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Old January 5th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #1
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Russians and Germans today


How do today's Russians and Germans feel about each other? I ask because of the particularly brutal nature of the Eastern Front during WWII. I'm not talking about attitudes on the governmental level, I mean those of ordinary people.

I remember hearing that much of "Der Untergang," the film which dealt with the last days of Hitler, was filmed in St. Petersburg--the very city that was targeted for systematic starvation during its 872 day siege at the hands of the Nazis, a policy which resulted in more deaths than those suffered by the U.S. and Britain combined during the whole war. To me, this suggested that feelings had softened more than I would have thought.

I'd like to hear from Russians and Germans on the forum, although anyone else with information is welcome to post as well.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 06:10 PM   #2

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I'm not Russian, but I have lived in Moscow.
My general perception of how the everyday population would respond is something as follows:

"Dude, that was like 70 years ago. We have other things to worry about than an ancient war. Seriously... get over it."

That war is something the everyday person thinks about maybe once every year.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 06:18 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by apophaticlogos View Post
"Dude, that was like 70 years ago. We have other things to worry about than an ancient war. Seriously... get over it."
.
Yes, exactly the same as the Koreans and the Chinese think about Japan......
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Old January 5th, 2013, 06:25 PM   #4

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As far as that, about half my friends here in Korea hate Japan, and they say "All Koreans hate the Japanese."
And about half my friends here like Japan, and they say "All Koreans like the Japanese."

Moral: haha


Edit: I will say in Korea ~70% of Japanese hatred seems to be fueled by current territorial disputes rather than direct historical grievances. Unless there's a Konigsburg-revanchist movement that I'm unaware of, there's no similar Russo-German dispute.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 06:34 PM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by apophaticlogos View Post
I'm not Russian, but I have lived in Moscow.
My general perception of how the everyday population would respond is something as follows:

"Dude, that was like 70 years ago. We have other things to worry about than an ancient war. Seriously... get over it."

That war is something the everyday person thinks about maybe once every year.
I guess this maybe true if you talk to younger people, especially those born after the Soviet Union's collapse. For those who lived during Soviet times, the regime made sure nobody ever forgot what happened during the war. Now does that translate into ill will towards Germans today? I haven't noticed that.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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In my personal enviroment the only notion reffering to russsians is the sentence "the russians are coming" which survived in stand-up comedy. I have to add, I live in western germany. Spoken with a local dialect the phrase makes fun of older people, who would have to say "Eat up your dinner, the russians may come." or similar usages.

Basically it transported a fear over time.

In day-to-day politics the war is not important, there are always wreath-laying ceremonys but none of that would change a position.

Our actual chancellor tries to take a stand in human rights, but always under the premise "We have to talk with each other" (she tries to use the argument to force putin to concessions, "If you want to get together with us, to strengthen our relationship, we must meet us at this base", delivered while talking, but he dont cares).
My impression is, she is more aware of how it was like to live under a communist regime, she was raised in the DDR, than of implications with WW II, when it comes to get in touch with Putin.

In economy especially the german car-builders want to get into the russian market, but are restricted, as far as I know, high custom duties on car imports but I guess it is in favour to boost the own economy than in memory of the war.

Our last chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, a social-democrat, is a good buddy of Putin. He is employed by Gasprom and still calls russia "a flawless Democracy" (he did it before he was payed by the state-corporation and nowadays). Sometimes you see him on party conferences or other official events, but no one wants him around.

In the political media, there is a big focus on Russia today, the protests, the so-called elections, the discriminating laws and so on. A lot of sympathy and concern about, for the russian people.

Not political interested people connect with russia nowadays more outgoing, rich russians who come to europe to party or to buy soccer teams .

Schalke 04, a very famous soccer team is sponsered by Gasprom and as I recall it, there was no outcry about it. In comparison an other team , Werder Bremen, got an new sponser, a chicken farmer firm and this was quite an issue for many of the fans because of animal abuse.

Last edited by Ephraim; January 5th, 2013 at 08:23 PM.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 07:58 PM   #7

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Good Frage! From Russians in the states, I say no love lost.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 08:41 PM   #8
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Dear Germany,

from Russia with love.

I think more people have ill thoughts towards US and Israel, more than the Russians and Germans.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 01:09 AM   #9

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Watching from the sidewalk:

Russians:
don't hold a grudge about the wartime violence, use of violence in conflict-solving has always been and still is widely accepted by society. Besides, they got their revenge. The inferiority complex versus Westerners is, in this case, mollified by the satisfying awareness of having triumphed over the foe, vanquished and humiliated him. Which explains why Russians tend to feel quite benign towards Germans.

Germans:
a certain film director speaks of a widespread albeit unexpressed sick fascination of Germans with the ex-foe who brutalized them. Old Freud might have something to say about that.

At the moment, it's mainly business is business.

For Germany: Russia is a convenient source of relatively cheap raw materials and a huge market for German high-tech products.

For Russia: biggest European market for cheap raw materials, source of high-technology, and convenient ice-breaker into EU structures.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 02:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antonina View Post
and convenient ice-breaker into EU structures.
On which acts do you rely with this statement?
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