Electronic Database

National Mentalities:

Studies in the Context of Globalization and Interaction of Cultures

Edited by Anna Pavlovskaya and Grigory Kanarsh
The site was developed with the support of the Russian Foundation for the Humanities (project №13-03-12003).

Main/The Peoples of the West/

The National Character of the Germans (A. V. Pavlovskaya)

The paper analyzes geographical, historical and cultural realities of Germany and their influence on the formation of the German national character. Historically unstable and geographically closed position of Germany contributed to the formation of unstable and uncertain German character as a combination of diverse characters of the tribes inhabiting the territory.

The author focuses on several fundamental features of the German character: pedantry, circumstantiality, indefatigable industry, love of order and ordering (which are manifested in the ability to create mechanisms, to organize life and comfort, in undisputable respect for the law, in the war arts), and attention to health issues.

The Germans as a community are characterized by: extreme and irresistibility, lack of common sense in organization and respect for the law, tendency to create theories (including racial theories), lack of aesthetics and sense of humor, inferiority complex (which manifests in self-praise), patriotism (which doesn’t express love for the state nor the people, but for the government). In everyday life, a German has such qualities as simplicity, ease, friendliness, love of travel, curiosity and a good learnability, unpretentiousness.

Keywords: Germany, the Germans, the German national character, stereotypes, the private and the public.

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