• Germany's news in English

Elderly Germans 'cause more trouble than Turks'

The Local · 11 Apr 2012, 12:30

Published: 11 Apr 2012 12:30 GMT+02:00

When asked, “Which group of people are responsible for problems in your neighbourhood,” by a social research group, nearly a quarter of Germans pointed the finger at teenagers.

Next were the elderly, whose penchant for complaining about noise drove nearly 10 percent to despair. Closely behind came drunkards.

Less than four percent of the 4,600 people interviewed across Germany for the Social Science Research Centre in Berlin (WBZ) answered “Turks”. Around the same share put a more general “foreigners.”

Nearly 50 people singled out Russians as the prime troublemakers, and one person out of the 4,600 simply said “Blacks”.

In total, just 13 percent identified ethnic minorities, either specifically or generally, as the main cause of neighbourhood problems.

Sociologist Merlin Schaeffer who led the study said it was clear that “other problems are more important than racial conflict.”

He told Wednesday’s Berlin paper Tagesspiegel that the number of people who gave a race-based answer was no different in areas where more than 20 percent of people were of immigrant background.

But those living in areas with high rates of joblessness were more likely to complain that the unemployed were creating problems in their neighbourhood.

Schaeffer conducted the interviews over the phone, during which he asked lots of different questions in a free-flowing conversation. Only a third of people he spoke to could give him an answer to the "neighbourhood nuisance" question.

Around 17 percent said they could think of an annoying group but did not say who it was, while nearly eight percent said that there were no problems in their neighbourhood.

Story continues below…

Animals were more often said to be a nuisance than right-wing extremists, drugs, new neighbours and even the upper classes – who came in at less than one percent.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:34 April 11, 2012 by raandy
They respondents that think the elderly are a problem should keep in mind these people were not born old.
14:00 April 11, 2012 by lucksi
Hmm, let me see about my neighbourhood:

Annoying kids of various ethnicities who all come from an anti-social-not-caring-what-my-crotchfruit-does-the-entire-day background who are yelling the entire time they are outside, kick soccer balls into fences, cars ,houses and find it HILARIOUS to ring every doorbell on every house they walk past every time, as well as hit the walls of newly renovated houses because they sound so lovingly hollow like their own skulls.

Then there are the young adolescents who loiter about with crappy music blaring from the tiny cell phone speakers who also smoke and drink and yell.

Then you have the older people who really miss the STASI as all they do the entire day is leaning on a pillow on the windowsill looking what everybody in the neighbourhood does.

Then you have the dog owners who will not clean up after their dogs and let them crap right in the middle of the sidewalks and even into doorways.

And last but not least, you have the Turks. If I'd write anything about them it would be racist and get my post deleted (if it isn't going to be anyway)

In short: I hate this town.
14:10 April 11, 2012 by GolfAlphaYankee
@lucksi : ain't you a lovely person ... I bet you spread sunshine and happiness wherever you go :-)
14:56 April 11, 2012 by lucksi
I used to until I moved here 10 years ago. Now I'm the exactly as bitter as I sound (if not more so) except when I employ sarcasm like you just did.

Hoping some gentrification would hit this neighbourhood instead of ghettofication.
15:00 April 11, 2012 by n230099
On the bright side, Germany has come a long way from the days when they really knew how to deal with those that 'bothered' them.
15:36 April 11, 2012 by moistvelvet
Elderly Germans causing trouble is hardly surprising, after all they caused a lot of trouble across Europe when they were younger too!! :o
15:58 April 11, 2012 by Bigfoot76
I don't see a lot of reason to give this study any credit. Either it is a local study only in the greater Berlin area which means it does not represent the opinion of the German people at large or the number of people surveyed is so small they can not really reach a conclusion of what the population of Germany really thinks. A sample study requires a greater pool of people from each area in order to produce results that can be considered.
17:44 April 11, 2012 by murka
Imagine a black elderly person from Russia in your neighborhood - a great great trouble.
21:21 April 11, 2012 by GolfAlphaYankee
@muka : there is probably the same number of black Russians as Japanese Jews .... :-)
23:36 April 11, 2012 by euan.dykes
Did anyone put themselves down in the survey, of cause not. It's called projection, blame someone else for making your feel annoyed.
01:27 April 12, 2012 by maxbrando
Wow, elderly people a problem! They built modern Germany. Don't you ever forget it! You spoiled brats.
04:49 April 12, 2012 by willowsdad
I guess the respondents to this survey were never young and don't think they will ever be old.
08:23 April 12, 2012 by Enough
Overall, I find Germans way to senstive to noise. Doesn't matter what age they are.
10:14 April 12, 2012 by AlexR
And here's another chunk of our tax money getting wasted on another "scientific" and very important and necessary "study".
02:45 April 14, 2012 by yuri_nahl
This reminds me of the Monty Python episode about "Violent Grams" wearing leather jackets picking on middle aged people.
Today's headlines
Paris climate conference
Germans reluctant to go green, survey finds
This NASA handout shows CO2 release based on real emissions data. Photo: DPA

