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Please keep in mind that the purpose of this page is not to debate whether (or to what extent) Germans are racist. Talk pages on Wikitravel are for discussing the content of the article, and to reach a consensus on making changes to it. Do NOT leave stories about any alleged instance of racism in Germany or by Germans. If you have a comment that doesn't directly address what the article currently says and how to improve it, please save it for some other forum. See also the VFD discussion at the bottom of the page.


In my opinion the racism sector is much to negative. I'm german of Turkish origin. I never had any problems with racism my whole life! I think this text know reflects a Germany-view that is not existing anymore. May be that in some cases in the 90ies there occured some bad things. But, I never felt violence by white Germans in my (west) german region (Cologne area). The text should be more objective! I think the racism problem in Germany is not as bad as in the US or Britain because of post-war education against the Hitler regime. 17:25, 11 Jan 2004 (EST)

You think. What do you base this on? Heresay? Do you live in Germany? I do not claim to know what happens in England, or the US or Netherlands (your IP is Dutch). I cannot compare Germany to those countries. Yes, racism is illegal here. Yes it is very non-PC. Yes, we got taught about Hitler and the Third Reich for years in school (in western Germany; this did not happen in the East before the unification). Yes, saying that racism happens in Germany is a bit of a taboo. And guess what? It still happens. Sometimes in very bad shapes (fire attacks on houses) but most often in the less obvious ways, ranging from odd looks to insults in the subways or fights somewhere. As a non-white you will have problems that a white person won't have. That is the entire point. Turkish people are "lucky" because they have become such an accepted part of this country's society. Like italians. Who ever fears/hates italians anymore? Nobody, that's who, but 20-30 years ago they were subject to racism. Nowadays, it's people from Russia, Poland, the entire southern ex-USSR, and also people from Africa. The target has changed, the problems have remained pretty much the same. --Nils 14:21 Jan 12th 2004 (CET)
To that anonymous ip-only person: Look, if you are going to excuse racism in Germany as not being a big deal or by saying it's normal in other countries too, I am going to get seriously pissed. I do not know how big a problem it really is in other places, since I live in Germany and not in any of those other places, but I do know it is a problem here. This page is about Germany, we do not care here to describe the problems of other countries. Since it's obviously something that you do not agree on, and since it's an unfair prejudice to paint Germany as an extremely racist country, I will elaborate a little. But please cease belittling the issue, if a black or whoever goes to Germany, they should know ahead of time whether or not it is a problem and not have to deal with euphemisms. We have to call a cigar a cigar. -- Nils 16:38 January 11th, 2004
Okay, I added the paragraph. Let's discuss it here first before we go about changing it back and forth, okay? Is it fair? Does it give the right impression? What do you people think? --Nils 17:03 January 11th, 2004
(I rearranged this discussion so it flows better.) I think it's important to remember that the traveller comes first. The most important thing is giving practical information to travellers -- not to paint Germans (or any other locals anywhere) in a positive or negative light, or to explore the history of racism in Germany. Context helps, but we're not an encyclopedia. The important question is: what should travellers watch out for?
It's also important to remember that we're addressing English speakers -- people from Commonwealth countries and the United States. We don't need to address safety tips that people will understand from their personal experience at home -- "Don't step in front of moving cars", "Don't run with scissors." Comparing racism in Germany with racism in other industrialized countries probably isn't such a bad idea.
That said, the section on racism in Germany seems about right to me. A little less editorializing and some more practical advice -- Will you be specially watched in stores? Are there areas where you should be more concerned for your personal safety? Should you be extra careful with police? -- may be useful, but I'm not well enough acquainted with Germany to help here. --Evan 17:59, 11 Jan 2004 (EST)
Thanks Evan, I will try to make it more practical. However, since Germany is often stereotyped as a very racist country, I felt that a bit of a lengthy intro/description was in order to describe the reality. --Nils 14:21 Jan 12th 2004 (CET)

To that Person (Nils) who was really pissed off that someone seemed to excuse racism for said Person said it is not as much as stated in the article:

Nils, relax. It is not really nice to imply that the Person you're talking about is belittling racism JUST BECAUSE he said it is not that much of a big deal as stated in this article. I mean, if we go for your opinion, it will never be possible to change the article, because changing it = Belittling racism. So what ist that for a strange argumentation please ? By the way, "those places" where you never have been, and where racism is so en vogue (actually, you dunno, you just heard of it, you dont live there, but of course still insist on it to be true) are quite clearly mentioned in the article: It is East Germany, of course. Where else. Where all people are right-wingers who burn down asylum seekers quarters etc...

