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Running in Geesthacht

I talk about living in Germany a lot but I don’t talk about the impression the remnants of the war and my German history education taught me. I’ve talked about it on Twitter, but I haven’t talked about it here.

A young woman in class talked about learning that her grandfather was a war criminal. That he had killed thousands in the Holocaust. Jewish, Queer, Trans, Romani, so many people.

And she said she would think about it at night and that it felt like a weight on her chest, the weight of all those bodies and souls, smothering her. She knew it wasn’t her fault but she said she needed the weight to remember why the Holocaust should never be allowed to happen again.

I follow a couple of other people on here who I knew back then. I’d like to ask you to talk about what you saw and lived when we were in Germany, back right after the Wall fell, and what you learned from it.

I used to run (I know) every morning in Germany. I would run on this path and there was a fallen down building there. When my host parents learned where I was running, they were horrified. I was on a path, sure, but it was a path through where an old minefield had been. The fallen building was a bombed out bunker.

That’s when I learned that in 1993, they had fished out a bunch of mines from around that bunker and the path. My host parents thought they were all gone, but weren’t sure. I ran on the sidewalk after that.

When I went to Dresden in 1995, I saw the Frauenkirche, this magnificent church that was bombed out and left to stand by the people of Dresden so that it would never be forgotten. In 2012, I stood inside the Frauenkirche, rebuilt. I think they rebuilt it too soon.

Today, when I woke up, I thought I had gone insane. Someone I barely knew, but definitely someone who would be targeted by Nazis, was defending a group of Nazis. I couldn’t believe it. I had to run an errand and when I came home, the post was still there. I don’t need a new friend that bad.

I want to remind all my folks.. Trans, NB, Queer, activists. The people who share my marginalizations.. they will come for us, and we won’t be the third or fourth group they come after. Get with the fucking program. We are on the list. You should feel that weight on on your chest, because it is going to smother us.

If you don’t believe this is a serious threat, please talk to me. Talk to someone. There are enough people out there who know the seriousness of what our country and the world are facing with this swing to the right. We are facing another cascade of atrocities, and we will not all survive this.

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