Nonni In Germany


Well, what a two weeks this has been. The trip of a lifetime has come and gone and this old Nonni is trying to put it all into perspective.

Paul and I have been in Germany for the past 13 days, staying with friends we were lucky enough to meet when their son became our exchange student 18 months ago. We fell in love with him, we fell in love with his parents. They visited us, and now they have hosted us on the most incredible vacation of our entire lives.

At some point I will write about the gorgeous ocean views on the North Sea, about the crazy good food, the well behaved dogs and happy kids, the immaculate gardens and efficient trains. At some point I’m sure I’ll write about how it feels to know that you’ve made permanent connections with someone who lives a life entirely different from your own far across the world.

I know that I’ll have a lot to write about the dark and powerful history here and how the people respond to it. I have so much to share about the Wall and the holocaust and the Hitler years.

Right now, though, I’d like to start my travel journal with a story told through the eyes of those I’ve been lucky enough to meet here in Germany. We have been in Berlin, in a suburb of Berlin and on a gorgeous, wealthy resort island up on the North Sea. We’ve met people of all ages, some native German, some immigrants from other parts of the world. We’ve met people of various ages and occupations, and with vastly differing experiences.

They all share one thing, though, and that is their opinion of Donald Trump.

Please click the link here to read the article that I wrote for Liberal America this week. It’s called “A Writer in Berlin.” See what these people have to say about the U.S. presidential election.

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In front of the Reichstag

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8 thoughts on “Nonni In Germany

  1. Karen, first of all–welcome home! I love Germany, and I will enjoy seeing it through your eyes in the coming weeks. I also loved, loved, loved your essay in Liberal America. I found it to be spot on. I think you hit on something that needs to be explored more: Americans are looking for a savior. That is exactly the steed Trump is riding in on which is why he is ginning up our fears. I’ve studied a lot of German history, and it has always boggled my mind that a country so sophisticated, so educated, so musically inspiring (I spent a season on a choir tour, singing in German), so spiritually revolutionary could fall for the trap that Hitler set. If I’ve asked myself once, I’ve asked myself a hundred times: How could a country that was 95% Lutheran and 5% Catholic have ignored the basic tenets of Jesus and participated in something so heinous? The answer always comes back to the fact that they were looking for a savior in their hard times and it wasn’t Jesus.

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    • Hi, Eleanor! Thanks for your comments; I’ve always wondered about what happened in Germany in the 1930’s, too. I have always told myself that I would have stood up and opposed Hitler. I honestly feel that now is my chance to prove it. It was so surprising to have nearly every German that we met bring up Trump. I’m enjoying writing for Liberal America for that exact reason.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your Liberal America article. One of the things you said is something I’ve been thinking about lately– that people in Germany openly talk about politics. Many of my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances avoid talking about politics or sharing our thoughts on this year’s candidates–as if it were the most impolite thing we can do. I feel I can’t express what I think about the most important current event without a friend or family member or Facebook friend getting offended… so then I just keep quiet. Seems wrong. We should, of course, listen to and respect eachother’s views–but I think it’s so important, especially this year, that we discuss the issues and the candidates. Sharing is learning, right? (Sorry if this sounds rant-ish) 🙂

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    • Not rant-ish at all, Kat! There are times and places where I do avoid talking politics, and there are people who I know I can’t persuade. But when I think about this election and when I think about what I would have wanted to do in the 1930s if I lived in Germany, I have to make my voice heard. So keep talking about it!!!!

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