There is a shocking paragraph towards the end of the article on types of beer in Germany:
- "Another bastardization of beer sees cola being mixed in, a concoction with a plethora of names including Colabier, Diesel, Dreckiges, Schmutz, Drecksack, Schweinebier and, believe it or not, Neger ("Negro"), a name which is confined to Bavaria."
- The use of the word "Neger" can be intentionally hateful, or it can be a symptom of ignorance, especially when used by older people. The shock expressed by this article, which was written in 2006, is representative of what most Germans would have thought then, and continued progress has been made since then in eliminating this word from everyday usage.
- If you encounter this word in an older text (i.e. from the 1970s or earlier; in some cases even from the 1980s and 90s), the author may have thought s/he was simply using a neutral term - but at all times, its use has been a symptom of unexamined prejudices. This is why it was necessary for the language to change. This change took longer to happen in Germany than in the United States.
- It would be easy to find another article on the varieties of beer in Germany that does not mention this term. We've decided to keep this one, together with the explanation on this page, since the term "Neger" does still occasionally come up in unexpected everyday contexts in Germany. As described above, it is becoming increasingly rare, and an increasing majority of people finds it as shocking as the article does. But it does still happen, and so we think students will benefit from seeing it, with an explanation, before they go to Germany, Austria or Switzerland.
- If, after reading this page, you think it would be better for us to replace the article, please let Hartmut know.