is where my head has been recently.
Ever since my husband requested that, for security's sake, we not place our hanukiah where it could be viewed from outside, I've had my head floating a bit in this dimension that is reality. A reality that I have been safe from as an American.
As he pointed out, I should have noticed by now that all Jewish establishments have police guards and fences, that we had a security meeting at our kindergarten that discussed checking for bombs under vehicles, that I take my German class after entering through metal detectors.
How clear can it be that we are targeted as Jews when a tiny house, without a sign, in Bombay, a city with what- a 100 Jews amidst millions of non-Jews?- can be sought out so that Islamist terrorists can murder a pregnant Jewish woman and other innocent bystanders?
He is, of course, correct. It would not be safe, here in a city where Nazi signs are scrawled as grafitti and where a rabbi is chased and harassed for being noticeably Jewish, to display my religion in a publicly identifiable (and traceable) manner. Because I think that the people I meet every day are normal human beings has led me to the fallacy that resulted in so many not fleeing in time.
Last week, at a holiday party, I had a quiet political discussion with another American ex-pat, a woman who is black, a minority status not as easily concealed as my own. She said that after a recent visit to her home in Washington, DC she felt less overt racism here in Berlin than she did there.
I looked at her in disbelief. In my short time here, I have found that my friends and aquaintances of color are quite overtly discriminated against. But perhaps the fact that the minority here which it is fashionable to be openly hateful toward is the Turkish has made her feel differently?
What I do know is that Berliners in the workplace, in front of my husband who appears to be "one of them", feel quite comfortable being openly sexist and racist in a way that leaves him- a German who has spent his work life in the US- openly amazed and dismayed.
And this past week, in the comfort of the German's family home, a family friend (I was asleep upstairs with the girls and not a witness or fomentor) called him- "You American... (and then went off on an amazing diatribe about American intolerance and America's past injustices- this from a German!)..." when my husband suggested that the diversity training the friend was stating was useless (and which the German had just finished the equivalent of for his own CPEs) actually was useful. Particularly in the context of the large study just released showing that Germany has a significant gender gap! And this to a German and the son of the house which he was a guest in!
It makes me sad.