Monday, August 21, 2006

If we beat them again, do we get to keep them?

Ooops.

When will the Germans stop banging on about the war? It’s really very tiresome. You don’t catch us Brits bringing it up left and right. It’s all water under the bridge to us, of course.

And what the hell is Grass beating himself up for anyway? He was a seventeen year old conscript, for Christ’s sake – not Himmler’s personal Jew-baiter.

Seems the only people who aren’t allowed to obsess about the war are the ones who actually won it. Oh no. That would be “triumphalism”.


The SS Panzer Division Frundsberg website, yesterday. No word on whether they’ll be inviting Guenter along as yet…

23 comments:

Desargues said...

I clicked on the link to Frundsberg's website, and I was told their bandwidth limit had been exceeded.

Now this could mean several things. Either Ivan's readership is myriads (wouldn't surprise me, with all the Australian spooks checking out your blog reg'larly, heh, heh), and they all rushed to check out some vintage SS memorabilia.

Or theiraudience is of the order of multitudes, and always online (could they be weirdos in Montana and pimply teenagers in Russia?). The Nazis, they walk among us.

Or, finally, the morons who sigh for the former glory of the Frundsberg division in the solitude of their parents' basement could only afford bargain basement bandwidth (something like MyHostCamp), which they exceeded, just like Joe Lieberman's campaign people. I suspect they're gonna claim it was a denial of service attack by the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy that runs the internet. It's all the juice's fault.

PI said...

Yes we did win the war didn't we and Lancashire won the War of the Roses so I'm a double winner. Where's my trumpet? Just as we(the Brits) are shy and diffident compared to the rest of the world so are Lancastrians compared to Yorkshire men. And how!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Ivan

You're clearly more widely read than the SS' Panzer division website; you've caused them to exceed their bandwidth limits! Good on you!

Kevin

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I can't see how being in the SS as a conscript of 17 who probably didn't have a clue what was going on detracts from his literary achievements. But neither do I think people like Roman Polanski should be feted for his art when he faces some pretty nasty child sex accusations at home. I don't think Guenter's mistake was of the same order, but the hooha surrounding him would suggest that it was.

Much has been made of the fact that he set himself up as some sort of moral guidance-counsellor for Germany, and so is therefore, somehow asking for a beating. The other way to look at that is his SS membership and the necessary shame he felt about his association with it (however benign) may have been the impetus he needed to go the direction he did. God knows the German psyche needed to learn how to show contrition and figure out how to get past their history. I think they've done a pretty good job and even his present-day detractors concede he was a constructive part of that national coming-to-terms.

It's an ugly blot on the CV that's for sure; It's a big mistake but he's said he had little idea of what the SS were about at the time and I can't see why, at the end of a man's life, while he's making his confessional and unburdening himself of his sins, why he would hold anything back.

It seems like a non-story to me. But its still better than back-to-back Jon-Benet. The West Coast paper of record, the LA Times, Friday: the above-the-fold leader was a big photo of the Karr character.

Bah!

Seamus said...

Perhaps GG fans are storming the internet to discover all about the Frundsberg - this may be something like the "Perestroika deception", the supposed awesome gambit of the Soviets - by playing possum and laying down and dying, disguising their SECRET TAKEOVER OF THE WORLD, in the form of Richard Perle, Roman Abramovich, Paris Hilton and various other Bolshevist-Zionist-freemason-Knights Templar=[insert conspiracy subject here] figures. But those dastardy Nazis got their first, and now is the time to strike - when Agent Grass confesses, sorry "confesses" his guilt, it will be the cue for apparently guilt ridden liberal Grass readers everywhere to suddenly don their Waffen-SS uniforms, break into "Tomorrow Belongs To Me", and arrange to have the Reichstag/Congress/Houses of Parliament/Holyrood House (nah, why bother) set alight...

Paw said...

It's not the winning it's the taking part, unless of course you're French, and when the other blokes team is led by a testiculaly challenged house-painter, a transvestite and a sadistic chicken farmer well it hardly seems like a fair fight at all.

Ivan the Terrible said...

