Local news translated – March 28, 2024

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, March. 28, 2024

Easter services in Stuttgart and surrounding areas

From Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday, a variety of services and church events will take place in the 49 parishes in the Protestant church district of Stuttgart and in the 42 Catholic parishes. Here is a small selection from the long calendar of events – starting with Maundy Thursday, which commemorates the last meal shared by Jesus and his disciples.


Maundy Thursday

In Stuttgart’s Stiftskirche, the main church of the Protestant regional church in Württemberg, there will be a communion service at 7 pm. In some Catholic parishes, foot washing is offered on this day – for example in St. Konrad (Stafflenbergstraße 50) at 7 pm and in the Liebfrauenkirche in Bad Cannstatt (Wildunger Straße 57) at 8 pm. In some places, the believers keep vigil. The parishes of St. Monika in Feuerbach (Kyffhäuserstraße 59) and Salvator in Giebel (Giebelstraße 15) are holding an Olivet service at 8.15 pm. Also at the cathedral church of St. Eberhard at 9 pm.

In Waldenbuch, City Church, (Boeblingen District) there will be a Gospel Concert at 7:30 at the Stadtkirche followed by Holy Communion.


Good Friday

On Good Friday, a communion service will be held at 10 a.m. in the collegiate church and at 3 p.m., the hour of Jesus’ death, in the neighboring Schlosskirche Jesu – probably one of the last opportunities this year to visit the church in the old castle, as renovation work is due to be carried out there after Pentecost.

Stations of the Cross are also part of Good Friday. Several Catholic parishes invite you to a Stations of the Cross devotion especially for children: at 10 a.m. in St. Thomas in Steinhaldenfeld (Falchstraße 9), at 10.30 a.m. in St. Barbara in Hofen (Wolfgangstraße 6) and at 11 a.m. in Herz Jesu in Gaisburg (Schurwaldstraße 1). A Stations of the Cross for adults will be offered at 10 am in St. Johannes in Untertürkheim (Kappelbergstraße 28). An ecumenical Stations of the Cross for women will lead from St. Eberhard to the Hospitalkirche (Büchsenstraße 33) from 12 noon. There is also a meditation walk up Monte Scherbelino on Good Friday and Easter Monday. The starting point is the Birkenkopf parking lot – on Good Friday at 10 am and on Easter Monday at 3 pm. In the Brenzkirche studio church (Am Kochenhof 7.)


Italian Catholic community of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Leonberg staged living Stations of the Cross around St. John’s Church, depicting Jesus Christ.

The native Italian-speaking community has been cultivating the tradition of a living Stations of the Cross for years. The parish covers the city of Leonberg. the Way of the Cross now takes place at St. John’s Church in the town center.

The Way of the Cross begins on the church forecourt – Jesus is arrested, accused, condemned and mocked. Three stations in the streets around St. John’s depict how Jesus collapses three times under the weight of his cross. Yet he rises again and again and continues on his way to Golgotha.  The actor Giovanni Ferrante will carry a large, heavy wooden cross on his shoulder. The crucifixion scene takes place in front of the entrance to the church. The dialog between the actors will be in Italian. The performance will be moderated for the audience in German and Italian. After the liturgy on Friday, March 29, at 3 pm, the Passion of Christ starts at 4.30 pm on the forecourt of St. John’s Church.


Holy Saturday

On the night from Holy Saturday to Easter Sunday, Christians commemorate the resurrection of Christ. A children’s Easter night is on the program at 8.30 pm in the Johanneskirche am Feuersee. The Protestant Leonhardskirche parish in Stuttgart, the Old Catholic parish of St. Katharina and St. Catherine’s Anglican Chaplaincy invite you to an ecumenical Easter Vigil at 9 pm in the Leonhardskirche.


Easter Sunday

The “Feast of the Resurrection” on Easter Sunday begins in many parishes with an early Easter service (note: summer time) – at 6 a.m. in the Stiftskirche and also in St. Eberhard with an Easter bonfire. The Easter service with Bishop Gohl take

. The Easter service with Bishop Gohl will take place at 10 a.m. in the collegiate church. The pontifical mass in St. Eberhard’s Cathedral will be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Gerhard Schneider from Rottenburg-Stuttgart.

