More Danes positive about Germans

The wall coming down helped mend fences

Germany hasn’t been the most popular nation in Denmark in recent decades, mostly thanks to the memory of the 1940-45 Occupation in World War II.

But today, almost 75 years to the day after the Germans marched across the border to occupy Denmark, seven out of every ten Danes view Germans in a positive light, according to a Voxmeter survey.

“Of course the dislike is still present among some people and the survey would have looked different had it been conducted solely in south Jutland,” Christian Lammers, a historian at the University of Copenhagen, said according to Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

“But generally today, Germany is viewed as a civil society a long way removed from the militarist and arrogant people who occupied Denmark.”

READ MORE: South Jutland against signs in German

Crumbling walls and football
Lammers maintains that the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was a massive catalyst in the change in opinion, as was football when the Danes beat the Germans in Euro 92 and the Germans hosted the World Cup in 2006.

“The World Cup showed that the once stiff Germans could be relaxed. They dared to show pride in their flag and national identity,” Lammers said.

The survey showed that just 3 percent were negative of Germans, compared to 8 percent in a survey in 1967 and 32 percent in a survey in 1947, two years after the end of WWII.

But despite the fine tidings, not all is forgotten.

Last month, the desire of the German minority in south Jutland to have the German names of the towns printed under the Danish names on city signs in the region was shot down by local politicians.





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