is normally held, and around the Marktkirche.

Worms – Nov. 27 to Dec. 23

Brass band music will be played from the tower to mark the end of Advent.

Mannheim – Nov. 29 to Dec. 23

This large market is located at the Wasserturm, the historic water tower.

Darmstadt – Nov. 20 to Dec. 23

This market includes handicrafts from Darmstadt’s twin cities in Latvia, Hungary and Switzerland.

Kaiserslautern – Nov. 27 to Dec. 23

An entertainment program and craft demonstrations delight visitors to this market, centered around Schillerplatz Square.

Ansbach – Nov. 30 to Dec. 24 Located on Martin-Luther Platz.

Nuremberg - Dec. 1 to Dec. 24

Photos Loyo/ from Jane Rix, Alberto

Photos from Ugis Riba, Evgenii Bukhvalov, S.Borisov/

A nativity scene trail runs between the traditional Christmas market and a children’s market, which includes a Ferris wheel and steam train. Source:

This is not a comprehensive listing of Christmas markets. Before traveling to Christmas markets, make sure to verify the opening hours and dates. Some markets may close for local observances.

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Your protection begins with you

Find resources at

Personal and family protective measures


Festivals, markets and public events

US & German Divorces • Support Issues Wills and Probate • Employment • EEO • MSPB Personal Injury • Contractor Issues • Tax

• •

CALL 069-299-2069-0 email:

• •

Avoid high traffic or peak times Pay close attention to vehicle ingress and egress points Know where emergency evacuation points are located Establish a predetermined family or group rally point

Airports • • • • •

Arrive early enough to avoid rushing, but not so early you are waiting for long periods Keep watch for suspicious or unattended bags Avoid broadcasting your DoD affiliation Stay aware of emergency escape exit points When using public transportation, aisle seats may provide shelter from external threats

• • • • •

Communication plan • •

For all trips • • • • • •

Travel in small groups and vary routes Let your unit, coworker, family or battle buddy know where you’re going and your exptected return Be inconspicuous Do not wear clothing with U.S. or DoD affiliation Avoid talking loudly or drawing attention to yourself Be aware of your surroundings and potential safe havens

Rally points •

Select easily recognizable primary and

alternate meeting spots near home Also consider points near schools or other frequented locations Look for rally points that offer additional protection, such as walls, trees and barriers Make sure everyone in the Family knows where to go and what to do, and share the plan with a trusted neighbor Draw a map and discuss with Family members When traveling, identify local safe havens such as hospitals, police stations, embassies, Red Cross or the local equivalent, protected hotels, military bases and industrial complexes

• • • •

Establish an easily understood communication plan Your Family may not be together when a disaster or emergency strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations Consider a plan where Family members call or email the same friend or relative FEMA provides examples at www. Program cell phones with emergency information Create a contact card and ensure all members have access to the card and understand how to use it.

For more information, contact the U.S. Army Europe Antiterrorism Division at (0611)143-537-3130.

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Community notes Job search help

Army Community Service’s Employment Readiness Program offers a wide range of classes and services to assist in finding employment. Employment Readiness can also help with mock interviews. For more information and to reserve a seat call (0611) 143-548-9201.

Red Cross orientation

American Red Cross Wiesbaden holds orientation class the second Wednesday of every month at 11:30 a.m. in Bldg. 1201 on Clay Kaserne (second floor of the Wellness Health Clinic classroom). Orientation lasts 45 minutes and is mandatory to become a Red Cross Volunteer. For more information, call (0611)143-548-1760.

BOSS Commissary and Exchange shuttle

Single and unaccompanied service members are invited to hop on board the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers free shuttle bus to go shopping at the Wiesbaden Commissary an Exchange. The shuttle runs the first and third Thursday of every month and departs from the Warrior Zone at 6 p.m. Please arrive at least 10 minutes early.

DFAC on Facebook

Follow the Strong Europe Café – Wiesbaden Dining Facility’s Facebook page at www. to find out what’s cooking.Themed menus are rotated throughout the week and include Mexicanstyle, surf and turf, soul food and Mongolian barbecue.Operating hours are Monday to Friday, 7 to 8:30 a.m.; 11:30 to 1 p.m.; and 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours are 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Get to know the area

Wiesbaden Army Community Service invites newcomers to get an in-depth look at their home away from home in Germany during Host Nation Orientation on Tuesdays starting at 9 a.m. at the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center on Hainerberg. Learn about German culture, language, public transportation and more. Stop by ACS in Bldg. 7790 on Hainerberg or call (0611) 143-548-9201 to sign up.

Movie matinee

The Wiesbaden Library invites patrons to enjoy a free movie every first Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. Call (0611)143-548-9821 or stop by the library to find out more.

Home-based businesses

Home-based businesses must be authorized to operate at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden installations. For more information, or to inquire about home-based businesses, contact Donald Rosenkrans at (0611) 143-548-1003.

Let’s Do Crafts

Every Thursday, the Arts and Crafts Center offers free time to work on crafts,such as scrapbooking,sewing,knitting,crochet,etc., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Group projects are always welcome.

i come to your home! Cell: 0170-204 0880

The Arts and Crafts Center offers a Woodshop Safety Course, Picture Framing 101, watercolor, acrylic and oil painting, and Canvas and Corkscrews painting classes. Visit for details and class prices and times.

Auto skills

The Auto Skills Center on Clay North offers general automotive services, tire service, tire pressure monitoring system service, brake service, rentals and storage, towing and suspension services. Customers must supply their own parts. Call (0611)143-548-9817.

agement, DoD blended retirement system, thrift savings plan and couples’ communication. Call (0611)143-548-9201 or stop by Bldg. 7790 on Hainerberg to learn more.

All about kids

Child and Youth Services offers sports programs, before and after school care, dance classes, music lessons and more.Call (0611)143-548-9356 for sports and class schedules and pricing.

Resale lot

Sell or purchase vehicles at the resale lot, located at the

Wiesbaden Lodge parking lot. Acquire a permit from the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center. Open to all U.S. ID card holders with valid U.S. Army Europe registration.

Vehicle bid lot

Previously donated vehicles are for sale by sealed bid each month. Vehicles are inspected and known faults identified. Many cars are ready to pass inspection or in need of only minor repairs. Bid online at or by visiting the Auto Skills Center.

Team building

Army Community Service offers Army Family Team Building classes, which empower members of the Army Family through self-development and leadership skills, basic Army knowledge and specialized training to maximize the participant’s personal and professional potential. Interested groups or individuals can call (0611)143-548-9201 for additional information.

See photos of garrison events at photos/wpao

Learn something new

Army Community Service offers a variety of free classes, including anger management, stress management, positive guidance, credit and debt man-

Rejuvenation Ministry Center

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Wiesbaden offers many things to see and do USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs

Getting around

Parking can be tricky around downtown Wiesbaden. A great way to avoid this hassle is to take advantage of the public transportation system. Tickets can be purchased at kiosks near bus stops, from bus drivers and through the RMV app.


You can get a nice view of the city from right outside the Commissary,

but an even better way to see it is at the top of the Neroberg, a 245-meter high mountain on the north side of town. Once at the top — accessed by car, hiking path or using the Neroberg Mountain Railway — visitors can enjoy a ropes course, outdoor pool, hiking paths, restaurants and stunning views of the city and the nearby Russian Orthodox Church, with its towering golden domes.


The Wiesbaden Kurhaus is a con-

vention, conference and social event center surrounded by green space, fountains and historic buildings. The Kurhaus is home to a restaurant and casino known for its high roulette stakes and ties to famous visitor Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Schloss Biebrich

Biebrich Palace, situated south of downtown, overlooking the Rhine River, was built in the Baroque style in 1702. The courtyard boasts walking paths, expansive green space, a

playground, a pond and a small castle, Mosburg, at the opposite end.

Rhine River

The Rhine is the second-longest river in Central and Western Europe at 760 miles. The Rhine was vital to the Holy Roman Empire and is still famous to this day, connecting dozens of cities including Mainz; Koblenz; Bonn; Cologne; Dusseldorf; Rotterdam; Strasbourg, France; Basel, Switzerland; and of course Wiesbaden.

