Osterfilm – Die Hӓschenschule: Jagd nach dem Goldenen Ei

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Almost every child knows of the story Easter Bunny – a hare (not a rabbit) who goes around hiding colourful eggs, which the children then have to find on Easter morning. What many people may not know is:

  •  that the Easter Bunny was originally German!
  • There’s an old but classic 1924 German children’s book called ‘die Haschenschule’- about the school that trains young hares to become Osterhase – Ester hares
  • There’s a new film based off this book called ‘Die Haschenschule – Jagd nach dem goldenen Ei’ In February it was entered into the Berlinale –the German version of the Oscars, where films are entered to win prizes in each category-  and it showed in the German Kinos (cinemas) in March 2017.

So, yes – the Easter Bunny did actually originate in Germany.-  In at least the 15th century, from which we have the first Latin records of the Easter Bunny, German Protestants created the idea of a hare, to symbolise fertility, carrying coloured eggs, and sometimes even sweets and toys!

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Ostereien in einem Krbchen/ Easter eggs in a small basket

Why eggs, you might ask? Apparently, before fasting in Lent, people would preserve their eggs in order to be able to eat them afterwards, when the fast of Lent was over. The eggs would be decorated brightly as part of the celebrations. Although the German Protestants didn’t continue the fasting, they did continue with the tradition of eggs at Easter, including decorating them. In the 18th century, the story of the Osterhase- the Easter hare – was spread to the U.S – and the rest is history.

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Eine Hase mit Ostereien/ A hare with Easter eggs

Noticeably, the Easter Bunny is *supposed* to be a hare, and not a rabbit. (However, they look similar- what’s the difference?) 😊 The Easter Bunny legend continued as parents told their children, in Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, the UK…

German Protestants created the idea of an Easter hare, to symbolise fertility, carrying coloured eggs, and sometimes even sweets and toys!

What about Australia, you might ask. Good question!

The Australians have an ‘Easter Bilby’ – Billy the Aussie Easter Bilby, was written in 1968,  created by a nine-year old girl.) The idea of the Easter Bilby is  used to raise awareness of the bilby and its protection – as the rabbit was brought to Australia from Europe, and competes for food with the bilby, an Australian native animal, causing the bibly to become endangered. To emphasise this point and help the bilby, some Australians wrote an added complication into the story – that the Easter Bilby had to fight off the evil rabbit army who tried to steal the eggs. So now you can find chocolate Easter Bilbies in Australia, instead of the Easter Bunny.)


Jagd nach dem goldenen Ei Trailer videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aFR7Gydg4E

I mention that point because it’s in a way similar to this film. ‘Die Haschenschule’ is about young hare- die Haschen – learning how to become Easter hares in the titular Rabbit School (Hare School doesn’t have the same ring to it…sorry.), They also have to stop the foxes from stealing their eggs- particularly the magic golden Ei, also in the title.

(Synopsis in German here: kino.de – http://www.kino.de/film/die-haeschenschule-jagd-nach-dem-goldenen-ei-2017/)

The main character is a young hare called Max, who at first reads about the Haschenschule in a book – possibly the book in real life- meta! – and doesn’t believe the school really exists. Until he crash-lands into it one day on an out-of-control remote-control biplane.

Besides, Max wants to be the cool kid in the city with the ‘Wahnsinnig-Gang’, and doesn’t like rules and the quiet country life, which he at first believes is all the Haschenschule has to offer. But then he meets a new friend, Emmi, and discovers that more important than being the coolest, is helping your friends.

Das goldenen Ei

https://www.berlinale.de/de/programm/berlinale_programm/datenblatt.php?film_id=201712680#tab=video25 (Clip about the golden egg, in German with English subtitles, on the Berlinale website.)

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And- oh yes- the magic golden egg in the Haschenschule? It gives the hares the power to disappear. They call this power, Der Verschwindibus – and have to stop the foxes from stealing the golden egg! But are the foxes really as wicked as they seem?

Here’s a cool trailer I found:



‘Fangt ihn mir!’ – catch him for me! – The Mutter Fuchs yells this, to try and catch Max as he flies past.

Ein Engel (0:35)- An angel – Max calls Emmi this, as he doesn’t know if he made it after the crash.

Schlafsaal – dormitory – (0:44)

Hinter Mond leben – to be behind the times (0:56)

Der Verschwindibus- (made up word) – the magic power that comes from the golden egg, allowing the hares to disappear- verschwinden

kreigen – to get, grab


The main character Max is voiced by Noah Levi, who also sings the title song – he was a contestant in The Voice Kids Deutschland.



The director is Ute Monchow-Pohl – She’s known for other German animation such as Laura’s Star (Lauras Stern), Lars der kleine Eisbӓr and Der Kleine Rabe Socke.

(the song by Noah Levi, created for the film) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7R2_UMxWDA – Heir will ich bleiben (Home Sweet Home)

I can imagine Max, singing this to his new friends as he realises how much he needs them.

Ich hin lang hinter her

Auf der Suche für ne Platz für mich,

Am anfang war das schwer

veil ausprobeirt, nicht Sinn gekreigt

Ihr hat mir gezeigt, was man erreichen kann, wenn man Fruende hat,

Es ich Zeit euch mal zu sagen – es wie die Hammer sagt!

Hier will ich bleib mit euch und Zeit vertreiben


Hier will ich blieben

Gutes Gefühl im Bauch,

Ich gehore?  (herheir?)

Fühlst du was auch?


Hier will ich blieben

Ich sag’st dir ganz genau

Hab meinen Platz gefunden

Denn hier bin ich zu Haus!

(Home sweet home) – yup, in English


(My home sweet home)

(Home sweet home)


(My home sweet home)

Ich hab es jetzt kapiert?

