This is not what a Nazi looks like

This is not what a Nazi looks like 

When I was 13 I went on holiday camp to Hungary and enjoyed myself, swimming in the Ballaton lake and using hands and feet to communicate with people. The next summer I went to Spain but this time I took a small English dictionary, so I could look up words and make sure that no one finds out that I am German. Having learned about my home country’s darkest past in the previous school year I was deeply ashamed of my heritage. I had always liked travelling and meeting different people. Though I grew up in a small suburb where everyone pretty much looked the same I never had any reservation towards people who looked different. In fact I still pay so little attention towards people’s looks that for years I believed my housemate’s hair to be blonde when it is in fact brunette and I have mixed up several people at my work place but could identify them again correctly once I remembered what we had talked about. According to the current strand of progressivism a person is racist when they don’t notice someone else’s skin colour. Fortunately, I have now left all German guilt behind and no longer worry about whether not instantly recognising that my best friend was Mexican when I first met him makes me racist. But when I was in my formative years and sat through the story of the holocaust in almost every subject except sports and maths, I was convinced that somehow behind my open-minded verneer there was a racist lurking in the shadows, waiting to come out any moment … While no one objected to my German nationality in Spain or years later on my stay as an Au-Pair in London I still fell fool to the story of an exchange student from London, who claimed that a class of Germans who had travelled to the North of the UK had been pelted with stones and their teacher had said to them: “No matter how poor your English is, don’t speak German”. In my following years on exchange in the UK, I came across many sections on WW II in museums, even in museums where they seemed out of place. However, there was never any reservation towards my being German. Quite on the contrary, I met quite a few people who shared stories with me of how they visited Berlin when the wall was still up. That was fascinating and I could see their empathy towards a people that were living under occupation without ever having committed any crime. My shame and what I now call ‘German guilt’ began slowly to diminish. It made a last desperate attempt to come back to life when I saw Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” being sold at a newsagents in Karachi / Pakistan. That book is forbidden in Germany and had to me always seemed like toxic material that no one should get their hands on. Now being in a city where people were violently murdered every night and day, feeling guilty for crimes, people that I am not related to had committed when my dad was a small child, suddenly seemed ridiculous. Here, the last dictatorship was only a few years past and thus it was no real surprise that people were a lot more relaxed towards the one whose name must not be said within the country that he brought so much blood shed to. I later learned about the genocide in Cambodia, Srebrenica, Ruanda and other parts of the world and realised that being German does not make one predisposed towards racism. There is not a country on earth whose inhabitants have not committed acts of cruelty against other human beings. Violence knows no nationality, race or sex.

German woman

Hence why the current fashionable talk of men as inherently violent makes me very uneasy. I feel a new kind of guilt, for being part of the half of the population on whose behalf men are asked to atone for sins that they have never committed. Since speaking out against feminism and misandry I have had to read statements from male feminists that made me shudder. In their self-flagellation they sounded so much like 14 year old me, claiming that discrimination against men is the right way forward as men constitute an inherent danger towards women … I cringe when I read the words of these men who look at their masculinity as something toxic and harmful towards society, when it has in fact built our infrastructure and saved many a woman’s life.

I personally was so intrigued by the atrocities committed by Germans in the past that I read many books on the subject from the library. From my classmates, however, I heard more than once that they were fed up with hearing about it in almost every class. As if they hadn’t understood it’s wrongness the first ten times around. When I now see what’s in the media referred to as casual racism I sometimes wonder if it couldn’t just be people who are fed up with being the eternal nazis. That is a thought I had more than once since the xenophobic Pegida movement surfaced about a year ago. Maybe, just maybe it does not do the human psyche any good when people are constantly told that they are the worst of the worst.

I certainly think we need education about the holocaust. I certainly think we need sexual education for young boys and girls. I certainly do not think that telling people they are genetically predisposed towards racism makes them open-minded. I certainly do not think telling men they are genetically predisposed towards physically harming women and enjoying seeing them suffer makes them empathic human beings. Yes, I do not only believe that consent-workshops are a waste of people’s time. I do also believe they are harmful.

Then how can we reduce sexual assault rates? I could not say it any better than George in his interview with Lauren Southern: “One of the things people have been asking me, what would I have as an alternative to consent classes. The way in which I learned not to rape people was through my upbringing. I was fortunate to be raised by very decent and very admirable parents and I am so grateful for that and. But I realise that not everybody has that privilege. Not everybody comes from a stable household. Not everybody comes from a household where their parents were there for them. So I think to teach consent we need to have long-term fundamental education. By fundamental education I mean being taught not what consent is and what it isn’t but what beinga decent person is. Exactly, so my mother never went to me: “George. don’t go into a club and don’t put your hand up a girl’s skirt.” She said to me: “George treat other people with decency and respect.” From that the rest follows. From treating people with respect you learn not to rape people and you learn not to abuse people.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKuAVEX5ats)

This is not what a rapist looks like

George Lawlor

To these words i have nothing to add as they adequately represent my own attitude towards life. What I could add is that my upbringing was not as stable as George’s but I still managed to not abuse people and also to protect myself against abusive people for all my adult life. So his point about self-reliance and individual responsibility instead of the currently fashionable victim attitude also strongly resonated with me. Also, during my youth I witnessed plenty of violence and thus know with certainty that violence knows neither sex, nor age, race or nationality. I will probably write about some of my observations on another post. However, after almost two years of being openly anti-feminist I know that the internet is not misogynistic as the Sarkeesians like to claim but very unkind towards people whose opinions differ from the commonly accepted narrative.

Into the woods – quick – before the Berliners come ….

Autumn means getting up early, as least that is the plan, which however rarely works out. But in any case, my dad always urges us to get into the woods before the Berliners come and take all the mushrooms. Yesterday, as I cycled towards my parents bungalow, a good thirty km from our home, which is exactly 300 m outside the city boundary of Berlin, I was looking at the cars parked at the edge of the forest. They all spotted similar number plates to our own. It seemed like not a single Berliner had even woken up yet. And yet I could hear my dad saying how we had to be there before the Berliners and I started to wonder how often people define their own identity simply by disliking their direct neighbours. 

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It turned out to be enough for dinner, despite the constant threat of Berliners.

A Brandenburger is not just a burned pancake

Brandenburg is my home county and even though I love hopping on the city train to spend time in the multi cultural, arty, vibrant capitol of Germany  that’s on my birth certificate, I couldn’t really ever give up the clear lakes, surrounded by lush green forests (where we’ll traditionally go mush room foraging in the autumn) and the spacious avenues where one can cycle without being run over by cars. Now, on Saturday I learned that on top of all these advantages Brandenburg also enjoys the third highest amount of sunshine in all of Germany. But being a Brandenburger comes with responsibility. Responsibility for the sadly high number of people who don’t want to share the lakes, beaches and the sunshine. During these elections it has become clear again that we do have a problem and there is no point in denying it. When one reads that there is more racism in former East Germany one quickly gets into a defensive position – just like those people who didn’t like Malala pointing out the shortfalls of Pakistan in securing access to education for everyone – it’s so easy to say that there have also been attacks on asylum seeker’s homes in West Germany. But that doesn’t help anyone. Pointing the finger at others will not change anything. It will not make Brandenburg any more livable. It will not make it possible for me to take my international friends to the lake in which I learned to swim.

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And it will also not allow Brandenburg to develop. The county is currently bleeding out. Young people have been leaving ever since the early 1990s when after German re-unification businesses were closed and the economy went haywire. Where children used to play, you only see old people today. In some areas people don’t have access to basic services anymore as the population has thinned out so much that here is not enough demand. What my county needs is young people coming in and bringing the place back to live. But instead the local population is driven by prejudice and xenophobia and revolting against any outsiders. What in Pakistan is called Taliban is here called NPD. They are different in name and while one has long beards and the other clean shaven heads (speaking of stereotypes). But both have very ‘clear’ ideologies that basically consist of conforming people to a very narrow idea of what a human being should be like. In fact, the criteria of what it shouldn’t be like like more in number than those for what people should be like. Both base their outlook of the world on clearly defining their enemies. They both can only exist because of their enemies. The hatred towards supposedly alien people – be they Christians or foreigners – is all that keeps their followers together. The societies that they want to create will never be peaceful. They are solely based on hate and terror. That’s why we need to educate people to learn to resist the temptations of these pied pipers.

 

Beware of Karachi traffic …

Due to current events that have either kept children out of school or the tv tower in Berlin one visitor short, I feel the need to write about Karachi’s traffic situation. As I see it a contemporary Eastern country and a former Eastern country should be bale to make use of each others inventions. To cut a long story short, a friend of mine was injured in a traffic accident and as a result had to spend a lot of money on the hospital stay that he could have otherwise either donated to the Citizen Foundation or spent on a flight ticket to Berlin in order to see either the tv tower, the world time clock or the wall.

It’s too late for him  now as he will not do any of these things anymore. However, future incidents could be averted if Eastern German Ampelmännchen were introduced. They are traffic lights for pedestrians who look a bit more like human beings than your average traffic light man who usually comes in size zero. The traffic psychologist Karl Peglau rightly thought that people were much more likely to stop if they could identify with the traffic lights men. So he put a hat on their head and gave them a bit of a tummy. As a direct result accidents decreased immediately. After the re-unification of Germany 1990 they were about to disappear as so many things because it was current belief back then that people who didn’t have much weren’t capable of creating anything useful. Luckily the protests were loud enough and the Ampelmännchen did not only survive, but is nowadays also saving lives in former West Germany. Thus, it seemed only logical to introduce these cuties to an Eastern capitalist country where traffic is crazy and ultimately keeps children from going to school.

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