Yes, Germany can be proud of its soldiers too

Yes, Germany can be proud of its soldiers too

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Friday 29, September, 2017

I WAS DELIGHTED to see Alternativ fuer Deutschland do so well. Over the moon in fact. It brought out three issues about Germany we all love to not discuss.

The first is that before 1914 there were Germans, after 1945 they were 'Europeans' and in between there was jazz, lots of banknotes and Nazis.

The second is that Europeans love Germans so long as Germans don't exist, because if they exist and they defend this alternative identity they are portrayed as Nazis.

The final point is that 40 years of East German Corbynism led to 25 years of harmony, lashings of infrastructure spending that cured poverty – and meanwhile no dramatic labour reforms throwing millions into chaos, ever happened.

Right, okay, I have some bad news. Germans really are not the baddies. Nor are they repressed Nazis or uniquely in love with the European Union.

Germany can be described as a very odd, immature, bipolar country. Sometimes that's putting it mildly. Its culture, resource base and geography shaped a people very different to ours. 

West Germans are told they haven't existed for 70 years and East Germans are painted as subsidy junkies who must match the productivity of the West, between them they have found making this one country work while also being the centre the of EU is not easy.

In Germany the West has seen taxes soar, the East was crippled well into the 2000s and so was forced to dump social protection under Hartz 4 reforms. These would have caused riots in the UK. The East just swallowed them whole.

Then Merkel flooded the country with over 1 million "refugees" and rapes and rogues skyrocketed.

And then something went ping in the German psyche. Germans started thinking the whole Euro-multiculture-tuttifrutti-how's-your-father wasn't working for them. And so they looked for a German alternative. Not Nazi. Just German. Is anyone really surprised?

Having stayed in eastern Germany as a student I enjoyed the company of a lovely elderly neighbour Frau Kiefel. She helped my Chinese girlfriend mend curtains, chatted with us over coffee and cake and had a sad little budgie called Baby she adored.

She talked of her family and a brother she lost in the war in his teens. The family was proud of him. He joined the Navy and looked dashing in his uniform. He was posted on a very prestigious ship which she showed me a photograph of.

He had served on the Tirpitz and would have perished in the cold Norwegian fjord we sunk it in

Now ask how eastern Germans voted.  Massively for an anti-euro, anti-immigration, anti-austerity party that values German culture and their war dead for their service.

Every nation deserves its heroes and its self-respect.

That teenage boy drowned in cold water miles from home was not a raging Nazi nutter. Nor are Germans, though too many of us so quickly hope them to be.

Germany voted AfD because other parties didn't do their job. The vote was fair and peaceful and has started a real debate in that country. You don't have to agree with AfD to see it winning support as a good thing, as Germany comes to terms with itself.

Germany isn't turning Nazi. It's growing up and remembering itself, warts and all. As we leave the EU so will we.

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