Truth, Blood and Fashion, Andrew Graham-Dixon in The Art of Germany on TV a few years ago described the German character by listing four couplets:
1. Passion & precision,
2. Craftsmanship & The impulsive gesture,
3. A love of nature & A love of the machine, and
4. A need for escape & A desire for control.
Each of these traits rang true for me. I thought Donner und blitzen! - which (with Achtung!) was my sum total of German learned from war comics. [Incidentally, this elementary expression is a mixture of German and Dutch – which I’m told is my paternal grandfather’s side.] But are those traits all in my genes from Luther and before? Somehow meshing with the Irish blarney or whatever other characters lurk there from my mother's side?