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Aren't you just sick of hearing
German success stories?
They always win the football,
they're the first on the beach,
and while Britain faces cutbacks
and eye-watering debts, just look how well the Germans are doing.
We need, frankly, to have a more Germanic approach.
Employment is at record levels and it's a world-beating exporter.
What's more, the Germans earn more than us AND work fewer hours.
So how do they do it?
I'm Justin Rowlatt, a journalist.
Do you speak English?
And I'm Bee Rowlatt, a writer.
And we're on a mission to discover the secret of German success.
It's like kid heaven.
We're taking the kids with us and we're going in.
Yes, there'll be beer and sausages, but this is no holiday.
We're going to work...
Just one text! No, sorry. No?
No, you're here to work.
It's too loud. What, WE are too loud? You're too loud.
Red Army! Red Army!
Just like average, ordinary Germans,
because our challenge is to become German!
♪ Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... ♪
Daddy, I want soup! You want soup? You've got...
Hold on, you've got food!
'I live in North London with my wife, Bee, and our four children.'
I'm not. We are, in a week or so.
They have socks in Germany, do they?
They probably have better socks than we've got!
There's quite a kind of tradition of, you know, two World Wars,
one World Cup, you know, that kind of attitude to Germany in Britain.
And I think it'll be quite interesting to see what
the Germans think of us, you know.
I mean, we've obviously suffered terrible industrial decline
since the Second World War. The Germans have done pretty well.
They're still a major industrial nation.
It'll be quite interesting to see what they think of Britain.
Put those... OK. Can you put them in there for me?
Oh, yeah. Oh, thank you.
I'm actually half German, but I never grew up there.
I grew up in this country.
My dad's German, but my parents separated when I was little.
I don't want to be disloyal. You know,
there's nothing wrong with being half German, so it's not a problem.
But maybe there is a kind of... There are a few kind of...
sort of Teutonic qualities that she has.
I can't believe I'm sharing this,
but I quite like sitting on the toilet with the door open
and I'll just have a merry exchange with anyone who passes by.
Justin thinks that's really German.
I just thinks that's the way I grew up.
I'm going to miss you.
'What's also really German is small families.
'The German birth rate is low and falling,
'just 1.4 children per couple.
'So the first step in making us German
'is to leave our eldest two, Eva and Zola, at home with Granny.'
I'm going to miss them, but it's quite nice to have a break sometimes
from all the loudness and everything.
I think it's going to be brilliant
and I'm not going to miss them at all.
'First off, we need somewhere to live.
'We've moved to Nuremberg, in the heart of Bavaria.
'It's famous for its gingerbread...
'..its sausages, and its Nazi history.'
Hello. Hello, are you Mrs Holler? Yes, yes.
'We've rented a flat from Mrs Holler.
'We Brits may be obsessed with buying property, but Germans aren't.
'More than half of them rent, compared to just a third of us.'
That's really nice. I really like this flat. Oh, it's really warm.
'And I can see why. Rents are cheap.
'This two-bed flat costs 135 euros a week.'
Kinder, kinder? Kinder bed. Kinder bed.
One kinder bed. Two kinder beds...
In Britain, I think we're obsessed with ownership,
and here in Germany, they seem happy to rent.
And they rent for, like, you know, a really long time.
She was saying people would stay for 10, 20 years in a rented property.
In Britain, there's this real kind of pressure
and expectation that if you can, you'll buy, and I...
Do you know what? I actually think it seems a lot healthier.
That's the one we looked at earlier today. Wow!
'It means the Germans don't saddle themselves with huge debts.
'In Britain, the average family owes £53,000, including mortgages.
'In Germany, it's just under £30,000.
'The kids are making themselves at home
'and I'm expecting our first German visitor.'
Hiya. Hi, I'm PJ. PJ!
'PJ is an advertising guru.
'His ad agency specialises in knowing exactly what the average.
'German does every minute of every day.'
We did quite a lot of research on how
the typical German lives, actually.
I brought you some things
to learn about a typical German in this area.
'Und damit auch die Durchschnittsdeutschen...'
And according to the film, the typical German is called Muller,
the nation's most common surname,
and lives in a 1970s apartment block...
like this, a flat just like ours.
Sabina is the most common female name, so that's me.
And here's me. Thomas Muller is the most common male name.
The Mullers only have one child, unlike us.
Germans certainly get up early,
20 minutes earlier than the average Brit.
Let's talk about tomorrow morning.
Are you prepared to go a bit earlier than usual?
I don't know. 6:23? 6:23? That is early!
That's when you have to get up.
And then, the good thing is, you can take a bit of time in the bathroom.
