• Germany edition
 
Thierse welcomes Swabians after hate mail
Photo: DPA

Thierse welcomes Swabians after hate mail

Published: 13 Jan 2013 13:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Jan 2013 13:14 GMT+01:00

“I've been called a snob, a racist, a Nazi [and] an arsehole,” wrote Thierse in a guest article in the Berliner Morgenpost on Sunday – the same paper which published his now notorious comments on New Year's Eve complaining about Swabians failing to adapt to Berlin's culture.

Thierse said he was fed up with being at the centre of what he called a “staged” outrage, being demonized for offhand comments taken out of context and exaggerated in skewed newspaper reports.

All he had done, was “mention two little observations about everyday misunderstandings between locals and newcomers,” when his interviewer had asked him about his constituency in the gentrified East Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg.

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

He had also happened to mention that in the bakery he would like to continue to order Schrippe - the Berlin slang for a bread roll - and not a Weckle, the word used by Swabians.

But the Social Democrat politician and long-time Berlin resident had never dreamed these “flippant” comments would prompt such a “torrent of indignation.” “Oh no!” wrote Thierse sarcastically. “How narrow-minded of me to play the role of the defender of Berlin dialect!”

The reaction has been particularly harsh in Swabia he said, where newspapers “are filled with rage and scorn” about him, he said.

“I would never have expected such a lack of humour,” wrote Thierse, who was surprised and offended by comments in the press asking why he had not taken Turkish immigrants to task, or suggesting that people as scruffy-looking as him should “kindly keep their mouths shut!”

Given how he had been misunderstood, wrote Thierse, he felt he should reaffirm he has nothing against the Swabians - has Swabian colleagues and friends, has visited Swabia on holiday and even eats Swabian food in the Bundestag canteen.

Although he remained a Berliner through and through, Thierse hoped “that Berlin's language and style will also become home for the many newcomers, also those from Swabia.”

“You're all welcome!” he added.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

14:58 January 13, 2013 by Sastry.M
Berliner or Swabian, any one as a German is religiously qualified as one belonging to the nation of holocaust creators.How come this occurs to date when the generation of that alleged period is receding into attrition? Better be a German working for peace and unity than fall prey for hate generated self centered recognition of segregated disunity.
15:48 January 13, 2013 by Englishted
Should have let sleeping Swabs lie.
16:37 January 13, 2013 by raandy
Ya true, but I like the guy.

¦quot;How narrow-minded of me to play the role of the defender of Berlin dialect!¦quot; good one Thierse. :-)
18:08 January 13, 2013 by burito
Who is a Swabians?,and who else is there if there is a Swabians?(Im little confused here..,never mind...,by...)
18:32 January 13, 2013 by treecat
Wow -, I had read his previous comments and smiled. His explanations are not 'PC' though.

'... nothing against the Swabians - has Swabian colleagues and friends, has visited Swabia on holiday and even eats Swabian food in the Bundestag canteen...'

I lived for 10 years in West Germany, (70's). Lived dreamed Swabian German.

When I traveled north, south or to Berlin. I found that speaking with a Swabian dialect marked me as a 'Hick'.

A redneck in Texas terms..................ah well.....get over yourself.
06:10 January 14, 2013 by RainerL
Isn't it strange How silly un intelligent People seek refuge in throwing the Nazi ridicule and deliberately will take things out of context at anyone who dare speak their mind. well" here comes another one so get ready >

Thierse is quiet right in what he is stating and is entitled to his views and they should be respected; Even if it means the truth hurts to so many in what he did state. The only point against him is ; I agree with is that he should have included the Turks as well. People who come to Berlin should adapt and not Berliners adapting to other who choose to live there!!! Amen
07:42 January 14, 2013 by bhess
I lived in the south for a few years and would take the south over the north anyday. I just thought that Bavaria/Swabisch was the best part of Germany.

It's also clear that Thierse looks down at the Swabians. His apology was hardly one.
Today's headlines
Man shot in tax office dispute
DPA

Man shot in tax office dispute

A tax office worker in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Rendsburg died in hospital after being shot on Monday morning. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg
Berlin and Hamburg mayors Klaus Wowereit and Olaf Scholz on Monday. Photos: DPA

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg

Germany's capital and its gateway to the North Sea each released details of their Olympic bids on Monday as the race for the 2024 or 2028 summer games nominations picks up momentum. READ  

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria
Photo: DPA

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria

Six people were infected with a bacteria from the Caribbean which has made itself at home in the popular German vacation destination. One of them is now in a coma. READ  

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees
DPA

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres is lauding Germany's role in accommodating the influx of refugees in Europe, while pointing at the imbalance of effort within the EU. The federal government has pledged to do more. READ  

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome
Photo: DPA

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome

Starting on Monday, vacuum cleaners drawing more than 1600 watts can no longer be brought into Germany. The ban is part of a an EU-wide environmental protection measure. READ  

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote
CDU leader Stanislav Tillich with SPD Martig Dulig. Photo: DPA

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic (CDU) party is in search of a new partner after the expulsion of its former allies the Free Democrats (FDP) from the Saxon state parliament. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation
Photo: Phorms Education

Bilingual education from nursery to graduation

A network of German based schools is changing how students learn languages by introducing English and Deutsch from day one, with the method yielding impressive academic results. The Local finds out more about Phorms Education. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'German bosses need to praise more'
More of this? Photo: Shutterstock

'German bosses need to praise more'

What do German bosses need to do to get more out of their staff? Frankfurt-based business consultant Justin Bariso has this advice. READ  

Train drivers take their turn to strike
A banner announcing a previous rail strike in June is displayed in a station. Photo: DPA

Train drivers take their turn to strike

A train drivers' union has warned of a nationwide strike to take place on Monday evening as it seeks leverage in negotiations with Deutsche Bahn. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,430
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd