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Video: New York Times Features Germany’s Fascination With Natives

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In an August 18 video called “Native Fantasy: Germany’s Indian Heroes,” the New York Times captured Germany’s fascination with Native Americans through the romanticized works of Karl May.

“We portray them in a positive way, and there’s no reason for Native Americans to see this with anything but good will,” Jan Sosniok, who plays Karl May character Winnetou on television in Germany, told an interviewer.

The video shows groups of German hobbyists who dress and live like the representations of Indians they have seen.

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The video also introduces educator Gerd Brandt, who passes on Lakota teachings.

Some don’t agree with the shows.

“The choreography of the dances and stuff like that has nothing to do with real Native Americans… 500 different cultures and he was putting it all in a big pot and making this Indian stereotype, which most Germans still believe,” says one man who grew up watching the theatrical shows in Germany but went to school at the Institute of American Indian Art in New Mexico.

Watch the full video here: