Host Nation Update, Oct. 27, 2023
Bomb threats – Several schools in the region were evacuated
It’s a Friday morning that no school would wish for: instead of a relaxed start to the upcoming fall vacations, there is a major alert at several high schools in the region. Bomb threats had been received during the night or in the morning. In each case, the police decided to evacuate the buildings. Students, teachers and staff who were already on site had to go home. The areas were widely cordoned off with large-scale deployments. The Hegel High School in Stuttgart Vaihingen, the Gustav-Stresemann High School in Fellbach, the Burg High School in Schorndorf and the Salier High School in Waiblingen were affected this morning. In Göppingen-Faurndau, operational measures were also underway in a building, said a spokesman for the Ulm police. Whether it is also a school, the police did not say initially. According to the current state, the police assumes that there is no concrete threat, but for security reasons, it was decided to search the entire area. For this purpose, explosive detection dogs were also deployed for this purpose. A spokesman for the Stuttgart police could not say at first whether the threats all belong to the series of nationwide e-mails that have been received for days in schools, media houses or police stations, or whether there are also copycats. This is currently being investigated. In all these cases, there had never actually been a bomb anywhere. The mails were mostly written in English and Arabic, some had a reference to Hamas and the conflict between Palestinians and Israel. This week, there had also been corresponding letters in Stuttgart, but subsequently no evacuations. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 27)
Start of school fall vacation in Baden-Württemberg – What motorists, train and air travelers need to be aware of
More than one million schoolchildren will start their fall vacation in Baden-Württemberg today. A look at the forecast of the German Weather Service (DWD) promises rather dingy conditions for outdoor activities in the southwest. “The weather remains unsettled with rain and showers, especially in the north and west. In the south, it will probably remain rather dry, at least on the weekend. The weekend should be mild, in places with temperatures up to 19 degrees. From the middle of the week, the highs should be around 15 degrees. It is to become windy and in the mountainous areas partly stormy.
Those who want to escape the autumn weather by car should be prepared for limited visibility due to rain and especially on the coming weekend for a lot of traffic. “If you want to avoid traffic jams, don’t leave on Friday,” said a spokesman ADAC. On this day, commuting, work and vacation traffic come together, and Saturdays are also popular travel days. Those who are flexible should rather leave on Sunday or Monday.
Roadworks are one of the main causes of traffic jams. According to ADAC Württemberg, there are currently still a relatively large number of them, 93, compared with an average of only 79 in the summer. The roadworks on the A8 near Pforzheim are among the most congested sections. Last year, with 3253 hours of congestion, it took the top spot in all of Germany. Traffic jams can also be expected on the A8 between Karlsruhe and Ulm and on the A5 around Karlsruhe.
Deutsche Bahn expects more traffic in the state. “In general, capacity utilization is higher on weekends at the start and end of the vacations,” a Deutsche Bahn spokesman said Wednesday. Regional trains could become full, especially at popular excursion destinations in the Black Forest and Lake Constance. In the DB Navigator app and online, passengers can find out if their train is delayed, how full it is and which track it departs from. Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport is urging travelers to be at the airport two and a half to three hours before departure.
Stuttgart Airport expects largely normal operations
“We are not expecting a large wave of travel,” Johannes Schumm, spokesman for Stuttgart Airport, said Wednesday. He especially recommends travelers with an early morning departure to be at check-in at least two hours before departure. “Arriving more than three hours before departure is definitely not necessary.” Counters don’t open until 4:00 a.m. anyway, he said. The crowds are holding up due to the winter schedule starting Sunday. This week there were about 200,000 passengers, next week there will be only about 150,000. Starting next Sunday, direct flights to Dubai and Stockholm with Eurowings will be newly offered from Stuttgart. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Oct 27)
Dr. Bernd Vöhringer has been re-elected as the President of the Local Chamber in the Council of Europe.
The Mayor of Sindelfingen was unanimously confirmed in his position. Dr. Bernd Vöhringer was the head of the German delegation and the leader of the European People’s Party in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. Since 2021, he has been serving as the President of the Local Chamber in the Council of Europe, and on October 25, 2023, he was unanimously re-elected for another term by the members of the chamber in a secret ballot.
