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What fuels the American-German love-in?

The Local · 19 Apr 2012, 13:56

Published: 19 Apr 2012 13:56 GMT+02:00

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Perhaps the common love of sausages, beer and team sports is an important factor, enabling Germans and Americans to see eye to eye – although that would also link Brits and Germans, particularly as they don’t confuse each other about football and football.

The long and largely successful presence of American troops in Germany after the war certainly gave people from both nations a good chance to get to know each other – well beyond the clichés of modern culture.

But is there something beyond personal contact and commercial culture – something more than a mutual regard for Coke and Mercedes?

What do Americans like about Germans – and what do Germans like about Americans? Have your say below.

Registered users of The Local may add their comments in the field below. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here – it’s free and only takes a moment.

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Your comments about this article

15:43 April 19, 2012 by catjones
Most Americans have no direct contact with contemporary germans so they really only like the german image or stereotype with no basis in reality. germans, on the other hand, have much more direct contact with Americans albeit the armed forces and tourists and like all countries, the effects of a super-power's culture and financial influence.
15:51 April 19, 2012 by reallybigdog
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:28 April 19, 2012 by beam1985
I'm American from Chicago and I love Germany and it's culture. I had an amazing experience visiting Berlin and could see myself living there. It's artistic scene is absolutely unparalleled. I'm still in awe of it's incredible musicians and artists. I'll even be seeing my current favorite producers, Berlin's own Modeselektor this Saturday here in Chicago.
16:47 April 19, 2012 by doc holiday
Most people forget that the majority of Americans have German ancestors. Most Germans came to America prior to 1900 and assimilated easily. When you add in the two world wars it is easy to understand why most Americans of German descent haven't celebrated their heritage. Statistically the German American population is much larger than almost all other groups. Naturally people will relate to Germans. Those of us who grew up in areas of high German immigration still see the influence of Germany on America and German on America English.
17:17 April 19, 2012 by JAMessersmith
There are a lot of people with German ancestry here in California. Most are only a part German (usually mixed with English, Scottish, Irish, French, etc.), and have never been to Germany, yet they still choose to identify with their German heritage over everything else.

I'm not sure why that is. Because it used to be a taboo subject (obviously) during the wars. My grandfather, for example, anglicized our name from Messerschmidt to Messersmith (and other members of our family shortened that to Smith). Now, people want to change their names back to their German originals (possibly because Germany is running things in Europe now and England is on the decline, but that's just a wild guess).

The funny thing about it is no one in Germany would identify a German-American as a German. For example, I myself look very German. When I go to Germany, people try to converse with me in the language, and tourists have even asked me for directions, as if i'm a local. But alas, I'm an American, and the second I open my mouth and start speaking English, the look on their faces instantly sours. Even here in LA, I was recently at a German restaurant, and a group from Germany was throwing a party there. One of the women from the party came up and asked me if I was German (in German), to which I replied, "Yes". She gave me a funny look and said, "Oh, you mean your grandfather was German". So, I would say that "German" is a far more exclusive club than most German-Americans would like to believe. It's all in the language barrier. It's tough to call yourself German if you don't even speak German.
17:23 April 19, 2012 by doc holiday
No question language is the key element. But until recently blood lines have also been essential to being German.
17:29 April 19, 2012 by Englishted
I feel I'm Anglo Saxon so am I German too?
18:22 April 19, 2012 by doc holiday

18:45 April 19, 2012 by Turtlez
I'm American and I think Germans are awesome.

This may sound silly, but I became interested in German culture through Japanese anime. This anime had characters representing all of the countries. My interest grew in other cultures through this and I started to research a lot about Europe, specifically. I stumbled upon a blog of an American woman who had been living in Germany for the past 20 years. She often wrote about German culture. I plan to learn German and go to Germany one day. Actually, I want to go all around the world. Germany is one of the top countries I wish to visit. Now that I think about it, I know a few Germans (and I mean Germans from Germany, not German-Americans).

Doc holiday is right, a lot of people have German blood in them. America is a place of diversity and most of the people here come from various parts of Europe. When you ask people about their heritage, you'll often hear them say their ancestors came from Germany along with a few other European countries. I'm mainly Italian, French, and German and because of this I'm interested in Germany even more. A lot of times when you ask people what they want to do with their lives, you'll often hear, "Travel around the world." When you ask where they would like to go, often Germany will be in the list. It's on my list.
19:50 April 19, 2012 by X13F
I am of German ancestry and speak "ein wenig Deutsch" and was also stationed in Germany back in the 80s. As was mentioned in an earlier post, many Americans have German lineage. I don't know that Germans were thrilled with GI's in their country but I was always very well treated and had several German friends. Here in America I have been called by nicknames like "Nazi", "Kraut" or "Sour Kraut", I smile alot maybe? I grew up eating German food here in the US and yes Ich liebe dunkel bier! While I'm very much American, that can also mean I have strong cultural ties to the Fatherland. If you ask half of America what their nationality is they will say "I'm Irish!" but they haven't been to the Emerald Isle and couldn't speak any Gaelic to save their lives.

Nearly all of us Americans come from somewhere else. I guess many of us just have a DNA link to Oktoberfest whether our German cousins like us or not.

21:00 April 19, 2012 by PoisonnIvy
I'm from Minnesota, and almost everyone born and raised in this area is of German or Norwegian ancestry. Most are a mixture of both. My grandparents have bibles and things from their parent's that are written in German and still used in church when they were growing up. There are tons of festivals in the area celebrating our different heritages which allows each generation to learn where they come from. I grew up learning how to make sausages and lefse from my grandmothers - skills they learned as girls that were here by their grandmothers and grandfathers. Every year in September my family travels en masse to a nearby city to celebrate Oktoberfest, the American way, in an area with predominately German ancestory.. Which is still complete with parades, traditional dress, bier gartens, polka bands... the works.

As for me, I've traveled to Germany, and met some wonderful people there, as well as Germans living in Minnesota. We seem to be able to relate to eachother in strange ways considering we are from totally different parts of the world. I have a deep love for Germany, its culture, and its people. Yet, its hard to explain why really. Perhaps because of my heritage? Who knows. I also really admire the German government in some ways, and wish our leaders in the US would learn a few things from them, particularly financially.
21:30 April 19, 2012 by wood artist
Obviously for different age groups, the reasons will be different. I grew up during the Cold War, watched the Cuban Missile Crisis as a young teenager, and then watched from afar as Germany endured der Mauer. The images of people jumping along Bernauer Strasse seem like fresh memories. I was born during the Luftbrücke, but obviously have no personal memories of that.

