Every summer one topic recurs in the British press: the Germans' habit of occupying
sunbeds and deck chairs with their beach towels in Mediterranean seaside resorts.
This is, of course, a bad habit which I utterly disapprove. But the British press has a particular
liking of the Germans and use a language which comes close to bad taste. In British tabloids you would
find quotations like Michael..was ready to wage war with any holiday Hitler who tried to pinch his
prized sunbed...The Germans are bloody quick on the move, they proved that in Poland back
in 1939. In contrast to such remarks, the following sounds more like a bad joke: I'd like to see
a German try to take my sunbed. He'd leave in an ambulance (Daily Star of July 30, 99). The cartoons
display samples as they would appear in British tabloids.
They could be used in an English lesson with the topic 'stereotypes/prejudices'. Students could be asked
to describe and make comments on these cartoons.
'Ve vill occupy ze sunbeds here at precisely 5 a.m...!'
'Vell, Englander, answer ze kvestion! Vy do you not like us?'
I don't know if this is typical of the British humour. But Germans are no little innocents either: Should you happen
to read a hotel description in a travel brochure, you might come across the following sentence: Dieses Hotel
wird auch von unseren englischen Freunden frequentiert. This means: Beware of British hooligans! Don't go there.
Well, I prefer the latter kind of humour...