“I am delighted by this vote of confidence and the positive feedback I have received. Across party and country borders, we can together make a significant contribution to strengthening human rights, democracy, and the rule of law at the local level,” said the Mayor of Sindelfingen on the occasion of his election. As the re-elected President of the Local Chamber, Dr. Bernd Vöhringer addressed the indispensable role of municipalities in the fight against the threat to democracy and the disregard of human rights, and assured Ukrainian members of full solidarity.
“The state of human rights in Europe has been tense not only since the war in Ukraine. Only together can we defend and strengthen the cornerstones of the Council of Europe: human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, in the more than 130,000 municipalities in Europe,” said the Mayor of Sindelfingen.
Strengthening Human Rights
Dr. Vöhringer pledged to use the next two and a half years of his presidency intensively to strengthen human rights at the local level in the 46 member states, and thus implement the outcomes of the summit of the heads of state and government of the Council of Europe in Reykjavik. (Peter Maier, SZBZ October 26, 2023)
That’s why we still change the clock.
For years, this should have come to an end, but we still dutifully change the clocks twice a year. Why? SWR correspondent Stephan Ueberbach from Brussels explains where the problem lies.
In the night from Saturday to Sunday, the member states of the European Union switch from daylight saving time back to standard time. This procedure was introduced for the last time in 1980 to save energy. In 2018, EU citizens were surveyed, and the majority of participants voted for the abolition of the clock change. However, nothing has happened since then. SWR Aktuell: In 2018, the EU announced that it would abolish the time change in spring and autumn and create a uniform time zone. Why has nothing happened up to now?
Stephan Ueberbach: Because the matter is more complicated than anticipated. The EU Commission and the European Parliament asked the member states to decide, in consultation with their neighbors, whether to opt for permanent daylight saving time or standard time. And from that point on, the problems began: Some countries are in favor of permanent daylight saving time, others prefer standard time, and most have not yet made a decision. Additionally, there are countries like Portugal or Greece that don’t want to change anything at all. This could lead to the end of the large shared time zone between Spain and Poland. And no one wants a patchwork quilt, as it would lead to enormous problems. For cross-border commuters, for example, for the railway or for airlines. Therefore, EU countries have not dealt with the issue since 2019. One could also put it this way: The former EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wanted to appear particularly close to the citizens just before the 2019 European elections, but he passed the implementation of his idea to the member states – and there it lies to this day.
SWR Aktuell: Germans have, in a survey, mostly voted for continuous daylight saving time. What would this mean in concrete terms for countries far in the east like Poland and far in the west like Spain?
Ueberbach: This would result in, for example, Warsaw and other countries in Eastern Europe not getting dark quite as early in winter as it does now, so they would benefit. But: with permanent daylight saving time, in Bilbao on the Spanish Atlantic coast, it would only be light shortly before ten in the morning in winter, here in Brussels it would be half past nine, which means that large parts of Western Europe would sit in the dark in the morning for much longer. I find this quite challenging for the commute to work or school. SWR Aktuell: Wouldn’t continuous standard time, which was the standard time before the introduction of daylight saving time, be a solution for Europe?
Ueberbach: Well, then the bright summer evenings would be significantly shorter, in Eastern Europe it would already be over at eight o’clock, in Germany at half past eight, and that’s exactly what the daylight saving time enthusiasts don’t want. They want it to stay light for a long time in the evening when sitting in a street café or garden. So, whether it’s permanent daylight saving time or permanent standard time – it brings disadvantages for a part of Europe. This is also a reason why there is no progress on this issue, even though it has been shown that the time change brings almost no energy savings. However, it does lead to a number of people experiencing health problems. So, there are actually many reasons to seriously address this issue.
SWR Aktuell: As a long-time correspondent in Brussels, do you still believe that the time change will be abolished?
Ueberbach: No. If no EU country or government takes a strong stance in favor of ending the time change in the foreseeable future and injects new momentum into the debate – which doesn’t seem likely – then the whole thing will fizzle out. There are a few German Members of the European Parliament who reliably speak up every six months and say: It can’t be that the will of millions of people is simply ignored here, and the EU imposes a mini jetlag on its citizens twice a year.
But without the member states, it won’t happen – and they simply don’t want to touch this hot potato. So, we will continue to change the clocks for the foreseeable future, and most likely, it will be permanent. By the way, it seems that this issue primarily concerns Germans. The rest of Europe is pretty indifferent to it. Here in Belgium or the Netherlands, for example, the clock is changed twice a year – and that’s it. (SWR Aktuell, 26. Oktober 2023)
“Here, in the Stuttgart region, you can get into the Christmas spirit.”
The Advent season is approaching, along with the opening of the Christmas markets in the Stuttgart region. But Christmas spirit is also emerging in other places. Here is an overview.
In November, winter attractions like the Christmas Garden in Wilhelma gradually open in the Stuttgart region. The first Christmas markets also begin. Here is an overview of the largest attractions and most popular places to get into the Christmas spirit.
Christmas markets in Ludwigsburg, Esslingen, and Stuttgart
Stuttgart Winter Dream with roller rink
Ferris wheel on Schlossplatz
Highlights in downtown Stuttgart
Christmas Garden in Wilhelma
Christmas markets in Ludwigsburg, Esslingen, and Stuttgart
Two of the most popular Christmas markets in the Stuttgart region will open on November 23: the Ludwigsburg Baroque Christmas Market and the Medieval Market and Christmas Market in Esslingen. In Ludwigsburg, there are about 160 stalls, slightly more than last year. In Esslingen, new craftsmen and craftswomen will be part of the market. Additionally, there are new artists, such as a tightrope walker. The Stuttgart Christmas Market, with its over 300-year history, will open this year on November 29. It will also be larger than last year, with around 300 stalls. Traditionally, there are many activities for children: they can ride a mini steam train or decorate gingerbread hearts themselves. Opening hours of the Christmas markets:
Ludwigsburg: From November 23 to December 22, 2023, the Baroque Christmas Market is open daily from 11 am to 9 pm. It will be closed on November 26 due to Remembrance Sunday.
Esslingen: The Medieval Market and Christmas Market is open daily from November 23 to December 21, from 11 am to 8:30 pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open until 9:30 pm. The official opening on November 23 is at 5 pm. The market will be closed on Remembrance Sunday.
Stuttgart: This year, the Christmas Market will last for 25 days, from November 29 to December 23. On opening day, the market will open at 5 pm, and on other days, it will open at 11 am – an hour later than last year. On Sundays to Wednesdays, it will close at 9 pm, and on Thursdays to Saturdays, it will close at 11 pm. Stuttgart Winter Dream with roller rink
The setup for the 25th Winter Dream on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz is already in full swing. The opening is on November 1. In addition to many stalls, there will be a roller rink again. For 23 years, ice skating was part of Winter Dream, but last year, plans had to be changed. Due to high energy costs, the ice rink was transformed into a roller rink. It is open daily from 11 am, and it closes at 10:30 pm. Winter Dream lasts until January 7.
Ferris wheel on Schlossplatz
For those who want to watch the bustling activity in downtown Stuttgart from above, this year, too, it’s possible from a gondola of a Ferris wheel. From October 27 to January 7, the Sky Lounge Wheel will be on Schlossplatz. The Ferris wheel is 58 meters high, and each of the 40 gondolas can accommodate up to eight people. It can be ridden from 2 pm on Tuesdays, and on the other days, it opens at 11 am. It will be open until 9 pm from Sundays to Thursdays, and until 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Highlights in downtown Stuttgart
From the Ferris wheel, you can also admire light installations up to eight meters high on Schlossplatz. They will shine for the fifth time this year, from November 29 to December 26, from 3 pm to 9 pm. On Schlossplatz, a giant elephant, a small TV tower, and also the Stuttgart horse will be on display. On Königstraße and Schulstraße, tens of thousands of lights will also be shining. They will illuminate until January 6, daily until midnight. According to the organizer, the highlights will be illuminated with 100% green energy. The large Christmas tree on Schlossplatz will shine brightly thanks to more than 40,000 lights.
Christmas Garden in Wilhelma
On November 15, another Christmas attraction begins in Stuttgart: the Christmas Garden in Wilhelma. The organizers promise, “It will be more magical than ever.” On a newly designed path, various light installations can be seen until January 14, such as the “Flaming Colorful Splendor” in the Moorish Garden. Here, the light effects will alternate to specially composed music.
One of the new highlights, according to the organizer, is the “Fabulous Enchanted Forest”: Fairies and other mythical creatures flutter through the mammoth forest via video projection. To make it truly magical in Wilhelma after dark from mid-November, many kilometers of cables are needed: According to the organizer, 60 kilometers are required for the light installations, and an additional twelve kilometers are needed for the sound system. (SWR Vanessa Sieck 26.10.2023, 12:44 Uhr)
District of Böblingen.
Music, Circus, and Witching Hour: Here is the SZ/BZ Festival Schedule for the District of Böblingen.
And once again, a busy week comes to an end, but boredom doesn’t stand a chance. Because here come our tips and ideas for the upcoming days. This time until next Tuesday, as Halloween falls on that day.
At Marktkauf in Böblingen’s Hulb (Otto-Lilienthal-Straße 24), the publisher Ars-Edition invites you to the “Anouk Signing Session” with Peter Maffay, Hendrikje Balsmeyer, and Joëlle Tourlonias on Friday, October 27th at 4 p.m. The little dragon Tabaluga will also be there as a so-called “Walking Act”.
A “Big Band Battle” between Sindelfingen and Bietigheim will take place on Friday, October 27th at the Sindelfingen Pavillon hosted by IG Kultur starting at 8 p.m. The STB Big Band has a diverse band history since 1990, with around 200 performances at home and abroad, making it a jazz music flagship of the city of Sindelfingen. The trademark of the Gout Big Band from Bietigheim-Bissingen is their power and enthusiasm, where typical big band tutti compete with excellent soloists. Tickets are available at the box office, at the i-Punkt on the market square (telephone 07031 / 94-325), also see www.igkultur.de.
“Charley’s Aunt Reloaded” is the name of the play at TiB-Theater starting from Friday, October 27th at 8 p.m. Charley and Jack are two eccentric guys who have been kicked out by their wives. Now, the two of them share their single life in a “men’s flat,” and instead of their ex-wives, they now annoy each other with their quirks. Further performances will take place on October 28th and 29th, as well as on November 10th/11th/12th/17th/18th/19th. As always at TiB, on top of Schlossberg in Böblingen, in the former “Fruchtkasten”. Starts on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., on Sunday already at 6 p.m. Reservations can be made either by e-mail to email@example.com or by calling the ticket hotline 07031 / 277801.
They have long outgrown the magic box: we are talking about the young magicians of the magic circle “Ortszirkel Stuttgart”. For the second time, five young talents will showcase their skills at the Sindelfingen Theaterkeller (as reported by SZ/BZ). On Friday, October 27th from 8 p.m., there will also be acts with music and comedy. All five young artists already have stage experience. Maurice Grange, the German Youth Champion of Magic in the field of manipulation, is also part of the lineup. Tickets are available at the box office or at the i-Punkt on the market square (telephone 07031 / 94-324).
Full-on electric guitar action awaits you on Friday, October 27th at the Blaues Haus at Böblingen’s Postplatz, featuring the bands “Reset Code” and “Rustique”. Headbanging behind the wheel of your first car, and every day, awesome rock music played on the radio – “Reset Code” somehow reminds you of that. Modern post-rock hooks, sophisticated electronic sounds, and cryptic lyrics seek depth in current events. Starts at 9 p.m., see also www.kulturbh.de on the internet.
Until November 5th, Circus Charles Knie is performing at Flugfeld in Böblingen. Tickets are available online at CC-BS.
On Saturday, October 28th from 10 a.m., the CDU City Association Sindelfingen and the CDU Faction in the Sindelfingen City Council invite you to their traditional autumn meeting. As in the past, there will be a selection of food and drinks, as well as the opportunity to talk to representatives of the CDU. “We are pleased that we can host our autumn meeting again this year,” say Johanna Scheffbuch and Tobias Ehret, the chairpersons of the CDU Sindelfingen. An innovation this year will be the Sindelfingen Quiz, where prizes await the winners. The CDU Sindelfingen stand will be located on the Upper Market Square on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. As part of the Holzgerlingen Festival Week “550 Years of Mauritius Church – 600 Years of Vicarage,” all choirs and ensembles of the Protestant Church Community will sing in the Mauritius Church from 7 p.m.
The brass band of the Protestant Church Community Hildrizhausen presents its annual concert on Saturday, October 28th at 7:30 p.m. in the Nikomedeskirche. Under the direction of Philipp Kohler, music pieces from operas and oratorios, as well as other contemporary and classical pieces will be played. The concert has been themed “Stories That Life Writes”. The program will be enriched with stories about music, stories about God and people, and personal stories. After the concert, there will be an opportunity for exchange of thoughts over drinks and refreshments. Admission is free.
As part of the Böblingen Business Weeks, the Free Evangelical Church on Hulb invites you to a couch conversation service with the Leonberg entrepreneur, educator, and visionary (founder and leader of Seehaus / Hoffnungsträger Foundation / Hoffnungshäuser) Tobias Merckle on Sunday, October 29th. The couch conversation starts at 10:30 a.m. in the community center at Hanns-Klemm-Straße 9.
On Sunday, October 29th, the Autumn Concert of the Harmonika-Club Sindelfingen will take place. The venue is the Odeon of the SMTT in Wolboldstraße 21 in Sindelfingen, starting at 11 a.m. As in recent years, the accordion orchestra of the HSB Böblingen will be guests at the Autumn Concert.
The Municipal Gallery Böblingen invites you to the ceremonial inauguration of the art installation “Digging Deeper” by Hannah Zenger, which was acquired by the Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg. On Sunday, October 29th at 3 p.m. at the Museum Zehntscheuer (Pfarrgasse 2). The artist will be present and will explain her idea and the complex process of creating the installation in a conversation with gallery director Corinna Steimel. Followed by a reception with sparkling wine.
Germany’s beloved meerkats are back on tour with their musical stage show (as reported by SZ/BZ). The curious and somewhat clumsy brothers “Jan & Henry,” known from the children’s channel KIKA on TV, solve an exciting mystery on stage. They can be seen on Sunday, October 29th, at 3 p.m. in the Stadthalle Sindelfingen. The Light Sea Ensemble , consisting of humans and puppets, will perform a funny and exciting story with lots of music. Recommended for all ages. Tickets available at www.cc-bs.com/events or at the box office.
In Weil im Schönbuch-Breitenstein, the Church-Night takes place on Sunday, October 29th. Starting at 5 p.m., there will be Church-Night activities for children, teenagers, and adults in the Georgskirche in Breitenstein. Following at 6 p.m., there will be a medieval hustle and bustle with refreshments around the Georgskirche, featuring various amusements, games, a village play, the bagpiper group “Muckesäckle,” and much more. The format “Church Night” aims to enliven and celebrate Reformation Day. Therefore, various Church-Night events will take place nationwide around Reformation Day on October 31st. They commemorate Martin Luther and the Reformation. The project was initiated by the Evangelical Youth Work in Württemberg.
On Tuesday, October 31st, the Youth Center Dagersheim is hosting a spooky Halloween Teen Party for all teenagers from 5th grade to 14 years old. Those who come in a creepy costume will receive a witch’s cocktail for free. Additionally, the three scariest and most beautiful costumes will be awarded a prize. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., there will be pure spooky party vibes: DJ ghosts will heat up the dance floor with creepy chart hits and current favorite songs from the music request box. Those who’ve had enough of dancing will find plenty of space to chill with friends or play table football in the cozy lounge. The in-house bar team, consisting of volunteer young people, will mix devilishly delicious non-alcoholic cocktails. The cost contribution for this event is 2 euros. The Youth Center Dagersheim is an offering of the City of Böblingen. Further information about the Halloween Teen Party is available at telephone 07031 / 6695281, on the web at www.jugendtreffdagersheim.de, or in person at the House of Associations at Böblinger Straße 19 in Dagersheim.
At Böblingen’s Freiraum (next to the congress hall), the cover band “200 Bar” from Dagersheim with a rehearsal room in Sindelfingen will be performing on Tuesday, October 31st. They’ll be giving you the full dose from AC/DC to ZZ Top. Starts at 8:30 p.m., admission from 7 p.m., entrance fee is 10 euros. Also, see online at www.200bar.org.
At the Blaues Haus at Böblingen’s Postplatz, the band “Breaze,” an internationally composed cover band from America, Italy, Spain, and Germany, will be performing on Tuesday, October 31st. They unite the groove and sound of soul, funk, pop, rock, Latin, and rap into an energetic, sophisticated, and captivating show. The powerful front with Nicole Martin and Silvestro De Vito captivates any audience with their energy, positivity, and spontaneity. But that wouldn’t be possible without the excellently composed backline. Starts at 8 p.m., see also at www.kulturbh.de and www.breaze.de on the internet.
Prefer to dance the night away? Then the Halloween Party at Sensapolis on the airfield on Tuesday, October 31st starting at 9 p.m. would be an option. The Soundforce team will really heat up the guests at this popular Halloween party. Expect mixed music with the best hits of recent decades and current tracks. A pitch-black experience, and a spookily decorated park. Admission from 18 years old.
VfB Stuttgart vs TSG Hoffenheim Saturday 15:30