Crazy/interesting German laws
Germany is a country of laws. There are laws for everything. Sometimes it looks to me like Germans’ favorite pastime is coming up with new laws. While some countries thrive on chaos, Germany’s sole agenda is to bring order to arbitrariness in life.
The German constitutional court recently declared that anyone who tortured, humiliated or killed Jews during the holocaust is as liable as the leadership of the Nazi regime. All those who worked for Hitler were part of a brutal murderous machine and are as guilty as those who gave orders. One can no longer claim that they were only following orders from above. It basically means that everyone must carry their own cross.
This is a momentous law with far reaching consequences.
For the most part, German laws are very progressive. It is a country that came back from the brink and is deeply aware of human faults and the dangers that this might pose to humanity. While I think this is fantastic, there are German laws that leave me scratching my head. For example, there is a German law that states that if a government official dies during an official trip, then that is the end of the trip. To me this does not make sense because a dead person cannot continue with a trip. Why is it necessary to have a law stating the obvious?
It is illegal to drive too slowly on the Autobahn
To be honest, I don’t know why anyone would want to drive slowly on the Autobahn but driving too slowly is apparently illegal. You need to drive at least 60 km per hour.
It is illegal to show one the middle finger when behind the wheel
Germany is a drivers’ paradise. If you are driving let’s say on the Autobahn and some crazy driver who is taking the no-speed-limit directive too seriously decides to terrorize you, you have to take a deep breath and smile at them. Getting mad and showing them the middle finger might lead to a fine of up to 500 Euros!
It is illegal to open a shop on a Sunday
Unless it is a Verkaufsoffenersontag in your town meaning that businesses have special permission to stay open, all shops in Germany stay closed on Sundays. If you need to shop on a Sunday, you have to head to your nearest petrol station or starve and wait for Monday morning.
It is illegal to distribute food on the streets for free
It is illegal to wash your car on a Sunday or on a holiday
I recently found this out. All the car-wash centers are only open on weekdays and Saturdays. Should you get a strong urge to wash your car either on a Sunday or on a holiday, then you have to do it yourself …err at home. Wait, this is also forbidden! Apparently for environmental reasons.(Thanks Sarah!)
It is illegal to run out of fuel on the Autobahn
I once met a guy who had run out of fuel on the Autobahn. Guess where he was from? Tanzania! He was a German who had migrated to TZ a long time ago and apparently forgot the laws in his native country. The fine for running out of fuel on the Autobahn is 35 Euros. Should you park on the Autobahn for more than 3 minutes, the fine doubles to 70 Euros.
Every kid must go to school every day
Germany has a law that requires that parents send their kids to school. Of course this is all well and good and is in a lot of ways commendable. The bizarre bit is how strictly this law is enforced. If for some reason, your kid misses school without a valid reason, you will be fined approximately 180 Euros. The amount varies depending on your federal state. What this means is that parents can only take their kids on holiday during the designated school holidays. A day too early or a day too late and you will have a case to answer. Airlines of course know this and prices often shoot up during school holidays.
Driving without clothes is allowed but…
If your biggest dream is to drive around naked, Germany has you covered. You can drive around naked but be sure to put on some clothes before alighting. Walking around naked can cost you upwards of 40 Euros in fines.