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Make Me a German

Make Me a German

Tue Aug 6, 9-10pm, BBC2

By Gabriel Tate
The German for ‘debt’ is ‘guilt’, so it’s perhaps no surprise that Germany’s position as Europe’s financial and industrial powerhouse is all but unassailable. But does this success come at a price for its citizens? Well, yes and no is the inevitable conclusion of Justin and Bee Rowlatt, who decamp to Nuremberg to live like average Germans.

This means early starts and finishes, plenty of pork and potatoes (over a kilo of each every week!) and structured socialising through clubs and societies. So, order, discipline and communal purpose? It’s all a bit generalised and stereotypical. But this financial stability comes at a social and cultural cost, with the significant immigrant population (over 9 percent) underrepresented and marginalised, and a system tilted to make it far harder for women to go out and work than stay at home and have children.

Such issues are only touched upon in this good-natured and entertaining documentary, which nevertheless offers some telling insights into a nation which remains almost wilfully misunderstood.

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