All right, after this ranting i still would like one message to come through: The racism part is much exaggerated. It might be okay, to mention it as actually really it happens, but it does not make much sense in the current form. There is no advice for travellers, it basically says: Be frightened boys, when you're going to eastern germany for thes ppl there are bashing blacks, but hey, of course its better in wester germany... (alright, i really have to stop that ranting ..) (BTW, one friend of mine got attacked in the UK, for he was spaniard and looked like one..)


Racism happens in western Germany too. Usually, the nature is different though. Read what I wrote in the article. This is a small country. I do not claim to know the details of life in the streets of Eastern Germany. Someone who lives there is welcome to correct me, but that is not what the anonymous IP-using person did. But I do claim to know the overall picture of life in Germany. --Nils 14:21 Jan 12th 2004 (CET)

I think the whole issue on racist Germany is really a waste of time. German society is not as racist as Nils or whoever wrote the section wants it portrayed - "Germany is still seen as extremely racist" and so on, making it sound as if foreigners should steer clear of East Germany (even though you said they shouldn't be paranoid, the wording in the other paragraphs is too strong). I think it is much too unfair to include a section of racism for Germany, yet not have anything for countries that have dictatorial regimes, or that are racist to foreigners even at a high level. Germany is a member of the European Union, and it is a modern, forward-looking country with one of the most integral societies in the world. Having been to Germany many times, I have found the people there to be a lot more tolerant than others, including the French. The stereotype of Germany still containing neo-Nazis everywhere is false. Even though they do exist, they really pose very little threat for tourists, in this country that is visited by so many tourists. If we were to classify Germany as an "extremely racist" country, then surely we would have to classify the US as "extremely dangerous in terms of terrorism" and some developing countries as having "extremely poor tourist infrastructure and should not be visited". As you can see, that would be discriminatory. And, just as the section of racism says that Germans are descriminatory, isn't the section being discriminatory towards Germany??? Ronline 19:13, 11 Jan 2004 (EST) (PS: No, I'm not German so it's nothing personal - just being fair).
I did nowhere say that the image of Germany as a quasi-fourth Reich is correct. I have no-where classified Germany as an "extremely" racist country. But believe me: Bad things still happen here. To use your example: I do not judge the United States because I do not live there and have not been there for several years, but yes, if I were to write that section about the USA it would of course include warnings about certain very bad trends I see in America. As I said, I also know I am not objective enough about America. But I do claim to be objective about Germany. I am German, I have been living in Germany all my life, and while I am not Black I do know black people and I also keep track of the news and of what I hear from other people. And while being non-white does not automatically push you to the fringes of society or garuantee physical danger, but if you stay in Germany for any length of time it will become an issue sooner or later. Hey, you might not even notice because you don't understand what they say. Anyway, the bottom line is: Racism exists in Germany, to various degrees, and that is what I report so that visitors are aware of it. Nothing less, nothing more. I do expect other authors for the articles about other countries to do the same. --Nils 14:21 Jan 12th 2004 (CET)
A couple of responses: lack of any "Stay safe" warnings in other countries isn't necessarily because we're picking on Germany. After all, most country guides have hardly any information. There is a lot of talk about race in United States of America, but not specifically in "Stay safe".
I'm going to try and abbreviate this section somewhat. --Evan 21:51, 11 Jan 2004 (EST)
I think the Hitler stereotype of nowadays Germany is very different to reality, as Turkish people are NOT lazy or islamistic terrorists (I'm not :-)), British are not drinking beer in Mallorca all the day and Americans are not wearing cowboy boots all the day. What about a "stereotype" section in alle articles to battle against them or relativize them? 04:48, 12 Jan 2004 (EST)
This is a travel guide. We're not here to actively fight false stereotypes, and we're not here to be political correct just to be nice to anybody. In my opinion, travel is the only way to really eleminate racism, since it's much harder to hate someone once you get to know them and their customs. Sure some people will still stick their heads in the sand but I believe it would eventually have an effect. Anyway, the last thing needs is to become a propaganda piece. No matter for what cause, except the cause to have a safe and enjoyable voyage :-) . --Nils 14:21 Jan 12th 2004 (CET)

