History UsefulNotes / GermanPeculiarities

24th Sep '16 12:27:47 PM Jhonny
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[[NationsAsPeople The US have Uncle Sam, France has Marianne, Germany has (aside from the female Germania) Michel]]: A guy who's for some reason always wearing a night cap. The origin is not completely clear; some people claim it had to do with the archangel Michael (patron saint of Germany), but that's not proven. So or so: As the cap hints at, this Michel guy is generally seen as pretty relaxed, laid-back, a BigEater and drinker, and especially, someone who likes to sleep[[note]]This latter trait was in the 19th century portrayed as a metaphor for the Germans' apparent docility towards their multitude of kings and princelings[[/note]]. ''Gemütlich'', as we say. And admittedly, very far from [[NationalStereotypingTropes German stereotypes]] (except maybe {{Oktoberfest}}) like the ruthlessly efficient UsefulNotes/{{Prussia}}, let alone ThoseWackyNazis[[note]]Although one of ''their'' slogans was "Germany, awaken!"[[/note]]. Sometimes still used in caricatures, as stand-in for the German people, if nowhere else.

to:

[[NationsAsPeople The US have Uncle Sam, France has Marianne, Germany has (aside from the female Germania) Michel]]: A guy who's for some reason always wearing a night cap. The origin is not completely clear; some people claim it had to do with the archangel Michael (patron saint of Germany), but that's not proven. So or so: As Be that as it may, as the cap hints at, this Michel guy is generally seen as pretty relaxed, laid-back, a BigEater and drinker, and especially, someone who likes to sleep[[note]]This latter trait was in the 19th century portrayed as a metaphor for the Germans' apparent docility towards their multitude of kings and princelings[[/note]]. ''Gemütlich'', as we say. And admittedly, very far from [[NationalStereotypingTropes German stereotypes]] (except maybe {{Oktoberfest}}) like the ruthlessly efficient UsefulNotes/{{Prussia}}, let alone ThoseWackyNazis[[note]]Although one of ''their'' slogans was "Germany, awaken!"[[/note]]. Sometimes still used in caricatures, as stand-in for the German people, if nowhere else.
24th Sep '16 3:52:30 AM Morgenthaler
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[[NationsAsPeople The US have Uncle Sam, France has Marianne, Germany has (aside from the female Germania) Michel]]: A guy who's for some reason always wearing a night cap. The origin is not completely clear; some people claim it had to do with the archangel Michael (patron saint of Germany), but that's not proven. So or so: As the cap hints at, this Michel guy is generally seen as pretty relaxed, laid-back, a BigEater and drinker, and especially, someone who likes to sleep[[note]]This latter trait was in the 19th century portrayed as a metaphor for the Germans' apparent docility towards their multitude of kings and princelings[[/note]]. ''Gemütlich'', as we say. And admittedly, very far from [[NationalStereotypingTropes German stereotypes]] (except maybe {{Oktoberfest}}) like the ruthlessly efficient {{Prussia}}, let alone ThoseWackyNazis[[note]]Although one of ''their'' slogans was "Germany, awaken!"[[/note]]. Sometimes still used in caricatures, as stand-in for the German people, if nowhere else.

to:

[[NationsAsPeople The US have Uncle Sam, France has Marianne, Germany has (aside from the female Germania) Michel]]: A guy who's for some reason always wearing a night cap. The origin is not completely clear; some people claim it had to do with the archangel Michael (patron saint of Germany), but that's not proven. So or so: As the cap hints at, this Michel guy is generally seen as pretty relaxed, laid-back, a BigEater and drinker, and especially, someone who likes to sleep[[note]]This latter trait was in the 19th century portrayed as a metaphor for the Germans' apparent docility towards their multitude of kings and princelings[[/note]]. ''Gemütlich'', as we say. And admittedly, very far from [[NationalStereotypingTropes German stereotypes]] (except maybe {{Oktoberfest}}) like the ruthlessly efficient {{Prussia}}, UsefulNotes/{{Prussia}}, let alone ThoseWackyNazis[[note]]Although one of ''their'' slogans was "Germany, awaken!"[[/note]]. Sometimes still used in caricatures, as stand-in for the German people, if nowhere else.
29th Aug '16 10:32:49 AM Morgenthaler
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Arminius, son of Segimer, was a Germanic man from the tribe of the Cherusci. At the time he lived (around the beginning of our chronology), most of today's Germany (everything west of the Elbe river, to be precise) was part of TheRomanEmpire. Originally, he served as a ''ductor popularium'', a leader of Germanic auxiliaries, in [[TheGloryThatWasRome the Roman army]]. During this time, he acquired useful military skills, learned Latin, became a Roman citizen and even member of the knight class. For unknown reasons though, one day [[DefectorFromDecadence he had enough of civilization]], it seems. Around A.D. 8, Arminius had become one of the tribal leaders. At the same time, a Publius Quinctilius Varus was the Roman legate in the area where the Cherusci lived. If Arminius feared for his power, or whatever his reason was, he didn't show it, but instead kept the contact with Varus - hence knowing exactly what Varus was up to, while the Roman didn't suspect a thing. By A.D. 9, a Germanic uprising happened, and Varus took the legions XVII, XVIII and XIX to quell it. He got some warnings (by Arminius' father-in-law Segestes!), [[WhatAnIdiot but decided not to care about them.]] At the area of Teutoburg forest [[WhereTheHellIsSpringfield (it still isn't completely clear where that was)]], the three legions were [[CurbStompBattle defeated and utterly annihilated]] by the Germanics led by Arminius. [[RedemptionEqualsDeath Varus took his own life after losing the battle.]] Emperor Augustus would shout his famous "Vare, Vare, redde legiones!" (Varus, Varus, give me back my legions) when the message came to Rome. The German uprising spread, and the Romans had to give up the whole area between Rhine and Elbe.

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Arminius, son of Segimer, was a Germanic man from the tribe of the Cherusci. At the time he lived (around the beginning of our chronology), most of today's Germany (everything west of the Elbe river, to be precise) was part of TheRomanEmpire. UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire. Originally, he served as a ''ductor popularium'', a leader of Germanic auxiliaries, in [[TheGloryThatWasRome [[UsefulNotes/TheGloryThatWasRome the Roman army]]. During this time, he acquired useful military skills, learned Latin, became a Roman citizen and even member of the knight class. For unknown reasons though, one day [[DefectorFromDecadence he had enough of civilization]], it seems. Around A.D. 8, Arminius had become one of the tribal leaders. At the same time, a Publius Quinctilius Varus was the Roman legate in the area where the Cherusci lived. If Arminius feared for his power, or whatever his reason was, he didn't show it, but instead kept the contact with Varus - hence knowing exactly what Varus was up to, while the Roman didn't suspect a thing. By A.D. 9, a Germanic uprising happened, and Varus took the legions XVII, XVIII and XIX to quell it. He got some warnings (by Arminius' father-in-law Segestes!), [[WhatAnIdiot but decided not to care about them.]] At the area of Teutoburg forest [[WhereTheHellIsSpringfield (it still isn't completely clear where that was)]], the three legions were [[CurbStompBattle defeated and utterly annihilated]] by the Germanics led by Arminius. [[RedemptionEqualsDeath Varus took his own life after losing the battle.]] Emperor Augustus would shout his famous "Vare, Vare, redde legiones!" (Varus, Varus, give me back my legions) when the message came to Rome. The German uprising spread, and the Romans had to give up the whole area between Rhine and Elbe.
21st Jun '16 10:35:05 AM Jhonny
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Despite what some people in and outside Germany still claim and believe, they were ''not'' a brainchild of UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. As a matter of fact, the democratic government of the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic had planned several of them (the first one between Cologne and Bonn was finished in 1932). However, after TheGreatDepression, they were practically broke, so Hitler could claim they were his idea when he had them built (as preparation for UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, of course, where they proved to be worse than useless for the Third Reich).

