Half of Britons have German blood
They are among Britain’s most bitter rivals, but despite two world wars and any number of football matches, it would seem we are closer to the Germans than many might imagine.Geneticists claim that as many as half of Britons have German blood, a consequence of Anglo-Saxon migration after the Roman Empire fell.
“There is no use in denying it,” Der Spiegel, the German news magazine, wrote this week. “It is now clear the nation which most dislikes the Germans were once Krauts themselves.”
University College London academics studied a segment of the Y chromosome that appears in almost all Danish and north German men. They found that half of British men also have the segment.
Researchers following up the UCL study claim that Anglo-Saxons swiftly took over Britain and changed the genetic make-up of its inhabitants.
Heinrich Härke, an archaeologist at the University of Reading, said that “up to 200,000 emigrants” came to south east England in the fifth and sixth centuries. In a study of a Saxon cemetery near Oxford, he found that a quarter of its artefacts matched those discovered along the Elbe.