You can draw up a list of the top 1,000 most recognized Americans.....from Pete Rose to Joe Biden, from Bruce Springsteen to Terry Bradshaw.....and if you brought the 1,000 prominent Americans into Germany....my humble opinion is less than thirty of them would be recognized on any German street.
I read a comment recently how Oprah arrived in Europe and was shopping, and it came to pass that she just wasn't getting the normal notice or attention that she had expected. The truth of the matter is that very few Germans probably would recognize her on the street.
The reverse is true as well. If you drew up a list of the 1,000 most prominent Germans.....and flew them into the US, probably less than ten of them would recognized on some New York City street corner.
Here in.....lies the issue. Localized media does their job....they put people and faces out on a daily basis. There's limited interest in various American sports....except perhaps the NBA. A German teen might rattle off ten of the NBA's top players. Germans over fifty would easily recognize Larry Hagman from Dallas or William Shatner from Star Trek.
So, it's true.....an American of noted background could literally disappear into Germany and just be a regular character. And someone like Chancellor Merkel could probably fly into Winslow, Arizona and no one from the local area would recognize her.