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Judging unemployed eastern germans with a low education degree isnt easy. But if I was non-german, I would avoid eastern germany. Its not right that you are likely to get killed, whatever the media-hype wants you to believe right now. It isnt very safe either though, and who wants to be offended?

I feel sorry for that development, since it shows that the championship-motto is nothing but a good wish. That undisciplined behavior results out of unemployment, and xenophobia will happen wherever unemployment is high enough. The hardly educated hardly have anything to lose.

I think the media (as usual) has overly fixated on this and made it into something much larger than it really is. It only takes one incident and then everyone is all over it as if it's a 'normal' everyday thing for foreigners to get attacked. There is just as much (if not more) other types of crime though, I'm sure, and it's probably also true that statistically, there are many more dangerous places to be (My chances of being mugged here are probably a lot higher than my chances of getting attacked by right-wingers on a German street (although I guess in both cases it also depends on the street...)

I'm more worried about radicals groups or just hooligans in general causing chaos. There are radical groups of all kinds (right wing, Muslim, Turkish, Antifa, whathaveyou) in addition to the usual trouble makers all claiming to be 'planning something'. World Cup could be interesting on many levels ...

And any word yet on whether Mr.Ahmani will really be going? ...

I don't believe World Cup tourists have any reason for concern at all.

I've just returned home after spending two weeks in Berlin. My wife and I spent virtually all of our time in places where few, if any, tourists ever go, as we were visiting her family and friends. This included time in Brandenburg, specifically in the Spreewald and in Wiesenburg. We were treated wonderfully everywhere we went. Full disclosure: a) my wife is German b) I speak German and c) I'm not dark-skinned. But I also noticed in the towns in Brandenburg and in the residential parts of Berlin significant numbers of Turks and women with head scarves. These folks did not appear to be particularly nervous or afraid.

One thing I did notice is that the Berlin newspapers do not appear to have the Ahab-level obsession with that cowboy, George W. Bush, that the Sueddeutsche Zeitung has. I made two week-long trips to Munich earlier this year and the critical front-page article about Bush plus the accompanying blistering editorial that appeared *every* day in the SZ certainly made my breakfast more interesting. The Berliner Morgenpost never provided that level of entertainment, which surprised me somewhat.

I suppose if a WM tourist goes looking for trouble, he'll find it sooner or later. This whole subject reminds me of times 30-35 years ago when I was a young man with hair down to my shoulders driving through small towns in the South alone in a car with Ohio license plates. I'd seen "Easy Rider" and heard and read all sorts of stories about the terrible things that happened to long hair Yankee hippies in these creepy little Southern towns. Nothing ever happened to me. I'll admit, if a bar or a greasy spoon diner looked bad enough, I'd skip that place and go somewhere else. But as one old redneck pumping gas once said to me, "Boy, I don't like the way you look much, but I love the look of them Yankee dollars of yours." I believe the same will apply to foreign tourists in Germany.

Yeah, well the Germans are a bunch of lousy Nazis anyway, so what you expect? Typical german racism, but what else should we expect from those old jew-killers!! :)

Does any of this feel familiar? To anybody who may not have picked up on it, today's posting "Neo-Nazis: Should tourists be afraid?" is (intentionally?) in its style exactly like the ones Spiegel online puts up all the time, those little "two minutes hate" -type forums where they lead in with some kind of incindiery anti-american article and then open up a forum so that all their readers can spout off with their anti-Bush and anti-Ami hatred... I have to admit that I enjoy seeing the shoe on the other foot for once.

Eastern Germany seems to have toggled from Nazism to Communism and back to Nazism, without the intervention of even a perfunctory democracy. The old saw still holds: There are none so blind as those who will not see.

I know it is absolutely off-topic but I have to get rid of this. Yesterday I was watching RTL II (private channel)news. They showed a reportage about Cannes where seemingly Mr. Al Gore has showed up to promote or present (or whatever) an environmental movie. The narrator is describing him as one of the few supporters of environmentalism in the US who supposedly is by many americans sneered at as being a "treehugger" and then the following sentence fell which completely blew my mind "...in den USA wo der Umweltschutz, anders als bei uns keine Rolle spielt".
Translation: "... in the USA where environmental protection,in contrast to here, is not an issue/is not considered" The exact translation may be discussed by whom it may concern but the meaning is clearly that environmental protection in the USA is not practiced. I was speechless and don't know
what will be next told on TV here. Maybe that the americans are eating little children or that they drink blood....

Well, I am unaware of any country that doesn't have areas that are considered problematical. To place emphasis on this when Germany gets a chance to present a good face to the rest of the world is extremely unfortunate. I've seen a photo (in today's Financial Times) of a sculpture of football boots in Berlin, part of the Walk of Ideas.