The video goes into extraordinary detail.
No surprise that I pee standing up.
But then, I sit down and read
the sports section of the paper.
German men sit on the loo
for twice as long as German women.
And when it comes to loo paper,
the Germans are folders, not crumplers.
In fact, I get 24.6 minutes in the bathroom.
I get to sleep a bit longer
and spend 28.1 minutes in the bathroom.
With two little children
being in the family and not in school,
the typical German wife would not go to work, actually.
Really? Spend time at home with the kids,
doing, you know, housework.
Also, to teach the kids proper table manners, that is...
That's important to Germans, is it?
That is valued highly, actually, yeah. Yeah, yeah. OK.
There's a certain amount of good behaviour, and how you do things
in a certain structure and order still is very important.
'PJ gives us a German rule book which he wants us to follow,
'a checklist, telling us everything,
'from the amount of housework to our daily pork intake.'
I just don't believe that most women want to do four hours
and 11 minutes of cooking, washing and cleaning. I'll give it a go.
I'll definitely try. I'm going to do my best.
It doesn't look fair, though, does it? It doesn't! You get to sleep
and then you get to go out and eat loads of potato, pork, white cheese.
I get brown bread, you get white bread.
You get the same amount of pork, same amount of potatoes
and same amount of beer as me.
OK. All right. But your life looks normal.
To me, that just doesn't look like a normal life.
But that could be that I'm not typical. I don't know...
Half an hour in the bathroom is a long time, isn't it?
We've rented an average German car.
A VW Golf is right there, bang in the middle of
what the Germans would drive. It's kind of rock solid,
it's not flash, but it's kind of well-made
and, of course, they buy German,
which is quite interesting, isn't it?
Germany has one of the most successful car industries
in the world, and here, success certainly starts at home.
Two thirds of all the cars on the road are German.
Will, do you want to choose an egg?
Look! Which one was yours? Is this one yours, Elsa?
Time to discover a bit more about Nuremberg's history.
Kaiserburg, the Imperial Castle.
It was one of Medieval Germany's most important centres,
but most of the Old City was destroyed
by Allied bombing during the War.
Since then, the city has been rebuilt
and many of the ruined buildings restored.
Really sharp roofs, haven't they?
The city was a centre of the Nazi regime.
The Nazi Mayor called it Germany's most German city
and it is here that Hitler held his infamous Nuremberg Rallies.
'We meet historian Hans Christian Taubrich.'
We are on the former Nazi Party rally grounds,
a huge area, covering some 11 square kilometres. My goodness!
It was created in 1933,
when Hitler designed Nuremberg
as the city of the party rallies.
So the high-ups, the leaders of the Nazi Party, would be here,
looking out on this kind of...
It's a vast parade ground, isn't it?
So I'm standing where Adolf Hitler stood? Yes.
I wonder, looking at this, cos obviously,
it's partly a lorry park, isn't it? Yes.
And I wonder whether that doesn't reflect the, kind of,
ambivalence about what you do with a historical site like this.
This is not a memorial site.
Now, the whole grounds in the last decades
have always been used for most profane purposes.
For example, parking lorries here,
race cars are touring around here,
we have festivals - Bob Dylan had been playing here,
and the Rolling Stones.
In Britain, we still seem to be obsessed by our victory
in the Second World War.
It's so interesting to see here at the Rally Ground how Germany
is still wrestling with the ghosts of its past.
You can't help but feel that losing the war
meant Germany had to pull together as a nation to rebuild.
It couldn't be complacent.
And while Britain's economy has faltered, Germany's has thrived.
"The wild things," William.
Like the Mullers, after our daily limit of .27 litres of beer,
we're tucked up in bed at exactly 11:15
for a bit of average German sleep.
ALARM CLOCK BEEPS
I'm working to German timetables now.
I reckon that was seven minutes, eight minutes, maybe.
Nothing more than that.
I don't know what they do in there, what are they doing for 20 minutes?
I've got to get some pork products going.
I've got to eat 1.1 kilos of pork a week.
Nuremberg is an important manufacturing centre.
There's Siemens, the electrical company,
Adidas and Puma churning out trainers.
I'm going to be a trainee supervisor at Faber Castell -
the world's oldest pencil manufacturer.
It produces a sixth of the world's pencils.
Small and medium-sized businesses like Faber Castell
are the backbone of the German economy -
employing almost two-thirds of the German workforce.
They're known as the Mittelstand and are mostly family-owned.
The average German starts work at 7:49.
Already, I'm below average.
Hello, Justin. Hi. How are you? Fine, and you? Yeah. You are late!
I know. Bisschen spat. Bisschen spat. I'm very sorry.
