Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Herzlich Willkommen!

I have got what it takes to become German. The test that you have to pass ( if my information is correct it only costs 25 Euro, and you can take it as many times as you want or need ) in order to become a German citizen does not require a serious intellectual effort, if the test that I made on the website of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung is a genuine example. For instance, a person who is peresecuted abroad for his political convictions and flees to Germany can get a) unemployment benefits; b) asylum; c) pension; or d) money to welcome him. You tell me! Another jewel: Where does the European Parliament work? a) Paris, London and The Hague; b) Bonn, Zurich, and Milan; c) Strassburg, Luxemburg, and Brussels; d) Rome, Bern, and Vienna. Actually, I did not know about Luxemburg, but the other three answers are so ridiculous that it is very easy to choose. One last example: Which of the following is a basic right in Germany: a) law of the jungle; b) taking the law into one's own hands; c) freedom of speech/opinion; d) possession of arms. I answered 28 out of 33 questions right, more than enough to become part of the great German nation. If you don't mind - actually, also if you do - I will remain Dutch for the time being. But still, it is good to know that I won't have to worry about not being welcome in Germany because of any intellectual limitations. PS: Just to show how non-sensical the Einbuergerungstest ( test to become a citizen ) is: among the 300+ possible questions, many of them about German history, not even one mentions the Holocaust. Could it be that Basil Fawlty ( "Don't mention the war" ) or even his sidekick Manuel ( "I know German, I learn it from a book" ) was asked to set up the test?

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