What do Germans think of Austrians?

What do Germans think of Austrians?
Men wearing traditional Austrian Trachten. Photo: DPA
The Local recently asked a selection of Germans to tell us what they think of their neighbours who live in the land of Mozart, Wiener Schnitzel, and Red Bull.

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Austria is the land of mountains on the river, according to its national anthem, and many Germans seem to think that the country's craggy landscape reflects the personalities of its inhabitants – cold, severe, rigid people who have a passion for classical music.

If the stereotypes from Austria's northern neighbours are to be believed, Austrians are basically Bavarians but unfriendly.

But Germans and Austrians have been rivals since the days of the Holy Roman Empire. Ask an Austrian about Germans – or Piefke as Austrians sometimes call them – and one seems to get the reverse picture.

Next year marks 60 years since the re-establishment of an independent and democratic Austria after WWII. Approximately 82 percent of Austrians now see their country as a distinct nation, separate in culture and character from Germany, according to the paper Der Standard.

But apart from pastries and symphonies, what other preconceptions do Germans have when they think of Austrians? The Local hit the streets of Freiburg in south-west Germany to find out.

In Pictures: What Germans really think of Austrians.



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