Herald Union file

TOP: The Kurhaus has two fountains in front of its main entrance along Wilhelmstrasse. The building and fountains are lit up at night. During the day, its Bowling Green and expansive green areas provide spaces for strolling, picnics, concerts and festivals. MIDDLE: It is possible to hike up to the Neroberg or catch a trail from the top. ABOVE: The Rheingau Wine Festival, held in August, is one of many annual celebrations in Wiesbaden. Others include Jazz in the Courtyard, Wilhelm Street Festival, Schierstein Harbor Festival, Taunus Street Festival and Fasching.

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This iconic red clay brick Market Church (Marktkirche) is the tallest structure in Wiesbaden at 98 meters high, according to the city’s website. It can be seen from the Neroberg and many other locations around town. The church was damaged during World War II and re-consecrated in 1949.

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Bring your own bag, but not on Sunday Tips for shopping in Germany

more if you’re really satisfied with the service.

Shopping hours

Eric Wilke USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs Intern

Being new in a country is scary. Intimidating. Frightening even. You just arrived in Germany and don’t know what to expect or how to act. American and German culture aren’t terribly far apart, though they do have some minor but significant differences. Knowing these will greatly enhance your ability to navigate this foreign country and avoid many potential misunderstandings. The German cultural spirit is often based on pragmatic thinking and you will quickly get used to it so don’t be afraid to get out there!


When grocery shopping, make sure you have some coins on hand, a 1-euro-coin will work best. Most of the shopping carts require you to insert a coin before you can move them, 1-euro-coins always work, but most carts also accept 50-cent-coins and 2-euro-coins. When you’re at the register, there will be no one to bag groceries for you. They do have bags at stores, though you’ll pay a few cents extra for them unless you bring your own. Though it’s not common anymore, some stores have electric

Vytautas Kielaitis/

Most stores in Germany are closed on Sundays, but restaurants are usually open. scales that you have to weigh fruits and vegetables on. Make sure to only put one type of fruit or vegetable on it and press the corresponding button on the touch-screen, the machine will then print a sticky price tag for you that you can either stick on the bag, your produce or directly hand to the cashier.


In restaurants, you can usually seat yourself. There will be exceptions to this rule, but in those cases there will likely be a sign in English to let you know. Waiters may check on you regularly but not nearly as much in the U.S. That doesn’t mean they don’t care; they just want to let you eat your

meal in peace. In most cases, you will not get a refill for your drink and instead order a new one individually. Because the waiters are not constantly roaming around your table, you’ll have to call or signal them if you want to pay. When giving a tip, it’s common to give it directly to the waiter. You can also tell them the amount of money you want to pay total, including tip, while you hand them the money, and they will return the change. You can never go wrong with giving 10 percent as tip, even less is acceptable sometimes. This is because most of the tip is already included within the price of the meal. Still, nobody will stop you from giving a bit

Stores are closed on Sunday; restaurants are usually open. There are exceptions to this and gas stations as well as stores inside some railway stations are generally open on Sunday. In Hessen, there are four weekends in a year where cities can organize a so called “Verkaufsoffener Sonntag” according to state law. During this time, shops will be open on Sunday – these are special events though and you shouldn’t depend on them. Opening times can vary immensely depending on the day of the week, lunchtimes or business structure, but you probably won’t find a store that’s open 24/7. Regular stores close at 8 p.m. Big grocery stores in and around large cities may be open until 10 p.m. Remember this when you open your fridge on Saturday evening and notice it is empty save for a few slices of cheese. Paying for things in Germany works the same, though cash is the preferred method. When you see a price tag or listed price, it will always already include all applicable taxes. Credit cards are used, though not as much as they are in the U.S. You can use them at many stores and restaurants but there are others that don’t take credit cards period or just specific kinds. It’s best to always carry some cash with you in case there is no other option. Eric Wilke lives and attends college in the Wiesbaden area.

Military FaMilies are the eyes, ears and early warning systeM oF U.s. arMy garrison wiesbaden

The 66th Military Intelligence Bridage’s special agents can assist with: • Threat awareness and reporting program (TARP) briefings for units, Families and individuals • Insider threat awareness • Terrorism indicators • Travel briefings To talk to an agent about any of these topics, contact the Wiesbaden Field Office at (0611) 143-546-5490, 5496 or 5497. Page 18

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Enjoy the great outdoors overseas

Sports shorts Penny-a-pin bowling

Enjoy the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center’s Penny-A-Pin Bowling special all day on Mondays. Pay for what you knock down and nothing else. For example, if you bowl three games and knock down a total of 420 pins, you only pay $4.20. Shoe rental is free during this time.

Late night bowling

Enjoy the company, lights and great atmosphere of some late night bowling every Friday and Saturday evening from 8 p.m. to midnight. Get a strike on a red head pin and win a free game. Get three strikes on three red head pins and win a pizza bowling package.

Thirsty Thursday karaoke

Head to the Lounge at the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center every Thursday for karaoke. Bring your friends for a night of fun. The online karaoke system has a variety of new releases and classic hits.

Outdoor Recreation rentals

Outdoor Recreation offers rentals for camping, parties, skiing, hunting and cycling. In addition, they offer maintenance services for skis and bikes. For more information, contact (0611)143-548-9830 or visit for price list.


Outdoor Recreation offers paintball by advance reservation. All paintball players and operations must be compliant with German law. Visit wiesbaden.armymwr. com for details.

Gym classes

The Fitness Center offers a variety of ongoing classes for all levels. Body Tone is an intense full-body conditioning class, designed to sculpt and increase muscle tone utilizing circuit training, interval training, plyometrics, supersets and weighted lifting.The routine changes constantly, so participants do not get bored. Total Body Express is designed to strengthen the core muscles with an added aerobic aspect to burn fat and tone abs. Core training is an effective way to reduce the risk of lower back and neck pain, strained ligaments and poor posture. Functional Fitness Training incorporates a variety of movements at high intensity, taking everyday functional movements and strengthening the entire body to improve speed, flexibility, power and endurance. Power Pump, Spin/Cycle, Pilates and Zumba are great classes for people at all fitness levels who want better cardiovascular health and a stronger core while having fun.

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Hunters blow their traditional horns following a successful hunt. Story and photos by Karl Weisel USAG Wiesbaden Family and MWR Marketing New to Germany and not sure how to start hunting, fishing or sport shooting? Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation is your one-stop shop for that and more. With their Hunting, Fishing and Sports Shooting Program, you’ll find a host of classes, tips and guidance aimed at preparing you to enjoy your favorite outdoor pastimes while serving in Europe. The German government permits the U.S. forces in Europe to conduct courses that allow U.S. forces personnel to qualify for a foreigner’s hunting license, fishing license and/or recreational sport shooting certification in Germany. Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation hosts U.S. Forces Hunting, Fishing and Sport Shooting courses throughout the year. Upcoming classes in early 2018 include a U.S. Forces German Fishing Course Jan. 18 to 21, a U.S. Forces Sport Shooting Course Jan. 25 to 27 and a U.S. Forces German Hunting Course Feb. 6 to April 28. The main emphasis of the courses is to learn German laws and traditions, which are a bit more thorough than licensing requirements in the United States, according to officials. Training in safety, game identification and overall procedures provides hunters, fishers and sport shooters with knowledge and abilities to become more well-rounded in their outdoor experiences. After gaining certification, U.S.

LIVING in GERMANY - October 2017

forces personnel may obtain German hunting/fishing licenses and join in hunting and fishing traditions that go back several hundred years. “People who want to experience the highlights of hunting in Germany will appreciate the long traditions observed by German hunters,” said Al Klaver, Wiesbaden Hunting, Fishing and Sport Shooting Program manager. “New hunters are welcomed into the fold with the traditional Jägerschlag knighting ceremony,” Klaver said. “During the first stroke in the knighting ceremony the hunter is anointed, followed by successive strokes intended to give one the strength to always conduct the hunt righteously and to never break the Hunter’s Code of Honor.” Wiesbaden hunting and fishing enthusiasts might also want to join Wiesbaden Outdoor Recreation for a trip to Dortmund, Germany, on Feb. 2, 2018, to visit the largest hunting, dog, fish and fishing exhibition in Germany. U.S. forces sport shooting certification enables U.S. Forces personnel to buy and possess firearms that they may use for enjoying training and competition during their assignment in Germany. Outdoor Recreation also hosts a recreational shooting program with various dates at the JMTC Range in nearby Wackernheim. Firearms are available for rent. Ranges include handgun plus 100-, 200- and 300-meter rifle.

A Wiesbaden-based Soldier celebrates a successful jump with his tandem instructor following a recent skydiving trip with Outdoor Recreation. Hearing and eye protection must be worn on all ranges, and participants must be at least 18, or 16 with a parent or guardian present, Klaver said. Other regular outdoor adventures offered by Outdoor Recreation include ski and snowboard trips, skydiving, mountain biking, paintball and whitewater rafting. Upcoming outdoor adventures include a Thanksgiving Ski Trip to Zermatt, Switzerland, on Nov. 21 to 25; and Black Forest Ski/Snowboard Expresses on Jan. 20, Feb. 3 and March 3. Outdoor Recreation also hosts special holiday trips to Germany’s famed Christmas markets — on Dec. 2 to Cologne, Dec. 9 to Michelstadt and Dec. 16 to Heidelberg. For more information on hunting, fishing, sport shooting and other outdoor adventures, stop by the Wiesbaden Sports, Fitness and Outdoor Recreation Center in Bldg. 1631 on Clay Kaserne or call (0611) 143-548-9830 or -9801.


Discover wildlife at local animal park Story and photos by Karl Weisel USAG Wiesbaden Family and MWR Marketing

Above: A child feeds a reindeer at the Wiesbaden Fasanerie. Left: A wolf roams his pen. The Fasanerie, an animal sanctuary, is northwest of Wiesbaden and is home to about 50 species. This free attraction is open daily throughout the year.


Wolves patrol through a forested area as visitors watch from 20 feet above on a wooden lookout. Wild boar comb through fallen leaves and branches as deer graze for food in a nearby enclosure. These encounters and more await visitors to the Wiesbaden Fasanerie — an animal park in the woods slightly northwest of Wiesbaden. Located at Willfried-Ried Strasse 22, just off B54 (Aarstrasse), the animal sanctuary is situated on the side of a hill stretching up into the forest. Visitors are invited to wander under giant sequoia trees, along paths past various large animal enclosures featuring everything from bison to bear and to stroll into several open and enclosed aviaries showcasing storks, herons, pheasants and other wild birds. Besides views of a variety of animals, native and exotic plants, younger visitors will also appreciate

a large playground area. Bulit in the mid-1950s by the city of Wiesbaden at the site of an older hunting lodge (which today serves as a restaurant) to provide a large, natural habitat for about 50 types of animals, the Fasanerie is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter months (November to March) and until 6 p.m. from April through October. There is no cost to enter the Fasanerie. Dogs are not allowed in the animal park. Special exhibits are featured regularly. To drive to the Fasanerie, follow Gustav-Stresemann Ring past the Hauptbahnhof as it turns into Kaiser-Friedrich Ring, Bismarckring and then veers left into Seerobenstrasse before eventually becoming Aarstrasse. A left turn off of Aarstrasse onto Willfried Ried Strasse in the woods leads one to a parking area across from the Fasanerie. Visitors can also hop on Bus 33 to get to the park. Visit www.wiesbaden. de/fasanerie for more information.

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Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic at a glance Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic

The Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is proudly accredited by The Joint Commission. Each patient enrolled to the clinic is assigned a primary care manager on one of the PCMH teams (Blue or White). In the PCMH model, patients have a health care team that knows their medical needs, takes care of their needs and coordinates with other health care delivery teams to provide the best quality care. PCMH staff includes primary care managers (a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant), registered nurses, medics, clinical pharmacists, and integrated behavioral health consultants. The clinic also offers a variety of other services in different locations across Clay Kaserne:

Bldg. 1040 • • • • • • • • •

Medical and Dental Clinic Primary Care Physical Therapy Optometry X-ray Lab Soldier Medical Readiness Cell Patient Administration TRICARE

Bldg. 1041

• Behavioral Health Gold Team

Bldg. 1526

• Behavioral Health Black Team • Family Advocacy Program • Educational and Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS)

Bldg. 1201

• Army Wellness Center • American Red Cross

Photos courtesy of Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic

International SOS hosted a Preferred Provider Network dinner for host nation providers and clinic personnel Sept. 27 at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden. The Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic gave certificates of appreciation to show gratitude for the high level of care provided to the Wiesbaden military community.

