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Home Care In New Germany, MN

Home Care New Germany, MN

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic The Hermann Monument Society gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in New Germany, MN is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care New Germany, MN

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“I am a current client of this provider Always Best Care comes in to help my dad a shower at night. When the guy came out to interview, he was really good and helpful, but it was just hard to find someone to help with dad been a little bit bigger and heavier. They like the person that they had come out a couple of times. The caregiver is good.”


What is Non-Medical Senior Care in New Germany, MN?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care New Germany, MN

Types of Elderly Care in New Germany, MN

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care New Germany, MN
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers New Germany, MN
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Lindstrom Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care New Germany, MN
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Heimey's Place or visit German Bohemian monument, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care New Germany, MN

Benefits of Home Care in New Germany, MN

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in New Germany, MN, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care New Germany, MN

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your MN's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care New Germany, MN

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in New Germany, MN understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care New Germany, MN

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers New Germany, MN

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Vista Prairie at Ridgeway on German
  • GlenOaks Senior Living Campus
  • Tree of Life Assisted Living
  • Grace Living Community of GlenOaks - Personal Care Suites
  • Nagel Assisted Living & Memory Care
  • Bethesda North Pointe
Home Care New Germany, MN

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care New Germany, MN

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in New Germany, MN 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care New Germany, MN

Latest News in New Germany, MN

Vikings Fan Club in Germany Quickly Growing

Marco Hassler considers himself a long-distance Vikings fan.Very long distance, in fact.Hassler was born and raised in Saarland, located in southwest Germany, but was introduced to American football in 1998. Having an interest in Norse mythology and the history of the Vikings, Hassler was immediately drawn to the Minnesota Vikings – and was easily hooked by the magical team that was led by Randy Moss and finished 15-1 that season."My friends from school had teams like the 49ers, Raiders or Redskins, but I deci...

Marco Hassler considers himself a long-distance Vikings fan.

Very long distance, in fact.

Hassler was born and raised in Saarland, located in southwest Germany, but was introduced to American football in 1998. Having an interest in Norse mythology and the history of the Vikings, Hassler was immediately drawn to the Minnesota Vikings – and was easily hooked by the magical team that was led by Randy Moss and finished 15-1 that season.

"My friends from school had teams like the 49ers, Raiders or Redskins, but I decided to go with the Vikings," explained Hassler, who now lives and works in Switzerland. "Although there have been tough times to watch, I never struggled [to stick with the team]."

Hassler always admired Minnesota from afar and was often drawn to books about the state as a child.

"The winters, the snow, the beautiful forests. Unique landscapes on one hand and metropolises like Minneapolis and St. Paul on the other. The United States of America and especially Minnesota were always fascinating for me," said Hassler, who has now visited Minnesota six times.

Hassler calls Minnesota a "second home" and enjoys spending time at the Mall of America or making the trek along the North Shore of Lake Superior. He even has a tattoo of the Split Rock Lighthouse on his right calf, depicted just beneath a large rendition of a Vikings helmet.

The native of Germany has adopted the Minnesota sports team as his own and has attended Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Wild, Minnesota United FC and Golden Gophers games during his visits.

And while he has been to U.S. Bank Stadium a couple of times to watch his beloved Vikings play, Hassler wanted to increase the fan support for the Purple and Gold in his home country.

What started out as a Facebook group connecting Vikings fans living in Germany soon grew beyond the realm of social media. In August 2017, Hassler and a few friends met to discuss the idea of establishing a German Vikings fan club, and on Oct. 29, several fans traveled from Germany to London to watch the Vikings defeat the Browns at Twickenham Stadium.

On Jan. 11, 2018, the club was officially launched.

"It became clear that there are a lot of [people] out there with the same love and passion for the Vikes," said Hassler, who serves as the vice president of the Minnesota Vikings Fans Germany e.V. The initials stand for eingetragener Verein, which means the club is legally registered and recognized by Germany.

"There are a lot of diehard fans in Germany, loyal to the Purple and Gold, united with our brothers and sisters of the Viking World Order from Minnesota," Hassler added.

