tisdag 17 juli 2012


Less than a week ago, I went to Rugen and found Prora. I adore abandoned places. I crave them. It´s appalling, I know, but the drama of it all, the history, the nostalgia, draws me in and fills me with emotion. And I indulge. Like a rich princess in a poor country: ”Qu´ils mangent de la brioche!”



I get the idea. A nice holiday resort for the people, that´s not such a strange concept, is it? But put it in context and it´s suddenly chilling; the Third Reich materializes before my eyes and it´s filled with happy families on holiday. Can you see the mothers sunbathing? The fathers helping the children catch shrimps? Where is the evilness in this picture, I ask you? And where am I? Who could I have been in a different context?

My father had seven aunts. So my great grandmother had eight children, her sister had none. The sister was married to a nice German man and one summer they came to visit her family. My great grandmother had so many children, so very many… Such hard work! And with the farm and all… When the sister and her husband went back to Germany they brought with them one of the many daughters. They raised her as their own.

I think she was probably blond and athletic. We tend to be like that.

Was she popular in school during the 1920´s? Did she have friends? What ideologies was taught to her?

When the war broke out she was engaged to a pilot. She was sent to her biological parents in Sweden to get away from it all. I don´t suppose she knew the language all that well. Her fiancé was shot down over the English Channel. When she got the news she committed suicide. That evening my great grandmother claimed she saw an angel.

Do you suppose we all have the ability to grow wings? Do you think that words can change the future?

The devil knocks on my door and his face is familiar. He bends to kiss me goodnight and I want to say no but it´s so much easier to go to sleep. I do so love that lullaby.

4 kommentarer:

  1. Prora -- I had never heard of this before. It's absolutely fascinating.

    I have been to Bergen-Belsen, which is not at all the same thing, but there exists this same kind of fascination. That architecture was developed for a purpose, and that none of it could have evolved any other way. That at one time, seventy years ago, there was something that seems completely alien here, in our world. I cannot look at something from that era, constructed by people who went to work and were just like you and your husband and my sister's husband, without being filled with a great misunderstanding -- filled with something I don't understand. If that makes sense.

    That film was wonderful.

    Words can't always change the future. This past week, they only exist to help me see through the darkness. If it works, it's good enough.

    1. My fear is that I would understand it too well. Or no, not really like that. It´s more that I think that I, had I been a German wife and mother at that time, might have let myself look away from the horrors as long as my own family was safe. I hope I wouldn´t have done that. I hope I´m not doing it in any way now. But I don´t know for sure =(

      Check thy email

  2. There's something fascinating about exploring abandoned places. Very intriguing last paragraph.

  3. Lovely writing, and a fascinating meditation.