Posts Tagged Germany

Two in two days.

Two in two days.

OK, I couldn’t help myself with writing about this one – a story of German troops during the Second World War being provided with the stimulant Pervitin to keep them alert. Not a new story to those of us who have studied this period, but apparently breaking news to the hacks at the Daily Mail who see it as one more opportunity to shoehorn Adolf Hitler into yet another ridiculous headline. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dummkopf of the Week…

Dummkopf of the Week...

When a German says something remotely controversial, all hell breaks loose. When somebody else does something so obviously bad that it demands a public horse-whipping, it’s somehow just a “gaffe” that elicits a litany of scarcely believeable excuses. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sophistry Corner: What a Turkey

Sophistry Corner: What a Turkey

A Sophistry Corner special today featuring one of Europe’s favourite people, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Clearly the man believes that integration of Turks in Germany means more Turkish schools, more Islamic “education centres”, more Saturn V minarets and “honour killings” being incorporated into the Grundgesetz. Well, anything but Turks making an effort themselves and speaking the language of the country in which they choose to live. Read the rest of this entry »

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Und es ist vorbei.

Und es ist vorbei.

And so, it came to an end – stifled by a scarily impressive Spanish side that pulled yet another trick out of its impressive bag by swinging in a very old-fashioned corner and having their old-fashioned centre-back smash in an old-fashioned header. Well, we all knew better than to question Paul der Kraken-Orakel. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Cup Update…

World Cup Update...

I have tried my best to keep schtum during the last week, given how much I have been impressed by the young German team’s progress at this World Cup. Since my last blog, they have banged in eight goals en route to their third semi-final in a row and eleventh in all, beating England 4-1 in what was the mother of all media-fuelled weekends and then Argentina 4-0 where everyone bar Alan Hansen finally took note. Read the rest of this entry »

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Daily Mail (World Cup) Story of the Week

Daily Mail (World Cup) Story of the Week

No Daily Mail Nazi Story of the Week this week – OK, there was a pointless story about Hitler ordering a high-spec Mercedes from his cell at Landsberg) – but their latest World Cup dossier on the German team certainly ranks right up there in the bullshit for the sake of it stakes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Most displeased.

Most displeased.

Germany 0 Serbia 1.

A man sent off for nothing by an utterly incompetent paella-munching Hallmark job applicant, a fluffed penalty, and ninety minutes of sheer unadulterated frustration. Read the rest of this entry »

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Copy unchecked stat, paste.

Copy unchecked stat, paste.

Sometimes I have to wonder who these so-called journalists are, and what research methods they employ. In reading a report a few days ago about Germany’s record at the World Cup, I read that they had “not lost a group game since 1994” – which suggested was that the last time they had lost a group game was in 1994 when the event was hosted in the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

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The very fine line

The very fine line

Like all fans of German football I am shocked by the news concerning the death of goalkeeper Robert Enke, in what was confirmed to be a suicide at a level crossing at Neustadt am Rubenberge, a few miles north-west of Hannover.

It is shocking news, but to me no great surprise: Robert Enke was always a very fragile soul, whose recent life was affected by tragedy – something that seems to fly under the radar when we follow the careers of successful sportsmen and women. He lost his two-year-old daughter in 2006, was beset with a string of injuries, and simply yearned for a quiet life that was wholly incompatible with the life of a modern footballer.

The truth is that Enke should have been watched more closely, especially after the case of Sebastian Deisler who took an extended break from the game for depression before finally retiring completely as the age of 27. Deisler was once heralded as the bright future star of German football but had a quiet, introverted lifestyle that was clearly at odds with public perception of what a footballer’s life should be like; he was not interested in fast cars, nightclubs or fame – he just wanted to play football, go home and be left alone. As he admitted afterwards, he simply wasn’t made for the football business.

Robert Enke: A Sporting Tragedy

Robert Enke: A Sporting Tragedy

Robert Enke was much the same. He lived quietly on a farm with his family and a menagerie of animals, and was a guy who cared more about more important things than fame for the sake of it. He would never be seen stumbling out of a nightclub, and his wife would never have been seen gallvanting on the Ku’Damm with an army of dolled-up WAGs.

Of course, most British people – save those who follow German football – would have been unaware of all this, but we have our own story with the case of cricketer Marcus Trescothick, who shocked the cricketing establishment by coming straight out with it and saying that the constant grind was wearing him out both physically and mentally. Again, Tresco was an old school cricketer – the polar opposite of someone like Kevin Pietersen who has led English cricket into the world of celebrity glitz – and the external pressures had just become too much to bear. Cricket was no longer fun, but had become a burden.

Robert Enke: Ruhe in Frieden.