Patient Satisfaction and Feedback:

• Patients are encouraged to provide feedback, positive and negative, to help staff continually improve the patient experience and satisfaction with their care. Patients can use the following methods to provide feedback. • Joint Outpatient Experience Survey ( JOES): Approximately 72 hours after an appointment, patients will receive a survey to complete by mail or electronically. • Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE): Patients can complete an ICE card or submit ICE comments online at • Patient Advocate: Located in the TRICARE Service Center, patient advocates can be reached at DSN: 590-1364 or (06371) 9464-1361.

Access to Care

It is important for all active duty military and their command-sponsored Family members enroll in TRICARE Prime. Enrollment can be accomplished at in-processing or the TRICARE Service Center. One significant benefit to Prime enrollment is the access to care standards that assure you receive timely, quality care. If timely care is unavailable

at the clinic, patients may be referred to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center or to a host nation provider or hospital. Patients can make appointments using TRICARE Online,, or by calling Central Appointments at DSN: 590-5762 or (06371) 9464-5762.

Access to Care Standards:

Acute Care — 24 hours Routine Care — 7 calendar days Specialty Care — 28 calendar days

Virtual Tools:

The following tools are available to patients to schedule appointments, access information, communicate with their care team or to seek guidance.

TRICARE Online — • Make, reschedule or cancel appointments. • The Blue Button allows patients to view their health information, including lab and radiology results, medications, immunizations and more. • Click on the Rx Refill button to select medications for refill. Select which pharmacy location and then submit your prescription for refill. The refill will be ready the following business day. RelayHealth — • Health care teams can register patients during appointments. • Allows secure communicate between patients and primary care managers or PCMH teams. This should only be used for non-emergent communication. • Patients can consult with their PCM or care team, request an appointment, request prescription renewal, or request lab and test results. • Thirty-two percent of patients are enrolled in Relay Health. • After registration, a patient will need to reply to the RelayHealth email to activate the account.

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LIVING in GERMANY - October 2017

TRICARE Nurse Advice Line – Civ: 0800-825-1600 or call the Appointment Line at Civ. 06371-9464-5762 • The NAL provides around-the-clock access to registered nurses who can answer questions, provide self-care advice and help patients decide whether to seek emergency care. • The NAL is especially helpful to patients who are concerned with health issues when the clinic is closed.

Emergency Care:

The Wiesbaden clinic does not provide emergency care. For medical emergencies, go to the nearest hospital or dial 112 off post. On post, call the MP station at DSN: 114.

Patient Liaisons:

The Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic has host nation patient liaisons available to assist U.S. beneficiaries hospitalized in host nation medical facilities. They also will accompany patients to their first outpatient visit to a host nation provider. Contact the TRICARE Service Center for more information.

Host nation patient liaisons can: • Plan transfers between military treatment facilities and host nation medical facilities by civilian ambulance or privately owned vehicle. • Ease language barriers between patients and host nation providers and provide patients with a U.S. Army Europe Medical Phrase Book. • Talk to host nation physicians to get up-to-date information on medical conditions and treatment plans. • Answer questions about treatment, environment of care and follow-up care to the best of their knowledge, or when doctors are unavailable. • Assess and interpret patient concerns to determine specific assistance needs. • Conduct follow-up visits to assess treatment progress. • Assist with patient discharge from host nation hospitals. • Provide local resources for medical supplies and pharmacies.



ideas for day trips from Wiesbaden

Emily Jennings U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Public Affairs

Itching to get out of town, but low on funds? A day trip may be just the ticket. Wiesbaden is centrally located within Germany, so you can easily see another city, state or country in a day and be back by nighttime. There are too many great cities and sights to list, but here are seven great trips to get you started.

1. Cologne (Köln)

Situated on the Rhine River, this 2,000-year-old city is perfect for picture taking, strolling or visiting a unique museum. At just 173 kilometers from Wiesbaden, if traffic is favorable you can drive there in less than two hours — or better yet, take the train. The Cologne Cathedral (Dom) is one of the first things you’ll see if you arrive at the central station (Hauptbahnhof ). You’ll want to have your camera ready. This High Gothic cathedral, for which the foundation was laid in 1248, is a stunning piece of history and architecture. The two towers were completed in the 1860s and 70s. The cathedral was damaged by more than 80 bombs during WWII, and after restoration was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. The Chocolate Museum (Schokoladen Museum), with its glass façade, is a perfect place to enjoy a view of the Rhine on a cold day while learning about the history and production of the sweet treat and even sampling some. If sweets are not your thing, stop by the Mustard Museum (Kölner Senfmuseum) nearby.