For more than 70 years, Easter morning on the Birkenkopf has begun with a Protestant Easter service by the Paul-Gerhardt-Gemeinde (West). It starts at 8 am. A special feature this year is the Easter celebration at 6 a.m. in the Solitude Castle Chapel, which will be open again for the first time on Easter Sunday after lengthy renovation work. A literary and musical Easter walk will take place there in the afternoon at 5 pm, followed by a “family day” with an Easter egg race on Easter Monday at 10 am. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 28, 2024)


Easter Monday

Church services will also be held on Easter Monday. The cathedral parish invites you to a Eucharistic celebration in St. Eberhard at 10 am and 12 noon. In Bad Cannstatt, an old tradition is revived with the ecumenical Emmausgang. The name comes from a story in the Gospel of Luke, according to which two disciples met the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus. The event starts at 10 a.m. at St. Stephen’s Church (Burckhardtstraße 75). The Waldheim Vaihingen (Waldburgstraße 180) also offers an open-air program at 10.30 a.m. with a family service under the motto “Ei, du schöne Osterzeit!” On Easter Monday at 11 a.m. in the Hospitalkirche, the parish’s long-serving pastor, Eberhard Schwarz, will be bid farewell with a church service. (SN, Mar 28, 24)


Baden-Württemberg – Warning strikes in the retail sector have begun

The warning strikes by retail workers in Baden-Württemberg have begun. The service trade union Verdi is expecting around 1,300 participants across the state on Thursday. The strike will mainly take place directly in front of stores. A demonstration has been announced for 10.00 a.m. in Stuttgart, in which around 300 people are expected to take part, according to Verdi. The service union Verdi had previously called for strikes in the wholesale and retail sector in Baden-Württemberg on Maundy Thursday. Employees in several cities are to strike for the whole day, as Verdi announced on Thursday. The companies affected include Kaufland, Ikea and H&M in cities such as Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and Mannheim. (Stgt Nachrichten, Mar 28, 2024)


Wage agreement for Lufthansa ground staff

Lufthansa and the trade union Verdi have agreed on the main features of a collective agreement for the airline’s ground staff. Both sides intend to announce the details of the agreement this Thursday. Around 25,000 employees are affected. The agreement was preceded by mediation behind closed doors. Thuringia’s Minister President Bodo Ramelow from the Left Party and the former head of the Federal Employment Agency, Frank-Jürgen Weise, acted as mediators. The union had threatened indefinite strikes in the event of failure. (DW)


Deutsche Bahn and GDL reach agreement in wage dispute

The GDL had gone on strike six times – now there is good news for rail travelers: The train drivers’ union and the company have announced that they have reached an agreement in the wage dispute. The train drivers’ union GDL and Deutsche Bahn have reached an agreement in their months-long wage dispute, thereby averting further strikes. This was announced by the GDL in the evening. A spokesperson for Deutsche Bahn confirmed the agreement at the request of the news agency dpa. “That’s why no more will be revealed today,” said RBB correspondent Anke Hahn on Tagesschau. Both sides want to inform about the details in separate press conferences in Berlin on Tuesday morning. In any case, rail passengers are no longer threatened with strikes.

Deutsche Bahn and GDL recently resumed negotiationsIn mid-March, the company and the union announced that they had resumed negotiations. Both Deutsche Bahn and GDL boss Claus Weselsky recently expressed confidence that a solution to the conflict would be reached soon. At the time, Deutsche Bahn stated that an agreement had already been reached on many issues. Both sides had agreed to maintain silence until the conclusion of the wage negotiations, and the dispute between Deutsche Bahn and GDL had been deadlocked for a long time. The last time both sides sat together behind closed doors for several weeks was in February in order to find a solution to the wage dispute. Former Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière and Schleswig-Holstein’s Minister President Daniel Günther (both CDU) had presented a compromise proposal as external mediators.

A main point of contention recently was a reduction in working hours for shift workers from 38 to 35 hours per week with the same salary, as demanded by the GDL. The compromise proposal envisaged a reduction in weekly working hours in two stages to 36 hours by 2028 with full pay compensation – the railroad company had accepted this. According to a report by the news platform Politico, Deutsche Bahn has now largely given in to the core demand for a 35-hour week. According to the report, the working week is to be reduced from the current 38 hours to the 35 hours demanded by the GDL in several stages in a “working time corridor” by 2029, with wages remaining the same; according to the report, the first step is to take place at the beginning of 2026, with a reduction to 37 hours. Employees who want to increase their hours to 40, on the other hand, could do so with a 2.7 percent pay rise. Further reductions are then to be made annually at the request of employees – initially to 36 hours, 35.5 hours and finally 35 hours. Deutsche Bahn and the union did not comment on the report. (Tagesschau)