You’ll find information about our events on this page and on our Facebook page.


Past Events

December 2019

Hauskonzert und Adventstreffen

Sunday, 15 December 2019 from 2.30 pm

At a private residence in Lyall Bay (full details will be provided to those indicating their attendance)

Mary and Peter Barber
You are warmly invited to our Hauskonzert featuring
van Beethoven, Violin Sonata No. 9 Op. 47, “Kreutzer Sonata” in A major
performed by Peter Barber (NZSO violist) – Violin
and Mary Barber – Piano
The performance starts at 3 pm.

Admission by koha ($10 suggested). Seating is limited, so for those who wish to attend the concert, please rsvp to Goethe Society indicating how many seats you require.

From 4.30 pm there will be afternoon tea with Advent cheer, open to all. Guests are asked to bring a plate of Advent finger food. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic punch will be provided. We may even sing some Weihnachtslieder.

The venue for the event is a private residence in Lyall Bay. If you are coming, please email Goethe Society . You will receive an email with full details in due course.


Sunday, 8 December 2019 at 5 pm

St Paul’s Lutheran Church, 12-14 King Street, Mount Cook, Wellington
Goethe Society German Choir & St Paul’s Lutheran Church present
A concert of traditional German Advent music, choir, organ, soloists & instruments.
Director and Organist: Bruce Cash.
Entry by Koha for Lutheran World Service Christmas Appeal.

October 2019

Filmabend – Grüße aus Fukushima

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 at 5.30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, VZ 606, von Zedlitz Building, Kelburn Parade

You are warmly invited to the Goethe Society Film Evening for good company, tasty food, fine wine and great viewing.

Set in the aftermath of the 2011 nuclear disaster, Grüße aus Fukushima (Greetings From Fukushima) is about a troubled young German woman, searching for answers, who encounters a feisty old Geisha, rebuilding her life and former home in the contaminated disaster zone. The screenplay is strong and the actors deliver a skilled performance. Real footage from the disaster adds gravitas.

The film is directed by Doris Dörrie (Cherry Blossoms, 2008), with a small cast including Kaori Momoi (Memoirs of a Geisha, 2005) and Rosalie Thomass. It is predominantly in English though chunks are in German and a little Japanese.

Presented in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut Wellington

September 2019

New Perspectives on Fontane – Fontane’s Changing Attitude to War as reflected in his Novel “Quitt” (1890)
Wednesday, 11 September 2019 at 7.30 pm

Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade

In this lecture, Prof. James Bade will be discussing his research on Theodor Fontane, Germany’s most prominent nineteenth century novelist. Over a glass of wine, hear about Fontane’s most political novel with its bold indictment of German militarism. Learn how the man who was once heralded for his glorification of war, could by the end of the 1880s have changed his mind to such an extent that he writes what appears to be a pacifist novel. James Bade will first look at evidence of Fontane’s changing attitude to war, then will move on to his work on Fontane’s American settings.

James Bade, Professor Emeritus of German at the University of Auckland, is now based in Wellington. After completing his Masters in German from Victoria University of Wellington, he went on to do his PhD at the University of Zürich.

July 2019

Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, 28 July 2019

                Singers wanted!

Our next singing together is on Sunday, 28th July, from 2.30 – 5.30pm
If you can’t manage that, come to the next one, a few weeks later. We meet about once a month in various venues.
Enjoy singing German, Austrian and Swiss music together and using (or improving) your German at the same time!
Deutsche Gemütlichkeit inbegriffen.
This is in no way “in competition with normal choirs”. The concept is different and it is not a regular weekly commitment.

 Music this year includes Beethoven, Schubert and Haydn, a Bach cantata, and folk song settings.
For DETAILS and new registrations please email Bruce Cash

Please let me know if you are interested; if you are coming on 28th July. It helps to have an idea of numbers!

Filmabend – Ich und Kaminski

Wednesday, 24 July 2019 at 5.30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, VZ 606, von Zedlitz Building, Kelburn Parade

Ein Film von Wolfgang Becker
Me and Kaminski (Ich und Kaminski) is the 2015 German comedy film that adapts the novel of the same name by Daniel Kehlmann. It features Daniel Brühl (Inglorious Basterds) and Jesper Christensen (007-Quantum of Solace). Manuel Kaminski is a (fictional) painter who apprenticed under Matisse, was a friend
of Picasso and rose to fame because of the belief that he was blind, despite it never being obvious if this was true. Decades later, the failing critic Sebastian Zöllner has the brilliant idea of writing a biography about the painter, to cash-in on his eventual death. The journalist not only finds the painter, but also influences him into making a cross-country trip to find Kaminski’s old lover ……

Organised by the Goethe Society Wellington in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut New Zealand

June 2019

“How to Read a Trakl Poem”: Lecture by Dr Richard Millington

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 at 7.30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade

We are pleased to tell you that the next item in our lecture series for 2019 will be a lecture by Dr Richard Millington, who will be known to many of you already as Senior Lecturer in German at Victoria University (and Director of European and Latin American Languages and Cultures in its School of Languages and Culture). He is also a member of the Goethe Society committee, providing valuable liaison with the university.

Dr Millington (PhD on German Expressionist poetry) says he has been “reading, admiring and pondering Trakl’s poetry” for most of his life, so his lecture on the topic “How to Read a Trakl Poem” promises a highly interesting evening, especially as he has a new book on Trakl due for publication next year.

All welcome.  Refreshments will be provided

May 2019

Emotional Rhetoric and Sexualized Livelihood:
Marriage and Transatlantic Migration in Postwar Germany

Professor Alexander Freund (University of Winnipeg)
Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 7.30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade
After the devastations of the Second World War, millions of Europeans wished to emigrate overseas to start a new life. Among them were thousands of German women, whose emigration plans and life strategies were restricted by gendered migration policies and ongoing sexualizing discourses about their bodies and minds.
These discourses were interlaced with emotional rhetoric—an emotional rhetoric that state and church agencies mobilized to control women, and an emotional rhetoric that women employed to fight for autonomy. In particular, state and church authorities sought to link public fears about national overeignty and demands for political security to private fears about female autonomy, morality, and sexuality. Women responded in new and creative ways to the continued sexualization of their agency.
The presentation is based on documents of German government agencies and church organizations in the British and U.S. zones of occupation that dealt with so-called scam agencies (Schwindelfirmen). These suspected Schwindelfirmen, alleged state and church officials, used advertising to con German women (and men) who wished to emigrate in the immediate postwar period. It also draws on oral history interviews with postwar German immigrants in the United States and Canada.

Diplomacy on 7 overseas postings – for Germany and with Goethe

An Ambassador’s Retrospective

Monday, 6 May 2019 from 6:30 pm
Residence of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Lower Hutt
We are delighted to announce that the first event in our lecture series for 2019 will take the form of a talk by the German Ambassador, His Excellency Gerhard Thiedemann, which he will give in the course of an evening he and his wife have kindly offered to host at their official Residence.
Ambassador Thiedemann will speak about his experiences in a long and varied diplomatic career:  “Diplomacy on 7 overseas postings – for Germany and with Goethe – an Ambassador’s retrospective”(“Diplomatie auf 7 Auslandsposten – für Deutschland und mit Goethe – Rückblicke eines Botschafters”). The talk will be predominantly in English.  The invitation includes a light supper and drinks in the charming setting of the Residence.  Herr Thiedemann is a witty speaker and this promises to be a very interesting and memorable evening.