The German system is such that you don't have to remember the "proverb": "Move the rear sight in the direction you want the shots on the paper to move". All you have to do is know which way the shots are landing: "with left shots" ie: bei links (left) and crank away on the sight knobs. Those efficient Germans have built the sight adjustment rule right into the labels on the knobs. :^)
And, NO, the sights are not "backward" - watch the carriers move, and you see that the screw movement & carrier movement are as you would expect! (right hand rule)
One does not need to remember to "move the rear sight in the direction you want the shots on the paper to move" because the sight tells you what to do. If you want the shots to move "up" on the paper, you turn the sight in the direction marked "up" on the sight, etc. Pretty simple, if you ask me.
The German system is not as difficult as it first appears once one understands the concept, but it is still opposite of how American sights and scopes are marked.
As far as I am concerened, European sights move backwards. My Anschutz sight's elevation knob has to be turned CCW to make the shots go up on the target, which is most definitely backwards from the sights on my M1 and AR15, as well as the PNW sight on my Model 70 (in which the elevation knob is turned CW to move the shots up).