Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by BoomShackerLacker, Oct 30, 2006.
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Henry Allingham meets his old foe - quite the most touching reconciliation
I watched the whole thing, yes it is very moving to see enemies meeting after so long and be able to make friends and share some common ground.
My old dad, now long gone, never had bad feelings about the Jerry who kicked him out of Europe at Dunkirk.
Mind you I cannot say the same about his feelings for jap.
Yes I've met several World War II servicemen who couldn't stand any Japanese because of their experiences in the last war, including my old rector
My grandfather, got on very well with some of his former German adversaries when he met any and saw that the average soldier or in his case airman was in the same position as him. He would not however p1ss on a Japs head if it was on fire. He had some very nasty experiences with them and was happy to talk about the war as a whole but never talked about his time with the Japanese. Always had a deep mistrust (putting it mildly) of them until he died.
I was on KAPE Tour in the 70's in Plymouth and the team was invited down to the Mayflower Sloe Gin factory on the Barbacan. The owner was one of the escape committee team from Coldiz. Whilst we were enjoying the gin his "very special" guest arrived. It was the Camp Commandant who was now his very good friend and came to visit each year. Great night, and we thought we could tell stories.
I met an elderly German woman in my home town as part of my job, I asked her what had made her come to England. She said she had married an English soldier immediately after the war and returned to the UK with him.
I asked her if she had experienced any hostility from the english (working classes) when she arrived in England. She said no, "we were the same, they had to fight and so did we. There was no hard feelings".
This surprised me.
do you know if the same guy still owns the place? i doubt it bout would be very interested
I did an escape and evasion in Germany back in the 80's, and we were helped by an ex Kriegsmarine chap who'd been a PoW of ours during the war - he was very keen to help us after I had explained our predicament in my Pigeon German - luckily the exercise scenario was that we were on friendly territory which had been invaded, and we had to make our way back to our own lines.
Just goes to show, people can't remain enemies forever, especially when there is a 'shared' cultural background.
When I was a v young sprog on my first tour in Germany, met an ex SS tanker, who'd served on the eastern front - thought we were the dogs b*****x!!
My Grandad was ambivalent towards Germans (he had his portrait painted in watercolours by an Afrika Korps PW) but felt real dislike and distrust towards the Japanese, as did many of that generation. The many sacrifices endured by his generation meant that reconciliation was not possible and it is only in later generations that we have been able to pick up the pieces and build bridges between nations as different as the UK and Japan, to try and ensure such conflicts never happen again.
I have met a number of WWII veterans in my current profession.
Most did not comment on their experiences, a few did. One said to me that "the Germans hate us, if they had the chance they would kill every last man of us". I don't know what experiences helped him form his opinion.
I joined the Army when it was still over 200,000 strong. 1 Div went on exercise in the US Sector one year, down the Moselle valley. Every single one of us met an old guy who had been on tanks fighting the Russians and thought we were great.
We must have done a great job of killing off the ones on the western front, we never seemed to meet any
They had my dad prisoner for 4 years, later as chair of the town-twinning comittee, he never let them forget it.
The only reason I drive a VW is because they were set up by the REME
Vorsprung Durch Arborfield as they say in Wolfsburg
Lots of Italian POWs working on farms on Exmoor (and I'm sure many other places) during the war, especially after the fall of Mussolini. Surprising number of families with Italian names round there. Many of them just never went home.
Unfortunatly the place has been taken over and redone as a bloody Witherspoons. Not sure what happened to the owner.
Have only met 1 german guy who actually admits to having taken part in WW2 .
Was at this birds house for Sunday afternoon coffee and kuchen with all the aged Aunties and Uncles and the like. So as so often happens the photo albums came out and were passed around the room. I noticed that there was one album that was always passed back along the line away from me when ever it got near me, until that is it got into the hands of this older chap. He called me over and showed me a photo of some soldier getting presented a medal.
That's me getting a medal from von Brauchitsch (German Fieldmarshal) for blowing up a British tank!"
We then spent the rest of the afternoon drinking and swapping war stories
He seemed to have no hard feelings about the bullet holes in him or the 2 years he spent in a POW camp, his stories of being part of the occupation army in France could have been lifted straight from Arrse. Drink, girls, fights and shitty jobs.
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