Monday, June 23, 2014

Eurocruise. The real elephant in the room in Germany

As we sailed along the Hungarian, Austrian and German rivers, I could not help but think about how things in these countries all went so terribly wrong during the second world war. Ok, no nice words. These countries under Hitler killed hundreds of thousands of their own people, who happened to be Jewish.

Basil Fawlty may well have said, 'don't mention the war' but it was all there, in our faces and undeniable.

How could that have happened? Any German people we had contact with were all terribly nice and polite and service in shops etc was always excellent. I try to transport myself back to being German in the lead up to war and the extremely awful conditions German people were living under  but I just cannot understand. The ultimate solution was always on my mind.

Germany and Austria in some ways have repented, but Hungary needs to have a good hard look at itself and who it votes for. At the moment it is under an extreme and repressive government. While Budapest may be a tourist delight, Hungary is not a country of liberty or freedom, of independent thought and opposing opinions.

I knew about it already, but along the bank of the Danube in Budapest is a a row of empty sculptured boots and I saw them from the number 2 tram. They are to commemorate the shooting of Jews and then pushing them into the river during the WWII. Some local lads thought it would be fun to put pigs' trotters into the boots, pigs being an unclean and a creature not for eating by Jews. No. As I said, Hungarians need to have a good look at themselves and adjust to the 21st century.

A couple of months before our trip when I was telling my nephew, who is now in South America with his partner following football and then tripping around various South Amercian countries, about our holiday and where we travelling to. The attempted extermination of Jews during WWII came up, and I was only a little surprised at his knowledge and he summed it up rather eloquently.

" Uncle Andrew, man, that was fucking shit". 

6 comments:

  1. Andrew, Hungary is not well-developed especially in small towns and villages. I was in Hungary -0 it is not the country which adjust to 21st century. Definitely Budapest is a nice city but the main problem is in smaller places because Hungarian don't speak foreign languages. What about Jewish in WWII a lot of people in European countries don't have basic knowledge about it. German teenagers don't know anything. Just 21st century.

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    1. Gosia, I am surprised that Germany does not educate its young people about the war and what happened. Young people have no need to be ashamed, but they should know.

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  2. Anti semitism is bubbling along in Europe from reports I have read. We don't learn much from history, it seems.

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    1. Seems so, Victor. Most unfortunate.

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  3. There have been some reports that Gypsies are currently the whipping boys in Europe. The worst of them seem to be giving the best of them a bad name.
    As for holocaust denials, it just beggars belief. But... perhaps the film footage I saw while growing up had an impact because it was seen as proof - digitally fiddling with images was not a concept I'd even imagined. And the sheer volume of books, docos etc was such - "back then" - that there was far too much for it to have been the result of any kind of conspiracy. Sad business.

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    1. FC, Gypsies are, and for good reasons at times. They are only a percent or so in Hungary, but are disproportionately much higher in crime figures, and naturally enough, they are the poorest of the poor and the most socially disadvantaged. Hungarian and French political leaders have gotten good mileage by talking tough, and with some actions too, against the gypsies.

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