UK still obsessed with Nazis: German ambassador
9 May 2005, LONDON - Britain is still "obsessed with the Nazi period" and ignorant about post-war Germany, said Berlin's ambassador to London Thomas Matussek, according to a report by the British Daily Telegraph on Sunday.
9 May 2005
LONDON - Britain is still "obsessed with the Nazi period" and ignorant about post-war Germany, said Berlin's ambassador to London Thomas Matussek, according to a report by the British Daily Telegraph on Sunday.
Matussek, ambassador in London since 2002, also warned that the two countries were "drifting apart" because British school children were raised with "dangerous misunderstandings" about the Germans.
The ambassador said schools in Britain taught little German and hardly any history covering the post-war era in Germany. As a result, the young generations of Britain and Germany were hardly listening to each other.
Germany's eastern neighbours including Russia, Poland and the former Czechoslovakia had suffered far more than Britain under the Nazi regime, and yet they were not sharing Britain's view of Germany, he said.
However, it was ignorance rather than anti-German sentiments that were at the root of the misunderstandings, he said, but added ignorance could cause xenophobia.
Asked about Prince Harry's appearance in a Nazi uniform at a fancy dress party, Matussek was quoted as saying: "If it were a normal teenager, I would like to create an opportunity to tell him what Germany is really about."
He added, in Britain he was "constantly confronted in newspapers, radio and television, with lots of material about the Nazi period."
Germans were viewing their country's defeat in World War Two 60 years ago also as the liberation from Nazi suppression.
Pete Summerton, the chairman of the Royal British Legion in Stratford-upon-Avon was quoted by the newspaper as commenting, the ambassador "has it wrong. We move on, but we don't forget."
Subject: German news