Kraut-bashing in Britain

I missed this Comment in the Observer of November 28th:

bq. ‘Kraut-bashing’ young Brits are still fighting the war. It’s time to bury the hatchet, says Catherine Mayer

Catherine Mayer, I gather from the article [Later note: oh no, she’s an American], has anglicized her first name so the British can pronounce it. The experiences of Germans in Britain ring sadly true, although I think the refusal to have a German (Herbert Grönemeyer, not famous in Britain) playing in a private football team would be normal behaviour if reversed (a British person wanting to play on a team in Germany). Still, that kind of thing falls into a general pattern of experiences one might make.

bq. Britons rarely admit kinship with Germans, glossing over the embarrassment of a teutonic royal family.

This may be true in some circles, but it isn’t my experience.

I found this link in the weblog of Tanja Barbian, which I’ve mentioned before. It’s probably a collection for private use: the links are very brief and not really explained, so you always have to click on them before you find out if the page is something you’ve already seen or something you aren’t interested in.

5 thoughts on “Kraut-bashing in Britain

  1. With special guest Minister for Yoorp, the very excellent Denis “Denis” MacShane!

    But I have reservations about your gatherings:

    Although US born and naturalised as a Brit, for the past 11 years I have moved among you as an ersatz Teuton.

  2. Good grief. That’ll teach me not to read the whole thing. But no wonder I had reservations about some of it. It’s just media waffle, isn’t it?

  3. Margaret

    It brings to mind a conversation I had with a very pleasant guy at my last “Eigentümerversammlung”. Having established that I was British, he asked me if I could fathom why his young daughter, on an school exchange trip to Brighton some years ago, had awoken to a rumpus outside in the street. On looking out the window, she saw that some yobs had painted swastikas all over the garden and house wall. I just said there are still some idiots about. What does one reply to that?


  4. Paul: yes, that makes you wonder how they have been looking at you all this time. – I suppose in Germany they’d be painting swastikas and meaning it differently.

  5. It’s hypocricy. Some non-Brits think the British – including, unfortunately, the Celtic Fringes – are the biggest racists. Witness racially motivated crimes and murders from Dover to Glasgow.

    Certainly the English public/ boarding school I was at was run on the lines of a concentration camp, even in the Swinging Sixties, by rampant anti-Semitic and anti-Black, cane-wielding masters (teachers) who’d fought the Germans with the British forces in World War II to ‘rid the world of racists’.

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