- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 15, 2006

Nuremberg, a city infamous for trials history would rather forget, was sweltering in the mid-80s yesterday as it welcomed the invasion of British fans. The atmosphere was deafening inside the stadium, where English fans chimed in with the song “I Will Survive.”

Hitler called it “the most German of German cities” and the little Austrian used it for all his fancy dress parades. The macabre monument to the Nazi past — the famous arena, where the national socialists held their rallies — was just yards from the media center at the soccer stadium.

• The Germans went wild after their late win over Poland the other night. The city center of Hannover was one big party decorated with a sea of patriotic black, red and gold. Not since the Berlin Wall went down have they gone so wild.

“We go crazy like this because we have no heroes in our history,” said a middle-aged, slightly cynical German.

There was even a 10-man band from Angola — their team plays in Hannover against Mexico tonight — serenading the jovial beer-swigging Germans.

• The English team was a little disgruntled about having to stay in the FIFA-sanctioned Grand Meridian Hotel in Nuremberg — once headquarters of the U.S. occupation forces — smack bang next to the train station while Trinidad and Tobago was housed in the Hilton in a wooded suburb. They shouldn’t complain about their $375-a-night digs. I was battling a horde of mosquitoes — just as tenacious as their Texas relatives — in my little garden house that sits 25 yards from the main rail line in Hannover.

John Haydon

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