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"What’s heaven? Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and the organizers are Swiss.

So then, what’s hell? Hell is where the police are German, the chefs are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss and the organizers are Italian." [...]

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Volksgeist is a concept first developed by German folklorist and romanticist Johann Gottfried Herder and in his treatise This Too a Philosophy of History for the Formation of Humanity (1774). The concept is associated with the concept of national, racial or ethnic stereotypes based on generalizations. Compare Zeitgeist. The premise is simple: is there any truth in German gründlichkeit and pünktlichkeit, are the French good lovers or do they more frequently make love than the rest of Europe, do Italians really have better aesthetic judgement, are Belgians averse to authority, are the Dutch candid and permissive?

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Volksgeist" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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