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"I'm not entirely sure I understand what you mean. Can you give me an example?"

There are plenty of examples in this blog as well as in "real life" where a german would try to lecture americans about how america "really" is. The typical example is the "Press freedom in the USA doesn't exist anymore" statements, especially when it comes to discussions about Bushs supposed influence on american medias (which is laughable).

"I was being only a little bit facetious here... but if you've never encountered anti-German remarks in the US, then you are very lucky. Have you been in the US after 9/11 and the time leading up to the Iraq invasion? Man, I've taken some heat in that time. And before. And after. Yes, many Americans react positively to my being German but on the whole, would you say we as a nation are loved, generally? Even by our European partners? Grudgingly admired, maybe. But actually really liked?"

Yes, I have been plenty of times after 9/11 in the US and never have I heard anybody put any fault on germany (though many of the hijackers had been living there). Some may have been disapointed abouth the german support afterwards (the support that had been promised but only been lipservice) but thats about it. So tell me your experience. Have you been spit on or did people turn the their backs on you when they realized that you are german?
We are not talking about how germany is loved in the world (Which yountry is "loved" by everybody anyway) but about the german american relationship. Germans status in Europe has been carved by history and even without Hitler and WWII germany would not be loved by its european partners. Europeans don't love each other in general if you noticed.

"I don't actually believe that this lack of admiration is the sole reason for German anti-Americanism. There are many reasons, some stemming back to the Cold War (see Peace Movement, the feeling that Americans were "occupying" Germany), some more recent (Iraq), some are more general (environment, death penalty), some are very specific (Bush)."

If you remember germany had been "occupied" by other countries as well. I don't see this kind of hatred towards them, although they have done far less for germany than the US did. The "reasons" for the america haters in germany are plentiful as you have pointed out but the question is if they are justified.

When I went to American high school, they initially asked me whether we have that many Blacks in Germany as in the US (one guy wearing a "proud to be white"-baseball cap), whether Hitler was dead and whether we have refrigerators. When I introduced myself before class, and said I was from Germany, they tried to find it on the US map.

However, does it make sense to generalize from these findings? Idiots can be found anywhere. This was what I learned when I came back, and was asked whether the Amis are all superficial - when I had had some very in-depth philosophical discussions with some fellows there. People were actually FRIENDLY there (the first contact with a really grumpy official on my return at Duesseldorf airport taught me that).

Just another anti-American incident from Germany (trade unions again) here: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,519729,00.html

With all due respect GO, unless you are about 60 years old and went to an American high school in maybe Arkansas or Mississippi . . . no one would get away with wearing a baseball cap like that.

Although your story does have a ring of familiarity from some of stories I listened to from my Deutsch friends. But when I probed a bit it always turned into something they had heard about the U.S.A. . . . from a friend . . . who knew somebody . . . who had told somebody . . . who had told them . . .

You are right that no one should draw broad generalities from specific single instances, but neither should we deny what we have experienced in our travels.

I was just wondering if you would ever consider posting some of your articles in German? I would like to forward some articles to Germans, but even though they read some English, I think it would be a lot easier and convincing for them if they could see this in their own language.


Since the US was a signatory of the Versailles Peace Treaty and accepted its shares of German reparation payments then the US definitely was part of mess the German economy became during the Weimar years. France was trying to reestablish its French Union in Indo-China but it did provide airlift capacity to the Berlin Airlift (ironically using captured German air transports) as well as providing a new airport, Tegel, for use by the Americans and the British.

Pat, the fact that the US was a signatory of the Versailles Peace Treaty and accepted shares of the reparations does not make the US the ONLY ones responsible for the conditions in Germany in 1920. But that is how we are being treated by a lot of Germans.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that a lot MORE reparations were paid to the countries the Kaiser invaded than to the US, given that it was THEY who had an invading army crossing their borders and destroying their lives, their properties, their heritages, and their cultures.

All in all, I would say that Germany is, itself, responsible for its condition in 1920.

Not to beat a dead horse, but this pride is all a result of the wealth that the deutschers have accrued since we liberated them from the nsdap. they will never forgive us for that favor and only a fool would expect them too. we know that. and we know that the germans all want to be americans just like the french etc, but they want to be sanitized americans after they have perfected us. if you went into any classroom or bar here in detroit and talked to any person 20 to 40 you would hardly find any dif from the modern yerpean. its the dork riche way to be and they all know it. the real deal is that most germans are what americans would call pollocks in their attitudes but the chermns we love are just awesome. we love your rheinmetall 105's from you leopards, we love your cars and we sure as hell love eurodisco blondies. other than that i care about what libtard germans think about as much as I care about what people think in Owegon. Joey Harrington?!! gotta love bayernmunchen with roger daltrey and luca toni. theyre so german...

The German backlash to the war in Iraq is of our own doing. For the last 63 years the German population has been lead to believe that all war is bad and that they will never fight again. Why?? because of the allied indoctrination campaign with the specific purpose of pacifying the pesky German warmongers. So when we're changing the world by force and simultaneously telling them they're "old news" you would have to expect a little backlash. Personally I find it all so ridiculous it isn't even worth paying attention to.

