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marble falls

(59,548 posts)
6. When I was about 8 or 9, we live on the near west side of Cleveland ...
Mon Dec 30, 2019, 11:48 AM
Dec 2019

its the gentrifying "Ohio City" now - then it was a "DP" (displaced person) section of town.

Playing Army was a big pastime for kids and for some reason my younger sister, brother and I were the designated Germans. We would establish an ambush instead of going after the Americans. We would wait as long as it took for them to get antsy and come after us. We'd usually win.

One day we found a red flag used to mark a long load. We decided to make a German flag. We crayoned a swastika on it and asked our college freshman uncle to nail it to a piece of 2 x 2" and we marched (not goosestep) around the block. This was in the day where it really took a village to raise a kid and all the neighbors paid attention to the kids.

We got about half-way when we passed a man in his sixties from Serbia who was always giving us things from his garden and would talk to us about the Indians in very broken English. When he saw and more importantly the flag, he ran across his little front yard and vaulted the three foot wought iron fence and grabbed that flag aind ripped it up, all the time saying, "You good kids, bad flag!" repeatedly and very excitedly. He stayed our friend and we never made another "German" flag again. I'll never forget that. I believe that's when I started looking at war and the World WarII, more critically.

I learned racism at my grandfathers knee, I unlearned it at my step-father's dinner table. I began my research into antisemitism when a nice old man jumped his fence and ripped up my swastika.

Laurie Anderson has a lyric that says that when her father died she felt "like a library burnt down". I think that is so true, the Holocaust survivors who passing away these days so quickly are a bonfire of libraries and we are the worst off for it.

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