Things People in Europe are Proud of

August 18, 2017

 

 

This part of the world is proud of itself, and with good reason. In Europe people are proud:

 

To be German.

 

To be French.

 

To be English.

 

Not to be German.

 

Not to be French.

 

Not to be English.

 

To be the best in the 3rd Company.

 

To be a German mother. To stand by the banks of the German Rhine. And in general.

 

To be in possession of Otto Gebühr’s autograph.

 

To have a flag. To be a battleship (“a grand old Battleship...”)

To have been the deputy replacement quartermaster in charge of provisions during the war.

 

To be the mayor of Eistadt on the Dotter.

 

To have a seat in the Academie Française (hard to imagine). To have a seat in the Prussian Academy for the Poetic Arts (impossible to imagine).

 

As a German Social-democrat, to have prevented worse from happening.

 

To come from Bern. To come from Basel. To come from Zurich (and so on for all the Swiss cantons).

 

To have been beaten at tennis by Big Bill Tilden.

 

To be German… We had that one already. A Jewish man once said: “I’m proud to be a Jew. When I’m not proud, I’m still a Jew—so I might as well be proud while I’m at it.”

 

 

1932

 

 

 

Translated by Pól Peist

 

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