Nevertheless, even I can acknowledge that the people of France and Germany have demonstrated a remarkable greatness of spirit in the years since 1945. Three bloody wars in seventy years left deep scars and painful resentments. During the mid-1960s, my father spent a few months living in Paris. One evening he had plans to meet some friends in a bar and invited a (French) colleague. He explained that there would be some French people there but also some Dutch and probably a German. Once apprised of the guest list the colleague lost interest: “I would rather stick my hand in a bucket of s**t than shake hands with a German.” And that was some while after the end of the Second World War.