Firefighters blazed a trail to the top in the eleventh annual “Most Trusted Brands” survey by Reader's Digest Deutschland, while politicians saw their approval rating languish.
An impressive 95 percent of German readers surveyed said that they had a “very high” or “pretty high” trust in firemen, who gained a percentage point from last year's poll.
Hot on their heels were pilots and nurses, who tied with 92 percent each. Coming in fourth were pharmacists with 86 percent, edging out doctors who had to swallow a confidence rating of 85 percent and fifth place.
Following the child abuse scandals which hit the Catholic Church last year, priests suffered the biggest loss of public faith, dropping 12 points to poll 39 percent both in Germany and abroad.
The worst performers for 2011 were finance workers (14 percent), footballers (14 percent) and car salesmen (10 percent) although it was politicians who came dead last, managing a feeble seven percent trust rating by the German public.
Despite Germany's vaunted recovery from the financial crisis, German politicians were ranked as less trusted than their European counterparts, who polled an average eight percent.
German readers are much more trusting of the police than their peers in the 15 other countries surveyed, rating the boys and girls in blue at 79 percent, which was 20 points higher than the European average.
More than 33,000 readers across Europe were surveyed between September and October 2010, of whom 7,148 were in Germany.