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冈特·舒赫:德国人真的像传说中的那样严谨吗?

2017-12-11 14:15:33

【知乎上有用户好奇,“德国人真的像传说中的那样严谨吗?”“土生土长”的德国人冈特·舒赫(Gunter Schoech)先生做了回答。观察者网已获作者授权翻译刊载。】

我是个土生土长的德国人,也已在不同国家(如美国、法国、西班牙、瑞士、中国等)度过15年的时光。相比自己对德国的审视,我仍好奇世界其他地方民众对德国留有的印象。

要知道,随着时间的推移,德国已改变很多。当然,起决定作用的事件是第二次世界大战,更确切讲,是纳粹政权在权力上的得取与滥用。

纳粹首领希特勒

在美国,几乎没有人讨论美洲原住民的命运;在日本,民众仍参拜二战战犯;在西班牙,人们过得就跟佛朗科独裁政权不曾出现过一样;在法国,你可以相信每个人都在反抗纳粹。

不同于其他历史上有过不当行径的国家,德国相当乐于反思历史——铭记发生了什么,思考为什么会发生,以及探究该如何作为才能杜绝历史重演。

我认为正是这种心态,让德国得以褪去“世界坏人”的标签,成为拥有最佳护照的国家之一——考虑到出入境方便、签证要求等。

同时,这一心态也为德国人带来了极大的改变。

德国人相信,他们至今对新科技持怀疑态度,是出于对纳粹滥用技术发动战争这一历史事实的顾忌。

当涉及个人数据保护、维护隐私等层面,德国人也对国家权力机关高度敏感。敏感度高到大部分德国人至今仍反对在护照上留下指纹,尽管护照是种身份证件,而指纹是独一无二的身份标识。

相比以往,众多美好的品性也难在德国人身上再见着。单就守时这点,我倒是在中国高铁上感受到了,而不是乘德国列车时(实际上,一点儿也不守时)。“努力工作”这点也不再是真的了——你可能认为一周工作35小时是普遍情况,但工会的人现在正要求降至28小时。

德国列车(图/东方IC)

另一方面,德国人在工作期间非常有效率。他们通过独立思考解决新问题,而非依赖学来的旧知识。他们对精准的讲究,会讲究到令人痛苦的程度。这点用在讨论细节问题上,相当糟糕;但也是因为这点,产品得以日臻完美。他们在这一方面培养出一种耐心,而这耐心往往是不少快速发展国家所缺乏的。

正如其他一些人所指出的:从来没有“德国人都”或“中国人都”如何如何。但大体来看,我认为“一些典型的德国品质仍存在,与此同时,不少品质已经历众多改变”这点描述算是恰当。

(翻译/李泠,部分段落顺序有所调整,原版英文回答请见后页。)

I am a native German, and have spent about 15 years in different foreign countries (USA, France, Spain, Switzerland, China and others).

I am still surprised to see what image Germany has in different parts of the world, compared to how I see Germany myself. I think the explanation is that Germany has changed a lot over time. Certainly the most decisive event was WW2, or even more so the Nazi regime's rise to power and abuse of that power.

Unlike other countries which had serious misconduct of their own in the past, Germany has a unique willingness to never forget what happened, why it was possible, and what it takes to make it impossible for history to repeat itself.

In the US, hardly anybody talks about the fate of the native Americans. The Japanese worship war criminals. The Spanish act as if the Franco dictatorship had never happened, in France, you could believe that everybody was in the resistance against the Nazis etc.

I think it is this mindset which allowed Germany to recover from the world's bad guy to a nation which has one of the best passports you can own in terms of ease of entry, visa requirements etc. to other foreign countries (together with Canada, Switzerland and Sweden).

At the same time, it changed the Germans quite a bit. It is believed that their skepticism towards new technologies has to do with the fact how the Nazis abused technology for waging war. Germans are also very sensitive about state authority, e.g. when it comes to protecting their personal data, to keep it private. This goes so far that most Germans are against fingerprints in the passport, although a passport is a means of identification, and the fingerprint is a unique identifier.

Many of the positive German qualities are less visible today than in the past. Punctuality I find in CRH, not in German railways (not at all, actually). Hard working is also not really true anymore, if you consider widespread 35h work weeks, unions now clamoring for 28h.

On the other hand, Germans are very efficient during their active hours. They use their own head to solve new problems, instead of relying on knowledge learnt by heart.

They can be precise to the point of being painful. This can be terrible when discussing nitty gritty issues, but it is the key to perfectioning products. They develop a patience in this respect which fast evolving countries typically don't have.

As some others have rightfully pointed out: There are never "THE" Germans, or "THE" Chinese. But on average, I think it is fair to say that some of the typical Germany qualities can still be found, while others have changed quite a bit.

冈特·舒赫(Gunter Schoech)先生其他回答详见https://www.zhihu.com/people/gunter-schoech/activities

冈特·舒赫

冈特·舒赫

战略管理咨询公司Debrouillage创始人

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