Also, if you think anti-Americanism within Germany is bad just try being from Texas and visit Munich for a month. They honestly couldn't believe I had no gun, no hat, no accent. I told them that I came from a city more than twice the size of Munich, but they still scratched their heads in disbelief.

Thanks a lot Der Spiegel!!

Oh well the truth is that the Germans are a pretty reserved people and unless you initiate a political conversation you're likely to return from Germany unharmed. Just don't go to Italy because they make little secret of their anti-Americanism. I'm wondering how much saliva I ate in Italian restaurants mixed in with my food.

I hope the Germans realize that it is much harder to unbrainwash their citizens than it is to brainwash them in the first place.

"Not to the same extent maybe but a lot of the same kind of reporting goes on here."

Dick, the difference with our media in the US is that they use the same tactics on their own country...not Germany, et al!

I tire of sensationalism in the news. That includes blogs. And it includes this blog.

Claiming the sex story was part of anti-American sentiment is exactly that. And it's ridiculous. It would have been the same with a German guy. Because sex sells, and death sell, and unusual death sell best.

Of course, anti-Americanism sells as well. But there's no stereotype of lusty American sex tourists. There is simply no anti-American angle for that story, and claiming there is just to make a point is the very thing you criticize about the media. It pushes the division.

Why don't YOU focus on the good 97% instead of fighting fire with fire? Please.

@ foobar

The point is that they probably would have never published the story had the tourist not been an American. Americans are singled out for extra ridicule all the time simply because they are from the United States. There absolutely is an anti-American angle to the story and to much of the German media coverage out there - and you choosing to stick your head in the sand does not make it different.

re: "I'd find it interesting if you would broaden the scope of your blog a little bit. Say, for example -- discuss all aspects of German media coverage of the USA, instead of just the negative examples."

I believe the whole point of this blog is to point out the anti-American bias in German media. Your request is somewhat irrational. It would be analagous to ask about the good points of Jim Crow legislation. There are no good points of perpetuating negative ethnic stereotypes through biased reporting.

Americans didn't cause the conditions in Germany in the '20s. Germans did.

Really, the country that lost money as a result of WWI was the US. The US leant money to France & Britain during WWI. France & Britain demanded reparations from Germany to pay off their loans after the war. The US then leant money to Germany to help them pay off their reparations. Hitler then came to power & defaulted on his US loans. France & the UK followed suit & thus the US was left holding the bag. The US had 25% unemployment & rising food prices from the Midwest dustbowl yet managed to elect the Democrat Roosevelt versus supporting either Fascist or Communist military totalitarian dictators like the Europeans.

Initially I thought this blog tries to serve the noble cause of creating an understanding how biased media is. To some extend it does, but to a much bigger extend it comes across as a never ending rant in the style of 'Look at what nasty things they say about us, and we haven't done a thing.'
This is partiallly because it concentrates on only one issue, the German media's anti-americanism, and ignores the bigger picture of what causes this anti-americanism in Germany and elsewhere in the world.
The American expat reader will no doubt love this blog, since many American expats are for the first time in their life confronted with criticism, and we are always much more hurt buy criticism that comes from outsiders. The ethnocentrism of the U.S. also results in many American expats resorting in rants of the style 'Why cant't they just be like us?' Which is of course the quintessential rant of 99% of any exapat.

When I moved to the U.S. I was determined to experience the country with an open mind, but after years I'm disillusioned and appalled at how ignorant and ethnocentric the majority of the population is.
At the same time I was also appalled at the level of anti-americanism amongst my friends and family back in Europe, to the point that I find myself defending the U.S.

As I mentioned before it would make the blog a little bit more differentiated if the writers would examine the source of the anti-americanism instead of just pointing fingers.
When people complain to me about the U.S. I usually tell them that they need to face the facts: The U.S. is the world's hegemony and that gives them the power to dictate to the rest what they should and should not do. It's really not novelty behaviour for a country that dominates the world.
And of course they are going to be disliked and bashed for aggressivly pursueing their geostrategic interests and economic powers, nothing new either. The U.S. is really not the first country to go to war over these issues.

And as for being ignorant I ask them to look at the map. The U.S is an incredibly big country and an American can lead a perfect life and have a good career without ever leaving the country, without the need of learning a second language and without needing to know too much about the rest of the world. The country really is that big.
As a matter of fact, I found Chinese, Russians and even Turks to be equally ignorant about the world's affairs. It's just less apparant because those countries are not a hegemony nor do they dominate the news.

"Americans didn't cause the conditions in Germany in the '20s. Germans did. Germany started a war and lost. The United States came into it rather late. Why not wish this on France or Britain? They were much more your adversary than the U.S. in terms of time, men and material."

For anyone interested in the background of these subjects I'd recommend two (academic) books.
"Lords of Finance" by Liaquat Ahamed
"After the Reich" by Giles MacDonogh

Both books dismantle the myths of Germany causing the conditions of the 1920's as well as the myth that the allies (not just the U.S.; the allies include France and Britain as well) freed the Germans from the Nazis, to be more precise that this wasn't the cause why the allis 'freed' Germany.
Both books make interesting food for thought and provide an intersting historical background for the context of this blog's disussion unless they will be discredited for being 'anti-american'.

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