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Ever since reunification the inmates have completely taken over the asylum. That said, I still hold out hope - after all we aren't talking about France here.

*sigh*

A quick Berlin anecdote to illustrate the effects of this constant stream of anti-American propaganda: The other day I was having a drink in a bar and got into a conversation with a guy sitting next to me. At one point he asked me where I was from. When I told him I was American, he grunted, "I'm not interested in America or Americans," adding, "The world doesn't need America" and "Ami-Zeit ist vorbei" ("Yankee-time is over"). In response, I said if he wasn't interested in Americans, he shouldn't be talking to me, and ended the conversation. I probably should have punched him.

Actually, as I write this I'm remembering another incident which took place years ago in the same bar (I've only been there twice!). That time an American ex-pat was tending bar and a drunken customer started haranguing him with an anti-American rant, becoming so aggressive that he eventually needed to be thrown out.

Where do these people get their ideas about America? And what makes them think they can throw them at Americans' faces so cavalierly?

A typical schedule for the next few days on a particular US cable tv station

Wednesday
8pm Hitler's War
9pm Hitler's War

Thursday
8pm Hitler's War
9pm Hitler's War

Friday
8pm The Last Days of WWII
9pm Hitler's War
10pm Hitler's War
11pm Hitler's War

Saturday
7pm The SS
8pm The SS
9pm The SS
10pm The SS
11pm The SS

Sunday
7pm D-Day to Berlin
8pm D-Day to Berlin
9pm The Nazi Expeditions
11pm The SS

This is how millions of viewers here in America are informed about the evils of Germany.

kid charlemagne,

I have tons of anecdotes where people start talking to me with an Arnold Schwarzenegger-like accent. The other day, someone told me I had an accent like Hitler. And people constantly ask me if we Germans still hate Jews. Must be the anti-German propaganda on tv, I guess. I usually stay friendly though, and I don't punch them. There are idiots everywhere, not only in Germany.

Actually I believe this is the history channel and not a station. It is one of about 185 channels I get. It is not state supported or an over the air broadcast but normally part of either a cable or sat package of programming. What is interesting is most of the footage shown in the particular programs listed by Alan are from captured German footage of the war.

Of course this is the month WWII ended 60 years ago. The end of WWII is probably the single biggest historical event in the month of May.

I would think now that many Germans feel they were victims of the war and all of this was the results of those Nazi types, the German people would be happy to know Americans are getting this historical exposure as to their background.

Understanding history goes a long ways in explaining why nations do the things they do and why people believe the things they believe.

It will be interesting to see how history views the actions of the US in the ME.

With some luck people such as Alan will in 60 years be watching a week a on the history channel about the liberation of the ME.

I will not even bother to go into a discussion of the wars Germany has fought compared to the wars the US has fought. I am sure it would add nothing to the topic.

.

Alan, are you a follower of Hitler or his National Socialists? If not, then why should you be so bothered by television programs about the end of the great Nazi war? I didn't notice any of the programs incorporating "evil Germans" or the like in their titles. Don't you think it appropriate that the History Channel commemorate the events on this (near) 60th anniversary?

My father spent the better part of a year shooting at and being shot at by Germans, but he never considered anyone the enemy but the Nazis. He has always been proud of his participation in the liberation of France AND Germany from the Nazis.

And in three months or so, the History Channel will doubtless be showing its War in the Pacific shows - doubtless with lots of nuke footage and coverage of the Nanjing Massacre. Would one conclude that the US public is being fed a steady diet of anti-Japanese propaganda?

I have seen some of the History Channel's specials this week about the end of the war in Europe. I thought it pretty fair, actually. The producers interviewed numerous German and in this case Russian and Polish soldiers, nurses and civilians who witnessed the conflict in the east with numerous rather sympathetic stories of the ordinary people caught up in the conflagration - people who were not Nazis and were not Communists, rather victims of one or both. Sorry if this offends you Alan, but perhaps you should go back in time and change history if it does bother you so much. I am 3/4 German, many in my family left Germany before the war - they chose not to be in denial.

I think the general complaint from Alan is that the only documetaries you get to see in other countries are about Nazi-Germany. In my last 7 years in the UK I have not come across one documentary describing Germany's post-war history. It would be nice to get some diversity in programming.

That being said, the same is the case for Germany. The only stuff we get to see are about the Nazis or the US. I watched 20 minutes of the first programme mentioned above. It was boring... and then they let Gore Vidal talk for 5 minutes and I switched to football.

Germans don't need Lebensraum, they need Denkensraum.


Germans need ? What we need is conservative mass media, like Fox, or conservative talkradio. Germany is more than ripe for a media revolution, and the first to create genuine conservative media here would make big money - just look how Fox is growing. OTOH, Liberals like Haim Saban spend billions to buy german TV stations, just to produce even more liberal BS.

I begin to wonder how serious american conservatives are about their message. The liberals are for sure, and they spend big money if necessary.

I think it is time for the Germans to be given full control over their own security. We should pull out, and let the Germans' fend for themselves.

Seriously. Either:

1) Our protection proves unnecessary, in which case, we've made the right decision.

2) Our protection proves necessary, and the Germans will realize it too late.

The current situation, where we treat Europe (and Germany) like a military protectorate is untenable. The less they are responsible for their own security, the less they think about it, and prepare for it. The more they find the very thought of security unpleasant, immoral, venal, fascistic etc...

Meanwhile, as Europe softens up and gets LESS capable of handling any serious security threat, the more the U.S. feels the need to overcompensate, developing a more aggressive, militaristic posture, not to mention contempt for the unappreciative people we are (alledgedly) saving.

The bodyguard looks at the world very differently from his client. It is time for the client to look after her self. She and the bodyguard will both learn valuable lessons.

Alan,
You're basically right. On aveage the only way german will make the nightly news in America is will a Neo-Nazi uprising.
That said, the american problem is that we are, by and large, ignorant about Germany these days (Germany's growing irrelvance doesn't help, but is also not anexcuse).

On the other side, the Germans are Activly fed misinformation about america. This post is a case in point, the media was either split or against the Iraq war, but in no way filled with patriotic feelings that made it uniformly pro-war.
Ignorance is a problem, but the misinformation is borderline propganda.
If you disagree, start you own blog documenting similar infractions in the american media. I'll gladly read it.


Randall,
Here Here! We should pull out. Our defence budget is subsidizing their welfare state, if you ask me. If they don't want us there, we can go.

Good point Randall about prevailing European attitudes on security. It's time the EU member states get off their rumps and begin the work of covering them. I think such a position by the US could be seen as nothing more than "tough love" and it certainly would provide some momentum for the many frustrated and correct-minded folks in the EU who presently hold little political sway. But it would also help for them to get some alternate media.

Frank,

I am not sure we are subsidizing their welfare state. I THINK that if we stopped "protecting" them, they would continue as before, spending the same (very little) on defense, thinking that the only risk they really have is the one ASSOCIATED WITH their relationship with America.

In fact, many Germans believe they would be safer if they distanced themselves from America, the lightening rod of Islamic hatred.

Might as well test the theory. Again, if they are right, then we both benefit. If they are wrong, then (and I'm not being facetious or cute here) they will learn soon enough and will have to make the necessary adjustments.

Telling them it's for their own good is just not cutting it anymore.

A couple of general thoughts:

When I first came to Germany for an extended stay back in '82, I asked what were the newspapers of record. My hosts asked what my political viewpoint was. I was puzzled that substance and objectivity took a back seat to politics.

Now, don't forget that this was well before the hooha about 'liberal bias', 'MSM' (as a derogatory), and all the other outrage points regarding the US media took form. The NYT, WaPo, and WSJ were essentially the papers of record in the US and political slant wasn't so, ahem, vetted. Anyway, my point is that the German press has a much longer and much stronger tradition of newspapers hewing to a political viewpoint first and dealing with journalistic objectivity later.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not looking to excuse some of the crap that shows up in the German press (and is well-documented on this site). But maybe this tradition in Germany should lend some perspective to the complaints about the US media. And maybe individual examples, when considered in a historical context, shouldn't generate all the heated-up comparisons to the Nazis.

Second, I'm not any kind of military expert, but I'd have to guess that our military has conducted cost / benefit analyses about keeping US bases in Germany versus relocating to Hungary / Bulgaria / Poland or comin' on home. I trust that our military is thinking through the issue on those terms and not on the 'Let's take our ball and go home' rationale put forward by some esteemed posters earlier on.

Last, for all you doom and gloom sayers, what do you actually see as a realistic scenario for Germany ? Please save the facile next Reich crap (or Soviet Germany or whatever). Germany's not going away anytime soon, and it's economy is too large to want that to happen, anyway. So what would it be ? An economic meltdown like Argentina ? A conservative turnaround like Thatcher-era Britain ? Muddlin' through until Poland or Hungary forge past ?

Germany's not going to become East America, and I'm puzzled that anyone would expect it to.

Cheers,

@Alan Shore: I'm sorry that you have had experiences like that. The only thing I can say is, there is no nation that has a monopoly on stupid people.

As for the History Channel, there is a fascination with WWII in America because it was a significant turning point in American history. This is only partially due to anything having to do with Hitler or the Nazis. (I think that Europeans tend to forget that during WWII the U.S. fought an entire second war in the Pacific. Take everything that you know about WWII and multiply it by 2 -- that's what America experienced.) WWII was really the beginning of America being a world power, with substantial technological and economic development. The America vs. Nazi Germany engineering matchup (and the post-war raid on the Nazi brain trust) was really the beginning of the modern era in America. It also helps that the European theater war was extensively documented on film, the first war to be so, and it makes good TV.

Rofe - good comments on the politcal nature of Euro newspapers, very informative

As for military bases - they do those cost/benefit analysis and the reality is that most US forces will be leaving Germany in the near future and heading toward the southeast - think Bulgaria for example. The total numbers will also be lower. Some larger installations will remain in Germany.

The future for Germany - well I'm glad you and I are asking that question - but it seems that the German government and electorate is not

The projections are not good - Eurabia is a distinct possibility not be be dismissed. It may take another 50+ years of course, but that is the trend

Fourth Reich nonsense eh - who imagined the Third one in 1905

Come back and ask me in 2033 eh

"Anyway, my point is that the German press has a much longer and much stronger tradition of newspapers hewing to a political viewpoint first and dealing with journalistic objectivity later.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not looking to excuse some of the crap that shows up in the German press (and is well-documented on this site). But maybe this tradition in Germany should lend some perspective to the complaints about the US media."

It really doesn't. (It does in a way excuse an individual example of anti-Americanism as "just more of the same".)

But the fact that the German press has a tradition of "political affiliation first, honest reporting second" makes all the "US press is patriotic/censored/gleichgeschaltet/governmental" just that much more otherwordly. Particularly since they then claim great "journalistische Freiheit" in Germany - I guess that's just Freiheit for a publication to propagandize for the party of its choice.


frank,

Actually, there is another way for Germans to make it on US tv:
1) The travel channel. All time favorites are "love parade" type events in Berlin, nudist beaches (with half the screen blurred), and Octoberfest in Munich.
2) The Amazing Race (CBS). Typical tasks in Germany mostly involve beer and bratwurst.

My point is, people on both sides of the atlantic get to see what they want to see and believe. If I was American I probably couldn't care less what's really going on in Germany. I'd hold on to the idyllic scenery in my head that involves snow covered mountain tops, leather trousers, and cuckoo clocks. And if I was an average German I'd probably wouldn't want to loose America as my scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in the world and in my personal life.

Now in general, people want their beliefs to be reinforced. That's when they buy your journal/newspaper and watch your tv programming. If you tell them, their beliefs are wrong they are not going to be happy with you and they are not going to buy your product. The media only is reinforcing what's already there.

Having said that I become more and more alarmed by the things Germans want to hear, see, and read about America (see for instance this blog's thread "Goebbels Would Have Loved This"). It's disturbing to have friends asking how on earth can I live in a country like the US. But the only thing I can do is to stay calm and friendly and to tell them over and over again what a great place this is and that they should come visit to see for themselves. The media is going to be the last thing that's going to change. What we need to change is the people. Maybe we should make studying abroad mandatory in German highschools. That would be pretty effective.

@Rofe:

Last, for all you doom and gloom sayers, what do you actually see as a realistic scenario for Germany ?

Good question. Of the choices given:

An economic meltdown like Argentina ?

I don't see a South American-style collapse happning. One reason we see these cyclic economic disasters in S. America is the lack of any real economic base there, combined with their tendencies towards unstable government, and their distressing habit of printing money to buy off various voting blocs. Hyperinflation just isn't going to happen in Germany.

