Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On celebrating remembrance

It's Remembrance Day.

I do it my way.

Controversial opinions ought not to be islands, hm? :)

To make it easy, though, in times of organised stupidity, when victims of a psychotic alienist (sic!) are getting praised as heroes*, just two links to posts about the matter.

Herewith I declare the bazaar - err - the discussion open.

Help yourself.

The red poppy signifies the yearly charade of concern for the UK's war dead and wounded is upon us.

At the going down of the sun ...
and in the morning, we will remember them.


  1. On those remembrance days, my brother always said, with much sadness, irritation, bitterness, "We're not bloody heroes because we killed some young, decent Germans when their beautiful country was led by a psychotic madman."

    He felt strongly that he had to help get rid of Hitler, as much for the German people, as for our own side.

    We should NOT CELEBRATE but remember the HORRORS of war for all soldiers of all countries. And for civilian people in the midst of it all.

    Then maybe it would stop...

  2. I should have clarified that, for 5 years, my brother was opposing Nazism. And Fascism. Hitler wasn't alone in that conflict. There more than one culprit. What needed to be done was quite clear.

    I was very young. I didn't understand well until much later, when I reached my teens, and discovered how hard it had been for my brother, who knew well and loved the German culture, to go on the Normandy Beaches, and confront German soldiers.

    War is hell....

  3. The first link could almost be my friend talking to me last Saturday.

    Like Claudia I said to him it is not about glorying but remembering the futility and loss of life. I will resist anyone trying to hijack a symbol and use it for the wrong reasons.

    For me the red poppy always symbolises the needless loss of blood...

  4. Claudia,
    please allow me to cut it short: thank you!
    I grew up with listening to the memories of uncounted survivors, the majority of them women.
    In those days many, if not most Germans to what in the English speaking countries is called Remembrance Day refered as Heldengedenktag (roughly: Heroes' Memorial Day).
    Don't know when, but I think I was younger than ten when I started to innerly revolt whenever I heard the word hero, at least in certain a context.
    Before getting diagnosed with logorrhoea coming to an end:
    Yes! War is ... terrible.

    no moment I doubt(ed) your good intention!
    It's just that I see that days like Remembrance Day are being instrumentalised by certain people who would - to give but one example - monger and start a war with disregard for international law.
    Wars don't break out like a volcano! Wars are instigated (if this is the right word).

    Thank you for taking my looking on two sides not as an affront, CherryPie.
    I mean it! :)

  5. Sean,
    Thank my brother, who loved me much, and taught me well. When he saw Germany occupied (at times, with roughness) by the Allied Powers, when he witnessed the erection of the Berlin wall, he understood that his dream of liberating Hitler's Germany had been naive. The country was still being destroyed. His heart never stopped bleeding for Germany's scarring wounds. Sadly, he died before the Wall came down. His regiment covered his chest with poppies in his coffin. I expected him to rise in anger...

    I could say more. Thank you for the space you offer which allowed me to speak about the agony a soldier suffers when wars are instigated. It's the proper word, Sean. And my brother would say: some wars might be right...until one has to kill, or be killed. Then the war is wrong!

    La paix de la nuit, cher ami.

  6. Claudia,
    ... I like! :) imagining your brother rising in anger. :)

    Random thoughts: Like after the "fall of the wall" 98,4% of those who had before allegedly been part of those 99,1% voting for the SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany) claimed to have been in the resistance, after 1945 almost 100 percent of the surviving Germans claimed they had been in resistance.
    Does anybody wish me to post a certain obituary?
    (Well, I would not)
    What I want to say:
    As long as those sought after to become heroes don't say "No!!", don't show the war-mongers their erected middlefinger, as long peace will have no chance.