Why do I feel in my water that this is only a quarter of the story?
“Whistle while you work
Hitler is a twerp
He’s half barmy, so’s his army
Whistle while you work
Well that got Private Pike in trouble with the Thought Police, the German thought police circa 1940.
Being a pre watershed massively popular British comedy programme the above rhyme was substituted for the real one which my parents and grandparents happily sang even as German bombs were raining down on them in London, Cardiff, Coventry, Bath, Bristol, Manchester Birmingham and Glasgow, causing death and destruction on a scale not witnessed in the British Isles since the Norman Invasion. And the original ditty, sung to the tune of Colonel Bogey was…
Hitler only had one ball
Goering had two but very small
Himmler has something similar
But poor old Goebbels had no balls at all!
That is British wit and grit, laughing in your face even when you are sticking a bayonet into our guts!
But now we mustn’t mention the War because we might offend the old Aggressors! Well let’s be honest here, Germany, France and Italy have airbrushed their history so thoroughly, kids today in those countries (and even ours for chrissakes!) might not know that WW2 ever happened, or if they do (exclusive reference to Nazis = evil not Soviets = evil, they wuz our allies right?) they will never be told their various Nation’s less than salubrious part in it, and think it was a European Civil War, and all a bit of an unfortunate misunderstanding. No it wasn’t, it was a deliberate insane invasion by one country (Germany) that had only been a unified country since 1870, but suddenly believed they were destined to be rulers of the world. Until Germany can look that straight in the face, then there is really no redemption for them.
So back to Haworth and the WW2 re-enactment Society, for that is what the unfortunate thin skinned delegates from Hamm twinned with Bradford encountered, just doing their own thing re-enacting, oblivious to their presence. They were not “greeted” at all! Did the Germans come for the re-enactment or for the other, and much more obvious reason that everybody else has gone there, including me, being home of the Bronte sisters?
A few years ago, the wife and I took a cottage for a week in Haworth. We were 2 minutes walk from the Bronte vicarage and ten from the Heathcote moors. There were already bloody loads of Windmills on the hills and it was all very far from romantic at all, being in the main quite industrialised in a low key way since the late 1890’s
We were woken every morning around 5 am by the dawn chorus, not of Nightingale and thrush, starling or Robin, but busloads of Japanese tourists warming up their cameras and clearing their throats. The Japanese seem to have an utter passion for the Brontes! Even the bloody signposts in Haworth are bilingual, and the main other is Japanese. Deliberately offensive? What Haworth!