• Germany's news in English

The South rises again – in eastern Germany

1 Jul 2011, 12:36

Published: 01 Jul 2011 12:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Christian Ortschig’s weekdays are spent working in Germany’s social insurance administration. But on any given Saturday, he might be leading Union troops into battle against the Confederate Army.

Ortschig's historical re-enactment character is modelled after a member of the 79th New York Cameron Highlanders – a militia unit of Scottish immigrants from New York City who fought for the anti-slavery North. That accounts for his uniform: a brightly-coloured kilt and a dark jacket with brass buttons.

Ortschig stands in a field overseeing the military drills of a couple dozen men and women as they prepare for the afternoon's big battles at the Wild West theme park “El Dorado,” which is located on the outskirts of Templin about 50 miles north of Berlin.

“This is like a film, like theatre,” says Ortschig. “I am not a Union boy. I am not a Rebel boy. I am a German. But when I put on this uniform, I play a Union officer.”

Click here for a Civil War photo gallery

Cannons fire in the distance. Men and women mill around their campsites that are outfitted with antique furnishings like gas lamps and old fashioned bed rolls.

Like Ortschig's Scottish uniform, a lot of the history here is an odd mishmash of fact, fancy, and convenience. Men meticulously dressed in period costumes from the 1860s mingle with soldiers in uniforms from the US Revolutionary War. Conversation seems to focus on the physical trappings – the clothes and the weapons – not difficult issues like slavery or the war's staggering body count.

Such events happening about once a month in Germany do feel a little bit like drama camp for adults. But most of the people say they come for the history, not just the costumes.

German history too

“We know that 200,000 Germans served in the US Civil War. That's more than 10 percent of the Union soldiers,” Ortschig says. “So this is our history too.”

It's a number cited by most of the participants. Often, individuals model their characters after specific German immigrant soldiers so the history feels more personal.

The history they are re-enacting this weekend is the bombardment of Fort Sumter and the first battle of Bull Run.

Ute Frevert is the head of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. She says the choice for Germans to re-enact the Civil War battles may seem odd on the surface, but she explains it this way: “It's safe.”

In Germany, it's taboo to glorify anything military-related since World War II. So for Germans who want a taste of the pageantry of battle, the 19th-century American conflict fits the bill.

“It's safe enough for Germans to re-enact the US Civil War because it is so far away,” says Frevert. “It is not something you associate with Germany.”

When asked why Rebels typically outnumber the Yankees at these re-enactment weekends, Frevert says that might be Germans' sympathy for the losers, or because the Confederates' costumes are fancier. Or, she says, it could be the result of Rhett and Scarlett's cinematic romance.

“Well there is much more folklore and fantasy involved with the Confederates because of 'Gone with the Wind.' It's been a staple of German popular culture,” says Frevert.

Only a game

Story continues below…

At El Dorado, the Confederate troops line up in a dusty square to face off with their Northern enemies. A narrator reads bits of history over operatic music to educate the few spectators here.

American Chris McLarren marches to battle dressed as a Confederate captain. He thinks the Germans here “are doing a wonderful job.” He says their zeal for perfection and attention to detail bring history to life. And many of the guys understand the military aspects because they were soldiers once too.

“Many of these guys have served in the West or East German armies,” says McLarren. “There is that camaraderie in any military situation, and there is some of that in this.”

That's what attracted university student Tobias Melchurs. He says now that Germany no longer has mandatory military service, this is his only way to feel like he has “brothers in arms.” But for him, it's not just about the action.

“We also think about how it is cruel that brothers fought against each other. I have friends on the other side in the South and I would never shoot on them in real life,” says Melchurs. “This is only a game.”

And it's the kind of game where the battles end not in bloodshed – but with German beers around a fire.

Related links:

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:51 July 1, 2011 by Loth
The civil war is still somewhat alive in some spots in America. I am from the north but I live in the south. On the 4th in some small towns the confederate flags still come out on holidays and many do not like Yankees. Maybe the south will rise again. Hopefully after I am dead.
14:42 July 1, 2011 by ATM
I was in Northeastern PA last weekend and there was big Civil War renactment conference. Many of these folk trace through bloodline back to a member of the Civil War. I to hope that South will not rise again. Just thought I would add my comment.
14:55 July 1, 2011 by lunchbreak
Its nice to have a hobby but germans should pay more attention to their own military history for which they have a lot to atone. How about a reenactment of the discovery by allied troops of the consentration camp at say, Bergen-Belsen for starters?
15:03 July 1, 2011 by petenick
I hope they don't reenact Stonewall Jackson's flank attack on the Union Army's 11th Corp during the battle of Chancellorsville. It was mostly a German immigrant corp and they were totally routed by the rebels. Ach du Lieber!
15:09 July 1, 2011 by trash head
> Its nice to have a hobby but germans should pay more attention to their own military history for which they have a lot to atone. How about a reenactment of the discovery by allied troops of the consentration camp at say, Bergen-Belsen for starters?

How abt an reenactment of the Normandie and Günther Severloh? x.x

Many americans can participate and only less germans are needed to rreenact this. Just perfect.
16:17 July 1, 2011 by tonybot
are the skinheads playing the Confederates?
16:22 July 1, 2011 by jbaker
What is the purpose of re-enacting the Acts of Killing and Hate? It is fine to have it in history books and acknowledge it, but why do some people need to re-live it.

In 89 years it will be the 150th anniversary of WWII. Will our children be re-enacting those awful moments too?

I guess it takes the entire generation of people who lived through war to die before the succeeding generations decide to celebrate those Horrors.

War is Hell and does not need to be experienced by anyone!
17:26 July 1, 2011 by DOZ
What's wrong, can't re-enact your victorious Nazi Battles.
17:53 July 1, 2011 by lwexcel
Oh well no hard feelings towards this one. I personally find it quite immature of people to dress up like someone else and go to relive a battle that you already know the outcome to. However as they say to each his own. Also if memory serves me all of the 200k Germans were not solely supporting the Union, and this war was by far not fought only to abolish slavery in the United States.

On the other hand I do find it pretty neat that Germans are getting out and dedicating a bit of time to an event that plays such a large role in the American History. Chapeaux to Deutschland for that one!
17:55 July 1, 2011 by lunchbreak
jbaker asks a good question above. The answer is that some people get off on the adrenaline that even mock battles stimulate. Its these same obtuse idiots who glorify in the real thing.
18:26 July 1, 2011 by Englishted
Why not the unification wars of the same period?

North Germany (Prussia) against South German and Austria.
18:36 July 1, 2011 by MJMH
Come on, dressing up like Vikings, Gone With the Wind southerners and role playing is part of what summer is all about. Why do you guys always have to bring Nazis in the picture. Is it because you can't think of a response. Whats the difference between playing soldiers and spending the night at a disco.
19:12 July 1, 2011 by JAMessersmith

War is part of human nature, as evidenced in the primate world. Chimps literally fight wars against rival troops for supremacy. Aggression, and violence are just as much a part of our nature as peace and love, and our pack behavior lends itself to war.

Hatred, however, doesn't have much to do with war, barring WWII. The vast majority of common soldiers who wage war rarely ever have feelings of hatred for the common soldiers on the opposing side. They understand they are just doing a job, as crazy as that may sound. During the US Civil War, for example, families were split between North and South. This wasn't because they hated each other, but rather because they believed in different things and envisioned a different course for the country. And you must realize that only in recent times have we placed a premium on human life. Back when life was miserable, and the standard of living was low, a glorious death on the battlefield seemed preferable to an agonizing death of small pox, or tuberculosis.
20:13 July 1, 2011 by Rolf100
Just FYI - the pictures are of people in Yankee uniforms - not Rebel uniforms!
20:33 July 1, 2011 by Alofat
Well, Amuricaaans play make believe SS soldiers and their counterparts here in Germany play slavers, so what's the difference?
01:23 July 2, 2011 by TheChanger
@anyone bringing up WWII and Nazis

66 years. That's how long it has been since WWII ended. Chances are that the vast majority of people on this board were not even alive at that time, let alone guilty of any atrocities. Why even bring it up?

