As a pretty devout Catholic, the first article was pretty interesting to me, because I’ve grown up learning about Martin Luther’s break from the Catholic Church. Martin Luther’s 95 theses established the need for reform in the Catholic Church, but it also established the first Protestant church, somewhat by accident. I think it’s fascinating that Martin Luther’s way of thinking has influenced Germany in much more ways than religion. It explains their somewhat simplistic architecture and their love of classical orchestra concerts. I especially liked the part that explained why Germany has such a large book market – Luther wanted everyone to read the Bible after he had translated it into German. The article also claimed that anti-Semitism might have stemmed from Luther’s personal beliefs also, which I thought was a pretty large claim to make, considering Germany’s rather rough history with their Jewish population.
The other article that really interested me was the German Privacy article. I thought the author was pretty correct in his synthesis of American door policies: if it’s open, come in, if it’s closed, come back another time. The German way of a closed door surprised me in some ways and didn’t in others. It’s so different from America that it was startling at first, but as I thought about the closed door policy more, it kind of fits with what we’ve learned about “stereotypical” Germans this whole semester. They tend to be more private and direct than Americans, so it fits that their door would be closed for privacy, but then if you open it they would tell you exactly if they want you to be there or not.