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Despite what some people in and outside Germany still claim and believe, they were ''not'' a brainchild of UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. As a matter of fact, the democratic government of the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic had planned several of them (the first one between Cologne and Bonn was finished in 1932).1932 and inaugurated by one Konrad Adenauer, then mayor of Cologne). However, after TheGreatDepression, they were practically broke, so Hitler could claim they were his idea when he had them built (as preparation for UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, of course, where they proved to be worse than useless for the Third Reich).
21st Jun '16 10:34:25 AM Jhonny
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Added DiffLines:


!!!Die Bahn

Germany is crisscrossed by one of the densest railway networks in the world and UsefulNotes/DeutscheBahn carries two billion people a year in a country of a bit over 80 million people. Nonetheless Germans ''love'' complaining about Deutsche Bahn. So much so that some GermanHumor relies on simply saying something along the lines of "I took a train recently" as the German equivalent of "What's the deal with airline food".
10th Jan '16 5:36:53 PM phoenix
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The most favorite sports in Germany are: [[TheBeautifulGame Football]], [[TheWorldCup football]], [[UsefulNotes/EuroFooty football]][[note]]what Americans call "soccer" incidentally, American "gridiron" football has a minor following in Germany thanks in no small part to osmosis from US troops stationed there during [[HistoryOfTheColdWar the Cold War]][[/note]], tennis (preferably with Boris Becker and Steffi Graf), car racing (preferably with Michael Schumacher) and boxing (preferably with Henry Maske, or the Klitchko brothers). This love goes back to (at least) the 1954 FIFA World Cup, first time when Germany won TheWorldCup. Which, probably, no one expected, for good reasons: The [[GermanicEfficiency German]] football team had to play Hungary's Golden Team (which hadn't lost a game in 4 years!) in the group stage. But [[MagnificentBastard trainer Sepp Herberger decided to play Hungary with his reserves]], losing 8-3. However, this just meant that Germany had to play another game against Turkey (which they had defeated easily just before), but then got to the easier side in the knockout stage, defeating Yugoslavia and Austria (who had suffered from a hard game at 40°C against Switzerland) before the finals, a rematch with Hungary (who had to [[UnnecessaryRoughness literally fight]] Brazil and later confront reigning champions Uruguay). The match was played in heavy rain, which the Germans had christened "Fritz Walter-weather", as their team captain was known for playing his best football under those conditions. In addition, the Germans were equipped with footwear supplied by Adidas, which had produced a hitherto unheard of design of boot with exchangeable, screw-in studs that could be adapted to any weather. This enabled the German players to wear their regular boots despite the adverse weather.

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The most favorite sports in Germany are: [[TheBeautifulGame [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball Football]], [[TheWorldCup football]], [[UsefulNotes/EuroFooty football]][[note]]what Americans call "soccer" incidentally, American "gridiron" football has a minor following in Germany thanks in no small part to osmosis from US troops stationed there during [[HistoryOfTheColdWar the Cold War]][[/note]], tennis (preferably with Boris Becker and Steffi Graf), car racing (preferably with Michael Schumacher) and boxing (preferably with Henry Maske, or the Klitchko brothers). This love goes back to (at least) the 1954 FIFA World Cup, first time when Germany won TheWorldCup. Which, probably, no one expected, for good reasons: The [[GermanicEfficiency German]] football team had to play Hungary's Golden Team (which hadn't lost a game in 4 years!) in the group stage. But [[MagnificentBastard trainer Sepp Herberger decided to play Hungary with his reserves]], losing 8-3. However, this just meant that Germany had to play another game against Turkey (which they had defeated easily just before), but then got to the easier side in the knockout stage, defeating Yugoslavia and Austria (who had suffered from a hard game at 40°C against Switzerland) before the finals, a rematch with Hungary (who had to [[UnnecessaryRoughness literally fight]] Brazil and later confront reigning champions Uruguay). The match was played in heavy rain, which the Germans had christened "Fritz Walter-weather", as their team captain was known for playing his best football under those conditions. In addition, the Germans were equipped with footwear supplied by Adidas, which had produced a hitherto unheard of design of boot with exchangeable, screw-in studs that could be adapted to any weather. This enabled the German players to wear their regular boots despite the adverse weather.
4th Jan '16 1:17:53 AM Nautilus1
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Nowadays nobody sane in Germany wants to start a war in Europe, but people still like their Autobahn very much. There's still for a (small) part no speed limit on them, which was unique in the world for quite some time. People who wanted to change this (like the [[PoliticalSystemOfGermany Green Party]]) faced too much resistance and gave up on the issue. "Freie Fahrt für freie Bürger!" (Free driving for free citizens!) is a slogan used by car lobbyists and enthusiasts alike (though might attract giggles from juvenile English listeners). The car lobby in Germany is roughly comparable in power to the [[AmericanGunPolitics American pro-gun lobby.]] There are strict speed limits on the more dangerous parts, and a list of other rules are in place to allow as smooth travel as possible. One of these is that every vehicle has to be able to drive at least 70 km/h (43 mph). Another is that it is illegal to run out of fuel, or insult other drivers[[note]]For the latter one, just as for stopping in a dangerous curve for no reason, the penalty may be even ''imprisonment''[[/note]]. Travel is done in the right lane with one only being permitted to use the left lane for passing. ''No'' passing in the right lane is permitted. During TheSeventies, many new Autobahnen were built - during this decade, the network almost doubled its length. In 2010, Germany had about 13,000 kilometers of Autobahn, one of the densest networks in the world, and the third longest, after the United States and China.

to:

Nowadays nobody sane in Germany wants to start a war in Europe, but people still like their Autobahn very much. There's still for a (small) part no speed limit on them, which was unique in the world for quite some time. People who wanted to change this (like the [[PoliticalSystemOfGermany Green Party]]) faced too much resistance and gave up on the issue. "Freie Fahrt für freie Bürger!" (Free driving for free citizens!) is a slogan used by car lobbyists and enthusiasts alike (though might attract giggles from juvenile English listeners). The car lobby in Germany is roughly comparable in power to the [[AmericanGunPolitics American pro-gun lobby.]] There are strict speed limits on the more dangerous parts, and a list of other rules are in place to allow as smooth travel as possible. One of these is that every vehicle has to be able to drive at least 70 km/h (43 mph). Another is that it is illegal to run out of fuel, or insult other drivers[[note]]For the latter one, just as for stopping in a dangerous curve for no reason, the penalty may be even ''imprisonment''[[/note]]. Travel is done in the right lane with one only being permitted to use the left lane for passing. ''No'' passing in the right lane is permitted. During TheSeventies, many new Autobahnen were built - during this decade, the network almost doubled its length. In 2010, Germany had about 13,000 kilometers of Autobahn, one of the densest networks in the world, and the third longest, after the United States and China.
China. Which means a lot in a country the size of Montana.
21st Aug '15 8:13:30 AM demonfiren
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[[OverusedRunningGag Believe it or not, Germany has more than 16,000 Döner shops, which might be some kind of record.]] Donner or shawarma or gyros in other countries was invented in it's modern form (thinly sliced, spit-roasted meat and veggies with sauce and spices in one or the other kind of bread) in Berlin by Turkish immigrants, and quickly conquered the German fast food landscape. Today it keeps its dominating position, having a higher sales volume than all UsefulNotes/McDonalds in Germany (which takes second place), and Döner shops in even many villages. Germans in other countries cite Döner as one of the things they miss the most [[note]]along with, and often surpassed by, beer, bread, cheeses, fish dishes and sausages[[/note]].

to:

[[OverusedRunningGag Believe it or not, Germany has more than 16,000 Döner shops, which might be some kind of record.]] Donner or shawarma or gyros in other countries was invented in it's its modern form (thinly sliced, spit-roasted meat and veggies with sauce and spices in one or the other kind of bread) in Berlin by Turkish immigrants, and quickly conquered the German fast food landscape. Today it keeps its dominating position, having a higher sales volume than all UsefulNotes/McDonalds in Germany (which takes second place), and Döner shops in even in many villages. Germans in other countries cite Döner as one of the things they miss the most [[note]]along with, and often surpassed by, beer, bread, cheeses, fish dishes and sausages[[/note]].
21st Aug '15 8:07:34 AM demonfiren
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[[NationsAsPeople The US have Uncle Sam, France has Marianne, Germany has (aside from the female Germania) Michel]]: A guy who's for some reason always wearing a night cap. The origin is not completely clear; some people claim it had to do with the archangel Michael (patron saint of Germany), but that's not proven. So or so: As the cap hints at, this Michel guy is generally seen as pretty relaxed, laid-back, a BigEater and drinker, and especially, someone who likes to sleep[[note]]This latter trait was in the 19th century portrayed as a metaphor for the Germans' apparent docility towards their multitude of kings and princelings[[/note]]. ''Gemütlich'', as we say. And admittedly, very far from [[NationalStereotypingTropes German stereotypes]] (except maybe {{Oktoberfest}}) like the ruthlessly efficient {{Prussia}}, let alone ThoseWackyNazis[[note]]Although one of ''their'' slogans was "Germany, awake!"[[/note]]. Sometimes still used in caricatures, as stand-in for the German people, if nowhere else.

to:

[[NationsAsPeople The US have Uncle Sam, France has Marianne, Germany has (aside from the female Germania) Michel]]: A guy who's for some reason always wearing a night cap. The origin is not completely clear; some people claim it had to do with the archangel Michael (patron saint of Germany), but that's not proven. So or so: As the cap hints at, this Michel guy is generally seen as pretty relaxed, laid-back, a BigEater and drinker, and especially, someone who likes to sleep[[note]]This latter trait was in the 19th century portrayed as a metaphor for the Germans' apparent docility towards their multitude of kings and princelings[[/note]]. ''Gemütlich'', as we say. And admittedly, very far from [[NationalStereotypingTropes German stereotypes]] (except maybe {{Oktoberfest}}) like the ruthlessly efficient {{Prussia}}, let alone ThoseWackyNazis[[note]]Although one of ''their'' slogans was "Germany, awake!"[[/note]].awaken!"[[/note]]. Sometimes still used in caricatures, as stand-in for the German people, if nowhere else.
15th Feb '15 8:48:41 AM Menshevik
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Germany was held responsible for UsefulNotes/WorldWarI in the Treaty of Versailles, which fueled nationalist feelings, but after [[ThoseWackyNazis the Nazis]] started and lost another World War, nationalism lost a lot of its appeal and became a touchy subject. Which of course did not happen overnight, as it would take years for the full extent of German war crimes, the Holocaust etc. to become public knowledge and for people to face up to what had happened. In West Germany you might say that even though people became more reticent about using national symbols in private, the negative side of nationalism was not completely dead as some prominent people who had fled from the Nazis or contributed to the victory over them, like Marlene Dietrich and Willy Brandt, were still attacked as "disloyal" or "traitors" from some quarters as late as the 1960s. Another part of the West German public took it to the other extreme and tried to create a "post-national" German and European identity. Which some people have seen as typically German: swinging from being among the leading nationalists in Europe to the leading internationalists. To what extent it worked is debatable (countries outside of Germany certainly were not eager to pick up such ideas). In any case, expect that GodwinsLaw may - no, will - be involved in discussions about German patriotism/nationalism.

to:

Germany was held responsible for UsefulNotes/WorldWarI in the Treaty of Versailles, which fueled nationalist feelings, but after [[ThoseWackyNazis the Nazis]] started and lost another World War, nationalism lost a lot of its appeal and became a touchy subject. Which of course did not happen overnight, as it would take years for the full extent of German war crimes, the Holocaust etc. to become public knowledge and for people to face up to what had happened. In West Germany you might say that even though people became more reticent about using national symbols in private, the negative side of nationalism was not completely dead as some prominent people who had fled from the Nazis or contributed to the victory over them, like Marlene Dietrich and Willy Brandt, were still attacked as "disloyal" or "traitors" from some quarters as late as the 1960s. Another part of the West German public took it to the other extreme and tried to create a "post-national" German and European identity. Which some people have seen as typically German: swinging from being among the leading nationalists in Europe to the leading internationalists. To what extent it worked is debatable (countries outside of Germany certainly were not eager to pick up such ideas). In any case, expect that GodwinsLaw may - no, will - be involved in discussions about German patriotism/nationalism.
patriotism/nationalism, but also don't be surprised about other people bemoaning that in their view Germans are being insufficiently patriotic and suffering from a national inferiority complex.
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