Letters to the editor from USA: In love with baseball and country music – your SZ

“Miss you” from 6/7 August:

Sensitive journalism

I lived longer in the US – but nowhere near as long as Hubert Wetzel. Reading his wonderful article brought back old memories, made me wistful and sentimental. To me, it wasn’t baseball, it was (college) football (at the time, “Texas was #1 in the nation”). This article is – at least in the layman’s opinion – a masterpiece of journalism that is as competent as it is sensitive.

DR Knut Suhr, Hamburg

Next “Aschfahrt” Munich

My husband and I have loved America since we first moved in 1983 to Long Beach, a suburb of Los Angeles. There we experienced firsthand how the members of the church community lived together like a big family and thus made social benefits like in Germany unnecessary. The whole community lovingly cared that we had a great holiday. In one family we met a son-in-law who was a well-known baseball coach. He was a hero in the family and in the community, and was proud that he had once been to Munich, but could say no more about it than that he was very fond of “Aschlese” (Auslese) wine, and that so many towns in Germany had the same name, namely ” Aschfahrt”, which I was able to fix.

We have done about 40 house swaps in the US, three to four weeks each in New York, Hawaii, near Boston, Northern California, Rocky Mountains, Maine, New Mexico, always living like a local away from the tourist crowds. We enjoy the excellent hospitality and helpfulness of exchange partners friends and their simplicity. We were instantly treated like old friends.

During the first 20 years, our American exchange partners were often people who wanted to trace their roots in Germany, or former crew members who were interested in what Germany had become.

America is not only a land of contrasts because of the extreme differences in scenery, but life in the big cities and the “flat country” is like being on two different planets. We drove through small towns that could still be used as backdrops for old western movies today if they hadn’t been renovated.

My husband and I are even kind of “homesick” for America because we haven’t been there for many years due to the pandemic. But we know families who lived in the USA for a few years for work reasons and then reluctantly moved back to Germany, even though they were doing very well in America. There are many reasons for this.

Christel Klemenjak, Mindelheim

topic forgotten

As a German, I have dated an American woman from Chaska (a city in the state of Minnesota; i.e. the editor) married. Due to family reasons, we live on both continents and I have – also due to my work – a balanced and decades-long view of the US society.

If you look at the various SZ articles, the US is consistently reported negatively. In a good German way, the problems of US society are written in an instructive way. The above article is also an almost grotesque description of American society, incoherent, only partially reproduced, and completely misguided.

Former President Trump, who has been criticized time and time again, was also elected with a Democratic majority in the very districts you describe as narrow-minded and arrogant with baseball and country bliss. In spite of your six years’ residence in the United States, you have by no means understood, let alone understood, the spirit, sentiment, and attitude of the population away from the great centers of the West and East coasts.

Thomas Sedlmair, Puchheim

a home run

Hubert Wetzel’s article “Missing You” is the best thing I have read in your newspaper in a long time. Absent from the references to baseball is “Unterwelt,” Don DeLillo’s magnum opus, in which the baseball is hit from the field to the stands at the very beginning.

Manfred Boscolo, Munich


Letters to the editor are in no way expressions of the editors’ opinions, they can be shortened and published in all editions and channels of the magazine. Süddeutsche Zeitung, both print and digital, are published and always include first and last name and place of residence. Write your answer referring to the corresponding SZ article forum@sz.de. Please provide your address and phone number if you have any questions. You can reach us by mail at Süddeutsche Zeitung, Forum & Leserdialog, Hultschiner Str. 8, 81677 Munich, by fax at 089/2183-8530.

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