This morning, Tuesday, June 29, at 10:00 a.m. Belize time, England and Germany will meet in the knockout stage of the European Football Championships. This is a game I will try to watch, because the emotional level and intensity, not to mention skill, will be high, like the United States versus Mexico.
The Belizean generations before us knew a lot more about England and Germany (and Europe) than our generation did, because we who were born after World War II and the Panama experience were beginning to concentrate on moving to the United States. Remember that soon after World War II (1939-45), British Hondurans began to agitate for self-rule from Britain. We wanted to see what “Made in the U.S.A.” was all about.
The British and German people are considered “first cousins,” Anglo-Saxons, Aryans, and so on. But they fought two very bloody wars in the twentieth century in which they were the main protagonists. They fought to see who would be the boss.
The Germans were the losers in both wars, but I consider them a most formidable people. Personally, insofar as my experience with the machines the Germans manufacture is concerned, I consider the Germans to be the finest engineers in the world. I rate the Germans highly.
I was raised as a “British subject,” and cannot speak a word of German. There were British Hondurans who fought on the British side and gave their lives to the British cause in both World War I (1914-18) and World War II, most famously Gilbert “Dickie” Fairweather, son of Lt. Col. and Mrs. D. N. A. Fairweather, who was killed in a British air raid over Germany in the Second World War. Hence, when it is a case of England vs Germany, my loyalty has to be British.
Still, these, to repeat, are European people who are first cousins: they see people like me and you as inferior by birth and DNA.
In my column last week Friday, we quoted the fact that Belgium did not become a nation until 1830. With respect to that, the writer Adam Hochschild wrote: “Any respectable country of course needed a king, and the infant nation had gone looking for one, finally settling on a German prince, related to the British royal family, who had taken the Belgian throne as Leopold I.” (Up until maybe the seventeenth century, all the countries in Europe and Eastern Europe were monarchies, and these royal families were almost all inter-related. They married amongst themselves.)
In the British world of the twentieth century, there was probably never a “social” story as sensational as the day the King of England (Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Edward VIII, gave up the British throne in order to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Warfield Simpson. Edward VIII was King of England for only a few months in 1936. His younger brother, Albert, became King George VI, father of today’s Queen Elizabeth II.
But there is talk that the real problem was not the fact that Simpson was a divorcee: the problem was that Edward VIII was a Nazi sympathizer, an admirer of the one Adolf Hitler. Remember I told you: the British and the Germans are first cousins. While Hitler was getting ready for war and world domination, the British were fiddling and diddling under Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. The British and French had crushed the Germans in World War I, but by 1936 the Germans had rebuilt their economy and war machine. They were ready for action.
The Germans had been demonized in British Honduras, of course, although there was a case where some members of the upper classes in Belize had been supplying German submarines (U-boats) with fuel during World War II. Torpedoes from German U-boats had been wreaking havoc on British shipping in the Atlantic Ocean between Britain and the United States.
The British Honduran culprits/traitors were not jailed “back a Baptist.” They were members of the upper classes in Belize, you see, so it was decided up high to “quarantine” them in Jamaica for the rest of the war. And, after the war, that story was killed in British Honduras: the traitors resumed their upper-class family lives in the colony, and life went on.
You know, compared to England, France and the Netherlands, for instance, the Germans are relatively land-locked. Their seaports are in the northern part of the country, near to the Scandinavian areas. So when Portugal, Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands (all with Atlantic Ocean coasts) were raiding Africa, America, and Asia after Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama explored west, south, and east, the Germans were not part of the action for a long time.
When the Germans did enter the colonizing game, they did so in Namibia, described as “a vast, arid country northwest of South Africa” in an article in The New York Times of May 28, 2021. Said The Times: “Tens of thousands of Africans (the Herero and Nama ethnic groups) were killed between 1904 and 1908 by German soldiers in what is now Namibia.”
The Times article referred to above, declared: “On Friday, Germany formally described the killings as a genocide, agreed to issue an apology and committed to providing $1.35 billion towards reconstruction and development projects. The Namibian government hailed the agreement, and some Namibians welcomed it.”
The Times article referred to above was reproduced on page 12 in the Tuesday, June 8, 2021 issue of Amandala under the heading, “A FORGOTTEN GENOCIDE: WHAT GERMANY DID IN NAMIBIA, AND WHAT IT’S SAYING NOW”.
The Times also reported, however, “But some Herero and Nama leaders dismissed the deal as a ‘public relations coup’ because it did not include funds deemed ‘reparations’”.
I’ve spent decades trying to explain to you things which are not told to you when you go to school in Belize. Certain things are not explained to you because the people who control the curricula of the schools have loyalty to certain special European (and American) interests.
For me, and for whatever it is worth, I feel that the reason the British beat the Germans twice in “world wars” is because the British could call on the citizens of all the colonies they had around the world to help them fight the Germans. (Incidentally, the worst mistake Hitler made was when he invaded Russia in 1941. Napoleon had made the same mistake in 1812. Hitler learned nothing from Napoleon’s disastrous invasion of Russia. The Russians are not given credit in the Western world for their role in World War II.)
I don’t know much about World War I, but there is evidence to indicate that Hitler’s Nazis were even more racist than their British cousins. Incidentally, it is interesting to note that the Guatemalan dictator, Jorge Ubico, who ran Guatemala from 1931 to 1944, was very pro-Nazi. If Ubico gets Belize, Hitler wins, and we all start learning German …
Whatever, whatever, the rulers of the world clash this morning in football. The British say it is they who really created the sport of football, which is the world’s most popular, but since international football began with the World Cup in 1930, you would be ahead of the game financially if you were betting Germany. I’m just saying.