Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

I've always wondered about this: How do Germans today feel about their past? Is it awkward and not talked about like some things in America?

Asked by Blackberry (29373 points ) February 17th, 2012

Obviously, we know everyone thinks it’s atrocious, but is it awkward in school with the kids for example, or is it talked about with more openness? Do adults talk about it?

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57 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My S/O is a German native, came here when she was 2 with her family. Her mother would talk a little about the experiences they had during the war, but little else. One of my clients from my first job would talk about trying to farm in the middle of tank battles but nothing else. If you asked questions they’d change the subject and I didn’t push it.

JLeslie's avatar

Mattbrowne gave a very good answer on a Q of mine that explains what German students learn regarding WWII and the holocaust. His answers are towards the bottom. His initial answer was is below. But, my question was not specifically what you are asking, so your question should draw more answers from Germans.

Matt’s answer:

If I remember correctly, I was in 8th grade when the Holocaust was part of our history classes. And again in 10th, 11th and 12th grade. Almost every senior of a German high school makes a field trip to one of the former concentration camps. In my case it was Dachau near Munich. When I was in the German army our company also visited Bergen-Belsen near Hannover. I also remember when our kids first talked about it at school and when we discussed it at home. Again and again it was about why, why, why did this happen. And whether Germans will ever be allowed to love their country again. I told my kids that they can be proud of today’s Germany if they help sustaining and improving a Germany that is totally different from the Germany of 1933–1945. I also told them that there are still many countries out there which glorify their past and hide their crimes, whether that is Japan or Russia or Turkey or Spain. Even today there are street names in Spain named after Franco, the fascist. Turkey suspended diplomatic relations with France just recently, because Turkey still denies the Armenian genocide and France is very outspoken about it.
Here’s a good overview of the Holocaust education in Germany. You might want to compare it with the slavery and segregation education in the US.
http://www.chgs.umn.edu/educational/germanEducation.html
The concluding statement is this:
“The German government has in the past established bilateral textbook commissions in cooperation with education specialists from a number of foreign countries (including the U.S. and Israel). These joint commissions examine the school textbooks of both countries with reference to the treatment of the other country, and issue recommendations. The German-Israeli textbook commission, whose findings were published in 1985, has had a considerable influence on the treatment of Jewish life and Jewish history, including the Holocaust, in school textbooks in Germany. Recently, the Israeli education expert, Chaim Schatzker, who has examined German textbooks since the early 1960s, stated that although he was not entirely satisfied with everything he had read, the treatment of antisemitism as part of German history was adequate in general, and exemplary in some textbooks. He also noted that the Holocaust is treated extensively and in an uncompromising way in all textbooks. He added that the large majority of textbooks addressed the issue of responsibility and co-responsibility of German citizens during the Third Reich seriously and in detail.
Teaching social values and imparting the knowledge of the achievements and crimes that human beings are capable of are essential for nourishing a commitment to tolerance and democracy in young people. Holocaust education alone, however, like any ethics teaching, is not enough to eliminate the crime and intolerance that are bred by social dislocation. If the teaching of ethics were a panacea, there would be no thefts, no homicides, and no bias-related crimes—because all perpetrators were once taught not to steal, not to kill, and not to hate.”

wundayatta's avatar

On of my best friends was born a German national and grew up in East Germany and later in West Berlin. He continues to feel guilt as a German about what his nation did to the Jews. Ironically, his SO is a Jew.

The Germans take great pains to educate the young about their history. They have strong laws against the kind of hate policies that Hitler implemented. They have laws against hate crimes, and try very hard to go after neo-Nazis and others of that ilk. They restrict freedom of speech much more than we do in the US, so as to prevent hate speech.

I think the nation, as a whole, feels like it is on probation before the world, as far as this is concerned. They deal with this in their education program. However, I don’t know how much it comes up in daily conversation. Except for the intelligentsia and artistic communities, I’m betting not a lot.

mazingerz88's avatar

I heard some young Germans of today, after watching Hitler’s old fiery diatribes, laugh at Hitler like he’s a ridiculous comic and wonder why old Germany did his bidding.

On the other hand, today there are young neo-nazis in Germany who beat up tourists.

