Most/least friendly areas of Germany

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I am going to do some more research on Frankfurt and Hamburg before I make travel arrangements next year. I heard that Wurzburg is a nice friendly city so so I am going to look into that city as well.

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I haven't come across any real horribles, occasionally I see some rude behavior but I think that's everywhere across the globe.

Sometimes old ladies will shake there heads at my bad German (at least I try, which seems to get most people to take it easy on me), and once this old woman got confrontational with me for cracking my knuckles on a bus. Still not sure what that was all about.

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I've been living in a Thüringian village for about three years now, and I have yet to have any bad experience here with people. They have all been most friendly, and I am sure that this has been helped by my speaking Deutsch (however badly) and by being closely associated with a German family. :) One can sense some attitudes left over from the Cold War, and on work forays into western Germany my colleagues are always happy when they reach the former boundary on the way back to the East. But they are friendly, and to all foreigners, of whom there are Vietnamese, Jordanians, Kurds, Africans, Russians (who are not so well appreciated) and this one American. So I will say "humbug!" to all you rural-Ossie bashers. I really enjoy living and working in this village among such kind and tolerant people.

I have worked over most of southern former East Germany, and had no problems. I also lived in Bonn for awhile, and taught in many villages and cities around there with little problems. I did see one slogan chalked near Bonn. And one lady had a problem with the way I rode my bicycle, perhaps because I violated some traffic law or something, but my German was too poor to understand her outburst. One German I will not forget offered me a ride up a long and steep hill in Kall in the Eifel on a snowy winter's morning without being asked.

I have worked in the Nürnburg area, and encountered no difficulties at all. But at work I tend to stay with my colleagues, and we seldom have contact with others, who, however would never fail to recognize my accented Deutsch.

The Bavarians seem to be the unfriendliest, if one would believe my German friends, who never fail to complain about the narrow-mindedness of Upper Bavarians (Mittenwald). But Bavarians seem to inspire this attitude among all other Germans I have met from any other region, for reasons which are regional and internal, and which I will leave to Germans to explain.

I see the most Nazi activity in Dresden, especially around Pirna, if one counts election posters as activity. They are here too, but are shouted down always. I have done some work there, and in the Lausitz north of Bautzen, and never had anything but courtesy and good will extended to me.

I will also say that the Beamter will not be happy with you if you try to communicate with them in a foreign language.

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Actually I've spent a lot of time in the former east. There are pockets of 'civilization' in the university cities like Leipzig and Dresden but overall it is not friendly or welcoming to foreigners. Customer service staff are often rude to outsiders and people often cool off when they realise you aren't German. In Hamburg for instance this sort of behaviour would be very exceptional but in e.g. Leipzig it is the norm, and also you can walk around the town and see blatant neo-Nazis walking around proudly. These people are dangerous racists and they are not at all nice. Racisim in general is a very big problem in the former east, far bigger even in the poor or very provincial parts of the former west.

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Austria is an especially interesting case, as the FPO has power there:

http://www.dailymail...sm-Austria.html

 

I missed this article about Austria. I know for sure that I wont be going there next year because I wouldn`t feel safe. It`s a shame because the country is so beautiful and rich with culture and history. I wont spend my money nor will I put myself in danger over ignorant evil fools. If I want to experience that kind of racism I would just go to some areas in Georgia or Louisiana. Thanks for the info.

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I can't believe what I have read. Is this dislike/hatred so prevalent now in 2012? I spent a month in Germany Dec. of 2011. I spent 1 week in Munich, 3 days in Nuernberg, 10 days in Dresden & finally the Holidays in Berlin (10 days). The only problems I had were in Nuernberg, which is why I was only there 3 days, I changed my length of stay & added the days to Dresden & Berlin. I had a small confrontation with some skinheads as I (& several other people) were walking past a bar that they were blocking the entrance and sidewalk. They were picking on some people who were obviously scared. When 2 of them turned to me I dropped my head scarf to my shoulders, raised myself erect, starred at them both & gave them the Evil Eye, put my scarf back on my head & started mumbling some stuff. They grabbed some of there friends told them what I had done & they all cleared the sidewalk & let everyone through. 1 even apologizing for their behavior. When we crossed at next light the others wanted to know what I did. They told me what the skinheads had been saying before & after. We were all strangers,that had just gotten off the tram a block earlier! This was in the evening after dark in Berlin. Nuernberg just hadn't realized the war was over & treated me like a criminal. I have desided to move to Germany...but after reading about the hatred & protests I am having 2nd thoughts. I am interested in Dresden, Goerlitz & Berlin...but now read that these are the places that I would be hated most. Is this still true? I had no problems in December 2011, people were very helpful, kind & understanding. I only new maybe 15 words in German but left knowing several more & even some phrases. I have started the Rosetta Stone German course to become more fluent. I am in my early 60's & can be very vocal & stubborn when threatened. So have things gotten better & who can I use/trust to find a short term rental until I can find a permanent place? Any other smaller cities would also be appreciated. I already have my insurance lined up & my pet passports. I never felt like I belonged more than when visiting. This will be my Home I hav looked for these past 60+ years. Thanks for any suggestions & advise.

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Are you a dual citizen through your father? If not, what kind of residence permit were you hoping to get? What sort of health insurance do you have set up?

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'm coming late to an old thread, but here in Schwarzwald Baar Kreis I'm often amused at the numbers of people who tell me that Koeln is where you find the friendliest Germans. Despite having met some lovely people here, it seems a universally agreed upon idea that 'we aren't friendly - the Koeln people - they're the friendly Germans'. Always makes me smile.

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I think whether Germans are friendly or not depends on your own values and expectations. I'm a southern Englishman and I find that Germans in public spaces (forests, supermarkets, motorways etc) are atrociously behaved. Some of the things I have seen are so bad I often wonder if I am dealing with a bunch of psychopaths. There is certainly a complete lack of human warmth (in my experience please let me add). On the other hand, in my private relationships I have found them to be loyal friends, and exteremly helpful. For example when it is my birthday, it is only Germans who leave messages for me on the ansaphone. Needless to say as to whether this area (Frankfurt) is friendly, the jury is out as far as I am concerned.

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Some of the things I have seen are so bad I often wonder if I am dealing with a bunch of psychopaths.

 

Are we talking stabbings over the tinned tomato section or failing to queue properly?

 

Weirdly enough, looking at this psychopathy checklist reminds me more of my own people :-D

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Interesting checklist. I would say 6 out of the first section might apply to some of the behaviour I've seen here. E.g Last week I watched as a man in a big car lost his rag with a learner driver (yes, it was clearly marked) who stalled his car. Angry man gets out of his car and shouts abuse at scared learner driver and bangs his fist on the window. Then, he swaggers back to his own car and drives off with his head in the air as though he's been doing the world a favour.Nobody but me seemed to care less! I can balance that with some good behaviour if you like but it's the extremes that bother me.

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Last week I watched as a man in a big car lost his rag with a learner driver (yes, it was clearly marked) who stalled his car. Angry man gets out of his car and shouts abuse at scared learner driver and bangs his fist on the window. Then, he swaggers back to his own car and drives off with his head in the air as though he's been doing the world a favour.Nobody but me seemed to care less! I can balance that with some good behaviour if you like but it's the extremes that bother me.

 

Ive seen even worse. On the train outside Frankfurt, passing by where the line runs alongside a road in Hanau, I saw two cars stopped by the side of the road. One guy (who looked like a chav) gets out and punches the other driver in the face!

 

Then I saw plenty of nauseating behaviour on the streets of Frankfurt: drivers of fat cars hooting arrogantly (holding their finger on the hooter button continually) if their way is blocked by someone eg reversing out or unloading or just going too slow. Surely you can wait a few seconds as a courtesy to others... oh no.

 

I myself was riding a bike on the road and had some obnoxious arsehole - also driving a fat German saloon car behind me suddenly giving me the arrogant hooter treatment for some reason.

 

I could go on with more examples. Sometimes it seems to me that some Germans seem to delight in being obnoxious. They must get some sort of kick out of it.

 

They don't seem to be prepared to allow any give and take. It all revolves around: Ich und meine Rechte. Ich habe Recht. Recht habe ich.

 

Bah!

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I live in rural Baden-Wuertemmberg (Baden) and I've encountered nothing but wonderful, open, friendly, hospitable people.

I once lived, though, in rural Schwaben and ancountered some very nasty people - including racism, threats to my home, ("ich werfe eine Bombe in das Haus!") and being denied a place to live quite openly because of race.

I agree with much of what *** said. My husband lived and worked for six months in Goerlitz and it was pretty dire. That was during the Aufbau, in 1991, but sounds as if not much has changed.

 

My favourite town of all in Germany is Freiburg. Lived there for 4 years and if I ever have the choice, that would be my first. I also like Heidelberg and surroundings -- which is where I presently live (40 km from HD).

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I put it down to a complete lack of empathy and social skills. Fortunately, they are not all like that.

 

Basically, it´s the same everywhere. Put a bunch of people in a situation where they think they´re better/stronger/longer penis than anyone else and some behave like arseholes. They are actually the one who are NOT better than others but have an issue with themselves. The issue? Ignorance, arrogance, stupidity and, as you say, basic lack of empathy and social skills. Same throughout the world.

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Experiences also depend on the way you are connected to the community. It's a big difference between being the husband/wife of a local in a small community, than being a work colleague from abroad in a big company, where, according to my experience, you'll find the highest number of assholes. The work atmosphere here can be difficult to diggest, even for Germans, specially if you know that somewhere else things can be different.

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John Q - I'd really love to agree with you. I have lived and worked abroad most of my working life (Italy, Portugal, Jordan and Russia) but I have never encountered so much bad behaviour as I have in Germany. It was particularly bad in the Stuttgart area. Our neighbours never talked to us (including my German wife) because I was a foreigner and they said as much. What really disturbs me is that before I came here I never really understood the Nazi era. "How could people have behaved like that," I always thought. "How could they have done what they did in Russia?" I find it much easier to understand now and Germans are giving me the creeps. Time to go, perhaps?

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Living in a medium town in Thueringen for some time now, all I can say is that people are very friendly. This place is certainly not multicultural and provincial by Berlin or Munich standards, but it is clean, bright, with some great nature and the people are good. Not overly extroverted as in other countries but still typical by german standards. There are few foreigners, and particularly many eastern europeans. A foreigner willing to integrate will face no problems. Not many people will speak English or anything, but there is no overall problem. I have been learning german for some time, and everyone is patient and willing to help, whether it is in shops or in public service (notable exception the Auslaenderbehoerde but I have not heard of a friendly one!). They also seem to find it good that someone is trying to learn and tries to speak German. Wherever I mention that I am learning, everyone is willing to help. Overall for me Thueringen is perhaps one of the best areas in germany (west and east alike) as far as people are concerned. All visitors I have had from back home, have been very happy to be here and faced no problems at all (many speak zero German).

 

As far as right extremism, I have seen a couple of times one or two guys looking as if they were, but I have seen no issues with them. There is also constant, and professional police presence.

 

Overall very positive here. I think i can stay indefinitely here, and would consider moving perhaps only for a very good opportunity of some kind, for me or my partner, in a place like Munich. For anything else, I wouldn't care. Both of us are Caucasian and not germans, with no german connection. There are however many vietnamese here, a couple of Africans, kurds or turks and other muslims, though not so many as in the west.

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"I could go on with more examples. Sometimes it seems to me that some Germans seem to delight in being obnoxious. They must get some sort of kick out of it.

 

They don't seem to be prepared to allow any give and take. It all revolves around: Ich und meine Rechte. Ich habe Recht. Recht habe ich. "

 

For a minute there I thought we were talking about Boston?

 

Unlike Boston, where the things outlined by rick de are a daily ocurrance, I have not had bad experiences like this anywhere in Germany. I live in Munich and people just seem very normal to me. Neither unfriendly nor particularly outgoing. Same with Berlin. I've done a couple of road trips and also never encountered any extremes either way in large or small towns (admittedly I was usually just passing through). I did notice that in some more rural places, people seemed more prim and proper and "tight", but they were still in no way rude.

 

Austria was a different story. The women especially can be absolutely insane. Barking Germans? Pfft..in Vienna I found shrieking banshees. I was not impressed. And the place reeks of horse poop. <shudder>

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I´d love to agree with you, too, novelwriter, because I have the impression you are like me- basically, you want a quiet, polite life - ok, some banter and humour, but good manners. That´s my impression.

I´ve also lived in many countries..how do we define bad behaviour? Driving? Try Greece as an example. Plus the whole of Latin America! And much of Asia!

 

You want anti-foreigner? Try Jakarta as a white guy with a blond Spanish wife. 18 months of that place ( disclaimer: the rest of Indonesia was amazing )...my then wife getting surrounded by guys wanking off in front of her - police laughing - my getting surrounded by up to 10 (otherwise they wouldn´t have dared) locals swearing at me " You West, you go home", the election time when truck loads of young idiots with bandanas saw me, jumped off the trucks hate-filled and we ran for our lives. They didn´t get us but killed a bunch of Chinese Indonesians anyway.

Multiplied by 18 months.

 

Pub in London many years ago. 6 English guys playing snooker. 6 or 7 Italians also playing snooker. One of the English guys " this is a fucking English pub "...out on the streets. I managed to cool it down ( and nearly had a heart attack).

 

Multiplied by nearly 60 years of stupid barbaric behaviour everywhere. PLUS great behaviour! All I´m saying is some people are fine, some are not fine and it´s everywhere.

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