Germans have a reputation for being very direct. They're formal, which can be really hard to figure out. And they like their relationships eingestuft (graded); a neighbor is a neighbor, not a friend and a colleague is a colleague until you become friends. Not knowing these cultural elements and having to learn them can be like playing bumper cars--sometimes you hit a big bump with the Germans, and it can feel awfully uncomfortable.
But there's one area where Germans absolutely rule with politeness, where my interest in German culture turned into reverence, and I hope it gives you a big insight into German culture, too.
It was the early-mid 2000s and I was attending a soccer game at the AufSchalke stadium (now the VELTINS-Arena), which holds approximately 62,000 people. Es ist eine gigantische Erfahrung! I have no idea whom Schalke04 was playing, but that obviously wasn't as impressive as what happened first.