This 1982 West German five Deutsche Mark coin commemorating the 150th anniversary of Goethe's death reproduces the most important bit of the famous portrait Goethe in the Roman Campagna painted by Johann Tischbein around 1786. Working in a very constrained space the coin's designer is forced to suggest the contour of the great writer's hat and cloak with a notch beside his chin. But it also looks like an inverted speech bubble with the text outside and the picture of the speaker inside. The coin is from the online catalog of the Münzkabinett of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. See also.
When Japanese visitors to the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung in Berlin find themselves in front of the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti, do they wonder, "When are they going to paint the other eye?" In Japan the figure of Daruma receives a second eye when some important task has been completed. Perhaps Nefertiti's one eye is saying, "You still haven't returned me to Egypt."
The 2. Eishockey-Bundesliga (2. BL for short) is the second tier of professional ice hockey in Germany. There are currently thirteen cubs, a few of which have been in the top tier, the DEL. Several locked-out NHLers have signed with clubs in the 2. BL.
Each club plays 48 games in the regular season. The top eight clubs go into the playoffs: quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, all best-of-seven. The winner might gain promotion to the DEL, if it's a year they're doing that.
The 2. BL is sometimes open to relegation/promotion at the bottom end. Last season the five non-playoff teams took part in a playout tournament, in which each team played each other twice. Fischtown Pinguins fared the worst, but were reprieved when the winner of the third-tier Oberliga declined promotion. (At least, I think that's how it turned out.)
The clubs are:
Bietigheim-Bissingen Steelers. Founded in 1991, Die Steelers were league champions in 2009. Their rink is the Eisarena Ellental, which seats 2,662. Bietigheim-Bissingen is in Baden-Württemberg. (Among other attractions the town boasts a Japanese garden, created to honour Erwin Bälz, the founder of modern medicine in Japan.) Colours: green, white and blue. [T.J. Galiardi of the Sharks and Joshua Bailey of the Islanders have signed with the Steelers.]
Eispiraten Crimmitschau. Officially Eishockey Und Tennis Club Crimmitschau. This is one of three clubs in this league that are located in the state of Saxony, the part of the former DDR that bordered Czechoslovakia. The ice hockey half of the club was founded in 1927. Their rink is the Kunsteisstadion im Sahnpark, which seats 5,222. Red, white and black. There is no such thing as an ice pirate, though with the opening of the Arctic Ocean that could change. [Chris Stewart of the Blues and Wayne Simmonds of the Flyers each played five games with Crimmitschau before moving on to Liberec of the Czech Extraliga. Clarke MacArthur of the Leafs has signed with Crimmitschau.]
Dresdner Eislöwen. There is no such thing as an ice lion, either. Founded 1990. They play at the EnergieVerbund Arena (capacity 4,200) in Dresden, Saxony. Colours: blue and white.
Fischtown Pinguins. From Bremerhaven on the North Sea. Founded 1974. Colours: red, white and black.
Hannover Indians. Founded in 1948. The Indians play at the Eisstadion am Pferdeturm (capacity 4,608). Blue, white and red. There should be a tournament between all the European hockey clubs nicknamed The Indians.
Heilbronner Falken. Falcons. Red, white and blue. They play at Kolbenschmidt Arena (4,000) in Heilbron, Baden-Württemberg. Founded 1980. [Jonathan Bernier of the LA Kings and Bruno Gervais of the Philadelphia Flyers have signed with Heilbronner.]
ESV Kaufbeuren. Red and gold. They play at Sparkassen Arena (4,600) in Kaufbeuren, Bavaria. Founded 1946. They have been second-tier champions six times over the years.
Landshut Cannibals. Founded in 1946. They were members of the DEL for five years in the Nineties, when they adopted the Cannibals brand. (The Nineties have a lot of bad sports marketing decisions to answer for.) 2012 2. BL champion. Städtische Eissporthalle Landshut holds 4,996. Red and white.
Lausitzer Füchse. Foxes. Their rink is the Eisstadion Weißwasser (capacity 2,750) in Weißwasser, in the part of Saxony known as Oberlausitz, hence the Lausitzer. The club was founded in 1950 and won the East German league 25 times under the name SG Dynamo Weißwasser. Colours: blue and gold. [Jaroslav Halak of the St Louis Blues has signed with Lausitzer.]
Ravensburg Towerstars. This team from began as a skating club in 1881, and took up hockey in 1968. They won the league in 2011, but it did not earn them promotion. Blue and white. Eissporthalle Ravensburg holds 3,300 fans. Ravensburg is just a few miles from Lake Constance, which separates Germany and Switzerland. [Adam Hall of Tampa Bay has signed with Ravensburg.]
SC Riessersee. This venerable club was founded in 1920. They play at the Olympia-Eissport-Zentrum (capacity 6,929) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, site of the 1936 Winter Olympic Games. They have been champions of Germany or West German ten times, most recently in 1981. Colours: Blue and white. [Matt D'Agostini of the Blues and Rick DiPietro of the Islanders have signed with Riessersee. After first signing with EV Füssen of the third-tier Oberliga, Erik Condra of the Ottawa Senators has upgraded to Riessersee.]
Starbulls Rosenheim. Three time West German champs in the Eighties, and members of the DEL for six years in the Nineties. Städtische Kathrein-Stadion holds 5,900. If the emblem of Rosenheim, Bavaria, were a star and a bull, I could understand the name Starbulls, but it's a rose, so I don't. Colours: green, white, red and black.
