|One of the true joys of
stein collecting is the insight into German culture which can be gathered by
their careful study. This is particularly true if, like the Compiler, you found
special interest in your ethnic background relatively late in life.|
the Compiler's German Great Grandmother succumbed to the political pressures of
the times and made a concerted effort to remove all things German from her
family group. This included the language. Thus, it was extremely difficult for
the Compiler to read and understand the expressions which appeared on many beer
Quite naturally he turned to his German friends for assistance
only to be advised that "they can't be translated." Of course the
expressions can be translated word by word with the help of a good dictionary;
but, they really don't make sense in this form. What the compiler's friends
meant was that the expressions probably would lose their true meaning in
Not to be discouraged by this, the Compiler committed himself
to "do it." Fortunately, many members of Stein Collectors
International (SCI) are most willing to help others study their favorite
drinking vessels. In so doing they often share their wealth of knowledge of both
the language and the culture of Germany. The primary one who was most willing to
help was Prosit Editor, Jack G. Lowenstein. As covered later in this Preface his
support and encouragement made this writing possible.
Now that willing
helpers were at hand the problem became one of logistics. In other words how
does one keep up with all of the individual expressions and their translations
and still be able to present them for the enjoyment of others in an organized
manner. The answer comes in the form of that all wondrous modern tool, the
Computer. With the Computer it becomes a matter of accumulating the material
into a data base program and developing a means of extracting the Information in
a readable form. Considering that it is both boring and beyond the scope of this
writing, a description of these details is intentionally omitted.
sources were developed for the accumulation of expressions and their
translations. The Compiler was fortunate to receive many expressions from fellow
SCI members. In addition, he gathered expressions from his personal stein
collection. Now the problem was to get them translated and to verify the
accuracy of those already translated. It should come as no shock, but the
Compiler was just that when he discovered the difficulty of getting two of his
German speaking friends to translate in the same manner. What was needed was a
"Standard." Here again, Jack Lowenstein came to the rescue and served
as the "Standard" for this work. As a result of Jack's almost constant
assistance over the several years which this project has been in the works it is
now ready to share with others.
Many expressions which appear on beer
steins are in themselves a combination of several others. In some cases they are
closely related, in others they are not. A decision had to be made regarding the
listing of those which were not fully related. It was decided that rather than
listing all expressions as they appeared on a given stein as one item, the
individual expressions would be listed separately in this work. Additionally,
there are times when only partial expressions are used in this work due to a
lack of space. In both cases individual alphabetical listing facilitates the
listing of their translation.
An example of two expressions appearing on a
single beer stein is: "Bei Scherzen und Lieben werden die Grillen
vertrieben. - Des Lebens Sonnenschein ist Trinken, Singen, Froehlichsein."
As a single expression this translates to: "Merriment and loving drive away
sadness. - Life's sunshine is drinking, singing and being happy." Although
they are somewhat related, they were separated. Thus the two separate
expressions, "Bei Scherzen und Lieben werden die Grillen vertrieben"
and "Des Lebens Sonnenschein ist Trinken, Singen, Froehlichsein,"
are listed individually along with their translations. Thus, at times, when
researching the verse appearing on a given beer stein, it will be necessary to
refer to the translations of the individual expressions as they appear on
separate panels of a stein.
One of the problems encountered in
accumulating the expressions was that of reading the German print and script
which appeared on many of the steins being studied. Immeasurable help was
received in this task by the discovery of Dr. Roy C. De Selms' outstanding
article "Steinologists' guide to old German print and script" which
was published in the March 1978 Issue of Prosit. With Roy's kind permission it
is reprinted in its entirety as a portion of this work. In addition to
containing a valuable table of old German print and script with Roman
equivalents, it contains valuable insight into the German language in general.
of the difficulties of acknowledging the assistance rendered in a work of this
nature is failing to do so for all who helped. None the less, the Compiler would
be remiss if he did not attempt to do so. The first of these is the real guiding
light for the whole process, Jack G. Lowenstein. All stein collectors know and
respect Jack for his many contributions to their avocation. The Compiler is no
This is especially true when it comes to the project at hand.
Jack not only had to teach the Compiler to type the German text properly, but to
catch the all too frequent typographical errors in both German and English
attributable to the Compiler. He did so at the cost of much red ink and, I am
sure at times, patience. Not only did he provide the mechanical correctness, but
also a considerable amount of cultural background which made this task more
enjoyable. Without his assistance, this writing would not have been possible.
German scholar who provided invaluable assistance was Arthur J. Maethner of the
Upper Midwest Steinologists. Not only is Art a German scholar of note, he is a
member of the prestigious Schlaraffia. This select German organization is
dedicated to the preservation of German language, art and culture. Art's
membership provides him with special insight into the true meaning of the words.
Art's editorial assistance has been invaluable in this work and in increasing
the compiler's understanding of those things Germanic in nature.
project must start someplace and with some data. In this case the start was a
big one via the contribution of the expressions which had previously been
collected by Roland Henschen, Steve Smith and Mike Wald. Without them, the goal
of accumulating the 1001 expressions listed would have been extremely difficult
Other expressions were provided by; Rolf-Dieter Burchardt,
Martin Cameli, AI Kleindienst, Pat and Gene Manusov, Robert Morgan, Fred
Mueller, Les Paul, Charlie Peat, Harry Schwersenz, Robert Sparks, Martin
Steenbock, Burton Waine and Herb Weyer.
Special thanks are also due to Bob
Wilson for providing original photographs used in the De Selms' article and of
Mettlach Number 171.
Finally, thanks are most certainly due to my caring
wife Carol, who not only supported this and other undertakings, but reminded me
that this one too could also be conquered.
Les Hopper New Orleans,
Louisiana September 1994