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Preparing to Watch England vs Germany in Greece – you really are allowed to mention the war

Tom Winnifrith
Thursday 24 June 2021

You might just remember that my first night in Kambos, the village nearest to the Greek Hovel, saw Germany take on the Argies at football and, for reasons I am sure you can guess, I supported the Hun. The entire village was rooting for the Argies and I got dirtier and dirtier looks as the game went on, especially from the man who is now my best friend in town and my business partner, Nicho the Communist.

Back here in Britain we are told that the FA will ban any spectator at the game who sings a song related to the last time we defeated Germany at her national sport. There is a national diktat from the Great and the Good “DON’T MENTION THE WAR!” It is almost an elephant in the room. So what if most Germans are related to a war criminal? We must all forgive and forget. Whatever…

On that evening seven years ago in Kambos, Nicho explained to me that the Germans had raped Greek women, slaughtered civilians and stolen all their gold and for that reason he, and it seemed everybody else, hated the Krauts. I am yet to be convinced, as are most Greeks, that Germany owes Greece a vast amount of money. But I cannot argue with the fact that the Germans did behave very badly after they invaded in 1941 although – apart from the treatment of the Jews -  there were actually far more atrocities committed against civilians during the Greek Civil war which followed Word War Two than under the occupation by The Nazis. 

I am not sure if the one German who does actually live in the village, a fine wine merchant who is married to the sister-in-law of lovely Eleni of the Kourounis taverna, opted not to watch that game with his neighbours. I would not have blamed him for giving it a miss as feelings do run high.

Anyhow, on Tuesday, Joshua and I shall head off to the taverna to watch the game knowing that the entire village will be rooting for Eng-er-land and whatever the BBC and the FA argue, the reason for that is everything to do with the bloody war.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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