dedalus Posted February 19, 2013 Share Posted February 19, 2013 In 1938 me Dad went to Germany doing a Master’s degree in Cologne, and this was considered a very good thing for a young fella up from the country with no thought of the nationalist regime. The instruction was rigorous and excellent which was the whole point of the transfer since economics was concerned with numbers and it was not concerned with local politics and the swastika flags on every street. Me Dad got on well in the college, played a wee bit of football with the German lads, and roomed with an Irish fellow called Tim. Tim was a soft-hearted soul from Connemara and he was big and broad in all directions. One night, as it happened, they went forth to dine in a basement place not far from the college. It was plain hearty food, fit for a student’s pocket, and with good strong beer to wash it down! The two lads sat down for a pleasant evening. There was a quiet old couple at another table and no more than three or four other diners when the door burst open with an almighty crash and two men marched in with leather overcoats and demanded a supply of identification. Dad and Tim were annoyed but complied, since these Gestapo thugs were all over the place. They were left in peace and the men moved on until they came to the old couple in the corner and suddenly voices were raised: Jude? Jude! Other customers kept their eyes on their plates, for this is the way things were by then, and you did not want to get involved. Dad and Tim looked up. The man was smashing their plates on the floor, taking their food and throwing it on the floor! Holy God, says Tim. Now, now, says me Dad. We can’t be having this, says Tim, standing up, and so the two of them carefully walk over. Hau ‘ab, says one of the guys: fuck off! You’ll pick up that fuckin plate, says Tim. The guy reached for his pocket, Tim lazily tapped him and he fell down in a heap. Another tap, and his companion joined him on the floor, the pair of them stretched out cold. We’re very sorry, says Tim, to the frightened elderly couple, but this sort of thing is not allowed. --------------------------------------------------------------- This is a true story, To compound things, Tim dragged Dad along to the local Gestapo HQ the next morning to lodge a complaint. They stared at him goggle-eyed as he insisted they fill out the requisite forms. Me Dad was sweating bricks, thinking for sure their student days were over, and would they be nice to Irish students in a concentration camp? What happened, so? Not a thing. Nowt. He and Tim hung on until Summer, 1939 ... Next: Daddy goes to the Nuremberg Rally. Quote Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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