* Poles and Germans – friendship without passion


Poles and Germans – friendship without passion
Created: 07.04.2009 08:29 Stereotypes remain but the image the two countries have of each other is more positive than you might think.

Since Poland became a member of the European Union, the perception of the country among Germans and the perception of Germans in Poland has changed, shows an opinion poll conducted in Poland and Germany by the Institute of Public Affairs.

The two neighbouring states have became closer to each other but less affectionate.

According to the poll, 48 percent of Poles “feel different” from Germans and only 16 percent think that Poles and Germans “are similar”. The answers to the same question given by Germans resemble those of the Polish respondents: 42 percent emphasize differences between two nations and 17 percent the similarities.

Since the year 2000, when a previous poll was conducted, the relationship between Poles and Germans has become more stable but less passionate. In 2000 almost 40 percent of Poles expressed fondness for Germans and 30 percent – reluctance towards them, while in 2008 only 30 percent said they liked Germans and 20 percent say that they disliked them.

As the poll shows, Germans also became more indifferent towards Poles.

The relationship between Poles and Germans, deprived of emotions, makes it easier for both nations to live and work together. As the poll shows, almost 70 percent of Poles have nothing against a German living permanently in Poland, obtaining Polish citizenship, holding a high office or marrying a Polish woman. Germans in turn are less willing to see Poles as a part of their family or as their supervisors.

According to the poll, more than half of Poles associate Germany with “law and order”, but the memories of II WW are still alive and 34 percent of Poles perceive Germans as invaders. Fewer Poles (only 16 percent) believe that Germany is a “welfare state”.

Germans think that Poland is a beautiful country and 14 percent of them would like to spend their holiday on the Baltic coast or visit one of its renowned cities such as Warsaw, Krakow or Gdansk. Germans also praise Polish cuisine and vodka for its taste and low price. According to a popular stereotype, 17 percent of Germans still view Poles as criminals.

The numbers also show that Poles did not manage to convince Germans as yet to the extend of the role they played in combating communism.

Asked about the cause of the collapse of communism, Germans enumerate perestroika and political reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev (59 percent), insufficiency of the communist economy (35 percent), Reagan’s policy (13 percent) and the Solidarity independence movement (13 percent).

Poles attribute the success of combating communism to Pope John Paul II (39 percent), political reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev (39 percent), insufficiency of the communist economy (34 percent) and the Solidarity independence movement (31 percent). (mg/pg)
Poland is a really nice place and a great spot to visit.
Poland is finally starting to do quite well for itself and its people are a fairly happy and satisfied bunch.
They do, however, remember all too well what the Soviets and the Nazi's did to them.
I wouldnt count on them forgetting what the Germans or Russians did any time soon.


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