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Integration: A German Success Story

Integration: A German Success Story

A burning topic over the last few weeks has been that of the idea of identity, and what it takes to be part of a wider community. The prominence of the likes of the BNP in the news has made the very idea of what it means to “belong” a hot topic, and opinions on the matter differ markedly even among those who might otherwise find common ground on the vast majority of other issues.

As a member of a fairly diverse but essentially occidentalist culture – us Burghers can now be found far and wide, from Germany to South Africa and from Canada to Australia – there was never any real issue us having to “fit in” – we just did. While I since have heard tales of woe from many, they are utterly alien to me: despite living in what could have been described as arguably one of the most “whiter than white” environments – a succession of armed forces bases – these problems just seemed to pass me by. The only negativity I seem to remember from my schooldays came as a result of my long-held admiration of the German wartime military, and my being dubbed “Firebomb Fritz” after a trip to the Imperial War Museum where a fellow pupil had been inspired by a wartime propaganda poster. I cannot remember much else, to be honest.

Firebomb Fritz: scary...

Firebomb Fritz: scary...

Given the life I experienced as a youngster on an RAF base in the otherwise dark and dangerous seventies and eighties I have always believed in the principle of assimilation and absoption – in short, a straightforward “when in Rome” approach – and have never agreed with the multi-cultural experiment, which is an exercise that contradicts all given rules of common sense and social cohesion. A nation is made by weaving new ideas with the old, in pursuit of a culture that is continues to develop and improve both socially and economically. It is about creating a society with fundamental values that we all should share, something that resides not merely in word and deed, but at the very core of our being.

The multi-kulti mantra parroted by the left has always run in the opposite direction to this; rather than promoting the idea that newcomers should try and bring the best of their own culture and meld it with that of the majority, they have continually advanced the cock-eyed idea that everything can sit alongside each other and merrily tick along. Meanwhile, the majority are made to respect the culture of the newcomer and accept it in its entirety, even if many aspects may be at odds with mainstream society or at times diametrically opposed to what many would consider basic rules of human conduct. The words “tolerance” and “acceptance” are thrown around like sweets at a childrens’ party, but little is said about the fact that these concepts cut both ways – and it shouldn’t be up to one party to bend over backwards while the other happily stamps all over them.

Of course, when you give somebody an inch they will almost always end up taking a mile; and so it has come to pass that we have seen the development of fractured, divided communities where society has become atomised. Instead of common ground there is division, and instead of social harmony there is mutual mistrust and – when things spill over – open and visceral hate. There is little or no concept of a common civic culture, as the social bedrock it requires is slowly being chipped away.

The left have argued that Britain has progressed on account of the number of so-called “minority” figures in positions of influence; this may in itself look like a good thing, but one even then has to wonder whether these people are there simply as window dressing, or are there to promote their own partisan interests. It does irk me when I see a parliamentarian described as “Britain’s first Muslim cabinet minister”, for example; what is this supposed to mean? Where does this MP’s loyalties actually lie? Are they there to represent all of the people in their constituency, or simply the Muslim community? It may sound like I am softly walking on the path laid out by the likes of Nick Griffin, but I would rather have a MP of a onetime Muslim background than a “Muslim MP”. OK, perhaps it is just a matter of semantics, but there’s always a lot more to it than that.

This all leads me to the story that inspired me to write this – the selection of the first German cabinet minister of Asian descent, Dr. Philipp Rösler.

A high-flyer within the Freie Demokratische Partei (Free Democratic Party, or FDP), Rösler is the ultimate posterboy for the success of integration: born in South Vietnam and adopted by a German family he lived as a German, grew up as one and is now a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new cabinet. If Rösler had been British, his career would have been artificially fast-tracked; instead, he was able to quietly build what has so far been a stellar political career and get to where he is on merit. After serving in the Bundeswehr and then qualifying as a physician, he is now the minister for health in Europe’s largest democracy.

Dr. Philipp Rösler

Dr. Philipp Rösler

Unlike, say, many black or Muslim MPs in Britain, Philipp Rösler is not there on an ethnic minority ticket or because his constituency is conveniently located in a town or city populated by minorities. He does not represent South Vietnamese refugees, nor does he claim to represent the Asian community. He is a German-speaking Catholic, is married to a German, and represents Germans – as is his duty as a minister in the federal government.

Rösler is so well thought of in German political circles that he has been touted as a potential successor to current FDP leader Guido Westerwelle; were this to happen, he could one day end up as a future Vice-Chancellor.

That Germany, a country still seen as being way behind our own little island in terms of “equality legislation”, should produce the likes of Philipp Rösler has probably caused a great deal of confusion for the left; I am sure that many of them would scoff and describe him as a sell-out. Meanwhile, the sort of divisive candidate they support might win a shoo-in seat and get into Parliament, but would never get beyond that as they would not be seen as anything but a “minority candidate” who would be tasked with “minority issues”. Can you see the likes of Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik, for example, being a future Health Secretary? I can’t.

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