Results for “culture that is germany”
97 found

The pensioner culture that is Germany

WWII Panther tank seized from pensioner’s cellar

It was to get the tank out of the cellar, so hard that modern tanks were needed.  Then there is this:

It seems the tank’s presence wasn’t much of a secret locally. Several German media reports mention that residents had seen the man driving it around town about 30 years ago. “He was chugging around in it during the snow catastrophe in 1978,” Mayor Alexander Orth was quoted as saying. But he later added: “I took this to be the eccentricity of an old man, but it looks like there’s more to it than that.”

He had an anti-aircraft gun stored away too.  For the pointer I thank Andrew Farrant.

Bad optics, bad PR, the culture that is Germany

a public outcry has arisen over a town council plan to house refugees in a building that once served as a Nazi command post at the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Schwerte, a community of 50,000 south of Dortmund, has decided to move 21 refugees into the camp’s only remaining building on the outskirts of the town.

The move comes, town officials say, because all the refugee housing in the town’s jurisdiction is already filled with 200 asylum seekers, and the town doesn’t have the money to purchase temporary structures. According to the town council’s spokeswoman, “The solution is a practical one.”

The full story is here, via the excellent Mark Thorson.

A union for prisoners? (the culture that is Germany)

A group of inmates at a prison in Berlin have set up the world’s first union for prisoners, in an attempt to campaign for the introduction of a minimum wage and a pension scheme for convicts.

Inmates at Berlin Tegel jail, where the union is based, work regular shifts in kitchens and workshops, which in the view of the union makes them “de facto employees, just like their colleagues outside the prison gates”.

“Prisoners have never had a lobby working for them. With the prisoners’ union we’ve decided to create one ourselves,”said Oliver Rast, a spokesman for the group.

In Germany, as in Britain, prisoners are excluded from national pension schemes and the national minimum wage, which in Germany’s case is planned to come into effect in 2015 at €8.50 (£6.90) an hour. Inmates at Berlin Tegel earn between €9 and €15 per day, depending on their qualifications.

The Berlin union, which is registered as an association without legal status and claims to have collected numerous signatures within the prison, criticised the exclusion of prisoners from minimum wage plans.

It said the lack of pension schemes meant that many elderly inmates were released straight into poverty.

There is more here, via Mark Thorson.

The culture that is Germany

Men are in particularly high demand because many parents don’t want their children looked after exclusively by women. According to a study carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Family Affairs, more than a third of mothers and fathers prefer day care facilities that have male staff. The higher the parents’ educational and income levels, the more important they consider having male child care workers.

Here is much more.

The culture that is Germany

Hard to believe, but ultimately not a surprise:

In the United States, many lament that it takes students too long to graduate. In Germany, the School of Economics and Management in Essen is suing Marcel Pohl, for $3,772 that the institution lost in tuition revenue when he finished a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in 3 semesters, not the 11 that would have been expected, UPI reported. The university declined to comment. Pohl said, “When I got the lawsuit, I thought it couldn’t be true. Performance is supposed to be worth something.”

The link is here.  He went through the course material so quickly by divvying up the lectures with two friends of his, and sharing the resulting notes, thus attending only a fraction of the lectures the school was offering to him.  Here is a German language account, consider this gem of a passage:

“Sie sagen, sie bestellen jetzt eine Cola, und haben nur ein halbes Glas und sagen: Dann möchte ich auch nur ein halbes Glas zahlen. Das ist ja auch völlig in Ordnung. So, sie haben aber die ganze Cola nur furchtbar schnell ausgetrunken und sagen: Jetzt möchte ich nur die Hälfte zahlen. Das geht einfach nicht.”

Just imagine if he had had on-line options.

The culture that is Germany don’t let Forest Boy into the eurozone

Now dubbed the “Lying Dutchman” by the German press Robin van Helsum could face a bill of at least for his nine-month stay at the hands of Berlin’s social services. During his time in Germany he got free bed and board, clothing, German lessons and £200 a month in pocket money.

“We will file a suit for fraudulent appropriation of youth benefits during the course of the week,” Ed Koch, spokesman for the district youth welfare office, said. “We’re going to demand this money back. Whether we ever see it again, we don’t know.”

