Have you ever had to explain historical events to a drunk person? Not so easy is it?! Well the best way to do this is probably by translating the facts in a language that he or she understands. Let’s imagine world history took place in a bar. We assume you have read the first part. This is the second episode of what happened in Europe in the period of Nazi Germany.
Where were we? Oh yes… It was September 1939 and Germany and Russia just started to split a bottle of Polish vodka that they stole from the bar. This pissed off the bar staff Britain and France pretty bad and they gave their bouncers the order to remove the Germans from their bar.
Now from here on we see two different approaches. Where the British bartender tries to beat Germany in a drinking contest with submarines, the French tries to take the German drinks from the bar. Also the bottle of Polish vodka is still going round, so the Germans need to drink like hell. At September 5th a call comes from the bar on the other side of the street: no help should be expected from their main bouncer United States. However five days later Canada is willing to give his colleagues a hand to remove the annoying customers.
16th of September the French bartender sees that it’s a mission impossible to take the drinks away from the Germans and quits all efforts to do so. On October 10th the last drops of Polish vodka are consumed by the Germans, who now have their hands free for the quarrel with the English bartender. To support their friends in the drinking contest some of them start throwing darts to the guys behind the bar. On the other side of the bar Russians and Finnish lads are having their own competition as they take shots of Smirnoff and Finlandia vodka.
Now it’s January 10th, 1940 and a German drinker falls from his bar seat. Laying on the floor he raves about annoying some Dutch and Belgian customers that sit quietly at the bar in front of the French bartender and try to stay out of trouble. Operation Fall Gelb, he calls it. And those are not the only scared customers getting dragged in the conflict against their will. April 9th 1940 the Germans try to claim two tables: one with Norwegians and one with Danish. The English bartender tries to protect the customers, but only manages to save one Danish chair, as the frightened Danish hand over their drinks to the Germans.
On May 10th, 1940 the Germans start raiding the poor Dutch and Belgian customers and even go after the private stock of the French bartender. The manager now puts Winston Churchill, a former bouncer, in charge of the British side of the bar. May 13th a Dutch girl named Wilhelmina flees behind the bar to stay with him, scared as she is to be assaulted by the tipsy Germans. However they seem too busy plundering the bar and June 25th the French bartender can’t take it anymore and hands over his full stock. But before the Germans can get behind the bar and pour their own beers, the British bartenders break the French taps.
The Germans now behind the bar, but still without beer, are pissed off and start what they call the Battle of Britain. Beerglasses are flying from one side of the bar to the other. On the other side of the bar, the Italians decide that it’s time to switch drinks too and on October 28th, they open a bottle of Greek ouzo. However, the taste seems too strong for them and after a few rounds many of them end up under the table. At that moment – it’s now March 27th, 1941 – the Yugoslavians arrive at the party behind their leader Peter II, who is carrying a big bottle of homemade rakija.
These new developments in the bar cause the Germans to go easy on the glass throwing and together with some Hungarians and Italians they start drinking ouzo and rakija at the same time. April 17th, 1941 the rakija is completely done and Peter II moves over to the Greek table. April 27th the ouzo is done too. The Germans, looking up from the empty bottle, spot the Russian table, where many of fine vodka bottles are piled up. Hitler understands the importance of having enough to drink and June 22nd Operation Barbarossa starts to take the bottles from the Soviets.
In the bar on the other side of the street it has been quiet so far. But September 7th, 1941 this all comes to an end. At karaoke evening some Japanese guests have a few shots of sake too many and piss off the main bouncer United States. He decides it’s time to sweep this street clean.
For a long time things looked rather promising for the rebellious drunk Germans. But they find out that taking vodka from a Russian is not like taking candy from a baby. Stalin is very clear to his guys: ‘they can take our lives, but never our vodka’. February 3rd 1943 the Germans give up. Now it’s also time for the bouncers to act and July 10th Britain, America, Canada and some others start throwing out the wasted Italians. October 13th this bunch of drunks sees it’s pointless to resist much longer and turns on their former drinking buddies, the Germans.
With the wasted Italians out of the way, the staff agrees that it’s time to take back full control over the bar, where the Germans are still feasting on cognac and champagne. June 6th, 1944 the bouncers start to drag them away from the bar and try to close them in. But the Germans are not giving up their bottles that easy. However in the back the thirsty Russians see opportunity to get their hands on quality pilsners. April 25th, 1945 Americans and Russians meet each other for a drink at Torgau (now this actually happened, check below for the story).
April 28th, 1945 the former Italian leader Mussolini has left the bar permanently. Words has it that he was so ‘hungover’ he never wanted to drink again. Two days later, Hitler also decides never to set foot in this bar again. After a tequila suicide he sinks lifeless to the ground. Discouraged by his weak drinking performance, the other Germans are easily removed from the bar on May 7th. The American bartender George Marshall then calms the other customers down with several rounds of free drinks and the rude German interruption of the party was soon forgotten. The End.
Real drinking between Americans and Russians in Torgau
As said in the fictive barfight there was an occasion when Americans and Russians did actually sat down for a drink. When East met West in Torgau on April 25th, 1945 this was a moment that needed to be celebrated. And what better way to do this than with a drinking contest right?! Both armies selected a group of their best drinkers for a contest. The Americans would drink vodka, where the Russians would drink American whiskey. The team that lasted longest would win this friendly match. After many many rounds the Russians were the last ones standing and were declared the winners. However shortly after the Soviet contesters also collapsed. It turned out that each of them ate one full package of butter before the match. Because of the fat the alcohol hit them later, so they could easily outlast the Americans. And with that free tip we conclude this history lesson for drunks.