I made it. After 13 years abroad, on my first visit to Berlin, I climbed up to the dome of the German Bundestag, the former “Reichstag” (responsible architect: Norman Foster). But before I did that, I stood in front of this massive building and I had to digest some curious feelings. This building exudes an air of history, power, dignity and tragic that is hard to handle for me. “Dem Deutschen Volke” (to the German people) is written on the pediment across the Western entrance and for the first time I realized – this also includes me. I think I spent so much time abroad, because I never wanted to be a part of this people.
Once I learned about WWII, I was so deeply ashamed of, and horrified by my ancestors. First, I retreated into an inner exile and later into an expat life. But then, after so many years abroad, experiencing every day that I am definitely not part of the foreign people surrounding me in Finland, and never will be, standing in front of this building made me realize that, like it or not, I am part of this people. A people, who orders a bronze inscription “Dem Deutschen Volke” in 1916 from a Berlin bronze foundry whose jewish owners, Albert and Siegfried Loevy, and their families were then later executed in the concentration camps of Plötzensee, Theresienstadt and Ausschwitz.
How does one handle this?