I’ve dipped into the German manners guide from 1982.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a book for the ages. On the inside of the dust cover, the publisher proudly asserts that the first edition ridiculed many fusty old traditions into impotence. The second one sailed into the "taboo" area by suggesting ways for unmarried people to show attraction for one another. The third and fourth editions (the one I have) positively "affirm" this state of affairs.
There is nothing this book does not tell you how to do, except perhaps invade Poland [disgusting! cheap! — ed.] You’ll learn how to use a fish-knife, smoke a cigar, help a lady sit at the table (hint: never shove the chair into the backs of her knees!), when to make an ironic comment to a conversation partner (never against those who are too dull to defend themselves in kind), how to drive, how to dance, how to begin and end your letters, how to watch television, how to travel, when to call people (never during the evening news!). The advice is generally damned good, and delivered with panache.
If you need proof of the authors’ broad-mindedness, consider that they tell you not only how to greet a university president (Eueure Magnifizenz) or dean (Euere Spectabilitaet), but also a Communist:
For and Against the address "Comrade"
There is basically no objection to the address "comrade," when, for example, a former Social Democrat or Communist meets another former Social Democrat or Communist. After all, the Social Democrat or Communist intends to show the other a token of friendship: he wishes to refer to common interests or memories, and does so in the expectation that the other person will take pleasure in the reference to the things that connect them.
In the post-war era, there have been many discussions of the pros and cons of this address among Communists and Social Democrats. The exchange of opinions between old and young comrades has not quieted to this day. This is understandable, since for many, the word "comrade" is tainted by associations with "Volks-comrade" or "party comrade," just as others entertain the suspicion (greatly overgeneralized, to be sure), that by using the address "comrade" outside of certain closed circles, one is possibly attempting to identify oneself with comrades of all nations, who are trying to spark a global revolution.
Umgangsformen Heute, pp. 117-18. The discussion continues for five more paragraphs. Complicated country, Germany.