Why?

My time here in Berlin comes to an end. For the last couple of weeks I spent my days visiting people who lived through the Second World War. It was a truly enlightening experience. I met as many people as I was confronted with different war stories.

I was welcomed at homes with open arms by people I never met before and spent countless hours to listen to their stories. The interviews range from 15 minuets to over two hours.

Anybody who ever thought that war is anything glorious should be forced to sit down with one of them. When an 80 year old man with tears in his eyes tells you how he at age 17 in panic was trying to stuff back the intestines into his best friends body after he was ripped apart by a grenade he or she would think twice start before starting a war.

I learned a lot about the insanity of war. The experience has changed me a lot and has made me even more aware that war has to be avoided. It destroys so many lives and wounds anybody involved physically and/or emotionally.

I’ve been thinking about my motivation. To be honest I’m not a big fan of Berlin. It was very hard for me to let my initially booked flight take off without me. I’ve been away from Germany for so long that I feel much more at home in New York then in Germany. Today I’m a stranger in the country I was born.

I personally didn’t want to stay but had to.

I was dragging my equipment from subway car to subway car. I froze my a** off waiting for the S Bahn since it only shows up every half an hour. I fought myself through the snow. Everywhere I had to go I had to put at least an hour in to get there always thinking that I much rather would be in New York City.

But as soon as I arrived at somebody’s home where I was usually offered tea and some sort of cake I was exactly at the place I had to be and I was at peace.

Was it because their story had to be told and I was chosen to tell it or was it that the stories the tea an cake reminded me so much on my grandparents that died years ago but that I still miss tremendously?

I think both answers are true. Talking to these people felt like talking to them.

 

 

 

 

“Why?” Germany/Berlin/Tempelhof/Frau Roemer holding up a picture of herself 01-21-10 at 12:56 PM

Please check out my website at carstenfleck.com

Advertisements

About this entry