The former home country of megalomania and kitsch has undergone a transition over the recent years that is a bit of a jaw-dropping affair, to say the least. The Krauts have gone from a nation of grumpy white-socked misanthropes with a world-domineering streak and ‘Lebensraum’-claiming towels to a people of cool and charisma.
Germany has turned into the promised land. How did that happen?
The 2006 World Cup can be seen as a turning point in time. This was when football-frenzied Fritz transpired to be a hot host with a heart, who scored with a cheer, a passion and without any signs of schadenfreude. And even when he lost he took it in his stride. The country’s climate had changed and all that was blue were the skies. In short: The Cup ’06 was the Woodstock of soccer. Love and peace and German flags – that was the outlandish and awesome scenario.
Spearheading this new movement from the Nazi fist to the pazifist was the capital of the new cool, Berlin. The unique vacuum or free space that was created after the fall of the wall proved to be a breeding spot for a little utopia where ideas flourished and where they were the currency that counted more than money. The libertines and bohemians of the globe flocked to this city of joy to celebrate a life beyond commerce.
‘Poor but sexy’ eventually became the label that partying mayor Wowereit would promote and that would become a hit with the hedonists worldwide. In turn this made Berlin a big brand.
A further reason for the country’s and the capitol’s rise of surprise is the lately comparatively good state of its economy and its still-working welfare system. With the Euro crisis in full swing the Portuguese, the Spanish or Italians of this world have developed a wanderlust that drives them to Germany and more so to Berlin to join the Scandinavians as well as Israelis to simply visit, invest or even make a living.
A shop that gives evidence to this recent history of transition and zeitgeist is Mitte’s Best of Germany on Rosa-Luxemburg Straße. From its base in Berlin ‘Best of Germany’ sells modern Teutonic folklore and ware that is as German and as hip as the Berlin brand itself. http://www.shop.bestofgermany.net/
To take a bit more time – but not too much more time and check out the history of Berlin – we can highly recomend a previous 4 part OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog series which looks at Berlin history in a more light hearted black-humour way, entitled – ‘ BERLIN ‘Historical + Hysterical’ – A Berlin Mini-History -Dynamic Metropolis with a Dynamic history – Study it and learn from it! by Emil Hoogensteyn – http://www.ota-berlin.de/blog/09/06/berlin-historical-hysterical-a-berlin-mini-history-dynamic-metropolis-with-a-dynamic-history-study-it-and-learn-from-it-part-1/
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Cool Germania – A very brief history of the country’s and capital’s transition to hip – by OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog contributor Mr Jörn Meyer from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.