It’s pretty easy to hoax people. We all want to be deceived, but only up to a point. Some hoaxes are fun and pleasant, others malicious and unpleasant. We’d like a way to tell the difference (Robert Carroll).

Jan 9, 2012

10 Strange and Funny German Laws

The jocular saying is that, in England, "everything which is not forbidden is allowed", while, in Germany, the opposite applies so "everything which is not allowed is forbidden". This may be extended to France — "everything is allowed even if it is forbidden" — and Russia where "everything is forbidden, even that which is expressly allowed". While in North Korea it is said that "everything that is not forbidden is compulsory" (Wikipedia).

Today, we will review some quite interesting, sometimes explainable, sometimes not, strange and funny Laws in Germany. Germans themselves alter a bit the traditional converse principle – “everything which is not allowed is forbidden” as following: "Everything is forbidden; apart from that, do what you like".

  1. Every office must have a view of the sky, however small.

While the law must sound funny from the first glance, those who ever worked in the windowless office ever, will find this regulation as absolutely reasonable. Even if you do not suffer from claustrophobia, that might be so depressing. Therefore, office buildings in Germany are usually long and skinny.

  1. A pillow is classified as a "passive weapon" and hitting someone with one can lead to charges of assault.

A passive weapon is something you use to protect yourself against other weapons. Other protective weapons would be a helmet, a bullet proof vest and a respirator. But, if you think twice, you may find that the pillow can be not only passive, but pretty much active weapon, especially if it is filled in stones, or used for victim suffocation.

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  1. It is illegal to wear a mask while on strike.

This law says that you are not allowed to mask your face when you go on a strike. Some years ago there were many problems with such people; they damaged everything and police couldn't identify them. Now, if you wear a mask in a strike or political demonstration, you can be arrested. This prevents such violence.

  1. It is illegal for ones car to run out of gas on the Autobahn.

That is also not so stupid after all, if you just imagine, on what speeds cars are flying through. Some cars are driving with 200 KM/H and more. The obstacle on the road in a form of a stalled car may be disastrous. There are plenty of gas stations along the Autobahn, so adding some legal enforcement to the common sense might be quite useful for some individuals.

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  1. It is against the law to mention the date 1966 in any football ground.

I could not validate this law through independent resources, but I could guess, where it may come from. During the 1966 FIFA World Cup, in England from 11 July to 30 July, England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final dramatic game, winning the World Cup for the first time. Some Germans are confident that this loss was the result of the referee error.

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  1. It is illegal to tune pianos at midnight.
  2. It is against the law to deny a chimney sweep access to your home if he demands it.
  3. It is illegal to have the ashes of your loved one stored in an urn at home after cremation.
  4. In Munich: During Octoberfest no person is ever legally drunk – no matter how much alcohol they have consumed.

Oktoberfest, or Wiesn, is a 16-day festival held annually in Munich, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world's largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Only beer according to the Purity Law with the minimum of 12,5% Masterspice (about 6% alc.) in this Beer which is brewed from a Munich Company within the city limits of Munich is allowed to be served on this festival. Upon passing this criterion, a beer is designated Oktoberfest Beer. One of the observers noticed, that it is the only chance for you to experience Legal Drunk Driving – driving bumper cars in Munich during Octoberfest.

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  1. In Munich: By law a pub can never be overcrowded – there is always room for one more drinker at each table – no matter how squashed people are.

Sources and Additional Information:

1 comment:

Anthony Hopper said...

Great post...I am sure every country (and even every province within that country) has quirky laws.

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