7 Surprising Facts About the France-Germany Relationship
Franco-German Relationship: From Animosity to Respect
Two countries who were once enemies, France and Germany have come a long way in their reconciliation. After the horrors of the World War II, a gesture of fraternity between the German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle marked a new era of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. Later, moments of affection, such as François Mitterand and Helmut Kohl holding hands and Angela Merkel confidently leaning on President Emmanuel Macron’s shoulder furthered the closeness.
For a long time, the French would hurl insults such as “Boche”, “Chleu” and “Fritz” at the Germans. On the other hand, remains no swear word associated with the French in German. However, Bosch, a German appliance manufacturer turned the insult into a virtue and incorporated it into its slogan – “It’s good, it’s beautiful, it’s Bosch”.
No two countries in the world have more associations or organizations than the German and French. Through the Aachen and the Elysée treaty several initiatives, including the Franco-German Citizen Fund, have been implemented. Moreover, no other country has more twin cities than the duo.
The love between the two countries has extended to marriage and the German’s enthusiasm for French culture. However, the French often refer to their relationship with Germany as “respect”. Despite this anomaly in terms of affection, young people are optimistic in terms of the future and want to get involved in development, primarily on climate protection.
Linguistic and cultural exchanges should have an international dimension and involve Francophones from the African continent. Therefore, it might be time for the duo to become a tripartite team, enabling further cooperation and understanding.