For me, I think my "love affair" with Germany comes from shared desires and often shared dedication. In my eyes, the German people tried valiently to put the era of the Third Reich behind them, not by ignoring it but by acknowledging what happened and working to learn from those things. They struggled with the "guilt" and moved on, even though many didn't want them to. In the immediate aftermath of the war, they fought hard to avoid repeating the same mistakes, even with the Soviet Union pushing them in exactly that same direction. They worked hard to overcome their history of strong leaders dictating life, and embraced the "mess" that comes with true Democracy.

In the end, Americans, I think, like Germans because they seem to share many of the same ideals. We can disagree without becoming disagreeable. We can respect those differences and still find places to work together. Personally I doubt the German role in Afghanistan has much effect upon American viewpoints. There's much more to it than that.
22:22 April 19, 2012 by Beachrider
I don't see a lot of German-nationals commenting on this, yet.

I have visited Germany three times in my life and have a German-born neighbor for a quarter-century. I don't know of any German ancestry for me, but I see Germany struggling with some issues (in a European context) that reflect American issues.

In some ways, Germany is one of the more progressive European countries. In other ways, not so much.

I did enjoy my visits and maintain contact with some German nationals, so I find websites like this to be interesting. This website sometimes seems to take an English perspective over a German perspective, though.
22:53 April 19, 2012 by PNWDev
@ Chango Mutney

¦quot;…Your average American knows not, and cares little for anything or anyone outside of the US of A¦quot;

¦quot;….and who was Leipzig's most famous son, and they wouldn't have a bloody clue !¦quot;

Thank you, I have been desperately searching for the ¦quot;world¦#39;s dumbest quotes¦quot; to submit to Letterman by Friday and you have delivered.
23:21 April 19, 2012 by fload46d
While not too impressed with many of the German "philosophers" of the "enlightenment", nevertheless I value my German heritage. My grandfather came from Essen at the turn of the twentieth century and brought with him honesty, fairness, and hard work. My dad was a "chip off the old block" and I have many stories from their times. Having visited Germany, I can now understand from whence it came. I love the inventiveness, the stubborness, and the thrift that is so obvious. Here in the US we tear down buildings that are too old and who even wants to preserve them? We allow litter and undiscipline galore. I know Germany has its problems but at least it has its roots, and I don't mean nazism, to fall back on. When one visits Bamberg and sees the Dom which goes back to the 1100s or so and also other places in Germany, one gains an appreciation of ones roots. I think I'd live in Germany if it wasn't so expensive.
02:57 April 20, 2012 by Jeff10
It's true, but I believe that the reason is that German engineered products have such a great reputation in the US. The statement, "It's German-engineered" is the ultimate compliment to pay to any product. The statement, "German efficiency" is the ultimate compliment to pay to any service.

As with most American, I'm of mixed ancestry (German, Swiss, Swedish, and Germans-from-Russia). Most people of German ancestry are proud of their Germanic heritage. About 35% to 40% of all Americans are of Germanic peoples heritage, with about 25% of Americans being predominantly of German heritage.
03:04 April 20, 2012 by hanskarl
@Chango Mutney: Your astute knowledge of America has clearly pointed out you must be a Britiot.
07:52 April 20, 2012 by insight101
In my experience in Germany (and I have a lot), it is the people who are the nicest to the Germans that they speak the worst about-the evil Americans. Maybe a lot of you that are fans of Germany have only come here as guests or tourists for a couple weeks. That is a much different experience than rubbing shoulders with people who aren't hosting you, and two weeks is not enough time to really see how the people are.

@PoisonnIvy I think your praise of the German governmenrt is highly misplaced. They tax their people heavily (including a tax for owning a dog, mandatory TV fees, up until this year mandatory military service, and the list goes on). In addition to that, they have almost none of the natural disasters that the American government has to deal with, they save money on military while the U.S. and Britain pay for troops there, they do not have to pay for roads across thousands of miles, they are placed perfectly in the middle of Europe, they have had years of economic support from America buying from their manufacturing to keep a stable Germany, and yet they still manage to be in debt in reality. Not to mention politicians are constantly losing their office because of their corruption and misconduct. The latest two examples being their President (Herr Doktor Professor blah blah blah Wolfe) and their Secretary of Defense who plagiarized to get his degree. Little Germany is also the third biggest weapons exporter in the world behind the United States and Russia, and don't let their "strict laws" fool you. They find ways to skirt the law and sell to countries that are red-flagged.
07:58 April 20, 2012 by mos101392
@Chango Mutney

I too wonder where the writer of this article is getting this information? It could just be that there is not much else to write about and that is why readers are asked to leave their opinions.

Less than 1% of the total American population serves or has served in the military and of that 1% even less were ever stationed in Germany. Maybe Elvis helped put Germany on the map but most Americans only know what they see on TV. If the networks wanted Americans to see Germany in a negative light...they just have to propagandize the history of Germany.

Just because a few english speaking people comment on the "LOCAL" or are even aware of the local's existence, is not a reflection of ALL AMERICA! And just because they are commenting in english, does not mean they are all Americans.
09:48 April 20, 2012 by AlexR
The Local: "What fuels the American-German love-in?"

US Census Bureau: "German Americans comprise about 50 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest ancestral group."

And that concludes our (tax funded)... err... "survey".
10:52 April 20, 2012 by michael4096

"Most Americans have no direct contact with contemporary germans so they really only like the german image or stereotype with no basis in reality. germans, on the other hand, have much more direct contact with Americans..."

I doubt my German neighbours have ever had anything to do with either Americans or America whereas, when I lived in the US, my all neighbours worked with Europeans in general - including Germans - every day.

OK. I never claimed to be normal. However, I think you are doing your countrymen down somewhat. A very, very large minority of Americans work in international commerce of one kind or another and come across Germans all the time.


"I feel I'm Anglo Saxon so am I German too?"

