by Stefanie Claudia Müller, Madrid
Begoña Quesada is a Spanish journalist and writer who worked for many years in International politics. Even though she belongs to a very educated part of the Spanish society it is difficuilt for her, just as for everyone, to not see another country through stereotypes. The young mother lives with her family in Munich where life even for somone from Cologne can be very different. In that sense “Alemania, el país imprescindible” plays with old clichés which we relate to Germany like the obsession to plan everything and the eagerness to work well, but there are also some interesting and deeper insights about the German culture apart from these already very much described stereotypes that make this book valuable to read. “Alemania, el país imprescindible“ especially is interesting for Spaniards, because it helps to understand why Germany was able to build up strong brands and such a stable economy after the Holocaust. It gives very good insights about the origin and the sense of “made in Germany”. But to the end of the book the deepness of the analysis is missing and the importance of education in the “German success” is not reflected properly.
There is also missing to mention and explain the enormous change in stereotypes like discipline and rigidness because of the cultural diversification in Germany due to the refugee and immigration policy of the German government and the social problems caused due to the multicultural society.
But without any doubt, the book is worth reading, it is well written and entertaining, especially for a German living in Spain. It is also appreciated that the writer does not judge facts of difference all the time, but just describes the alternative way of handling problems and issues. In the end we have to admit: Whereever we go, we always compare what we see with what we know and our impressions always depend on where we come from.