Daniel Johnson

They Think It’s All Over

Don’t Mention the War: The British and the Germans since 1980

By

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John Ramsden begins his chronicle of Anglo-German attitudes with an anecdote about a holiday encounter with a German couple in Italy. The conversation turned to Russia. Ramsden asked the ‘handsome, upright’ German if he had visited Russia.

‘Well, just once,’ he wryly responded. ‘I went there in a tank in 1942.’ Pause. ‘To Stalingrad.’ This was followed by a delightful smile and the whispered, ‘I’m sorry. I know we are not supposed to mention the war.’

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