Skip to comments.Queen's visit stirs Anglo-German WWII past
Posted on 11/03/2004 1:10:59 PM PST by Willie Green
For education and discussion only. Not for commercial use.
BERLIN, Nov 3 (Reuters) Queen Elizabeth, hoping to further reconciliation between Britain and Germany, has the two former World War Two foes to learn from history but not be obsessed by the past and to reject national stereotypes.
The queen's fourth state visit to the country aims to focus on Britain's current ties with Germany, but has been dogged by memories and talk of World War Two.
Addressing dignitaries including German President Horst Koehler yesterday, the 78-year-old queen referred briefly to the wartime pain of German and British people, but emphasised the success of their modern-day partnerships in NATO and the European Union.
''In remembering the appalling suffering of war on both sides, we recognise how precious is the peace we have built in Europe since 1945,'' she told a state banquet.
''We owe it to those who built the partnership to continue the process into the 21st century: to learn from history and not be obsessed by it, to look beyond simplistic stereotypes to realise how often we share the same outlook.'' Suggestions the queen should use the visit to apologise for the devastating British bombing of Dresden, in which at least 35,000 people were killed just three months before the war's end, sparked a war of words among populist newspapers.
The queen will host a benefit concert for Dresden's restored Frauenkirche Cathedral tonight.
The media pounced on the venue for yesterday's state banquet with some questioning the wisdom of using a Berlin palace once used by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi generals.
''Whose idea was this?'' asked Germany's top-selling Bild daily after learning the dinner would be held in the Zeughaus, a 17th century palace where Hitler honoured Nazi war heroes.
German-British relations came under strain when London supported the 2003 U.S.-led war in Iraq. Germany has long complained that its Nazi past still blights British perceptions of the country.
German papers have delivered head-shaking analyses of why Britain remains so obsessed by images of Nazis and the war and so uninterested in the realities of modern Germany which is planning lavish coverage of the queen's visit.
Koehler told the queen that Germans respected and valued her because she had personally worked for reconciliation between their two countries.
"Don't mention the war."
It was just one of those little things, you know. She really shouldn't mention that Buckingham Palace was bombed once while was she was there, and the East End of London pratically burned down, and those V-1s and V-2s are a little hard to forget for the survivors.....
and that pesky Dunkirk, blitzes, and the hallocost thing. such a nuisance like terrorism
Ahem, but don´t you think that it´s time to move on since THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS THAT INFLUENCE THE RELATIONS OF THE UK AND GERMANY? The war, which is over SINCE 59 YEARS (!!!) IS CERTAINLY IRRELEVANT FOR THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE BRITISH AND GERMAN NATIONS.
So who did the fact checking for this article? Are the people at Bild so utterly ignorant of their own history? The Zeughaus was a storage house (arsenal) finished in 1706. It was not, and never had been a "palace" and I have no idea whatsoever what the author means by the Hitler reference, except possibly that the building had been used as a museum and library after it ceased to fulfill its original logistical functions.