When the Romans ran the show, they would recruit soldiers in one region and station them in another - why arm and train possible insurgents? After 25 years or so, those troopers that survived were then given enough land to attract a wife and end their days in peace. The soldiers on the borders of Saxony were originally recruited in Britain - which means that many Saxons actually decended from Celtic Britons :-)
14:37 April 20, 2012 by Struwel
As for me, I neither ever met an American in person nor I ever visited America. The few Americans I've met online have been great ambassadors for America. With their warmth, patience and open-mindedness they made me feel welcome in a way I've not yet experienced here. We hope there will be a time where we can meet each other in reality. :)
16:01 April 20, 2012 by MikeJarosz
The percentage of Americans with German heritage is very high. The US Post Office once issued a stamp to honor German Immigration. The big immigration occured after the 1848 disasters all over Europe.

Because of the two world wars, many Germans changed their names. Herr Schneider became Mr Taylor, Frau Zimmerman became Mrs Carpenter. Does anyone believe names like Cronkite, Chrysler and Yaeger are English? Mr Mango Chutney is a crank, and he is wrong.

For me, one thing German I find irresistable is their wine. Just once before I die, I hope to have a bottle of Erbacher Marcobrunn Trockenbeerenauslese - von Simmern!
16:58 April 20, 2012 by gwade


20:06 April 20, 2012 by piatnek
Our son, who was an American Infantry Officer stationed out of Germany during

the Iraq War, met and married a beautiful Bavarian girl. We went to Bavaria

for Christmas and for the wedding the last two weeks in December 2009. The towns were beautiful, the people were attractive and fashionable and friendly, the foot was gourmet, the beer and wine and gluhwein flowed, the Christmas Markets were awesome, the music was masterful, the history was ancient, the landscape was a winter wonderland, the customs were fun, the castles were picturesque, the hotels were charming, the vineyards were everywhere, the floors were clean, the roads were clear, the trains were fast, and yes, I would love to live there.
20:16 April 20, 2012 by dportjoe
I spent two years staioned in Nurenburg (1978-1980) lots of Wandertag, some time in Stuttgart area to play and often driving in places I really should not (taking tehewine road from Nurenburg to Kaiserlsatern instead of the autobahn for example).

Talking to WW2 veteans of many types-some non refromed (very short talks), one a young man pulled out of school and assigned to defend the very barracks I slept in. Spending a a very Catholic (I'm not) Christmas with that mans family.

Knowing that like the U.S. each reigon has it's own accents and foibles-that Bavaris is sort of the 'Deep South' of Germany. Makes the desire burn a little hotter.

Knowing that the area most GI's or thier girl friends lived in when I was there has been bulldozed as urban renewal-BUT the Pizza Imbiss is still there serving the workers and family members in the immigartion center that replaced the US Army.
20:23 April 20, 2012 by MikeJarosz
Here's the German Immigration stamp:

21:17 April 20, 2012 by pederson
Britain's Royal Family are descended from the House of Hapsburg.

We are multi-cultural. JFK transcends all other politicians. Little wonder sentimentality lives on.
21:50 April 20, 2012 by Sayer
Every thinking school-child knows, and can clearly see, that those who have Germans (and most of the world) by the short-and-curlies (physically, mentally, spiritually and monetarily), control this relationship, and its outcomes. Dolphin-class nuclear powered submarines which have been proved forensically to have sunk the R.O. Korea's boat, have been used to pit one nation against another. Germany, you've been duped. Again. gwade is 100% correct. "Never trust the Yanks," as my S. African AF CO always says. Good enough for me.
23:46 April 20, 2012 by Drewsky
I'm American, have German friends who live in Germany and I enjoy spending time in Germany. My German friends enjoy visiting the States, too. I think that the basically positive relationship between the two cultures is definitely based on similarity. The language factor can be challenging, but I find that German can be spoken without a perfect accent and certainly so can English. The two languages also share common roots. I think the WWII experience made things awkward for years between people from both nations, but now people are willing to openly discuss it. (Example: I know a person who works at a German restaurant here; she is actually from Germany. One day we were talking about where she's from and it turns out Munster (the smaller town with the Panzer Museum). I mentioned that I'd heard of it because of the museum. Next thing I know, she shows up with a book from the museum full of German WWII panzers. Something like that wouldn't have happened 30 years ago ..)
00:45 April 21, 2012 by mikecowler
Your average American or British person only knows or has interest in 12 years of German history sadly.......judging by alot of the comments.
01:14 April 21, 2012 by Almirante
Until Germany stops its jackboot persecution of minority religions, I'll continue to buy Lexus, French wine, American micro-brewery beer, and will--once again--skirt the country next time we visit Europe.

The loss of my piddling amounts won't affect Germany one whit.

But its government has already been chastised for its neo-totalitarian behavior toward new religious movements (NRMs) by the United Nations.

Maybe someday, the country will come of age and realize that it doesn't (still) own the minds of its people.
05:01 April 21, 2012 by yuri_nahl
Around 1960 or so, the clever victors of WW II realized that the Germans could save the puny French and British allies of America by doing the dirty work of restraining the Soviet Union. Actually restoring Germany to their pre-war role, because before WW II, the German nation was the only country capable of holding back the Soviet Union. In fact, could that be the reason the banks were pumping so much money into Germany. People like Prescott Bush, still selling high performance aviation gasoline to the Nazis past the middle of 1941? All kinds of business deals with IBM, ITT, GE, Standard Oil, Ford, etc, etc . You can look it up yourself. Then, if the Ruskis got too ambitious, the Germans and Soviets could pound the heck out of each other, weakening especially Germany, therefore stopping them from dominating Europe industrially, which was just what the Americans wanted anyway. They wanted to have the markets in Europe on their terms. Coincidentally, just what happened after WW II! So it would be a win-win for the west, and the Germans doing the dirty work.

But right after the war, and during the war, all the blatant propaganda about the filthy Nazi Germans, goosestepping, wearing monocles, carrying riding crops, wearing jodhpurs with no horses in sight! Films like "Casablanca" "The Third Man" .etc etc.

But when the victors realized they needed the Germans re-armed, you got the movies like, "G.I. Blues", "The Young Lions", "One Two Three" ! "Sound of Music".Germans were "rehabilitated"!

So at that time , the victors remembered that the Germans were only misunderstood, and it was all Hitler's fault.The noble savages. Hitler, the biggest patsy of the 20th Century! If Jesus Christ had been walking the earth in Germany, He could not have motivated millions of people like that! One guy to blame for WW II? Gimme a break. I'm no Nazi either. But think about it...One guy!!!! Ha ha!

But that was really always the case anyway. What was the life expectancy of a German soldier who refused to obey an order? Or someone who criticized Hitler?

But that is just food for thought. I like Germans. They don't try to export war anymore. They seem to have learned from the Treaty of Versailles, and having a lot of Germany flattened by humanitarians like "Bomber Harris".

That is unlike the victors of WW II, who are doing just what the Nazis did in 1939.
08:19 April 21, 2012 by mos101392

"Your average American or British person only knows or has interest in 12 years of German history sadly.......judging by alot of the comments"

You are so correct!

You mention German to most Americans the first thing that must go through their minds is the first thing they try to work into a conversation.

It also happens, not often, the other way around. As an American living in Germany for more than 25+ years, some Germans make comments about the war once they realize I'm American. I usually tell them to please not bore me and talk to me about something more interesting like when is the next schnitzel sale or the next bierfest.

It's weird that as old as Germany is and it's history as the center of the Holy Roman Empire who all the other Kings and Queens of Europe had to answer to...the only thing most of them can remember is 12 yrs...lol
09:57 April 21, 2012 by Landmine
Now if only Germany could get the concept of Customer Service right, then maybe everything would be perfect....
12:03 April 21, 2012 by Naldo77
No problem: "Kunden" = customer. "Dienst" = service. "Kundendienst" is understood widely in Germany to mean the customer's duty to serve the retailer!
13:10 April 21, 2012 by craigellachie
1. Germans understand coffee. 2. Germans understand dessert. 3. Germans understand family life. 3. Germans love the earth, being marvelous farmers and nature lovers. 4. Germans understand progress and hard work. 5. Germans understand order. 5. Germans understand authority. 6. Germans have learned humility. 7. Germans understand how to have a good time.

The only thing Germans have not yet learned is how to relate to American humor. And, Germans will never quite understand American Christianity...but don't worry, Americans, sadly, are learning to disregard that. The next thing will be for Americans to learn humility, and I hope to Heaven we don't have to learn it as the Germans did.
15:05 April 21, 2012 by Dorotheen
As a child in the US we used to play war games and the Germans were, of course, the enemy. In the UK there is always the competition between the two countries when it comes to football but the Brits admit they would rather have a German car than any other. I had the opportunity to live and work in Germany in the 1990s and I came to realise, despite a different language, how alike in customs in Germany and the US are. In the US there are the Easter customs of dyeing eggs, egg hunts and decorating an "Easter Tree", all German customs. The UK doesn't have these customs and only some of us do the egg dyeing and Easter egg trees. The egg hunts and decoration of eggs is slowly catching on in the UK - but you try to find a white hen egg to buy in the UK - near impossible! As well as having mastered the German language to a large degeee, what I love about Germany and the Germans - especially in the East - is the lack of litter on the streets, the punctuality of public transport, the honesty of the people, the acceptance of rules as something to be followed, the remembering to give greetings to be passed on and the cleanliness of people's living quarters. Oh yes, and unserer Sandmann!
23:50 April 21, 2012 by Samurai007
I think the economic problems in the EU, such as in Greece, are an important factor. Here in the US, we keep hearing how the failing countries don't really want to change their socialistic systems and instead want to be bailed out by the wealthier countries, especially Germany and England. Many Americans feel that the US has been seen as the one to turn to when a country needs help, sometimes to the point that we are simply expected to give whatever is needed without so much as a please and thank you.

So when we hear that Germany is now receiving the same treatment from other countries in the EU, there is a natural instinct to say "welcome to the club, now you know how we've felt", and thus feeling closer to Germans. No one likes to be taken for granted or hated because they are successful, but I think Germany is realizing that some other countries do see them that way, and while it will cause a chill in relations with those countries, it'll mean an improvement in the kinship with other nations characterized the same way.

I think this helps explain the recent increase in closeness, since the things like German ancestry have been true for a very long time, and so would not be the reason for a recent improvement in relations.
01:06 April 22, 2012 by brnskin2010
I love my german doktor......he provided me with excellent health care.....that's why I like germany's culture and ppl.....just my opinion....
01:13 April 22, 2012 by siba
@ Samurai007: Your comment just shows how illinformed a few US-Americans are about Germany and Europe in general.

you: "change their socialistic systems"... What the hell are you talking about?? Do you watch the right-wing pure propaganda channel Fox news? Greece and all the other troubled southern European countries have no socialistic systems! They might be corruption and a lack of industry but they have poor social welfare systems and some people did not pay any taxes there. On the other hand Germany, the NL, Austria and the very prospering Scandinavian countries are quite "socialist" in comparison by investing MUCH more in social welfare and the share of taxation is realitively high.

It is also a prejudice that Germans work so hard. It might be that Germans work efficiently but for sure they do not work much. There are 6 weeks of paid vavcation, no limit on paid sick days and Germans work to live and not the way around as often seen at people living in the states.

Germany offers a high quality of life due to a strong welfare system and a well-developed economy. The US lacks both right now and apparently does not see that paying taxes can serve the well-being of a society as a whole.
01:31 April 22, 2012 by korbermeister
i've been to west germany (bavaria), germany (berlin, Potsdam) and love the language, culture, history and bier. Don't know about the rest of the states but those are my reasons
11:55 April 22, 2012 by MartinBurschka
In my view the appeal of German folklore to some US-citizens is partly ROMANTIC illusion, partly ECONOMIC and partly MISPLACED ENVY that derives from the realization that the US are hated in many parts of the world - like the Germans were made to feel before everybody was after getting their money. The ROMANTIC illusion may be similar to German idealization of Switzerland with rich patriotic people voting by plebiscite on policy decisions. The ECONOMIC part may be nostalgia for the US "middle class" that is hurrying ahead of the the German "middle class" in its decline because German government intervention (Kurzarbeit, Abwrackprämie, Arbeitsgesetz, gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, minmale Studiengebühren). The ENVY may derive from Germany earning a skin deep acceptance among her neighbors. None of all this is particularly German - everything could be emulated. It is just that US voters would not want to pay the equivalent price (modesty, solidarity, critical thinking rather than watching Fox-TV, and abandoning the victim's perspective that is used to justify all kinds of self-defeating lack of respect in Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, care for their own veterans, etc. ) There is a lot of that Germany and the US could bite off of each other to their benefit and still save costs, like in public health care. US health expenses per capita are about double what they are in Germany and look at what is provided. Pride in all kinds of serving and teachers' solidarity with their students in particular is where Germany is far behind.
12:33 April 22, 2012 by MaKo
Maybe it just eases the collective American conscience to know that there's still a place in a world - a place outside America - for the likes of David Hasselhof and Bon Jovi. And take heart, Canada, because they're all for Brian Adams, too. I'm sure that "Summer of '69" is played more frequently here than anywhere else on earth.

I'm American, and I love Germany for other reasons, too. I must. I've been here for almost 10 years, and from the tender age of 16, had always wanted to at least try living here for a time.

Not sure the love affair goes both ways, though. I speak decent German, and Germans are sometimes incredulous when I tell them that I am American, which in turn leads me to believe that they suspect us of being a nation of yahoos.
14:46 April 22, 2012 by coffeelover
In my youth, history as taught in the 60's, 70's, painted germany in a negative light. Now as a middle-aged american, I think most americans have realized that germany as a whole, has cast off their old aspirations of germans being superior to every other country. This more than anything has changed our view of germany, plus the older you get, the more you become interested in the ancestral land of our forefathers/mothers. My last name is definitely german, but my lineage includes some royal blood, (who doesn't!) danish, irish, smattering of others, in short, a true american. Witness the fact that I found this site and and peruse the news about germany, and that alone explains the relaxing of americans view of germans, calling it love is probably not true.
20:58 April 22, 2012 by raandy
I return to the USA 2 times a year for over 25 years , maybe it is my age but no one has ever said to me how lucky I am to live in Germany , most ask why do you stay there?
21:02 April 22, 2012 by mos101392
@ Samurai007

You are obviously educated and intelligent. Those that do not agree with you are either afraid of what you wrote or are simply ignorant - I hope that they choose wisely!

I myself look forward to more of your insight.
08:49 April 23, 2012 by Samurai007
@ mos101392

Thank you.

It's not FOX News that is talking about Germany... the upcoming elections are the main focus of American news right now. I read international news as well, which is how I found this site. If I want info on Germany, I'll go to German sources. Several articles I've read lately have been about how, even after approving a multibillion Euro bailout package for Greece, southern European papers showed Angela Merkel in a photo-shopped Nazi uniform, and were jealous and angry at the austerity measures that would curtail their lavish government-mandated benefits. The article was called:

"We Have Become the New Villains

The German parliament is set to approve a new multibillion euro bailout package for Greece on Monday, but instead of thanks, southern Europeans are expressing their dislike of us. Germans will have to get used to their new role: We have become the Americans of Europe."

And there have been several similar articles lately. I would assume anyone living in Germany sees even more like this, and can see the resentment and jealousy from less financially successful parts of the EU. Personally, I'm not entirely sure the EU will survive in its present form if the situation gets much worse and several more countries go under. It may break apart, with each country going their own way, or it may become more unified as the central EU decides that if it's going to be responsible for bailing out under-performing countries, then it'll want more of a say in how things are run in the name of trying to prevent more economic collapses.
18:52 April 23, 2012 by paDutch
We like Germans because #1 they arent French, #2 beer, #3 they aren't French, #4 sausages, #5siemens, mercedes, Daimler-Chrysler, Bayer, and last but not least #6 they aren't French
03:51 April 24, 2012 by swenrika

hahahaha.. good one hehehe, at least somebody with a sense of humor.

These discussions are wayyyy to serious. we are all human, except maybe according to paDutch the French .. lol..

Enjoy the different cultures, take from them what you need, share with them what they need, be merry and explore as many cultures as you can, it is an amazing enrichment.

Prost und Grüss Gott.
06:18 April 24, 2012 by belladons
Great comments. I am German, from Baden-Baden, spoke the German language when I was young-through my father-, and my mom is Sicilian. I am Badish, and know the history of Germany. In fact my friends, my German ancestry goes back to the 1100¦#39;s as my surname is middle high German. I love everything German excluding the high taxation. I grew up in the state of Nebraska, and let me tell you, most of Nebraska is of German ancestry, which includes much of the midwestern U.S. I believe Germany has taught me a lot about how to live life. Germany is in my DNA and I now understand why I do and say the things I do and say. Besides, German girls are hot…lol. Anyway, "Deutschland ist immer in meinem Herzen."
13:28 April 24, 2012 by soros
Well, I hate to put a damper on all this love-in business, but I note that many of the intellectuals of Germany (and of Europe in general) are not keen on the USA at all. They deride America for popular taste--as in popular culture (rather than the elitism in Europe)--deride American politics for its democracy (actors can become president?Waahhht!! ), and other forms of class snobbery that are inherent in German culture.

I do find that ordinary Germans like American culture and Americans far more than university educated elitists, and those are the likes of the folks who run der Spiegel and -- dare I say -- other Leftist elitist papers. However, these are just my personal impressions.
15:54 April 24, 2012 by paDutch
#7- German Cinema, I really am sorry I forgot to mention this as I'm a fan of German films. Every single movie I have been able to find with English subtitles has been excellent. I'm particularly interested in Sebastian Koch's work, I first found him in "The Lives of Others" probably like most Americans and then hunted down his other movies. I thought he did a great job as Speer in the Spandau TV movie, Stauffenberg was much better than Valkyrie. Black Book and The Shell Seekers was shown here in the US around Christmas time a few years ago. I'm surprised Koch hasnt "gone Hollywood" as he has all the qualities required for that.

Run Lola Run has somewhat of a cult following here

The Counterfeiters is another great movie

Der Baader Meinhof Complex

Der Untergang

I do enjoy seeing other points of view in films about WW2 and the Cold War even if it is a bit overdone, I also like Russian cinema but there seems to be a bit too much Soviet/nationalist propaganda infused into their movies, like Nikita Mikhalov's movies, although I thought his version of "12" Angry Men was great.