I had to catch public transport and I got a bit lost.
'I'm doing an eight-hour day and that includes an hour for lunch.
'That's almost an hour less than we Brits work.
'How come they work less than us, yet are more productive?'
Guten morgen, hi. Danny. Danny.
Bit of German? No, no, no, I have no German. No German? No German.
OK, where do I start?
The job for you is to check if those pencils might stick together.
They are OK. As long as... You try.
This one back, and green button. OK, now your job is
just to keep an eye on the pencils and the machine.
I work in the lacquering department.
My job is to watch over the machines,
in case something goes wrong.
You've got to stay focused.
Are they falling off?
HE SPEAKS GERMAN
It's making 336 pencils a minute.
I mean, already, I've made 1,500 pencils.
It's all going quite smoothly.
Although it seems I'm not paying enough attention.
He said, "No, no, no, you don't rest."
You know, "You are here to work and you should be sweeping the floor."
He said, "If I see you doing that, I will just give you another machine"
"and then you will be really busy."
He's doing well, but he is a bit slow,
so I think he will run into trouble.
He has a lot to do, and right now, he isn't doing that much.
(Look outside, it's snowing.)
'Unlike Justin, I've had a bit of a lie-in.'
Some hot milk?
'The average German mother with children under three
'is a stay-at-home mum.
'My task is to become more like.
'Mrs Muller, the average housewife.
'She does precisely four hours and eleven minutes
'of housework a day.'
This is very different to my London life.
To be honest, four hours of housework is a lot.
Should I be sort of hoovering the ceiling or something?
To teach me some of the tricks
of becoming a German housewife,
I've got someone from the Hausfrauenbund coming round -
the German version of the Women's Institute.
DOOR BUZZES Oh, God, is that her?
Oh, yeah, to be honest, I'm a little bit on the defensive -
I'm expecting to be judged.
So, anyway, too late to do anything about all our booze.
Hello. Hello. Very nice to meet you. Nice to meet you.
This is a big bag!
Yes, for all the things we need to cook a typical German meal.
The English says to the German, the "Krauts".
The "Krauts". Yes, not very nice, but they do say that.
Yes, I thought, we cook kraut. Oh, right! OK.
My name is Eva Kerig, and I am...
a Master of Housekeeping.
Die zeit zu managen - time management.
You correctly... Yes. Das Budget zu planen money.
So, first, you plan your time, then you plan you budget and your money.
Yes. Planen. We plan... So you plan the cooking... for a week, or a day?
We see... For a week? For a week.
You plan your cooking for a whole week ahead? I never do that. Yes.
I'm learning how to make a local noodle dish, efficiently - spatzle.
I like this machine!
Would you like to...? Shall I peel it?
'I'm not much of a domestic goddess,
'but I'm happy to learn.'
Shall we go to lunch? OK.
Football, yeah, yeah, yeah. Very good. I didn't see it.
And what was the score?
HE SPEAKS GERMAN
4-1. 4-1 for Deutschland.
'I notice a big difference down in the canteen.
'All the meals are subsidised. My Leberkase only cost a euro.'
It's like a whipped pork.
'I'm discovering that building staff loyalty,
'generating a sense of common purpose,
'is an important part of the Mittelstand.
'I sit next to Timo, who's 22.'
I began to work in 2008 in the... learn job.
Like an apprentice, we call it in Britain.
You started only to learn. To learn.
Yeah. I learn a mechanic. So, is this a good place to work?
Yes, it is, a very good place. I love it.
How long have you been doing it? Ten years. Ten years! Yes.
Ten years. So you are quite an expert.
'When Timo and Danny were 15 years old,
'they went to a Berufsschule, 'an apprenticeship school.
'In Britain, the emphasis is on going to university,
'but manufacturing skills are highly regarded in Germany
'and more than half of young Germans
'join an apprenticeship scheme.
'Most young trainees will land a job in the Mittelstand.
'Often, for life.'
It's just relentless, isn't it? The kind of sound of industry, isn't it?
The parts just going on and on.
This emphasis on training for industry certainly seems to work.
Germany is the world's third biggest exporter, after China and the USA.
This factory is a case in point.
I'm amazed that Germany can still lead the world in a technology
as simple and easy to copy as the pencil.
I can feel it in my legs, you know, standing up the whole time.
Yeah, I really felt that people come in and work hard.
There was very little chat and, what there was,
when they talked to each other, it was always about work.
It was always about work - really, really focused.
On my way home, I meet the current head of the family pencil dynasty.
He is the Graf, or Count, a direct descendent of the founder.
I stick to hand-held products.
