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Historic Beer Birthday: Ludwig Thoma

Today is the birthday of Ludwig Thoma (January 21, 1867-August 26, 1921). If his name is not familiar to you, that’s not a surprise. He was a German author, publisher and editor, who gained popularity through his partially exaggerated description of everyday Bavarian life,” but he’s largely unknown outside of his native Germany.

One of his best-known works is Der Münchner im Himmel (or The Municher in Heaven), which in 1962 was made into a short animated cartoon directed by Walter Reiner for BR, the German equivalent of PBS. And it was based on Ludwig Thoma’s story of the same name.

Here’s a description of the story, translated by Google, so you can make sense of the cartoon since it’s in German:

Alois Hingerl, clerk no. 172 from Munich Central Station, goes to heaven. Peter reveals to him the heavenly house rules: “Rejoice and sing Hallelujah”. The “Angel Aloisius” is not particularly impressed by this, especially since he is supposed to get “heavenly manna” instead of the Munich beer. Angry, he sits down on a cloud to rejoice and sing hallelujah. It sounds like the hair of the heavenly ones stand on end. The good Lord has an understanding and instructs Aloisius to convey the divine inspirations to the Bavarian government. He also sends it to Munich with a corresponding letter. When the “Angel Aloisius” steps back on Munich soil, and when he finally – following an old custom – ends up in the Hofbräuhaus again, he forgets the divine mandate and the Bavarian State Government with a “Maß” and another Maß …

This account of the original story is from the German Wikipedia page about Der Münchner im Himmel, translated by Google:

The short story is about Alois Hingerl, clerk number 172 at Munich Central Station . This one does a job with such a hurry that he from the blow falls taken to the ground and dies. Two angels drag him laboriously to heaven , where he is given his otherworldly name “Angel Aloisius” by Peter , a harp and a cloud on which, according to the “heavenly house rules”, he is to rejoice and sing Hosanna according to a fixed schedule . When he asked when he would finally get something to drink, Peter replied to Aloisius with the words: “You will get your manna.”

In view of the prospect of manna instead of the beer he loves, Aloisius suspects something bad, at the same time there will be fights with a heavenly red shandy angel, his hated competition on earth. Frustrated, he begins to rejoice on his cloud. When a “spiritualized angel” flying past answers his request for “am Schmaizla” (a pinch of snuff ) with an incomprehensible, lisped “Hosanna!”, His anger rises, whereupon Aloisius begins to rant and curse, which also changes in his way rejoicing is reflected. Through his scolding, cursing and loud rejoicing (“ Ha-ha-lä-lä-lu-u-uh – – Himmi Lord God – Erdäpfi – Saggerament – – lu – uuu – iah!“) God becomes aware of him. After a brief appraisal of the delinquent and consultation with Peter, he comes after the words “Aha! A Munich resident! ”To the conclusion that Aloisius is of no use for heaven. That is why he has a different task: He is supposed to convey divine advice to the Bavarian government (in the original from Thoma the Bavarian State Minister of the Interior for Church and School Affairs Anton von Wehner ); as a result, the Munich resident comes to Munich a few times a week and the dear soul has its peace.

Alois is very happy about this assignment, takes divine advice and flies away. As usual, he first goes to the Hofbräuhaus with his message , where he orders one beer after the other, then forgets his order and sits there to this day. Meanwhile, the Bavarian government (or the Bavarian Minister of Education) is still waiting for divine advice (or divine inspiration).

Below are some images of Aloisius from various sources. As far as I can tell, he remains a well-known literary figure throughout Germany.

Inside the Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest tent.
I can’t tell if this is a photograph or painting.
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