Emily Jennings

Other sites to visit here include the Cologne Zoo; The Odysseum, The Botanical Gardens, the National Socialism Documentation Center; and the Koln Triangle.

2. Luxembourg

Got kids? A visit to Parc Merveilleux in Bettembourg, Luxembourg, will take up most of your day. The 212 kilometer drive takes about two-anda-half hours. Wander through a fairy tale garden forest on a paved walkway (perfect for strollers, scooters and balance bikes) and discover unique play areas and zoo animals around every turn. You’ll see monkeys, crocodiles, rabbits, dingoes and peacocks, just to name a few. If you have any energy left after a day at the park, consider having dinner in Luxembourg City, just 14 kilometers away. Make time to visit the Luxembourg American Cemetery just outside the city and pay respects to the more than 5,000 Soldiers buried there, including Gen. George S. Patton.

3. Frankfurt

It would be a shame to live so close to this major German city and only see the airport! There is something for everyone in the city of Frankfurt, and it will only take about 35 minutes to drive the 35 kilometers. If the weather is bad, you could spend the entire day in museums. Visit the former home of the famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe at the Goethe House and the Goethe Museum next door. If you have kids, they’ll enjoy seeing dinosaur bones at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum or have an interactive experience at the Kinder Museum, experimenting with printing and typesetting (in English). Other attractions include the Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art, The Old Opera House, and the red sandstone Gothic style St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, which stands out in the city’s downtown area.

4. Hanau

Amy L. Bugala/Herald Union file

During a quick trip to Hanau, just east of Frankfurt, you can see the 18th century baroque palace Schloss Philipsruhe and walk its expansive courtyard, on your way to the Broth-


Clockwise from top right: Strasbourg, France; Cologne; Brothers Grimm monument in front of the Rathaus in Hanau; and Gen. George S. Patton Jr.’s grave in Luxembourg. ers Grimm monument. At the Wilhelmsbad State Park and spa complex, you’ll enjoy lots of walking space and beautiful scenery, including a devils bridge and pyramid — the perfect place for a picnic. If you have time, visit the Fasanerie, the Hessen Doll Museum and the Prehistoric Museum.

5. Heidelberg

The castle along the Neckar River in Heidelberg is the main attraction. Park in the city and walk to the castle or take the funicular railway, which goes even further than the castle for spectacular views. Heidelberg is 95 kilometers from Wiesbaden or about an hour’s drive.

6. Pedestrian suspension bridge

Wear comfortable shoes if you go to the Geierlay Suspension Bridge (Hängeseilbrücke) in Mörsdorf. It can be a mile walk just to get to the bridge, depending on where you park. But the view is worth it. Visitors can go both directions on the bridge or just one way and then return to their car on one of the marked trails. There is no cost to cross the bridge, but you may have to pay for parking. The bridge can get crowded on weekends and German holidays.

7. Strasbourg, France

This border city, the capital of the Alsace-Champagne-ArdenneLorraine region, is 210 kilometers

LIVING in GERMANY - October 2017

Emily Jennings

from Wiesbaden, or just under two and a half hours by car. But you won’t want to drive once you get there. Find a place to park your car and you’ll get the most of this city by exploring on foot or by using the ubiquitous light rail. Without spending any money, you can see the futuristic-looking central station (Gare de Strasbourg), the towering Notre Dame Cathedral, and take photos in the iconic La Petite France area, with its flower-lined river crossings and half-timber houses.

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Herald Union - Special Edition - Living in Germany - October 2017  

The Herald Union is the local newspaper for the U.S. Army military community of Wiesbaden, soon to be home of Headquarters, U.S. Army Europe...

Herald Union - Special Edition - Living in Germany - October 2017  

The Herald Union is the local newspaper for the U.S. Army military community of Wiesbaden, soon to be home of Headquarters, U.S. Army Europe...