The British really like foreigners

Just follow your nose! Anyone walking towards the Thames on Villiers Street in London will first perceive the unmistakable scent faintly, then more and more clearly: it smells like ... Currywurst.

A few steps further and you can see the words "Herman ze German". It is lunchtime, inside the customers are queuing - very British disciplined. Lena from Duisburg served. Bockwurst with rolls is available for 4.45 pounds, currywurst with French fries for 5.95 pounds; a board recommends the figure-conscious customer (“No Carbs, Fräulein”): sausage with salad.

The three beer tables are fully occupied, many English people, a French and a German are munching on the goods from butcher "Fritz" from Steinen near Lörrach, who is actually called Karl-Friedrich Hug.

“Herman ze German” is all the rage: On October 9th, the two German founders Florian Frey, 34, and Azadeh Falakshahi, 31, opened their third restaurant in London's Charlotte Street, with a fourth in the trendy Shoreditch district to follow next year. “Our success shows how cool and hip Germany is. Bockwurst and Berlin are very popular with the British, ”says Frey, a former hairdresser who sits with his laptop in the corner of his newly opened restaurant.

Old meat grinders hang on the wall and in the background songs by Falco and Peter Schilling (“Completely detached from the earth / the spaceship floats, completely weightless”) - greetings from the New German Wave from the 1970s and 1980s.

The Germans are world champions in these disciplines

At that time, Germans in Great Britain still had to endure crude Nazi jokes, were portrayed on television as "Fritz", who mainly moves at goose-stepping, and John Cleese alias Basil Fawlty from the TV series Fawlty Towers had with his saying "Don't mention the was “all laughs on his side.

On June 24, 1996 - Germany competed against hosts England in the semi-finals of the European Football Championship - the “Daily Mirror” headlined: “ATTENTION! SURRENDER! For you Fritz, the Euro 96 Championship is over! "

How times are changing: Today Germany is en vogue, not only because of the upcoming anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The British Museum has been showing the exhibition “Germany - Memories of a Nation”, which documents 600 years of German history, since October 16, while the BBC is broadcasting a series with museum director Neil MacGregor, and the Migration Museum deals with German immigrants in Great Britain.

But that's not all: The Tate Modern, one of the most important museums for contemporary art, is presenting a retrospective by the painter Sigmar Polke, the Marian Goodman Gallery in London is exhibiting Gerhard Richter, and the Royal Academy is dedicating a retrospective to Anselm Kiefer.

A guide to becoming typically German

Fine kitchens, cars, Birkenstock

"German post-war art began to gain international popularity as early as the early 1990s," said Jussi Pylkkanen, Chairman of the London auction house Christie's. “We opened people's eyes to German art,” he says proudly.

The director of Tate Modern, Chris Dercon, says: “Germany is no longer considered a land of great ideas, but of great images. You don't need to be afraid of Germany any more. ”For Dercon, a Belgian who ran the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany's increasing political influence also plays a role:“ Germany is the epicenter in Europe, it plays a key role - also in relation to the USA and Russia. "

But the British's new love for everything German goes far beyond the purely cultural: There is the snob appeal of German fine cuisine, which is very popular with wealthy Britons, and the admiration for the technical perfection of German cars that - like the Mini , the Bentley and the Rolls-Royce - some come in English disguise.

Even the plain Birkenstock sandals experienced a fashionable renaissance this summer. Berlin is one of the top travel destinations for young Britons; older people are looking for the nostalgia of the Cold War there. During the Advent season, the British like to travel to Nuremberg, Würzburg and Cologne, they love mulled wine and Stollen, the German-English company Xmas Markets has even brought the Christmas markets to Great Britain. There are Christmas markets in Birmingham and Manchester and in London's Hyde Park the “Winter Wonderland”.

What bothers the British about the EU

Angela Merkel's calm management style

And then there is sport, an ambiguous subject. "Two World Wars and One World Cup" is the name of the football song with which the English fondly remember their 1966 World Cup victory. But this year, at the World Cup in Brazil, the British kept their fingers crossed for the Germans after the English national team left.

German players in British clubs are popular: the fans of Arsenal FC defender Per Mertesacker, based on the children's book “Big friendly Giant”, nicknamed “Big Fucking German”. And that is meant in a friendly way.

Today, the Federal Republic is a role model for many British people, in the economic field, but also in politics. Not least because of the calm leadership style of Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Germany is a very peaceful, unobtrusive place - there is a lack of pomp and the inflated military fuss that disfigures our own state,” wrote the writer Will Self recently in the “Guardian”.

The former chairman of the board and board of directors of the British bank HSBC, Lord Stephen Green of Hurstpierpoint, who was trade minister in the government of David Cameron, has just published a book entitled “Reluctant Meister”, in which he describes the new political identity of Germany against the background of German history analyzed.

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