Saturday, July 08, 2006

World Cup, Germany: Visit to Dachau becomes a journey of liberation

Miami Herald sportswriter, Michelle Kaufman, while covering the World Cup in Germany, reflects on her experiences as a Jewish woman dealing with Germany in 2006, and how Germany itself deals with its dark past. In this moving piece she gives us some reason to be optimistic:

MUNICH, Germany -- Deutsch-land! Deutsch-land! Over and over and over again. Everywhere you turn at this World Cup, German fans are chanting, fists pumping skyward, a passionate display of patriotism locals say they always avoided because of collective shame about ''the war.''

Back at the start of the tournament, those chants were a bit jolting for a Jewish sportswriter who had mixed feelings about being here in the first place.

But that was before spending three weeks in the midst of warm, friendly German people, before the long discussion with a German journalist on an overnight train from Dortmund to Munich, before the visit to Dachau.

The first tears leaked out while I stood on the train platform at Laim, waiting for the S2 to Dachau. A nice elderly woman saw that I looked lost, and asked, ''You are going to Dachau?'' I nodded and pulled on my sunglasses to hide my eyes. She pointed to the platform and smiled.

Read the Rest Here.