Whatever has to do with manufacturing computers
would be suicidal, because we are a medium-sized,
smaller company and we should focus on the traditional products
we are really good at.
So is that the secret of these German businesses?
That they focus on one tiny bit of business,
but do it on a world scale?
Exactly. That's typical for Mittelstand companies -
that they don't stick only to the German market, they transfer
their know-how into other markets and they try to act globally.
'The Mittelstand philosophy seems to pay off.
'The Graf's business is doing well and I get to go home early.'
'It's nice to have more family time.'
KIDS CHATTER INDISTINCTLY
So, listen, babe, how much housework have you done?
Have you cooked me dinner? No, I have not cooked you dinner!
How much? You've done some vacuuming, yeah?
I've hoovered, yeah. Have you really? I've hoovered,
given the kids a bath.
About half an hour to 45 minutes. Half an hour? You've got loads...
Go back to the house! Get back and start cleaning!
Better get cooking. Yikes, get the oven on!
I've invited the neighbours round for some German hospitality.
I'm trying out a German menu - Nuremberg sausages
and my granny's potato salad.
Justin's nipped out with the kids, and this is the annoying thing -
Justin's really good at cooking, much better than me,
so normally, if we were entertaining, having actual people round,
especially people we don't know, he would do all this.
Hello. Hello, come in, come in. Thank you for the invitation.
'Our guests are our landlady, Frau Holler,
'and her partner, Werner, who's a decorator.'
Thank you very much. Oh, it's German. Yeah, that's lovely.
'There's Granny, known as Oma...'
Hello. Hello. Hi, I'm Justin.
'..Jurgen, a policeman...'
Hi, I'm Tanya. Hiya, Tanya.
'..And students Tanya and Alex.'
Four sausages for you?
Would you say that Nuremberg is a typical German city?
Yeah, a traditional city. What kind of a neighbourhood is this?
Seems good, I like it.
It's difficult. Why?
There are many different cultures here and there are many immigrants.
Where do they come from? Um...
They are Turkish, I think. And that makes it difficult living here?
A little bit, but not...
It's not a problem.
Can I ask - what do you think of Britain?
You know, is it doing well? How successful...
I think it's rainy and boring. Don't hold back, will you?!
You hear nothing about Britain.
You don't hear anything about Britain?
No, not really. Sometimes of the Queen. She was in the hospital.
That's right, that's right.
That's all we hear. What about things like hard work?
Do Germans work hard? Yes. So we work the same hours as you,
but we're not as successful. We work more hours. Yeah?
Yeah, we work more hours and we produce less...
What are we doing wrong?
For example, I was in England... I was in England for an...
Exchange... exchange, and I was in the office
and the people are talking all the time about their private things.
Gossiping? Yeah. "What did you do at the weekend?"
"Oh, what's the plan for tonight?" All the time, and drinking coffee.
In Britain, it's quite common for people to be doing Facebook
in the office. It's not allowed. It's not allowed?
OK. No private e-mails. No private e-mails?
No private e-mail? No. Gosh.
Good to meet all of you. Thank you for the invitation.
The eating was great. Oh, really?
Thank you very much.
They were really nice. That went really well.
Tanya was horrified when she'd gone to Britain
to see how little people work, and the fact they're all on Facebook,
texting their friends,
e-mailing their friends, making personal phone calls from work.
She clearly thought that was really bad discipline and that was...
It was very good to meet ordinary Germans
and hear what they have to say.
At work, I'm checking out the German attitude towards texting and calls.
Justin, you need to care for your work, not for your cellphone.
Really, you're not allowed to use your phone? No.
Just one text. No, sorry, you're here to work.
You care for those pencils, not for the cellphone.
Only one text...
I've managed to find Elsa, who's six,
a place in a Waldkindergarten just outside Nuremberg.
It's a forest kindergarten -
a particularly German approach to education.
I think we're going to be about a quarter of an hour late.
I hope that's going to be acceptable in a German kindergarten.
One thing German success is not based on
is hot-housing young children.
German kids don't even have to go to school
until they are six. Ours are mostly in class by four.
El-fa, so El-sa.
And what time do the children arrive?
SHE SPEAKS GERMAN
From eight o'clock. So they arrive at eight o'clock,
So they have lunch here?
Ja. And it's all outside? Alles ist drausen?
There are no primary school SATs here.
Children spend the day out in the forest, whatever the weather,
and even go to the toilet in the woods.
Toys are banned and children create their own games
and interact with nature.
This is just great for Elsa,
she won't want to go back to her normal, central-heated classroom.
I love it - a tree full of children, it's fantastic.
It's like kid heaven.
