Just over a week ago, when the bipolar, schizoid relationship between Greece and Germany was in the "we demand reparations for Nazi crimes" stage, we reported that the Greek Prime Minister threatened the seizure of German assets in response for “crimes of Third Reich and Hitler’s hordes."
We noted that it was only a matter of time before Germany's peculiar sense of humor struck back (and not just with a fake video explaining how the allegedly fake Varoufakis middle finger was faked), and sure enough here comes Spiegel with "How Europeans look at the Germans — The German Superiority" or ""The German Übermacht", in which Spiegel decided to send over Merkel along with Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch and a a few other nazis right in the middle of the Acropolis.
Of course, the purpose of the article is not to suggest that the "Fourth Reich" is back and is taking over Greece: Spiegel merely summarizes the case that Greece is trying to make, which as we previously reported, Athens will use it Wehrmacht archives (which are over 400,000 pages), to support country’s claim for war reparations from Germany for damages inflicted during World War II in period 1941-1944, Greek Defense Ministry says in e-mailed statement.
However, it is conveyed in a way that will provoke the same kind of kneejerk, populist response in Greece that accompanied the "Varoufakis finger" which also was taken greatly out of context. Case in point: fellow German media Suddeutsche Zeitung promptly took Spiegel to task for its provocative, to say the least, cover. It wasn't alone: other Germans stepped in realizing this escalation to the basest public reaction is quickly getting out of control:
perfekte antwort des dummy-magazins auf den aktuellen spiegel-titel. nein, auf alle spigel-titel der letzten wochen: pic.twitter.com/184IRy6wpQ— Michael Seemann (@mspro) March 20, 2015
Ach je, was für ein dummer, dummer Spiegel-Titel. Boulevard-Schrott in Guido-Knopp-Optik. pic.twitter.com/vpj3MLJ94k— Jan Techau (@jan_techau) March 20, 2015
Die spinnen, beim Print Spiegel. pic.twitter.com/APK9r7Af8f— DonDahlmann (@DonDahlmann) March 20, 2015
Spiegel promptly had to defend its own editorial and photo choices when it said "Of course, the comparison with Hitler's 'Third Reich' nonsensical, but is it right to call Germany a selfish European hegemon?"
In any event the "politically correct" response to "out of context" escalations continue, until finally the ordinary people on both sides of the conflict say "enough" and decide the time has come to sever the tenuous thread that still holds Greece to Europe, and finally end the myth that the Eurozone is unbreakable.
Which may be precisely the intention behind these seemingly inexplicable "out of context" episodes that the German and Greek medias have been flooded with in the past several weeks: to pave the way for what is now, and has been for the past 5 years, inevitable.