SCHADENFR EUDE! Which to the Uninitiated Means Pleasure at the Misfortune of Others for Years, We Lazy, Class Ridden Brits Were Sneered at by Oh-So-Efficient Germany. Today, on the Eve of an Election between Two Utterly Cynical Politicians, the Country Is Riven by Rancour over Immigration and Soaring Unemployment. So Who's Laughing Now?

By Leslie, Ann | Daily Mail (London), September 20, 2002 | Go to article overview

SCHADENFR EUDE! Which to the Uninitiated Means Pleasure at the Misfortune of Others for Years, We Lazy, Class Ridden Brits Were Sneered at by Oh-So-Efficient Germany. Today, on the Eve of an Election between Two Utterly Cynical Politicians, the Country Is Riven by Rancour over Immigration and Soaring Unemployment. So Who's Laughing Now?


Leslie, Ann, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: ANN LESLIE

THE YOUNG Iranian refugee mother, swathed in a hejab, the Islamic headscarf - and neck-to-foot black coat despite the searing late summer heat - had brought her two children to the handsome main square of Karlsruhe to ride on the prettily-painted roundabout and listen to the oompah-oompah band.

The size of the crowd - largely masculine, mostly beer-bellied and eating huge pink frankfurters dripping with mustard - startled her. No one insulted her, no one attacked her or, indeed, took any notice of her at all - but she soon scooped up her protesting children and scuttled away, a thin, dark, 'alien' presence at this jolly German volksfest, 'people's festival'.

She had inadvertently stumbled on the site of one of the final election rallies in the neck-and-neck German elections.

The crowd, roughly 3,000- strong, were waiting for the arrival of 60-year- old Edmund Stoiber, the conservative, dull, devoutly Christian challenger to the 58-year-old media-savvy, much-married (four wives so far) Social Democrat and former Marxist, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Schroeder does not, despite appearances, dye his hair that startlingly 'youthful' dark orange: urged on by his latest young, glamorous wife Doris, he sued the last person who made that allegation - and won.

The nervous Iranian mother hurrying away from the massed, albeit affable, sausage-eating volk clearly knew that the stiff, thin-lipped, humourless, defiantly white-haired Stoiber (whose oddly yellow skin-colour is said to be designed, allegedly via a sunlamp, to look good on television) has an almost visceral dislike of her hejab.

HE BELIEVES it to be the symbol of a refusal by Moslem immigrants to integrate into German society, and of their open rejection of German values based, he says, on 'a Christian culture'.

Immigration has suddenly become a leading issue in this election. Germans are appalled that the ringleaders of the September 11 atrocity had been living and plotting unmolested in Hamburg.

Now Stoiber has announced that the 30,000 Islamic fundamentalists in Germany are a deadly threat and that 4,000 of them should be immediately deported (without, apparently, trial or appeal).

Stoiber, who since January had been ahead in the opinion polls, has been accused of ' playing the race card' at the last minute as his lead slips away.

One of his supporters, Horst Wick, a middle-aged, now unemployed paper-factory manager, told me regretfully: 'He should have talked about immigration right from the start.

'We now have more than 4million unemployed, nearly 10 per cent of Germans are unemployed - in some places 20 per cent - and almost 10 per cent of our population is now foreign. So how can we take in any more?' Herr Wick, solemn and courteous, did not strike me as the kind of German racist who takes pleasure in the burning down of immigrant hostels.

On the contrary: he seemed to be just another unhappy, puzzled German who cannot believe that decades of a secure and unquestionably good life might never return, and who is now suffering from deep-seated angst (a word much in use in this election).

Even in good times (and these are not good times) Germans have always been prone to angst, a mixture of fear and doubt, leading to an almost exaggerated dread of disorder.

This leads them to preemptive insistence on ordnung, orderliness, appropriate behaviour - which in turn leads to a distrust of initiative, eccentricity or even unscheduled levity.

As one German commentator put it ruefully: 'Outside Berlin, if you want to tell a joke, you may want to submit a written application first.' 'Alles in ordnung' (everything in order) is one of the most hallowed phrases in the German language; indeed, most Germans believe strongly in its imperative: 'Ordnung muss sein' (Order There Must Be! …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

SCHADENFR EUDE! Which to the Uninitiated Means Pleasure at the Misfortune of Others for Years, We Lazy, Class Ridden Brits Were Sneered at by Oh-So-Efficient Germany. Today, on the Eve of an Election between Two Utterly Cynical Politicians, the Country Is Riven by Rancour over Immigration and Soaring Unemployment. So Who's Laughing Now?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.