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Who can say "Ich bin Deutscher"?

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I say fuck them. You get to pick who you are, if you can justify it honestly (to yourself). Identity is not black and white, after all. It's like when I say I'm from California, I must always be asked where I'm REALLY from because I'm not white or black, but South Asian. Even though I like the interest, and often want to know where someone else is from too if I can discern another place of origin somewhere, I am pretty sick of it, at least in Europe. The Dutch were less likely to bother me about it, but zee Chumans drive me up the wall. Du bist Deutscher, und ein Berliner:)

 

Edit: It took me so long to click post after writing this that Arunadasi also wrote something about this. Sure, it's interesting, and like I said, in reality, I'm happy to talk about myself :) but the same people think white Americans are stupid for declaring their European ancestry ('I'm half German, 1/8 Scottish, 1/8 Polish/ 1/4 Sioux'). You can't win...

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22 hours ago, yourkeau said:

There is a significant group of Germans who came from the former USSR and are:

1. Ethnic Germans, some of them are descendants of Prussians who came to Eastern Russia in 17 (or 18) century on invitation by Russian Emperor. Most of them were assimilated and did not speak the language, they only had Germanic family names. Another group are descendants of WWII POWs who were settled mostly in Siberia and for some reason did not return to Germany until 80s-90s. They usually did speak German at home, but not in public for safety reasons (according to my former German teacher who was such a child and came to Germany in the 80s).

(...)

People from groups 1-2 are called Russlandsdeutsche and there is a Verein for them. I think most of them still has a separate identity.

 

Many of the Germans who migrated to Russia in the 18th and 19th century settled along the Volga (Wolgadeutsche), but also at the Black Sea coast. By decree of Stalin in 1941, after the German attack on Russia, up to 900,000 were deported to Siberia and Kasachstan, see Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, "Die Geschichte der Russlanddeutschen". Until then, they had kept their German language in their settlements, but in the subsequent generations, knowledge of German became poorer. With the big wave of Aussiedler from Russia arriving in Germany in the 80ies and 90ies, it became apparent that there was a significant language barrier to their integration. The older generations' German was of course an outdated, dialectal version of the German language due to their emigration from Germany 200 years ago, and the younger ones barely spoke any. Since they also intermarried with Russians, they were Germans by descent (but didn't have German citizenship right away when arriving in Germany), having in part Russian names, speaking only Russian and all of them having no clue about life in their new home country, given the East-West divide. Up until today, they are probably seen as Russian in many situations.

 

I think new citizens should be more welcomed, since it isn't an easy step, especially if it involves giving up another citizenship. For naturalised Germans, there may still be the occasional question "where are you from?". An accent, different looks spark people's curiosity, and the question may not always imply: "You are not German" – as people are slowly wrapping their head around a less homogeneous concept of 'German'.

 

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21 hours ago, bennetn said:

You might be a German citizenship, through law but you're not going to be a German national unless you were born here and/or have German parents.

I could never say I was German even if I had the passport and lived here for 100 years.  British with German citizenship maybe, but never "I am German."

The law disagrees, you are German if you have German citizenship and studies suggest that Germans are also "softening" on this, accepting people who speak German as being German. I will go ahead and apply for German citizenship next year when I have a bit more time to do so. I will handle it exactly like arunadasi I think.

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3 hours ago, murphaph said:

The law disagrees, you are German if you have German citizenship and studies suggest that Germans are also "softening" on this, accepting people who speak German as being German. I will go ahead and apply for German citizenship next year when I have a bit more time to do so. I will handle it exactly like arunadasi I think.

Yeah as it was pointed out 10 posts before, but stating law (in German) while discussing what is and what isn't nationality vs citizenship which have different meanings in English.  Rather strangely basing your status based on language isn't enough. 

Americans speak English of sorts, but I'm never going to consider an American in England as English just because he has a English passport/citizenship.  It's rather presumptuous of the passport holder to think themselves as English in that case don't you think?

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46 minutes ago, bennetn said:

Americans speak English of sorts, but I'm never going to consider an American in England as English just because he has a English passport/citizenship.  It's rather presumptuous of the passport holder to think themselves as English in that case don't you think?

 

No.

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I can't say "Ich bin Deutscher", but I can say "I bin a Zuagroaste." :P

 

"Unta Zuagroaste vaschdäd ma Leid, de wo vo oana Region in a andane ziagn. De Zuawandarung ko innahoib vo am Land gschegn, oba aa vo aussahoib."

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50 minutes ago, bennetn said:

Yeah as it was pointed out 10 posts before, but stating law (in German) while discussing what is and what isn't nationality vs citizenship which have different meanings in English.  Rather strangely basing your status based on language isn't enough. 

Americans speak English of sorts, but I'm never going to consider an American in England as English just because he has a English passport/citizenship.  It's rather presumptuous of the passport holder to think themselves as English in that case don't you think?

No I really don't. I'm Irish and I like hearing naturalised Irish citizens say "I'm Irish". It's personal I suppose.

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1 hour ago, bennetn said:

Yeah as it was pointed out 10 posts before, but stating law (in German) while discussing what is and what isn't nationality vs citizenship which have different meanings in English.  Rather strangely basing your status based on language isn't enough. 

Americans speak English of sorts, but I'm never going to consider an American in England as English just because he has a English passport/citizenship.  It's rather presumptuous of the passport holder to think themselves as English in that case don't you think?

 

That's a very poor comparison.

 

Having to learn a whole new language in the country in question definitely brings one a whole lot closer to a culture & nationality. This was somewhat of a revelation during my first year of intensive courses at the VHS - in my courses, language, norms and values were taught hand-in-hand.

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5 minutes ago, circuits said:

 

That's a very poor comparison.

 

Having to learn a whole new language definitely brings one a whole lot closer to a culture & nationality. This was somewhat of a revelation during my first year of intensive courses at the VHS - in my courses, language, norms and values were taught hand-in-hand.

True. An Austrian naturalized in Germany will also think of themselves as Austrian and also treated by other as such.

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Its a tendency among many to place a new person in a shelf or a drawer or a bracket. And so comes this question 'where do you come from' This could be for switching the conversation around that point or avoiding certain uncomfortable topics eg if they know that you are a muslim, they might avoid discussing some aspects. So people might become politically incorrect to be politically correct hehe.

 

However, as mentioned by kaffemitmilch, who cares what others feel about your nationality as long as you are confident and at ease with who you feel you are. Living somewhere, speaking a language or having a piece of paper has no bearing to it.

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On 12/6/2016, 2:54:50, bennetn said:

You might be a German citizenship, through law but you're not going to be a German national unless you were born here and/or have German parents.

I could never say I was German even if I had the passport and lived here for 100 years.  British with German citizenship maybe, but never "I am German."

this is kind of BS.  My kids were born here, but cannot legally check off any form that says they are a German national.  They have two other passports, and none are german. :)

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On 12/7/2016, 12:35:35, murphaph said:

The law disagrees, you are German if you have German citizenship and studies suggest that Germans are also "softening" on this, accepting people who speak German as being German. I will go ahead and apply for German citizenship next year when I have a bit more time to do so. I will handle it exactly like arunadasi I think.

On 12/6/2016, 2:54:50, bennetn said:

You might be a German citizenship, through law but you're not going to be a German national unless you were born here and/or have German parents.

I could never say I was German even if I had the passport and lived here for 100 years.  British with German citizenship maybe, but never "I am German."

this is kind of BS.  My kids were born here, but cannot legally check off any form that says they are a German national.  They have two other passports, and none are german. :)

 

eta: nevermind, murphaph said the same thing. I was just more anecdotal about it.  Years later, Arundasais approach is still the timeless, classy one and i will follow her lead.

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