We left Germany five years ago. We did so, because we could not live there anymore. Living conditions were absolutely unbearable: Among other things it was virtually impossible to find a quiet neighbourhood. Also, most of the time, you got stuck in red tape with this or that government agency demanding this or that certificate, piece of information or payment. Almost every day your incapacitation for life was declared, especially if you dared to differ from what is predefined as the ‘normal’ way of life or the standard biography. For example, you have to pay higher rates for state pensions and compulsory public health insurance, if you’ve chosen not to burden the world’s scarce resources by further populating it. Even worse was the daily terror produced by public media and designed to rob you of what was remaining of your better judgement. The pinnacle of this propaganda has always been the German sacred child. Everything in Germany revolves around it, and if you don’t agree, you’d better go or be quiet and pay your taxes. After all it is paying taxes that gives you a right to live. You pay for your membership in society, which, nevertheless, will be granted, with restrictions only, because you do not fully qualify if you have no children. To make-up for your flaw, you are allowed to pay more than parents for state insurances and socials services. And you are also allowed to share the “wonderful tenacity of life”, people normally call children’s noise. Furthermore, you are allowed to pay time-off from work for their mothers, fund their free membership in public health insurance and equip social services with materials children allegedly need like designer knapsacks and the like.
Our time in Germany has been filled not with alien, but alienating encounters that, if you manage to get them across to a listener or reader, provide almost anything from laughter to frowning, from consternation to terror. Some of these episodes of our lives will be published on our blog. The reason is that we want to present an impression of life in Germany how it really is. What emerges is the picture of a country that in many ways is on its way back to totalitarianism, but this time, it is not the totalitarianism of the brown shirts, it is the totalitarianism of do-gooders who simply cannot think of themselves as making mistakes or erring. They are always and inevitably right, because they mean well (maybe some or even most of them really do). They will hunt you down with their good intentions, regulate your life as they think fit to prevent you from making wrong decisions or harming yourself. In this fashion they build piece by piece an iron cage around you the interior of which they rather cynically reserve for what is left of your personal freedom.
At the moment you can watch this story of German society’s development unfolding, e.g., with respect to nuclear power. German media and most of the German public are convinced that everyone outside Germany got it wrong and that Nuclear energy is far too dangerous to be used. Hence, Germany abandoned it already. And it expects others to follow suit, because the decision to abandon it is right and sacred, (though based on an erroneous risk-assessment as well as being downright stupid in economical terms).
To present an adequate likeness to Germany, we invite all emigrants who happen to stumble over this page, to give us their view of Germany, their reasons why they left. We invite them to publish one or the other anecdote that gives the world some understanding of the German mentality, of what they are up to, if you let them.
Moreover, we want to provide an opportunity for every German emigrant who feels the need to express his relief or gratitude to his host country, e.g., by telling others what he enjoys most in his “new world”.
As to us, what calmed our nerves and helped pleasure to make a welcome return to our lives, can be attributed to five particular characteristics that shape life in England:
- Individual freedom;
- The existence of a free market;
- Friendly and open people;
- Public order;
- Public authorities servicing people and treating them with respect, as citizens should in fact treat fellow citizens;