Amusing the Germans

This week the very excellent Christoph Driessen wrote an article for dpa which was syndicated to news sites all over Germany, including Bild, Welt Online, T-Online,, Focus Online… to name but a few.

His article looks  at the unusual portrayal of Germans by various travel guides and other books – including Planet Germany. Of course for a gripping article it was essential to pick up on some of the quirky or even downright insulting descriptions of teutonic habits and characteristics which are picked up by the authors – myself included. The parts praising teutonic qualities and virtues don’t make good news copy.

But what really struck me was how the different headline writers have had a field day. There seems to have been a competition to see who can sensationalise this story most.

This got me into thinking what I would expect each of these articles to be about if I’d only read the headline, not the article…

Britische Reiseführer warnen vor Deutschland

announces T-Online… conjuring images of the imminent collapse of a German tourist industry, dependent on beer swilling Brits to keep the Oktoberfest in business.

Vom Horror in der deutschen Sauna

screams the Nürnberger Zeitung. I’m expecting an article about a gruesome chainsaw massacre here…

Behaarte Wesen ohne Lederhosen

suggests  I guess an alien invasion has started…

Rechnen Sie mit gedüngten Körperregionen!

suggests the Sueddeutsche. Good grief! This must be about mud wrestling gone mad!

If anyone else spotted any other good ones out there, please let me know! I love German humour!


Filed under About Germany, books, Life in Germany

3 responses to “Amusing the Germans

  1. annonamoose

    If only that photo represented saunas. The towel is to cover the bench! God forbid you not wish to offer a birds eye view of your bits to your neighbor.

  2. Blanka

    Just two questions? if you don’t like Germany, and Germans, in fact you seem to be shocked about them, or scared, why are you here?
    To just insult them, or make jokes about them?

    • Hi Blanka,
      I love Germany and the Germans. I’m not in the slightest bit shocked about them. You obviously only read what dpa wrote, which is taken completely out of context (and as you see in this article, it’s then been sensationalised by headline writers all over Germany). The shock described in that quote was not relating to me, but to a character who is a stereotypical English prude, faced with going into a sauna for the first time with his new mother-in-law.

      IF you read Planet Germany, you will see that it makes fun of the English.

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