LETTER: My grandfathers weren’t Nazis; for them, I wept

It occurred to me for the first time this year that I have never honoured my grandfathers (and grandmothers) for what they suffered

The poppy is a symbol of Remembrance Day.

The Editor,

Re: “I remember soldiers from all countries,” column by Tom Zillich, Nov. 10.

Thank you for writing what you wrote. Both of my grandfathers were soldiers in the German army during the Second World War. Both immigrated to Canada with their young families in the 1950s and eventually settled in Vancouver. I am first-generation Canadian. I remember observing Remembrance Day at school, reading (and identifying with) stories about German Resistance fighters and shunning the Nazis, but never feeling like Remembrance Day was “my” day, too, even though Canada has always been my home.

It occurred to me for the first time this year that I have never honoured my grandfathers (and grandmothers) for what they suffered. They were not Nazis. I would never honour what the Nazis did. They were simply ordinary German men and women who endured a brutal war and lost so much. For the first time, I wept for them – wept for what they sacrificed and lost, wept for the trauma they endured and subsequent PTSD and mental-health issues they lived with, wept that there was so much shame that these things could never be openly recognized anywhere.

Natasha Krause

 

Just Posted

Surrey councillor defends SOGI 123 stance after resigning from AutismBC

Laurie Guerra stands by her opposition to SOGI 123 resource as backlash over meeting comes to a head

PHOTOS: Hockey history in Surrey as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

Proposed coal project for Fraser Surrey Docks back in court

It could be months before the federal appeal court renders a decision

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Surrey to hear news on Olympic softball qualifier bid next week

Decision, originally expected in September, was delayed by World Baseball Softball Confederation

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Most Read