Setting the record straight on Germany again

The sad thing is that Mr Dracos [Letters to the Editor, November 18] is an educated man with various academic degrees. He knows better. He knows that we Germans substantially supported the birth of the modern Greek state. The German philhellenes organized in Berlin and Vienna the revolution against the 500-year Turkish occupation, and then for 140 years provided the Greek kings who made sure among many other things that you have decent buildings and parks for your president, the parliament and your prime minister, besides planning a new Athens and Karystos etc. We, the Germans, provided you with the most prominent archaeologists to find your ancient sites (e.g. Olympia, Mycenae, Pergamon etc). We have financed the Greek state since 1980 with billions. Maybe Mr Dracos does not know that Germany contributes 60 percent of the money that comes from Brussels, and we still teach Ancient Greek in Germany. We have so far been the most serious philhellenes in Europe and the world. But I think we Germans must change our opinion if a man like Mr Dracos writes as he did. He should know that the 100 million he refers to is the greatest lie that exists. The Germans took 500 drachmas. The gold had been deposited in Egypt. He should furthermore know that there is a valid agreement between Germany and Greece by which potential claims of reparations have been settled. He knows all this and still he, perfidiously, contends that today’s Germany should not ask for a little «thank you.» I was born in 1940, and I have nothing to do with the German Nazis. This is why I dare say what I write here. I have paid my dues by losing my father at the age of 59 due to his being a prisoner of war until 1949. However, Mr Dracos should know that my chancellor, who many Greeks are calling a whore these days, will think twice in the future whether we should further support the Greek state if we realize that the Greek people share the opinion of Mr Panayiotis Dracos. We Germans, too, have some pride. If we continue being insulted, I fear that our patience will end. This is why I ask the Greek people to stop making comments like the ones made by Mr Dracos who knows better and behaves like a demagogue. I would like to see and hear some more objective opinions from those many wonderful Greeks I know here. Finally, I recommend that Mr Dracos once again read Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics so that he understands the great philosopher better. GERHARD FISCHER, Athens