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Germany grappling with its past and future

This is off-topic but worth a read anyway. Two recent bits out of Germany provide an interesting view of the issues that the country is struggling with.

First, there is the fake ad in which a young Adolf Hitler is killed by a Mercedes. The cheeky student-produced ad highlights a key feature of the new generation of Mercedes cars: Collision Prevention Assist "detects dangers before they come up".

One of the students who made the faux-ad told the Independent: "Mercedes sells its cars on smart technology which prevents accidents. We wanted to pose the question of what might happen if technology had a soul."

It's probably no surprise that the ad created an uproar of support, condemnation, and name-calling. Nazi Germany may be 70 years in the past but the wounds are still raw.

But modern-day Germany is much more worried about the future. Sure, the country is rich, healthy, and safe but Germany is a shrinking country. As The Guardian noted, Germany "has the lowest birthrate, just 1.36 children per woman, in Europe, and one of the lowest in the world".

Beyond shrinking birth rates, the German economy desperately needs more women in the work force. The German government has even launched a campaign to encourage and support women starting their own business.

medical translation
"Kinder, Küche, Kirche" (children, kitchen and church) used to denote the role of women in German society. Although it's rare to hear the phrase used these days, working mothers are still referred to as "Rabenmütter" (raven mothers). With that kind of mindset and institutionalized roadblocks like early school dismissals, it's hard to imagine a lot of women embracing entrepreneurship.

Interesting times in Germany...

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1 Comment:

  1. Janis said...
    Germany has come a long, long way in every sense since I lived there in the 90's - interesting post, Andres!

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