Is this what 1913 felt like?

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m getting older and more aware of the world around me and it’s always been like this – or maybe we’re all in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Of course I am aware of all those wars going on in the world. It’s hard to ignore the news, the images of destroyed cities, survivors, soldiers, injured people crying for those who didn’t make it. And it’s hard to ignore the lively debates here in Germany – and other countries – that surrounds the matter of taking on more refugees. It’s hard to ignore the scandals, the heart-warming stories – though they are rare – and the reports about those who are trying to build a new life. The other night I was coming home from Frankfurt and I took my usual route – from Frankfurt Hauptwache to my home town. It was there that I saw them. The area was marked off with yellow tape, they were lying row by row in their sleeping bags. I know that the underground stations are where many homeless people go to sleep in the winter – but these weren’t standard homeless people. They were homeless, yes, but they were also very, very far from what they would have called home. There was police standing by – only two of them – and the rest of us wealthy Frankfurt citizens just walked by, not granting them more than a shy look.

Currently we are arguing about where to put that flood of refugees, whether or not to simply have them deported back to their home countries or to where they first landed – e.g Italy. Of course Italy is a beautiful country, their food has been named part of the UNESCO world heritage. But they also had Berlusconi as a leader, drive like maniacs and have a – in my humble opinion – potentially much expandable infrastructure concerning roads and trains. And their economy is worse than ours.

I don’t mean to offend any Italians. This is me saying that we cannot make it easier for us in

Germany by simply sending people in need back to Italy.

There are so many wars and “crisis” in this world I can’t even dive into them all. There is always something coming up, hyped by the media – but it’s still there when the cameras aren’t.

And now it seems like we’re back in the cold war.

We learn about these things in history class. We know how World War One began, how many died, what happened, how it ended and what it caused. We know the same things about World War Two and we know who was involved in the Cold War too. We know all these things, but it seemed there was always a reason that it was being taught in history class, not politics. It seemed so far away. They told us that we had to study our history so we would not make the same mistakes in the future.

We can all see how far that has got us.

If Russia or any or the “western countries” like Germany or the USA decide to launch an attack – we’re all doomed. It would be a war to end all wars – just like the two world wars before that. But with the usage of nuclear weapons I’m pretty sure there would not be much left to fight over in future. There would not be peace, surely, but maybe we’d finally press that big red threatening button and blown up the earth.

It’s so close now. I feel like the situation – a situation that involves me directly because of the country I live in – could escalate any second now. It’s like Merkel, Putin and Obama – and whoever else is involved – are a bunch of overgrown children who started playing this game, but got so pissed of at each other it’s ended up in a childish fight of accusations and threats. So they decide to fight it out with toy soldiers. Those toy soldiers would be my cousin, if he decides to join the navy like he’s considering. They’d be people I went to school with and people I shared laughs with.

And at one point one of the over-grown children will be so fed up with it all he or she’ll go get the big gun from dad’s cabinet and shoot, shoot, shoot. The other children might join in, leaving the house in a huge mess for the parents to clean up when they get home.

Those refugees who came to us for help, who we’ve reluctantly let across our borders, they will become victims all over again. Chaos.

Maybe this war would not destroy the entire world. But it would obliterate a place like here – a place I’ve grown to love – it would destroy some of the world’s leading countries. And there would be space for a new order and new wars. And new destruction. And new suffering.

So, if this war does come, if they do decide to use nuclear weapons and endanger us all – first of all: Screw them, they suck – and second of all, I hope this is the last time. Even if we all die, I hope this is the last time. I am not so optimistic that I would believe in rebuilding a broken world from nothing. Maybe, when there are no longer people in this world, our buildings and cities will decay, our land which we fought so fiercely over will become borderless, shared by different species, overgrown with nature. The atmosphere may rehabilitate itself, the air may clear itself, the earth could heal.

Maybe that’s what has to happen for earth to heal. Because apparently all we humans know how to do is destroy, digging our own graves in the process.


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