« Bertelsmann Boss Awarded "Global Leadership Award" in Washington | Main | Neo-Nazis: Should Tourists Be Afraid? »

Comments

Germans seem to have an odd sense of what jails should be used for.

Shock in Berlin as suspected rapists freed

Berlin justice Senator Karin Schubert insists, however, that even youths suspected of violent crimes can only be kept locked up if there is danger they will flee justice.
A commentary in the newspaper Die Welt termed the move "shocking" and asked: "What about protecting the victim? What about overall security?"

good luck with that.

Make our British friends think that they are going on an adventure vacation, watching their team play from an old ghostly dungeon with a Nazi past.

However, for the fans of the country of Ossama Bin Laden and 15 of the 19 World Trade Center hyjackers, no expense is too much to make our vistors welcome, including covering up the nudity in the Hotel and shutting down the city cat house:

http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=reu-worldsaudidc&prov=reuters&type=lgns

Germans seem to have an odd sense of what many things should be. Things Like friendship, treaties, agreemnets, promises, the truth and actual humor.

"Mr Hofman, from Tauberbischofsheim Town Council, thought up the fan camp idea after 5,000 people turned up to an all-day party in the prison to celebrate the town's 1,250th anniversary last year."

We all know that the british tend to be obsessed with the nazi era. Add an innovative merchandising agency in britain, and there will be 1.500 fans ready to go in no time.

I wonder why there is no mosque party for the muslim guests in which the games can be watched with the atmosphere of alladin and friends..
Or how about an asian temple with a big screen and various samurais fighting in the half time and between the matches!


Just before the start of the world cup, is the debate about xenaphobia blazing in east germany. ....

Rassismus-Debatte verschärft sich

Kurz vor dem Start der Fußball-WM ist die Debatte über Fremdenfeindlichkeit in Ostdeutschland voll entbrannt. Ex-Regierungssprecher Heye hat seine umstrittene Warnung für dunkelhäutige Fans heute zwar erneut relativiert. Gleichzeitig warnte er, man dürfe es nicht den Opfern überlassen, sich gegen Rassismus zu wehren.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,416882,00.html

James

Personally I think this whole debate is exagerated. The eastern germans surely are somewhat different than the western ones. But that also applies to northern and southern germans.

Now some say that the older eastern ones have lived in the BRD for only 16 years now, and that's why they lack the "historic burden implants". But that doesnt work for the younger ones, and most criminal racists are younger than 30. By the time time of the reunification those would have been 14 or less years old, an age at which your point of view isnt fixed. So this cant be the reason either.

My guess is, there are too many economic problems in the east. As soon as the unemployment reaches a certain amount and the people get frustrated, they are looking for someone they can "punish" for that development.
If the economic situation was as bad in whole germany as it is in those "no-go-areas" for foreigners in eastern germany today, than the whole country might be a no-go-area for them.

@Dave,

Well, I hope that this is a tempest in a tea-pot. I'm not one of those Americans who lives in Germany and hopes for Germany to demonstrate to the world that they are not beyond the "issues of the past."

Living in Munich, I certainly looking forward to the WM. Was such a great atmosphere here in 2002.

Regarding the issue of Economic issues in Germany, I don't see it improving in the future. Today, they just passed an increase on the VAT tax, something that will only hurt the future of Germany. I still don't understand how so many people here in Germany accept increases in taxes and consider the Government to be the absolute and best-suited arbiter for one's welfare? What ever happened to Lockean philosophy and von Hayek? Answer: they've been trampled underfoot by the socialists who control the unions and adhear to old-images and arguments of Marxist thought. Worseso, the governemnt is represented not by business, who really create jobs and wealth, but by social workers and teachers and the worst: lawyers.

WM is gonna be fun, if you like soccer. Just not too much Beckenbauer on TV, that's all I hope ;)

As about the economic problems, there are not gonna go away. And I am sorry to say that, because I live here, but Germany will never be the Germany we used to know. (sorry to be off-topic)
Why?
Not only former East Germany has problems. All Germany has.
Everyone thinks the big problem is unemployment, but it's not. It's like saying "if someone would come up and give everyone a job, we would all be happy".
I grew up a communist country, this is exactly what happened there.
The problem in Germany are: taxes too high->entreprenours cannot make investments, too many rules -> higher costs, unions too powerful -> inflexible labour laws, too many social benefits (which of course no one will give up).
All this socialist system which doesn't encourage you to be successful. Everyone is angry about the rich moving to Switzerland or to Monaco. Those guys are right to do that, I would do the same. Income redistribution...
Someone told me that in Germany is not so simple to get a salary raise. The boss has to have a look on how this would affect the team. We need a stable system, isn't it!?

The people want all of that. Or at least not enough people want a free market. The votes FDP - the only pro free-market party - got last year was ridiculous (in a sort of capitalist country; ok, it's actually a social-market economy). SPD had a slogan which said: (vote us) so that Germany will stay social (approximate translation, original: "Damit Deutschland sozial bleibt")


Regarding the German economy, all I can do is shake my head. Roughly 60% of the German GDP is driven by consumers. One of the best ways to grow the economy, then, is to get people to "consume." One way you *don't* get people to "consume" is to raise prices -- which is what the German government just did by increasing the VAT. The logic of that boneheaded move -- assuming there actually is any -- escapes me.

There must be a reason for the VAT increase (took me a while to find out what that is in german :)

Honestly I dont know it, but I expect the financial politicians to know it. And that I expect for the first time now, under the current government. Under all those before, I always suspected the governing parties of moving problems into future by their policy, to win the next elections easily. Nowadays, the two biggest parties govern, and they could do that forever. Hopefully, they will follow the practice of bavaria, which has the best economical situation.

It wasnt always this way, but a government that didnt change for more than 50 years had enough time to solve the substantial problems. So I hope the same will work on the federal level now.

"There must be a reason for the VAT increase..."

Yes, there is. The government needs more money than it is currently taking in. Until they address the fundamental problems, however, this government will always need more money -- and, believe it or not, raising taxes is the wrong way to do it (something most people learn in Macroeconomics 101). You need policies that promote growth, not inhibit it -- raising taxes inhibits growth. Keep in mind that this 3 percentage point increase in the VAT is a 19% increase in the tax (which was already quite high).

"Under all those before, I always suspected the governing parties of moving problems into future by their policy..."

That is exactly what is happening here. They are failing to address the problems -- and by that failure, they are setting themselves up for even bigger problems in the future.

There's an old commercial that used to run in the US many years ago. It had to do with automotive maintenance and the tagline was "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later." The point of that commercial was to imply that the motorist had problems that needed to be addressed -- and it was going to cost money, no doubt about it. It wouldn't necessarily be cheap, but it would be much cheaper to fix the problem "now" rather than to wait until the "wheels fell off" in the future (which they inevitably would do if nothing was done now).

That's the situation the German economy is in. There are real structural problems that must be addressed (and, it's not just taxes, but taxes are certainly part of the problem). The current structure is unsustainable -- anyone with a rudimentary understanding of demographics can see that. It will, no doubt, be painful when those problems are addressed. But, it will be orders of magnitude worse if they fail to act now and continue to push it into the future.

So, they can deal with a "little" pain now (relatively speaking), or deal with a whole lot of pain later. Unfortunately, it looks like business as usual.

(Sorry if I hijacked this thread.)

hmmm I know its not very fair, but maybe our government finds a way to solve our problems without hurting us too much:

the conservatives have explained that they not only want to secure the general elections in congo (taking part at the UN mission would have been enough for that aim), but also want to secure the enormous raw materials in that country which our industry needs (by commanding seperate european troops).

and from the spd, foreign minister steinmeier today said "Wir können nicht mehr sagen, in Afrika haben wir nichts zu suchen".

So maybe there is a new (old) beginning here ;)

i'm with you all the way, Scott, they are failing to address the problem.
a couple of months ago, I was saying here that "Du bist Deutschland" is not gonna be good for the country. Many people argued that it was ok. "Du bist Deutschland" works only if you tell the people that they have the give up the social benefits and work harder (let's say they work hard enough already) and be more free market oriented. If these things don't happen, it's worse than no campaign at all. Because many people are saying now "we are on the right path, I saw that in Du bist Deutschland, we just have a little patience, it will turn out ok, we are Germany after all"

"hmmm I know its not very fair, but maybe our government finds a way to solve our problems without hurting us too much:"

Well, as long as this is your perspective, I wouldn't hold out much hope.

the conservatives have explained that they not only want to secure the general elections in congo (taking part at the UN mission would have been enough for that aim), but also want to secure the enormous raw materials in that country which our industry needs (by commanding seperate european troops).

