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Remembered Today:

Englanders & Huns. James Hawes


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Sub-titled "The culture clash which led to the First World War", the book explores British and German society from the 1860s to 1914. Suggesting that there is equal attention to both, that actually proves to be not accurate - there's much more emphasis on the German side of things. As such, there's lots of stuff I didnt know but, unfortunately, quite a lot I didnt really care about knowing. It's not a book I've generally enjoyed reading, the prose not really grabbing my attention. There's lots of "cut and paste" from, presumably newspapers of the day. I don't mean a transcript but an actual cut and paste, so Victorian newspaper print fonts are much in evidence, which is sort of fine when the extract is in English but somewhat pointless when it's in German, followed by the author's translation.

One snippet has a topical aspect. By the mid 1870s, there was considerable German immigration to Britain. Men coming to do office work. In a nod to modern times, they were both welcomed and resented for the same reasons. They were generally better educated than the Britons; worked harder and were prepared to accept lower wages. And, of course, were bi-lingual and, often, multi-lingual.

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My grandfather came to England from Prussia about 1890 or probably

a bit earlier, he married an Englishwoman and took her back to Prussia

later. But he was a communist, as she seemed to be, and might have

been chased to the UK by the police. He was a gardener. He later

became rich, was known as the "Rose King of Berlin", (your typical

rich communist), and one day in the 1920s they woke up and became

Nazis. That is the crazy side of the family.

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