Mit euch macht alles viel mehr Spass

Warum allein probieren

Nur gemeinsam sind wir richtig stark!

Egal ob  (Opfern? Ob fern??) , ihr sied da für mich, und ich für euch.

Es ist Zeit ob mal zu sagen: Es ist wie die besten Zeit!

(Ja, und ich wiess nicht was zu sagen…)

Hier seid mein Zuhause (Yeah-yeah)

Da wo ihr seid, gehӧr‘ ich denn

Heir seid meine Fruende, (Yeah-yeah)

Mach mit zu dem, da ich jetzt bin.



Hier will ich blieben

Gutes Gefühl im Bauch,

Ich gehore?  (herheir?)

Fühlst du was auch?

Hier will ich blieben

Ich sag’st dir ganz genau

Hab meinen Platz gefunden

Denn hier bin ich zu Haus!

Noah Levi: Home sweet Home

If you want to wish your German friends happy Easter, this is what to say….

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Frohe Ostern, alles! 🙂


Das christliche Passionspiel für Oster – The Christian passion play for Easter


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The stage in Oberammergau where the passion plays in Germany are performed/ Die Buhne in Oberammergau, wo die Passionspeile in Deutschland wird aufgefuhrt.


For Christians, the real meaning of Easter is nothing to do with chocolate eggs or Easter bunnies – it is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian tradition. That’s my religion, by the way. The story goes that Jesus, the son of God, died on the cross for the sins of humanity, and yet he rose again on what is now known as Easter Sunday.


In some places, there are plays to recreate this religious story, particularly in Germany (in the Oberammergau, which is a Gemeide (municipality or – roughly- town)  in the Landkreis Garmisch-Partenkirschen, in the south of the Bundesland of Bavaria.


The real meaning of Easter is nothing to do with chocolate eggs… – it is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ

However, the apparently slightly older tradition of performing passion plays is also to be found in Austria, in the Gemeide of Erl, which is in the Bezirk of Kufstein, in the Bundesland Tirol.


In 2015, German kids in the church performed the play.



However, adults normally perform the passion plays – as this trailer shows in Oberammergau: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7uFUB2tl3A



Words from the children’s Passionspeil: (see if you can find them all)


Jesu Christi – Jesus Christ

Petrus – Peter (at 3:56, er verteidigt Jesu – aber er muss dreimal leugnen, dass er kennt ihn. – 5:34)

Judas – der Junge, der Jesus verratet

Pontius Pilate – Pontius Pilatus

Barrabas – ein Verbrecher

Simon – Ein Feld-Abreiter, der Jesu hilft, der Kreus zu tragen

zwei Verbrechen an Kreuz neben Jesus – two criminals on the cross next to Jesus





Die Orgel – the organ (not in the video, but it’s the instrument being played in the church)

Die Kirche- the church

Die Junge – the boys

der Schweiss – sweat

das Blut – blood

der Begrussungskuss- greeting kiss (der die Jesu verratet 3:30)

die Finsternis – the darkness

die Macht- the power

der Hof – the c1ourtyard

die obersten Preiste – the high Preists

Verbrechen – crime

die Spotkrone – the ‚crown‘ (to mock and ridicule)

der Spott – ridicule, satire?

die Dorne – thorns

Mitlied – sympathy

der Hugel – the hill (16:23)

der Leichnahm – the body

Grab – grave (25:00)

Sünden – sins (25:50 – Er hat uns von unseren Sünden befreit)



neider/knien – to bow

beten – to pray

geschesen – to happen

tropfen – to drip

vereinbaren – to agree (3:35)

festnehmen – to take prisoner

verteidigen- to defend – (3:56)

heilen – to heal

kraen – to crow, …wie ein Hahn.

leugnen- to deny

bezeugen – to testify (8:12)

frei/lassen – to let free

kreuzigen – to crucify (9:12 – The people yelled to Pilate to crucify Jesus – ‚Kreuzige ihn!’)

auf/peitschen  – to whip (10:40)

verspotten – to mock, ridicule (10:09)

jemanden anspuken – to spit at

schulgen – to hit (or to hammer to – 16:31)

hinausführten – to bring out (12:20)

sterben – to die

klagen – to mourn






Idioms/ Sentences – Sӓtze/Idiomen

Das Schwert zeugen – to draw the sword

Herauf damit! – Stop that!

Meine Kӧnnigstum ist nicht von dieser Welt – My kingdom is not of this world (8:07)

die Wahrheit zu bezeugen – to testify to the truth (8:12)

Gottes Sohn – God’s Son.

Jemand schuldig zu sprechen – to name someone guilty

zum Tode verurteilen – to jugde someone to death

Sei gegrusst, Konig! – Be greeted, king

Auf meinen Fled arbeiten – to work on my fields – 13:21

der Kreus tragen – to carry the cross

‘Weint nicht uber mich  – weint uber euch, und eure Kinder’ – (14: – Don’t cry about me, but cry about yourselves and your children.)

‚Hilft Euch selber, und steig hinab vom Kreus!‘ – (mocking) – Help yourself, and get down from the cross!

‚Heute noch, werdest du mit mir in Paradies sein‘ – Today you will be with me in paradise – (18:06)

‚Ich habe Durst‘ – I am thirsty (19:02)

Es war etwa zwolf Uhr mittags – It was 12 o clock midday.

Nach diesen Wortern, hauchte er den Geist aus – After these words, he breathed his last.

Jesus war tot – Jesus was dead.

‘Wir bitten fur alle Menschen, die anderen in Krankenhausen oder Altenheim helfen, dass sie wie Veronika Verduld und Verstandis zeigen.‘(27:36)

von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit – for all eternity