Racism again. I think it's quite telling that an anonymous person who made Germany the "biggest country" in europe also butchered the racism comment. Even if you disagree on the degree of racism in Germany, I think everybody will agree that it needs more than a two-liner to explain, especially with German's Nazi past which is still very much the first and in many cases only thing people know about Germany. I hope the new version finds everbody's approval. (Yes, the issue is important to me.:) --Nils January 15th, 2004 12:54 (CET)

It's an important issue. By the way, you can always revert changes that are really not helpful. --Evan 11:27, 15 Jan 2004 (EST)
@Nils Germany IS the biggest country in Europe, in terms of population if we exclude Russia. Also, it is certainly the biggest country in terms of economical power. So, this statement is true, though not actually a humble one. Still, i guess it is against yóur innermost beliefs, to think of Germany as a big country for you associate with it the desire to dominate Europe, Third Reich etc. You even make in this context out of writing "Germany is the biggest country.." an accusation, a statement to be damned for which it is clearly not. Please, dont let your understanding of history and your political beliefs come into conflict with facts.
Same goes for "butchered the racism comment". Nils, your (if it was yours) racism stament in the article was definitely exaggerated, something we found IMHO a consensus in this discussion about. To call it butchering the comment means again "not agreeing with your views on the extent of racism" = "belittling racism".
Another, important issue: You write there is a significant difference between eastern and western germany, for latter one was properly educated to hate the Third Reich and Racism, while the former one was not. So what the heck ??
You have, according to your statement, properly been educated. Nice for you. But how do you conclude the east has a significant lack of education in this respect and DARE MAKE EASY CONCLUSIONS the east has hence an endemic deficit ?
One can, in fact, come to such conclusions after a thourough analysis, but you're really jumping to this easy consequence. This is something i clearly dont like. Also, it is the year 14 after the regime change in eastern germany. The persons who are attacking foreigners(usually 15-25 in age): blacks, whatever, have all by now been educated in a western education system which clearly paid attention to the third reich and racism (who told you communist east germany did not, btw ?) what does this mean for your argument ? Chris
Two points: a) Eastern Germany never considered itself a successor nation of Nazi Germany. It left that role for the West to play out. Fact is, Racism is VASTLY more severe in Eastern Germany than it is in the west. Unless you yourself live in Eastern Germany, I will consider this argument to be invalid. As for "jumping to conclusions", this is a travel guide. Background should be explained, but it is NOT the place to make a sociological analysis of a country. Anyway: b) Biggest country means size, not population. That would be "most populous nation". qed. -Nils 20:14, 19 Mar 2004 (EST)

VFD discussion[edit]

The discussion below is an archived debate of the proposed deletion of the above content. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.


