Day 12: Tobingen, Germany

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November 17th 2018
Published: November 27th 2018
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We went to Tobingen to meet a friend of Shelby's who was a foreign exchange student at Royalton. Fritz and Lea were kind enough to let us stay with them for the weekend. Fritz is in dentistry school and Lea is studying English at university. They showed us around Tobingen (it wasn't bombed during WWII due to what they think was a British liking to the town). The town square is incredibly old and looks like the ski lodges we try to create only real. They exposed us to "real" Kabobs which I jokingly teased Fritz about them only being a gyro. We had good conversations about their school system, immigration, American views on politics and world politics, and our recent trip to museums in Berlin. The one thing driving me nuts was there were no German account of the war. There were atrocities committed by the Allies and their own soldiers acted bravely. When visiting Cuba, one of the most interesting things was a museum the Bay of Pigs from the Cuban view. It was similar in facts that cannot be disputed. However, the way they saw the conflict was completely different than what I had been previously taught. It was a reminder (like a 2x4 coming over your head) the truth is typically somewhere in between the two accounts. In Berlin, there was nothing documenting the war from the German side. The closest we came to was the New Guardhouse which was a memorial to all people who lost their lives in battle. Lea explained they are taught that Germany was the enemy. They literally practiced apologizing for their country's mistakes during that time in school. Their museums are now used to teach Germans and express remorse to the rest of the world for actions of the past. It left me conflicted. There has to be another side. Why can't Germany have their side to the story and the world view? But also how much better would the world be if we tried to teach to our mistakes instead of only teaching our "greatness"? Where is the museum in Britain on their colonization and role in slavery? Where is the museum in the United States on slavery, the Trail of Tears, and its development of laws to create the inequality of race? Would we be a better country if we would teach to it, learn to say sorry...


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