A FUMING German has urged his
country’s athletes to BOYCOTT
the London Olympics if the
iconic Dambusters March is
played at the opening ceremony.
To Brits it is the theme tune to The Dam Busters, the 1955 movie about the audacious 1943 RAF “bouncing bomb” raid on Nazi Germany’s Ruhr dams. But it reminds many Germans of the night their beloved Fatherland became a swampy grave for 1,300 people. And the inclusion of Eric Coates’s march in the 86-track playlist for the Olympics opening ceremony has angered some of our chums on the Rhine.
Manfred Schulz – who claims to be a second cousin of the actor who played one of the German guests in the infamous Fawlty Towers episode – is outraged by its inclusion.
Berlin-born Mr Schulz, who teaches German on a supply basis in England, said: “This is an abomination! “When British people hear this music they run around pretending to be the very aeroplanes that dropped bombs on my country, destroying its industrial heartland.
“If it is played at the ceremony, it will be a huge insult to the German people, and our athletes should refuse to compete, as a form of protest.” He added darkly: “You English taunting Germans about the war – it is a big problem. One day we will have a solution to this problem. A final solution, if you will.”
But not all Germans agree with Mr Schulz’s assessment of the song choice. Dr Falco Pfalzgraf, from Queen Mary, University of London’s Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations, says he doesn’t have any issues with it at all. He said: “The so-called Dambusters March was composed well before the film was made. It was not composed especially for it.
“Moreover, the song is also used as the musical setting for the hymn God is Our Strength and Refuge, based on Psalm 46. It says, ‘The Lord makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth’. Isn’t that a nice text for the Olympic Games?”
The Queen will officially open the event on July 27, at a £27m ceremony organised by Oscar-winning movie director Danny Boyle. The playlist, which has yet to be confirmed, also includes God Save The Queen by anarchic punk rockers the Sex Pistols, and Firestarter by ravers The Prodigy. Sunday Sport tried to contact “Der fockers bombed our chippy” comic Stan Boardman to get his reaction, but we’d lost his phone number.