So my post has defeated the entire SS Panzer Division Frundsberg all by itself? Well, it was a team effort - I owe it all to you guys :)

And Sam, agreed, I'll take Guenter over the JonBenet thing any day of the week. Can't bear to watch that tape of the poor little monkey being paraded in evening dress without wanting to throttle her parents on the spot.

Apart from anything else, I seriously doubt that we've heard the whole story or that there'll be any conviction on the back end of this. For all we know, he's just your standard pervo who needed a free ticket home...

Desargues said...

Seamus, I believe the trigger signal is in fact the first few notes of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax. Other people have been led to do nasty things by it.

Another conspiracy, to which deplorably little attention has been paid, is taking place in my department, and has as its object to have me teach bioethics for the second time in a row. It is a loathsome subject, and I resent being its victim. Maybe Mel Gibson ought to do something about that.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Could be worse, Des. You could be having to learn it for a second time, and what a waste of time that would be. Imagine all the cool flesh-eating sub-human stem cell monsters you could be creating...

f:lux said...

From the link - "It has even been suggested that his "revelation" might have been a publicity stunt, ahead of next month's publication his autobiography, called Peeling Onions."

Yes, it would have been much more sensible to wait until his biog hit the shops, as there's always an outside chance that nobody would have spotted the GG in the SS chapter.

Any way, the man has called his memoirs 'Peeling Onions' - who is he, Shrek?

Ivan the Terrible said...

There is a certain resemblance, yes - tho' he's not in Wayne Rooney's class...

f:lux said...

I see what you mean, though till now I'd classed Rooney as more Cabbage Patch Doll. With a touch of Chuckie perhaps.

staghounds said...

What he did in the SS, how he came to be there, what he thought, and how he changed afterward are irrelevant to some people. Those who believe in "diversity" and the other group identity religions have excused themselves from worrying about individuals as individuals. Assignment to a group replaced that.

He WAS lefty peacenik author, GOOD.

Now he might be Nazi, BAD. (You know, like the Pope, another conscript. Although Grass has NOT said he was drafted into the SS. Hmmmm...)

It's impossible for him to be both- a person whose beliefs evolved, who has done bad and good things in a long life. STAY IN YOUR CATEGORY!

It remains to be seen which label sticks to him among the bien pensants.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Chuckie - YES - Chuckie! That's who he looks like! God, that's been bothering me. Thanks, f:lux!

And well said, Staghounds. It's important to our New Labour masters that, now that outmoded class stereotypes have been swept away, people learn their places anew. And then stay in them. All this feckless social and political mobility is contrary to good order, you know...

Aunty Marianne said...

Oh God. Do we all have labels? I wonder what's on mine.

Sell-by-date jokes will not be well received.

f:lux said...

De rien, Ivan. *curtsies*

I think Staghounds has got it back to front though. People who start out extreme right and end up left wing are in the minority. Mitterand is a particularly fascinating example. So labels are rubbish. People change!

Ivan the Terrible said...

Hi Aunty - fortunately there's still time to make a choice if you ever return to Blighty. According to current HM Govt guidelines, your options are Well-Heeled Right-On Labourista (right), Snooty Tory Toff (wrong), Chavette (ignore), or Miscellaneous Ethnic (ignore unless ticking, in which case grovel). If none of those holes fit very well don't despair - they have ways of banging you in...

And f:lux - don't imagine you have immunity! Everyone has to choose in the end...

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

General Vanya, report from the field, sir. All troops aquitted themselves with honour in the battle against SS Panzer Division Frundsberg, SIR!. Gerry didn't see us coming. Minor casualties only reported. Oh, and Corporal Pat fought pluckily but dropped her trumpet and it can't be found, SIR! Do you want her wages docked?

May I just say, what an honour it was to fight by your side. I think I speak for all the lads. We would gladly follow you into battle anywhere. Hif you don't mind me saying so, SIR!

Ivan the Terrible said...

Carry on, Sar'nt Major - carry on...

f:lux said...

Immunity from what? From real choices?? Pfft.

f:lux said...

I seem to have got all huffy but I can't remember how or why. So an apology might be in order?

oops...

Ivan the Terrible said...

No need, f:lux, really - we get a lot of bipolar types here. You're among friends... :)

f:lux said...

Oh phew...