The morning. Baby and I arrive in Berlin just after eight. It’s raining. A cold mist cleaves the streets. We left early and our eyes are half-open from half-sleep on the train. We lost our tickets crossing Karstädt and had to search our bags, our pockets, the floor when the conductor asked us where they were. We finally found them at the bottom of the valise, tucked away for safe keeping.
The first sounds of the morning are of tuk-tuk and taxi engines as they come to life, their honking horns alongside the footsteps of the city’s informal working class taking to the streets. And, even earlier than that, the song and chant of Hindu morning prayer, and the feral dogs that slink to the shadows to sleep, no longer dominant as the sun begins its climb from behind Agra, India’s low hills.
Germany has addressed its past in ways most countries, especially the United States, have not: A sort of national psychoanalysis to keep something like the Third Reich from ever happening again.
Raised after the fall of the Berlin Wall and USSR collapse, my relationship to a divided Germany, and of the war that led to it, was a tangential one.
What does the United States as a unified country even look like? Very different, clearly, to different groups. And the alt-right sure isn’t helping.