Thursday, October 25, 2012
by Miki Kashtan
In an earlier visit, I stayed at someone’s home for a few days. She told me, on the first day, that she had moved back in with her parents, and described in moving detail how she now enjoys a relationship without limits, where they talk with each other about everything. Two days later, when the Question was finally asked, I learned that her parents apparently sided with the Nazis, and suddenly she was in intense discomfort, and told me how they have never once talked in full about the topic. How come this discomfort, this anguish she expressed and about which she cried, didn’t get included when she talked about their relationship two days earlier? She expressed gratitude to me for opening the door for her to look at the issues.
We agreed to stay in touch, and she didn’t. Months later she responded to an email and admitted it was tough for her to stay in touch. How could Germans completely heal from what happened to them without allowing such anguish to surface, without talking with all of us, the Jews and the others they harmed, without looking at their cultural habits, without looking directly and squarely at what hurts?