I am currently in Germany giving some talks. These are my first colloquium talks in German philosophy departments, and so I am just now encountering the state of German academia as a fellow professor, rather than as the ignorant philosophy student I was in Tuebingen in the 1980s. At the time, I had the impression that being a Professor in a German philosophy department was pretty much the highest position imaginable. But I have been shocked by the amount of work that German universities require of German academics. German professors at the highest rank must teach 9 hours of classes per week, which translates to a 5-4 teaching load in two 15 week semesters. Furthermore, they seem to do most if not all of their own grading. Finally, the courses they teach range over many areas of philosophy; even if you occupy the chair in metaphysics, you still need to teach classes on ancient philosophy and Kant's aesthetics. In the states, a 5-4 teaching load is widely considered inconsistent with the possibility of a fruitful publishing career, and I have no idea how they manage it here.
UPDATE: I have received a rather surprising number of emails about what I thought was a relatively innocent post. The most frequent question seems to be about the relation between 9 hours weekly and the 5-4 teaching load. After verifying this again with my hosts, it turns out this is because a Proseminar or a Vorlesung is two hours per week. So 9 hours weekly amounts to 5 preparations in one semester, 4 in the other. So while many American research universities have teaching loads of 6 hours per week, this just amounts to 2 preps per week, given the 3 hour class times. Furthermore, unlike private liberal arts colleges, the classes can be very large. So it does seem to me be a truly demanding job.