Notizen Eines Vaters [Teaser - September]

Under the wild pear-tree, a yellow carpet of its fallen fruits, as if a full haul has been overturned. There are still wild pears hanging like heavy drops of honey on the branches. How very lavishly, year after year, this tree concerns itself with its offspring; thousands of young trees ought to be sprouting in its vicinity. An uncultivated plant has begun to grow, and it will have trouble rising in the shadow of its elder.

My quiet island is shaken once a day.
The day before yesterday, the boy put on my socks because his were torn. Yesterday he left every lamp in the house turned on. Now, with voluptuous pleasure, he’s spitting cherry stones into a cat. How much of an adult is he actually, this grown-up boy?

My island - I should finally wean myself of this habit, saying ‘mine’, and even more importantly - thinking in such a manner.

Currently, the dining table is - almost - the only place of our meetings.  In the last few days, I’ve had to think repeatedly about the accusations that I have done nothing against the Nazis and the war. At dinner I try to talk about my chldhood: the massive zeal to serve in the ’Jungvolk’, the excitement over the ’Fuhrer’, determined efforts to prove that my ancestors were Aryans. I’m speaking of my parents who were humble farm workers. They believed that this Hitler would give work and bread to the small people. But soon they hid behind their fear, silent or whispering: “Must he let the Jews be killed? Why is he picking a fight with the entire world? We used to be well off. But the war is lost - the Russians are coming; that will be our end!”

My son listens for a while, gets up, yawns, and then leaves the room. Offended, I walk to the wild pear tree and back again. The realization then dawns in me: if the ground is frozen, one cannot sow wheat.

- from Notizen Eines Vaters, translated by kimbk/pointlessfactsbelowrammpics