Friday, May 25, 2007

The Germans

It's so easy to rubbish the Germans. I've never met one who didn't come over as a major liberal. Yet in the past 75 years, that same liberal, wouldn't-hurt-a-fly warm and cuddly nation has managed to give the world Adolf Hitler, the Nazi Party, Belsen, Dachau, Auschwitz, the Gestapo, the Stasi and Hohenschonhausen.

The last person "shot while trying to escape" the fatherland wasn't some British aviator trying to do a runner from Colditz castle disguised as a pantomime horse, oh no.

He was in fact, Chris Gueffroy, who tried going over the Berlin wall in February 1989 and was shot for his trouble.

So now a lot of ex-STASI are working in the German security services. How else to explain the fact that the old-time STASI preoccupation with collecting scent samples of dissidents to make them easier to track by dogs has made a reappearance?

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