I'd love to see some movies made about the Zwickau cell and Josef Fritzl, yes I know that is Austrian. I enjoy a lot of European movies but Germany really does a great job
16:56 April 25, 2012 by neunElf
It's all about image!

When Americans think about Germany, the picture that comes to mind is one of a hard working, industrious people, who care about producing a high quality product and choose to not live beyond their means. Something Americans admire, but are unable to achieve.
21:38 April 25, 2012 by leebrns
I'm an American, and visited Stuttgart for the first time last year. I was pleased at how friendly all of the locals were as I struggled to say my few simple words of German. Stuttgart is an impressive city, but its citizens are more impressive.
06:05 April 26, 2012 by Jtrower
Many Americans have German descendents. Many German immigrants fought in our Civil War, most were 48ers. The Southern Slave Aristocracy reminded them of what they had fled. There are several German eating places in my area, its where they tend to meet for soccer......err.....football matches. I've run into more German's on the street than any other European society in the U.S. Then there is that word crossover; kindergarden et al. Its the most noticable European culture here save for the Brits.
15:31 April 26, 2012 by vonBeavis
Lot of small people with big mouths and equally big opinions on this board making negative statements in a story titled "German-American Love-In."

I'm a Californian. This is my second time living and working in Germany, and in between we came for a vacation. The German people, particularly the Bavarians and Berliners I've met, on the whole have been very warm and friendly. The ones I've met in Rheinland-Pfalz and Schwabia have also been very nice. The people in Hamburg treated us very well, and our visit to the Panzer Museum in Munster (mentioned above) was made better by a retired Luftwaffe helicopter pilot who wanted to chat about his trip to the States. My neighbors in Garmisch wave and smile, they're comfortable to ask for a cup of sugar or to watch their place while on vacation, and they invite us to their parties as we invite them to ours.

We like German culture, food, fests, lakes, public transportation, recreation, sports, the cities, towns, villages and of course, the castles. In Bavaria, I've been told more than once by the oldtimers that they were relieved when the stars on the tanks arriving in 1945 were white instead of red, and that exceptions aside, the Americans who occupied post-war Germany and stayed for the Cold War (when I served here first) brought with them peace, the Marshall Plan to rebuild, and the bonds of close friendship.

All Americans don't watch the crap on Fox or follow the right-wing nonsense of the teaPublicans--that's the concentrated crazy, and you can see how Uncle Rupert is in hot water now in the UK for going beyong being a propaganda organ for 20-30% of the American population; its only a matter of time before Murdoch's empire in America is exposed to the sunlight. (BTW, the complainers up above in this string should always remember Murdoch is an Aussie who was tried for sedition there before he started selling his poisonous snake-oil to the modern confederates.)

Most Americans are happy to respect Germany's viewpoint, to include not taking part in the Iraq misadventure. Most of us will treat our German cousins as we wish to be treated. That's likely the key to the love-in. Mutual respect.

And of course, outstanding beer.
19:08 April 26, 2012 by belladons
@vonBevis, well said my friend. I agree with ALL you said. Honestly, I friggen HATE Fox News. My wife attended Catholic school in Dortmund from 1967-70. We now live in Stuttgart. I love it but she does not. She misses her island nation, Malta. The beach is her life.
04:30 April 27, 2012 by bhess
I was stationed in Bavaria for three years. I came to really enjoy the area and take on the Bavarian disdain for the north. :) I'm kidding.

A lot of veterans are like me. We are nostalgic for the great times we had in our youth and Germany is part of that. I always speak well of Germany and the germans to people.

We now have a Hofbrauhaus restaurant in my city so I can at least get a taste of what I miss. I plan on a trip in the next year too.
10:42 April 27, 2012 by mizresa
My family and I have had the privilege of living in Germany twice now (husband is soldier). Love Love Love it there.

Hubby and I were just comparing notes the other evening and decided if we were ever rich enough to live wherever we wanted in the world we would move back to Darmstadt.
22:18 April 27, 2012 by kasekopf54
Having grown up in mid Wisconsin I didn't know how "German" I was until I left for college. My moving to Berlin would be an extension of my own heritage, except that the Oktoberfest is held in a larger facility and the language barrier would be minimal.
08:03 April 29, 2012 by ErickDDiaz
But Germany is half Turkish??
00:30 April 30, 2012 by thecommentator
The things that "unite" or attract the two countries are the differences.

Germans are amazed by the possibilities ("from dishwasher to millionaire") and the sheer size of the country. Americans, I suppose, admire Germans and Germany for the typical stereotypes: punctual, hard-working, cleanliness and no sense of humour ;) Of course, there are also other stereotypes which are less nice.

As we share a lot of history, starting back with leaving Europe to start a new life in a new country, people also share a lot of ancestry and ideas. This probably unites more than the differences.

As I only visited the US on vacation, it's hard to tell what it's really like. But I also lived further north for a few years and claim to have an idea what the Northamerican mindset and life is like (as far as the two countries can be compared). Having met a lot of Americans of all ages though, I have to admit that this small-talk thing really changed my personality quite a bit. (If you start talking to people in Germany, say at a bus-stop, you might get confused looks. But don't let that discourage you. We may look serious but we don't bite most of the time. ;)

Being back in Germany, it's funny to see what you miss, as it is funny to know what you missed in Northamerica. I guess, the grass is always greener on the other side describes it perfectly.

Americans have cheap gas (yes, you do!) and customer service, Germans have high taxes and a hint of health care system left but we are still allowed to drive as fast as we can on parts of the Autobahn, for now... (and I forgot to mention that we have German AND European laws to abide to)
04:41 April 30, 2012 by jeff10renatus
Why is it that of all of Local publications for various European countries, the Local for Germany 'removes' the most comments? Does this seem to others to be a continuation of the attitude that allowed the Nazis to come to power and Stasi to be so effective in East Germany?

So, is this dark and threatening propensity to stifle dissent and unpopular or provacative comments, all traits of totalitarianism, alive and well in modern Germany, as evidenced by the unreasonably dictatorial acts of the Local for Germany?

Why does the German Local fear expressions of certain types of opinions?

