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Philip Oltermann grew up in Schleswig-Holstein, and is now an editor at the Guardian.
In 1996, in the middle of watching an ill-tempered football match between England and Germany, Philip Oltermann's parents tell him that they are going to leave their home city Hamburg behind and move to London. A number of worrying questions arise. How would English schoolboys take to a lanky 16-year-old German? How did they think and do things differently? What was the secret of the famed British humour? And were there values that English and German people shared? In search of answers, Oltermann interweaves memoir and history, taking ten key Anglo-German encounters from the last 200 years as his starting point. What emerges is nothing less than an alternative national story for the two countries: not one marked by military conflict and diplomatic hostility, but one shaped by dialogue, interaction and genuine fondness.
Deutschland - England, das ist mehr, als die standigen Verweise auf zwei Weltkriege und eine ausgepragte Fuballrivalitat glauben lassen. Philip Oltermann erzahlt die Geschichte beider Lander anhand von Begegnungen: wie Heinrich Heine im Pub seinen Schriftstellerkollegen William Cobbett traf, Helmut Kohl Maggie Thatcher zum Saumagen-Essen einlud und zwei NDR-Mitarbeiter in Blackpool "e;Dinner for One"e; entdeckten. Lebendig und unterhaltsam zeigt er, dass Deutsche und Englander zwar verschieden sind, es aber auch jede Menge Zuneigung, ja Bewunderung, auf beiden Seiten fureinander gibt.
In 1996, in the middle of watching an ill-tempered football match between England and Germany, Philip Oltermann's parents tell him that they are going to leave their home city Hamburg behind and move to London. Inspired by his own experience of both countries, Philip Oltermann looks at eight historical encounters between English and German people from the last two hundred years: Helmut Kohl tries to explain German cuisine to the Iron Lady, the Mini plays catch-up with the Volkswagen Beetle, and Joe Strummer has an unlikely brush with the Baader-Meinhof gang. Keeping Up with the Germans is a witty look at the lighter-side of Anglo-German relations over the last 100 years.