Why just 3 months ago I was touring in the Bavarian regions of Germany & can't wait to return to the mountainous areas. I found the rural areas were colorful & vibrant with history.
Considering the developed cities have been there for centuries, only means that the construction materials of the period has stood it's time. Older US cities along the eastern seaboard have the same characteristics. It's the expansiveness of the western movement that permitted the commoner to a parcel of land around their dwelling.
Since I chose to visit, I didn't have to fight off ignorance & culture shock by viewing Germany through the bottom of a liter stein. I gave up the heavy drinking by choice a number of years ago, but had a bucket list item to have a liter at the Hofbr�uhaus in M�nchen - December 2011, Check! That was an excellent tasting beer.
No where during my travels to Heidelberg, Munich, Frankfort, Nuremberg, Rothenberg, Berchtesgaden or Garmisch-Partenkirchen did I find a resounding compliance to the behaviors of the Third Reich. What I did find was a collective presence by the German citizens to analyze the past and utilize this profound knowledge to better themselves & their way of life.
Jim, you were there at a time of a divided Germany - there was no strong sense of being a solid nation; that has since changed with the dismantling of the Wall & Iron Curtain.
I saw pride & unity. I experienced a lifestyle that I would gladly want to engage; Not to mention what I consider some of the best foods (yes, Germany considers beer a food).
I've been stationed in Panama, had port calls throughout the Indian Ocean & Western Pacific, and traveled Western Europe (business & pleasure). I've seen both sides of the tracks in many of the countries and have seen the improvement that comes with an awareness & incorporating sound practices. I've seen the cities outside the US Naval Base in Philippines take on a different approach upon the US departure. I'd like to visit Panama to see how much it changed under a local government. (How much of what I really saw was resultant of the indulging US military man on liberty? Or the establishments that catered to such?)
I'm sorry you had a bad experience in Germany, but then many of your comments on the forum seem that you've even had problems within the USA. Thanks for your perspective, but it is a bit dated.
"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children."