Here is another factor behind the recent German economic success:
A vast expansion of a program paying to keep workers employed, rather than dealing with them once they lost their jobs, was the most direct step taken in the heat of the crisis.
There is much more of interest here. I would describe this as a major, still uninternalized lesson of the recent crisis, with its roller coaster-rapid dips. In a highly specialized modern economy, it is much easier to prevent jobs from being destroyed than to create them again, at least assuming those are "good" jobs in the first place. (Yes, people thought they knew this but it's an even stronger difference than had been believed.) The U.S. auto bailout, for instance, worked better than did most of the stimulus program. Most of the Austrians would disown this point, but you can pull it right out of Lachmann's Capital and its Structure.
We should have cut the payroll tax as soon as possible, an idea which I might add Alex was promoting quite early on.