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Most Germans in the US experience very common stereotypes within the US, just like many Americans experience the same when they travel to Germany. When I first moved to New England I was looking for all the skyscrapers, huge cars and cowboy hats. After I had to change my perception of the US based on my experience it was easier to understand for me why the perception of Germany is what it is over here. Since we all learn the most out of die Kiste (the box, here the TV) most movies deal either with WWII subjects or drunken Bavarians dancing around in their Lederhosen. I am of course also a big fan of Bayern (Bavaria) but Germany has so much more to offer than one state and the Vergangenheit (past).
Germany has all kinds of different Landschaften (country sides) from the beaches in the North and North East to the flat lands of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), the Schwarzwald (Black Forrest) and the uniqueness of the Spreewald and its famous Gurken (cucumbers). I think it is on all of us to educate other people about everything Deutschland has to offer and especially get away from the dark chapter of the Third Reich even though it is very attractive to the movie industry and should not be forgotten. The future of the country is what matters most. A fantastic friendship between the US and Germany has developed and despite all the negative media coverage within the US the country still has a very positive image, especially in Germany.
I would like to ask you what is important for your generation when it comes to the image of Germany and what can be done in order to change the focus from the typical stereo type?
Die Kiste – the box (slang word for the tv)
Die Vergangenheit – the past
Die Landschaft – the countryside
Der Schwarzwald – the black forrest
Die Gurke – the cucumber, Die Gurken – the cucumbers