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Debating Germany's Image

According to a recent survey, Germany ranks high among countries with the best image around the world. While some DW-WORLD readers agree, others say that's far from the truth.

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The world's most peaceful place?

If Germany is not on top of the list of great countries then it is in the running for the top spot: Great country, great political system, great leaders, great people. I especially appreciate Germany as one of the key founders of the EU. -- Thomas Clark , US

I spent 10 years living and working in many towns from Berlin to Frankfurt and was never the victim of a crime. The people were great. Be proud of the "less crime" image and sell it to the international community. I now live near and work in Washington, DC. It is a madhouse of crime and yes, lest we forget, has really bad driving. -- Harry

To seriously suggest that Germany is more highly regarded than the US, as allegedly found in recent polls, is ludicrous. It is simply the artifact of the (obviously badly flawed) instrument(s) used, which clearly is or are designed to measure no more than superficial attitudes shaped by the politics of the day. In reality, Germany will bear the stigma of the Holocaust for many, many generations to come. -- Jack Bremer , Canada

I'm Dutch. My father's mother was born in Oldenburg. My mother's father in Bayern. Nevertheless I try to be impartial in giving my idea about Germany's image. I started working in Germany as a vicar in Erwitte/Horn in 1993. When I wanted to go back to my fatherland in 2000 -- I then had already lived from 1951 up to 1992 in Indonesia -- a farewell party was held. The mayor said: "Father Tjeerd, happen what may, you're always welcome home in Horn. For you all the beds are made and all the tables set." And indeed I have always felt at home in Germany, I am still quite one of the family. Germany, you are hospitable and friendly, thank you for having me! -- Tjeerd J.A.Berkenbosch

I moved to the US when I was a freshman in high school. I have an American husband, two step-sons, and three sons of my own. I've never given up my German citizenship, and I never will. I'm as proud of being Deutsch as any person should be of their homeland, and I never hide it. There are many reasons that Germany has to be proud, and not just their reputation for hard work and quality products. Their commitment to ecology, not just at home but through-out the world (in the US many people litter without thought, and don't know what the word "recycle" means).They also do more to help their destitute than many other countries. It is a place of unmatched beauty, and infinite possibilities. The people, although reserved with strangers, are some of the most honest and giving in the world. These are just some of the reasons Germans have to be proud, and why I'm proud to be one of them. -- Eva-Maria Barry (nee Schilewa)

Germany has an image that is second to none. A democracy that works, absolute commitment to human rights, determined belief in the potential of the European Union, an economy that has been in the very core of Europe, reputation for world class export products and merchandise, a culture that has nurtured excellence in the arts and the sciences. Above all, Germany has been a country with a unique sense of honesty and purpose -- honesty to face up to the demons of the past and purpose to ensure that its future is not compromised by that recent past. Today's Germany gives me hope! -- Terry Papadis , Australia

Germany is a beautiful country and Germans are wonderful people. It is time for Germans to put World War II behind them. Germans must move forward and make Germany the best place to live in the world. -- Jan Velema , Canada

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