Mittwoch, 29. Juni 2016

I’m only German. Or: Why I take my right to speak out loud!

Yes I’m German and no, I don’t live in England! 
So why the hell should I have the right to speak out loud about the current situation in Britain? 
Why should I tell people in another country what’s right or what’s wrong? 
That’s none of my business!

Well, first of all I have to point out that this post is not about pro or contra of the Brexit. I respect what people have voted and this is not under discussion. 
What worries me is the very alarming development of xenophobia in the UK, I have witnessed during the last few days. 
But why should I care? 
Well, first of all: I used to live in the UK. 
Ok, it’s already nearly 16 years ago since I left my second home Derby. I lived and worked there for nearly one year. A German company gave me the opportunity to make this very unique experience. The English colleagues were a blessing. They made this year the best year of my whole life. They were so friendly, brought me into their community and introduced me to their families. After this year I was even asked to stay in England for good and believe me, it was a very, very tough decision to go back to Germany. 
However, since then I always talked about this wonderful country, the wonderful people, the wonderful language, the wonderful multi cultural society. 
I did not know that from my hometown in Germany. 
Believe me, my friends over here always make a lot of jokes about me, because I’m wearing Union Jack T-Shirts, Shoes, Umbrellas, Socks etc. all the time. 
I fell in love with the TV Show Doctor Who, before it had even aired over here. 
I have to visit my second home at least once a year, otherwise I feel like I’m missing something.
Four years ago I went to a theatre play in London. I camped outside together with other people, to get tickets on the next day. It was an amazing experience that has connected me to London and opened my mind to the incredible work of Shakespeare. 

Found on a wall at Borough Market

So once or twice a year, I step on the train, drive through the channel tunnel and enjoy a weekend in London, watching theatre plays or just enjoy the atmosphere. 
I even joined the members club of the Barbican Theatre to support their plays. 
Most of the time I visited London on my own. Sometimes I took a friend or my husband with me. 
But when I was alone, I was always felt absolutely safe on the streets of London. 

When I came back from these trips, I told my friends how amazing this town is and how I admire people living there, being privileged to get the best of all the different cultures and people. 

England was always my own little church, that supported my soul when I struggled in everyday life and deep inside I always thought: Maybe one day I go back to England and live there for good. 

Last Friday this pretty little church was smashed by the Brexit. 
But that’s ok. I have to live with that. It was only a dream that comforted me in tough times.
But then I read and heard and saw all these incidents about xenophobia and it rips my heart into pieces. 
Sometimes I hope that this is just a nightmare and I will wake up any minute. But it is not. 

I always felt welcome in London! <3

I used to write a Blog about the wonderful day’s I have spent in London. But how should I tell my friends in Germany about the colorful scenery in Camden, the different faces on the tube, the friendly people in the shops, if such tragedy shatters my heart? 

But the worst thing is, that some people I thought I knew, keep posting “funny” pictures on their Facebook timeline. 
For example the solid brick wall that’s closing the channel tunnel for good. 
Yes, I’m not welcome any more. 
Maybe as a tourist, that brings money, but nothing else. 
Fuck off, you don’t belong to us anymore!  
They don’t even talk to me anymore, from one day to the other. 
If I already feel such grief, how terrible must it be for people who actually settled down in England? I would have been in the same situation, if I had chosen a different path back then in Derby. 
So people, who welcomed me, suddenly turned their back on me. 
But for what reason? 
Still there’s my question: What have I done to you? 
Please tell me? 
What have I done that all of a sudden you smash all your anger right into my face? 

But hey, I’m not British. I’m only German. I should not interfere.

BECAUSE I am German, I have the biggest right to speak out loud! 

I can remember, one day I was walking through the beautiful countryside of the Peak District. 
An old man passed me and when I was greeting him, he asked me where I came from. When I answered: “From Germany”, he grinned, rose his right hand and shouted “Heil Hitler!”. 
And believe me, that was not the only incident like this. 
But I did not bother. 
I did not blame people saying this to me. 
Hey, it still is our past and even though I was not even born then, pupils in Germany are taught very detailed WHY we should never ever forget our past. 
Because it has a reason! 
And this is why I’m so anxious to get these words out. 
Building a huge brick wall around your country is not a good idea! 
It’s only 26 years ago since the Berlin wall came down. 
TWENTYSIX years, and people forgot all about it. 
They are making the same mistake again. Well, most of them did not live in the eastern part of Germany, neither did I, but I know a lot of people who did and who shared their story with me. 

It all started with a nation that thought that living in isolation would be better for them. 
No foreigners, no other goods than the ones produced in their own country. 
But a wall is also closing the other direction! 

The other historical events in Germany are a few more years ago. 
But then again, nearly every day a British TV station is airing a history documentary. But it seems that no one is watching them? 
It seems to me they are only used as some kind of screensaver?!? 

It scares me to death to see that history repeats itself. 
We often asked our grandmother how they could have let this catastrophe happen. 
She answered: “Because they promised us things. It all started with fear. The politicians started to point at the Jews. They were taking our jobs, they were criminals, they earned money we should have earned. We all agreed! And then we started to point at them, the Jews, who did not belong to our country. This is Germany! Not the land of jewish or polish man and woman. One day pointing was not enough anymore. We had to label these people so we all knew that we had to stay away of these families. They were evil, we had to get them out of our country. We thought that what the politicians did, would be the right thing. At this stage the force of the leaders was already too strong, and when we recognized our mistake, it was too late to speak up. People were dying inside chambers with gas.”

Underneath the Facebook picture of the brick wall tunnel, some English people posted: “Before you close the wall, put some migrants in there and fill it with water!” 
I answered straight into their face: “Wouldn’t be gas a better alternative?” 

I know it sounds very hard, but if you don’t stand up against these comments, the wrong side will grow and grow and grow. Just as it already did during the last years and now it’s finally showing its ugly face. 
People must realize that these are not lapidary jokes any more.  

But I still have a lot of hope, because there are so many wonderful people out there in Britain, who already stand up and speak out loud. 
Say no to racism! 
I thank you so much for these activities and I feel blessed to know a lot of you! 
You are the people who can make this world a better place. 

Multi Cultural Life in London! Isn't that scary?.... Not! ;-) 

It’s not only about London, not only about England or Britain. It’s about the whole world. 
Hate and spreading fear has never been a solution. 
Fear will lead to hate, hate will lead to violence which makes racism the worst terrorism of all. 
Don’t let that happen! 
I know you can do it. 
I will “fight” together with you, over here in my own country where Racism unfortunately is growing again, too. But we are also a big community who stands up against this new wave of hatred. 
Let’s not fight it with violence, let’s fight it with words and explanations and kindness. 
I know it will be tiring job, but once we give up, we will lose our freedom and a wonderful, multi-cultural world. 


Pavement in London (I)

Pavement in London (II)

Camden / London

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