I think it is because it is a sensitive issue and an easy way to get attention. I also think it is childish and stupid.

If you are American then maybe people should shame you for slavery? If you are English maybe you should be chastised for your role in the deaths of millions of Jews in the middle ages?

Just because something happens in a country doesn't mean everyone in that country is guilty, nor does it mean that the country must forever hang it's head in shame.

Be proud Germany.


(from America)
01:26 July 2, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
Personally, I see nothing wrong with reenacting. It's just like theatre - it's not real, it doesn't glorify, it is only an act of rememberence. German soldiers had their heroes and their share of bravery as well, regardless of which war you talk about. Why is it so wrong to celebrate that?
02:44 July 2, 2011 by RonaldRussell
In "Gone With The Wind," I think we identify with Scarlet being put in impossible circumstances and her iron will forces her to overcome them. In a world gone made, she won't sit idly by like women in the past.

My novel, "Don Carina" owes much to Scarlet. It to is about a woman thrown into war and the men can't protect her so she takes matters into her own hands.

Ron Russell

Author of "Don Carina"

03:31 July 2, 2011 by lunchbreak
Depends on what you want Germany to be proud of TheChanger. The holocaust happened here 70 odd years ago, the virtual blink of an eye, not in the middle ages or the 19th century. If you think the accusation of the murder of untold millions of people is childish and stupid perhaps you yourself best fit that description. Anything that Germany might be proud of is dwarfed by the heinous crimes committed by the Nazis in collusion with much of the german people. It will be a very long time before this remarkable race will be able to start from a moral zero.
05:52 July 2, 2011 by FIUMAN
My comment. I am, frankly, offended that no one has taken Germans to task for laying claim to their FORMER countrymen who emigrated to America, It is inevitable that I have to hear the long list of "Germans" who made it in America every time I am back in Germany. Let us face it. Germans emigrated to America. Emigration is a rejection of the old country and an acceptance of the new. Those 200,000 German emigrants were Americans and not Germans. I will go a step further. The Nazis described Germans in racial terms and those without the proper genetics were not permitted to be Germans. Those current-day Germans who persist in using racial terms to describe German citizenship are continuing the thoughts of the Nazi party. The facts are that there is no such thing as a "German" in racial terms or by blood. The facts are that Germany did not even emerge as a complete country until 1871; six years after the US Civil War was over and almost a century after the Americans liberated themselves from the British Crown. The facts are that Germans joined dozens if not thousands of other nationalities, ethnicities, sects, etc in becoming Americans in the 19th century. Please do not make it sounds like there was some sort of colonies of Germans surrounded by the wild, crazy peasantry in North America. That is not true. The facts are the most Germans who came to America were the rejects, the lower classes, the working men who could not find work, the racial and religious minorities, etc. There were the people that Germany pushed away and America took it. Germany has NO claim to them; not now, not then, not ever.
08:00 July 2, 2011 by harcourt
lunchbreak #19: A very good comment

As an Englishman I am STILL personally very ashamed of what the British did during their colonial times plus what was done in Ireland.

