31 Jan

The Sabbath Wasteland

Pssst! Be quiet, it’s Sunday in Germany.

Expat gone foreign, tXc, Sunday in Germany, Sabbath
How is a regular Sunday where you live?

One thought on “The Sabbath Wasteland

  1. The protection of Sundays in German law goes back further than 1956, at least to the Weimar Republic constitution (1919), whose §139 provided that ‘Der Sonntag und die staatlich anerkannten Feiertage bleiben als Tage der Arbeitsruhe und der seelischen Erhebung gesetzlich geschützt [Sunday and holidays recognised by the state shall remain protected by law as days of rest from work and of spiritual improvement]’.

    Strangely, this clause, along with a few others related to religious freedom, was imported directly into the Grundgesetz [Basic Law] which forms the modern constitution of Germany when it was written for West Germany in 1949. §140 GG just says ‘Die Bestimmungen der Artikel 136, 137, 138, 139 und 141 der deutschen Verfassung vom 11. August 1919 sind Bestandteil dieses Grundgesetzes [The provisions of Articles 136, 137, 138, 139 and 141 of the German Constitution of 11 August 1919 shall be an integral part of this Basic Law]’. I don’t know why the authors of the Grundgesetz chose to do this instead of writing their own equivalents as they did in respect to other basic rights and freedoms that were carried over from the former constitution.

    Still, as an expat here, I’ve grown to like the quiet of Sundays. They feel like a real day of rest here — unlike in the UK, where I’m from, where there are only a few guidelines about Sunday opening and plenty of loopholes, so they’re just like Saturday in practice. It can be a bit annoying on days like today when I have nothing to eat at home and the supermarkets are shut, though!

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