Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 10/Dec/2005: "Ten German Bombers?"

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Ten German Bombers?

The way the draw for the World Cup 2006 has gone there is at least a possibility of Germany playing England in the second round. But not only that, with the World Cup taking place in Germany it was only to be expected that some of the old hostilities would be dug out again: Don't mention the war. It's arguable who started it, but to me it looks like at least one outlet of the German press is trying to stir up something.

Der Spiegel writes: Es ist die Lieblingshymne der englischen Fußballfans - ausgerechnet diese sollen sie bei ihrem erklärten Lieblingsfeind nicht singen dürfen (It is the favourite chant of the England supporters - and in particular this one they should not sing when visiting their favourite enemy), picking up a minor point in Sven-Goran Eriksson's reaction to the World Cup draw. It then continues with details about the song and links to a video Spiegel-TV recorded during Euro 2004 in Portugal (which at least to extent looks like a performance for the camera to me). The general tone of the article appears very much anti-English to me and I fear is likely to create the wrong impressions in Germany.

I'm not too familiar with the behaviour of the England supporters, but I'm more inclined to believe what The Times writes: Most England fans will show proper respect to their hosts but there is still a minority of fans who consider it amusing or simply provocative to sing “Ten German bombers”. The Sun is also mostly getting it and hasn't dug out the war metaphors (yet). And even Billy Bragg has something positive to write about England fans (slightly older, but probably still true (link via In Actual Fact)).

Minority of fans -vs- favourite chant, with the England supporters changing, isn't it time that (at least parts of) the German press change as well?

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