SERC Wild Wings. The coat of arms of Schwenningen in Baden-Württemberg features a swan, and it's the swan's wild wings that give this club its unusual name. They play at the Helios Arena (capacity 6,215). They spent nine years in the DEL. Colours: double blue and white.
Founded in 1994, the DEL is the top tier of professional hockey in Germany, and the most popular destination for North American hockey players looking for jobs in Europe. There are fourteen clubs, each playing 52 games from September to March. The top ten clubs make the playoffs. There are four playoff rounds: Qualifying (two best-of-three series involving regular season finishers 7 through 10); Quarterfinal (four best-of-seven series); Semifinal (two best-of-five series); and Final (best-of-five). The playoff champion is considered Deutscher Meister. There's an irregular promotion/relegation system that changes from year to year.
Currently the DEL is made up of these teams:
Augsburger Panther. One of five DEL clubs from Bavaria. They play in 7,774-seat Curt Frenzel Stadium, which until this year was open to the elements. They wear red, green and white. The club was founded in 1878, though when they took up hockey I do not know. The first German hockey championship was in 1912.
Eisbären Berlin. This is the only DEL club from Berlin, and the only one from the former DDR. They were formed in 1954 as SC Dynamo Berlin and were championships of East Germany 15 times, many of those years while there were only two clubs in the East German league. The Polar Bears have won the DEL six times, including last year and the year before. They play at O2 World, capacity 14,200. Their colours are red, white and blue. They are owned by Anschutz Entertainment, who also have a 50% stake in the LA Kings.
DEG Metro Stars. Eight times German champions, though only once in the DEL era, DEG (Düsseldorfer Eislauf Gemeinschaft = Düsseldorf Skating Community) started in 1935 and assumed the Metro Stars moniker in 2002. Their rink is the 13,400-seat ISS Dome. Their colours are red, yellow and black.
Hamburg Freezers. This is just not a club name I would have chosen. They play at O2 World (not to be confused with Berlin's O2 World), which seats 13,000. Like the Eisbären, they are owned by Anschutz. This really is a franchise, having started out in Munich in 1999 before moving to Hamburg in 2002, like some kind of AHL team. Their colours too are very AHL, or could we even say IHL: blue, teal, white and silver. [Jamie Benn of Dallas has signed with the Freezers.]
Hannover Scorpions. The Scorpions started out in Wedemark in 1975, then relocated to Hanover in the Nineties. They were DEL champion in 2010. Colours: red, white and black. Their TUI Arena seats 10,767. [Thomas Greiss of the San Jose Sharks has signed with the Scorpions.]
ERC Ingolstadt. Eishockey und Rollschuh Club Ingolstadt, aka Die Panther, play at the 4,815-seat Saturn Arena in Ingolstadt, Bavaria. There are just too many Panthers teams in Bavaria, considering there are no panthers in Bavaria. Colours: blue, white and black. Founded in 1964. [Alexander Sulzer of the Buffalo Sabres has signed with Ingolstadt.]
Iserlohn Roosters. This club in the Sauerland region of North Rhine-Westphalia traces its roots to a Canadian army team in the 1950s. Eissporthalle Iserlohn (capacity 4,976). Blue and white.
Kölner Haie. (English: Cologne Sharks.) Eight times German champion, and winner of the 1999 Spengler Cup. They play in the NHL-size Lanxess Arena (18,500). Colours red, white and black. Coach Uwe Krupp.
Krefeld Pinguine. The Penguins go back to 1936, and were German champs in 2003. They play at the 8,000-seat König Palast. Yellow and black. [Christian Ehrhoff of the Sabres has signed with Krefeld.]
Adler Mannheim. Perhaps because of their name (adler = eagles) this club's colours are red, white and blue. They are six-time German champions, most recently in 2007. They play at SAP Arena (13,600). [Marcel Goc of Florida, Dennis Seidenberg of the Bruins and Jason Pominville and Jochen Hecht of the Buffalo Sabres have signed with Mannheim. Hecht started out with Mannheim, and played for them during the last lockout.]
EHC Red Bull München. Part of the Red Bull sports empire, this club began in 1998, and entered the DEL in 2010. They play at Olympia Eishalle (capacity 6,256). Red, white and blue. [Blake Wheeler of the Winnipeg Jets and Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche have signed with Munich.]
Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers Nürnberg. Begun in 1980, the Ice Tigers were founding members of the DEL in 1994. Thomas Sabo is the owner. They play at Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, capacity 6,500. Colours: red, white and blue. There is no such animal as the ice tiger. [Steve Reinprecht of the AHL's Chicago Wolves has signed with Nürnberg. This could be an example of the knock-on effect of NHL clubs sending big chunks their rosters down to the AHL for the duration of the lockout.]
Straubing Tigers. At this point I should mention that there are no tigers in Bavaria either. This club goes back to 1948 and entered the DEL in 2006. Colours: red, white, two kinds of blue, and silver. They play at the 5,800-seat Eisstadion am Pulverturm (the Ice Rink at the Gunpowder Tower).
EHC Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams. Sincerely, I kid you not! Founded 1975. Orange, black and white. They play at the 4,660-seat Eisarena Wolfsburg. Wolfsburg is the home of Volkswagen.
If in Berlin, don't hesitate to visit the DDR Museum. Dedicated to recreating the history and culture of the late German Democratic Republic, it might also be the institution most enthusiastically preserving the material culture of the 1970s.
Peter Falk in Wings of Desire. In this scene Falk pauses to look at the ruined facade of the Anhalter Bahnhof, where Berliners used to catch the train in the direction of the state of Anhalt. There's a pun on the verb anhalten, "to stop", which leads to the line "Not the station where the train stopped, but the station where the station stopped."