Mr Van Helsum, 20, had lived at Berlin’s expense while he maintained the fiction that he was a 17-year-old called Ray who had spent years living in the forests. His cover was only blown when old classmates in his hometown of Hengelo recognised his picture on the news. It emerged later that he had travelled to Berlin just days before he re-cast himself as Ray.

Social services also complained since his real identity became known he has failed to apologise or even say thank you.

The link is here (offers nothing extra) and for the pointer I thank Suzy Khimm.

The culture that is Germany (Bavaria)

A sex shop in Munich’s main railway station has got special permission to sell condoms, porn DVDs and sexy skin lotion on Sundays after three local judges ruled they were legitimate travel supplies.

The owner of Erotic World had appealed against the city council’s decision to stop him opening on Sundays – on the grounds that shops in the railway station were exempt from Bavaria’s strict Sunday trading laws.

But this only applies if they sell products that can be considered souvenirs or travel supplies such as food, disposable cameras, newspapers, magazines, books, DVDs, and CDs.

The shop argued in court that it also had such goods on its shelves, even if their content was rather more spicy than what the station’s newsagents had to offer.

“This is the decision of the court … since the above articles can be considered ‘travel supplies,’ regardless of their content,” a court statement issued Wednesday said.

Nonetheless the rule of law prevailed:

But the judges added that the shop could not sell other erotic items in its range, such as sex toys. In fact, especially sex toys.

Three administrative judges visited Erotic World ahead of the court hearing to inspect the shop’s goods, carefully assessing whether each item might come in handy on a long journey.

Condoms were considered useful enough, but the judges ruled that the old favourite sex game “Erotic Ludo” should still be taboo on the day God has designated the day of rest.

The full article is here, and for the pointer I thank CR.

The culture that is Germany

According to Germany’s Der Spiegel, German police shot only 85 bullets in all of 2011…As Boing Boing translates, most of those shots weren’t even aimed [at] people: “49 warning shots, 36 shots on suspects. 15 persons were injured, 6 were killed.”

In some cases the United States police manage to best that number while firing at a single suspect.  The short article is here, the German-language source is here: “Unsere Polizisten sind keine “Rowdys in Uniform”.  Of course not, they are too busy counting.

The culture that is Germany, kein eurobond für den Papst

A GERMAN citizen has filed a complaint against Pope Benedict XVI for not using a seat belt in the Popemobile during his September visit to his homeland.

Lawyer Johannes Christian Sundermann has filed papers in Dortmund on behalf of his unnamed client, charging the Pope with “repeated breaches” of Germany’s seat belt law.

“Herr Joseph Ratzinger, born 16 April 1927 in Marktl/Altötting” travelled on September 24th and 25th “for the duration of more than an hour” without a seat belt, the lawyer states in documents.

Mr Sundermann and his client say they can prove the repeated misdemeanour during his visit to Freiburg – using videos from YouTube.

Here is more.

The culture that is Germany why the eurozone will fail

A society in Germany which advises on etiquette and social behaviour has called for kissing to be banned in the workplace.

The Knigge Society says the practice of greeting colleagues and business partners with a kiss on the cheek is uncomfortable for many Germans.

The society’s chairman, Hans-Michael Klein, says he has received concerned emails from workers on the issue.

He advises people in the workplace to stick to the traditional handshake.

Speaking to the BBC, he admitted it would be impossible to ban kissing in the workplace outright.

“But we have to protect people who don’t want to be kissed,” Mr Klein added.

“So we are suggesting that if people don’t mind it, they announce it with a little paper message placed on their desk.”

Mr Klein said he had received 50 emails this year alone on the rise of kissing on the cheek – sometimes both cheeks – as a greeting at work.

“People say this is not typical German behaviour,” he said.

“It has come from places like Italy, France and South America, and belongs in a specific cultural context. We don’t like it, they say.”

The society held a meeting on the issue, and carried out a survey of people both on the street and at their seminars, he said.

“Most people said they didn’t like it. They feel there is somehow an erotic aspect to it – a form of body contact which can be used by men to get close to a woman.”

He said there is, in Europe, a “social distance zone” of 60cm (23in) which should be observed.

The Knigge Society, named after the German term for a guide to good manners, is based in a castle 80km from Dortmund in western Germany.

It has reportedly previously ruled on the correct way to end a relationship via text message, and how to deal with a runny nose in public.

The link is here and for the pointer I thank Jacob Levy on Twitter.  When the Knigge Society issues its proclamation on the Eurobond idea, I will be sure to let you know.

In German, here are some other Knigge rules, including for soup.  Here is their home page.  Here is a Knigge quiz: “Wie höflich lieben Sie?” [How politely do you love?]  And more tips, including “Wie viel Kinderlärm ist erlaubt?”, buffet rules, and “Dos und Don’ts bei der Baby-Visite.”  Here are rules for behaving yourself in 13 different countries, again all in German.  For the USA, don’t respond with an elogy to “How are you?”, compliment people on their achievement and teamwork rather than their looks, and “Bedanken Sie sich ständig!”

The culture that is Brazil? (and Nazi Germany)

A video in which Brazil’s culture minister uses parts of a speech by Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany’s propaganda boss, has sparked outrage.

In the clip posted on the ministry’s Twitter page, Roberto Alvim details an award for “heroic” and “national” art.

Lohengrin by Wagner, Hitler’s favourite composer, plays in the background.

Reacting to the controversy, Mr Alvim said the speech was a “rhetorical coincidence”. Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been urged to fire him.

Mr Bolsonaro, a former army captain with a conservative social agenda, has frequently accused Brazil’s artists and cultural productions including schoolbooks and movies of “left-wing bias”. He has not commented.

In the six-minute video detailing the National Arts Awards, Mr Alvim says: “The Brazilian art of the next decade will be heroic and will be national, will be endowed with great capacity for emotional involvement… deeply linked to the urgent aspirations of our people, or else it will be nothing.”

Parts of it are identical to a speech quoted in the book Joseph Goebbels: A Biography, by German historian Peter Longerich, who has written several works on the Holocaust.

Here is the full story.

*Culture in Nazi Germany*

That is a new and forthcoming book by Michael H. Kater, excerpt:

The book’s first contention is that in order for a new Nazi type of culture to take hold, the preceding forms first had to be wiped out.  This mainly affected the artistic and intellectual achievements most hated by the Nazis, those of the Weimar Republic, whose aesthetic and political hallmark was Modernism.  The police controls Hitler used to carry out purges in political and social contexts were also used against Modernist art forms and their creators…

However, as far as films were concerned, the most acute interest shown by Hitler was in the weekly newsreels.  These embodied for him what film was all about: an ideal instrument for political control.  He regularly commented on newsreels to Goebbels, and had some several cut or modified.  More so than in the case of feature films, Hitler was liable to override any decisions Goebbels had already made on them.  Even long before the war broke out Hitler was adamant that newsreels display the heroic…

Recommended, even if you feel you’ve had your fill of books on Nazi Germany.

The culture and polity that is Singapore, Germany, and Belarus

Singapore leads the way, offering three-quarters of a million U.S. dollars to gold-medal winners, followed by Indonesia ($383,000), Azerbaijan ($255,000), Kazakhstan ($230,000) and Italy ($185,000).

I would say Italy should not be on that list, as they have some fiscal troubles, plus plenty of other sources of national pride.  And there is this:

…other countries offer alternative bait — like military exemptions (South Korea), a lifetime supply of beer (Germany) and unlimited sausages (Belarus).

Here is the article, via James Crabtree.

The culture that is (was) Germany

There are still some students on university campuses who reminisce about the old days. One of those so-called “eternal students” can be found at Christian Albrecht University in the northern city of Kiel. He registered as a student in medicine when Konrad Adenauer was still chancellor and the Berlin Wall hadn’t even been planned yet. Even though he is in his 108th semester, the university does not have the power to throw him out. As one university spokesman explains, the rules for majors that require students to take a state examination, such as medicine, do not contain provisions for ejecting long-term students.

Yet those days are coming to an end, here is much more.