Michener's "combat" phase of the Tech Rep story came to mind when I read this story in yesterday's Stuttgart area newspaper:
Yesterday, two old friends were sitting together in the one's Stuttgart office having a cup of coffee and enjoying each other's company. One is 69 years old and the other is 70. They have known each other since 1979.
The 69 year old's name is Viscount David Montgomery, and the 70 year old's name is Manfred Rommel. Yep, their dads were the British General Montgomery and the "Desert Fox" Erwin Rommel. As always, the reporters asked them if they talked about their fathers and their opposing roles and strategies in North Africa.
They both gave a common answer: "We don't talk about WWII anymore, that's been over a long time. Of course, we speak about the world politics of today, but right now we're discussing big city traffic problems and the Daimler-Chrysler merger."
I wish it was like that with Yugoslavian acquaintances of ours! One Serbian family we know are refugees from the Milosevic regime but yet still are not what you would call "friends" with Croats and Bosnians in this town....and the feeling is mutual. Maybe the Balkans need another Tito to keep things under control.
Then again, maybe the Kingston trio's song refrain: "The whole world is festering with unhappy souls, the French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles, Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch, AND I DON'T LIKE ANYBODY VERY MUCH!" is the true nature of mankind....Whaddya Think?
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