Where have all the Germans gone?

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Pacific Historian
Jun 4, 2005
Orange County, CA
One product of socialism and an over regulated economy is the best and brightest go to greener pastures. I say the US should do everything to lure these people over to the states.

Telegraph | News | Where have all the Germans gone?

Where have all the Germans gone?

By Tony Paterson in Berlin, The Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:13am GMT 05/11/2006

It's powerhouse economy once pulled in workers from across Europe, but Germany has been shocked to discover that its own highly qualified citizens are now leaving the country in the biggest exodus for more than a century.

The country that coined the term "guest worker" to describe the influx of immigrant labourers who flocked to work there in the 1960s is hæmorrhaging young architects, management consultants, doctors, dentists, scientists and lawyers.

Fed up with dwindling job prospects, high taxes, bureaucracy and a still sluggish economy at home, a record 144,000 Germans turned their backs on the Fatherland last year to find employment in neighbouring European countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Poland and Britain and as far afield as the United States and Canada.

It is the largest exodus since the mass emigration of the 1880s and is seen in Germany as a threat to the country's faltering economy.

Dieter Zetsche, the head of the giant German car manufacturer Daimler-Chrysler, said German industrialists had good reason to be concerned.

"It is, above all, the well-educated and motivated who are emigrating, the people who are of immense value to us," he said. "This cannot be allowed to continue."

Claus Boche, 32, from the west German city of Paderborn, is typical of the new wave of highly qualified job-seekers going abroad. Two years ago he gave up what he described as a humdrum job as a management consultant in Berlin to take up employment in Switzerland, where more than 14,000 Germans found jobs last year alone.

Mr Boche, who now works for the Swiss Unity AG consulting firm in Zurich, said that his annual salary of more than €70,000 (£47,000) was equivalent to the amount he would be paid in Germany for a similar post, but he made savings of up to €14,000 (£9,500) as a result of Switzerland's lower income tax rates.

"Nearly everything is so much easier and more go-ahead here than in Germany," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

He has no plans to return home. "Switzerland offers an international dimension to my job, which I didn't have before and it is much more exciting," he said. "I like living really in the centre of Europe, but apart from that, simple things like organising health insurance are much less complicated. I also pay about 20 per cent less tax." Stefan Mueller, 34, is one of more than 9,000 Germans who found work in neighbouring Poland last year. Now employed by the Warsaw-based Bank Handlowy, a subsidiary of the American Citibank, he left Germany more than two years ago to complete a geology degree in Australia. There he met his future wife, who is Polish, returning with her to Warsaw last year.

Although he earns slightly less than he did in Germany, he has no regrets about the move. "I was employed as a geologist in Germany for about a year, but the work we were given involved clearing up disused industrial sites – it was boring," he said.

"I like living in Poland because it is part of new Europe and there is an exciting climate of change here. I am building a house which costs about half of what it would to build in Germany. I pay less tax in Poland and benefit from cheaper services and food." Julia Arneth, 34, an architect, is one of the latest Germans to arrive in Britain, where an additional 9,000-plus found jobs last year. She moved from Hamburg to London in February this year and works in a practice in Farringdon.

"Architects face a tough situation in Germany at the moment," she said. "There are simply too many trained people chasing too few jobs.

"A lot of my college friends have had to compromise by finding work in other fields, such as graphic design. But in Britain there are more jobs and they are quicker to find and easier to change."

Statistics released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development this month showed Germany near the top of the league table of industrial nations currently experiencing a graduate brain drain.

Last year, the number of graduates leaving the country exceeded the number entering it for the first time since the 1950s. Stephanie Wahl, a spokesman for the Bonn-based Institute for Economics, said: "Those who are leaving Germany are mostly highly motivated and well-educated. Those coming in are mostly poor, untrained and hardly educated."

With unemployment still above four million, thousands of well-trained German manual workers, hotel staff, cooks and catering workers have also left the country in recent years to find jobs in Austria, Switzerland and beyond.

Last year, German unemployment was 9.5 per cent, compared with 4.7 per cent in Britain. Meanwhile, the German economy grew by 0.6 per cent while the British economy expanded by 1.9 per cent.

Thomas Bauer, a German labour economist in Essen, blamed his country's employment conditions for the problems it now faced.

"Compared with other countries Germany is certainly not attractive," he said. "The taxes are too high, the wages are too low and jealousy towards high-income earners is widespread. This is a special deterrent to the highly qualified and does massive damage to the country as an industrial base."

The emigrants may be glad to have left such an inhospitable work climate behind them. But, as Miss Arneth explained, there are still some things they miss about their homeland. "I just can't get used to the fact that British trains and Tubes don't run on time," she said.


  • wgerm05.gif
    21.7 KB · Views: 290
nobody is going to like this but send the Turks for one back to Turkey. Immigration from the East has shattered Deutschland and her reserves since the early 1970's .......... Chris knows this too well along with my own relatives still living in the Pfalz. Foreign competiton that has instilled itself from such a long length of time is destroying the countries infrastructure, I saw it in 1980 and have to many relative's letters to doubt otherwise

Del might have other thoughts on this . . .

v/r E ~
I can concur Erich. Immigrants coming in from the East especially from Turkey and the balkan countries are putting a big toll on Germany. They work for less than what Germans would and the crime rate is rising.

Germany is too afraid to send them all back home though because they would just be called Nazis and the riots would break out.

My family is pretty tired of it and wants to send them all back home and wishes that the East and the West had not reunited. They say the wall should have fallen and the borders opened but the unification hit the economy too hard.

The former East is also where the most unemployment is coming from as well.

Another big reason for the high unemployment is the freeloaders from Turkey and Eastern Europe who come over and get a arbeitserlaubness but then dont work and collect unemployment from the government and fricken freeload. That is another thing that pisses off my family!

My wifes sister immigrated to Switzerland as well.
And in the US, the politicos hold Germany as a model economy for taxes and social programs. He he he.
Germany used to be a model economy until the wall fell. Social programs in Germany are still at the top of the world, but the new Government wants to change them for the worse.
we get a LOT of polish workers over here and eveyone but company bosses with their new cheap labour hate it, but what does the people's opinion matter, we're joining the EU anyway, we might as well just throw our money at france, wait! we already are! farmers are atleast, and what do we get for our £13 billion a year? we can trade with 6% of the world's population, the only major power being Germany, boy is that worth £13 billion? think how much of the crap over here we can sort out with that extra cash? ok so we loose our polish workers, most of them are here illegally anyway...........
The EU is crap. Most Germans can not stand it. They are going to be really pissed off if the EU allows Turkey to join because it will completely open up the borders to them.
maybe Chris it is time for Deutschland to seperate itself from the U and support it's own-self without outside help.
think the Chancellor needs to step up with her cabinet and take charge ......... hmmmmmmmmm sounds like something that should be done here

E ~
They wont do it. They are too worried today what the rest of Europe thinks about them. They want to prove to Europe that they can be a leading power and on the side of the good guys now.
There is a lot of opposition to Turkey joining as well (in Turkey as well as Europe). Was listening to a section of For Our Own Correspondent on it and they spoke to the ex-prime minister about the subject and he thought it wasn't going to happen for a decade or so but even if it took 20 years they would still try to join the EU...
I hope they never get in. They need to worry about what is going on the Middle East which is whree they are worry about becoming better for there own people so that they will stop coming to Germany and ruining the lives of the people here.
German politics is very interesting - the history of the SPD is fascinating. I have a great book 100 Years of Socialism by Donald Sassoon. If I remember right - many Turks came into Germany following ww2 in the gastarbeiter program to help rebuild germany...

Users who are viewing this thread