How much does it cost for a child to come to waldkindergarten?
The price in the month is 159 euros.
Every day, coming every day?
That's... For a British person, that's astonishingly cheap. Really?
That's a fraction of what we pay for nursery - for a private nursery.
That's just over £25 a week.
I'm beginning to see a definite upside to life here.
Good morning, hello, I'm Justin. Annelore Hogernann.
So you are going to give me a check-up?
If it hurts, you tell me, please.
'This morning, I am reporting to the company doctor for a health check.'
Yeah, it's OK. I hope so.
Now I want to look at your legs.
Varicosus, you don't have.
No, I don't have varicosus. You don't have, your legs are OK.
My legs are good. And they are not... Yes, they are good.
Could you try to do this?
Is it possible that your left leg is a bit shorter? No! No?
Do you smoke? No. And how is it with alcohol?
It's good, yeah, I like it. Do you drink it every day?
Yeah. Probably every day. Most days, not every day.
I drink probably too much.
Everything I did was OK.
OK, thank you very much indeed. Thank you, Doctor.
I wish you the very best. Thank you.
That was much more thorough than I expected.
Then I'm reporting to HR to discuss my salary.
So, Justin, if you look here, you can see your basic salary,
it's around about 2,250 euros.
That's not bad.
Transport allowance and money for working in shifts -
all in all, it's 2,802 euros this year.
That's per month?
Which just happens to be the average full-time salary in Germany -
so I'm bang-on the average.
And how much holiday... How much holiday will I get?
30 days. 30 days, six weeks' holiday?
Six weeks holiday. That's really good.
I see this tax here. First of all, you have to pay income taxes,
health insurances, pension insurance
and unemployment insurance.
And, last but not least here,
Pflegeversicherung means nursing-care insurance.
That seems quite a good package to me.
I pay less tax because Bee's not working and we've got kids.
And there's a decent pension and nursing-care when I'm old.
You will receive an additional bonus
that depends on the performance of the entire production team.
I wonder if this is part of that Mittelstand communal ethos -
collective responsibility rewarded with a shared team bonus.
'William and I have been invited to a mother and toddlers' group
'by one of the mums at nursery.
'I want to understand why so few mothers
'with young children here work.'
Thanks for having us here, this is really nice.
Can I ask, do any of you work at all?
Not at the moment. I think German mothers
don't want to give their children in nurseries
or kindergartens for the whole day.
Right. They want to keep them at home.
I think it's a traditional problem of German mothers.
'In Germany, two thirds of mothers with children
'under three are stay-at-home mums, compared to a third in Britain.'
Friends of mine who don't work, who are mums in Britain,
have sometimes said they hate the question, "So, what do you do?"
Because they feel that saying, "Oh, I'm a mum" is not enough.
You have to organise the whole life of a family and this is a hard job.
So, you wouldn't go, "Oh, I'm just a mum"? No. You'd go, "I'm a mum!"
'It's great that motherhood is a source of pride here in Germany,
'but there is a stigma attached to being a working mother.'
They're called "rabenmutters" - raven mums that neglect their young.
The German school day doesn't help working mums either.
It's not possible, my daughter's school starts at eight o'clock.
And three times in the week,
she comes back at a quarter past eleven.
Seriously? You can't work part-time.
And that's not nursery, that's school? That's school!
There's a big contrast with Britain that, financially,
it's much better not to work as a mum here than in Britain.
You get good tax breaks and you get benefit.
When I go to work, I pay so much tax that
it's nothing at the end of the month in my hands. There is nothing left?
No, nothing left, really left.
So I stay at home and be with my kids.
That kindergarten is amazing, but there's something that's still
bothering me and it's that German women or, more specifically,
German mothers aren't getting back into the workforce.
They work less than all of their European counterparts.
And even more alarmingly, I've read that at boardroom,
at CEO level, representation of women is 2% in Germany.
I mean, in Britain, we manage... I think it's about 14%, so I find that
really shocking and I think that whatever the push-pull factors are
that keep women at home - be it financial incentives or the strange
German school day that starts early, but finishes at lunch time -
Germany needs to address this,
so that women can have a fulfilling career.
To keep up with Sabina Muller,
I've still got three of my four hours
of housework to do.
Germans are well-known for their recycling -
half of all municipal waste is recycled,
twice as much as in the UK.
It's the blue, paper. Paper? Yes.
I've just done a bit of hoovering, chucked a few things in the sink.
I definitely haven't been doing my four a and half hours,
or 4.28 hours a day.
Not even close, so that's a big fat fail on the hausfrau front.
It's tea-time and I'm already on my way home.
You can learn quite a lot about a culture
when you get behind the wheel.
