Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A passing thought on the 20th July

Today is 20 July, an important day for us personally, but a more important day in history. This was the day in 1944 when a group of army officers decided it was time to act against Hitler ... because of a table leg the bomb against Hitler did not work ...
Yesterday in Rostock I too this photo outside the railway station as we waited for our tranfer to the ferry port. We smiled at the not quite right translation set here in stone. But I smile too in my heart at the sentiment. How lovely that the local railway flower shop has set things up so that olive trees are in front of this sign.
And yet when I turned around and looked out onto the high rise "socialist" housing opposite the railway station I realised that combatting racism and hatred means having good, decent and respectful housing and social systems; transforming attitudes means being willing to transform lives and communities and not hatred take hold in systems.
That kind of transformation take decades and is not only about words but about real deeds that treat everyone with everyone with respect. Rostock is trying to do that, one word, one school, one train, one housing estate at a time ... it's hard work.