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Thread: The North-South German Divide

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
    Regional differences also exist in centralized "empires", e.g. France, how do you explain this?
    I think it is that German regional differences tend to be greater than others, generally.

    There will always be subdivisions. I'm an American, but I'm also a Minnesotan, and I can break it down more than that to a closer locality, but even still, the division in America I think is less than the division in Germany, because of the strong Germanic history of locality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Der_Erlkoenig View Post
    I think it is that German regional differences tend to be greater than others, generally.
    Is this good or bad? And if it is good, is it even better to further these differences, and where does it end?
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
    Regional differences also exist in centralized "empires", e.g. France, how do you explain this?
    That it is not only the case in Germany, where a more federal organisation of the country are the tradition exists, but that some centralised states also have strong regional identities, in any case proves the point in favour of strengthening these regional identities.

    It essentially proves the point that approximation between certain regions has to come out of organic development and should not be artificially enforced - that in fact, even centralisation cannot fully do away with our regional identities whilst the people still cling onto it.

    In fact, this is a root cause of why the North-South divide between Germans exists. When asked in 1921, both Tyrolese and Salzburgians delivered overwhelming 98+% majorities for joining Germany, of course this was disregarded by the allied victors. Most parties between the wars, regardless of what persuasion, had an Anschluß to Germany in their manifesto.

    When Austria joined Germany in 1938, the reaction was mostly positive, and AUstrians were particularly happy to join the ranks of the NSDAP: even though they only made up approx. 10% of the population, almost 25% of the higher ranks within the party were made up by Austrians.

    But there was also the other issue: There was this drive to move North-German officials down into actual Austria, to "teach the lazy Kamerad Schnürschuh some Prussian order and punctuality". This fell largely on deaf ears, as it was an artificial attempt to enforce that which could well have become reality in the long run anyway, an approximation between south and north.

    And this is perhaps one of the reasons why the Austrians were so happy to be rid of the NS regime in the end: our saviour had come with promises to strengthen our identity, but instead its officials weakened our regional identity in favour of the Prussian identity and mentality which was so alien to us. And that's how soon the previously fervent support was dwindling away...

    This was the mistake the NSDAP and its officials made in the question of tackling this old North/South divide, and it is a mistake that must not be made again. So somehow finding a way to have these strengthened regional identities create a new all-German empire would perhaps be more favourable.

    If at some point in the future, the differences subside organically, that super-regional identity is preferred to regional identity, then that is still OK. But enforcing it artificially will only lead to widening the gap and rehashing the old Prusso-Bavarian disagreements. Strength through unity, and unity through regional diversity.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
    Regional differences also exist in centralized "empires", e.g. France, how do you explain this?
    There is not much left of that anymore. And what once was totally different and non-French - like the Duchy of Brittany or Alsace and Moselle-Lorraine, each having own languages and a specific heritage, now just are some different "regions" within the Republic of France. Within "core" France there are, of course, differences as well (Oïl France and Oc France), it is clear the Normandy differs from Occitania etc. The strict policy of centralization however is a late phenomen, initiated by the Jacobins. Alsace, for example, was conquered by the French kingdom during the 17th century, without forcing the native population to speak French. Even the university of Strasbourg continued to teach in German. The Duchy of Brittany also managed to keep a certain degree of independence, people continued to speak Breton. It were many nobles and the aristocracy/bourgeoisie who sold out their heritage ans started to frenchize themselves, and their countries.
    A strong Jacobin policy of assimilation followed later and continues up to today - not to mention the fact Alsace for example, always has been a stronghold of the Jacobins, until today, anyway.

    "Speaking Breton and spitting on the floor is outlawed (...)", poster of the Jacobin republic of France for students.
    Despite searching I did not find it with "...Alsatian"...right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    There was this drive to move North-German officials down into actual Austria, to "teach the lazy Kamerad Schnürschuh some Prussian order and punctuality". This fell largely on deaf ears, as it was an artificial attempt to enforce that which could well have become reality in the long run anyway, an approximation between south and north.
    What is artificial about this? What is the organic way?
    Aptrgangr just proved that it works.
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
    What is artificial about this?
    What is artificial about replacing one mentality and identity with another, against the folk's will and without natural developments into that direction ... do I really have to explain that?

    Replacing Austro-Bavarian mentality with Prussian mentality instead of strenghtening the former or at least generally reducing mentality differences between different constituent "tribes" of Germans can hardly be considered natural and organic.

    Or let me turn it around: What would the average "Prussian" think if we centralised a Germany around Vienna, or around Munich and then decided that Prussian order was not on, and instead they had to adapt to Bavarian laissez-faire. Do you reckon you average Berliner would be particularly chuffed about that? I don't think so.

    Or shall we rephrase your words into global proportions? I.e. what is artificial about replacing Germanic mentality with Negro mentality...?!
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by velvet View Post
    There is a rule that says "Bundesrecht bricht Landesrecht", and Bavarian politicians under Kohl and the 16 years of CDU dictatorship made it very clear to the other federal states that only Bavaria had the 'right' to break that law due to them being a Freistaat (although it is said that it doesnt has legal consequencies anymore).
    Well, I think the political privileges of Bavaria have less to do with the fact that we´re a Freistaat but more with the fact that Bavaria is the only state in Germany who has an own local governing party who is only eligible in Bavaria; the CSU. And while the CSU is only eligible in Bavaria the party plays a major role in Germany´s federal politics. There´s no civil/"bürgerliche" coalition possible without the CSU. The CDU alone, without the CSU, wouldn´t be able to form an own government due to a lack of votes.
    This position gives Bavaria a special and heightened role in Germany. The CDU is eligible in all German states - except Bavaria. And the CSU is only eligible in Bavaria. The CSU can form an own "drohkulisse", and since she is a sovereign party she isn´t bound to everything what the CDU does or wants.

    But what should I say? We Bavarians love to have an "extrawurst" sometimes... A successful party in Bavaria is a party who shots sharp against the "Prussians" (the rest of Germany... ) from time to time. "Der bayerische Löwe brüllt gern, weiß aber das er ein Deutscher ist".

    But seriously, that doesn´t explain the relative success of Bavaria alone.

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Moin,
    I guess I know what you mean and I think your analysis of german north-south divide is correct. Still, I don't see why that whole thing would be a problem. It's obvious that, while we (roughly) share the same language and (younger) history, north and south germany has vast differences in both culture and folk mentality. To be honest, I feel more (mentality-wise) linked to Danmark than to Bavaria or Austria. In fact, I feel more foreign in Vienna than I do in Oslo for various reasons.

    Besides of that, I don't envy south-germans for anything, and I really don't feel many of my countryman do so either. I must say I even find that claim quite ignorant. Any people (as well as any individual) has it's own strengths and weaknesses, for example, while we north germans lack the rich folklore tradition of eg. Bavaria, south germany is much more infested by the spoil of roman-catholic christianity and it's "values". I really wouldn't prefer to live in the south, it just doesn't fit me all that well.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't have any doubts that most south germans are open-minded, friendly and honest people with proud traditions and a bright future. They deserve their economic flourishment and I'm sure there's much the north could learn from the south. Still, I don't see why it would be necessary to tighten the bond of the german states: In times of need, germany always stood together as one (well, other than the austrian empire failing us in WW1, but that was the leadership's fault, not the people's), in times of peace, we can enjoy to be diverse. I'd hate to see a "bavarianized" germany, and that's not because I have anything against Bavaria but because it's simply not my cup of tea (it's the same with other cultures that feel foreign to me, eg. US-american, or, in a much more extreme way, islamic).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aptrgangr View Post
    It is obvious you never have been to a German region south of the river Main.
    I have been to all German states, and Austria and Switzerland.

    Germany traditionally never was a centralized empire, that´s why regional differences still exist.
    I am not talking about regional differences. Regional differences exist everywhere, even where no dialects exist. I am talking about obsessive regionalism, hostility and hatred towards other regions. It is prevalent in some Austrians too, towards Northern Germans, a conception of "better a Negro than Prussian". In Switzerland it is even worse.

    Many if not most Swabians, for example, preserved a... let´s say "special relationship" towards their own "Ländle", this does not mean they are secessionists. National-conservative Swabians are proud their Swabia got the title "columna et fundamentum imperii" - column and fundament of the empire (HRE) because of their loyality.
    Maybe not Swabians, but secessionist tendencies exist among Bavarians.
    http://www.bayernpartei.de/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    What is artificial about replacing one mentality and identity with another, against the folk's will and without natural developments into that direction ... do I really have to explain that?
    My point is that there is no "organic" way, since everything men made is artificial, and dissidents are to be expected at every stage of development.
    So better tell me what the organic way is, if I am expected to accept it, and the result will be solely mutual consent, or just the speed of the process?
    One could argue the unconscious development is "organic", but this is anti-culture ("unkultur").

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    Replacing Austro-Bavarian mentality with Prussian mentality instead of strenghtening the former ...
    So you say we need to strengthen the differences, but to what end?
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

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