Do the editors or does the management of the Local for Germany even realize that these censorious actions are the very basis of what allows for the existence of totalitarian regimes?
10:41 April 30, 2012 by mobaisch
what love?

aah you mean the joy of american government for having such a could-be powerful country doing any thing they want? yes that could initiate love :)
19:53 April 30, 2012 by Sayer
I guess it's a love by a country which has lost its freedom (USA) for a country which is slowly realizing that it might lose the little freedom it has left, (Germany).
20:58 April 30, 2012 by farmy
Germany still has something the Americans have lost.
00:52 May 3, 2012 by SWHighlander
More Americans have German ancestry by genetic testing than even British ancestry. The English language is more similar to German than the Romance languages. There are many parts of American culture and attitudes that are more similar to Germany than most other nations. Where's the mystery and why all the emotion (in the comments)?
18:16 May 3, 2012 by SonnenblumeUS
My heritage is mostly German, with English, Scottish, Welsh and Swedish. Basically, Germanic. Most of my great grandparents were born in Germany. I was born there while my parents were stationed in Frankfurt. I've been learning the history, the language and will be visiting. There's a lot of culture, literature and history that Germany brings the world. Some of us Americans are more cultured and aware of other places in the world other than our own country. America has not been around as long as Europe (settled). Our history does not go back that far. It would be in our best interests to learn more about other places, and even more about our own country than to assume from what one hears. Glad I was a military BRAT and lived among the peoples of other countries.
20:02 May 3, 2012 by mitanni
@SonnenblumeUS "There's a lot of culture, literature and history that Germany brings the world."

Care to elaborate? What culture, literature, and history are you actually talking about that has made a positive contribution to the rest of the world? The only thing I can think of is classical music and a few isolated works of German literature. The rest of Germany's history and culture seems pretty bleak for the past 1000 years.
05:24 May 4, 2012 by Texas_to_GE
Comment: I have had the privilege of living in Germany twice while still in the Air Force and later as a civilian where I met my wife of 23 years who is German Both our daughters speak multiple languages including myself.

I'm not sure the title of the article is accurate...Love in? Americans tend to bash Germany whenever Germans choose their own path or one that doesn't track with what America wants to do! We currently reside in the Texas Hill country which has a good amount of Germans with towns named Gruene, Fredericksburg and New/Neu Braunfels nearby.

The most recent post kind of sums up the ignorance of some to German contributions to the world! I'm African American and took it upon myself to learn more about Germany than the last 70 years or so. Bleak German Culture? World's first pocket watch, World's first petrol/gasoline engine, diesel engine, motorcycle and Jet engine, Classical music (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Wagner, Strauss...) Philosophy (Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx, Heidegger...) Aspirin & other pharmaceutical products Cars (BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, VW...) Dogs (dachshund, german shepherd, doberman, rotweiler...) Philipp Reis: First Telephone Heinrich Hertz: Discovery of Electromagnetic Waves (Hz) Oh and then there's Einstein, Oppenheimer, Werner Von Braun, Konrad Roentgen (if you've ever needed an X-ray!) And of course B E E R!

That's why we still maintain a home near Freising to get away every now and then! Might try not bringing a knife to a gunfight next time, Germany has an impressive history!
05:35 May 4, 2012 by brutsche
This is a wonderful website, i always try to read news from Europe to see other perspectives. My ancestors Immigrated in 1848 to America, and My grandmother was born on a ship in new york harbor enroute from hamburg in 1870. her son Joseph was born in 1900, and was a tank commander with the third Armored division under Gen patton, and landed on D- day . he served through the Battle of bastogne, and survived to come back home.So my family is of predominantly german heritage.

However, i have to strongly disageree with SIBA, that person clearly knows nothing about America, or americans. The US military has been stationed in Germany since the war,as everybody knows. The majority of the Military contribution of NATO is the US Military, Europe has been under the protection of the US since the end of the war. Right now there are less than 160,000 active duty Germans in the Army. Without the US Army, Russia would occupy Germany today. Germany consequently spends little in their own defense. It is mostly American money and manpower that provides the security net presently. If Germany truly spent what was required, the German economy would not be nearly so robust. it is common knowledge here that the Russians continuously use their natural gas supplies to Pressure western Europe when they feel like it. Someday I believe it will all blow up again. Then what? Will that great social welfare network save you?
11:09 May 6, 2012 by frank.gomes87
my theory of why germans and americans like each other in spite of the many differences is this:

americans are mostly pragmatic..practical...

.until recently america WAS

a country,a..system that worked...was functional.....

germany is a country that works...competent....

is functional...this and the liberation of germany from the thrid reich and later the ussr give both americans and germans respect for each other in spite of differences...
23:09 May 6, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I have know some Americanised Germans and they are painful to deal with. Germans should stick to being Germans. At least we know where we stand with them then.
02:32 May 7, 2012 by vladpootin
Well...this Yank does not pretend to be a historian or cultural expert on all things Deutchlandia...Nor will I fill this space with the intellectual verbosity that might explain the connection and meet the approval of some of the critics here...In fact, I cannot really explain why I like Germans exactly, maybe it stems from a mutual connection of trust and respect? I do know - the relationship goes way beyond breaded pork fillets and beer tents!
07:57 May 7, 2012 by Prudhoe
I live in Casper, Wyoming, USA, and my family comes from Queidersbach, Germany, having emigrated mid-19th century. While I have traveled briefly to Belgium and France on a WWI history tour, I have not made it to Germany yet, although that is my future intent. I know many people here of German ancestry and can attest to their favorable opinion of Germany for many reasons beyond family relation. As an aside, I must tell you, my next door neighbor in Laramie, Wyoming, USA had been in the Wehrmacht during WWII. He had been wounded on the Eastern Front, then captured by Americans in North Africa and sent to Wyoming as a POW to Douglas, Wyoming. After the war, he retrieved his bride from Hamburg and returned to live the rest of his life in Laramie. Believably, many German POWs returned here to Wyoming after the war. I think they recognized that this was a place of honest, hard-working people who had come for generations to seek a better life than one they had. Besides, they realized they were with family.
08:19 May 7, 2012 by Expatted
So much for the lovefest referred to in this article! (yes, I know: I'm late to the party). I from the US, but have lived in Germany for a very long time--so I truly understand the American to German point of view and vice versa. So, rather than reducing either to 'stereotypes' and commenting accordingly, I believe the better road to take is to appreciate the numerous contributions of both cultures to the world stage, while taking a prudent view to the 'darker sides' of historical events... and perhaps the attitudes that go with it. (BTW has anyone noticed how many US-based Americans have read, and contributed to, this forum?? Not bad for people who don't get out much). It hasn't always been easy for me here in DE, but without doubt, I most certainly love my 'Dahoam' as they say in these parts. And, @Chango Mutney (#3)... you referred to the '51'?! Really? Is there a new State since I've been gone?! Funny, in view of your comment. And, Leipzig arguably has not one, but *two* very famous sons: JS Bach and Richard Wagner!
08:53 May 7, 2012 by thebreester
I'm an American living in Germany through the US military for about 5 years now, and I'd stay here forever if I could. I love Germany, the people, the opportunity to learn about a whole different culture. It makes me ashamed that military stationed here makes such a bad name for themselves with all the shennanigans they cause. I'll def. be sad to leave in August.
18:55 May 7, 2012 by justinoliver
9 out of 10 average americans in a shopping mall or restaurant would probably have no opinion at all about germany. most could not identify the flag and some would probably ask what language they speak.

