A very touching article that is immensely rewarding (and troublesome) to read for those of you able to read German in the rhinean daily Kölner Stadtanzeiger: It describes the experiences of a West-German protestant priest and his family, sent to Rudolstadt in Thuringia to work as a religious guidance teacher. Problem was: his wife’s mum was from India, and she and their children had black hair and were mildly more tanned than the other Rudolstaedters. The kids being called ‘Nigger’, regularly beaten up at school and never invited to other children’s party was only the beginning: Some shops refused to serve Miriam (the mum), she was constantly treated condescedingly by the locals, and comments like ‘in the past, people like you would have been sterilised’ forced them into complete isolation.
Now the family is back in West Germany.
This is of course not an isolated incidence.
Last year’s manhunt in Muegeln and the echoes of racist incidents in places like Rostock continue to reverberate through the German psyche, as they have for 18 years. There continues to be a deeply ingrained suspicion and fear of everybody who hails from a different culture than those marvellous East Germans. It’s almost like there’s a invisible wall in these people’s souls, build to shut out everything that does not fit into the narrow confines of their culture.
I wonder how many generations it’s going to take before humans with an accent or some more pigmentation (apart from an Mallorcan tan) will be safe to enter East Germany.