Not worthy of tears?

We are shocked about the election of Donald Trump to become the President of the United States of America. We analyze: What exactly did he say? How did he say it? How seriously did he mean what he said? Images buzz in our minds of 1945, of Americans in their terrific jeeps as they distribute chewing gum to German children, when the “liberators” came and did not punish us but raised us up. A form of shock therapy. They looked at you, your concentration camps, your gas chambers, your corpse mountains; you are responsible for this, for not adhering to fundamental rights and values, for not showing backbone. They taught us democracy. We learned to discuss, to listen, to let others express their opinions, to express our own opinions, and to justify them. We learned how important the division of powers is for a constitutional state, and why there must be universal fundamental rights. Thank you America! With this in mind, we find ourselves discussing: the wall along the Mexican border, the exclusion of Muslims, the reintroduction of waterboarding, his commitment to the death penalty even for minors, his admiration for Putin as an autocrat, his characterization of our chancellor as mentally ill, his attitude about rape inside of marriages and on workers’ rights, on the punishment of abortion, and, and, and. We are shocked, we discuss and analyze, as if it’s a competition. We relativize. We first have to wait and see…

Source: Carlos Latuff via Wikimedia Commons

I am shocked, I analyze, try to relativize, even to identify opportunities for Europe …
I’m coming to the office, and we have a new employee, a young German-American. Her pretty face is red and teary. She looks at me and cries.
Pictures from my youth rise up within me, memories of my hot tears at the sight of the crimes of my parents and grandparents. My country.
Suddenly the tears are flowing again.