Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dutch, German — Same Thing!

One of the side effects of the Eurozone crisis has been to awaken old ethnic animosities. This has been especially true in Greece, where sectional antipathy does not make fine distinctions among different types of northerners.

Many thanks to Hermes for translating this brief article from Die Welt:

Greeks break the nose of a Dutchman

First they asked if he was a German, and after that they said “Dutch or German, it’s the same”. Two Greeks broke the nose of a Dutch pensioner, according to the reports.

A Dutchman living in Greece has been victim of an attack on xenophobic grounds in connection with the EU austerity program. According to what his Greek wife told the Greek newspapers, two Greeks in the small tourist town of Monemvasia broke the nose and the jaw of the 78-year-old man by punching him.

The alleged perpetrators, 45 and 48 years old, who according to the police were both drunk, “asked the Dutchman if he was a German,” said his wife. He answered: “No, I’m Dutch”.

After this they allegedly hit him, and one of them answered: “Dutch or German, it’s the same. What are you doing to our country?”

The victim has been living in the region for ten years. Since the attack He has been hospitalized in Tripolis, on the peninsula of Peloponnese.

This is the first attack of its kind since the eruption of the financial crisis. For months extremists from both the left and the right wing in Greece have been spreading an anti-German feeling. As the police stated on Tuesday morning, the attack happened on Sunday.


babs said...

I have never been to Greece but my son spent several days there while deployed with the U.S. Navy. He says it is a slow and easy culture with not a lot getting done in any one day.
I suppose if someone woke me from a very pleasent slumber I would become angry.

Wieland Schulz-Keil said...

This terrible story reminds me of one of the oldest -- and one of the few non-racist -- American ethnic jokes:

A Jewish man walks into a bar and sits down. He has a few drinks, then he sees a Chinese man and punches him in the face. "Ouch!" the Chinese man says. "What was that for?" "That was for Pearl Harbor," the Jewish man says. "But the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I'm Chinese!" The Jewish man says "Chinese, Japanese, what's the difference?" and sits back down. After a few minutes the Chinese man walks up to the Jewish man and punches him in the face. "Ouch!" the Jewish man says. "What was that for?" "That was for the Titanic," the Chinese man says. "But that was an iceberg!" "Iceberg, Goldberg, Steinberg, what's the difference?"

Qualis Rex said...

Babs - Yeah, I'm the last person to come to the defense of Greece, but I have to say I can no longer count on my fingers and toes the amount of times people have approached me with "where are you from" looking for a fight around the world (but I CAN say Scottish are the worst offenders...and English a close second). The bottom-line is no country is immune from drunks, idiots, or drunken idiots.

I wouldn't read too much into this. But it is sad for the poor chap, and I hope his wife takes good care of him during his recovery. As it's a small town, I'm sure the men who assaulted him will be dealt with (if not, then THAT would be the real story).

Anonymous said...


And, then there was the Greek, the Irish, and the Spanish having a good time at a bar. Guess who picked up the bill? The German.

Anonymous said...

Yeah,yeah, blame the Germans for working hard and recovering from the ruins of WW2, German economic strength might be the only factor holding the entire EU circus together.

One of the most notoriously cynical of politicians, Machiavelli, once observed-- "Men always resent those to whom they indebted."

Old Man

hank_F_M said...


What is the difference?

When I was in school in Paris our leftish Dutch friend would sometimes make comments about the US. We would start praising the Dutch for the ingenuity of the dykes, and add the Germans were smart enough to build on high ground.

Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

Vince said...

When you take away a people's democracy and put non elected texhnocrats in power people become desperate. When you offer them no hope and try and silence the debate on issues such as immigration etc it pushes these people to the extreme. Something tells me golden Dawn will do even better this time round in elections.

It would appear three groups are expanding in Many European countries extreme left extreme right and the immigrant population. Whilst it would appear more ordinary citizens in particular the young are moving towards the right (not neccesarrily the extreme right). Now all in all in most countries the vote on the right is split as in France u.k etc.

If we fast forward these trends ten years down the line what kind of picture are we looking at? Ok voting patterns and hostilities will be different per country. But there seems to be a short sightedness that we are all getting along fine and things will be rosy in the future.

I think in Greece in particular there will be a continuance and growth in irrational xenophobia like this example which will only deter genuine concerns ordinary folks have regarding immigration and integration etc.

And for the record anyone that punches a 70 year old man is a disgrace. A man who has clearly integrated and embraced greekness. Why don't these fake tough guys go beat up some Moroccan drug dealers?

retch said...

@ Hank_F_M... Puhlease. People who don't know any better often mistake my Dutch accent for a German's. I always tell them "NEVER tell a Dutchman he's German" - there's some good advice.
Hitler's flabber was good and gasted when he found out the Dutch didn't welcome him with open arms. Instead, they fired them at him and his Browntroops and put up the most succesful rreeistance against the Blitz-Krieg. Redad up on it. You'll be surprised an maybe, just maybe, in the future will shut up about things you just THINK know know about.

retch said...

Got carried away. Garbled a bit. Sorry. The message still comes through, loud and clear. Strength 8 or 9.

hank_F_M said...


Point taken.

Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings