Categories Business Tech World War says we can’t love because we’re afraid Post author By vanirexodus Post date March 6, 2022 No Comments on War says we can’t love because we’re afraid For most of us, the idea that the entire world is on the brink of war is quite new. However, my father is an 84-year-old German man, so this is at least his second time. He didn’t go well the first time. My father spent much of the first seven years of his life as a refugee. Their childhood home in East Prussia was in the direct path of the Russian advance towards Berlin when the fate of the Nazis turned. The family man hadn’t been seen for years, and would be a… For most of us, the idea that the entire world is on the brink of war is quite new. However, my father is an 84-year-old German man, so this is at least his second time. He didn’t go well the first time. My father spent much of the first seven years of his life as a refugee. Their childhood home in East Prussia was in the direct path of the Russian advance towards Berlin when the fate of the Nazis turned. The family man hadn’t been seen for years and is said to be one of the lucky few to return from a Russian POW camp around 1950. But for now, fleeing was the only option. Mutti, the mother, fled with her four children to Berlin. By train and on foot. My father does not speak directly of the experience, but my uncle once told me that one of his formative childhood memories was walking in an endless human line of people, learning to dive into the roadside ditch if he ever heard the sound of approaching aircraft. But in fact my father shares the truth about his war trauma. Whenever we have to go somewhere – maybe to visit a restaurant, take a road trip or go to the airport – he gets almost unreasonably upset. He is walking; he flatters; he rushes us. “Come on,” he says! “We’ll be late.” The idea of being late isn’t all that crucial, you might think. What’s at stake when you visit Spur for burgers or drive to Jeffreys Bay? I think traveling for my father still feels like life or death. Being late could mean missing the last train to Berlin or Posen or any other refuge. If you don’t plan properly, you could lose sight of a child on a platform. Travel can be terror incarnate for refugees. I find that I may be carrying some of this generational pain with me. Like my father, I am almost offensively punctual. Invite me to a braai in the remote West Rand, and I’ll still arrive two minutes before the appointed time, then sheepishly park outside the gate, waiting for the clock to read 2:00 PM so I can finally text and say: please open it. Something in me, almost in my cells, says, “Don’t be late!” I believe this is from the war. I have not experienced a war. But the feeling of it seems to have come to me. And our family’s experience must be only a fraction of the horror that millions of other families have gone through. Not least the Jewish people to whom I shall owe a lifelong apology for the shameful acts of my family and my fellow countrymen. That responsibility has fallen on me as well. It will never go away. Just like my father’s childhood trauma makes him afraid of being left behind, even now, as an older man. All I know about war is that it is the lowest, most evil thing people can do to each other, and should be avoided at all costs. Because the cost of war itself will reverberate through the generations for centuries! There is no laughing. Supporting the aggression of an invading army cannot be taken as a light-hearted, contrarian attitude. We can’t “both sides” the idea of starting a war. That’s a false equivalence. Starting a war is condemning entire generations to death, or at best a damaged life. An existence in which we survive, but fearful, as less than we could have been. As long as there is war, humanity cannot become the vest version of itself. There will remain misery and fear and an inability to love freely and boldly and bravely, as we should. War itself says that we cannot love because we are afraid. Also read: Ukraine: 10 new realities ← Apple Maps, Weather app shows Crimea as Ukrainian territory → Apple iPhone SE 3 key features unveiled, mass production likely to start this month Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment * Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.