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24.06.2019 Feature Article

The Underground Man - Part 19

The Underground Man - Part 19
LISTEN JUN 24, 2019

Joe laughed his head off: “They should never move to Africa that is for sure. We will not grant them any visa.”

Fritz and Anna echoed Joe`s strong words laughing and holding their bellies paining them.

“No visa given”, said Anna while leaving her friends behind to rush home and continue writing her novel.

“Do you know why I have invited you?”

“No…not exactly.”

“When I saw the two of you standing by the road side I said to myself, certainly these are two young German girls.”

“That is nice…oh.”

“And then I said to my husband why not stop the car and give them a ride?”

“That was very kind of you!”

“So, my husband followed my advice and we asked you for your destination that you wanted to go to.”

“Yes, that is true.”

“And then we brought you to the place you wanted to visit.”

“We felt very, very honoured as to catch a bus would have taken us a very, very long time. They do not operate so often and have lots of stops in between.”

“Yes, yes, that is true.”

“And as student`s money is always what we must carefully consider before spending.”

“Very true, my dear friend. Also we once were young and money was always in the pockets of other people, but not ours.”

“We are all born naked….”

“And some people also die naked.”

“That is an interesting perspective on the course of life.”

“It is simply the truth of life.”

“Yes, very much so.”

“Ok…and before we were seeing you off to enter Haifa and tour around, it came to my mind to invite you for a weekend at our house here outside of Netanya in our small farming community.”

“It looks very interesting here…and so peaceful.”

“Peaceful?...Maybe at the moment…no…tension is always I the air. At any time we can be attacked and our life will be again upside down. Here in this region of the world no one can ever feel safe. Our country is simply too small, has not much to offer. Many parts of our land are desert or rocky formations. To grow food is a daily hustle. These days we are lucky to make some income with our brains. But without the help from outside…oh God, we would have serious problems.”

“In the streets I see most Ambulances are donations from Americans.”

“Very true so as these many Jews in high positions have great influence on the American politics and are great supporters to us here in Israel.”

“We are volunteers from Kibbutz Ein Ziwan in the occupied Golan Heights where we pick mostly apples for export markets or produce plastic shoes against the rains around the world.”

“Everything brings money to us.”

“The atmosphere in the Kibbutz is never of joy but constant look out for danger.”

“No wonder that is life in this region…that is always like that”, said Rosemary that had survived Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp as a small girl and had come with her parents to Israel to stay. There she got married and four children and pain constantly hunting her heart.

She addressed Anna directly: “Because I knew you both were born after the last world war you could possibly not have done anything wrong during the Third Reich against us Jews…I was able to invite you as I still feel Germany in my soul. But anyone born during Hitler`s time…not that person…I could never invite to my house.”

Anna kept restrained for a few minutes only before it busted out of her: “For my parents I can say, they are innocent people, simple minded people with no evil heart. I know of them that much.”

Rosemary answered her: “Possibly…most possibly…but for me I cannot face people of that time. At the same time I enjoy so much the conversation of you young Germans…as deep down in me…I am a German still, fell German, think German…but there is this deep down rooted hate, fear and anxiety of my own childhood which is not leaving me. What the Holocaust had done to us Jews can never be forgotten.”

“It is always in the memory of life”, tried Annegret to comfort her.

The husband of Rosemary, a born Russian Jew, served on the veranda dinner with fruits from their own orchard behind their house. He was a quiet, emotionless tall man with rough hands showing the time spent on his farm land.

Annegret thanked for the delicious meal while stretching out her hands towards the Kiwi offered:” I also wonder whether peace like we thankfully have it in Europe, will ever come to this place.”

“The blame game that started the problem, the fighting’s, the rocket launching, the killings, the land occupation, the question who has the right for this place and monument there is only to see peace for a short period of time…but we are too small as a country for all interests in the region to live peacefully together in harmony or at least side by side,” stressed Rosemary out looking nervously into the dark night. Burning mosquito cowls kept all flying insects away from them.

A humble, slim man with glasses appeared besides the veranda. Rosemary knew right away, it was Paul, a tall neighbour that had a farm for oranges and a small cotton field. He wore glasses like all in his family. Paul was well educated, a person to like. His eyes were blue, his hair medium brown, nose long making him a twin to his father and grandfather.

The neighbour greeted Annegret and Anna politely asking where they stayed and what exactly they would do in Israel. Anna told him both would be students with small budget but big portion of interest to see the world around and understand its issues much better by facing situations people find themselves in. To work in a Kibbutz was the best option for them to spend time away from home for long and escape daily routine back home and to be right in the middle of history.

Paul smiled remembering his own youth how long life seemed to be, how possibilities seemed endless, how changes needed to be accomplished overnight and yet, how reality was catching up with him over time. Positive energy on its way gets shaped and put into its place. Sharp hedged revolutionized ideas were having lost is teeth, the grip to hold on for a breakthrough for the present generation. Life, that had become clear to him, is never a concept someone is able to plan for from stepstone to stepstone, from cradle to grave, rather the twist and turns are the real stepstones to move forward and higher.

…to be continued

Karl-Heinz Heerde
Karl-Heinz Heerde, © 2019

The author has 410 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: KarlHeinzHeerde

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