THE CONGO?! Good Lord! How many millions of those poor people did King Leopold murder? That entire country was just a front for his corporate and human rape and slaughter.

And the U.S. gets slandered with crap like 'blood for oil'?

Secure the resources indeed. The Ruhr valley just doesn't cut it anymore? The entire eurozone is too small?

GAH!!

Well, I’m older now. Way older. I’ve been arrested a few times, nothing serious. If lack of social grace were a crime, I’d be in prison.
So, maybe I did not get the jest of the details of the story. But as a son of a father that had his fair share of reason to hold a grudge against the Germans, I would like to say enough.

We all have enough burdens to carry, and the fog and cloudy future is not giving any of us a clear and sunny path, let alone picking at 60-year-old scabs and scars. I can only imagine what a German citizen feels, but I am sick of the Nazis, the word, the image, and the reference. In a phrase, it is a cheep shot. Low and dirty.

Germans today are productive citizens that make goods and services that save lives through technology, medicine, pharmaceuticals and countless other products that advance human kind. No doubt they want the best for their children and the world.

Yes, they are now inheritors of 60’s social, political and economic thought, which by human momentum still carries forward to the detriment of the state, but, we should have a little faith. It doesn’t hurt us, and the Germans are adults.

Maybe I drink too much when I am in Germany, maybe I meet German softies, but I like them, and I trust them. Do I trust Germans as saints, ready to descend from heaven and lift all from danger? No. I trust them that sooner or later they’ll do the right thing. This generations of Germans deserved it; I wish and look forward to them to finally rise from the last of the fog of the past, a fog that too may of us force upon modern citizens of the west.

I do not like to see, and frankly it starts to boil my Irish blood, to see and hear a person get picked upon. Let it go. I swear, the next person that picks on a German in my presence is going to get the worst that I’ve got. But, maybe it’s the free market, libertarian, social conservative Irish in me that is missing my youth (5 wins, 4 losses, ? draws). I have a boat-load of complaints with lefty Germans, but I am never going to use the word Nazi as long as I live. Lastly, if history is to be a guide, throwing drunk low rent Englishmen behind barbed wire doesn’t really bother me so long as every two weeks the town authorities sprinkle them with detergent powder and hose them off from fire trucks.

Pamela

As far as I can remember, no german conservative ever complained about american "blood for oil". Maybe in their thoughts they complained about us not doing the same. But during the last few weeks, they have started to go public:

http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/22/22686/1.html

Its a detailed article in german about the ongoing struggle in the governing coalition. By our constitution we are only allowed to defend ourselves. And the conservatives (especially the defense minister Franz-Josef Jung - but read it yourself) basically want to include the "defendence of our vital ressources" into it.

What a crap piece of journalism, both in the Sunday mirror article and on your blog.

> Live games will be beamed to 1,500 fans in the prison courtyard
> surrounded by barbed wire and searchlights.

In a former low-security prison with 22 cells that has been converted to non-prison use? I doubt it!


> The 19th Century Tauberbischofsheim jail was used by the Nazis to
> imprison rounded-up Jews before they were sent to Dachau concentration
> camp and killed. (...)

Like any prison or justice/police building or train station built before 1933?

Add a photoshopped picture of Auschwitz, some harmless German links that most readers can't translate, and a link to Adolf Eichmann, all of which don't have much to do with the story, and you've got the usual Anti-German blog post. Worse than 99% of the Anti-Americanism I see in the German media (which does exist).

Dave, thank you for the link to the article. I will translate and read later today. But I would like to comment on this:
basically want to include the "defendence of our vital ressources" into it.

How ironic. After World War I, some people came up with the quite rational idea that the 'vital resources' of coal and steel necessary for waging war might actually play a role in preventing war if nation states agreed to share them. The fundamental kernal of what has become the EU.

This wouldn't be so disturbing if the building had just been reconstructed and used for something else, but *advertising* it with „Die Welt zu Gast im Knast“ puts it well outside the boundaries of good taste. Any company advisor who somehow came to the conclusion that this is a great marketing gimmick is, in addition to being completely lacking in respect for him/herself or others, just completely disconnected from reality (so to for the people who would think it was cool to 'party' there).

Hi Jesse,

Notions of political correctness and good taste might be a bit different. It would never even have occurred to me that this is in any way disturbing. But then as readers of this blog will know, us Germans all have a funny sense of humor

test

test again

Pamela

I dont think there is an english version of the article. But if you are interested, I could search for similar ones.