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s awkward for most German teenagers, but not mature adults who were born after 1945. I always welcome talks about the Third Reich, because it’s the best way not to forget and build a better future. There are some dangers of taking these talks to the extreme. Most young German Jews complain that the first association every human being has when hearing the word Jew is holocaust. They think it’s unfair because it makes everything else related to today’s Judaism in German rather unimportant. There was a wonderful talkshow about this about 2 weeks ago (Günther Jauch). I’ll check whether there are any English articles about it.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta I have seen examples of this in my life, those who really identify with those on the “other side” winding up marrying someone from that group. German marrying Jew, a palestinian marrying a Jewish girl. I don’t think it is only they are, say, liberal minded and don’t discriminate, but a little more than that maybe, that in some way demonstrates what they believe and want to show the world. I am not saying they pursue that person, ethnicity, on purpose, but their interest level is strong maybe.

mattbrowne's avatar

@JLeslie – German marrying a Jew? One is a nationality, the other a religion. There are German Jews today. Do you mean a German Christian marrying an American Jew?

JLeslie's avatar

@mattbrowne I realize there are German Jews. Yes, a German who is not Jewish marrying any Jew. In America I would only count recent immigrants from Germany. Anyone who is born in America, I would say is simply American for this particular topic. Like my sister dated a German man for a while. He was from East Germany (as a side note hated the Russians) emigrated to America after college I think. He actually worked on his PhD here I believe. He was a grandchild of the third reich, blond, blue eyed, high cheek bones, born for Hitler.

How often do Jews marry nonJews in Germany? Do the Jewish families promote wanting their children to marry other Jewish people?

jca's avatar

I met some elderly German people, through a friend whose husband is from Germany. This elderly couple (the husband, specifically) said that not everything that we have heard about the Holocaust is as it has been presented. He said that food was scarce for them all, not just the people in the concentration camps. This person and my friend’s husband’s parents were Hitler Youth. They don’t admit that to anybody outside their close circle of friends.

Note: I want to make it clear that what I just wrote is what this person said. It is not my opinion.

cazzie's avatar

I just found out, shamefully, that there is an active neo-nazi group in my city, here in Norway. After what happened at Utoya, I think we have to get this group out in the open, talk to them face to face and look them right in the eye. There is nothing about destructive parts of history that are healthy to sweep under a rug and not discuss. More reasons to discuss them.

mazingerz88's avatar

@cazzie Wow, that’s unfortunate. I hope another group of young Norweigians form other groups, call themselves Grouse, Freshman and Gunnerside.

sydsydrox's avatar

I don’t know how they would personally feel, but I bet there are a lot of facepalms and sighs involved…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Why would they need to feel responsible for something they didn’t do? It’s like asking ‘don’t White Americans think about how awful their past is? Must be awkward’

Blackberry's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I didn’t think that, but that’s easy to possibly get from the question.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blackberry I think all of us, literally, should feel ashamed for the Holocaust and for slavery and for any genocide being committed even today. No one people are more moral than any other.

Blackberry's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir In a symbolic way, yeah, but I agree with you that we shouldn’t feel responsible for the past actions of others, unless someone actually feels the same as them or something.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I don’t think I agree with that. That we all should feel ashamed. I don’t think any decendents should feel responsible for the crimes of their ancestors, I agree with that, but I don’t identify at all with racist slave owners of the south, and don’t carry their shame. I guess probably my people have done something shitty to some group somewhere in history, but that is not my shame to carry, and I can’t feel responsible for all the horrific things that have happened in the world. For the most part my people are ones oppressed, enslaved, and murdered, not the ones doing these horrific deeds. A couple weeks ago a black friend of mine wrote on his facebook he was hating white people today because he just watched Roots. I’m fine with him taking a day, but really for me, I separate my white self from those who participated in slavery and segregation in America. If I was going to hate Germans for a day, it would be the Nazi’s who committed the crimes and believed in the cause, not all Germans, and especially not the children born since then, not even the children of the most brutal of Nazis,

Pandora's avatar

I had a teacher back in the 70’s that was German. His family was very Catholic and you could not mention Hitler without him getting angry. Once a student thought he would be amusing by putting on a swastika and saying hi (not sure of the spelling) Hitler. He almost put the kid through the wall. We found out from one of the other teachers that his family suffered as well since they would not participate with the Nazi’s. He was just a boy but he wasn’t treated kind by fellow Germans just because he was German. I don’t remember much but I think he and his mom made it out but not the rest of his family. People forget often that there were German casualties as well. Not all went along with it and suffered for it and many started in it thinking it was a way out of poverty and soon found themselve trapped into doing things they never dreamt they would do, but were too afraid to stand up. I can’t imagine being trapped in a country where your neighbor can turn you in for the slightest indication that you don’t agree with the government.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie I’m differentiating between ashamed and responsible for.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Yes, I understand, I don’t feel ashamed personally for slavery in America. However, I would say it is shameful it happened in America. Is that what you mean?

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora Too bad your teacher had not explained at least in a small way that his family did not agree with Hitler, and his German heritage had nothing to do with the crimes that had been committed in his country. I guess he was lashing out because he did not want to be lumped in, or stereotyped with the Nazi’s who supported Hitler, but being quiet doesn’t help him dispell the stereotypes. I can empathasize it might have been psychologically too difficult for him, just saying being silent doesn’t change or educate minds.

Pandora's avatar

Oh, we saw his face. I really think it was psyhologically too difficult for him. His demeaner usually was stern and stoic. We never dreamt of the rage he held inside. I think it terrified him as much as it did us. He just stopped when he realized he had his hands around the students neck and he went pale and just walked out of the school. You could tell he just lost it.

flutherother's avatar

My sister in law, who is German, says that the bombing of the cities and the subsequent invasion by the allies is the dominant family memory of World War 2. What happened in the camps is something they had no direct awareness of. The German people must take responsibility for what happened in the 1930’s and 1940’s however as in March 1933 17 million of them voted Hitler into power.

ucme's avatar

The vast majority of Germans are rightly ashamed of their nation’s barbaric recent history.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Blackberry Clearly you don’t know many Germans. Feelings are rarely discussed. ;)

bea2345's avatar

Eugenia Zorbas, in African Journal of Legal Studies argues that however “messy”, reconciliation is the only way to lasting peace after a disaster of the scale of the Rwandan genocide. The process must be messy, as it includes victims, perpetrators, people who were both, and the prosecutorial process. The German authorities appear to share the same view. I find them admirable. Let us hope that Rwanda will have a lasting success (although Zorbas does not think it will be possible).

mattbrowne's avatar

@JLeslie – There are about 200,000 Jews in Germany today, details see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Germany#Judaism

I searched for statistics about German Jews marrying non-Jews but couldn’t find any. I’m sure there are many, but I don’t know how parents feel about that. I know that it’s a big issue when Christians marry Muslims.

mattbrowne's avatar

@cazzie – Unfortunately, neo-Nazis exist in all Western societies without exception. No one has found a way yet to make this disappear. There’s some limited success establishing programs that offer help to neo-Nazis who want to quit and start a new life. I’m not sure whether such programs also exist in Norway. It’s a good approach. Better approaches are about preventing this in the first place.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Pandora – People also forget that millions of Germans during the Third Reich were victims too. The Jews were German. Germany was their home. German was their native language.

Other German victims include social democrats, communists, homosexuals, Christians opposing Nazism, handicapped people and so forth. All children had to be members of Hitler Youth. It wasn’t a choice. It was mandatory. You can’t blame any child for being a member.

mattbrowne's avatar

What many non-Germans don’t understand is that even today it’s absolutely taboo making comparisons with Nazism. Or even talk about the Third Reich in an amused way. What’s happening in Greece right now comparing Merkel to Hitler is one of the worst insults anyone could make. Every day something like this gets reported on German news reduces the number of tourists going to Greece this year by several 10000 people. The Greek people making these offending comparisons damage theor tourism industry tremendously. Germany has worked so hard to become a completely different country after 1945, so people take great offense if all of a sudden if someone disagrees with some political decision the Nazi past is thrown in as an opposing argument.

