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As anybody who has the pleasure of learning German with me will know, I am half German. I’ve never lived there and can’t speak the language fluently, but still it’s a fact that basically everybody needs to know– a certain je ne sais quoi or das gewisse Etwas if we’re keeping it German.
Having never picked up the Aryan looks, nobody believes my half German heritage until they see my Vater, originally from Frankfurt and basically a walking German stereotype. Here are some reasons why he is the biggest German to have ever existiert: he is grade 5 accordion; he only eats rye bread; a staunch supporter of everything Aldi; his handlebar moustache; and his name is Norbert. (Please note that taking up the accordion is probably one of the biggest German mid-life crisis’ you could have. Be grateful that your dad only bought that soft-top car and rides around in it with his top off, listening to The Clash) Having been subjected by my father to Lederhosen from a young age, a half German heritage has also guaranteed that all those baby photos of me will be a damn lot more embarrassing than yours.
Be grateful that your dad only bought that soft-top car and rides around in it with his top off, listening to The Clash
The most annoying thing, apart from the Lederhosen, is the first response to my half-Germaness: ‘So are you half Nazi then?’. Well, erm, how do I put this? No. Then usually followed by a rant of the long list of reasons why I don’t support the Third Reich. And just because my German grandparents might have fought for the enemy doesn’t make me a neo-Nazi. So, all you educated university students, the Nazi jokes were never funny and never will be – see Joan Rivers. Her recent offensive holocaust joke about Heidi Klum teaches us that these kinds of jokes are old and distasteful, whilst reminding us of the drawbacks of plastic surgery – see Joan Rivers’ face.
And then there’s the fact that I can’t actually officially have both German and English citizenship. To become a proper German citizen, I’ve got to give up my debt-ridden country with its high cost of living and a Prime Minister with a 5-head (work it out), and trade it for a country headed by the Queen of Europe, otherwise known as Angela Merkel, and her great tits. The woman has her own Barbie doll for Christ’s sake. I could never imagine a “Cameron Action Doll” on the shelves of Toys ‘R’ Us, wedged between two members of One Direction to try to boost sales.
However, you’ve probably guessed that I am very proud of my heritage. A country which is the second largest consumer of beer in the world, a country where the hipster Olympics take place (with skinny jeans tug-o’-war and the thick rimmed glasses throw) and a country where Disney castles really do exist. However, England, you’re alright too. I’d miss the free healthcare, so I think I’ll just stick to saying I’m half of each.
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham