I attempted to go to church last Sunday to experience a German worship service. Are the rumors true? Have the churches become secularized? The Martin Luther Church was locked up tight. The other church in the city center was open with candles lit on the alter but totally empty. Did they maybe have an earlier service? I will have to check their schedule.
City Center on a Sunday Morning
I was not the only one wandering around the city center that morning. I did encounter another tourist seemingly also wanting to go to church. Only a few coffee shops were open with a cluster of people sitting outside. No stores were open that I noticed. This was to be expected. My own search for coffee ended stopping at a bakery half was home.
The Corona Virus Hits NW Germany
Are the rumors true that the epicenter of the Corona Virus in Germany was the Northwest region including Gütersloh? It appears that the meat processing industry may have been the culprit. The Tönnies meat processing plant in the Gütersloh district employes 7,000 people, 1,500 of whom contracted the virus. Scientists decided the source was the air conditioning system in the plant. The temperature wasn’t low enough to kill the virus, and the circulating air was never refreshed.
More than 2000 people contracted the disease, resulting in 21 deaths. The workers in the plant were primarily from Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland. The plant alone was not the only culprit. The living conditions for the workers were far below standard (16 people to a room, 20 people with one bathroom, etc.). About 2000 of the workers living in one of the direr housing complexes were literally fenced in and not allowed out. Their kitchen was so full of mold as to be unusable. Food had to be sent in.
Consequently, Gütersloh went into a heavy lockdown. Stores were closed; only a couple of restaurants stayed open and did takeout. German travelers were advised not to visit the Gütersloh district. The only good that came from this was to bring to light the horrible living conditions of the workers. So, are the rumors true that the German epicenter for the Covid virus originated in Gütersloh? Probably not entirely, but the city seems to have given rise to the country’s pandemic.
The Local FIFA Connection
Women’s football has been all the rage recently. Are the rumors true that the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World’s Cup has a Gütersloh connection? Three times the Portugal team trained in the North Rhine-Westphalia, a district including Gütersloh. The training games were very popular, with 5000 people coming to watch on the largest video screen in the area. As a result, Gütersloh was one of the few towns which was able to show the 2006 winning cup.
Many people had a second-hand association with the games, as Gütersloh’s Bertelsmann media company produced many of the books, magazines, and posters for the games.
Miscellaneous Facts About Gütersloh
Are the rumors true that Gütersloh is home to the largest number of Arameans in Germany? In fact, there are about 10,000 Arameans locally. Some speak the Aramaic language and play in one of the three Aramean football clubs.
Is there a death Sunday in the German Evangelical church? Yes, the last Sunday in November is designated the Sunday of Death referring to those killed in World War II. It has been broadened to include all who have died in the last year. In Gütersloh, several people who had sought safety in the Apostle Church were killed from the bombing.
At last Saturday’s Farmers’ Market, my take was extraordinary. Are the rumors true that the high-water table has generated a good top soil? I do not know, but I can tell you that the heads of cauliflowers and the green and red peppers I bought are the biggest and brightest I have ever seen. I thought I was doing well at Ecuador’s markets, but I see now that I have struck it rich with the German markets. Bon appetite.
Fact: Gütersloh developed in the 19th century around the textile and meat-processing industries
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