Irredeemably bad language

Here’s a brief list of words and phrases used by Spanish-speaking sexists to praise men to the skies and to remind women that their place is in the gutter. I haven’t yet encountered a language so permeated by hate that I couldn’t contemplate using it (with the possible exception of VB), but Ludwig Kabanow is convinced about German:

Twenty-four-year-old Ludwig Kabanow from Berlin had gone to Gdansk with a group of people last week. The trip included a visit to the nearby Stutthof concentration camp, where about 65,000 people were murdered by the Nazis.

Upset by the excursion to the camp, Kabanow threw away his passport and driver’s license and refused to return home with the rest of the group…


Communicating in English, Kabanow told police officers that he did not want to speak German again and that he did not want to return to his home country. Polish officials then explained to him that he could have stayed in the country if he hadn’t thrown away his papers…

This kind of confusion is still common in parts of Spain where the revolting trinity of blood, soil and language still has a hold, but, although there’s not much of a tradition, it is of course possible to hold liberal convictions and express them in Basque. This morning I read bits of Antony Beevor’s The Fall of Berlin 1945. One of the strange, strange novelties for me was it was the survivors of the French and Scandinavian SS divisions who fought their way to the heart of Mr Kabanow’s home town, Berlin, to defend the empire to the last, while the leadership headed the other way and the Wehrmacht jeered.

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    Ludwig Kabanow from Berlin was so upset by a visit to a concentration camp near Gdansk, Poland, that he threw away his passport and said he did not want to speak German again. This story comes to us courtesy of…

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