I wanted to keep the tone of this blog nice and light for now. Just a few maybe funny posts here and there about how I find myself in the weirdest sort of situations and so on. I wanted to encourage people to just be theirselves – unapologetically, and to be happy. But i decided this blog has to be about every aspect of my life and so I cannot possibly leave out one of the things that keeps me awake at night. Although social injustice, racism and the ever-growing Nazi community in Germany are extremely big issues to me, I speak out far too little for fear of not knowing how to. I don’t have a solution (since I believe that you cannot talk sense into people that are obviously far far beyond reason and so dangerously dim-witted) and so I remain silent, though it’s more important than ever to fight for a tolerant, open and colourful Germany. However, the sheer extent of propensity towards violence, the Nazi rhetoric and propaganda and the number of brainless zombies dressed in offensive gear bearing swastikas and using the Hitler salute also leaves me speechless and yet I have to try to voice my concerns, feelings and fears. So bear with me while I try to find the words.
Due to the recent uprisings in Chemnitz I feel truly ashamed to be German. We have no control at all which country we are born into, who our parents are and what nationality we happen to be and still there are actually people who use their own privilege of being born into a relatively stable, rich and safe country (thanks to much needed intervention back in the days) to discriminate against others who just happen to have been born in a different country (what a crime!!!) or whose parents might have been born in a different country.
I cannot believe that there are still so many ignorant, small-minded and stupid people – not only in the east of Germany – and that they are obviously thriving in a toxic environment that allows them to network and apparently gives them access to confidential files (such as the arrest warrant). I have been reading many articles, following the news and watching the truly shocking footage of not hundreds but thousands of Nazis gathering and threatening people. I simply cannot comprehend how – taking into account our gruesome history – people manage to remain ignorant to the fact that we are all the same with all the same basic human needs. Of course – again: humans – there are bound to be refugees who commit crimes (well what a surprise, it’s not like none of the Germans commit crimes…oh wait, what about burning refugee camps and other hate crimes committed by Nazis, who are…ummm…German?!) but this particular case and so many others have been blown way out of proportion, scapegoating “the other”.
While I would say that certain philosophies and mindsets are definitely a matter of socialisation (the environment you grow up in and the people you learn from), I maintain that they are also a matter of choice. You can choose to remain ignorant and let the mob mentality suck you in and seduce you into becoming a parole-shouting robot, one in many. No thinking, just shouting and hating and trying to justify drastic actions. It’s so much easier than educating yourself and admitting that you are the problem, not the others.
Not one phone call with my mum goes by without addressing the horror we feel at the recent news. I’ll be in Dresden for work on Friday and Saturday – to organise a fair that promotes study abroad programmes – and she, being her usual worrying self, is actually concerned that I’m going to “Dunkeldeutschland”. A word that already encompasses a not helpful generalisation and insults all the good people living in the area (words have power!).
But I am drifting off. Returning to my actual train of thoughts: I am not only ashamed and saddened by the recent events, I am frightened – frightened for all the good people (those whose voices usually remain unheard over the paroles and shouts of the loud mob), frightened for the refugees (who have to deal with their own traumata already), frightened for people from all nationalities living in Germany but also frightened for the police (well at least those policewomen and policemen that are not part of the Nazi network themselves) having to intervene and having to keep the situation under control in any way possible.
Reading and hearing about the demonstrations leaves me with one realisation and a really bad feeling: I should have been there for the demonstration against the Nazis. I should have been there to stand with those who value freedom and equality and celebrate diversity. I should have been there to show my support to those that are being targeted.
So while I lie awake my brain yet again returns to the one question that has been bothering me my entire life: How can human beings be so cruel?
PS. Sorry, I skipped proofreading. So this is pretty much just an emotional blurp.