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Anorak | Keep Mentioning The War: German Thomas Hüetlin On Beckhams And Britishers

Keep Mentioning The War: German Thomas Hüetlin On Beckhams And Britishers

by | 15th, May 2007

germans.png DEUTSCHLAND (“Ze Germans”)… Nein points. (“Nein! Nein! Nein!”)

If Eurovision voting is a barometer of national alliances, then the UK giving the Germans no points is a sign of lingering hatreds.

Of course, it could mean the British have grown-up and focus only on the music. But this theory is undone by the UK’s awarding of 12 points to Lithuania’s 4FUN and their ditty Love Or Leave

“Weak and unwise/ I betray all fears/ that I should disguise/ melting in your arms/ I fail to realise/ why the mornings always change the colour of your eyes”

Likes And Dislikes

So dislike it is. Thomas Hüetlin, the recently installed London correspondent of Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, has been considering the British view of his countrymen.

In an article entitled “Huns, Miele and Hitler”, Hüetlin tries to sum up how the British see the Germans. The article is equipped with a, perhaps, whimsical picture of Prince Harry dressed as Nazi.

And these, mind, the Germans who make an effort to be our friends by giving Scooch one point in Eurovision.

prince-harry-nazi.jpg British readers may read much into this. They may argue that the Germans yearn to be liked. And how this aching heart only makes them easier to mock. When Germans behave in stereotypical fashion, enthusiastically engaging in group activity, and building cracking dishwashers, we are unconcerned. We are impressed at their unity and idealism, even.

But when they express a desire to be understood, to be liked, to apologise for past wrongs over and be just like us, we grow suspicious. What British football fan has not seen his side take on the Germans and laughed as the enemy sing “Über Alles” and then felt their blood chill a little as the Germans move on to sing in English about “football coming home”?

Vorsprung Durch Beckham

So here’s Hüetlin getting prickly about life over here. Says he: “The Huns, that’s us, the Germans… And the animosity against us is folkloristic fun as traditional to the island [Britain] as driving on the left or holding the opinion that Victoria Beckham is a woman of class.”

Is that a dig at the British, using Sticky Vicky as a stick-thin cosh? Hüetlin fails to realise that only the mad among us consider the Beckham woman to be anything more than an amusing oddity. If we want to see class we look

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Posted: 15th, May 2007 | In: News Comments (9) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink