Saturday 6 November 2004

Mentioning the War

On Wednesday lunchtime I was having a quiet pint in my local. A group of German football fans came in and sat at the next table. They were the advance guard for the UEFA game against Heart of Midlothian the following evening. I was reading the Scotsman and they were reading the Daily Express (I think). On the front page of their paper was a headline along the lines of “Queen forced to dine in Hitler’s bunker”. This caused considerable amusement. Then one of the Germans pointed to the poppy at the top of the front page of his paper and then over to the poppies on sale at the bar. One of them turned to me and asked, “Why are so many people wearing those red flowers?” I replied that they were to commemorate British soldiers who had died in wars. The Germans nodded and one of them went over to buy another round. When he returned I was pleased to note that he was wearing a poppy.

The only downside was the result the next night…

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Ben Cosin
I think the Germans are a bit too civilised nowadays - except for the dreadful Genscher-Kohl-Fischer destruction of Yugoslavia (in 1914 one of the Austro-German slogans was "Serbien muss sterben". More Germans died in WWI than Brits and Sir Edward Grey's swindling the British people and especially his Parliamentary Party into an unnecessary and genocidal conflict was a crime equalled at the time only by the refusal of British governments to negotiate peace terms and the continuation of the starvation-sanctions against the German people well into 1919. 
Not to mention the awkward fact that celebrating the armistice is actually also celebrating the seizure of most of the Middle East by the British Empire - what a disaster that has been..... 
It was very much to credit of the old Labour Party of 1914-8 that opposition to the war continued on a widespread basis for a long time. Indeed, my Scots (Pollokshaws) in-laws included two McGonagall lads, Christian names Marx and Engels, who went to the USA to avoid conscription..... 
Ben Cosin (London, England)

18 November 2004, 11:55:02 GMT
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Wonderful story, and I'm also pleased to say it doesn't surprise me. I've found that despite the embarrassing British obsession with the war, the Germans have never held any ill-will for it, and are a wonderful people.

10 November 2004, 00:56:57 GMT
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Alastair Ross
I hope the Americans arent too shocked at seeing the Scottish regiment's tanks adorned with a Christian religious symbol (the cross of St Andrew) even as they engage the Muslim enemy.

8 November 2004, 00:05:59 GMT
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6 November 2004, 23:24:45 GMT
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What are the Scottish and British sentiments in general regarding the three recently-lost Black Watch soldiers in Iraq following their dispatchment to previously US-held territory?

6 November 2004, 22:49:20 GMT
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With your new-found respect for our fellow, mainland Europeans, are you going to stop refering to the Labour Party as the "Neuerarbeitspartei regime"? 
If you do, I may consider stopping refering to "Her Majesty" as "Mrs Saxe-Coburg-Gotha".

6 November 2004, 22:32:49 GMT