Skip Navigation

Is There Much Anti-American Sentiment in Germany?

Travel Forums Europe Is There Much Anti-American Sentiment in Germany?

Page

Last Post

11. Posted by nieck (Full Member 24 posts) 11y

Hi there,
I won't promise anything to you, but Americans still have a high status here in Germany - over all. The problem is the current administration, but usually the folks here are able to differentiate between individual and political representative.
I'd say that Bush, Jr. was (and still is) the one of the least welcome persons in most parts of Europe. That's one reason why they shut down the whole region when he came to visit. There where demonstrations against Bush as a person and (especially) against the totally overdone security - even people who lived anywhere near the route or a place that Bush might have gone through had to be escorted out of the security zone by a policeman - thats too much. A lot of people had the oppinion that this was a totally paranoid situation and that it affected far too many people's lives that day.

A reason why Americans might be looked at strange is their habits. Americans behave very diffently than Germans. Often Americans talk VERY loudly. Americans are proud and often wear their flag on t-shirts that read "proud to be an American". Germans usually won't tell you that they are proud to be German because of our very problematic history. Thus the understanding that people might be very proud of their country has been lost. The people who will openly tell you that they are proud to be German are often (but not exclusively!) those with reactionary political interests. Some Americans come to Germany and eat at McDonalds. This is strange. Get a Bratwurst or a Döner (Turkish Fast-Food developed and sold in Germany by our Turkish Imigrants - very good and not as unhealthy as fries!) if you need something to chew on on the way. Try something new and try to find out whats life like in Germany. If you come as a tourist that's fine, but don't behave as if you where at home. That's true for all tourist. I have made this mistake before too.
A good way to fine out about people in their culture is to observe them. Don't follow them around though ;)
If you're on public transport you might want to just shut your mouth for a while and not talk to your buddy. Just look around and try to catch the situation.
A good way to find out about a place is to take a tourist guide and a map. Look in the tourist guide and cross out all places recommended on your map. Go to those places that are not mentioned.
In your case you want to see the Frauenkirche. That alright - you come to see it, but you will have time to see something else as well. Just don't go to every place that's a so called 'must see'. You won't appreciate looking at the pictures on your computer/colorprints as much as if you can tell your friends at home a story about a really great situation that you got in with the people in Dresden.
I was in Paris last year with a friend and we found the Indian quarter. It wasn't on a single map that we had. And there was not a single word about it in the tourist guide. We just bumped in when we decided to wander around the city at places where we don't see any other tourists. We had the strangest and most interesting time in Paris there. We didn't take pictures, there are only memories, but that's even better.

Well, I hope I could help you with your question. If you need more info just send me a PM.

Greetings from Hamburg.
Nils

12. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

Tim,

I think if you come to Europe then the topic of US policies abroad is something people are keen to talk about, and generally people don't agree with, but will discuss it in a civilised manner. However, if you get upset easily about people criticising Bush then stay away, or don't talk to people. We're a friendly bunch over here. As long as you have an open mind and appreciate other peoples views you will be fine, i think that goes for anywhere you travel in the world. I also agree with nieck, people treat will talk to you as an individual as we are bright enough to know that you yourself may or may not like Bush. To stay away from Europe because you think Americans are not liked would be a poor excuse not to come in my view.

13. Posted by IAMNOBODY (Budding Member 31 posts) 11y

Quoting Timothy

Well, since my original question isn't going to be taken seriously anyway .....

There's no chance I would ever condescend to "pretend" to be a Canadian. The idea is nauseating, so do not be concerned.

Well, really what did you expect? Your question cannot really be answered. Everyone knows that there are negative feelings towards the States, how can you really ask someone to quantify it in one country or city?

Besides, so what if they don't like you? Would you really not go? C'mon you're the big bad American, insults and rudeness can't hurt you!

As for your comment about Canada and Canadians, I'm sure these types of comments will go a long way in building up that great American image.

14. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

Quoting Timothy

Please do not turn this into a US bashing thread. I asked a legitimate question. If you would like to answer, I will gladly read your reply.

I apologise for the laughter at the bush comment. It couldn't be helped. In regards to your original question. Every country around the world has different feelings and problems with other nations.

So with that, I would say that unless those feelings and problems are going to get your killed, to go and have a good time! :)

And I do not really agree with the "dress" like a Canadian abroad. Everyone should have some pride of where they come from and shine a positive light on their country instead of masking it.

Of course the idea of "my nation is better than your nation" resulting in hate-mongering really bothers me to no end.

On another note: I don't know if other Canadians have found it this way - but most people I run into count Canada as the 52nd state of the United States.

"Canada is America" they would say... I would try to convince them otherwise but it made no difference.

15. Posted by IAMNOBODY (Budding Member 31 posts) 11y

Quoting Brendan

On another note: I don't know if other Canadians have found it this way - but most people I run into count Canada as the 52nd state of the United States.

"Canada is America" they would say... I would try to convince them otherwise but it made no difference.

There are huge differences between the two countries. We are similar, but make no mistake Canada is distinct from the USA.

Would you say Australia and New Zealand are the same too and that NZ is an extension of OZ?

Also, if Canada is the 52nd state, what is the 51st one?

16. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

Quoting Das-FX

There are huge differences between the two countries. We are similar, but make no mistake Canada is distinct from the USA.

Would you say Australia and New Zealand are the same too and that NZ is an extension of OZ?

I have started a new thread > here< to discuss the issue as not to take away from the orginal issue.

Quoting Das-FX

Also, if Canada is the 52nd state, what is the 51st one?

Puerto Rico

17. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Quoting Das-FX

Would you say Australia and New Zealand are the same too and that NZ is an extension of OZ?

In NZ, I made the mistake of asking a kiwi "Aren't Autralia and New Zealand essentially the same?" He was rightly "offended", yet I must admit that's the overall impression I'd always gotten. And ever since, I've noticed other people confuse the two countries, too.

All to say - it's largely a matter of perspective. And yes, all around the world, people have impressions about other people that we use to argue, debate, justify, condescend... But, in the end, most of us tend to see each, individual traveller as an individual.

Better yet, that individual can become an ambassador for their country - and change some mighty unfair stereotypes.

18. Posted by Timothy (Budding Member 20 posts) 11y

Quoting Das-FX

[quote=Timothy]Well, since my original question isn't going to be taken seriously anyway .....

There's no chance I would ever condescend to "pretend" to be a Canadian. The idea is nauseating, so do not be concerned.

Well, really what did you expect? Your question cannot really be answered.

Then why did you bother responding?

Everyone knows that there are negative feelings towards the States, how can you really ask someone to quantify it in one country or city?

Well, since you are not German, the question was obviously not directed at you, was it?

Besides, so what if they don't like you? Would you really not go? C'mon you're the big bad American, insults and rudeness can't hurt you!

It's obvious that you did not read my post - although that did not stop you from making these comments. I made it clear I had no intention of canceling my plans. I was asking what the atmosphere might be. It is a reasonable question.

As for your comment about Canada and Canadians, I'm sure these types of comments will go a long way in building up that great American image.

Well, as it was obviously a response to several attempts at sarcastic humor, it is obvous, once again, that you failed to actually READ my posts. Evidently trolls are allowed to wander free here.

19. Posted by Timothy (Budding Member 20 posts) 11y

Quoting daveh

Tim,

I think if you come to Europe then the topic of US policies abroad is something people are keen to talk about, and generally people don't agree with, but will discuss it in a civilised manner. However, if you get upset easily about people criticising Bush then stay away, or don't talk to people. We're a friendly bunch over here. As long as you have an open mind and appreciate other peoples views you will be fine, i think that goes for anywhere you travel in the world. I also agree with nieck, people treat will talk to you as an individual as we are bright enough to know that you yourself may or may not like Bush. To stay away from Europe because you think Americans are not liked would be a poor excuse not to come in my view.

I have no problems with discussion and I do not mind criticism of the government at all. I have no intention of staying away from Europe because Americans are not liked. The experiences of people I know in France and Switzerland were much worse than just simple disagreement, but even that would not stop me. I just wanted some insights, and I appreciate your comments.

20. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

Did you read any of the other responses you have gotten?