Leipzig: the Loud silence

Why I have more and more problems with the east. And why I still stay in Leipzig – the place I call home.

Leipzig: the Loud silence
  • Page 1 — Loud silence
  • Page 2 — we are many
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    Homeland is a big word. Greater than "to be at home" and "feel Native". I have declared Leipzig to be my homeland. Originally I come from Iserlohn – my contemplative first home lies between Sauerland and coal pot, where it smells of forest and rain. Now I live longer in east than I have lived in west. 25 years, a quarter of a century.

    If my youth friends used to blasphemed, as I'm just Ossis over re, n I raved: about city, which is constantly changing and reinventing itself. In which not every niche is occupied and each coat is distributed. The friendliness of Baker, salesman, my car mechanic. Leipzig was my yearning. Who visited me, I proudly showed cellar vaults, through electronic music simmering, Karl-Lieberman-Straße with cafes and sandy beaches and ports on former lignite holes. Leipzig was my departure and my freedom. I have tried to promote my homeland in reportages and portraits. Saxon Switzerland, old town of Görlitz, wine and porcelain from Meissen, all this fascinated me. I've been listening to people telling of fractures in ir lives, of difficult biographies. My picture of East was never black and white.

    But for a few years now something has changed in my home feeling. Because something has changed in east. More and more often I ask myself question of my friends: how do I stop it? And above all: how long? It is not only about Pegida, but also about it. It's all about everything, ultimately.

    The change came creeping, started many years ago. First she met me in my profession as a journalist.

    Gradually, I also began to report on places where neo-Nazis hunted and beat alternative youths. About places where youth clubs had to barricade behind planks to withstand nocturnal attacks, and neighbors who were silent about it. I sat in kitchens of mors who feared ir children could be attacked at night on home again, because y dared to wear colorful clos and colorful hairstyles. Those who stood against those who called "Victory Salvation" were considered denigrator. And again and again, authorities in such crimes did not do what y should do. I soon wrote about such topics, not because I had been looking for m intensively. The stories came to me.

    This article comes from time No. 14/2018. Here you can read entire output.

    When I think about it, I calmed down that all se repetitive impositions were still exceptions. Ugly stations on strenuous path of democratic development. If you asked neo-Nazis in West once again, my answer was always: is bad, yes. But people who have something against foreigners – or who are doing what is right-wing radicals, at least tacitly appreciate – are in minority.

    But I am now in doubt. The loud silence makes me ready. My feeling is that categorical separation in "we" and "", which was initially mainly Pegida, has not only worsened since refugee question, but that Pegida proponents always blatant, also in Leipzig, my city, which I always Less susceptible. I also consider electoral success of AfD in Saxony in Bundestag election to be expression of radicalisation. It took place after people like judge Jens Maier demanded an end to "guilt cult" about Nazi regime and polemicized against a supposed "production of mixed folk". And yet everywhere, understanding is shown for AfD voters. Also from colleagues who say: it is good that we are finally saying what has always been re. Is it really? It is true that you should not simply listen to loud rage. But hardly one still asks how se defensive reflexes actually work. Would se people be right – would it not be necessary to move from Görlitz to Leipzig again more peaceful, harmonious, satisfied than elsewhere? Because n everything is out now? The opposite is case. Where I also listen: it rumbles. Friends, acquaintances tell me how unforgiving ir families are arguing about refugees. A refugee worker from Dresden confided to me that some of her volunteer colleagues had been insulted by ir own family for Christmas. Insulted because y help ors.

    Michael Kraske

    The author was born in 1972 in Iserlohn.

    Now hardly a day passes without bad news. In Dresden, a woman rushes her dog to a 19-year-old Ethiopian. In Freital, a former restaurateur and AfD politician downplays alleged legal terrorists of group Freital as "Rascals". In roots, local teenagers attack dwellings of refugees, several times.

    Date Of Update: 02 April 2018, 12:02

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