It was my father’s 22nd birthday and for him, as a semi-Jewish bastard and forced worker, it was indeed a day of liberation, not of defeat. In fact did Hamburg, as the last line of defense, surrender to the British troops on May 3 already so maybe my dad mixed up some details when he remembered that day. According to him, when word came about he surrender, the warden of his workers troop threw his rifle and helmet into the next canal and ran off. My dad and his fellow semi-prisoners just looked at each other, shrugged … and went home. For good.
So, yes, I guess this happened 5 days earlier and he could enjoy watching the British marching peacefully into the city after they brought so much horror and death in the years prior, with a sigh of relief and a feeling of gratitude. And the 8th of May 1945 was my father’s lucky day until the day he died.
Anyhoo, the 8th of May is always kinda big day for me, since it meant an end to fascism in Germany. I’m personally not responsible for anything that happened between 1933 and 1945 – as it was quite a bit before my time – but I believe that particularly we Germans must be a spearhead against totalitarism and fascism wherever it raises its ugly head. Be it in Ukraine, USA, Brussels or UK, and no matter under what moniker they’re trying to sell us the new world order. Neoliberal globalism or whatever, as long as it comes from any of our governments it’s not good for us. But it’s on us – particularly on us later generation Germans – to stop the crap before it becomes too powerful.
We must fight it! Fight the conservatives, the right wingers, the capitalist totalitarians. And don’t say ‘Ugh, it won’t be so bad.’ Know who also said it? The Germans … in 1933. And it went bad. And in 1945 my hometown looked like so. 😮 Lesson learned? When I look at the Western govts, when I hear them talking about supporting Ukraine with weapons and more weapons and heavier weapons I think no. They didn’t learn shit from history. 😦