The reason what happened 70 yrs ago in Germany was considered SO heinous, was that it was pre- planned meticulously, and carried out with such ruthless efficiency in so short a period of time, by a modern, industrialised and "civilised" country.
09:03 July 2, 2011 by Katzerina
People really shouldn't read that much into civil war reenactments. I've seen a few in America, at Gettysburg etc. Mostly serious history buffs, who probably also enjoy a mean game of Dungeons and Dragons during the off season. Do they have Dagorhir Battles in Europe? That's actually a pretty crazy obsession for some people...men and women who join armies and battle each other medieval/ Tolkien style.
10:00 July 2, 2011 by MichaelMolenaar
@lunchbreak #19: So you are a religious man, I take it? Because your comment shows that you believe in inherited sin, in other words, that you believe that German children today should feel guilty for something that they had ZERO control over. That is saying like an African child living in Africa today should feel guilty because some of his ancestors sold a lot of his other ancestors into slavery to foreigners. Another example would be a Chinese child to feel guilty for the Cultural Revolution, when they had nothing to do with it. Guilt is something that only an individual can feel, there is no such thing as collective guilt.

@FIUMAN #20: Millions of African Americans would be offended if you said that Kenyans could not take pride in Obama becoming President because of his Kenyan ancestory. If you go to China and tell a person there that there is no such thing as a Chinese person they will laugh at you. If you persist in this they will pick up a Chinese phone to speak to a fellow Chinese person in Chinese and they will book you in a Chinese prison for breaking Chinese laws. If you are luckly they might feed you some Chinese food. The sum of our expirences with people from other countries is what makes up their identity, and our impressions of their country. By trying to cut apart a people when a shared, unique history you are committing a disregard to cultural respect.
14:46 July 2, 2011 by harcourt
MichaelMolenaar : You seem so desperate to argue that German children today should not have to feel guilty of what happened in the past that you became quite incomprehensible. Anyway it is not children that should harbour thoughts of guilt, it is when they become adults that they should at least spare a thought for the victims of their ancestors
17:26 July 2, 2011 by lunchbreak
Its not the kids I'm concerned with, rather the german culture and psyche that would permit the atrocities that happened here to occur on such an overwhelming scale. And its not as if germany hadn't the experience with mass killing on a grand scale a few years before during the previous war. Guilt? How would you feel if your parents and grand parents brought about carnage on such a grand scale? What would you be capable of doing to avoid feelings of responsibility and inadequacy? Open the borders to everyone and put western culture at risk? For instance.
19:42 July 2, 2011 by harcourt
lunchbreak :

Yes multi-culturalism is a good thing and the way of the future, if that's what you mean, you don't make it very clear. Also you don't make it very clear whether you are trying to avoid feelings of responsibility or not. I'm not sure on that at all.
00:44 July 3, 2011 by hanskarl
There is a series of blog articles "The Immigrants Civil War" by Patrick Young. It can be found at www(dot)longislandwins(dot)com. The most recent (#13) is titled "Why the Germans Fought for the Union". He has written about the involvement of Carl Schurz and other immigrants close to Lincoln.

Long Island Wins is a group that seeks to provide resources and insight to promote immigration solutions that include and work for everyone.

Patrick is doing an exceptional job writing the articles and I recommend them.
01:24 July 3, 2011 by lunchbreak
File this quote under the heading of Multi-culturalism Is A Good Thing harcourt:

BERLIN (AP) - Germany's top security official said Friday that the terrorist threat to the country hasn't decreased and the number of radicals continues to grow, even with the death of Osama bin Laden.
02:39 July 3, 2011 by Richard Schmoyer
Next time folks vist the Civil War Battlefield at Gettysburg Pennsylvania, please do stop by the magnificent "Pennsylvania Monument". It is bar far the largest of the hundreds of monuments that can be found at Gettysburg, the world's largest outdoor sculpture garde. When you stop by the Pa monument you can read the names of thousands of Civil War soldier who fought at Gettysburg. Certainly far more than ten percent of the last names on thie monument are of German origin. Even today more than twenty percent of Pennsylvanians have Germanic last names. In 1863 the percentage was much higher.

