July 10, 2003


The BBC reports:

Germany is starting a series of campaigns to improve the country's image abroad, seeking to replace the dogged stereotypes of Nazis and sunbed stealing tourists with a more relaxed, hip and even erotic portrayal of its people and language.

(Via Zsa Zsa the supplier)

Posted by Tim Blair at July 10, 2003 02:08 AM

Germany can spin all it wants. As an American, I have no intention of "clicking my heels" over to Schroederland any time soon.

Posted by: Sean at July 10, 2003 at 02:43 AM

I really like the sunbed stealing tourist part. My wife and I were in Mallorca the other summer and it was filled with nothing but German tourist. It was weird being in a place where the second language people spoke was German and not English (I don't mean to sound like an arrogant American). It was even more weird watching South Park in German (Cartman's voice is hilarious). However, I couldn't quite figure out why there were so many beach towels on the sunbeds at night. We never stayed in around the hotel during the day, so I didn't realize it was the German tourists "reserving" the sunbeds for the next day. From Mallorca we went to England to stay with friends. I mentioned it to them and they started to laugh. They explained to me what the German tourists were doing and how they tend to vacation in places where the English don't (they mentioned how German tourist have stopped going to Greece as so many English go there. That's why they go to Mallorca, no English). The reason, the English come and throw the towels in the pool. One other point, my wife being from Russia, was agitated the whole week in Malorca. She can't stand to hear German spoken. Plus, it reminded her of a horrible experience being stopped in East Germany en route to England back in the late 80s). I love the web site. You are a fantastic writer. I wish I could read more of your work here in the US.

Posted by: Jorge at July 10, 2003 at 02:58 AM

"The reason, the English come and throw the towels in the pool."

i love those guys :)

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 10, 2003 at 03:32 AM

Germany: it's really nothing personal, well, not until recent months, but seriously, it's how I was raised. 99.5% of all Germans I have ever seen have been soldiers in WWII movies. That's the particular snarl of neurons that fires up when I see or hear anything German. You're not all Nazis, in fact most of you are just fodder for Tommy guns and Robert Mitchum. So I'd love to visit your country, except I'd be afraid of getting all cut up in the concertina wire.

PS. Ditto goes for the Japanese. I see a sushi restaurant, I think of John Wayne.

Posted by: (lowercase) matt at July 10, 2003 at 07:49 AM

Well the row between Italy and Germany now has not exactly doing them a world of good.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Castel-Dodge at July 10, 2003 at 08:20 AM

Basil Fawlty made a mistake, `don't mention the war'. , Don't have to mention it, being English is enough: though Fawlty should have made it plural.
As a WII war hero, from then on, grandfather held an abiding dislike for the Germans, though he kept it to himself'.The hatred of some heroes for the Japanese is quite reasonable, in view of much grandfather witnessed of the Germans,it is staggering that the Japs exceeded what the former were capable of , viz soldiers - and yet the holocaust to. But the Germans refuse to spit out the reason why with France Germany took all into WWI then the Second, socialism

Of WWI it is worth noting the equal culpability of the French for dragging all into WWI. No less, the socialist communardo government no less culpable for not finishing the maginot line or at least filling the gap with undeployed armoured divisions and sundry other battlions, ensuring a gap which the German Army brilliantly exploited in 1939.This also puts into perpsective the blame
England rant for 1939.In view of the stupidity of the French, the British force was exposed and could not counter the overwhelming advantage the French had handed to the German Army. The Germany Army might still have succeded but only after suffering telling losses, if the socialistos in the French government had shouldered the one of the very few responsibilites of government properly.Why those politicians were not executed for high treason mystifies one.

Posted by: d at July 10, 2003 at 11:09 AM

The Italians are on a roll at the moment- the Italian Minister for Tourism described German Tourists as "Blond-haired nationalist obsessed thugs" or words to that effect- he has refused to apologise or withdraw the remark, despite outraged howling from the sausage-eaters. Good to see that Italy produces something useful besides Ducatis and Ferraris, in this case invective that annoys Germans.

Posted by: paul bickford at July 10, 2003 at 12:26 PM

gee, I never really believed those stereotypes until I moved to Berlin and experienced them myself. Good luck to whoever is running that campaign, all they have to do is just change the character of an entire nation.

Posted by: ian at July 10, 2003 at 07:45 PM

Italians harrassing the Germans about WW2. That's bloody rich. At least the Fritz had the balls to put up a fight. The Italians knew only how to reach for the biggest strip of white material their war department could muster.

Posted by: Mike M at July 10, 2003 at 09:36 PM

Ciao, Mike M

Everyone knows that the Italianos are lovers, not fighters! The Roman Empire is ancient history and the dust of conquest settled a long time ago, thank God.

Yes, we've all heard the joke about the tanks that run backwards...

Make love not war, si?

Posted by: Shewolf at July 11, 2003 at 04:12 AM

Good point Shewolf. Grandfather liked the Italians very much. After his third escape from a p..o.w. camp, he made it into Southern Italy when the allies were preparing for the Anzio landing.Impoverished southerners kept him and others alive, including helping them evade German units hunting them down as in the following example.
He stopped of at a village cobbler for a new pair of boots when a truck of soldiers pulled up out front. The family had him out the back door and away before the thugs had finished disembarking.
The famous French underground, by contrast,was a soviet aligned communist cell in the main, killed more french and allied men than many Italian army units.
An Aussie who served RAF , ran out of fuel over France during a dogfight , sohe bailed out and linked up with the underground: he'd lived in Paris for sometime before the war, so he could fit in .It was the biggest mistake of his war. The betrayal by the communisto underground many to the S.S. included this hero.Fuck the French, Fuck the Germans.
Keep it up Berlusconi.

Posted by: d at July 11, 2003 at 10:45 AM