Ukrainian diaries take the author to Germany – Culture

A varied week, this is how I describe my stay in Germany – two days in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Augsburg.

Hamburg surprises me with several Ukrainian flags in the stairwell area, where my friend Rinat Nimitz-Koster takes me for a walk. Thanks to her, I got in touch with her Sueddeutsche Zeitung Circumstances. A happy coincidence, like our acquaintance for many years on a study trip in Chernivtsi. I met two of her friends who read “Ukrainian Diaries”. Another interesting acquaintance follows, thanks to the diary, Detective J; Interview at the Walter A. Berendsohn Research Center; And one day in Berlin when I discuss the next aid transfer to Chernivtsi with friends.

The event I am already in Germany will take place on May 29: Reading from a “Ukrainian Diary” by Iris Berben on May 29 at Lustspielhaus Munich, organized by Sueddeutsche Zeitung. I feel so well taken care of, almost spoiled, and I feel split in two. Part of me is participating in what is happening, and another part is watching everything. Eleven years ago, Iris Perpin read in Chernivtsi – poems of the Chernivtsi poet Selma Merbaum Isinger, who died in a labor camp in Transnistria. Our cultural association organized the evening with one of the most prominent cultural figures from Germany who ever visited Chernovich. Now she is reading “The War Diary”. Even with so much imagination, I would never have imagined something like this in 2011.

The most beautiful thing about reunion: The feeling of familiarity begins immediately without having to talk much. On stage, I am amazed how my scripts repel me and at the same time become a unique experience for the actress. At the end of the evening at Bar Schumann, Iris Berbin says, “You could have said a lot, but you’d instantly cry.” It’s exactly how I feel, too: every word can pierce the fragile protective layer of self-control. The only goodbye is a hug and a ‘thank you’.

Fashionable French plastic bags for the dead

I’ve spent the past two days in Germany with the Albert family in Augsburg, it’s my “home” in Bavaria, which I can always count on. Most of the time he goes to complete the lecture which I am allowed to give on the 1st of June at the University of Augsburg. Through the conversation of our volunteers, I can find out what is happening at home, what aid is coming and where it is going, photos are posted, and publicity arguments are made. As beautiful as the truth around me in Germany seems, I still feel I have to go back. I feel inactive, sometimes it becomes unbearable.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t get enough air because of this, but that’s just a side effect of the mask, which I wear more often in Germany than at home. Mouth and nose protection is no longer a problem in Ukraine, at least not because of Covid. However, it is badly needed in many places for other purposes.

I still have to go back to an interview in Ukrainska Pravda With artist A. von Krolikowski Art, which I read on the trip from Berlin to Munich. A few years ago his artist duo was in Chernivtsi, our cultural association supported the Fakelogy project, in the course of which he also performed Krolikowski Art. The performers gave a performance about Chernivtsi and Paul Celan. I remember her well. Anyone who has dealt with Paul Celan inevitably had to deal with death. Now the artist A. With death again, but this time in its very tangible form.

Since the liberation of the Kyiv region, he has been working on the site in the mortuary. This is where the bodies of the fallen victims of the “Second Army of the World” are brought in. At the morgue, they are examined by doctors from the French Institute for Criminal Research of the Gendarmerie Nationale (IRCGN), a volunteer. Next to him is another artist in the morgue. Both of you, says A, are likely to handle this amazing event better later on, technically speaking, your own psychology of that choice. Many others will not be able to.

In the interview, A says so much about his approach to death that I don’t want to cite here. I have to think of Gottfried Bain’s Mortuary and Other Poems while reading. Some unmistakable apocalyptic delight among the artists. A., for example, says that he sometimes speaks to “dead”, something like: “Dear ones, I have bad news for you. Your family members were not there, you were not recognized. There is a new French for plastic bags for that! Plastic bags White is fashionable.Even plastic bags for the dead are elegant with the French, no wonder.

What an “artistic arc” in this episode I think. I have returned to the country where the war meter has already exceeded a whole number – the hundredth day.

Read more episodes of this column over here.

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