Funny German

For those of you too young, you may not understand this, but us oldsters will...  Background: Once upon a time, in a land far,far away, there was this totally defeated country called Germany that was divided among the victors, the US, England, France and this evil empire, th USSR.  A physical wall was built to keep the East Germans in their happy little country dominated by the communists, while the western part of the country grew and the US, England, and France basically moved out and turned the governance over to the German people.  Because of the physical wall that was built by the evil empire, there were two Germanies, West Germany and the Deutsche Democratische Republik (the DDR) or East Germany. 

When my daughter was little I bought a set of Encyclopedia Britannica, thinking (there I go again) that it would be a great resource for her as she grew up.  And the encyclopedias had in them West Germany under the heading of Germany and a separate entry under the DDR.  So this sets it all up...

When my daughter was a senior in high school, we hosted a German girl from Hamburg.  Same age as my daughter.  So in talking about the comparison of the US and Germany, especially the comparison of relative sizes, we went to the encyclopedia to pull up the article on Germany.  So I open the book to the proper pages and in the book is a map of West Germany.  Patricia (our German girl) takes one look at the map in the book, pulls back with a look of total shock on her face and says "What is this, I have never seen this before.  This is not Germany.

Surprised, I looked at her, wondering what was going on when it hit me.  The encyclopedia was printed about the same time she was born, and all of her schooling was about the united Germany that occurred in 1989 when the wall came down.  She had never seen a map of the divided Germany before.  So I had to go back and "prove" to her that this map was an older map and the map of Germany she saw, when added to the map of the DDR, was in fact Germany.  Made me feel really old to realize that even the younger Germans did not know the Germany I knew...

LonghornFan LonghornFan
56-60, M
8 Responses Feb 13, 2010

Hannah, I just got through reading the book "The Rape of Nanking." I was appalled by what was done during that time. I also have a hard time believing that the Japanese government still tries to deny that it ever happened. I can imagine that the young Japanese were appalled... I think we ought to make a major motion picture out of it and release it world-wide...

Well we have a somewhat similar situation here in Asia. It turns out Japanese textbooks have been totally rewritten as to what happened when the Japanese occupied South East Asia during WWII. A lot of young Japanese don't know about the "Rape of Nanjing" or the "Nanking Massacre". .(This is a very sensitive topic in Sino-China relations)<br />
<br />
When a number of these young Japanese people eventually did find out the truth about what their ancestors did. They were truly appalled and apologized on behalf of their ancestors

Back in '06, I got the opportunity to take Patricia, her brother, and her mother to Berlin and visit where we lived. To me, the most amazing sight during that whole week was going to the Brandenburg Gate and seeing the wall gone. I had been to that location many times when I was younger, but there was a wall and guards and all the other things found along a wall that divides a city in two. But when I went back, all that was left was a line of dark colored bricks set in the sidewalks and pavement of the streets that showed the location of the wall...

Hell , I know all this stuff, i feel really old now..... as for Patricia if i were her i would have felt cheated. History is History and should be acknowledged, MY ancestors used to eat each other and that's not glossed over. I say acknowledge history, good or bad and learn from it.

I had a similar experience with an 18-year-old who wasn't in ANY understanding of how an L.P./Vinyl record + pla<x>yer operated. While, at first thought, anyone from the era when these were the norm might also scratch their heads and say "Um.. I never really thought about it", this kid was wide-eyed and awed by a technology that actually TOUCHES its source material; The needle concept, and the groove concept were as alien and mystifying as Biochemical Engineering to most.<br />
<br />
Now, was he one of the more dim bulbs in the pack? <br />
Sure. Not to cast any stereotypes, but if there were a profile that fit a stereotypical California Surfer (as in: "Like.. that's totally mind-blowing, Dude! Like.... WOW!"), he was in it. He may have had a run-in with a few too many bongs in his day. But to not be able to fathom the concept of an etching onto a surface, or that different-sized records needed different speeds at which to rotate to insure a consistent playback seemed like witchery to him.<br />
<br />
Funny; we would have said the same thing 30 years ago regarding prismatic, chrome discs or thumbnail-sized storage drives.<br />
<br />
Star Trek is alive and well, and rules the universe via your cell phone.

Well, King, I think the problem here is that some people and dogs just don't get it... Those dogs just keep following me around wanting to pee on my leg... Had to shoo the off several times. Then they started carrying guns and the battles started going down hill from there. And then there is the age difference... AFD is really but a pup to us who know what over 50 years of life and still going is all about.

History is good. But she was so serious, like I had made up the map and put it in there to fool her... Oh well, it was funny... [sniff, nobody appreciates my humor anymore.... Sniff...] HA!

I thought it was funny... So, just because you are too young to understand.... Two dogs with mustard and chili please...