Saturday, 2 May 2015

mason-dixon oder deutsch-deutsche grenze

Having lived in Germany for an extended period, I have found it’s impossible to forget that certain canopy of history whose partition lasted up until a quarter-of-a-century ago with the division between East and West and the innerdeutsche Grenze.  I knew such separation-anxieties were hardly unique and reunification is certainly still pending for some, however, it was not until a recent trip to the Deep South in America did I appreciate how real some abolished borders can yet be. Though circumstances were very different and more distant history than what partitioned Germany and Europe, quite a lot of sentiment over the US Civil War (called alternatively the War of Northern Aggression) lingers.
It is not only in the monuments that extol rebellion or the city hall of Macon, Georgia that was for a time the capitol of the Confederate States of America—for history is, no matter how inconvenient or painful should not be sequestered and compartmentalised—but more immediately and undiluted by time in attitudes that have changed little since the cease-fire. Not that it is not getting better and not that we ought to resign ourselves to the patience of generational strife and contend with prejudices with an unnatural longevity necessarily for any parallel line-in-the-sand, it’s just that resistance to change can sometimes be glacially stubborn and there are few equipped to accept it at any pace.