I guess that arriving stardust-stricken from the International cinema scene in Cannes, has softened my denial-protection-mechanisms...and so, arriving with no intention to find within me any room to absorb the Jewish people history in Berlin, together with the feeling I can choose not to do any historic tours...that it's not mandatory - is exactly what made me vulnerable to a new kind of learning! Ha! Now The load on my head has just become colossal... good work, Allon - I will have to address these feelings altogether! Where do I start???
Did "the good people win" did the 'Bad people lose"? Are the people around me bad? are they now good? am I good? am I bad? is there justice? is wiping houses down to the ground with kids and mothers a good thing? OMG...
It's a rabbit hole, and I could barely see the beginning of it.
In the words of Tom Robbins in the novel Still Life with Woodpecker, "There are two kinds of people in this world: those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better." I was getting a feeling that things were going to get complicated, and that I was not one of those "smart" people.
It seemed, as I started to dust off the years of neglect from those old storage boxes, that every insight and understanding I had concluded in my stored memory was simplified, dumbed down, and packaged for storage by a 14-year-old. Things were left undeveloped and unquestioned for years, leaving me with an infantile toolkit and words like "good," "bad," "victims," "perpetrator," "dangerous," "safe"... no gray areas, everything seemed solid but dumbed down.
As I started to search for words and ask around, I received such "grown-up" answers. I felt embarrassed by my inability to articulate anything about this issue. It felt like those 15 minutes of poker when I realized that the only reason I couldn't identify the bozo sitting at the table was because the bozo was me.
I knew so little, and I realized that every association I might have was predictable, expected, and banal. I felt like I was programmed as if I were standing right back in line, whether it be boarding the flight to Berlin or... Oh my God, could it be that even if I felt free... was I a sheep... again?
Neta walking by the Jewish memorial, Berlin
It was time for some deep reflection, time to peel off some old stickers and re-evaluate the past, now through my grown-up eyes.