, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
My granddad was an avid nazi until his death in the early 90s. He was a small town banker, volunteered in 40 and became a staff sergeant in the Wehrmacht. He was leading a so called "anti partisan" unit at the Eastern Front, participated in the capture of Kiew.
We believe he participated in the massacre of Baby Jar and others. Until his death he would start ranting about how it was all the jews fault. He did never leave the country and be in near panic when coming close to a border.
My maternal grandfather was a teacher from Duisburg. When he had to go to war he left his wife, 2 kids, his camera and his library and all hope of survival behind. Surviving 3 years on the Eastern Front he never played music again, never started Photography again. A broken man.
My maternal grandmother lived through war in central Duisburg. She was "bombed out" three times, meaning that her flat or house got a direct hit. Few of the families belongings survived.
My father was born in 1944. Growing up in a post war Nazi household he started reading early and entered the scouts. He became a social democrat with a boiling rage against anything even remotely right wing. My mother, born in 1947, met him in 1968 at Uni. Protesting Nazis
They build a home for five children, full of music, books, art and a clear stern understanding that being German came with a responsibility to be very careful with your politics. Books about Nazi Germanies crimes aplenty at home.
During my childhood I was evacuated four times because somebody found a WWII bomb again. Since then I have been evacuated twice for the same reason. We visited Verdun and Bergen-Belsen in School.
All five of us where send abroad multiple times. Learned several languages and where encouraged to travel far and wide. My best friend is a jew from manhattan living in norway. Every time I visit her I cherish the thought of my granddad turning in his grave.
A united Europe is our legacy. The EU is a guarantee of peace and prosperity, not an economic project.
Seeing my father play with my nephew I am witnessing the first three consecutive generations of Germans living in uninterrupted peace. Ever. Nobody is going to endanger that unopposed.
And thanks @GuitarMoog for the idea of writing this down.
Thanks for all the positive responses.
In addition: when the Berlin Eall came down in 1989 my parents woke all the kids. We sat in front of the TV sipping our first Champagne and looking at our parents cry. My father told me that this is the day WWII truly ended. And our European friends made it possible.
The Guardian asked me to expand on the thread: theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
The Guarsian asked me to expand on the tweet. So here we go: theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
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