Remembering - Looking Forward01 Aug 2018
I’m in Germany this week and the Airbnb we’re staying at in Berlin overlooks the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. I was born in this country (in a little town called Wremen at the base of the Jutland Peninsula right on the North Sea) and while not a dual citizen, have always felt a connection to this place.
With that being said, I think it’s important to acknowledge the genocide the Nazis perpetrated here during the late 1930s/1940s.
~17 Million people died.
~6 million of them Jews.
I think it’s important to give space to the stories of those who died - either in concentration camps as a persecuted minority or as those fighting the tyranny against their fellow citizens.
- Gerda Weissmann Klein - found on the wall of the New England Holocaust Memorial (one of the memorials I’ve been most struck by)
- Sophie Scholl member of the nonviolent White Rose movement on the day of her execution for the distribution of pamphlets.
- From a brilliant New Yorker Profile of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. I find Merkel very clever and her continued efforts to accept Syrian refugees against a tide of self focusedness admirable. I hope history remembers her as such.
Not really trying to say anything political here but I think the greatest power of remembering things like this is its ability to shape actions into the future. I think the German people collectively do a good job acknowledging the crimes of their parents and trying to do the right thing to protect displaced and persecuted people through their actions in admitting refugees and in forums like the International Criminal Court. I went for a bike ride on the runway at Berlin’s abandoned Tempelhof Airport yesterday. While designated a park, a great number of Syrian refugees now inhabit the outskirts abutting the gargantuan (it’s still one of the largest building in the world) terminal Adolf Hitler constructed during the late 1930s.