Why it is so clean in Germany
Tourists coming to Germany are amazed how clean it is there. The cleanliness, particularly in Swabia, was not «innate» but rather even coercive.
For a long time, Germans dumped garbage, ash, dead animals, bones and slops from the kitchen right behind the fence, or wherever else. As a result, they had anti-sanitary, illnesses, stinkyand dirty, polluted impoverished villages and towns.
In the fifteenth century the Count of Württemberg got disgruntled at this stench, and he began to issue decrees that the manure and the dung produced by cattle and people should be taken away to the outskirts or at least into the river, which was ordered to do solely at night.
The decrees, of course, were neglected, as it was unrealistic to expect changes to be made overnight, it was impossible to check the execution of the decrees, and too costly to pay the police to superintend and watchdog. Moreover, it was difficult to cancel bribes and treating to the servants of the law.
Then the Count issued a new decree, which resulted in a sharp reduction of pollution in the Swabian cities. The essence of the decree was as follows: if you noticed that your neighbor did not clean up rubbish for a couple of weeks, and did not report about it to the police, then not only your neighbor would be persecuted by the law punished, but you as well.
In case you did report, you were authorized to appropriate your neighbors land. As a result, every Saturday, everyone ostentatiously disposed of the trash in front of their yards, reasonably fearing neighbours’ stinginess and harassment.
On the one hand, it may be considered to be state coercion to squealing and violence against freedom of the person. On the other hand, the Swabians were very quick to bring order to their villages and towns, and Swabia became a part of the cultural heritage.