Raimund Rüther, a native of Werl, Germany, recognized the group's flag while at the London game and later attended a summer meeting to connect personally with fellow fans.

"I appreciate that I can talk with other Vikings supporters who are as interested as me," Rüther said. "Football is rising in Germany, but it's seldom to find someone who commonly understands the details of the game – and with the Vikings, it is special."

According to Hassler, the fan club is the largest in Germany at 210 members and growing.

The club's members meet in different locations, from watching Vikings games at various sports bars throughout Germany to hosting Super Bowl parties at members' homes. Meetings for the club also are planned.

Hassler explained that the Vikings have gained more and more popularity in Germany over the recent years, and he credited "good efforts" of the team for the rising draw.

"Spectacular games, hard fights and winning records were all reasons," Hassler said. "And the Minneapolis Miracle – Oh my gosh, what a game! After that game, more and more people joined the Vikings ship.

"But there was also many guys who started cheering for our team after the heartbreaking loss against the Seahawks in the playoffs … because we fought till the end against a Seattle team that is very popular in Germany also," Hassler added. "Most popular teams here are the Patriots, Seahawks, Cardinals and, unfortunately, the Packers. But the Vikings fans in Germany are just as diehard as those in the States. Our love for our team is real, and we're no bandwagoners."

In Germany’s Black Forest and beyond, a quiet loss of biodiversity

The World welcomes a new co-hostThe World, public radio’s longest-running daily global news program, announces that correspondent Carolyn Beeler becomes co-host of the program beginning Jan. 16. Beeler joins longtime host Marco Werman at the helm of the show.DONATE...


Climate Change

A recent survey indicates much less species growth in Germany’s Black Forest. Two plant species have gone extinct, and several more will likely disappear in the next 15 years.

The World

August 1, 2023 · 3:00 PM EDT

On the outer edge of a bog in Kohlhütte nature reserve, the land is drier than it used to be. Once, this dirt would have been more like thick mud.

Emily Haavik/The World

Thomas Sperle held up an old photo of a bog and looked directly at the exact same spot, 50 years later. The photo shows a marshy area, with water winding through the grass. Today, it’s mostly dry.

“In this part of the bog there were no trees,” Sperle said. “And nowadays, a lot of trees.”

This photo, taken 50 years ago, shows a healthier bog, with water winding through the grass.

Emily Haavik/The World

The trees represent new growth. But in a bog, a tall tree is not a sign of life.

“The tree is a sign that the water level in the ground of the bogs is sinking,” Sperle said.

Thomas Sperle surveyed 124 bogs over three years, counting plant species by hand.

Emily Haavik/The World

Germany’s Black Forest is the backdrop for countless fairytales. But there’s a darker story emerging about a loss of biodiversity that’s hard to see with the naked eye. And it’s not the only place where a pretty picture can mask a trend of extinction.

Across the globe, the extinction of species doesn’t necessarily mean a desolate landscape – so it takes specialized, time-intensive research to find out what plants the planet is losing.

In 2017, Sperle started surveying dozens of bogs in Germany’s Black Forest. For three years he counted plants, some just a few centimeters long. He often spent nights in his camper van. He made lists of plants and their quantities and compared them to a survey from 50 years ago.

“I find out that nowadays much less species are growing,” he said.

In the nutrient-poor ecosystem of a bog, plants have to get creative. This tiny red specialist plant is a carnivore, trapping and eating insects.

Emily Haavik/The World

Two plant species have gone extinct, and several more will likely disappear in the next 15 years.

“If this trend in the future will go on, we have … the extinction of I think 10 species in all the bogs,” Sperle said.

The plants that are dying out are mostly what are called specialists, which do well in a very specific setting. Meanwhile, generalists, which can thrive almost anywhere, are increasing. Sperle and his research partner, Helge Bruelheide, attribute the homogenization to hot, dry summers from climate change.

“It results in a type of globalization,” Buelheide said. “So you lose the difference between different habitats.”

Bruelheide is a professor of geobotany at Martin Luther University in Halle, Germany. In another study in northern Germany, he found that over two decades, the landscape had gotten greener.

“Most people think, ‘Wow, yeah, it’s a good sign,’” he said. “Because if something gets greener, we have less concrete and more nature.”

But in this case, greener meant a loss of other colors.

“Colorful meadows have disappeared,” he said. “Less colorful flowers mean you have less pollinators.”

This bog in the Kohlhütte nature reserve has a low water level, and the dry conditions are contributing to a loss of species.

Emily Haavik/The World

At the University of Minnesota, Elizabeth Borer is also researching biodiversity – but through a more experimental lens.

“I want to know what will happen if I change the conditions, often trying to simulate something like what future Earth might look like,” she said.

As humans burn fossil fuels, it’s not just carbon that is released. Nitrogen and other nutrients are going into the air and falling back down in the rain. Borer simulates these higher nutrient levels in a controlled setting to see what happens to plant biodiversity.

“What we see there is a continued loss of species from those areas,” she said.

Elizabeth Borer is a researcher and professor at the University of Minnesota.


Emily Haavik/The World

More nutrients might sound like a good thing.

“If you have a single outcome in mind, which is more plant, you are likely to get more plant,” Borer said.

There’s more vegetation overall in the short term because the generalist plants are thriving. But they’re often crowding out the specialist plants, so biodiversity declines.

“The little seedlings or small-statured plants don't have the light resources they need,” she said.

What does a loss of biodiversity actually mean for the planet? Fewer plants mean fewer pollinators, which are important for food production. Plants also store carbon and keep it out of the atmosphere. Bogs are especially good at this.

“The bogs are holding carbon dioxide in very great size,” Sperle said.

Thomas Sperle loves the bogs of the Black Forest, and he works hard to protect them. “They are rare,” he said.


Emily Haavik/The World

Back in the Black Forest, Sperle said if nothing is done, these particular bogs could disappear completely by the end of the century. So he’s moving from research to action.

Four years ago, he surveyed a tiny birch tree called a Betula nana and discovered there were only 50 left.

“This is a very small tree,” he said. “It is also a specialist of bogs.”

This variety of birch tree is about the size of a bonsai. It was almost extinct for lack of water. And unlike taller, generalist trees, this tiny one is supposed to live in the bog. So Sperle had an idea.

“We take in water from a little stream opposite the bog,” he said. “The tube brings the water in the bog where this little birch is growing.”

With the extra water, they managed to stabilize the 40 remaining plants.

Betula nana is just one small species, but every loss has untold consequences for the planet.

“We don't know exactly what role every species or every system of species has,” Sperle said. “And we cannot say, ‘Oh, that's going away. It is nothing.’”

Sperle said it will take both research and action to find out what kind of extinctions are hiding behind beautiful trees and vibrant green spaces, and keep any more species from disappearing.

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Visiting German pro soccer club brings a unified pitch to Minnesota

Reaching out to each other across the Atlantic seeking similar things, Minnesota United and German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin on Wednesday will play the first international soccer friendly held at new Allianz Field.Each team wants to expand its "brand" and network on foreign shores. Hertha Berlin — one of German soccer's founding clubs, starting in 1892 — has come to the United States for a three-state, post-regular season tour with a 60-member traveling party and a message.It says so in big letters on ...

Reaching out to each other across the Atlantic seeking similar things, Minnesota United and German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin on Wednesday will play the first international soccer friendly held at new Allianz Field.

Each team wants to expand its "brand" and network on foreign shores. Hertha Berlin — one of German soccer's founding clubs, starting in 1892 — has come to the United States for a three-state, post-regular season tour with a 60-member traveling party and a message.

It says so in big letters on the side of luxury buses it will ride to exhibition games in St. Paul on Wednesday and Madison, Wis., on Friday:

Berlin Tears Down Walls.

It's a message both literal and figurative for a team whose players, with only a few exceptions, weren't yet born when American President Ronald Reagan went to Berlin in 1987. He stood then at the Brandenburg Gate — a divider that separated East from West Berlin, communism from democracy — and delivered a speech in which he famously told the Soviet Union's leader, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

Two years later it was so.