america is an enormous country with an incredibly diverse culture. it is very easy for americans to spend their entire life learning and participating in cultural events without learning very much about the rest of the world. it is difficult for a person who has not spent many years in america to understand.
06:29 May 8, 2012 by curtd59

i'll give it a try:

1) as other people have mentioned, the country's largest demographic groups is german. However, at 17% this understates how dominant german cultural influences were before the past 30 years.

2) The origin of the country's religiosity is in its germanic puritanism. It's a calvinist country.

3) Craftsmanship is something americans admire greatly even when they fail at it, and German products represent the kind of design and quality americans aspire to.

4) American perceive the germans as honest and hard working and the southern europeans as lazy and corrupt.

in other words, there is a large segment of the population that admires germany and thinks germans "do it right". Of course these same people would absolutely detest the interventionism of the german government.
06:04 May 10, 2012 by softenginette
Most of us Americans are not as insulated as you might think. Mostly, we see Germans as having a work ethic that is sadly lacking in our own country. Yet, we are perplexed with seeing this in a Socialistic framework. We see Germans as diligent, innovative, determined, and mostly ethical.....A paradigm we've lost touch with somehow. There is admiration balanced with a touch of skepticism. And a desire to re-find the enthusiasm for innovation that Germany demonstrates.
16:39 May 11, 2012 by aslanleon
As a German American of both a pre-Revolutionary family and child of a German immigrant, I and my family love the old country. However, we have some pretty nasty jokes about it.

"Once all the Germans, were warlike and mean,

But that couldn't happen again.

We taught them a lesson in 1918, and they've hardly bothered us since then."

My father and then myself had a common demand on their kids when they got to schlamerei. "Stop being a schmuck and get in touch with your inner German."
02:50 May 21, 2012 by former brat
I lived in Germany both when I was a little girl and as a teenager. Nevermind that I am also of German heritage. I would love to go back to Germany and bring my family but unfortunately, it is just too expensive for us right now. I will always be grateful to the German people who were kind to us, took care of us, and made us feel welcome in their country.
19:06 June 8, 2012 by Frau Mutter
I admire the Americans for their attitude towards life and their ease in social life. It is so easy to talk to Americans. I know we as Germans coin that "superficial" and are proud of our "honesty" wich is oftentimes just rude and thoughtless.

Also, Americans do really believe in a fresh start and have a positive attitude to what the future holds, we in Germany with a social welfare system and a very high standard of living are alyways complaining. ALWAYS. It's kind of our small talk and raison d'etre. We need more Americans in Germany, yeah!
20:58 June 8, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Germany and the USSA, a love story. Kind of like Juliette Lewis and Brad Pitt in Kalifornia: `He only beats me when I deserve it.`
23:02 June 8, 2012 by McNair Kaserne
I served in Germany in a US Army Infantry unit, 2 years with the Berlin Brigade and 1 year in Wiesbaden. I travel through there at every opportunity, at least a couple times a year, have friends there. My best friend (my wife) is a native West Berliner who I met there in 1979 and finally married last year.

Germany rocks.
04:39 June 10, 2012 by tercel
#3 16:28 April 19, 2012 by Chango Mutney

"Ask the average Joe the Plumber in NY or CA or anywhere in the 51 where Stuttgart is, and who was Leipzig's most famous son, and they wouldn't have a bloody clue !"

Well the average Joe the plumber may not know where Stuttgart is BUT he will know there are ONLY 50 states in the United States. Would you kindly let me know what the name of the 51st state is?

I've read through all 87 comments and it appears no one else caught your error, one person though thinks you are British.
07:25 June 10, 2012 by howmchbscnutak
Greetings from charlotte nc, I am curious to what the attitude is in Germany regarding bailing out other European country's who refuse to practice any kind of fiduciary responsibility?

In response to this article....Beer.....you have very good beer and like to drink it.....We too like to drink German beer.
19:17 June 10, 2012 by rwk
Stuttgart is in BW, and Leipzig's most famous son is Leibniz...or were you thinking of musicians? But you probably can't answer questions about the US either...what states constitute New England? What is the Mason-Dixon line? What was the last war the US fought with the UK? Who is buried in Grant's tomb?

On the whole, this article has elicited more comments which are either useless and boring or completely insane. There is an intense relationship between Germany and the US, sometimes love and sometimes hate, depending upon who you ask in either country.
22:06 June 10, 2012 by redants
Gee, that's funny . Everytime i meet a German out here in California they think Germany is the center of the World and germans are better than everybody else on the face of the Earth . Quite frankly, us Californians like to ignore the rest of the Nation , its government & anyone else. We already know California is the center of the World & the rest of the World follows us .
08:34 September 22, 2012 by Bill Wilson
I've had many former GI's from WW2 tell me that they liked the German civilians better than those they liberated. Said they thought and acted alot like us.

Knew several former German POW's that returned to where their camps were located after serving in the US Occupation Army. Most said that their families and homes disappeared and were encouraged by the camps' locals to relocate there since everyone got along just fine.

I have a few old BMW motorcycles and wish the Euro will go lower so buying parts for them will be less expensive.
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