As a Pennsylvania German whose relatives migrated here in 1736 (11th generation Pennsylvania German or ,colloquilally, "Pennsylvania dutchman" I must take issue with fuiman. Here in eastern Pa, people still speak the dialect of Rhinalnd Pfalz (amish, Mennonites). Our favorite foods are often germanic (snitz and knepp and boova schinkel. Germanic architecture is everywhere (gorgeous stone farmhouses, Swiss bank Barns etc, and our landcapes the cleanliness and orderliness associted with German. Further, I am so happy to live in a part of america where we ,along with thousands of others, can attend Liederkranz sponsored octoberfests, or the Back Festival at Bethlehem. Most Pensylvania germans are prod of their heritage!
03:03 July 3, 2011 by willowsdad
"Out to lunch" seems to have bought into the idea that some countries/peoples are inherently bad, but of course not his, who are by default inherently good.
08:58 July 3, 2011 by harcourt
lunchbreak #28

You tend to bring up inconsequential arguments. Your principal concern seems to be Islam not multi-culturalism
15:19 July 3, 2011 by lunchbreak
Yes, willowsdad, proponents of cultures that are trying to kill me are inherently bad while mine is trying to keep me alive, so in my opinion is inherently good. Of course you might have another opinion. The last I heard Islam was part of the multiculturalist effort in europe harcourt.
16:56 July 3, 2011 by Zobirdie
At Lunchbreak...

If you are of American or British heritage, you do not have a moral leg to stand on over Germany. In Canada and the US, we actively murdered 45 million native people over the course of 120 years. The country with the strongest Eugenics laws was the US, not Germany. In Canada and the US, we were still sterilising the mentally (and by the terminology of the time) morally defective until 1980. So dont bring the holocaust into this, or that Germany should still atone for their actions.

People in glass houses shouldnt throw stones.

As for reenacting- its a fun way to keep history alive. Its perfectly harmless.
17:37 July 3, 2011 by willowsdad
OTL: As I understand it, multiculturalism means that cultures both coexist and respect each other's self-expression. As for other cultures trying to kill you, you might disturb your sluggish gray matter enough to ask why. Could be they perceive your culture as a threat. As other respondents have pointed out, the hands of Western culture are fairly blood-soaked themselves.

Zobirdie: good points. You left out that lynchings were a common occurrence (and a popular entertainment!) in the US well into the twentieth century. Some African-Americans think all whites should feel guilty and repentent for that and other outrages against them, but I'll bet you anything that OTL and those like him reject this as having nothing to do with them. Collective guilt is for other people and their hatred is justified but no one is supposed to hate them...
17:56 July 3, 2011 by wenddiver
I would think that re-enacting the American Civil War would be highly beneficial. In re-enacting or being around re-enacting a certain amount of research is necessary, not just uniforms, but how they lived and what they thought and why they did things the way they did. The very top tier of US History for better or worse is Civil War History. Re-enactors capture something very key in US History that it is a history of the common man, what determined the war in the end was not battlefild losses and material, but a collapse of the Confederate Home front.

Most of the rich men in the South that led the sucession did not end the war covered in glory. Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson were all products of the old US. The outstanding feature of the war was nobody knew just how good the average draftee Southern Infantry Soldier was. For a General like Stonewall Jackson to order a 40 mile march in the Valley heat and end it by a major battle, the Infantry had to be able to do it. Any proffessional Soldier would be well served studying Stoneall Jackson's valley campaign. That it took four years of hard fighting to move the short ride between Washington, DC and Richmond Virginia is a monument to the tenacity of the fighting. The plan for Iaq 1 was the Battle of Chancellorville in the US Civil War. The powers of the Federal Government today come from this period.

I would like to add that America's facination with a Parlimentarian form of Governmentand limited government traces back to the English Civil War, we might want to study that too.
23:28 July 3, 2011 by lunchbreak
Its very disingenuous to compare the eugenics programs in north america with the Nazis Zobirdle. The germans killed tens of thousands of the institutionalized disabled through compulsory "euthanasia" programs such as Aktion T4. The methods of murder developed in the euthanasia policy led directly to their widespread use in concentration camps and extermination camps, especially the use of carbon monoxide followed by hydrogen cyanide in Zyklon B.