A conservative turnaround like Thatcher-era Britain ?

I don't see any Thatcher on Germany's horizon, but then again I'm looking at it from a long ways off.

Muddlin' through until Poland or Hungary forge past ?

I don't think that's going to be an option for much longer. My reference there is Spain; for the past half-century they have pretty much been doing just that: muddling through. A fairly large country, but economically and politically insignificant. Unfortunately, look what has happened in Spain in the last 18 months: al Queda succeeded in turning an election and getting an appeasement government elected. And now, that appeasement government is starting to turn Spain into an Islamist safehouse, and a support station for other al-Q goals elsewhere (such as the recently-exposed chemical agents sales to the facist Chavez government in Venezuela). Pretty soon, it's going to be like Holland, where the Islamists openly threaten politicans and assassinate critics with impunity.

And look what's happening in Holland: the upright citizens are fleeing as more Islamists pour in. That could happen in Germany. Or, the pro-Western citizens could clump up in safe regions. This would have one of two results: (1) the German citizenry becomes factionalized, and Germany ceases to function as a coherent nation, or (2) there's an unholy alliance of Germany's Marxists and Islamists. If that happens, civil war is inevitable. In that event, I think the Anglosphere will eventually step in (if for no other reason than to keep Germany's wealth and technology from falling into the Islamists' hands), and eventually the pro-West side will win, but it will be ugly.

I wish something could be done to restore the confidence in Germans in themselves and their nation. Germany's pretty much stayed on the right side of history in the post-WWII era, and there is a lot that today's Germans can legitimately be proud of. Yes, the atrocities of WWII need to be remembered, but not as a stick to beat today's citizens over the head with -- the attitude needs to be "Let's just make sure that doesn't happen again". (Same with the USA and slavery.) It still stuns me that self-loathing has gotten as much of a foothold in Germany as it has now. France, I expect that from. But not Germany.

Alan,
I agree on one point, that people listen to what they want ot hear. But it's a two way street. Media influences the mass and the mass influences the media.

Randall,
When I say that we're subsidizing their welfare state, I'm equivocating. As a direct result of those low defence budgets, which could only have happened sustained because we were footing the bill for their defence (particularly during the cold war), the had the extra cash to bankroll that welfare state. It's bit of a flame, I admit.

Frank,

I realize what you meant. You may be right. I don't really know, but my point was (maybe I'm being argumentative?) that Germany might not have spent money on its defense even if we did not. Germany simply does not seem to feel the need to have a strong military.

Just pondering...

Gott in Himmel - as Sgt Shultz would say -

This is un-fucking-believable

Will the German public embrace Puty for this

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7749312/

BERLIN - Russian President Vladimir Putin told a German newspaper that Allied forces can’t be absolved of blame for horrors during World War II, and he noted in particular the massive bombing of Dresden in the final months.


Ahead of this weekend’s 60-year commemoration of Victory in Europe Day, Putin, in a joint interview with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, told Bild that the **Western** forces deserved to be criticized for attacking civilians.

“The Western allies didn’t abound with any special humanity,” the Russian leader said. “It’s incomprehensible to me to this day why Dresden was destroyed. There was no military reason for it.”

( THATS NOT WHAT THE SOVIETS SAID THEN! )

The wave of attacks over the city on the banks of the Elbe in mid-February, 1945, killed thousands of Germans in a deadly firestorm. Within weeks, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill distanced himself from the tactic of blanket-bombing German cities, and right-wing groups in Germany have argued the bombing was a war crime.

CHURCHILL DISTANCED HIMSELF DOESNED = IT WAS WRONG

Putin, who was a KGB spy in East Germany and speaks fluent German, said the civilian population in Germany had suffered greatly during the war but said it was not the Soviets’ fault.

“The Soviet Union or the Red Army can’t be blamed for that,” Putin said in what a Bild editor said was one of the longest interviews Germany’s top-selling daily has ever published. “It wasn’t the Soviet Union that started the war.”

IT WAS ENGLAND AND AMERICA?????

STAGGERING!

COMING SOON - THE GERMAN/RUSSIAN NON AGGRESSION PACT PART 2

Pogue,
May you live in interesting times. ;-)

There also was no military reason for ordering men to rape defenseless German women, but I digress. Suffice it to say such thought is a bit popular around the Kremlin of late. In fact the Moscow Times last year carried an article in which the point was that Winston Churchill was a war criminal:
http://www.tmtmetropolis.ru/stories/2004/01/09/120.html

A lot of Soviet romantics still flitting about over there.

--When I say that we're subsidizing their welfare state, I'm equivocating---

Don't forget prescription drug prices.

Putin is right the Russians only defended themselves against the Germans, but Great Britain declared war on Germany first. Same for the US, Germany never attacked the US, not in WW I and not in WW II . It was the US that attacked Germany in both wars. Putin is a very wise man and it is time for the Germans to wake up and see the true enemy : Anglosaxons bought and paid by the Zionists.
Now is the time for Russia, Germany, China and the Arab World to unite and to fight before it is too late. Before Americans start bombing Germany again for money , oil and Israel.

Yildiz, you are wrong. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hitler declared war on the United States. And both England and France were allies of Poland and stated clearly that if Hitler attacked Poland it was war.

Britain may have been the first to officially announce a state of war, but at the moment the first German panzer crossed into Poland, a Defacto state of war existed with Britain.

Oh yeah,

Now is the time for Russia, Germany, China and the Arab World to unite and to fight before it is too late. Before Americans start bombing Germany again for money , oil and Israel.

Uh, Yildiz, I recommend seeking phsyciatric help. Some of our worse conspiracy theories here in the states aren't as crazy as what you just said.

Yildiz is a perfect example of why some nations are in a state of decline. One has to assume he is a product of his national education system. His comments either reflect that he slept thought the classes on the history of WWII, the school system charged with educating him is a failure, or he is attempting to once again rewrite German history.

Germany and Italy declared war on the US on 11 December 1941. For the benefit of others who are like Yildiz, this was three days after the US declared war on Japan (8 December, 1941) for the attack on the US. The US did not declare war on Germany on 7 December or 8 December.


"On the morning of December 11 the Government of Germany, pursuing the course of world conquest, declared war on the United States. The long-known and the long-expected has thus taken place. The forces endeavoring to enslave the entire world now are moving toward this hemisphere. Never before has there been a greater challenge to life, liberty and civilization. Delay invites great danger. Rapid and united effort by all of the peoples of the world who are determined to remain free will insure a world victory of the forces of justice and righteousness over the forces of savagery and of barbarism. Italy also has declared war against the United States.

I therefore request the Congress to recognize a state of war between the United States and Germany, and between the United States and Italy."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Message to the Congress
December 11, 1941


"Whereas the Government of Germany has formally declared war against the government and people of the United States of America:
Therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that the state of war between the United States and the Government of Germany which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the government to carry on war against the Government of Germany; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States."

Joint Resolution of the Congress Approved, December 11, 1941

Yildiz,

If you include france, then we might have something worth talking about.

You better hope your side wins, because the loser gets to keep the french.

Russia, Germany, China and the Arab World: all great historical perpetrators of genocide, ethnic cleansing and tyranny. I'm sure that will form quite a lovely "socialist utopia" once all the gays, jews, christians, buddhists, hindus, gays, those not muslim enough, and/or those not sufficiently communist are killed, starved, drivin from their homes or cooked down to soap and buttons are done away with.

A sidenote on the conversation about American exposure to Germany in the media. I get all the claptrap from German Journal, CBC, and BBC on my satellite system. Politically slanted as hell. Makes my hair stand on end.

Yildiz = moonbat

After throwing out my own (hopefully reasoned) provocations on various postings, I think it's incumbent to say that Yildiz's comments represent the most offensive thing I've read in a long time !

Cheers,

Note from David: I didn't delete Yildiz's comment because it serves as a reminder where things are heading to.

I thought Yildiz was being sarcastic - if he/she wasn't - well that is one sick puppy ( and none too bright either )

In reference to all of the WWII shows on the History and Discovery channels: most of those shows are not produced in the U.S. The majority come from Britain, Germany and Russia.

It is ridiculous to think that many Americans get their views of Germany from these shows. The viewership is not that many people and most of them have an interest in history. That puts them out of the mainstream of people in the U.S. who know little about Germany and really don't care.

One thing I found after years of living in Europe is that people there are just as ignorant of the U.S. as Americans are of Europe.

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