Most Germans are totally shocked by terms like grammar Nazi which sounds harmless to many Americans.

mattbrowne's avatar

@flutherother – I agree, the 43% of the German voters who voted for Hitler must take responsibility for their fateful decision. They could have read Mein Kampf. The plan was in there. Being unemployed is no excuse. But 43% also means 57% voted for other parties. And once the totalitarian system was fully established by late 1933 it was very difficult to stop. Not everyone is born a hero capable of planning and executing the assassination of Hitler. Even slight disagreements were severly punished. Printing leaflets against Hitler meant you got your head chopped off, as happened to Sophie Scholl in Munich in February 1943.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ucme – Recent barbaric history? What about 1945 to 2012? In 1965 Americans couldn’t share the same restaurant in the South if they got the wrong skin color. African American soliders in Germany at the time got more rights than in their home country. So be careful when talking about recent history.

JLeslie's avatar

@mattbrowne I hope I did not communicate my feelings on the matter badly. I don’t feel like the people are overcompensating in some way when they intermarry. I only meant sometimes people feel compelled or very comfortable with a group, and at times it is kind of like an elephant in the room with the history that is known about the groups. My friends who are the Palestinian Jewish couple, they are both American. The husband in his early teens worked at trying to build a bridge of understanding among the youth of Jews and Palestinians. He has always been very drawn to the relationship between the two groups, and wound up marrying a Jewish girl.

The Jewish population in Germany is larger than I had thought. It does not surprise me at all that German Jews feel very German, in fact it is part of what we learn about the holocaust that the Jews loved their country, didn’t want to believe what was happening could be happening. Those that stayed after the war, I am sure they still loved Germany, what had happened seemed impossible.

It would be interesting to know if Jewish German families feel strongly about marrying Jewish. I would think Jewish people are more opinionated about an interfaith marriage than those who are not Jewish being willing to marry a Jewish person. Generally I think that is the case around the world.

JLeslie's avatar

@mattbrowne And, interesting about the link you provided that the German Jews have mixed feelings about the immigration of Russian Jews.

ucme's avatar

It also seems to be a sore point to even answer a simple question on a website without causing offence, as @mattbrowne clearly shows.

JLeslie's avatar

@ucme I just had a discussion with Simone about this, I don’t think any German should feel personally ashamed unless they actually willingly and wantingly participated in the crimes that were committed. Germans today like @mattbrowne acknowledge it was a shameful time in Germany’s history, but I do not agree he should feel ashamed. I agree with @mattbrowne that America has shamefull parts of our history too, but I feel no relationship personally to what racist white southerners did. I didn’t participate in it, and I think it was wrong. I don’t take offense when someone says what happened during slavery and segregation was horrible, I agree, as Matt does about the holocaust, but it has nothing to do with me, except that I live in the same country. Maybe it was just how you worded it. And, I can’t really speak for @mattbrowne, but that is how I feel abut it.

ucme's avatar

@JLeslie Seems it may be have been how it was interpreted, all I was simply saying was that german citizens have really nowhere to go on the subject other than feel revulsion.
Clearly there’s no requirement to feel any such way, as is of course their right.

mattbrowne's avatar

@JLeslie – No, not at all. There are even cases of German Jews emigrating to Israel after 1948 who became homesick and returned. Others went to other European countries or America vowing to never set foot again on German soil. Here’s the truly remarkable story of

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Lasker-Wallfisch

who was sent to Auschwitz, but because she was an excellent cello player she was spared. Mengele had her give him private recitals. In 1946 she moved to England and didn’t returned to Germany until 1994. In a recent German talkshow she described her visit when she went to Bergen-Belsen surprised about the quality of the museum at the memorial. He spoke to the director of the museum, a young man who felt very honored to meet a holocaust survivor. Her whole picture of Germany changed. The English Wikipedia article is incorrect because since then she has frequently visited Germany to give talks and have discussions at German schools.

I find it interesting that the English article mostly covers the Third Reich part. At the end, there’s just one incorrect sentence

“In 1946 Anita and Renata moved to Britain with the help of Marianne. Anita joined the English Chamber Orchestra, performing as both a member and as a solo artist. She toured internationally but only returned to Germany with the ECO in 1994. She is mother to Raphael Wallfisch, a cellist (born 1953). She now lives in London.”

Germany from 1945 – 2012 matters too and it hurts when this part goes mostly unnoticed. So when we talk about feelings of Germans today (which is the topic of this question) this can be quite upsetting. Past = Atrocity = Recent barbaric history.

