Greek Mythologies Update: The Fault Line Widens

Photo by Ann Fisher | Flikr Creative Commons

Photo by Ann Fisher | Flickr Creative Commons

As the tension between Greece and Germany (as the financial leader of the EU) continues, old stories are oozing out.

Last week, Bild, a leading German news magazine, published an editorial under the blazing banner: “Nein! Keine weiteren Milliarden für die gierigen Griechen!” (“No! No more millions for the greedy Greeks!”) The choice of “greedy” evoked old stereotypes of a Mediterranean people, to my ear dangerously close to others from Germany’s past.

For its part, the recently victorious Syriza party paper Avgi went with a less subtle reference to history, publishing a cartoon depicting German Finance Minister Scheubele as a Nazi concentration camp commandant. And Avgi is not alone in making allusions to Germany’s Nazi past.

Old stories, still potent, lurking in the deep pools of collective memory, surface again.