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GERMANY: Bavaria

George Sassoon reports: "A few years ago when in Bavaria I used to see bumper stickers saying "Freistaat Bayern" (Free State of Bavaria) but now they have disappeared and I was told that they have been banned. Maybe someone over there can confirm this. I also was in some trouble with Bavarian friends for referring to "Mad King Ludwig". Although he nearly bankrupted the state 100 years ago, now he is a hero. Putting on the Bavarian national 'peasant' dress is a ommon pastime among city people. Once we were in a hotel and the only normally dressed persons, and I discovered that the 'peasants' were all computer programmers working for Siemens. 'National' (völkisch) music is also very popular. I was often told that an independent Bavaria would have about the same gross national product as California. There is much underground nationalist feeling and resentment of the 'Prussians' (all other Germans)".

Ronald Hilton - 11/26/02