I was called a Nazi, as an Englishman, by an American, in Germany.

I know what you’re thinking. I know. This is my fourth appearance on this blog and I’ve already gone and brought up Nazism. Shame on me. Shame on me indeed. It’s clear I learned nothing from Fawlty Towers.

Now then, as I stated in my opening slot, I was in fact born here and so, at school, was often referred to as a “kraut” or “nazi” by bigoted little spoilt Surrey kids who had no real idea what it meant to tarnish someone with such a slur, only having seen it in the pages of the all powerful shit rags the British public consume thanks to Rupert Murdoch’s wheels of printed puke or having heard it on TV or from ill-informed relatives/acquaintances. As a young whippersnapper, I always thought it was pretty damn cool to have been born in another country and yet still be British, it made me feel pretty special if I’m telling the truth. Some of my schoolmates did not share my opinion and used their knowledge of my Teutonic birth to lambast and infuriate me with words filled with bile and hatred for fuck all reason and with fuck all knowledge.

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In fact, such words were the cause of my very first fight. A little ginger shit, we’ll call him Fucky McFucknut for the sake of preserving his true xenophobic identity, called me a Nazi. I punched him. That was it, fight over. Is it still a fight if it’s only one punch? I’m not sure, I’ll leave it to you to decide. Even now, I don’t think I was fighting for me, but for the fact that Fucky McFucknut had used a word to describe me that I could not tolerate as a word, not as a adjective to describe me. If he had called me a “blonde haired vat of human shit” I might have not punched him, school is a place of banter, no matter how lacking in finesse. He didn’t though, he called me a Nazi, I saw red and stood up for what I thought was right. Now, that might sound like I was fighting for the rights of Nazis, and

nothing could be further for the truth, I was fighting to quell this hateful concept that modern Germany has anything to do with the word.

Fast forward a few years and I am out here living the life, having a thoroughly wonderful time. It’s the summer and my Mum has decided that she wants to come out and visit me. She ruddy loves a good church and a nice town with some old buildings, so I knew the trip would be a roaring success. On the third day of her visit, I took her to a place not far from here called Regensberg and we had a lovely day. Day done, we headed back to the train station to make our way back to Nürnberg. On the platform, waiting for the same train as us was a large group of Americans, the majority of which were African American. As I walked along, next to my Mum one of the girls piped up “Fucking Ayran bastard”. Needless to say, I was gobsmacked.

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Now, I should say here that I can see why she jumped to the conclusion she did. For her, Nazis/Ayran’s are tall, have light hair and keep it nice and short. I fit all three criteria. Being British, a shaved head is nothing of note and would never be an instant indicator of any fervent political leanings. Sure, there probably are more members of the BNP with shaved heads as a percentage when compared to the Tories, but we would not attempt to judge a person based on haircut alone. Even when I was at Uni (and for a while after) when I proudly got kitted out with a Mohawk of a plethora of colours, I was never once accosted in the streets in any way whatsoever. Things are not so simple here though. I believe, but have never had it confirmed, that the shaved head thing out here is only really used by guys who are losing their hair. Other than the looming bald, it’s really not very common to see. I shave my head because I am a cheap bastard and it’s easy as pie. You buy a trimmer, put on the No1 attachment and shave your whole head and your beard in one go, all at once eliminating the need to go to the barbers or shave all of your face with a razor. There’s Yorkshire in my blood, I blame that, I am bound by it to save cash on frivolities like having your hair cut by a professional. It’s a veritable savings bonanza.

Anyway, back to her in Regensberg. Once I recovered from my shock, a few meters past her, I turned back and walked over to the girl. All of the group around her glared at me, assuming that I was about to unleash a tirade of vile white power nonsense at her and them. Nope. “Excuse me darling, but I’m English, none of that now please, be nice, I’ve got my Mum with me here.” Her jaw dropped, everyone else gasped, I walked off, feeling pretty good about myself. Book. Cover. Lesson learned.

I wish I were able to say that this was the only time I have been accused of right-wing leanings out in public. I wish I could say that. Alas, I cannot. It’s happened two other times, both in the town I live in, both times by Turkish teenagers. The first time it ever happened, I had just done all my Crimbo shopping, full of glee and excitement to be heading home to the UK for the holidays with bags filled with pork and German chocolate. I was walking into the entrance of the train station, a young Turkish lad, clearly wanting to impress the girl next to him pointed at me and shouted “Nazi”. It really did kill my Christmas buzz. The other time was also in the train station here, but this time is was a swarm of Turkish teens, all of whom seemed to decide that a chorus of “Nazi, Nazi, Nazi” was a fitting way to say hello to a visibly confused Englishman heading towards the subway.

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As it stands now, it’s an annual thing for me to be called a Nazi, and I can say that it is a very painful thing to be called purely on the haircut you have. I punched Fucky McFucknut, that was a long time ago, punching a Turkish teen would gain me little apart from a criminal conviction for which I might indeed be sent to prison here for committing what might be deemed a racially motivated assault. I could become an icon for the right by pure stupid accident. I love Germany, love the people, love it all, but I think it’s safe to say I would not love the prisons quite so much.

Until next time, safety first.

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