Saturday, February 26, 2022

Ukraine

My grandfather was born in Odessa. I do not know when he came to Germany, I found his father's death certificate in Berlin so I guess the whole family moved from Odessa to Berlin at some point.
In 1933 he was forced to leave his life in Berlin and came here with my grandmother and my mother who was six then.
Four years later he was murdered by Arabs in the orchard where he worked. I did not know him and I do not feel a special connection to Ukraine.
But I feel a lot of compassion and sorrow for the fate of the Ukrainians.
I understand that I belong to a large tribe whose post-trauma is already part of its DNA.
When a great national trouble occurs in the world it is hard for me to ignore and I find myself experiencing it through all means of communication and introspection and I need to learn the smallest details.
I'm sure I'm no better than others who say that as long as they can not do anything about it they prefer to turn off the news and clean the shelves of the fridge or watch nature movies.
But I also remember how in times of existential anxiety here a few kind words from people I have never met and probably never will have helped me. You know who you are. There is something so empowering in a few words in such difficult hours.
So do not ignore, try to do something small, in a word, in thought in whatever way you choose.

25 comments:

  1. Yes Yael, I think everyday of the people I met in Ukraine and how I know they are feeling because they told me of never wanting to be Russian ever again. I hope that they are all safe, each and every one of them.

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  2. I know you're one of those people who really understands what's going on. I remember your brave trip there.

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  3. Like many others I am sure, I feel anxious and very frustrated that no governments seem willing or able to stop this horror. They have stood by and watched the build up of power and control and done nothing as the whole scenario has been steadily building to this point.
    None of us should feel safe now, wherever we are.

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  4. I think like you JayCee. Everyone to themselves from now on.

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  5. Your compassion and sorrow, Yael, have reminded me that I am not alone tonight in not being able to sleep through the night due to intergenerational trauma.

    Thank you for reminding me that there is no kind action too small. Against all odds.

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  6. Thank you too, humanity is always blessed and it is not measured by the magnitude of the act. A good word or good thought, that too is good.

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  7. I watch the destruction and feel so damn angry and frustrated. The Ukrainians lived similar lives to ours and their world is being torn apart by a madman. A madman who probably won't stop in Ukraine. Why the hell can't we stop him.
    Words, words . He laughs at their words.
    Why the hell can't we all live in peace

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  8. Something like this changes all our lives. Dark times.

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  9. I think Yael we are all deeply worried as once more refugees take to the road, clutching children, pet animals and a few possessions. Somehow it is so hard to even think that someone could do this to others but it has happened. So stay strong through this and remember we are all one.

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  10. I must thank you again Linda, Tom and Thelma for helping me with your words with only some words last time here.You with others that commented here than/

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  11. I am keeping the country and the people of Ukraine in my prayers but yet it seems like I should do more. I can only begin to know how all this must feel to you Yael. I care for you and for them and I fear what this dangerous man is trying to do.

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  12. I worked with a girl from Kiev many years ago and this outrageous behaviour by Russia brought her to mind and I am left to wonder how she feels as she has family still in Ukraine. Every little word and thought, seemingly how insignificant it may be, surely must add to what is experienced all over. It is my fervent wish sanity will prevail.

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  13. The democratic world will never be the same as a monster has been unleashed. How could world leaders allow this to happen? I fear for the people of Ukraine and hold them in my heart and prayers.

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  14. I feel so depressed about those poor Ukrainians. All they wish is to live their lives in peace, yet they have this monster living nearby who wishes to change all that for death and destruction. Can no-one assassinate Putin?

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  15. We are under shock, Yael. I am glad that Germany finally (it took some shaming time) brought itself to show integrity and courage.

    My heart is with the people in Ukraine.

    Those who try to leave the country (Imagine you are in your car with your family to reach safe territory - and then at the border all men over 18 have to stay - to leave your father or son behind ) - and all those who stay, risking everything - praying is not enough, but what can we do as private people?
    It made me weep to learn of all that unnessecary brutal force and danger of death - in our times, now.

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  16. My thoughts are with the people of Ukraine
    We need to do something
    I want to do something

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  17. I beg your pardon that I do not personally answer all the comments this time, from my personal experience all the responders here are the same wonderful people I meant. You are the people who know how to say the good word in a time of need.

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  18. vacuum bomb ukraine This is also a very good post which I really enjoy reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this.

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  19. I was talking about you yesterday! On my dog walk a man asked if a particular route was muddy, and we got talking. I mentioned his accent and he said guess. German I said, no Israeli was the answer, so we decided that I was close to the right answer! He was probably in his early 70s and he told me that his parents had fled Berlin and he was born in Tel Aviv.He had moved to Harpenden ( where his daughter lives) from London 10 years ago. His story sounded so like yours and we had a lovely chat. He is called Michael. He talked about the Stumbling Stones in Berlin and he and his wife went there a couple of years ago to lay 2 plaques , in front of the block where his parents used to live. They were invited in to look at one of the flats by a couple who lived there and have become friends with them.
    It was good to see a post from you, but very sad that it had to be again war that was the reason.I only found it yesterday as I had all but given up on checking your name in my bookmarks! Hope that it is peaceful for you at the moment and you are avoiding Covid.

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  20. Thank you Frances. Everything is fine here.

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  21. What a lovely and important post. Thank you, Yael.

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  22. Yael, we might be cousins :) One half of my family came from Mariupol and Berdyansk, and the other half came from Simferopol near Odessa. Most of them were in Australia and Canada by the mid 1920s, but for those who remained, the Russians were heroic in saving them from the Germans and their Ukrainian allies in WW2.

    Seeing the Russians kill Ukrainian civilians now is just as obscene as the Germans killing Jews in WW2.
    Be safe
    Hels
    Art and Architecture, mainly

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