Germans reluctant to go green, survey finds

31 minutes ago

Most Germans might see climate change as a threat - but that doesn't mean they're willing to change their behaviour, according to a recent YouGov survey.

The Local List
The 10 greatest German Alpine ski resorts
Skiing in the Allgäu. Photo: DPA

The 10 greatest German Alpine ski resorts

1 hour ago

This ski season looks set to be epic, with runs already open before December has even started - boding well for the rest of the season. We bring you the ten very best German resorts so you can make the most of it.

Bavaria accused of hoarding Nazi-looted art
Max Beckmann paintings in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. File Photo: DPA

Bavaria accused of hoarding Nazi-looted art

5 hours ago

A group of US Congressmen have sent a letter to Bavarian Minister President Horst Seehofer, urging him to do more to help return art stolen by the Nazis to its rightful owners.

Berlin suspects freed hours after terror raids
Police stand guard as colleagues search a van in Britz, south Berlin, on Thursday evening. Photo: DPA

Berlin suspects freed hours after terror raids

5 hours ago

Three suspects arrested in Berlin on Thursday night on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack were freed on Friday morning, police said.

Cologne fights drunks with walls that 'pee back'
"Don't pee here! The wall pees back!" warns a new sign in Cologne main station. Photo: DPA

Cologne fights drunks with walls that 'pee back'

5 hours ago

In Germany, those who urinate in public places have their own name: "Wildpinkler" or "free pee-ers." But they're about to face a backlash in Cologne - in a very literal and embarrassing way.

Final days of Hamburg Olympic vote battle
Demonstrators against the Olympic bid. Photo: DPA

Final days of Hamburg Olympic vote battle

8 hours ago

The finishing line is in sight. On Sunday Hamburgers vote on whether they want the 2022 Olympics to come to town and the result could be tight.

Two men arrested in Berlin police terror raids
A Berlin SEK (SWAT) officer during a deployment in June 2015. Photo: DPA

Two men arrested in Berlin police terror raids

23 hours ago

Police arrested two men after raids at two Berlin locations on Thursday afternoon after tip-offs about known Islamists believed to pose a threat of violence.

Swimmer faces probe over Auschwitz tattoo
Rails run towards the entrance of the extermination camp at Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

Swimmer faces probe over Auschwitz tattoo

1 day ago

Prosecutors are investigating a man who appeared at a swimming pool on the outskirts of Berlin with a tattoo depicting a concentration camp and an infamous slogan used by the Nazis across his back.

Munich Jews feud over Holocaust remembrance
Stolpersteine. Photo: DPA

Munich Jews feud over Holocaust remembrance

1 day ago

A bitter fight has broken out in Munich’s Jewish community over how to remember the victims of the Holocaust, with one group now taking the city to court.

Fight against Isis
German air force will join French planes over Syria
A Bundeswehr (German army) Tornado aircraft taking off from the Jagel airbase in Schleswig-Holstein in 2013. Photo: DPA

German air force will join French planes over Syria

1 day ago

Update: A Leading German MP confirmed that the country will offer military aid to France in the fight against Isis in Syria, following a promise by Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to Paris on Wednesday.

Germany's 10 most-expensive cities
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd