Brady, Crawford &Wiliarty (1999) further found out that these cultural beliefs popular among Germany historians of the 1960s and 1970s attempts to explain the phenomenon of Nazism (p. 4). They also established that in this school of thought the German cultural beliefs in the nineteenth century had developed differently from the other European countries, hence as a result it developed pernicious traits that then are reflected in Germany’s political and economic institutions, making Hitler’s seizure of power almost a foregone conclusion.
Cultural developments according to Brady, Crawford &Wiliarty (1999) in the pre-fascist period of Germany history created the conditions for successful democracy and prosperous economy once fascism was destroyed and space was opened for the emergence of new core cultural beliefs (p. 5). Brady, Crawford &Wiliarty (1999) also stated that Germanys late development with its advantage of backwardness, Bismarck’s unification and the creation of the welfare state and even certain unintended modernizing tendencies under fascism all created a set of values, norms, beliefs and social understandings that presaged a successful transformation to democracy ()p. 5. Those cultural beliefs and features were further enhanced and promoted by new institutions throughout the post war period hence culture of liberal capitalist democracy has come to dominate Germany society today.
Historically, German norms have always placed a strong emphasis on marriage, women’s duties as housewives and mothers as reflected in laws regarding family rights in the country (Brady, Crawford &Wiliarty, 1999). In German the original family and marriage code enshrined a woman’s domestic role in law and even gave husbands some more control over their wives rights to work (237). They continue to say that the code explicitly stated that it was a wife’s duty to take care of the household, a task from which she could be freed only in consultation with her husband. Brady, Crawford &Wiliarty (1999) determined that in 1977 the law of marriage was reformed at which time gender neutral language was introduced. Therefore from those reforms the household division of labor was not to be gender specific but the partners are to agree on tasks of housekeeping. Government agencies have been especially restrictive in granting residence permits to spouses and children. The courts lifted many of these restrictions by appealing to the protection of marriage and family that is guaranteed in the basic law.
Bernstein (2004) also outlined that in the last 30 years there has been profound changes in the way family and marriage are viewed in Germany (p. 70). He continues to say that there are fewer marriages, fewer children, and more divorces. This is because alternative lifestyles such as unmarried couples living together, single mothers and fathers, and same sex partnerships are widely accepted (Bernstein, 2004). Bernstein (2004) stated that in talking with young Germans, one gets the impression that that marriage is not only on the decline but has disappeared completely (p. 70). On the other hand he further comments that marriage is still the most preferred form of living together. For example in the middle of the 1990s sixty one percent of all inhabitants of Germany over the age of twenty were married and for many couples the wedding is still one of the most important events in their lives.
Death caused the first animates of intellectuals and politicians to produce universal senses of disorientation (Brady, Crawford &Wiliarty, 1999). Few Germans seemed to be vexed by the state of the earlier non-being before birth, but many of the people were bothered by the prospect of non- being after death (p. 276). It was also well known that behind the veil of ignorance concerning future life events death was inevitable. Brady, Crawford &Wiliarty (1999) established that all human beings can fall victims to accidents, illness, or the premature death. Francke (2009) also outlined that according to the Germany culture death is a transition from one existence to another and that every one ids justified in holding out the worst of criminals in their dying hour which could be the comforting assurance.
Death on the other hand is considered supernatural. Duncan (1989) says that families insisted on bringing their dead from hospitals or wherever death occurred, to the house as soon as possible. Friends visited the bereaved home as soon as news of the death reached them; members of the family seated themselves in the living room to receive condolences (Duncan, 1989). According to Duncan (1989) the mystery of death was a promise of eternal life in the German culture. He also continues to say that life was tragic and sinful; death was a welcome release from suffering and guilt (p. 148).