Why would someone travel all the way to Germany to watch a game on TV? I could understand if they went to the actual game, in the actual stadium. But to watch it on TV...

Charlie, answer: For the beer.

Nah, it can't be for the beer. Budweiser is the official beer now and you can pretty much get that stuff anywhere.

DEPRAVED!!!

DAVE!!

Are you kidding me! I just translated that article (sorry I didn't get to it sooner)

Rühe formulates in its defense political guidelines (26.11.1992) as an order of the Federal Armed Forces: "Maintenance of the free international trade and the unhindered access to markets and raw materials". Germany counts as a "continental means power with worldwide interests".

Restricting another "just international economy" is indicated as a frame of the interests security – what likes always that in the economically-military descent on the globe of also hot. Others speak very soon already therefrom that in tighter becoming resources the one more right must have on national provision than other. Lieutenant colonel i. G. Reinhard stoves writes after an exchange with US-military in the official Federal Armed Forces organ "troops practice pain formation" (no. 2/1996) : In the 21st century "the countries living wealthy now in the peace together against the peoples of the poor countries become and regions its prosperity defend must. (...) A century is forthcoming the humanity the lacking. Around things, that one was able to buy once, one will lead war." The context: Pass resources wars of the future between and arms.

Wow. Just. Wow.

Pamela

The part you quoted is ancient history :P
Whats so special about it?

I was talking about recent developments in the ministry of defense and conservative policians (looks like some MPs of the FDP jump on the campaign, too)
And they are mentioned in this article.

@Carl,

I do not like to see, and frankly it starts to boil my Irish blood, to see and hear a person get picked upon. Let it go. I swear, the next person that picks on a German in my presence is going to get the worst that I’ve got.

I also have the German-Irish combination. It's a bad one, you have my sympathy. While I agree that picking on people is horrible and makes my blood boil - I have to confess that my experience is that many Germans are absolutely world class as cheap shot artists.

I have a boat-load of complaints with lefty Germans, but I am never going to use the word Nazi as long as I live.

I don't use that word either. But I have lost count how many times it has been used about me by people who ought to know better. And after about the 2000th time one carefully explains that one isn't a Nazi and only ignorant wretches could possibly think so - one just gives it up as a bad job and returns fire in turn.

Carl, in my experience many Germans are among the very most irresponsible at misusing all of the loaded words. Nazi, Fascist, Blackshirt, etc. And they don't typically use them the way Yanks or Canadians or Brits do - as part of throwing everything at you including the kitchen sink. It's more deliberate than that.

Lastly, if history is to be a guide, throwing drunk low rent Englishmen behind barbed wire doesn’t really bother me so long as every two weeks the town authorities sprinkle them with detergent powder and hose them off from fire trucks.

Sorry, Carl. There aren't that many 'low-rent' Brits around. For one thing the British government has taken to a policy of ID'ing the worst of the Brit football yobs and doing things to prevent them from leaving the UK to wreak havoc and incite mayhem. They are required to surrender their passport and report to a police station periodically. Some have been convicted and jailed. The total number under these orders is less than 500, but curiously the behavior of England fans has improved noticeably in recent years.

It's exceedingly unlikely that 1500 'low-rent' englishmen will choose to descend on that one rather small city. No, I tend to see this as a deliberate insult. That is fine for now because English fans have earned a certain reputation. German lager louts are no bargain either and after the steps the British government took to curb this I'd be more afraid of a random group of German louts in Germany than an equivalent group of Brits.


-Klaus

"Notions of political correctness and good taste might be a bit different. It would never even have occurred to me that this is in any way disturbing. But then as readers of this blog will know, us Germans all have a funny sense of humor."

Disturbing maybe wasn't the best word choice - but tactless, yes (and it's not that it's one of the worst tactless gimmicks ever - I just think that using the history of the prison as sort of a marketing method isn't a grand idea). While I do think it's tactless though, I will also say that I also don't think that the story is really suited to the purpose of this blog (unless the purpose of this blog is to also try to dish out what it purports to be against). As for humor - well, the only thing that in my experience is a bit 'funny' about German humor is, a lot of time it seems, Germans have no idea when someone is kidding - that's not in itself a bad thing though - and in any case it gives people like Paul Panzer a lot to work with...

The comments to this entry are closed.

Mission

The Debate

Blog powered by Typepad

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28