Greeks Welcome Their New European Overlords... In German

Tyler Durden's picture

The surreal keeps getting surrealer. One could probably think that after being forced to pay for the privilege of having a job, to fund European bank solvency out of their pocket as part of the Greek "bailout", and finally to hand over their gold, the Greeks would have at least put up a fight. One would be wrong: instead of doing anything else than the occasional store front looting by marauding gangs, what Greeks are doing instead... is lining up for German lessons. Well, if you can't beat them, may as well learn their language. Athens News reports: "Ruediger Bolz has 350 students coming through the doors of his German language institute in central Athens each day - 20 percent up on a year ago. The rush among Greeks to learn German may seem odd after the war of words between the two countries, with Greeks fuming at German accusations of financial mismanagement and some media playing on Nazi caricatures of Berlin politicians. Yet for Bolz, who has run the Goethe Institute for the last six years, there is no mystery: his pupils are happy to side-step politics and face up to harsh economic realities by acquiring new skills." So years of debt slavery induced misery may be in store, and the sheep are delighted to get the electric cattle prod, but at least they get to beg their employers to take their money with the proper umlaut usage.

The sad story continues: ""Most of those coming to us are young students or academics and they are doing all they can to improve their professional qualifications," Bolz said in his office at the state-run agency, which like the British Council or French Institute has the job of promoting national culture and language. "No doubt some of them have plans to leave Greece but most of them just think they will stand a better chance of getting a job if they have a foreign language - in Greece or elsewhere."

Perhaps bankers have judged modern reality perfectly  - at least during the World Wars there was a foreign aggressor to be fought. Now, the global debt slaves are merely fighting their own personal habits to live outside their means. Or not, as the case may be, first in Greece, then everywhere else. Perhaps handing over the sovereign gold is a welcome price to pay for perpetuating the sad illusion of future wealth.

The rest of the story is well-known:

One youth in two is out of a job – and that rate will not improve as a result of the austerity measures accompanying the rescue package agreed on Tuesday.


That deal was won after Germany's finance minister had likened the Greek public purse to a "bottomless pit" and Greece's president, Karolos Papoulias – a veteran of resistance to Nazi World War Two occupation – bristled at German "insults".


One Greek tabloid, Dimokratia, printed a computer-generated image of Chancellor Angela Merkel in a Nazi uniform, while the head of German manufacturer Bosch called for Greece to be kicked out of the European Union.


A Greek electrical union has hit back by calling for a boycott of Bosch products.


Opinion surveys often indicate a certain Greek mistrust of Germany. A study this month by pollster VPRC released by Epikera magazine on Thursday showed 76 percent of respondents thought Germany was "rather hostile" towards Greece.


Bolz said the row had mostly passed his office by.


While youths torched dozens of businesses across Athens during protests this month, the modern concrete-and-glass building that houses the Goethe Institute - which in 1952 became the first of around 150 such outposts of German culture around the world to be reopened after the war - was unscathed.


"We get one or two stupid emails a month, often anonymous," said Bolz. "But all of our events are going on as usual."


Brochures in Bolz's office pay testimony to Greece's long ties with a country that vies with China as the world's top exporter. One shows an 1884 advert by an Athens restaurant boasting of its Bavarian beer, while another advert invites gamblers to take part in a 1878 German-run lottery.


One blot in the German-Greek relationship came in 2000 when an Athens court ordered the seizure of the Goethe Institute and other German state property in Greece to satisfy reparation claims by wartime victims from Distomo.
On 10 June 1944, German SS troops massacred 218 innocent civilians in the village of Distomo and set almost all the houses on fire, in one of the most horrifying atrocities in occupied Greece.


But a minister stopped the seizure order after a two-year legal wrangle, that has made its way, via Italy, to the International Court of Justice.

Lots of talk, zero constructive action, or the willingness for it:

Downstairs in the institute's cafe, conversations inevitably turn to the privations felt by citizens at the hard end of the budget cuts - the higher taxes on wages and the whittling away of the pensions of parents and grandparents.


Lisa Hamouzopulos, the German-speaking Swiss who has run the cafe for 13 years, said clients were spending less and that discussions on the crisis had to be handled with care.


Bolz, who has a Greek wife, said he has encountered no anti-German sentiment in Greece and says the more common feeling is that of hurt pride at the measures imposed from on high by the "troika" of EU bodies and the International Monetary Fund.


While admitting to having gone at least partly native after 25 years of close ties to the country, he said foreign lenders must accept that there is no quick fix to problems which most ordinary Greeks knew had been building up for years.


"I think the process has started now," he said. "Greece is on the right path but it will take longer than we think."