I want to add my voice to the others who object to the all-too-easy identification of Germany with Nazis. Most Germans living today weren't even alive then. It's a horrid past, a horrid legacy, but anti-semitism is not specific to Germany. And Germany has, in my view, done a significant amount of work to make whatever amends are possible.

Look, I'm an American. I will accept the historical responsibilty of my country's history of slavery, but absolutely none of the guilt.

So, I say to the Germans here - this is your moment in the sun. Own it. Go have fun.

Oh, and please tell me; who am I supposed to root for? (Believe it or not, I AM learning to enjoy the sport. When I first started watching it, I couldn't understand what the deal was over a game where nobody ever scored. Yeah, yeah, I know. Save it, ok?)

'Oh, and please tell me; who am I supposed to root for?'

Err, I think you're supposed to root for the USA, Pamela - that's how international competition works.

While there has been a number of nasty racist incidents in Germany I don't believe that racial violence is any more prevalent here than in any comparable European country. There's an argument that darker skinned foreigners should avoid some of the smaller towns, particularly in the east of Germany, but all the WM cities (apart, perhaps, from Leipzig) already have sizeable ethnic populations. I really don't think there's going to be trouble of this sort.

You guys are gonna just love this...

A documentary (in German with English subtitles) for German TV. Produced by an "Ashwin Raman". Don't know the name of the show, and don't care.

It's titled: "Iraq, the continuous war."(Paste Google video link in new browser window)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8822111290591945086&q=War+duration%3Along

I take no pleasure in saying this, but I must. These left-wing Germans, apologists for terror, sympathizers with ANYTHING anti-American, I hate them. They are a poison in Germany's soul...

:(

Eric

these left wingers are only green / post communist politicians and journalists. They are a total minority. I dont know anyone personally who isnt afraid of the muslims and wants the government to act. And at least the conservative politicians are already determined to do just that.

http://www.faz.net/s/Rub594835B672714A1DB1A121534F010EE1/Doc~E2D1CB6E9AA1045B291A1FC21272D467D~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html

This recent survey proves the negative feelings towards muslims here.

@mike Deluis
Err, I think you're supposed to root for the USA, Pamela - that's how international competition works.

Err yerself. I think I would like to root for the team that plays the sport most elegantly. I'm just not sure who that is.

@Eric, you'll enjoy this little bit of piling on.

Will Hutton:

Ask any American who he thinks will win the World Cup, and he gets a glazed look on his face as though you just asked if you could borrow his SUV. When you further explain that it’s a contest to find out who the world’s best football team is, he’ll tell you that’s why God invented the Superbowl.
The sad fact is that, brought up as he is on a diet of Fox News and supermarket tabloids, your average Red State Republican has the attention span of a brain-damaged goldfish. Not for him the exquisite beauty of a goalless draw. No, your average Bible-thumping Texan wants touchdowns, three-pointers and home runs that occur about every twenty seconds, giving him just enough time to munch on another hot dog, or guzzle down another tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream.

Comments on the World Cup


LOL Dave

What the hell is a will hutton? Sounds like a village in east bum-feck ;)

"Ask any American who he thinks will win the World Cup, and he gets a glazed look on his face as though you just asked if you could borrow his SUV."

We here in God's country, the USA, already all know that an American team will win the World Cup.

It will be the Seleção from Brazil.

----"Ask any American who he thinks will win the World Cup, and he gets a glazed look on his face as though you just asked if you could borrow his SUV."----

Nah, the expresion would be more like that if a woman at a supermarket would ask a man to recomend a brand of sanitary napkin for her. And why not? It's basically the same question.

@Eric
What the hell is a will hutton?
Will Hutton is a Brit who makes his living being snarkey about Americans. And from the same site, the infamous Robert Fisk takes his best shot

Robert Fisk:

They’ll be huddled around the bars and cafes of Basra all right, the Sunnis and the Shias with their eyes glued to the televisions in the corner. Not because they like football, of course, but because none of them can walk, their limbs having been ripped apart by Bush and Blair’s carpet bombing of the city centres.
The US will, of course, win the World Cup. George Bush stole two elections. It shouldn’t be beyond his or Karl Rove’s wit to bribe a linesman or two to get the result he needs. American victory, at any price. As in life, so in football.

So, for all you Germans here feeling defensive about one of your politicians telling foreigners that Germany may not be safe in some areas for foreigners, take heart. Not only do Americans not know jack shit about soccer, but Karl Rove and George Bush will bribe the refs to make sure we win a game we care nothing about and the poor Iraqis will be watching on TV instead of the stadium in Germany because they are maimed by US and UK carpet bombing.

