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Author: sschutt

Germany - to Christmas/New Year 1997

Up to xmas and new year in Venningen, 1997


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  Atah

Schafstrasse


I stand outside the door of the old renovated house. A stone plaque fastened to the outside reads in German: Site of the Jewish synagogue and school, 1842 - 1940. Above the door an inscription in Hebrew, the chiseled letters freshly painted in gold.

I can see the sounds of the letters. I mouth them, right to left - sh, kh, r, n - as the wind flutters past on this fresh Sunday afternoon. I move the sounds around and around. Then, suddenly, I realise I'm mouthing the word atah - you.

 

Year: 1997
Country: Germany
Place: Venningen



  Photo of a photo of a woman

Taken in 1997 (badly) with my camera when I found this and another photo of an estate house inside the Koldemanz church book. She has an uncanny resemblance to my mother.


Year: 1997
Country: Germany
Place: Venningen



  Koldemanz estate house re-snapped

The picture found inside the Koldemanz church book, rephotographed in 2005


Year: 2005
Country: Germany
Place: Cologne (Koeln)



  photo of a photo of an estate house

The photo I took in 1997 when I found this photo inside the Koldemanz church book


Year: 1997
Country: Germany
Place: Venningen



  Call from Paris

Call from Paris to Germany, December 31 1997


My father David returns my call from somewhere in Paris. Says he'll wait for me on the second of January, to call again so he can arrange things with his nephew, and to pass on my regards to my grandfather. Says he and Patrick, the half-brother I have never met, will meet me at the train station.

Now I'm standing on the cliff's edge overlooking the shimmering harp-sea. Behind me are dark heavy pines and a blanket of shadows, a musky, crisp cold kept at bay by my black woollen coat. There is a big drop, a drop I can't fathom, and then there is the other side, a tanned rocky hilltop with an ancient olive press carved into its flank, the lowering sun painting its contours pastel pink and gold.

 

Year: 1997
Country: Germany
Place: Venningen



  Deine Weisse Felde

Poem - travelling through Germany on the train


Under your white fields

stories lie frozen

like a stern-faced peasant

caught in a sudden drift


And oh how it hurts

this stupid old wound,

ice packed over

a raw musty earth


Now valleys and forests swell

churches sprout like boils

and a long tired ache

catches you

in your fluffed, cornered,

well-fed sleep.


Die soon

and forever hold your peace

under chimes of bells

and icy breaths.

 

Year: 1998
Country: Germany
Place: various



  Kehrstrasse

The house in Goettingen where I spent much of my early years. Outside this house in 1972 I had my last memory of Germany - saw a sky full of stars and realised I was about to leave for something entirely different.


Year: 1972
Country: Germany
Place: Goettingen



  Goettingen park

Walking in Goettingen, Winter 97


Year: 1997
Country: Germany
Place: Goettingen



  Pillar

Encountered while on my walk with Wiebke. Old Prussian might rears itself.


Year: 1998
Country: Germany
Place: unsure



  Goettingen Park

Park in Goettingen, Winter 1997


Year: 1997
Country: Germany
Place: Goettingen



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