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Is There Much Anti-American Sentiment in Germany?

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

Quoting Timothy

Negative comments about Canada? I posted this topic because I wanted to talk about Germany. At first, I found jokes from Canadians about Americans "dressing up" as Canadians. They were not deeply offensive - just irrelevant. I responded in kind. You perceived that as being rude. It's better to stop at this point and just let it alone.

Agreed.

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

Quoting Brendan

Quoting nieck

[quote]The American people aren't the problem and in my opinion even the reasons they have elected Bush for is not the problem - as I have followed the elections in 2000 and 2004. Bush, Rice, Cheaney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are the problem - and in general not even they are: their foreign policies are.

I know that people like to shy away from politics, ESPECIALLY on public forums such as this. One must ask though - if we can not talk about politics even in the borderless world of the internet where can we?

I am not aware if it approriate or not to talk about politics here. If it - that is fine with me. I am not a Bush supporter, and I am very interested in the world, especially in Europe. However, I do tend to be conservative, and I do disagree with the US bashing that is currently trendy. So you probably cannot categorize me too easily.

That said I just want to make a couple points about your comments nieck. You mention that it is not the people of the United States, but the administration, and more specifically - that administrations policies. I ask - how so?

From what I read on the news - it was close race - with about 52% voting for the Bush administration? (give or take.. who's couting? ). In other words over 50% of the voting population are in favour of the Bush administration; Its people and the policies that go along with them. At what point do the people of a nation become accountable? 60% 70%?

Accountable? For what? Are you holding us accountable?

Here is a quote from the play "An Enemy of The People", I think it fits the current state the world is in.

[quote=Henrik Ibsen: An Enemy of The People]The majority never has right on its side. Never, I say!
That is one of these social lies against which an independent,
intelligent man must wage war. Who is it that constitute the majority of the population in a country? Is it the
clever folk, or the stupid? I don't imagine you will dispute the
fact that at present the stupid people are in an absolutely
overwhelming majority all the world over. But, good Lord!--you
can never pretend that it is right that the stupid folk should
govern the clever ones I (Uproar and cries.) Oh, yes--you can
shout me down, I know! But you cannot answer me. The majority has
might on its side--unfortunately; but right it has not. I am in
the right--I and a few other scattered individuals. The minority
is always in the right.

I also appreciate Ibsen. "The Master Builder" is my favorite. I think the quote you chose is powerful. It appearst that you are using it to refer to Amercians. In what sense?
Maybe I should have started a new topic?

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

Quoting nieck

[quote]No problem,
I have spent a year in the US as an exchange student - and I have met lots of Americans that are not as loud. But I must say that it's still not very hard to identify an American as such - even in another environment. Or let's say: there are enough to notice some.
And yes, I have seen lots of Americans wearing t-shirts like those in Europe. I personally have not a problem with that because I know about the values Americans (not all of course) often associate with it. It just seems strange, because they make themselves outsiders by the first look. Enough of that.

Fair point.

I think it's really sad that your friends have experienced such ignorance. These people who offended your friend ain't better than the people they think they dispair. I hope that you or anyone else will not experience this here in Germany because I am very certain that most of the people here have learned from our history - that's my patriotism. Not all though, and saxony (of which Dresden is the capitol) has an open problem with reactionary powers. Some other places as well. And yet other places have the same problem, but neglect to deal with it. Sad but true. Everyone will be safe in the streets though. At nearly all times and places.

Aight. I hope you enjoy your visit to Dresden. But as you are staying with friends I have no doubt you will.

Greetings, Nils

Thanks for the post. I must admit I was surprised by what I heard. I can only hope things will improve.

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

Quoting Timothy

Accountable? For what? Are you holding us accountable?

Accountable for the leadership of your country.

Some may argue that it is no concern of a person not from or living in the United States. I would argue back that we all know that the United States is the most powerful nation on earth. And with that fact - we also all know that every choice and decision that the United States makes as a whole (people, government, administration) effects everyone else in the world. This is why there is so much attention to detail with the actions of the United States.

I hear many times over "I do not have a problem with Americans, just their government". A statement like that does not hold any ground. And I say that because the Republic of the United States is a "free" nation with "free" people. And because of this freedom the choice of leadership is (or at least should be) in the hands of the people.

So, if the United States of America is truely free, then yes I do hold the people accountable. If the United States of America is not truely free then no I do not hold the people accountable. Recent evidence does point to some "lack" of freedoms when it comes to voting, but that is someone from the outside looking in, so it is hard to say.

It appearst that you are using it to refer to Amercians. In what sense?

I was using the quote from that play to regard all people of this world. In all nations, in all regions of the world the "majority" has rule over the few, be that through force or "election". Is that a good thing? no. And I believe that Henrik Ibsen is very correct when he says:

"The majority never has right on its side. Never, I say!
That is one of these social lies against which an independent,
intelligent man must wage war"

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

Quoting Brendan


[quote]Accountable for the leadership of your country.

Some may argue that it is no concern of a person not from or living in the United States. I would argue back that we all know that the United States is the most powerful nation on earth. And with that fact - we also all know that every choice and decision that the United States makes as a whole (people, government, administration) effects everyone else in the world. This is why there is so much attention to detail with the actions of the United States.

I hear many times over "I do not have a problem with Americans, just their government". A statement like that does not hold any ground. And I say that because the Republic of the United States is a "free" nation with "free" people. And because of this freedom the choice of leadership is (or at least should be) in the hands of the people.

So, if the United States of America is truely free, then yes I do hold the people accountable. If the United States of America is not truely free then no I do not hold the people accountable. Recent evidence does point to some "lack" of freedoms when it comes to voting, but that is someone from the outside looking in, so it is hard to say.

I was using the quote from that play to regard all people of this world. In all nations, in all regions of the world the "majority" has rule over the few, be that through force or "election". Is that a good thing? no. And I believe that Henrik Ibsen is very correct when he says:

"The majority never has right on its side. Never, I say!
That is one of these social lies against which an independent,
intelligent man must wage war

And since you have pronounced us guilty, sir - what exactly do you intend to do about it? You obviously have strong emotions towards the American people, and you said yourself: I hear many times over "I do not have a problem with Americans, just their government". A statement like that does not hold any ground. Clearly, then, you have a problem with the American people. Griping is not especially productive; what do you propose?

36. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 11y

Hi Timothy,

Welcome to the site.

Please try to keep your responses civil. I really can't see how anyone was talking off-topic in this thread or why there is anything to get aggravated about. Accusations and name-calling is simply unacceptable. Threads, like conversations, can change topic easily and people shouldn't be scolded for that. Your question has been answered by two Germans already and is being fleshed out even more as this thread progresses.

As for the question. Although, I'm not in Germany and as such can't talk about their specific reaction, I don't imagine it being dissimilar to Australia or many other places around the world (which explains why other people want to answer). The truth be told, there is quite a lot of animosity towards Americans (mainly the types that are easily spotted), not just the administration. As Brendan rightly points out, it was the majority of Americans who voted him back in after all, something incomprehensible to many people outside the US who couldn't find a single good thing about his policies. On a side note, a lot of Australians are similarly dissapointed in the majority who voted our government back in.

You made a great point in saying that people don't notice the quiet Americans, the ones who do manage to blend in.

And that pretty much answers your question. If you don't want to be targetted, then that's the person you need to be while overseas. Blending in is a good thing for any traveller, not just Americans. There are many benefits, ranging from cheaper entrance fees to less harassment from street vendors to less likelihood of being robbed and so on.

I've also taken great offense to obnoxious travellers from other places. For instance, there were the German (or were they Swiss) backpackers who extinguished the WW2 eternal flame for a laugh. Then there's the travellers who can't stop going on about how things are organised so much better in their country. And so it goes on.

It's interesting watching The Amazing Race. It shows very well what travellers can be like overseas. From the super-obnoxious John who keeps on pushing people out of the way because he's in a 'race' to the lovely couple Kris and Jon, who are continually appreciative of their surroundings and really enjoying themselves. (Yes, we are behind in Australia - they're leaving Budapest tonight)

Please don't take these rambling thoughts as anything against Americans, I'm part American myself. Just trying to help you understand what the attitudes out there are.

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

I challange you to a duel!! Kidding.

By accountable I mean people taking some responsbility for their actions or in many cases - lack of actions. This holds true with all countries. It is not fair for me to single out the United States as I did, greed and malice courses through people and goverments all over the world.

You are right when you ask me: "what exactly do you intend to do about it?". I was thinking of renting a canoe and invading Seattle to start, and then working my way south!

Actaully I plan to openly discuss the issues such as we are doing now. To get the opinions of others and share my own. Only through discourse can we truely appreciate other opinions and perceptions. Perhaps then more people will be willing to work together for the common good of all nations and all peoples.

38. Posted by mtlchica (Respected Member 922 posts) 11y

Quoting Timothy

At first, I found jokes from Canadians about Americans "dressing up" as Canadians. They were not deeply offensive - just irrelevant. I responded in kind. You perceived that as being rude. It's better to stop at this point and just let it alone.

Timothy,

Let me just say I appologize if you may have been offendend by my contribution of posts to the thread (since you stated that posts were not "deeply" offensive, I would safely assume that you found them a little displeasing). We are a friendly bunch here on TP, and Peter and Sam have worked very heard at getting the site to the point were people can be comfortable enough to joke around like that. My first comment was said in all seriousness...and I did not imply that I expected you to "dress" Canadian. My second response (about Montreal) was just made because another member who posted here is from Montreal.

Even though I'm Canadian, I've experienced anti-American sentiment in other countries, but not Germany. That is why I did not say anything about that. Good luck on your trip...and keep smiling!

Cheers,
Katie ;)

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

What would happen if the title of this thread was "Is there much anti-Canadianism sentiment in Germany?" - or "...anti-New-Zealand sentiment in Russia? - or "...anti-Nigeiran sentiment in Uraguay?"

I've never worried about "sticking out" as a Canadian - perhaps as a tourist (I loathe the sun hat I bought for Disneyworld - it kept the sun off but could I have stuck out more??). But I can't say I've ever been preoccupied by whether or not people would be upset at ME, personally because Paul Martin's government declined to sign the anti-ballistic missile defence treaty.

It just sounds rather self-important to think other people in other countries are going to spend so much time preoccupied by a single, solitary traveller - no matter where they're from.

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

Quoting Peter

Hi Timothy,

Welcome to the site.

[quote]Please try to keep your responses civil. I really can't see how anyone was talking off-topic in this thread or why there is anything to get aggravated about. Accusations and name-calling is simply unacceptable. Threads, like conversations, can change topic easily and people shouldn't be scolded for that. Your question has been answered by two Germans already and is being fleshed out even more as this thread progresses.

Excuse me, but if you are going to scold, it is necessary to provide specific evidence before you say anything. In all cases, I have responded to comments that were made to me. At no time were my responses uncivil. I am well aware that two Germans responded - I answered both of them and thanked them.

In other words, it's probably best for you to avoid lectures when there is no basis for your comments.