And 28 years after that, unified Berlin's most famous soccer team has arrived in Minnesota seeking to make itself better known in America. It does so while also commemorating what Hertha Berlin executive board member Paul Keuter calls a "lucky fit:" The 30th anniversary this year of the Berlin Wall's fall.

"We're very thankful to the American people for your former president, who came up with that sentence," Keuter said. "We're obviously not big fans of walls."

His club comes from a vibrant, diverse city carrying a message of inclusion while it plays these two games and makes appearances. It spent Tuesday interacting with students at the Twin Cities German Immersion School. Its 580-pupil enrollment, kindergarten through eighth grade, makes it the country's biggest German-speaking school.

"It makes fun with the kids," said Hertha Berlin's Fabian Lustenberger, a Swiss-raised defender who has played for the club the last 12 seasons. "They're from USA, but speak German very well already."

Hertha's trip finishes in Southern California, where it will hold a public training session in Santa Ana, visit Friendship Park on the U.S.-Mexico border and say farewell with an event in Santa Monica.

Two years ago, its players linked arms and took a knee before a game, a show of support for NFL players' social-justice protests.

Those players only know a modern Berlin that Lustenberger calls a "really open city for everyone" and very little of a city once separated.

"It's a new generation," he said. "Younger players are not like us and the generations before. They don't think so much of the wall and what was there in 1998."

Keuter was 16 when the wall fell. He has lived the last 19 years in a growing Berlin, which now has 3.5 million people — many of the newcomers immigrants and refugees — and counting.

"We're a city that's a great example for integration, for diversity," Keuter said. "So many cultures coming together, bringing that East and West together in the best way. And of course, freedom, which is a big message the city carries. That's our core. That's who we are. We're bringing our brand and our club to the U.S. We're bringing our values as well."

Lufthansa to launch service at MSP with nonstop to Frankfurt

Lufthansa will bring new international competition to Minnesota with the launch of its first-ever service here next summer: A year-round nonstop between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Frankfurt, Germany.The German airline will become the 18th — and the first new transcontinental carrier in more than four years — at MSP when it launches the service June 4."The Lufthansa announcement clearly enhances our credentials as an international destination," said Melvin Tennant, president and chief ex...

Lufthansa will bring new international competition to Minnesota with the launch of its first-ever service here next summer: A year-round nonstop between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Frankfurt, Germany.

The German airline will become the 18th — and the first new transcontinental carrier in more than four years — at MSP when it launches the service June 4.

"The Lufthansa announcement clearly enhances our credentials as an international destination," said Melvin Tennant, president and chief executive of Meet Minneapolis.

The addition of the Lufthansa service will help the region's marketers attract international tourists, book conferences and develop stronger business ties, with med tech and clean tech being two key economic sectors that Minnesota and Germany share.

"This announcement from Lufthansa is a reinforcement of the fact that Minneapolis-St. Paul is a global hub for business, and more direct connectivity to the heart of Europe will make our economy more competitive for companies seeking to do business in our state," said Peter Frosch, chief executive of the Greater MSP economic development group. "And it creates new options for business and personal travelers in Minnesota."

Travel demand to Europe is surging after pandemic shutdowns and as the dollar remains strong, with MSP's dominant carrier, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, expanding international service and more competition on the way. Last month, Aer Lingus announced plans to resume flights to Dublin next spring while Delta will add that nonstop route from MSP around the same time.

Even Lufthansa will have some competition for passengers. In April 2022, German leisure airline Condor restored its nonstop summer service to Frankfurt from MSP for the first time since 2019.

Metropolitan Airports Commission Chair Rick King believes Lufthansa saw strong demand not only from MSP travelers wanting another European destination but also those needing its connections to Africa and India.

"It's a multi-year effort to get a quality carrier like Lufthansa," he said.

Lufthansa Vice President Dirk Janzen said in a statement that these are "exciting times" for the airline.

"The United States remains our most important market outside of the Group's European home markets, and we could not be happier to open new gateways, offering additional travel opportunities from your region to our global network of destinations," he said.

Lufthansa will operate the MSP-FRA route five days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, offering a three-class configuration of business, premium economy and economy. Tickets are available beginning Wednesday.

The flight from Frankfurt will depart at 11:10 a.m. and arrive in Minneapolis at 1:15 p.m. The flight departing MSP leaves at 3:15 p.m. and arrives in Frankfurt at 6:40 a.m. the following day. (All times are local.)

The early morning arrival for Frankfurt-bound passengers will provide connectivity options to destinations across Lufthansa's global network. For example, demand to East Africa from the Twin Cities is currently the fourth-highest in the United States after Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago.

Lufthansa is a Star Alliance member that offers connections and flight benefits with a global network of partners that include United Airlines and Air Canada, which both operate at MSP.

Gita Sitaramiah was the Star Tribune consumer reporter.

Minnesota Town Defamed by German Reporter Is Ready to Forgive

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — Claas Relotius, who spent weeks reporting in Fergus Falls last year for one of Europe’s most respected publications, could have written about the many residents who maintain friendships across partisan lines, about the efforts to lure former residents back to west-central Minnesota or about how a city of roughly 14,000 people maintains a rob...

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — Claas Relotius, who spent weeks reporting in Fergus Falls last year for one of Europe’s most respected publications, could have written about the many residents who maintain friendships across partisan lines, about the efforts to lure former residents back to west-central Minnesota or about how a city of roughly 14,000 people maintains a robust arts scene.

To give a sense of the place, he could have described local landmarks like the giant statue of Otto the Otter. Or the Minnesota-shaped welcome sign next to the Applebee’s. Or the expansive prairie that surrounds the town.

But he did not.

Instead, Mr. Relotius invented a condescending fiction. On the venerated pages of Der Spiegel, a German newsmagazine, Mr. Relotius portrayed Fergus Falls as a backward, racist place whose residents blindly supported President Trump and rarely ventured beyond city limits. He made up details about a young city official. He concocted characters, roadside signs and racially tinged plotlines.

For more than a year, exasperated Fergus Falls residents fumed to one another about what happened but generally avoided drawing outside attention to their unflattering portrayal. It all might have faded into history, except Mr. Relotius was outed this month by his own publication as a serial fraudster who invented sources, made up quotes and spent years engaging in broad journalistic deception.

When he was exposed, the fact that his portrayal of Fergus Falls was false went public, too, as well as the efforts of some people in town to document what he got wrong.

Soon, the town found itself in the midst of an international furor that it did not ask to be part of. The American ambassador to Germany accused Der Spiegel of a pattern of journalistic malpractice. National and international news outlets have visited the city, about 175 miles northwest of Minneapolis. Painful memories of being lied about have resurfaced.

“I just think of the false impression it gave to the people of Germany,” said Mary Lou Bates, 85, as she drank coffee with a friend Wednesday at the Viking Cafe, one of the many places in town that Mr. Relotius described inaccurately in his March 2017 story.

But Ms. Bates, who suggested that bias against Mr. Trump may have fueled the article, said she was not one to hold a grudge. “If the story is retracted, and the true story comes out,” she said, “you can forgive. I’m one for forgiveness.”

She’s not alone. As upset as Fergus Falls residents were with their treatment — upset enough to compile a damning point-by-point rebuttal of Mr. Relotius’s story — many of them have also been willing to accept apologies, set the record straight and forge ahead, almost sanguine about the whole ordeal. Another Der Spiegel reporter, who visited Minnesota in recent days to chronicle Mr. Relotius’s missteps, suggested that Fergus Falls might be “the most forgiving city in the Western Hemisphere.”

“We’re taking the high road,” Mayor Ben Schierer said in an interview, in which he praised his city’s arts, parks and schools, which mostly seemed to escape Mr. Relotius’s notice. “We’ve moved on.”

Indeed, amid the heartache and hassle, some in Fergus Falls have seized an opportunity to tell the world what their city is really like. Sure, it has its struggles and tensions. But on the whole, residents get along, there is plenty to do, people enjoy living there.

“It’s not Mayberry, but there’s a lot of opportunity,” said Mr. Schierer, who owns a pizza restaurant and brewery where Mr. Relotius would write when he was in town. “There’s optimism.”

Michele Anderson, who works for a local arts nonprofit, said she had been eager to read Mr. Relotius’s work and used Google’s translation service last year to convert the German text to English. The translation was imperfect, but it was immediately clear that the story was a fabrication. When Ms. Anderson saw someone praise the article on Twitter in April 2017, she replied that the story was false, a “hilarious, insulting excuse for journalism.” For more than a year, Der Spiegel did not respond.

Because the article was published only in German, its readership in Minnesota was limited. And at first, some in Fergus Falls said there was a desire to give Mr. Relotius the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they had read a faulty translation. Or maybe the reporter made a few honest mistakes.

Civic leaders eventually commissioned a professional translation, the text of which circulated around town in a shared online document. As the truth spread — that the story was not only largely false, but also deeply insulting — residents began weighing their options. City officials discussed whether they had any legal recourse. Ms. Anderson and a friend began compiling a list of the article’s inaccuracies. But unsure what options they had and not wanting to draw more negative attention, residents mostly kept their anger within city limits until Mr. Relotius’s broader misdeeds were exposed this month.

The fabrications in the article ranged from the trivial (an account of a foreboding forest that does not exist and a Super Bowl party that did not happen) to the personally devastating (the city administrator was falsely portrayed as a gun-obsessed, romantically challenged man who had never seen the ocean) to the downright inflammatory (Mr. Relotius claimed — falsely, residents say — that there was a sign that said “Mexicans Keep Out” at the entrance to town). He seemed to conflate and invent biographies for different Hispanic people and said “American Sniper” had been playing for months on end at the local movie theater, a claim rebutted by residents.

As most residents quietly moved on, Ms. Anderson, along with a friend, continued work on a detailed fact check of the article, which they published last week after Mr. Relotius was outed by his employer. Their title: “Der Spiegel journalist messed with the wrong small town.”

“There’s really nothing like this feeling — knowing that people in another country have read about the place I call home and are shaking their heads over their coffee in disgust,” Ms. Anderson wrote in her post.

Mr. Relotius, who visited around the time of Mr. Trump’s inauguration, had been fixated on voters’ support for the new president. Indeed, about 64 percent of voters in Otter Tail County, of which Fergus Falls is the county seat, chose Mr. Trump in 2016, though Hillary Clinton narrowly won Minnesota.

The election results speak for themselves, but a series of interviews this week with Fergus Falls residents revealed political nuance — liberals, conservatives, people who politely said it was no one’s business.

“It’s not an eyes-closed, all-for-Trump type of community,” said Ward Uggerud, 69, a retired electrical engineer, who like many people declined to say whether he voted for the president. “It’s an all-for-the-community place. Everybody’s got to do their part.”

Unlike other American counties that voted for Mr. Trump, there was not a wild political swing in Fergus Falls, making it a strange place for Mr. Relotius to choose to profile. Otter Tail County had also supported Mitt Romney and John McCain. And well-trod story lines about factory closures and population decline, often cited in accounts of Mr. Trump’s success, did not apply in Fergus Falls, where the downtown is bustling and the population is steady. (A Target store closed recently, despite community efforts to save it, but that was after Mr. Relotius left town.)

All that left residents wondering: Why did Mr. Relotius write what he did? And since he wasn’t going to tell the truth, why did he even bother coming?

“What happened, I think, was that he was trying to look for a cliché of a Trump-voting town and he simply didn’t find it,” said Christoph Scheuermann, the Der Spiegel correspondent who visited Fergus Falls last week to apologize and write about the town’s true story.

Mr. Scheuermann said the Fergus Falls he encountered was “almost the opposite” of the one Mr. Relotius described.

“I felt a lot of warmth,” he said. “Everybody was welcoming.”


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