Thursday, August 28, 2008


My 84 year-old neighbor and I were sitting in her living room. I was intently listening to her. She was talking about the Second World War and how she escaped the possibility of being sent to a prison cell in Germany for helping a jew contact her parents. She is still convinced that she did not do anything wrong.

I sat there in awe, full of admiration for the fragile old lady. This woman is a hero, I thought. But Oma went on with her story. She was narrating her story like it happened last month only. Her facial expression told me all the anger, pain, sorrow, and hatred she had to suffer in the hands of the German Nazis. I of course could not fathom with my tiny brain the horrors she had bear, to survive.

As I bike back home, I suddenly became very conscious of those houses that used to strike me as mansions with beautiful gardens. Those are the buildings that Oma mentioned in her story. There was this one particular house that I was quite fond of before. It used to be a Nazi prison. Now, it is a residential home. I stopped infront of that house..... tried to picture the place some 65 years old. I shuddered and left. All of a sudden, that house looked like the haunted Amityville to me.

I think I understand now why Oma's generation find it hard to forgive and forget the Germans. Because even for sweet, kind Oma, who was barely 17 years old when the war erupted, the Second World War scarred her like none other experience did. She still resents going to Germany. She doesn´t buy German products. She's not even comfortable that our Pope is German. And she still calls those people who helped Germany try to realise their goal, traitors. And boy, you should see the way her eyes would squint like sharp daggers when she talked about that not-so-distant past.

Then I thought about the Afghans, the Iraqi´s, .... those men, women, and kids who are trapped in those war-torn countries. My heart goes to them, but there´s nothing really I can do.


Aristarkhos said...

I agree...your writeup reminded me of the Brit TV Series I really like. It is called 'Allo 'Allo. 'tis a parody on WW II. Check it out on Wiki.
It portrays the Germans soldiers/generals as bumbling idiots. Basically, makes the entire war scene in France into a joke. I find it quite funny.
But BBC also aired an episode of a talk show, which addressed a different issue - is it right to make light of such a horrible period. One section of the audience were fans of Allo Allo.
The other section were mainly those who had suffered atrocities or sons/daughters of war-affected parents. They found the show of poor taste and sullied what BBC stood for.
I saw a side that I never really considered and felt quite sh1tty.

Droomvla said...

I should check that up. Thanks for the tip.

I have really nothing against the Germans. It has been over 60 years now. Everybody has moved on. But talking to my neighbor (who now lives in a Home for the Elders), was very refreshing --- especially because I am quite fascinated with world history.

Thanks for dropping by here, and for your comment. :)

Aristarkhos said...

you're most welcome. I agree we should move on now. But those who have lived through it...i think they find it more difficult to do so. To some extent.
60 years ago, it was the Germans. 60 years from now, it will be someone else. Who knows...

Have become interested in world history (too) for some time now. It is a new hobby of mine. :)

maricel said...

I can understand how Oma feels about World War II