Malecha is latest Hans Joohs intern to Germany

NEW ULM – The 2013 Hans Joohs Cultural Exchange Program candidate going to Ulm and Neu Ulm, Germany on Aug. 16, toured New Ulm and visited with historians Friday.

Henderson native Michelle Malecha, a 2012 Minnesota State University, Mankato graduate majoring in German, led a German immersion program this summer at Martin Luther College in New Ulm.

In Germany, she’ll work as a translator and bi-lingual teacher for several months at the Hans Sophie Scholl Gymnasium (high school) in Germany. She’ll live with six different host families in Germany.

Hans and Sophie Scholl were members of the White Rose, a Munich student group that was active in the non-violent resistance movement in Nazi Germany.

White Rose activities included distribution of flyers against the war and Adolph Hitler dictatorship. Since 1945, many cities in the Federal Republic of Germany and German Democratic Republic named streets, plazas and schools after the Scholl siblings.

“I can’t wait, I’m so excited,” said Malecha, who has visited Germany before as a tourist and college student. She is the daughter of Norman “The Inhaler” Malecha, who won sauerkraut eating contests at the Bavarian Blast in New Ulm, Sauerkraut Days in Henderson and German Days in Belle Plaine several years ago.

Malecha, who plays the flute and enjoys swing dancing, said she was excited about the chance to be part of Oktoberfest in Germany. The 16-day festival in Munich is the world’s largest fair. More than six million people from around the world attend Oktoberfest each year from late September to the first weekend in October.

“It’s kind of like the Minnesota State Fair with traditional clothes, music, food and beverages,” Malecha said.

The New Ulm Sister Cities Commission provides transportation to and from Germany plus a modest stipend to Hans Joohs program exchange candidates. Cooperating Ulm, Germany organizations provide housing and a paid internship in a job setting or settings based on the recipient’s background and interests.

Candidates should be from the New Ulm area or have ties to New Ulm, be 18 to 35 years old and have fair to good German language skills. For more information, visit For an application, write New Ulm Sister Cities, 100 North Broadway, New Ulm, Minnesota 56073; call the City Manager’s office at 507-359-8233 or e-mail Application deadline is Jan. 31, 2014.

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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