Friday, February 10, 2006

Guten Tag!

Many helpings of matjes herring later, I have returned from Deutschland. My apologies to loyal fans for making them go "cold grouse" all this time. I was five days in the great Hanseatic city of Hamburg attending a remarkable gathering led by Israeli scholar, Dan Bar-On at the Korber Foundation. The latter is an institution established by the late eponymous gentleman who got rich inventing a machine to put the tips on cigarettes but who had deeper avocations, to wit, ensuring that Europe never forgets recent history's lessons. After the sessions, I fast-trained it to Berlin where many hours were spent in the marvelous Judisches (Jewish) Museum there. It seemed fitting to come to this epicentre of the Shoah and so devote my time. Even more apt was learning what I had never absorbed before - that Berlin's Holocaust Memorial was plunked down right atop Adolf's bunker where, so belatedly, he cleansed the world of his own nauseous self. So much for the Final Solution; so much for the 1000-year Reich!