😀 How to Be German in 25 Easy Steps – unorderedlistadventures.blogspot.de/2012/11/how-to… #Germany
Germany: Far-right agenda gains ground in middle class | The Local ow.ly/F9O2B
Deutschland: Die CSU meint: Wo kämen wir denn da hin, wenn Migrant*innen zu Hause (!) wagen, eine andere Sprache als deutsch zu sprechen.
Germany: Bertelsmann study finds migrants to Germany creating a €22 billion surplus to social funding | The Local ow.ly/F9FVH
Many people in Germany still have difficulties facing the reality of modern-day Germany as a country of immigration. And sometimes, the discourse about what it means to be German, about multiculturalism, assimilation, and diversity tends towards the patently absurd.
Case in point: A German Muslim man who recently became the Shooting King at his shooting club in a town in North Rhine-Westphalia is threatened by the prospect of losing his title because the statute of that club requires the Shooting King to be a Christian.
Schützenvereine (marksmen clubs), which generally tend to be a somewhat different affair from the American gun culture, are widely seen as a tradition of rural Germany. Growing up in the north-western part of Germany, my impression was that this pastime is the essence of a rather conservative-leaning, predominantly rural culture. I never took part in it, but if you go outside of the big cities, you will certainly notice that it exists.
If you were to assemble a stereotypical if benevolent image of ‘the Germans’ north of Bavaria, those shooting clubs and their parades from village to village in celebration of the new Shooting King and Queen would be a perfect ingredient.
Fun memory from my youth: Schützenvereine may parade through several nearby villages with a marching band very early on a Saturday morning to pick up the shooting king. Good luck with getting some sleep.
So what we have here is a ‘new German’ guy who in some respects is out-Germaning the ‘Biodeutschen’—a fairly new term describing those other Germans without a relatively recent family history of migration, without ‘funny-sounding’ (to the majority) names, and/or a different religion.
And yet, some people still see a problem in someone like him successfully pursuing this ultra-German hobby.
Just as other, larger institutions in German society need to attune to the reality of an increasingly diverse population, smaller ones on a communal level should go in that direction as well.
Germany should become more welcoming and open towards all people who wish to participate in civil society in a positive manner, and not discriminate against somebody just because they differ in some aspect from the majority of society.
I say that Germany has nothing to fear from a shooting king who happens to be Muslim, too.
[Update (link in German)]:
The shooting club is now making “an exception” so that he is allowed to keep his title but he is not allowed to shoot. Not much better, if you ask me.
“Muslim shooting king could be stripped of title.” The Local Germany, 2014/08/04.
“Muslimischer Schützenkönig: “Er muss nicht zurücktreten”.” Spiegel Online, 04.08.2014.
Wie soll das ohne Vollbeschäftigung funktionieren?: Arbeitgeber halten Langzeitarbeitslose für unmotiviert | SZ ow.ly/zgYjY
Unappetitliche Folge des deutschen WM-Siegs : Nazi-Weltmeister-Shirts auf Amazon mit “Endsieg” etc. | Nerdcore ow.ly/zckO5
“Ich will gerne nochmal unterstreichen, dass unsere [deutsch-amerikanischen] Beziehungen wichtiger sind als das schwierige Thema NSA.” – Thomas deMaizière, deutscher Innenminister
“I would like to underscore, once again, that our German-American relations are more important than the difficult issue of the NSA.” – Thomas deMaizière, German Interior Minister
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is a very colorful figure in European politics, to put it in the most friendly way possible. In fact, he is a convicted criminal, sentenced for tax fraud. But that is not my topic here.
Silvio’s assorted Nazi comparisons
Berlusconi has a record of inflammatory statements regarding contemporary Germany’s dealing with its Nazi past.
In 2003, Berlusconi addressed German social democratic MEP Martin Schulz, suggesting he might be a good fit for playing a concentration camp guard in a Holocaust movie.
Now, in the context of the 2014 elections for the European Parliament, Berlusconi claimed that “[for] the Germans, [. . .], concentration camps never existed.”
Mainstream contemporary Germany does not deny the Holocaust
This is of course factually wrong when talking about Germany in 2014—which Berlusconi did. And frankly, it is quite offensive to the majority of contemporary Germans who are not Holocaust deniers (including myself). If you should happen to be in Germany, just turn on a TV and you will notice that public television stations regularly broadcast documentaries about all kinds of aspects of Nazi Germany, including the Holocaust.
In case you did not know, Holocaust denial is also a punishable offence under German law.
Now there are actual valid debates about Germany’s dealings with its past and reasonable criticisms of phenomena like racism and antisemitism in contemporary Germany. There are, for instance, discussions about the ‘unburdening’ function the official national ‘culture of remembrance’ serves for the wider German society.
Berlusconi, apologist of Italian fascism
That being said, Silvio Berlusconi is neither a man interested in nor qualified to contribute to those debates. As a chief apologist for Italian fascism—his convenient narrative claiming that ‘good’ Italian fascists were merely misled by Hitler and the German Nazis—Berlusconi discredits himself from the get-go.
This is a cheap provocation, a misrepresentation of history, and a vulgar spewing of bile by perhaps the most pompuous political clown of Europe.
What repulses me especially is that Berlusconi is not above exploiting this most serious issue for cheap political points. I think the political culture of Italy and Europe would improve if he did us all a favor and moved on into retirement.
Ich vermute mal (ohne empirische Erkenntnisse zu haben), dass die Schnittmenge zwischen den Berufsgruppen der Religionslehrer*innen und Bordellbesitzer*innen in Deutschland nicht besonders groß ist.
Aber jetzt gibt es einen Rechtsfall zu genau diesem Thema. Das Arbeitsgericht Karlsruhe hat klargestellt, dass ein Religionslehrer nicht gleichzeitig Bordellbesitzer sein darf.
Was war geschehen? Die israelitische Religionsgemeinschaft Baden hatte einem Religionslehrer gekündigt, nachdem sie erfahren hatte, dass in einer von jenem vermieteten Immobilie sechs Jahre lang ein Bordell betrieben wurde.
Germany reverses tuition fees
Interesting article in the Times of Higher Education about Germany’s reversal on introducing tuition fees for attending university.
“Germany’s great tuition fees U-turn.” (Times Higher Education, 2014/02/14)
A new book about Jewish identity in contemporary Germany
I just came across an interesting article in the Atlantic about Jewish identity in contemporary Germany and how today’s young generations in Germany relate to the Holocaust. In his new book, author Yasha Mounk’s puts forth the theory “that people understand themselves and others through their genetic ties to history’s victims and oppressors.”
“Are Today’s Germans Morally Responsible for the Holocaust?” (Emma Green, The Atlantic, 2014/01/22)