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While the European Union gears up for another of its endless postcrisis bouts over spending, debt and deficits, Berlin's German Historical Museum has turned a microscope upon the German mania for saving. "Merkel's bullying," "Queen of austerity," "German dogma" – headlines from around the EU greet visitors to the baroque pile on the leafy Unter den Linden boulevard that houses the museum.To most Germans, Gross noted, saving around 10 percent of their income has long been an "unquestioned virtue" come war, inflation, famine or fortune.To understand Germans' nest-egg neurosis, visitors must look back to the 18th century, when the building that today houses the museum was the arsenal of Prussia.Like neighboring France, Prussia and other German states were roiled by emancipatory ideas spread by the Enlightenment thinkers of the time.In a society still obsessed with discount supermarkets and money-off coupons, saving is a "German pathology" lamented Die Welt newspaper columnist Henryk M. Broder in a video.
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