  • Delete. The only relevant part of this conversation is from 2004, and totally outdated. It (obviously) is only serving as a breeding ground for accounts of racism in Germany and random comments, which continue to be added despite the warning at the top of the page that advises to only discuss the improvement of the Germany article. I know we don't generally delete discussions, but I don't think this one is serving us well. If we don't delete the entire page, I propose at least deleting everything beyond the 2004 conversation that has nothing to do with updating the Germany article or Wikitravel. – cacahuate talk 03:21, 16 July 2007 (EDT)
  • Delete for all the reasons given by Cacahuate -- WindHorse 09:45, 17 July 2007 (EDT)
  • Delete --NJR_ZA 16:56, 17 July 2007 (EDT)
  • Keep the original discussion, but nothing else. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 17:41, 17 July 2007 (EDT)
  • Delete. I am less comfortable with selectively deleting comments than just getting rid of the whole page. If someone tries to recreate this page, let's agree to speedy delete it as it is a slippery slope and not an article. --Peter Talk 22:12, 17 July 2007 (EDT)
  • Delete. Pashley 04:40, 18 July 2007 (EDT)
  • Delete. Gorilla Jones 10:53, 18 July 2007 (EDT)
  • Delete. Ha!:) OldPine 13:33, 18 July 2007 (EDT)
  • Keep. Let's just keep everything from the original discussion and then protect the page against further edits. Typically talk page discussions are never deleted, and while I agree this one is a special case I don't think we should delete it. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:40, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
  • I agree with Ryan and Sapphire after some more thought... let's keep the original discussion and protect the page – cacahuate talk 00:11, 24 July 2007 (EDT)
  • I can go with that, and add my support to keep with protect. WindHorse 00:23, 24 July 2007 (EDT) Another idea: as the page is quite full, how about archiving it. Hopefully, placing it out of sight will bring the debate to close. However, if it does start up again on the new page, then we still have the option of protect. Personally, I prefer not to protect articles unless absolutely essential, and in this way it would be a final option, rather than a first.
  • I still think this "discussion" (I actually didn't see any discussion about the topic: whether Germany/Racism is a valid or useful travel topic) is a special case and should be deleted. Protecting might actually call more attention to the page, and also alert readers that administrators have noticed the page and didn't delete it. But if I am in the minority on this, I will gladly bow to the general opinion. --Peter Talk 01:33, 24 July 2007 (EDT)
What about protecting, with a banner note at the top saying something like "This is an archive of a past discussion. If you've got something to say about improving the Germany article, say it at Talk:Germany"  ?? – cacahuate talk 02:18, 24 July 2007 (EDT)
Peter, we're not discussing it as a travel topic... it definitely isn't a valid travel topic... the page was created in the first place to discuss updating the Germany article... and whatever they were originally discussing I think was changed long ago. So the only reason for this discussion to come up again is if someone has a problem with something that is currently in the Germany article, or wants to add something to the current article. And if any new changes to Germany need discussion, it should just happen at Talk:Germany. – cacahuate talk 02:26, 24 July 2007 (EDT)
I see I did not quite understand the intended point of the page. Still, I'm not a huge fan of permanently protecting pages. Right now the only "extreme case" for which we are doing this is the main page (see Special:Protectedpages)—I'm not sure that this particular case qualifies. I prefer to delete because I don't think the page is serving a purpose and its largely irrelevant and borderline inflammatory content reflects poorly on Wikitravel IMHO. But I understand the aversion to deleting discussions, so if we keep, I would prefer to use our everyday tools (reverts) to prevent the page from being further used as a group therapy board for victims of "German racism." This will be easy to do now that we are all aware of the page. --Peter Talk 18:03, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
A lot of talk pages don't have a point, but keeping the discussions around provides a glimpse into how decisions were reached and policies developed. We likely have hundreds or even thousands of talk page conversations that may not be 100% relevant to Wikitravel as it exists today, but those pages are all preserved and allow someone who is interested in the evolution of the site to follow the process. For a similar example to the current one see Talk:United States of America#Revert of the day; that thread contains a long discussion of red state/blue state politics in the US that has as much bearing on travel as discussions of racism in Germany.
Just as user pages are special, conversations between users are also something that we only modify or delete in extreme cases (hate speech, trolling), and this article isn't an extreme case. Protect it if people feel strongly that something needs to be done, but definitely don't delete it. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:18, 26 July 2007 (EDT)
Delete this since it serves little useful purpose and attracts irrelevant posts. Summarise the content as a section of Talk:Germany. Maybe three lines. Pashley 23:39, 25 July 2007 (EDT)
I wrote a summary; it turned out much longer than three lines. It is at User_talk:Pashley/TGR. I'd say make that a section of Talk:Germany and delete the original. Pashley 01:27, 26 July 2007 (EDT)
If we decide to keep the page, use my summary for that. Pashley 03:21, 26 July 2007 (EDT)
I understand where you were coming from in making that, but I think paraphrasing other people's comments isn't really so great, and also I think editing it down to a bullet list like that makes it look even more like a breeding ground for comments about Germany's racism. I still think we should keep the original 2004 debate that was really centered around edits to the article, and delete everything after that that just gets into storytelling. I would say everything below Nils March 19, 2004 comment should be axed. And maybe let's not protect for a while unless it still continues to be a problem ? – cacahuate talk 01:12, 5 August 2007 (EDT)
There was no paraphrase in that summary. Everything was a direct quote, just shortened to what I thought were the main points. Pashley 09:49, 18 August 2007 (EDT)
  • This is an extremely rare case where I believe that protecting the page may be the right course. Aggravating or not, the discussions did occur, and as Ryan says, we generally try to keep discussions around, if for no other reason than that they will continue to recur. At the same time, the topic is so incendiary that just leaving it open for business doesn't seem to meet our goals either. See also the item I'm putting into the pub regarding the protection of archival pages; if that's adopted as a policy, then archiving this discussion and protecting it may be best. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 15:58, 12 August 2007 (EDT)
Yet another storytelling comment was added today. As long as we leave comments on there of that nature, it's going to breed more. I think there's agreement to keep the original discussion, and possibly protect it... but what about the latter comments, which aren't part of any conversation related to the improvement of the Germany article? Can we delete those and archive/protect the original discussion? I can't see protecting the page without removing those comments, as that isn't really justifiable... a few people are allowed to leave non-WT related accounts of racism but nobody else can? At least if we revert the page back to the original discussion that was about the Germany article and then protect it we're doing something that should make sense to later contributors. The original contributors came to somewhat of an agreement on the text that they were discussing, and any new discussions on the topic can be started on Talk:Germany. What newer people aren't getting at the moment is that that conversation was about coming to agreement on some text in the article... they see the "I was given a funny look in Germany" comments later on and then think the page is a place to reminisce about racist Germans, which it definitely is not. – cacahuate talk 15:27, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
It really is time this page to be deleted, even keeping the original discussion is a very slippery slope as it might give people the incentive to create similar pages for other countries. I'd really hate to see a Talk:South Africa/Racism page pop up; it would distract completely from the topic of travel --NJR_ZA 15:47, 19 August 2007 (EDT)
  • I just reverted all of the crap and kept the original discussion. We should not delete this discussion because that's un-wiki, and as we all know, this is a wiki. Anyhow, I'll support protecting the page because people keep adding stories. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 05:37, 21 August 2007 (EDT)
I think that Sapphire's revert was the right thing to do. I still don't see any need to protect the page, for the reasons I gave above and because the disclaimer at the top of the page makes it clear that this is not the place for group therapy. Moreover, I think protection might be a bad precedent, as it is an overly strict way of dealing with problems easily solved by reverts. This page certainly sees fewer unwelcome contributions than, say, Mandarmani, and we dealt with that just fine without resorting to hard measures. If anyone's worried that more story-telling will crop up unnoticed, don't be—I've now got this on my watch list and have my revert trigger-finger ready. --Peter Talk 03:02, 22 August 2007 (EDT)
That all sounds great to me... I've watchlisted it too... and I suspect it won't draw as many new comments now that we've removed the bait. – cacahuate talk 19:54, 26 August 2007 (EDT)
I now created an archive subpage on Talk:Germany so that a pointer to this page doesn't remain at the top of that talk page forever and keep attracting undue attention – cacahuate talk 16:07, 25 January 2009 (EST)

The discussion above is an archived debate of the proposed deletion of the content at the top of the page. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.