• Germany's news in English

Thierse laments Swabian invasion of Berlin

The Local · 31 Dec 2012, 10:09

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Story continues below…

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

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

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But please feel free to prove me a B.S###ter if you are from there or have visited there in the last few years.
03:00 January 1, 2013 by hanskarl
@catjones: Just precious!! Thank You!! LOL!!!
14:56 January 1, 2013 by GolfAlphaYankee
well... to Thierse's defense it's very difficult to explain how much you really really hate some people without sounding petty and small minded.... so when someone asks you you only come up with things like how they have a different name for Plaumenkuchen (or how they only sell Halal meat : see comments)
16:05 January 1, 2013 by vonSchwerin

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

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