As I said before educated Germans don’t have an issue discussing the Third Reich. But it should be called Nazi Germany to distinguish it from Germany which includes Hildegard von Bingen, Gutenberg, Kepler, Bach, Goethe, Beethoven, Kant, Leibniz, Robert Koch, Einstein, Sophie Scholl, Bonhoeffer, Willy Brandt and Michael Schuhmacher.

mattbrowne's avatar

@JLeslie – Yes, it’s a bit like immigrants in the US who came from England and Ireland. A generation later it’s no big deal anymore.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ucme – I know you meant well. And I wanted to make a point about how Germans feel today. Recent history is an ambiguous term. So if you seek discussions with Germans about the atrocities be careful to call it Nazi Germany or the Third Reich, not just Germany. I’m not deeply offended because I know that many Americans don’t make this this distinction and they are not aware of the feelings this can create. A better way to express your thought would be this:

“The vast majority of Germans are rightly ashamed of their nation’s barbaric history during the Third Reich.”

Many Germans born after the war don’t feel guilty, but still ashamed asking the question: how could this have happened in the country of Gutenberg, Kepler, Bach, Goethe, Beethoven, Kant, Leibniz, Koch and Einstein? Why did the checks and balanced fail despite the fact that Germany became a Republic and democracy in 1918? What can we learn from this? How can we make sure that it never happens again?

JLeslie's avatar

It just occurred to me, I think @ucme Is British, not American.

ucme's avatar

Yes I do believe he is.

mattbrowne's avatar

Oh, well, I should have said ”...because I know that many people from America and Britain don’t make this this distinction…” In fact, anti-German sentiment is far more common in Britain than America fueled by garbage tabloids. Many soccer games became a new battle of war with German defense players driving panzer tanks. It changed a bit after the 2006 world cup when thousands of Brits visited Germany for the first time surprised by the warm welcome.

Everybody distinguishes between the British Empire (which was full of atrocities) and the United Kingdom. So why not refer to Nazi Germany instead of Germany?

ucme's avatar

@mattbrowne I think we’re largely singing from the same sheet, so it’s all good.

JLeslie's avatar

Haha. Yes, I believe he is. @ucme, why didn’t you bring it up earlier? You did realize @mattbrowne used an American analogy to demonstrate his point with how it might relate to you and your own country, didn’t you?

ucme's avatar

@JLeslie Well, I kind of went all shy & stuff ;¬}

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, we are @ucme :-)

By the way, my daughter is getting her master’s degree at the Imperial College in London. And she told me that most educated Britains are upset by anti-German sentiment in the tabloids. She met many very nice people! We are visiting her in the week before and after Easter.

ucme's avatar

I think the anti german sentiment of which you speak is consigned to the dustbin of history, a deserved place for such inaccurate bile.
Of course, a few maniacs remain firm in their deluded belief, I include the notorious BNP in that company of fools.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yep, totally agree. I visited the UK a great many times and only met nice people. One time we exchanged houses with a family from Nottingham.

cazzie's avatar

I think believing the destructive ideas that became ‘Nazism’ and ‘Fascism’ were somehow unique and only ‘German’ and Germany, (Spain and Italy) is a huge mistake by any person who is intent on keeping to the mantra we all adopted after the war, ‘Never Again.’ Holding an anti-German attitude is to exclude all the other ethnicities that fed into the ideas and atrociousness. It wasn’t an ethnicity or secured within borders, it was a destructive ideologue that horribly still exists in some dark corners. We hung and shot our fair share of collaborators. American businessmen profiteered by cooperating with the Third Reich and at worst, agreed with their philosophies and at 2nd worse, ignored them.

I just wanted to say that.

JLeslie's avatar

@cazzie When I was taught about it in school, it was like a lesson of what can happen in a country where one might least expect it, and no country should feel immune. Growing up Jewish, we had the same thing told to us by family and friends, but there was a touch of German stereotyping, that they are very regimented, tend to follow as they are expected (follow in many aspects from doing as told, to being on time to how to put together a piece of furniture. Even now, one of my Porsches, the key has only one button to both unlock and lock the door. To me that is some German engineer who when I say, “ugh, if I hit the button twice I now am not sure if it is unlocked or locked,” his response would be, “why would you click it twice?”). However, my husband has a personality much like this, and he is Mexican, now American. But, I am talking stereotypes.

