Tit for tat in Europe



This following exchange of opinions between a German and an Englishman is quite typical of the kind of atmosphere between Germany and England. On the surface, everything is quite polished, and everybody is good friends. Underneath the surface, ugly sentiments linger and omit a foul stench. I don’t want to add too much to this whole debate; maybe this one comment: The fact that a German has this kind of exchange with somebody from England and not from France does tell us something, and it’s not about Germany.

Anyway, let the games begin. It all started with Matthias Matussek, an author of Germany’s ultra-influential weekly Der Spiegel noting that “the British love to hate us Germans. So much so that my 10-year-old son was chased by English school kids chanting ‘Nazi, Nazi’. In fact, the hunt for Nazis has become a neurotic English parlour game. The British really enjoy raking over the German past instead of devoting themselves to their own.” (full text).

Not so, responded British author Frederick Taylor, author of a book about the bombing of Dresden (where he argues there were many good reason for the bombing, which happened when the war was long lost for Germany), because even though Matussek’s article “though rather grumpy in tone, makes some good points, especially about the legacy of the British Empire and the causes of the continuing disaster that is the Iraq war. Nevertheless, it does seem rather one-sided.” (full text).