The Anonymous Widower

England In Kaliningrad

There is a good chance, that my great-great-great-grandfather; Robert Muller, came from East Prussia, the capital of which was Konigsberg East Prussia was annexed by the Soviet Union after the Second World |War and Konigsberg was renamed Kaliningrad.

My father was about fourteen, when his grandfather died and my father once told me, that his grandfather had told him, about meeting Robert, who would have been his grandfather’s grandfather.

Apparently, the elderly man didn’t speak any English and only spoke German. Knowing that my male line is Jewish, I wonder if it wasn’t German but Yiddish.

Konigsberg was an important city and the Prussian

Wikipedia has a section about the Jews in Konigsberg, where this is said.

The Jewish population of Königsberg in the 18th century was fairly low, although this changed as restrictions became relaxed over the course of the 19th century. In 1756 there were 29 families of “protected Jews” in Königsberg, which increased to 57 by 1789. The total number of Jewish inhabitants was less than 500 in the middle of the 18th century, and around 800 by the end of it, out of a total population of almost 60,000 people.

Speaking to someone at the German History Museum, a lot of Jewish men had to leave East Prussia, when they became adults, unless they were protected.

As Robert would have been a young adult,, when he turned up in Bexley, I suspect that soon after he qualified as a tailor, he left the area.

This keeping out of the way of trouble, is very much a family trait.

Konigsberg was at that time a port city and there was quite a lot of trade with London. So I suspect getting to London was not that great a problem.

I very much regret not asking my father for more details.

Like me my father was an atheist, although with a Jewish philosophy of life. He was also very much against fascists, communists and dictators of both the left and right. He was proud to have been at the Battle of Cable Street, when the East End of London stopped Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts.

In some ways, I regret not being at the match tonight. But then I was advised that there would be trouble.

I have been to the Polish border with the Russian enclave. I wrote about it in At Poland’s Border With Russia.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What’s Gone Wrong With Danny Welbeck?

I’ve always thought that Danny Welbeck wasn’t as good as others say he is.

But his performance today in scoring two goals for England in Basle against Switzerland tonight, impressed me a lot more.

Can it be that the drifting ship that Manchester United has become over the last few years, was unsettling him? Moving to Arsenal seems to have released his shackled mind!

Perhaps, Wayne Rooney needs to move to freshen him up?


September 8, 2014 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Nationalism And The England Football Team

I went to the England match against Ireland last night at Wembley and although it wasn’t the best of matches, a thought about the England team struck me, as I listened to the phone-in on Radio 5 about English Nationalism.

It is surprising how many of the England team, could have been eligible to play for other countries. For example, Wayne Rooney and Gary Cahill have an Irish heritage and  Phil Jagielka has a Polish father and a Scottish mother.

On the other hand, I think at least one of the black players, was born in England to parents, who were also born here.

So nothing is ever what it seems!

I myself, have two strong immigrant lines in my genes; Jew and Huguenot, so when it comes for me to define what is Englishness, I can get rather lost.

Perhaps being of mixed genes is a requirement to being a true Englishman or Englishwoman.  After all Churchill had an American mother, Brunel had a French father and Alan Blumlein had a German father, to name but three.

I often define myself as a London Mongrel and when asked to fill in forms about my race, if I think I can get away with it, I do.

Could it all be down to hybrid vigour? It’s proper scientific name is heterosis.

I also like this quote on nationalism by Albert Einstein.

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.

He is right!

May 30, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Are The English Arrogant?

This post was selected by the phone-in on BBC Radio 5.

I don’t think arrogance is the word.  But there is a class of the English, that has extreme self-confidence, which means they do things that are exceptional.

David Beckham is a classic modern example, as there are few people, who have achieved what he has done by pushing themselves to the limit.

Throughout history, we have had English leaders who could probably have been considered by some to be arrogant, but they just had this amazing self-confidence. Just look at Churchill, Nelson, Hawke and Thatcher for a start.  In sport, there have been quite a few with it too like Bradley Wiggins, David Hemery, Stanley Matthews, Fred Perry, Nick Faldo, Will Carling, Geoffrey Boycott.

and then there’s the arts and the media, with people like David Hockney, Laurence Olivier, Henry Moore and David Attenborough.

You might think that I’m being very male and white oriented here, but I am tending to pick people, whose careers started and in most cases finished many years ago. In a few years time, the list will probably be different. But even now, you can pick many women and those from the broad non-white community, who owe their success to a supreme self-confidence.

So why are the English like this?

It’s difficult to find a definitive reason.

February 1, 2013 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment

Why Can’t I Buy Tickets For England v Brazil?

I’ve bought tickets for England home games in the past, but I can’t even get logged in as a registered England fan to even see if I can purchase tickets. I just get a message saying.

According to our records, you are not eligible to purchase tickets for this event.

I suspected that this could be because I have moved house, since I last bought a ticket.

So I registered as a new England fan at my new address and tried again. And what happened?

I got the same message again.

I wonder why I’m not allowed to buy tickets.  I have e-mailed them and guess what?  I’ve not received any reply at all.

So it could be that FA doesn’t stand for Football Association, but something else.

Or could it be that I’m too old?  Or perhaps someone with the same name as me, is on a banned list?

All I want is a ticket for myself and a couple for friends.

By the time that I get logged in, they might all have gone!

I think, I’ll reach for my solicitor if that happens. I think my human rights have been abused.


November 30, 2012 Posted by | News, Sport | , , | 5 Comments

England Give Australia A Good Polishing

As if Friday’s pasting with a lot of help from an Irish dwarf wasn’t enough, they got supremely polished by England on Sunday. Sadly, England will have to shuffle the pack as two of their team, have got to go to a funeral.

Apparently, Australia are doing special deals on the trains to Edgbaston. If the match finishes early, you can take any train home.

July 2, 2012 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | 5 Comments

The Good Luck Runs Out

What else is there to say!

June 25, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , | 1 Comment

England Against Ukraine at Cricket

Radio 5 has announced this morning that an English touring cricket club is in Ukraine.  Apparently there are eight cricket clubs in Kiev.

I can’t help being reminded of the very funny Michael Bentine sketch, where he was taking cricket to the natives, in some unnamed country.  The last line as he held up a box, was.

And this is 27s. and 6d.

Classic humour from the only Peruvian born in Watford.

June 24, 2012 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hodgson Speaks Italian at a Press Conference

The BBC seems very surprised that he did this, but he did manage a top club in the country. If they read his Wikipedia entry, it says he speaks eight languages, five of which fluently.

I haven’t seen or heard what he said, but perhaps he threw the Italian into the press conference to make sure that the Italians knew he would understand what they shouted from the touchline. I suspect too, he reads the Italian papers’ comments on the match. That must be a great help, as newspapers are always trying to be better than the managers.  And usually failing!

June 23, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did You See That One Sepp?

I would suspect that Sepp Blatter may have seen the Ukrainian ghost goal last night for two reasons.

Firstly, even it had been scored,  it wouldn’t have changed who went through to the next round.

But of course, he did see it, as it was against England, his bete-noir, who are always complaining about the suspender-loving Swiss idiot.

To be charitable to the England players and officials, they have not denied it was a goal. After all, we have a lot to gain from the Hawk Eye technology to check these problems. as it is developed by a company, based in Winchester. But after seeing Sepp’s judgements on this matter over the last few years, I suspect he’ll give his seal of approval to anybody but this company. Although it is rumoured that the company are working on a system especially for Sepp, that detects if women are wearing Stockings.

But what was the extra linesman doing on the goal-line? Answers on the back of a postage stamp please. He certainly wasn’t looking.

June 20, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment