Have you ever worked with a German

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by the_rigger, Dec 21, 2005.

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  1. This is a totally true story and possibly liable to offend. If you are the sort to complain about things then don't read on.
    Whilst working in Austria, my boss was a German, former Eastie Beastie, who, ever since the wall came down, had worked with brits.
    Because of this he not only had an excellent english vocab' (although heavily accented), but he had a thoroughly british sense of humour. In fact his favourite comedy scetch was the Germans from Fawlty Towers. He could quite often be heard saying "Don't mention ze var!"
    This led to the inevitable banter between us brits and himself about the war and football etc.
    During one particularly heavy bowt of drinking and abuse about the Germans loosing the wars, he became very quiet and looked upset. He then said in a low voice, "Actually guys, mein grandfarzzer, he died in Auchwitz."
    Our immediate response was on the lines of, "Jesus, sorry, mate. If we had any idea we would never gone on about the war etc etc."
    To which he replied "Yah, he fell out of his vatctower p1ssed on guard!"

    Who said the Germans don't have a sense of humour
  2. My first job we had a work experience girl from Germany, as the company traded with German Paper mills so it was handy to have someone know the lingo.

    One Morning in 1987, she comes round with a collecting tin. One of the comments directed at her , were asking if it was a Rudolf Hess collection.

    On the subject of German humour. I remember walking through Frankfurt and tha German I was with pointed to an old building and said 'This is a building that your bombers missed'.
  3. Does being married to a German bird count as work?
  4. [​IMG]

    A load of us used to go and watch Borussia Dortmund play....and we went to Dynamo Dresden to watch them play in 92. We had them all humming the Dambuster's theme tune, when they found out what it was, sense of humour failure or what!!!

  5. At a BBQ round the neighbours house just after I first started living the civie life in Germany.

    All very formal and correct until the amount of beer still in the crates went down. Then the somewhat younger members of the party (all about 19/20ish) started telling jokes. As the beer consumption went up the jokes got more and more near the knuckle.

    The one that really put a dampner on the evening was told by a young german lad at slightly too high a volume.

    What do you call a Jew with a gasmask?

    A spoilsport.

    I nearly p1ssed myself laughing (I was very drunk) but the elder members of the family and friends were not best pleased and the party went downhill from there.

    So it seems as if the younger generation do have a sense of humour and it only those of my age and above who don't.
  6. Blimey! Have we worked withthe same German? Heard the same story in similar circumstances.
  7. Have you ever watched the Eurovision song contest in the company of a German?

    It's a very much laugh or cry experience.
  8. I don't think I've ever been anywhere in Germany where someone hasn't insisted on telling me how much of the place was burned down by crabair. Osnabrück? "ach, you know zat the British air force destroyed the city to achtzig pro zent in 1944.." EFPP: looks guilty and soulful in desperate effort to impress blonde. Münster? In shop with "Army families welcome" sticker: "ze cathedral woz saved only by a miracle when the RAF the town set on fire, achtzig prozent of the buildings were destroyed.." EFPP: not listening, touches blonde's arrse..nasty look in those blue eyes.. and so on and so forth.

  9. During my time in Germany (in the 70s and 80s), I often discussed the war and its aftermath with my German friends (I am reasonably fluent in both spoken and written German). Their attitudes to WW2 were broadly:

    :arrow: The older people (born before the war) still admired Hitler and all that he had done for the country. They were, however, ashamed that Germany had lost the war. They understood why the Brits were based in Germany but it didn't make it easy for them and some were distinctly unhappy about it.
    :arrow: Those who were middle aged (those born in the 1940s and 1950s) were overcome by angst, couldn't understand why the war had happened and were anxious to make amends for all the ills caused by the war. They didn't like the constant reminder of our presence and, at times, could be anti-Brit.
    :arrow: Those who were much younger (those born after 1960) couldn't understand what all the fuss was about and were quite willing to fraternise and listen to BFBS etc! They wanted our pop music and they wanted to learn English.

    Of course, I also felt that as you moved eastwards towards the IGB and into Berlin, those attitudes changed again - they had to accept that we were there in order to keep them from a pretty horrible fate - Erich Honecker and his cronies!

    When serving in Duesseldorf in the 1980s, my wife went to the Hauptstrasse straight from the NAAFI without removing her poppy - and was surprised, nay shocked, at the negative reaction. She was served, albeit very reluctantly, by a middle aged German woman! Having since seen the stark and poorly maintained German cemeteries in France and Belgium, I can now understand why!

    On a recent visit to N Germany, I was interested to see how the attitudes have changed again. Now, the Brits are much more welcome than the asylum seekers that have moved into our vacant barracks. There was also a feeling that Germany and Britain have much more in common than previously.

  10. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I recall in the mid nneties lots of complaints about the noise of the Warriers etc in and leaving Alanbrooke Barracks in Paderborn.

    It was pointed out to compliants committee that if Brits left the barracks it would be used for immigrants/asylum seekers. Not another complaint was heard again!
  11. Currently working in Germany at the moment,mainly Munchen & Stuttgart. By and large,they're nice people,professional,with a good sense of humour.However, they're not the best when it comes to thinking outside of the box.

    We were told recently via email that 'due to recent abuses,toilet breaks should be no longer than 5 minutes'
  12. I find, on the whole, that the Krauts have a good sense of humour. What they appear to have most difficulty with is humour of the spontaneous sort. Whereas you can walk into an office in the UK or the ROI and knock out a one-liner like: "But apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?" and expect it to be understood in the spirit in which it's said, the Krauts need to know that a joke's coming, otherwise they won't get it.
    They also seem to have a hard job of smoothly transitioning from humour to earnestness - which is almost always preceded by the famous: "Naja, Spaß beiseite!"

  13. On exercise in Germany in the early 80s, my oppo and I were digging a trench at the edge of a field with an old german farmer leaning on a fence watching us.
    "It must be very green in England." he commented.
    "It is, yes, but it's also very green here too." I replied, going into full PR mode.
    "Ah yes, but it must be VERY green in England."
    "No more than it is here." I replied, not too sure where this was going.
    "But it MUST be MUCH greener in England because all the Englanders are over here in Germany digging the f***er up!"

    Cue two squaddies rolling at the bottom of half a trench p1ssing themselves laughing :lol:
  14. Similar vein but italian sense of humour failure - during 93 was supporting an RAF tanker squadron in Italy which was used to refuel the tornados over Yugoslavia etc. This particular squadron was 101 Squadron which - by chance - had also bombed Varese the town where we were staying - the orignal target had been the Palace Hotel (which was our accommodation - - before the comments yes a rates det - lots of cash/drink etc etc - yes, i was a crab and fully expect abuse - but please be orignal) - unfortunately they missed and did rather a lot of damage to the town - the locals, on finding this out were - to say the least - not a happy bunch of hectors and as a result, the carabineri had to place an armed guard to protect us.