This week, Focus Online had an article headed Briten Blamieren Sich. It referred to an article in The Times about the Hesse would-be-citizen questions. The Times article is available online only in part – it had a graphics page which is the main cause for concern, shown in the Focus article.
bq. Die britische Times versucht sich am hessischen Einbürgerungstest und macht peinliche Fehler.
Die Diskussion um einen deutschen Einbürgerungstest können sich die britischen Medien nicht entgehen lassen. Für die Times ist es eine fabelhafte Gelegenheit, endlich wieder einmal ein Foto von Hitler zu drucken, mit hochgerecktem Arm und in Uniform.
bq. The London Times tries the Hessen naturalization test and makes embarrassing mistakes.
The British media could not bring themselves to pass up the opportunity to discuss a German citizenship test. This is a wonderful opportunity for The Times at long last to print another picture of Hitler, with his arm raised and in uniform.
The errors are 1) the flag shown is the Belgian flag (I wonder if the Belgian press have picked this one up?) and 2) the reference to the German national anthem as Deutschland über Alles.
I sometimes get very angry about this kind of nationality-bashing, which is a mistake, because it’s just a way to sell newspapers. In this case, however, quickly passing over the flag error, I don’t think it’s part of British general knowledge that the text of the German national anthem has been edited. Nevertheless Focus goes on about it for three paragraphs.
Another thing: when such a ridiculous set of questions is to be taken seriously, it’s fair game for any newspaper.
I wonder if there were any other mistakes in the Times article? Focus had an easy time here, because it published only after the Times Letters Page printed readers’ corrections on the very two points Focus builds its article on. That’s a good tip for online journalists: watch out for the readers’ letters the following day, and then sell the story abroad.
I do think the picture of Hitler might have been smaller. After all, British football fans travelling to Germany have been told by the Home Secretary particularly not to mention the war, which will probably have the opposite effect to that intended, along the lines of ‘So that’s how we can really annoy them’.
bq. The English teams travelling support is fond of drinking lots of beer, humming the themes of war films, and singing songs such as Two World Wars and one World Cup or Ten German Bombers.
(Via Handakte WebLAWg)