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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Berlin 4: No one left to speak for me




2/8

The new luxury apartments are having some problems attracting families with children. Schools seem to be an issue. Focus groups were held and the parents wanted four things:
  1. No classes with majority Turkish students
  2. English taught from second grade
  3. High level of German used in teaching
  4. Organic food served in cafeteria

                                 * * *
Last night I picked Zeljko up at the airport and took him to the Martin Niemoller House to meet Uli. After time in Wedding, Dahlem Dorff feels like a little country village in the city. The Niemoller House has its rich  history. It is where Pastor Niemoller was living and working when he was picked up by the Gestapo in 1937. You can look out the window as Bonhoeffer did and see the garden where he was working when he was arrested. 
Pastor Martin Niemoller
He spent from 1937-1945 in Sachsenhuasen and then Dachau. After his release, he spent the rest of his life opposing war, meeting with Ho Chi Minh and being awarded the Lenin Peace prize in 1966. He is most famous for  this well known quote:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Catholic.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
                               * * * * 
The Euro Fim Mart at the Berlinale

With Zeljko at the EFM
Go to the Euro Film Mart to meet Zeljko. The Martin Gropius Center is filled with booths from countries around the world offering their films. Zeljko’s Second Meeting is one of two documentaries being offered by the Serbian Film Commission. I feel a sense of excitement that we were able to have shown this film in New York City as its first American screening. 
We take time for falafel and donner at a Turkish stand then head off to meet Uli and Sylvija for coffee. Uli will be  arranging  a screening of Second Meeting at the Niemoller House. 
Uli, Sylvija and Zeljko
Later, I’ll meet with Micah and friends who have been involved in a  EU sponsored project that sought to develop joint projects between Israelis and Palestinians. They seemed to have half a chance since they had taken seriously the role of power differential between groups as a missing dynamic of most people to people programs. They also had sought to learn from community organizing experiences as to the importance of organizing organizations, not individuals. 
But at this point, the project no longer seems viable. It’s director, Ahmed, sees his real call in his own country of Egypt as a new country struggles to come into being navigating its way through channels of salafists, militarists, secular students...a time of hope and danger.
Their most successful leanings about conflict resolution seem to have the most potential value in intereuro, even interGerman settings. Once again, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues intractable as time for resolution disappears. 
                              




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