In the early 1980s Anthony Sargeant had a lovely Hungarian girl friend, Judit, whose elderly parents during their lives in the 20th Century and living through two World Wars, had had three different nationalities because of central European border changes: and that is not to mention the German Occupation during the Second World War.
Another example: Strasbourg was German then French then German then French again (albeit now within the German dominated EU).
Going further back in history one might consider the changes, not to mention the devastation of the 30 years war.
By contrast the island of Great Britain was not part of these upheavals – and so it is difficult for the British to truly understand the psyche of Continental Europeans.
In the 19th Century the European Powers appointed a German, King Otto, to govern Greece after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire (Prince Phillip is of course a direct descendant). Curiously this ‘appointment’ was repeated in the 21st Century when the EU and European Central Bank effectively appointed an ex-Goldman Sachs Director as the Greek Prime Minister to enforce the ECB’s austerity requirements for the benefit of the Eurozone and thus the German economy.
Plus ca change …..