Obviously, it's a new car and I'm a little bit nervous.
Other drivers are really on your case, if you make a slight mistake -
you leave your indicator on for too long -
they'll start beeping their horns and telling you.
You don't want to read too much into it,
but I think it says a lot about the way that German society is ordered.
If you transgress, if you make a mistake,
then people will point it out to you,
and that's one of the reasons why it works so well.
I think there's a bit of my Anglo-Saxon nature
which doesn't want to be told, you know.
Because my challenge is to be more German,
I've got to do what Germans do, and that means joining a club.
There are over half a million of them across the country.
I'm trying out one of the most traditional - a singing club.
Hi, I'm Justin. I'm Justin, thank you very much
for letting me join you tonight.
'The problem is, I'm not much of a singer.'
Justin, do you want to sing in the bass?
Sorry? In the bass, or in the tenor? I think I'm probably a tenor.
You're on this side. I've come to the right place, good, good.
PIANO AND SINGING STARTS
Tongue-twister. Yeah, I got completely lost.
So how popular are clubs like this?
There are a few more here. I think between 100...
100 clubs?! Singing clubs, just around Nurnberg.
Wow. You don't go home and go to bed
and go to work and go home, go to bed.
You go and be here and have some fun and meet other people,
and also sing - it's good for the feeling.
And it's nice... You like it also because
there's something purposeful about it? Yeah.
You're not just coming and having a drink or eat...
No, we have that anyway. You can do that any...
So you like the sense of purpose - communal purpose. Yes, yes.
'It seems this is about more than just singing.
'I get the sense there's also something about wanting to be
'part of a community -
'doing something together with a group of like-minded people.'
THEY SING IN GERMAN
'Britain seems a lot less community-orientated -
'much more individualistic.
'I hope my voice didn't ruin a great evening.'
To be honest, I think Bee's getting a bit annoyed.
I mean, normally, the kids would be at nursery.
She wouldn't have to look after them every day.
She wouldn't have to do this 4.5 hours of housework.
And I think it's getting a bit tedious.
I think she's getting a bit bored of it all.
And a bit annoyed, to be honest.
Tensions are rising in the Rowlatt family.
Where shall I go? Which one for me?
Where shall I work? HE SPEAKS GERMAN.
Shall I do these two? OK.
Just like at the choir, the emphasis is on the team, not the individual.
And they are giving me more responsibility.
I'm now looking after three machines under the supervision of Danny.
There does seem a sense of common purpose and pride in what they do.
In a way that does make it feel...
It makes you want to work hard yourself, you know,
you don't want to let down Danny and Brigitta by kind of slacking,
because they're working hard and putting a lot into it.
Like Mrs Muller, I'm off to a discount supermarket.
Germany has the tightest profit margins in the retail trade.
Germany's relationship to money has its roots in the past.
The memory of post-war hardships lives on
and even now, they're cautious about spending.
The German word for debt is 'schulden, ' which means guilt.
So credit cards aren't popular and most people pay in cash.
And Germans save much more than we do -
10% of the family budget, compared to the 1% we Brits manage.
That means German banks have more capital -
more money to lend out to German companies -
which has helped them invest and expand over decades.
Actually, it was quite decent value, you know,
cos I had to buy things like nappies and toothpaste.
I bought a few beers, as well, and I was surprised -
I thought it was going to cost more.
Getting home early gives me plenty of time
to catch up with my TV quota.
Hey. Hello, how are you doing? Hey, Elsa.
She's really tired and he's really, really tired.
After bargain-hunting in the shops, there's still work to do
to meet those demanding German targets for housework.
It's time to check our guide book.
We're trying to be average Germans.
So how average are we?
I'm going to... I can't...
No, absolutely, I've failed to spend four hours, 11 minutes
doing cooking, washing and cleaning. I just don't see how anyone can.
There seems to be a real emphasis on parents
spending time with their kids in Germany.
And that's, you know, I think that's really impressive
and that seems to be encouraged by the state as well.
They are encouraging mums to stay with the kids,
not so much the dads. Mostly mums, yeah, I suppose so, mostly mums.
But that's, you know... That's not a bad thing, is it?
To offer women the choice not to work and to be at home.
It's about prescribing other people's lives.
You clearly don't have a problem with that
because it hasn't happened to you. Your life has not been prescribed
or dictated by someone else. Or dictated by society.
So you seem quite happy to impose that on others. What I'm saying is
I'm not entirely convinced they all want to stay at home.
Some of them might do, and if people want to, that's great, go for it!
