Thursday, June 12, 2008

The bravest man you've never heard of

Buy that man a beer


Sometimes, when you’re having a couple of beers with friends and as the sun is going down, someone will ask that old chestnut – “who would you invite to a dinner party, if you could invite anybody in history.”

Up until now my response has always been;

“Nobody because I hate dinner parties and if I had to invite anyone, I’d invite people I know and liked, as opposed to somebody who’s been dead for a couple of centuries. Oh, you’d invite Joan of Arc – suddenly become fluent in mediaeval French, have you?”

But now I’ve given it a bit of though and if my German could ever miraculously expand beyond asking for a beer and inquiring where the toilet was, I’d like to invite Otto Wels.

Who, what, where, what the fuck, I hear you cry. Who is Otto Wels.

I’m glad you asked..

Otto Wels was the leader of the Social Democratic Party in the German Parliament in 1933, when the vote on the Enabling Act – the piece of legislation establishing the Nazi dictatorship – came.

Wels lead the 93 other SPD MPs through lines of jeering, violent Nazi Party members. While speaking, guns were aimed from at public gallery at Wels’ head, for fuck’s sake, yet he could still get to his feet and say this

At this historic hour, we German Social Democrats pledge ourselves to the principles of humanity and justice, of freedom and Socialism. No Enabling Law can give you the power to destroy ideas which are eternal and indestructible ... From this new persecution too German Social Democracy can draw new strength. We send greetings to the persecuted and oppressed. We greet our friends in the Reich. Their steadfastness and loyalty deserve admiration. The courage with which they maintain their convictions and their unbroken confidence guarantee a brighter future.

Looking directly at Hitler, Wels proclaimed, "You can take our lives and our freedom, but you cannot take our honour".

With those words, the SPD voted against the Bill, the only party to do so (the Community Party of Germany having already been banned) and left the Reichstag – many of them to imprisonment and death in concentration camps.

I think anybody who can do that deserves a couple of beers.

26 comments:

Perseus said...

Oh alright. Wels and Natalie Portman.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Nothing like a long "chat" with Natalie, eh Perseus.

Boogeyman said...

Looking directly at Hitler, Wels proclaimed, "You can take our lives and our freedom, but you cannot take our honour".

Did he say that with blue face paint and a Scottish brogue, too?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

The differnece being, Boogey, that Mel said it to a collection of bored extras.

Wels said it to Hitler.

WitchOne said...

That's pretty amazing. I bet he didn't have a family though.

Desci said...

I'd invite Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara, Jesus Christ and John Lennon.

Of course you would, you pretentious fuck. If anyone rattles off the above, you know it's really Angelina Jolie, Pamela Anderson, some zero from big brother and some z-grade comedian (Dave Hughes, anyone)

wari lasi said...

I'd like to have him, Orson Welles and George Orwell for dinner.

Well, well, well. Wouldn't we have a lovely chat.

I know. I'm going now.

And desci, you forgot the Dalai Lama.

Desci said...

Shit! I KNEW there was someone else. You're totally right. And as per my above example, he would be swapped out in the 'real' one by the bogan with aspirations of pretension with... Nicky Webster.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Good point, Witchie.

Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara, Jesus Christ and John Lennon

Anybody who nominates the above, Dess, should be cunt-punted, picked up, dusted off and cunt-punted again.

Sweatergirl said...

I want hijinks and hilarity. I'm thinking Sacha Baron Cohen, Johnny Depp, Courtney Love, Germaine Greer, Ricky Gervais and ... Hitler?

wari lasi said...

Jesus SG, what an eclectic bunch.

Courtney Love would be off her face. Johnny Depp morose. Ricky Gervais funny, which would be hard considering Hitler would be trying to kill Sacha Baron Cohen who would of course be wearing his mankini.

wari lasi said...

I forgot Germain Greer. She'd be abusing someone recently deceased.

Sweatergirl said...

See, hijinks!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I forgot Germain Greer. She'd be abusing someone recently deceased

Germs is into necrophilia?

wari lasi said...

I said abusing, not shagging, Ramon.

Look, she'd be doing whatever she thought was most controversial. If that just happened to involve a sexual encounter with a corpse, our Germaine would be into it.

Ask SG, it's her party!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Pretentious Fuck: "Jesus, tell me, how do I gain the life eternal".

Jesus: "Agsg'ff, lllyorda''egh, buc, buc-am".

PF: "Um. Anybody speak Aramaic?"

Boogeyman said...

I really thought that joke was gong to end with:

PF: "Germaine Greer, please stop shagging Jesus's corpse."

Perseus said...

"Agsg'ff, lllyorda''egh, buc, buc-am".

Roughly translates as:

"Shutup, this dinner party is crap, fuck, fuck you all."

catlick said...

Yes, yes, but what's on the menu?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

what's on the menu

Well, if Jesus is there we can rule out pork and shellfish.

WitchOne said...

Has no one thought of the Kennedy family and Marilyn Monroe?

Maybe add Clinton and Bush just for spice.

Just for shits and giggles of course.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

What about the Kennedy family and Marilyn Manson?

Boogeyman said...

Well, if Jesus is there we can rule out pork and shellfish.

Are we talking pre-resurrection JC or post-resurrection JC here?

Because technically post-resurrection everyone could eat non-kosher food and still retain their interview time with G.D "Big Daddy" Yahweh.

Mr E Discharge said...

God Senior, Allah, Chris Hitchens, George Bush and Luis Bunuel, with table settings for four and whoopee cushions for three.

Perseus said...

Whgat's wrong with you people (men)? The answer is surely Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, Marilyn Monroe and Ana Ivanovic, and it's a nude dinner party.

I love Orwell, Nietzsche and Shakespeare, but I'm not having them over for dinner.

catlick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.