I looked around again this year and saw Germany celebrating the day the wall opened without a nod at the real history of the day: that it's the anniversary of Kristallnacht.
As I saw blogger after blogger and newstory after newstory fail to mention the coincident dates (which were the reason that official German Reunification day was instead set in October), I became depressed.
To that I added the overwhelming rape apologism that I saw surrounding Roman Polanski's much-delayed arrest, including his support by people who I actually admired (at least one of whom, when shown facts, recanted that support).
I started reading books more. And I liked them more.
This is a personal blog. It's used as a vehicle for conveying information and pictures to my friends and family and to act as a diary (I have a notoriously bad memory and am awful at keeping print diaries). It's also an open hand to meet people in a strange land and people who have some of the same experiences that I do:
- Working professional who is now SAHM,
- Stranger in a strange land,
- Older person attempting to learn a new language, from necessity rather than desire
- New mom dealing with the ups and downs of having children in a strange land
- Negotiating the shoals of a school system unlike my own in a foreign language
- Missing my homeland and seeing my new and old home through foreign eyes
- Being Jewish in a country which was the architect and hands of the will to murder my people, and which succeeded to a vast extent in doing so and exploring my religion and its tradition and rituals as my family grows
- Living in Germany as the child of an Auschwitz survivor and the mother of German Jewish children and needing, at an age I feel too young, to explain these issues to them in the least traumatic way possible
- Living, on a daily basis, with the visible symbol of the antisemitism of Europe: the high walls and bulletproof gates of the schools, community gathering places and synagogues I frequent and the 24 hour police guard they require
- Being a woman and dealing with the intrinsic sexism and misogyny of Western culture, where white male privilege is so pervasive that a white Christian male can tell a Jewish female that her views on sexism and racism are just hysteria and in her mind
- Being the the parent of two small girls who are growing up in this society and how to strengthen them against it and prepare them for individuals who will tell them that their beliefs and experiences are invalid.
This is my personal blog and I talk about all those things because they are part of who am I am. Don't read and don't comment if these issues don't speak to you. I have reached a place in my life- a place of calmness- where the ad hominem attack hits the wastebasket and the individual who launches it is removed from my sphere of acquaintances. And that is how it should be.
I am not dependent physically, emotionally or financially on those strangers or acquaintances who pass through my blog gates. I enjoy meeting others, but it's a voluntary activity on both parts.
This is my safe space and I will keep it that way.
*(And for those who care, this is a wonderfully succinct link to Feminism 101 FAQ over at Shakesville).
That was an incredibly powerful blog post. Lots and lots of hot topics there.
My husband recently had the chance to spend some time in El Alamein, Egypt - and was incredibly moved by the stories of the thousands and thousands of young ANZACS that lost their lives there. He was amazed that I was able to tell him so much about Australia's role in WWII. He admitted that his generation have great gaping holes in their education when it comes to this part of history, because 'it was not talked about'.
When I think about how this has filtered down to the generations that came behind, I am frightened.
Let you blog be your own. That is the only way it can work.
Awesome post. I am not Jewish, but most of the things in your list resonate with me (as you can imagine from seeing my blog). Growing up a kind of secular Christian with a good Jewish friend who welcomed me into her family traditions, am am still at a loss to see how the accepted 'normalcy' of the Christian perspective in Germany isn't even a big enough issue to mention.
The Christian view is just accepted as the definition of normal. It concerns me as our daughter reaches Kindergarten age. At the moment, she is in an excellent, Catholic daycare a couple days a week, but as she gets older, I want her to experience and learn about a broader spectrum of people and perspectives (though finding her a dark skinned dolly took quite a bit of effort here). If you have any tips on this, please share!
And brava for acknowledging that snarky judgments from obnoxious strangers are not welcome! Too many get caught up in the alternate reality of comments :-)
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