But if, you know... But can you see that if you provide the money,
the support for women by giving them money and subsidised child care
and wholly open their jobs, you give them freedom of choice
so they can choose? That's what I'm saying. It's the freedom of choice.
Coming from you, I think that's an outrage. Coming from me...
Don't make it personal. Well, it IS personal.
The political is personal, isn't it?
From the little boy who said to his mother,
"You're not as important as Daddy, cos Daddy goes out to work."
You said that to your own mum, didn't you, Justin?
Yes... Oh! You just want someone else to pay for it.
You think if the state pays for it,
then that's a good thing. Well, you know... Absolutely...
I put it that women should be functioning members of society.
You know, you're not... You're not debating.
'I don't sign up to that and I think most women wouldn't...'
Oh, gross, danke schoen!
'It's time for me to get personal with my colleagues too.
'I want to know how much they earn.'
The German economy is doing very well... I think so... worldwide.
Compared to the rest of the world. OK, yeah.
But how are wages, what are wages like here?
Are wages going up rapidly as the German economy grows?
Not really, no. No?
No, it's roughly the correction of the inflation, not more.
Right, so nobody... Actually, no win.
I don't see any boom or success right now.
'That's true for most German workers.
'The German economy may be doing well internationally,
'but in real terms, wages haven't gone up in 20 years.'
One reason is reunification.
The West had to bear the burden of modernising
the economy of East Germany.
It affected everyone in Germany.
Often, workers traded wage increases for job security.
Now German taxpayers are picking up the tab
for the debts of the eurozone.
'Ever since Danny came over from the East, he's had a steady job.'
When did you come here?
HE SPEAKS GERMAN
1989, when the Wall first came down? Yeah, yeah. You came? Ja, ja.
Und no, no money, no...
Null, einfach nur the...100 Mark...
100 Marks, it that all? Genau. Pro...
Per person. Per person, yeah.
HE SPEAKS GERMAN
They were, like, wide-eyed to see you coming. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Reunification is another example of
the Germans' ability to overcome adversity,
but it seems that their sense of community
does not apply to all Germans.
We live in Gostenhof,
a trendy area of Nuremberg that's often called GoHo,
like SoHo, in New York.
It's multicultural, 40% of residents here aren't ethnic Germans.
There's been a lot of immigration to Germany over the years.
9.1% of the population are from abroad,
compared to 7.6% in the UK.
Most immigrants to Germany are Turkish.
They first came over in the '60s as "Gastarbeiter," or guest-workers,
when Germany had a labour shortage.
'I'm meeting Alev,
'a local writer who was born here to Turkish parents.'
What was the attitude when you were growing up?
The Turks, I mean, they are uneducated,
they don't speak German very well,
criminals, lower class.
It was actually pretty difficult,
because I was born as a Turkish citizen,
because Germany didn't claim us at the time,
only when I was 28 years old.
When you were 28?! Yeah.
Despite being born in Germany? Yeah, definitely.
So you didn't have proper rights as a German citizen
until you were 28 years old? Yeah...
Germany is a country that's based on exclusion.
What do you mean by that?
Exclusion, as in they like to separate,
they like to select the best.
But, I mean, Germany is a multicultural society, right?
I mean, the people are here, we are here,
but are we represented in the top positions,
are we represented in organisations, are we represented in politics?
Absolutely not, we are excluded.
Mass immigration has been a challenge
for many European countries
and it's certainly causing tension here.
'Now it's my turn to do some housework.
'Even Thomas Muller does an hour a day.'
'I'm cooking one of Germany's
'most celebrated national dishes,
'no less - sauerkraut!'
Ready-made sauerkraut, it's not going to be gourmet cuisine.
'Andreas Falke is an economist at a local university.
'His wife is a teacher.
'I've invited them round because I still don't fully understand
'why German workers are so productive.'
We have some statistics about Germans
and we learned how much pork and potatoes Germans eat -
a kilo a week of each. Oh, yeah!
So we need to get our pork and potatoes in.
We have a quota that we have to fulfil.
Is there a different attitude, I wonder, to kind of industrial work?
I know that the label 'Made In Germany' is not what it used to be,
but I think many people
still have that image of belonging maybe to a company
that produces something that is really good
and really competitive on the market.
They are proud of working there, and other people,
if the company has a good name, then they are proud to work for them.
You look at the steady growth of the German economy,
but that hasn't been reflected in real incomes,
so ordinary Germans haven't seen, you know, they don't feel wealthy.
Because in the end, the ordinary German would say,
"I'm happy to keep my job"
"and just have additional income maybe of 1%."
I find that very striking. It's this steadiness, you know, it's this...
Germans want to have a steady, calculable...
They won't go for the 10%.