And that, dear readers, is how one abdicates in the modern all out war against those heading the status quo courtesy of controlling the debt spigot, or at least promises thereof.

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Ray1968's picture

Germany has a history. I wouldn't be so quick to "join" them... unless they're buying German firearms.

markmotive's picture

Europe is in terminal decline and Germany is no exception. This is just the beginning of the European crisis. Japanese lost decade(s) 2.0

Take a look at the shrinking population forecasts:

flacon's picture

Diidn't Marc Faber and Jim Rogers do something similar - moved themselves and their kids to a foreign country where the economics are better? I don't see a problem with the Greek citizens being so apalled at the politicians that they seek to learn a new language.


How many Americans are signing up for Chinese classes?

schadenfreude's picture

How many Americans studied Japonese in the 80's?

Dr. Richard Head's picture

Only the ones in the US sponsored concentration...I mean containment....I mean internment camps.

NotApplicable's picture

Honestly, it was like being at a resort, filled with your whole extended family!

Dr. Richard Head's picture

"I am a jelly donut." - JFK, Berlin, June 26, 1963.

Ich bin Arzt Arschgiege!

The Big Ching-aso's picture



Whatta meld.  Hairy Greeks in Speedos and pink hairless Germans in Speedos speaking the same language.   The women are gonna go nutz.

HoofHearted's picture

It worked oh so well in Vichy France. And yet...who are Place Etoile and the Paris airport names after? Yeah, I thought I remembered that correctly. So whence the liberators this time?

Gully Foyle's picture

So, uh, will Greece be looking at this kind of employment ?

'If you don't take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits'

Jan 2005

Under Germany's welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990.

The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars. As a result, job centres must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse.

NotApplicable's picture

Damn, when they say "Suck my dick!" they really mean it.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars.

Your government cannot tell the difference between a whore house and a pub, but you can trust them to do the easier things like central planning of the nation's economy, education, foreign relations, etc.

Crack-up Boom's picture

But not a completely false story, either, and snopes isn't escatly a reliable source anymore (if it ever was).

Furthermore, if prostituion was legalized (even if only in part) because Germans can't tell the difference between bars and brothels, the world is in a far worse place than I thought. 

fockewulf190's picture

That story is BS. Believe me, any political party here in D backing up the idea of forced prostitution would instantly cause a massive media and political shitstorm leading to their own demise pronto.

Silver Bug's picture

The Germans have done what they couldn't in WW2

battle axe's picture

You get to wear spiffy uniforms, though the only color is Black....

bdc63's picture

"Just trying to improve their skills to get a better job" -- I call bullshit on that.  These are future German immigrants ... getting a head start before Greece completely burns to the ground ...

Comay Mierda's picture

Americans will be learning chinese soon

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Americans need to learn english first.

A Lunatic's picture

We should all learn how to say "fuck you, you sawed off, anti-imperialist dogs" at the very least.

JPM Hater001's picture

They speak Mandarin, Guajo wa, and cantonese actually...So it's a new language for them too is it?

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Greeks will be moving to Germany to work in the factories.  Germans will be moving to Greece to retire.  Win/win.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Greeks will be moving to Germany to work in the factories.

Historically, the Germans always seemed to have plenty of openings for foreigners in German gas works, the baking industry, and mining...

We can all recognize that these immigrant workers are passing through a TSA security check on their way to work.  It is for their own safety, of course.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

So fucking sad that my heart aches.  Those morons in America that tell us, "That can't happen here" have such a diluted version of their own omnipotence it makes my bowels curl.

My family left Austria shortly before WWI came to their doorstep and it resulted in my life here in America.  Will I do the same for my children or stand and fight? 

knightowl77's picture

Where are you gonna go?


I think the choice is bow down or stand & fight...

bdc63's picture

there are places to go ... it takes a bit of initiative and inconvenience, so most people don't bother.  But there are places ...

smiler03's picture

@ hedgeless_horseman

You totally abuse your rights to post images. One of yours before this was a completely irrelevant photo of a bowl of soup. It was meaningless to the article and just wasted valuable space.

Now as for this one.. the same applies. You are just one seriously fucked up cunt with appalling taste. Have you and lizzi36 (Auschwitz photo) decided to just post revoltingly tasteless photos just to "push the envelope" ? 

Whatever you are trying to do, I think you have both failed.

declaration: I'm British, an atheist, not at all anti-German and very pro-Greek. I want you both to fuck off and die.


GeneMarchbanks's picture

As sloppy as this was I think hedgeless is one of the best here and so is lizzy. I'd much that they live and choose amongst themselves on the 'fucking off'.

