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Germany different now
DAVID CAMERON has said that he intends to spend £50 million in 2014 on celebrations to mark the beginning of the First World War, and that his aim is to send all secondary school children to visit the battlefields and trenches in France and Belgium.
This entire project needs to be handled and presented very carefully. Our country is in dire straits and many worthwhile things are desperately short of funds, so wise spending is essential.
I do not doubt for one minute the bravery and sacrifices of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, coal miners, fire, police and ambulance staff, factory workers and ordinary families during 1914 to 1918. However, the war was a failure in many ways.
There is a very real danger that these “celebrations” will unleash a host of old myths, prejudices, stereotypes and virulent anti-German expressions.
World wars should not be forgotten, but it is time more people accepted that today’s Germany is nothing like that of the two wars.
Germany has much to be proud of and her folk are similar to the English.
We were a great nation during and before the wars, and it is right that our youngsters recognise that, but it needs to be done tastefully, fairly, and accurately.
David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.