Security is important, I think. Yeah.
They'd rather go for the steady, steady improve...
It's like in the companies, no big...
There's no Apple, there's no Amazon, no...
So instead of Amazon or Microsoft, you have the Mittelstand.
All these small businesses that do little things very well.
Also, this emphasis on really quality, things work.
'But unfortunately, something isn't working - my sauerkraut.'
The sauerkraut is... Is there a reason why you served it cold?
Oh, are you supposed to serve it hot? I had no idea.
I'm just asking, I was wondering. It's an English tradition.
I thought it was supposed to be cold.
It's the weekend.
I'm beginning to get a handle on
why the Germans beat us in the workplace,
but what about on the pitch?
'I'm off to Munich to watch the footy -
'Bayern Munich versus Hamburg.
'I'm meeting my workmates Danny and Timo at the match.'
German football is really interesting,
because it's yet another German success story.
Look at this, I've got tickets for this big game,
15 Euros for really good seats.
I mean, that's way cheaper than the Premier League.
Unlike the freewheeling world of the English Premier League,
where anyone can own anything,
the German Bundesliga is a bit more restrained,
a bit like German Mittelstand companies like Faber-Castell.
Who owns the club here, who owns Bayern Munich?
I mean, the members do, really.
I mean, it is possible to sell shares of the club,
but only to a certain extent, so we have the so-called 50+1 rule,
which means that 50% plus one share have to be owned...
By members of the club, so by ordinary fans?
So how does that change the way, do you think, that decisions are made?
I think things like what's happening in the English football teams,
some billionaire from Russia, or be it Malaysia or wherever,
can change everything about the football team and has full control,
and in Germany, this isn't so easy to do for the people with money.
It's more of a fan-based structure, really.
So I just got a Chili-Knacker, it's like a chilli sausage.
Typical football weather, to be honest.
Tod und Hass dem TSV! Tod und Hass dem TSV!
Which supporter are you? Arsenal.
I have been there... Yeah, you were there last week, two weeks ago!
Do you know? Arsenal! Arsenal!
Arsenal! Arsenal! Arsenal!
Red Army, Red Army!
Hey, Timo, how are you? Very good.
Hey, Danny, how are you? Hi. What about the weather? It's cold, kalt.
Ja, kalt, kalt, kalt. Yeah, it's very kalt.
Oh, thank you, thank you. No problem.
It was a historic game - 9-2 to Bayern Munich.
Sunday still plays a special role
in German life.
Over half of Germans are religious
and, according to German law,
Sunday is a day of rest
and virtually all the shops are shut.
Give me that!
Hi, how are you doing? Good morning, how are you?
'Jurgen, the policeman we had over to dinner, has come to call.'
Because I'm here, we have a little problem. Uh-huh.
Hi, Jurgen. Morning. Morning.
It's too loud. What, we are too loud?
You are too loud, especially your children, they cry.
It was too loud, the neighbour said to me that she heard,
and all the time since six o'clock in the morning.
Well, they did get up quite early. Yeah.
I actually thought they were being quite good,
they were just kind of playing and jumping around.
Yeah, it's not a problem, you don't understand me,
but it's good behaviour in Germany on Sunday to be quiet,
because it's a holy day and... And it offends other people. Yes.
Also, there are rules that you aren't allowed to do works,
like drilling, or...
which make noise.
Nothing, no housework, no cleaning?
Cleaning is OK, but nothing which makes noise.
Saturday... I won because I found 27 snaps! Shh.
It's an offence in law, do people really observe it?
Yes. People really pay attention to this? Yes. Really?
People... You would be called out as a policeman? Yes.
Sometimes, it costs 50 Euros until 2,500 Euros. Really? Yes.
Jurgen, you haven't come to arrest us, have you?
THEY LAUGH No, I said to you friendly.
Yeah, yeah, of course. Yeah, that's very good advice.
But here, in the city, there are, as we said, many foreigners
and they don't know this law
and sometimes, they don't know the neighbour,
and so they don't care and do whatever they want.
That must cause, you know, trouble between neighbours.
Yes, trouble begins with little things like the Kinder shouting
or you also play a music instrument,
it's low, and then it goes...
It escalates. It escalates more and more.
So it's a question of respect. Yes.
And just respecting the traditions and conventions.
Yeah, that sounds...
That's OK. OK, Jurgen, thank you very much indeed.
To keep the neighbours AND the children happy,
we're going to Germany's largest amusement park - Europa Park.
During my time in Germany, you know,
we started with the kind of stereotypes,
the average German and, you know,
I suppose the experience has been a move away,
so it's quite ironic, really, that we've ended here at Europa Park,