05
Nov
10

Overheard in Hamburg

Cycling as usual to work I come up to a stoplight and see this woman yelling at a man down the street:

If you’d have said that to me during  wartime, you’d be headed for the gas chambers!

I see the man is Indian, maybe Roma, I can’t be sure.

I turn around and say to her: Such behavior on the street!

Oh yeah? she shoots at me.  He called me an asshole, what do you expect?

You’re not an asshole, I tell her.  Gas chambers? You’re a NAZI asshole!

Light turns green, off to work.


22 Responses to “Overheard in Hamburg”


  1. November 5, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Mean world. I think I’d jump in on that one, too. :-(

  2. November 5, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Ach du Schande!

    Way to go, Ian.

  3. November 5, 2010 at 11:05 am

    WTF?!?!?!

    What a Nazi Asshole!

    I’m glad you spoke up.

  4. 4 Meenakshi
    November 5, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Man. Unbelievable what lurks under the surface here. Not that I am saying we don’t have a problem where I’m from (as our most recent election shows to a certain degree). But your example clearly identifies a lack of SHAME. Isn’t it embarrassing to say such a thing out loud on the street? Don’t you know that it’s wrong? Doesn’t it hurt you to say it? I guess not.

  5. November 5, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Good on you, Ian. We heard far too many similar stories while in Germany last spring.

  6. November 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Gosh, that’s amazing! Well done for telling her!

  7. November 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    WTF? Who threatens people with gas chambers???

  8. November 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I must learn German. I am missing too much.

  9. 10 lilalia
    November 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I can’t believe that you managed to think of a retort so quickly. Even reading your post it took me a few seconds to start breathing.

  10. November 6, 2010 at 5:00 am

    i know it’s true. I just can’t believe it.

  11. 13 G
    November 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    My husband says that woman would have been fined or even jailed if she had been caught saying that. Is he just a naive German?

  12. November 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Wow. I found your blog at Charlotte’s Web. The Nazi legacy fascinates me for all the tentacles it still has, how unquiet it is, maybe dying out, but who knows. Good for you for saying something. That’s the surest way to guarantee sentiments like hers don’t survive.

  13. 17 Meenakshi
    November 9, 2010 at 10:07 am

    That generation itself may be dying out, but I think it’s naive to think a culture changes so quickly. What has Europe’s human rights record been like for the last 1000 years, after all?

  14. November 10, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Jaysus. Nice call on your reply. Of all the rude comments I have heard in a long, long time, that is the most f*ed up of them all.

  15. November 16, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Wow! Wonderful that you could think of the perfect retort. Doesn’t often happen, but sometimes that bit of adrenaline just fires you up. Well done!

  16. 20 sevensisters
    November 16, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Touché!

  17. November 20, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Verrückt. Yeah, that generation is dying out, but there’s a new generation alive and well and willing to take over from the last one. It’s not just a German problem either – I’m afraid the Nazi philosophy of moronic intolerance has found it all too easy to thrive elsewhere.


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