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Thierse laments Swabian invasion of Berlin

Published: 31 Dec 2012 10:09 GMT+01:00

Thierse, who grew up in communist East Germany and has lived for years in what was the East Berlin working-class neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg that has now become thoroughly gentrified, said the newcomers should adapt to Berlin culture – and not the other way around.

“I would hope that the Swabians finally get that they are in Berlin now and no longer in their small town” with all its traditions.

Thierse is not alone. Distaste for the Swabian newcomers is evident around his neighborhood and occasionally signs saying “Swabian get out” can be seen.

Thierse complained that the southwesterners came to Berlin because they found it so adventurous and colorful and out of the ordinary, but once they’ve been in the city for awhile that just want to have it “just as it was back home” in the state of Baden-Württemberg.

The Social Democratic Party politician says he gets annoyed when he goes to the bakery and the baker tells him that there are no Schrippen, the Berlin slang for rolls, but only Wecken, the word used by Swabians.

“I say: In Berlin you say Schrippen. Even the Swabians can get used to that.”

On that same vein it disturbs him when he’s offered a Pflumendatschi, the Swabian word for plum cake.

“What is that supposed to mean? In Berlin it’s called Plaumenkuchen,” the politician told the newspaper. Given these circumstances Thierse said he’s become “a true defender of Berlin German.”

Some 90 percent of his neighbours arrived in Prenzlauer Berg after 1990. It’s gotten so bad, he told the paper, that as one of the last indigenous species in the neighbourhood he should be declared an endangered species.

Thierse is not a native Berliner. He was born in 1943 in Breslau and his family settled in East Germany after the Germans were kicked out and Breslau became part of Poland. He’s been a Berlin resident since 1964, when he came to the city to study at the Humboldt University, according to his biography.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:08 December 31, 2012 by lucksi
Thierse? The Beardmonster? And didn't his boss just say that they earn too little and work seven days a week, 12 to 13 hours? How does he still have time to complain?

But kudos to the guy to openly say that he hates another culture and not to be found racist for it. After all, they are white, so it's ok.
12:45 December 31, 2012 by zeyadelbassel
How silly!
13:41 December 31, 2012 by Englishted
Where I came from in England ,you would now have to know the names in Urdu,

not eat pork and have Halal meat whether you want to or not.
14:46 December 31, 2012 by karldehm
Narrow minded Prussians, not only don't like us Swabs, they don't like anything that isn't

Prussian. Dominance by Prussia of Germany ended after the second world war.
15:10 December 31, 2012 by Bulldawg82
Really? All the things to be truly angry at, and all some can come up with is this? They come off as petty and small.
15:25 December 31, 2012 by Bigfoot76
Silly things are often said when politicians feel they are not the current topic of conversation at the dinner table. Good or bad, attention is attention.
15:32 December 31, 2012 by catjones
Just call it a McRoll then both sides can hate the Americans; problem solved.
19:07 December 31, 2012 by DOZ
Is a Swabian also known as a Maritimer. Sure sounds the same.
20:45 December 31, 2012 by Eric1
How silly of the Berliners. They don't require Muslims to assimilate.
21:16 December 31, 2012 by Tonne
Isn't this simply transference? It sounds as if he is using the Swabians to vent his distaste of other non- white, non-Christian, non-German speaking ethnic groups.

Herr Thierse ist ein Berliner!
21:38 December 31, 2012 by moccasynth
@englishted. my B.S. detector just tells me that a bull has just shat.
00:21 January 1, 2013 by gunsndogs
I can't believe such small things would anger anyone .At least they speak the same language. I get my telephone bill in six languages .
01:00 January 1, 2013 by wasserball
yea, blacks should turn whites if they want to live in Berlin!
01:14 January 1, 2013 by Englishted
@moccasynth

Is that so , then I would invite you to look on the web about Birmingham ,England and check out while you are at it how many schools,hospitals,airlines,etc are now using halal meat as not to offend .

There are also many pictures of "Coventry Road " the A45 ,Small Heath .

But please feel free to prove me a B.S###ter if you are from there or have visited there in the last few years.
03:00 January 1, 2013 by hanskarl
@catjones: Just precious!! Thank You!! LOL!!!
14:56 January 1, 2013 by GolfAlphaYankee
well... to Thierse's defense it's very difficult to explain how much you really really hate some people without sounding petty and small minded.... so when someone asks you you only come up with things like how they have a different name for Plaumenkuchen (or how they only sell Halal meat : see comments)
16:05 January 1, 2013 by vonSchwerin
HERE'S A LIST OF THINGS THAT SWABIANS SHOULD NOT BRING TO BERLIN:

-- politeness. In Berlin, you get Schnauze and you like it! No Southwest German politeness.

-- cleanliness and respect for civic order. In Berlin, we let our dogs s**t on the sidewalk, and it's not our problem. We like having the dirtiest city in Germany.

-- respect for hard work and self-initiative. In Berlin, we expect the state to do everything for us. More state subsidies for the arts! More state money for those of us who want to hang out in Prenzlberg and Kreuzberg and not work, even when the state is deeply, deeply in debt. I scorn "Schaffe schaffe, Häusle baue"!

Go back to your cozy, affluent, well-ordered B-W!
18:35 January 1, 2013 by Al uk
@moccasnth

I have to concur with Englishted with regards his post. Sadly he is not bull....g!
19:37 January 1, 2013 by raandy
Really its a problem to understand schrippen or wecken, come on we are faced with the eastern european hordes ,the lazy southern europeans and the far east invasion and this is an issue???

Things can only get worse.
20:08 January 1, 2013 by osas1212
Ok I am exonerated, I knew something was wrong here in Stuttgart, but could not figure it out for the last five years. I used to live in Wiesbaden for 4 years. Even one of the old guys at my office stated this BW is not Germany he is correct. It is some other country believe me! Alles NOT in ordnung! Things they do here you would not see in Wiesbaden or other places. The do not use blinker, cannot drive, are loud, cross against the lights, honk horns a lot. Now I must say I believe they are the nicest and friendliest people and the best looking women (my german friends agree on that). That swabian language grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Neighbor's mother speaks to me in swabish, he explained to her it confuses me because I think it is real. I go to Edeka and get stuff, the old ladies there cannot speak hoch Deutsche only swabish.That is an absolute outrage and I am on a campaign to stomp out the swabian language! (Unsuccessfully heheheh). Overall it is better here than where I came from, I am surprised by the signs "swabian out." (Sorry too lazy to sign in to my "good boy" account, using the bad boy one).
04:53 January 2, 2013 by mitanni
Sounds to me Thierse has an inferiority complex. Not surprising: I don't think most Germans hold Berlin or the Berlin dialect in particularly high regard.
20:08 January 4, 2013 by quiller
My God - the Swabians are coming - Lock up your wives and daughters !
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