The meaning of “German Angst” is easy to understand, if you have some knowledge of the German culture. It’s a type of anxiety – but why do people associate it with Germany? Read our explanation, and you’ll find out what “Geaman Angst” means.
German Angst – what is that?
“German Angst” is a term generally used in politics or sociology, when talking about the hesitant position adopted by Germany regarding certain critical matters.
- Cultural aspects
For foreigners, German people seem to be reluctant to change. They fear that changing the current situation will have negative consequences – thus becoming hesitant.
- History of “Germany Angst”
This wavering is somehow explained by the role that Germany had during the two World Wars. Another important factor is the National-Socialist past of the country.
- Fear about History
Living with the fear that something similar might happen again makes politicians cautious when facing critical international matters. This is what international media refer to when they write about “German Angst”.
- Seeking for Insurances
Germans are also known for their prudence in day-to-day life, or for their “craze” for insurances.
What does “angst” mean?
“Angst” is a Germanic word meaning “fear”.
- The word was adopted by English speakers from the German “Angst” and Danish “angst”, without a translation – because it doesn’t mean exactly “fear”.
- The loanword “angst” refers to a concept described by the Danish Existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and by the founder of psychoanalysis, Siegmund Freud.
- In their works, “angst” means anxiety, dread, inner turmoil.
- Think of the painting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch: that’s an artistic representation of “angst”.