Got it? Good. Now go have fun.

Oh wait. I just realized nobody clicked on the link I gave.

It's a spoof guys. Peter just exaggerated. It's called satire.

Even Robert Fisk could not get away with charging the US and the UK with carpet bombing Iraq.

Which, I admit, begs the question of why this guy still sucks oxygen.

The matter of Neo-Nazis and World Cup visitors is utterly ridiculous. If tourists are truly worried about their safety, I recommend the following:

1. If driving, wear seat belts and drive carefully.
2. Do not carry or flash large amounts of cash.
3. Get plenty of fluids, but drink alcohol in moderation.
4. Do not wander the streets alone at night, especially in a drunken stuper.
5. Do not attempt to jump from the roof of your hotel building into the hotel pool.
6. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.

Avoiding areas with high concentrations of Neo-Nazis may marginally reduce your likelihood of death or injury, but I suspect that alcohol and traffic present a far greater danger.

Another tip: Most of the places with lots of Neo-Nazis are easy to avoid as there is little to see there anyway -- unless, of course, you want to see some Neo-Nazis.

@ Gary Dausz: "Maybe that the americans are eating little children or that they drink blood...".

If you consider that anti-Americanism is the expanded form of anti-Semitism, this lie about lack of environmental protections is just an updating of the all anti-semitic slur "they poison the wells".

What with the neo-nazi's wanting publicity and the media needing stories, I imagine we'll see plenty of scary stories in the run up to the World Cup.

To answer the safety question: I don't think tourists have much to worry about. The odds of being stomped by extremists must be vanishingly small. Germany is a generally safe and friendly nation, which will put on a steller competition.

Now onto a general criticism of football: outside of penalty kicks, it lacks moments of tension. As incredible as the individual ball handling skills are, one just doesn't get a sense of drama from football--especially in the first round of the World Cup. Mediocre teams will simply play stifling defense in an effort to get lucky at the penalty shoot-out. While it's possible to enjoy a 0-0 match, I would much rather see a 4-3 goalfest.

That said, I applied for a conditional ticket for CH-Togo, and hope to see the match in Dortmund.

In my experience, one is more likely to be harrassed in Berlin by Arabs or Turks than by neo-Nazis. This is not to minimze the problem of neo-Nazi violence, or to imply that all Arabs or Turks in Germany are violent. I'm merely pointing out that a certain type of racist violence gets played up in the media while another type of violence, which often has a racist element, gets played down or ignored.

No they're not Nazis and they aren't usually dangerous. They're just lager louts. They might bore one to death but that's about their limit....

Hey, isn't that a sign that European intellectualism has hit rock bottom? I'm mean... to actually be so mentally lazy that one resorts to asking an American about who will win the World Cup. Christ, must we do everythig for you people!

Okay, here's my advice. Go through the team rosters of players. Put your money on the team that has the most players whose last names that end in a vowel, excluding the letter "e". You can't miss.

@kid charlemagne

You're not black, that's why.


I cannot speak for Germany but I have traveled extensively in other parts of Europe and the US. What I find is that ANY white crime is intensely magnified in excruciating detail while African, Muslim, etc. is down-played at all costs. Blacks in the US for example rape and murder whites at a staggering rate compared to the reverse. It is also true in Northern London (now reffered to as Londonistan). And anyone been to the Netherlands lately? Do a search for "Fjordman" for the details of the chilling systematic rape of Swedish girls by Muslims. No, you wont find it in the primary media unless it is white crime.

im sorry but there are more neo nazis in the us, even when calculated in percentages of total nation population. This website manages to get ALL the bad news from germany, and none of the 90% of the other news

i think its great for everyone here who biggs up germany and hates these stupid Stern and SPIEGEL articles because they are utterly false that try to shine a bad light on america, but in the process shines a bad light on the country. I feel sorry for the germans. They really HAVE lived in guilt, for over 60 years, and have redeemed themselves better than any other country. England (i live in Bristol) hasnt done any such thing for its colonies and sees itself as the ultimate do-gooders but are just really arrogant, still see all the germans as being nazis. And last time i checked japan hasnt done anything to apologise for the war..

@Croyles

Frankly, the German media hypes up radical-rightwing violence more than any newspaper in the US or elsewhere for that matter ever will. This is actually rather odd, seeing as how they also hype up "integration issues", let's call it, (which is followed by - and I might add largely insincere 'oh our reputation! let's all hold a candlelight vigil before people start thinking badly of us!' - shock when something happens to foreigners). And if you really think that the articles here are not representative, might I ask how often you read the German papers?

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