“A story about people, in a world where Nazis are people too.” Mandisa Mabuthoe
Visiting the Memorial of the murdered Jews and Topographie des terrors was really quite an experience for me. It is really very funny how we visit places where we are comfronted by the ruins of the past but we never learn from history. We never learn because we approach history through our intelectual eyes, we see it as something that is separate from us, something that has nothing to do with us; We will say how Hitler was such a bad man and that what the Nazis did was very wrong. We say this as we take pictures and never realise that the history that Berlin and the rest of Germany is recovering from is history that was created by men, men made of the same staff that makes me and every other person in the world, yes life is a story about people in a world where bad people are people too. What this means is that we are also capable of creating the same history given the same circumstances and same ingredients. It is sad how in the same breath that we use to condemn Nazi Germany , we can say how we hate muslims, Refugees, black people, homo sexuals (the list of the opressed minorities is long) and we see nothing wrong with this picture.
It starts like this, remember how the South Africans said they hated Makwerekwere (other Africans living in their country) and just this silly hate escalated into blood shed and loss of precious life. Nazi Germany was not born as a strong movement, it started with hateful silly thoughts that turned into murder, opression and war. Everyday we create history with what we say and what we do; this is a painful history I have seen in Berlin that generations of people are still strugling to overcome. History has taught me that I am also human in a world where Nazis are human too, made of the same staff they are made of and capable maybe of oppression, maybe of genocide if i had the same conditions. Now after this experience i had to take a long look at the man in the mirror and ask myself; Und Heute (and today) what history am I creating, is it of love or is it of hate and exclusion? [Read more…]