The world seemed a good place to be today: there was sunshine, it was warm, and people were out and about. So were we.
It is hard to imagine, that at the same time there is a tribunal going on in Lüneburg, one of the most horrific tribunals you could imagine, just about 30 minutes by train southeast of Hamburg. Herbert Gröning is the subject of what might be Germany’s last big tribunal against a Nazi and worker in a concentration camp. He is accused of having directly supported the killing of 300,000 people, working on the ramp in Birkenau and Auschwitz – though he claims and has not been proven wrong that he personally never killed anybody while there.
If convicted, he faces a minimum of, wait, three years in prison. Three full years. When I heard that on the radio the other day, I first thought I had misunderstood. But half an hour later, at the next newscast, they repeated it: a minimum of three years for helping to kill 300,000 people. The other, hard to believe issue arising from the tribunal is that it was well know in Germany for decades where Herbert Gröning lived, who he was, and what he had done. But, apparently, the State could not make a case. I find that incredible. For me, this shows an approach that worked in the decades immediately following the collapse of the Nazi Regime: some high-ranking perpetrators were judged, many many people were re-introduced to their previous positions of power, including nazi judges that were made judges in the new post-war West-Germany. – All this is why I, and I think a lot of the Germans of my generation, will never really feel proud to be German, waving flags and singing the national anthem.
Today, there were two firsts: Pádraig’s physio transferred Pádraig into his wheelchair without a lifter by ‘standing’ him up, turning him, and sitting him down into the wheelchair. He was really happy that he had managed to do this and it was clear that Pádraig was too: he helped as much as he could along the way. Then the physio left.
By now you will now what the second ‘first’ today was: I managed to get Pádraig out of his wheelchair back into his bed by ‘standing’ him up, turning him around and sitting him back into his bed. There really was no other way to get Pádraig back into bed – trying to fit his ‘Liftertuch’ behind his back and underneath his legs while sitting in the wheelchair would have been very difficult.
In he late afternoon, we went out for a walk, back to the park and the weir.
There was water, people walking and jogging by, birds were singing, ducks were quaking, and the world seemed to be a good place to be.