So, the message among many Jews was it can happen anywhere, but German personality made it a little easier. There also was talk that the Germans really do think they are better than everyone else, the same way we would talk about groups in America who seem to sit in judgement of others, I am not saying I agree with it, I am just telling how the message was presented to me when I was young. At the same time, this was never something in our minds when we met German people who were German-American, or who were too young to have faught in the war. Now, move forward to present day, it has been many many years since the holocaust, and I don’t think anyone thinks twice about it as the world gets smaller.

I would guess in Jewish families the idea the Germans might be more susceptible now than another country is probably completely gone. And, many Jewish people in America kind of watch for signs in America that things might be moving that way, and react strongly to similarities between our government, or active groups here who might be creating a sitaution similar to Germany back then, because we definitely believe it can happen here. I don’t know about non-Jews, or other Jews, but as a Jewish person myself, I always feel things could become very antisemitic. I don’t obsess about, I just believe it as a fact. Same way Americans now believe for a fact terrorism can happen on American soil.

mattbrowne's avatar

The stereotype that Germans are very regimented comes from the notion of Prussian discipline. In the past Prussia was a small part of German-speaking states, but the discipline of its army seemed to have impressed many leaders in Europe including Napoleon who conquered large parts of Europe. Being regimented is a stereotype, nothing more.

Obedience to authority is another baseless stereotype. Obedience to authority has changed over the centuries in most countries which means more obedience was expected in the past. Obedience to authority was and is an important factor of traditional forms of religions. It was in fact a German monk called Martin Luther who challenged obedience to authority. And it was in fact a German Jew called Moses Mendelssohn who challenged obedience to authority and who became the father of Reform Judaism.

Statistics clearly prove that Germans are more punctual than Italians and Spanish people. But they also prove that Norwegians, Swedes and Danes are equally punctual as Germans.

Germany has a long tradition of good engineering. I think this has to do with the love for engineering and perseverance and not with people following what was expected. Karl Benz is regarded as the inventor of the gasoline-powered automobile, and together with his wife Bertha pioneering founder of the automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. Year after year almost everybody told him that he should give up his unrealistic ideas, except his wife. Bertha Benz violated the common rules of society in 1888 and became the first human being on Earth to drive an automobile over a long distance (she didn’t even tell her husband). In doing so she brought the automobile worldwide attention and got the company its first sales.

The Nazis certainly thought that Germans are better than everyone else, excluding of course all Germans who disagreed with them or what they deemed “life unworthy of life”.

Since 1945 being proud of your own country has remained a taboo. It is okay to say that one is proud of a particular achievement. But one cannot be openly proud of Germany. German flags are still very hard to find except during soccer matches. Patriotism is considered a taboo word.

Democracy is about controlling the beast inside people so it cannot be unleashed. It failed miserably on January 30, 1933.

Even today the beast is out there in all countries and we need to make sure that it cannot be unleashed. As Thomas Jefferson once said: Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

bea2345's avatar

@mattbrowneThe stereotype that Germans are very regimented: Frederick the Great must be turning in his grave.

mattbrowne's avatar

@bea2345 – Well, Frederick the Great was a king of Prussia, but I’m not sure what you’re saying in your comment !?

bea2345's avatar

The stereotype simply is not true. When I read accounts of the battles of WWII, I realized that the Germans were a formidable enemy. If that is ‘regimented’, then give me ‘regimented’ every time.

JLeslie's avatar

@bea2345 I think all, or most, militaries are regimented. The stereotype goes more to personality in general. My husband must be prompt, and cannot understand people who run late. He is organized, and loves containers that have special places for everything. He is a rule follower. He believes there are right and wrong ways to do things, and 95% of the time he is sure he is right. He likes when things fit together perfectly, and does not mind for instance if something is completely full, like a closet, or file cabinet, or a loaded trunk of type car, as long as it fits (where I like empty space, and the idea and can just throw something in at the last minutes, or if I am hurried). He would never plan for needing extra space, because why did you not think of what you need before and get everything ready perfectly ahead of time? He does not allow for back up plans, he expects everyone to deliver as promised, and sometimes gets caught in a tough spot, because he will not except something unexpected might happen. He is regimented, he expects everyone around him to be regimented, to be like a machine. He actually is not as extreme as it might seem, but much more extreme than me.

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