“Travels to a Different Time” : 5/6August1973: Dubrovnik and Drevnik Yugoslavia: My Thoughts about Germans: Is it Time for Forgiveness?

August 5th:  Up early and avoided the barking of the beanshaved man and plaintive complaining of the maid. A breakfast of Fructal cherry nectar, orange jam and bread. Read until noon and off to the beach until three. Met a guy from Vancouver and since I had no food left ate at the hostel cafeteria. Walked around with the Vancouver guy and he had 4 ice creams to my two. Stopped in for a beer and headed back to the hostel.

The author’s father is the 4th in the back on the left. His father told him half of these men died in the Battle of Britain

August 6th:  As will be on the move enjoyed a long hot shower which I think deleted the meagre hot water supply. Went to the store to buy food for a huge breakfast. Sometimes you just don’t know when you will eat again. Hitchhiking sucks in Yugoslavia so after a couple of hours picked up by a bunch of young Germans in a VW van. We got along so well they asked me to go to Hvar with them but as I have already been there I stuck to my mission to get to Bled again and then up towards Germany. They left me off at the ferry and I hitched further north with a guy from Alsace and we both had tents so set up tents at a campground and went to a spectacular beach for a swim. We had a beer before heading back to the campground and he prepared supper which was quite good.

I have been thinking about how I see Germans. I was born ten years after the Second World War ended. My uncle was shot down in France and killed by German pilot. My Dad flew in the Battle of Britain and many flyer friends of his were killed in combat. Do I have anything to forgive? I am not sure but I will say generally speaking Germans of my vintage are friendly and I get along well with them just like the Germans that just picked me up. They had nothing to do with the war so there is nothing to forgive. Some of the older generation are not so friendly but then again how many of their friends and relatives were killed in the war. Assuming I have some right to forgive I might say I can forget and co-exist but forgive not yet. I remember the German POW I met last year very close to where I am now. He was forced to join the army. Let’s just say life can be more complicated than you think or are required to think. Having been recently in Greece and now in Yugoslavia the German army committed many atrocities which must be fresh on their minds. They have more to forgive than I.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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