Created By: Yora on January 2, 2010

Germanic Professionalism

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Germans come in a wide variety of stereotypes. But no matter if they are savage barbarians in the north, Knight Templars, mad scientists, or Those Wacky Nazis, they are almost always very good at what they are doing, and they are always doing it with stoic calmness. It's almost like a racial Badasstitute. They are usually pictured as either world class engineers or extremely efficient soldiers, though the soldier type has become extremely unpopular within Germany after the end of World War II. If it's ever mentioned that a character is German, he will almost always be an egineer or a soldier.

The tall, broad shouldred, German henchman has practically become a staple of spy movies. Though they are somewhat being replaced by Russians since the fall of the Soviet Union. Even though modern Germans absolutely loath any sterotypes that also fit Those Wacky Nazis, this one is usually quite well recieved.

Compare with Germanic Depressives. Note that this trope only includes actual Germans, not merely the decendands of german emigrants.


Anime & Manga
  • Though no nationalities are mentioned, the rogue General Uranus and his Number Two Colonel Hades in the movie Appleseed are made of this trope.
    • Deunans ancestry is a mix of practically everything, but being a major Bad Ass herself, there's obviously some German in it. Though her efficiency is everything but cold.

  • In Gladiator, Maximus has to defeat the current Champion of Rome, a German gladiator played by Ralf Moeller.
  • James Bond vilains seem to have a special fondness for German henchmen/bodyguards, especially Bloefeld.
  • The Headless Horsemen from the movie Sleepy Hollow.
  • Hans Gruber and his men in Die Hard.

Live-Action TV
  • Subverted in Hogan's Heroes, where every single German is rediclusly incompetent.

Real Life
  • Though the lands of modern Germany where the one place the Romans could never conquer, they recruited large numbers of german warriors into their armies with some of them even recieving roman education and becoming high ranking generals. Most famously Armenius, who eventually betrayed them.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, chief of staff of the continental army in the American Revolutionary War.
  • Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron. Probably the most famous fighter pilot of all time.
  • Wernher von Braun was taken from a captured german rocket research facility and almost instantly transfered into an american rocket research facility.
  • German Counter-Terror unit GSG 9 is widely considered to be one of the worlds best.

Truth in Television
  • When Japan decided to become a modern and industrialized country, they first contracted french advisors and engineers, but soon switched over to German experts.
  • You can say what you want about Those Wacky Nazis, but they sure knew how to run their army.

Video Games
  • In the mostly (and rightfully) forgotten space simulation Starlancer, the german Wolverine heavy fighter is the last starfighter that you can unlook and probably the best ship in the entire game.

  • You could probably fill an entire page with german manufactured guns and tanks that fill movies and video games. Which is kind of paradox, as modern Germany is obsessively pacifistic.
    • And cars.
Community Feedback Replies: 9
  • January 2, 2010
    Naturally, Germany from Axis Powers Hetalia. Soldier type.
  • January 2, 2010
    A stereotype of the German tourist is "that towel thing" i.e. getting up early to "reserve" a sunbed by placing their towel on it.
  • January 2, 2010
    jason taylor
    Subversion. In World War II, German intelligence came off rather poorly and was something of a Chew Toy.
  • January 2, 2010
    The Gladiator example is incorrect. Hagen, Ralf Moeller's character, was one of Maximus's fellow slaves and while he fought with Maximus, he never fought against him. The only gladiatorial opponent fought by Maximum who was ever named (other than the Emperor Commodus), was Tigris of Gaul... and Gaul is France, not Germany.
  • January 2, 2010
    • Sasha Nein in Psychonauts: Perfectly composed, perfectly awesome, and perfectly German.
  • January 2, 2010
    Omar Karindu
    • Parodied in an episode of The Simpsons in which a spy posing as Homer promises Marge a night of "efficient German sex."
  • January 3, 2010
    Isn't "Efficiency" used a lot more often than "Professionalism"?
  • January 3, 2010
    I liked this bit about Germans in Adams' Last Cance to See:

    There were two other people sharing our but that evening. They were a couple of German students whose names I appear now to have forgotten, but since they were indistinguishable from all the other German students we had encountered from time to time on our trips I will simply call them Helmut and Kurt. Helmut and Kurt were young, fair-haired, vigorous, incredibly well equipped, and much better than us at virtually everything. [...] I turned to worrying about Helmut and Kurt. If they were going to be like that, then I just wished they hadn't actually been German. It was too easy. Too obvious. It was like coming across an Irishman who actually was stupid, a mother-in-law who actually was fat, or an American businessman who actually did have a middle initial and smoke a cigar. [...] Writers should not be in the business of propping up stereotypes. I wondered what to do about it, decided that they could simply be Latvians if I wanted, and then at last drifted off peacefully to worrying about my boots.
  • January 3, 2010
    [...] Not only was the forest thick, it was also cold, wet and full of large black ants which bit all of us except for Helmut and Kurt who were wearing special ant-proof socks which they had brought with them from Latvia. We complimented them on their foresight and they shrugged and said it was nothing. Latvians were always well prepared. They looked at our recording equipment and said that they were surprised that we thought it was adequate. They had much better tape recorders than that in Latvia. We said that that might very well be so, but that we were very happy with it and the BBC seemed to think it was fine for the job. Helmut (or was it Kurt?) explained that they had much better broadcasting corporations in Latvia.