Sausage, Stalingrad and Sadomasochism The Dumbest Ideas Ever Uttered in German Politics

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Part 3: I Quite Liked Stalingrad, Thank You


Germany's visit to Stalingrad in 1942 wasn't good for German-Russian relations.
DPA

Germany's visit to Stalingrad in 1942 wasn't good for German-Russian relations.

I Quite Liked Stalingrad, Thank You

Not many outside of Germany remember Franz Josef Strauss. The heavy-set governor of Bavaria, who reigned from 1978 to 1988, gained nationwide fame as a chancellor candidate in 1980 -- and since then for the fact that his children regularly hit the headlines for involvement in corruption scandals. Many have less-than-fond memories of Strauss, stemming largely from his raw political style. But the man didn't lack for guts. According to Edmund Stoiber, a Strauss protégé who -- after an interregnum -- inherited Strauss' position as Bavarian governor, Strauss did not go out of his way to endear himself to his Russian hosts during a 1987 visit. Stoiber recalled that when Mikhail Gorbachev asked Strauss if it was his first visit to Russia, Strauss said: "No, it's my second visit. But the first time I didn't quite make it as far as Stalingrad." Strauss fought on the Russian front during World War II and was lucky enough to just miss being involved in the deadly battle for Stalingrad.

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