Could you build in an uption to select a QWERTY keyboard layout, possibly by editing the config.text file in the windows partition, after writing the image to SD card.
As a workaround (using my QWERTY UK keyboard connected) I had to log in to the command line and run the following:
vi &etc&vconsole.conf [displayed as vi /etc/vconsole.conf]
&de <return> [displayed as /de <return>, to jump to the 'de' characters]
Ruk <esc>[ to replace the rest of the line with 'uk', then escape back to the command mode]
YY [displayed as ZZ, to write and quit the vi editor]
After rebooting, the 'z' and 'y' characters match my keyboard, and I can find the special characters!