Herb (ethnophaulism)

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The term Kraut is a mostly stereotyping term for a German in English , which was mainly used in the USA during the Second World War .


Presumably derived from sauerkraut , which is regarded as a typical German national dish, which is probably due to the traditionally high consumption of sauerkraut during the winter months in Central Europe, especially in Germany, this term was in use among US soldiers during the World Wars in Great Britain other names such as Fritz (nickname of Friedrich ), Hun (English for Hunne ) or Jerry were used.

However, the stereotype of the German sauerkraut eater is much older. For example, Jules Verne, in his novel Die 500 Mio der Begum , published in 1879, describes an evil German industrialist with a penchant for sauerkraut. But one can assume that this stereotype (at least for France) is even older. In Germany , published in 1844 . A winter fairy tale by Heinrich Heine , sauerkraut is slightly mockingly highlighted as a specialty of German cuisine .

Another explanation for the association of Germans with sauerkraut comes from the field of seafaring . After it was recognized in the 18th century that certain foods could prevent scurvy (today it is known that the vitamin C content is responsible for this), sauerkraut was also served as provisions on German ships, as it was both long-lasting and very vitamin Contains -C. In the British navy deficiency disease with was lemon juice from the colonies stop offered (hence the nickname Limey , which is sometimes used for British Navy dependents).

Krautland , which was occasionally used as a synonym for Germany , and the expression Krautrock for German progressive rock of the late 1960s and 1970s are derived from the name . The German Karl May films are jokingly called Krautwestern . In 1991 the first German hip-hop sampler Krauts with Attitude was released , which combined the term with the name of the US band NWA (Niggaz with Attitude) in the title.

Despite the cliché, the per capita consumption of sauerkraut in France and the USA was and is higher than that in Germany during the war.

Other nicknames

Other nicknames and ethnophaulisms for Germans in general or parts of the German population are:

See also


  • Johann Corinth: Krauts. Wat kost de world ... . Memories of a German Prisoner of War and Later Immigrant to the United States ( ISBN 3-935111-14-2 )

Web links

Wiktionary: Kraut  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Dietmar Elflein : From New German Speech Song to Oriental Hip Hop - some thoughts on the history of Hip Hop in the FRG. , 1996, online at Wahreschule.de , accessed on May 8, 2012