2019 and 2020 books are in the
Odds and Ends
4 7, 6:55am
I don't believe, that Germans are still as non-patriotic as many foreign people believe we are. You can of course initially link this with the football world cup in Germany in 2006 that re-established a new community feeling among people of this nation, but I believe this trend originated from the decades between 1949 and today, 2017. During this time, the leaders of this country made so many things possible that were able to redefine it as a peaceful, sovereign and democratic nation able to have found its peace with its neighbours it now can call friends, while also reviving the status of an "Ehrlicher Makler" (honest broker) in the tradition of Bismarck on an economic level. Adenauer's reconciliation with (once its biggest rival) France, Israel (not even 15 years after the Holocaust, think about that!). Brandt's genuflaxion in Warsaw (who opposed any form of nationalsocialism and had to flee to Norway, so didn't bear any guilt, but still fell on his knees, not for him, but for Germany), Kohl's hand holing with Mitterand at a memorial for Verdun (possibly the biggest catastrophe in the history of german-french relations, when it comes to body count to begin with; Nowadays, no young German could possibly imagine how it would be if France was our rival or enemy, because it seems so surreal) etc. etc.
All these happenings make Germany of the present truely a country its citizens can be proud of. It learned from history, raised itself from the ashes and found its respected place between fellow democratic and prosper nations. In 1945, Europe was torn apart by war, hatred and hopelessness. Today, according to the BBC poll the world loves us. And the Germans love the world instead of hating all its pieces not fitting into a dehumanising "aryan" cult. Germans found their piece.
Well, that's the history part of course (I hope it doesn't sound too melodramatically), but I also want to mention one point: Germans are often seen as non-patriotic, because they're compared to US-Americans and Canadians, who often define patriotism as flying the flag, singing the national anthem (every morning at school, I heard) and to sum it up as a very "visual" connection to their nation (you know, stars and stripes or maple leaf all the way!). Even viewed seperated from the past, Germans intend to not be too emotional (I would say, British "understatement" is a very popular model in the federal republic), which is why the stereotypical German is seen as cold and emotionless (however, I must say that I believe that this also applies to other nations, like the UK, Scandinavia, if not the whole of northern Europe, I'd say.)
But in my opinion Germans are quite patriotic, they just do it in a different way. Intense and over-the-top flag waving and anthem singing may not be seen too often in Germany (still, I believe that every day we find a more and more relaxed and balanced relationship to our symbols), however deep in their minds many Germans do believe that we make the best beer, the best cars, the best export goods in general, that be have the best economy, that we are the most hard-working, punctual, clean and reliable people out there and so on and so forth
That's just a small contribution from my point of view on this topic. To be honest (and short): It gets better. We found a way between self-hatred and chauvinism, because in the last 72 years so many things changed that made one point quite clear: Who doesn't learn from the past nor realise the present, won't have any future.