This is what it is like living abroad as a German

Several times over the years I have found myself in a conversation about what it is like as a German in the UK. I’ve never seen anyone sum it up as well, as the guy in this comment on a very misguided Guardian article:

For a start, in Germany, unlike in England, France or most other European countries, it is still considered equivocal and dubious to show any national pride, let alone hang a flag out your window, because it is immediately construed as right-wing.

May I also say that in school, Hitler and the Holocaust were studied basically every year at some point in our history classes, German lit lessons, et al. (not even the never ending “don’t do drugs” lesson plans were able to top that).

May I also remark that I lived, worked and studied in England for four years, and the amount of hostility some Brits still demonstrate towards Germans is quite frankly astounding, not only in person but also on TV (I remember an episode from “Who do you think you are” in which the guy, whoever he was, talked about is relentless hate towards “the Germans” before finding out that his ancestors were German. Granted, it’s TV, but the way the episode was conducted speaks volumes). Yet many of them know hardly anything about the Hitler era when asked.

And while doing the goosestep while drunk in a pub seems to be funny to you, over here you’d probably get arrested. And before you ask, yes I do enjoy Fawlty Towers’s “The Germans”.

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