Are the Germans racist?

August 13, 2011 § 5 Comments

My son thinks so — at least a little bit. We were in Zehlendorf, an upper middle class to rich neighborhood where their school is located. We went to see his sailing club — the Potsdamer Yacht Club — but of course it was closed. On the way back we noticed some election posters from the neo-Nazi NPD party (National Partei Deutschlands).  This was one of them:

I thought that this poster might be illegal, but apparently it is not:

Of course there are plenty of racists in the U.S., but I was a bit shocked by something so blatant in Germany. In my previous stay the racism wasn’t so out in the open. I guess that’s changed. Your views?


§ 5 Responses to Are the Germans racist?

  • joanfischer says:

    Whoa, that *is* way out there. However, I remember that kind of crap in the ’80s, especially from the NPD.

  • Klaus Engelhardt says:

    This poster surprises me only in that they can be put up with impunity. As to the mentality behind them, I think the answer to your question in the title has to be: Yes, (too) many of them are.

  • Friderike says:

    I would have titled your remarks with “Are there racists in Germany? ” The answer would be YES, just like in any other country of the world, with a special mention of similar European countries like Holland, Denmark, Switzerland and France where these kinds of parties have been recently elected to parliament. The overgeneralization to “Germans” in the title did not sit right we me.

    It reinforces the stereotypes of an old Germany that our generation(s) are trying so hard to overcome and puts us all into the same category.
    I don’t know if the number of discontents flocking to these parties has grown – it usually does in harsher economic times – but the overtness of the comments was just as intense a decade ago by everything I’ve experienced.

    I also wondered why an educational poster depicting garbage from the Bavarian NPD made it into a Berlin Site. It gives you a sense what’s out there – but the subtitle matters (should be used for educational purposes only) – people are intent that this should not be disseminated as propaganda!

  • joanfischer says:

    “I would have titled your remarks with “Are there racists in Germany? ” The answer would be YES, just like in any other country of the world,”

    Friderike, totally with you on that. We Americans have nothing to be smug about on that score.

    • Fair enough Friderike. We certainly don’t have a good record when it comes to racism. I was just a bit shocked that such a poster was allowed, as the BRD has much stricter freedom of expression laws than we do here. Not sure why the Berliners are using a Bavaria poster, but it’s a good question. Glad to see folks are reading the blog.

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