Those who arrived in 1945 had a very different perspective on life within the local community to the one we have now. It has been an evolution from it being an offence to talk to a German to soldiers marrying Germans and planning their future life in Germany.
As we draw down there is an expression used in the German media, maybe overused and clichéd, which is used to describe this social transition: You arrived as enemies, stayed as guests and leave as friends.
From the days where the only coffee available in the German shops was the chicory flavoured offerings to the variety of coffee shops ensuring that afternoon ‘kaffee und kuchen’ have become a staple for many, particularly after a brisk walk.
There were times when British Troops were not allowed to shop in the local shops; where it was unbelievable that all the shops closed at 1pm every Saturday and never open on a Sunday (something that will be explored in another post); when friendships between the British and the Germans were frowned upon but how the Anglo-German Clubs have grown and lifelong friendships have flourished.