And unlike the Jews killed in WWII the indian wars were between two opposing armies and many settlers and army servicemen lost their lives as well ie. General Custer and his men were wiped out in the battle of Little Big Horn. The indian wars were indeed wars, the Jews were slaughtered wholesale by the germans in concentration camps and gas ovens. The north american and german experiences are not comparable.

As for why other cultures are trying to kill us willowsdad you don't have to look any further than in their holy books where they are commanded to do so. The next time a bunch of Presbyterians are arraigned for trying to bomb a train in London or Madrid get back to us.
08:53 July 4, 2011 by harcourt
I'm always worried when arguments are brought forward about what happened in Europe in the 1940s such as, "so and so happened in some other country's past history which was far worse or just as worse". This seems to me as trying to ameliorate what happened in Europe in some way ! Let's just face up to it and say that it was unbelievably evil , full stop , end of story !
12:29 July 4, 2011 by Sven75
Whil we are at it...anybody fancy to belittle and ridicule the british for re-encacting the ACW?

12:58 July 5, 2011 by michael4096
If someone gets their kicks from re-enacting history and it doesn't affect anyone then whats the problem? Lots of puritanism here

@lunchbreak - rewriting history is a bad idea, someone might actually believe you. "$5 a scalp, man woman or child" wasn't a few stragglers caught in some crossfire but systematic ethnic cleansing. I cannot see why you consider that "not comparable" to ethnic cleansing in Europe - apart from the fact that you are an American and don't want to face up to it. In that respect, the Germans are ahead of you.

@harcourt - history is there to learn from, be it 70 or 170 years ago. I don't think posters are trying to diminish actions in Europe but to point out that the lesson to be learned has nothing to do with Europe or Germany per se.
14:26 July 5, 2011 by lunchbreak
@ michael 4096

Scalping was common practice throughout North America before colonists got here. Colonists learned to scalp enemies from the Indians, who invented it and were famous for it . To characterize those wars as ethnic cleansing is like trying to persuade us that the war in the pacific in the 40s was ethnic cleansing. They were in reality the violent clash of cultures, the outcome of which was in doubt for many years. Luckily for us western civilization came out on top in both instances. Blaming the US for the of the american indian is like blaming air travel for the death of the great clipper ships. Changes happen, get over it. At the very least stop trying to compare the holocaust with the settlement of the american west. Despite all the politically correct propaganda that won't wash with anyone with the slightest sense of history.
16:26 July 5, 2011 by michael4096
@lunchbreak - "politically correct" seems to be your substitute for what many here use the term "liberal": just a label to rubbish something because there are no cogent arguments.

For the record: it's the government bounties, not the scalping, that makes it state sponsored ethnic cleansing (or, as some prefer, 'genocide'). Bounties were also available outside the 'indian wars' - though why you think calling something a war makes it right, I don't know.
00:58 July 6, 2011 by willowsdad
@harcourt: You've got it backwards. Those who claim the bloodbath in Europe in the 1940s is somehow unique are usually trying to whitewash the evil things that their own countries have done. See how our friend Out to Lunch has actually made the genocide of the American Indians (excuse me, the "settlement of the American West") into a blessing for civilization. If the Nazis had won, they'd doubtless describe their efforts in similarly glowing terms. The Nazis were unique in doing to other Europeans what Europeans had been doing to people on other continents for a while.

It's amusing that the Nazi atrocities are characterized as being so evil because they were planned, mehcanized and efficient. That's te noble institution of warfare in a nutshell and it continues to this day.

As for Civil War re-enactments being educational, I wouldn't get too optimistic about that--they've sanitized the whole thing, making it seem no more heinous than a pillow fight between brothers.
12:58 July 6, 2011 by lunchbreak
@ willowsdad

The moral equivalency on this board is shocking. Whatever you think of the US it is perverse to equate the american indian wars with the wholesale stuffing of most of defenseless german jewry into ovens, crematoriums and concentration camps where most were worked to death in hellacious conditions. Many of the indians had guns and used them to good effect on settlers and the US army, the jews had nothing to rely on but the tender mercies of the germans and we all know how much that availed them.

Your defense of the nazi atrocities in the 30s and 40s, that things were just as bad in the US, is totally without foundation and insulting as well. The horror over here was unique in size, scope, efficiency and its insulting to the americans who saved your butts in europe and continue to do so around the world to pretend otherwise.

Deal with it.
17:14 July 6, 2011 by michael4096
@lunchbreak - last try

Nobody, I think, is denying the holocaust or any of the things you state. People are trying to point out that the difference is not a Germans vs Americans thing.

In general, all atrocities of the 20th century were an order of magnitude worse than the 19th. The article is about the American civil war - ~600,000 died. Twice that number were killed in just one battle in the first world war less than 100 years later. Last century saw nastier things because of the ability to do nastier things, not because people were nastier.

Nobody is beating up on Americans, just reminding them that they are human - just like the rest of us. No worse and no better.
19:38 July 6, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
Michael already said it best. "Politically correctness" is taking the palce of critical debate nowadays, and is used as a thinly-veiled mask when no arguement is there. I think it is ridiculous to blame Germans now for what happened in the past. The critics probably have ancestors that did bad things in the past, why don't they feel guilty about that? Because they don't want to hold themselves to the same standard that they preach, and would rather use blanket-statements to perpetuate their superior moral authority. Modern Germans are not guilty of anything, no one is disputing that crimes were committed in the past, and there have been many instances of justice (and injustice) since 1945. Unfortunately this isn't utopia and hate breeds more hate. So stop harrassing Germany like a jealous lover over something YOU can't let go of. Don't you think they've paid dearly enough for the crimes of a relative few? There doesn't seem to be a chance for Germany to rehabilitate, because nobody will give them one, despite how great Germany is doing now.
20:22 July 6, 2011 by Larry Sharpe
Proud of Germany!!!! My ancestors are Germany. I am from America, but love Germany. I can't believe some of the hateful comments about Germany. It's a great country and is beautiful. I wish America would take some lessons from the German people. America would be a lot cleaner and better off. While America is falling apart, Germany is strong and getting stronger. We in America just cannot get our act together.
21:59 July 6, 2011 by Flint
The Civil War started in my home state, Kansas.
15:52 July 9, 2011 by willowsdad
@ OTL:

Who's defending Nazi atrocities??? I'll thank you not to put words in my mouth.

I guess you never heard of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising or other instances of armed reisistance to the Nazis. Are you by chance saying that if the Jews had had guns and "used them to good effect" it wouldn't have been quite as heinous?

As far as size, scope and efficiency goes, I believe the Soviets take the prize for sheer numbers of their own citizens killed, and the ghastly, murderous efficiency of the death camps was paltry next to the vaporization of cities full of civilians.

You seem to be under the impression that I'm something other than a born-and-bred US citizen. Wrong again. You should be smart enough to know that that "we saved your butts" crap gets you nowhere and only makes Americans as a whole look like arrogant DBs. By the way, this 4th of July, did you remember to thank any French people you know for "saving our butts" in the Revolutionary War?
06:44 July 18, 2011 by heyheyhey
@lunchbreak and harcort

PLEASE SHUT UP. You are offensive and continually repeat the same propaganda everywhere that you post. You sound like wicked, shaming, nasty people who should first sweep their own back doorstep. You do not represent what is good regarding the US. You represent what is disgusting and vain. You make Americans look pathetic and poorly read. There is too much bravado and ego in your comments, and this prevents you from being taken seriously. You may argue until you are out of wind, but you will not convince. You will simply continue to
Today's headlines
After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Eurowings union threatens cabin crew strike for Thursday
Photo: DPA.

A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will start as of Thursday if ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd