Friday, 13 February 2015

The one about the 13th of February

Dear Josephine,
the 13th of February in this year is a Friday and all people can think about is, that Friday the 13th brings you misfortune. (And that it is Valentines Day tomorrow.) What they forget, is, that the 13th of February really did bring misfortune, even know, it wasn't a Friday. On the 13th of February 1945, Dresden, a city I live nearby, was bombed and razed to the ground.
Of cause I wasn't even born back than, but the people here don't give you a chance to forget about the horrible things that happened during the second world war. I don't know if you live in an area where there was or is a war, but if you see pictures of a beautiful city you've often been to, when it was totally disturbed, you can't think of anything else than: I don't want this to happen again. It's not only that so many people die, because of wars. With them goes a culture, so many facts we'll never know, because the ones, who could have told us about it, don't live any more. 
I know, that I usually write you very much, but today, I want to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Dresden: 1945  and 2015. The pictures on the right were shot from the same angle. Can you imagine, how much work it took to build this city up again?
The Frauenkirche: On the left picture you see it's original version as it was in 1880 till 1945. In the middle you see a picture of this beautiful church in 1954 - it was like this from 1945 till 1990, when the German zones reunited. On the right you see it as it is nowadays. You see the difference between the original and it's newer version, but it is also a sign of how you can thrive again, after war.
Again the Frauenkirche, but this time from another angle. The statue (which i've marked you with this red circles and which shows of Martin Luther) stayed at the same position, but look at the church in the Background.
A statue on top of the city hall looking down on the city centre. 1954 and 2015.
Dear Fine, I don't know if you understand, what I want to tell you, but when I see this pictures, I nearly start crying. It's horrible, what people can do and there is no excuse for anything, that happened in the second world war.
Today is the 70th anniversary of the Allied firebombing in Dresden. It happened in the night, nobody saw it coming, hundreds of people died. How could we forget about this? 
In the evening their will be Nazi demonstrations, because they've understand absolutely nothing. They see this pictures and don't know, what their opinion has to do with them, but it's their fault, that this horrible things happened. But there will also be a demonstration against the Nazis. People will come together and build a human chain and stand up against the things, that happened during the second world war. 
If I could ask for one thing, than I would ask for no more war. Not this year. Not the next year. Never again in our upcoming history. There's always the possibility to clarify fights with words and not guns. Please always think about this first and about all the horrible things, that come along with a war.
Yours sincerely, Elisabeth.

Monday, 2 February 2015

The one about prejudice

Dear Josephine,
I always thought, I'd be the last one to be prejudiced against anyone else, but than I realised, that this isn't true. It's not, that I'm prejudiced against people, that look or think different from me. 
I am prejudiced against the girls in school, that have their neckline till their belly button and wear three layers of make up. The girls, that hook up with boys, that are five years older than them and have horrible grades. I always thought, that these girls don't care about anyone else than themselves and are not interested in anything else than their look or their boyfriends. But just the other day they've shown me, that I am wrong.
I was sitting in the cafeteria, eating my lunch. As usual I was sitting alone - I'm kind of a loner and the people, that claim themselves my friends are obviously way to cool to sit next to me. So I was eating alone and than there were three of this girls on the table next to me. I don't really noticed than, but than, one of them came over and was like: "Do you want to come over and eat with us?" and I was like: "What?!" I didn't say that straight into her face, but I was very surprised about this offer. And of cause I said yes, because it's not very funny to eat all on your own. And it isn't healthy either.
At this day, something changed inside my head. I always knew, that you can't tell people by the way they look and by their grades, but there always was this little voice that told me otherwise. Now it's gone. I'm not friends with this girls, not at all, but I've learned to accept them in the way they are. And that their "bitchy" look doesn't make them bad people. Even my "friends" didn't want to sit next to me, but they came over. And I appreciate that. If they want to wear tons of make up, than that's totally fine - if I don't have to be like them.
Dear Fine, I think the point, of what I want to tell you, is: There may (or may not) be some people, that seem crazy to you and you immediately think: I don't like them. That's totally okay. But never forget, that the fact, that you don't like them, doesn't make them bad people. Maybe they could be your best friends and you'll never know, because you say: "Naaaa, I don't want to talk to them." I hope, that you can at least try to treat everyone with the same high amount of respect, they deserve - no matter, if you are prejudiced against them or not.
Your sincerely, Elisabeth.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The one about new years resolutions

Dear Josephine,
tomorrow the new year begins and I'm sure you have made, as well as everybody else, some new year's resolutions. I've made some too - but I also have "new day resolutions", "new week resolutions" and "new month resolutions". Isn't it like that - that we always wait for something new to start a thing we always wanted? "From the next week on I'll eat only healthy food, no sweets and I'll work out at least once a day." Hahaha - no. There are people, who can do this. They wake up like: "Hey, I'm gonna start now." and then they jump out of bed and start working on their objectives. But I'm not like that and I'd guess many people are with me at this point. I can do this - I can wake up and start working and trying to reach my goals, but that will only last for a few hours or a week. And then I get back into my old routine. So why don't take the start of a new year as an opportunity to try again?
2015 is going to be a great year to me - hopefully. I'll travel to Rome for a week in spring and to London for a week in autumn. I'll spend my summer holidays with my family in the alps and with a bit of luck I'll go to the coast for the first time in about ten years too. I'll become "sweet sixteen", which means, that I'm legally allowed to drink and buy alcohol here in germany - which doesn't mean that I want to. But I could do it - in general. In 2015 I'll finish the tenth grade, which means, that I could leave school and start a teaching (but I still wanna graduate from high school, which means I'll have to stick around until twelfth grade). 5SOS, one of my favorite bands, are coming to three (!) towns in my country, which means, that I could go to my first proper concert - if I'd be brave enough. And with a bit of luck I could go to many other great concerts too, which means a lot to a music loving person like me.
I have a few resolutions for the new year:

  1. I want to be courageous. I wanna stand up for my ideas and tell other people what I think about specific themes.
  2. I wanna become more adventurous. The last years I spent mainly in my room or our garden. I never came along, when my friends made a trip to town or somewhere else. I've always been that slowpoke, whose answer to the question "Do you wanna come along with us?" is always "Nope." And I want to change this.
  3. I want to become honest. Honest with myself and everyone else around me. I don't wanna to play a role and act, like I'm somebody else. I'm totally fine with myself (at least the most times) and I want to convince myself, that others don't have a problem with this person too.
  4. I wanna be happy. Genuinely, intensely, consistently happy. I want to try my best to see the good things in every situation and not always be the nagging pessimist. I've experienced this feeling of almost complete happiness a few times in the last year and I want to feel it more often.
  5. I don't want to let my anxiety control my life. I don't want to live in constant pain and be afraid to move, because I over think everything. I want to be more carefree.

Of couse there are things like "losing weight" and "living healthy" on my list too, but I generally think, that your mind is way more important than your body. Of couse I'm chubby and I'm not allowed to eat any sugar at all, because I've a high potential to get diabetes. I should do more sport and so on, but why not combine this with my objectives from above? What about a trip on the bike, a big ass Hike or a relaxes summer day with an hour of swimming? If you are happy with yourself and live in inner peace, everything else will come by itself. Thats, what I think.
Dear Fine, what are your new years resolutions?
Yours sincerely, Elisabeth.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The one about the things that happend in Ferguson

Dear Josephine,
It's sad to know, that we have to live in a world, where racism starts getting stronger and stronger from day to day. I don't know where you are from or what you think about this things - maybe you are against black people - but I don't think that anybody has the right to be against anybody, because we are all humans and that's, what matters. If you put people from every nation into a black chamber, you couldn't tell, who's black or white - it wouldn't make a difference and that's what people should think like. 
What happend in Ferguson is unacceptable and we should always stand up for those things until everything is finally fair. As far as I know, racism and treating black people like they are not as worth as white ones is not rare in the US - but I'm just a small girl from Europe.
Racism exists here too - you may have heared about the refugees from the near east and africa, that cross the mediterranean sea with small fishermans boats and ask for sanctuary in the states of Europe. If they are allowed to stay, which shouldn't be a question if you ask me (why can't we be like "Hello and welcome" instead of "Hm, let's see if you are allowed to stay"), they get distributed over the states of the EU and every states has to care for the same amount of refugees - in the ideal case. But there are lot's of people that say: "We don't want them to stay here, we are afraid, they might kill us or steal our money." That's completely stupid, but they're panicking, because the situation is completely new to them and forget to think. Other than in the US here in Europe it doesn't really make, a difference, if you are black or white - you'll get treated the same and no one will say, that you are guilty, just because you have a different skin color. But that's only what I experienced.
If you ask me, there should not be a difference between anyone. It shouldn't matter if you are from Egypt or Irak, from Korea or South Africa, from the US or Russia, because we are all the same and just look different. You can't tell people without knowing them and you can't blame someone by his look. That's a general thing our society needs to learn: Not the externalities count, but the heart.
Dear Fine, I'm just a little girl, but I thing, that everybody can make a difference. If you are a bit like me and scared, what people may think about you, if you make a huge political statement, try it in the small version. For example you could write "I can't breathe" on your wrist. You could make yourself a shirt with this sentence or leave small sheets of paper in your classrooms with just this three words. (Ok, four words, but you know what I mean.) You can start a discussion in your politics class (if you have one) or just talk about it with your friends. Make small steps, raise awareness, let people know about the situation and once they know you can stick together and stand up stronger for what is right.
Yours sincerely, Elisabeth.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The meaning behind the #Mauerfall

Dear Josephine,
you may be wondering about this Twitter Trend today. #Mauerfall - what is this? And why does it sound so different? "Mauerfall" is a german word, which means: the falling of the wall - in this case the berlin wall, which you may have heard about in history lessons before. And if not you will probably be thankful for getting this letter.
Only 30 years ago, the most things in germany were different. Apparently there were no real germany. The whole country was split into two sides, the western "BRD" and the eastern "DDR", as well as the german capital city Berlin. The western side was occupied by the "West" (US, GB, France and so on), the eastern side belonged to the "Sowjetunion", which was basically a bigger version of Russia. Between this both sides, or I'd better say: between the "West" and the "East", was the cold war, which you definitely should have heard about before. And in the middle of this war were the germans, separated by the governments. If you are interested into the whole story, there are many great posts about it on the internet.
25 years ago everything startet to change. The berlin wall was torn and the germans reunited. We were finally allowed to be the one country we've always been in our hearts. Till today there are lots of prejudices against the "other germans", for example, that the western people are greedy and the eastern people stuck in time and don't know, what telephones are, but non of them is true. Getting back together is a long process after being seperated for almost 40 years.
What I wanna say: We have to be thankful, that there is peace and freedom nowadays. That we have Europe as well as the EU and that there is not such a thing like the cold war anymore. I bet, none of the things I wrote you, made any sense, but it's important to me. We always have to be thankful for peace.
Yours sincerely, Elisabeth.

P.S.: I added some pictures to this letter, to give you a feeling of the "Mauerfall" and the situation before it.

A soldier, running away at the point, when the Berlin wall was just some wire.
The "Mauerfall" - germans from both sides climbing up the wall to break it down.
To the 25-years-anniversary the "rearranged" the berlin wall with white glowing balloons.