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1. Introduction to the FAQ List

This posting contains answers to frequently asked questions in soc.culture.german. Please check this posting first before you ask a question in soc.culture.german.

1.1 Where can I get it ?

The FAQ is available on a website from which you can also download it in various formats.

It is posted to soc.culture.german on the first of every month.

If neither of these methods works for you, send email to scg at watzmann dot net and request a copy.

1.3 May I Copy the FAQ List?

The FAQ is under the GNU Free Documentation License. The exact legal statent is:

      Copyright (c)  1999-2000  David Lutterkort.
      Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
      under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1
      or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
      with the Invariant Sections being Section 1 'Introduction to the FAQ
      List', with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
      A copy of the license can be obtained from

If you downloaded the FAQ as a tar- or zip-archive, you can also find a copy of the license in the file COPYING.

1.4 Can I help, too?

This FAQ list was prepared by collecting different postings and email messages. Input is always welcome. Maybe you would like to volunteer for writing a paragraph or two? <twinkle> <peering over shoulder> <wink> <wink>

So, please, please, send any comments, corrections, enhancements, new questions etc. to scg at watzmann dot net. If you want to speed up the process of incorporating your material into the FAQ, try to submit something that I can (almost) cut and paste into the FAQ.

1.5 Can I believe what's in here?

Even though I strive for accuracy and I try to verify all I can, the information contained in this FAQ list is nevertheless provided as is. The good news is that it's free.

1.6 Who did it ?

Over the long, long history of the USENET, this FAQ has had various maintainers, who under the greatest personal sacrifices and hardships faithfully puttered over this list, turning it into what it is today. They are:

  • Ralf Vogelgesang: maintainer from 19xx to 1999
  • Who else ?

    1.7 What's new in the FAQ ?

    Recently, I changed these sections:


    Completely rewrote the section on humor.

    Some blurb on the Green-Card added.

    Many changes throughout. Special thanks and kudos to Paul Schmitz-Josten for his detailed suggestions.

    Added a comment system to the website. As of 2012-02-18, this is defunct.


    Moved the FAQ to a new website.

    New section on minimum wage, thanks to Peter Häfner and Stefan Hübel. Added an explanation of St. Martin, thanks to Karl-Hendrik Küper. Minor changes in Money Talk and Broadcast Media.


    Revised the section on public transportation and added links to online resources. Thanks to Karl-Hendrik Küper.

    Added long list of links to newspapers and magazines online. Thanks to Jörg Ulrich Chlistalla.


    New section on immigration. Many people in soc.culture.german contributed to this, most notably Wayne Brown and Dirk Brink.

    Some more Tongue Twisters. Thanks to Georg Umlauf.


    Changed the sections on the phone system, government resources, elections, history, card games. Smaller changes throughout. First stab at updating dead links. Still too many left.


    Reworked the section on the internet, in particular the subsections on email in Germany and getting Internet access.

    Cleaned up and updated the section on Zip codes/Postleitzahlen

    Started this What's new section. Older entries are retrofitted and pretty spotty.


    Updated some information on the German railway system in Section 21: Public transportation. Thanks to Mark Obrembalski.


    Added a full-text search capability.


    Took over as maintainer of the FAQ. Converted the FAQ to SGML and discovered why many people dislike the Linuxdoc DTD.

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    o Last modified: 2001-09-03 Page created: 1999-02-06 Send comments about this page to