October 22, 2009

The S-Bahn system in Munich is my transport, bed, and television. I have to ride it everyday for atleast 1 hour and in that time I get to meet a lot of people, see all the crazys, and enjoy the industrialized sector of the city.

Today I met an old man, probably in his mid 60s, and he was studying the Hebrew Bible. He was so fascinated that an American would want to come to Germany to learn his language and sponge up his culture. He explained that because WWII was so recent, Germany as a whole still has many negetive stereotypes against it and that wherever he has traveled, he’s been asked if he was a Nazi member.

In many ways, its sad that after generations of progress and technological ingenuity, that a land’s history can’t be shed, even in my age group. I find it comical that even someone from the USA has the nerve to ask such a question after Jackson conquered the indians, the entire nation tortured colored people, and just as recent as WWII, we rounded up the Japanese like cattle and put them in internment camps.

I am not anti-American but I am anti-hate.

One way to criticize Europeans as a whole is their hate towards the Turkish and North Africans. These groups are completely segregated into small sections of the city. I find that we treat minorities similair, but not with such aggression. The proximity to these countries probably adds to the problem.

Going back to the old man on the train: I found the bible to be significant because when I asked him about it, he said he is a non-believer Lutheran, but loves the culture of the Jews. I hesitated but went ahead and asked what his connection to WWII was. He said to me, his father was an SS officer; he himself was in the Nazi Youth. Near the end of the war, his father was imprisoned by the Soviets and when he was released, the war was already over.

He said, that in the 50s, when he was already a teenager, he studyed in a religious university located in the newly created state of Israel. Here, he continued, was where he learned to love Middle Eastern culture, and openly embraced all its values.

Unfortunately, this is where our journey ended, because he had to exit, but I feel that that 25 minute conversation can easily open ones eyes to the kind of attitude I have encountered in Germany. Empathetic and advanced thinking, capable of forgiving, and learning from there mistakes.


One small step for man, one giant leap for Bavaria


Celebrating a friends birthday in class


4 Responses to “GDTRFB”

  1. Zac Shannon said

    “In many ways, its sad that after generations of progress and technological ingenuity, that a land’s history can’t be shed, even in my age group”.

    True that my friend. My mom refuses to buy a German car for the sole purpose of not helping out Germany’s economy in any way. Redic, but it’s going to take a while before people forgive Germany as a nation for WWII. Enjoy Germany brothaaaa!

  2. Amanda said

    Jason, it’s truly wonderful to read your stories and view your photos. You’re such a smart young man and so open which leaves so much room for growth. You have a great way of writing, very informative but still so interesting. Ahhh I can say so much more! This story in particular is so real and made me feel the need to say thanks for writing cuzzzz I’m reading!

  3. J.S. said

    “One way to criticize Europeans as a whole is their hate towards the Turkish and North Africans. These groups are completely segregated into small sections of the city.”

    This is extremely true. I saw this in every city I visited in Spain. However, you have to consider the major social impact that the influx of North African and Turkish immigrants have had on European culture. I wrote my summer’s research paper on this. Basically, there are three job options for these groups of immigrants: hard labor, drugs, and human trafficking.

    In Andalucia, southern Spain, Moroccan immigrants – legal and illegal – come into the country every day by the thousands. Many times the boats they come in on contain kilos upon kilos of hachís that these newly landed immigrants will then go onto the street and sling to whomever they can in order to make a living.

    In my own experience in Spain…any park or busy public place there was you could find an African immigrant with a backpack either standing or sitting around doing nothing. If one were to make eye contact with this person you are actually signaling that you wish to buy drugs. They all sell the same things – hash and cocaine.

    The same goes for the Turkish immigrants. In Barcelona I went to the beach, and literally within 5 minutes of sitting down on the sand a middle-aged Arab man came up to me and my friend saying only two words that perfectly reflect the reason why Europeans resent these immigrants, just like the Africans – “Hachís, coca?” was all he had to say to us. It was then that I looked onto the stairs that I had gone down to reach the beach. I didn’t notice it when I first arrived, but I could now see that on the steps sat some 10 Arab immigrants all with large over-the-shoulder bags waiting for customers.

    Is this an over-generalization? Possibly. Honestly though, every African or Arab man I saw in a park or on the beach with a bag was selling drugs. I never saw an actual Spanish citizen on the street pushing. Do you blame their resentment? I can’t.

    I have an even more critical story for why these immigrants aren’t trusted, but this blog isn’t the place for that story.

    • I agree and i disagree. we have the same problem with illegal immigrants needing to turn to crime to make a living, but I have met plenty of good folks also. Maybe because they are pushed away and segregated into there own little “ghettos” many of them don’t have the chance to receive the education that they need to stay away from crime. But i do think that North Africans and Middle Eastern have brought over rich culture, ESPECIALLY in Spain. Spain would not be the same if Islam didn’t rule the south until the mid 1400s. Also, when i was in Spain i met plenty of native pushers but definitely more immigrants. In Germany, especially Munich, there are a lot of Germans who push the drugs. In Berlin is where you get more of a international drug trafficking problem, and most are eastern Europeans.

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