Make Me a German

2013, Society  -  60 min Leave a Comment
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Aren't you just bored with hearing German accomplishment stories? They're the best at football (soccer), they're the first to go on a holiday and while Britain undergoes possible unemployment rise and a huge debt, just look how well the Germans are doing. Their employment is at highest levels and Germany is a meritorious exporter. What's even more surprising, the Germans make more money than Brits and work less. So how do they do all this?

Justin Rowlatt, a journalist, and Bee Rowlatt, a writer, are on an assignment to uncover the mystery of the German success. They're taking their kids with them and they're going to live in Germany for a while. Yes, there'll be beer and sausages, but this is no time off. They're going to work, live, and play... just like typical, common Germans, because their aim is to become German!

First off, they need somewhere to live. They've moved to Nuremberg, in the heart of Bavaria. It's famous for its gingerbread, sausages, and Nazi history. They've rented a flat from Mrs. Holler. Brits may be haunted with acquiring property, but Germans aren't. More than half of them rent, compared to just a third of the Brits.

Germans seem happy to rent and they rent for a really long time. People would stay for several decades in a rented real estate. Germans also don't get into huge debts. In Britain, the average family owes £53,000, including mortgages. In Germany, the average family owes under £30,000.

Justin and Bee did quite a lot of analysis on how ordinary German lives. The typical German is called Muller, the nation's most frequent surname, and lives in a 1970's apartment block... Sabina is the most used female name. Thomas Muller is the most common male name. Germans certainly get up very early, 20 minutes prior than the average Brit. With two preschool children the typical German wife would not go to work.