Funny: Germany′s best April Fools′ jokes from 2018, explained | News | DW | 02.04.2018
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Funny: Germany's best April Fools' jokes from 2018, explained

Germany's humor doesn't have the best reputation internationally. But the land of poets and thinkers loves the traditional April Fools' joke as much as the next country. DW explains the best of 2018.

1. Berlin neighborhood passes alcohol ban

The joke: The German daily newspaper Berliner Zeitung reported on Sunday that the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin would introduce a ban on the sale of alcohol between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in July. Locals had complained about late night binge drinking and the tram smelling of beer, according to the paper.

Why it's funny: If any of Berlin's districts were to introduce an alcohol ban, it would be Prenzlauer Berg. The neighborhood is considered to be affluent, cosmopolitan and family friendly — a far cry from the more bohemian districts Berlin is known for. But it didn't introduce the ban. That makes the joke funny.

Read more: Future German government under Merkel no laughing matter on political roast day

2. German Heimat minister wants to reintroduce brown bears

The joke: Germany's last brown bear was killed around 200 years ago. German Interior and "Heimat" (roughly translated as "home") Minister Horst Seehofer told German public broadcaster ARD on Sunday: "The brown bear belongs to Germany like the wolf, bison and moose. It's not for nothing that the bear is on many coats of arms and flags." Most of Europe's brown bears live in Russia. But Seehofer said any import would be "difficult given the current political situation."

Why it's funny: Seehofer, a former premier of the southern German state of Bavaria and head of the center-right Christian Social Union (CSU) party, endured heavy criticism in mid-March after he told German daily newspaper Bild that "Islam does not belong to Germany." The minister's fake comments to ARD on bringing back the brown bear echo his infamous line on Islam. That makes the joke funny.

Read more: Germany's first refugee-themed comedy doesn't skimp on clichés

3. German Christians find out they can save on church tax

The joke: People working in Germany automatically have to pay a church tax unless they choose to opt out of it. German weekly Christian newspaper Unsere Kirche printed an article on Sunday announcing a new initiative for Catholics and Protestants to reduce the amount of church tax they pay. Believers, it said, could reduce one percentage point from their church tax payment for each time they attended a Sunday service.

Why it's funny: The church tax (like any tax) is controversial in Germany. People don't like giving their money away. The fake initiative would have let people keep more of their money but remain officially registered as a Christian. But the initiative isn't real. People can't save on the tax. That makes the joke funny.

Read more: Top 10 German comedies

4. Police announce deployment of East German Trabant

The joke: Police in the eastern German city of Görlitz said they had started using a reactivated Trabant 601 in their car fleet on Thursday. "The Trabant 601 is characterized by zippiness, good cornering characteristics, low weight, resilience and low maintenance needs," police chief Torsten Schultz said.

Why it's funny: Communist East Germany mass produced the Trabant 601 between 1957 and 1990. The car, known as the "spark plug with a roof" because of its small size, became an icon and is now a collector's item. By modern standards, the Trabant is a terrible car and no police force in Germany would ever think to use one. But Görlitz police said in jest that they would start using it. That makes the joke funny.

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5. German Alpine Club announces new "Eco-Helicopters"

The joke: The mountaineering association German Alpine Club (DAV) said on Sunday that some of its alpine huts were overflowing with guests. To solve the problem, it would start flying guests between its mountain huts with "eco-helicopters" that guests could order via a smartphone app. The association admitted that the helicopter flights would cause some environmental damage. But it said the overall environmental balance was positive as some guests would be transferred from huts with a shower to huts without a shower. This, the DAV said, would save water.

Why it's funny: Because... well... it is...?

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