So anyway, where were we? Oh yes, divide and conquer. Here's my take, although we all take precaution and 'fight the good fight' daily, there's still some impotent rage that needs venting now and again. Today in America, Canada, Greece etc there are limits to what one can do for themselves and others. People are grasping at a final cause as they feel the clusterfuck approach. Totally normal. However, to irresponsibly make the claim that such & such is the source of all evil is oversimplification and can have horrible unintended consequences.

As DF Wallace so succinctly put it: "You ever notice how evil people always think everyone else is evil"

Ghordius's picture

they are brilliants. with words. nothing against the words.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



@ smiler3:

I have no, "rights to post images," only the priviledge afforded to me by Mr. Durden.

Regarding my earlier post relating to the possibility of cream of mushroom soup being served to British secret service, is it possible that it is relevant and humerous, but you simply lack the knowledge of why?

As a Britiish citizen, you would probably also prefer everyone forget how your countrymen treated the Irish in much the same way the Germans treated the people whose lands they occupied?


They were in any case explicitly instructed to step outside the law, one police divisional commander instructing his men in a speech: "If a police barracks is burnt then the best house in the locality is to be commandeered, the occupants thrown into the gutter. Let them die there; the more the merrier."


He instructed them to shout "Hands up" at civilians, and to shoot anyone who did not immediately obey. He added: "Innocent persons may be shot, but that cannot be helped, and you are bound to get the right parties some time. The more you shoot, the better I will like you, and I assure you no policeman will get into trouble for shooting any man."


declaration: I'm American, a Christian, and if it were not for my grandfather and his buddies you would likely now be a German and so would the Greeks. I wish you peace.

smiler03's picture

Rights or Priviledges? You are priviledged to have the right to post images. You are being pedantic. 

I also apologise for my strong language. I think that if we were discussing your post face to face then I would be more restrained.. but.... in the absence of more discussion I replied from the heart and not my head. 


What has the British/Irish history got anything whatsoever to do with the Troika and Greece? Zilch. Nothing.

For anybody reading this it is clear that this is a Greek/German argument that we are having. For example, the Americans killed more than one hundred thousand women, children and men in Iraq. That's just one war of your largely Christian nation. Get the point? Slightly worse than the English and Irish.

As for the perennial "You'd be talking German la la la la la..." you're just being a typically ignorant American. 

By the way, what language do you speak?

I wish you peace too and I apologise again for my bad language.


hedgeless_horseman's picture



For example, the Americans killed more than one hundred thousand women, children and men in Iraq. That's just one war of your largely Christian nation. Get the point? Slightly worse than the English and Irish.

Not exactly, as Cromwell, alone, killed more than 600,000 Irish.

The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland (1649–53) refers to the conquest of Ireland by the forces of the English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.


William Petty estimated (in the Down Survey) that the death toll of the wars in Ireland since 1641 was over 618,000 people, or about 40% of the country’s pre-war population.

Ghordius's picture

ok, ok, I get it. you... no, actually I'm lost. WTF are you trying to say? you are now in the 17th century? we had bigger near-genocides in the Hundred Years War or - the big megawhopper of all - the Thirty Years War. see below

smiler03's picture

Thanks for pointing this out Ghordius. €

smiler03's picture

You just ask for abuse don't you?

In the American Civil war about 625,000 AMERICANS died, that's not even counting the slaughtered Native Americans just a tad earlier.

This thread is about "Greece Welcomes Their New European Overlords .. In German".  We are in the 21st Century, do you realise that?

Right now I am very happy to reuse this language... You're a fucking ignorant, uneducated, self-centered twat. Fuck you.



hedgeless_horseman's picture



We are in the 21st Century, do you realise that?

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

-George Santayana

Ghordius's picture

IMO Die Weisse Rose further below is pointing correctly that it's your "sense for history" that is totally skewed - perhaps toward's the History Channel's pinpoint view. Again, we are talking about the picture in the context of this post and your "fascist" use of it as an argument, depicting 21st Century Germans as cartoonish goons out of a video game. Wake up, the Germans have no monopoly on brutality on a "race" base.

Ghordius's picture

funny you say that: "...if it were not for my grandfather ... you would likely now be a German". Now of course we would need some true Frenchman to say this part, but they are probably all partying, so I will say it on his stead: "...if it were not for our relatives, you would be still a British Colony...". Complete with a GuillaumeBanzai69 cartoon of George Washington hanged in London for treason against the Crown.

Then we could get in the debate of how long you need to be grateful, is the French help against the British now forgotten or do we have a limitP If yes, are two or three generations the limit, the horizon of forgotten/forgiven? When is the Abu Ghraib "shelf date"? Or Nagasaki?

Die Weiße Rose's picture

First of all I am a free human being living on Planet Earth in the Orion arm of our universal spiral Galaxy

At the present time I am also a German Citizen and a Roman Catholic by faith and generations of my ancestors come from the Rhein region of Baden in southern Germany near Alsace Lorraine. But first of all I am a free human being living on Planet Earth. This region has moved back and forth between French and German rule over the centuries. Before that we all were part of the Holy Roman Empire until Napoleon invaded and we fought in the 1848 revolutions to liberate Europe from tyranny.

as for some Americans, it seems they remember every Hitler documentary they ever saw on Fox News, but learned nothing from their real life history. Hitler is held up as the ultimate terrorist even though all that happened 70 years ago

while the same shit is happening right now, right under our noses, after we all should know better, right before our very eyes all this shit happens and hedgeless horsemen is complicit by his silence and constant reference to Hitler.

So in the eyes of people like hedgeless horsemen, all this fascist shit that happens right now and since then is allright, because Hitler did it far worse and so that makes all the abuse and killing and the slaughter of human life and human rights allright, because the germans were far,far worse and no-one is as bad as Hitler! I really wonder...

How else would it be that we find, ourselves in the 21st century and US policy is still use of force and War and Conflict as a means to solve Problems. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Lebanon, Palestine, Southamerica, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp,Abu Ghraib Concentration Camp, Bradly Manning exposed War-crimes and is a political Prisoner held by Human rights violators.

Stupid hedgeless horsemen ! You are ignorant and stupid and that makes you a dangerous fool ! educate yourself:

Americans would still think they live in India if it wasn't for the Germans:üller_map


hedgeless_horseman's picture



...hedgeless horsemen is complicit by his silence and constant reference to Hitler...So in the eyes of people like hedgeless horsemen, all this fascist shit that happens right now and since then is allright, because Hitler did it far worse and so that makes all the abuse and killing and the slaughter of human life and human rights allright, because the germans were far,far worse and no-one is as bad as Hitler!

Silent, yet some how constantly referencing Hitler?

You can see through the eyes of people like me?

Fascism is allright?

The slaughter of human life is allright?

I am not the straw man you are looking for.  

It does appear that I have hit a nerve.  Have you considered psychotherapy?

Ghordius's picture

yes, you did hit a nerve - the one where we europeans see this pictures and think "this is what our relatives did to our relatives" - no, slaughter of human right is not right at all - but who is slaughtering who at the moment?

no, fascism is not allright at all - someone using the nick "Die Weisse Rose" is expressing a fundamental anti-fascist attitude ( - though we don't see the Greek situation as an application of fascism, while your use of the pictures is, in our eyes

the post is about Greeks learning German - and somehow this is seen as... what? I have made a few points down below that we don't see "through the eyes of people like you" and you obviously don't see through the eyes of people like us.

WHAT IS FASCISM?  At this moment of time, there is a lot of uninformed and unintelligent talk about Fiscal Fascism, Financial Fascism etc. And a lot of this is completely whacky. Between all the many discussions europeans had about this, from all sides of the political spectrum, we somehow are quite agreed on what are the



14 Warning Signs of Rising Fascism


1        Patriotism

4        Supremacy of the Military 

7        Obsession with National Security

8        Religion and Government intertwined

13      Rampant Cronyism and Corruption

12      Obsession with Crime and Punishment

9        Corporate Power is protected

10      Labor Power is suppressed

14      Fraudolent Elections

11      Disdain for Intellectuals

15      Secret Police

3        Scapegoats

2        Disdain for Human Rights

5        Sexism

6        Controlled Mass Media


I have put them in my favourite order, but left the "original" numbers there. Otherwise I suggest Umberto Eco's essay on it - yes, I know, he is a damned eurocommunist and I hate his guts for this, but intellectually he towers over everybody else in his analysis of fascism

Note: the preference for action and pictures is typical of fascist propaganda. Spares an argument on pesky details, you see?

Ghordius's picture

Hedgless, that's the point: I do not see your point. I see pictures from our history and they seem to tell me (and others) a completely different story than they do to you.

I have no fucking clue what you are trying to say, but I'd say we have generally spent more time on them than you - and many of us had wars here we lost to drive the lessons in. You can find in any conflict between any two political entities this kind of insanities. We have made peace with this realization, with what happened and with our - now dead - relatives that did it or suffered it or both.

What is it with you that you really think your message get's through with a picture and a few words of reproach? Is the message just this, a simple reproach? Or do you have some bloody "intrinsic" meaning we can only "get" by "grokking" the "Fight Club" book? I don't mind people lost in their sub-culture, it happened to me too, but they are usually a bit more aware of it. I fucking don't understand at all.

For being so "daringly anarcho-chic" and constantly decrying fascism you actually showing many faces of fascism yourself.