Sunday, August 30, 2009

Friendly Germans

German troops parading as allies on Bastille Day, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris
German troops parading as allies on Bastille Day
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Paris, July 1994

Search labels: 14 juillet

10 comments:

Jacob said...

My stomach lurched a little bit at this photo...

I know they're "allies" and our friends and I think that is all wonderful, but this is such a vivid flashback to the time when that wasn't the case.

Yikes!

cieldequimper said...

Being half German I can only clap my hands. I wasn't born, they weren't born and though nothing must be forgotten, though everything must be taught and remembered at all costs, let's move on, please, which is precisely what's being done here...

Vogon Poet said...

@ ciel - I love Germany as much I love France, so I can't agree more with you. I was glad to be there, some people were angry, many were moved as I was.
Young Americans had to give their lives to save us from ourselves twice in a Century, so I understand Jacob's reaction too.

Jacob said...

@ Ciel and VP - I don't think I said what I wanted to say very well.

My reaction was visceral. Had nothing to do with Germany today or the German people today. I've never been to Germany, but would love to go and have some ancestry there as well as in France and England.

I was just a few years too young to be called to serve in WWII. But I felt its impact very deeply when uncles and friends went off to war and didn't come back.

I taught history for years and that era has always pulsated through me for reasons I can't explain...nor can I forget what happened then.

Please understand my reaction was to the photo; it was immediate, but fleeting, and has nothing to do with reality today.

Like Ciel, I clap my hands at this symbol of Germany and France, not as enemies but as partners in creating a better world.

Mea culpa. I probably should have kept my big mouth shut!

cieldequimper said...

Well no actually, don't say mea culpa because my reaction was against the French, not you! All those young people who "hate" Germans for... well... nothing really because they've never met Germans of their age. Being half German, I know what I'm talking about. Having had my French grandfathers in the French army fight my German grandfathers in the German army, I know what I'm talking about...

Jacob said...

Okay...thanks, Ciel! I can understand where you're coming from!

cieldequimper said...

Okay, like most people I only had two grandfathers so lose the two "s". ;-) Three great-grandfathers never came back in 1918 however, The sole survivor of WWI was my father's French grandfather. I have toyed with the idea that they mutually butchered themselves in the trenches. I'm just rambling on, sorry VP...

Vogon Poet said...

@ ciel - Don't worry, I understand. My grandfather was there too, on the wrong side, the other was too old and had already fought in WW I.
@ Jacob - I posted this image in good faith, without the slightest intention of offending anyone, If I did I am very sorry...

Jacob said...

No offense taken whatsoever. In fact, I liked the post...it just gave me the willies, at first. :-)

cieldequimper said...

Oh and I did forget one thing: I -like many Europeans- will always be grateful to the British for holding on until at last America came to save us (well... at least in Western Europe). So, so grateful to the USA.